Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Girdles and Bras and Eyebrow Pencils (Oh, my)

I've been on my running/no sweet tea plan long enough to safely assume that my muffin top is not going to deflate any more than it has at this current caloric intake at which I'm comfortable.  I mean, you can have my tea and I may jog a bit but I will NOT go hungry.  And I've decided that, even when I lose weight, it's in all the wrong places.  For example, my, once, bird legs become crane-like, the spindliest of all bird legs, while my muffin top remains largely intact. 

So, feeling that I'd done as much as I could do, I decided to load up the mother of the bride dress and my new shoes (which I'm so excited about) and go get it altered.  That way, I'd be locked in to this size and wouldn't be tempted to quit running mailboxes or fall off the wagon and roll into McAlister's for Free Tea Day which is, coincidentally, today.

I was in the alterations shop for about 45 minutes while she pinned and pinned and pinned.  It looked so good when she was finished.  Listen, when she gets done, that dress will fit me like a glove.  A latex glove.  So, last night, Blair and I headed to Dillard's to see what kind of shaping undergarments I might need to invest in for such a time as this.   

I spoke to the saleslady and, as we stood amongst the wide swath of spandex and nylon, I discussed my disappointment with the higher power.  Not the Good Lord, of course, but my Spanx higher power for which I'd held such high hopes.  I just didn't think that it was going to get the job done for me.  She agreed that it wasn't her go-to either and pointed me in the direction of the girdles.  I'd never worn a girdle before but was impressed with what felt like pressure treated studs in its frame and taut elastic covering.  Oh, yes.  This is what the muffin top needed, I agreed. 

I found my size and headed into the dressing room.  Since I'd never put on one before, I wasn't sure how it would go but I can tell you that eating Mexican food right before a girdle fitting probably isn't ideal.  I mean, it was like wanting to return a comforter set you'd bought for your bed but couldn't, for the life of you, figure out how to get that big, bulky thing back in that little bag in which it came. 

Well, I wrapped it around me best I could to try and get it started.  It got away from me a couple of times before I could get that first hook done.  Oh, all the hooks.  It was like trying to fasten 40 bras at one time.  But with every hook, I was transforming into a new woman.  Yes, a woman who couldn't exhale and whose blood flow was cut off to her liver and kidneys but a more shapely woman with less quesadilla in the middle.  And who needs respiration and organs when you've got that?

Next, I was onto finding the perfect bra.  My dress comes down in the back and it just has lace on the shoulders and so I was going to need some kind of creative bra solution for that.  The nice lady directed me over to the strapless bras with clear, sticky-on side panels which can be used up to 26 times for a no-show result.  Wait, what?  So many womanly things out there which lie outside my realm of knowledge. 

This might be a good time to mention that Davis was gone to the tux rental store about 13 minutes, the last time we were in New Orleans, and with about 5 swipes of the measuring tape, he'd secured everything he'd need for the day.  Unlike myself who's been traipsing all over the state piecing this complicated puzzle together which is women's wear. 

Well, the middle-aged woman fun doesn't stop there.  Last week, a friend and I were having lunch and we fell into a discussion about our newfound eyebrow problems.  They're disappearing.  Nobody ever told me about this.  I guess it's not something my mother thought she should give me a heads up on.  "Now, darlin', one day, your eyebrows are just gonna fall slam out and you'll be left to figure out how to draw those suckers back on." 

I've always prided myself in my thick, robust eyebrows.  I got those from my Daddy.  It's probably not every little girl's dream to have her father's eyebrows but he did give me a lot to work with in that department even if they did require the upkeep equivalent to an English garden. 

Anyway, we sat there trying to figure out if they were just graying and becoming lighter or if they were actually falling out.  Either way, they didn't show up like they once did and that was troubling to us.  We didn't want to become one of those women with two brown marker-like lines drawn in the blank space over each eye.   

Don't fret, though.  Blair to the rescue with just the right eyebrow pencil from Ulta and free hands on tutorials, so all's well that ends well.

Women.  Bless our little hearts.  Nothing is simple for us.  It's just not.  Men will never understand how complicated it is to be us with their waistbands and belts keeping things cinched in and their bushy eyebrows that grow together in the middle..........and then out their noses and ears.

Ok, well, maybe they've got their own problems.

Y'all have a good day! 




Monday, June 19, 2017

Happy Birthday, Son

Carson turns 17 today. 

It's hard to believe that it's been 17 years since he came on the scene.  I'd spent the 6 years prior to him raising Blair, quite possibly the most feminine child ever to walk the earth, and so I knew a boy was definitely going to be a change of gears for us.....kind of like going from 4th to reverse. 

At first, the differences were subtle.  His baby hands were bigger.  His cry was louder.  He could pee in my face.  And I'd rock him and instead of cuddling sweetly on my shoulder, he'd try to scale me like a rock wall. 

He got older and other differences started to show.  He'd come in from playing outside and his hair would be soaking wet with sweat and soon there was this smell that would fill the room.  His sister never smelled like that before. 

There was this fascination with urinating outside. I didn't know what it was about relieving oneself off the front porch or in the backyard that was so enticing but there must've been something to it that I'd never get to experience.  I soon learned to appreciate the convenience, though, in that he was able to go practically anywhere in case of emergencies.

Everything he picked up was used as a weapon.  A stick.  A popsicle.  A banana.  A paper towel roll.  Pow. Pow. Pow.  If it was seen as unfit for a weapon, it was a truck.  One of the two.      

His daddy would come home from work and he'd immediately jump on top of him.  They'd get in the floor and roll around, wrestling and pinning each other down.  From where I sat, it looked like a miserable time of grunting, sweating, and turning red but it was like he'd been waiting all day for another dude to come around so he could unleash some of his maleness.  He'd been civilized for long enough at home with me all day. 

He'd stop me down the hall from his preschool room and insist that we kiss before we got near the classroom door.  Oh, how he loved me, but I soon learned that it would need to be our little secret. 

Most of his toys shot foam bullets or lasers or balls or darts or discs or pellets or water.  The rest of them made obnoxious noises.  Each action figure came with 12 guns, 19 knives, and 8 swords.    

The sight of big trucks or tractors or ATVs or sports cars or bulldozers or airplanes made him stiffen up, squeal, and make motor noises with his lips with spit flying everywhere from his intense sounds.    

Somehow, flatulence was a constant source of humor.  Anything that sounded like it, rhymed with it, or reminded him of it was considered hilarity at its finest. 

He'd get in the car after school and trying to pull information out of him about his day was like trying to birth a breech calf.  I was used to a constant flood of info from his sister about every little thing but, with him, it was more like a well pump.  You had to work for every little drop.   

From day one, I knew I was in for something different and I was right.  Something wonderfully different.  He was louder and rougher but, there was something incredibly tender about him under all of his busyness and smells.  He loved his Mama more than I ever imagined a little boy could love me. 
Seventeen years later and he's growing into a man. 

A good man.

And I'm blessed to be his Mama. 

Happy Birthday, son. 

And y'all have a good day!   



Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Make Your Way to the Edge of Your Seat

Well, there's not much to report here. 

It's just that suitcase time of year. 

Travel size toiletry season. 

We've got trips going in all different directions, this summer.  Blair got home from Canada, late Saturday night.  Being in my element, I burned the midnight oil and stayed up until I heard her flight had landed while Davis was in there sawing logs.  On Monday morning, Carson left for Ridgecrest, NC with his youth group and he had to be at the church at 4:30 a.m..  I only know about one 4:30 and I'm not the least bit interested in getting familiar the other one, so Davis was responsible for getting him there in the pre-dawn darkness while I was sprawled out unconscious in bed.  That, my friends, is what you call a marriage that works.  Each person coming to the table with his or her own strengths, whether it be embracing the late night or ushering in the ungodly early morning....all for the good of the family. 

Something about Carson being out of town has gotten me in project mode around here.  I don't know why that is but it seems like I always saddle up for some big undertaking when he goes on a trip.  It's not like he's 3 and always underfoot or anything but I do seem to get in gear when he's gone.  I've got a list of projects I want to accomplish around the house this summer.  Some painting projects.  Some serious cleaning.  Some new floor covering. 

So, this week, I decided to tackle painting our bedroom and master bath.  We built our house over ten years ago and everything has been repainted, at least once or twice, except those two spaces. Deeper, richer colors were the thing back when we built and so, I needed to lighten and brighten our bedroom to fit into this Joanna Gaines world in which we live.  So, for the last two days, I've been busying myself with a couple of gallons of "Lamb's Ear".  Who names these colors?

Summertime is my nesting period due to my work being slow but, this year, there's an added undercurrent to my housekeeping urgency.  My sweet friend, Regena, is coming to stay with our elderly, ornery dog, Sugar, while we're out of town for the wedding in October.  Sugar just loves her and you know when dogs get to a certain age, it's just too traumatic to take them out of their routine.....especially if they're as anxious and tightly wound as ours is.  So, anyway, when someone is coming to stay at your house and you know you won't be there to steer them away from problem areas, well, that takes you to a whole new level of manic house cleaning and that's where I am right now.

So, as riveting as this all was, it's all I've got today.  Lamb's ear in my hair, freshly painted walls, and just wanting to check in and say "hey"!

Y'all have a good day!



Monday, June 5, 2017


It's 11:00 a.m. on any given day and I talk to my mother on the phone.  She rattles off the list of people she's already talked to that morning.  Before I've got all the sleepy rubbed out of my eyes, she's had meaningful conversations with a string of family and friends.  She has a good friend who's also a widow and they talk first thing each morning to check on each other and make sure they both "made it through the night."  Then, she calls and checks on her sick friends.  She calls to keep in touch with friends who've moved away. She calls her cousins and elderly aunts in other cities and visits with them through the phone.  She calls the older ladies in her Sunday school class to see if she can help them in any way.  She's just the queen of keeping up with people.  And I'd bet that she's pretty typical for her generation. 

Our generation, well, we used to be good at that.  I mean, really good.  We'd talk and talk and talk on the phone for hours.  Our age ushered in the miracle of call waiting and caller ID and free long distance.  Exciting breakthroughs occurred on our watch. They were life changing in our phone centered world.  We'd call and check in with friends between visits.  We'd call to sing "Happy Birthday"....before Facebook.  We'd call to get a recipe.  We'd call just because we were bored.   

I remember having to shift the phone from one ear to the other to relieve the aching pressure points or to cool the heat radiating from the phone.  Pretty often, the phone would beep to warn me that it was about to go dead.  It had even had enough of my conversation.  I'd talked all the life right out of the battery laughing, telling stories.....maybe snorting.  I remember hanging up my cordless phone and seeing the call time being 2 or 3 hours.  My neck would be hurting from clinching the phone between my shoulder and cheek while multitasking in the laundry room or over the heat of the stove.  It was the way we'd always done keeping in touch except with the newfound freedom of not being tethered to the wall by a coiled cord.  Between visits and lunches and get-togethers, it's how we communicated with our friends. 

Our kids got older and they started this new texting thing.  We made fun of it at first.  Call your friends and actually talk to them, we'd preach with cordless phones stuck to our ears. We warned them they weren't going to know how to have actual conversations with other people if they didn't quit all that texting.  But, while we jeered at it, we also began to see the value of being able to shoot a quick message in a setting where a phone call wasn't possible or when we just didn't have time to spend in an involved conversation.  I mean, you have to admit it's invaluable in certain situations. 

But, then, our lives got so busy.  So, so busy.  Busy with our jobs and our families and we started leaning on it more.  I don't know how it looks from where you are, but, from here, life feels like it's spinning so incredibly fast, these days.  I don't remember it ever being this way.  People have so many commitments.  So many places to be.  We're all hanging on this twirling globe for dear life.  Just trying not to get flung off by the whirl of incessant activity.  Our time is so limited and we've become so very selfish with it.  I guess when you're running short on something, you tend to guard it more carefully.  Hover over it and hold it tighter than before.  

Well, we saw the time savings and easy maintenance that texting and social media provided in relationships.  I mean, after all, you could check in with someone without all the energy it took to sound chipper.  You didn't have to act like you were in the best mood if you weren't.  You didn't have to stop what you were doing to have a conversation.  You could carry on with your day without getting bogged down in details.  You just carefully crafted a message with a well placed emoji for emphasis and sent it and, just like that, you'd shown the recipient that they were on your busy, busy mind.  We lowered the bar a notch or two and soon became satisfied with the new way we were doing things.  We realized we'd discovered the easiest mode of maintaining a friendship and we're all about easy, these days.

Our kids, well, that's all they've ever known.  That's how they've always communicated.  How they've always done friendship.  But, us?  Well, we remember when it was different.  When it was better than it is now.  And, sometimes, I think we find ourselves feeling lonely.  Unsatisfied with our 900 Facebook friends, 400 Instagram followers, and phones that only ding and never ring.  It's like how we're doing it now just isn't cutting it. 

Yeah, it's easier.  But, maybe it's not enough.  I think if we were honest, we'd say that we find ourselves missing the voice.  The sound of the phone ringing and a friend being on the other end.  No typed word can replace that.   

I've got friends from different circles and from different moments of life.  Our varied groups try to get together as much as we can.  Even though we do a pretty good job at it, it's never as often as we'd like. I ran into one of those friends, last week.  She said something to me that I've heard so many times before...."I never talk to anybody and I need that in my life right now."

Maybe because, at our age, our kids don't require as much.  Some of our nests are emptying.  We don't feel quite as needed as we once did.  I'd dare say that many of us are struggling with the downshift in our roles as moms.  It's all we've known for a really, really long time.  Maybe we're starting to see more life in the rearview mirror than we see up ahead.  Life is changing and we just need our friends.  Maybe that's what she was really trying to say.  Maybe that's what I was thinking, too.     

I suppose time savings is a really good thing to look for when deciding how we should do our banking, our cooking, our housework, our taxes, our shopping.  But, maybe it's not the best way to do friendship.  Maybe the really important things demand an investment from us.  Maybe the good stuff refuses to come cheap.  Maybe because if valuable things came easily and without much cost, we wouldn't take care of them.  Just maybe there's no such thing as a shortcut to the things that really matter in life.     

I'm guilty. 

So guilty of taking the quick and easy way. 

Like trying to get a home cooked meal from a frozen dinner.  As quick and appealing it looks from the outside, we'll always find that the content just isn't the same. 

So, in the days ahead, if you hear a strange ringing coming from your purse, it may be me calling.

If I remember correctly, you would then pick it up and say, "Hello?" 

I'm going to try to do better.

Y'all have a good Tuesday!

And call a friend today!!