Thursday, July 31, 2008

You are invited to my pity party!

Ever feel intensely grumpy? Like everyone is intent on making your life miserable, and the planets have aligned precisely in such a way as to cause every little thing to go wrong that possibly could?

Yeah. I'm having one of those weeks.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

God and Cruella deVille

Regarding a conversation with Bebo last night (for reference, "Carrera" is how he pronounces "Cruella")...

It was bedtime. Past that, actually, and because Jeff was going to be out until the wee hours of the morning cleaning ovens at Domino's, I let Braeden sleep with me. I just like knowing where he is when it's just the two of us at home. But Braeden didn't want to sleep, so he was doing some serious stalling.

B: Mommy?

A: Yes, Bebo?

B: I just gotta tell you somefing.

A: (yawning) Okay.

B: Is God wif me?

A: Yes, baby. God is always with us.

B: And he's gonna take care of me?

A: Of course.

B: Does God hate the bad guys?

A: No, sweetheart. God loves everyone, even though we sometimes do bad things that make him sad.

B: Really?

A: Mmm-hmmm... it's like how sometimes you do bad things, but I always love you anyway.

B: Oh!! . . . . Mommy?

A: Yes?

B: Does God hate Carrera?

A: (suppressing a chuckle) Well, Cruella isn't a real person, but even if she was real, God wouldn't hate her.

B: Even though she drowned the puppies?

A: Yes, dear.

B: Oh! Mommy?

A: Braeden, go to sleep!

(Before you think I'm an awful Mommy for avoiding one of those "teachable moments," let me note two things: 1) by this time it was past 11:30; and 2) we've had this conversation many times before!)

Monday, July 28, 2008

Guess what?

I am 100% online this semester! I managed to squeeeeze into the only section of A&P that was online. It completely solves the transportation problem, which is certainly the Big Issue, but it also means I won't see anybody live and in person until the spring semester. Ah, well. I suppose the whole purpose isn't reaaaaalllly to socialize, but it would be nice.

It's okay. There's next semester, and once I'm in the nursing program, it's going to be very up close and personal. :)

My First Car

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

More about School

You might get tired of me blabbing on and on about school. Allow me to offer my half-hearted apology. :)

Jeff's financial aid went through, so we are now ready to roll. Okay... maybe not quite. We still have to work through our transportation problems. If we can figure out how to safely get the Lumina in for a diagnostic check, that would be a start. Jeff is convinced the engine is blown, and if it is, we have to decide whether it's worth it or not to spend $3000 fixing a car that might be worth $2500. But that's beside the point.

All the school pieces are in place. We find out who will be Braeden's teacher on the fourth, and he has a half-day on the sixth, with his first full day on the eight. (Hold me!) All I have left for Braeden is to buy school supplies and a pair or two of shoes. I've gone through his clothes and he has more than enough to get him through, at least until cooler weather.

Jeff & I will begin classes on the 23rd. On Thursdays, we'll ride into Chattanooga together. I'll have my Anatomy & Physiology lab, and he'll have tests. I'll be missing Wednesday night services for the first time in nine years, but it was my only choice - A&P isn't offered in Kimball at any other time. Not sure I like that, as Wednesday is my favorite service.

I feel rather dorky, but I am soooo excited about this! I feel like I'm getting a second chance in a sense. It's not that I didn't do well in school the first time - but I know I could have done so much better. Something about being married and having a kid gives a person a sense of maturity that didn't exist at 21!

It will be interesting to see how education has changed in the nine years since I graduated. I feel quite comfortable in my computer skills, so it's not like I'm worried - just curious. Nine years ago, I could count on one hand the number of students who had laptops. Now practically everyone does. I've already seen some effects - I registered online (in my pajamas) for classes. No more waiting in long lines to sign up for classes! Even better, I kept hitting the site for several days until I was able to squeeze into a class that had previously been full. Soooo much more convenient.

Enough rambling for now - must go back to work!

Monday, July 21, 2008

The Dish in the Sink



I know. It's a picture of a mostly-eaten container of rice sitting in my sink. Before you start questioning my mental faculties, let me explain.

The reason I took a picture, and the reason I posted, is because it is a sweet reminder of how lucky I am.

You see, Braeden put that dish there after lunch the other day. I didn't have to tell him to do it, either. In fact, it's something he does after every meal, without being asked. We try to eat at the same time, but since I only have 30 minutes for lunch, he often has to finish without me.

It's such a simple little thing, but it makes me proud and mushed-out at the same time. I am so blessed to have such a sweet little boy!

Friday, July 18, 2008

Letter to Nanny

My maternal grandmother died suddenly when I was 16. She was so precious to us. Over the years, I have found myself missing her... sometimes at the oddest times, and sometimes exactly when you'd expect grief to come rolling back in - the birth of Braeden, when my first scrapbook page was published, watching the old home videos of Christmases years ago. I like to think she can see me, and that she's proud of the person I am.


Dear Nanny,

It's been 14 years since you left. Life marched on, even though you weren't here to share it. We missed you. That day you died, I had my wisdom teeth cut out. You called Mom to check on me, and I so wish I would have been able to speak to you. That was just like you - a broken hip, probably in pain, and you were worried about me. Somehow, when the call came in that evening, the fog lifted enough that I was able to get ready to leave and give Mom the time she needed.

It was all so surreal. By the time we arrived in Arkansas, the fog had settled firmly over my brain again. I remember sleeping for a long time. When I woke, you weren't there. It felt so wrong. We all stumbled through in a daze. It didn't surprise me to see how many people were at your funeral. I think that everyone who met you loved you immediately - because you loved so freely.

Do you remember that time Sarah & I were playing frisbee in the yard and I broke the glass on the screen door? I can't remember where you were that night - maybe picking up cans along the road? - but I distinctly remember the way my stomach dropped to my feet. The very idea that I would have angered or disappointed you was unbearable. I went in the house and started cleaning. I guess I thought it would make you less mad, but you always kept such a clean house that I couldn't find anything to do! You weren't nearly as mad as I thought you would be - in fact, if I remember right, you just dismissed it and asked if I wanted ice cream!

Oh, how I miss the wonderful gardens you and Pa kept! I wish as a child I'd appreciated all the wonderful veggies like I do now! Even though I was pretty small at the time, I still laugh when I think about the peanut-shaped pumpkin that we carved one Halloween. When I concentrate, I can almost taste the wilted lettuce, fried potatoes, pinto beans, and little bit of vinegar and bacon grease. Nothing has ever tasted so good since.

You were always so crafty. Besides the beautiful quilts you made, you dabbled in so many different crafts - from the beadwork dolls to the plastic canvas stockings you made. I am afraid I didn't inherit your knack for sewing, but I did take up photography and scrapbooking. What I wouldn't give to sit down and and watch you flip through my books! I can just hear the oohs and aahs. Did you know that I've even had a couple of pages published? I'm scrapbooking on a computer. You died before the internet really took off, and you'd have been amazed to see what could be done.

You're a big part of the reason I scrap. No memory is fonder than the this: every single visit, we curled up next to you on the couch, and looked through the mountain of photo albums. You would laugh at our silliness, and tell us stories about the pictures. Sometimes you'd even pull out the albums of when you were a little girl, and tell us stories about your life. It was such a fascination to me, and I wish so much that I had recorded those conversations. I guess I always thought you'd be around, and now a lot of those memories are lost forever. My grandkids may not love me like I loved you, but I want them to have a record of my life, anyway. Thank you for leaving us what you did - the photo albums are a treasure I wouldn't trade for anything.

I'm researching our family history. I've found pictures of family members that you might not have even known about. I've been able to trace back quite a ways in some cases. It would be so wonderful if were still here to help me sort through it. My obsession with genealogy is largely because of you - those unwritten stories make me want to dig as much as I can, to know where I came from - even when the picture painted isn't a pretty one.

I wish you could see my little boy. You'd probably see a lot of me in him - I do everytime I compare pictures of me at his age. Braeden has the most beautiful brown eyes, and the sweetest personality. It saddens me so that he never got to know you. But don't worry - I'll tell him the stories.

He starts kindergarten soon. It's so bittersweet for me. I know you wanted a big family, and never got to have it. Now I'm sending my only child off to school, and it makes me wonder how you felt when Mom went that first time. I want a big family, too. If I can't have the children naturally, I'm going to adopt a few. Heck, I'm going to adopt whether I have anymore children of my own or not. I hope that makes you smile.

I miss you so much. It doesn't seem fair that you had to leave us so soon. Mom and I have commented so many times over the years that you would have loved to see what we were seeing then.

Jeff wrote a song for me when I was pregnant with Braeden. I'm going to leave you with the chorus, because it so clearly says what I feel.

I can't wait to see you, in heaven above
I can't wait to see you
wrap you up in my embrace
hold your hand and touch your face
I can't wait to see you....
I can't wait.
All my love,
Amanda

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Where did it go?

My brain... it's missing!

Ohhhhhh..... this has been such a frustrating week for me. Work has be insanely busy, beyond anything I've ever dealt with. By the end of the day my brain has completely fried itself into a blob of useless grey mush. It seems to only be compounding itself, and with each day (and subsequent sleepless night), it only grows worse.

I swear sometimes I think I'm going senile. I can't remember anything, I can't think straight - I must be losing it. Worse - my creative muse is MIA.

I need sleep. I need to be able to think again - quickly - before school starts!

Monday, July 14, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Summer in the South

The birds have to use potholders to pull worms out of the ground.

The trees are whistling for the dogs.

The best parking place is determined by shade instead of distance.

Hot water now comes out of both taps.

You can make sun tea instantly.

You learn that a seat belt buckle makes a pretty good branding iron.

The temperature drops below 95 and you feel a little chilly.

You discover that in July it only takes 2 fingers to steer your car.

You discover that you can get sunburned through your car window.

You actually burn your hand opening the car door.

You break into a sweat the instant you step outside at 7:30 a.m.

Your biggest bicycle wreck fear is, 'What if I get knocked out and end up lying on the pavement and cook to death?'

You realize that asphalt has a liquid state.

The potatoes cook underground, so all you have to do is pull one out and add butter, salt and pepper.

Farmers are feeding their chickens crushed ice to keep them from laying boiled eggs.

The cows are giving evaporated milk.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Projects for the Week, or Tasks I Must Accomplish

1. Box up and mail appreciation cards for Operation Quiet Comfort.

2. Find out why Chatt State received and processed my financial aid paperwork, but not Jeff's (his was sent in the same day).

3. Exercise!

4. Finish the design work on my new foodie blog - lots of yummy recipes coming your way. Stay tuned!

5. Make an appointment for dog to be groomed. (Actually, shaved is a better word. Poor little guy gets awfully hot in the summer with his thick mane of black fur.)

6. Clear out closet in guest room, so I can

7. Move Christmas decorations from the pile in my office to the closet so I can

8. Clean office (up to running carpet cleaner) so I can walk through the room without tripping on something!

Friday, July 4, 2008

Fireworks

Living less than a mile from the fireworks store does have its benefits. :) Granted, there is a serious lag in the audio to the video, but I think you get the idea. I did this on my new Coolpix camera. It's not quite the same as a "real" video camera, but it's the closest thing I've ever had. Quite funny, really. Hope you enjoy.

video

Happy Birthday to Meeeee.....

Yup. This firecracker baby is 31 today. Jeff isn't here, so it's just me & Bebo. I've been trying to figure out what to do all day. We've got a 50% chance of rain, and I'm crossing my fingers that it doesn't mess up the fireworks displays tonight.

What to do, what to do?

Wednesday, July 2, 2008

Doing My Things

Braeden often tells us we should do his "fings" - meaning we should do exactly what he wants to do. Sometimes he'll even say "We're not going to do your fings, Mommy. We can only do my fings."

Ah, the selfish narcicissm of a five-year-old.

Well, Monday I got to do my "fings," after all. Jeff had gone to Indiana, and Braeden went up to Grannie & Peepop's. So I did what any red-blooded American girl would do - I went shopping! I started at a scrapbook store I recently re-discovered. Then I went to Michael's, hoping to take advantage of a 50%-off coupon, but struck out there. I ate dinner at PF Chang's, then moseyed over to the movie theater to catch another viewing of Wall-E, since I arrived too late to see Iron Man.

After the movie, I went to Books-a-Million to browse for Bible class material and some tools to help Bebo learn to write. Oh, and of course I had to have a hazelnut-coconut frappe. Mmmm.....

The ironic part is that in doing my "fings," I wound up thinking about Bebo all night! My purchases at the scrapbook store were of train papers and rub-ons. At BAM, I bought a Wall-E book and a set of handwriting cards for him.

Ah, well. I enjoyed my night out. Maybe I'm weird, but it doesn't bother me in the least to do things by myself like that. Yeah, it would be nice to have someone to hang out with, but I am sadly short of friends who live close enough to go play at the drop of a hat. Besides, it was nice to just get out of the house and drive in total silence for a while. It helps to recharge the batteries, ya know?