Archives for January 2006

But Wait, There’s More!

I’ve just been a-copyin’ and a-pastin’:

Delicious Bloggity Goodness

I wish there were a filing method…but I don’t know how to tackle that yet.

I’ll add more in the next few days.

Brandie and Elon, I did it for you. :-)

The Accident Report

One time, when I was in graduate school, my mama invited her extended family over to the house for dinner. I can’t remember the holiday. I do remember that after supper we all ended up in what Mama called “the blue den,” and there was much talking and laughing and carrying on.

At some point someone asked about Mrs. So-And-So. My aunt started to give the update, and she mentioned that the woman was recently widowed.

There were many “Oh, NO”s and “You don’t MEAN”s and general expressions of dismay that Mrs. So-And-So’s life had met with such misfortune. You know how we are with misfortune in the South…one part of us can’t bear to hear it, and another part of us slides just a little bit closer to the person telling the story, because we don’t want to miss a single detail.

Mama was sort of sitting to the side, smiling sweetly, sipping coffee, not saying much.

Things got very quiet, and one of Mama’s cousins said, “Oh, that is just horrible! How did Mr. So-and-So die?”

Now I think most of us took that question to mean “what specifically was the cause of death? Cancer? Heart attack? Please do tell us more about his unexpected passing.”

But Mama, unbeknownst to us, knew that the man had been in a car accident. So she took the question to a much more specific level than the rest of us expected when she answered it, because here is what she said, without missing a beat, with a smile on her face, with that pinky finger perfectly extended from her coffee cup:

“Head on.”

And y’all, there was this pause, and it felt like it lasted for a full five minutes, though I know it was probably 15 or 20 seconds, and we just sat there, not knowing what to do, because poor Mr. So-and-So, he’s dead and all, but HAVE MERCY Mama’s delivery and timing were just pitch perfect, not to mention that she took a sip of coffee immediately after she said it, like she was Carol Brady standing in the kitchen with Alice, reminding Jan not to forget her lunch. I mean, how in the world do you respond to that?

In our case, you respond with gales of laughter. GALES, I tell you. We laughed. And laughed. We hooted, in fact.

Finally, when the laughter died down, my aunt looked at my mama and said, “I can’t believe you said that!”

“Well,” Mama matter-of-factly replied, “that’s what happened. Mr. So-and-So never knew what hit him.”

Couldn’t make it up. Not even if I wanted to.

And As A Lovely Parting Gift…

I got an email this morning from one of the pastors at our church asking if I’d cook for an event in March. For those of you who don’t know, I have, at some point in the last two years, morphed into my mama in that I enjoy cooking large quantities of food for large quantities of people. It’s a fairly insane thing for me to enjoy because it takes a lot of time – and in my life, at least lately, the phrase “spare time” has become an oxymoron – but it’s fun to me. I don’t know how else to explain it.

The event at church is for adoptive parents and people who are considering adoption. Our church has a really active ministry in this area, finding homes for kids from Guatemala, Ukraine, etc., and this “gathering” in March will give people a chance to learn more about the process and hear from people who have actually navigated all the red tape that’s involved.

A couple of nights ago David mentioned that he’d love to have another child if he or she could enter the world at age three. I pointed out the relative impossibility of such a wish, but I’m sort of on board with him because, you know, I’m old. If I got pregnant now, I would be 37 when the second child came along, and while I would love for Alex to have a sibling, I can’t figure out how we’d handle the logistics. I especially can’t figure out how David and I could tote the new baby around while using our CANES and WALKERS. Because we’re OLD.

And I know, I know, that we can trust God to work out all the details if we do have another child, but my word, people, have you not heard me talk about how bone-crushingly TIRED I am? And don’t tell me that if I’m so tired then I shouldn’t be cooking for 50-75 people, because said cooking gives me precious zone-out time that is actually quite therapeutic and refreshing. I’m weird like that, and I’ve never contended otherwise.

Anyway, I emailed David to see if the date of the dinner worked for him – because if I cook, then he will have to babysit that night. He wrote me back and said sure, fine with him, but what did I think?

I replied that I’d like to do it, shouldn’t be too hard, etc., and then I had a thought:

MAYBE THEY’LL GIVE US A BABY!!!! For cooking all the food!!!!

Y’all – it would be perfect.

No morning sickness, no feet the size of shoe boxes, no hip that throbs with the force of all nature.

Even better, we could fulfill David’s desire for a ready-made three year old.

Oh, I believe it to be a delightful idea. I’ll cook up some Asian pork tenderloin with delicious sides for the dinner, serve it with a smile, and little Guadalupe will come home with us afterwards.

I’m kidding, of course.

I think.

Blog Blah Blah Blah Blah

I’ve mentioned to some of y’all that BooMama is the result of David begging and pleading with me to start writing again or find a hobby so that, basically, he could have more time to play Xbox. Oh, he pretended like he had my “best interests at heart” and all that. But make no mistake. There were aliens to capture and rogue armies to conquer, and I was in the way.

However, I don’t think I would’ve chosen to do the exceedingly average writing that is really the heart and soul of BooMama if I weren’t such an avid reader of blogs myself. The internet is an intricate little web (yes, I got the pun), and I’ve discovered lots of little bloggy treasures along the way. Major mixing of metaphors there, but you’ll forgive, of course, because you love.

So how did I discover the blogs, you ask? Why, I’d be delighted to explain.

You see, I had a baby. And one of the things the books do not tell you is that the first few months of motherhood are like swimming through Jello. There are happy moments, of course – and I had more than my fair share. But it was hard, and I just stumbled through as best I could. If I managed to shower AND put on regular clothes, it was a banner day. You might think that just reeks of pathetic, but somehow doing those two things made me feel like a real-live person.

It seemed like whenever I would start to feel pretty confident about handling the whole baby routine, hormones would rear their hateful heads and I would turn into a blubbering idiot because something would happen like the candy, why is there candy on the countertop, the countertop is cluttered enough as it is and I don’t want acrylic containers of candy on my countertop and oh my Lord please help me because I can’t handle ALL THE CANDY.

The biggest problem for me was that when I had a chance to sleep for more than 20 minutes, I ran into a huge wall of insomnia. The words “teetering on the brink of exhaustion” come to mind. All I knew to do was to trust that there were easier days and nights ahead. Which brings us back to blogs (you can sing that line like Julie Andrews, if you like. Go ahead).

One fine May evening in 2003, I tossed and turned until I finally gave up the notion of sleeping ever again in my whole life ever and picked up a book called In Her Shoes by Jennifer Weiner. I read it cover-to-cover in one sitting. Couldn’t put it down. At the end of the book I was wide awake, still, and on the back cover I noticed an address for her website, which led me to her blog.

As it turned out, she had just had a baby, too, and as I sat up that night – tired, weepy, feeling vaguely angry though I couldn’t explain why – I was comforted by knowing that there was somebody who was dealing with the same stuff. I’m not saying that Jennifer Weiner changed my life. Not at all. I’m just saying that on that night, at that time, her writing helped a little. Even now, when I see a copy of In Her Shoes or an ad for the movie, it reminds me of when Alex was a baby, and I was exhausted, and Jennifer Weiner made me laugh.

Now, three years later, there are six or seven blogs that I read daily, from mamas who chronicle every aspect of their lives to pastors who are starting new churches to lawyers who dissect, among other things, the latest episode of Project Runway. Like Charlene on Designing Women, “I love knowledge; in fact I yearn for it,” so I get a kick out of reading other people’s opinions and seeing how they put all them words together right purty-like. I don’t get why some bloggers use “all that foul language,” as Mama would say (in some cases it just comes across like so much sixth grade note-passing – LOOK! a bad word! LOOK!) – BUT, I get that it might be someone else’s style, and if I’m really bothered by it, you know what? I can click off of that page in less than one second.

As for BooMama, it is completely off the blog radar except for the tens of you who read it – no “pro bloggers” even know it exists – and I’m not sure if my little Southern life is something to which they could or would relate. I SO enjoy the blogs that I read, but I’m puzzled by the fact that there’s not much of a Southern sensibility on the web. Southern women in general and Southern mamas in particular are way under-represented in the blogosphere…I guess it’s because we just sit around and shuck corn in our bare feet when we’re not birthin’ our cousins’ babies. Whatever would Ms. Welty say?

I do like to think that if some my favorite blog writers happened to stop by BooMama, they would be open-minded enough to see that while our backgrounds and beliefs might be different, the bottom line is that funny is funny is funny, and humor is the fastest way to common ground. If a woman passes gas in her sister’s face, it should crack you up whether you’re Christian, Jewish, Muslim, Mormon, undecided or indifferent. If it doesn’t crack you up, then there are deep-seeded issues that you need to address in your life, with the first one being to LOOSEN UP, ALREADY.

So consider this post a little public service announcement for blogging. Read some different ones. Start one of your own. Enjoy all the great writing that’s out there on the www. Or stay here with me and enjoy some exceptionally mediocre offerings!

And if you run across a good blog, send me the link.

I’ll quit the barefoot corn shuckin’ long enough to read it. I promise.

Sinner Saved By Grace, Y’all

I just ran down to our favorite grocery store to grab a quick salad for lunch. I was in a bit of a hurry what with time constraints and all, but I got a little excited when I remembered that they have this delicious antipasto stuff (say it like “anti” in “anti-drug,” because that’s what the guy behind the counter did, but I didn’t correct him because he was real sweet and all).

So in line ahead of me is this sweet elderly gentleman who wanted to fix some salad for his wife. He asked the guy behind the counter all kinds of questions, while I’m standing there trying to be patient but thinking about how much more quickly the process could be moving along.

Once Sweet Elderly Gentleman decided on a type of salad, he took the BIG HUGE COMMERCIAL SPOON and scooped out his wife’s lunch in little. tiny. teaspoonfuls.

Because I have a dark, sinful, selfish, impatient heart, and if not by God’s grace and the power of the Holy Spirit I would violate traffic laws, especially where school buses are concerned, every single day of my life, all the while yelling at people who hold up lines digging for change in their purses or, heaven forbid, writing checks, here is what I wanted to say:

“Scoop it out. SCOOP. IT. OUT. DIG THE SPOON INTO THE SALAD AND SCOOP IT OUT. DIG THE SPOON WAAAAAY DOWN IN THERE AND YOU CAN EXTRACT MORE THAN A TEASPOONFUL OF SALAD GOODNESS. YOU CAN FILL UP YOUR CONTAINER WITH TWO SCOOPS IF YOU WOULD JUST SCOOP! IT! OUT!

Here is what I actually said:

Nothing. But ohhhhh I wanted to.

I just smiled politely.

And the antipasto was delicious.

Buck Wild

Since Mama is still with us, BooDaddy and I took the opportunity to have a little date night last night. We went to see Syriana, and despite the fact that all I’ve heard is how confusing it is and that there’s no way to understand it, I actually enjoyed it and followed along quite nicely, thank you very much. However, the more I’ve thought about it today, the more I’ve wondered if there was some big Message that I missed altogether, given my propensity for overlooking the obvious. Regardless, it gets two thumbs up from us (disclaimer: Sister, you will HATE IT with the fury of a thousand suns, so please do not watch it / rent it / remotely consider it. You will think that it’s a bunch of morally compromised people who make bad decisions and shouldn’t be surprised when life doesn’t turn out like they’d hoped. So STAY AWAY).

Anyway, I called Mama to check on Boo in between the movie and dinner, and here was the update:
– He took his clothes off. Twice. Both times he removed his diaper, and one time he tee-tee’d on the floor.
– He figured out how to dismantle the childproof things on the doorknobs, and at one point, she looked up to find the back door wide open and Alex on the deck. But he was clothed.
– He remembered where David put the clicky-stick that we used to light the birthday candles, and the next thing Mama knew, he was at the counter, trying to ignite the candles on the birthday cake with said lighting device. I do believe child-proofing features would have prevented him from doing undue damage, although look what he did to the doorknobs, so said lighting device is now far, far out of reach.
– He wanted to go for a walk (no surprise there), so he showed Mama around the neighborhood. She said it was the most she’d walked “in years.” That child would walk to Tuscaloosa if I would only turn him loose.
– He shouted and waved at every single car that passed.
– Once they got back home and he got a bath, he walked downstairs and proceeded to take off his pajamas. The diaper, however, remained intact.
– He ran, constantly, from the den to the kitchen to the den to the kitchen, all the while shouting something indecipherable.

Alex’s Mother’s Day Out teacher told me about a month ago that his personality was changing…I guess that means he moved from being extroverted to WAY OFF THE CHARTS extroverted, because he’s always been a little people person. He has gotten considerably louder in the last month…all kinds of new noises and EXCLAMATIONS and “OH MY GOODNESS MAMA I CANNOT BELIEVE IT.” So his behavior yesterday didn’t seem all that out of line – it just sounded like he was more wound up than usual.

And why do you think that was? Could it possibly, maybe, have had something to do with what he had to eat yesterday? You be the judge.

But first, another disclaimer: I’m not complaining at all – my personal belief is that a grandparent has complete rights and entitlements to feed a grandchild whatever he or she desires, barring allergies or health issues, because grandparents are not in the business of being bad guys. Mama was quick to tell me that Alex “kept saying he was hungry.” I personally think the young lad saw an opportunity and capitalized on it.

Anyway, here’s the list:

– (2) Shipley’s donuts (BooDaddy stopped there on his way back from the surgeon’s office Monday in a fit of no-surgery glee)
– pancakes – with syrup, of course
– Cheetos – the canister is now empty, my friends
– hot dogs
– (2) 20 oz. bottles of Sprite
– Juicy Juice – I’m not sure of how much but I know there’s not a drop left
– birthday cake with chocolate icing

This information, I feel, offers some insight into all the shouting and nudity.

He was aped up on sugar. LOTS of sugar.

Which means, unfortunately for him, one thing and one thing only.

When Mama goes home tomorrow, he starts detox.