Monthly Archives: May 2013

Five on Friday: F is for Feelings

1.  Feeling a little sad and low-key today.

Had one of those parenting moments last night that takes the wind out of your sails when we discovered, quite by accident, that one of the kids had violated our trust and the family rules about access to social media.  We had a long talk last night about the big things: honesty, reputation, integrity, honor. We listened to a lot of wailing and pronouncements that life would now cease to exist because apparently a kid without an iPod is a nobody.


2.  On the other hand, feeling peppy.

I discovered a new use for the leftover Via packets from our two hospital stays in the last ten months.  Someone posted a breakfast frappucino recipe that blends almond milk, a coffee packet, protein powder, and ice cubes and it is delicious and makes you perky.  I have a feeling that this will be my go-to drink this summer.

3.  Feeling like I need to retake biology.

Turns out Max? Might be Maxine.  We’d requested a male and didn’t think to verify when he arrived three weeks ago.  Last night, my friend Amy emailed to say we might need to take a peek because another male kitten from the litter who’d gone to another family turned out to be female.  So, we did and it turns out that there were a few parts missing (unless they appear later and aren’t you glad you showed up today for a little sex ed lesson at Carpool Queen) so until we can get to the vet next week for the new kitten exam, we’re just calling him Pat.


4.  Feeling ready for school to be over.

Every morning this week, we’ve barely made it out to the curb on time for the bus.  Two mornings, in fact, T’s bus was waiting for us.  The end of the year drudgery is in full bloom and we have bouquets all over the house.  I’m sure you’ve already seen the post from Jen Hatmaker on the subject – it was popping up on my Facebook and Twitter feed yesterday – but in case you haven’t, she captured the sentiments of every single mom in America with this blog post.

5.  Feeling sporty.  And sore.

I started P90X last week BECAUSE I DON’T KNOW WHY.  It’s an hour commitment, six days a week, and no one in the history of the world has ever wept so loudly with rejoicing as I did over the one measly rest day given to me on Tuesday.

Oh. My. Stars.

Which I see, by the way as I’m hanging my head between my knees to keep from passing out.

Have a nice day.

Five on Friday: The Crafty Edition

I dropped by Heather’s earlier this week while she was in the middle of making a Memorial Day/summer banner to hang in her kitchen and it was so stinkin’ cute that I spent the rest of the week chasing down the supplies to make one of my own and texted her a thousand times to ask questions because, of course, she winged it and didn’t really have a pattern that I could follow.

I tried not to be bitter to be happy that the Lord blessed her with natural talent.

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Using this picture I took at Heather’s as a guide, I sorta’ winged my own project this afternoon and was generally pleased with how it turned out so today’s Five is Five Easy Steps You Can Take To Make Your Own Cheerful Banner.

Disclaimer:  I am a sloppy and impatient crafter.  I rarely measure accurately, I never wait for anything to dry, and I’m never really sure of what I’m doing. Take all these instructions with a grain of salt and feel free to improve upon them.

1.  Buy burlap (yard and half?) at the fabric store and cut 5 triangles (two for the stars and three for the stripes).  Mine are roughly 9 inches wide at the base and measure 12 inches at the end of the point.

2.  Cut out five or six stars (however many float your boat- the number isn’t important) using an online template, Cricut machine, or plain ole freehand and affix the stars to the burlap in preparation for painting.  For the striped triangles, cut 3 2″ wide strips of paper.

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I used a little piece of two-sided tape to hold the paper cutouts in place.  Heather used freezer paper to make her cutouts and then she ironed them onto the burlap so they’d be more secure.

See above re: I am impatient.

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3.  Using acrylic craft paint (I used Navy for the stars and Holiday Red for the stripes) paint the entire triangle and then remove the cutouts.

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4.  After the triangles have dried enough to where you can handle them without dripping paint everywhere, measure out a length of jute and run a bead of hot glue along it and affix the stars and stripes (in that order) to the rope being very careful to not touch the fleshy part of your hand to the scalding hot tip of the glue gun.

Because it hurts like a *%*#!*&%*@#%*&(@&%&*!%*.

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5.  Stand back and feel pretty sporty until you realize you’re going to have to put nails in the fireplace mantle to hold it up and  the husband probably isn’t going to like that idea.

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Have a nice day.




Monday, in texts

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And grieving.

Monday Musings

I was so happy to look at the calendar this morning and see “No events scheduled” because we crammed a lot into the last three days and I’d like to use today as a do-over.

JJ was home “sick” Friday morning and it was the kind of sick where he probably could have gone to school but he was hacking up a lung and the nurse probably would have called me to take him home for fear he spreading SARS, MERS, or whatever we’re calling the latest contagion. So I hauled him all over Wake County because if he was sick he wasn’t going to stay home and play Minecraft so we went to church to pick up VBS material, to SportsClips for a trim (I told him it would  make him feel better to have a new haircut – somehow that didn’t work for him as much as it does for me), and then to Crazy Fire for lunch because he and I are the only ones that like it so we have to sneak in those moments when we can.

While we were eating, Heather texted to say her kids wanted to go to AgFest and did I want to come along and JJ was sufficiently perked up by his third helping of beef noodles to agree that it sounded like a wonderful idea.  So we went and walked around in the blazing hot sun and looked at some tractors, wandered the petting zoo, picked through the flea market junk, and giggled a little in the exhibitor’s hall.

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I have no words.

Saturday was a blur of birthday parties, shopping for birthday parties fifteen minutes before they started, dropping off and picking up from birthday parties, and cleaning house to prepare for overnight guests.  We’d volunteered to be an overnight host home for two members of Azusa Pacific University’s choir and orchestra who were in town to perform at our church’s Sunday morning services.  The two girls who stayed with us were just adorable.  They were incredibly polite, engaging, gracious, and stellar representatives of their university and I wished I had half their poise and confidence at that age.

And their junior-sized jeans.

I went into “mom mode” when I found out they’d already been on the road for two weeks and told them to bring their laundry downstairs for washing.  I didn’t know they made clothes that tiny.

Also? Didn’t know that you can do three loads of laundry in two hours.   

Don’t tell my husband.  He thinks it takes a week.

They had to be at church at the crack of dawn Sunday morning for sound check and you might think we would have taken advantage of getting up so early and attended the early service but, no, even with the extra hour and a half, we still arrived late.  The concert was beautiful and their rendition of Unto the Lamb is still ringing in my heart a day later and since I couldn’t find a video of an APU performance with good sound quality, I’ve had this version from Prestonwood on repeat for the last twenty-four hours. Take five minutes and have your devotions done for the day.


And try not be alarmed at the, um, colorful clothing, big Texas hair, and Baptists raising their hands in church.

Have a nice day.


Five on Friday: Decisions, decisions

It has been a quiet week around the house.  I spent some time poking around the library, the grocery store, the pharmacy, and also poking pills down the gullets of Travis and JJ who caught Tommy’s cold. In between deciding dinner, who was sick enough to stay home from school, and if tan flip-flops matched a gray maxi skirt, I also settled on these five items:

1.  Decided to eat a salad every day this week.  And by Thursday also decided  the carne asada tacos at Los Cuates qualify as a salad because they have onions and cilantro.

To be on the safe side, I added jalapenos and ate the salsa with corn chips because corn is a vegetable ish starch.

2.  Decided it was time to get out of the house and had a BYOL (Bring Your Own Lunch) at Heather’s house.  We were joined by Squishy Baby who is now neither squishy nor a baby but she’s still adorable.  She entertained us by running around with her frying pan, doing her best Rapunzel impression.

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Decidedly jealous of all friends with daughters.

3.  Decided there’s no way to make a scratching post match the living room décor.

4.  Decided the reason Max is getting bigger is probably because Craig introduced him to Blue Bell.

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Clearly, I don’t have a lock on spoiling.

5.  Decided that Travis doesn’t like school but really, really, really likes spaghetti.

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Have a nice day, cha cha cha!

In which it’s clear why my pants don’t fit

What a nice Mother’s Day weekend.  Usually the kids or Craig have Saturday plans lined up but, for once, the social plans belonged to me.  I attended a baby shower for one of Craig’s co-workers and it was a beautiful affair, even nicer than my own wedding reception.

I got married before Pinterest.

Thank the Lord.

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The mom-to-be is known for her fashion sense and the party reflected it.  The details were incredible – an artfully arranged buffet, a fabulous mimosa bar, hydrangeas gathered in mason jars gracing the dessert table, and color-coordinated everything.

I left with tons of decorating ideas and a to-do list that including plans for throwing a party just so I could have an excuse to buy a tiered cupcake stand like this one.

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And make a kiwi and blackberry salad.

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Sunday we went to church and afterward, at my request, went downtown for the Raleigh Food Truck Rodeo street festival for lunch.

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The kids were a little miffed that I didn’t choose IHOP but after seeing five blocks of food trucks from which to choose, they changed their mind.  Making a decision was oh, so hard. Pizza? Korean? Low-country?  After wandering for half an hour, Tommy, Travis and I decided that Only Burger was a good place to start.  Craig headed over to sample Stoke and Smoke, a frequent competitor on the BBQ circuit, and JJ thought the bratwurst from Baguetteaboutit was too good to pass.

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We saved room for dessert and hit up LocoPops for a chocolate brownie popsicle and then the kettle corn place for what we thought was a bag to share but Travis had other ideas.

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And then Craig mentioned that Krispy Kreme was conveniently on the way home.

And the box was conveniently in my lap.

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I’ll never tell how many went missing before we pulled into the driveway because every woman has her secrets but I will say this:  All’s fair in love and doughnuts.

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Have a nice day. 

Five on Friday: The Crazy Cat Lady Edition

He’s here.

And I’m over the moon.

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He has the most beautiful blue eyes you’ve ever seen and the squeakiest tiny meow and he’s wrapped all of us around his pinky pad paws.  Today’s Five is All About Max.

1.  He hails from the mountains of Western North Carolina and is just over 5 weeks old.  My friend Amy brought him to me (he was born to her grandmother’s cat) Wednesday afternoon and I had a few hours to play with him before the boys came home.

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I introduced him to his food and his litter box and was not at all obsessed with making sure he could chew and swallow the kitten chow.

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2.  The boys were excited to meet him.  They’ve been begging for a replacement pet since the day Cosmo met his untimely end the fox and the second they walked through the door we made introductions.

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The kids aren’t too keen about holding him yet since his claws are razor sharp but that doesn’t mean they haven’t been loving on him.  They’re all constantly taking pictures of him and Tommy has decided Max needs to learn to play DS.

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Please excuse the assault rifle on the chair.

I have squirrel issues.

3.  Since he’s a little young, we’re having to teach him a few things.  He doesn’t know that he can eat by himself so, for now, I’m having to accompany him into the laundry room for feeding time and I’m also having to teach him that kitty litter is meant for disposal, not consumption.

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4.  He loves to climb (mainly my leg) and explore and pounce and skitter across the floor, but mainly, he enjoys sleeping.  A boy after his mama’s heart.

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5.  No, I haven’t done a single thing since he got here other than this.

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Welcome to the family, Max. We’re all a little crazy about you.

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Have a nice day.

My day

I’m sitting in the car typing this with thumbs while I wait between appointments, so please ignore typos and weird alignment. Today is See A Medical Professional Day. I just dropped JJ off at school from the dentist and have a few minutes to kill before signing Tommy out to see the doctor. And then it’ll be time to meet the bus and take Travis to therapy.

Death by a thousand co-pays.

I ran errands yesterday after my hair appointment and successfully erased signs of 43. I didn’t make any style adjustments which should come as no surprise to anyone. My hair has been basically the same since the 5th grade, varying only in length and sometimes in curl depending on whether or not perms were the rage.

Ranger Rick Beauty Tip: Women with unusually thick hair should avoid the spiral perm. I have the picture from a 1988 student ID card to prove it.

Then I went to Pottery Barn Kids to buy a gift off the registry for a baby shower I’m attending this weekend. And then I went to the bank to take out a second mortgage. It’s a good thing we are out of the baby business because I could do some serious damage in that store. The baby-to-be-born is a girl so I had a legitimate excuse to wander the pink side and even though I found the gift quickly, I spent a few minutes exploring and mentally outfitting my future granddaughter’s room.

Let’s hope she likes pink.

Grandma’s gonna’ have some pent up spending to do.

After the baby store, I drove to Petco to pick up some food, a bed, and toys for Max (today!today!) and discovered that I’m not the only one with a lock on crazy. Did you know they make mood enhancers, poop deodorizer, and anxiety wear for cats? Me, neither.





I spent more time figuring out what kind of food would make Kitty happy than I spent meal planning for the teenaged two-legged children, ultimately coming away with the one that sounded the most nutritious thereby ensuring that he’ll turn his nose up at the bowl, fitting right in with the rest of the crew.

Then I went home and spent the afternoon worrying about him getting lost in the house and missing his mother.

Maybe they have that anxiety shirt in extra small.

And Xanax in extra large.

Have a nice day.

Five on Friday on Monday

1.  The house was unusually clean Friday morning and I didn’t want to waste it so instead of blogging I issued an all-call on Facebook to local friends who didn’t have lunch plans to come eat with me and then spent the morning preparing a gourmet meal of chicken salad from the gas station served on croissants from my friendly neighborhood grocer.

I went all out, is what I’m saying.

(Okay, so it’s not from a gas station, just from the restaurant attached to the gas station which hopefully makes enough of a difference to keep you from declining any future lunch invitations from Sus.)

Three people accepted the offer, two didn’t know each other, and one even brought dessert and we had a great time visiting, eating cookies, and starting the weekend on a happy note.

2.  I’ve been reading a lot the last few weeks, mostly whatever Amy recommends.  I finished Sparkly Green Earrings (BigMama’s book, loved it), started and ditched a book on confidence after the first chapter (life’s too short to read something poorly written; of that, I’m confident), The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert (Rosaria Butterfield) and am still thinking about Love Does (Bob Goff), which is rattling around in my head three days after I closed the back cover and I might have to go back and read it again.

Next on the list is Why Priests?  A Failed Tradition by Garry Wills and What’s it like to be Married to Me? (Linda Dillow) which Craig said he’s not going to touch with a 10 foot pole because he’s smart enough to know that marriages last longer when you don’t go answering loaded questions like that.

3.  Breakfast is the most boring meal of the day so I’ve tried to jazz it up.  I found this recipe for swiss chard eggs and made it with spinach instead.  It was delicious even if only for Mom, party of one.

My people don’t do green for breakfast unless it’s a St. Patrick’s Day Krispy Kreme.

4.  It’s getting close to canning season.  We went to the Farmer’s Market this weekend to see what was available and came home with a flat of strawberries.  I spent most of Sunday afternoon slinging hot, red, sticky syrup all over the kitchen but it was worth it to have a year’s supply of jam in the pantry.

I see a lot of peanut butter sandwiches in my future.

5.  Craig started to fear for my mental health when he discovered I follow Emergency Kittens on Twitter.  I think that’s what it took to finally convince him  I really, really wanted another cat so this Wednesday  our house will be a little cheerier when we add the newest member of the family, a little orange kitty from this litter named Max.



I can’t wait for him to get here.

Prepare yourself for an overload of pictures until the new wears off.

Have a nice day. 


Sus goes to the grocery store. Riveting.

The Breakfast Fairy informed me yesterday that we were out of eggs, bacon, sausage, biscuits, milk, orange juice, and bananas and that he would need some grocery store help before he could be expected to work his magic in the morning for the kiddos so yesterday was a shopping day.  For once I decided to shower, fix my hair, and throw on something other than shorts and a logo t-shirt before heading out and I’m glad I did because I ran into four friends at BJ’s and it would have been awkward trying to avoid them for 47 aisles so they wouldn’t see a serious case of bedhead.

I once had to slink through Food Lion for half an hour trying to avoid an old hairdresser who I’d cheated on with my current hairdresser.  Talk about stressful.


Craig’s office is close by the store so I decided to stop in and drop off some brownie bites I’d picked up (don’t judge – it takes an act of Congress to get me to bake) and it was conveniently lunch time and I talked him into grabbing a salad with me at Chick-fil-A. (By the way, the new salads are delish and, no, they didn’t pay me to say that.)  Then I came home, threw everything on the counter and ran over to the regular grocery store to buy normal-people-sized-quantities of  vegetables (I mean, really, who has a crisper drawer that can hold a 25 lb. bag of carrots?) and the minute I walked in the store I realized that it was Tuesday which means it was Senior Citizen Day and there I was without my shin guards.

These people are feisty and will mow you down with their shopping carts to get the last of the fiber bars.

They do not mess around.

There are a couple of retirement villages in the area and they bring shoppers by the busload on Tuesdays for the 5% discount and they all stop their carts in the middle of the aisle to visit with each other and socialize and do all those things that the rest of us have forgotten how to do which is sweet and all but it does make for slow-going but while I was waiting to find a clear path out of produce, the store manager mentioned to me that sunflowers were on sale for a $1 a bunch and it was totally worth the delay for a vase full of sunshine on the kitchen counter.

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The counter looks neat in this picture because all of a sudden the paper clutter got to me and I cleared off every scrap on both counters and stacked it on the couch and had every intention of dealing with it before dinner but I got distracted by rearranging the K-cups in a visually pleasing manner and didn’t get to it.

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So this is what I’m doing today.

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Unless I see something shiny in which case all bets are off.

Have a nice day.