Saturday, January 24, 2009

Bocephus On My Mind

This post has been a long time in the coming. It pertains to a topic that I have only alluded to in the past, but a topic that is very prevalent in my everyday life.

No, I'm not talking about Hank Williams, Jr., for those of you who know who Bocephus is. (Although, I do have very fond memories spawning from a different era of my life involving a certain gold-flecked adult beverage and this song. But, that's another post entirely. For now, why don't you indulge yourself, as I am right now, and listen to this song a little...let down your hair and let your mind wander back to younger, more carefree days, as you sing along and do a little soft stepping in your mind. Have fun. This post will be here when you come back.)

I'm talking, instead, about my darling beagle, Bo. Yes, his official name is "Bocephus". Fire Daddy named him that after I adopted Bo for him as a birthday gift from the Humane Society some 7 or 8 years ago. (Am I the only one who has trouble keeping track of the years now?) I'll never forget that day.

After visiting the animal shelter to just "check it out", I walked out with the only beagle they had. A beagle named Lou. My friend and partner in crime (she, herself, a lover of hounds and owner of bassets Winston and Stonewall), accompanied me to the nearest pet store to purchase the necessities. From there, I delivered the supplies to our apartment and immediately drove with Lou (certain this would not be his name for long) to the fire station.

Fire Daddy recalls hearing his fire brethren announce as I entered the bay, "Some lady's here with a dog." Somehow, for some reason, he knew it was me....with a dog I had not told him I was purchasing. (Because I didn't intend to, remember?)

We sat in the day room, giggling and watching him follow that compulsive beagle nose to every nook and cranny within walking distance. When the subject of names came up, it did not take long for Fire Daddy to pronounce him Bocephus - much to my objection. When the shortened version of Bo was explained, I reluctantly agreed.

Bo was his dog that day...and, perhaps, only that day. Ever since then, he has been mine. With the exception of cuddling into the cozy butt cave, Bo prefers me and always has. (You're probably wondering what the butt cave is...Fire Daddy lays on the couch with his legs propped on one end. Bo sees an opportunity for warmth and snuggles right up to his hind quarters, tucked under his thighs.)

Bo and I spent many sleepy evenings alone, cuddled on the couch together in that apartment. Fire Daddy worked hours and hours, days and days at a time, of overtime that year. You see, not only did we adopt our first child (Bo) that year, but we conceived our first baby, too. As my belly grew and my energy continually waned, Bo stayed by my side. When he would no long FIT by my side, he moved to the his perch on back of the couch.

I would arrive home from teaching, drag my weary, pregnant bones on his extra long walk around the apartment complex, and then crash for a "little nap", only to wake up at midnight, still in my clothes, and take him on his "bedtime" walk. It was safe. I had my vicious, guard dog to protect me. Then, because sleeping in his own kennel only lasted ....mmmmmm....two nights?, we would curl up in bed together until he beat my alarm to the punch in the early morning hours. (Growing boys wake up hungry.)

As we prepared for Big Girl's grand entrance, I read everything I could find on how to properly introduce the two children (yes, I'm referring to Bo and the baby); how to set their relationship off on the right foot. When she finally arrived at our apartment for the first time, after the hospital kicked us out at 9 PM on a Tuesday night (exactly 48 hours after delivery -- and not a minute more, Mr. Insurance Man), it was precious to watch him as he cautiously craned his neck, stretching his body to nearly twice its normal length, gingerly letting his nose investigate this curious creature without getting too close. Another moment I'll never forget. The meeting could not have gone smoother.

Now, fast forward nearly a month to our first July 4th together as a newly expanded family unit. Fire Daddy, as always on the Fourth, was at work. (Hello? Firecrackers everywhere? That's a busy night in his line of work.) I, on the other hand, was at home alone with a brand new baby, who still had her days and nights reversed, and a dog who was COMPLETELY FREAKED OUT by firecrackers. I recall that night very seriously considering jumping from the second story window in the baby's room. I thought the barking and screaming that night would never end.

It did eventually end, however. Since then, Bo has continued to provide us with amazing memories. For instance, there was the night he ate the chicken bones. Well, this actually happened on many occasions, but one night took the, the bones.

Fire Daddy's brother (we call him Diego Montana) was in town, preparing to fly out the next day for a camping trip on the West coast. We had enjoyed a lovely grilled meal of chicken wings, grilled corn on the cob, and some other scrumptious items that I do not recall. I, as usual, had tucked myself and Princess #1 (this was before Little Sister joined us) into bed at an early hour (this was also before the days of my compulsive insomnia), while the boys stayed up late chatting, giggling (yes, boys giggle), and compiling camping gear from each one's collection of supplies.

The excitement didn't begin until after midnight, when Fire Daddy quietly crept into our dark bedroom. The lights out throughout the house, I barely cracked my eyes in my sleep, until I realized Bo was nowhere to be found.

"Where's Bo?" I mumbled.

"He's not with you?"

"No...he was with you guys." I sat up, sensing danger.

Fire Daddy made the rounds in the house, calling in a hoarse whisper for Bo to come to bed. No response. I could feel the anger surge through my veins, sure that those silly boys were to blame for whatever bad event was to come of this...because nothing good would, I was sure.

After he returned to our room, without a four-legged companion, my panic grew. I questioned him about their actions throughout the night. When I learned they were in the garage for a period of time, digging through Rubbermaid tubs of camping gear, I knew what had happened. Bo was surely in the garage.

And he was.

He lumbered slowly, painfully into the kitchen once we opened the door. He had been waiting for us in the dark, poor thing. But we didn't know the half of it yet.

Why hadn't he scratched at the door? What had he been doing out there all that time? It had been at least half an hour...perhaps even a whole hour?

Dear God...check the trash.

You see, we learned long before that any items of potential danger needed to go directly to the outside trash. Beagles, and their noses, are quite resourceful. The beagle owner down the street had warned us of their beagle's amazing talents that led them to padlocking their refrigerator. Consequently, we had child locks on all our cabinets long before we had any children. We kept all trash cans securely behind closed (and locked) doors from the first day Bo joined our family. You learn fast when you learn the hard way.

The evidence did not bode well for poor Bo. The hole in the trash bag. (For some reason, that week, we had more trash than the two large cans we maintain could handle.) The hole in the plastic grocery bag INSIDE the black bag. The plastic grocery bag that had neatly packaged our chicken bones and corn cobs, that is. The TWENTY-FIVE chicken bones from our dinner for four. The twenty-five chicken bones that were, now, nowhere to be seen.

We returned to the kitchen like soldiers in retreat, our heads hung in despair and disappointment. Bo, bloated and moaning, lay on the den floor, waiting with his guilt.

We began Emergency Chicken Bone Procedures immediately. Amazingly, Bo ate the entire can of prescription I/D dog food we kept on hand for just such emergencies. (We'd been through a lot with him already.) After a brief heated discussion, we resigned to go to bed and try to sleep while we wait. Wait for the inevitable. I felt sure my dog would die this time.

The symptoms emerged around 6 AM. Fire Daddy was due at the station by 8, so he dressed early and carried Bocie into the vet. I, scared and alone, stayed to dress Big Girl and deliver us both to our daily destinations.

I can recall, on the quiet, somber ride that morning, my little girl asking me about Bo. Without the words, energy, or strength to tell explain the events of the night before or my predictions for the future, I simply replied that he wasn't feeling well and was at the doctor. Her childhood innocence allowed her to accept it at that and move on. I envied her ignorance.

My stomach was in knots throughout the whole of the day. News of Bo's condition was hard to come by. Especially since Fire Daddy was the primary contact for the vet -- and you know how men are with details.

In the end, though, the news was good. There was no blockage. After a few rounds of charcoal and hundreds of dollars in x-ray film (not to mention THE REST of the bill), Bo was released that evening. The vet was amazed he survived. In fact, he referred to Bo as a Miracle Dog. In all his years in veterinary medicine, he had NEVER seen that many chicken bones crammed in a dog's stomach and intestines. EVER. (I guess he's an overachiever, like me.)

This would not be the last time Bo amazed us and his doctors. Since that day, Bo has suffered from pancreatitis after catching a squirrel and liver disease. (His liver functions were literally off the charts. I took him in because he wasn't eating, had an upset tummy, and was generally "acting a little down". Again, they were floored he was not dead. Full recovery within twenty-four hours.) We, the doctors and I, have learned that Bo is an extraordinary dog.

As I type this post, listening to his ridiculously loud snoring on the couch behind me, my heart smiles. He's a crazy dog. He's a naughty dog. He's a slightly overweight dog. But, he loves me. He licks my tears. He cuddles with me when I'm sick. He is always happy to see me, and thrilled just to sit on my lap and get a little love. Sure, he toots when he stretches...and it's really gross. But, I forgive him. He's my boy. He's Bocephus.

Friday, January 23, 2009

A Dash of Bitterness, Tempered With a Sprinkle of Gratitude

I shared an engaging conversation with my Big Brother (we'll call him Abner) last night. (By the way, this is someone whom I hope to, one day, invite to write a guest post.) Our conversation ranged from hopeful gratitude to resigned bitterness. This conversation was on my mind for a while afterwards, and still today. So much so, in fact, that I've decided to take a few moments to wallow in a bit of bitterness and gratitude.

Bitter To the Bitter End

I'm not bitter about much, but there are a few things that really chafe me, a few things of which I just cannot let go. Here are three off the top of my head.

1. Badly behaved stars who STILL make millions of dollars on each movie/album. (Side note: I have no idea if it is appropriate to refer to them as "albums", since NO ONE that I know of produces vinyl anymore. I considered calling it a CD, but then I realized that many people skip those now and download straight to the iPod. So, forgive my ignorance and insert whatever it is you call a collection of songs nowadays.) I mean, please, people. Think about Tom Cruise's embarrassing behavior towards sweet, cute, smart and simply wonderful Matt Lauer a while back. Doesn't he deserve to be dropped down a notch on the Pay Scale o'Super Stars after that embarrassing display? Or, for another example, Brittany Spears. What a disaster! Don't you agree her "albums" should be placed in the Bargain Bin after such a rediculous series of events? Russell Crow's repeated outbursts and anger fits. Lindsay Lohan's drunken and drugged escapades. Naomi Campbell's temper tantrum and cell phone throwing. Come on, people...are there no consequences in this world?

** I'm sure you can understand why Tom Cruise, in particular, ticked me off in this clip. As a former sufferer of post-partum depression..and currently require said psychiatric drugs to function in life, I beg to differ with his opinions. Besides the fact, Brooke Shields is my girl.

2. Calories in chocolate. PLEASE, PEOPLE! Chocolate should be considered PHARMACEUTICAL and, therefore, CALORIE FREE! I mean, scientists can clone sheep, concoct triple cocktails to sustain life with HIV, make seedless watermelons...but you can't muster up the brainpower to take the calories out of chocolate??? I feel certain there is a demand for it. Perhaps I should start selling brown, magnetic ribbons to put on the back of our cars in support of Calorie Free Chocolate Research. (Please note, I do NOT in ANYWAY intend to belittle the need for supporting other, very valid and important causes, such as Breast Cancer or Autism. I just think the Calorie Free Chocolate Movement deserves respect, too.)

3. The Fall of 80's Dance Moves. I know you've heard the phrase "white men can't dance". HELLO??? In the 80's, EVERYONE COULD DANCE! Now, don't get intimidated, folks. I'm not necessarily referring to the slightly more tricky moves, such as the Roger Rabbit, the Running Man, or the Robot. Nor am I referring to the complex, specialized form of dance referred to as "Break Dancing". That stands alone in a class of its own. I'm talking about the classic bounce, clap, side-step combo that allowed every man, woman and child acceptance on a dance floor. If we can just bring those moves back into popularity, Fire Daddy may actually dance with me in public (without having a pitcher of a certain brewed adult beverage first).

Gratitude: It's a Good Thing.

Readers, I know we all have stress in our lives. You don't want to read a blog filled with such depressing negativity. In an effort to leave you on a positive note today (I couldn't bear to lose one of my eleven, precious followers) I feel compelled to demonstrate my gratitude for the good things in life. Of course, I could go on for days about how grateful I am for my family, friends, children, home, country, blah blah blah...but that's a given, right? You already know how eternally grateful I am for the Pink Lady, the Hornet, Starbucks workers, and my drug-induced sanity, so I won't bore you with those details again. Here, though, are a few items I think you might appreciate.

1. Completely immature comedies. I admit it. I am a BIG FAN of stupidity on the silver screen. I mean, one of the movies that made me laugh more than any other I can recall is Waiting (not to mention the fact that cute, adorable, funny Ryan Reynolds played one of the main characters). You would be hard-pressed to find more grotesque and inappropriate humor than that found in this movie. I also simply ADORE nearly any movie that Will Ferrell, Ben Stiller and/or Adam Sandler make. I am not so proper that I cannot laugh at bodily functions and embarrassing mishaps (that may, or may not, involve indecent exposure). For those of you who are, I say - get over yourself, lighten up, and live a little.

2. Music videos on the gym televisions. Are you ready for another confession? I do not yet own an iPod, or even a generic MP3 player. Yes. Me. Twitterer, blogger, Blackberry-addicted ME. I recently bought an 8 gig chip for my Blackberry, in hopes of using it as an MP3 player, but I've been experiencing some technical difficulties and haven't had a chance to drag my busy bootie into the phone store for technical support. So, in the meantime, I rely solely on Bailey's Gym TV. Thank goodness for that! Without this, albeit predictable, mix of Madonna, Avril Lavigne, Gwen Stefani, Olivia Newton John, and various other artists that I do not know by name (I'm horrible with names of famous people...until they're badly behaved and they make it to the black list), I would be stuck. Alone on the treadmill with muted Fox News, ESPN, CNN, infomercials (at 4 AM), reruns of X-Files, and various versions of cheesy law enforcement reality shows. I wouldn't make it past the first mile. Ever.

3. Mrs. Paul's, Tyson, Campbell's, and cereal. I love thee, let me count the ways. 'Tis better to serve junk than serve nothing at all, right? As a working mother, I cannot count the nights when I have been without resources, energy, or withitness to plan a proper meal for my pretty princesses. However, thanks to Mrs. Paul's, they can eat fish (in the form of a stick). Thanks to Tyson, let them eat chicken (nuggets). A hearty bowl of Disney Princess or Dora soup, on occasion, courtesy of Campbell's. And, when all else fails, Froot Loops it is.

I suppose I should have included Nabisco, as well, in appreciation of their breakfast options. Is it bad that my two year-old refers to Fig Newtons as "breakfast cookies"? They're filled with 100% real fruit....

4. Uniforms and Foreign Accents. Need I say much about this? Isn't it fairly self-explanatory? Either of these two attributes is enough to make nearly any man or woman a god/goddess of love in the eyes of the opposite sex. Let's just say...if I keep practicing my Mary Poppins accent with the Little Princesses, and happen to take up volunteering at a local hospital, I'd be beating them off with a stick!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

I <3 Starbux Peeps

It’s not just their delicious skinny vanilla latte – hot or iced. It isn’t their yummy, moist reduced-fat coffee cakes. It isn’t even their cool CDs, trendy green travel mugs, or inviting patio tables. (Who has time to lounge around there, anyway? Probably people who take bubble baths.) I am addicted to Starbucks – and its employees.

Our love affair has been slow in the making. We’ve been courting for years. It was only recently, though, that I realized exactly how important to me they really are. Their chipper morning attitudes. Their warm greetings. Their exaggerated smiles are just the right brew to reach my spirit through the fog in my early morning mind. I cannot live without them.

No one else understands me like they do.

I call out to the drive through speaker, fumbling my order in 5 different ways as I struggle to connect the synapses in my sleepy mind. They never complain.

I pull up to the window, pass them my card, and stare blankly at them when they ask to see my ID. What? ID? Oh…you’re talking to me? They never flinch. They smile reassuringly, waiting patiently.

I pull away from the window, forgetting my drink. They never laugh. They lean out the window and call to me; their wide smile telling me they understand.

They never stare as I slam my side view mirror into their already dented to go shelf. (Obviously, I’m not the only one.)

They never ridicule as I hop the curb in my Pacifica. (Who the heck designs drive-through traffic patterns, anyway? I mean, come on! What kind of driver do they think I am?)

I love them. I love the quirky, sing-songy way they speak. I love their freaky intuition. (How did they know I needed that extra shot of espresso today?)

I love the small talk they so graciously make while waiting on the barista to finish my beverage. Sure, it’s cheesy, but it takes my mind off the whiny princesses in my backseat. (I especially love it when they sweet talk to my whiny princesses through their window.)

In short, Starbucks Peeps, I love you. You rock my mornings. I never want to wake up a day without you there again.

Will you marry me?

Monday, January 19, 2009

Arrrrgh These Pirate Boots?

So, I got this great pair of boots not too long ago - they've been PERFECT for a teacher/Mommy. They're flat, so I can stand in them all day without any pain. They're warm, so they are perfect for those rare, cold Florida days. AND, they look great with dresses and skirts! They're cute with tights, with leggings, or bare legs for a more casual look on milder days. Win-win, right?

The first day I wore them, I got a ton of compliments (from my younger, hipper friends...which made them even more meaningful!). However, that night at dinner, my husband said, "WHAT are THOSE???" On every occasion since then that I've worn them (not to mention everytime he's seen them laying under the bar stool where I traditionally cast aside my shoes each evening), he turns on the pirate voice and says, "Arrrgh, there's a pirate in me house!"

OK. I can deal with my husband (who has been known to dress in what looks like full camping gear to go shopping or to dinner) making these remarks. I can easily dismiss them as a silly man's lack of fashion sense. However, recently at work, a friend greeted me with a smile, a hug, and the words, "Look at you in your cute pirate boots, girlie!"


Now, my neurotic self has developed a complex. I'm working hard to let my sense of humor carry me through this one. I mean, I'm working HARD. I try desperately to ignore the pirate-y taunts in my mind as I pull on these cozy, comfie, suede boots. Melanie and I have even started conversing and tweeting in pirate-speak, to help me make light of my pirate paranoia. However, I've decided that I need feedback from you.

What do you think? Are these boots too pirate-y to be pretty? Do I look like I'm missing my eye patch and parrot? Should they have come with a hook neatly tucked inside the shoebox? Tell me what you think!

As for the photograph, courtesy of aforementioned husband, I have to laugh. Do you know how many inches of LEG I had to cut out of this picture??? Ask a man to take a picture of your shoes with caution -- your bootie may make the shot, too!

Sunday, January 4, 2009


I cannot relate.

I've heard a lot about it, though.


Have you heard of it?

The technical name is "Old Man's Disease".

I first heard about it from my husband's former lieutenant a few years back. He's about ten years older than Fire Daddy, but they became very close, given their close quarters at the station. (...but that's another post) As I understand it, there are some very specific symptoms that accompany this illness.

1. Changes in sleep patterns. Namely, the patient has to get up multiple times throughout the night to pee. They develop mild narcolepsy, as well, resulting in multiple cat naps throughout the day. Bedtime shifts to a much earlier hour (8 or 9), resulting in earlier waking hour (5, 6, or 7 - even on weekends. In some extreme cases, 4 AM has been documented.)

2. Changes in temperament. Remember the movie Grumpy Old Men? They weren't kidding. Some theories suggest this is a side effect of the aforementioned symptom. Others site other causes.

3. Changes in physical strength and endurance. The patient may begin to feel as though they are a fading version of their younger self. They find that they fatigue quicker and suffer from heightened aches and pains after exertion.

4. Perceived differently by other males. Patients may report overhearing their male "peers" (term used loosely) refer to them as "the old man", especially during group fitness activities or physical challenges.

Fire Daddy and I are pretty young, though of a respectable age. However, I watch with caution as I begin to recognize shadow symptoms of this pervasive disease encroach into our home.

My greatest concern is for another member of my family, though.

Are you familiar with ODD? It's closely related to OMD. In fact, it could be considered the canine version: Old Dog's Disease. The symptoms are very much the same. My heart breaks for my poor Bo. He's been a very good dog -- overall. (Believe me, I've got a few whoppers to share...but that's another post.)

Perhaps I should share some of my observations.

1. Changes in sleep patterns. I know this sounds next to impossible. I mean, sleep is like a third (at least) of a normal, healthy, all American dog's day! However, I've actually noticed my Baby Bo sleeping MORE. What's particularly alarming is that he's now the last one out of bed each day. This is the dog that, in his younger years, woke us impatiently before 6 AM to be fed breakfast -- seven days a week.

2. Changes in temperament. Thankfully, this has been for the better. I've noticed Bo is MORE tolerant of my daughters' attempts to show affection. He's INCREDIBLY loving now. In fact, one might refer to him as ... NEEDY. It's kind of sad. Poor baby...

3. Changes in physical strength and endurance. When we first adopted Bo from the Humane Society, we lived in an apartment. Consequently, he was leash walked -- VERY FREQUENTLY. I'm talking, on a Saturday or a Sunday, he required 5-7 LONG walks per day. (This came in very handy for me when I was at home alone on maternity leave -- the baby weight literally fell off.) He was walked so frequently, in fact, that the painters who were redoing the exterior of the buildings commented one day, "That dog goes on more walks than any dog I know." Additionally, each walk was fast-paced and required a lot of strength and discipline on our part to maintain control of the route.

Now? Well, we'll put it this way. On more than one occasion, Bo has booted one of the girls from the stroller. One time, Fire Daddy had to CARRY HIS 30 POUND BOOTIE HOME -- FOR A MILE. Have you seen those cool new strollers now that have a hidden seat in the back where the basket would normally go? I need one of those hidden seats on my double jogging stroller for Bo.

4. Perceived differently by other males. Well, I can't really attest to how he is perceived by other male DOGS, but I can say that my father, my brothers, and Fire Daddy's brother ALL made remarks about how heavy poor Bo was looking when they saw him this holiday season.

Boys. They're so mean to my little Chunky Monkey.

I don't know what to do about my boys. I guess I'll keep them.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

7 Things No One Needed to Know...But the ONLY Things I Can Think To Say

So, as you may know, I LOVE memes. They're quick and fun...but this one is stumping me.

A coworker tagged me to share 7 things you never needed (or probably wanted) to know about me. I'm hard-pressed to think of seven things. I can think of LOTS of cool things to share about my family father's father once sold a bed (or more than one) from his store in Memphis to Elvis, my father used to play water polo in his Houston apartment building with George W. Bush, my mother's mother used to be buds with Barbara Bush and George Sr., my mother's step-father invented an improved side pocket mandrel (oil rigging) and made LOTS of money and was (supposedly) highlighted in the Smithsonian for a while, my brother used to serve in the Yankee White program (i.e. Presidential Guard) while in the Marines -- lived at Camp David (OOH! There's one! I've been there!) for a while...and on and on. I just can't think of much that's about ME. I haven't had many brushes with celebrity. (I remember bumping into Kris Kristofferson a a hotel in Dallas as a child.) I haven't had a lot of huge victories or moments in the spotlight. I don't really have anything to brag about. (I look good in hats.) I just don't think there's much to say...Could it be that I'm a bit of an open book? Could it be my big mouth? Could it be that I have lived a rather uneventful life? Could it be that I'm....mediocre?

Let's see what I can scrape up...

1. I have always (and still) dream of being a ballerina (Perhaps, at this stage, in my next life? In fact, I recently -- as in this week -- had a dream that I met and danced with Mikhail Baryshnikov.). Ballet is absolutely gorgeous. It impresses and inspires me each time I see it danced (well). It is one of my regrets, I guess, that I did not pursue it more seriously, because I think I had some natural talent and potential. For now, I enjoy watching my daughter(s) practice and thrill in watching my eldest princess aspire to dance as Odette in Swan Lake one day.

2. I used to babysit for Rob Stafford, of Dateline NBC. At the time, he was a morning anchor on an Orlando TV news station. He had an adorable baby boy and a very fluffy, yippee dog. I remember his wife, (who was tall, thin, and pretty) coming to my house to pick me up with rollers in her hair. Funny. I would NEVER do that.

3. I'm all about astrology. Sorry, folks. It all fits into my spirituality, and I do consider myself of the Christian faith. I just see it as part of this amazing universe. I think a lot of the horoscopes out there are a bunch of gump, but if you can find a good source, they're pretty fun to read. I'm more into the personality portions. I'm a Cancer -- and could not be more of a "classic case". My husband and two daughters are ALL Gemini. (Ummm...yes, you heard that right. And, for those of you who do not know anything about astrology, NO. We are NOT compatible. Nice, huh?) They, too, all fit the mold quite well. I've been so into astrology, at times, that I have even dabbled in charting stars. I dabbled long enough to learn that it is EXTREMELY complicated, requires LOTS of math and takes a LONG time.

4. Funny. When Melanie wrote about a car accident in her version of this meme, she mentioned it was her "first and last". Geez! I wish I could claim the same! Unfortunately, I have a bit of bad luck with cars. Knock on wood, none have been too bad. However, I tend to "bump" stationary objects at low speeds...embarrassingly, so. Hence, I do wish I drove a smaller car than my current, very long and wide, Chrysler Pacifica. (She's named Lady, if you're wondering. At the time we adopted her, my husband was driving this pitiful, beat-up Bronco II named "Tramp". By the way, the Tramp was pitiful and beat-up when he BOUGHT IT! He loved it (???) and just HAD to have it.)

5. dayle, in her version of this meme, mentioned being Miss Teen SC. Well, my nearest brush with pageantry was participating in the Miss Lake Mary High School pageant my Senior year. I didn't win, but did make it to the finals. My drama/Thespian "coach" (for lack of better word, and he WAS a coach, too) couldn't believe I was participating in the event...describing it as "meat-marketish" for me. (??? What???) I had considered backing out at the time, but felt guilty and continued after the Lisa Malie consultant for the show talked me into staying. HOWEVER, one of MY childhood babysitters (Rhonda) went on to the Miss Texas pageant!!! Woo-hoo!!! Sorry, can't remember if she won or not.

6. I guess I could mention my theater experience. Hmmmm...I was a Thespian in high school and LOVED the stage. My senior year, I sort of "discovered" I could sing, too, and led in a group musical we took to state. The act, though, is tainted with sad memories in my mind, now. A few years later, my best friend died and we were asked to sing at graveside. The song? "Tell Me It's Not True" from Blood Brothers. A song sung by a mother of twins who, as adults, tragically died at her feet. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I hate thinking about it. The picture is of me as Nurse Kelly in a Senior production of Harvey.

7. My childhood hero was Harriet Tubman....and I was quite outspoken about it....despite the fact that my grandmother owned and lived on a historic plantation in Louisiana until I was a senior in college. I can recall sitting around with family at my grandmother's house and pronouncing courageously "I'm GLAD the south lost. Slavery is WRONG." Pretty gutsy, I was. Looking back, I have to say that my grandmother behaved herself very well, considering. She was quite tolerant of my objections to the Southern policy and told me of some distant relative (Fanny Something-or-another) who ran away to assist with the Underground Railroad. (True? I'm not sure...) This past summer, though, as she led us on a driving tour of her old stomping grounds...well...I saw the poverty she lived in and think I could have been a bit more sensitive. I still think slavery is/was wrong, but also see that the South suffered in ways we will never fully understand. In fact, many continue to suffer today. I also realize that I am a Daughter of the South. My husband's first trip to Louisiana brought this to light for me. There are so many aspects of life there that I understand and accept he, as a Floridian, descendant from mountain people, may never accept or understand.

So, that's about all. To some of you, these are old news. To others, these declarations may be revealing. (???) What can I say...I talk a lot and I have no secrets...basically.

Now, I'd like to hear from:

Second Glantz - Someone who already knew a lot of this stuff, I'm sure.
The Roaming Southerner - Hope you're ready for a quickie. :)
NashWorld - "Cyber Cuz" - No, we're not related.
MamaDawg - Someone else who already knew a lot of this stuff...and, perhaps, can relate.
Peanut Butter and Lullabies - We're IRL meets IRL via cyberspace.
MomReality - "Retired" teacher turned author -- microblogger extraordinaire. :) I'm interested to see how she microblogs this! :)
Related Posts with Thumbnails