Sunday, June 21, 2009

The Dog Ate My Homework

I've joked about the dog eating my homework many times. Like when I forgot a needed paper for a meeting, or work. How many times have you heard or even used this excuse in school? And no one ever got away with it.

I can now attest that dogs will eat paper. In particular, money. The other day I was given six dollars in change at the grocery. Since I was in a hurry, I shoved the bills into my purse and not into my wallet. When I got home, I dropped my purse onto the floor to make it easier to carry the groceries to the kitchen. I forgot about the bills being loose in the handbag.

Later, I discovered some disgustingly slimy throwup in the basement. When I was cleaning it up, pieces of the paper money were discernible. Incredulous, I peered closer and saw many shreds of money.

Using a plastic bag as a glove, I gathered the entire mess and took it to the sink where I rinsed off bits and pieces of my six dollars!!
So the dog literally ate my money!

That's not all. After much washing, I layed the money out on a plate to dry. Again, I forgot about the money being there - probably intentionally.

A few days later I was walking the dog. Now, I do not normally watch the animal while he makes his doo doo, but for some reason, this time I did. Some long green and white thing emerged when he did his business.

A chunk of the same five dollar bill.

It's yours for the taking.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Old New York

Tom, the eldest, is safely ensconced in the apartment he'll be sharing for the summer during his trip to NY City. Well, perhaps that's a bit of an exaggeration. Last I heard he was munching burgers at Micky D's with his traveling companions. All dropped their suitcases at their respective domiciles, and immediately went out to eat. Unpacked? Nope. That's for later.

Now begins the first "real" day in NYC.

Being in a large city is like having adrenalin pumped through your veins. You can't help but be captured by the life, the continual motion and noises. Flashing lights. Honking horns. Yelling from the street corners. Then there's the "other" kind of yelling as well.
Broadway shows and glitz. Extreme wealth. Extreme poverty. Side by side on any given street.

Riding the subway, trying to act like you really do know where you're going when you don't.

Pretending to be a New Yorker when wearing a Davie County tee shirt.

North Carolina? Isn't that some third world country down south? (You have to imagine the accent.)

I guess some love the fast life - the city life. But not me. Not anymore.

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Picking Your Battles

Two teenage sons. Need I say more? Clashes. Opinions. Assertiveness. Growing into adult young men isn't easy - for either the child or the parents. As the saying goes, 'Little do they understand until they have children of their own. ' But for now, we give them room to expand themselves. We pick our battles.

Yes, there are times even my absolutely perfect college boys get into trouble. There are many instances when I'd love to send them to the corner, or to their room. But the boys are 19 and (almost) 21 respectively. If they haven't learn the basics by now, my husband and I haven't done our parenting very well.
When we do get upset, it usually revolves around a major theme, such as responsibility and communications. It doesn't involve the length of hair or cleanliness of rooms. Don't get me wrong. I'll complain. Suggest. Complain. Repeatedly. But it's not a battle on which I really want to waste energy.
For example, I told my younger son that if he didn't clean his room, I was going to post a picture of it on my blog.
He lay in his bed and laughed as I took several shots. Did he even attempt to tidy? Nope.
I hope you can really experience the awe I have for the way he can manoeuvre through such ....clutter seems too benign a description. I mean, there is not one square inch of floor uncluttered. You need to launch yourself onto the bed else you'd never reach it.

Am I exaggerating?

See for yourself.

I sigh and shake my head, dismayed. After all, I am such a clean, tidy, and organized person. Where did he get these messy genes? LOL

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Summer Time

Summer seems to have 'officially' burst upon us with temperatures in the high 80's, thunder storms, and humidity that coats your skin like oil. It's not the August summer - languid and breathless. This summer has a kick in it's step that allows you to enjoy sweating outside. It's a gentle country summer.

Not like what my son's going to find with a NY summer - stifling heat rebounding between tall buildings and the air full of the smells of car exhaust, exotic foods, and sweat. He's off to NY for a five-week mission trip to set up Christian groups on college campuses. I guess we'll learn all about it by reading his blog

This is Tom with his girlfriend, Lauren. It seems like just yesterday I was pushing his stroller in the department store, and he was blowing motorboat sounds with his lips. Then he was swinging at a wiffle ball we tied to a tree branch so he could practice batting. He grew into a pitcher, a bright student, and a wonderful young man. God has filled his heart and has blessed him.

I'm going to miss him this summer. It's the first time he's going to be gone for so long (except for college) but I'm sure I'll adjust. Thankfully, my younger son, Jim, is still home. He'll take most of the mushy-gush hugs and kisses with good humor. After all, he'll miss Tom also.

One of my friends is thinking about arranging a day trip with our horses for the day Tom leaves for NY. What a terrific distraction this will be. :^)

Friends are wonderful. Family is a blessing. I love every moment of my life!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009


Or rather lack thereof. I've been having issues ever since we had to roll back the clocks an hour. I awake with my novel characters cavorting around my brain - banging into various nerve endings, sending my arms and legs shooting out from beneath the covers. Not really, but they're trying to get me out of bed in the middle of the night so I can tell their story. And I'm not about to leave the soft comfort of my pillow.

But then, when I finally arise after slapping the snooze button at least 10 times, I must rush to work. Then I rush to my home office and work some more. Then the guilt speaks in its creepy little voice, "You haven't exercised all week. You haven't walked the dog today. Are those cobwebs hanging on the light? Why haven't you worked on your novel? It's almost June and you promised yourself you'd have it ready to submit."


So here I sit, doing some work, taking a break and writing this blog, and now returning to my work.

I'm going to stare at my friends Laurie and Bonnie, both of whom have published works, and see if their faces will inspire me. :^)

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Rain, rain, go away

Memorial Day weekend - incredible! We had one of those Time Paradox thingies going on at our house. It gobbled up the past couple of months and left us here, in the future, in the rain.

Remember when Memorial Day weekend was the official kick-off of summer? When you'd rent canoe, grab your tent and cooler full of beer and head to the water...any water?

I remember one time running the rapids on the Delaware River then pulling off to the side and setting up camp for the night. Unfortunately, it was near railroad tracks so the rumbling roar of the train rolled me out of my sleeping bag at 3am.

These days there's work. And responsibility. And chores. Why is this? When did the practical stuffy adult take over the fun-loving youth?

Sigh. Guess it happens to all of us. Running to our cars when it's raining and we don't have an umbrella. Or grumbling when the checkout line is long instead of striking up a conversation with a stranger.

My body may be aging, but I'm going to fight turning into an old fuddy-duddy.

I'm going to saunter outside, tilt my face toward the sky and let the rain fall into my mouth.

Happy Memorial Day. And thanks to all our fallen heroes who helped give us our freedoms to write silly blogs such as this.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

The Economy

OK. Enough said. Now let's get on to brighter topics.

I can't believe it's been a month since I last posted. Time flew with all the year-end tasks that are finally beginning to lessen. FAFSA is filed for each of the boys. Tax papers are pulled together. Almost completed all my bank reconciliations for last year (like why don't I do it every month?) Next I need to consolidate all my business files and lug everything to the accountant.

Ed and I traveled to Fayettville last weekend to see old friends from PA who were down at a soccer tournament with their son. The last time I saw the son, he was a tiny pup. I feel so old!!! He's up to my chin and already 14 year old!


I know we've been in NC for 8.5 years, but it feels like only yesterday that we moved. I must be living in a time warp. That's it. I'm not aging, nor gaining weight. I'm in a life vortex that revolves around....ME!!

Except my boys are both grown and in college.

Except my pants have grown very tight around my stomach and thighs.

Except my forehead is looking a bit lined lately.

But we had a wonderful time with our friends. And when we arrived home, I skipped out to the stables to check on Jack and had a wonderful time with him. For the first time in ages, I had a Mellow Monday Morning that lasted all day!

But alas, taxes, bills, and television news shattered my peacefulness. Remind me to turn off the news channel next time it pops up.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Post Holiday Stress Disorder

PHSD - it isn't something to take frivolously. It's a serious depression following seasonal highlights - family visitations, spoilings, children home from college. It's a time where everyone is fawning over each other and nothing gets done. However, the host family becomes sweetly exhausted.

These are times that will never be given up - I relish them and snap pictures at every moment, often duplicating the pics from others. But everything's OK. All is forgiven during the holidays.

Then everyone goes home. Decorations are put away. Left-over meals are either eaten or tossed into the trash. And all baked goods are given to children living outside the house. Eating conservation commences and days look bleek. Colored lights are gone. Crazy antics are gone. And it's just Ed and I. With the dogs and cats.

I miss my boys. I imagine it'll be a week or so until I'm "back to normal" and have grown accustom to them being gone again. Being a parent isn't always easy. There are lots of sad times, lonely times, and times when you realize how much you miss your own youth.

Then again, our youth helped us form wonderful children - like my boys. I am ever so proud of them and all they've done and will do with their lives.

PHSD - it makes you realize how much a person can affect another. How much we need each other. We are so fortunate to be able to share our fortunes with others. And I'm really glad for my family and friends.

Sorry to sound so soapy. sappy, whatever, but it's true.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Southern Haiku

Every morning, Alan, a writer friend of mine, creates a haiku then tweets it on twitter. I've been thinking a lot about his writing habit and am going to try and follow his example, at least a couple of days a week.

This morning I contemplated the New Year as I dozed in bed, refusing to arise. In my murky quasi-dreams, I created my first southern haiku. Actually, that was yesterday. Today's haiku was actually pretty OK - no southern in it at all.

Let's step back a minute. What is haiku? According to Wikpedia, Haiku is a form of Japanese poetry, consisting of 17 Japanese on (a phonetic unit identical to the mora), in three metrical phrases of 5, 7, and 5 on respectively[1], and typically containing a kigo, or seasonal reference. In Japanese, haiku are traditionally printed in a single vertical line, while haiku in English usually appear in three lines, to equate to the Japanese haiku's three metrical phrases[2]. Previously called hokku, it was given its current name by the Japanese writer Masaoka Shiki at the end of the 19th century.

OK, back to southern haiku. The difference between haiku and southern haiku is the pronunciation of several typically single syllable words spoken in a southern dialect. This is a typical southern haiku:

Cold wind bends the trees,
we cuddle inside our home,
fire blazing hot.
Notice the use of the word FIRE. In southernese, is pronounced FA-YER, or FAR. I've selected the former pronunciation to use in this haiku, thus transforming it into a two syllable word and maintaining the five syllable form.
I have to admit it affords me much greater flexibility in my creation.
HA HA HA. Happy New Year!!