Sunday, December 4, 2011

Love is Christmas

“Love Is Christmas” by Sara Bareilles

I don’t care if the house is packed, or the strings of light are broken.
I don’t care if the gifts are wrapped, or there’s nothing here to open.
Love is not a toy, and no paper will conceal it.
Love is simply joy, that I’m home.

I don’t care if the carpet's stained, we’ve got food upon our table.
I don’t care if it’s gonna rain, our little room is warm and stable.
Love is who we are, and no season can contain it.
Love would never fall for that.
We sing …Wooooo.

Let love lead us, love is Christmas.

Why so scared that you’ll mess it up, when perfection keeps you haunted?
All we need is your best my love, that’s all anyone ever wanted.
Love is how we do, let no judgment overrule it.
Love, I look to you.
And sing …Wooooo

Let love lead us. Love is Christmas.
Let love lead us. Love is Christmas.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Harvest Time

Hello again, it's me ya'll! Long time no read, huh? Sadly it seems that I've been been a miserable failure at time management, and Blogland has fallen to the back burner so long that I had all but forgotten my password. Even the spam bots seem to have forgotten about little ole Tadpoles and Teacups!

As always, it's been a super-busy summer with a never ending stream of kids, puppies, tomatoes, sunburns, cicadas, 95+ degree temps, and, of course, mountains and mountains of laundry. I love summer and the perfect blend of excitement and laziness that it brings; but when I made my way to the porch this morning to drink my coffee and to watch our hummingbirds, there was a definite crispness in the air, a hint of the fall season right around the corner. It reminded me of how much I love the fall, and harvest, and bright orange pumpkins, and the sound of crunching leaves underfoot, and......schedules.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Thumbs Up!

"Just keep p-wacticing. You will get the hang of it. I know it!"
Wise words. Wise words, indeed.

Monday, July 4, 2011


“I have often pondered over the dangers which were incurred by the men who assembled here, and framed and adopted that Declaration of Independence ... I have often inquired of myself, what great principle or idea it was that kept this Confederacy so long together. It was not the mere matter of the separation of the Colonies from the motherland; but that sentiment in the Declaration of Independence which gave liberty, not alone to the people of this country, but, I hope, to the world, for all future time. It was that which gave promise that in due time the weight would be lifted from the shoulders of all men.”

~Abraham Lincoln, at an impromptu visit to Independence Hall

Monday, June 27, 2011


Editor's note: Here is another addition to my ongoing, semi-regular "Weird and Wacky (and often humorous) News File." This article kinda sounds like a Seinfeld episode, or maybe the makings of a really bad Bond movie.


Athens taxi driver reports book missing

Athens Banner-Herald. Published Monday, June 27, 2011

An Athens taxi cab driver reported his book about the Constitution stolen after a man climbed into the driver's seat of his cab as it sat outside of College Park Lakeside Apartments about 4:55 a.m. Sunday, according to a police report.
The driver had been standing outside the cab, arguing with two passengers about how much money they owed when a 6-foot-tall man with a Russian accent climbed into the driver's seat and told the passengers still in the cab that they did not have to pay their bill and that they could leave, police said.

The man then began to jostle the keys and attempt to drive the cab away, the passengers told police. The passengers stopped the man, took the keys from him and returned the keys to the driver. Everyone then paid the driver what they owed, police said.

When the driver returned to the cab, he noticed that his book about the U.S. Constitution was missing. He then reported it stolen to police, who were unable to determine if the man with the Russian accent or one of the passengers was responsible, according to the report.

[In case you're interested, you can read other similar posts here, here, here, here, and here. ~cn]

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Summer Time

Summer. It's a time for slower schedules, long walks on a quiet country road, and being able to hit the snooze button more often. It means watching the acrobatic flower dance of a million honey bees and hummingbirds by day, and marveling at the rhythmic lightning bug light show by night. It means listening to the harmonic blends of the neighborhood songbirds and playing children, and also enjoying the nightly orchestra of crickets, whippoorwills, and bullfrogs. It means being thankful for a soft summer breeze to stir the hot sticky air, and occasionally getting soaked by an unexpected pop-up rain shower. It means sunburns and mosquito bites and bee stings and poison ivy, but it also means the cool soothing goodness of aloe and calamine lotion. It means cannonball splashes and swan dives, blackberry picking and tadpole catching, and watermelon eating and corn shucking. It means impromptu fishing trips at a local pond, smelling the pungent sweetness of newly-mowed grass, and enjoying a fresh-off-the-vine tomato sandwich.

It's also a time for lazing on a creaking porch swing, listening to our kids playing music and singing family favorites like Johnny Cash, The Avett Brothers, and songs written by their great-grandfather. It's a time for cherishing family and time spent together. It's a time for remembering the past, savoring the present, and daydreaming about the future.

Summer. I hope it never ends.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

On the Road. Again.

I love the quiet life of living on a farm way out in the middle of nowhere, and my roots are firmly (trans)planted here in Georgia. However, it seems that the other members of "Nash-ville" are not quite as content with cows and dandelions as I am. Our crew of adventurers is determined to go to as many different faraway places as they possibly can. And apparently they've decided to do it all at roughly the same time. (Translation: instant gray hair for me!) The revolving door of world travelers keeps swinging so frequently that I can barely keep up with it all. Yes, it's why I've been AWOL from blogging; and don't even ask me about my laundry room! Recently we welcomed home one beloved member of our family from Afghanistan for a couple weeks of R and R. Next week, another family member is leaving the nest for three weeks of work at an orphanage in Ecuador. Another kid returns to Georgia the following week, after an extended study abroad adventure in Turkey. And, a few days after that, yet another family member heads off to live in NY. Talk about frequent flyers! Holy moly, me, oh my! My head is spinning. Somebody pass the dramamine, the Miss Clairol, and help me remember my Skype password.

Here's to having family home, even for tiny bits and pieces of time.

Friday, April 8, 2011


This is one of my favorite photos of my youngest kid when she was about 5 years old. And today I can kinda relate to the other subject in the photo, our cat Friendly, who is the hapless, semi-willing recipient of this inescapable (albeit loving) vice grip. In a little while I'm off to get my yearly mammogram, or as I like to call it, The Big Squeeze. Yeah, I'm about to get a double order of pancakes with an extra helping of steam roller, and a side dish of jaws of life.

You can read about one of my previous hilarious Big Squeeze adventures here.

Later, y'all.

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Bright Idea

April 2nd is officially World Autism Awareness Day. Its goals are aimed at promoting autism awareness, and shining a light on the disorder as a growing, global issue. The Puzzle Piece symbol reflects the mystery and complexity of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD). Also, since every puzzle piece is different in some way, a puzzle piece accurately represents the diversity of the individuals affected.

Understanding autism, one blue light at a time.....

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Friday, March 18, 2011

Open Door Policy

When one door of happiness closes,

another opens,

but often we look so long at the closed door

that we do not see the one that has been opened for us.

~Helen Keller~

Here's to looking at open doors!!

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Quite Taxing

I may not be a CPA, but I do know one thing.....
Saturday + Taxes = :-/

Monday, February 21, 2011

Mob Rule

It's been a solid month since our Oldest Girl ventured off to Turkey for a semester of study abroad. She's settled in nicely and seems to be having a blast in spite of the rather huge language barrier and the record snowfall in the area where she's living. She also seems to be navigating this new adventure with relative ease and has managed to find her way around the city despite the confusing Turkish streets and bus routes. Our girl has, however, experienced a little bit of culture shock, which mostly pertains to how the, um, 'facilities' are positioned relative to the floor. (Let's just say that being able to keep one's balance is a key requirement.)

Anyway, while I have thoroughly enjoyed hearing about her new adventures, I've also been nostalgic and contemplative since her departure. Recently I was reminded of one of my favorite stories about her as a first grader, which involves her first experience playing rec league soccer. Oldest Girl had watched her older brother play for a couple years and decided she wanted to give it a try too. We bought her the tiniest soccer cleats you’ve ever seen, and the smallest shin guards available and off she went to her first practice. Our girl was one of the smallest players on her team and didn’t really understand the game yet, but she enjoyed running around in her new shoes, and socializing with the other kids on her squad. The team met regularly for several weeks of practice and the coach worked patiently with the 6 and 7 year old kids, drilling them on the fundamentals of ball handling, kicking, position assignments, and strategy.

When it was finally time for the first real game, most of the kids were still a bit clueless about the nuances of how the game is played (unless, of course, you count running around in new shoes and socializing with the other kids on the squad.) The coaches for both teams assembled the players in their proper positions on the field, and the ref blew the whistle to start the game.

It was instant chaos! The “strategy” that the coaches had instilled in the young players was quickly forgotten and all the kids from both teams (even the goalies!) ran straight for the ball, congregating in a huge mass in the center of the field, kicking and scrambling for a piece of the elusive ball. This was nothing like practice, where everyone was in organized lines and participated in orderly drills, taking turns kicking the ball. This game looked more like two rival gangs of fire ants chasing (en masse) after a soccer ball-sized picnic crumb.

Image borrowed from here.

However, Oldest Girl was a bit timid at first, and she lagged behind the throng of “fire ants” and instead spent her time skipping around safely near the sideline of the field. Gradually she began to feel a bit more comfortable, and we saw her inch toward the action; she even made one or two timid moves toward actually kicking the ball. We watched as our girl gathered courage and she even made contact with the soccer ball, only to be pushed and shoved repeatedly by the other eager players. Then Oldest Girl stopped cold in her tracks in the center of the field, and I was worried that she was about to cry; or worse, that she was about to give up. Instead, she had apparently had some sort of a misguided epiphany. I can almost imagine her thinking, “Oh! So this is how the game is played!” It was like a light had come on in her little 6-year-old mind, and she ran over -- as fast as she could -- to a kid from the opposing team who happened to be lagging behind the group of players. With her entire 38-pound being, Oldest Girl shoved the unsuspecting player, knocking him out of her way like there was no tomorrow! No matter that the kid wasn’t even trying to make a play and that the ball was nowhere nearby. Before that kid could regain his bearings (or the coaches could react to the obvious foul) off our little hellion ran to find the next victim opponent. For the next few minutes we saw her chase down kid after kid, pushing and shoving with abandon…and maybe even with just a hint of delight.

After the game Oldest Girl told me how much fun she’d had and she couldn’t wait to do it again! Her dad and I asked her why she was so rough with the other kids and she told us that she thought the purpose of the game was to push as many kids as possible! We (her dad and I and Oldest Girl’s coach) quickly put an end to her mistaken notion, and eventually she learned the rules and became an adept little player. She even went on use her 'killer' skills in her intramural soccer league in college. :)

Friday, February 11, 2011

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Breaking News

Punxsutawney Phil called for an early spring. When asked for a statement, Mother Nature replied, "No comment."

Film at 11.

[Stay warm and think Spring!]

Groundhog image found here.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Sound Advice...Especially For a Monday

"Never bend your head. Always hold it high.
Look the world straight in the eye."

~Helen Keller


(Great advice, but I suppose it might involve getting out of bed first. ;)

Monday, January 24, 2011

A One and A Two, And Away We Go

Friday was a bittersweet day. Our oldest daughter left to study abroad for a semester at a university in the country of Turkey. It will be 4 long months for me...4 glorious months of adventure for her. It was such a weird, happy, sad, exciting, stressful, and wonderful morning as we drove to the airport.

I went over the checklist, and we checked it twice:

Do you have your passport?
Yes, Mom.
Do you have your computer charger?
Yes, Mom.
What about your wallet?
Of course.
Do you think we should get you some more cash?
Nope, I think I have plenty.
Toothbrush! Did you pack your toothbrush?!
Yes, Mom, and toothpaste. (Eyes rolling ever so slightly now.)
Socks? What about socks? Shower shoes? And a rain jacket? You know you'll need a rain jacket!
Yes! Yes!! YES!
Did you pack underwear?
Gah, Mom! Yes! I got everything.
Wait!! Are you sure you have your passport??
MOM!!! Please!

Once we had confirmed (and reconfirmed) that, yes, indeed all necessary documents and undergarments were securely packed, away we went. Part of the two hour drive was filled with laughter and nervous chatter. Part of the journey, we just sat quietly thinking and wondering about what the coming months would be like.

As fate would have it (and in spite of my OCD list checking) we still had to make a last minute pit stop at Target -- the strap on on my girl's purse broke literally on the way to the airport, so we had to find a quick make-do. We rushed in and out of Target in record time and were quickly back on the road. Fortunately we had time to spare because, even with the unplanned diversion to Target, my girl and I arrived at the airport no less than four hours early. Yes, folks, let's take a moment to let that to sink in. Four. Hours. Early. Clearly, I must have been nervous about traffic. Or maybe every clock in our house was off by 2 hours. Or perhaps I was just hyped up on little sleep and copious amounts of caffeine. Whatever the reason, I wanted to make doubly sure we got to the airport in plenty of time so my girl didn't have any stress about missing her flight. Apparently there was not much of a chance of that.

Anyway, we got her luggage checked in and the reality of the "adventure" began to really set in. Then the tears started to flow. The ticket counter attendant took pity on me and offered us a pass so that I could wait with my girl at the gate until her flight took off. Tell me there aren't nice people left in this world! Plus, the ticket attendant probably took pity on my daughter too when she noticed that I had gotten her to the airport four...hours...early. So I escorted my world traveler through security and to the gate, and we spent a little more quality time laughing and talking before her flight.

After lots of hugs and a tearful goodbye, I sent her on her way, and then I made my way out of the airport. At least I thought I was making my way out of the airport. I walked and walked and walked and walked and tried to look like I knew where I was going like an experienced world traveler. I finally found the exit just as I was beginning to wonder if I might still be wandering the halls of the Atlanta airport when my girl gets home in June.

I'm proud of these kids of mine and admire them in their quests for excitement and adventure... but, in all honesty, finding my way out of the actual airport was enough excitement and adventure to last me for a while!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Rain (or snow) On My Tin Roof

This song makes me smile.
And maybe I needed a smile today because I am getting tired of snow and ice, and shoveling snow, and scraping ice, and fighting with boots that keep eating my socks, and contending with a temperamental heater, and cold feet, and wiping up snow and ice, and cleaning up mud, and having to give wet muddy dogs a bath, and washing 18 loads of towels and socks and gloves, and then listening to myself complain about snow and ice, and shoveling snow, and scraping ice, and fighting with boots that keep eating my socks.....

I think that cabin fever has set in and the only cure for cabin fever (and snow and ice, etc.) is lots of sunshine and warmer days, and perhaps waiting patiently for Spring, and listening to songs that make me smile.

Monday, January 10, 2011


Homeland security. :)

The road less traveled, our driveway.

Big Foot sighting, on our front porch?

Jude, He-man Cat Hater, absolutely adores snow.

Cooper, eh, not so much.

(photos courtesy of my youngest.)

Monday, January 3, 2011

The Holidays May Be Over

But here's to a happy start to the week.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


Happy New Year!
We are #1!!