Monday, September 27, 2010

Cottage Cheese

Cottage cheese I love.

The cottage-cheese texture of my thighs?

Not so much.

So, in an effort to decrease the cottage cheesiness of my body, I am increasing my cottage cheese intake (as well as decreasing other intakes)

Other goals and pretensions now that I'm living with Mom again. . .

To sew
To quilt
To craft
To create
To write
To garden
To cook
To can
To churn
To bake
To learn
To run

To suck the marrow out of life and chew on its fatness
(metaphorically speaking, of course-- see cottage-cheese note above)

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. . .

Lately, been feeling that way.

So, I’ve decided to self-medicate and have turned to





Okay, not really. 

Maybe Mom and I were taste-testing wine to figure out what to have at Meg’s reception.  That sounds better, doesn’t it?  DSCN0263

So, right now I’ve got a great deal of wine in the fridge with about two sips taken out of each bottle.  Actually, I ran out of milk so I’ve been putting white zin on my Cocoa Puffs.  That box is just about empty.


Friday, August 20, 2010

Missing Daddy

Yesterday was the two month anniversary of my father’s death. 

Two months.  I HATE that.  I hate that he’s not here.  I hate that I’ll never get to see him get older.  I hate that his life is over.   I hate that my time with him in this life is over.   If God had asked for my input, I would have said, “How about no deaths in my family? Period.  How about You just return?”  

I am so glad that he is with God.  I am so glad that we will have eternity together.  I am so glad that I serve a God who really does promise Happily Ever After for those who are in Him—not necessarily now in this world—but that we do say, “Death, where is thy sting?”.  I just HATE, HATE, HATE that my dad is gone from this world, from my life right now.   

I cried a little bit when I was on the phone with my mom yesterday.  We weren’t talking about Daddy-- we were talking about what kind of wines to have at Meg’s wedding.  Mom made some remark like, “I don’t know wine that well.  I mean, I know Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape is a great wine, but I don’t really anything more than that.”  Which made me remember that we bought a bottle of Ch√Ęteauneuf-du-Pape for my Dad last year.  I remember that I was the one who picked it up from the store per Mom’s request—I can’t remember the exact occasion—birthday? Father’s Day? Just because?  Daddy was so excited when we gave him the wine.  He  was sitting in his chair and did this quiet,  kiddish, “Oh, Boy!” and then started making plans about a really special family dinner where we could open the bottle—lobster, steak. . .  As soon as Mom mentioned the wine, that memory was so vivid, so there, I started weeping.  I asked if he had ever opened the bottle, and she said that she didn’t think he had.      

There are so many things I miss, but one funny thing I’ve noticed that I’ve missed is sharing gastronomic delights with him.  If I tried a new dish, I couldn’t wait to share it with him.  If I went on vacation, I stored up so many memories about the food to share with him later.  I can’t tell you how many times Dad took me out for supper—for grades, to celebrate good news, or just because.  Or, if he wasn’t here, he would send me gift cards and tell me to take one of my friends out for supper.  The other evening, I was at a wine-tasting, and someone had made this concoction of walnuts and goat cheese drizzled with honey liqueur.  I was so sad that I couldn’t share it with him, that I couldn’t surprise him at home with the ingredients, whip it up, open a nice bottle of wine, and then spend some time talking and munching.    

I miss him so much.  He was so much fun to share news with--  he would get so excited for and with you.  If I made a great score on a test, he was usually the first I’d call.   You know how much of a let down it is to have FANTASTIC news and then everyone you share it with responds with a simple, understated, “Neat,” and you feel so let down?  That never happened with Dad.  I am so sad there is so much news I’ll never be able to share with my Dad in this life. . .    “Dad, I’m going back to school to get my masters.”  “Dad, I’ve met this boy!”  “Dad, I’m getting married!”  “Dad, I’m pregnant!”    

So, because I was in Fayetteville yesterday, I stopped by his grave.  His gravestone is up and gives his name, date of birth in death, that he was active in Vietnam and received a Bronze Star.  I didn’t share any news—I don’t want to get in the habit of thinking that his grave is where he is—I just said I missed him. 

Monday, August 16, 2010

Proof that I don’t have my act together

As if you really needed proof for that.

“Umm, Virginia, we know you.  We don’t need any further proof.  All it took was watching you alternate through the same four outfits for the last six weeks because you hate shopping and were too lazy to unpack.”

Okay, OKAY.  Shut up already!

Well, for those of you who were in any doubt, here is the proof:

  • I am attempting to throw together a bridal shower for my little sister in five days and am actually expecting people to show up for it.  HA!  (I really, really hope people show up.  Please come if you love Meg.)
  • I have boxes and boxes and boxes of stuff that I haven’t unpacked.  I’ve hardly settled into my parent’s home.  I’m living out of suitcases and have been for the last two and a half months.
  • I haven’t read my Bible outside of church in at least four weeks.
  • I start school next week—teaching and taking classes—and I have NO IDEA what my schedule is, where my classes are, what my responsibilities are, what books I need, where I should park, how I should pay for it, what I should take with me. . . I am clueless.  It’s kind of like I don’t want to know what I don’t know because if I knew all that I didn’t know, I’d freak out.  Majorly.  Like people thought Meg was the anxious person in our family until they see what crazy I can pull out of the hat.  I’m talking kah-ray-zee.  Dropping-my-basket-and-then-stomping-on-it-kinda nuts. 
  • I’ve escaped into stalking people’s blogs.  The blogs are usually by women I call “friends from college”, but they aren’t.  I mean, I knew them in college, but I doubt if they remember me.  I stumbled onto their blogs while visiting their myspace/facebook pages.  It’s like they live in some kind of alternate reality--they are married and have kids and post stuff on their blogs like their “to-do” lists that read something like
    • Monogram towels for Sally’s pool party
    • Paint kitchen chairs black
    • Wrap lampshades in twine
    • Finish memorizing Ephesians for women’s Bible study.
    • Art project with kids—finish mural on fence.
    • Deep clean house (the first time this week just wasn’t enough!)
    • Run 13.5 miles—that marathon will be here before I know it!
    • Finish canning all the vegetables from 1/2 acre garden.
    • Order home school curriculum for next year.
    • Family fun night tonight! So that means homemade pizza!

and then they do it!  The next day their blog reads something like

Yeah.  So glad I was able to get everything on yesterday’s list.  I even had time to snuggle the kids on the couch while my sexy husband read aloud to us from the Bible and then the next chapter in Pilgrim’s Progress.   

How do they do it?  They are just made differently from me.

  • The basic fact that I am sitting here blogging, BLOGGING while I have mentioned all the above ways I don’t not have it together—that I am doing THIS instead of working on THOSE.  Seriously.  Sometimes I wonder if my purpose here on earth is to make other people feel better about themselves—not because I’m some kind of fabulous encourager (which I am)—or because I make people laugh (which I do)—but because compared to me, everyone is doing fine, just fine.  

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Unpacking is my kryptonite

Did I say that packing is my kryptonite?

Well, if packing is kryptonite, then unpacking is super-duper, weapons-grade, spasm-inducing kryptonite.

Especially in this heat. (Hello, heat and humidity.  Can’t say I missed you while I was in Michigan languishing by the Lake.)

Especially surrounded by spiders. (Yes, brown recluses took over while we were gone.  They just love hot, dark, empty houses.  There’s been lots of spider lovin’ so there are big ones and little ones and OHH  I WISH THEY WOULD ALL JUST DIE!! DIE!! DIE!!)

So, when I unpack a box, it’s now with the thrill of facing death in the face. 

(okay, maybe not death. . . how about severe discomfort?)

And I can’t find my camera. 

And school and job start next week

And I just wish I could get my crudola together here before I have to show up there.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

My Daddy

My Daddy died today, sometime after midnight on Saturday, June 19th.
I remember walking to church together on Sunday mornings in Alexandria, VA. Church was just down the road; it was a good day if I could make it there without falling and getting holes in my tights.
I remember Daddy warning us to be careful becuase they had just put pesticide in the air ducts/vents and had the vents removed. I forgot and stepped into one, cutting my legs. I remember being so scared, afraid I was going to die from poison. I remember Daddy rushing me to the shower and holding me as he rinsed me off, comforting me, so distressed that I was hurting. He was so distressed when anything caused us pain.
I remember how he would call us "sports fans".
I remember how we would cover up in the snuggleupagus Saturday mornings with Daddy and all us girls, pretending we were a monster crawling down the hall, surprising Mom in the kitchen.
I remember Daddy always had a special chair, in every house we lived in. It was Daddy's chair. He came in the room and we knew to vacate it. Sometimes, he would say, "Do you mind if I have my chair?" if we were in it. It wasn't a snotty question. He just said it in a sweet way.
I remember Daddy holding me up to the window at the nursery when Meg was born, telling me which baby was my sister, and I remember being so frustrated because I didn't see what he was talking about.
I remember Daddy so handsome in his uniform. It was a special treat to eat lunch with him at work. I remember we couldn't walk back to his office with him so we would go as far as security and then watch him the rest of the way.
Oh, please Lord, never let me forget his laugh. Please let there be a tape of it somewhere.
Oh, please Lord, please don't let me forget him.
I remember trips in the car, us closing our eyes while he flipped the car upside down. I remember him stocking the car with barf bags for me from all his plane trips and asking for some warning if I thought I was going to throw-up. (To say I had a problem with motion sickness would be an understatement.)
I remember Dad jumping at every sound in the car-- us lowering a window, opening a "hidey hole", Dad would jump and snap, "What was that?!" We got to where we would give plenty of warning before doing anything. "Daddy, I'm going to put down the window, okay?"
Oh, Lord, please help me. This is going to be so rough. Please help me get through the coming weeks as the mourning and grief drag out. How am I going to get through it? I am afraid it will hurt so much.
I'll never have another Daddy hug again. He would sit in his chair and I would lean over, kneeling, and it was just the best, most secure embrace. He would just hold me. If I needed to cry, he would let me. He was the perfect Daddy for girls because he was never afraid of us expressing emotion. He was an emotional man. My last great Daddy hug was the day I moved back in a few weeks ago. I was so tired, so scared, so not knowing where I was heading with my life. He just held me.
I remember walking around Radnor Lake with my dad.
I remember the way Dad would breath through his front teeth when he was upset.
I remember being at the ball game when Dad broke his back, I remember watching him lie there on the ground, wondering why he was just lying there.
I remember lying next to Dad on his hospital bed at home with him making me read a book with him. They were Mandie books-- he would read two pages, I would read one.
I remember he called me his heart, his Annie heart.
I'll never hear his voice again.
Please Lord, let me hear his voice again in heaven.
I'm so afraid if I don't write down everything right now that I remember that I will forget it.
Please, Lord, don't let me forget.
My Dad died.
My Dad died.
He died. He's dead.
Oh, it hurts.
I remember moving to Arkansas, and Dad hurting his back in Tennessee while he was finishing his contract and getting business wrapped up. When I heard the news, I thought, “No big deal. He’ll walk again. He always does.” He never walked again without the aid of forearm crutches. Our friends in Arkansas have never seen him amble about, unaided. He was such an avid outdoorsman, so very active. Hiking, canoeing, skiing, rapelling-- he did it all and loved it.
I remember how hard he worked to help people at Pea Ridge Schools with their computers. He found a niche. He could always find a niche, a place where he could do the most good for the most people.
Please, Lord, help me to remember even more over the coming days.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

A day in Eureka


Eureka Springs lies just about 30 miles from home, nestled in the Ozarks. It flourished as a spa getaway back in the day and has a lovely Victorian feel. When people come to visit me, I always take them there for a day trip. I usually follow the following itinerary which takes advantage of all the stuff to and from Eureka. I’ve shown the approximate times for each activity to prove I really can fit it all in! We will usually leave right after breakfast if we want to do it all. Late spring, early summer is best—lots of daylight and the heat and humidity aren’t enough to kill you yet. Fall is gorgeous as well. Okay, we’re walking, we’re walking. . .

  1. Stop for Sonic drinks on the way out of town. (5-10 min)
  2. Drive through the Pea Ridge Military Park. Hopefully spot a few deer. "Ooo" and "Ahh" over the scenery. (30-40 min)
  3. Stop at Martin Greer’s Candies for a free sample. (10 min)
  4. Eureka! Make sure to hit Vintage Cargo on the way in—my favorite store in Eureka, run by two of the nicest men in the world. Seriously. (20-30 min)
  5. Continue to historic downtown Eureka. Walk around and window shop. (2-3 hours)
  6. Drive the 62 Highway loop. Stop at the Crescent Hotel to walk the gardens and sit on the porch to admire the views. (30 min)
  7. Hmmm…let’s talk about FOOD! I hate for my guests to go hungry. (Who are we kidding, I also hate for myself to go hungry.) Some of my favorite restaurants in the world are in Eureka.
    • The Oasis—a hole-in-the-wall known for its organic “Ark-Mex” fare, this place makes me wake up craving it. It is so good, so so good. They have a regular menu, but I usually get a daily special—some combination of their incredible enchiladas. Past enchilada delights have included couscous and curried eggplant (out of this world) and feta, tomato, spinach, and olive (ummy, ummy, ummy—am I the only one drooling?) They are only open until two so if we are early enough for brunch or are ready for lunch, I’ll stop here. I LOVE THIS PLACE.
    • Ermilio's—best Italian in Arkansas. This is the only place in Arkansas that prepares gnocchi with gorgonzola reminiscent to what I gorged on in Rome. They open at five and don’t accept reservations. Since the restaurant is soo tiny and everyone loves Ermilio’s, you are guaranteed a wait unless you show up at 4:15 ish and wait in the bar area for them to open. Don’t worry though—the wait is half the fun. You always, always, always meet the most interesting people there and you can hear everyone’s conversations, so just join in on them. Talk to your fellow stomach-growlers. And know that when you finally do get a table, you will be hungry and will fully honor and appreciate the food.
    • Bavarian Inn—what can I say? I love a good German meal, and this place serves good, hearty German food. Sauerkraut soup, schnitzel, goulash, dumplings, potato pancakes—oh, my, goodness. And you can wash it all down with a good German beer—oh, oh, my goodness.
  8. Christ of the Ozarks—Drive to the Passion Play grounds to see the big Jesus statue and admire the views. (20-30 min)
  9. Beaver Dam—Stop here on the way back home so people can see the lake and the dam. If there’s time, walk a bit on a trail near the dam. Gives you a chance to work off your supper. (30 min-1 hour)
  10. Busstop—Ice cream in Garfield! If pants have been rebuttoned from the lunch/dinner extravaganza, stop and split a big ice cream. Totally undoes what you might have walked off at Beaver Lake. (20-30 min)
  11. Back home for the night--rest your tired puppies.

Without guests, my sister, Nell, and I will usually head to Eureka at least once every other month for food and fun! Here are some pictures from our last excursion to whet your Eureka appetite.



DSCN0922 DSCN0930

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Say “Hello” to my little friend

I messed around in my yard today, getting ready for my renters who will be overtaking my lovely estate (okay, that might be stretching it a bit) in a week.  I moved a wood planter that has been slowly rotting, and shortly after I moved it, Sadie approached with what I thought was a mouse hanging out of her mouth. 

Wrong.  It was this guy.


No, not the result of my alien abduction last year—the babies from that were green with really big eyes. 

Notice this little guy has no eyes.  Notice the hands of grotesque proportions.  Hmm…no eyes, crazy hands. . . why it’s. . .it’s. . a. . .

YES!  A baby of the little beasties that have been DESTROYING my yard. 

Let’s get some close-ups of this mug that only a mother could love.



Okay, so I maybe was cooing and baby talking while taking these shots.  I love ugly babies.  And ever since living in Belgium where the moles are prolific, I have always wanted to hold a mole.  I remember trying to coax my Grandpa McMillian into catching one for me during one of his visits.  When he explained it would bite him, I suggested he don gloves. 


(He’s smiling in his last close-up.  He likes me!)

Did you know that moles squeak?  I found this out during his modeling session. 

Sadie was very excited by her find, and told me, “I can get more.”

She led me to. . .



I brushed some of the detritus away-- I just had to get a family portrait.


Evidently, Ma and Pa Mole had decided that under the rotten planter was the perfect place to raise their younguns. 

I disagree. 

Why, moles, why?  Why my yard?  Why under that planter?  What am I supposed to do with you?


While figuring out the answers to those questions, I moved the moles into a Critter Keeper left over from my teacher days. 

I’m not going to keep them. 

(Mom won’t let me.)

I just don’t know what to do with them.

I know for sure I’m NOT putting them back in my yard.

Sunday, May 16, 2010

Packing is my kryptonite

Must pack.

Must pack.

Can’t find tape.

Where. . .is. . .newspaper?

Having trouble focusing.

Vision. . . is. . .blurring. . .

Arms. . . heavy. . .

Can’t. . .move. . .

Send help.

(Strong Cowboy help that will whisk me off my feet and promise me all new clothes but will make room in his saddle bags for my Ikea pitchers, Mason jars, and Canterbury Tales print. Oh, and my books. Hmm. . . we might need another horse. And who will take care of having his ranch hands dispose of the rest. Burn it all! Just as long as I don’t have to pack it, I don’t care.)

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Kava Kava

Last summer, my friend Kim and I, traveling through the South Pacific, had just arrived at Waya Island in Fiji. Waya Island is right on the famous Blue Lagoon, where the movie of the same named was filmed. We were instantly caught into conversation with a couple we recognized from the ferry, Ben and Kara.

“Have you had any kava yet?” inquired Ben. “We’ve had a sh*tload,” he added.

Seriously. Those were the first words out of his mouth after we introduced ourselves. Combine Californian surfer dude with an Australian accent, and you’ve got Ben.

Kara, his other half, quickly explained in her cute, crisp fashion, “I’m part Fijian. We’re here visiting my family. Every new house we visit, we have kava. I have a lot of aunties, so we’ve had LOTS of kava.”

“A sh*tload,” echoed Ben.

“Nope, we haven’t had any kava yet,” I responded.

“Well, you really should before you leave Fiji. It’s part of the experience. We’ll do it with you one night when they pull out the mat,” Kara promised.

Kava is a narcotic made from the root of a pepper plant. The root is ground up, placed in cloth that acts as a strainer, and then mixed with water in a ceremonial mixing bowl; the finished product tastes a bit like cough syrup. Visually it brings to mind muddy pond water. Fijian kava is pretty weak. With one or two drinks, your lips and tongue go a little numb. More than that and you start to feel pleasantly relaxed and floaty.

My friend, Kim, and I, travel buddies extraordinaire, decided to travel to Fiji last summer because the dollar was still worth something there. We knew about kava through pre-trip reading and planning, but we didn’t really know about kava. As Americans, it was difficult for us to wrap our minds around the idea of a drug being culturally accepted and having such ceremony attached. For example, in Fiji whenever you visit a village, you are expected to bring a gift of kava so you can enjoy a kava ceremony with the chief. Kava ceremonies are not restricted to villages; most resorts have kava ceremonies a few nights a week.

A couple nights later, the resort rolled out the kava mat while Ben, Kara, Kim, and I were enjoying some pre-dinner drinks and conversation. One of the locals invited us to the mat, and Kara, with a grin, said, “Okay, girls, are you ready?” The local let us know he could fill our coconut-shell bowl to very low tide, low tide, medium tide, high tide, or tsunami. Kim picked very-low tide; I chose medium tide. (Hey, if I was going to do kava, I wanted to do kava.)

While he got our kava ready, Kara quickly filled us in on kava ceremony protocol. “Before he gives you the bowl, you need to look at him, clap your hands, and say bula. Then, take the bowl and drink the kava in one go. We all clap while you’re drinking. When you finish, clap three times.”

Two medium-tide bowls later, I could still feel my lips and tongue; Kim, with just her single bowl, was saying, “That’s so weird—it’s like I just licked Novocain.”

I was a little put out. I wanted to feel something, too.

On the adjacent deck the staff started to take orders for supper, so Kim and I headed into the dining area. I requested a glass of wine. I think I may have had another, but I’m not sure, because everything got a little fuzzy. Evidently, I needed that bit of alcohol to kick start the kava. Dinner was a delightfully relaxed haze; I think Kim was absolutely transfixed by my stimulating conversation.

“Kim, have you ever looked at your fingers? I mean really looked at them? Like how they wiggle?”

(I actually didn’t say that. Or maybe I did. I can’t remember. But, I’m sure Kim was hanging onto my every word.)

After supper after I went on a post-supper nature hike through the coconut palms, giggling madly. The trees, the moon, the lagoon. . . I was overcome. Kim, fabulous friend that she was (and wise one who had stopped at one bowl), gently herded me back to the bungalow and made sure I was tucked in for the night.

Goodnight, moon. Goodnight, lagoon. Goodnight kava that makes my brain feel like mush. Goodnight, Kim--stop telling me to hush.

Jo Baby and Mama

This is a game my little sister and I made up sometime I was in college. There are no rules and it’s super fun to play.

You get to role play white trash.

Aha! I’ve got your attention now!

I remember the first time we played this game. Meg and I were outside in the driveway; it was early evening in the summer. We had been tanning on quilts in the driveway while wearing matching cheap, ugly neon-orange-and-yellow plaid bikinis we bought at Wal-Mart. We then started to water my mom’s flowers with the hose. (We may have even been super helpful and washed the cars.) Meg and I can crack each other up like no one’s business, and when one of us slips into character, the other follows. Jo Baby and Mama just showed up.

Jo Baby is the younger character (older teenager-ish or maybe young twenties).

Mama is the mother of Jo Baby; she is probably late thirties, early forties max. (She had Jo Baby young.)

(Meg and I play both characters. You can, too! Age doesn't determine who plays what-- mood does!)

If you happen not be wearing an ugly fluorescent bikini, get into character by making your top into a Daisy Duke affair by pulling the bottom through your neckline and cinching it tight, accentuating your boobs. It’s okay if your abs jiggle. If you are Mama, it’s even better if your abs jiggle. If you have some super-short jean shorts that your fanny hangs out of, slip into those. Put on mascara and then rub your eyes to achieve the classic, “I slept in my makeup” look or, even better, the “I haven’t washed my makeup off since I started putting it on twenty years ago” look. Rat your hair.

Now, just start talking. Get upset. Get twangy. If you are Mama, you can say things like, “Jo Baby, I done told you. . .”, and if you are Jo Baby, intersperse the conversation with phrases such as “But, Mama. . .” and other whiny discourse.

Men, don’t worry. There’s room in this game for you. The possibilities are endless. Maybe you are Mama’s current squeeze. Maybe you are Jo Baby’s. Or even better, maybe you are Jo Baby’s squeeze now, but you used to be Mama’s. Maybe you are some idiot cousin who is sleeping on the couch in the trailer for a few nights because your girlfriend/parents/best friend kicked you out. Maybe you are the foreman of the trailer park and are in love with Mama, but she won’t give you the time of day.

You can even take the game to the next level by doing Jager shots while playing. (Meg and I have never done this, but I think that it would open up whole new story lines in the "Jo Baby and Mama" saga.)

Whatever you do, just make it a redneck version of “The Young and The Restless” and have fun!

Wiser words may never have been spoken

Except by the Bible, of course.  I’m not trying to canonize my cousin.  Promise.  So what did Rachel tell me?  Well not really me.  She said it to/wrote it to my sister, but I was listening/reading, too.   Yes, nosy is another one of my admirable traits.

“God does not withhold any good thing from us except to make it better by preparing us for it (and it for us) when His time is right.”

Thanks, Rachel!  I just need to take this bit o’ wisdom and apply to most every facet of my life. 


Relationships—check check. (That one is a doozie, so it deserves a double check to make sure I actually do it.)





Hmm…I may be getting a little off track.  Lately it seems that every post degenerates into a musing of all things cowboy.

Sigh.  I’m going to go ogle all the cowboy pictures on The Pioneer Woman’s blog.

I did a bad, bad thing. . .

It’s confession time!

This happened a while ago, but it still makes me cry, laugh, shudder, cringe, gag—insert any other bodily function that indicates extreme emotional discomfort—when I think of it.

During just another normal day of work at the pediatrician's office, I was getting ready to call a patient back for a well visit. For this particular patient, I wasn't able to find an immunization record for the patient in the state website; however, I was able to find one for the patient with the same first name and birth date but with a different last name.

I called the patient and parent back and after having gotten the vitals, I hunched over next to the parent and softly (yes, I really did use my smallest inside voice) inquired whether the patient had ever had or was known by a different last name, explaining I was having trouble finding a complete immunization record.

The mom’s eyebrows shot up and she loudly exclaimed, “YES! HE DID HAVE A DIFFERENT LAST NAME BUT HE DOESN’T KNOW THAT!”

She was pissed.

And the kid, sitting on the exam table, overheard his mom and asked, “What, Mom?! I had a different last name?”

Yes, yes, people.

This kid was adopted, and his parents had never told him.

And for some strange reason, his vaccines were kept on records that used his pre-adoption name from when he was a baby. In the nine-plus years since the adoption, no one had ever changed the name on the records. I guess at the clinic they used to be at, everyone just knew he was adopted.

And I just happened to be the lucky nurse that got to be part of the joyous news—Surprise!

It was a proud day, let me tell you, a proud day.


Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Oh, oh, oh…

And that isn’t an excited “Oh!”

That is an “I think I might barf ‘Oh.’”

Why?  Why do I want to barf you ask me?

Because I just signed up for, and I got my first email from someone. 

Hi cuttie...
your profile and beautiful smile is still catching my attention, I also like your hair.
I got very interested in you when i read your profile. I stay in Madison, Wisconsin but in UK now on a business trip. Am a simple and fun loving person, guess we can make it so I will need to search no further.I have an only daughter.She is 16 years old.
Once again i must say your smile and pretty face is so captivating.

(Is this breaking the rules by posting this?)

No, I’m not feeling barfy because I’m offended by anything he says.  He likes my hair and finds me captivating.  That’ll make a girl feel special.   Although knowing that he’s 51 and has a 16 y.o. daughter and that he thinks we can make it so he doesn’t need to look any further (totally ignoring the fact that I might need to look further) does make me pause.

I’m just feeling barfy because I’m putting myself out there, and it is a very uncomfortable situation.   Barfy because I realized I really care about how well people spell (“It’s cutie!  With one t.  Okay?”)  Barfy because I just don’t like this and I don’t know the rules.   Do I email the guy above back letting him know I’m not interested?  Or can I just ignore it?

And yes, barfy, because, c’mon, am I going to have creepy people sending me messages?  Did I just open myself up to a whole new realm of uncomfortable situations with people weirder than I am?  Blecch.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Mother’s Day, Mom!!


I love you and I miss you and I hope this day is the best! I am so glad God gave us to each other!

Blessings to you and upon you from our Lord and Savior, Christ Jesus.

Some selections from Proverbs 31, picked especially for you!

17She girds herself with strength
And makes her arms strong.

Your biceps are amazing! You work so hard and you aren’t afraid to work hard. I hope, hope, hope that I am able to follow in your footsteps and not be so lazy.

20She extends her hand to the poor,
And she stretches out her hands to the needy.

You understand true generosity and you long to show Christ’s kindness to all in very tangible ways.

25Strength and dignity are her clothing,
And she smiles at the future.
26She opens her mouth in wisdom,
And the teaching of kindness is on her tongue.
27She looks well to the ways of her household,
And does not eat the bread of idleness.
28Her children rise up and bless her;
Her husband also, and he praises her, saying:
29"Many daughters have done nobly,
But you excel them all."
30Charm is deceitful and beauty is vain,
But a woman who fears the LORD, she shall be praised.

‘Nuff said.

Thank you, Lord, for my mom.

p.s. My mom, today after reading "Vomit Comet", suggested I add the word classy to my title as well. Classy Arkansassy Lassie-- it does have a certain tongue-in-cheek ring to it.

One benefit of singlehood…

I’m standing the kitchen as I write this post. No, look, I’ll prove it to you.


Me. Kitchen. No, I’m not going to show you a picture of my sink. That’s a little too much TMI. (Is that redundant?)

I was in the mood to cook yesterday, so I beckoned people to come for a meal at my house via Facebook. Evidently, I need to work on my come-hithers because no one showed. The only thing that followed me home yesterday was a dog.

So, plan B.

Since today is Mother’s Day, I called my sister, Nell, to see what her fam had going on. (My mother has abandoned me for her summer home on the Lake in Michigan.) They had everything figured out but the meal, so I said, “Great! I’ll be there tomorrow. All you need to have are the salad fixin’s.”

“Umm…okay.” (Up until the point that I invited myself over, I hadn’t been formally invited to their Mother’s Day Celebrations. It’s all good.)

So, I made


lasagna…mmm…it looks a little funky because it hasn’t been baked in the oven yet. I only wanted to heat it up once before serving it.

And I made


chocolate sheet cake! MMM….MMM…(cue When Harry Met Sally here.)

Yes, both from scratch.

And the benefit of singlehood on Mother’s Day, when the only thing waking me up this morning were soggy kisses from my dog. And I don’t even get to cuddle with my own mom?

I got to lick every spoon, every pan, every mixing bowl BY MYSELF. I didn’t have to share one lick.

My ass right now is tapping me on the shoulder. Excuse me.


“Yeah…are you sure that’s such a great benefit?”

“Shut up.”

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Vomit Comet

One stellar evening in college, I became one. Sitting in Human Sexuality, I became aware my stomach was just rolling. I had already guzzled a Gatorade because of a headache and general malaise, sure my uckiness was due to some electrolyte balance.

Human Sexuality lasted three hours Monday evenings. I was taking it with my roommate, Shelley, for fun. (Pretty weird idea of fun… our textbook had instructions on how to masturbate. My eyes just about fell out of my head when I found that chapter. However, I attended a Christian college, and our instructor didn’t have us crack the book once. And, no, you pervs, I didn’t do any extracurricular explorations. Anyway, I digress.) I had no idea how I would last the whole class as waves of nausea continued to course through my body, those waves increasing steadily in frequency and amplitude (physics shoutout!).

Luckily, or unluckily, my instructor seemed to be suffering from the same complaint that I was, so after twenty minutes of class, she apologized, saying she hadn’t felt this nauseated since pregnancy and that she’d catch us next week. I breathed a sigh of relief that I wasn’t going to have to fight my professor for the trash can and began power-walking back to the girls’ dorm on the far side of campus, Shelley right beside me, encouraging me every step of the way. “You can make it!”

And I was so close…so so close…we could even see the dorm. But my stomach had other ideas. And right in front of the boys dorm, right in front of the main doors propped open to the foyer and a herd of guys hanging out on the balcony, I erupted. Mt. Virginia. Everywhere. All over the sidewalk. Boys scrambled for cover as they tried to avoid vomit ricocheting off the concrete.

And Shelley offered the one of the wisest pieces of advice anyone has ever offered me.

“Don’t stop! Just keep walking. Just. . . keep. . .walking.”

Walk and spew. Walk and spew. It was like some sick version of Hansel and Gretel—anyone could have followed my trail. Even a blind person. They could have smelled their way.

I survived the night and dragged myself to class the next morning, dreading the ribbing I knew I was sure to get. As I settled into my desk in my first class, I did have the joy of overhearing a plethora of conversations about my performance…

I stepped in it…”

And she just kept spewing everywhere!”

It was soo gross. It was blue and. . .”

(remember, Gatorade)

After listening to the retelling over and over again, I realized something… they had no idea who it was…they had no idea I was responsible.

I have no idea why. I knew most of the boys who I had seen hanging out in the front before I started my show. Maybe my blond hair had been hanging down in front of my face. It was rather long. Maybe my face was so distorted by my “I’m vomiting” expression, I was unrecognizable. Maybe the Holy Spirit obstructed me in some mystical fashion.

Who knows? Who cares? The important thing was they didn’t know it was me. And I wasn’t going to have to transfer schools.

Sisters… I have the best

No, really, I do.


We may look retarded but we ain’t.


Who else would humor me by posing by a vintage truck? Spur-of-the-moment. In the middle of busy downtown. With no dragging her feet. And minimal primping, confident in herself.

Meg and Gia

Who else would help me fulfill a lifelong dream of dressing in scrubs and observing a surgery? I think I was more excited about the scrubs. “Oh, don’t I look official? Like I really belong? Do you think anyone might think I’m the nurse? Or maybe even the surgeon?”


Who else would give me the world’s best niece? And then be all cool and dye said-niece’s hair blue. And buy her rock-and-roll clothes?


What other sister’s actually kiss like we do? People in high school thought Nell and I were a lesbian couple because sometimes we’d kiss each other goodbye on the cheek after chatting at our lockers between classes. And, what other sisters sought each other out to talk between their classes?


Who else will still play dress up with me and take me to pink-trash balls?

Charlotte Bronte had it right: “The value of a sister’s affection: there’s nothing like it in this world.”

Amen, sister.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Heritage, according to a 9 year old

While Chloe was chatting with me in the car this evening, she informed me that one of her friends is “part Cherokee casino.”  When I responded, “Neat.  Your friend is part Cherokee,” she embellished, “Yeah, her dad is Cherokee and he helped build the casino, so she’s part Cherokee casin0.”

So would I be part English muffin top?

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Cooking—I am so good at it!

I was in a mood for pasta. Last night, after finishing some homework (okay, who I am kidding, I was reading trashy novels/watching TV/reading the Pioneer Woman blog/walking my dog), I realized I must be deficient in some vitamin found only in flour. Yeah, vitamin F. As in fat, flabby, f_____ (some other “f” word that brings to mind jiggly tummy and thighs that applaud when you walk—you pick). Good ol’ vitamin F. My body is an episode of Sesame Street brought to you by vitamin F.

Like any normal person, I hopped in my car for a late-night run to Wal-Mart. On the drive, I happened to notice the time and figured by the time I actually got home and cooked everything, it would be late Late LATE, like midnight-ish. So, I practiced some unusual self-restraint and promised myself I would cook it the next night (which happened to be today after work). (Okay, self-restraint may be stretching it… I promised myself some loaded-baked-potato bites on the way home for having to forgo my pasta. And I got the large. And a roast beef sandwhich.)

I decided to try some recipes from the Pioneer Woman. I combined two recipes into one—I wound up with Blue Cheese Tomato Pasta alla Vodka. (She has one recipe for tomato and blue cheese sauce, another sauce alla vodka.)

In the end, I realized I made pasta covered vomit. Really. See evidence below.


However, never one to be put off my food by appearance, I ate a bowl. It tastes okay. Tastes better with salt.

Tastes even better with vitamin W.


(or is that vitamin A? I can never keep them straight.)

I thought about adding in some vitamin V. However, I had left V in the Wal-Mart bag yesterday, and found ooey gooey nastiness this evening.


From the top it looks okay. Flip it over-- welcome to brown slimyville.

I can’t wait to have everyone over for supper one evening!

Monday, May 3, 2010

School and Summer

I have been taking classes this year at the local community college to prepare for returning to school FOR REAL. Like, all the time, actually move away to go to school 24/7, just like I did the first time around. But, this next time around at school, I'll hopefully be walking away with my masters. And, they don't have any programs around here in what I want, so I'll have to move away from home.

Goodbye sweet little house with cows in the pasture behind my backyard fence.

Goodbye kids playing soccer in the empty lot two streets over.

Goodbye all my neighbors that just had new babies. (The stork bombed my street this spring.)

Goodbye sidewalks that are so nice to walk on in the evenings with my dog.

Goodbye, goodbye, goodbye.

I'll be moving into my mom's and dad's house in just a few short weeks.

And, as soon as classes are over and I've moved, I'll go back to working full time.

I like work. I like working. I like ending my day knowing that I've done something productive (I'm one of those people that gets much more done in a day if I have something scheduled than if my whole day is wide open. I just end up wasting THE WHOLE DAY.)

However, I took a lot of tough classes this year. Yes, some of them were classes I've taken before (for the programs I want to get into, pre-reqs have to be within the last five years). But, it was a lot of hard work. And somehow, I'm not able to get excited about finishing school just to return to work full time.

I want a vacation to get excited about. I used to teach, so I toally got spoiled abandoning my homestead during the summer and traveling the world. And, last year, even when I was no longer teaching, I had balls enough to ask for a whole month off to go on vacation. (It helped that my boss is a good friend and we were actually going on vacation together.)

I want something to look forward to. (And don't tell me that my birthday's coming up...I'm well past the age I get excited about those anymore.)

Maybe something like this—Rome!Rome peddlers

Or this. . .



Or someplace that looks like this. . .

DSCN0885 - Copy

and this. . .


that has signs that say this. . .DSCN0349 - Copy


I’m not picky…

just spoiled…

Sunday, May 2, 2010

PTL for cousins with internet on their phones

While perusing Facebook today, I clicked through some pics that had just been added of my younger sister, Meg. The pics were of a bachelorette party she'd attended the night before. Now, Meg is a good girl. No really, she's a really, really good girl. Super sweet to the point your teeth hurt from her sugary goodness, she truly cares about living her life in a way to wholly please her Savior.

At some point they during the bachelorette party, there were some pink plastic penises attached to some kind of feathery head gear passed around. And, someone snapped a picture with Meg holding said head gear. And that someone posted it onto Facebook this morning. And tagged it with Meg's name. Surprise!

Now, Meg is not wearing the head gear. Nope, Meg has each hand wrapped around a pink plastic penis, like some kind of weird, fetish-y video game device. The expression on Meg's face states clearly, "What am I doing with this? Why did you hand this to me? Let me make some weird cute face so that people don't know how uncomfortable I really am." (Being Meg's sis, I am well versed in reading her expressions.)

So, while Meg is in church, and I am catching up on facebook while skipping church because of getting in late the night before (I do go), I find this photo. I quickly text Meg as well as sending her a facebook message, not judging her (hey, it was a party, she's an adult), but knowing she would DIE if anyone were to see that picture and get the wrong idea.

A couple hours later, I get a FRANTIC phone call from Meg. "I just got out of church and I have to go to a baptism and I just got your message and I had NO IDEA someone took a picture of me holding that thing and would you PLEASE logon for me and remove the tag! Please!"

I assured Meg I would take care of it ASAP. However, I was out grocery shopping with my older sister, Nell, and after looking at her list, it seemed she still had quite a bit of shopping to do.

Now comes the cousin to the rescue.

I immediately called my cousin, Susan, who just happens to be one of the coolest people in the world, explained the situation, and asked if she was closer to the internet than I was. "No problem. I have internet on my phone. I'll call you back when I've untagged everything. I've had to do this for Christi (her sister) before."

Five minutes later, the job was done, hopefully before any damage was done.

I think she'll think twice before grabbing any naughty bits (even if they are fake made of pink plastic) when there are cameras around.

Cowboy Josh and my stalkerish tendencies

Hmmm... I could be a stalker. I think that I have what it takes to really disturb the pants off someone by finding out everything about him before I've even met him.

I'd try to play it cool our first meeting, cautioning myself, "Okay, Virginia, don't let on that you know where he lives, what he majored at in college, what his food allergies are, and what he wears to bed."

But, then I'd eventually slip up, saying something like, "Oh, I'm sorry. I forgot that you hate M&Ms in your popcorn."

And, then he'd get a funny look on his face and I'd be able to see his thoughts as clearly as if they were scrolling across his forhead, "How does she know that?"

"I think you told me that earlier," I'd giggle nervously.

Yeah, right, I followed you to the movies the day before, sitting two rows behind you, following you every move. Like a grown up Harriet the Spy focused solely on you.

I say this because I've recently become addicted to The Pioneer Woman's blog. I've consumed the archives over the last few weeks, forsaking all other activities.

Homework. . . blecch, I was getting tired of doing it anyway.

Housework. . . who cares, I live alone.

Laundry. . .insideout underwear works just fine. And it's not like anyone will be getting his nose too close to my crotch. except for dogs. and they nose everyone's crotches, no matter what a person's laundry habits are. and if a dog does nose my crotch excessively, I can always make up some story about owning a cat.

Also, because of the long hours in front of the computer inhaling her blog, I think my LASIK has been totally reversed.

It's all been worth it.

Her blog is that good.

Anywho, the Pioneer Woman writes all about her life on the ranch in Oklahoma. Her husband, Marlboro Man, her four kids, her pesky bro-in-law, her retarded (her words, not mine) brother Mike (literally retarded), and the ranch cowboys are all included in her vignettes of country life.

Sigh. The cowboys. Cowboy Josh, in particular. Double sigh.

Single Cowboy Josh. . . hardworking Cowboy Josh. . . helpful Cowboy Josh. . . kind Cowboy Josh... playful Cowboy Josh. . . horse ridin' Cowboy Josh. . . chaps wearin' Cowboy Josh. . . cutie pie Cowboy Josh. . . Did I mention SINGLE Cowboy Josh?

And, it seems like a billiondy other people read that blog and half of them also just luv Cowboy Josh, too. and, of the half that just luv Cowboy Josh, at least half of those are single. and, of those half that are single, probably all of them are prettier, skinnier, go-gettin'er than I am.* they would never dream of not doing laundry. they are probably passionate about something other than reading (sometimes trashy) romance novels. they probably know what they want to do with their life. they probably have actually dated before. they probably roll out of bed earlier than I do and actually do devotions every day and actually work up a sweat when they exercise.

*statistics based on mood/pity party rather than actual research.

Cowboy Josh, I could stalk you. I could.

But I won't.

Because when we do meet and you are surrounded by your bevy of admirers, at least I'll be able to say I never stalked you-- I'll have one thing going for me in the bid for your heart.

does googling his name count as stalking?

aw, shucks.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I already miss my house. I'm not moving out until the end of May. I am spending my days getting all my "to do"s marked off the list so my home is ready for my renters. Why didn't I get these "to do"s done for myself so I could enjoy them?

My list (or at least the parts I can remember)

  • change the batteries in all the smoke detectors (yeah, I hear you are supposed to do that with the time change. good idea.)

  • adjust the carbon monoxide detector (it beeps and displays "ERROR" whenever I hook it up so it's currently unhooked)

  • fix the blinds in the guest bedroom (I don't think my little blue clippie I use to keep them up will swing with my renters)

  • fix the toilet in the master so it'll stop running (I changed one plastic thingy already, but it still wastes water)

  • weed treat under the pergola (why did the people I bought from just put bricks in the grass without some barrier between dirt and bricks?)

  • have an expert come look at the pergola to make sure still safe and stable (just what I need, the pergola to collapse on my renters-- the wood looks a little iffy)

  • stabalize the fence-- it's looking a little tilty

  • fix the microwave so it stops making that clicking noise-- I currently have the bang the bottom of the microwave for the turntable to spin. classy.

Those are the items I can remember right now. I am looking forward to destuffitizing, paring down, and simplifying as I continue getting ready to move out and return to school.