Monday, October 20, 2008

Election Stuff

If you are anti-choice and don't know why; ... if you have never really seen the face of abortion, and the excruciating decision that women have to make ... if you think that slutty women just abort their babies on a whim and don't think any further about that child ... please, please, please read a blog called "Uppercase Woman". I read her entries daily and applaud her every word. She will open your mind ... and as important as the economy is to this election, the war, immigration, jobs, etc., a lot of people are voting based only on abortion. And as narrow and oblique that is, that may be on which issue the election is won or lost. Cecily is a brave, outspoken woman whose voice MUST be heard by both choice and anti-choice groups. I would wager a bet that 99% of those who would vote for a pro-life candidate have NEVER met a woman whose life was changed by abortion. I truly believe that if more people put away their assumptions and their blinders, there might, just might, be a change in this country.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

New digs!

Welcome to Blogger! For some strange reason, AOL decided to shut down their journals, which I have been using for over 4 years. Must be the economy, stupid! Not much has been going on here, other than wrangling the kids in their five different schools (how did this happen?) and studying and writing papers for my class. I'm taking Reference this semester, which I am really, really enjoying! I finally feel like I'm truly a library student, after taking two fluff core classes, "Foundations" and "Management". And I got an "A" on my first paper! That really gave me a boost of confidence, let me tell ya!

Colin is home from college for fall break. He actually got a hair cut today; I teased him about having enough hair to donate to Locks of Love. Believe me, he wasn't that far off the mark! I know, I know, leave the kid alone. He's enjoying the heck out of college; good for him. Better that than calling home homesick every week!

Well, this is just an introductory post now that we've moved to Blogger. More to come!

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Floods, Funerals, Fleeing a Hurricane

...and other pestilence.  Last Monday and Tuesday, it rained 11 inches here in Charlotte, thanks to Tropical Storm Fay (or what was left of her).  Is the drought over? you may ask.  Apparently not, we still can't water our (brown and disgusting-looking) lawn.  The lake is up to full pond, but we're still in a drought.

We were packing to leave for Baton Rouge on Thursday -- as my dad's memorial service was scheduled for August 30.  I was rooting around in the basement for, who knows what? or maybe I was doing laundry.  A strange odor overcame me, and my first thought was, Dang it, Melanie has brought some food down here and it's spoiled, I'm going to wear her behind out ... wait a minute.  What's this?  Why is the carpet wet?  Why is there about 1/2" of water ... WHAT?  (Well, I didn't really say What? I said something that rhymes with Spit or something along those lines).  David is off in South Charlotte picking up the RV that we've rented for the trip.  I don't want to add to his troubles, but I call him anyway.  I call my friend Mona, who used to work construction and is capable of renovating/repairing houses with one hand tied behind her back.  I'm such a girl ... and she got right down to ripping up carpet, and even brought a box fan.  We got it all up and propped up with 2 by 4's ... with fans blowing every which a way.

So we're a little late getting on the road.  Like 3 or 4 hours later than we had hoped.  We picked up Colin at WCU and got as far as Tuscaloosa, AL at 2:30 in the morning.  We shacked up in a motel, and finally rolled into Baton Rouge late the next afternoon.  My mom is hysterical over the memorial service plans and her washing machine has died, and of course it's the little things that set her off (and as I later discovered me, too).  She starts yelling at me (for whatever reason) and I finally decide at that moment that I'm going to have my nervous breakdown about losing my dad, etc. and I just let the tears do their thing.  I mean, I did cry the week that he died, especially coming home, and the morning he died.  But this was a flood of magnificent proportions.  I needed to wear a hat with a big black veil.  We had company over for dinner that night and I was a pruny red mess.  Oh well, I guess they understood.  Just being in the house and knowing that he was gone, it just hit me.

The service was very nice.  I read my dad's poem, The King's Ring ... supposedly I had a mike at the lectern, but I projected anyway.  Good thing ... my sister told me later that my mike wasn't on, and that the deacon, Tim, was right behind me trying to turn it on and I never noticed him.  I was able to hold it together, no tears ... Debi had to read a passage from Ecclesiastes, and she wavered a little, but it was all good.

David had bought tickets to the LSU-Appalachian State football game, the afternoon of my dad's service.  He was so excited to take his kids to a game in Tiger Stadium -- an experience not to be forgotten.  So to add to the bad news (floods, etc) it was announced that the game was moved up to 10:00 a.m., from 4:00 p.m. because there was this hurricane brewing in the Gulf ... dad's service was at 11:00 a.m., so he kissed those tickets (and the money he spent for them) goodbye.  They did go over to the campus after the game and were able to mill around with the crowd leaving the game, so they almost got a taste of LSU football.  (They routed App. State, by the way).

Oh, did I mention the hurricane?  They started mandatory evacuations of New Orleans and the southern parishes on Saturday ... and started contraflow (both sides of the interstate traveling North) late Saturday night.  We knew we were in for an adventure.  The scope of which we had no clue.  Suffice it to say that our usual 12 hour trip to Charlotte took about 32 hours, (with a 6 hour stop north of Atlanta at 4 in the morning, which was the first place we could find a motel with available rooms!)  Oh, and the detour to Cullowhee to take Colin back to college. 

There were signs everywhere saying "Gustav evacuees!  Shelter ... next exit!" and car after car with Louisiana plates.  Even when we stopped in Gainesville, GA, the motel was filled with Louisiana plates.  It was awful.  We did maneuver that "hog" of an RV along some back roads in Mississippi to avoid the "parking lot" that was I-55.  And finding a gas station that had gasoline was another challenge.  We felt a little selfish trying to fill up the RV ... when evacuees around us needed to fill up their cars so they could keep going.

Met with the insurance agent today about the basement.  It's pretty well dried up but still smells pretty mildew-y.  Oh, and I'm supposed to havesurgery to remove my right ovary* either this Friday or the 19th of September, don't know which yet.  Will the hilarity ever end?

*if you're really interested, I have a hemmorhagic cyst that has been making my life so much fun lately.  It needs to go.

Saturday, August 16, 2008


Daddy died peacefully on Friday August 15.  He had been unresponsive for about a day and a half before, so there was no suffering.  It is surreal ... and for some strange reason, the world keeps on going.  People still do their stuff, planes keep flying, kids keep playing outside.  Death is not special.

When I got to Baton Rouge on Monday he was awake.  He looked me in the eye and told me he was ready to die.  (Direct quote).  I told him that if that was his wish, that we were behind him 100%.  He had been talking to Tim, the deacon at his church, and had made his spiritual peace. 

The only prayer that I had was that it would be quick.  And that prayer was answered.  As I was flying home, it was a beautiful sunny day and looking out the window I envisioned Dad's spirit shooting heavenward.  What a beautiful day for his soul to be free.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008


My dad is in the hospital again.  Melanie and I spent a pleasant few days in Baton Rouge last week, visiting with the parental units, and sibling.  Dad seemed fairly good ... going up & down the stairs, albeit a little slowly.  He has compression fractures in his spine, as a result of osteoporosis, as a result of chemotherapy which he had several years ago for non-Hodgkins' lymphoma.  Well the cancer didn't kill him, but the treatment nearly has.  And probably will.  At any rate, I got back to Charlotte Wednesday night, and he & I had a great conversation on the phone about stuff.  Thursday I got a call from my sister that dad had fallen.  He had a fracture at C-2 in his neck.  This can't be good.

There is no paralysis, but he had surgery Monday morning to put a screw in to stabilize the fracture.  After the surgery he had trouble swallowing.  A swallow x-ray showed aspiration to the lungs.  They are starting him on steroids, and tried to put in an NG tube for nourishment.  However, after 3 tries, they gave up.  Tomorrow morning, they are putting in a PEG tube surgically.  My mom, up until now, has been a fountain of strength, but this evening, she sounded a little rattled.  My sister says she is feeling like a bobblehead.  I am flying down this Friday, for moral support. 

Everyone knows that there will be an end.  No matter how much we try, no matter how much plastic surgery we have (speaking completely in general of course!) we're still going to die (and end up as a slightly better looking corpse, if we've gone under the knife).  And we know that our parents will get old and die.  But when we're faced with it, it is terrible to contemplate.  I guess many many books have been written about losing our parents.  No matter how close or not close we are to our parents, it is a significant loss. 

In my case, my dad and I have had our moments of closeness; many of distance.  When I was a child he was gone.  A lot.  For a month or more at a time, traveling the world with his job.  The world was a lot bigger back then; you just didn't hop planes as frequently as you can now.  If he was in Japan, he stayed in Japan for weeks at a time.  Sucked for my mom!  Even when we joined him at his overseas posts, he traveled still more!  But I guess we saw him more frequently (which wasn't saying a lot).  When I was home last week I found several picture albums showing mom and dad in Bangkok.  On a ship going across the Pacific.  In Venice.  In the Netherlands.  And some had me in them.  I remember going on Home Leave from Manila by way of Taiwan and Japan.

But no matter how distant we were, he is still my dad.  There is a plethora of feelings attached to that word.  Too many to put into words.  The thought of him not being on the planet with us any more is just too painful to consider.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Blah blah blah

I used to be so creative; I used to write all the time.  Certainly everyone has a stretch of writers' block now & then.  I kept a journal from the time I was 13 until I got married.  Even then, I updated it periodically.  Most of my teenage years were filled with the usual angst and yearnings and love (absolutely, this is HIM, he's the one!) and love lost, and tears and joy and depths of depression, for page upon page.  As an adult, all the words that came out are factual.  The baby did this ... we did that ... we went to Disney World ... the kids are driving me effing NUTS ... we're taking him to college ... WAIT.  What?  College?  In three weeks?

He got the dorm he wanted, and he & his roommate (from Durham ... I was hoping for a roommate from Charlotte, with a car, as Colin's not taking his car -- that 3 hour drive is a BEAR) have been chatting about what to take, etc.  Sounds like they were picked from the same pea pod ... both like video games, the same movies, etc.  I just hope the video games don't result in academic failure.  I told Colin if he flunked out he would be going to the Air Force.  Maybe that will be impetus enough to keep him busy.  I'm so mean.  There's also the chance to study abroad, if his GPA stays at an acceptable level.  Oh, and getting his car for sophomore year.

Summer has been crazy ... the graduations, the wedding, the orientation, the surgery.  Melanie is doing great.  She was pretty swollen at first, and looked quite miserable, but is back to her bouncing-off-the-walls self.  Nothing slows that kid down, honestly.  This week I'm taking the three youngers to Atlanta to visit the Coca-Cola World Museum, and then to Grandmama's house in Mississippi.  Then Melanie and I are sashaying down to Baton Rouge to visit my dad, who is actually doing better -- despite compression fractures in his spine. 

The olders are going to New Orleans with our youth group to work at a mission there.  They serve an at-risk neighborhood south of the Superdome, with Bible Schools and games.  I'm hoping that my very spoiled children will see how close to the brink these people live.  Kids who get breakfast & lunch at the mission, and very little else.  The neighborhood wasn't flooded during Katrina, but there was considerable wind damage.  Three years after the storm, there are still houses needing repairs, covered with tarps.  Not exactly on anyone's priority list, fer shure.  <sigh>

After that, David and the boys are driving up to Cedar Point, in Ohio.  The World's Greatest Amusement Park Ever.  With the Biggest, Baddest, Craziest roller coasters on the planet.  Roller Coasters that go up at a 90 degree angle.  I.  Don't. Think. So.  Not even if you gave me a huge trailer filled with money (and shoes).  Not Even.  I went on the Rockin' Roller Coaster at Disney last year (accelerates from 0 to 1,000 mph in 3 seconds!) and felt like I was having a heart attack ... or that my heart had been ripped from my chest ... for nearly an hour.  Guess that takes me out of the astronaut program, eh?  Darn. 

School starts back for Lisa & Christian on Aug. 11.  Quentin decided this year to bail out of the small, Christian school, and jump into the public high school (from which Colin just graduated).  He is interested in journalism, and has signed up for Newspaper and Yearbook at Hopewell.  (Sometimes called HopeLESS High School).  He doesn't go back to school until Aug. 25, lucky duck.  One less tuition to pay ... we'll just transfer it directly from Southlake to Western Carolina University!  In one pocket out the other.


Thursday, July 3, 2008

Crazy crazy summer

Bullet point summary of the past month and a half ...

1.  Had a great time in England.  Learned a lot. Still need to write paper.  Bad me.  Bad me.  Also went to France over the weekend.

2.  Went to Maryland for Cousin Courtney's graduation.  Celebrated birthdays.  Came home.

3.  Colin graduates from Hopewell High School.

4.  Kids all go to camp ... little ones to South Carolina, big ones to Skycroft, Maryland.

5.  Back to Maryland for Ashlea & Jason's wedding.  Lots of fun .. very hot.  Beautiful bride.  Colin, Quentin & Christian look great in tuxes.  Girls beautiful jr. bridesmaid and flower girl.

5.  Two days spent at orientatin at Western Carolina University.  Colin would like to leave now.  Move in day:  August 15.

6.  One lazy week ...

7.  July 9:  Melanie has her bone graft surgery.  Updates to follow.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Jolly Olde England

Well, one week from today I'm headed back to England.  My stellar prince of a husband (I LOVE YOU HONEY!) is letting me go to Oxford for 2 weeks to attend a seminar on British Librarianship, in connection with UNC-Chapel Hill's LIS department.  I will get 3 hours credit (well, after I submit a 15-20 page research paper, ack!) and I won't have to go to summer school.  You see, if I take one class each term (fall, spring, summer) I'll finish my degree in 4 years.  (One year down, 3 to go!)  I am so looking forward to being in England again.  The last time I went was 1998, with my mom and friend Robin. 

I know, 2 weeks ... no kids!  No housework!  No rat race!  No nothing!  Just academia and culture, oh and don't forget the pub crawls!  I know I'll miss home, but that will make it all the more wonderful to come home.  I think everyone deserves a break from life now & then.  I lived in London for a summer with Judith (see entry in October 2007) and feel so much at home there. 

Totally off the subject ... we were so captivated by the PBS series "Carrier" this week.  Wow ... it just knocked us off our feet.  If you have the chance to buy the video, DO IT.  It will give you an idea of what our armed forces go through in this war on terror.  (Whoops, mis-typed that as War OF terror.  Hmmm ... freudian slip?)

Monday, April 21, 2008

Here is Melanie's school picture from last fall.  Before she cut her hair off.  After all, this blog was originally all about her!



Another Weird Wildlife Wincident

Today I was driving down to Melanie's school to pick her up for a doctor's appointment.  She's usually starving by the time she gets home from school so I pulled into Jack-in-the-Box for a healthy (bah!) snack for her to eat on the way.  As I'm pulling out into the very heavy traffic, I see a movement on the hood of my car.  There, sitting on the hood looking me straight in the eye is a MOUSE.  No, I'm not panicking at all, trying not to cause a major traffic accident over a stupid mouse.  He took one look at me, with those sweet little black eyes, and ran back under the hood (you know, the gap between the windshield wipers and the actual hood).  Of course I drove the rest of the way with one foot up on the seat.  I ran into the school and asked for a "man" (I know, genderist again) to come and make sure there wasn't a colony of the darn things living under there.  Well, dummy me in my agitated state couldn't figure out how to pop the hood.  He saw the suspect, stuck a stick in there and saw it scamper away under the hood.  So I was forced to drive the rest of the afternoon without knowing if it would pop out at me at any moment.  I'm such a baby.

Back at home I finally figured out how to pop the hood (they HID the latch) and of course there was no sign of our Little Furry Friend.  I just hope the stowaway wasn't running away from the family which may or may not be living in our garage.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Close Encounters of the Wildlife Kind

Jeepers, the woodland creatures are taking over.  Yesterday afternoon the kids and I were sitting on the porch after school, just chilling, enjoying the Carolina blue sky and warm weather (finally!) when Boudreaux, out in the yard, started barking and barking.  The new neighbors have a cat that likes to sit on the other side of the fence and taunt him (I know what he's thinking:  heh, dumb dog.  I can jump over this fence right now and claw your eyes out, you can't, nyah nyah!) so I thought the cat was back.  I didn't pay much attention, but eventually got up to yell at him.  Well, 'tweren't no cat, Boudreaux had a SNAKE backed up against a tree!  The snake was all coiled up, head up, and striking at Boud.  Boudreaux would back up when he struck, so thank goodness I don't think he was bitten.  From one angle it looked like the snake had a hood, and my brain registered "COBRA" even though intellectually I knew we weren't in India and cobras don't live in this area (do they?)  I screamed at the dog to come, and finally he did.  We stood on the deck watching the FOUR FOOT LONG (at least) black (and not dangerous) snake slither into the woods.  <SHUDDER>  They probably eat the vermin that hang around the woods, and I was glad to see him, but I was also glad to see him go.

But he must have missed a rodent yesterday, because this morning ... as we're all sleepily trying to get coffee and cereal and bookbags packed, I see out of the corner of my eye a brown blur go by on the floor.  Quickly, and MOUSILY.  Yep, a mouse was in the house.  I've apparently been watching too many Tom & Jerry cartoons, because without thinking, I jumped up onto a chair, Lisa screamed, "EEEEEK!" and ran into the bedroom calling for David, who is at this time in the midst of a deep REM sleep.  He comes stumbling out of the room, armed with a swiffer mop, ready for battle.  The darn thing ran to & fro, scared out of its wits, and ended up running under the dishwasher.  Ugh ... the kids were completely freaked out and wouldn't go into the kitchen to get their breakfast.

Okay, Mr. Snake, you're fired.  Dereliction of duty.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

The Crickets are Taking Over This Journal

...and the cobwebs are accumulating at warp speed.  This school thing is kicking my butt, but now that it's over, well, I'm back!

My dad is not doing well.  My dad, once an international businessman who made his living negotiating with foreign governments to allow the construction of oil terminals, who at one time had a passport that was so full it had an accordion insert that fell about 3 feet when opened; who opened corporate offices in Japan, the Philippines and Singapore; who in his retirement ran half-marathons, was studying to be a personal trainer, who was once a NCAA track & field official, is now bedridden and giving up.  About 8 years ago he was diagnosed with Non-Hodgkins' Lymphoma, and went through a regimen of chemotherapy and radiation that took away everything that he loved.  He lost his ability to taste, has no salivary glands, and developed osteoporosis.  About a month ago, several ribs and a couple of vertebrae became fractured (no injury, just fractured spontaneously).  Imagine the pain ... he couldn't eat for the pain medication made him sick, and getting out of bed was painful.  He has developed a bedsore, and mom is talking about bringing in a hospital bed.

I can hardly blame him for giving up.  Nothing of any quality remains for him.  His athletic loves are no longer possible for him.  He has lost much of his eyesight from cataracts (which were removed recently) and he can't move around.  He is 80 years old, the same age as his own father when he died, 31 years ago.  He believes he is done.  For some reason I'm praying for the release for him.  Strangely enough .. when someone you love is in so much pain, and there is no hope for recovery, you pray for something better for them.  Is that wrong?  To pray for someone to die?

My dad is a faithful Christian man.  Even after my mother stopped going to church, he kept on.  Losing my sister in a car accident was the last straw for Mom, and God had given up on her, so she gave up on Him.  But Dad still had faith in a higher power.

The priest from our church has been coming to the house to give him communion.  I know that Dad is confident about what lies ahead.  That is a relief. 

What an extraordinary life.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Too Funny Not to Share

True Friendship
None of that Sissy Crap

Are you tired of those sissy 'friendship' poems that always sound good, butnever actually come close to reality?  Well, here is a series of promises that actually speak of true       friendship.  You will see no cutesy little smiley faces on this card; just the stone cold truth of our great friendship.        
        1. When you are sad -- I will jump on the person who made you sad
          like a spider monkey jacked up on mountain dew.
        2. When you are blue -- I will try to dislodge whatever is
        choking you.
        3. When you smile -- I will know you are plotting something that
        I must be involved in.
        4. When you are scared -- I will rag on you about it every
        chance I get.
        5. When you are worried -- I will tell you horrible stories
        about how much Worse it could be until you quit whining.
        6. When you are confused -- I will use little words.
        7. When you are sick -- Stay away from me until you are well
        Again. I don't want whatever  you have.
        8. When you fall -- I will point and laugh at your clumsy butt.
        9. This is my oath.... I pledge it to the end. 'Why?' you may ask;
        'because you are my friend'.
        Friendship is like peeing your pants,
        everyone can see it,
        But only you can feel the true warmth..

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Please Sign this Petition to Make Sleepovers Illegal

<sigh>  I know they are fun.  I know I went to them when I was a kid.  But crimenentlies*, they are torture for the parents.  Christian only invited 4 boys, but we were awakened at 4:15 a.m. by the sound of them playing darts in the game room directly below our bedroom.  I went downstairs to find Christian sleeping soundly on the couch, his hands & feet duct-taped together.  There was also a can of shaving cream there, but mercifully I don't think it was used at any time.  The other four monsters -- er, I mean boys, were running around the room, doing what I don't know.  I told them this was a SLEEPover and they needed to settle down and sleep.  To the best of my knowledge they did, and slept until 10 a.m.

And to extend the torture, Lisa is having a sleepover next Friday night with TEN girls.  What am I nuts????  TEN screaming, giggling girls.  Tune in next week to see if Mom survives the insanity.


*Some weird expression my mom used to use.  As in, "Crimenentlies, can't you clean up your room?"

Monday, February 25, 2008

Melanie IV

On Saturday, Melanie must have gotten into a gallon of coke or someting (coca cola that is, don't get cocky!) because at Lisa's basketball game she was zipping around like a miniature tornado.  Of course the older girls at the church were eating her up, playing ring around the rosy with her, etc.  One of the girls decided she's had enough and lay down on the floor.  Melanie wasn't going to let her rest, and she punched her in the nose.  I mean P.U.N.C.H.E.D her in the nose.  Blood, bruises, the whole nine yards.  Now we've gone from simple larceny and defacing public property to assault & battery.  I'm beyond mortified, humiliated, embarrassed, perplexed, bumfoozled.  I'm thinking we're going to need some bigger (dare I say professional?) help with this one.  She's out of control.  I put that little cartoon on the page, but on reflection, it's really not funny any more. 

A lot of kids (or perhaps I should use the word "some") who were adopted from overseas come with something called Reactive Attachment Disorder.  This is a syndrome in which a child who has not had the opportunity to form a healthy attachment to her caregiver from birth, later has trouble forming attachments with anyone.  It manifests itself by angry outbursts, acting out, over affectionate behavior with everyone except the parent, pitting strangers against the parents, almost as if to say, "I dare you ... can I act bad enough and you will still love me?"

Melanie was placed in a wonderful orphanage (baby house) at one month old.  It was a friendly, cheerful environment, but how much one-on-one attention could the kids get, with 10 other kids needing the same attention?  Granted, Melanie probably copped more than the average, with her cleft lip & palate; she needed to be painstakingly fed until she had her surgery at age 11 months.  But I'm beginning to get a terrible feeling inside.  We really need some prayers here ...

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Revisiting Adoption

Last winter, I got an email from my cousin, Leigh.  Her mother, Dorothy, is my dad's sister.  Leigh and Dorothy and Leigh's two sisters, Susie & Becky, all live in Texas.  (There's also a brother, David).  Leigh is my age, and we great up as friends, as much as friends who only see each other once a year can be friends.  Living all over the place as we did, we only went to North Texas on home leave over the summer.  Nevertheless, we've always been friends.  When I went to college in Texas that first year, and my parents were still in Singapore, I drove to Pampa with Leigh to spend Thanksgiving with her family.

Anyway ... now that we've established the background ... back to the email.  She and her mom and sisters were planning a trip to North Carolina in January to visit some of their cousins, i.e. my grandfather's family, whom he left before the Great Depression, in Mebane.  My father and his sisters had met their cousins once or twice in their lives.  I mean, North Carolina and Texas are pretty far apart, and Southwest Airlines didn't exist back then.  I suppose that when you get along in years you decide to go back to visit family, distant though they may be.

There are two of my dad's first cousins living in Charlotte.  One Saturday afternoon we drove down to visit them, along with their siblings and children.  It was a big ol' family reunion.  Or should I say, a UNION.  There was no "re" about it, as we had never met before.

My dad had very rarely spoken of these folks.  I should have been thrilled to meet them, but I felt empty.  They were strangers.  As I thought about all these new people in my family, I realized there was no connection.  Just DNA.  After all, isn't family more than just biology?  Isn't family sharing experiences, sitting around the table saying, "Remember that time when we ...?" or "Remember how grandpa used to ...?" and remembering the summers spent on the farm, or the time Uncle Raymond got a new toilet seat for Christmas?  Isn't THAT what it is all about?

It made me put our daughters into perspective.  Truly ... My daughters and her brothers CAN sit around and laugh about Melanie cutting her hair, or about how many times Quentin got stitches.  And the trip to Disney ... and the way we used to laugh at dinnertime.  At how funny Daddy looks with a beard.  Isn't that what family is really about?  We don't need no stinkin' DNA.


Yeah, me neither.  Class is tonight ... this semester I'm taking Management and Administration.  It's one of the "core" or required classes, and it really doesn't have anything to do with libraries.  Strictly business management, with a library thrown in here & there.  Interesting, yeah, but I'm so desperate to get into some real nuts & bolts library stuff.  Like cataloging, collection management (managing books, not people!) and government documents.  I guess that will come soon enough.

I have a paper due tonight, an analysis of an "organizational culture".  I have written it, read it, re-read it, corrected it, had David read it and comment on it, and I'm sick and tired of it.  I think I did a good job, but these grad school standards have me in a conundrum, and I'm feeling somewhat inadequate.  Earlier in the semester I had to write a "growth plan" (where did I see myself going in the next 5 years and how I hoped to get there) and a resume.  I thought it was outstanding, but I got it back with a low "B".  I guess a B is acceptable, but wouldn't it be great to be, like, an honors student?  How much more do honor students scratch their heads?  How much more thinking does an honor student do?  Am I just an Average Joe?  How boring is that?  Where do I go to buy genius-ness?  I suppose there are more average people than there are Mensa people, hence the name average (picture the bell curve).  If everyone was ultra-smart, by which yardstick would they be measured?  Is this too Jean-Paul Satres for everyone?  I think, therefore I am?  I'm reminded of something my doctor said last summer, can't remember the context, but it goes something like this:  What do you call the medical student who is last in his graduating class?  Doctor.

Melanie tried to shoplift last night.  We were at the grocery store and as we were rolling our way out the door, I noticed her hand behind her back.  I asked her what she had, and she shrugged her shoulders.  That's always a bad sign.  I turned her around and found the pack of gum I had just told her she couldn't have.  Last week she wrote all over her bookshelf with a marker (not the first time -- I recall an incident when we had our old house on the market, and she wrote in BLACK SHARPIE all over the wainscoating in the dining room).  I made a snap judgment right then to empty her room of everything except a bed and dresser.  No small task, that kid has more toys than the North Pole.  It seems to be working; when I put her to bed, she goes to sleep; no more playing until All Hours.  Quentin said it was a little extreme, but hey.  What else can I do that won't get me in trouble with DHS?  As I was cleaning out her junk, I found clumps of hair under the bed, next to a pair of purloined scissors.  Yep, you guessed it.  She's been chopping her hair off too.  She now has a very cute bob, not much in the way of bangs, since they're all gone.  I love that kid, but honestly ... sometimes ... The Thief

What am I to do????  Oh, and for the record, never mention your plans for a 5 year old's birthday party 6 months in advance.  Unless you want to hear, every day for 6 months, how many more days until my birthday? and have the kid invite every grocery store clerk, nurse and handy man to her party, which is in July for Pete's sake.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Did I Mention Kevin Costner?

No Way OutWe were standing on Tchoupitoulas Street (bonus points if you can pronounce that correctly!!) watching the Krewe d'Etat (which is one of the funnier, satiric parades).  The crowd wasn't too bad, just a bunch of happy people enjoying the warm evening.  Suddenly I heard a guy shout, "Hey, Waterworld!!"  I turn around and see Kevin Costner walking right behind me.  I mean RIGHT behind me.  He gives the shouter a "bite me" smile (guess he'd like to forget that movie, although I personally enjoyed it!) and kept walking.  He was with about six other guys, his band maybe?  (He rode as the grand marshall of the Endymion parade, and his band played at the SuperDome later that night).  They didn't really look like bodyguards, and they weren't around him, just with him.  Anyway ... those of you who know me know that No Way Out is one of my all-time, hands down favorites (that white naval uniform!  Running through the Pentagon!) oh, stop!  Sorry, but other than The Untouchables, any of his movies after that did nothing for me. 



Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Mardi Gras Madness

Just got back from New Orleans.  Quentin rode in his first parade, and is hooked.  Here are some pictures that were taken from the float (and others too).



Wednesday, January 23, 2008


My highly-educated-about-rock-and-roll-son Quentin has informed me that the song goes "Time keeps on SLIPPIN' SLIPPIN' SLIPPIN' ... into the future".  Not tickin'.

Well, EXCUUUUUUUUSE me!  My bad.  Apologies to Steve Miller.  Gimme a break, I haven't heard the dang song in a long time.

Stay tuned for the next episode:  A Mardi Gras ball.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Time Keeps on Tickin', Tickin' ... Into the Future

Sounds like a good title for a song, doesn't it?  Let's see ... Colin's all set for the downward swing of his senior year.  He was able to drop AP Statistics (what WAS he thinking?) and pick up something called Discrete Math (not to be confused with Discreet Math, in which everyone goes by a code name and attends class in disguise).  He will have first period free every other day, plus take his last class at CPCC (community college).  Graduation is set for June 14, followed a week later by the wedding of their cousin, Ashlea.  He's all set to go to Western Carolina (see previous post) and things are just peachy.  We visited the campus over the holiday.  Gorgeous.  But a little bit of a party school, we hear!)

His 18th birthday was Saturday.  Now, in NC, you have a provisional drivers' license until you are 18, at which point you go and have it renewed into a full license.  Seeing as his birthday fell on a Saturday, he went to DMV on Friday afternoon, being the Good Citizen that he is.  Since he was TECHNICALLY still a minor as of that moment, he had to take a parent/guardian with him.  So he came home, fetched me, and back we went.  Wait, no, we can't give you a regular license because TECHNICALLY you're not 18 until tomorrow.  Come back Monday.  Sorry, the person who spoke to you earlier is new, she doesn't know the rules, sorry, sorry, sorry.  Blood pressure begins to rise. 

So, we have a birthday, we take him out to dinner at his favorite rest., have presents, etc. (well the real present was a new cell phone with GPS, music, camera, dishwasher and laundry folder).  Monday morning, (missing first period of school) we set out again for DMV because, you know, TECHNICALLY he can't drive without a license (which expired on Saturday).  Okay, we drive up, no crowds.  Walk in ... Sorry folks, the entire computer network is down.  Try again tomorrow.  Sorry, sorry, sorry!  GAAA!!!

Stay tuned ... he's going back this afternoon to try for a fourth time.

In the meantime ... number 2 son, Quentin, is ready to get his permit!  Mom hasn't had enough abuse at the hands of the NC Department of Motor Vehicles, so we set out this morning.  Now, in NC you have to have a certificate from the driving school which provided his Drivers' Ed class.  We've had said certificate since June, when he took said Drivers' Ed class.  It hung proudly on the fridge for, I don't know how long.  So, when we go to get the permit, naturally, the Certificate is missing.  Probably my fault, one of my cleaning frenzies.  A phone call to the driving school assures me a duplicate can be had at the bargain price of $5.00, but here's the catch.  The school is in South Charlotte, off Independence, which, as any Charlottean knows, is right near the Gates of Hell (traffic-wise).  But being the good, loving mom that I am, off we go.  Get said certificate, take one look at the 1,000 people in line at the DMV near the school, and decide to find another DMV.  We drive up Brookshire Freeway, and find one there, wait 30 minutes, and DONE.  Quentin has a permit!  No fuss, no muss.  Even a good picture!  Only missed 2 questions on the test!

I get home from all my world travels (after taking Q to school) and put my feet up for a minute before tackling my housewife-ly chores.  Suddenly remember I have to take Lisa her lunch.  AGH!!!!!  Just another day in the life ...