Saturday, June 28, 2008

Lazy Days of Summer ~ And Another Blast From the Past

"Summer" ~ watercolor

Our nest has seemed really empty recently, and all 4 kids have been out of pocket: 2 are in summer school in their respective college towns and 2 are on a week-long trip with our church. Compared to the craziness of last week with the visit from the adventurous and furniture-eating college roommate, this week has seemed especially tranquil (translation. . . boring.) Even our baby blue birds have flown the coop. They've left the nest on our porch for the big world of our backyard. And my loving husband has been a little scarce too --he's afraid to be around too much, lest he be called upon to rescue me from a broken pipe in our basement or a newly deceased freezer filled with the bounty from last season's garden. Even when it's boring here, it's just not very boring.

So with that said, I've had a rare week of the house mostly to myself to "do whatever it is you do all day," (as my family sometimes comments.) And except for cleaning up a flooded basement, scrambling to store our frozen food somewhere below the freezing mark, and an occasional scare by my arch nemesis Friendly, who insists on sneaking into the house to keep me company, I've done just that--whatever it is I do all day. I think it depends on what the meaning of the word "is" is.

I've had time to work uninterrupted and also time to think and reminisce about busier days. I remember an incident several years ago when our youngest was preschool age, and she had a friend in the car with us as we drove home from a trip to a nearby town. Littlest One is typical of the birth order stereotypes--the most extroverted, fun-loving and excitement-seeking. And she also has just a hint of stubbornness rolled into the mix. (Definitely from her father's side of the family. Yes, most definitely.) On this hot spring day, I accepted my role as the fly-on-the-wall chauffeur and day-dreamed about world peace, Y2K and other important things like my formerly flat abs and about how expensive gas was getting these days at $1.20 a gallon (HA, those were the days, my friend), while the two girls sat in their car seats and giggled and talked. Our Littlest detested shoes, so almost as soon as the car was in gear, in typical fashion she kicked hers off. My thoughts were interrupted by our guest who apparently was not used to such brazen behavior, "Miss, Cathy, 'C' has taken her shoes off," to which I yawned, 'It's okay. She really hates shoes." [After having 4 kids within 7 years, this didn't even register on the Wild-Child Richter Scale.] A minute or two later I heard, 'Miss Cathy, 'C' has taken her socks off!" [Still, not even a blip on the Wildness Scale. Children at the lower end of the birth order know they can get away with tons more than that before Mom even raises so much as an eyebrow.] This ride home was becoming more like a sporting event with our guest taking the helm as the play-by-play announcer; and a few miles later, The Guest announced even more urgently, 'Miss Cathy, now she's taking off her SHIRT!" By this time, no doubt, the wheels were turning in "Bottom-of-the-birth-order's" head, and it seemed that she was not going to be outdone by the color commentary of her tell-all friend. It was like some crazy form of pre-school poker where each girl was trying to "one-up" the other; I could almost imagine our gal thinking , "Okay, I'll see your 'shoes-coming-off-tattle-tale' and raise you 'one shirt.' Whatdaya got now?!"

I ended the "poker game" thankfully before anyone went completely bankrupt. Sometimes you just gotta know when to fold 'em. (For the record, the Wild-Child Richter scale never even registered above a 2.)

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Space Dog

The picture is a bit blurry, but here's what my husband discovered the other day when he left for work. It's our dog Maddie-- she's either trying to get the last few crumbs out of the giant dog-bone bucket, or training for the next space shuttle mission. We have no idea how much of the night she'd been this way, but he said that she looked very grateful when the make-shift helmet was removed.
[Note: No one was injured documenting this event, except maybe Maddie's ego, and I don't think she reads my blog.]

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

The Primitive Gathering

New things at The Primitive Gathering available July 1-- and here's one of my paintings: Raggedy Ann watercolor, and this is actually almost the size of the original. As always, swing over to check out all of the other artists represented there.

Monday, June 23, 2008

Go Dawgs!

College World Series -- Sic 'Em!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Doggone It

To update my previous post:
My son's roommate, Jude left yesterday and returned to college. We hated to see them leave, but summer school starts really soon so they needed to get back. Jude was a lot of fun and a laugh a minute, but he was just a bit restless here. I think he likes hanging with the younger crowd and the excitement of a big city.

And to answer Twinville's comment about our "good healthy, home cooked meals being a nice improvement over those college kibbles". . . . well, this is what Jude liked to eat while he was staying here in the country--this step in our den, among other items made of wood. I'm not sure what that says about my cooking. Maybe he's vegetarian.

Monday, June 16, 2008

My Son's College Roommate

This is Jude. I can tell that he's used to the college life. Jude needs a shave, he likes to keep really odd hours, and sometimes he's even a little rowdy. (When he gets bored, he's been known to pull a prank or two like spreading toilet paper all over the house!) Normally Jude's away at college with my son, but this week he is staying with us while his roommate (our son) is vacationing at the beach. Jude was so thrilled to be staying with us out in the country, and he doesn't even know he's missing all the fun at the beach--you'd think someone in college would pick up on these things. I wonder how he is at Calculus 2. "Friendly" wishes Jude would go back to college.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Boxed In

Heeeeeeeere's Friendly. . . . up to his tricks again. Not only does he choose not to believe that he lives outside, but as you can see, he's also in major denial about his 18 pound size. If you're not acquainted with our cat Friendly (and no, he is not), feel free to read about what I call the "Friendly Occupation" here, here, here, and here.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Maybe A Case of Adding Insult to Injury?

[From our local paper a while back. The name has been deleted because this was probably embarrassing enough for the dude.]

Man Arrested After Naked Run Downtown
Andrew M., 21, of Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., was arrested at 2:41 a.m. Sunday for public indecency after streaking through downtown Athens, Athens-Clarke police said. "M" was chased by multiple officers north on North Jackson Street, then east on East Clayton Street before being tackled, according to an incident report. He was treated by EMS for road rash and then was taken to the Clarke County Jail, police added. Article can be found here.

[And might I add my own commentary. . . .YIKES! I just can't decide who had the worst end of the deal, so to speak--the police officers doing the tackling of the running naked guy, the tackled naked guy with the "road rash," or the EMS guy treating the tackled, naked guy with the road rash. ~cn]

Friday, June 6, 2008

Is It Blog Worthy?

I've been tagged by Kristen to write 5 facts about myself. I've done this several times, and really, how much could there be left to tell? I'm just not sure I'm that enthralling, and the pressure is mounting to find something interesting to post. I feel compelled to ask myself as I write, "Is this blog-worthy?" I can't tell you how many ideas have landed on the virtual cutting room floor -- things that on the surface seem interesting, but then I think, "Will someone really want to invest 5 minutes of their precious waking hours reading this?"

And the bigger question: Forget the mounting pressure to find something interesting to say. Can the mounting pile of dirty clothes in my laundry room really wait another 5 minutes? (One of my kids has already informed me that she can't find any clean underwear.)

So in the interest of time, and in an effort to keep my family socially acceptable to the general public, the following is a recycled list of recent comments I've left on various other people's blogs. [Apologies if you've already read one of these comments on your blog--but my family, and probably our entire neighborhood will thank you.]

1. [On a blogger kid's first loose tooth and Tooth Fairy visit]: "By the time we got to #4 kid's loose teeth, sometimes the Tooth Fairy was really busy and a bit forgetful, so she often "left" the money in my wallet so it wouldn't get lost under the pillow during the night." [A word of warning: this can be hazardous to your budget if you only have $20 bills.]

2. [On a blogger's post about some baby bird pics she took]: "We have a nest of baby blue birds in a decorative bird box on my porch. All the bird-books say that blue birds rarely nest so near to a building. Apparently our birds haven't done a lot of reading."

3. [On a fellow blogger's kid having a sleepover with a whiny guest]: "I think the worst is when the guest decides he misses his mommy and wants to go home at 1 AM. Is it just being practical or false imprisonment if you make the kid wait until a decent hour the next morning?!"

4. [In response to a comment on my swimsuit shopping post]: "Thankfully, my girls have chosen tasteful clothes and swimwear. I haven't bought a suit in years. There is just nothing tasteful about a 40-something mother of 4 in anything with spandex. "

5. [In response to the kid upstairs who can't find any clean underwear]: "Honey, check under your pillow. . . I think the Tooth Fairy may have left some there."
Do you want your 5 minutes back?

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

It's June, Already

I blinked and somehow it's already June. June!! Can you believe it?! It's been a busy few days around "Nash-ville," and the rest of the month promises to be even busier. I really thought that once school was out for the summer, life was supposed to slow down. Well, I'm pretty sure school's out and things have not slowed down. But, honestly, it's a wonderful kind of busy. I love having our offspring around and each day is a grand adventure. It used to be that our adventures involved things like finding deer tracks, watching ants and lizards or even a snake or two (for me, with binoculars), picking blackberries, long lazy walks, camping out in the front yard under the stars, and mud puddle splashing. Now the adventures involve packing and unpacking camp clothes (you just never know what might sneak into a duffel bag that's been at camp for a week); teaching my kids to drive (and I'm here to tell you-- it's not easy sitting in the passenger seat with a teenager and her new state-issued learner's permit); and of course, taking the cat to the vet. But probably the greatest challenge. . . I mean . . . adventure is swimsuit shopping with 2 teenage girls.
Does anyone know where they sell these? It seems that they were all sold out here in Georgia.