Stories


Talking about Grandma G yesterday made me think a little harder about what my actual favorite things are around the holidays, which includes her and my Grandaddy.

My grandparents loved musical, naturally that meant I did too, I LOVED spending time with them.  My favorite musicals to watch with them were Oklahoma and White Christmas.  I get goose bumps just thinking about that movie and how great it was to spend 2 hours with them in the warm house filling our eyes and ears with the yummy sights and sounds of Bing Crosby and Rosemary Clooney.  My word, I LOVE that movie and memory.

  whtchrstms_group

My Grandaddy was a WWII veteran, D-Day, Italy, Africa, the whole European Campaign, it is amazing what he experienced, though he never talked about it.  This movie resonated for the people of that era so much because it embraced that war-time feel.  I didn’t really know why at the time, but I was proud of my Grandaddy and would picture him a part of the movie at the end when the Colonel was honored with his song from Bing and the boys. 

Grandaddy and Grandma’s story is actually quite remarkable.  They fell in love through letters during his deployment.  They both went to the same church for years so they knew of one another.  When the draft began, naturally he was called up.  Unfortunately, his father took ill and passed while he was in Africa.  Grandma felt sorry for him and starting corresponding with him through letters.  For years they communicated only in writing and when he finally came home from the terrors of war, she was waiting for him.  They were married, lived and loved like teenagers until the day he died.  That’s the short of it, but no less enviable to the true romantics out there.   

Thinking about White Christmas and my time with my beloved Grandparents grounds me back to what is and always has been important.  It is funny how certain songs, pictures and movies can do that to you. So, I am hoping on my drive home from work today, I will be hoping that the Christmas Carol radio station will hold back the pop songs of my generation, and instead take me back to my most favorite White Christmas memories with Grandma and Grandaddy. 

 

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After checking Heather’s, a dear friend, blogs today, I noticed she awarded me with an Arte y Pico award.  I was stunned, especially since I envy her and her blogging style and prowess. 

Heather and I have what I would consider a long history, if you count five years as long history.  Not only was she the person who got me in the business I am in today (thank you, thank you, thank you), she helped me go from fat-ass (really I am serious) to actually living in the healthy BMI range.  We first met when i walked into her step aerobics class back in early 2003.  I was huge, sitting around 215 lbs.  As the instructor I was expecting her to be distant with me since I was over-weight, but we had a good connection even from the beginning.  I think it was our similar sense’s of humor.  As the pounds dropped off, I kept going to class and we learned more and more about one another.  She and I share a strong bond on many levels and topics from work to day-to-day life.  We became close, and eventually came to work together in our full-time job life.  it was great to have a strong, driven, and confident female to interact with. 

In addition, Heather’s blog – Finding Atman – is a daily read for me.  It helps me to see into the mind of a working mother, what I am sure will be my title.  She has great insight, and always a common sense approach that we all need from time-to-time.  Needless to say, I would consider her a great friend.

Ok to get on with the Arte y Pico award…It comes with rules, see below:

  1. You have to pick 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award for their creativity, design, interesting material, and also contribute to the blogging community, no matter what language.
  2. Each award has to have the name of the author and a link to his/her blog to be visited by everyone.
  3. Each award winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that presented her/him with the award.
  4. The award winner and one who has given the prize have to show the link “Arte y Pico” blog so everyone will know the origin of this award.
  5. Show these rules.

Ok so now I have to hold up to my end of the deal.  I have to pick five blogs.  I am not sure if that includes Heather’s or not, but just assume it does and I will move-out from there. 

1.  U-Handblog– Lisa Lam is a sewing goddess when it comes to making handbags.  She makes her own patterns and shares many of them with us her fans.  She took the leap and opened her own sewing business, of which I commend her intestinal fortitude!  She has great style and inspiration.  From London-town, I award U-Handblog my first award. 

2.  Farmgirl Fare– Susan is a future farmer’s go-to for great bread recipes, stories of farm-life and great pictures.  I am attracted to her blog because of her representation of farm-life, which I lived to some extent growing up.  From Central Missouri her sheep, donkeys, dogs and bread, keep me coming back for more. 

3.  Craft Apple – Lindie serves up some more great sewing inspiration when it comes to bags and new patterns.  I like checking in to see what fabrics she is using and any new patterns she has available. 

4.  Savage Minds – This site, developed by multiple contributors really gets my head in the game for some tough problems at work.  They provide current, up-to-date information on global issues that truly shape the direction of my daily work.  It is a great asset, I get excellent gouge from them.  Savage Minds is a collective web log devoted to both bringing anthropology to a wider audience as well as providing an online forum for discussing the latest developments in the field.

5.  Apron Strings– Judy and I have just “connected” online and share many of the same interests – sewing, animals and the simple life.  She makes some fantastic bags.  The first thing that attracted me to her site was the last picture on this post!  HA!

Alrighty!  So there you go.  I hope everyone has a great holiday weekend.  Am celebrating my 29th birthday this weekend YAY!  And running around like a chicken with my head cut-off – my wedding is in 16 DAYS!!!!  HORRAY!!!

The great and sometimes frustrating part about being a parent/step-parent (of which I will be come mid July)  is watching your child struggle without you being able to do anything about it.  Last night Josh and I experienced this dualistic roller coaster ride during Kyle’s (my soon-to-be stepson) first Little League Baseball tournament game. 

This game kicked off like no other.  For the first time ever, I heard Kyle get competitive. 

When he was rolling out of the car he asked “Hey, are we playing the Nationals?” 

We both respond “Looks like it.”

He cheered back, “They’re going down”

I lost it, it was just too funny to hear our 10 year old getting seriously competitive aggressive over a baseball game.  He is at the age where things are starting to count.  He doesn’t play baseball just to have fun anymore.  There is drive to do great and win with his team.  And undeniably, this season has been filled, like most LL Baseball seasons, of ups, downs, dropped fly balls, errors, and Strike Outs -looking (the cardinal sin if you ask Josh). 

So Kyle is out warming up with team and they are all geared up, more than normal to play some ball. 

I heard coach say “If you guys can play half as good as I coach, we are going to win this game”  Parents laugh, kids get the “What does he mean” look on their face and continue about their 10 year old business. 

Parents are a mixed bag, excited about how far their kids have progressed, complaints about the weather, and sighs of relief for the last week of school to be right around the corner. 

The boys hit the field.  No fanfare or trumpets sound, yet, but they are playing fiercely – both teams – Home and Away.  The players are serious, almost to the point of over-thinking certain plays.  “Where do I throw the ball?  Its in the outfield and the runner is already on second base” While the coaches are screaming “Throw the ball in, THROW IT!”  This game is turning out to be a true teeter-totter.  There is no dominant team on th field tonight. 

Little Leage rules state the regular game lasts 6 innings.  Are you seeing where this is going?  The sixth inning comes to an epic end.  Kyle’s team is home, so they are batting last – truly important because they are down by one.  There are two outs and the batter has a count of 2 strikes and 1 ball.  He loves that high heat.  There is a runner (our fastest kid) on third.  There is hope for the Braves.  The pitch comes in………Swing!  and a miss….ughhhh what a downer – we just lost.  The Nationals run off the field in victory – BUT WAIT!  the pitch was dropped.  The batter runs to first base and the error allows our fastest kid to get home and score the tie-run.  In the meantime the runner at second gets out at third, making our third out.  They were doing their jobs.  OK so we are all tied up.  Do we go into extra innings?  But of course!  For the first time this season, we have seen the sixth inning come and go leading to the seventh, eighth, and ninth!  History is in the making.

In the seventh inning the nail-biting back-and-forth continued but Kyle gets to bat.  He gets a walk – steals second and on to third.  The batter after him strikes out – swinging – at least they were swinging.  The next batter is up and the pitches are humming in.  A wild pitch is thrown – Kyle is taking his appropriate lead from third – then he is called back then when on the bag, told to “RUN RUN RUN!”  Guess what?  He gets out – ending the inning – that run could have ended the game.  The look of devastation was heart-breaking.  Not only his look, but the looks from the kids, parents and coaches.  I ached for him.  But we had to “buck-up”, more extra innings. 

The eighth inning came and went with more give and take.  Josh was getting discouraged.  I kept silent, looking up at him after both great plays and disasters.  I had some serious anxiety!  I wanted the Braves to win so badly. 

The ninth inning was the special one.  A new pitcher takes the top of the inning for the Braves.  Miraculously – 3 up 3 down – all strike outs.  It was awesome.  All we needed was one run. 

The Braves come up to bat – Kyle is batting second, I am so nervous I was fidgety.  Our first batter draws a walk.  SHEW!  no outs, this is good. 

Side note- Kyle has become extremely patient in the batter’s box – frustrating for me, because I want him to wallop the crap out of the ball, but oh well.  His patience paid off last night. 

Kyle takes a few pitches – he is being patient.  The batter that drew the walk was now on third.  He stole his way there.  The pitch comes in!  CRACK!!!  Kyle hits the ball and it is in the hole between the first and second basemen.  The runner comes home, WE WIN!!!

I see the coach lean over to Kyle and say “Kyle you just won the game for us”

The dejected and defeated face from his out at home-plate lifted away to looks of elation, followed by a stampede of his teammates circling around him. 

I was jumping around like a groupie, I was so proud of him. 

He was patted on the head, hugged, jumped on and cheered. 

Quotes at the end of the game were –

“That’s MY boy” – Josh 🙂 I love hearing that

“That was the best game in LL history” – Kyle’s teammate

“That was worth the ticket price” – great supportive parent

“Thank God it is over” – parent from the losing side

“Kyle you did it!; Kyle’s a champion!” 

I could have cried.  The look on his face was priceless – the camera was in the car – I kick myself now.  I will not be able to capture that look and feeling again.  That is why I am trying to write it down here.  I had to share. 

Alright folks, the truth has come out….I can’t find a wedding dress.  What did I do?  I asked Amalah

“Amalah is a pseudonym of Amy Corbett Storch. A Washington D.C.-based freelance writer. The Smackdown is published on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. You can follow Amy’s daily mothering adventures at www.amalah.com. Also, it’s pronounced AIM-ah-lah.”

I didn’t think she would answer since she is often flooded with questions about being a new mother, fertility and lately SPF.  However, she graciously blessed me with her suggestions

She came up with some super ones.  If you have any input let me know after you check out the response!  I would love to see what you have to say. 

Right now I am leaning toward the Anthropologie Pitter Patter or the Embossed Halter Beach Dress…..

So a huge plug for Amalah!  She definitely gave me a Smackdown of Advice. 

http://www.alphamom.com/smackdown/2008/05/the_offtherack_bride_casual_wh.php

 Pitter Patter Dress with light blue embroidery

 The Embossed Halter Long Beach Dress.

 

This weekend I am driving home for a couple of reasons, but primarily it is to attend a friend’s graduation from college and of course to see my Mom for Mother’s Day.  Thinking about Jessica (my friend) graduating and entering in a new chapter of her life, makes me reminiscence and think about what I was feeling and going through at the same time.  I am tempted to focus solely on the accounts of my night-before graduation party (some content editted), and i know I owe this blog a story.  Oh what the hell….

Caution:  For Audiences above the age of 21, or aspiring to be 21

Let us jump ahead about 6 years from my last story,…It is May 10th 2001, Williamsburg, VA, on the campus of William and Marythe air is sweet the weight is lifted and my roomies and I are planning a graduation party of epic proportion. 

Define epic party:  one that consists of stock-piling necessary beverages over a 2 month period, in addition to removing all carpet from each floor before the party starts. 

Oh yes, this is going to AWESOME! 

Maria, Joyce and I, in the midst of packing up our most excellent college apartment, finishing up finals find the time to prepare food, create a bourbon ball (no definition needed, right?) and…are you ready for this…..and Ice Luge!!!!!!

Much planning went into the construction of the Luge, how were we going to create the huge chunk of ice? how will the luge be engineered on the huge block of ice? where will the luge be positioned for maximum use with minimum damage (melting) to the apartment?  We concluded that an aluminum roasting pan will suffice, perfect!  A week before the party we empty out our freezer and place the pan in filling the pan up cup by cup to reach the maximum density of the soon-to-be Luge.  Measure of Success – damn right, by starting the freezing process a week in advance, the luge was hard as the Alaskan glaciers. 

Ok back to the fateful May day….guests are going to be arriving in a few hours, we have to create the luge part of the huge block of ice in our freezer.  Should we use hot water? an ice pick (of which we didn’t own), or a butter knife chipping small flecks of ice away?  You guessed it!  Resource limited college kids, the butter knife became our tool.  Chip – chip – chip, the luge is appearing before us!  We are laughing so hard that we are pulling this off.  As a caveat, we weren’t these wild spring break type girls, we were just normal kids, probably why I think stock piling liqour is a big deal…OK, so Ice Luge created and refreezing so the slope of the luge is secure.  Burbon ball is chilled and food is on the table.  Guests start arriving….

Like any party there are moments of disbelief and exaltation, this party was not absent to this.  We stacked the luge on a slope created by our highlighted and despised text books and it was a huge hit.  Freezing vodka, rum and rumplemintz were finding their way down the luge into the welcoming mouths of our friends.  SUCCESS!  People were laughing and enjoying one another.  Many hair brushes were passed around as make-shift microphones, I think there was game of hide-and-seek going on, and we were all naive to what was really coming next.  All we knew is we had to party all night long.

The Luge lasted all night, we were pleased.  In between the crushed watermelon on the floor, plenty of spilled drinks of various colors, assumed prank calls that were really your mom (tyring to say hi who you inadvertently cursed at) through the blaring Monster’s of Rap cd we were embracing out last chance to be college roommates and to continue on being friends for life. 

 

 

 

Heather tagged me to create a post MeMe.  Within this post I am supposed to address five rules, as follows:

Post about the meme and link back to the person who tagged you…ie Heather for me – and link to your five favorite posts.

*Link One: must be about family.
*Link Two: must be about friends
*Link Three: must be about yourself
*Link Four: must be about something you love
*Link Five: can be anything you choose.

Tag 5 other people (2 being people you would like to get to know better)

Family – well we all know I tried to start my blog in order to capture my family stories.  I would have to say my favorite is probably Gum Drop!  That moment in my life will never be forgotten. 

Friends – I appreciate Joyce taking my phone call the night I breathed the same air as Sandra Day

Myself – My favorite post about what I have done is definitely Pinching a loaf.  Inspired by Grandma E and Farmgirl Fare.

What I love – Well I love Josh and here is the post where I give mention to our engagement.

Finally, anything I want – I will go back to my first post, answering, What’s with the Silent Q?  It is what brought me here!

Of course I have tagged Heather, Joyce and Farmgirl, but others I would like to tag, here is another homage, that I LOVE reading your blog, and want you to know I am a huge fan. 

UhandBlog – Best Bag Blog I have found so far. 

Amalah – she can really give some good advice on anything from a good moisturizer to where to go for some great advice for Moms of all ages! 

Let’s skip ahead 12 years to the spring of my 15th year.  Remember the sheep my parents wanted Will to have, well that never happened.  I don’t know whether it was because of my bad behavior or just life’s twists and turns.  Anyway, we ended up with goats instead, and I must say they are much more fun than sheep. 

 

By the time I turned 15 we had quite a substantial herd of 9 created by our two original goats – Buttercup and Philippe.  Philippe was quite the ladies man, he strutted around the field like he should be wearing purple velvet and sporting a cane.  Buttercup was the June Clever of the herd always looking after the young.  Picture that one, June Clever marries Huggy Bear.  I digress…

 

The goats were getting into the habit of escaping through mysterious holes in our fence we built.  Of course they decided to do this once my brother enrolled in college.  Who was there to care for them in his stead….yes that would be me.  Lovely!  Regardless, this was a huge pain in the ass when they would escape so I had to find out how they were escaping.  I would walk the fence row and try to find where they were getting out, but I could never find any holes.  Oh well, as long as they didn’t end up in the road, they should be ok.  Don’t worry this story isn’t going there. 

 

One afternoon, I am riding the horrible bus with the horrible rednecks, and arrive home.  I throw my stuff down in the kitchen so I can go out to feed and water the goats.  I head to the feed shed where we kept the “sweet feed” for the goats.  It was basically candy for the goats.  It was corn and other grain mixed up with molasses.  When the goats would see me coming with the coffee cans filled with this substance equal to crack, they immediately transformed into beasts that would kill anything in their way of getting this food.  When you would pour it in their troughs they would head-butt each other out the way hoping to eat the other’s feed as well.  That didn’t last long because if they waited too long Pimp Daddy Philippe would suck the food down like Dyson Vacuum. 

 

Anyway, I get to the feed shed and get my two cans filled to the brim with sweet feed and head down to the fence row to feed the beasts.  I start to see Philippe run down to the trough like a starving Ethiopian butting some of the goats out of his way.  I start counting to make sure they were all there.  I only got to 5, I started looking around and they were nowhere to be found.  They weren’t in the feed shed eating the “Crack” corn or in the woods annihilating trees with their gluttonous appetite.  I started shaking one of can’s of feed so they would hear the sound beating against the sides.  This usually got them to immediately stop what they were doing and come running.  Nothing was working. 

 

I ran out to the road fearing that I would find four goats lying in the ditch after being hit by a jacked up truck.  Shew! They weren’t there.  I run the entire perimeter of the property and cannot find them.  I head inside to call my mom and inform her that 4 goats escaped and were probably running with some white tail deer herd at this time.  I was really upset, because my favorite goat, Lily, was one of them.  How could she abandon me???

 

I head back to my bedroom; right next to my mom’s and hear the clop-clop of cloven hooves on the hardwood floor.  NO WAY!  We had a habit of cracking the door on nice days for our dogs to come in an out as they please.  Unfortunately, the goats found the door open.  I find one (Walnut) in the bathroom staring at the toilet paper like a 3rd grader looking at a fruit roll-up, two (Lily and Clover) on my Mom’s bed and Buttercup eating the leaves off my Mom’s touch lamp on her beside table!!!!  When I say eat the leaves, I mean the entire plant.  There were little pathetic nubs of stems left over.  This lamp was more than just a lamp too, it was the lamp that sat on my Daddy’s desk at his Bank for years and Mom brought it home to keep in her bedroom after he passed away.  I was totally freaking out.  How do I hide this Herbicide from her!  Not only that, Lily and Clover decided to show me how they were not house broken and left goat pellets scatter across my Mom’s bed.  GROSS! 

 

I tried grabbing them by their horns and pulling the off my Mom’ bed, but I was completely unsuccessful.  I was starting to get nervous, knowing my Mom would be arriving home in 15 minutes and I still had to clean up the mess.  I had to think fast. 

 

I GOT IT!

 

I ran out to the feed shed and grabbed a can full of the sweet feed and ran back inside to find all the goats on my Mom’s bed prancing around like they were at a WAM concert.  I shook the coffee can and they immediately leaped off the bed toward me.  I started to run out the house with Walnut, Lily, Clover and Buttercup following me like wolves.  I got to the back yard safe with them still following me for their Crack feed.

 

Now the hard part…the other five goats saw me coming with another can of feed.  I now had goats running after me in both directions.  How can I get the four in without the other five escaping?  So with the can in one hand, I grabbed the Jesus like shepherd hook and fended off Philippe like a Musketeer with the hook all while shaking my can.  I felt like the Piped Piper of Hamlin.  They were all safe and sound in the fence now, and I just dropped the can and ran because Philippe was about to head butt me.  I wasn’t going to let my mom find me dead at the hands of our beloved Philippe. 

 

I ran back inside, breathlessly (thank goodness) clean up my Mom’s bed and got rid of that evidence.  The one problem was the touch lamp!  There was no hiding this Herbicide.  Before I knew it Mom was walking through the door and I was right there to recount the epic tale and explain there was nothing I could do to save the plant.  I didn’t get in trouble, she understood.  This just goes to show, when two pairs of goats breach your house, come prepared with Shepherd’s hooks and Sweet-Crack Feed and you will regain control of the palace.  As for the plant, the roots were so strong it began to grow back and since that day, not one leaf has been destroyed or eaten off my Mom’s lamp.  

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