Monthly Archives: June 2009

A Moving Experience…

So…guess who’s here right this very minute?

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See? Not just a Fig Newton of my imagination. He’s really real. Actually, no one has actually introduced himself as “Ray.” So, Ray’s not here, but three of his closest friends are. Well, I guess they’re three of his closest friends. Surely Ray wouldn’t send any lesser friends than his very best. They’re all downstairs right now touching all our stuff and judging my stay-at-home abilities. At least, that’s what I’m imagining that packers and movers do. 

“Look at all this junk! People actually live like this? I can’t believe these Tinker Toys aren’t better organized. When’s the last time anyone cleaned underneath this washing machine? Look at all these sugary cereals. What kind of mom feeds her kids this trash? These baseboards are disgusting. What’s all this craziness stuffed into this closet?”

I don’t enjoy this very much.

By the way, I’ve reached the “I really just don’t care” part of this process. I started the move preparations the way I start every move’s preparations. I have high hopes of having everything greatly organized and its proper place. I expect to reach my destination with boxes packed neatly with only other like things. Last night at about 9:30 p.m., I reached the point in the move where I realize that Martha Stewart doesn’t live here and started throwing odds and ends into various and sundry Rubbermaid containers whose lids don’t match and labeled them “Miscellaneous Odds and Ends.” Yeah, that will be easy to figure out six weeks from now when I start opening these frantically packed boxes of crazy. But you know what? I don’t care any more. Just put it in a box and get it there the best way you know how, Ray. I’m tired, Ray. I’ve hit the wall and I “really just don’t care,” Ray. 

But, hey! I’m just happy that trained professionals are making sure that our worldly belongings make it safely to our next destination. That’s a good thing.  

But you know what’s not a good thing? I can’t hang out here Twittering and emailing and Google Reading and blogging with you as much as I’d like to this week. In fact that’s why I’m stopping by right now. I needed to tell you that I’ll be here and there and everywhere for the next little bit. Hopefully I’ll get to check in sooner rather than later, but if I don’t, please know that I’ll be back when one of these days is new. And I’ll have new ideas for you. And you’ll have things you’ll want to talk about. I will, too. 

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Silly Little Snoodles

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Alicia at More Than Words is the hostess of  Friday Flashback.  The idea is to dig in your photo files for old pictures to share. I’m too tired for words right now so instead of rambling on incoherently, I decided to post a few pictures that make me smile. These pictures were taken in April 2007 on Grammy and Papa’s deck. They remind me of how incredibly blessed I am to be the mom of these three baby monkeys.  I needed to see these pictures this week  to remember that at times they can be in close enough proximity to one another that they can actually hug without choking, pinching, biting, hitting, poking, telling on, or licking one another. Yes, this week I actually heard myself say, “Please do not lick your brother.” It’s been a weird week. I think for today, I’d like to think of them as they were on this lovely spring afternoon: goofy little people who make me smile all the way to my heart.

 

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Things Pondered While Folding Laundry

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I remember in vivid details the two times that I found out I was pregnant. I even remember that I bought the pregnancy test that told us that Firstborn was coming at Big Lots. I clearly remember wondering if I could be certain that I was going to be a mom on the word of a pregnancy test that had cost me less than two dollars.

I will always remember the night in Minute Maid Stadium that I cheered myself hoarse after Craig Biggio made his 3000th hit. I think I may have even shed a tear, even though two days before I had no earthly idea who Craig Biggio was. You’d have cried if you’d been there, too. It was very emotional for all the Astro fans and I got caught up in the emotion of the moment.

I remember where I was on the day that George Bush was inaugurated.  I had just given birth to my firstborn child a few hours before, even though I had begun labor with him the morning of the previous day. Apparently Firstborn had a vested interest in the highly contested election and refused to come out until the matter had been settled once and for all.

The moments when we become aware of major life-changing events become memories that we freeze in time to savor forever. Tomorrow, I will have just such a life-changing event. If all goes as planned, tomorrow, for at least one moment in time, all of the clothes that my family owns (except for whatever clothing we may be wearing) will be clean and put in their proper places. I know that good-time feeling won’t last long, and sooner or later someone will take a bath and create more laundry, but I hope you’ll join me in celebrating the occasion in your own way tomorrow.

It’s time to start packing the suitcases that will be our home-away-from-home for the next however many weeks, which meant that I had a lot of laundry to do over the past few days. I’m still not finished, so there’s still a chance I won’t have my moment tomorrow, but I’m closer than I’ve been in a very long time. I don’t mind the washing, drying, and folding, but I hate the putting away. Today while I was folding laundry, the kids were watching Max and Ruby. Do you know them? Maybe you’ve heard their theme song?

“Max and Ruby. Ruby and Max. Max and Ruby. Ruby and Max. Max and Ruby. Ruby, and her little brother Max. Max and Ruby.”

And someone got a nice fat  check for writing that little ditty. You’re welcome for the gift of that song running around like a lunatic in your brain for the rest of the day.

I don’t know why I bother analyzing kids’ shows, but I do, and several things bothered me about Max and Ruby today.

First of all, I think someone else is doing Ruby’s voice. I haven’t watched the show in awhile, and her voice didn’t sound the same to me today. 

Second of all, where are Max and Ruby’s parents? Their grandmother shows up fairly often, but we never see M & R’s parents. They certainly trust Ruby with a lot of  responsibility. It seems like a lot for a little bunny to handle.

Third, why hasn’t someone sent Max to a good speech therapist? He just doesn’t seem to have the vocabulary one would expect from a bunny his age. A lot of things could be cleared up easily if Max could only speak in complete sentences. Like today. We spent a good ten minutes looking for Ruby’s lost tooth when all along Max knew and was trying unsuccessfully to tell us.

These are the things I pondered today instead of making a plan for how I’m going to get an endless list of things done before Ray the Mover gets here on Monday. MONDAY?! I don’t think I can get there from here!!

P.S. This post may also explain why my children have been led to believe that our TV doesn’t show Caillou. A bald-headed four-year-old is just more than I can handle. Even on days that I feel like pondering.

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It’s Goode to Be Green(e)

As our time in Massachusetts comes to a close, I’m in the process of making my mental transition from this home to my next one. I find myself taking mental inventory of the things I’m really going to miss about living here and then try to counter each one of those with something I’ve missed about living in the South. Even though I’ve only lived here a year, I think New England may have changed me in some ways. For example….

Have any of you seen The Goode Family on ABC?

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It isn’t the best TV show I’ve ever seen, but K and I can’t stop watching it because it could easily be set in Boston. Now I’m not saying that people in the South don’t care about the environment. I’m sure the South has more than a few environmentalists. It just seems that more people here take a much more concentrated interest in all things “green.” For example, curbside recycling is not available in the town where my parents live. It’s standard procedure here on garbage pick-up days. It’s extremely rare to find a trash can without a partner recycling can here. Even the potties are green. Want to see? Yes, I took a couple of pictures. Does this TRULY make me a blogger, Tiffani?  I actually have a couple of examples for you.

First of all, this is a potty from somewhere in Boston’s North End (which is also the best place to find the cannoli of your dreams which is probably not even appropriate to talk about in this paragraph). This potty has different flush options for #1 and #2. I’m not kidding! That’s what it says on the sign! Look!:

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This is my favorite green potty. It is located at the Minuteman Trail visitor’s center closest to the Old North Bridge in Concord. This potty turns waste into compost. How cool is that?!:

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I have a picture of the actual potty, but I thought maybe it was just too much. As I’m typing this sentence, I’m thinking that maybe this whole post is too much. Oh, well, I’m going with it.

So what effect has all this greenness had on the Snoodles?

Well, I get twitchy if I have to throw something recyclable away and I can’t find a recycle receptacle. I’ve been known to forage through the trash looking for things that should be recycled and not trashed. I’ve been amazed at how recycling reduces even the number of trash bags I need because I don’t have as much in my trash cans now.

Princess Diva has developed an internal alarm that goes off if she hears anyone running water for longer than a nanosecond. “Mom! We’re wasting water!!” 

Just for kicks, next time you see the little Snoodles, at a random point in conversation yell out, “Reduce!” and I’ll give you a quarter if they don’t instantly respond, “Reuse! Recycle!” I have no idea where they even learned that.

I feel guilty if I leave my reusable grocery bags at home when I go to the store:

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I’ve started using more and more natural cleaning products like vinegar. My favorite store-bought cleaner is Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day (geranium fragranced):

778559_f260Am I as green as the Goodes? Good grief, no. I’m not even the greenest person I know. But I’m greener than I was when I got here. I tell you this not to impress you with my newfound love of conservation. I tell you this because I’m becoming aware that all these moves my family makes change me in little ways. The people I meet in the places I live make a lasting impression on who I am. So every time I move, I take away little regional sayings (like starting every sentence with “So…”),  new favorite foods and stores (Trader Joe’s, Lizzy’s Ice Cream), new-found interests and hobbies (Go, Sox!), and friendships that will forever be part of my heart (Love you, Hope Fellowship Friends!).

 I don’t know how many of my recycling ways I’ll be able to maintain after we move, but I can tell you that I was very happy to learn that even though it isn’t offered in the community, the base where we’ll be living offers free curbside recycling. (yay!) If nothing else, I’ve realized that as Christians we do have a responsibility to be good stewards of this earth that God created. If that makes me a light shade of green, I can live with that. It’s not easy being green, but once you start making a few little changes, it’s even harder to stop!

This post is dedicated to one of my favorite tree-huggers, Meredith. I applaud you in your efforts and hope to be more like you when I grow up, Mer. R, R, and R, Meredith. R, R, and R.

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Ray the Mover Just Called

Ever so slowly but ever so surely we’re crossing items off our List of Unknowns. We don’t have orders we can actually touch, but we officially know that we’re moving back to the South in just a couple of weeks.  And just about an hour ago, this phone rang and this number appeared on the caller I.D.:

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I couldn’t get a very good picture. Can you read that? It says “Ray the Mover.” I guess all the good mover names were taken? I felt a little less than confident initially, but K took the call and he reassured me that the representative he talked to seemed very knowledgeable and efficient. At least it wasn’t Mr. Zero.

So we not only have a location, we have movers who are willing to pack and load our stuff and hopefully take it there. Someone from the company (not Ray) is coming tomorrow afternoon to walk through the house to estimate how much packing stuff they need and how long the packing/loading will take. So yay! Progress!

Of course, the specific “there” is still on the List of Things We Do Not Know.  Hopefully we’ll have a house assignment sooner rather than later. I’m trying to pack the belongings we’ll take with us in the car as if we won’t see the rest of our stuff until some time late August. Hopefully we’ll be reunited before then, but we’ll just have to let the rest of the details fall into place. The key phrase in the second to last sentence was “trying to pack.” I’m having a hard time getting my act together. I’ve sat down to make a list several times but I get distracted by….air. 

So this week I should be getting for ready the movers to come and pack our earthly belongings. Next week, the packers and movers will do their thing, and then we’ll be leaving “The Bay State” on either the 4th or 5th of July. We’ll spend the next week in Washington D.C. because K has to attend a conference there. I was just looking online at the hotel where we’ll be staying in D.C. and it looks very nice. We’re going to look like the Clampetts arriving with our truck, trailer, and minivan and clomping through the lobby with our mismatched luggage. I want to care about this and yet I just can’t seem to get there from here. I just look at it as a gift to the hotel employees who have blogs. Our stay should give them plenty of writing material. I plan to drive down one day that week to spend some time with CPQ and to actually meet LaVidaCoffeeGal Kellie live and in person!! 

After that, details are sketchy as to the route we’ll take to get home. If K is able to leave with us when the conference is over, we’ll visit his family on the way to our final destination. If he has to stay, I may get to go another route and maybe meet Tiffani on my way home. These are still on the List of Things We Do Not Know. But we have a destination and people to help us get there, and for this, I’m very grateful!

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Family Secrets Revealed, #4: The One About Checking Your Chickens

Last time I told you that I’d finish Family Secret #3 with a story about coalmikinosis. You’ll still get your coalmikniosis story, but you’re going to have to wait for it a little bit longer. Today’s Family Secret involves more friends that seem like family. You need to know this secret so that if we’re ever sharing a meal together in public some day and one of us unknowingly spills something, we’ll be able to discretely communicate that to one another. That may not seem like a useful skill, but if you’ve ever needed this stealthy communication, you know what a valuable resource this is.

I’d like to introduce you to Ken, Patricia, Albany, Mickey, and Merideth Irvin. The Irvins became part of our family in the late 1980s which is why most of the pictures I have of Albany and me look a lot like this one:

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In case you needed a laugh today, you’re welcome. Sigh. So much that I could say about this picture. And yes, that’s CPQ in her large-white-collar fineness. We should just move on with the story, but before I do, don’t you agree that I should sue my legs for non-support? I was living on the edge there trying to support all my weight on one spindly ankle. Twenty-something years, three children, and a very fluffy muffin top later, I look like a marshmallow with toothpicks poking out the bottom. The fourth decade is a mean one, friends.

Ken and Patricia were my  parents’ best friends and Albany, Mickey, and Merideth were more like cousins or even siblings. We spent almost every weekend together at our house or their house. We vacationed together, ate many meals together, played games together, watched air shows together….They were an everyday part of our life. So even though no one in my family was present at the time of the following incident, it somehow has become woven into the very fabric of my family’s favorite sayings.

One day, the Irvins were having a family dinner at a local restaurant. Albany was talking, which if you know Albany, means no more than if I’d said, “Albany was breathing.” For Albany, breathing and talking are almost the same thing. Anyway, in the middle of her story, she noticed that Mickey was trying to get her attention. He waited patiently for Albany’s next breath, and therefore, the only pause in the conversation to point at his shirt and whisper, “Albany, your chicken.”

Albany had no idea what he was talking about. She figured Mickey was just being Mickey and continued with her story. The next time she took a breath, Mickey jumped in and tried again.

“Albany, check your chicken.”

Albany looked at her plate and around her place at the table. She wasn’t even eating chicken. Mickey could really get on her nerves. Anyway, like she was saying….

This time Mickey was louder and more insistent. “Albany! There’s something on your chicken!!”

By this time, Albany was exasperated.

“Mickey! I don’t have any chicken. What in the world are you talking about?!”

Mickey looked embarrassed and said, “You spilled something on your shirt.”

Sure enough, Albany looked down and saw that she had dripped part of her lunch on her chest.

“Okay,” she said, “but why were you talking about chicken?”

Mickey’s face turned fire engine red and he said, “Well, I didn’t want to say ‘breast,’ so I figured you’d know what I was trying to say if I said you had something on your ‘chicken’ because chickens come in breasts.”

So now if anyone in my family tells you you to check your chickens, at least you’ll know where to look.

I introduced you to Albany and her family so that I could let you know that all of Albany’s talking practice has parlayed into a career for her. She was recently selected to be one of the newest hosts on QVC. Eventually she’ll be on the night shift, but for the last couple of weeks she’s been making a few daytime appearances so that the audience can get to know her. I still haven’t been able to catch her on TV, but she’s supposed to be on this Wednesday (June 24th) from 9  a.m. until noon and Friday from 6 until 9 a.m. (all times are Eastern Standard Time).

These times aren’t carved in stone, as I found out last Tuesday when I tuned in to watch her. For whatever reason, her segment was bumped. I’d never watched QVC before, but K is already concerned that I may have found a new addiction. All I said was that the anti-frizz humidity spray was amazing and that it would certainly be useful for all that Southern humidity we’ll soon be handling and his smart alecky pants reply was, “And so it begins.” Whatever. You do what you need to do to support your family. Right, Albany? Anyway, if you get a chance, you should watch her do her thing on the QVC. But I take no responsibility for any ordering that takes place as a result.

P.S. If you need to catch up on any of the other Family Secrets, click on “Family Secrets” in the Category Section on the right where my list of favorite blog friends should be but for some reason isn’t.

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The Men in My Life

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My Children’s Daddy and My Daddy

Undeserved Gifts from My Heavenly Daddy

No other girl on earth is more blessed than I am.

HAPPY FATHER’S DAY!

 

 

 

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