Thursday, August 30, 2018

Happy September Eve, My Friends

Well, it's that time of year again when you all humor me and let me have my moment to celebrate the demise of what I like to refer to as hell's trilogy....June, July, and August. It's almost September Eve and, on Saturday, it will be socially acceptable to pretend it's fall. Tomorrow, I'm bringing out all things fall and candles scented with pumpkin caramel swirl, pumpkin cupcakes, autumn harvest, pumpkin apple muffins, and pumpkin spice latte. It's gonna smell like a pumpkin afire up in here.

In case you've missed it in years past, let me illustrate my sense of accomplishment for having survived another smothering Mississippi summer with her long, merciless days which seem to have no end.......
Yes, the stores are full of pumpkins and cinnamon-y things and you know how this must awaken the dead part of my being, even though, we've got far to go in the South before we could even think about getting close enough to a fire to roast anything. Yes, the southern sun still has many tricks left up its sleeve. Just because Brach has shipped its candy corn and mellowcreme pumpkins to Wal-Mart, does not the cool weather bring. There is still much hardship to endure, but we can be sure that the worst is behind us now.

Yeah, when you turn your calendar over to September, the accompanying, thematic picture usually shifts from August's beach balls to baskets of apples, piles of bright orange leaves, and a little red schoolhouse. Well, a southern calendar would be more realistic to depict September with a photo of an irritated, red-faced woman, with underarm sweat stains, drinking her pumpkin spice latte out on her front lawn of crunchy, burned up grass, which is crawling with ornery rattlesnakes, who are looking for a place to bed down and mosquitos, the size of blackbirds, trying to make the most of their last days.

But, if nothing else, August's exit is a mental victory. September 1 signals an inner triumph for me. I approach the finish line and can see only good things ahead, but not all wins are picturesque. Sometimes, you just need to get through the race the best you can. As long as you finish, it doesn't matter how you looked doing it. My sweaty, irritated self is on the verge of stumbling, without the tiniest shred of dignity, over the finish line. It hasn't been pretty. It hasn't even bearable to watch. You might even say that it has been a downright ugly performance. But, I am almost there.
I'll never understand you, summer people, and your desire to feel like a chuck roast simmering in the crockpot day after day after day. No, I prefer temperatures that don't scorch the lining of the lungs when breathed in, but to each his own.
I'll have to say we have had a couple of days of cool down, here and there. I mean, I'm only talking a couple of degrees, but any downward movement on the thermometer is always welcomed. The shadows have looked a little longer. The sky has been a tad more blue. There's been the slightest hint of coolness in the air when Davis and I walk in the evenings. And when you walk to the mailbox, you only lose 1 liter of fluid instead of 2. This is real progress.

This year, September 1 is a double treat with Mississippi State football starting that day, too. The day we can pretend it's fall AND college football starting on the same day may be just more than my excitement meter can measure. All of my favorite seasons kicking off at one time.

So, that's where I am.  My steps are a little peppier.  My voice is laced with more excitement.  My outlook is brighter.  My confidence is high. This is my time. A lot of sweat and tears have gone into this victory. A lot. You all know this is one of the most difficult races for me.  Thank you for your support.
And the first leaf we see fall from the trees down here in Mississippi, even if it was burned slammed to death by the hellacious heat and was literally scorched from its branch, well, we will still find victory in its descent to the ground. We don't so much care about why the first leaf falls, only that it falls.

So, don't let the door hit you on the way out, summertime.

Happy First Day of Pretending It's Fall, my friends!

Monday, August 27, 2018

And Now in the News

With the national news cycle like it was, last week, I believe many mothers were like me and thinking a lot about their children's safety in this evil world, which never ceases to amaze us with its mushrooming depravity. This past weekend and not too far from where we live, there was an armed robbery that took two innocent lives at a gas station. A young clerk and a father pumping gas, while his family was in the car. The tragedy has been at the forefront of conversation everywhere I've been since then. I've heard a lot of comments like, "What is the world coming to?" and "You're just not safe anywhere anymore." Seems like no matter if you live in New York City, a farming community in Iowa, or a little tucked away place in Mississippi, you just can't hide from evil.

There's a verse in Psalm that says, "The Lord is my helper and I will not fear what man shall do unto me."  I do admire the unknown psalmist, but if we were all being real honest here, um, not many of us could really say that last part with too much sincerity. There are some things, which man could doeth unto to me and mine, that I feareth very much.

Recently, I met Blair at about the halfway point between us. We spent a few hours shopping and eating with some people we love before it was time to go our separate ways again. She mentioned that she needed to fill up with gas before getting back on the road to head home, so I told her I'd follow her to the gas station. Yes, she's a grown woman.Yes, she travels extensively on a daily basis. Yes, she fills up her car without my assistance all the time. But, yes, this was one trip to a gas station that I could go with her and I did. Really, I'm not an overly protective mother and that's not something I'd normally do, but I did that day.

I pulled in behind her and sat in the car, while she pumped the gas...knowing I had my 38 special in the glove box should we need it. I was like the secret service only without an ear piece. My very sensitive maternal radar coupled with my mind, saturated by the recent violence in news, spotted a guy, who drove up, pulled off to the side of the parking lot, and just sat in his car. He rolled his windows down and was looking around. Of course, my overzealous mother instincts told me he was looking at my daughter. I waited for her to get done and I got out and we hugged and said goodbye. I quietly called her attention to the guy in the car and told her to make sure he didn't pull out behind her.

We got in our vehicles and both turned out onto the main road together as my eyes were peeled in the rearview mirror making sure his car wasn't moving..... and it wasn't. Quickly, we got to the point in the road, where she turned one way and I turned the other....leaving the guy still sitting in the parking lot as he was probably just a missionary home on furlough, who'd just finished his shift at a soup kitchen, and was meeting his grandmother there to pump her gas for her before he had to head to the hospital to donate his bone marrow to save a sick orphan child.

The news will do that to you, you know. My family would tell you I keep the news on all the time, but, even if you aren't a news watcher, you'd have to totally disconnect from social media and the world wide web altogether to escape the constant barrage of disturbing information. We hear so much bad stuff that we can get to the point where we don't trust anyone. We might start to see everyone as having menacing motives for everything they do. Even just sitting in a parking lot.

So, how do we handle the overdose of alarming information and keep things in perspective?

If we let it, I guess it can be kind of like me at bedtime, last Saturday night. I wasn't feeling the greatest. I'd had a terrible crick in my neck all day and my allergies were acting up with ragweed starting to do whatever it does, this time of year. I was so ready to crash when bedtime rolled around. I took an ibuprofen. I washed my face with lavender soap and turned on my bedside diffuser filled with lavender oil. (I'm not really an essential oil fanatic, but I do love the smell of pure lavender.) I turned the thermostat down to 71 and cranked up our white noise machine. Our sheets were fresh and crisp and the sleep environment was just perfect.

I crawled into bed and got my firm pillow just right. I pulled the covers up and stuck my feet out to maintain just the right body temperature and was ready for the Sandman. Just about the time I was getting drowsy, a cricket started chirping right outside the window closest to my side of the bed. It was so loud. Almost like he was on a PA system out there. I tried to ignore him and concentrate on the white noise, but he had this rhythmic thing going. It was something like chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp, chirp...…..chiiiirp, chiiiiirp, chiiiiirp.....and then he'd wait about 7 seconds and repeat. On and on and on. I'm not sure if he was singing one of those praise choruses that repeats a lot or what, but it was definitely something he was feeling passionate about.

There, I had everything I needed for rest and lavender, my cool temps, my crisp sheets, my white noise, my ibuprofen, my extra firm pillow, and all I could think about was the cricket. Of all the things that were calling me to rest, my mind couldn't block out that blasted insect.

I thought that's how we get with all the scary events around us and the 24 hour information bombardment. There's so much that's good surrounding us and we have everything we need in Jesus to live in peace and calm, but, sometimes, we can't help but concentrate on the constant chirping of evil. Over and over and over again, we hear the approaching sound of evil stepping over lines, reaching into new territory, coming out of the darkness, and gaining boldness by leaps and bounds. We pray for our kids and pray for our family's protection, but it's hard not to let our minds become captivated by the drumbeat of evil.

I haven't personally counted, but I've heard it said that God tells us "do not fear" about 80 times in the Bible. That command was nestled in a lot of verses, which covered many different life experiences and situations and yet He stuck with the same advice over and over, "do not fear". I guess that would suggest that we should not fear in any circumstance that life might bring. Fear is the opposite of faith, so if He's telling us not to fear, He's also asking us to live with faith. While we can be realistic and cautious about the fallen world around us, we're not to hide from it or be scared to live boldly in it. It's hard to be salt and light for a world from which we're hiding. "For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind."  2 Timothy 1:7 

We know how the story ends. "...and the devil who had deceived them was thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur, where the beast and the false prophet were, and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever." (Revelations 20:10) Until then, we can choose to live boldly in this world with faith and courage and the hope of ultimate victory over evil.

Never retreating.

Not even one step.

Have a great day, friends!
We'll talk later in the week.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

You're Speaking My Language

Note: The blog is undergoing some minor remodeling. It's ongoing and we're playing with some things, so it may change a few times before it's all done. If you're reading from your phone, you won't notice a difference at all. So, just pardon our progress.

Also, if you haven't already, there's a place under my mugshot to add your email address to my list and you can follow the blog that way. After you submit your email address, you will receive an email and you MUST verify by following the directions in that email or it won't add you. Also, if you'd like to follow me on Instagram, I'm mothermuffintop. I'm going to get that up and going soon. I'm not really an Instagram-er, but I'm going to try to get into it. So, there's that.      

So, tonight, I wanted to talk about love and the ways we express it. We've all heard about the five love languages. We each express and respond differently to the many ways that love can be communicated. There are love languages, which speak to us more deeply than the others and there are those, which we speak to others more frequently because we feel they're our highest offering of love. The book lists the love languages as words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service, and physical touch. Well, as many books as Mr. Chapman has sold on the topic, as a southern woman, I see one glaring omission on this list and that is the love language of food. You might argue that food would fall under acts of service as it requires cooking or even under gifts, but I'd have to insist that it is deserving of its own completely separate category, here in the South.

We went to see Davis' Daddy, tonight. Since his Mama died, we've tried to take a big meal and eat with his Dad, once a week. Davis's Mama would always make so much food when we'd come visit them. So many choices. She'd make one thing because it was Blair's favorite and she'd make another thing because Carson liked it and something else because I once mentioned I liked it and on and on until the kitchen was just full of choices.

And, at the end of a visit, at the first indication that you were about to leave, she'd get up and start unloading the refrigerator. She didn't want anyone leaving her house without making a plate to take and enjoy, the next day. And if she came to our house to visit, well, she'd bring half of the big pot of soup she'd just made or a pie because the recipe made two or a couple of packs of the corn that she'd just put up. She never came to visit without bearing food.

My brother, Lee, was here, last week. He was dropping off his son, Lelan, to spend a week with my mother. They were going to enjoy a week of grandmother/grandson bonding before school started. My niece wasn't quite ready for a week away from home, but her brother sure was. He told her she didn't know what she was missing because Grandma was the best cook of all time. You know you're good when small children even recognize it.  
Of course, as soon as the father/son duo drove in, my mother had a meal, hot and ready. Chicken pie, vegetables....I forgot what else. There's no telling, really. I was talking on the phone with my brother, later, and he was telling me how everything she cooks is just ridiculously good. We were so spoiled growing up with her, the home economics major, cooking for us 3 times a day. We discussed how nobody can cook like her, which led him into a whole new conversation about how her over easy eggs are sheer perfection and he's never had one anywhere that even comes close to hers. He told me how their supper, that night, was almost to the point that, when they'd take a bite of food, she was loading their plates back up again. And I can tell you if you're eating at her house and your tea is not level with the top of your glass, at all times, she shoots up like a rocket to remedy that tragic situation. He said they finally had to tell her that they just couldn't hold anymore food and to, please, sit down and eat. 

While my nephew was here, Carson and my other nephew, Casey, took turns staying the night at their Grandma's house, so Lelan would have a chance to hang out with the older cousins he idolizes so much. Carson said, late one night, he made the mistake of going to the refrigerator. He's recently just taken up residence at the refrigerator door here at home, but, there, it was his Grandma's cue that he was on the brink of starvation and immediate action should be taken. She springs up from her seat and reports for duty....listing off all the things she could whip up in a hurry. Grilled cheese, homemade French fries(which are the BEST), pancakes from scratch, bacon, and eggs were just a few of the options given. She's not one to take no for an answer when she's trying to feed you, so Carson finally conceded and chose pancakes and bacon. So, at 11:00 p.m., she gets busy at the stove cooking for her growing grandson. Just about the time she got that order going, Lelan chimed in that he wanted a grilled cheese and French fries. No Hungry Jack pancake mix, Kraft singles, or Ore-Ida bags on the premises, I can promise you that.

I can't tell you how many times I've had conversations with her similar to the following:
"Joni, are you hungry?"
"No, I'm good, Mama."
"Now, I know you could eat a little something."
"No, really, I'm fine, Mama."
(Opening the refrigerator) "Look, I've got some of this roast left that I cooked last night and some butter beans and, look, here's a piece of pie.....and I could have some mashed potatoes ready in no time to go with that good roast gravy....or would you rather have rice?" (filling up a pot with water and grabbing her paring knife)
"Mama, I appreciate it, but....."
"Joni, just hush. Now, this won't take long. You just go sit down and read the paper or something."

At this point, you can either comply or subject yourself to sitting and listening to an infinite list of things she could make for you....only ceasing when you agree to one of them. This is the only way to end this type of food love language standoff.  You must eat something.

My grandmothers were that way, too. I don't have many vivid memories of my Mimi's cooking days, because her health kept her out of the kitchen for most of my memory of her, but I've heard she was a really good cook, who loved feeding the people she loved. She had four boys, so I know she loved a lot through her kitchen. My Grandmother, well, I do remember her cooking days. Mercy. She'd greet us at the kitchen screen door in her apron, reciting the menu of yumminess that was about to be presented to us in buffet form. If there was a large group coming, the food preferences of the person visiting from the farthest would usually be most heavily considered. We'd sit down to all the deliciousness and, before we could get our legs out from under the table, she was giving an account of the menu plans for the next meal. She wanted everyone to be happy and well fed when they were under her roof.

Some favorite sayings of southern mothers/grandmothers and their translation for non-southerners:

"Y'all go back." (You all go help yourself to second helpings.)

"Don't y'all want some more? We've got plenty." (I told y'all to go back. Don't be shy. We don't want this to go to waste and there's more here than your Daddy and I can eat.)

"This pie won't be fit to eat tomorrow, so eat up." (This meringue will just get runny, the longer it sits, so you all need to finish it up before night falls.)

"If y'all want to take some of this home, here are some Cool-Whip bowls." (If you all would enjoy taking leftovers with you when you leave here, today, here are some recycled containers with which you could transport them to your home.)

"Here, just eat these last couple of spoonfuls. It's not even enough to bother putting up." (Please, stuff these large tablespoons of cornbread dressing into your already gorged belly, because I don't have a margarine bowl small enough to house this last little bit.)

"You can worry about your diet tomorrow." (I have been in this hot kitchen, all day, cooking this good food for you and I don't want to hear about your keto whatever. You can keto when you're at your own house. Now, here, have a biscuit.)  

Yeah, I don't think that any of the original love languages adequately covers the demonstration of the kind of love expressed when a southern woman cooks for the people she loves. It's a deep down kind of desire to give the pleasurable experience that only good home cooking can give. It's loving someone so much that you want to give them what you know and do best. It's that perfect consistency, a flawless rise, that silky smooth texture, the learned patience, and the experienced hand that has perfected just the ideal amount of seasoning. It's a craft used to bring families together, comfort the sick, support the mourning, sustain life, help a neighbor, celebrate special occasions, and, most of all, express some of the deepest, most genuine feelings of love that a southern woman can have for someone.

So, here's to a place where food is love and to our mamas and grandmamas, who dish it out.

Hope y'all have a great day!

See you soon!

Monday, August 6, 2018

Thanks for Everything

Carson completed the final thank you note of his graduation season, last night, and I dropped it in the mailbox, today. You may not think that's noteworthy, but, trust me, it is. With a daughter, you just say, "here are the cards and here's the list." With a son, well, it might best be described with a picture.....
Thank you notes are just one of those things that southern mamas are insistent upon with their children. I'm sure it's that way, everywhere, but I can only speak for my little corner of the world. It's a valued tradition passed down for generations and, as Scarlett would say, as God is my witness, we're not about to let this age of email and texts take this one last piece of personal, handwritten communication away from us.

Blair and John Samuel got a wedding gift, a couple of weeks ago, and I even texted her, today, to make sure she remembered to respond...even though she is a grown woman, who has a career and manages a household. I suppose if we were honest about it, a big reason for our careful oversight would be that we consider the absence of a thank you note to reflect poorly on us, the mamas. I mean, we may try to bury that real truth under all the other reasons like we want to teach them to be grateful, to be thoughtful, and to be able express their feeling to others. Yeah, yeah, all that, but we really just don't want it ever to be said of one of our kids, in a church fellowship hall or around a bridge table, somewhere, that they never acknowledged a gift. That is the ultimate black eye on a southern mother. She is to see to it that this important undertaking is carried out to its completion. It's written somewhere in the southern mama's by-laws. Article 6, I believe, but don't quote me on that.   

To avoid anyone being overlooked, we've kept meticulous records in our family and I've used a two-step verification process throughout our recent milestone moments for which gifts or kind deeds have been received. Each name gets a black line through it when the note is written and is then highlighted in yellow when the card has been addressed, stamped, and mailed. This two check system will help minimize your chances of being discussed at the next dinner on the ground or, heaven forbid, garden club meeting. Southern women do keep careful mental records of these things.    

That's why when Blair graduated from high school and an unsigned card came in the mail containing cash and no return address, well, I was horrified. Just horrified. Of course, you can't go around asking people if they happened to send your kid a graduation card because, well, if they didn't, that would be terribly awkward. Knowing the odds were slim, we posted a picture of the card on Facebook as I was desperate to find out who the sender was. That way we weren't asking anyone directly, but the attempt was fruitless, anyway.

For all these years, I've saved that envelope. I don't know why, really. I guess as a reminder that Blair still had one more note to write if we could just figure out where to send it. The handwriting on the envelope was engraved into my mind like a southern monogram. I'd even conducted my own handwriting analysis on it and considered DNA testing on the saliva with which it was sealed.

In the dark of night, I'd imagine some little, old lady going to the dollar store and selecting the perfect card and filling it with cash, which she probably really needed for her blood thinners and insulin, and then driving herself to the post office and going in with her cane and oxygen tank to purchase the stamp and drop it in the box...…only for it to be completely ignored by one of those ungrateful Miller kids. As the years passed, I'd even imagine that maybe she'd died and gone to see Jesus before Blair could thank her. I could feel the heat rising up my neck and my blood vessels constricting just thinking about it. This is the stuff that keeps mamas up at night. I finally had to let it go, because there just wasn't anything else I could do about the troubling situation.

Well, I was thumbing through our mail, the other day, and there it was! The handwriting that had been burned into my cerebrum since 2012. Carson had received a graduation card and the address was inscribed in the very same handwriting as the mystery card. There was no return address and, even though he wasn't home, I had to know. I ripped that thing open, because the suspense had been killing me for 6 years. I hoped to goodness they'd remembered to sign this one. Yep, there it was.....the name of an extended family member.

Well, the first thing I did was text Blair that the mystery was solved. I felt like Robert Stack in his trench coat out in the dark fog. Thankfully, it was family, which made the grievance somewhat less horrifying. I mean, family has to love you no matter what. So, as an almost 24 year old, Blair has one more high school graduation thank you note to write and I believe, then, I can sleep well at night.

I think Jesus thought thankfulness was pretty important, too. When He healed the 10 lepers and only one came back to thank him, He wondered where the other nine were. They'd all received the same healing. He was disappointed that they'd not thought to acknowledge the gift He'd given them, but He took notice of the one man's heart, which led Him back to the Giver. Jesus didn't need their thanks, but He thought it was important enough that He mentioned the absence of it.

Thankfulness is a condition of the heart. No matter if it's a card full of money, a place setting of china, or the gift of life we receive, everyday, whether we choose to acknowledge it or ignore it tells a lot about our heart and where its focus is. We're either looking in at the receiving or looking out at the giving. And, sometimes, the things that don't come wrapped up with a bow are the ones, which deserve the most thanks. From others, we receive loyalty, thoughtfulness, friendship, time, encouragement. From God, we receive provision, sustenance, joy, forgiveness, salvation.

I want to live in acknowledgement and gratefulness for the givers in my life and always keep my eyes open to the quiet, beautiful acts of giving that might slip past me.  

"In everything give thanks; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."
1Thessalonians 5:18          

Have a great day, everybody!

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Funk, Facelift, and Nighttime Irritability

So, I was busy at work, last week, and didn't make it by here. I rearranged 2 stores from top to bottom, so you can imagine how that might have kept me occupied. Even though I haven't been posting, I have been doing some behind the scenes kind of stuff concerning the blog. I'm in the process of having a little work done. Well, I'm not. The blog. You know, like a blog facelift. It won't be completely unrecognizable, but just a little nip and tuck to give it some new pep for a new season. I know you'll be overwrought with debilitating suspense until its completion.

I'll admit, too, that I've been a little down in the dumps, lately. I don't know....maybe you'd even call it a funk. I guess turning 50 and going through all the changes of my kids growing up, mixed with this oppressive summer heat that I hate, a little sleep deprivation, and a dash of hormonal variability, I've just been feeling blah. You ever just feel blah?  Well, I have....but, now, I'm feeling like the wind is coming back in my sails and I decided I was in the mood to shake things up a bit.

I went to see my dear photography friends, Mark and Carol, for new headshots for the blog and social media page. The old one was cropped out of a family picture, which was taken about 6 years ago and, goodness knows, it was past time to put that one to rest. I got to the studio and told Mark I didn't need anything fancy....just a couple of muffin top mugshots. I sat down where he instructed me to and he put the reflective thingy below me and the big light in front of me as I told him there was nothing I hated more than having my picture made. Lights, reflective surfaces, and cameras pointed toward me are not things that exist within my realm of comfort, which is most likely why he had to chime in with reminders to look "a little happier" between a few shots.

Anyway, I got those done and went back to look at the proofs. Mark always does a wonderful job of making you look way better than you really do. I picked the ones I liked best and then they did the touchups that smooth away the lines and blend the blemishes and erase the errant strands of hair, so they're like me only much, much better. I'm thinking these ought to carry me for another good 4 to 5 years.
In this mood for a little blog revitalization, I also got up with my old friend, Sophie, last week. As the blogging expert that she is, we met for lunch, so I could ask her for some advice on tech support and other subjects.....which I did, but we ended up spending most of our time just laughing and talking about hometown stuff and our happy high school days. Soph is always an inspiration...even when we're just discussing our Mamas and the difference in mama-ing styles back then and mama-in' now. There's nothing like a good belly laugh with an old friend over a chimichanga and a glass of tea.  

So, all that to say that, even though I've been busy with my job and wandering around in kind of a foggy funk, I've also been working on recapturing my mojo and letting the winds of change blow me forward with a renewed energy.          

I think I mentioned sleep deprivation earlier, so I guess we might as well discuss that since this is kind of a conglomerate post lacking any real central theme. Davis and I have been having co-sleeping problems for the last two weeks or so. We go through brief periods of this from time to time. I have to start off sleeping on my left side because of acid reflux and, because I must stick my legs out of the covers, that requires that I sleep on the right side of the bed.....unless I'm having trouble sleeping and need to turn over, therefore making it impossible to stick my feet out of the covers, which is a problem.

Davis is a back sleeper.....which to us, side sleepers, is just plain creepy. I've always said that if we had a register book, a CD of favorite organ hymns, and a line of people trailing from our bedroom, we could have ourselves a visitation every night of the week as he lies there in repose with his hands folded gently across his stomach.

So, his back sleeping causes him to breathe loudly and, well, since I'm an admitted sleep diva, I can't have any kind of noise distracting me when I'm falling asleep....except the white noise coming from our sleep machine, of course. I'm just high maintenance that way when it comes to getting to sleep and I can't handle anything "extra" going on....unlike Davis, who can sleep sitting up on a couch in a brightly lit room full of people laughing and talking with a ballgame blaring on the TV. I guess being a woman of 50 has made it harder for me to fall asleep, lately, but, once I get asleep, my sleep endurance is still most impressive. Most impressive, indeed.

Anyway, when sleep is the goal, I get uncharacteristically impatient with any obstacle that stands in between it and me.....i.e. Davis' loud breathing. So, while I'd never dream of hitting him in the daylight, waking hours, I have no qualms about reaching over and giving him a wop and a stern command to turn over. Now, I'm not saying I'm proud of the way I behave in the night, but I'm just being real and, usually, when someone says they're being real, they're not sharing the very best part of themselves.

Well, Davis, who, in his awakened state is a most kind and gentle soul, after a couple of blows, the semi-conscious, grumpy version of Davis grabs his pillow and heads off into the night, mumbling unkind and smarty things as he walks through the darkness, across the family room and down the hall to the guest room. I start to feel kind of guilty for a few seconds until I realize that I can stretch out on my right side and stick my feet out of the covers on his side of the bed and stretch my arms over there, too. My guilt is usually quickly overshadowed by my desire for sleep. Really, though.....we're both very nice people, otherwise, and we're happy to report that we've been doing better, this week, so that's a relief.

So, I guess that's all I know at the moment. I'll be back, next week, and we'll talk about even more riveting subjects, I'm sure.

Have a good one!