Archives for September 2006

Friday Fifteen Minus Six

All my brain can piece together this morning are random bits of information. AREN’T YOU EXCITED?!?!?!?!

1. One of you science-type people needs to conduct a study on what would no doubt be called The McDreamy Effect. Because just like phone usage shoots to its highest level on Mother’s Day, phone calls and emails – at least on my end of the world – seem to drop to all-time lows between the hours of 8:00 and 9:00 CST on Thursday nights.

You don’t call, you don’t write….

2. And I may be a little late to this particular interweb party, but did y’all know that you can watch full episodes of your favorite ABC shows (assuming that last phrase isn’t an oxymoron) FOR FREE? By going here? I had no idea. I don’t watch a single one of the shows they have listed, but now that I can watch them on the interweb FOR FREE, I just might have to start.

3. A few weeks ago I got an email from Folger’s – and I know some of you other bloggers did, too – asking me if I’d try a new product of theirs. I agreed. I was expecting to receive three single-serving samples, sort of like what you might see in your hotel room next to a little 4-cup coffee pot. But a couple of days ago the coffee arrived, and I had not one, not two, but THREE full-sized packages of the New Coffee Product. Haven’t tried them yet – but tickled to death by the Free Stuff.

4. Our house is eerily quiet without Alex running around. Something tells me that my mama and daddy are having a completely different experience right about now since our little Chatty McTalkerson is staying with them.

5. My to-do list for today and the rest of the weekend is ginormous. Our house won’t officially go on the market until next week, but OH MY WORD at the work we have to do. Oh my word.

6. Even though we have tons of work to do, I am happy happy happy that D and I will have a whole weekend to ourselves. It’ll be like a little vacation at home. A vacation where we get to paint trim and put out pinestraw and plant pansies and I’m really not using any of those phrases as a euphemism. I’m being quite literal.

7. My TiVo is going to explode, I fear, with the sheer volume of unwatched programming that it’s storing. I haven’t watched anything all week long – not even my beloved “Dancing With The Stars” – so hopefully I can watch it today while I make my way through the list-o-chores.

8. Yesterday an elderly gentleman was telling me something I thought he intended to be funny, so I laughed, but he was actually being quite serious and not wanting a laugh at all, and when I think back on the sheer awkwardness of it all (D and our realtor were there to witness my cringe-worthy performance), I really think it would have been preferable if the floor had just opened up and swallowed me whole.

However, D seems to enjoy being able to tease me with comments like “before you insulted the elderly gentleman” and “when you laughed at the man who was telling you that his brother died,” so I guess in the interest of comedy, it was all worthwhile.

9. I’m off to organize closets now!

Perspective

I was only about thirty minutes into trying to get the house ready for the realtor when I realized that having a three year old “helper” was going to be an eye-opener. The last time D and I sold a house we didn’t have a child, and let’s just say that I was slightly unprepared for the challenges of “staging” a house for showing when there is an entire GeoTrax train set in the middle of a bedroom, not to mention a conductor of said GeoTrax train set who wants to have all trains visible at all times. Preferably in the middle of the floor.

And when it took me four hours to get my kitchen sparkling clean night before last, primarily because Alex insisted on turning the rug in the kitchen into a racetrack for his “Cars” cars, I realized that there are certain times in a mama’s life when she can use a little “grandparental” reinforcement and that this is one of those times.

So I picked up the phone, called Mama and Daddy, and I had barely gotten the words “Do you think Alex could stay with y’all…” out of my mouth before Mama said, “Yes. When do you want us to get him?”

If you’re a grandparent whose grandbabies live out of town, you can probably relate to her reaction.

Long story short: Alex is on his way to his grandparents’ house right this very second. D is meeting Mama and Daddy halfway between their house and our house, and Alex will have four glorious days with all the diet Coke he can drink and an unlimited supply of donuts. He will get to ride in the truck with Daddy and make daily trips to the dollar store. He will sit in my mama’s lap until he falls asleep every single night, and she will cater to his every whim. He will be spoiled rotten when we pick him up Sunday afternoon, and we wouldn’t have it any other way.

Alex has been talking about his “vacation” non-stop for the last twenty-four hours, and this morning when he came down the stairs, he was holding his stuffed froggy, his stuffed monkey, and a little stuffed dog that someone gave him when he was a baby. I made a comment about how he must be bringing all his friends to breakfast, and he said, “Oh no, Mama – I’m taking them to Pappa’s house!” He obviously had been thinking about his trip since the second he opened his eyes, and the fact that he didn’t want his stuffed friends to miss out on the adventure made me want to kiss his little cheeks until I got every ounce of sugar out of them.

It’s been easy, these last few days, to get caught up in the whirlwind of buying, moving, staging, planning, financing and selling. But this morning, as Alex cradled a few well-worn stuffed animals and talked excitedly about his trip to his grandparents’ house, I couldn’t help but think about what really matters. And I truly believe, way down deep in my soul, that if I were to sit down and write out The Important Stuff Of Life, a house would be pretty far down the list.

But a three year old little boy? Collecting his toys for his “big trip” to Mississippi? Excited beyond belief at the prospect of spending a few days with his grandparents? Knowing beyond a shadow of a doubt that they adore him completely and unabashedly? Knowing that he loves them just as fiercely in return?

That ranks way up there. No doubt about it.

This Is All I Could Come Up With While I Was Procrastinating

So tomorrow our realtor is coming to our house and putting it on the market. It’s not particularly exciting news, I know, but it is a big thing for us because that means that somehow in the next twenty four hours we have to make this house look like we have walked around in Padded Socks for the past six years and only Gently Tippy-Toed on the carpet. Oddly enough, prospective buyers aren’t terribly interested in carpet that shows evidence of Stomach Virus ’04 or The Time The Dog Was Incontinent.

Go figure.

Also: I have long spoken ill of the flat paint that the builder used in our house. When we moved in the painters left us everything that was leftover, but when I tried to do touch-ups the color was lighter and didn’t look right at all. If I were my mother-in-law I would now say something like, “Well, maybe it was because it wasn’t a very taupe-y taupe, it was just more of a taupe, but not too much grey in it, and if the paint store didn’t mix it just right you might see a little too much yellow in it and it figures that the paint wouldn’t touch up right because I just can’t have anything and you know how every single time I find something I like it doesn’t work right, or it’s discontinued or they don’t have my size because I promise that I don’t try but I’ve lost some weight, I mean I haven’t meant to but it’s just because we’ve been staying busy around here and you know Mother and I don’t eat much, sometimes we just like to split a pimento and cheese sandwich and eat a Pringle.”

Sorry. Sometimes I start to miss Martha and it makes me feel better to talk like her for just a second.

Anyway, you can imagine what parts of my walls look like six years later, especially considering that for the last two a certain little boy has rubbed his sticky little fingers all over them. But I figure that whoever looks at the house won’t think it’s cute that one time Alex stuck his hand in a jar of peanut butter and then “made train tracks” on the walls in the dining room, so I figured I had to come up with a solution.

So this afternoon I marched right into the paint store, showed them the paint chip that I’ve carried around in my wallet for six and a half years, and asked them to mix up a gallon in their cheapest flat paint.

And can I just tell y’all? It worked like a charm. I hit all the high traffic areas, and they look great. You can’t even tell I painted.

So I’m revising my original opinion on flat paint. It seems that I was wrong. Flat paint, when mixed to the correct color specifications, is delightful.

Isn’t this riveting information? All this talk of home improvement?

Coming up in my next post: we’ll be talking about gutters!

And This Is But One Reason Why We Love Her

When D.’s grandmother, Sissie, fell this past weekend and broke her hip, we were understandably concerned. She’s 96, weighs about 100 pounds soaking wet, and she’s increasingly frail (which makes perfect sense what with her being 96 and 100 pounds and all).

So when we got the news that her surgery to set the hip was scheduled for Sunday morning, D. and his brother, who was here visiting, decided that they’d better head on over so that they could be there. Sissie has managed to combat all manner of ills with little more than a baby aspirin and a multi-vitamin, but surgery for someone her age is Serious Business. So late Saturday night, the brothers headed to Mississippi.

Around 6:45 Sunday morning, D. and Scott went to the hospital so they could see Sissie before she went into surgery. Sissie was very nervous and had taken a “val-yum,” as my mother-in-law Martha says, about thirty minutes beforehand – pretty stiff medication for someone whose idea of heavy pharmaceutical usage is taking two Bayer aspirin within four hours of each other.

So when D. and Scott walked in Sissie’s hospital room, she was, for all intents and purposes, hammered. And when they started talking to her, Sissie’s only reply was, “Where are they, Martha? WHERE ARE THEY?”

Martha explained to Sissie that she should quit looking toward the ceiling in the hopes of seeing her grandsons and should instead look to her left.

Once Sissie was wheeled into the operating room, D. and Scott had the distinct pleasure of listening to Martha talk with her friends Mary Ann and Rubena (I am not making up that name. HOW COULD I?) about all manner of serious issues: the high cost of cable television, the high cost of electrical power, the high cost of gasoline, etc. D. vows that at one point Rubena started a sentence with the phrase, “Speaking of cutting your head off…,” and I really have no idea what she said after that because really, why does it matter in light of such a brilliant segue?

A couple of hours later, Sissie was back in her room. The surgery went well, and – I KID YOU NOT – these were her first words as she came out from under the anesthesia:

“Martha, will you put my lipstick on for me?”

I mean, breaking her hip was one thing. Having surgery to set it was another. But not having color on her lips as she received visitors would be insult to any Southern woman’s injury.

It all makes perfect sense to me.

I Feel A Bit Of An Explanation Is In Order

Y’all know that the level of my blogging addiction is severe enough that I rarely disappear from the computer for two or three days at a time. I mean, really, if there were some way for me to maintain a wireless internet connection at all points in my day – even from the car – I probably would. And I would say things like, “Alex, please don’t interrupt Mama when she’s trying to blog and drive at the same time!”

And people would worry about me. With good reason.

But this past weekend turned out to be busy and full and fun, with little to no computer time. D’s brother and his family were in town, and Alex loved every single second of having his eight year old cousin (and her friend) with him all weekend.

They stayed up until 11:30 Friday night, woke up early Saturday morning, had a great time playing and eating donuts, went to the zoo, went swimming, and pretty much just had a big time. Alex fell asleep at 7:45 Saturday night and did not move a muscle until 8:30 Sunday morning. Big day.

And since D’s brother and sister-in-law took the kids to the zoo and to the pool, D and I had about five hours Saturday afternoon to look at houses. The luxury of that time together was HUGE – it’s amazing how much easier it is to house-hunt when you’re not trying to wrangle a three year old at the same time. Even driving around neighborhoods was simpler – we could actually, you know, talk without being interrupted, and it was a totally unexpected treat to be able to do that. We definitely made some progress in our search…we may have actually found a place where we could live and not only sniff ice cream…but even buy ice cream, too!

I know!

So this week it looks like I’m going to have some projects to do around the house: trying to make it look like we live in a Comfortable Environment, like Alex keeps his toys in Neatly Organized Piles, like we always keep coverlets Artfully Askew at the bottom of all our beds.

It’s a World of Illusion!

Don’t you want to buy it?

Hey, Praying People

Be sure to check out a prayer request over at Blessed Assurances – if you click over you’ll find details of a little guy who really needs our prayers.

Also, D’s grandmother, who’s 96, fell and broke her hip yesterday…she’s having surgery this morning. She hasn’t been in too much pain, but she’s very discouraged and her spirits are low.

And in the praise department, check out Sarah’s post from yesterday if you haven’t already. She and her family got some really encouraging news this past Friday.

I’ll be back later –