Friday, August 29, 2008


Have you ever known of a place where you were always welcome, no matter what? Where the door was always open, and there was a cold Coke waiting for you in the 'fridge?

That's been my Mawmaw's house for as long as I can remember.

You could sit with her in her driveway, shucking freshly picked corn, and find out every bit of small town gossip within 20 minutes. Give her another 30 minutes and she could find out every single thing going on in your own life.

Every Christmas that I can remember, we've had a huge family lunch at her house. Aunts, uncles, cousins, nieces, nephews- everyone came to Mawmaw's house. Her eyes always had a way of lighting up, each time a family walked through her kitchen.

I remember her wanting to have cookouts on July 4th, because that was my grandfather's favorite holiday, even though he was no longer with us. And we did. But the fun didn't really start for us until dark. Her yard was always the best for catching fireflies. And she always had a jar for us to put them in.

As much as she may have loved her family, she loved God more. She could and would quote scripture like no one I've ever known. Every decision she made was carefully prayed over and she would keep praying until she knew what God wanted.

My mom was visiting last Friday. She got the call. The one we had all been dreading. Mawmaw had taken a turn for the worse. We left that day and drove back to Memphis to be with her.

My Mawmaw died on Monday night.

And a piece of my heart went with her.

I know that she is no longer in any pain. I know that she is with my Daddy Robert. I know that Heaven has always been her goal. I know. But she was my Mawmaw.

And I loved her.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Not Interested

Since we moved to our new house, we've been getting phone calls out the wazoo about everything possible. Phone service, cable service, land treatment, surveys, etc.

The other day, this sweet lady called and wanted me to do a quick survey about our water. No problem. It took about 3 minutes and I forgot about it.

The next day, I got another call from the same company. They wanted to come out and test our tap water. Before I could say no, they offered a gift certificate to a restaurant and movie passes. I'm a sucker for free stuff, so I agreed to let them come out to do the test.

Justin was not happy. He ranted and raved about how they were just coming out to try to sell us something. He said that he would take Maddie to the park, but his bubble was shot to pieces when I told him that we both had to be present. HA! He told me that if I answered "yes" to anything, he was gagging me.

I told him that no matter what, I would not buy anything that this guy was selling. I would not agree to getting a new filtration system, even if the salesman went into detail about every pharmaceutical and solid wasted product that is in our water.

Even as I promised him, I remembered when my college roommate and I had a makeup consultant come to our apartment. We promised each other that no matter what, we would not buy anything.

Two hours later, we were both several hundred dollars deeper in debt and certified BeautiControl agents. I still remember that woman's name. Ugh. She got us.

There was no way that was going to happen again.

A few minutes after the water man got to our house, Justin conveniently got a phone call and went to the bedroom. The man was going over everything that could possibly be in our water and said that he would wait to go over the rest when Justin got back.

I asked him if Justin had to be there. He said yes. That he would need to help me make the decision on getting this super expensive water filtration thing. I guess because, you know, a woman needs help making decisions on her own.

I took a deep breath. I knew what I had to do.

"Can I be honest with you? We can not afford this. We don't even have a refrigerator, yet. Which is why I want the $25 gift certificate to the restaurant of my choice, that was promised to me. No obligation to buy. So, he really doesn't need to be in here to help me tell you that I'm not interested." But please don't get mad and forget to give me my free stuff.

"Thank you for letting me know, up front. We are short staffed and there are lots of other stops I can be doing. Here's my card and your free gifts. Call me if you ever find yourself interested in this product or sick from all the contaminants in your water. I'll show myself out."

And, that was that.

As I was drinking my non- filtered water, I had an epiphany.

Telling someone "no" is a lot easier than I thought. And a heck of a lot cheaper.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Old Man Dan

Our neighbors' yard is immaculate. Pristine, some might say.

Our's, well, is not. It's new, though, and will take some time to get established. We understand that. I'm afraid our neighbor does not.

A couple of weeks ago, we hired someone to cut the grass because we don't have a lawnmower yet. He told us that he would do more weed eating next time, and take care of the bigger stuff.

We were fine with that.

Our neighbor was not.

Two days after the yard was mowed, I drove up and our neighbor was in our ditch line, chopping the weeds. Our weeds.

He approached Justin later that day and offered to cut our grass two times if Justin will clean their carpets once. Since we own the carpet cleaning business, we figured it would be a win-win situation.

Fast forward to last Saturday. I look outside and see neighbor Dan outside, wielding a weedeater. Then, I see his wife and 8 year old grandson walking the yard, picking up rocks. His son in law takes over the weedeater and Dan hops on the lawnmower.

2 hours pass, and he is still cutting the grass.

Sounds great, right?

In a way. Not really.

Here's the problem. Dan is elderly. I mean, really elderly. And, since he's had 3 hip replacements, he has problems getting around. I think he may have other health issues because he can't carry on conversations very well.

So, imagine my guilt when I see him outside working his tail off, in my yard, while I watch a marathon of America's Next Top Model.

But, when Justin talked to him that day, he said that he liked the work and he didn't have anything else to do. We let him. He wanted to do it, right?

When I left to go to the gym this morning, he was back- shoveling out the rocks that Justin and I threw in the ditch when we were seeding the yard.

That old man better not keel over in my yard.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Inexcusable Horror

I vaguely remember Justin telling me about a girl that he used to date in high school. Now, I can't stop thinking about her.

This is one of the most recent articles written about her in a local paper:

Woman accused of attempting to suffocate daughter By JAMIE DEXTER The Leaf-Chronicle

A Dickson, Tenn. woman faces attempted first degree murder charges after she allegedly tried to suffocate her daughter, according to an arrest warrant signed by Montgomery County Sheriff's Investigator Julie Webb.

April Lynette George, 32, who gave a Dickson, Tenn. address, was booked into the Montgomery County Jail Friday and charged with two counts of criminal attempted first degree murder and one count of aggravated child abuse. She is being held without bond.

George's daughter told investigators she woke up on July 23 to her mother holding her hand over her nose and mouth, Webb wrote. When her daughter struggled, George released her.
Later, the daughter told investigators, George drove her to Rotary Park and inside a restroom, attempted to again suffocate her, Webb wrote. When her daughter struggled, she slammed her head against the wall in an attempt to knock her out, Webb wrote.

George told a nurse at Gateway Medical Center that she tried to kill her daughter, Webb wrote, and she tried to knock her daughter out so it would be easier to suffocate her. The daughter's age was not given in the arrest warrants.

Justin received a link to this article from a friend of his. She remembers George being abused as a child, but this in no way makes it okay or excusable. Frankly, it makes me sick to my stomach.

The little girl is 8.

She will remember this.

And, there is no telling what else she remembers. Or will remember as she ages.

My prayer tonight is for the little 8 year old girl that I can't get out of my head, who probably has lots of questions. The little girl that knows that her mother, the one who is supposed to love and care for her no matter what, tried to kill her.

And, because I kinda feel obligated, I'm also going to pray for her mother. I sincerely hope that she gets whatever help she needs. As hard as I pray that her mother gets help, I'm also praying that she never gets custody of her daughter again.

Her daughter needs to feel some sense of safety. It's a shame her mother can't provide that.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, August 15, 2008

Righteous Indignation

While eating dinner with our friends:

Maddie: "Mommy- You forgot to get my drink."

Pepaw (Friend's father): "Here, do you want some of my Coke?"

Maddie: "Peeepaaaaw, Coke is junk food and I don't eat junk food."

At which point, she turned to her plate and promptly ate the rest of her dinner of Cheetos and a hot dog.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

From Grumpy To Happy In 10.5

It started out to be a good morning. I got up early, cooked pancakes, got dressed for work- the birds were pretty much chirping at my windowsills.

Until- I did something that I always dread doing, and avoid it at any costs.

I had to wake her. My normally sweet, loving child is a not so sweet or loving child if she doesn't awaken on her own.

But, it was something that had to be done. Today was the day that she has been waiting for since May. The first day of school.

I tried to make some noise in the kitchen, so she would think she woke up on her own. No such luck.

I turned on every light. Nope.

I dug through every unpacked box, trying to find my camera. Which I did find, but it didn't do the job.

I sat on her bed and gently said her name. Guess what I got- the look of pure, unadulterated meanness. Then she rolled over and tried to go back to sleep.

It took 10 minutes to get her out of bed. I received pleas for 10 more minutes, orders to leave her alone, and lots of grunts. I finally told her that I was going to call her teacher and remove her from the class for the entire year.

Apparently, the thought of staying home with me for another day was too much for her to handle and she promptly got out of bed, got dressed, ate breakfast, brushed her teeth, and grabbed her book bag and waited for me at the door. Pausing only long enough for me to attempt braiding her hair just like Gram does it.

Fashion diva that she is picked out every outfit that I bought for the school year. This girl's got style!

Why don't you leave, already?

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Monday, August 11, 2008


Maddie has a new obsession with money. She finds a penny and carries it around all day long, saying "I'm rich" over and over.

She also asks for a new toy/coloring book/anything she sees that she deems "cool" everytime we go to a store. And, I hate feeling like the bad mom because I don't every cheapo notepad with Hannah Montana she wants.

So, I decided that it was time to teach her some responsibility about money. And it helps me out with my most hated chore. Making the bed.

If Maddie makes her own bed, with no help- I give her a quarter.
If Maddie doesn't make her bed- she gives me a quarter.
If I help her make her bed- no quarter for either of us.

Then, she is allowed to take the money that she has earned and purchase something with it. I'm trying to teach her to save it, instead of spending it immediately. My method for that is telling her to put it in her piggy bank and then claiming that I don't know how to get the money out. I'll work on that later.

She likes earning money. I like not having to make her bed. It's a win-win.

However, lately, she's turned the tables on me.

"Mommy- my book is in my room. Will you get it for me?"

"You can go get it. You know where it is."

"I'll pay you a quarter, if you do. But if I do, you have to pay me."

"Um. No. It doesn't quite work like that, my dear little swindler."

So far, she's offered me money for getting her milk, opening yogurt, and putting the dvd of her choice in the dvd player.

I haven't actually taken any of her money for doing, you know, mom stuff. But, if business doesn't pick up at any of my or Justin's jobs, I'm not above getting paid from my four year old.

I'll just pay the mortgage one quarter at a time.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Cable Guy

I don't do well with waiting. Waiting in line. Waiting on Justin to put on his shoes. Waiting for Maddie to do what I tell her to. Waiting . . . waiting. . .

Waiting on the cable/internet/phone man to show up on Saturday.

His scheduled appointment time was 8a.m.- 12p.m. He showed up at 3.

I waited to take a shower because I didn't want to miss him. I waited to take my mountain of laundry to the laudromat, which is a completely different story. I waited all freakin' day long.

And, since I was desperate for my connection to the outside world, I was even nice to the man when he arrived. It wasn't easy.

Doorbell rings- I open the door.

"Hi there! I'm selling magazines today. Are you interested?"

"Um, no."

"In that case, I'm here to install you cable and stuff." Dude- not funny. "Where did you want the hook-ups?"

"In the office, living room and master bedroom. The wireless modem can just go in the office."

"That's not the office- it's the living room." This man with a mullet is telling me about my house design?

"No- that room in there is living room."

"Nope- that's the den."

"Whatever- just those three rooms. M'kay?"

"You know about the charges, right?"

"Yes, $140 today and the rest on Monday when the phone is hooked up."

"Nope- Somebody gave you the wrong info. I'm afraid it's gonna be right at 200 buckaroos." Great, just what I need to hear. More money.

"HAHA just jokin'. Gotcha, huh?"

"Look- it's been way too long without cable. Way, way, way, too long without internet. Why don't you cut out the comedy act and get to work, so I can take a shower, go wash my clothes, and try to pick up a shift at work so I will have enough money to actually pay you?!?!"

Okay, that last part where I lost my cool didn't really happen because I'm smart enough to know not to bite the hand that gives me internet.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Hindsight Doesn't Provide High Speed

Last week, when I was getting everything switched over to our new house, I received some horrifying news from the phone company that also handles my internet.

"I'm sorry, high speed internet is not available in your area."

The phone slipped silently from my hand. I walked around in a daze for about a day. Then I called the cable company.

"We'll send out an engineer to see if we can provide this service to you. Someone will call in 3 days."

And they did-with more bad news. They can't do it either.

So, I found another provider and they are scheduled to come out on Saturday morning. That means we will have been without a computer and television since last Friday. In fact, right now I'm at my friend's house, using her internet for my blogging fix. For the second time this week.

If I don't get internet of my own- and soon- I might lose my mind. And all 10 of my readers.

You know, this is something we should have checked into before we bought this land. That and the fact that Target is 25 minutes away.

I'm perishing as I type.

Stumble Upon Toolbar

Friday, August 1, 2008

I'm Baaa-aaack

It's official.

We're out of the apartment. The apartment that we've lived in since we got married. The apartment that Maddie spent her entire four years trying her best to destroy.

And from the looks of things, she did a pretty good job of it. Justin and I even played a game named, "Name that Stain."

It was bittersweet for me, packing all of her things. And, by packing, I mean throwing away or donating the majority of it. That was the sweet part of it. The bitter part was the keeping of all the little junk, because I knew she would be devastated if she knew I got rid of her $.25 plastic ninjas that she gets every time she sees a toy vending machine.

I thought I would be sad, leaving the apartment where so many memories were made. But, to be honest, I've been too busy to even really think about it. And now that I have a minute to reflect, I am a little sad. But only about no longer having a swimming pool at my disposal.

I'm in a house, Y'all!!!

Now, who wants to help me un-pack?

Stumble Upon Toolbar
Website Content and Copy:, 2007-8.
Blog Design by JudithShakes Designs.