I’m way behind on taking care of our flower beds.  I suppose I’ll add that to my growing list of things to do.  Earlier this morning I took a little stroll around the backyard to get a feel for what needs to be done, added, taken away, etc., and I was immediately reminded why I enjoy playing around in the dirt.

David planted these Knock-Out Roses a couple of years ago, and they’ve just about taken over one section of the beds.

When the hydrangeas start blooming, I start smiling!  This is one we planted a few years ago.

This is a hydrangea that we got from my (late) great-aunt.  YEARS and YEARS ago, she brought one of these wild hydrangeas back from Pickwick and planted it in her yard.  When she gave us this one about 10 years ago, she had a whole row of them along her fence.  They all came from the one plant.  She leaned one low branch over in the dirt, covered it up a little and then put a brick on top of it.  Before long, another hydrangea would grow.  Isn’t that neat?  This is by far my favorite plant in our yard, and if we ever move, this baby is coming with us.

I still have to get some pots out on the front porch.  I’ll probably fill them with New Guinea Impatiens, which I adore.

Guess I should get myself to the plant store, huh?

Have a safe and wonderful Memorial Day weekend, everybody.  Don’t forget to hang your American flags Monday!


Making a Dent

The bed in our guest room has been covered with my summer clothes for a couple of months.  That’s right.  A COUPLE OF MONTHS.  Argh!  I haven’t had time to pack away my winter clothes and put them out of the way to make room for my summer stuff, so the bed has been serving as storage space.  And it has driven me nuts.  So this morning I decided to tackle it. Here’s what I started out with.

This is the armoire that holds most of my stuff.  I’ve mentioned before that our house is OLD and kind of small, and one thing that was left out of the plans was closet space.  Our clothes are all over the place around here!

And here’s the bed.  Isn’t it awful?  It made me cringe every time I went in there.

It took a little while to get things rolling (and to keep two little boys who shall remain anonymous out of the way!), but before I knew it, the bed looked like this:

And here’s the armoire.

The top shelf is still messy, but it’s just full of jeans and things I won’t wear until the fall anyway, so I didn’t worry too much about it today.  (That’s my inner Scarlett coming out, don’t you know…)

While I was going through that huge pile of clothes, I came across a few things that I’ve held on to for YEARS.  I have no idea why I can’t get rid of them, but every year I put them right back in my summer stacks.

Here’s a shirt I got when I was in high school.  Our town hosted the Tennessee Peach Festival for a long time, and I bought these shirts one year.  I must have been a junior in high school, so that means this shirt is about 24 years old.  (I can’t believe I just wrote that.  Ug.)

This is probably one of the first things I bought after pledging Chi Omega my freshman year at Mississippi State.  I just can’t let them go, but I can’t explain why.

Finally, this is a shirt David and I bought when we were in Hawaii on our honeymoon in 1994.  We came up on a vendor who had tons of shirts for dirt cheap, and we brought about a dozen home.  I have to say that, stained as it is, this is probably the most comfortable shirt I have.  Maybe that’s why I can’t give it up.

So there we have it.  One task crossed off my to-do list and one little trip down memory lane.

I’m ready for a diet coke and a nap!  Haha!

Yesterday’s Lessons

Yesterday was the first day of summer vacation.  I have a long, long list of things to accomplish over the next eight or nine weeks, not the least of which is to clean this house until it smells like Pine-Sol from the street.  My goal was to get started Tuesday and work my way through the house by the end of the week.

Here’s what I learned yesterday.

*  Cleaning the bathroom with a one-year-old stuck to your leg is impossible.

*  Switching laundry from the washer to the dryer with a one-year-old stuck to your leg will slow things down.

*  Vacuuming is a real challenge when said one-year-old likes to attack the vacuum cleaner.  (This one is kind of fun because it makes me laugh.)

*  Three seconds after you put all toys away, the one-year-old and his older brother will pull it all out again.  With gusto.

*  Going to the grocery with two children strapped in the spaceship cart seems like a good idea.  Until the younger one starts to get on the older one’s every last nerve, which will happen around two minutes after entering the store.

*  Going to the mall to buy shoes for the little one always sounds like fun, except the part where he has on the new shoes and heads for the open door.  Did you know that sales people get a little testy if you run out of the store without paying first?  Well, they do.

*  When putting clean sheets on the bed, it is inevitable that your toddler will decide he wants to jump on the bed AT THAT MOMENT.  Never mind how many times we’ve read Five Little Monkeys.  At least he knows the risks.

*  Sitting on the sofa in the middle of the afternoon with both little boys cuddled next to you while a storm passes through is far better than having a perfectly neat house.

I love summer.

Bad Old Table

Poor Small Fry.  He takes after his mama in the clumsy department.

Wanna see?

He was walking/staggering around a table yesterday afternoon and tried to take the turn a little too early.  And do you know what happened?  That bad old table jumped out and got him.

Bad table, bad table.

Relief and Ramblings

How do you spell relief?

Around here, we spell it S-C-H-O-O-L’S   O-U-T!

Oh, sweet joy, the school year has ended, and summer vacation is here at last!

Friday was the longest day EVER, but 4:00 finally came and I think my blood pressure went right back to normal.

In other news around here, Small Fry has a nasty ear infection and is so congested that he’s on a steroid to help clear things up.  He started running fever Friday afternoon, so I took him to our pediatrician’s walk-in Saturday clinic.  When we got there the front waiting room was full, so Small Fry and I headed to the smaller one in the back and prepared to wait an hour of so.  Our favorite nurse opened the door and saw us, and five minutes later we were in a room.  Have I mentioned how much we lurve the nurses and Dr. Chris?  Because we ADORE them.

Any-ol-hoo, after hearing the news about the ear infection, the doctor mentioned the possibility of putting tubes in.  This is all new territory for us.  Tater Tot has had only a couple or three ear infections, so it never came up.  If he has to have the procedure, what should we expect?  Anyone out there with some experience?

Speaking of Tater Tot, that sweet stinker is nearly potty trained.  Oh, how the joy just keeps coming!  Yes, he will be four in July and I was beginning to think he might start college in a pull-up.  I’d like to say that my potty training method finally paid off, but it’s really a shame to lie to the interweb.  Good old fashioned bribery — of the highest order — is the key, and it’s very simple:  Poop in the potty and pick from the prize box.  Skittles and M&Ms didn’t work at all, so we had to go straight to the big stuff.  We may have put a dent in that college fund, but at least he won’t walk onto campus with a box of Huggies.

People keep asking me about our plans for the summer.  Other than recovering from the past school year, playing with these boys, and visiting my mother as much as possible, we don’t have any big plans.  Every now and then I think it would be fun to go to the beach, but I’m not sure this is the summer for it seeing as how the Gulf of Mexico is full of oil.  My goal for the summer is to get this house completely and ridiculously clean.  To say that my housekeeping, which is limited at best, suffered over the last 10 months is being nice.  There are dustbunnies around here that almost look like pieces of furniture.  I don’t dare look up into the corners of the ceilings for fear of all the cobwebs I might find.  And the clutter?  Well, let’s just say the we wouldn’t make the show, Hoarders, but we’d be the first family chosen for a show called Clutterers. It’s driving me nuts, and I really don’t need to be any nuttier than usual.

I suppose I could get a jump on some of that clutter right now.

Or I could take a nap.

Which would you do?

Edited to add:  Well, I hit the publish button rather than the preview button, so this thing was published before proofing or revising.  It’s not the first time, and surely it won’t be the last.

It’s Back

Be still, my tastebuds.

And, yes, when I saw the sign, I totally whipped out my phone and took a picture.  Because I’m a nerd of the highest order.

If you need me, I’ll be in the drive-thru.

T Minus 35 and Counting

There are 35 hours left in the school year, but who’s counting?

I am.

In 5 days, I’ll be free of

*  11-year-olds who talk back to adults;

*  students who think nothing of doing the opposite of what they’ve just been told;

*  one student in particular who thinks she’s running the show;

*  attitude;

*  kids who can’t miss baseball practice and, therefore, can’t do 8 math problems for homework; and

*  playing referee to a group of students who work really hard not to get along.

A hard year, you ask?

This has been the most difficult group of students I’ve ever taught.  I’ve always had perfect blood pressure, but every time I saw a doctor this year, the numbers were elevated.  “Mrs. Tater, are you under any extra stress?” they’d ask.  When I explained that I teach 5th grade, their response was to come back in June and see if the numbers were back to normal.

The year hasn’t been all bad, and all my kids aren’t behavior problems.  In fact, on the days I wanted to pretend that I didn’t have to go to work, I thought about the kids in my class who do cooperate, who are patient with the ones who don’t, who use good manners and are respectful.  They made it easier to get out of bed.

Despite the fact that this group made me want to pull my hair out, I’m still love teaching.  Somewhere after the 4th of July, when all teachers bemoan the fact that summer vacation is almost up (a lot of us go back August 2), I’ll get that old familiar itch to get into my classroom and start fixing it up for my incoming students.

Of course, the fact that I’m teaching 2nd grade may have something to do with it.  Because have I mentioned that I AM JUST A LITTLE BIT HAPPY ABOUT IT?  It’s like knowing that the Promised Land is right over the next hill.

I do wish my students well and hope that middle school will bring wonderful experiences and even a little maturity, if that’s possible during the middle school years.

And I’m sure that these kiddos are just as ready to get rid of me as I am to let them go.

So let the countdown begin.

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