Monthly Archives: September 2009

Whistling Dixie


What I did this summer:

Got a puppy.

How have I not written about this yet?  It is a great tale of suspense, deception, manipulation, and ultimately,  victory.

About this time last year, older 2 were starting at the Middle School.    Wise, mature, 7th grade girl often sat on the right side of the bus where she could daily see the clever slogan marketing of the house across the street “Puppies!” and immediately added the phone number into her brand spankin’ new cell phone.  

Fast Forward a year:  BoyKid was at football practice across the street from the middle school and NeighborKid and BigSis were along for the ride.  With nothing better to do, NKid and BSis decided to walk over to the middle school where lo & behold, there was the Puppy House conveniently within walking distance.  NKid gets bold enough to call the number & see if there are any puppies currently.  Well, butter my biscuits, yes, there certainly were.  Shocking. 

Meanwhile, I’m yakking on the phone watching practice.  Little did I know my world was in need of a rocking which was just moments away. 

Interestingly enough, the Puppy Whisperers did not come back all bubbling over.  They were actually resigned to the fact that there was  No.  Stinkin.  Way.  either family is going to even go see them.  Much less GET one.

This reverse psychology thing?   Look into it.  There may be something there.

So with 45 minutes left to practice & my phone call completed, I figured, hey.  I got nothing better to do than go see what my kid & the NKid have been up to. 

We got into the yard of the Puppy Home and it hit me like a bolt of clarity infused lightning.  “What am I doing?  I am not going to be able to walk away from this innocent journey unscathed.”  (Read: without a puppy)  By that time, they were in sight.  And literally?  Before I even saw her?   THAT my friends was, for me, all.  she.  wrote.

Mom:  Dixie 

Dad:  Jake

Two Puppies Left:  Belle (not for sale) and ? 



Shut.  Uprightnow.   GET.  IN.  MY.  HOUSEHOLD!

Brilliant low-key sales pitch + profuse snuggling + sweet talking + crazy cuteness = 1 determined calculating mom and 2 flabbergasted children.

We tore ourselves away and made a call.  To TeenSon.  Told him to wake up Dad & “meet us at BoyKid’s practice.  We’ve got something you have GOT to see.”

Now for strategy.  “Under NO circumstances can you ASK if we are GETTING a dog.”  


Mopey sad tired oblivious Dad arrives with TeenSon who is in on the plan.  BoyKid is done with practice so we walk as a family, (plus NKid who is the mastermind behind this whole expedition…who knows HIS carpet will be in no way effected) over to see the puppies  “just to snuggle.” 

So now 2 of us have been there 3 times, one of us has been there twice, and 3 more are joining us this time.  Farmer Joe knows he’s got us right where he wants us.  He proceeds to put puppies in EVERYONE’S hands.Dixie's cousins


Dad stands firm, reminding us we have a NC trip in the morning and that our house is a rental.  Silence.  NKid then wonders outloud if there’s a “rental clause for pets.”  (Dude.  In 10 years, be a stockbroker.  Or a realtor.  Or a used car salesman.  Or raise puppies).   Plus he proceeds to offer his Puppy Sitting services while we’re gone or “any time.”  Work it.  Everyone wisely leaves space for Dad to process.  All part of the plan.

We sleep on it and rise the next morning and pack the car already missing our not-yet-ours pet.  We think about names.  LittleSis wants D.J. for Dixie Jr.  Dad likes the mom’s name “Dixie.”  Reel ‘er in, boys.

Packed up for the visit to the grandparents, Dad takes a surprise detour to the ATM and then back to Dixie’s Birthplace to leave a deposit.  The whole ride back from NC a few days later, we are discussing what time to pick her up in the morning and he ends up driving STRAIGHT TO GET HER from the road.  We didn’t have dog food, a bed, a collar, a dish.  Not. One. Blessed.  Thing.  except LOVE. 

We picked her up, held a lottery to see who got to hold her in the car (shoulda been NKid if he had gone to NC with us)  dashed to Pet Smart 15 minutes before they closed and added a whole bunch of joy to our family.



New Recipe (for disaster)


Shrimp & Bowtie Pasta

(Sounds good, right?  Just wait…)

 1)   Boil pasta

2)  Thaw shrimp

3)  Toss with yummy olive oil & Pampered Chef Parmesan Garlic

4)   While table is being set, put away dishes from the dishwasher stacking some of them on the stove, because why finish immediately what you can drag out indefinately?  Wait for family to gather, get drinks, set table & assemble.

5)  Accidentally bump the stove dial for the back burner with metal colander being put “away” in a 9 x 13 pan also detoured on the stove top. 

6)  Fail to notice burner (on), glass pan (expanding) or  metal colander (nuclear) which is hiding the “warning, it’s hot up in here” stove light.

7)   Wonder what That Sound is.  Do not realize it is glass pan preparing to explode.  

8)   Hear the sound of  472 giant  icicles falling & crashing inches from your head & bare feet.

9)  Realize there are shards of glass everywhere. 

shattered 9 by 13

10)  Summon the shopvac

11)  Notice shards of glass in the yummy pasta & shrimp. 

12)  Toss dinner.  Order pizza.

dinner in trash

KEY 2404


A big road hobby here in VA Beach is reading all the vanity plates & figuring out what they say.   A recent favorite was


Get it? You tooted? Classic! We laughed & laughed at that one.

Then a few minutes later on the same drive I said, OH MAN!   LOOK at THAT one!


…and began laughing hysterically.  8th grader caught on right away and played along.   6th grade girls in the back and 4th grade brother who were all in the car at the time were all, “What? WHAT! I don’t get it!   What does Key 24oh4 mean?  What??  !!!   Just tell me!”   Which only served to make us laugh harder & harder.



A litttle bit of pee as they tapped furiously into their phones, wrote it on scraps of paper and searched their minds for obscure funny sayings with “key” and numbers in them.

Finally we composed ourselves and admitted to them that it means nothing. Nothing at all.

Later we couldn’t resist the opportunity to try it out on the All-Knowing 9th grader.   Hubby had him putting it in his phone, looking at it in a mirror backwards over his shoulder “Like you would see it in a rear view mirror” upside down, everything we could think of.  We got him good.  TWICE.  And now it has become a saying for anything a person is unwilling to disclose.

As in: “Who is that texting you this late?”

“Key2404 Mom.”

SquishFest 09


So I got encouragement from my doctor a few months ago in the form of a wagging finger that I was overdue for Ye Annual MammoGrammo.  Fine.

Like it’s not bad enough that I fail the family medical issues pop quiz every time I enter any form of Dr. waiting room before I even put the paper gown on?


Step 1:  Look up address on GPS, make it there, but get confused & park in the back of the building by mistake just like 13 months ago.

Step 2:  Debate entering at the EMERGENCY (convenient) entrance.

Step 3:  Begin to hum “Emergency…E.  MER.  GEN.  CY” by Kool & the Gang for the next 87 minutes

Step 4:  Entrance Interview.  This is the point where you feel like you should LOOK like there’s something wrong with you so you can get into the appointment.

Step 5:  Prove you can Pay.  Have available your insurance card, picture ID (because people have been known to just walk in and impersonate innocent appointment-making folks) and it helps to flash several colorful credit cards and also a glimpse of the meticulously balanced checkbook wouldn’t hurt.  But the front desk person usually doesn’t really check to see if it’s balanced.  Thank God.

Step 6:  Wait for your name to be cheerfully called by the Happy Boob Nurse (HBN)  I remember this HBN from 13 months ago because her name ends with an “e” just like my mom’s.  We chatted jovially now, just as then and she showed me the dressing closet, the baby wipes (for removing that pesky deoderant, lotion & perfume) right next to the micro-mini cape that can only ever dream of becoming a full-fleged hospital gown.  Oh and look.  There’s a delusional not at all helpful snap which I completely ignored.  Because really?  In the quest for dignified modesty it’s just a losing battle at this juncture.  I bet the person in charge of sewing those things on just shakes their head and chuckles all day long.

Step 7:  Berating the irritating snap, artfully drape the cotton cape over bare shoulders, pull back the curtain and let the games begin.

Step 8:  Listen intently while HBN instructs you what to hold on to and where to stand while simultaneously engaging you in conversation about the new grocery store, what you do for a living, the kids.  Attempt to answer those questions while a spotlight shines on your untanned flesh which is being hoisted onto a giant thick microscope slide.  Submit to further hoisting, fidgeting, positioning and general kneeding and flattening while wishing there was at least a poster or something to look at over there.

Step 9:  Notice the red outlines on the giant thick microscope slide and wonder, “Are there really people that…uh…make it out to there?” and “Am I supposed to be pointing that direction?”  Decide it’s HBN’s problem not mine and just look away.

Step 10:  Crash course in internal remembrance of Lamaze Breathing as Giant Machinery descends to meet the top of perfectly positioned spotlighted flesh and Keeps.  Moving.  Downward.  AFTERITSURELYSHOULDHAVESTOPPEDBYNOW  ahhh  whew.  One down & one to go.

Step 11:  Curse the stupid NOT helpful snap.  Why do I even have the cape on at this point.  Really.

Step 12:  Oh wait.  Another angle on the same side.    Dayam.

Step 13:  Rinse & repeat on side 2.  Only with no rinsing.

Step 14:  Rejoice that we are done for another year to 13 months.  Smile graciously as HBN cuts off the wrist bracelet and frees you to go.

Step 15:  Curse inwardly, roll eyes outwardly, and fantasize punching that chitty chatty smile away when HBN said, “…unless something presents itself before then…”

Step 16:  Treat self to a full daily allowance serving of dairy in the form of frozen yogurt with do-it yourself toppings as a reward for diligent self-care.

Planes, Trains & What Now?


Mercy, what a weekend! 

It began with the Comedy Fest that is Office/Parks & Rec/SNL remote control switch-a-thon all while happily snuggling my happy 4 month old friend Harper while her parents attended a mac-daddy rehearsal dinner.

Which brings me to Friday.  My very 1st Virginia Beach wedding.  On the Oceanfront.  Well, in a church AT the Oceanfront.  A beautiful church with beautiful flowers and beautiful music and beautiful people who I already love after only 1 year.  I sat by The NOTMOTB (Neighbor Of The Mother Of The Bride) who was delightfully inappropriately chatty & loud & intentionally dumping out her purse JUST as the church got quiet for the bridal procession which made me chuckle & want to write a book about stuff like this.  We traded breath mints (mine) for kleenex (hers) and bonded over hushed whispers (mine) and not really trying whispers (hers) while the joy of the happy couple was QUITE contagious. 

The reception was on Murry’s Inlet overlooking a beautiful surprise colorful sunset after hours of gray skies just as the boat… You heard me… BOAT idled up to the dock with all 20 members of the wedding party on board.  It was A. (pause)  BOAT.  Like, the kind with couches, a recliner and a coffee table and a dining room table for cryin out loud.  Yeah.  That kind.

One or ten bacon wrapped scallops later, it was time to go upstairs, WHAT???  Upstairs?  For the REAL party.  SUCH fun was had and more bonding.   NOTMOTB was successfully avoided and we had a lovely time with several other couples from our church chatting, dancing, and just plain enjoying the festivities.  No major crisis/youtube worthy events at home in the meantime but we did arrive home around 10:00 p.m. to find 2 Domino’s chocolate lava crunch cake gooey handprints in the driveway. 

Lord only knows the backstory to THAT one.

Saturday 8:00 found us on the soggy football field with a painful loss to the jr. tackle Redskins.

Saturday 1:00 found us on the windy soccer field with a narrow win over Sterling in the U15 State Cup.

Saturday 8:00 p.m. found me driving home the two boyfriends.  YEAH.  BOYFRIENDS of my beautiful middle school daughters.  Then a “Guard Your Heart” lecture for the girls was in order for them AND their girl buds who happened to also be in the car under my authority & wisdom.  Or perceived wisdom. 

Did you know that you can HEAR eyerolling?  You totally can. 

GUARD YOUR HEARTS, ladies.  I mean it.  Or so help me…

Sunday 8:00 a.m.  Hubby & boy to Charlottesville 186 miles away for a tough regular season defeat.  THAT is a long ride home, homies.

also Sunday 8:00 a.m. Girls + Boy marathon church time  followed by marathon TV (VMAs, Emmys, other random Tivo’d items) and a trip to Handel’s for the brave mowing boy & neighbor.

Now I’m headed to the couch to finish The Lost Symbol.  I hear Robert Langdon calling me “Get back in here so I can get out of this mess!”   Then maybe later I’ll go for a swim so I can be proud of myself during Biggest Loser tonight.

Sorry.  Today is NO POINT day.

Here’s an idea…when you tell a story, have a POINT.  It makes it SO much more INTERESTING for the LISTENER!”

In which she rambles for a while looking for a point by the end of, say, 200 words or so…



It’s a Wednesday.  The day I used to go get all trained up for the Fellowship of Bible Studiers and their tag-along munchkins.

The day that for the last 12 or so weeks has gotten off to a spectacularly Beth Moore-ified start.

The day I sometimes have a big honkin’ staff meeting at the Branch-O-Spring with other battle-weary, wounded healers.

But this particular Wednesday I’m all by my own self.

Well, not completely.  God’s here too.  Hi God!  (wave)

2 days ago, Sis and I were on the beach talking about God.  How the Tony Dungee (sp?) book has been out for about 2 years but she happened to pick it up for the plane ride  from St. Louis to Virginia Beach and lo & behold did our pastor not PUT UP A PPT SLIDE OF THAT VERY SAME 2 YEAR OLD BOOK this past Sunday.  That’s a God moment for her.

Mine was a few weeks ago when I realized I was losing all my 2008-2009 K-1 small group  leaders only to get a list of 6 more all who said “Yes” and did a fab-U-loso job on their first day.   God is so ON it.

Not to mention how He & bro-in-law cooperated so awesomely to bring my sis here for a visit so we could go to the beach while the rest of the world was working or in school.   Don’t hate.

So there’s the point I guess…God is ON it.

***And GLEE is on tonight!***

DON’T stop.  be LEEV in’!

(Git down, girl…go ‘head…git down)



I know, right?

I can’t believe WordPress hasn’t shut me down for neglect.  If  my blog was a YoVille pet, it would have x eyes.  Which reminds me….

I didn’t even blog the latest birthday in my household on 9/5…3rd kid syndrome.  Saving that post for the actual party day in a few weeks when photos will be aplenty.

So without further ado, here is a Thankful Thursday Top Three:

I’m thankful for the time I had with my sweet Adopted Grandmother/TN Neighbor just days before her  recent departure from this earth into the arms of her Savior.   What a gift it is to walk with someone through normal days and intense ones as well.

I’m thankful for a turbo trip to MI where we were all treated like Rock Stars at the Ridge and in the old neghborhood.  Sis says I made that 13 hour (one-way) trip for the hug I got from Gina.  She’s mostly right.

I’m thankful for new friendships emerging from my summer small group, birthday celebration picnics on the beach, nurf gun wars with the hubbies, and the support that comes from walking through the valley together.

So many more blessings come to mind!  A new puppy, a new school year, new kids in Promiseland K-1, new leaders, new challenges, a new set, new flavors every day at Skinny Dip…life is goooooood.

What are YOU thankful for?

(Besides me blogging again, of course…)