I’m All About Randomness

A new friend of mine, thanks to the wonderful world of blogging, tagged me in what I’ll call a Mini-Meme.  The purpose is to tell seven random things about yourself and then tag seven other bloggers.  I’m not sure I can do both, but I’ll give it the old college try.  (I think I’ll use a college other than my beloved Mississippi State and their Bulldogs for inspiration right now.  I still love ’em, but success is the end result I’m going for.  Poor Bullies….)

Okay, so here we go.  Seven random things:

  1. I don’t ride roller coasters.  Much to the dismay of my husband, I am a big chicken when it comes to these rides.  Most of them.  The last time we were at Disneyworld, I rode the Tower of Terror — which DID terrify me.  If you’ve ever ridden it, you know how loud it is, what with ALL the screaming.  I must have hit a whole ‘nother level because the stranger sitting next to me actually yelled, “Lady, SHUT UP!” right in my face.  I did not take it personally because (a) I was scared out of my wits and convinced death was waiting at the next drop, and (b) seriously, in a park that size, he and I would likely never meet again.  I also rode the Rock-and Roll roller coaster, but I closed my eyes the whole time, so I missed all the cool stuff that people tell me is worth the ride.
  2. I was born two months prematurely and weighed 3 pounds, 4 ounces, and at one point I dropped down to 2 pounds, 15 ounces.  I arrived in December, a couple of weeks before Christmas, and stayed in the hospital until sometime in January.  According to my mother, her uncle came by the hospital that Christmas afternoon and asked how I was doing, and she told him that I had gained an ounce or two. I was up to around three whole pounds.  He said, “Oh, golly…I ate that much in turkey alone today.”  Believe me, I’ve more than made up for my scrawny beginnings.  And how!
  3. I do not enjoy manicures or pedicures.  Manicures are always messed up before I climb into bed at the end of the day, and I have the ugliest feet in the free world and can’t stand the idea of someone having to fool with them.
  4. I adore a good massage, and if I had tons of “fun money” to spend, I’d pay top dollar for massages two or three times a week.
  5. I love coffee but only drink it in the cool/cold months.  Otherwise I’m hot all day and have a terrible headache.
  6. When I was little, I wanted to have a different job every day.  As I recall, I wanted to be teacher, a nurse, a ballet dancer (because of the pink tutu), and a cashier at Big Star.  I wanted to punch all those buttons!  If you’re keeping count, that’s only four careers.  Well, duh.  As I told my parents, “I don’t think I want to work on Fridays.”  Ambition…it withered at an early age.
  7. I actually like the smell of puppy-breath.  (Can I get an AMEN, Sister Upside Brown?)
So there you go.  Seven random and completely boring tidbits about me.  Thanks, Melanie, for the tag.  If anyone reading this wants to play along, please feel free to join in.  Be sure to leave me a comment so I can pop over to your blog and check out your random disclosures.
Here are the folks I’m tagging:
To Walk on Fertile Ground,
The Farmer Files
Lemon Living
Naturally Caffeinated
Just Jootie
The Eekhoff’s Plain Life
2 Farm Angels
I hope your Tuesday isanything but random!

Tater Tot’s Church Confession

Tater Tot and I went to my mother’s house late Saturday afternoon with our little bag packed so that we could spend the night and have all day Sunday to visit and play.  

We got up Sunday morning and went to church at First Methodist.  It was wonderful to be home for church, and Poopsie was tickled to death to have her only grandchild with her.  I’ll just go ahead and say it.  The little fella was looking CUTE in his little smocked shortalls and saddle shoes!  And he’s very much a people-person, so the fact that folks were coming over right and left to hug and kiss on him did not bother him one bit.  He managed to do his fair share of hugging and kissing right back.  (He’s only two, but he knows how to work a crowd.)

Eventually, the service started and he seemed to be perfectly happy.  He grinned.  He snuggled up to Poopsie during the prayers, and he tried to sing along with the hymns. He made eyes at the people behind us.  He colored on the bulletin for a few minutes.  And when he started talking I was able to say, “Shhh….let’s whisper,” and he whispered!  For a two-year-old, he was pretty well-behaved, and I was about to give myself a little pat on the back when it happened.

Just as the preacher was getting ready to launch into his sermon, the church got very quiet for a few seconds.  The silence was broken, not by the preacher, but by Tater Tot, who said, “Mama?  I tooted.”

Now, I want to be very clear here.  He did not yell when he made his announcement, so I’m not sure the entire congregation heard it.  He simply told me what had happened in his normal little boy voice.  But in our church, with its soaring ceiling and large space, his voice carried just a smidge.  The people right around us certainly heard it, and that’s when you could hear the sound of muffled laughter and pews shaking.  The folks in the choir loft must have enjoyed watching our little section try to compose ourselves because they appeared to be tickled, too.  (Surely, they couldn’t have heard Tater Tot’s confession, could they?)

I don’t know when we’ll go back to church with Poopsie, but when we do, I’m sure we’ll find her right where we left her.

Hiding underneath the pew.

People Say the Darndest Things


I actually did a lot of writing today, but it’s LATE and I’m having such a hard time focusing that I’m going to have to stop proofing and editing and all that jazz and pick it back up tomorrow.

However, I will share something that I overheard today while running errands.  It just struck me as funny, but it may be one of those You-kinda-had-to-be-there things.  

I was in a shoe store this morning, and there were a couple of ladies shopping together and discussing nearly every shoe VERY LOUDLY.  It was obvious that one of the ladies was on a mission to find some shoes and her friend must have been simply along for the ride.  

The shopping friend was offering suggestions and getting turned down right and left.  The shopper-lady was giving a running commentary of the pros and cons of nearly every available pair of shoes.

At one point I overheard her say, “Now you see this shoe?  This is one I could just slip on my foot and then go.”  

I swear.  That’s what she said.  And all I could think was, Pray tell, what else would you do with a shoe?

I’ll catch up with you later in the day, I hope, so please stop back by.  (You know, if you want to…I mean, you certainly don’t have to….but I’d love it if you did.  Unless you just hate what I’ve written, and then I would feel terrible that you wasted your time….)

See why I need the sleep?  I’m walking in circles, folks.  Just walking in circles.


He Is His Own Night-Light

About a week ago we had the most wonderful cool spell where the highs during the day were in the low 80s and the nighttime lows were in the upper 60s.  There was much rejoicing.  The dogs, even old-man Zeus, frolicked and had a little extra pep in those paws.  For the first time in months I didn’t hear a single person ask, “Is it hot enough for ya?”  That alone called for its own little happy dance.

You would think that with the lower temperatures showing us some love and all we would’ve turned the thermostat down a little, especially at night.  However, I am married to a man who is almost never cold and if he is cold, it’s either temporary or he’s as sick as a dog.  In the dead of winter, this man might go to bed in pajama pants and a tee shirt, but it’s only a matter of time before he starts complaining about how hot he is.  We live in a house that dates back to at least the 1860s.  In most parts of the house, there is no sub-floor; take up a board and you see dirt just 36 inches below you.  THIS HOUSE GETS COLD!

In all of my wordiness, basically what I’m saying is that Tater Daddy likes things on the cool side, and I have to agree that I’d rather be a little cool than hot.  So even during the recent cool spell, we didn’t change the thermostat setting very often, and even then it was only by a degree or two.

Tater Tot’s room is the smallest in the house and it is also the one that stays the coolest.  Because I didn’t want a frozen Tater Tot – we have enough in the freezer, thank-you-very-much – I decided to dress him in the new pajamas I got him for late fall and winter.  I’d stumbled upon a sale several weeks back and got 2 pairs for the price of one.  They’re not Gap pajamas (the softest PJs ever) like I usually buy, but they were Carter’s and I’ve always been pleased with their clothes.  And did I mention the great sale?

After his bath, I dressed him in a short-sleeved tee shirt and a pair of his new pajama bottoms.  Let me tell you, folks, he was C-U-T-E in those little white pants with alligators, lions, and elephants!  Talk about an excited little boy.  Woo-wee, he was tickled with his new pajamas!

After we read our books, I turned out the light and that’s when it started happening.  Gradually, Tater Tot’s pajamas were beginning to glow in the dark.  Soon I could see the neon yellow outlines of all of the animals on those little pants.  Tater Tot was so out of it that he didn’t even notice that he was all aglow.  I wanted to laugh and it took everything I had not to just let loose.

I’m not sure that I’m going to dress him in these pants all that often.  But I might hang them somewhere in Tater Tot’s room.  That way I can unplug the little nightlight that he already has and save some electricity, too.

He May Be a Tiny Bit Confused

Last night I was putting Tater Tot to bed, and after we finished reading several books and saying our prayers, I turned off the light and started rocking him.  He’s gotten into the habit of trying to prolong going to bed by asking me to tell him a story.

“The bears, Mama?  Pweeze?”  or “Pigs!” or “The Ark, Mama?  The an-mals, pweeze!”

I opted for telling him about Noah’s Ark.  Quite frankly, if I had started telling about the three bears one more time yesterday, the story would’ve ended with old Goldy becoming a skilled bear-hunter and bagging three of ’em.

Anyhoo, I got to the part about the animals on the Ark and we were naming some of them.  Tater Tot offered up the ones you’d expect him to know….”el’phants, hippos, fwoggies, tuttles,” etc.

And then he offered up these celebrity Ark stowaways.

“Barneys, Big Buhds, Cwiffuhds.”

Hmmm…. We seem to have our Bible stories mixed up with our PBS stories.

Going Home

Last weekend, my graduating class held our 20th reunion.  Our planning committee has been working since March to get everything together, and my role in all of this was to take care of the mailings — newsletters, reminders, registration forms, etc.   It was time-consuming to enter 200-plus names and addresses, print the labels, stuff the packets, label the packets and get them mailed.  At times it was frustrating because we couldn’t locate “lost” classmates or because the pictures we needed for our slideshow weren’t coming in.  And sometimes it was inconvenient to attend committee meetings that were an hour away.

But I’ll tell you something else.  It was worth it.

I can’t remember when I’ve enjoyed a weekend so much as last Friday and Saturday, and it was a little surprising.  The last two weeks have been so hectic, what with trying to get that darn slideshow to come together, that I haven’t really given the people who were coming to the reunion much thought.  I had an RSVP list and I read it at least 50 times, but only to make sure that I’d done everything possible to find pictures of those people for inclusion in the slideshow.

I finally took a deep breath after dropping our son off to stay with my mother while my husband and I attended Friday night’s come-and-go tailgating party next to our school’s football field.  All of a sudden it sank in that many of us were about to see each other for the first time in 20 years.  Twenty years!  It sounds like such a long time, but it doesn’t feel like that much time has passed since we gathered at the same football field for our graduation.

We had around 245 people in our class, one of the largest graduating classes our high school has seen.  We were made up of black and white students from all parts of the socioeconomic spectrum.  As I recall, there were three elementary schools in our county.  Two of them fed into one grammar school (grades 5-8), but the other one went all the way from Kindergarten through 8th grade.  After that, everyone went to the same high school.

Many of us started in Kindergarten together and knew each other all the way through school.  Others of us didn’t meet until we were freshmen but became fast friends once we were all in one “tank.”  Whatever the case, my point is that we spent so much time together in school that we couldn’t imagine there would come a day when we would need name tags because we might not recognize each other.

It’s hard to describe how excited — truly excited — I was to see my classmates.  Even I was taken aback by it.  Everyone looked wonderful!  Just wonderful!  Most people hadn’t changed much at all and I was surprised how many times I heard or said, “You don’t have to tell me who you are!  You look exactly the same!”  

The smiles on people’s faces were so sincere and so genuine that I wished for the ability to make time stop for just a little while.  We hugged.  We laughed.  Oh, did we laugh!  We did a lot of Do you remember the time in Mr. Smith’s class when….. and then we laughed some more.  People moved around in the crowd and talked to each other and made the effort to speak to people and catch up.

Several of our classmates traveled pretty far distances just to come back for the reunion.  One couple came from Ft. Worth, another from just outside of Tampa, and another came from Columbia, Maryland.  Just to see old friends.  It’s hard to explain how or why that touched my heart, but it did.  It told me that after twenty years, old friends still mean something.  The place we all knew as our hometown still means something.  And every now and then, it’s worth something to come back.

With the exception of one or two folks, and I suppose every class has a couple of them, no one came with an ego to stroke.  No one came to see whose life hadn’t turned into the fairy tale.  No one relived old grudges or held on to petty jealousies.  

What do you know?  We grew up, after all.

For all of the people who did come, there were a lot of our classmates who didn’t, and we truly missed them.  What’s strange is that most of them live either in town or within 30 miles.  I’m so sorry they didn’t come to Friday’s get-together, and I wish they knew how much they were missed and how many people asked about them.  

The crowd slowly dwindled down, and eventually I had to leave and join my husband, who’d left earlier to give my mom a break, and pick up our little boy.  As I drove from the football field to my parents’ home, I thought about growing up in that small town that I still love so dearly.  I remembered weekends of “cruising the square” and wondered how many miles I put on my mother’s Honda Accord from that activity alone.  I remembered Homecoming Parades and riding along that same street in my father’s 1961 MGA convertible, trying not to fall off the back.  (I actually did fall out once, but that’s for another post.)  I passed the old Sonic and remembered going there after school with my friends.  The new Sonic is on the same strip, and I wondered if the “cool” people still park on the far side.  My husband and I still laugh about that, and to this day, we drive all the way around to the far side of any Sonic we happen to go to!  He always says, “I wonder if this is the cool side?”  Maybe that’s just a small-town thing, and though I live in a large city, I am most definitely a small-town girl.

I pulled into my mother’s driveway and sat there for a minute before going inside.  How many Friday nights had I done the same thing — hung out with friends and then made one last drive down the main drag of town before turning off at what was then the town’s only stoplight.  (Okay, we did have two stoplights, but the other one was just a 3-way.  The one I’m talking about is what everyone knew as the light.)

As I walked inside, I was glad to prove the old saying wrong once more.  

You CAN go home again.

Technology Strikes Again

The last time I posted I was trying to burn the ridiculously boring slideshow onto CDs for any of our classmates who were willing to shell out $5 for it.  

As it turns out, there was a HUGE glitch in burning the slideshow. I’ve nagged all of my computer-guru friends AND I made a trip to the Apple Store, and I’m here to tell you that I managed to stump my new best friend forever, John, who was the poor soul who asked if I needed help.  Talk about a loaded question.

The big glitch was that when I inserted a disc and asked my Mac ever-so-politely to burn, well, it copied pretty much everything on my computer and burned it onto the disc.  I tried it “seven different ways to Sunday” and the same thing happened every time.  The good news is that my computer is backed up on about 9 discs.  The bad news is that I’m STILL not done with the slideshow.  We’ll have to mail it to the people who signed up for one.  The other good news is that my new BFF, John, took such pity on me that he offered to help me turn the slideshow into a jazzy, snazzy, and downright pizzazzy little movie later in the week.  Bless his heart.  He just has no idea what he’s gotten himself into.

For the purpose of having some sort of slideshow for Saturday night, the bare-bones edition worked fine.  We ran it from my computer on an enormous screen behind the DJ and it played over and over while people came in, and people seemed to get a kick out of the old pictures.

I’m just sick that I didn’t have the copies ready for people Saturday night, but these people knew me 20 years ago when using anything other than a touch-tone phone made me break out in a blotchy rash.

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