Monday, September 28, 2015

Mamas in the Stands

We spent a large amount of time watching football Saturday.  The Bulldogs played at 6:30, so we switched from one game to another, all afternoon, waiting for our game time. 

There were a lot of "down to the wire" games.  Some really exciting matchups.  As always, there seemed to be some big plays that either helped seal a win or guarantee a loss. 

I'm just here to tell you....the mothers of those college football players are some tough cookies. 

Yes, indeed. 

They have to be. 

I was watching the end of the Florida and Tennessee game as the kicker trotted out onto the field to try to win the game for Tennessee.  Hundreds of thousands of people watching all over the country as he steps back from the ball to line up and attempt the field goal.  Make it and he's the hero.  Miss it and the loss sits on his shoulders along with the grumbling of thousands of fans.

I thought about his Mama.  Bless her.  Was she covering her eyes....too afraid to watch?  Was she experiencing chest pains and shortness of breath?  Was she screaming his name at the top of her lungs?  Had she fainted from all the emotion?  Was she rocking back and forth and praying for good wind direction?  Was she puking in the restroom? 

The ball is snapped and he kicks it too far to the right, but the Florida coach had called a time out to ice the kicker.  He gets another chance.  He steps back.  The ball is snapped again and he kicks and it looks really good........until it barely misses by inches.  Game over.  Tennessee loses.          

Well, no matter how she coped with the stress of waiting for the kick, I can almost bet what her feelings were after he missed.  She wanted to run down on the field with everything in her and grab his 6 ft., 195lb., 21 year old self and say, "It's ok, little'll get it next time, buddy," and then whisk him away for ice cream with a cherry and sprinkles, while telling him not to listen to all of those meanie heads. 

Just like she did when he struck out in little league. 

I thought that, for every mama whose son made a big play to win a game Saturday....garnishing the admiration of thousands of fans, receiving accolades from the media, and becoming an on-campus rock star....there was another mama whose son blew it and cost his team the game.....a missed field goal, a thrown interception, a dropped pass, a devastating penalty and you didn't know what kind of feedback he was in for from some of the crazy fans these days.  

I don't know how they do it.  I mean, most of us get all knotted up when our little Mary has a two liner in the school program.  "Oh, please, Lord, if you just help her to remember what she's supposed to say, I promise I'll try to be a better person and not remove the tags from my pillows and return the shopping carts to their designated areas," we plead as we mouth the lines along with her from our seat.  And it's not out of the question that little Johnny, who's up for class president, would find his mother spending an extensive amount of time in the restroom until the results are in.             

Y'all know how we are about our young.   

Not much different than the lioness.  
Or the elephant.........who'd stomp your head in if she thought you were coming for her baby.

Mamas don't play when it comes to that. 

They just don't.

And it doesn't matter if the baby is 15 lbs. or 250 lbs. and on scholarship. 

So, I'd like to salute all the mamas of college ball players everywhere.  Their kids are on a BIG stage and their audience is full of big jerks with big mouths and big egos, who've been making big claims all week on social media, around the water cooler, and everywhere in between.  

Takes a BIG woman to sit and listen to all that.


Hats off to you. 

This Mama thinks you're a BIG person! 

Hope you all had a great Monday! 



Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Part One of a Riveting Series

Sometimes, blogging topics are everywhere.  They're like low hanging fruits.....ripe, plentiful, and there for the plucking with little to no effort.  Other times, one has to climb up farther into the tree.....get way up in its branches and search around for something to write about. 

Tonight, I had to go climbing waaaaay out on a limb. 

Without a more pressing topic to write about, today, we will start a series called "Places You Shouldn't Drag Your Man"Each time I'm at a loss for something to write about, we will visit another installment of this compelling series. 

I understand, in this day and time, some of you, older ladies, may enjoy the security of having a man with you when you're out and about.  That's understandable.  I also get that, sometimes, we just want a companion when we are running errands.  I mean, we all like companionship......someone to converse with and help us pass the time.  But, there are just some places you visit to which you should give your man a pass. 

Today, in part one of our series, we'll discuss the OB/GYN office. 

I was there for my annual visit recently and, while I was flipping through a magazine, I noticed an older couple walk in.  Their gray hair and advanced age made it apparent that they weren't there for the office's OB services, but, like myself, were GYN patrons only. 

You know how it is in there.  It's kind of like being at the state fair.  There are the people there who we'll call "the armbands" and those people are younger and are there to utilize all the services the fair has to offer.  And then, there are those who only need one ticket to go around the Ferris wheel as they're too old for the other stuff and are way past wanting any new stuffed animals to take home. ( I know.....I've always been blessed with this gift for profound similes.)   

Anyway....Clearly, this woman was not bringing her husband in hopes of hearing a baby's heartbeat or seeing anything on a screen.  Like me, had they found anything moving on a screen or heard another heartbeat besides mine, they'd better be finding some big ol' horse tranquilizers in the cabinet real fast. 

So, she got all signed in and, meanwhile, the man goes to find them a seat in the waiting area.  He looked until he finally found the right spot......the one in which he felt the most comfortable.......farthest from the door leading to the exam the very back corner......behind the limbs of a large ficus tree.  I believe that had the thorny holly shrubs, which banked the front of the building, had chairs situated in them, he would've likely chosen those seats instead, but, as it stood, the ficus tree offered him the most available coverage.

He sat there behind the foliage trying to be inconspicuous.  His legs crossed......nervously fidgeting.  His high rise, starched jeans and Hush Puppy shoes were clearly uncomfortable in their surroundings.  Maybe because, besides the doctor, he was the only one in the building without ovaries or empty spaces where ovaries once were. 

His wife sat next to him with a clipboard full of papers that she was filling out.  Every few minutes, she'd ask him for a relative's phone number or his social security number for the paperwork.  He kept his head down and answered softly. 

There were no Fish and Game magazines or Sports Illustrated.  No, at the OB/GYN, it's all Good Housekeeping, People, and Southern Living and I doubt he was in the mood to jot down any new pumpkin recipes or take the quiz, "Are You a Fashion Victim?"  If he was counting on a magazine to help pass the time, he was out of luck. 

There were some pamphlets sitting around if he'd been interested in learning how to do a breast self-exam, get a newborn to latch on, or combat the symptoms of menopause, but I didn't see him looking at those either.   

Instead, he just swung his leg back and forth, not sure what to do with his hands, and taking refuge behind the tree.  He almost had a look like he was afraid the doctor might come out to the waiting area trying to recruit an extra pair of strong hands.  I wanted to tell him that that almost never happens, but I decided to leave it alone. 

The television was turned to The View and, well, you know how much men love that.  I thought how much happier he'd been if his wife had left him at home with their boy dog, Smokey, sitting in the recliner with his coffee, watching reruns of Bonanza.  There's no Bonanza at the OB/GYN......or ESPN.........or anything starring Clint Eastwood or Arnold Schwarzenegger.......or even any pictures of wild game hanging on the walls.  None of that. 

"No man is an island".......unless he's at the gynecologist's office. 

Well, they called my name, finally, and when I came back out, I caught a glimpse of him...still behind the bush.  He was barely visible to the naked eye.  His wife had apparently been called back. 

There he was.  The lone male sitting in the tree.  Longing to be somewhere else.  Anywhere else.  I could almost hear the voice in his head, "For the love of mankind, what's taking her so long?"

I wanted to tell him to just settle in, because, at the OB/GYN, you never know when one of those armbands will jump ahead of you in the line.  They get first priority.....over those of us who are just there so we can say we've been to the fair this year.         


Ladies, let him stay home. 

Let him sit out in the car. 

Drop him off at Lowe's. 


Just don't drag your man there.

Happy Wednesday to everybody! 



Sunday, September 20, 2015

You Lose Some

Well, the college football season is well underway.  Things are getting more competitive as each week goes by.  It's getting far enough along now that some of the cream is already beginning to rise to the top and other teams, who had so much promise, aren't quite living up to expectations. 

I don't know what college football fandom is like anywhere else, but it is downright serious here in the South.  Social media is full of smack talk the week before a game.  Tailgating tents.....well, you just wouldn't believe how they're all done up.  Sunday afternoon brings anticipation of the polls and the numbers that can be heralded for the coming week.  The first few minutes of Sunday morning church are used for rehashing the game with whoever happens to be at the coffee pot with you.  The football schedule is considered when planning any social event for a weekend.  It's just the way it is down here.                 

While watching football this weekend, I noticed all of the fans in the crowd.  As we all know, in every game, there is a loser and for every losing team, there are losing fans.  I love to watch people and as the cameras scanned the stands, I observed how different kinds of fans deal with defeat. 

For a lack of a better topic, let's talk about that today. 

1)  The Ashamed Fan.  The ashamed fan processes loss simply by no longer wanting to be associated with the school or team, which has disappointed him or her.  The loss brings the fan more humiliation than they are willing to bear.  They try to make an early exit to beat the crowd of winning fans or remove any evidence of their association before they have to walk through the parking lot.     
2)  The Praying Fan.  The Praying Fans are deeply religious during game time and believe that God, Himself, undoubtedly loves their team above all the others and will show them favor.  They are of the belief that their team and its fans are God's chosen people.  Surely, the "Hawkeyes" are the people He was referring to throughout the Old Testament.     

3)  The Stunned Fan.  Some fans just cannot even process impending loss.  Suffice it to say that these fans have underdeveloped coping skills.  When there seems to be no hope left for the team, these fans can be seen standing in almost a stupor state.  "What just happened?"... is a common question asked by the stunned fan.

4)  The Comfort Food Fan.  As long as the concession stand remains open, the Comfort Food Fan will be able to cope with the possibility of loss.  This fan is from the school of thought which believes that there is nothing a good nacho can't fix. 
5)  The Supportive Fan.  The Supportive Fan is always thinking of others.  She knows how the loss will affect those she loves and tries to be a listening ear and bring comfort to those around her.
6)  The Accessorized Fan.  This fan came to support the team no matter what.  They didn't bring a change of clothes, so win or lose....they've committed to the costume until they get back to the car.......or leave naked. 

7)  The Emotional Fan.  This fan is not afraid to show the raw emotion that he or she is feeling as a result of looming loss.  I mean, there are times when a man should be able to cry, right?  The death of someone special, the birth of his son, giving his daughter away in marriage, and the team of a college, which he never attended, losing a football game.   
8)  The "It's Not Over Yet" Fan.  The "It's Not Over Yet" fan refuses to concede.  As long as there is even one second on the clock, there is hope.  This fan can often be seen trying to rally the troops.  "We got this!"   
9)  The Expert Fan.  The Expert Fan is a very critical fan.  He just doesn't understand why the inept players can't execute the plays in the same flawless fashion he did back during those two years he played junior high football.
10)  The Self Absorbed Fan.  The Self Absorbed Fans don't get too bogged down in the details of the game.  As long as they get cute pictures in the stadium and get to the restaurants before everyone else, there's always next year. 
11)  The Black Sheep Fan.  The Black Sheep Fans can be caught on camera bringing shame to the family name either by spewing profanities or acting in an unbecoming manner.  The Black Sheep Fan will get an ear full when the clip becomes the talk of her mom's Sunday School class the next morning.   
12)  The Combative Fan.  The Combative Fan cannot accept any level of taunting by opposing fans.  Frequently, they are known for their "can dish it out, but can't take it" personality.  They must defend their team or die trying.  Martyrdom is not out of the question.   
13)  The Angry Fan.  The Angry Fan is set off when his team loses.  Clearly, if the team would heed all of the advice he offers them throughout the game, there would be a more favorable outcome and he wouldn't have to become so enraged. 
14)  The Over the Edge Fan.  In extreme cases, loss can cause this type of fan to cross over from sanity to lunacy, leaving them out of touch with reality.  This mental impairment is typically a temporary condition.
Yeah, its stinks to lose.  But, we all have to, sometimes.  It's just the way things work.  If your team hasn't lost yet, your turn is likely coming.   
Let's just remember to continue to keep it classy out there, people.
Happy Monday, my friends!    

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Your Labs are Back

Ok, so I guess you know you're getting older when you start telling people, strangers even, about your medical problems.  You remember how your grandmother used to tell the checkout lady about all of her aches and diagnoses and then give you a rundown of all of her doctor appointments she'd been to and the ones coming up in the near future.....all marked in red on her wall calendar from the bank?  You remember how you'd shake your head with a furrowed brow and insert a concerned, "Oh, goodness" at the appropriate times to show your compassion? 

Well, I may be about to cross over into that stage of life called "I know you want to hear about my medical problems".       

I know I mentioned before on my blog that I recently got on statin drugs for a hereditary tendency toward high triglycerides.  It's really a strong family thing we have going.  Some families possess a lot of musical talent.  Others are heavy with athletic ability or impressive intellect.  Some families are known for their vast wealth and prosperity.  Still others are laden with great leaders or impressive political power. 

Us?  Well, we are known for our ability to run up some numbers at the lab. 

It's just what we do. 

It's who we are.   

At a recent visit, they checked my blood for all of that and, a few days ago, I got the call.  I couldn't tell if the nurse was more concerned or impressed.  Maybe it was a mixture of the two, but I got the impression that she was in awe of maybe I was a special case.  I believe I said in an earlier post that my numbers had been equivalent to a mediocre credit score, but now.......oh, now, it seems that, if accepted at the bank, my triglycerides would qualify me for loans with the very lowest interest rates and Platinum Tier treatment.

Needless to say, that is not what I wanted to hear. 

So, tonight, I wanted us to talk about the struggle to eat healthier and what a difficult adjustment it can be.  We all have or will have to diet or cut back or deal with a health issue at some point and there's nothing harder than changing your eating habits.

Can I get an amen?  

Y'all know how we love to eat in the South.  Even if you're not from here, you've heard.  It's just what we do.  You go to a meeting and there's food.  You get together with friends over food.  You meet a work client over food.  You go to church and there's food.  You go to a jewelry party and there's food.  You go to a birthday party, a funeral, a break room, a hunting club, a baptism, a retirement party, a recital, a reception, a tailgate, a Bible study, an art show, a play, a ballgame, or a ribbon cutting and there is food.  Food is everywhere you turn down here.  I would even venture to say that we lead the nation in our commitment to taking in nourishment.  It is quite possibly our top priority as a regional people.    

Whenever we have to alter our dietary intake, whether for weight loss or other health issues, it can present great challenges and struggles to which we can all relate.  So, tonight, I'm keeping it real here on Motherhood and Muffin Tops and discussing my efforts to alter my diet over the last three days. 

Yes, you heard me. 

It's been three whole days.

And I am testy.                

I've cut out most of the sugar from my diet.  I hate that because I'd just bought a new bag of candy corn.  This problem would have to resurface at the height of candy corn season.  It comes but once a year, you know. 

Down here, it's sweet tea country.  In making my initial adjustments, I'd been getting half sweet and half unsweet tea at restaurants.  Now, I'm at 3/4 unsweet and 1/4 sweet and, as long as God gives me breath, I vow that they will never take my 1/4.  They will have to pry it from my cold, dead hands.  I mean, a tree can only bend so far before it snaps and 3/4 is as far as I can go.      

I'm not a big water drinker.  I have to be super thirsty to want water.  Cokes are out of the question and diet drinks give me a headache, so I've been trying these Le Croix naturally flavored sparkling water with no sugar or artificial sweeteners.  My brother and sister-in-law drink those and another friend of mine recommended them, so I decided to give them another try.  "They'll make you feel like you're having a Coke," they said.  "You'll love them," they said. "They're so refreshing," they said.  Well, I believe that the little bottle drinks given to prep for a colonoscopy offer more flavor and enjoyment than those do for me.  I bought a case of them, so I'm forcing one every day in hopes that it's an acquired taste.  I'll let you know.      

Eating out socially can be especially hard when trying to diet as most of us are aware.  We all know that starches turn to sugar and so if you're trying to cut down on those in the southern restaurant, you're in for a real challenge. 

Tonight, I ate out with friends and they brought out freshly baked rolls.  I sat and watched the rest of our party smear butter across the hot, steamy, lightly browned crust and as they bit into its yeasty softness, my lips moved in sync with mouth mimicking theirs except with only spittle inside.  Oh, sweet, precious rolls!  How I longed for my lips to touch one.  Instead, I chewed on my tongue in an attempt to achieve the same satisfaction.         

I listened as they ordered the juicy bacon cheeseburger with twisted homestyle chips as I searched for something with less carbs and less taste.  Oh, the pictures on the menu.  All the fried goodness.  The yummy favorite food group.  I contemplated just going to sit out in the car, while they ate, and suck on my hand and maybe pop an Altoid, but I finally settled on the lesser of all the menu evils, the grilled chicken sandwich with sweet potato fries. 

I know.  I know.  Work with me here.  Rome wasn't built in a day. 

The waitress brought out my sandwich and I reluctantly removed it from its soft, fresh,white bun.  I ate my grilled chicken breast with its melted cheese and chased it with my 3:1 tea.  I looked over at my friend's plate and her twisted chips, fresh from the grease, were calling to me.  It was like Satan in the garden.  "Joni, you know you want some.....who said you couldn't have it?"  They knew my name and everything.  I ate one.  It was just one, but it would've been enough to get me kicked out of the garden for sure. 

The dessert menu sat on the table, taunting me with its ooey gooey pictures and rich and creamy descriptions.  I sucked on my tea hoping to get enough of the sweet fourth to satisfy my cravings.  Rich, creamy chocolate fudge pie with freshly whipped cream dolloped on top with a flaky, buttery crust........and heavily diluted sweet tea.  "Practically the same thing," I told myself.      

At least, until my new meds can kick in, I've been careful not to eat anything between meals or after dinner and I'm so hungry right now that my dog, who's sleeping next to my chair, is starting to look tender and juicy.  I can even envision the marbling with a side of potatoes.  What's wrong with me?

My head is hurting in its attempts to convey the message that it wants white rice and a biscuit. 

I find myself looking forward to brushing my teeth as those are the tastiest parts of my days.    

So.....if you're trying to lose weight or attempting to get healthier by changing your eating habits, I'm feeling your pain tonight.


It's not an easy thing to do.

I'm going to bed now, but not before I brush my teeth. 

I may not even spit.


Night, y'all!  Happy Weekend!  




Monday, September 14, 2015

Southern Girls Love Pagaents and Football

Ok, so I'm not really a pageant enthusiast and I didn't even tune in, last night, until the last 30 minutes, but the Miss America pageant looked more like the Miss Bible Belt pageant with the lovely Miss Colorado, far right, as the only "Yankee" in the bunch. 
Not always, but it seems to be a pretty common occurrence on the beauty pageant scene to have a lot of southern girls do well.  I mean, we may rank low in some things and the rest of the country may look down on us for other things, but never let it be said of us that the pageant stage is not a place where we excel.  I suppose it's all those southern mamas, who have routinely reminded us to smile and hold our shoulders back.....oh, and stand with your legs together.....and get in there and practice the piano.  I guess the mamas down here play as big a role in the pageant phenomenon as any. 

Regardless of the reason, I challenge you, as did Suzanne Sugarbaker, to "name one homely Miss Mississippi".  Last night was no exception.....even though she finished as first alternate behind Miss Georgia, who, clearly, had no idea what "Deflategate" was.  Who makes up these questions anyway?  There is violence and humanitarian crises everywhere you turn and the Miss America people want to know your convictions concerning air in a football?

So, Miss Mississippi, "If for any reason, the reigning Miss America cannot fulfill her duties, the first runner up will take over". 

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  When was the last time that happened? 
This weekend also brought our Bulldogs their first defeat of the season by LSU.  Davis and Carson went to the game and I stayed home and watched it on TV. 

The Bulldogs just weren't in it for the first half.  They were having trouble finding their rhythm and, at about their worst point, I started receiving picture texts from people saying they'd spotted Blair in the crowd on television.

There's something you should know about Blair.  As girly and sparkly as she is, she is a SERIOUS college football fan.  SERIOUS, I tell you.  So, I thought, maybe, we could all learn from the still shots of her TV appearance about how you, too, can become a more productive fan of your team. 

1) When things get serious in the game, you must, too.  The team needs to see that you are not happy with their current trajectory.  Just like your Mama used to do as she'd give you the stink eye from across the table when you were doing something that was not making her happy.  Your face should always match your feelings about the game at that particular juncture.
2)  If the stink eye doesn't get their attention, you must resort to yelling out your requests of them.  This way, they know you mean business and, as in the case pictured here, will start playing as they know they should.  This almost always works.        
TiVo creds to Heath 
Well, I guess that about covers it for tonight.

But before I go, I want to give a quick reminder to anyone who isn't already following me by email that you can do so by simply entering your email address in the box near the top right of the blog.

I'd love that!   

Happy Tuesday, y'all! 



Sunday, September 13, 2015

The Gift of Grandparents

Tonight, I realized it's Grandparents' Day.  I don't even know if that's a real thing or not.  I only started hearing about all these holidays celebrating various relatives, recently, but it seems like a good subject to write about today.  Grandparents are certainly worthy of a holiday if anyone is. 

If you're like me, some of your most cherished childhood memories are of time spent at your grandparents' homes......

Sitting in wingback chairs with the sound of a pendulum clock ticking loudly.

A buttermilk pound cake under the cake dome. 

Peppermint in a covered candy dish.

Listening to grownups talk about the garden, the lack of rain, President Ford, or some great aunt's gallbladder surgery. 

Knobby glasses with sweet tea. 

Polyester pants, SAS shoes, and snap-front dusters in little floral prints.            

Crisp sheets and the hum of a window air conditioner unit or attic fan were better than a sleeping pill. 

The crickets, frogs, and bobwhites seemed louder there. 

A crochet throw folded across a rocking chair. 

Waking up to the smell of bacon and coffee.

Grandchildren's school pictures in frames all over the house. 

Clean, stiff laundry blowing in the wind on the clothesline. 

A pot of boiled peanuts on the stove.

Shelling peas in the swings on the front porch until your thumb got sore. 

Riding in the back of old trucks through pastures. 

It's the place you couldn't wait to go play outside, climb trees, and explore things you didn't have at home like barns and hay piles....workshops and ponds. 

It's where you learned that well water made the best tea and cousins made the best friends. 

It was where "What's for supper?" was discussed before you even got up from the lunch table. 

The place where biscuits didn't come out of a can and cakes didn't come from a mix.

It was the place where you learned where you'd come from, how hard it was to get there, and what your family stood for along the way.       
Here's where I came from.....

I remember how my Mimi's thick, white hair was pulled to the side with a bobby pin.  She was, clearly, the origin of this thick head of hair I have.  I still have the Winnie the Pooh she gave me for Christmas one year.  I loved how, when she laughed, no sound came out and her eyes completely disappeared.  She was level headed, witty, soft spoken and always a joy to be around.  I don't ever remember seeing her without a smile on her face.  Ever.   

This is how I remember her, but I love this picture of when she was younger.  So pretty.   

My Pappy died of cancer before I was born, so I never knew him, but my Daddy told us a lot of stories.  The prevalent sense of humor, that runs throughout that side of the family, seems to be traced back to him.

My Grandmother was jovial and always met us at the kitchen door when we drove up....."Who's that coming to see me?"  After lunch, we liked to go shopping on Main Street after she'd grab a quick snooze in her recliner while watching her "stories" aka soap operas.  I'd sneak Double Mint gum out of her top dresser drawer.....the left hand side.  I remember her standing at her cast iron sink for hours, putting up creamed corn and crowder peas.  I inherited her intense love for food.    
My Granddaddy loved desserts and he chose the perfect mate to keep him well stocked.  I'm not sure he ever ate a meal without chasing it down with something sugary.  He had a long litany of war stories that we all loved to hear.  He'd tap on your bedroom door around 7:00 am to ask if you were going to sleep all day.  He had short, bowed legs.....and his tiny feet, well, he passed those down to me.
I feel certain the picture on the right is the complimentary 8x10 from the pictorial directory sitting at their First Baptist Church, their home away from home.  Just a hunch. 
I have a tablecloth in my sideboard and, if I take it out and put my nose deep into its folds, I can still get a faint whiff of my Grandmother's house.  It's enough to bring tears to my eyes.  I guess because, to me, it's the smell of times that are gone.  It's the smell of childhood and love and warmth and security and innocence...and nothing awakens the mind's memories like smell.  

The older I got, the more it became a treasure.....the time spent at those houses....each built by my grandfathers, by the way.  I suppose I began to realize that, as much as their homes meant Christmas and Thanksgiving and family and love to me, that it wouldn't always be that way.  Life wouldn't always be that way.  Their hands wrinkled and their hair grayed......their walk slowed.....their memory slipped......and each time I noticed, it reminded me of that fact- things won't always be the way they are right now.....enjoy this while you can.   

All of my grandparents have been gone for years now.  I haven't had a grandparent for a decade.  One of their homes has been sold and the barns all torn down.  A subdivision sits on the pasture land, where we once played, had bonfires, and fed the cows in the winter......yes, even where the electric fence stung me a time or two.  We celebrate holidays around a different table in a different town with different traditions now.  And that's ok.....that's called life.  I was right to remind myself, back then, that nothing stays the same for long.  But, for all the years that it did........I will forever be grateful and remember each and every minute. 

Now, our parents are the same to our children.  They are part of the who they are and who they are becoming.  They are the link to their past....their heritage......where they come from.  They are the faces in which they can see part of themselves and find what's familiar.  They look at their lives and can discern the strengths and passions that have been handed down to them.  Their grandparents are testimonies of faith and examples of strength.  They have their own stories to tell of history, family, struggles, and simpler times and our children learn from their advice, their experiences, and their teaching.
And, one day, the smell of an old tablecloth will conjure up sweet memories for them.

The memory of their grandparents.

Hope it's a good know, as far as Mondays go!   



Tuesday, September 8, 2015

The Labor Day Passage

I was going to post last night, but my head was pounding.  Pounding.  This ragweed season is killing me.  I'm currently in the process of trying to determine which vacuum cleaner attachment would best fit up my nostrils and offer some relief.

Unlike the intermittency of my sneezing, itchy, runny nose, and burning eyes, something that has remained steady and constant is the headache over my right eye.  I was so desperate when I woke up this morning with it again that I even followed the advice of a random video I found on my Facebook newsfeed.  I think he's supposed to be a doctor or something, but I'm guessing he may just be a creepy guy from the 7-Eleven filming in his Mom's basement with a medical poster he got off Amazon.  Either way, I do think it helped some, so, if you're having sinus trouble, here he is........
I hope your Labor Day was good! 

We had a full weekend around here!  Football.  Birthdays.  Foods rich in cholesterol. 

On Saturday night, we had Blair's boyfriend's family over to eat and enjoy some belated birthday cake.  Blair and John Samuel have birthdays just 2 days apart and we'd not seen him to give him our gifts.  With them both home for the weekend, we took the opportunity to celebrate them both with his sweet family.

They're precious people....just precious.....and we did our best to give the appearance that we, too, are a nice and normal family.  I mean.....with what we have to work with, I think we pulled it off pretty well.  We had a perfectly delightful evening!
We also had some other Labor Day gatherings, Davis' mother's birthday, a lot more football, and just an all around nice weekend. 

I love Labor Day.  I mean, I really, really love Labor Day.  I look at Labor Day like graduation day for me.  I have completed and passed all the requirements of another dreadful Mississippi summer and am being promoted to fall.....complete with a certificate with a gold seal, my name in calligraphy, and all. 

Sure, we have more warm weather still to come, but I look at it like the hot water that comes out when you first turn on the hose.  You know there's not much in there and the cooler stuff is coming down the pipe right behind it.

When you hate summer as much as I do, it's a psychological victory.  I feel like I have been through the fire......the hot, steamy, humid, relentless, scorching, miserable fire......and have come out on the other side.  The darkness has been lifted and a lot of sweat has gone into this passage.  A lot of sweat.     

Now, we just wait for the least little cool snap to come in.  It will only take a dip of a few degrees and we'll have the sweaters and boots out so fast it will make your head spin.  Until then, we'll walk across our crunchy leaves and brittle grass and try to convince ourselves that it's a sign of fall and not that it's simply been fried to a crisp by the brutal Southern sun. 

So, here's to the kick-off of my favorite quarter.  The time when I feel rejuvenated and most energetic.  The time when a bounce returns to my step.  When the sky is just a little bluer.  When the days are a little happier.  When all seems right in the world.   

So, get out there and enjoy being able to buy candy corn in the family size bag.  Ripping the meat from honey BBQ wings while you stare at college football.  Sitting around a fire without having to call the medics.  Enjoying hot chocolate with whipped cream without suffering a heat stroke.  Having the green light to eat soup and chili again.  Breaking out the jeans and sweaters and forgetting those smooth, tan legs.  Keeping candy around the house in the name of trick or treat.       

Yes!  Yes!  Yes!

Bring it, fall. 

Bring it.