Oct 30, 2008

What Candy Corn Can't Teach Ya.

Last week the AG and I took Remi and Rocco, all dressed up in their Halloween duds, to a local nursing home. We went with some friends from our Sunday School class to collect candy. Which Remi did with great aplomb.

The girl can work a room. I'm not gonna lie.

I was reminded during that little outing of when I was growing up and my mom and I would go, every Wednesday morning at 10am, to the local nursing home there in my home town and sing. Mom would play the piano and I would sing every single southern gospel song that I could think of until they either quit yelling out requests or until my mom's hands cramped up and we had to stop. Either way - welcome relief!

And when you're 15 and being drug to the nursing home to sing, it's a daunting task, I will admit. Embarrassing at times. Redundant and boring at times.

But I'm in my 30's now and can see the value in it so much more. Believe it or not - giving really is better than receiving, you really should love your neighbor as yourself and God's love really does know no limits. Fancy that!

And it's important to me that Remi (and Rocco) learn the art of loving the unlovable, touching the untouchable and reaching the unreachable.
Whether they be 9,19 or 90.
White or black.
Rich or poor.

It's one of the many things I hope my kiddos leave home with. The knowledge that the world truly doesn't revolve around just them.

So tomorrow night, as she reaches her sticky little hand out to receive treat after treat - just for being CUTE, may she do so with a heart that will turn around and give it all back, if need be.

Probably not.

But it's what I'm shooting for. A mom can dream, right?

So here's to all my lovelies...may you have a happy and safe Halloween with your kiddos. May you not be jealous that my kid is cuter than your kid. And may you, like me, have enough faith to believe that if you throw out all the Reese's peanut butter cups, God is still faithful to provide.

* Please know that Stretch Marks will be taking Friday off. This is due to the fact that it takes 14 - patience stretching - hours to get this bee costume on this bizzy little bee. And there is a good chance one of us will die in the process. Therefore, we will be back on Monday to let you know how it went and which one of us is still alive. Thank you, and your prayers are coveted.

Oct 29, 2008

Pumps and Plungers.

"These economic times is hard. Real hard. Most a' my friends they beez playin' with toys. But all I got is these here plungers and ah pair of my mama's pumps that she wore back in '98. I is so embarrassed."

"But I iz cute...so I do haz that goin' fo' me."

Oct 28, 2008

Code: Buffalo

"I like it. I like that play call."
"Ooohhh, that was a good catch."
"Hold it! Hold it!"
"We need a touchdown - not a field goal. C'mon! C'mon!"
"Nice, nice."
"That's what you call a touchdown. Don't be a jerk."

I know what you're thinking. Ah, another romantic night for the AG and I.

Uh, no.

This is what you hear when the Tennessee Titans are on ESPN's Monday Night Football. That and "woman, bring me more food."

Okay, that's not entirely true. But almost. The man gets so intense about football that at one point I offered to go and use the restroom for him since he refused to excuse himself from the room for one blessed second. But he didn't laugh. In fact, now that I think about it, he didn't respond to me at all.

How rude.

Of course this came after I scratched his back and uttered the words one should. never. utter. not. ever. "Calm down babe, it's just a game."

Come quickly, Lord. I almost died just then.

I knew the Titans were playing Monday night football many days ago, because I am a good wife. And also because he spent 45 minutes on a rampage around the house looking for his jersey saying things like, "Monday is Code: Blue in Nashville. If I don't wear blue - who will?" Mmm...I don't know, every 8th grade boy within a 50 mile radius? But I dared not say that. Because I am a good wife. And I want to live long and prosper. And maybe get a new Buick Enclave if I'm really really nice.

So in preparation for the big night I asked my dear husband what he would like for dinner, feeling certain he would respond with, "Whatever you make is what I want. How about that roasted duck or bobtail quail we had last week? Over leeks and succotash?" Alas, that was not to be.

"I want nachos and hot wings."

It's a wonder he is still alive. Honestly, who eats like that once they are over 17?

So in order to be the godly and submissive wife my friend Kate keeps telling me I should be...and in order to provide an environment of relaxation for my husband that my friend Lisa keeps teaching on...and in order to make creative food that my husband laps up with a spoon like my friend Heather...I give you...

Buffalo Chicken Nacho's
Otherwise known as:
A cross between Nacho's and Hot Wings: Sturdy enough for man, but not so gross that a woman won't eat them.

It's a working title, I will admit.

I boiled my chicken breast and got them good and tender and then diced them up into small chunks. And use all white meat - don't make me come hit you.

Now pour some Frank's Red Hot Buffalo Wing Sauce (I got this recipe from Frank's website, by the way) over your chicken and mix in. I can't tell you how much - because it's how much you can handle. Me? Not much. The AG? Tons. Therefore, we have it mild. I make it, I win.

Now layer your tortilla chips in the bottom of a baking dish. I am personally in love with these new Tostito FLOUR TORTILLA chips. They are not Julio's - but Julio's will not come to Tennessee. So until then...these will do.

Spread your buffalo chicken over chips, layer with Monterrey Jack Cheese, red onion, blue cheese dressing and blue cheese crumbles. Now repeat it all for a ooey, gooey second layer.

Now, I'm not saying I'm wife of the year. (Yes, I am.) Nor am I saying that making this little creation for my husband came with a price. (Yes, I am.) I'm just saying I really really like those new Buicks.

Oct 27, 2008

Life Off The Farm.

If you've read my blog for very long then you know that the AG and I waited...and waited....and waited...and waited years before God blessed us with children.

Did I mention the waiting?

And during those years there were these "things," these "moments," that we wished we could be a part of. Well, I don't suppose I should speak for him - maybe he never wished to be a part of them. But I did. I always did.

For instance? Chattanooga. Yeah, it sounds weird. I will admit. But during the ten years we waited for children we took two trips to Chattanooga; we toured the Aquarium, we went to the IMAX. We did all the things the other families did. Only we did them without children.

And as they pushed their strollers and wiped up their spills and ran small children to the potty - I wished terribly that I was them. And they were me.

And I so I squeezed my husbands hand a little harder and made him promise to bring me back. Someday.

I've always wanted to go to Gentry's Farm.

I've heard about Gentry's Farm for the past 8 years. How wonderful it is for kids. How beautiful it is for kids. How much you and your kids will enjoy it.

It seemed somehow unattainable. Like you had to be in some sort of club. Some sort of "fertile" club. And let's state for the record: I was not a card carrying member of this club.

And for eight years I waited to go...to Gentry's Farm. Like it was some sort of magical place only heard about in fairy tales. Or those Hidden Valley Ranch commercials.

I would see pictures of people's kids buried in the pumpkins at Gentry's Farm. I would hear them talk about what "a beautiful weekend it's going to be, so we're taking the kids to Gentry's Farm." Several times I would overhear families make plans to meet up there, let their kids play together.

And I would squeeze my husband's hand and make him promise to take me there.

This weekend I went to Gentry's Farm.

I went with the Attorney General who is my very best friend. And I went with two kids - TWO! - who mean more to me than life itself.

And it was wonderful. It really was. It was "beautiful outside and a perfect weekend to take the kids to Gentry's Farm." And I enjoyed it very much. Oh, yes I did! And I walked around proudly - as if I had really accomplished something. And I wondered, did everyone know what an accomplishment this was for me? I was at Gentry's Farm! Me! I had waited years for this!!

But as I walked around and looked at the other families. As I shared popcorn and a coke with an adorably greedy little two year old. And as I watched my husband tote around his son - finally, his son - on his back...I was reminded that nothing about that day was due to my accomplishments. It was due to HIS faithfulness. It was due to God doing what only God knows how to do - Be Good. That's all He knows. He couldn't do bad if He really really tried. It's just not in Him. Be anything but good, but faithful, but perfect - It's the ONE thing God CANNOT do.

But you know what my favorite part was?

Surprisingly, it was NOT the farm. It wasn't the corn maze or the hayride. It wasn't the popcorn or the pumpkin patch.

It was afterward. It was coming home with two - TWO! - dirty, stinky kids and bathing them. It was rubbing Johnson and Johnson Bedtime Bath all over little faces with sleepy eyes. It was crawling in bed beside a two year old and reading Little Rabbits Big Day and watching her eyes shut...slowly...slowly...slowly.

It was tiptoeing out of her room and hearing her say "night, Mama." And crawling up next to my husband on the couch. It was squeezing his hand a little harder and making him promise me that we could do the exact same thing next weekend.

Oct 24, 2008

Add Malt Vinegar and it's A FREAKY FRIDAY!

I'm an early voter. Oh, yes I am. Me and half of the senior citizen population of my county.

Today I went down and early voted and believe you me, I was the youngest person in the room BY A MILE. But I didn't care. I slipped on my knit pants, pulled on my sweatshirt with pictures of my grandbabies and the words "Grandma's Do It Best" on the back and went and voted me a president.

And a Monty.

One President. One Monty.

Mission Accomplished.

Then afterwards, because it was 11AM and the Attorney General and I were plum tuckered we went for a big lunch at .....wait for it......Captain D's.

Hey, here's something. The senior citizen population? They all converge together mid-morning and eat lunch at Captain D's. Which I found quite interesting considering when I was at home in Texas a few months back my Granny took me to Catfish King and it was like a "meat market" for the over 70 crowd. I kid you not.

And here I was again. At another catfish restaurant. With more seniors.

There's somethin' in the water people, that's all I'm sayin'. There's somethin' in the water.

It just seems a little fishy to me that seniors all over the world eat lunch:
a.) at a catfish restaurant
b.) at 10:45AM.
What do they know that we don't?

I'm telling you...you prop up a card table for a rousing game of 42 and there's a chance the doors on that place would blow off and it would be off the HIIIIZZZLLLEEEE!

Then, to top off our hectic morning we went to Wal-greens to drop off our prescriptions and then headed home to catch a nap. All by 12:15PM.

Anyone noticing a pattern here?

You guessed it. We are 82.

It's our kids who keep us young. And tired. And on said prescriptions.

Later in the afternoon Meridith taught me how to try on different hairstyles on http://www.thehairstyler.com/. She said she wanted to do it because it was fun. But I think she had ulterior motives considering every time I tried a different hairstyle on my face she would say...

"See??? Not everyone needs to grow their bangs out. Some people need bangs. Don't you think you need bangs? I like you with bangs. I've always liked you with bangs. I think you like having bangs, too. Don't you? Bangs. Bangs. That reminds me of the Ricky Martin song - She Bangs, She Bangs. That song could be about you, if you would keep your bangs, that is. And not try to do something crazy like grow them out. Cuz that would be crazy. Bangs."

I think, I think, she wants me to re-think growing my bangs out. But I can't be sure.

Considering I was feeling very patriotic I tried on the Sara Palin. Your thoughts?

I know, I know. I look like Tina Fey. You don't have to say it. I see it, too. I also look like a high school principal and a loan officer. Or a Miss Arkansas.

So needless to say, the look doesn't work for me.

But after a fancy day of voting, Captain D's, naps and Wal-greens a girl needs a look that is a little more....hip. So I give you...The Beyonce.

I'd love to know your thoughts. Would you like to know mine?

I don't think you're ready for this jelly...whatever the heck that means.

Oct 22, 2008

"Somebody Better Cook That Thing..."

Republicans are Red
Democrats are Blue
But who really cares cuz we're sick of it anyway...
So this old school laugh's just for YOU!

We Moved Remi. And By "We" I Mean "She."

Did y'all know I'm into hard labor?

Y'all didn't?

Why would you ever think I'm not?

I love hard labor. I live for hard labor. I wake up every morning and the first thing I whisper is a prayer that God would give me "good health, quiet children and the ability to lift immovable objects while listening to my back crack in 18 different places all at the same time."

And today He heard my plea.

We moved Remi. That's right. She's outta here. I have chased that child around for the last time. I seriously should be a size 2 right now. I see all these mothers HEIDI KLUM in these magazines HEIDI KLUM who swear they lost their baby weight HEIDI KLUM by simply chasing their children around HEIDI KLUM. These women are liars. Big, skinny, billionaire liars.

But that is not the point I am trying to make.

Today we moved Remi into a new room. Pretty soon Rocco will need the small room that she has been occupying and so today...Remi got A BIG GIRL ROOM!! A room with plenty of space for her toys and dolls and her "she's-played-with-it-all-of-twenty-seconds-since-we-lugged-the-300-pound-behemoth-upstairs" play kitchen. And ya know? It really made me kinda sad.

I wasn't sad because of the memories of that little room; her first nursery, the room I used to rock her to sleep in, etc. I was sad because The AG conveniently had to work late and who got to move the armoire??? MERIDITH.

I wasn't sad because I was packing up little picture frames and tiny photo albums. I was sad because it took almost 30 minutes just to get that solid oak bed down the hall. But it got done, oh yes it did. Thanks to who? You guessed it. MERIDITH.

And no, I wasn't sad when Remi walked in to discover her room was "gone-gone." I got sad when someone had to get down on the floor and pick up 8,000 puzzle pieces and toy beads. And who was that poor soul? MERIDITH.

Seeing her work like that really took it out of me.

Oh, for pete's sake. I'm kidding. I helped.

I did.

I did hard labor.

In fact, once when she was pushing the armoire down the hall she said, "Melissa, I don't think I can get it into the door without scratching it." And I watched very closely to make sure she didn't scratch anything. And sure enough...she didn't. So there! You're welcome.

Oh, but here's something interesting......back when Remi was just a baby and I had to drop her off on Wednesday nights, the "volunteer" workers at our church created a game called "Let's Dig Through Remi's Mommy's Bag And See What Junk She Has In There This Week." Once they threatened to turn me in to children's services for having only one diaper but 4 paint sticks from Home Depot.

But I lost that diaper bag long ago. Which is a shame really...as it should have gone down in the First Time Mom Hall of Shame.

Until tonight.

Tonight, as Meridith lugged another stack of puzzles down the hall I was cleaning out the closet. And found the bag. THE. BAG.

And I had to look. Oh, I just had to.

What had I been carrying the last time I carried that bag?

Know what I found? Here we go...

One diaper.

Six wipes - which were dried up as they were not in a wipes container. Just laying open in the bag.

A coupon for a free icee from Burger King, with purchase of a large fry.

A map of Bowling Green, KY.

2 socks. They were not a pair. Just two, lone socks.

A bottle.

3 bottle liners.

A paci.

My zoo membership card.

And 3 paint sticks from Home Depot.

Have a good one, y'all.

Oct 21, 2008

Yo Mamma!

Today is my mom's birthday. What to do...what to do.

It's gotta be BIG! Because let's face it, the woman is turning 56, and well, there won't be that many more years to celebrate. Know what I'm sayin'?

So this might call for one of those Edible Arrangements.

An Edible Arrangement? Seriously? Those things are cruel. You get this big box and are thinking that finally! A Honey Baked Ham. God heard me! But no. It's fruit. *By the way...don't ever send me an Edible Arrangement. Not that you would ever have reason to send me anything, but if you did, do not send me fruit on a stick. It will not be appreciated and in fact, there's a good chance I will just tell the delivery man to hightail it on over to "old man's" house across the street. Because I have a feeling if anybody would appreciate fruit on a stick, it's "old man."

Or flowers. I know she loves flowers.

But the only time I ever sent my mom flowers was when I was a freshman in college. (And I would just like to go on record as saying that the rest of this story is what happens when a mom raises a daughter to "talk...to share...to open up".) So I called her my freshman year in college just to tell her all the details about my first make-out session with the AG. My dad told me she cried herself to sleep. So I sent her flowers to ultimately erase the horrific visions she had been battling. Apparently, flowers do not always help.

So instead of ham, fruit, flowers, or graphic memories I give her this...

Things That Are Special About My Mom On This Her Birthday:
by me and the Attorney General and Meridith,
since we are all sitting around talking about her anyway.

1. Her chocolate chip cookies. Because the dough is perfect and she always let me lick the beaters. Plus, they just taste the best. - Meridith

2. Her unique ability to forget the things she chooses not to remember. - Melissa and Meridith

3. The fact that she has been successful at dodging any form of yard work for the last 41 years. - The AG

4. The way she will end every phone conversation we have with the words, "I gotta go." But when I try to end a phone conversation with the words, "I gotta go," she actually says "no you don't" and continues talking. - Melissa

5. The way she tells stories on her own mother that she thinks are hilarious. And little does she know she is turning into her mother a little more, every. single. day. - Melissa, The AG and Meridith

6. Whenever you enter her home, even if it's the very first time you've ever been there, you feel like you grew up there. - Meridith

7. Her abnormal passion for wedding punch. - Melissa and Meridith

8. She loves her a good moo-moo. - The AG

9. She's a GREAT cook! - Melissa

10. To this day if you ask any of my Golden Girls who talked to them about sex, they will inevitably say, "your mom!" - Melissa

11. She loves me. No, I mean it. The woman is wild about me. - The AG

12. She's my best friend. - Melissa

Oct 20, 2008

Daddy! Daddy! Daddy! Blah! Blah! Blah!

This is daddy helping me feed the billy goat. It was a beautiful Saturday and daddy suggested we go to the zoo. Then he helped me feed the billy goat leaves and not be scared. Then he bought me a $24 dollar drink just because it was in a cup that was the shape of a meerkat.

Mom wouldn't touch the billy goat. She said he had been touched by "millions of kids without proper parenting", whatever that means. Then she told daddy not to buy me my meerkat drink. But he just winked at me and did it anyway. Later I heard mommy tell him, "she'll be your problem to deal with when she's 16." Whatever that means.

This is me and my dad. My mom took this picture the other morning when she woke up to find us this way. He was supposed to put me back in my bed right after feeding me, but I wasn't too game on going back in my bed, and so I just hung out with him.

Mom told him that holding me while I fell asleep was "the beginning of the end," whatever that means. She also said I needed to learn to "self-soothe, self-soothe, self-soothe" like 400 times. But dad just held me tighter.

Hey y'all! This is me, on Saturday, when daddy was keeping me. He fixed me my favorite - a grilled cheese sandwich (in triangles of course), cut up apple slices and some juice. He then propped me up in his bed, placed a pillow behind my head and turned on some Max & Ruby.

Some may call me spoiled, but I'll be honest, that's just how my dad rolls.

When we heard the garage door open up and knew mom was home, dad said, "Move, Remi, move! You were supposed to be down for a nap 20 minutes ago!" Sheesh.
Mom just doesn't get us.

Which is unfortunate...because Rocco and I really treat her well when daddy's not around.

Oct 17, 2008

The Last Time I Talked To My Mother...

It's been a while, hasn't it? It's been while since my mom has done much that would be deemed bloggable.

Before I've told you stories like this.

Or this.

But it's been a while since she has said or done or bought or broken anything that might be worthy of your viewing pleasure.

Until now.

It's a short story, really. But it's Friday and I know you have things to do....so here goes.

Two months ago my dad's dog, Truman, went missing.
My dad thinks he was stolen because "who wouldn't want a full-blood Golden Retriever?"
My mom thinks he ran away because he wasn't "fixed" and there was a lovely young lady who lived down the road.
And my Granny thinks he wandered into the mean old woman's yard down the road and she tied him up just to throw things at him. (Don't ask.)

But nonetheless, Truman gone-gone.

My dad put up posters and more posters. And then he upped the ante. A $500 reward was offered for the return of Truman.

But weeks went by and Truman still gone-gone.

You have to understand how heart broken we all were. Truman was the most beautiful Golden Retriever you've ever seen. Was he good? No. He was horrible. He was destructive and barky and bitey and all puppy. But did we love him? Oh yes, we did. Very much.

And so when my dad got a call that someone had spotted his little Truman down at the local animal pound, and he went down there and it wasn't him, you can understand why he came home with two puppies. Because honestly, who can go to the local pound and NOT bring home a puppy? Or two?

But I digress.

Where was I?

Ah, yes. MOM.

So imagine her delight when she calls me the other night to let me know a "sweet, sweet family, as country as dirt," had called her and said THEY HAD TRUMAN! "Truman! Can you believe it? They have him and they don't want a single penny. Just the pleasure of seeing us take Truman back home! Can you believe it? Can you? Huh? Huh?"

And as I sit here in Tennessee I try - with all my might - to imagine her delight as she flew over to their home in the dark of night. I try to imagine her as she got out of the car and called for him, and he came and licked at her ankles. And I close my eyes and try to imagine how excited she was as she sat and waited in the living room of her house for my dad to get home - the dog flying all over the house in classic Truman style.

And then I try really really hard to imagine her face when my dad walked in.

But try as I might I just can't imagine her disappointment when dad told her, "It's not him, Annette. It's not Truman."

"How can you be sure?"

"Well, mainly because it's a yellow Lab."

And I try to imagine her as they loaded him back into the car. To take him back. To the sweet people who were "sweet, sweet, sweet, but country as dirt."

Kinda like my sweet momma.

Oct 16, 2008

Wisdom in My Mailbox.

On occasion I will go out to the mailbox and find a letter from my mother-in-law. Those are good days. Because generally when a letter from my mother and father-in-law comes in the mail there is a nice surprise in it. And it means we get to eat out that night. ON THEM!

Oh, how we looooovvvveee when Grandma sends a letter!!

I'm not gonna lie. We are children.

So yesterday when I went to the mailbox I saw a letter from Grandma. The AG, who happened to be on the lawnmower (and driving by me at 87 mph) saw me opening it and asked who it was from. I mouthed the words, "Your Mom" to him, to which he held up both hands in the air and yelled "We Eat Good Tonight!"

Have I mentioned that we love getting letters from my in-laws?

But yesterday what I opened up was even more precious than the gift cards they send, the checks that say Enjoy a night out on us in the memo line, or a crisp $20 bill that is meant to be spent on grandbabies and all the strawberry ice cream they can consume.

Here's what it was...

Psalm 17:7-8, "Show thy marvelous lovingkindess, O thou that savest by thy right hand them which put their trust in thee from those that rise up against them. Keep me as the apple of thy eye, hide me under the shadow of thy wings."

Psalm 27:5, "In the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion; in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me upon a rock."

Psalm 34:17, "The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth, and delivereth them out of all their troubles."

Psalm 37:3, "Trust in the Lord and do good;l so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed."

Psalm 56:11, "In God have I put my trust: I will not be afraid what man can do unto me."

Psalm 66:20, "Blessed be God, which hath not turned away my prayer, nor hid mercy from me."

I don't know if you needed to be reminded of those promises today - but I certainly did.

I needed to be reminded that no matter how much I pay for gas, or who becomes my next president, I shall dwell in the land and I SHALL BE FED.

I needed to be reminded that even though I spend two hours listening to two men who esteem themselves as being in touch with my heart, but most certainly are not, GOD HAS NOT TURNED AWAY FROM MY PRAYER.

I needed to be reminded that no matter how fancy their blue suits and red ties are it is ME who is THE APPLE OF HIS EYE.

So are you. Be reminded of that, today.

So along with my mother-in-law may I just remind you that, "I have been young, and now am old; yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, nor his seed begging for bread." (Psalm 37:25)

So thanks Grandma (and Bonga) for your kindness and your reminders of God's faithfulness.
And thank you, God! It's because of you...

Oct 15, 2008

Side Notes.

Let me start by profusely apologizing to Steve Carrell and my Fake BFF Tina Fey, for implying that there were no other good 30 minute comedies on television besides Worst Week. What was I thinking?

I am so not a good American.

Sadly enough, Micheal Scott and Liz Lemon are two of the main reasons I wake up on Thursdays. Well, that, and there's a good chance it's Taco Ring night.

But I do apologize to my 12 readers who were steered so wrong in believing that Worst Week was the only thing good on T.V. (Although it really is so funny).
And I apologize to my friend who emailed me all in capitol letters and exclamation points in order to remind me of my love and dedication to Micheal Scott. (All caps + exclamation points = Yelling. That's just email etiquette.)
And I apologize to Tina Fey, who left me like 8 voice mails asking me to write an addendum to yesterday's post.



I will now give you my chicken finger recipe.

Do you have your pens handy?

You'll want to grab them, because what I am about to give to you can not be found on 2 out of every 3 chicken tender recipes that you Google. Oh no, it can't.

Here it is. Melissa's Chicken Tender Recipe. Written out in Melissa style:

- Get some chicken tenders and thaw them out. Go ahead and fix alot because you will eat several of them before they get put on the table. Or the T.V. tray that you will prop up in front of your T.V.

- Get a bowl and put some eggs in it. Like, I don't know, maybe 3. Or 2. Whatever. Mix them up and add a little milk. I don't know how much milk. Just a little. Whatever you think. Then add some Tabasco to this. Ya know? Just to kick things up a bit. BAM!

- Then get another bowl and add flour. I don't care how much. A lot. Then add some seasoned salt. Like Lawry's. That's what Texans use.

- Now put your chicken tenders in the egg mix.

- Now roll them in the flour mixture.

- (And this is where you will really want to pay attention cuz even Paula doesn't do this. And she does almost everything right.) Now dip them in the egg mixture AGAIN.

- Oh, yeah. That's right! Momma's a double dipper. Now dip them in the flour mixture AGAIN!

- Now put them in some really hot vegetable oil IN A CAST IRON SKILLET. Do not make me laugh at you behind your back while you try to cook southern chicken in a Teflon skillet. Seriously.

- Now cook them like 5 minutes on each side. Or however long. It's up to you. Just don't burn them. And whatever you do - don't undercook them, because there is nothing worse than cutting into pink chicken. Oh, heavens.

- Place a few napkins on the plate before you lay your hot chicken on there because everyone knows that laying a few napkins down will soak up all of the fat and they will be almost negative in caloric intake.

- Sprinkle a little more seasoned salt. And serve them with honey mustard or homemade gravy. Which I do. Because eating double dipped, double salted, deep fried chicken just seems too healthy to me.


Last Sunday Remi put something down the toilet.

Something big.

Chances are, something valuable.

We will never have the luxury of knowing, of course. Because thanks to an industrial strength plunger it was flushed into the great beyond.

I told the AG not to worry that we were only out about $50. Until we go to look for our left shoe...or our glasses...my favorite hairbrush...our remote...Meridith's car keys...etc...etc. It could be any number of things.

But it made me remember a quote that always made me laugh, as Niles Crane said to his brother, Frasier:

"Because we hired a plumber, that plumber can now afford to, say, buy a Dolly Parton album."

Later, my lovelies.

Oct 14, 2008

"I'm A Vicious Rakist."

Please, someone, tell me you are watching Worst Week on CBS.

Tonight, when Sam told his girlfriends mom that he would be happy to rake the front yard, "Don't worry Angela, I can do it. I'm a vicious rakist," I almost spit out my Blue Bell. Almost.

After what seems like 1001 torturous episodes of Two and A Half Men (uhhh...no, I'm not opinionated about my TV choices at all) and the fact that the only sitcoms I TiVo are still Seinfeld and Frasier...FINALLY there is something to look forward to in the land of 30 minute comedies.

Meet Sam.

Bless his sweet heart.

He tries, he really does. And for that, you gotta love him.

Now, don't get me wrong. I'm not a girl that goes for slap-stick. Falling down a flight of stairs really does nothing for me.

But walking in on your girlfriends sister while she is using her breast pump?

Having your girlfriends sister walk in on you while you are using her breast pump?

Breaking someones heart with the news that their loved one has died when in actuality they are alive?

Now that's some wholesome entertainment I can get behind!

So don't forget about Worst Week on CBS, Monday evenings. In fact, I highly suggest you steal 21 minutes from your employer and go watch the first three episodes in their entirety right here.

Totally worth it.

Anyone seen this yet? Let me know I'm not alone!

Oct 13, 2008

Rocco Wisdom.

But I don't want to wear this. You can't make me wear this.
I will not vote according to your beliefs.
You can't make me.
I won't do it!

I haven't even officially made up my mind, yet.
I just registered for pete's sake.
Take it off!

Heeyy...whhaaa?...what are you saying?....are you serio....so he's....he really believes that?...but what about babies...but what about marriages?...or what about....

Well, I am not gonna lie. This is completely shocking.
I. Did. Not. Know. This. Mom, did you know this?
I just assumed if NBC said it, it must be true.

Seriously, someone alert the media! Oh, wait. That won't make a difference.
Okay, how 'bout we post my picture on the internet?
If that won't change things, nothing will.

* Thank you for this onesie, Kris. It made my day and the Attorney General's year!

Oct 10, 2008

A Whole Bunch of Nothing.

Meridith gets a kick out of the fact that I use a menu I have created for the week.
It keeps me sane, people.
I plan what we are having every night of the week - then I buy the appropriate groceries. This keeps me from coming home with 8 bags of groceries full of nothing but Blue Bell and Enfamil (cause one of those does nothing for me.)

So she jokes. Oh, yes she does. I've heard words like "nerd," "lame," "cheesy."

But who was it that came walking into the kitchen last night around 5:15PM looked up at the menu sheet and yelled, "Yeah! It's taco ring night!"

I think this is what we call "a convert!" Or either just a really hungry house guest.

So imagine her surprise when she saw that on a Friday night we were having chicken tenders, mashed potatoes and gravy.

"Wow! Who's coming over?"

"No one. That's our regular Friday night meal."

"Well, then why did we have to eat a casserole and Lima beans on Tuesday and have to wait until Friday for the good stuff?"

"Because I like to serve the good stuff on a night that was normally reserved for exciting things. Like dinners out, movies, meeting up with friends. But now that I have no life to speak of I try to self-soothe myself by making things like chicken tenders. Because chicken tenders keep me from losing my mind! Chicken tenders make me feel like I am getting to eat something really fun!! Chicken tenders STAND FOR SOMETHING!!!"

"Dear Lord.....if I am going to get a life in this town - it is not going to happen inside this house."

"Do you want me to make enough chicken tenders for you?"

"Yeah...I'll be here."

Don't get into any trouble this weekend, my lovelies.
And don't worry, I'll eat some tenders for ya!

Oct 9, 2008

Hey Ya'll Guess What???

I'm ONE YEAR OLD today!

I've been blogging for one wwhhooolllleeee year.

Can you believe it? The only thing I've ever done consistently for a year is use hemorrhoid cream. So this is a real step up.

So in honor of my blogiversary I will grace you with my first couple of posts'. They are lame, they are short and they are proof that I had/have no business writing a blog.

Oh...and you know what I want for my birthday? For you to leave me a comment on how I've changed your life. Okay, that's asking a little much. How presumptuous of me to ask so much. I tell you what, leave a comment for the AG on how I've changed your life. Yeah, that's much better.

So here's hoping my writing has grown just as much as my circle of influence.
I mean friends.
I mean stalkers.
I mean...oh, who am I kidding? I mean influence.

So here they are...my first posts. It's a wonder Blogger didn't shut me down.

I Will Tell You What I Know...But First Things First, Where's The Cookie Dough?

David Radke has wanted me to start a blog for over a year now.
Translation: David is sick of me buying expensive journals and then writing my grocery list in them.

David Radke says I will enjoy it, he says I am a good writer.
Translation: David thinks blogging is cheaper than therapy.

David Radke wants to know if I am going to write about "funny" things or "spiritual" things?Translation: David wants to know if I am going to write about him.

David Radke wants me to come up with a really clever title that describes who I am and shows my maturity and depth.
Translation: David is driving me crazy tonight and I would pay $1,000 for a cookie log.

David Radke says blogs are a good idea if I want to share my deep, spiritual thoughts or some daily devotionals that I write.
Translation: David hopes I don't embarrass him.David had best not read my blog.Oh yeah, this is going to be fun.

Breaking Bread With Miss America

Boy, talk about your High School moments all over again.

I had lunch across from a beauty queen today. No, seriously. I did.

Suddenly I was transported back to April 3rd, 1990, 11:47am, Hudson High School cafeteria. The prettiest girl in our grade pulls up a chair across from me. This is not intimidating to me, of course, for I am full of pep, personality, zeal and charisma. And as we all know, those things are important in High School.

I am intimidated.

Why? Because I always seem to get the most tickled when there is food rolling around in my mouth. If ranch dressing drips down my hand I never got the concept of "wipe it off". I lick it. And I always...always...spill something on myself.

And so, on that third day of April 1990 I sat across from her. And yes, I spilled. And no, she didn't.

And yes, I used too much mayonnaise. While she used none.

And yes, I caught the ranch dressing rolling down my palm with my tongue, while she never soaked her fries in ranch dressing at all.

And yes, I went to English Lit. with taco meat on my vest...but it's all okay. As my granny says, "who cares. you'll still go to heaven happy." (I have no clue what that even means.)

But there I was today. Sitting across from another beauty queen. A real live beauty queen. Not like the girl I went to school with (who rumor has it worked at Kohl's for four weeks before she slipped in the bathroom and got worker's comp which she used to open up a tanning salon that eventually went belly-up but not before she went belly-up, if you get my meaning.) * I chuckle lightly to myself.

No, today's beauty queen was Miss America.
A real live Miss America.

And she made a sandwich for me. And we ate together.

And yeah, I think I laughed with my mouth open while she kept her elbows off the table.
And yes, I think she saw me pick that piece of cheese up off the table and eat it while she politely wiped her mouth with her napkin.
And so what if sweet tea dribbled down my chin while she cut her sandwich into fourths?
We had a nice time. She's wonderful and secure and could care less that she ever was a beauty queen.

And me? I'm perfectly happy - after all, I am full of pep, personality, zeal and charisma. And while that may not count for much when your 15 - it sure makes people want to have you over for lunch when you're 30.

Oct 8, 2008

Dirty Little Secrets.

Today's post is a little different. But heck, so am I.

I sat down at Books-A-Million today with a hot cup of coffee and a dirty little book. I came across a book called "DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS: From Otherwise Perfect Moms," by Trisha Ashworth and Amy Nubile. And oh, how I was entertained. And enlightened. And I loved it.

Dirty Little Secrets is exactly what the title says, dirty little secrets. Little secrets that we, as mothers, keep to ourselves. Little secrets only we know. Little secrets only we tell. Little secrets that keep us sane. Keep us together. Keep us from ripping up the carpet and holding up a Marble Slab Creamery.

Yep, those kinds of secrets.

I'll give you an example...

Sometimes my kids don't brush their teeth for three straight days.

Sound familiar? Or there's...

I tell my husband I am going to go potty. But actually lock myself in the bathroom, sit on the edge of the tub and read People.

Uh, huh. Anyone out there trying to pass that secret off? Certainly not me.
Here's one that's a little more thought provoking.

My husband would be really surprised if he knew that I think he's the most amazing person I've ever met. I'm just too busy to tell him.

And yet my favorite one is...

Some nights when my husband and I got to bed, I roll over and "play dead."
All I can think is,
"I just can't handle it if one more person pokes me today."

So come on mama's! I know you're out there. So, what's your secret? Tell me. And do it anonymously if you'd like. Just fill out the comment section as anonymous and tell us all - what is your dirty little secret?

I'll start...

Once I told the AG that Remi had cried for him to come home all day.
He left work early just to be with her. She hadn't mentioned his name even once.
I felt so ashamed that I drew myself a big bath and soaked in it until I felt clean again.

Okay, you're up!

Oct 7, 2008

Don't Push Me Cause I'm Close To The Edge. I'm Tryin' Not To Lose My Head.

Okay, that was my personal shout-out to all you Grand Funk Railroad fans out there. All 4 of you.

Lotsa people think Diddy did that song first. Diddy did not.

Of course none of this even matters because the topic I am writing about has nothing to do with Grand Funk Railroad or Diddy. So, why then did I use these lyrics?

Because I am, indeed, close to the edge and trying not to lose my head. That's why.
Keep up.

But now that I think about it, today's post should have been entitled "Dear Meridith." In fact, I shall now declare that heretofore I shall call this post "Dear Meridith."

I just looked up the definition to the word heretofore, and I am not using it correctly. at. all. But I am in the mood for something old and Jane Austinish and I'm using it anyway. But I beseech you to send me nary a comment about it or I shalt track thee down and plunder thee. Oh wait, let me Google the word "plunder."
Nope, won't be doing that.
But you get the gist.

On with it!

Dear Meridith,

Tonight you mentioned something in passing that I would like to discuss with you. It is a private matter so I am only writing to you about it here, on my blog.

Earlier this evening after dinner was fixed we all plopped down on the couch for some T.V. For we are American - and this is what we do. As you were checking your email you noticed that the AG and I were watching Fringe. I believe your word were, "Are y'all still watching that show?"

Now certainly you weren't talking about the actual SHOW. For Fringe is a J.J. Abrams show and so I think you know how I feel about all things J.J. Abrams. I love it. Yes, Fringe makes no sense to me. And yes, it is entirely over my head. But it is cool. So I will continue to watch it until I can come up with a coherent sentence to use in conversation that will impress people. I believe people are growing tired of my references to Gopher and Isaac. I have got to move on.

But no, you were referring to the actual episode.

And that leads me to my note to you.

Yes, we were still watching the episode that previously aired on Tuesday night the 23rd. Because - and here goes - it takes us 11 days to watch one full hour of television.

I am not sure if everyone has this problem. We do. If you are going to live with us you need to be made aware of it right now.

Oftentimes we sit down with every intention of watching a show in it's entirety. Rarely, rarely, does that actually happen. I normally am not one to point the finger. Honestly, you know this about me. I would rather walk on my lips that talk about someone, but I have to say, the fault here lies with one person. Only one.

Oh, sure. She's cute. But she's a master at television mind control. You wouldn't know it by looking at her. But she hates the T.V. Unless Elmo is on it. Or Max. Or his busybody sister, Ruby. Other than those few there is really nothing on television she like for us to watch.

So she plots.

And she plans.

And when we turn the television on she suddenly needs a cuppy. Or a bath. She suddenly decides that the puzzle she threw across the room hours earlier is calling her name. The cat she normally ignores she now decides to chase. The food she turned her nose up at, suddenly smells delightful. She wants to read, or draw, color or paint. She wants to sit in my lap. Her daddies lap. Her 1 month old brother's lap. She wants to call Bonga. She wants to sing into a hairbrush. She wants to learn Spanish. She wants to check Priceline for tickets to Marrakesh.

You name it. She suddenly wants to do it.

So yes, we are "still watching that show." We also just finished the series finale of Everybody Loves Raymond. Just found out who shot J.R. And just spent two hours trying to vote for Reuben Studdard.

Get used to it.

Tomorrow night, after dinner, we will all retire to the living room to finish watching Micheal Phelps go for his first gold. If Remi will let us.

I do hope you'll join us.

Oct 6, 2008

A Look-Back at My Weekend. Try to Stay Awake.

Well HELLLLOOOOOOO there! How was your weekend?

I would love to say that mine was uneventful, but it wasn't. It involved polishing off 2 gallons of Blue Bell ice cream. And let me tell you, eating that much ice cream is an event.

So see? I have a life.

Here are a few other tidbits of information that I acquired this weekend. In order for you to be prosperous and continue in your growth I feel it a necessity to share them with you.

1. Since daddy went out of town with some friends Remi has decided that she, too, needs to go out of town with some friends.

I find this amusing since I am so tired that I sometimes hallucinate that I have 4 children, I've been to Publix 8 times in 2 days (and once I didn't even buy anything), and when I drove through the bank the other day I got so tickled that the teller asked if I was okay and I replied, "Yes, I just think I tooted," when in fact - I had not.

But by all means, REMI is the one who needs a get-away with some friends.

Though I must admit her weekend sounds more exciting. When I asked where she would want to go she quickly replied, "To the big water." (Interpretation: Beach. Thatsa' my girl.)
"And who would you like to go with?"
"Uh...Poppy, Elmo and some dinosaurs."

Really? Cuz I'm pretty sure momma hallucinated that just the other night when she was up at 4:15 AM. Again.

2. My Bible Study class threw me a baby shower on Friday night. It was so wonderful. They had games about ME. And food's that are MY favorite. And gifts for ME. And cake that was chocolate on chocolate, trimmed in chocolate with layers of chocolate. All for MMMEEEEE. I really had such a nice time and got lots and lots of adorable stuff that now makes it official - my son is OFFICIALLY the cutest kid at church.

Oh, and the games about me?? Yeah. I lost. Seriously. Someone actually beat ME on a game about ME. So they got the prize - which was my favorite candy. Which seems odd to me that they left MY shower with MY favorite candy. But I left with 2/3 of a chocolate cake, so I'm not complaining.

Thanks again, to all of them. And no, this shout-out does not count as your personal "Thank You" note. My momma raised me better than that.

3. This weekend Remi Hope has tee'd and poo'd in the potty. All weekend long. And all it has cost me is:
$27 in Whoppers,
a $13 musical tea set,
$18 in "big girl" panties
and $42 in carpet cleaning spray.

$108 TOTAL DOLLARS so that I won't have to clean up a diaper that looks like a truck driver left it for me down at the Flying J truckstop.

Was it worth it? You betcha.

4. Meridith has officially moved in with the AG and I.

You know, live-in's can be such a nuisance. Take Mer for instance...

Since she has been here she has fed both of my children over 300 times, washed three loads of clothes, emptied my dishwasher and taxied McDonald's back and forth to my home. She watched Prom Night with me and then slept with me when I told her I was scared. She got up with Rocco in the middle of the night since I was sick with a migraine. And she sat still for an hour while Remi "fixed her hair" with baby oil and a fork.

Will it be worth it? That doesn't even merit a response.

And lastly...

5. Mom and I spoke to another group of women this weekend and I felt it went good, if I do say so myself. We spoke on Passing "IT" Down and mom's words were powerful that we are to raise VICTORS not VICTIMS!

How important it is for us, as parents, to remember that we are to raise children that go to God, not to us, for their needs. Bruises and boo-boo's are one thing, but there comes a time in the life of every child when they will come running to momma for what they need - and it will not be momma that can give it. ("But someone was unfair to me," "But no one chose me," "But that teacher doesn't like me," "But I didn't get what I deserve," "But, but, but...")

Momma's, remember that every time you try to "fix" for your child - you tie the hands of God. Let God do what only God can do. That way when that child is grown up and in need they know exactly WHO to go to.

Here's hoping that we teach our children that: Life isn't fair, but God is good!

All the time.

And that, my lovelies, is how you have an eventful weekend.

Oct 3, 2008

Talladega Nights: The Legend of Attorney General

You know what's funnier than the Attorney General going to a Nascar event?



Please don't get me or my post today, wrong.
I AM NOT making fun of Nascar fans.
I AM making fun of my husband.

The man is going to Talladega today and he has absolutely no business going. None. He says its because I yelled at him three weeks ago when we were shopping at Marshall's and he would not get out of my personal space and I said, "For the love of pete, would you back up out of my grill and get your self some friends to hang out with?"

I personally don't remember saying this. Yet, oddly, I can remember verbatim what I said.

But he said that at that very moment he was a changed man. He decided then and there he would, indeed, get himself some friends. Unfortunately, they love Nascar. Which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing except Nascar ain't cheap and they keep dragging him to these dadgum things.

Oh, sure it was harmless at first. A little race here. A superspeedway there. But now we're talking Talladega - and that's a big deal. I think. I would assume. I mean, they made a movie out of it, so I'm assuming it's a pretty grand thing. And it was starring Will Ferrell - which right there means we're dealing with some upper echelon of acting. I hear they tried to get Ralph Fiennes to play the lead, but he wasn't sure he could act under such intense pressure.

I mean, what set director could actually bring this to life?

Or this? That's a Bocephus flag, my lovelies. You can't just find that anywhere.

I tell you this, I would give the use of my right arm to watch my sweet AG settle into a Talladega weekend. He'll be the only man in a 50 mile radius who presses his khakis before the race, wipes down the lawn chair before he sits on it, and pops a cork instead of a can.

His buddies have rented an RV. The closest my husband has ever been to an RV was the 2006 motion picture, RV, starring Robin Williams. The whole movie he was breaking out into a cold sweat and downing Dramamine like they were popcorn.

His buddies also told him they would be sleeping in said RV. This poses a problem since he is a card-carrying Marriott Platinum member. When I told him we didn't even have a sleeping bag he could take he actually said, "Sleeping bag? What is this "sleeping bag" you speak of?"

While they are all enthralled by the speed - he will be perplexed over the ability to get 180,000 people in a stadium and still find the electrical capabilities to re-enforce the additional modified components of amplified sound and still be...I don't know what I'm saying, I'm just trying to show that it's not a perfect fit.

But you know what? At least he's trying something different. And doggone it, I'm proud of him. I will take a long bath tonight once I get both kids put to bed and I won't have to lock the door for fear that he will walk into the bathroom in the middle of it and say, "You have to look at the video that J just sent me. It's on the Business of Marketing and it will really make you think." So see? No locking door. I will be trying something new as well.

AG, have a great time. Personally, I think you and Talladega go together like...