Jul 30, 2009

A Little Help Would Be Nice.

We're counting down the days until our U-Haul pulls out of our driveway. (Which, on that note, might I just say that the posts between now and our "big move" will be few and far between, but surely you all can give a girl a break, right?) It's getting kind of sad around here. You know, maybe it's just the woman in me, but I find it necessary to bring closure to almost everything.

For instance, last night in a big DirectTV mix-up they cut off our local channels. They thought we had already moved to our new home, yada yada yada. Anyway, I call The Attorney General up and I am bawling. BAWLING! Why? Because if I had known it might be the last time I ever watched Demetria Kalademos bring the evening news I would have paid closer attention. But I didn't. And so I didn't. And now I nnneeeeeeeeeedddd to.

See how that works?

I also dropped something off at Jimmy's cleaners and when the lady said, "Okay, thank you, have a nice day," I think I might have said something like, "Have a nice day? How about have a nice life. Cuz you'll never see me again lady." Anyhoo, long story short - we're supposed to pick our stuff up before 5 on Monday.

Okay, enough of the pity party. I plan on doing the whole "poor me" thing almost every day next week - so get used to it.

What I was actually going to ask you all today, is quite the dilemma and as The Beatles so plainly put, it would be nice if I "had a little help from my friends."

When The AG and I finally pull into Texas we will be moving into a small, quaint, little place where we will live for about a year. We are actually excited about this, problem is, our kiddos will be sharing a room.

I'm not sure if you remember our kiddos. But one of them is this:

And the other one is Rocco.

So since we are putting them in the same room - and that room is small - we have purchased bunk beds.

Let the mocking begin.

But look people, sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. So bunk beds it is. And this is where my problem is. Do I put Rocco in the bottom bunk with her? Or do I keep him in a pack and play for a while? A crib is out of the question since there is absolutely no room for it. So I can prop open a pack and play each night, if need be. Or do I just bite the bullet and place them together on the lower bunk (with some safety railing, of course) and let the chips fall where they may? No pun intended there...though I do feel certain one of them will fall out every 22 minutes.

And if I do put them in there together, then what's the trick? Do I sedate one or both of them each evening?

How do I solve this problem? And don't think The AG hasn't been a world of help. He has. He tells me at least once a day, "Bunk beds? What were we thinking? This is gonna be a disaster and you're gonna have to sit in there with them every night. Not me. I didn't come up with this idea, you did. And when Rocco throws himself onto the floor I am not helping drive to the Emergency Room at 2 in the morning."

He is such a doll.

So please, my lovelies, hear my predicament. One room. Little space. Two kiddos. We can't be the only family in the world who has faced this problem. So tell me, what would you do if you were me? I could really use a little help from my friends.

P.S. Please do not leave me a comment that says something like, "get a bigger house." I tried that one already. And don't leave me, "You're nuts - it will never work." I've heard that one a million times from the man I love. Thank you.

Jul 29, 2009

Dead Dog.

Hi, my name is Rocco.

And I was bit by a dog.

My mom and I were shopping in a local retailer here in our town. (She doesn't want to post the name of the establishment, but she would be more than happy to tell you if you would like to call or email her. She says she has no problem with that.) Anyways, we were shopping when the owners dog approached me. My mom asked permission before she let me pet it. My mom was assured that the dog was "17 years old and completely harmless."

Then the dog bit me.

In the face.

And right between the eyes.

I would like to tell you what my mom did then but I really don't know. I wasn't looking. My eyes were closed and I was trying desperately to catch my breath. But the next thing I know I was in the car and my mom was screaming and saying lots of bad things about the owner. Even worse things about the dog.

Then my Nonie got in the car. And things got even more heated.

My Nonie said a lot of mean things too, about the dog...and the owner...and then she said she didn't know why mom even let me down to pet the dog because it had "crazy eyes."

I'm not sure what happened then, but they fought for about 2 minutes and then said they had to drive through Starbucks just to calm down.

Funny, I didn't get anything at Starbucks. And I was the one who got bit!
Later my mom called my daddy and told him. I'm not sure what he said but it sounded like he said something about "dead" and "dog." Either way, the dog better watch it! My daddy also gets "crazy eyes" sometimes.

Of course it would take a lot more than a 17 year old mutt to take away these looks. At least that's what my Nonie said while drinking her latte.

Jul 27, 2009

The Bachelorette: What Will We Do Next Tuesday?

Whenever I hear these words...

And so we've come
To the end of the road
And I can't let go
It's unnatural
You belong to me
I belong to you

I think of two things: My girlfriend Kasey and I sitting in our dorm room discussing whether or not I should twerp Jeff Jenkins (which...I did)

and Halle Berry's haircut in Boomerang.

Both are classic '90's memories.

But now we must officially sing that song to Jillian and The Bachelorette, for we have officially come to the end of our journey.

Well, except for tonight there is that whole "did they / didn't they stay together" thing that must be discussed on After The Final Rose. Which, by all intents and purposes, has become just as exciting as the show itself:
Did they stay together?

Were they able to successfully mature and grow as a couple when their weekends were not filled with helicopters rides, scaling the Bonaventure hotel or tables made of ice?

Were they able to make-out successfully even if there were no cameramen slinking in a corner on their regular Saturday night dates?

Ya know...the typical questions.

But in the end she chose Ed. Which goes to show you that:
a. I can pick 'em.
b. I can pick 'em.

It also goes to show you that Canadians are far less discriminatory about what their loved ones wear than we uptight Americans. To think that I ask the AG to choose swim trunks from Old Navy that cover his upper thigh leaves me both embarrassed and full of pride. Lord, forgive.

I am happy for Jillian. And I am happy for Ed. And I am not afraid to admit that I am a girl; and sometimes a girl just wants to see big diamond rings and long flowy dresses and really handsome men bend down on one knee. Call it "silly," call it "shallow," but I call it "love."

(Well, I don't so much call it "love" as I call it "really exciting reality television that imitates life - if life were spent embracing the ones we love while floating on surfboards and surrounded by pink hibiscus." Which happens.....HEL-LO!!)

But never fear, my lovelies, just like Boyz to Men, we don't have to do something as unnatural as walk to the end of the road. No! We can choose here and now, to link arms, look each other in the face and say, "NO! We are not going back to our stinkin' lives of potty training and teething tablets. No! We are not going back to unloading the dishwasher and surrendering ourselves to our husbands out of tremendous amounts of guilt and pressure. No! We are going to remain in a make-believe world of love, tough choices, hot tubs and teeny bikinis. Only this time, it won't be teeny bikinis as much as it will be swim dresses, with built in shelf-bras.

See you real soon.

Jul 24, 2009

Hope I Live To Tell About It.

If I live to tell about this weekend it will be a small miracle.

Currently I am in a house with 4 extra family members. But one mile down the road, in the Best Western, are 2 more. Then just down the road from that, in the Hyatt Place, are 5 more. Then there is Meridith's apartment, currently holding 3 more. All in all, for lunch today there will be NINETEEN family members at my house.


That's fifteen more than I normally have - and one away from sudden death.

They decided getting together at my house for lunch would be nice. It probably went something like this...

My Mother: "Ohhh, we 'aught to all go to Melissa's for lunch. It would be so fun. She will have to cook for us and then we can judge her on inability to bake anything that doesn't sink in the middle."

My Granny: "Oh, true. That will be fun. Let's do that. We can also rummage through her closet and reprimand her for not hanging up her clothes by those little plastic straps."

My Aunt: "This will be delightful! And while we're at it, let's make fun of her hair."

Needless to say, I'm ecstatic.

So my cousin Tyler (who shall be forever referred to as Tyloo - much to his chagrin. Long story.) is getting married this weekend in Franklin thus all the family members. So thanks for that, Tyloo!

We love the girl he's marrying and couldn't be happier. So happy in fact, I am thinking about packing my unitard in my purse should I feel the need to do an interpretive dance to the theme from 'Ice Castles' at the wedding. They will probably want this, I feel sure.

It will be a very fun weekend though. I am excited to get all dressed up for a downtown Franklin wedding - spend time with my cousins and my fam - and maybe, just maybe, convince my Granny to line dance with me on Saturday night at the Wildhorse Saloon.

Oh, who am I kidding? That would never happen...I can't line dance.

Jul 22, 2009

The Last Time I Talked To My Mother.

Occasionally, and from time to time, I will post on things that my mother has said. Usually these are odd things, embarrassing things, or jams that she has talked herself into. After all - her embarrassment is my delight. You can read them here, if you have absolutely nothing better at all to do.

I always label these posts "The Last Time I Talked To My Mother" because I have found that if you use a repetitive title then people get all excited and squeal with delight because they know, "uh, oh, Melissa's mom has done it again!" And then Chicago Tribune gets all excited and calls me up and Regis and Kelli try and phone me...it's all absurd really.

But sometimes a post isn't about my mother as much as it about her mother. And folks, these are even better.

Here is an email I received from my mom last night.


Hey love,

I read your blog today. Truth hurts, little girl……

(I have no idea what "truth" she is talking about, but if it makes her feel better...)

I wanted to tell you something hilarious that Granny said today. I was afraid I would forget to tell you this week-end when I see you.

As you know she’s been really spoilt these last 2 weeks. I’m sure you’ve heard. She has actually stayed 10 days straight with me and the other nights I stayed down at her house.

I can get her to stay at her house as long as the following conditions are met:

1) I bring her HOT meals (and plenty of them.)

2) I bring plenty of reading material. Although I can not hand her anything with Micheal Jackson on the cover or she throws it at me. She says she is sick of him!

3) I have to listen to her read me the entire paper before I even get mine! She especially loves the obits and the forecasts.

(I would just like to note here that my mom is a newspaper Hitler. She like to read her newspapers on her time and on her turf. And she is obsessed with the obituaries. She gets all giggly and like to read them out loud to us. Hmmm...maybe the apple really doesn't fall far from the tree.)

4) I must screen all her phone calls allowing only those chosen few that she desires to hear from and then I am told to ignore the rest.

5) Once or twice every day, at any given time, I must answer these 2 questions: “Where is Bubba” & “Would somebody tell me again just exactly where Bubba works?"

(Note to readers: No one, I repeat, no one ever knows where Bubba is or what he does to make money. He no longer works at UPS and I have to admit, we are both entertained and concerned. More entertained than concerned, though.)

Soooo, anyhoo, yesterday I brought her a new installment of reading material. One was a book entitled, “90 Minutes In Heaven” about a man that - you guessed it - died and had an after life experience. So today I gave her a permanent...

(Holy stink! My mom just used the word "permanent." Chances are they were watching Dallas and drinking a Tab while they did it.)

...and I asked her if she enjoyed the book. She literally snarled at me! She said,

“Well first off, I didn’t enjoy reading about his so called 'horrible health' after the wreck. That was just gross! You know I don’t like books about sufferin'! I know a little bit about sufferin' myself but you don’t see me writing a book about you wiping my bottom do I ? No sir!! Secondly, he talks about himself too much. Me me me me! And how he overcame his handicaps! Blah,blah blah! I’ve gotta broke wrist – so I know a little about pain. Pain is my business and trust me, business is good!!!!! But most of all (and she leans way out of her chair for this declaration) the book is titled “90 Minutes in Heaven!" Come to find out, he didn’t even get past the gates!!!!! He should have titled it “90 Minutes Beating on the Door!"

Yep, it's just another day at the office for me.

I love you,


Thanks for the letter, mom.

Something tells me that in a few short years I will be giving you a permanent wave, while you read how Velma Fay died down at Cherry's Grocery while trying to load 3 pounds of chipped beef in her backseat, all while I screen your calls from your sister and those women who you swear are using you for your potato salad recipe.

And believe it or not, I can't wait.

Jul 21, 2009

The Bachelorette: The Screams Heard 'Round the World

What do you get when you place five women, one cockatiel and the preview for next weeks Bachelorette finale in one room?

Screams. That's what.

Last night's 'Men Tell All' was about as exciting as a root canal; it was the kind of episode that makes you really appreciate the fact that you don't have to go on a reality show to find true love. (It also made me think twice before I snap at the same man who still opens car doors for me and tells me I'm beautiful without make-up.)

And although I must admit that men like David, the rageaholic douchebag, remind me of a particular guy I went to high-school with (and who I hope has either changed his temperament or been given the sentence of life without the possibility of parole) there are also still men like Ed...who may not always make the best choices in wardrobe but have just enough bedroom eyes to make you forget what it was he was wearing last week.

And since my mom called me and left me a voice mail today that said this:

"Just a tip: No one cares about your Bachelorette commentaries.
No one even watches that show but you.
I, personally, hate, loathe and despise it. It's ridiculous.
And I've never even seen one episode.
Also you have several misspellings on your blog and you should be embarrassed.
Call your mother or I'm not paying for you to get a pedicure.
Do you understand?
I'm not going to pay for you to get your feet done
if you don't even have five minutes to call me.
And don't dote on Rocco so much that it makes Remi feel left out.
When I get there I am going to suffocate her with kisses because she is probably..." BEEEEEEEEP.
(Thank the Lord.)

...I will refrain from leaving a lengthy description of last night's episode of The Bachelorette. Instead I will just say this:

The preview for next week.
The "confession."

It was at that moment that all five women began to scream and didn't stop until we had rewound it and watched it again. And then we screamed again. Even the cockatiel got in on the action.

And yes, I said, cockatiel. Because my dear friend who carries her dog around with her was asked to not bring her dog to our Bachelorette party - so she didn't. Instead she brought her bird. (I have really got to stop hanging out with her.)

So, my lovelies, unless you agree with my mother and find The Bachelorette to be both ridiculous and asinine - and you are free to agree with her, but you will be wrong - then I really must ask you to watch next week's episode and comment me until you just can't comment any more. 'Kay? 'Kay.

I would also like to add that if you agree with my mother then you probably also agree with her that eyeglasses should be big enough to cover the entire eyebrow and moo-moo's never, ever, went out of style.

Jul 20, 2009

Hello, Luuuhhhhhvvveerrrr.

This weekend The AG and I went on a date. It was very romantic. I will share all of the intimate details with you now. Hold on, it's gonna get wild.


5PM: Sitter arrives. Sitter's name is Meridith. She is free. We like free.

5:30 PM: We are on our way into town. We pull off at Goodwill to drop off a few items. Feel good about unloading a plastic plant and some VHS movies to some unsuspecting soul.

5:39PM: Pull into Starbucks. The AG orders a Tall Triple Shot White Chocolate Mocha and I order a Tall Double Shot Espresso Truffle. We feel the caffeine might help us stay awake. (I repeat, it is 5:39PM.)

6:00PM: Yeah! Costco! We love Costco! We buy some fruit. We buy some cheese. And then The AG gets really romantic and buys me a new blender. It even has an attachment for a food processor. How sweet is he? We decide it might be time to look into some AARP benefits.

7:15PM: We check out of Costco and decide we are famished. We are eating sooooooo late...what is wrong with us? How are we ever going to get to sleep if we continue eating this late? Just kidding. Actually we pull into our favorite sushi resteraunt and find a table outside. We split three rolls. We decide we are too full to finish them. One of us actually said, "It was probably that coffee that filled us up; coffee just don't do so good for me anymore." I can't tell you who said it........but it wasn't me.

8:30PM: We pull out of the restaurant and are clueless as to what we should do next.

8:32PM: I suggest Barnes and Noble.

8:32PM: He wants to know why I always prefer Barnes and Noble to Borders. He prefers Borders because (and I quote) "it's brighter in there and I can read the small print better."

8:33PM: I tell him I prefer Barnes and Noble because of their bathrooms and I tend to spend a healthy majority of time in the bathroom in almost every gathering place I go to.

8:34PM: As we make our way to Barnes and Noble he says, "Or we could go to Super Wal-Mart..."

8:35PM: I get very excited at the prospect of going to Super Wal-Mart and say "yes! yes!" And he begins to sing the song 'All Night Long' by Lionel Richie.

8:40PM: We park in the lawn and garden section of Wal-Mart because it is not as far to walk inside.

8:55PM: He makes a bee-line to the antacid section because, "that spicy tuna is lightin' me up." What a sweet talker.

9:15PM: We find a special on baby wipes. We get excited.

9:30PM: We decide to do some major grocery shopping because we don't have kids with us. It makes us think of our kids. We miss them, so we throw some pizza rolls in for them. We begin to physically pat ourselves on the back for being suck freakin' good parents. Then I ask him to pass me a Rolaid.

9:45PM: We stand in the check-out line both reading different magazines. The cashier is very chatty, which means I walk away and make him talk to her. She never takes a breath. He asks me why I walked away and I remind him that I don't really like people that much.

10PM: We are on our way home when we impulsively decide to pull through Steak & Shake for an orange freeze. Impulsivess never tasted so good! I break rank by ordering a malt instead of an orange freeze; he looks at me like I have just tried crystal meth for the first time...he is shocked and stunned and saddened. I feel bad for my recklessness.

10:30PM: We arrive home and ask our babysitter if she wants to spend the night since it is so late to drive home. She reminds us that it is only 10:30 at night. This blows our mind as we are thinking we can barely make it through a Frasier before we fall sound asleep.

10:52PM: "Good night AG." "Good night."

10:58PM: "Good Lord I got heartburn!!"

Jul 17, 2009

I Went To St. Louis and All I Got Was This Lousy Dog.

When packing for a girls trip there are a few things you take:

You bring 3 pairs of pajamas on the wonderful chance that you don't get out of them for days at a time.

You take $30 worth of hair magazines - in case you can talk your friends into doing something a little "wild and crazy" before we head home.

You take 18 pairs of earrings and only one pair of shoes so that you have the justified obligation to...buy another pair of shoes.

(You also take a brand new can of SPF 4, a brand new toothbrush and a brand new bottle of Big and Sexy Hairspray...and then leave them in another state.)

But maybe that's just me.

Holly, for instance, brings tofu. Okay, that's not entirely true. She also brought along fake meat that she tried to pass off as "sausage," turkey that she tried to put in my CHICKEN salad and organic non-fat milk. (Note to self: Do not invite Holly next year.) But then she made up for it by cutting up strawberries...and pouring white chocolate all over the top of them. (Note to self: Don't be too hasty. Pray about inviting Holly next year.)

And Teresa?

She brings this...

If Holly knew that dog was eating full fat whip cream, there's no telling what she'd do!

Jul 13, 2009

The Bachelorette: TLBTC

This week I watched The Bachelorette under enviable circumstances.

Well, some circumstances were enviable; I was plopped on the couch between two of my girlfriends, miles away from screaming children and poopy diapers.

Some were not so enviable; one of our husbands (who shall remain nameless per his high profile job and fancy sneakers) was there and felt it necessary to comment on the fact that all the men on the Bachelor were less than par, there was a good chance they were all in love with each other, and Jillian talked like a valley girl and he found it ingratiating.

Eventually we told him to leave the room or he would have to clean the kitchen.

You've never seen a white man move so fast.

Speaking of white men...

Nice segue, Mel. Why yes, it was.

Tonight's episode of The Bachelorette (which shall heretofore be referred to as The Little Bachelor That Couldn't or TLBTC) certainly did not disappoint. (If you saw this episode then you know there's a horrible joke in there somewhere but I dare not print it for I would like to graduate from that Christian University I pay 4 million dollars to.)

Anywhoo...tonight Jillian made the mistake to end all mistakes. She let Reid go.

Dear Jillian,

When a man tells you that you really aren't his type (he's only previously dated blonds) and he picks on you endlessly, it means he's got spunk. Take it from me - keep him. When he looks at you because he can't take his eyes off of you. Keep him. When he stumbles over his words and tells you that he's scared, but hold his arms up and says "I like you this much"...keep him. He genuine. He's real. But now, he's gone.

Shockingly, she kept Kipton.

This, I cannot explain. Kipton has nothing going for him from what I can tell. And when a man actually looks more attractive wearing a helmet than he does not wearing a helmet, that really says something about his ears. But I think the biggest thing we learned about Kipton came from the point in tonight's episode when she asked him to tell her his biggest fault...........and he couldn't come up with one!

Dear Jillian,

When you ask a man his biggest fault and he can't come up with one - THAT is his biggest fault! Take it from married women all over the world, you will deal with endless tirades of how they were "right" about the check being tossed out with the trash, they were "right" about how long your mother would stay when she said she was "only here for three days" and they were "right" about your friend Derrick from Junior college who did eventually marry a man in interior design. If you know you are committing to a lifetime of them being right all the time, then why in the world would you keep a man who is already claiming to be right??? This should be the time in the relationship when he tells you his biggest faults are he cries at chick movies and he cares too much! Sheesh.

And then there's Ed. Dear, sweet, came from some nerdy stock, Ed.

Ed ran into a few roadblocks this week. None of them can I discuss on this here forum though Ed is the reason that we are now referring to this show as TLBTC.

Discuss amongst yourselves.

(By the by, this was the point in the evening when said husband yells at the television, "You're a 29 year old MMAAAANNNN! Did you know that when I was a 29 man, I..." - but we forced him from the room as we refused to listen to the last part of that statement.)

Dear Jillian,

When a man wears short-shorts, let him go. That'll be all.

So my lovelies, what are your thoughts? I know you all - and if you're one thing, it's not shy. So fess up! You watched it. What did you think?

Oh, and one last note: Once I was in a hotel room with The AG, he was 29. We were tired, we were exhausted, we were sunburned. And yet, amazingly, none of that mattered.

Good night.

Jul 10, 2009

The Best Thing I Ever Saw.

Last Saturday morning The AG and I found ourselves in bed....ooh la la....with the Food Network on. That's a little unusual for us, I will admit. Most Saturday mornings find us eating food (usually at Cracker Barrel, for I appreciate their bacon) - not just drooling over it. But for some reason on this day we decided to stay under the covers and watch Paula, Aida, and Tyler. Sweet, sweet Tyler.

I almost wrote that we decided to stay under the covers with Paula, Aida and Tyler. Which would have sounded weird and just plain wrong.

So I tell The AG that I recorded a new show on the Food Network but I had yet to watch it and so we pushed play on our DVR and said, "yes, children, you may go play out in the street, that is fine," plumped our pillows and settled in.

Yet within moments we were sitting upright in bed. Eyes wide open. Mouths agape. And he had me Googling these recipes just as fast as my chubby little fingers would go.

My lovelies, allow me to introduce to you the show that could end my life 10 to 12 years sooner than it normally would. The show that probably shouldn't be allowed on television before 10PM at night for fear that children might wander into the room. And the only show on the Food Network that has ever caused my husband to turn to me and say, "Take me now or make me gravy."

Oh, yeah. It's that good.

The show, that is.

And that's all I'll say about that. (Except to say I did make him gravy.)

Jul 8, 2009

"And a Child Shall Talk For Them" - That Should Really Be In There.

Oh, please let it be in here. Please let it be in here.

Yesterday I rushed to my Bible, wiped away far too much dust from its cover, and began to search. Child, child, humble, forgiveness...these were the words I looked up in the Glossary.

Yep, that's me.
Local theology student.
35 year old Believer.
And still using the old Glossary.
Classy, no?

And as I flipped through the pages I did so with a desperation that I hadn't felt in some time. Oh, it just has to be in here. I really want to see it with my own eyes.


Moments before I had laid Remi down for her afternoon nap. And what an afternoon it had been.

There had been the moment at swim lessons when her teacher told her to float and she had screamed, "I don't want to float. I hate floating! I want to go off that diving board!" "No, Remi." "Yyyeessssss!!!!" It was a lovely moment - I wish I had a picture.

Oh, and then there was the moment we went to a friends house and she promptly when right up the stairs into her daughters room and broke something. The daughter cried so much we eventually had to leave.

And who could forget the moment in the early morning when I was getting ready for a house showing and she bloodied her brother's lip all over my clean, white carpet.

And that was all before noon.

But yesterday, when I laid her down, she asked to say her prayers like she does every afternoon before naptime and every evening before bedtime. So, she says "now I lay me down to sleep..." twice. Big deal! There are most days she accomplishes more with that prayer than I do with my measly little prayer which on most occasions goes something like this..."Hey, this is Melissa. Remember me? The last time we spoke I was begging you to let the highway patrol only issue me a warning. Well, anyway - it's me. How are you? Good? Wonderful. Listen, I really need...."

So yesterday as she lay there we repeated the prayer that we both have memorized now...
Now I lay me down to sleep
I pray the Lord my soul to keep
If I should die before I wake
I pray the Lord my soul to take.
Bless mommy and daddy and Rocco and Remi.
Bless Bonga and Grandma and Poppie and Noni.

She opened her eyes only halfway and whispered,
"You tell God I sorry for beez a bad girl."
"Remi, why don't you tell God you're sorry?"
"Okay....God fohhgive me for beez a bad girl with mommy. I yelled at my teacher - but I didn't hit or kick her and I hurt my friends feelings - but I didn't hit or kick her and then I pushed Rocco and then he started bleeding and I love him very much. And I'm sorry."

And that was it.

No fireworks went off.

Somewhere in Rome the Pope did not fall to his knees.

But forgiveness was sought.
And forgiveness was granted.

And that was all it took.

Beautiful, really. The thought that simple words can do more to attract the heart (and attention) of God than all the lingo and cliche's we can come up with. Which is really good for me since, like Winnie the Pooh, I beez a girl of very simple words and very little brain.


And so I went for my Bible. And in looking I came across all of these (forgive me for using The Message, but sometimes I likah the simple talk):

Nursing infants gurgle choruses about you; toddlers shout the songs that drown out enemy talk, and silence atheist babble. (Psalms 8:2)

At that time Jesus prayed this prayer: “O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, thank you for hiding these things from those who think themselves wise and clever, and for revealing them to the childlike. (Matthew 11:25 NLT)

For an answer Jesus called over a child, whom he stood in the middle of the room, and said, "I'm telling you, once and for all, that unless you return to square one and start over like children, you're not even going to get a look at the kingdom, let alone get in. Whoever becomes simple and elemental again, like this child, will rank high in God's kingdom. What's more, when you receive the childlike on my account, it's the same as receiving me. (Matthew 18:2-5)

The people brought children to Jesus, hoping he might touch them. The disciples shooed them off. But Jesus was irate and let them know it: "Don't push these children away. Don't ever get between them and me. These children are at the very center of life in the kingdom. Mark this: Unless you accept God's kingdom in the simplicity of a child, you'll never get in." Then, gathering the children up in his arms, he laid his hands of blessing on them. (Mark 10:13-16)

And there it was, right before me, in black and white...become simple and elemental again, like this child...the simplicity of a child...toddlers shout songs that drown out enemy talk.

All of the things that I had forgotten to do, Remi was doing.

I forgot to pray - she did it several times a day.

I forgot to ask forgiveness - she did so at the drop of a hat.

I forgot to get down off my high horse - she doesn't even know what a high horse is (though if she did she would surely beg for a brown one and name him Rocco. She tends to name all animals Rocco.)

And it was that reminder that made me shut my Bible yesterday, wipe away the dust and lay on my bed, eyes open to the heavens, and say, "Hi. It's me. I'm sorry..."

Jul 6, 2009

The Bachelorette: I'm Sure Austin Is So Proud

Tonight's episode of The Bachelorette shall be discussed in a list format for no other reason than I have started this sentence fifty-three times and can't really go anywhere with it, so I'm trying to be creative.

1. Jillian and the boys went to Spain this week because, as you know, going to Spain with four men you are in love with is practical. Almost as practical as the time I decided that I would try wearing false eyelashes for the very first time...to a job interview. (Try explaining to the interviewer why one of your eyelash limbs just fell onto your blouse.)

2. Jillian went on a date with Kypton. I found this date to be kind of ho-hum. Maybe it was because five minutes into the date Kyton told Jillian that he saw a proposal as being a looonngg way off. Jillian has never made any bones about the fact that she wants a proposal. So, with the exception of throwing ice cold water on to her head, this was an awkward way to start a date. Almost as awkward as Kypton's inability to drive a scooter. A scooter, people. For the love, I think I could drive a scooter...and I failed my driving test three times.

3. Jillian went on a date with Reid. And it was on this date that Meridith and I sighed and proclaimed that "the other men should just head on back." Jillian and Reid looked like they were having lunch at the local mall food court; it was comfortable, it was easy and it looked really, really good on them. Aaahhh.

4. Jillian went on a date with Ed. Once again, Meridith and I sighed (but for entirely different reasons. He is lovely.) Jillian took one look at Ed. Jillian and Ed made out. Jillian and Ed continued to make out. Jillian and Ed would stop every once and a while to talk - but mainly, they made out. Jillian and Ed ended up standing in a fountain while making out. Jillian and Ed were probably embarrassed after viewing last nights episode at how ridiculous they looked. (Almost as ridiculous as answering another fifteen minutes of questions with your fake eyelash resting on your left breast.)

5. Jillian went on a date with Wes. Wes went home. All of America went out and set off what was left of their holiday fireworks. Because not only are we blessed enough to celebrate the freedom we have in this great nation, but Wes - the testicle - was finally sent packing.

6. Next week Jillian and the Bachelors head to Maui. The previews said "Jillian discovers love in one of the worlds most romantic locations." What it should have said, had the AG and I been doing the voice-over editing, was..."Jillian discovers love in one of the worlds most romantic locations - but it isn't with one of the guys - it's with the fish taco's at Maui Taco's. And she ends up going there twice a day, ever day. Stay tuned to find out if Jillian will keep around Reid, Wes or Kypton - or Kawika Jono, the grill cook at the local fish taco bar." Yes, the AG and I went to Maui. And yes, it was romantic. But yes, we both ate our weight in fish tacos. Now, that's romance.

7. I am now suggesting that each and every one of you watch next weeks episode of The Bachelorette. Trust me, it will be worth your while. We will have MUCHO to discuss.

8. Lastly, here's to Austin, Texas, Wes' hometown. Living proof that not everyone is welcome in Texas. Yeehaw!

Jul 3, 2009

He's The One They Call "Dr. Feelgood."

Thank you all so much for your kind words, comments, emails and suggestions on my recent broo-haha with the stomach virus. Just know that as I was hanging out near, on, or beside my toilet - it was you all I was thinking of.


So, in my quest for better nutrition and overall health I did my research and found a wonderful Doctor who I feel like was a true god-send. Granted, if you don't live in the Nashville area you are just plum out of luck. But I did you a favor and wrote down some of his responses to my questions.

You're welcome!


Doctor, I've heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?

Your heart is only good for so many beats, and that's it, Melissa...don't waste them on exercise. Everything wears out eventually. Speeding up your heart will not make you live longer; that's like saying you can extend the life of your car by driving it faster. Want to live longer? Take a nap.

Well, should I cut down on meat and eat more fruits and vegetables?

It's important that you grasp logistical efficiencies. What does a cow eat? Hay and corn. And what are these? Vegetables. So a steak is nothing more than an efficient mechanism of delivering vegetables to your system. Need grain? Eat chicken. Beef is also a good source of field grass (green leafy vegetable). And a pork chop can give you 100% of your recommended daily allowance of vegetable products.

I actually don't drink doctor, but chances are my readers are stone cold drunks, so I'll ask this on their behalf...should they reduce their alcohol intake?

No, not at all. Wine is made from fruit. Brandy is distilled wine, that means they take the water out of the fruity bit so you get even more of the goodness that way. Beer is also made out of grain. So tell your readers, "bottoms up!"

I know they taught this in freshman P.E. but goodness knows I wasn't listening, how can I calculate my body/fat ratio?

(laughs) That's okay, Melissa. It's really simple. If you have a body and you have fat, your ratio is one to one. If you have two bodies, your ratio is two to one, etc.

What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?

Eh, I'm gonna get letters about this, but personally I can't think of a single one, sorry. My philosophy is: No Pain...Good!

Aren't fried foods bad for you?

My dear, YOU'RE NOT LISTENING!!! ..... Foods are fried these days in vegetable oil. In fact, they're permeated in it. How could getting more vegetables be bad for you?

Again, this question is not for me - but for my readers, will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?

Definitely not! When you exercise a muscle, it gets bigger. You should only be doing sit-ups if you want a bigger stomach.

Is chocolate bad for me?

Are you crazy? HELLO Cocoa beans ! Another vegetable!!! It's the best feel-good food around!

I hear swimming good for your figure?

If swimming is good for your figure, explain whales to me.

Wow, that last answer really hit home with me...so is getting in-shape important for my lifestyle?

My dear, 'Round' is a shape!

Lastly, Melissa, please tell your readers this for me: here is my final word on nutrition and health. I can imagine it must be a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

5. The Germans drink a lot of beers and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

Therefore, in conclusion: Eat and drink what you like, speaking English is apparently what kills you.


My lovelies, I ask you...have I found a gem or what? My appointment with him caused me to leave his office, dig through my glove box until I found The Best of Aretha Franklin, put it on track number 4 and sing to the top of my lungs...

Don't send me no doctor - fillin' me up with all a' those pills
Got me a man named Doctor Feelgood
And oh! Yeah! That man takes care of all my pains and my ills
His name is Doctor Feeeeeelgood in the morning
Takin' care of business is really this man's game
And after one visit to Dr. Feelgood
You'll understand why Feelgood, is his naaaaaame.
Ooooh, yeah! Good God a-mighty
The man sho makes me feel real........Goooooooood!

And Dateline scared us into thinking there were nothing but "kooks" out there. Take that!

Jul 1, 2009

Unleavened Bread Never Sounded So Good.

Dear Lord,

Over the years I have made many promises to you.

Some I have kept (tithing! I do that!).

Some I have not kept (I would just like to go on record as saying that the reason I haven't kept them has nothing to do with me or my lack of sincerity, but rather our nation's economic downturn and the change in our response to a war on terror.) I am making this stuff up as I go along here.

But Lord, now I have to ask you a favor, and it's a doozie.

PLEASE remove any more sign of this really inconvenient toxic infection from my body. Please! I'm begging ya! Sweet mercy!

There is no possible way - even with all of the (excuse my language, Lord) crap I have eaten lowe these many years - that there is single trace of anything left in my body. Yet, still it seems to find it's way out. Still. Never ceasing. Never failing.

And yes, Lord, the fact that the AG has had to take my two little rugrats to swim lessons every day this week has pleased me immensely (especially when he came home and said, "How do you do that with two of them? One is always trying to get away from you in the locker room!"). And even though I found it almost intoxicating that we received a call for a house showing and I was still laid up in bed and he had to clean the house and get all of us out of it for an hour...without my help...yes, even though something felt "just" about that, I still want it gone.

And it's not because I think I've been a good enough person that I don't deserve the stomach bug.

And it's not because I tithe. I dare not throw that up in your face. Again.

And it's not because of the time Jeff Jenkins and I were riding a roller coaster and we were so terrified that we screamed out "Yes, Lord! We'll go to Africa!" Though I meant it. Sorta. He, however, most assuredly did not.

It's because this weekend is the 4th of July. And though I have never been one for hot weather and fireworks (complete and total waste of money; money that your people could be tithing, Lord, I'mjustsayin') - I would like to say that the 4th of July is supposed to be about grilling burgers and watermelon. And considering I've only partaken of saltine crackers for 6 days, the thought of burgers makes me want to once again promise you my willingness to head off to Africa and preach the good news.

Please, Lord. Please.

Oh, and also I just went to my girl, Homesick Texan, and saw her 4th of July menu and her write-up on guacamole...and seriously, Lord...give me a break. A reprieve, if you will.

I'm raw.
I'm weak.
I'm hungry.

It's in your name I pray. Amen.