Saturday, August 29, 2009

Nattie's Bday, and another princess

We had a fun night for Natalie's birthday. It was a good day overall, but tonight was a lot of fun. Brett, Lacie and Kami came over. It was nice to see her with both her mommy AND her daddy, and happy to be around so much family.

We had a driveway fire in Mom's fire pit (that I borrowed without asking. Is that stealing? Nah, I'll return it before they get home and they'll never know. What? She reads this? DOH!) We roasted some hot dogs over the fire for dinner, and then made s'mores. Yummy.

We played with Kameron a lot and she was very obliging, smiling and chattering. So much fun. When they first arrived, we got some toys out and played with her while Brett, Lacie and Natalie took a short walk. Kevin decided to make a crown for our little princess.

Wow. What a great night.

Natalie got a new camera, and she's thrilled. What she wanted for her birthday was to have a fire, roast hot dogs, and make s'mores. The camera was a bonus, and something she's wanted for a long time. She's always gotten the hand-me-down cameras that have a problem of some kind. We'll see what kind of pics she comes up with. They really have some VERY reasonable digital cameras now.

OK, I'm out. Gotta finish letting the Chiefs break my heart. COME ON, BOYS!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Quik Trip

I loves me some QT. I don't think you get it. This isn't "favorite grocery store" love, and it's not "favorite route to work" love. I LOVE QT. If you don't have a Quik Trip in your area, I pity you.

They have the best CHEAP cappuccino and mocha in the world. The fountain drinks are better than any fast-food joint, and half the price. You can get ANYTHING there...I SWEAR it! I could stop by for a mocha and pick up an engine block for a 69 Impala.

That's not the attraction, though. It's the service. I work in customer service, and it is a big thing for me. Treat me right, and I'll come back. Treat me bad, and you've seen the last of me. QT has H&H-type customer service.

Tonight, I had to stop in at QT. When I walked in, the cashier (who was busy) looked up and said "Hi! How you doin?" I smiled and gathered what I needed. When I approached the counter, he said, "Hi! Can I get anything else for you?"

Yeah, THAT'S what I'M talkin' about. I paid and started toward the door. Cashier dude did a *bit* too much. He said, "Thanks! See ya later! Have a good night! Come back soon! See ya then!"

I'm not kidding. He said all of this. QT dude? I'm coming back. You're awesome. You always offer up the best of the best in customer service. Chill a tiny bit more. I'm not complaining: Too much is better than too little. Just have a great night, OK, QT dude? Enjoy your evening. Have a good night. Have a good day tomorrow. I hope your kid graduates. I hope your car morphs into a Jaguar. I hope MY car morphs into a Jaguar.

See? There can be too much. I still love ya! Keep on doin' what you're doin'. QT has it figured out.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Mom tried to warn me

She told me this would happen. Eh. Who listens to their mothers?

Someone talked about trying to teach their child to tie her shoes.
Someone talked about their toddler having problems learning to "potty."
Someone talked about a cute thing spoken by a child with a lisp.
Someone talked about the first day of school, ever.
Someone had to look for a binkie for an hour to quite her baby last night.

I heard all of these things within the past week, and I cried. I miss my babies. No, I don't want another. I've moved on to loving on a grandbaby and keeping my sleep. However, I miss my babies.

My girls are awesome. They are smart, fun, and funny. They are a joy to be around and so easy-going.

But I miss my daughter's lisp, OK? I miss fun, bubbly bath time. I miss tiny arms hugging my neck.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


OK, I'm a skeptic. Monica has professed to be a vegetarian many times in her life. Cook some burgers and she's done. Monica has said that she wants to join a group at school, and the first time it's boring, she's done. Such is the life of a pre-teen.

So, when Mom gifted the girls a guitar over a year ago, I didn't expect much. They both played with it a bit, but not enough to matter. Strum, strum, done. In fact, it fell a few times, and now has some problems.

Monica has shown a recent, renewed interest in the guitar, but we're gun shy. However, Kevin and Grammy found one at a garage sale, and the price was right, so they bought it. It's a birthday present, 3 months early, but she was happy.

Now, I've heard all of my kids trying out instruments over the years. It usually hurts. I'm a good enough mom to hang in there and say, "Wow! You're getting better!" Tonight, Monica wanted to play something for me on her guitar. "Fine," says I, "let's do it." She wasn't 30 seconds into it before I freaked.

"I know this song! It's from the Seinfeld finale'!" She looked at me like I grew a third eye. However, I was right. I thought it was "Time of Your Life" but it's "Good Riddance." But, it's the SAME SONG! It's Green Day! I can hear what she's playing, and I RECOGNIZE it!

I know, it's my kid. But, she's self taught with NO parental help (Kevin and I can barely play the radio, OK?) and I'm proud. Don't know the song? Here it is:

Wow, what a cool night for me. Most folks will be bored with a "Look what my kid did!" post, but I can't contain myself. She's gonna do something.

Oh, and for my Mother...Monica complained today about her finger tips hurting. I said, "My mom says that you'll have calluses and it will be better." She said, "really? That's gross!" I said, "Yeah, but it makes you a better guitar player." She said, "Awesome." and ran giggling from the room. Yeah, Mom, you finally got your guitar player.

I'm so mad!

Not really. I'm not mad at all.

However, some people tend to be mad ALL.THE.TIME. Why? What purpose does it serve? I would think you'd waste a lot of energy, and be quite unproductive, spending all day being an angry jerk.

Everyone gets mad. It's a given. Heck, I get mad, too. I also plan to never let it run my life. I don't want to ever let anger rule my decisions. If you get angry, take a few minutes to yourself to breathe deeply and calm down.

Chances are, you can rise above, and let the person you're mad at stew in their own stupidity.

I'm just sayin'.

"Can't we all just get along?"

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Kevin's coming home

We took Kameron over to Connie and Bentleys so Connie could take her pictures. She got some real good ones. I can't wait to see all of them.

It's been a lazy afternoon. Tomorrow, Natalie and I will get up and clean house. Monica spent the night at a friend's house again, so it's just the two of us.

Kevin is coming home tomorrow. He's had a real good time, and got some much needed rest and relaxation. Well, except last night. He went out and played cards with the guys and got back to his mom's house at 3:00 am! I asked if she grounded him, and he said, "almost." LOL

I'm glad he's coming home tomorrow because the yard needs mowed real bad and I can't do the bank. Maybe I could, but I'm a big chicken. That bank is steep!

OK, back to the things that Natalie and I do when we're alone together. Over eating, watching mindless TV, running with scissors, etc.

Friday, August 21, 2009


Big changes for me at work. I'm happy and excited, but I'm whupped.

You know how, when you're cleaning house, it always gets worse before it gets better? Yeah, that's me and the front counter. I'm purging, big time. Tossed a TON of stuff, organized, cleaned, and generally made it mine. Stooping, bending, up and down from floor to My muscles hate me right now.

However, I am excited about the new stuff I'll be doing. It's a great change of pace. I will learn so much, and TEACH so much! Coolio.

Oh, and I'm going to the GA state convention next month! WooHoo! I'm excited. Too bad it's on the opposite side of the state from my brother. I'd like to see him and his family, too. Oh well, I guess I'll have to settle for Jekyll Island. Sandy beaches and sun. *sigh* How will I ever survive?

OK, time to rest the legs and maybe have an adult beverage. Then, early to bed and late to rise. That's the plan, peeps.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

An open letter to my fellow commuters

The key players know who they are:

To those of you driving 2 mph under the speed limit in the left lane: You make me very angry. I know, it's just a Neon, and it couldn't do a lot of damage, but you're getting me to the point of wanting to see just how much it *can* do! Move over! There is room in the center lane. No need to keep me away from home any longer than necessary. I like my home. It's happy there.

To those of you who drive with 2 feet: Your brakes will suffer, and the flashing brake lights make the rest of us think something is going on up there. There is no need to keep jacking with us. We don't think it's cute.

To the guy in the blue Blazer: Wow. That was impressive. I still don't know how you stuffed that thing between the concrete median and the car, but you hit neither, and get the award for evasive driving. However, if you'd pulled your head out of that dark place, you wouldn't have needed to do so. Still, kudos on saving the paint.

To those of you with the turn signals on for miles: You turned it on. Remember? 4012 miles ago, you turned that blinker on to signal a lane change. If you turn it on, turn it back off, OK? If we think you're trying to merge, we'll make room for you. 2 minutes later, when we realize you're only a dork, we'll speed past you and give you "the look."

To the cell phone users: Get a hands-free headset, or hang up. Seriously. You weave, you slow down, you laugh and you talk. What you DON'T do is get on home. Just hang up and drive, loser.

To the folks picking their noses: We see you. You're surrounded by glass. We see you, and we know what you don't know. You need to buy some tissues for your car, OK? There, I said it. Someone had to.

To the smart ones: Thanks. I appreciate the fact that you choose the appropriate lane for your speed. I like that you let me in when I came down the ramp. I like that you signal appropriately and slow down when you see brake lights, without slamming on your own brakes, unnecessarily. You are my friend.

Yes, you all know who you are.

Thank you, and happy commuting!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Single Mom

I am a single Mom for a bit. OK, I'm not fooling anyone. I am NOT a single Mom. However, I'll play the part of one for several days.

As a single Mom, I did all I could do. It was never enough (in my mind) and I failed miserably (in my mind.) However, Brett turned out fine. I can do it.

Kevin has gone away for a few days. He needs it REAL bad, so it's awesome. I came home and started hanging with the girls. All was good. And then...And THEN...

And then it got ugly. Monica said this...Natalie did that...holy CRAP! OK, let's just all get along, OK? Not that easy? Hmmm.

Big changes at work (for the better) and Kevin being gone, it's time for me to figure this out. Kevin's been home for months, and dealing with the day-to-day nonsense, and I sent him away. WHAT WAS I THINKING? Just kidding. We'll be fine, and he needs the time away.

New plan: Natalie has "sanctuary" in my room after school. Monica has "sanctuary" in the guest room. Both have a door that closes, and a TV. OK, separate from each other and get along until I get

I don't think they're totally on board with this plan, but I have to make it work. Seriously, they are TOO old to fuss at each other like this, and I'm NOT willing to tolerate it. If the grumbling continues, they'll be going to bed at 8, and what teen/preteen wants to do that?

Yeah, I'm going down. I know. Kevin will be home soon, right?

Hey, Kevin? Fix this, OK?

Love you!

First Day of School

Woke up at 3:30 and never got back to sleep. Oh well. That'll make for a better night's sleep tonight, right?

The girls are back to school this morning. It's Natalie's last year in elementary, and Monica's last year in Jr. High. They're excited and happy to be returning and seeing all of their friends again. They packed their lunches last night and everything.

They both wanted their hair colored again before school started, so being the procrastination queen that I am, we did it last night. I thought Monica would do red again, since hers had been fading a bit, but she wanted dark brown, and so did Natalie! They both came out pretty good, and they're happy with the results.

Today, as is the tradition, I will take them to school. That may make me a few minutes late to work, but I warned them. Tradition is tradition, right?

Kevin goes to the Dr. today to find out what they'll do with his shoulder. Then, he's heading South. I suggested that he go down and spend some time with his Mom, and just take a few days to visit family and friends. His trips are usually rushed and stuffed into a weekend, and there is no reason to cut this one short.

He's going stir crazy, being stuck at home, can't work, nothing to occupy his time other than puttering around here. I didn't suggest he go down there...I *insisted* he go down! LOL I told him to get out. I think he's happy that I did. His mom is thrilled, too.

Geez, what do people do with this much free time in the mornings. Mom? You get up ridiculously early, right? I guess it's a good day to play Yo'Ville, since I haven't been getting on there in several months.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

It's a tasty weekend

I had planned to relax this weekend. Actually, I plan to relax every weekend! I've been very successful at it this weekend, though. I also had some tasty produce from Mom that I had been thinking about. I woke up this morning with an idea.

We don't fry much of anything around here. However, once in a great while, we have fried potatoes. It's been months and months since we've done so, and I decided to make them this morning...with a twist.

I added to the big, cast iron skillet (passed down from my Grandma Wood) potatoes, butternut squash, onion, and bell pepper, all fresh from the garden. It just doesn't get any better than this:

It was awesome. The whole family decided that it was the best fried potatoes we've ever had. It could be because it's been so long, but it really was good.

After playing with Kameron, watching some TV, and just relaxing, I announced that it was time for my nap. I like to get a nap at least once every weekend, but it hasn't been happening the past several weeks. Boy oh boy, did it happen today. It was a great nap, too.

Brett woke me up so I could say good-bye to the baby when it was time for her to be returned to her Momma. They left and Kevin mentioned quesadillas. Kevin makes some AWESOME chicken quesadillas, so the girls and I were instantly "on board" with this plan.

First, he puts the seasoned, shredded chicken breast on the tortillas:

Then he adds some cheese. This time, we used mozzarella, since it's what we had. I like all cheese. I'm a fan of cheese. Please pass the cheese.

Finally, after a bit in the oven to let them get all melty and gooey on the inside, lightly crispy on the outside. Here is the result:

What? You say This whole entry sounds like a house full of lazy food-addicts? So? What's your point? This is the perfect Saturday, as far as I'm concerned. I wonder what we'll have for a late-night snack?

Friday, August 14, 2009

What a week!

Wow. It's been a crazy one. I'm glad to greet the weekend and have a couple of days to sleep late, watch a race, get a nap, and cook some goodies from Mom's garden.

Big work changes coming next week. I'm excited, and I think it's going to be a very positive situation. More to come on that later.

Brett and Kameron came over to visit and spend the night. It's not his weekend, but any time I get wind of her Momma needing a sitter, I jump all over it. Brett and I both welcome every minute we can get. She is awesome and fun and is currently snoozing away. Next weekend, she'll get her first professional portraits taken. I cannot WAIT!

We're making the girls go to bed at a reasonable time, to get prepped for school. They've been on a cycle of staying up super late, and sleeping past noon. That will never do when school starts. 6 am comes very early on the first few days of school!

I hope everyone has an awesome weekend. I know that I plan to!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Guest Blogger

Today, I'm turning my blog over to Monica. Who knows what will happen, but she's going to tell you about her experience last night, going to the Green Day Concert with her grandma. Every time I ask about it, she looks off into the distance and says, "It was AMAZING." in a dreamy voice. Maybe you'll get more out of her than we did. OK, Monica, let 'er rip!

Okay so I went to Green Day last night! I loved it. On the drive there, we were sooo excited. I remember we turned on a road and there it was. The Sprint Center!! We parked on the 5th floor of the parking garage! It was a long walk down there, so we took the elevator. We went one floor down, and about 5 more people jammed in there! It was crowded.

When we got inside the Sprint Center, Grandma bought me a shirt. It is so cool! This lady who worked at the Center asked if she could take our picture. There's a huge screen thing hanging from the ceiling in the arena area, and the picture was supposed to show up between bands, but we never saw it.

Franz Ferdinand opened for Green Day, and they were SOOO energetic. It was a good show. As soon as they got off, the lights came on. Probably so you can see where you're going to get to the bathroom or something. Anyway, I was watching the screen and someone put up "Look at the bunny!" Everyone looked at the stage and there was a guy in a bunny suit and the bunny was supposed to be drunk. It was kinda funny.

Then Green Day came on stage. Billie Joe was HILARIOUS! He said, "The Sprint Center is cool! And it has a good name, because 'Running At An Alarming Rate Center' would be weird!" I laughed so hard! They opened with "21st Century Breakdown" and then "Know Your Enemy". Then they played old school GD songs. I knew all of the songs except for two of them. I rocked out so hard!

If you've heard the song "St. Jimmy," you would know that Billie sings "And thats my name...... And don't you #!^&%*% wear it out!" Well my friend Collin went, and Billie paused a LONG time after "thats my name" and Collin yelled the rest before Billie did! It was funny.

We left about half way through the last song and when we got out, Grandma said something to me, and I could barely hear! It was muffled. LOL We walked to the parking garage that was across the street and rode up to our car. I had an amazing time there. Thanks so much to Grandma and Arick. I hope I can see Green Day again sometime!

-- Monica :]

OK, folks, there you have it. I added the links for her, but the rest is hers. I'm glad she had so much fun.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


Today almost kicked my ass, but I won at the last minute. Seriously, I was on the ropes. A last minute jab-jab-hook and I won! WoooHooo!

Monica is at the Green Day concert with my mother. Yes, I have an interesting (or weird, to some of you) family, but it works, OK? It just works that my mother in her 60's goes with my 20 something nephew and my 13 year old daughter to see Green Day at the Sprint Center. Whatever.

Natalie and I are hiding in the "mom cave." That's my bedroom, to the rest of the world. Yes, I have a computer with me. Yes, I have TV to watch. Yes, Natalie is tossing a baseball into the air (about 6" up, not too far) and catching it, and will surely die. However, the mom cave is in my bubble, so it's all good.

We had an employee appreciation lunch at work today. My employer does this several times per year. You get fed for free, and get to spin a wheel for cash. The least is $5, and the most is $250. I won $25 today! See? That's what gave me the power to whup Wednesday.

I'm going to do some boring stuff on facebook, now. I'm just sayin'.

Monday, August 10, 2009

What's the big deal?

What's so great about facebook? Seriously, it's just another way to waste time, right? There's Mafia Wars, Yo'Ville, Farm Town, Quizzes galore, and just a lot of nonsense. I know my trailer trash name, my gangsta name, and what Family Guy character I am. Nonsense.

When someone hesitates to sign up, because of the above reasons, I have to agree with them. A lot of it is pure, grade A crap.

  • I have found some long-lost high-school classmates and reestablished relationships with them.
  • I see what's going on in my Georgia brother's life.
  • I have learned a lot more about some coworkers that I don't see outside of the lab.
  • I have kept current on the lives of my favorite customers.
  • I am reminded of birthdays, in order to keep from looking like a forgetful jerk.
  • I have something to do with down time, especially in the winter.

So, yeah, it can suck some of your time, if you aren't careful. However, there are a lot of good things to be found on facebook. Pick the parts that appeal to you, "ignore" the rest, and have a good time. I am so glad that I found it.

Sunday, August 9, 2009


We had a ball last night with Lee and Michelle. Lots of laughter and good food and fun. Thanks, guys.

Today, I was awakened at 8:00 because Monica had prepared breakfast in bed for us! What a treat. I watching my CBS Sunday Morning in bed, sipping coffee. I've since been watching pre-race stuff from my cave, errr, I mean room. I have butternut squash fries in the oven and a cold can of Diet Rite by my side.

I see a nap in my future. It's lazy, but it's good.

Saturday, August 8, 2009


July spoiled us rotten! It was mild and wonderful with cool, crisp mornings. We enjoyed it, and talked about it, and saved money by turning off the a/c.

August, you ugly beast! You make us smell bad and hide out inside and feel miserable. The heat index should never be 105!

You are not my friend, August. October will return to me, though. It always does.

Friday, August 7, 2009

I could cry

I have to stop and appreciate a few things in life. I have a great family, I get to go out tomorrow night with friends (have I mentioned that we NEVER go out?) and my dog is finally flea-free. Yeah, those are good things.

What I'm talking about now is my customers. I have a TON of customers. Seriously, I talk to many folks a day, and they are all awesome. I'm referring here to a few select customers. I don't think of them as customers: I think of them as friends.

There's Sheila, Michelle, Wilber, Jason, Ed, Lucia, and I could go on. There are many customers that I consider friends. If I left H&H (and I won't) I would keep in touch with them, or miss them dearly. This is a story about one of them.

Sheila sent an email to me today. She had three questions, but there was another paragraph, embedded in the middle of this email, that blew me away. She said that she knew something was wrong. That she knew I wasn't myself. That she hoped I was OK. I cried when I read it. She rocks.

I called her tonight. Yes, I called her, at 7:30 on a Friday evening, just to chat. We had a great chat. She is the shit. I'm just sayin'. This isn't just a customer, this is Sheila.

Yes, my friends, I am fine. I'm better by the day, and life is good. I found my mojo, and it feels good to be me again. Thanks for caring. Thanks for worrying about me, although I hate causing worry.

Kevin and I will meet up with Sheila and Neil REAL soon, for a weekend outing. It will be inexpensive and fun and wonderful. No, it's not the Memphis trip that we planned with them, but it's still a chance to have a great time with great people.

I'm ready. I am *so* ready.

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Brief update

I got through 4 of 5 days this week. I'm winning! 1 day to go.

Brett got his first check today. He was beaming. He paid his phone bill, repaid a loan to us (for fuel), and is taking care of immediate needs. Good for you, son.

Kevin had a great birthday. It would be a whole post to tell about it, but he had fun, and was happy.

We're going to have a date-night on Saturday. It'll be awesome. We NEVER get to eat out, so we're stoked. BWF Michelle and her hubby may get to go with us. Even better.

We had a great time with Kameron last night. She woke up at 2:00ish and was planning to stay up and play. I finally woke Kevin around 2:30, and she was up until close to 6! He had the best time with her that he's ever had. They bonded a lot. She knows that a full house beats a flush, and she's seen youtube videos galore. Yeah, they were online.

Although he lacked sleep, he had a ball. When he dropped her off at Brett's this morning, she fussed and reached for him. Go Kevin! He finally has her heart like I do. Wow. She's so fun.

OK, I'm off. Just checking in, actually. I am having a great summer, and I'm ready to relax this weekend.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

What's in a perfect Saturday?

Yesterday may have been the best day ever. It didn't feel like it at first, though. Work-bud Melodie gifted us some bedroom furniture, which was awesome. I love this set, but DANG is it heavy. We woke up early to start moving furniture around and cleaning. Wore me OUT.

When we got done, Grammy arrived. She came for the weekend because Kevin's birthday is on Tuesday. With here was my 23 year old son Jonathan (no, I'm not old enough for that...he's my step-son, so stop calling me old, OK?) and my nephew Steven.

Grammy had brought some home grown peaches-and-cream corn, as well as some zucchini and yellow squash. She had black berries and made a cobbler, and I went to mom's to get some tomatoes. The zucchini and squash, corn-on-the-cob, and marinaded chicken breasts all went on the grill.

While Kevin was cooking, Brett brought Kameron over to see us. Brett and Jonathan don't get to see each other much, so it was a treat. We all laughed and talked while Kevin grilled. Jonathan and Monica took turns strumming on the guitar, and my heart started smiling. At dinner time, we put the leaf in the table and added a couple of folding chairs and desk chairs to fit everyone in.

I cannot tell you how great it was to have everyone together around the table. The food was awesome, but the company and laughter was perfect. Kevin and I smiled through the whole meal. After dinner, Jonathan went home with Brett for the night. It's good that they enjoy hanging out together.

We enjoyed the rest of our evening with Kami and a movie. I have a couple of pictures from dinner, but I hadn't reset the color balance on the camera, so they're pretty crappy, but I'll share them anyway.