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Updating the Swamp…..

November 21, 2014

So it’s been 2 1/2 years since my last post.  Things have definitely changed!  I’m going through some things right now that I feel I need to put into writing as therapy – may not publish them at this time, but one day I think I will.

Frank is now married – for almost 2 years!  He & Jessica will celebrate their 2nd anniversary in January!  He graduated from college last May and is working (already had a promotion!).  Jess will finish her degree in May and then they’re talking about grad school somewhere.

Belle is almost 16!  She has her permit and we practice driving whenever our schedule allows.  She’s halfway through 10th grade here at Cranewater Academy and is learning to cook some things, which makes this mama happy.

I have a new job!  I left my part-time receptionist position in April to become a legal assistant for a solo practitioner.  That lasted until August and is a whole book in itself, which I may write a la The Devil Wears Prada.  My newest job is as an office manager for another law firm – this time there are 2 attorneys – and I’m still working part-time.

Life is changing and we’re having some tough times right now.  The Ogre has moved out and filed for separation.  Managing to keep life going for Belle & me, but changes are happening.


Halloween in April???

April 26, 2012

Last night, Frank had full-dress rehearsal for “Arsenic and Old Lace.”  He’s playing the part of Dr. Einstein, the alcoholic plastic surgeon.  He decided to look the part as well, so he shaved his head in a very unnerving fashion…..

He hates it and says he’s going to shave the rest Saturday night because he will NOT go to church looking this way and won’t wear a hat to church!

On the other end of the kid spectrum, Belle dressed up for a contest at FUSE (her youth group).  The theme was “your favorite 90’s cartoon character.”  Can you guess who she was?  We threw this together pretty quickly….  (I just LOVE her dimples!)

That’s just the way we roll in April around here!

Well, I’d Never….

January 9, 2012

Well, this past week I most certainly did not use the Ogre’s eyebrow groomer to try to do my own.  I know that as sure as I tried, I’d crew-cut my eyelashes, so NO, I’d NEVER do that!!!  And of course it would not take me until the next day to figure out what I’d done!

I also would never try to defuzz my face with body Nair.  No-siree-bob!  I know that as sensitive as my skin is I’d irritate it for sure!  And I’d definitely not ever do something THAT dumb the day before the Ogre & I go to a Faith Hill/Tim McGraw concert with backstage passes to meet Ms. Hill!  (Who, btw, is (was) super-scrawny!)  And even if I was that dumb, I’d never, ever, let there be photographic evidence with me looking like a Roma tomato!!

I’d also never buy a new curling iron that proclaims to be for ‘hard to curl’ hair (which I have) and then try it out just before I go to work……two days in a row!!!  I always test out my beauty products and equipment before I have to be somewhere!  And certainly, none of the guys at work would ask me to start singing “Tomorrow” and call me Annie!

I guess there are lots of things I’d never, but somehow seem to do them anyway!

I Lost My Keys…..

November 21, 2011

Gee, there’s a song there.  “…in the great unknown.  And call me, please, I can’t find my phone.”   Yes, today I lost my keys.

We had Small Group Tailgating today after the 2nd church service.  It was supposed to be partly cloudy and 72, but ended up being drizzly and somewhere in the 60s (until about 4pm, THEN the sun came out!).  We partnered with a single guys’ group and they brought the meat & grill while our ladies’ group brought potato salad, mac n cheese, desserts, drinks, paper products and other goodies.

The kids (mine) went back & forth to the car several times, using my keys.  I finally told them just to leave it unlocked.  And somewhere in between the time I said that and the time I got in the car, the keys disappeared.  Swell.  It did NOT make The Ogre happy!  I was trying to think where they could’ve gotten to.  Everyone else in the group had gone – surely they would’ve said something about extra keys lying around!  Bella checked the parking lot where we’d been standing – nothing.  The Ogre went through the bags we’d put in the car to take home… dice.  The kids got out of the car to see if they were sitting on them, I checked my purse to see if someone tossed them in there, we looked in the glove box.  Finally, The Ogre told me to check my pockets.  I told him I didn’t feel them (surely you can feel a ring of keys while you’re sitting in jeans, right?) and kept patting my pockets.  Nothing.  Finally, I got out of the car to double check the bags in the back.  Found the keys.  IN MY POCKET!

Bella says, “Well, Oldilocks is back!”  Swell.  Just swell.  Life’s just a fairy tale, right?

Oh, Crap! (Why Moms Should Watch Their Phrasing)…

November 16, 2011

So, Bella & I are talking about what grade she’s in.  (It’s 7th.)  She tells me she was thinking it was 8th, but her ‘brain is scrambled.’  (That’s her favorite excuse for not giving me an answer to a question.)  Then the conversation goes like this:

B:    Only 5 more years and I’m outta here!

Me:   Well, you need to study hard so you can get into college, because you’re either going to have to get a four-year degree or go to a technical school, or beauty school (where she says, “Oh, ick, no!) or a trade school so you can earn a living.  No one’s going to throw money at you for standing there and looking good – you’re not tall enough to be a model.

B:     (after a pause)  Well, maybe….(giggling)…..

Me:    (another pause, then light bulb gleams)  No, you CAN’T be a stripper!!!!

Lesson may be learned, but I’m sure there will be more faux pas coming from me.  But it’ll be a funny story to tell when she does graduate!

A Patchwork Life…

October 30, 2011

At least 3 decades ago, my grandmother made a quilt.  Actually, she made 2, but I only have one of them.  They were made for my younger brothers’ beds – blue with a panel of athletes in the center.  After all this time, there’s been some damage and wear, so I’m attempting to re-use what Mamaw made originally.  That’s something she would approve of, as she was the Queen of Reuse.

Somehow, my darling son had a corroded battery land on this quilt and there’s a hole.  Didn’t fix it, but washed it and made it worse. (NOTE:  neutralize the acid with baking soda!!!)   It finally left Frank’s room and I claimed it as a lap quilt for downstairs.  One of our adorable four-legged kids found the hole and removed some of the batting.  Still — didn’t fix it!  But now I’ve come to the conclusion that if I don’t fix it, it will fall apart (hmmm, kind of like life’s problems).  So here goes.

Taking out Mamaw’s stitches around the binding was a bit hard for me.  Each stitch was hand-stitched.  Kinda felt like I was taking bits of her out of the quilt.  I hated tearing out Mamaw’s stitches.  But then I saw the holes, tiny as they are, all the way around the binding of my quilt, and I knew I would always have a bit of her with me. I finished removing the stitches.  I also realized that the center panel is hand-stitched, and those will stay.

I’ve chosen my fabrics to make a new panel, found some fleece to layer over the old panel (because I’m not removing it, just covering over it), and the material is in the washer.  I have to choose my pattern now – stripes (which would be so much quicker!) or blocks.  Nothing fancy, very simple.  There are much more complex patterns — diamond blocks, log cabin (I know, it’s probably easy, but you’re talking to the girl who can’t draw a straight line with a ruler, let alone CUT one!), jewel box, Sunbonnet Sue, etc.  I prefer the simplest way.

Life is like a quilt.  The top of the quilt may look new and shiny, perfect in every way, but underneath there may lurk damage and old layers that we have hidden.   There are people who have stitched themselves into the fabric of our lives who sometimes, must be removed from the top for whatever reason, but the holes they leave in the fabric will never go away.  Some people are stitched into the lower layers, hidden from view, like Mamaw’s stitches will always be.

Today, I have to choose a pattern.  How will my choices determine my life’s quilt?  Will it be beautiful and warm, or ratty and something you MIGHT let your dog sleep on?  I’m hoping my choices make my life a lovely thing.

(For a sermon on choices, watch today’s sermon at – it will post 10/31.  Your past is gone.  You can’t change it.  Your choices NOW will determine your life LATER.)



This Dog…..

October 23, 2011

This Dog...

has been in our family since 2001. My parents got her for Bella’s 3rd birthday. This dog has a mind of her own. She tucks herself into bed every night around 10pm and does NOT want to get out of bed in the morning (most days). This dog pretty much flips you the bird when you tell her to get up or, if it’s close to bedtime, to go outside one more time (she races up the stairs instead). This dog sleeps in my room every night. She will touch me with her paw if she wants my attention – several times if I don’t pay attention fast enough!

This dog also has a sensitive stomach. She can eat people food when she gets a nibble with nary a burp, but deviate from her normal “chow” and it’s like a baby with reflux! I love her, I love her, I love her, but this part of her I can do without! Apparently she has left me 3 presents upstairs (so Bella tells me), so I’d better grab my cleanup stuff (and of course, it’s on the tiny bit of carpet this house still has!) and head up.

Ahhhh, the joys of pets!