Friday, June 30, 2006

Random things that make me happy

After the last couple of posts being so "heavy," here is a "lighthearted" look at the things which make me happy (in no particular order, just the order I'm thinking of them).

1. Soul/funk music. I was walking around Norfleet Park the other day listening to Earth, Wind, and Fire and other things from my "Soulsville" mix, and it made me happy. Just brought a little sunshine into my world to hear the late Billy Preston tear up the keys on "Will It Go Round In Circles," and thinking how that someone should've rigged up a way for his music to be playing in his grave so he could groove for a long time to come. (Yeah, I said this would be lighthearted, but I didn't say it might not get a little weird).

2. Going to weigh-in and losing 2.5 lbs! Which I did last night! I won't mention the fact that Jason and I took an early anniversary supper afterwards at Olive Garden and it's quite likely I gained most of that back in one sitting!

3. Being able to make someone else happy. The only problem is, I feel like if I have to ask for help (like someone's birthday or address or something) and that person I've asked finds out what I'm doing, I feel like I'm doing something wrong. Does that make any sense?

4. Going out with my sister when Jason and Anna Marie are out of town, and getting to pretend for one brief shining moment that I'm young and carefree again, without the responsibilities of adulthood. (And, since I consider her a "cool" person, just the fact that she's with me and not her other "cool" friends makes me feel somewhat "cool").

5. Hearing Anna Marie laugh. Notice I didn't say "scream," which she often does when tickled. That most definitely does notmake me happy. I said "laugh."

And yes, my marriage makes me happy (most of the time) and my relationship with God, but I can't think of specific things about those things that make me happy.

So now it's your turn: let's start some comments about what makes you happy!

Also! Five Star Races tonight in Senatobia! Be there! Watch me make a slight fool of myself!
Also also! Cook out at my house Sunday after church! I'll bring the meat, you bring the sides! Be there! We'll also be going to Bellevue afterwards for their fireworks spectacular!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Slooowly coming out of the funk . . .

Everything isn't all better, but it is getting some better. I have come to a couple of realizations in the last few days.

1. Even though I was raised in church, the daughter, granddaughter, and wife of ministers (and dabbling in it myself on occasion), I am more like the average believer than I'd like to admit. When everything is going OK, I don't make time with God and His word a priority like I should. When I'm in a funk, what do I do? I read as much as I can get my hands on, pray ALL THE TIME, and even watch selected Christian TV programs to find a way out. When I get out, it's back to the same old, same old. I AM NO BETTER THAN ANYONE ELSE!


As God is my helper (and witness, for those of you who are Gone With The Wind Fans) I will not allow myself to get into this state again, if getting into this funk means that I've not spent enough time with Him. As that Arrested Development song said, I need to remember to use God for my steering wheel, not just my spare tire.

2. If, as I say, what I want to be doing with my life is writing full time, then gosh darn it, I'd better get to authoring. I can't just have that "pie in the sky" dream, with all of these ideas rattling around in my head, and not put them on paper, and wonder why a year from now I'm still wanting to be that author. I can't blame it on an inablility to get published, if I never give anyone anything to reject!

Well, those are my epiphanies for this week. Maybe more pearls of wisdom will be dropping from my lips soon.

Also, notice me smiling. Notice me also turning over a new leaf to focus on the positive things in my life, and not so much on the negative. For instance, the odd way my face looks now that I've lost weight, or that my nose really is 80% of my face like Brian Robertson told me in third grade.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Ever have one of those days?

Well, I'm having one of those days. Or, should I say, more than a day. I'm just in a funk.

It's pretty darn hot here, and the air is out in my van. I was led to believe it would be a simple, $25 switch, but no - there's a leak in the system! Dad and Jason bought special coolant which was supposed to stop a leak, but jugding by the performance today at lunch, it isn't fixed after all. And with Jason going out of town next week, it's anyone's guess when that will get fixed.

Last night, not only did the power supply on the laptop go bad, but the plug-in itself (as in, that thing attached to the inside of the computer) began to MELT! Now, we have to send it to Dell for repairs. It's just out of warranty (of course), but Jason has no recollection of being asked to purchase an extended warranty. So, it's all on us, to the tune of about $200.

(Did I mention the dental work Jason had this morning, nearly $200 worth? Or the fact that in three weeks he has to have another round done, and nearly $200 more?)

And I really feel like I should be doing other things with my life, but at this point I'm out of options and no one seems to be listening to me.

I know it could be worse - it has been worse - but I just can't shake this "pity party" feeling I'm having today.

Woe is me.

Sunday, June 25, 2006

Those cereal folks are geniuses.

We were walking down the cereal aisle at SWM last week, and as per usual, I was trying to be a good mom and find a cereal that would balance Anna Marie's need for sugar and cute characters with her need for nutrition.

Behold - Life Cereal, cleverly disguised as Superman Cereal. Or, that's the way a 4.5 year old brain saw things.

So of course, I got it for her - it's healthy, because it's Life. Yet, she thinks Superman now has a cereal, and she's all about anything having to do with super heroes.

The only downside: having never eaten Life Cereal myself, I did not know that it turns into primordial goo shortly after being introduced to milk. Thus, Anna Marie has to eat up pretty quickly.

On another kid-related note, I highly recommend Nanny McPhee. We got it in from Netflix yesterday, and we've already watched it twice. This may have to be one we purchase.

Friday, June 23, 2006

This could've been a picture of Anna Marie…

but there are an awful lot of weirdos out on the net these days.

Last night, she was on my bed getting into her PJs. She stood up and took off her shirt, leaving just her shorts on.

AM: "Do I look like that wrestler Jack Black?"

Me, horrified: "What do you know about Jack Black?"

AM: "He's a wrestler, and he doesn't have any shirt on, just pants. So do I look like him?"

Me: "Um, not really."

I guess she'd been seeing the Nacho Libre commercials on Nickelodeon. Odd, because I wouldn't think this movie would be suitable for small children.

On another note, I lost another half pound this week. Wohoo! That might not sound like much, but I was going to be happy just maintaining after the way I ate at Jeremy and Lindsey's reception. Who can resist store bought white cake with white buttercream frosting? Not me.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Because four days without a pic of the kid is four days too long.

Well, what do you think of my little "gym rat?" Although, she won't be one this summer because their summer program charges as much for one week as we pay in two months. And we have iPods and pocket PCs to buy, people. No money this summer for frivilous things like fitness.

Speaking of fitness (and iPods) I made good on my promise to use mine to better myself. I went out and walked two miles yesterday! Wohoo! Which I guess is good, because in a little over a week I'll be walking two miles with a good bit of Tate County watching. As per usual, I have purchased a new outfit especially for the occasion.

And Profiles is done! Watch for it in your June 27 edition of The Democrat and be suitably impressed. I just hope that Mr. Lee doesn't get the idea that I can do all this extra stuff by myself and refuse to let me try to find an intern next year. One summer of being over exerted is enough for me, thank you very much.

Now that my new toy is here, we're saving for Jason's - a pocket PC to replace his (well-worn) Palm Pilot. If anyone has any suggestions on what to buy, let us know!

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

It's here! It's here!

Wow. I go out for three hours to cover a meeting and take some pictures, and on my desk is a welcome sight - my iPod box.

Travis said he was tempted to get an old box from the back room, stomp on it real good, and replace the real box with it. Then he remembered what a bad week I've been having and decided I might not be amused. Good call, Travis.

I had no idea this thing would be so easy to set up. I just plugged it into my computer, and now all my songs are on it. The only bad part - the USB cable and the headphones are WHITE! Well, I can buy black headphones, but for $300, you'd think they'd put some that matched the iPod in there.

Now, I just have to finish Profiles so I can play with it!

Monday, June 19, 2006

Not here! Not here!

Well, this day's post was supposed to be a triumphant announcement of the arrival of my iPod (see post from Friday). However, it was not to be - when I realized at lunch that FedEx was probably not coming today, I called the number on my receipt. The nice lady on the other end (no, she wasn't from India - her name was Yolanda) said that my order had been pulled, but not shipped.

NOT SHIPPPED?!? Ok, Mel. No need to panic. It's just a couple of days more to wait.

I don't think they realize how long I've been waiting for this! And how badly I need it so I can exercise! And now I'm not sure of anything. Are they really even sending it FedEx like Lindsey said? Are the headphones going to be black or white (that's what's really concerning me folks!) I just don't know about anything anymore.

On a lighter note, I thought about Gavin today because I was out taking pictures and I heard "Champaigne Supernova." For those of you who don't know, Gav is a HUGE Oasis fan. I realized all over again (I hadn't heard that song since I was in college) why they could've been the next Beatles, if only those two brothers could've learned to get along! What a waste.

I will wait again tomorrow for my iPod. As Scarlett O'Hara said, "Tomorrow is another day."

Sunday, June 18, 2006

Happy Father's Day!

(Anna Marie was not being very cooperative this morning when I was trying to take this picture, in case you didn't notice.)

We've just been lazing about today, since the weather has been just nasty. It rained buckets and buckets yesterday, and today has been a repeat performance.

I spent yesterday evening at a reception for Jeremy and Lindsey hosted by her dad in Millington. Well, after we spent 45 minutes trying to find the place on Jeremy's directions and finally had to meet him somewhere and follow him in. He did not inherit dad's sense of direction. That distinction went to Jonathan. Anyway, we had a nice time, and I totally used up a TON of flex points. Oh well - that's what they're there for, and besides, I had given blood that morning so I needed more food!

Aunt Esther and Alison came down to church this morning, and Al looks great! You'd never guess she gave birth just a couple of months ago. Good on ya, Al! Afterwards, we all went to Rio Lindo and Anna Marie took it upon herself to invite our Crittenden County relations over. Panic alert! I knew the living room and kitchen were clean, but the table had several days worth of "bring it in and set it here because we're too tired to properly put it away" stuff on it, and Anna Marie's room looks like the proverbial tornado hit it. Luckily, Jason and AM came home first and I rode with the others, so he had a chance to make the table presentable. I told them we'd have to have them over when we had more notice.

My parents were supposed to come over tonight for a cook-out, but the weather has taken care of that. Dad wants to go to Batesville to eat at Western Sizzlin, so we may all do that. I guess one meal of family togetherness wasn't enough for him.

Anyway, happy Father's Day to all the dads out there, and the ones who don't have any kids of their own but are like fathers to some. And most especially to my dad and to Jason! Two men who like nothing better than to tickle their children into hysterics, and then do it all over again.

Friday, June 16, 2006

It's on its way!

My iPod! I went by Radio Shack this morning and Lindsey ordered it for me. It's coming FedEx, so I had it sent to the office.

My acceptance speech:

"This would not have been possible without the help of so many people. First, I'd like to thank God, because He provided for this iPod. Second, I'd like to thank my husband Jason, for giving me the seed money for this project. I'd also like to thank whoever hacked into our PayPal account last week and stole $99.99, because Jason figured if we'd worked around it waiting for it to be reimbursed, it could also be donated to the cause. I'd also like to thank my job, The Democrat, because without my paycheck, I could not have saved up for this day. And last but not least, I'd like to thank Lindsey Raney, for being such a good Radio Shack employee and even checking to see if there were any in the back. Thank you all!"

I have justified the purchase of said iPod by the logic that since I love music so much, and it's a pain to carry around a CD player and have to change CDs, I will be more inclined to exercise. I will be testing this theory as I prepare for the Five Star Races (see post below).

I just hope the headphones are black too. That's really going to tick me off if they're white.

Thursday, June 15, 2006

My blog's 1 week anniversary!

Where has the time gone? Oh, yeah, to hospitals and cut deadlines, that's where!

I am about to sign Anna Marie and myself up for the Senatobia Five Star Races. It's her fourth year, and my first. Of course, I only run when chased - so, it's the 2-mile walk for me. For any of my readers (and I know there are just DOZENS out there) who live anywhere in the Mid-South, come on down. You can sign up at the race, if not before. The entry fee funds scholarships at NWCC, and you get a T-shirt and an after-race buffet.

Anna Marie looks forward to this every year. Only thing is, she doesn't know she doesn't win - they give everyone in her age group a trophy. Maybe this will be the year she finally beats her "arch nemesis," Peyton. Although, guess who is one of her friends from gymnastics? Yep, you guessed it - Peyton.

Note: It is Amanda and I, not little AM herself, who has dubbed Peyton an "arch nemesis." I'm sure she's a perfectly lovely little girl, she just happens to run faster than MY perfectly lovely little girl.

In related news, I got the go-ahead to order the iPod I've been pining away for! I think I'm going to get it from Radio Shack, because my new sister-in-law works there and she can get the commission off the sale. Black 30GB iPod Video coming soon! I'll also be in need of an armband, since one of the "justifications" for this purchase is that it'll help me be more motivated to exercise.

In this pic from last year's race (Thanks, LaJuan!) Anna Marie is making herself very distant from Peyton. Perhaps our talk of an "arch nemesis" has rubbed off on her! I hope not - they could be in school together one day.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006


(I was trying to type the sound I made today when I found out that Shirley decided to move up the deadline on Profiles from Thursday to Monday. And I found out from AMANDA, not SHIRLEY)

Yes, I, who have no intern yet (because her drug test isn't back yet so she can't start), have to do Profiles by myself and four days earlier than I had anticipated. And by the way, WHEN was Shirley planning on telling me?

So, being the trooper that I am, I got the run sheet out and dummied the paper. 10 pages, including the cover and two full-page ads. Not too shabby. Then (and I know LaJuan and Amanda will not be the least bit surprised at this) Shirley comes in and brings me a post-it with MORE ADS! Well, we're up to 12 pages now. I just hope there won't be any more.

(For the record, I'm not writing this at work)

On a brighter note, Dad came home yesterday afternoon. He'd been waiting for two days on an ultrasound of his thyroid, but when he asked when he could have it, the nurses checked his chart and said not for another month. Do what? Seems the dye in his veins from the other tests prevented the ultrasound. I guess he felt better, because he was back at the auction today.

Also, Anna Marie has been thoroughly enjoying VBS at the local Nazarene Church this week. She actually cries when I go pick her up!

Monday, June 12, 2006

It costs HOW MUCH?


That's how much one of the Walt Disney World weddings cost that was featured on the Food Network this weekend. Of course, they saved that little tidbit until the end - after you'd seen the multiple parties, food tastings, and customization of everything.

Now, I'm all for getting married, and I'm all for having a nice wedding. But, I'm afraid that kind of expense - even IF you have that kind of money - borders on the insane.

One of the things that pushed this couple's tab up was called "crown service." Instead of telling guests what would be served at the reception, the guests picked their dinners as they were being served. Translation: instead of service for 100, these people paid for service for 300 (they had three different entrees) to make sure everyone had what they wanted. Also, I would assume that roughly 2/3 of each entree went into the trash.

Another big ticket item: $2,000 to have the Disney characters dance at the reception. That was on top of the over $800 cake, the rehearsal dinner, and the "Alice in Wonderland" themed bridesmaid's tea. Oh, and the $2,000 just to ride a few blocks in Cinderella's coach to the ceremony site.

I can think of better ways to spend $70,000. For instance: how about $10,000 for the wedding, and then putting the other $60,000 on a house? Even at $10,000, you could get a bang-up set of nuptials.

In the interest of full disclosure, my wedding set us back around $2,000, including my dress. I would like to think that IF I'd had, say, $70,000 to spend, I still wouldn't have gone much above that - but then, I'm pretty tight.

Oh, and a dad update: as of press time, he is still in the hospital getting more tests done. This time, it's an ultrasound on his thyroid, because they found some problems. He wants us to bring his van back up there and park it outside his window (he's on the first floor) so that he can sneak out and go to Krystal for breakfast. Will he ever change?

Sunday, June 11, 2006

He's not home yet!

Much to his chagrin.

The hospital was supposed to have done a CT scan on Friday, but it didn't get done until yesterday. As of this morning, he was waiting for the doctor to discharge him. He threatened to leave on his own, but the nurse told him the insurance wouldn't pay if he did.

Poor guy. He's starving - hospital food is bad enough, but he can't even eat part of what he's brought. They brought a diabetic Frosted Flakes! Although, a little portion control would not be a bad thing for him. For breakfast this morning, he said he had a "heaping tablespoon" of eggs and some toast.

On a side note, I'm really glad the TiVo got all those episodes of "My Name is Earl." I've had a little time late at night the last couple of days (and this morning) to watch them. Hilarity has ensued. Trashy people are funny!

On another side note, this picture is dad and Anna Marie last summer on our family's trip to Heber Springs, Ark. No, he isn't a biker, but he is balding, thus the occasional do-rag.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Dad update

Well, they did a heart cath yesterday evening, and found blockage, but not enough to put in a stint. They're giving him medicine (great-another pill!) to try to unblock the artery. Last night they said he could go home today, but as of press time (shortly after noon) he wasn't out yet. I think he was going to call his friend T-Bone (he who is as tall laying down as he is standing up) to spring him from "the joint." (It's not that the rest of us don't care about him, but we've got this thing at church tonight and we're all running around like the proverbial headless chickens.)

Also, against my better judgement I took Anna Marie to Relay for Life last night when we got back (mainly because when she woke up from her nap coming back and realized we hadn't gone, she was distraught. I know - I'm a bad mom!) She packed quite a bit of activity into that 45 minutes, and thankfully slept very late this morning.

Friday, June 09, 2006

My dad

Well, what a day THIS has been. It all started at some point last night, because I spent most of the night tossing and turning, unable to sleep. I still don't know why.

Then first thing this morning, Jeremy comes in to say that he's been laid off. He has a surprisingly good attitude about the whole thing.

Oh, yeah, then he casually mentions that dad's at the doctor with chest pains and is probably headed to the hospital.


I had a meeting to cover, so when I got out I called mom. She was at the hospital with him. They'd already run an EKG at the doctor's office and would admit him at Baptist DeSoto to run more tests. He's there now, and so is she.

This was such a busy weekend - the local Relay for Life is tonight, and I was supposed to cover it. Luckily, Shirley is going (like she does to everything else around here) and promised to take pictures so Amanda and I can go to Southaven to see dad.

Tomorrow is our big Community Day at church, and mom still wants us to go on as planned. We had a wedding to attend tomorrow before the church thing, but I'm not sure if we'll make it to that or not.

I just wish he would take better care of himself!

I know this isn't a very good picture, but it's all I had at work with me today. It's classic dad.

Thursday, June 08, 2006

I did it!

Fifty pounds down! Wohoo! I got this nifty magnet tonight at my weigh-in. (For those of you who don't know, I've been going to Weight Watchers since August. I figure I'll be 30 soon, and if I don't lose it now, I may never.)

Though, it seems like losing that much should get me something more than a magnet - hmm. Jason has already given me some "seed money" towards the iPod I've been dreaming of.

What, you don't dream about buying stuff? Then you, my friend, must not have grown up in relative poverty, with a house full of kids and always having to wait your turn to get stuff. It isn't that I wasn't thankful for what I had, but I guess my subconscious mind wanted more.

In the late 1980's, my dreams entailed high-top Reeboks. You remember the ones that came in all those colors? Man, did I ever want a pair! I figured that a pair of those shoes, along with some Guess jeans and a "Coca-Cola" rugby shirt, were just about the coolest clothes ever. We could only afford the Payless version, but at night I would dream that I had a pair in every color. The next morning, I'd wake up really bummed that I had to put on my Payless shoes instead of some cool Reeboks in yellow or red. (Keep in mind, I was in the 6th or 7th grade at the time).

In later years, my dreams turned to cars. Usually, it was a Mustang or Grand Am. Then I'd wake up and drive my 1983 Buick Skylark to school.

These days, it's an iPod. I even dreamed last week that my parents each had one, and I didn't! Luckily, Jason gave me some money towards one for Mother's Day, and I've been saving, so I'm about 2/3 of the way there. Black 30 GB iPod Video, here I come!

If only I'd been doing the "put $1 away for each pound lost" thing, I'd be $50 closer!

Oh well.

I thought this whole "blogging" thing was supposed to be easy - but, on the first day of my new adventure, I picked THE site that was going to have problems EACH AND EVERY TIME I'VE TRIED TO POST. This is attempt number three.

And no, I did not save any of those other posts. I work in publishing. You'd think I'd have learned to have a backup.

You've been waiting with bated breath for this blog. You know you have. So many times you've asked yourself, "I wonder what Anna Marie is up to today?" or "What is really going on in Melissa's head?" or even, "Does Jason ever speak more that two words put together?"

Obviously, I can't answer all of those questions in a single place. All in good time, my readers, all in good time.

All that I ask is, if you're reading, PLEASE let me know what you think. There's nothing worse than putting your innermost thoughts out for everyone to read, and then learning that no one wants to read them.

In the words of GRITS, here we go ....

(On the picture - when your kid wants to get in the fire truck, it helps to know the Chief!)