Monday, July 27, 2009

August issues

Today, I made a new folder on my computer called "August issues."

Now, this is nothing new - working for a newspaper, I have to have a way to organize my work each week, and my way happens to be creating a folder for each month, and then a sub-folder inside that for each week.

And since I work in some sort of wonky space-time continuum, even though we haven't reached the end of July, I'm already working on August.

And I realized, why, I do have August issues. I have issues with the fact that it's almost August already!

I have issues with the idea that next week, a little red-head I know is starting second grade. How did that even happen? What does that even mean?

Will I ever get done with her neverending list of school supplies?

I have issues with the notion that, starting next week, I'll have to get up a whole hour early to get to the gym. I'll have to start thinking about lunches, and backpacks, and clothes for the next day.


I am not ready for waiting on 3:00, to see how she's done in school that day.

I am not ready to worry again about how the other kids are treating her, or how she's treating them, and what kind of influence all the kids are being on each other.

I am not ready for fundraisers, and field trips, and having to make sure she wears tennis shoes every day for a week because she'll be going to gym.

And I am most definitely not ready to spend large chunks of my time sitting in traffic, wondering if the people with the out-of-county tags in front of me are really supposed to be here, or if they're trying to sneak into our fabulous school system.

And while we're at it, I'm also not ready for another birthday next week, or the 10th anniversary of my grandmother's passing, or having to put yet another issue of our magazine to bed.

Yes, I do have "August issues." And that's why I'm going to leave you with a picture of my cousin's daughter, Amelia, who, after spending the first two years of her life being skeptical of me, finally decided I was OK yesterday and has secured herself a spot as my new favorite person.

The end.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Donut be sad!

Just when I was lamenting to myself that I didn't have anything to blog about, this happens.

It all started when I came home last night, and Jason said, "Let's go get some chicken."

Now, you have to understand - our local KFC has a reputation for not actually having any chicken. And last night, they did not disappoint.

First, Anna Marie ordered the popcorn chicken.

"That will be three-and-a-half minutes, because we have to cook it," she said.

Fine. That wasn't so bad. Then I looked at the pitiful amount of grilled chicken under the heat lamp, and asked about the prospects for, say, some white meat.

"We don't have any," she said. Would they have some coming in a few minutes? No - it would be 20, she said, which is how long it takes to grill.

Which means they hadn't even started cooking any, and it was the dinner rush.

I selected a honey barbeque sandwich, Jason asked for some chicken strips, and we ate.

(Half an hour later, when we left, there was STILL no new grilled chicken, meaning that they hadn't started any even after we'd asked for it.)

Fine. We still had plenty of time to make it to church. Or so we thought.

Thanks to the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, it took us 45 minutes to go 15 miles. We were already late for church at that point, but I didn't think we'd be too late.

Once again, I was wrong.

Since Jason had discovered at KFC that he'd forgotten his wallet, I was driving. And just south of our exit, I heard a terrible noise. I stopped the car, and Jason got out to investigate.

Yes, from the picture at the top of this post, you can gather that we'd blown a tire. No problem, I thought, but I was about to be wrong YET AGAIN.

After Jason put the "donut" spare on, he got back into the car and said, "We aren't going anywhere."

Why? Because our spare was flat too, of course! Lovely!

I did what any girl would do in my position. I called my dad. He came and brought a small air compressor to air up the spare, and we started home.

Of course, by this point, church was over. A wasted trip! Or was it…

God taught me a lesson, which I wish He could've gotten though to me without the whole flat-tire incident.

I realized when I got home that I hadn't really freaked out. Why? Because I knew Jason was with us, and he could change a tire. If I had tried to do it myself, it would've been a great big EPIC FAIL because I have neither the expertise, nor the physical strength, to change a tire. But Jason? He had both.

I would've been an idiot to try to push him out of the way and do it myself.

(Yes, my dad did teach me to change a tire before I started driving, but that was a LONG time ago, and I haven't really had to use that skill. Ever. And have you ever tried to break free a lug nut that was put on with an air wrench? I have. Not fun.)

Why can't I seem to trust God like I do my husband? Why can't I realize that when I try to fix my problems myself, when I don't really have the means to do so, that I royally mess things up.

I'm thankful that I wasn't alone, that we're experiencing unseasonably cool weather, that it was daylight, and that it was not raining. I'm thankful that the flat was on the passenger's side, so Jason wasn't against the interstate traffic.

(And I'm really thankful that Anna Marie had brought her Game Boy, so she barely noticed the hour we sat there slip by.)

So that's why I "Donut be sad" (Get it? Do not, and that tire is called a donut? I slay me!) about this situation. I'm forcing myself to play the "glad game" and look on the bright side, and see how blessed we really are.

And I'm planning on sending the bill for tire repair to the federal government, since I'm blaming the whole mess on them.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

It's all a lot to process

Greetings, fellow bloggers.

That's a picture of a very tired and cranky (and slightly sunburned) Anna Marie, who exited the bus from camp on Thursday night wearing a coonskin cap she'd bought in the camp store.

(There was also an Indian feathered headdress in her bag, and she'd bought a water bottle that never made it home.)

The two redheads flew the coop again about 5:30 a.m. on Friday, and I've been on my own ever since.

Well, as "on my own" as I can be, with two prone-to-run-off dogs in my backyard.

Friday night, after I drug both of them back home by their collars following one of their "exploring" sessions (we'd been playing fetch in the backyard, and Lucky got distracted) I watched Taken.

Let me just say, without spoiling it for those who haven't seen it - Liam Neeson has no reservations in this movie. None. You already know from the trailers that his daughter is kidnapped in Paris, and this guy stops at nothing - and I mean NOTHING - to get her back.

I actually lost count of how many laws he broke during his search for her.

Saturday, Amanda asked that mom and I come to her job and help her return the car the insurance company had rented after their client had totaled her car a few weeks ago.

(Yes, she's been in another wreck, with another totaled car. Both times, it's been the other driver's fault. Both times, she's gotten more from the insurance company than she had paid for the car in the first place, and more than it was probably worth at that point. SHHH - don't tell anyone!)

She'd finally gotten herself a vehicle, so mom and I headed to her place of business to return the rental while she worked. We only had a short window of opportunity, because the location she was supposed to return at closed at noon, and it was 11:15 when we were about to leave.

It would've been perfect, since the rental place was only 10 miles from her job, except for the part where I locked the keys in the car.

In the ignition, with the radio on because she'd asked me to retrieve a CD out of the player.

Mom and I tried to fix it without interrupting Amanda's work, but 45 minutes later she discovered that we were still there and hadn't fixed the problem yet.

(Note to self: Hertz Rent-A-Car's roadside assistance will charge you out the wazoo to unlock a car, and not every small town police department will do it for you.)

(Also: if your sister has locked her keys in her car every other week for about a month, go ahead an tell her so she can call her "people.")

And that's exactly what happened - Amanda was on her lunch break, so she called "her" locksmith and mom stayed with the car while she and I ate lunch. (Don't worry - she was inside Amanda's air conditioned job, and mom got something to eat when we got back.)

I was so befuddled by everything that was going on - and a touch of ADD, to boot - that Amanda had to write a memo on my phone with the directions home, because I couldn't concentrate enough to process them.

The guy at Hertz who we'd talked to when the whole thing began told us we could take the car back to the Airport location, so we did - except the folks at the airport didn't want to take it! We had to explain to them, twice, why we were returning it to them and not to the original rental place.

After that harrowing experience, and since it was my anniversary to boot, mom and I stopped at Baskin Robbins where I treated myself to a kiddie cone of no-sugar-added, low-fat caramel turtle ice cream.


After dinner last night, I watched Doubt. I haven't had my head spin so much after a movie since my dad took me to see JFK when I was 15. It was an excellent film, but the ending really made me question what I thought I knew - which I guess is kind of the point.

And now - I'm getting ready for church, and then I have to do some auction shopping for Jason, and we have small groups tonight. And at some point, I really need to walk the dogs, since it was raining this morning and I couldn't.

It's going to be a long day, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

<<< Needs a break from her break

Ever feel that way? My three-and-a-half day weekend (I left work at 11 a.m. on Friday and didn't return until yesterday) left me feeling a bit exhausted.


A "day off" is never a "day off" in my life, at least not until the week when Jason and Little AM go to South Carolina.

(i.e., NEXT WEEK!)

Jason ALWAYS has something for us to do. Always.

Friday afternoon, we took these two to the groomers for the first time. They both returned clean, fresh, and be-ribboned.

Yes, both of them. Lucky included. I think he paid them back, though, by "watering" a plant and the concrete floor of the front room.

Saturday, we went to Southaven (the town in our neighboring county where our church is located) for their Fourth of July celebration. Our church was in charge of lining up the entertainment for the evening, and our praise team was on stage last before the fireworks.

(That's Lauren. She's in our small group. I love her! And the guy behind her, on the guitar with the do-rag? He's in our small group too, and that do-rag is no stunt. He rides his Harley to church whenever he can, because he has to be there so much earlier than his family for band practice. And Saturday night, he was JAMMING up there. I'm kinda biased towards my music team, can you tell?)

Man, was it ever hot! And by "hot" I mean "humid beyond all reason." I felt just icky for most of the night, and get a load of Anna Marie. She spent most of the evening on the hill at the back of the amphitheater, playing with her cousins and some other kids from church, and only occasionally coming back to our seat for a drink.

That's her with her cousin Kaitlynn, who just turned 8 on Monday. Oh, did I forget, we went to her party on Friday night? And then we got stopped by a roadblock just outside of town? Where they only glanced at Jason's license, and didn't even check his insurance card?

And where Anna Marie got freaked out by the lights, and wanted to cover her head with a blanket?

"Oh no you don't," said Jason. "They'll think something is wrong back there."

Anyways, after the fireworks (or in the middle, since we left early) we drove to the church, where I assisted with the check-in for those going to camp. As in, the "lice check" part of the check-in. None of our kids had bugs, thank goodness!

It was after 11 when we left the church, and the kids (who were spending the night, the better to be there to leave at 6 a.m. Sunday) were just getting started. I did NOT envy those who were staying with them!

Speaking of the chaperones, one of them told me that Anna Marie nearly left several days' worth of clothes at the church. I had packed her outfits in Ziploc bags, so that all she had to do was pull one out each day. Sherilynn said as the kids were loading on the bus, she found several of the bags in the room where they'd slept.

"Whose are these?" she'd ask.

"Those are mine," Anna Marie would answer.

This went on about three times, and finally Anna Marie admitted, "I'd have gotten out there and not had any clothes to wear!"


They're coming home tomorrow, and then she and Jason are leaving Friday for South Carolina. It's like a two-week vacation from being a mom, except for the part of being a mom where I worry whether she's eating her vegetables and putting on her sunscreen.

Guess that'll be Jason's department next week.

Monday, my "actual" day off, was spent (of course) helping Jason do some prep work at the auction.

Of COURSE it was. And next week, while he's gone, I have to be "him" at the auction again. Like I am every year. And like he NEVER is for me, at my job. Hmph.

I hope that y'all had a more "relaxing" weekend than I did, and I promise to regale you with stories of camp, once I get my kid to stop traveling long enough to hear them myself!

Friday, July 03, 2009


You know where I'm going with this post, don't you?

There has been so much high-profile death in the past two weeks - Ed McMahon, MJ, Farrah Fawcett, Billy Mays, Karl Malden, even our beloved Mrs. Slocombe, Mollie Sudgen, from Are You Being Served? - lots of famous people have died, y'all.

And, as I was thinking about Sudgen's death while I was at choir practice Wednesday night (don't judge me for not paying attention - all we did was listen to the Christmas musical he's picked) I started thinking about legacies.

My legacy, and that of my family as a whole.

What will people say about me, and about my family, when I'm gone? Will people think about the good things - like some have tried to do with MJ, remember how awesomely talented he was, and not the allegations of the 1990's and the abject creepiness of his adult years? Will they remember Jason and me as people who did what needed to be done, who could always be counted on?

The only people who really know what life is like in the Turner house are Jason, Anna Marie, and me. What is she going to remember about her parents, about our marriage and our life, when she's an adult and we're no longer here? Have we done a sufficient job of teaching her what is important to us as a family, and what we feel that the Bible teaches us is important in God's sight?

While it would be nice for my obit to include the words "Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist" that's probably not going to happen. And seriously, my career is not the most important thing in my life. It never has been, and I hope it never will be. The most important legacies that I'm crafting right now are in my marriage and how I'm raising my daughter. Those are the things we leave behind, even more than the words I write or the songs I sing, or the things I've collected over the years.

I want Anna Marie to be proud of her parents, to think of us as honorable, Godly people. I want to be the kind of person who can be depended on, not one who "talks a good game" but doesn't deliver.

I want to leave a positive, Godly legacy behind when I'm gone. What about you?