Monday, August 30, 2010
Sunday, August 29, 2010
Friday, August 27, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Each table has a theme, and I chose All That Jazz for mine because that means I can dress as a flapper and wear a feather boa. And let me tell ya', I'm all about the feather boa. I even have a sequined cloche hat, which actually came from my own antique hat collection. (Remind me one day to show my hats to you.) It should be fun, fun, fun, and I'll try to post a picture or two in the next couple of days. In the meantime, I gotta' run. I have pin curls to style and some Charleston steps to practice. Here's hoping I don't dump chicken marsala in someone's lap!
Wednesday, August 25, 2010
I love how every now and then a perfect moment happens out of the blue. Like yesterday morning when I pulled out of the driveway to go to work and my iPod shuffled to my favorite Mary Chapin Carpenter song as the golden early sun rose on my right and the warmish air blew onto my face through the open window. Nice. Very nice.
Tuesday, August 24, 2010
Monday, August 23, 2010
We lived in that house fifteen years. It was the first home Hubby and I bought together. We raised Teen Angel there. The backyard saw many gardens, grew bushels of tomatoes, held up Teen Angel’s swing set and produced lots of grapes, flowers and memories. We chased lightening bugs there. Danced on the deck. We laughed with family and friends and made lots of homemade ice cream in that spot by the garage door. That spot in the front yard by the driveway is where the Boy Scouts put the flag each summer holiday. The magnolia tree still bears the scars of the big ice storm, and the fork of the fringe tree is where Teen Angel used to hide and daydream.
The house wasn’t exactly a fixer-upper when we bought it, but the 70’s interior needed updating. It had good bones and was solid. It just needed new carpet and paint and some changes to the light fixtures and appliances. When we bought it, we could barely afford the new carpet and paint, so we did all of the work ourselves. We were exhausted when we moved in but oh so excited.
It was kind of small by most people’s standards. It was what realtors describe as “charming” or “a doll house” which is usually code for short on square footage. But it was enough for us. It sat next door to Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s house, making it easy to get Teen Angel to her babysitter and allowing her to essentially have two homes on the block. The maple tree in the front was one that Hubby helped his neighbor to plant when he was a boy.
We nurtured and loved on that house for years. We eventually remodeled the kitchen. We put on a new roof and new windows. Replaced the hearing and air conditioning unit. Another year we tackled the master bathroom, and lastly, we redid the flooring and turned the third bedroom into one big walk-in closet to make up for the lack of closet space. Over time though, we outgrew it. The closet space was still an issue, you couldn’t turn around in the bathroom without bumping your fanny on the door, and we just didn’t have enough room inside to have parties or company. When Sissy’s house became available, we decided to sell and make the big move.
It was hard on Hubby. He attaches emotion to every possession he owns and had a terrible time letting go. It was probably a good thing that he had months to sort through the garage and attic and all of the stuff we had accumulated there in fifteen years. At one point during the toss, save or give away portion of the attic purge, I thought we were going to resort to hair pulling. He accused me of not caring about any of my possessions and wanting to put everything in the toss pile. That’s not true. I care, but I don’t have to have most of them. I can let them go and keep the memories in my heart. And that’s what I’m doing to the little brick house.
It was a good house for us, but we needed to move on, and now it’s going to be a good house for someone else. The new owner is a 27-year old single teacher who had been saving the last few years for her first home. She loves the little brick house. It’s just right for her. Plenty of room for one person. A great deck with a hot tub for entertaining and a big backyard that she hopes will one day hold a pool. She has dreams for that house, including ripping out that old black and white tile in the bathroom that I always wanted to replace. You go, girl!
About two hours after we signed the closing papers, we were at Mama J.’s and Papa T.’s and saw her pull into the driveway with her parents, her grandma and a passle of aunts and uncles who came to see her new purchase. She was downright giddy. I’m pleased she is the one out of all those lookers during the past ten months that ended up with the house. I know it’s in good hands, and that makes me happy. It makes Hubby happy, too. Besides, it's only two blocks away from the new house, and we can drive by anytime and see how it looks.
Ten months after we stuck the For Sale sign in the yard, we are ready to let go. Goodbye, little brick house. We will never forget you or the memories we made there.
Friday, August 20, 2010
Thursday, August 19, 2010
Wednesday, August 18, 2010
Tuesday, August 17, 2010
Monday, August 16, 2010
Pronunciation: \his-ˈter-ē-ə, -ˈtir-\
Etymology: New Latin, from English hysteric, adjective, from Latin hystericus, from Greek hysterikos, from hystera womb; from the Greek notion that hysteria was peculiar to women and caused by disturbances of the uterus
1 : a psychoneurosis marked by emotional excitability and disturbances of the psychic, sensory, vasomotor, and visceral functions
2 : behavior exhibiting overwhelming or unmanageable fear or emotional excess
— hys•ter•ic \-ˈter-ik\ noun
— hys•ter•i•cal \-ˈter-i-kəl\ also hysteric adjective
— hys•ter•i•cal•ly \-i-k(ə-)lē\ adverb
Used in a sentence: “Hula and Teen Angel had a fit of hysterical giggles yesterday after walking down the hallway of the hospital and seeing the large patient lounging on the edge of his bed with his legs wide open and his junk brazenly hanging out like a monkey dangling from a tree.”
My apologies to the housekeeping crew that may have had to mop up the floor of the elevator where we each wet our pants. And seriously, how can you NOT know you’re hanging out like that? He had to know. Trust me, he HAD to know.
Sunday, August 15, 2010
Thursday, August 12, 2010
Warning: I'm getting ready to post several spidey pics. At this point, those of you who are creeped out by spider pictures should click over to something like The Pioneer Woman’s recipe for prune cake (although personally, I find prunes a little scary). The rest of you, follow me.
I call her Charlotte. Ever since I read Charlotte’s Web, I’ve had the habit of assuming all spiders are female, are named Charlotte and lay eggs and die, leaving their offspring to be raised by geese and a humble pig. I may be wrong, but there are some romantic childhood notions I like to hang onto, so Charlotte she is. Her large web stretches between the cucumbers and the back row of tomato plants. She sits right in the middle of the web, sunning her yellow backside and waiting for prey.
Notice how she reinforced her web. The neighbor boy who loves critters, believes she’s a common garden spider. Whatever she is, I find her to be quite elegant. I especially like the way she balances on her web, ever so gently, with the precision of an acrobat.
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
Thanks to a lot of watering, our garden has managed to survive, even though our grass died a merciful death weeks ago. Our next water bill will likely eat up one semester of Teen Angel’s college fund, but girlfriend will just have to go without textbooks that first year as the Hula-gen’s refuse to live without homegrown tomatoes. In fact, we live for homegrown tomatoes. We talk longingly about them in the winter and pour over seed catalogs during the cold months. Heck, the Stark Brothers catalog is our favorite bathroom reading material. Aside from Reader’s Digest.
Come spring we plant several varieties of tomatoes and count the days until the first ones ripen. Then our summer is spent building meals around them. We’re the Gump’s of the tomato world. We got your chopped tomatoes, your fried tomatoes, sliced tomatoes, tomato salad, tomato soup, tomato salsa and on and on and on. We eat many meals that are comprised solely of tomatoes and corn on the cob and Lordy, we do love the BLT’s. All that sodium in the bacon makes Mama J.’s feet swell though, so we have to limit those somewhat.
When it first became obvious the hot dry spell was here to stay, we were worried the garden would die a premature death, but it’s doing fine. Really fine. From far away, it looks pretty good.
But up close, you can see how tall everything is. I should have put Hubby next to these plants for perspective. He’s 6’4”, and the plants are way above his head.
They hide underneath leaves.
And burst out of the tops of the plants. My favorites are the cherry and grape tomatoes.
Hubby likes the big ones. Such a man thing.
Tomatoes aren’t the only thing we’re pickin’ either. Our pepper plants are five feet tall this year.
The cucumbers have taken over the windmill.
And the cantaloupe plants just sprouted five more melons. Yee haw!
Our watermelons played out after just two melons. Sniff. But the blackberry, blueberry and raspberry bushes we planted are growing nicely and should put forth some fruit next year, along with the new grapevines.
It may be hotter than Guam in western Kentucky, but the bounty from our little vegetable patch is keeping us happier than pigs in sunshine. The Hula-gen’s and tomatoes go together like…well, like peas and carrots.
Tuesday, August 10, 2010
Monday, August 9, 2010
Anyhoo, the series is likely to garner plenty of watchers since it’s like a romp through a Jackie Collins’ book, and who doesn’t enjoy that kind of trashy entertainment every now and then? I’m just basing that on the fact that those books are always checked out at my local library. So I’m told.
While I’ll admit to being curious about this season because of the DC setting, I refuse to get lured into that hot mess. I’m not judgin’ those who do though. We all have our little guilty pleasures. Oh, we can cite a long list of literary icons as our favorite authors or gloat about our contributions to public television, but the fact is we all have some skeletons in our entertainment closets. In the interest of keepin’ it real, I thought I’d share a few of mine with you. And if you ask me about these in public, I’ll swear I don’t know what you’re talkin’ about.
1. Lady Gaga-I LOVE Lady Gaga. She’s outrageous. She’s bold, and she knows how to make a radio hit. The Cher’s and Cyndi Lauper’s paved the way for her, but she’s taken fashion and pop to a level that makes Madonna seem a little tame. We used to think Madonna’s silk cone bra was outrageous until Lady G. set her boobs on fire. And then her hoo hoo. I tried and tried to get me and Teen Angel tickets to her St. Louis concert this summer, but I got started too late and could never score any. I was bummed ‘cause what a spectacle that would have been. And it was on my birthday weekend. I may be 46 years old (forget I just gave you that number), but I love her music and her drama.
2. ABBA-Hubby bought the Best of ABBA CD at Wal-Mart recently, and when I saw it in his hands, I fell in love with him all over again. Seriously, our eyes locked and we had this, “You mean, you like them, too?” moment that was as good as renewing our wedding vows. All these years, we never knew how much we each loved the singing Swedes. We stuck the CD in the player as soon as we got into the van, and sang Dancin’ Queen together at the top of our lungs. Well, I sang at the top of my lungs. He hummed. He loves Fernando, hates to watch organized sports on TV and knows how to pick a diamond. God, I’m a lucky woman.
3. Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab-I’m addicted to Celebrity Rehab. Pun intended. It’s like driving past a bad car wreck. You don’t want to look, but you can’t help looking. Maybe it’s because I’ve dealt with addiction in a loved one and been there for the interventions, the rehab, the relapse and all of the hurt and craziness that goes with it. I just love watching that show. (And A & E’s Intervention, which I think is very well produced for a reality show.)
I never missed an episode of Season 3 of Celebrity Rehab. I folded many a towel and pair of drawers on Saturday morning while watching that show. I cried with Mackenzie Phillips when she had to put her dog to sleep, and I followed all of the celebs into the next season’s Sober House. I laughed at their fights and shook my head at Heidi Fleiss every weekend. I just love Dr. Drew and find it ironic that they announced the cast of Season 4 on my birthday. I can’t wait to see if he finally gets Leif Garrett straight. Bonus Skeleton Reveal: I think Dr. Drew is a little hot in a weird, clinical kind of way. I know, I know.
4. Saturday Night Fever-“Watch the hair!” I love it when Tony says that. It’s a goofy, dated movie but it came along as I came of age, and it brings back fond memories of satin pants, Candy’s shoes and Bee Gees’s music. Sigh, I miss the 70’s.
5. Willie Wonka and the Chocolate Factory-I know the songs. I know the lines. And I will watch the entire dadgum thing when I happen across it while flipping the remote. And now that I’ve typed this I’ll be playing the Oompa Loompa song in my head for the rest of the night. Do not laugh, ‘cause I know you’re singin’ it now, too. You can’t help yourself.
6. The Rocky Horror Picture Show-I know the songs. I know the lines. I can do the Time warp. I have the extended version of the Time Warp and the rest of the soundtrack on my iPod, and we shall not talk about how high those songs rank on my playlists. This movie was huge when I was in college, and I dressed up and performed the part of Magenta many times in various cities when I was younger. It always brings back memories of a good friend of mine who played the part of Frank-n-furter to the hilt. A group of rednecks beat him up one night behind the theater because he was gay and wearing fishnet stockings, and it was my introduction to homophobia. I’ve never forgotten that. He died of AIDS at the height of the epidemic, and I often think of him when I watch that movie. Always with a smile though. Somewhere out there are some pictures of me, him and our friend V. in full costume, puttin’ our hands on our hips and knees in tight. And I’m thankful we never had Facebook back then ‘cause any hopes of a successful senate confirmation hearing for me would be doomed by those pictures alone.
Speaking of senate confirmation hearings, I’ll bet Elana Kagan knows who Michaele Salahi and the other Housewives of DC are. She may not admit it, but I’ll bet she does.
Sunday, August 8, 2010
Friday, August 6, 2010
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
I’m so very glad that he’s going to be okay, but for the past two days my brain has randomly and frequently screamed, “He had a FREAKIN’ heart attack at 46 years old! Just 46 years old!!” Sudden and unexpected. The picture of health and then, bam! A comin’ to join you Elizabeth moment in the master bathroom and an ambulance ride to the hospital. There’s reality smacking me in the face, and reality can be a beetch. It’s a sign that we are not spring chickens any more, and it’s scares me.
It has nothing to do with vanity. Sure, I try to ignore those little crow’s feet and brown spots, but I know they’re there, and I accept those grudgingly. It’s the fact that we’re a little closer to the end of our life than the beginning now, even if we live to a ripe old age. It’s the reality that disease and wear and tear are starting to show up on me and my generation, and I must accept the fact that gosh darn it, I will get old. And that is distressing news.
For the last couple of years, I’ve lived in denial about this. I’ve joked about it and laughed about it, but I’ve truly pretended that time was not etching away at my being. That everyone but me was growing older. That I was immune to getting old. I mean, have you read the title of my blog? I like to think that if I eat enough fiber, drink enough water and run enough miles, I’ll make time stand still. While it may help keep some health issues at bay for a while, it won’t stop the clock, and there are signs that my body is changing.
There’s the menopause thing, but I’m all, “Woo hoo, no more periods!” about that. Sorry male readers, but you have no idea how great of a thing THAT is. For you, it’s like ice cold beer, unlimited sex and a John Wayne movie all rolled together. The downside to no estrogen is I now have a regular schedule for waxing my upper lip.
The gray hair is coming in faster than I can color it. I’m on a regular schedule for that, and as God is my witness I’ll go blond before I go gray. Not that blond is a bad thing. It’s just that I’m a terrible looking blond.
I’m wearing down my front teeth faster than my dentist can bond them. I was referred to an orthodontist at my last dental appointment to see if braces will help. Braces!
I have an eye doctor appointment tomorrow because the vision in my right eye is not as good as it should be. That just popped up recently. Reading glasses are probably in my future.
I catch myself saying, “Huh?” more often so I think the AC/DC is starting to catch up with me. AND the bone in my left hip is thinning so I had to start taking Boniva this year. I’m on the Sally Field train at 46 years old. Chugga chugga.
Now, none of these is really serious, and I have no obvious serious health issues. The only medication I take is the Boniva. Other than an annual sinus infection and the sinuses from hell, I seem to be fine. I’ve never had a broken bone and never been hospitalized for anything other than childbirth. I’ve had stitches only once. By all accounts, I’m healthy as a horse, but I know that something’s going to get me. It always does, so I’m afraid mine will be a surprise, too. My imagination is on overtime worrying about what it will be. Heart attack? Brain tumor? Or maybe cancer. I was frantically checking for lumps last night. A headache makes me worry if I’m working up a stroke. It’s just silly. I know I should quit worrying about it, but I can’t seem to put it out of my mind. I read the obituaries in this morning’s newspaper and took great comfort in the fact that all but one dead person was old. How sad is that? I think I need a vacation. A cruise to Alaska maybe? Isn’t that what older folks do?
Sunday, August 1, 2010
Sissy's birthday is a few days away. All of those memories associated with her suicide wrap this family like a wool coat on a summer day. Sometimes, I can't breathe when I think about the night she jumped from that bridge and the demons that led her to make that leap.
I've listened to this song so many times and thought of her. It brings me an odd kind of peace.