Like the Olympics, once every 4 years, this extra day. We should make it something special, instead of just a regular day. Right? of course. It should be a Free Day. No school, no work, or if you do work you should get paid double time like you would on a holiday. I recognize that I have more latitude toward taking a Free Day than most people. But I didn’t.
Being a Wednesday, there’s Prayer Group. Every Wednesday from about 11:45 until 1:00 or maybe 1:30 or sometimes 2:00 on to 2:30, depending on the need, a group of ladies from church (plus one from The Primitive Baptist Church) meet at Peaches’ house and we pray for stuff. Each other, our kids, marriages, husbands and their work, whatever it is that is weighing and needs help. I thought about skipping it today, for about 6 minutes, because it’s February 29 and should be a Free Day. However, I went, because one doesn’t pray when one feels like it. One prays when one needs to, is led to, and because somewhere in the Bible we’re told to. It’s talking to God, sharing concerns, shouldering a bit of the burden for someone else because burdens are easier to carry when they’re shared. It’s an eclectic group. The oldest member is The Primitive Baptist, at 83 years old. There’s a couple of women in late 50′s, a couple late 40′s, a couple late 30′s, and 3 newest members in their early 20′s. Including one with a 3 month old baby who loves to pass wet farts right in the middle of confession. It’s kinda hilarious because his mother will be confessing and we’ll all hear phphphphthhttttttt then mom will say “good grief” and everyone will giggle.
Afterward, Peaches wanted to borrow the baby (a delightfully pudgy little boy with pumpkin cheeks) to model a couple of girl dresses she’d made- fancy baptismal gowns full of lace and pink ruffles. So he got dressed up in them and promptly stuck out his bottom lip and started wailing. Little Fella did NOT approve of pink ruffles and a lace bonnet.
Then lunch, always nice on a Free Day, but restaurant wait staff should totally be tipped extra for working this day. I discovered that one can order rice with whatever curry sauce poured over the top…and for a mere $4, I got about 4 cups of rice with about 2 cups of massaman curry sauce….SO GOOD SO DELICIOUS and enough left I can have some for dinner! Woohoo! Next time you go eat Thai and you’re feeling stingy, ask for rice and curry sauce, all the flavor and none of the price!
So anyway, along with the Free Day concept, I was planning on not cooking supper, just eating the leftovers from lunch. They’re all big boys, they can scrounge for supper. I made a loaf of bread, so they can have a sandwich. there’s milk for cereal, there’s ramen noodles, and bean soup left over from the other night. Plenty of food for everyone. Terry has a meeting tonight so I wasn’t going to be bothered. Then he called and said he didn’t feel like going to a meeting and will come home. Only I don’t have anything planned. I reckon he’ll get a sandwich, too. Because it’s a Free Day. Or it should be.
How come we don’t celebrate this day? We have stupid holidays for every other thing. Is it because it comes between Valentine’s Day and St. Patrick’s Day? Those 2 days are Hallmark Holidays anyway. I know here near Savannah St. Patrick’s Day is a BIG Deal, with parades and they dye the river green and everyone gets plastered on cheap green beer and the police pass out drunk-and-disorderly tickets only to the people who actually throw up where other people want to walk. But for the rest of the country, the parts that aren’t pretending to be populated only by Irish immigrants, I wager St. Patrick’s is no big deal. Some people wear green, and that’s about it. I think Leap Day Free Day, since it comes only every 4 years, would be a much better holiday…except for Lent, and all those people who gave up sweets or booze or meat…but being a Free Day, maybe it wouldn’t count. Which defeats the purpose of giving something up, I guess. Whatever.
what would i do with a completely Free Day? There has been a facebook conversation on my page about it, that whatever you do on February 29 is automatically GONE at midnight. This was started by an attorney friend,and makes me think of Jubilee- that once every 50 years when all debts are cancelled. I like the idea. What would i do if I knew at midnight all consequences and memory of it were erased?
Hm….I’d drive fast, eat Hagen Daz icecream sandwiches and fried chicken and macaroni and cheese. I might walk naked down Main Street. Ok probably not. But I’d think about it.
What would you do if you knew all consequences and memory of it were erased at midnight?
Filed under: Uncategorized
I like to wear aprons. Being a messy sort, it keeps me from having to change clothes just to go into town. I have a fairly large selection. David has given me one for Christmas the past 2 years. One says “Your opinion is not in my recipe” and the other says “Life is too short to cook for you people.” The others are all phrase-less hoity-pa-toity ones from Williams-Sonoma that have the nice long thingies I can wrap around my waist and tie in front. I like them because they have generous thingies that work with a zaftig figure such as mine.
Anyway, now I have this fancypants new sewing machine that does embroidery, and I want to make an apron. It needs to say something. I am thinking a title of some sort. Terry has suggested “Domestic Goddess” but I am too modest for such. I am considering “The Queen”, but I am also fond of biblical verses that reference food.
In my kitchen, along the soffit on one wall, is the phrase “they wander about for food and growl if not satisfied. Psalm 59:15″ In the psalm it refers to the enemies of Israel outside the gates of Jerusalem, but I think it is appropriate for the kitchen of a person who has 4 sons.
So I found another one, Proverbs 30:8 “Remove far from me vanity and lies: give me neither poverty nor riches; feed me with food convenient for me” KJV
The bit about food convenient for me is particularly charming.
I am, however, looking for other phrases, or titles, or anything that would translate well onto an apron.
CJ called and asked if I’d go to Savannah with him. How sweet is that! He chose him MOM to go to the Party Town of the East Coast, instead of one of his goober friends! So of course I went.
As we were leaving the house, I said the phrase I ALWAYS say when leaving, “Don’t blow anything up while I’m gone!” and was given the standard answer, “We’ll try not to!”
We went to the Bass Pro Shop and looked at guns, including a .357 mag revolver with a 7 inch barrel. He called it ridiculous. Then we looked at a .500 Desert Eagle. He hooted and said “Yeeah Maw, I’ma git me one-a them and then I’ma go git in mah Hummer with the 36in rims an’ go home and feel sad about mah little bitty pecker.”
Then we went to the tobacco shop and looked at knives, where he noticed a great big (14 inch long and 4 inch wide blade) knife with a hand tooled sheath and asked me why anyone would wear something like that on their belt, and I replied that it was meant to balance the Desert Eagle in the holster on the other side. “Ah” he said. “That makes sense. There sure are a lot of people compensating in the world, aren’t there.” Yes son, there are. Of course, being 20, he still tends to have Penis on the Brain.
After the Mall we went to River Street (Savannah’s Tourist Spot) and apparently there was a Cheer Competition because there were quite a few early-mid teen girls wearing very sparkly makeup and humongous glittery bows in their hair wandering around looking perky. We ate, wandered a bit in and out of store. The art store had a lot of really nice prints, including a section of movie stuff (“Mom, why would someone pay $150 for a Twilight poster?”) and a section of nudes (“Look Mom! Boobies!”). Then we came home.
As I pulled on to our street I saw a collection of firetrucks in someone’s driveway. “Oh no, ” I thought. “They’re in Mr. R’s driveway. Poor man, he’s had enough trouble this year without that, too.” Then I thought “No, they’re in George’s driveway. He doesn’t need that aggravation.” Then I realized OH SHIT THEY’RE IN MY DRIVEWAY…HOLY MOLEY WHAT DID THEYDOITOLDTHEMNOTTOBLOWUPTHEHOUSECJWAKEUPTHERE’SAFIRETRUCKINMYDRIVEWAYOHSHITIHOPENOONEISHURTOHNOOHNOOHNO and I pulled up in the yard (so as not to block the firetrucks).
David came running to the car grinning like a cheese eater and said “It’s ok Mom, no one is hurt and the house is fine.”
I gathered my wits (Thank You,God, that no one is hurt) and David filled me in a little more. “Dad had the propane heater on in his Cave, and the gas line ruptured right at the valve. He kicked it out into the yard and yelled at #4 to call 911, then used the water hose to cool the tank so it didn’t explode. Then #4 remembered the fire extinguisher in the kitchen and got that, and put out the fire. By the time the fire chief (who lives right up the road and heard the call on his radio) got here, then the fire truck was here about 5 minutes later, the fire was out, but since they were all in their suits and made the call, they decided to stay and make sure.”
I walked into the backyard, and there was a patch of burned grass about the size of a large dining table, with a blackened small propane tank in the middle of it, surrounded by 6 firemen in full fire uniform suit, and the fire chief (in a tshirt and jeans, it was his day off) and Terry, standing in a circle with one of the firemen holding a garden hose, squirting water on the tank. It was a funny sight and I wish I’d had the forethought to take a picture.
Terry told me later what had happened. Apparently the line from the heater to the tank was dry-rotted and ruptured,and the gas caught fire, shooting a flame out right at the valve. He kicked the tank into the yard (because the cave was full of sawdust and a cabinet full of fine bourbon) and used the water hose, not to put out the fire because that would not have worked, but to keep the tank cool so it didn’t explode. The firechief complimented him on his quick thinking, then wandered into the cave and saw The Cabinet…the one with the 50in flat screen, refrigerator, microwave and bourbon, the rocking chairs and coffee table…and said “Wow. Nice Setup.” Eventually the other firemen wandered in and were also impressed. Terry apologized to them for calling them out on something so small, but they were all “well, this is the most excitement we’ve had all day, so it’s fine.”
I TOLD them not to blow anything up!
And I am REALLY proud of #4 for making the 911 call and remembering the fire extinguisher!
Poor Terry was so rattled by the adrenaline rush he had to take a Xanax.
But all is well, we had a bit of excitement, and something to talk about for a few days.
Terry is pretty sure I am going to write a post making massive fun of him for it, but I am not. Instead I am going to brag on his presence of mind and cool head in a crisis.
Filed under: Uncategorized
My hands look really old. They say you can tell a person’s age by their hands, more than their face and I believe this. I have very few wrinkles on my face, but the hands show every single year, all the digging in the dirt and callouses from holding rakes and hoes and the burns and scars from doing everything these hands do.
I am not ashamed of them. Vanity has never been one of my weaknesses (for instance, the bottle of foundation makeup I have is 6 years old and only about 1/3 empty), and while I recognize when someone has beautiful hands I do not really wish for them myself, because in order to keep them that way I’d have to give up everything I really love doing. That is not happening.
But, every now and then, like right now, I catch an objective look at them and see how much like crepe paper the skin looks.I’ll notice the short, chipped nails and the dirt under the corners of them. I’ll see the chemical stains and notice a cut from the rose bush that I didn’t see before.
I have tough hands. I honestly do not feel it when I get a cut or a burn. I’ll see the blood, or the peeling skin and do something about it, but tender, they are not.
They are, however, dexterous. I actually kind of love my hands. They are more indicative of who I am and what I am capable of than any other part of my body. They can play the piano, sculpt a face, sew tiny stitches or open a jar of pickles. I can plant the tiniest arugula seed (seriously, arugula seeds are TEE-NINEY!) with an even distribution or tap out a solid 70wpm on the keyboard. I can use them to express tender love, or anger, or or show reverence or contempt. I think I could wear a mask over my face and you would still know exactly what I’m thinking,by watching my hands.
I have my mother’s hands. They’re in a box on the fireplace mantle. (I’M KIDDING!). Rephrase. I have inherited the genes for hand size and conformation from my mother. They’re small, with dainty nails that do not shape well into long nails, so I keep them cut short. Also short nails are much easier to keep clean. I rarely wear nail polish, but when I do it is a subtle color. usually. Right now I am wearing this ridiculous glitter stuff that I bought on a whim and isn’t really fitting for a 46 year old woman, but I don’t care. It’s fun.
They’ve been through a lot, these hands. There are little half moon scars on the tips of 4 fingers of my left hand, from holding a tomato and slicing a little too close. Dad always kept the kitchen knives razor sharp, and my left hand testifies to this.
Last July, Terry bought me a new wedding band for our 25th anniversary. It’s platinum and set with small diamonds. It’s really lovely but made me a little nervous, because I always work in the garden and rarely remember to do things like taking off the rings (so I just don’t wear them at all),but I also disliked not wearing a band because it felt like I wasn’t wearing a bra, or maybe I was advertising to the world that I wasn’t married. So, he bought me another one- stainless steel, and it is perfect! Cheap enough that if I lose it I won’t panic, and wide enough to let anyone know that I’m married. Then I had hand swelling issues, so he bought me another one, one size bigger. So there’s all sorts of bands now, for any occasion, and my left hand isn’t naked.
What do your hands say about you? Sometimes I wish I was like Ozma of Oz, onlyinstead of changing out heads depending on my mood, I could change out hands, and occasionally have really pretty ones.
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So here I was bragging about the weather in the Deep South and how fabulous it is this time of year (true) and how I can drive around with the top down on the convertible (also true) and all that…
and we’re under a tornado watch. It’s thundering, the sky looks ominous in shades of grey and green. The patio furniture, which is teak and VERY heavy, is blowing around. I had to tie a brick to the puppy to keep him from sailing into the neighbor’s pool.
It’s February, folks (in case you haven’t noticed). According to the weather widget, right now at 2:36pm it is 81F degrees (or do I say 81 degrees F or do I just say 81F?) and that translates into 27C degrees (or 27 degrees C or 27C) and breezy. Windows open, all of them. Curtains flapping a little and dogs yapping at every single thing they hear, not being used to hearing much because the windows are generally closed this time of year. Also usually closed in the Summer due to heat.
Nice, right? Yes indeed. This is why I love living in the South. Winter is a couple of weeks in January when I am required to wear maybe a sweater, possibly a couple of shirts and a pair of socks. The rest of the time flipflops and a polo shirt do nicely. This is what makes the Summers, with the 95-100F temps and 95-100% humidity, worth enduring. This is why all my life I wanted a convertible, and why Terry with his inability to deny me anything I want, got me one. We needed another car anyway, so why not?
The weather causes the garden to beckon. My seed order from Pinetree Garden Seeds arrived a couple of days ago and I’m-a itching to get planting, but first need to make sure there won’t be any arctic blasts to do in tender snow peas and salad greens. The cold frame is assembled and ready to plant stuff under. Terry has made noises about getting stuff to put together a small greenhousy type thing on the patio, so I can start tomatoes, peppers and such-like. Oh yes, I am excited about gardening!
We’re supposed to get rain and a little cooler the next several days, which means I should be planting snow peas right now instead of writing about planting snow peas. The seeds are an experiment this year. I bought only heirloom varieties, those old plants that are pre-hybrid. I want to see how they grow. The snow peas are a variety from India with big purple flowers and gold colored pods. Never tired those before, and I like purple flowers. Also, the theory is that being from India, they might do well in this climate. I’m planting poona kheera cucumbers, also Indian, and quite different from the “normal” green cukes we’re used to here in the USof A. I’m growing other stuff, too…Crosby beets (I LOVE a green smoothie made with beet tops and pineapple!), garlic chives, salad burnett, and tall telephone peas. I haven’t decided on tomatoes yet, but I am pretty sure I’ll want Brandywines, because they are delicious and meaty and make great sandwiches, and Sweet 100′s, because I can eat them like candy, and some sort of paste-making thing like a roma variety.
You know, there is no optimist like a gardener in the early Spring.
Filed under: I see old people, Not another Change!, Sometimes she thinks too much, spouse | Tags: retirement, Spouse
So, I was reading Bella’s blog and she’s talking about settling in with her husband’s retirement. It got me to thinking about Terry’s retirement in 20 years or so. Initially 20 years sounds like a long time, but then I remember that we’ve been married 25-1/2 years and how quickly that has gone by and suddenly it feels like it is right around the corner.
Then I wonder what it will be like. Terry is really looking forward to it. He has worked full time, sometimes more than that, since he was 12. First farm work, then jobs in high school that paid for college, then worked during college and so on. He has always worked more than the standard 40-hour week as long as we’ve been married, and always always talked about how much he looked forward to retirement so he could do the things he wants to do-woodworking (hoping for a granddaughter so he can make a dollhouse, and pretty furniture), restoring an old truck like the one he built in high school (a 1955-56-57 Chevy), stuff like that.
I am wondering what it will be like to have him around all day. Will I do like my mother does with Dad, and allow him to come inside for meals? I remember how Dad worked the way Terry does- always doing something, and how happy is is now that he’s retired. He’s still always doing something, but it’s what HE wants to do, not what an employer wants.
The problem is, I am used to being home alone all day and honestly, I like it. What happens when Terry discovers exactly how lazy I really am? What happens when he finds out that my method of cleaning the house is “Get the major stuff that everyone notices and close the door on everything else”? Somehow, I don’t think he’ll really care, but I don’t like the idea of being found out, either.
Mom was the same way. A housewife, she relished her days alone while Bro. Scott and I were at school. She particularly liked those days that he had track and I had after school band or choir practice, because it meant an extra couple of hours. I am understanding that, now that #4 has soccer that lasts until 5:15 and I only have to drive him and teammates once a week. When that’s all done (in 2017, when he graduates and *hopefully* goes off to college)I’ll (assuming the older boys have finished college and left home) have days alone like that all the time. As a loner, I am looking forward to it. Also, as a loner, I am wondering how I’ll handle Terry being home all day.
Bella says she sometimes feels like sticking a fork in her husband. I understand that. I am wondering if we’ll have to switch to eating grits with a spoon all the time, and get rid of forks and knives entirely. Right now I don’t feel like sticking a fork in Terry, because he’s not around much (though to his credit, and The Owner’s, he IS working more humane hours and I am really happy about that). Maybe like Mom I’ll have to keep a long list for Terry, of stuff that has to be done outside in the shop, and only allow him to come inside for meals. I am sure I will really enjoy his company and take full advantage of it initially, but how long until I’m ready for him to spend his days in the shop, and I’ll say “no thanks” when he asks if I want to ride to Lowe’s with him? How long before he gets into the morning habit (like Dad) of running errands that inevitably include an Uncle Shug’s chicken biscuit?
It was kind of funny this past weekend, at the cabin in the woods. Terry was up by 6, and busy by 6:30. He is so used to getting up and hitting the floor running that even in such a peaceful setting, he had to be doing something…splitting wood for kindling, straightening things, DOING THINGS. He is not really wired for doing nothing. Even when he’s watching the race (oh…and race season starts this Sunday!) he is doing something, drawing plans, sorting things, putting things in places. This is why he has a big TV in his shop/mancave/multipurpose building in the backyard.
So, retirement in 20 years. Looking forward to it, nervous about it, yep, all that.
Filed under: Awesomeness, Hooray!, I feel so smart!, oh you self indulgent hussy!, Rest and Relaxation, spouse
Friday, I packed. Saturday morning we (Terry and I) got up early, and were out the door and up the road by 10 after 7! Bliss!
We went here and stayed for 2 half days and 1 whole day, blissfully doing absolutely nothing more stressful than soaking in the hot tub or splitting a bit of wood for kindling. I cooked a little bit, which involved grilling a couple of pieces of meat and dumping some salad from a bag onto plates. Then we soaked in the hot tub again. Then watched a movie, poked at the fire in the fireplace, and soaked in the hot tub again.
It was cold there, and rainy, and the hot tub was surrounded by windows so if we’d remembered the bathing suits we could have opened the blinds and watched the rain, but I was all Presbyterian and Nervous about someone driving by (which actually happened, once…someone drove by, that is) and seeing us in the altogether soaking in that hot tub and being traumatized by the sight (of 2 middle aged Not So Slims naked in a hot tub)…where was I? Oh yeah. The blinds were kept tightly shut, all the way around the cabin so if we’d wanted to we probably could have spent the entire weekend COMPLETELY NUDE. But we didn’t, because someone had to go out and get firewood, and doing it in the buff would certainly guarantee that a Baptist funeral would drive by. Terry did go out once in his pajama pants, a t-shirt and unlaced hiking boots, looking a bit like a character from Li’l Abner…and that was the one time a car drove by. He went back out 2 hours later, and the same car drove by from the other way.
I had always wanted to rent a cabin in the mountains, and spend a few days, but never had. However, now we have and I highly recommend it. It was quiet. There was no decent cell phone reception. It was cold thus piling into the bed and snuggling close was necessary (and fun). I fantasized about selling our big barn of a house once all the kids leave home, and getting a place like that little cabin. 850 square feet, that’s all, with everything a person (or two) requires, AND a hot tub!
Terry liked it so much that he announced we would do it a couple of times a year. I liked it so much I thought that was a splendid idea. You know what’s crazy? Well, I thought it was crazy…the whole thing cost about as much as a decent Holiday Inn room. AND they supplied the wood and housekeeping! Crazy! To think that for the past 25 years I wanted to do this, and never did because I was certain it would be ridiculously expensive. Well, it wasn’t and it was MUCH cheaper than marriage counseling!
Filed under: Uncategorized
no, I didn’t watch the Grammys and that isn’t a commentary on my son’s truck. Which is actually running well but has aquired a set of crinkles in the back bumper that he swears he has no idea how those got there. not that it matters, he pays for his own insurance and doesn’t even live here, but as a mother I notice these things.
No, the title refers to my joints. Noisy things, they are,popping and powing and making all sorts of alarming noises but the funny thing is, it feels GOOD when they go POW, doesn’t hurt a bit! They don’t particularly hurt beforehand either, they just kind of seize up and get stuck, then I stretch or twist and then POW like my own little percussion section with an unpredictable and poorly trained sense of rhythm.
I am looking forward to a bit of BANG POW this weekend. It will happen, one way or another. I’ve rented a cabin in the mountains for the weekend, and Terry and I are planning on going up there and DOING NOTHING (that I can write about in a public forum). NO CHORES. There is a fireplace with provided firewood. A DVD player. Woods and trails and he says there’s a cool old hardware store in the town nearby. We both love cool old hardware stores, no telling what you’ll find there.
IF something comes up with work to prevent him from being able to go…and he has done everything within his power to make sure it won’t but you never know…there will be a BIG BANG POW all over the head of El Presidente (because anything that happens like that is always HIS fault, and I am not just saying that) and then I’ll go anyway, because the cabin is paid for. But not until after I visit the firing range and take some aggression out on the target with a high powered rifle borrowed from a son. We both need this, this getting away from everything for a couple of days. I do not believe in ‘staycations’ because, even though they sound great and make sense, it’s not relaly a vacation for me, since I am at home all day anyway. A ‘staycation’ is just more work,because everyone is here, making messes and needing food.
Filed under: Uncategorized
Ok I just about have the fancypants sewing machine worked out. Right now it is chugging away at a monogrammed pillow sham. A while back, when I was pretty sure we were going to sell this big barn of a house and get something smaller and easier to keep clean, I bought a bedspread because I knew that a nice bedspread would make all the difference in the way our bedroom looked without having to get rid of the 1990′s furniture because all those Sell Your House shows on HGTV say get rid of outdated furniture and put in something contemporary because people who are looking at houses are incapable of seeing past the ugly dresser to notice the 2 large closets and pristine hardwood floors because apparently people who are househunters are complete idiots.
So anyway, the bedspread is kind of pretty, in a contemporary sort of way (I am more of a vintage quilt cottage look sort of girl but the furniture is definitely not cottage) and has lots of colors in it, blues and tans and a burgundy reds and some greens and all. So plundering though the thread drawer, and making some mistakes on choices (Old DMC thread has a spun core and is lousy for embroidery because it shreds, but the new stuff has a continuous polyester core and works nicely)and screwing up a few pieces of cloth due to not knowing what to do, but it’s no big deal because I’ve got something like 40 yards of the stuff on a roll and now I think By George I’ve Got It! I hope…eventually I will figure out which fonts work and which don’t and in what size an all that stuff…I sure am glad this fabric is free…
So the shams. I am making 2. One is kind of feminine with a floral flourish and in a BlackAdder font that’s kind of swoopy and curvy. The other one is a very angular masculine font, using the same colors as mine but with a square frame in 3 colors because when I asked Terry how he wanted his he said “Make it so anyone who sees it will know that a MAN sleeps there.” so it’s in black with burgundy and a kind of browny green frame. The fabric is a soft khaki twill (also a color in the bedspread)
I am writing this as it embroiders away, happily stopping and giving a cheerful chirp when it’s time to change thread colors and I am feeling very Privileged and content with being able to design something and have someone else to do all the real work.
The sewing machine, which also embroiders, really needs a name, something that suits a hardworking and fancypants Swedish device with a dongle. Suggestions?