Follow Friday Feature

Wow!  Imagine my surprise when I woke up, let the girls out, then sat down at my computer, only to find several comments from new people!  I thought, "What's going on?"   Then, I read one of the comments congratulating me for being featured on Follow Friday 40 and Over!  WHAT? 
Let me just say this:  Yesterday was really crazy.  The high school usually has its football games on Friday night, but, since the kids don't have school today, they had it last night.  I've mentioned before that the band does the concessions at the games, right?  Well, on home game days, I rush home after work, let the girls out, then rush up to the school to help prep for the game.  Last night was the first night all season when the Mercy Rule wasn't in effect, so it was a late night.  I didn't get home until 11:00 and went straight to bed.  So, no visiting last night.
Since last night was the "Halloween" ballgame, the band dressed up in costume and did something special.  They had a really fun time!  Below are a couple of clips from halftime:
 Last night was the biggest game of the regular season:  both teams were undefeated and are #1 & #2 in the state.  The District Title was on the line.  Last year the game was dubbed a "Blackout" Game.  Free black t-shirts were handed out, and the football players come out with black jerseys.  This year was "Pink out".  Pink t-shirts were handed out in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month.  If you've been reading, you know that one of the boys' (who graduated last year) mother passed away a few weeks ago from breast cancer.  He was there last night, but I didn't get a chance to see him.  He had a place of honor on the sidelines, and was their biggest cheerleader last night.  
Last night was also Senior Night.  The Seniors' numbers are painted on the field (they were in pink last night), and the coach takes a time out when there are a few seconds left in the game so that the seniors can stand on their number and be recognized.  Very nice touch, and it really brings tears to your eyes seeing it, and thinking about all that they have accomplished the past 4 years. (Okay, last night it was probably the hormones, but when it's your son, it is incredible.)
This post turned out to be a lot longer than I had anticipated, so I'll leave you with a picture of mid-field from last night  (you can see #11's number to the left of the 50):


How to Awaken This Teenager

Yesterday I copied an e-mail I had received:  How to Awaken a Teenager.  Unfortunately the e-mail did not have the author's name, so I have no idea who to credit with the writing.
YS does a pretty good job waking up by himself, especially when Pepper is an eager alarm clock.  Here is a sample of what happens in our house in the morning:
Obviously this is a reenactment:  YS does not sleep on the floor.  After I tell Pepper "Tell your boy to get up", she goes into alarm clock mode, jumps on his bed, and starts waking him up, with me egging her on to not only get her boy up, but for her to "do your job".  All with a wagging tail.  Oh, to be that happy in the morning.

How to Awaken a Teenager

There's no random today (Linda needs some time off), the band had a fundraiser last night, and I got this great e-mail this morning that I wanted to share:

"How to awaken a teenager.

When you first become a parent, nobody tells you that the tiny, cute, littlebaby in your arms will someday grow up to be a teenager. Oh sure, we all expect it to happen, but seriously, are any of us fully prepared for the teen years?

No, we aren’t. Or at least, I’m not. And that’s why I’m reaching out, helping others to survive the turbulent years we call the teens. Okay fine. I’m complaining and venting, but really…is there a difference?

One of the first things you notice as your child morphs into a teenager is sleep. They do it all the time. I swear some days my teen sits at the breakfast table, eyes fully open, shoveling food in his mouth and all the while he’s totally asleep. Turns out teens need lots and lots of sleep. Which isn’t the problem.

But waking them up? That’s the problem. Seriously. I’d rather wake up a bear two days before hibernation ends than wake up a teenager in the morning.

Waking a teen is dangerous. It requires you to go into the teen’s native habitat (his room) and tell him to stop sleeping. Really. Once you’ve tried this, I swear to you, the bear thing looks better and better.  Anyway, through extensive personal research and at great risk to life and limb, I have come up with a way to awaken a typical teenager without having my head ripped off.

First, understand that the teenager’s bedroom must be approached with extreme caution. The teenage species has laid many traps to deter waking. These traps include piles of clothing, shoes and textbooks on the floor.

Once you have approached the teenager and gotten through the hidden traps, you should stop and assess the situation before proceeding further. If there are animals in the room (other than the teen), use treats and/or your best happy voice to lure the animals from the bed.
Congratulations! Now the teenager is defenseless, except for his smart mouth.

At this point, you will need to locate the teen. Like many of his species, the teen will be wrapped in a cocoon of blankets with pillows stacked on his head. Due to the mess associated with their habitat, finding the teen in all the piles can be difficult.  However, if you simply locate the cords to his ear buds and carefully follow them, you will discover the teen’s head. Note: If you locate his iPod, you are on the wrong end. Just follow the cords the opposite direction.

Now that you have located the elusive teen, you can wake his butt up. My favorite way to do so is the “let the sunshine in” method. By simply opening all the shutters and turning on the lights, the room is flooded with intense light that even the most buried teen cannot bear.  If they yell or scream, “it’s too bright” you can be certain the method worked and that they are awake.

Once the teen is awake, his primitive response system will send him into “fight or flight mode” which means he will curl up into a tiny ball, pull all the blankets over his head, stack some pillows on top and ignore you (some teens will also whimper and cry; don’t fall for this, it’s just a ploy to let them sleep for 5 more minutes).  At this point in the teen wake up process it is critical that you do not leave the room. To do so will enable the teen to sleep even longer, ensuring the teen misses his 0 period class.

Your only choice now is to scream “get your butt out of bed now” and then steal his iPod.  Really. That whole bear thing is looking better, isn’t it?

Now there are other methods, such as allowing the teen to set his alarm clock.

In my personal experience, this method doesn’t work well. Once the teen hits the snooze button, he will immediately fall back into a deep sleep. I also know of parents who have tried increasingly desperate methods such as allowing siblings to jump on the bed, playing a bugle or pouring water on the teen, but I don’t support those methods. Frankly, the siblings could lose an eye, I don’t play the bugle and the water just gets the mattress all wet and makes the teen even more smart-mouthed than usual.

Of course, once you wake up the bear, you could send him into the teen’s room.

That could work."

Me?  I get YS up by sicking Pepper on him.  She jumps up on his bed and gives him kisses until he acknowledges her.  It works.

Gearing up for the Random

The Random Dozen isn't until tomorrow, so I thought I would a "practice run"!

1.Do you ever get an e-mail that you just have to scratch your head and say "huh?"?   Here's one I got through school e-mail the other day:

 Does anyone have Tuna that they are not going to use?  If so, please let me know I will come and pick it up.
Thank you,

I have no idea what the heck she's talking about, and I was too afraid to ask!
2.  This is what it looks like when I look outside of my room at one of my schools:
If that doesn't scream "Fall", I don't know what does! (If you know anything about a being a speech pathologist in the public schools, you know that we are usually put into the smallest room in the school, sometimes a closet.  I'm very spoiled fortunate that at one of my schools I have a regular sized classroom.  Not only with a window and a sink, but also an outside door. That's unheard of in the speech pathology world!)

3.  YS got his driver's license last week and has taken over possession of the van.  He has driven to school 3 days so far (plus driving himself to the school to go to a band competition) as well as Sonic on Friday.  We only live a few blocks away from the school and Sonic, so it's really no big deal.  He, however, thought he was hot stuff because he drove to Sonic after school.  I didn't have the heart to remind him that he was only suppose to drive to school & back.  I'm trying hard to cut those apron strings, but it's a lot harder with this one!

4.  During a press conference following the UT/Alabama game, Coach Dooley was asked if they were out of the woods, schedule-wise.  Dooley said, "Are you kidding?  Next week we're playing the team that beat the team that just beat us 41-10.  Do you want to rephrase that question?"  At least he's keeping his sense of humor.

5.  UT did get the better of 'Bama on Saturday afternoon in a contact sport:  UT Varsity Rugby beat Alabama 73-0.  Yes, that's right:  73-0.  The Varsity Team is really neat to watch.  Hopefully I'll be watching MS on that team in a couple of years.

6.  YS' high school band finished their competition season with a "1".  At least they saved the best for last.    I got a call from the director right before he got home:  YS left his phone on the bus.  Great.  After a couple of phone calls to the local bus company and the high school, we determined that it was a lost cause.  Then, when I was on the way home from work yesterday afternoon, YS called.  Another band member had his phone.  YAY!  Sure would've been nice if his mom had called me yesterday to let me know her son had it.  Or maybe she didn't know.  Those of us with sons know what I'm talking about.

7. Did anybody hear about the rookie pro football player who caught a pass Sunday?  He caught it, fell down, and put the ball on the field.  He had not been touched by the opposing team.  A defender picked up the ball  and ran for a few yards.  Poor guy will never live that down.  Ever.

8.  I leave you with this:
And that's all I have to say about that.

Meet Me on Monday: 19th Edition

According to Java:
Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday I will post five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!

This week's prompts:

1. Do you sleep with a night light on?
Most definitely.  Not only do I have to have some kind of light on, but I also have to have some kind of noise going on, too.  Chalk that up to growing up in a big, noisy household!

2. What do you drink with dinner?
Water or diet coke.  Every now and then maybe a glass of wine.

3. Do you play the lottery? If so, how often?

No, I don't play.  When we lived in Georgia (the year before we moved to SC) the girls I worked with would chip in a dollar and someone would go buy the tickets.  We never won anything.  Not a dime.

4. How often do you go to the grocery store?
I do my major shopping every 2 weeks.  Unless I'm really lazy and didn't make out my calendar of what we are going to have for dinner.  Then I end up going every 1-2 days and spending a lot more money than I should.

5. Would you rather travel back in time 500 years or travel forward 500 years?

Definitely back 500 years.  I'm afraid there won't be much left in 500 years.  Scary thought, isn't it?

Saturday Sampling and a Give-a-way!

Do you have a post written this week (either by you or someone else) that you think no one should miss?  
Do you get stressed because you can't read everybody's posts every day?
Mrs. 4444 has a solution!  Click on the link above and see the posts of the week that you shouldn't miss!

I chose the post titled "Dreaming" for mine this week.  Short, sweet, and to the point.  And, now everybody knows just how weird I really am!

Karen at Karen's Corner is getting ready to celebrate her 3rd Blogiversary!  Yay, Karen!  To commemorate this milestone, she's hosting a give-a-way!  Head over to this post to get the details and to enter!

Flashback Friday & Follow Friday 40 and Over

How was your family structured when you were growing up? Did you grow up with both original parents in the home? If your parents divorced, did you go back and forth between them? Whether divorced or widowed, did your parent remarry? How old were you? Was yours a multi-generational household with grandparents living with you? Did your mom work outside the home, and if so, was it full-time or part-time? Was there a clearly delineated division of labor between your parents (or parent and step-parent) and how traditional was it? Did your parents believe in child labor?! That is, how structured were chores? What responsibility, if any, did you have for things like doing your own laundry, fixing your own school lunch, etc.? Were your parents do-it-yourself-ers or did they hire people for repairs, painting, etc.? Is your current marriage/family structure similar to the way you were raised? What do you do differently than you did then?

I was extremely fortunate to grow up with both of my parents, in fact, they have been married for 56 years.  Mom was a stay at home mom; she had 10 babies in 14 years!  When I was in high school, she decided to go back to work.  She was a nurse by training, so she took some refresher courses, and went to work in a hospital.  She worked nights a few times a week.  When I was little, mom took care of the cooking, cleaning, and most of the child-raising.  My dad was a hard worker and a good provider for his family.  Dad took care of the outside and any repairs that needed to be done.  I've mentioned this before:  My daddy can do just about anything.  It was very rare when he called someone in for repairs.
As for child labor, each of us had a chore to do every day.  The older girls were the dish washers, and us younger ones were the driers.  My parents still don't have a mechanical dishwasher.  Then there were the Saturday chores:  clean our rooms, and the girls cleaned the bathrooms.  What did the boys do, you ask? They mowed the yard and helped daddy with "guy things".  During the summer, when my brothers got in trouble, their punishment was to guard the cherry tree and shoot the birds with their bb gun.  Here's the funny thing:  I don't remember ever eating any cherries off of that tree.
Mama fixed our lunches for school every day.  She also did our laundry, including folding them.  She would sort the folded clothes into stacks for each of us, then we would put them away.  
Our house is the same in some ways, but different in others.  I do the laundry:  wash, dry, and fold.  I wash each boys' clothes separately; mostly because each boy had a full load by himself.  They have been responsible for putting their clothes up.  However, all of the boys know how to wash their own clothes, and YS sometimes does his laundry on his own.  
The boys were also responsible for putting their own dishes in the dishwasher.  There have been many times when I have called them in to put their dishes in the dishwasher instead of in the sink.  I unload the dishwasher, but the boys have always been good about doing it if I ask.
CH takes care of the outside, and I take care of cleaning the inside.  You know how you always hear that you marry someone like your father?  Well, CH can do almost as much as my daddy can!  He is pretty handy with fixing things, but we do call for outside help more than my parents did.  Times have changed, and it seem that we just don't have the spare time my parents did.
My boys have almost always bought school lunch.  Every now and then they would want their lunch packed, and I would take care of that for them.
I grew up in a very structured household, and I think our household was pretty much the same.  I always thought it was important for the boys to be on a schedule, and be structured.  It worked for me, anyway!
My parents did a great job raising us:  we learned to work and respect others.  We learned to have fun, even though we didn't have a lot of material things.  I wouldn't trade my upbringing for anything!


What a weird dream last night!  H-mama and the girls were in there, along with Karen, and bloggers I don't know.  It started off in a store (Target, maybe...since I used to work part-time there) and I was working as a cashier.  I spotted H-mama & her girls first, and another blogger happened to be there (but I have no idea who it was...I didn't know her).  Then it switched to a room with tables.  I sat and talked with H-mama's girls, and told everybody that if they wanted to know anything about H-mama to see me.  Obviously I was getting quite an education from the girls!  
Then, it was kind of a hotel looking thing, but it was actually a hospital (?) that had been turned into a hotel.  There was only 1 bathroom (a nightmare, right?) for everybody to use, but, since I was in the handicapped-accessible room (I have no idea why), I had my own bathroom.  The only thing about that bathroom was that the door wouldn't close all the way, and there were workers outside of my room at a table during their break time.  One of the workers ended up being one of my sister's co-workers (whom I have never met, so I'm sure she doesn't have a co-worker by that name or those looks!). 
Does it get any weirder than that?  Guess I can blame it on that 1/2 piece of pumpkin cheesecake I had last night at Olive Garden!  (I had soup & salad, so that made up for it, right?)
Have you had any weird dreams lately?

Random Dozen

1. Do you prefer to read the book or see the movie?
See the movie.  Unfortunately, I just don't have time to read. If I am fortunate enough to read the book first, there are usually things that are different in the movie.
2. What is your favorite holiday and why?
Thanksgiving.   The family gets together and there's no pressure to buy anything for anybody.
3. Which do you like better - the mountains or the beach?
That's a tough one!  I love my mountains, no doubt.  If you're talking about visiting, I'd almost have to say the beach, but if it's living there, I'd have to say mountains.
4. If money were no consideration, what vehicle would you drive?
It's a vehicle.  As long as it gets me from point A to point B reliably, I'm happy.  That being said, I would absolutely love to get my hands on either a brand new Mustang or a Mini-Cooper.
5. What is your favorite cold-weather beverage?
Chai tea..that someone else makes.  And brings to me.  While watching a movie on the couch.  Under a blanket.
6. How do you communicate most often with your friends: phone, email, text, face-to-face, or Facebook?
You mean sisters?  'Cause y'all know I don't have friends, I have sisters!  I rarely text anyone except my boys and CH.  Friends that live in other states:  FB; friends here:  phone or face-to-face or e-mail.
7. How do you receive your mail? Mailbox on the porch, at the end of the driveway, down the street, or post office box?
In the mailbox at the end of the driveway.
8. Of the four basic personality types - sanguine, phlegmatic, melancholic, and choleric - which is your strongest? Which is your least evident? (See definitions below.)
Strongest:  Sanguine
Weakest:  Choleric
9. What do you miss the most about being 20?
No responsibilities
10. How long from the time you get up, does it take you to get ready to walk out the door in the morning?
Is this with or without checking e-mail, FB, and a quick look at the blog?  (ha, ha!)
It takes me about an hour to get completely ready:  shower, dressing, eating breakfast.  I throw in an extra 30 minutes when I get on the computer.
11. Who handles the car maintenance and pays the bills in your family?
CH handles the car maintenance.  I pay most of the bills; CH pays the biggies:  car & mortgage.
12. For those in the US, how many states have you visited? For those outside the US, how many provinces/other countries have you visited?
18.  I really need to get out more!


The Sanguine temperament personality is fairly extroverted. People of a sanguine temperament tend to enjoy social gatherings, making new friends and tend to be quite loud. They are usually quite creative and often daydream. However, some alone time is crucial for those of this temperament. Sanguine can also mean very sensitive, compassionate and thoughtful. Sanguine personalities generally struggle with following tasks all the way through, are chronically late, and tend to be forgetful and sometimes a little sarcastic. Often, when pursuing a new hobby, interest is lost quickly when it ceases to be engaging or fun. They are very much people persons. They are talkative and not shy. For some people, these are the ones you want to be friends with and usually they become life long friends.


A person who is choleric is a doer. They have a lot of ambition, energy, and passion, and try to instill it in others. They can dominate people of other temperaments, especially phlegmatic types. Many great charismatic military and political figures were cholerics. They like to be leaders and in charge of everything.


A person who is a thoughtful ponderer has a melancholic disposition. Often very considerate and get rather worried when they could not be on time for events, melancholics can be highly creative in activities such as poetry and art - and can become occupied with the tragedy and cruelty in the world. A melancholic is also often a perfectionist. They are often self-reliant and independent; one negative part of being a melancholic is sometimes they can get so involved in what they are doing they forget to think of others.


Phlegmatics tend to be self-content and kind. They can be very accepting and affectionate. They may be very receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change. They are very consistent, relaxed, rational, curious, and observant, making them good administrators and diplomats.

I am wearing purple today:
"On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality."

Sittin' on a Cliff

While Joyce was enjoying apple picking while her daughter was at home, here is what my oldest son was doing:

Yep, enough to give a mama a heart attack...or at least a few more gray hairs.

Kate is creative enough to make up her own awards, and she gave me one!  (YAY, Kate!)
The best part about it:  NO TIES.  At all!  But, I feel the need to pass the award on to a few people.  So, I decided to pass it to people who have ties to this small town where I live.  Here we go:
1.  Tina  
2.  Joyce 
4.  Kimert

Okay, you 4:  there are no ties to this award at all.  If you want to send it on, then do.  If not, just hang onto  it!  Aren't those the best kind of awards to get?

One Way to Beat Boredom

What does a high school football player do when his team is up 52-7 and he hasn't played since the 1st Half?
It's pretty bad when you're cheering for the other team to make a first down in the first half.  Everyone on our side cheered when the other team made a touchdown.  Final score:  59-7.  The state instilled a "mercy rule" about 3 or 4 years ago:  when a team is winning by 35 points, the clock runs continuously.  It help keeps the score and humiliation down.
Note:  the score was 42-0 at halftime; the starters were taken out after that.  Our last td was scored off an interception at about our own 30 yard line.  That 3rd stringer was really, really happy!

Friday Faves

Here are my faves for this past week:

1.  All boys under 1 roof for not one, but two nights!

2.  2 band members with the same shirt on at band practice:

They were absolutely horrified when I pointed out that they had on the same shirt!

3.  Band Competition on Saturday.  What a great way to spend a day!
And the view from the stadium:

4.  Did I mention that the college boys were home?
 5.  Finding a big dirty bowl  that was used for cereal.  What is it with boys and cereal?  When CH & I were in our Newlywed days, we used to call the big bowl a "Jethro Bowl".  As in, the Beverly Hillbillies' Jethro.  Not NCIS Jethro.
6.  Getting a shot of Ally from the front.  Of course, I did have to hold her head still, but I got it!
7.  Pumpkin Crisp.  Thanks to a coworker & friend (who is on a blogging hiatus due to havin'  a baby!), I now have this wonderful recipe for fall! 

But the best way to eat it:  warm with some vanilla ice cream.  Out of this world and oh, so easy!

8.  Last, but certainly not least, seeing how one of the trees in the front yard is changing:

9.  A couple of people asked for the recipe for the pretzel/rolo/pecan thingies.  Here it is:

Take small pretzel (the twist kind)
Put a rolos on top of each pretzel
Place them on a cookie sheet
Put in a 300 degree oven for 3 minutes (that's all you need to put it in for...just enough time to soften the rolo)
As soon as you take it out, put a pecan half on top of the rolo and gently push it down...just a little (you have to work kind of fast; you don't want the rolo to harden back up
Let cool and enjoy!

It's that easy! 
In the words of one of my undergrad professors:

Have a great P.O.E.T.S. Day!
(Pee On Everything, Tomorrow's Saturday!)
Okay, he didn't really say "Pee", but I'm trying to keep this family friendly!

A Dilemma & A Disappointment

Can anyone out there help me?  My sister brought a cactus to me when we moved into our house 6 years ago.  That seems to be the one thing I can grow.  Anyway, I have this cactus that just keeps growing and adding some little "extensions" (I have no idea what you call it).  It's just about a foot tall, and, unless it's leaning against the window, won't stay up straight.  A few months ago, I was overjoyed...I thought it was growing a bloom.  Soon though, my joy turned to misery as it was just another "extension" growing.  Guess what?  I looked closely at it yesterday, and here's what I saw:
See what I mean?  Doesn't that look like it's going to bloom?  Betcha it's going to be another extension. 
Here's where I need help:  Can I snip off one of the extensions and plant it?  How do I keep the thing from falling over?
I hope someone out there can empathize with my dilemma and give me some help!

Now, on to a disappointment.  My bloggy friend, Karen, is in my area.  We had made plans to meet on Tuesday night for dessert, but her RL friends had made plans for them.  It was cool to hear her voice; she doesn't really sound like I thought she would.  Isn't it strange how we imagine a person to sound?  Oh well, Karen, you missed out on this:

And just as soon as I get through my frozen ones from last year, I'm gonna bust this one open!  Karen:  I'll think of you with every little bite!  :D

Hope everybody has a Happy Little Friday!

Random Dozen goes Random

1. Is there a word which you initially mispronounced? Were the circumstances in which you made the faux pas embarrassing? By the way, that's not "foax pass." (I know you know that. Just jokin' with ya.)
  When I was little, I saw a ballet book.  I yelled to my mom, "Look, a ballet (pronouncing it "Bal-it) book.  It must have really embarrassed me, because I can remember it to this day.

2. How do you feel about the use of texting shortcuts and trends? (ex: "I've got ur notes. Get them 2 u 2morow.")
I hate it.  That's why the kids today have no idea how to spell.

3. Tell me about your high school senior picture. Please feel free to post.
YUCK.  My formal picture came out pretty well.  The one that went into the yearbook looked like I had taken/smoked something before I had the picture made...the sun was actually in my eyes.

5. Share a high school or college homecoming memory.
High school homecoming wasn't any really big deal.  In college, I had to choose between the social fraternity (I was a "little sister")  and the professional music fraternity.  I was a "brother" in the music fraternity...we had a co-ed chapter.  If I'm remembering correctly, I usually went to the music festivities since I was in the band.  I think I may have at least popped by the social fraternity's party, but I honestly can't remember.  Must have been a really good time.

6. Linda at Mocha with Linda wants to know: "Do you prefer sunrises or sunsets?"
I'm going to wimp out on this one and say I don't have a preference.  Both are equally beautiful.

7. Lea at Cici's Corner asks, "What is something you have not done that you desire to do?"
Go to Germany/Austria/Switzerland with a side trip to Liechtenstein.  Yes, again with the Liechtenstein!
Seriously:  Look how beautiful it is:
I also want to go to Canada and see the Polar long as I can leave my hotel in the morning, meet up with the bears that afternoon, and get back to the hotel that night.

8. Carol at Wanderings of an Elusive Mind ponders, "If you could come back [in another life] as an animal, which would it be?"
A dog.  Definitely a dog.  One of my dogs 'cause they have it made.

9. Joyce from The Other Side of the Pond is curious: "Where were you 10 years ago?" Please feel free to elaborate more than just your physical location.

10 years ago today:  I was 20 pounds lighter; the boys had their first trip to Disneyworld, and I had my gall bladder removed in August.  We were living in SC.  I honestly can't remember any more than that!

10. When you are proven to be correct in any contentious discussion, do you gloat?
It depends who I'm with.  My family:  absolutely.  Any one else, not so much.

11. What is your favorite food which includes the ingredient "caramel?"
I hate these questions when you're only suppose to pick one!  I make some mean "Texas Millionaires":  they're kinda like Turtles but a lot better.  I'm also very fond of the little snacks where you take a small pretzel, put a rolo on it, pop it in the oven for about 3 minutes, then put a pecan on top.  DELISH!

12. From my 17 year-old daughter to you: "If you could be part of any fictional family, which family would you choose and why?" (She's so cute. And clever.)
When I was little I would've said The Brady Bunch.  Now?  How about the NCIS family?  Cozying up to Jethro could be nice!

Please post your answers tomorrow, then come back here to link up. Happy Randomizing!

A Guest Post

Yesterday, my "little" brother sent the following out as an e-mail.  After I read it, I asked him if I could re-post it here as a guest post.  He graciously agreed, so here it is:

Today is National Coming Out Day, 2010. While I've obviously been out for quite a while, so there's not much more I can do, I wanted to take this opportunity to call to your attention SEVEN suicides across the country in the past month, all from teenagers, and most the result of schoolyard bullying.

The most recent was a 19-year-old man who took his life a week after attending a city council meeting in Norman, Oklahoma, in which the taunts he heard at school were being repeated, and applauded, by grown adults.

A Facebook page devoted to the suicides has been overrun with comments from people applauding the suicides.

Needless to say, I find this behavior appalling. But more to the point: it's not only for gay people to stand up and call out this behavior as unacceptable. Too many lies have been spread about gay people, including myself, in the name of "morality," and I am asking you to take a stand. There are many things you can do – you choose which you feel is most comfortable for you:

1) Stop perpetuating the lies. If you don't know what my life is like, or the life of any other gay person you know, ask. We can tell you how our lives are the same, and how they are different. Don't talk about things that you don't know are true – and don't trust the word of some person who is distrustful of gay people. Ask those of us who aren't ashamed of ourselves for being who we are.

2) Watch a few videos from the "It Gets Better" channel on YouTube, which is a response to these suicides.

3) Participate in Spirit Day, October 20, by wearing purple:
"On October 20th, 2010, we will wear purple in honor of the 6 gay boys who committed suicide in recent weeks/months due to homophobic abuse in their homes and at their schools. Purple represents Spirit on the LGBTQ [lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning] flag and that’s exactly what we’d like all of you to have with you: spirit. Please know that times will get better and that you will meet people who will love you and respect you for who you are, no matter your sexuality. Please wear purple on October 20th. Tell your friends, family, co-workers, neighbors and schools.
RIP Tyler Clementi, Seth Walsh (top)
RIP Justin Aaberg, Raymond Chase (middle)
RIP Asher Brown and Billy Lucas. (bottom)"

4) Forward this, not just to those who you know will receive it well, but also to those you know or suspect need to have their eyes open.  Post it, or repost it. Blog it, or reblog it. Please.

The New York Times reported (May 18, 1999) about a study that found gay "students were 3.41 times as likely to report a suicide attempt within the previous year as were heterosexual students. The number rose significantly when only young men were considered." My personal belief is that this is not because we "know" something is wrong with us, as some people suggest. Rather, it's due to harassment, both overt (school bullying) and subtle (being taught, often not in so many words, that being gay is not normal or, worse, evil).

Homophobia kills, and silence equals death. I will not be silent anymore. Will you?

He also  sent another link.  This is a project of high school kids.
Thanks, EEK, for allowing me to post this.  I'll be wearing purple on 20 Oct., will you?

**Note:  My original post had the comments turned off.  At my husband's insistence request, they have been turned on. 

Meet Me on Monday

 According to Java:
"Blogging is a funny thing...we tell our most intimate thoughts for all to read and yet most of the time I find myself sitting and wondering, "who is this person!?"  I know them...but yet I don't know them!  I want to know who the person is behind all those words so I thought of a great way for all of us to "meet" each other!

Every Sunday Java posts five get to know you questions that you can copy and paste into your own Monday post and we can all learn a little more about each and every one of us!!"


1.  Do your pants get hung on a hangar or folded?
     Hung on a hanger.  My jeans, too. 

2.  If you are stranded on an Island, what 3 things would you need to have with you (not including humans or electronic devices)?
    Soap, toothbrush &toothpaste (that counts as 1, right?), books

3.  Where is the farthest you have ever traveled to?
    Copenhagen, Denmark 

4.  Do you live in a house, trailer or apartment, etc.?
     House.  A house that's as old as I am, and we're only the 2nd owner.  I really need to do a post on our house at some point!

5.  What is your most hated household chore?
     If I have to pick just one, I'd say cleaning the bathrooms.  I think that stems from when I was a child, that was my chore to do every Saturday.  I can't stand having to clean them, especially with 3 boys in the house.

Fall Break Faves

As Fall Break comes to a close, I wanted to share with you the faves for last week:

1.  Meeting new friends at the Rugby Reception.  Everybody was so incredibly nice and they made a point to come up to me at the match on Saturday and say hello!  I love making new friends!

2.  The high school football team wearing pink socks for Breast Cancer Awareness:
(I have no idea who to credit with these pictures; they were on the football team's Facebook page.)

Even the students who go shirtless and write letters on their bodies got into it:
One of last year's football players' mother past away a couple of weeks ago from breast cancer.  From what I understand, it was the boys' idea to wear pink, and, if I'm not mistaken, they will be wearing them again for the next game.  What a great group of boys!

3.  A nice surpriseTuesday MS came home to do laundry (yes, he did it himself!).  He had to go to practice before they were finished, so he brought 3 friends with him for dinner when he came back to get his clothes.  I know I've said this before, but it's really nice to see that he is choosing good boys for his friends.  (Maybe we did do something right with him!)

4. Another nice surprise:  Thursday OS called to let us know that he's coming home this weekend!  All boys under the same roof for 1 night! 

5.  Some major catching up on sleep.  And with the cooler weather, there's been some really good sleeping temps this week!

6.  (Yep, I've got more!) How many of you have tried this:
If you haven't, be very, very careful.  It is addictive.  Dry roasted peanuts mixed with candy corn.  The mixture of salty & crunchy with sweet & soft.  It tastes a lot like a Payday candy bar without the chewiness of the caramel.

7.  My princess went to the "beauty parlor":
We know it's time for her to get groomed when she gets "velcro toes".  That's when her toenails get stuck/caught on the rugs.

After I dropped her off, I saw a little dog that looked a lot like a schnuazer, but her coat felt a lot coarser than Ally's.  Her owner said that they found her on the side of the road when she was a puppy.  It's so sad that people actually do that.  She was such a cute, happy, friendly dog.  Then, when I was going in to pick her up, I ran into another really cute little  dog.  She was a Brussels Griffon.  Talk about cute and friendly!  Here's kind of what she looked like:

I had never heard of that breed before, but she looked like a cross between a schnauzer and a pug.  Very cute!

8.  (This is the last one...promise!)  The best thing about being on Fall Break is getting a break from a schedule.  Sometimes it's nice to just be able to catch up on blog reading, being able to clean up the blog a little, and relax by watching movies.  Movies watched this weekDear John (It's based on a Nicholas Sparks' novel so you know it's gotta be good!), Bounty Hunter  ( a little disappointing, but looking at Gerard Butler is never disappointing!  I missed his accent, though!), and Killers (I thought it was very good.).

Since it's fall and football season, this weekend will be filled with...what else!  YS' band has a competition on Saturday, but it's local.  If I'm really lucky, I'll be able to go, get in free (one of the county high schools is hosting the competition), watch the band perform, then get home in time to see most of the UT/Ga. game!

Am I Being Too Hard?

Okay, y'all, tell me if I'm being too hard.  I know y'all will tell me the truth!

A couple of days ago I was in my local Wally World.  I could've gone to the express lane, but I was right at 20 items, so I thought I'd test my patience and go through the regular check out.  I accidentally cut in front of a woman, and as soon as I did, I apologized and let her go in front of me.  (She had just about the same amount of items that I did.)  Karma points, right?  One of the clerks told me that another lane looked like it was going faster, so I moved.  
So, I'm waiting patiently with only 2 people in front of me, and the first person appears to be almost through.  Then the person in front of me starts getting checked out.  I had no idea that WalMart will honor specials from other stores.  The lady was armed with several different ads and a spiral notebook. Item by item the cashier changed the prices and had to write something down each time.  The lady was incredibly organized, I'll give her that.  They get through the items that needed to be changed, then the cashier rang up the rest of her order.  
Near the end of her order, the lady says that part of the order will be paid for by food stamps.  Okay, she's trying to get the most out of her food stamps, and I silently chide myself for the thoughts I had of "why doesn't she go to each place that has the cheaper price instead of buying everything at WalMart?"  (I'm losing my patience by now!)  Then I hear her say to the man that's with her:  "Oh no!  I don't have my billfold with me.  Would you go out to the car and see if it's out there?"  Great, lady.  She told the cashier to close her order out and check me out.  Which the cashier does graciously.  Then, the lady pulls out her....(wait for it)....

Blackberry.  Are you serious???  She's on food stamps and she has a freakin' blackberry?  CH & I have decent jobs, but I don't have a blackberry.  CH has a droid, but the rest of us have "regular" phones. 

I just don't get it.

Reality Check

Here's what's been happening in the reality world:
Sunday night
The Amazing Race:  I hated that the mother/daughter pair were last.  It broke my heart.  I hoped that since the paper said "The last team to arrive may be eliminated", it was going to be a non-elimination leg of the race.  Pooh on you, producers!  If you don't watch the show, the mother had given up her daughter for adoption at birth because she couldn't take care of her.  It tore at my heart hearing the mom thanking the adoptive parents for caring for her daughter and making her into the woman that she is.  This was the first time that they had spent any time together.  I hate that their time was cut short, but I bet they keep in touch and get to know each other better.  Yes, I'm a big fan of happy endings!  Brook & Claire are my least favorite right now.  Brook's voice is like fingernails going down a chalkboard.  Seriously. 

Keeping Up with the Kardashians:  I'm sorry, but Scott just absolutely creeps me out.  I think Khloe is onto something not liking him.  Is Kourtney that lacking in self-confidence that she can't see that he's a gold-digging socio-path?  She could have any man on the planet, and she picks him?  That baby is just about the cutest baby I've ever seen, but bless his heart for having that boy as his father.

Monday Night
Real Housewives of Atlanta:  This was the first episode of the new season.  Sheree mentioned that Lisa moved, but where did she go?  Did she move away from Atlanta or what?  I hate that she's not a cast member this season; she was pretty feisty!  I think Dwight is talking out of both sides of his mouth.  Nene isn't one to let things go:  she's extremely confrontational and she does seem to pick fights, but you know exactly where you stand with her.  It was good to see her & Kim being civil (and even being friends) to each other, but I don't think it's going to last!  When they're getting along (or rather, when Nene is getting along with anybody!) she looks like she's a lot of fun to be around.  I think she's got a lot of things going on in her life right now:  marital problems, and the next episode her son has been arrested.  I'm not sure how I feel about the new cast members; they didn't show them very much.

Dancing With The Stars: I can't even believe that I forgot to watch on Monday night!  I was so excited about Real Housewives starting back up, I completely forgot!  The whole time CH & I were watching How I Met Your Mother & Rules of Engagement, I thought I was missing something, but I never put it all together!  I'm not thrilled about seeing Jennifer Grey on there:  She's a trained dancer, for goodness' sake!  As much as I don't care for Audrina, I have to admit she did an awesome job.  As for "The Situation":  Seriously?  Hooray for Len for saying he didn't think it was very good.  AGREED.  Kurt Warner: He now has my heart.  I liked him already, but the dancing and tea party with his little girls put me over the top.  And, Rick Fox:  OOOOO-EEEEEE!  Bristol Palin looks like she's got the dance moves down, she just needs to relax her face and have fun with it.  I know she can do it! Florence Henderson:  really?  Her performance was way too easy...I could've done what she did.  I think she has the sympathy vote for being Carol Brady.

Tonight is Survivor...I've been watching off and on; I just can't get into it this season.  Tomorrow is the last Real Housewives of DC when Tareq and Michaele (another creepy couple) go to the infamous state dinner.  Apparently they had tickets (or did they?) and Michaele lost them.  Hmmm......

You may be asking yourself:  reality tv and blogging...does this girl have a life?  The answer: yes, I do, I just watch way too much tv!


The weather finally feels like fall!  I love walking into the grocery store and seeing the fall decorations in the front.  I love the smell of fall:  crisp and clean.  I love the feel of fall:  cool in the mornings, warm in the afternoons, changing back to cool in the evenings.  Football weather...definitely. 
Here are some of the first signs of fall in the yard:
This is the tree in the front yard that looks like a big stick sticking out of the ground when the leaves fall off:
A Dogwood in my neighbor's yard:
And, I got a few decorations in the planter on the front porch:
I need to get some mums to put in the planter to complete the decorating for that part.  I usually just keep them in the pots they come in since they need direct sunlight and it won't get very much (if any at all) right there.  Does anybody have any suggestions for a fall plant that needs to be in the shade?

Last Friday I went to the Rugby Reception at one of the coach's house.  Everybody was extremely nice...I'm always kind of nervous when I go to an event like this that I'll just stand there and won't have anything to say to anybody.  The coaches were there to meet everybody when we came in, and then some of the parents came over and introduced themselves.  MS was given one name at birth, but when we moved to the small  town, he told everybody to call him another name since there were already 3 boys in his class with the same name.  His "second" name stuck, and that's what everybody in high school knew him as.  So, when the parents asked me who my son was, I was at a lost.  I wasn't sure if people are calling him Name 1 or Name 2.  And, the coach was no help:  He said they usually just call him by his last name.  So you can see my dilemma.  Once I explained, the weird looks stopped.   Then, I would be asked how long MS has been playing Rugby.  Uh...that would be 4 or 5 weeks.  I think there's only 1 other boy on the team who hasn't played before, and he got a concussion during last week's game.  I'm told that injuries are few and far between, however, another  player (who is on a different team - there are 3 teams in this club) tore some ligaments in the game before that.  
Saturday I got to watch my first Rugby Match.  Interesting.  Very interesting.  But, I liked it!  It had a much faster pace than football.  MS is on the "Developmental Team"; hopefully he'll progress to the "Reserve Team" and then the "Varsity Team".  One of the freshmen moms & I met on Friday night, then sat together during the game.  When the Varsity Team was playing, I commented to her that they looked  like  men.  She said, "Yes, they are men...real men.  That's what our babies are going to look like in 4 years."   Exactly what I was thinking. Anyway, the football team may not be doing too well, but the Rugby Teams are all undefeated!  And, MS scored/got/made (not sure what to say!) a Try!  It was so exciting!
Here's a picture of MS during the match/game:

After the game:
And my souvenir from the game:
It looks a lot worse than it feels.  It's more of an itch than a hurt.  Mental note:  wear sunscreen on my neck next time!
Recap:  Fall decorations are almost all out, weather is cool (for a couple of days anyway!), I survived Friday night (got condiments ready for the concessions, wrapped a few hamburgers, and went to reception), and saw my first Rugby Match. 


That's What Drugs Will Do

Here are some things that have happened around the area where I live:

1.  A guy who has been accused of making meth was found hiding under his house.  He had a trap door in a bedroom, so when the police came knocking, he went through the door and hid under the house.  Yep, they caught him.  Looks like he left his friend to fend for herself; she was being held with some meth-related charges.

2.  Two former workers at a Tiger Sanctuary decided to "get to drinking" (that's what the paper lie!), then run naked (or would that be "nekked" since they were up to something?) through their former workplace.  They also vandalized the on-site trailer they lived in.

3.  (This doesn't have anything to do with drugs, but they do have drugs in a hospital, so maybe it does!)  Bedbugs were found in a chair in a local hospital.  None were found in the bed, but they fumigated several rooms, then were given an "all clear".

4.  A woman called 911 and reported herself as driving under the influence.  She called and said that she had too much to drink and shouldn't be driving, and apologized for getting behind the wheel.  The local police used the GPS on her phone to determine her location, and an officer who was in the area found her, ran her plates to make sure it was her, and pulled her over.  The lady said she had only had one beer, and while the officer was informing her of her rights, she was making all kinds of noise so he couldn't get through the implied consent.  The unruly behavior continued and she was put in a restraint cell.

And finally:

5.   In a Nashville area high school, ten high school boys were caught smoking pot in the locker room. Before a game.  They were expelled.  One of the comments:  The team's fight song was changed to "Puff The Magic Dragon."  (The team lost the game 38-0.)

In the words of Ron White:  "You can't fix stupid." 

Sidenote:  Last night, the high school football players for the small school in the small town wore pink socks during the game for Breast Cancer Awareness.  The mother of one of the boys that MS graduated with lost her battle a couple of weeks ago.  Nothing was mentioned in the paper about the pink socks.  Now, if one of these boys had gotten in trouble it would've been front page news.  Sad...

Fave Fives of the Week

I'm going to grace you with my Fave Fives of the Week, but I've decided not to link up with Susanne.

1.  Sisters' Weekend.  What a great weekend!  If you missed the post, you can read it here.  Here's a picture from a couple of years ago of all of us, minus one sister:

2.  Cool weather...finally.

3.  Taking a walk in the park with my sweetie.  It was really good to just take an impromptu short walk after dinner.  He didn't want to take the girls, but I knew if we didn't we'd still hear them in the park.  They were pretty well behaved!

4.  Dinner with MS & my oldest sister.  My sister was leaving Monday morning to get on the big bird to go home, and MS came home to do laundry and get his car checked out.  I wanted to her to see how big YS had gotten over the past year or so...he's quite a giant!  

5.  A new youtube video to laugh at.  I saw it while I was reading Random Dozens.  If you haven't ever visited The Hays Crew, take a few minutes to visit...she is a hoot!

Okay,  I lied!  I have a couple more:
I couldn't leave out the last day of school before Fall Break!  WOO-HOO!

AND, I have the best bloggie friends EVER.  Thanks to all of y'all that left a comment yesterday to let me know that it's okay not to follow people who are following me, and that my family and house should come first!  Y'all are the BEST!

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