Archive for February, 2008

Cute little freckles you just want to bite off. 

I give you

Exhibit A    Photobucket

Would you absolutely kill for those eyelashes.  I would. 

Now for exhibit B


Aside from the very biteable little freckle, look at those eyes.  It’s hard for me to believe, when I look into those deep, almost black pools of emotion, that I sort of hoped he would have light eyes like his Fun Uncle Ron.  I thought how arresting it would be to have this dark-haired, dark-skinned boy with light green eyes.  I didn’t realize just how arresting these nearly black eyes would be.  He has his daddy’s eyebrows, by the way, and I see eyebrow grooming in his future. 

The Boy has very little of me in him.  From the moment he was born he had his dad’s eyes, his nose, his ears.  From the get-go, I knew that this Boy was basically his Daddy’s clone, but without all the scientific intervention.  After having three girls who in one way or the other sort of looked like me, it’s funny that no one has ever thought he was mine.  I have come to grips with the fact that all I did was cook the kid.  After that, he was all Dad’s…

Except his hands.


Not that you can tell from this picture, but The Boy and I have the same hands.  Our life lines are almost identical.  So, I guess if anyone ever thought I’d kidnapped this kid, we could show them our hands and they’d let me go.

One of the cool things about having a The Boy is getting to watch them do things like this


Those meaty hands, much like his mother’s, are crazy good for climbing trees. 

Have I ever told y’all how much I loved climbing trees when I was little?  Well, I did and I was quite good at it.

So he did get something from me.

Take that, DNA.


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Worry not, folks, this Growing up Glen Rose thing has got to end at some point or the other.

As I’ve said before, these entries about my kidhood aren’t so much about writing something funny and entertaining as they are to document for me, and perhaps even my kids, how absolutely decent and loving my growing up was.  I think sometimes we get it in our heads how miserable our youth was…how our childhood was so hard.  I know that growing up, I did…heck, we all did.  All we thought about was getting out of Glen Rose.  That getting out of Glen Rose mentality was largely responsible for my child-brideness.

But then, a funny thing happened when I had kids in a place that was nothing like Glen Rose.  I realized pretty quick that my kids weren’t going to have the same experiences I did.  When I realized that, I began to appreciate more the fact that I had been miraculously blessed to be surrounded by so many amazing people who not only helped my mother and I, but they truly cared about us. 

I’ve written about Olene and Burt and Lillian and Dorothy and Maxie, and today I am going to share a bit about Geneva and Doyle Aston. 

The Aston’s were our landlords for nearly as long as I can remember.  When we moved to English Street they became family. 

See, I was the same age and a lot of the time in the same class as their nephew Bradley.  Brad and I shared the love of UFOs and the Legend of Boggy Creek and Big Foot.  We were fast friends.  When mom was in hospital for this or that when I was little, I remember many times spending the night at Brad’s.  I remember sitting out on top of their storm cellar with walkee talkees thinking we were listening to UFO talks when in reality…well, it was truckers’ CBs. 

We were little.  We didn’t know that UFO folks probably didn’t say ‘Breaker 1-9.’  So, cut us some slack.

Anyway, I digress.  Back to Geneva and Doyle.

I’m quite sure that Geneva and Doyle more than once probably allowed Mom to be a little late with the rent.  They knew she was good for it.  They never minded me coming in to use their phone, since we didn’t have one and I was the one who would need to call if there was a problem with the gas bill or the electric bill.  Mom wasn’t comfortable talking on the phone with her German accent, so I learned early how to deal with folks on the phone.  At 10. 

Geneva and Doyle were always the first stop trick or treating.  Geneva always made ‘special’ treats for us…homemade popcorn balls or candied apples or cookies made especially for us.  They always oo’d and ah’d over whatever silly little costume I could come up with, which most of the time consisted of ‘hobo’ or ’50s girl.’ 

In the summertime, if they were watering their giant lawn, I was always invited to come play in it.  Especially if the grandkids were in visiting or Brad was over.  If there was a family gathering over there and they were making any number of freezers of homemade ice cream, I was always invited over to help sit on the things while the grownups cranked.  It always seemed to take forever for it to ‘make’ when I was little…while I was trying to keep my bare feet out of the little river of salt water that trickled out of the hole in the bucket. 

When you are waiting for the ice cream to freeze when you are 10, 30 minutes is an eternity.  The first time I actually made homemade ice cream as a grownup, it amazed me how fast the process was.

When we weren’t making ice cream, Doyle was always quick to flick me a quarter to run up to the corner for an ice cream.  Doyle, during baseball season, was forever sitting on the porch listening to the Ranger games.  I didn’t really get the baseball back then, but I remember so many summer evenings sitting on that glider on their front porch listening to games with Doyle while the cicadas chirped in the trees around us.  Any time I ever went over, they’d always offer up a ‘coke cola,’ of which they kept cases and cases in the carport.  Coke never tasted better than when I was sitting on the porch listening to a Ranger game with Doyle.

Well, maybe it tasted as good on the picnics with Olene up shotgun road. 

So, we’ll call it a tie.

As I got older and played junior high basketball, Doyle would always wish me luck (and I needed a LOT of it) as I’d walk up the drive on my way to school.  We only lived down the street from the school, so I’d walk to the school to catch the bus to go to the game and then walk home after…in the dark…alone. 

But it was Glen Rose, so it wasn’t really a scary proposition back then.

When Doyle’s health started failing a bit as I got older and he got older, I didn’t bother them so much.  When I would need to use the phone, Doyle quite often was napping in his recliner and I would talk in hushed tones so as not to bother him.  He always had his glasses on, sometimes a little askew on his head. 

When that awful morning came that I was awakened by the flashing lights of the ambulance, it was, perhaps, the first time the D-word affected me directly.  As the ambulance pulled off, I realized that I’d never sit on the porch with Doyle and listen to a Rangers game again.  He’d never throw me a quarter and tell me to go get an ice cream again. 

When we went to the ‘visitation’ at the funeral home, I will never forget how relieved I was that they’d laid him up proper with his glasses on his nose.  It made it like he was just dozing. 

And it made it all a little bit easier for me to deal with.  It was like Doyle wasn’t really dead, he was just napping.

My gosh, I loved those people…and they loved me. 

When mom was in nursing home, I got word that Geneva was in hospital at the same time and her health was failing.  I made myself go to visit.  I was so glad I did when she passed not too long after.  Even in the hospital with her own health failing, she was most concerned about how my mom was. 

And that is what being from Glen Rose was about.

People cared about you…truly.  They cared enough about you to love your scraggley kid.  They cared enough about you to invite you to the family ice cream supper.  They cared enough about you to give your kid the quarter you couldn’t afford so she could run up to the corner for a tasty ice cream snack.  They cared enough about you to invite you into the storm cellar when that ever-impending storm was coming.

They cared enough to make you FAMILY.

How many of us in this day and age can look around at our neighbors and say the same?  I’m guessing that not many of us can…

and I think that is sad.

I think it is especially sad for my kids.  Granted, the older girls did grow up on a street where there were close friendships.  We all had kids about the same age, so we all sort of looked after one another’s offspring.  We spent lots of time in their driveways while the kids played.  Happily, the girls still have some of my Ya-Ya friends from back then that still live on the street.  The Junior can still walk down the street and visit with Lee or with Colleen. 

Is it the same experience as I had?  Well, it’s close.

The thing I find so sad is that The Boy won’t ever have it.  We have become, since the Banishment, pretty much our own island here at the Casa.  We don’t really know the other neighbors that well.  Sure, sometimes when The Boy is out back with Belle, the other side neighbor will have a chat with him over the fence, but it isn’t the same. 

And it never will be. 

But hey, he has us and Belle.  I guess we’ll make do.

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Early voting, it is accomplished.  So peaceful.  So alone at the polling place.  Such nice older gals manning the polling place.  I’ve never voted early before.  It rather feels like completing my Christmas shopping in November…

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You know, at 44, you’d think I’d get it that perhaps I need more sleep…that perhaps rather that sitting here in the shed our third living area, watching David Letterman and Craig Ferguson after the kids are asleep…I would think it is time to go to bed and get some of that stuff they call ‘sleep.’  However, night after night I relish this time where I can sit and do this while watching Dave and Craig, while the Mr. naps over there and the dogs nap on their blanket.  It’s become the time I reflect…which inevitably leads to me writing about whatever I am reflecting about. 

Tonight I reflect on the fact that my dishwasher finally arrived, along with my new ventahood for over the stovetop.  I guess nothing reminds you that you are a 40-something more than the sheer joy you get over a new appliance..and by ‘sheer joy,’ I mean that I want to make out with this gorgeous, shiny new appliance.  I’m serious.  This thing could get to third base with me without so much as buying me a beer.  It’s not even hooked up yet and it could still get to third base…just knowing it’s here makes me feel especially frisky.  Just the thought of all the silverware, which I DETEST, that I will no longer be washing, makes me giddy inside.  GIDDY, I tell you.  The mere prospect that the people I share space with…the ones who are allergic to Dawn dishwashing liquid and hot water, will participate in the loading and unloading of this wonderful machine makes me a little verklempt. 

God only knows what I am going to do when I get the new floors…or the new living room furniture.  Hell, I’m liable to have a completely spontaneous ‘big O.’ 

Appliances…new furniture…flooring…

Who knew they’d be so sexy?

It’s a great feeling, this 44.  It might very well replace my last favorite year of 33. It sort of makes me look forward to what is going to happen at 55.  I rather like it that at this stage of my life I am finding so much to look forward to…and it makes me wonder why so many women my age dread ‘getting older.’ 

A commercial for a funeral home just came on.

Ironic much?

All I know is that right now I am happy with where I am in life.  I am writing regularly, which is what I used to dream of doing…albeit in my vision I was sitting in front of a picture window overlooking the ocean, with ocean breezes wafting in, writing the next great novel, not sitting in the shed tapping away about my mundane ruminations on my life while Chingy raps way on Letterman in the background.  Much like being 44, this is what it is and I am enjoying it. 

Now, I think, it is time to rouse the Mr. and the doggies and go in and call it a night…like a responsible 44-year-old who needs some sleep.

Besides, there might be an episode of No Reservations on (that’s right, while this is our third ‘living area,’ we do not have satellite out here.  Here is where we watch our 65 gazillion network shows.

Those folks who want to know what we’re watching should give us one of them there boxes.  Is it the Nielson’s who want to know what we watch?  If they were to ask me this is what I’d tell them:

On Monday I watch:  The Antiques Roadshow, 2-1/2 Men and Old Christine…and Medium.

On Tuesday I watch American Idol and Jericho.

On Wednesday…okay…Wednesday must be weak since I can’t think of anything off the top of my head (but this week I will add Men in Trees…squeee).

On Thursday, it’s Survivor, LOST and Eli Stone.

On Friday, it’s Ghost Whisperer and the coolest vampire show ever, Moonlight.

And somehow, in between all that we also entertain The Boy and his rolly shoe tricks (yes, the Mr. let him buy some “Heelies,” and also manage to have sit-down dinners several times a week and get homework done and practice times tables and bathing kids and laundry. 

I might have just called this the Confessions of a 44-year-old TV Junkie who Somehow Manages to Get Other Things Done, too. 

But that was too long.

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okay. so it was origihnally supposed to be here LAST Thursday.

then the delivery truck was in a wreck and i rescheduled it for Friday.

but they really meant we’ll bring it Tuesday.

so, the call came last night that it would be here between 7 and 11 a.m. today.

it is not here.

rat bastards have 15 minutes or heads are going to ROLL

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after days and days of waiting, my dishwasher is, at this very moment, heading my direction. 

i cannot contain myself. 

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