Monday, July 30, 2007

Happy Birthday Amanda!

She is totally going to kill me for dredging up this picture from last summer. Especially since she donated her hair to Locks of Love and got a cute haircut in return.

Problem is, she's always behind the camera. Never in front of it. So, not many pictures of her exist.

Like the Loch Ness Monster. Or Bigfoot. Only she's a better baker. And, of course, she isn't a monster.

Oh, what's this? Something I found in an old email? Tee hee!

She's one of the most giving, loving people I've ever met. She'll do anything for anyone.

And the sad part is, from what I can tell, there are those in her circle who don't appreciate her. Take advantage, in fact.

But she keeps on doing and loving anyway.

Because that's the kind of person she is.

She's filling in at the paper this month, not because she needs the money (which she probably does) or because she loved working here so much (which she definitely didn't.) She's here to help me and the GM, Shirley, because she knows what a strain it would be on us without the regular graphic artist here.

She loves to bake birthday cakes - in fact, she's made herself one this year. Strawberry. MMMM!

And she's making me a Boston creme pie for mine next week (did I mention, we're exacty three years and 51 weeks apart?), because she's got a new recipe she wants to try out. Even though I've never eaten BCP, I'm sure it'll be delicious. And vegan. And not-at-all points friendly.

For her birthday this year, I secured an official coach's notebook. From the coach of the Memphis Grizzlies. Autographed by the Grizzlies.

Yep. Those Grizzlies. I had to fight a little old lady for it. (No, really, I did. And seeing my obvious superiority, she gave up.) And if I see it on ebay, I'm gonna kill her.

Amanda's had a dream for years to go to England. So she saved her money, quit her job, and went.

Just like that. Like it was just that easy to go to the other side of the world, all by yourself.

She's the best Aunt Manda in the world. And Anna Marie should know - she's got two of them.

Everyone needs an Aunt Manda.

She's such a great Aunt Manda, that as soon as she found out I was pregnant with Anna Marie, (and we lived 500 miles apart) she started trying to figure out how to be with us when the kid was born. So she spent nearly a year with us, going to school at the University of South Carolina at Aiken. And all she ended up with from the experience was $6,000 in student debt.

And the first year of Anna Marie's life. Totally worth it in her book - being there in the room when her first (and so far only) neice was born. Being able to take the baby's very first photograph, in which the 15-minute-old looked straight into the camera lens. It was love at first sight for both of them.

It was Amanda, not me, who chronicled Anna Marie's first year of life in pictures. Without her, I wouldn't have a completed first-year scrapbook, but a bunch of empty pages. Because I was in no shape that whole year to do anything constructive.

I'm sorry about all the time I wasted, when we were younger, being awful to her. And the occasional awful moment we have now. I'm just glad that we've been able to have a relationship as adults.

Because my sister is one of the coolest people I know.

Friday, July 27, 2007

Man, I love having Amanda back in my office!

Amanda has been working up here at the paper for the past couple of weeks, filling in for her replacement who is out on maternity leave.

And she's (if you read her comment on my Dr. Who post, you know this) a huge David Tennant fan.

And even if you don't watch the show, I think you'll find this little clip funny.

At least I hope you will.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

I now declare that the month of July 2007 will forever be known hereafter as:

The Month of 159.

You know, like on Rudolph's Shiny New Year, when they go to the Archipelago of Old Years (or something like that) and there is someone on each island named after the year - like "Old 10-2-9" for the year 1029.

You get the picture.

Anyway, if I remember correctly, three weeks is the longest plateau I've seen in the nearly two years (two years!) I've been on this "journey."

Except maybe instead of a "journey," I should call it a "rest stop."

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

My husband has turned me into a SciFi geek.

And I'm not afraid to admit it.

Well, maybe I am. Just a little.

While we were dating and first married, he would talk on and on about a show called "Doctor Who." It came on his local PBS affiliate when he was growing up, and he thought it was the best show EVER.

So, after we got married, I got him a gift certificate to ebay for some occasion (which I'd forgotten and needed something quickfastinahurry) and he used it to buy a DVD.

A Doctor Who DVD.

He explained that there had been many, many Doctors over the last 40 years or so. This disk starred Tom Baker, who was Jason's favorite.

I didn't really see the appeal. It was cheesy. It was lame. It had poor production values.

He continued to build his Tom Baker collection through different DVD clubs.

Then, the BBC brought it back. In England. Not here.

Jason actually wrote the BBC, to ask why we couldn't get any of their channels on our satellite service. They (the cheeky monkeys) responded that they gave us BBC America. Wasn't that good enough?

No, apparently. Not for my husband. He was distraught.

Then, the SciFi channel (maybe one of Jason's favorite channels, beloved for their movies about overgrown insects and lab-mistake reptiles) started showing the new series.

I was marginally interested. It starred Christopher Eccleston.

I thought he was the best. I hoped they'd keep him for a while.

Then, there was a situation and they needed a new doctor. Enter David Tennant.

I am now officially hooked.

SciFi has just started showing the second season with him as The Doctor. I hadn't seen the season finale, so I was unsure what had happened to his companion Rose.

(Oh, did I mention her? She was delightful too. Apparently one in a long line of female companions. Possibly there for the 45-year-old men who live in their mom's basement and attend SciFi conventions.)

So, Netflix to the rescue. I just finished the two-part season finale. (Yes, I'm at work. I can multi-task. Just don't tell The Man.)

Ohmanohmanohman. Those are probably two of the best written episodes of television I've ever seen.

Keep in mind, I'm not a big devotee of any particular show. Except The Office. And My Name is Earl. And Ugly Betty.

(Good thing we have a DVR, as all three of my favorite shows are on simultaneously.)

And now, apparently, Doctor Who.

I hear that BBC America is now showing last season (Tennant's first). I highly recommend watching. (Did I just do that? Did I just tell someone to watch a science fiction show?)

What hath Jason wrought?

Monday, July 23, 2007

My first mosaic

Created with fd's Flickr Toys.

Not spectacular - just some pictures I took at the family reunion nearly a month ago.

So I'm behind on both the whole mosaic movement, and the reunion pictures.

Two for two!

I got carded this morning

Was it for cigarettes? Nope, I don't smoke.

Alcohol? Nope, we live in a "dry county."

It was for Dimetapp.

The world is getting pretty bad when you can't even buy grape flavored medicine for your kid without having to show ID.

I got a call at a few-minutes-till-six this morning, from our presses in Grenada. There was a minor problem with a couple of the pages that were sent down Friday, and even though they aren't my responsibility, I live closest to the paper so I get the call.

I told Jason we're moving back out to the county.

Anyway, I fixed one problem, told the press that I couldn't fix the other problem, and decided to run to WalMart. Because I needed a Coke Zero.

At 6:30 a.m.

Coke. It's not just for breakfast anymore.

While I was in there, I picked up some mousse, and some Tylenol Sinus for me (because I've been a walking sinus monster the last week, inner ear trouble and all) and some Dimetapp for Anna Marie.

Because she gets sick every year this time, and this year I'd really like to avoid a visit to the doctor.


So I go to check out, and I get asked for ID. I can't figure out what for, and then I see - Anna Marie's medicine. They've already put all the good stuff behind the pharmacy counter. What could possibly be in this stuff that I'd need carded for?

I guess they've made imitation grape flavoring illegal now. Maybe there are people cooking up fake Welch's Grape Juice in labs or something.

Maybe I'm in the wrong business.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In



I'm at 159 again.

Well, I suppose - no, I know! - that's better than a gain. Not as good as a loss, but better than a gain.

Much better.

How are y'all doing?

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The countdown begins

Three weeks and counting.

Three weeks until Anna Marie starts school.

I think it's finally hitting me.

I don't know why this is such a big deal for me. It isn't like I'm with her 24/7 (like I was the first year of her life). I get up and leave her for 8 or more hours per day.

Granted, most days I see her for lunch, so it's just a couple of four-hour stints. But still.

Mom says it's because now, I know pretty much how her day goes. She's either with Jason or Ms. Kim the babysitter. I know who she's around, and I know (basically) what she's doing.

In three weeks, that won't be the case. Oh, sure, I'll know where she is - over at the elementary school. And after the first day of school, I'll know who her teacher is (I know most of the kindergarten teachers already, along with the principal and the school secretary, and several other staff members). But I won't know what kinds of situations she's being faced with, and I won't know (until later at least) what her reactions to those situations will be.

Make sense? Kind of? No?

For instance - if she is at the babysitter's house, and Dayton (the sitter's five year old son) is mean to her, I know she can tell his mom and he'll be punished. It won't be that cut-and-dried at school, and there will be more kids for her to deal with at once.

I lay in bed last night, worrying what to pack in her lunch on the first day. Seriously. I would probably be worrying much more about her clothes, but mom bought her an outfit last week. And call me a bad mom, but I'm not investing much in new school clothes right now. It's still hot as blazes, so it doesn't make sense to buy a bunch of pants and sweaters. And it doesn't make sense to buy a bunch of shorts (what's left in the stores, anyway) because in a few weeks it'll be pants weather. So she'll be wearing the same clothes she's been wearing this summer - except for the shorty shorts, because I really don't think those are school appropriate.

And the other thing that's got me up nights - on the first day of school, where am I going to park to take her in the building? There really isn't much parking at all, and I know I'm not the only mom who'll be escorting their little one in that morning.

I'm thinking about parking around the corner at a church and walking across the street. I know she might not like it, but I don't see much alternative.

On the other hand, we will have lots of school supplies to carry. Oh my goodness - that list is ridiculous. Dry erase markers? Really? Like she's going to be the one using those? I think not.

Jason actually doesn't want to buy them, but I refuse to send my kid to school on the first day without everything on that list. Every.last.thing.

(That's a self-esteem thing, because as a kid we always struggled to buy our school supplies and I don't want others to think I didn't buy the markers because I couldn't afford them. Yes, I have issues.)

Here's another thing compounding her first day - it's the first Tuesday, which means I have a meeting at 5:00 p.m. It's also election day here in the county, so as soon as I get her tucked into bed I'll have to go to the courthouse and wait for primary results.

And! And! I got a call from the babysitter last week, saying that she was taking a full-time job after the kids (Dayton is her youngest) start school, so she won't be able to get Anna Marie on auction days. I don't know what she's going to do with Dayton (probably leave him at home with his 12-year-old sister), but now I have to come up with alternative childcare plans for one or two days a week.

It's all too much to digest. The school-starting, the parking, the lunch, the alternative childcare - just too much.

Somebody give me some sleeping pills and wake me in about a month.

After the first day of school.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Dang, am I tired.

What a weekend.

Y'all, we had a yard sale Saturday. Seriously.

If any of you had been in the North Mississippi area, you could've had some of my stuff! And some of my mom's!

And some free lemonade (TIPS ARE APPRECIATED!) from Anna Marie. (She made about a buck. Not many takers, and not many tippers.)

(And we even tried to sell the Amazing Technicolor Dream Van, but the battery was dead. So Jason boosted it off to get it to the front of the house. And then when we went to move it again, the battery was dead again. And he flooded it trying to get it boosted again. So he just pushed it back into the back yard.)

In case you didn't know, yard sales are lots of work. And since I'd been at home by myself for most of the past week, I wisely left most of that work until Jason got home.

Because no way was I squandering my precious alone time on yard sale work. I can do that with the two of them at home. I can't veg out on the couch with them here.

We set the sale for 8 a.m. I got up at 6 a.m. to start setting up.

People were here by 6:30. It was crazy. And a little annoying.

We sold a good bit of stuff, but not some of the bigger stuff we'd hoped for - like Jason's massive computer desk. Because he doesn't need such a big one. Because he bought two flat-panel monitors to replace the big, clunky monitors he'd had.

(And that was the impetus for the sale - to make enough to pay for the monitors. We got about 1/3 of the way there.)

That desk is so heavy, I almost would've given it away to keep from having to take it back into the house. We got it for free from my office when we got new furniture a couple of years ago. It's a regular office desk, and God only knows how much was paid for it.

And now, there is a wide expanse of space between the edge and those monitors. And I know, I just know, that soon it will be cluttered. And I'd rather have a smaller desk, so that there will be less expanse to clutter.

And did you realize, did you realize, that after a yard sale, you have to take that stuff you didn't sell and do something with it? Like put it back into your house? Crazy.

I needed Neicy from Clean House to tell us to put it on a charity truck. If we had charity trucks in Senatobia. Which we don't. We have charity, but you have to truck it over there yourself.

On the bright side, the office is the cleanest room in the house right now. Probably because everything that usually makes it cluttered is in MY DINING ROOM.

But, before I put Anna Marie to bed last night - because, did I mention, she has to get on a schedule because school starts in three weeks? And I'm panicking at the thought of that? - Jason told her that they were going to get serious about cleaning the house today.

And she had the nerve to ask, "Why?"

Because if they don't, we won't be able to find our way out of the house to take her to school.

Which might not be such a bad thing after all.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh-In

Slow ride. Take it easy.

No, I don't know the name and/or artist associated with that song. It's just stuck in my head.

Possibly because that's what my weight loss has been - a slow ride.

This week, I didn't lose anything. Anything measurable, at least.

And that's OK. Because you know what I did this week? Treated myself to some YUMMY Sara Lee Lemon Ice Box Pie at the auction as my reward for getting up at the crack of dawn and putting up with rude, ungreatful people.

(Who don't appreciate a full meal [entree, vegetables, bread, dessert, drink, salad bar] for $2. Because that's what the employees pay. Two bucks. And then they complain that they get there 15 minutes before we shut the line down and we haven't made more of whatever-the-heck it is they want.)

(Gah - this has to be the LONGEST Official Thursday Weigh-In post ever.)

So, 159. Again.

Not a problem. Nosiree Bob. Not a problem at all.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Happy anniversary

To us!

That was Jason and me, nine years ago today.

Dumb, I mean, young and in love, as the saying goes.

We haven't been in the same vicinity on July 11 for four years now. He's always in South Carolina working. He called me early this morning to wish me a happy anniversary.

Interesting fact: the church where we were married doesn't exist anymore. It was a brand spankin' new building (just opened the week before) when we got hitched. A year or two later, it was falling down around the congregation and the powers-that-be ended up condemning it.

So, they sold the land and built another building a few miles away. I haven't been there, but I hear that they saved that gorgeous stained glass window you see in our picture. It was just installed the day before our wedding. Handmade by two little old ladies.

My mother and I spent a couple of (really, really) hot days seeding the grounds around the church, because the city wouldn't clear it to open unless it was "landscaped." My dad borrowed a tractor to till the ground to get it ready.

And why, you may ask, was the church so poorly constructed?

Ah, the beauty of church politics.

There was an older man who was a contractor. He was also one of the main contributors to the church. So, when the time came to build, they let him have the job.

The congregation had plenty of money to build with, from the sale of their previous property. But, this guy messed so much up, they had to borrow nearly $100,000 from their denomination to finish the work. And, it took twice as long, because this guy basically did all the work himself. He didn't trust anyone else, and he was an EXTREME racist. So even if he did trust someone, unless the person "looked like him" he wouldn't hire them.

And did the church get to sue him for his shoddy workmanship? No, because by that point he was dead.

Anyway, I guess the church served its purpose, for us anyway. It's funny to think that even at nine years, our marriage has outlasted this structure. We drive down the road it was on now, still a vacant lot standing there, and tell Anna Marie that was the spot where it all began.

An overgrown concrete slab and what's left of a parking lot.

Monday, July 09, 2007

You gotta have friends

Man, I have the best blogging friends in the whole wide world.

In fact, one of them sent me this nifty gift today. Even the envelope was fancy schmancy!

It now occupies a place of honor in my office, on my windowsill.

(Yes, I have a windowsill in my office. My publisher's father, the elder Mr. Lee, used to use this room as his office. He died of a heart attack at his desk, and no one found him for several hours because the door was closed. Now, this office and the one next to it that used to be for our editor both have windows. Can't take a chance like that again, now can we?)

I could only hope to be so creative. And good thing it came today, because tomorrow I'm pretending to be Jason and working at the auction.

Beginning at 5:00 a.m., which means I have to leave my house about 4:00 a.m. or so.

Which also means I'd best be getting to bed.

Sunday, July 08, 2007

Computer withdrawals

I'm going through the DTs. For my computer.

(Yes, I'm online now, but it's just because my sister came over to borrow our high-speed and left my mom's laptop here until tomorrow. Awfully nice, since she does have a desktop at home.)

Jason and Anna Marie are at South Carolina. And along with half our towels, he took both our computers!

And Scrapbookpalooza, this weekend has not been.

They left Thursday morning. Thursday night, Amanda came over and spent the night, and we watched Love, Actually. There were some, um, unexpected scenes in there.


Friday night I had to work, because the city school board didn't have enough members to meet Thursday night. We were out of there after about 30 minutes, but I was a bit peeved to have another couple of hours of my weekend whittled away.

I came home and ate dinner while watching The Royal Tennenbaums. Excellent movie.

(Yeah, I'm way behind in my movie viewing. It gets hard to find something that doesn't involve computer animation or talking animals when the other two are around.)

I hadn't planned on going to the family reunion yesterday, but I did. And I had to get up at 6:00 a.m. to do it, so I could ride in the same convoy as the Aunt Who Is In Charge Of All Things Familial.

Which also meant I had to help set up and take down the food. And that I was exhausted when I got home last night, and only had enough energy to make a couple of fat free Ball Park franks on the George Foreman and veg out.

And I took pictures, but Jason also took the card reader. I'll have to wait until I get back to work. The horror!

More vegging today, too, as Amanda came over after church and made us Sushi and we watched a Mystery Science Theater 3000 from Netflix. Giant Spider Invasion. Pretty horrific - horrifically bad.

I have barely moved off the couch all day. And now, I finally have computer access to catch up on teh intarwebs.

At least until I go to work tomorrow.

Friday, July 06, 2007

Official Thursday Weigh In

Well, since Jason and AM left yesterday morning (and took both computers!) I've had to wait until now, Friday morning, and borrow my sister's (really my mom's that she borrowed) laptop. It was otherwise occupied by Amanda last night, and I didn't stay up late enough to wait my turn.


I broke the 150's this week! I lost another pound, taking me down to 159!

I guess almost suffering a heat stroke burns lots of calories!

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

A 5-Star Update

(And you might be wondering why it's called the 5-Star Races. It's because Senatobia used to be known as the 5-Star City, those stars being Industry, Community, Agriculture, Recreation, and Education. Spells "I CARE." Clever, no?)


I was really useless for most of Saturday. I took a nap and everything, and Sunday my rear end hurt, along with my shins.

On Monday, Shirley, the president of the Optimist Club (sponsor of the race) and my co-worker, asked how I did. I told her that I'd gotten sick from the heat and had to stop, and she said there were more people complaining about the heat this year than ever before.

And the walk doesn't start until after 7:00 p.m., if that's any indication of how hot Mississippi is at the end of June.

So, I wasn't imagining things - it really was dangerously hot. I'm not crazy!

Did you notice AM's new glasses in the picture at the top of this post? They're Barbie brand, and I like them muchly. I'm also hopeful that they won't get bent as easily as the wire rimmed pair.

Here she is again, doing some strange pre-race ritual. Next to her in line is her Arch Nemesis, Peyton. With her dad. And I found out this week that the whole family runs on a regular basis.


And here is the picture my loving husband took of me, starting the race. Don't I look fly, in that bandanna? I forgot to bring a hair barrette to hold my locks back, and I found the bandanna in the car so I put it on.

(Click the picture to enbiggen. I think.)

(Incidentally, that fabric may have contributed to my overheating, by slowing down the heat exiting my head. Possibly. Maybe. That's my scientific assessment.)

I guess it goes to show, no matter how fly you look, it doesn't do a bit of good if your insides are cooking.