Monday, July 31, 2006

Another Birthday at La Siesta

Tomorrow is my baby girl's birthday... she'll be 11 years old. Here at our house, we call it eleventeen, just because we aren't normal! haha! On birthdays, we go out to eat at the dining establishment of the birthday boy/girl's choice. My family loves La Siesta. I think they're pretty good, but I'm the only one who ever mixes it up and picks something besides La Siesta. I don't look good in hats, you see, especially sombreros! Anyway, here are some pics of tonight!

Wow. Uploading images is VERRRRRY slow tonight. I'm not sure it will work!

Four tries later and the pictures won't load. Sorry. I'll put them up tomorrow if I get a chance!

Sunday, July 30, 2006

Just a Quickie

Just wanted to share some good news quickly... I got the test results back from my stress test. Everything is NORMAL! I had a feeling it would be okay because Joyce (the lady running the test) said a couple of times, "Remember, no news is good news."

Otherwise, my oldest daughter has another friend from Kentucky here for a visit. My husband thinks we are operating a bed and breakfast. My youngest daughter went to Beech Bend today with her good buddy. Our kitty litter smells, and we don't have any more to change it. Guess I'll have to pick some up tonight or tomorrow.

I'm just killing time at work right now. A buyer was driving in from Mt. Juliet and asked me to wait a few for him to show up. So here I am. He has 15 more minutes then I'm flying the coop. Another couple came in earlier who I really like. He has an interview in LaVergne tomorrow. If he gets the job, then I'll help them find a house! My four bedroom, 2 bath is back on the market. The buyers, after filling out a contract and having everything accepted but one little teeny-tiny item, backed out. I was not a happy camper yesterday morning, and neither were my sellers. Why do people waste your time?

But I'm still affirming to myself: Money comes to me easily, frequently and in abundance. Money comes to me easily, frequently and in abundance. ....

Friday, July 28, 2006

Extreme(ly) Cool

I just read in the Tennessean that Exstreme Home Makeover is building a new home for the Hawkins family of Hendersonville. (Extreme Home Makover to rebuild tornado damaged home). This is the lady who laid on top of her children during the tornado and was paralyzed as a result of saving her boys. I think it's just extremely cool that this family is being helped. I had heard a while back (probably from bloggers) that several people had contacted the show asking for help and hoped this would happen.

Many prayers are being answered.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

The Monitor Chain

From The Dry Spot, I finally decided to do this game. Here's my computer screen.

This is what he said about it:
Photograph this blog post (including your monitor and its immediate surroundings), and post the resulting pic on your blog. Then, the next person photographs your blog post and posts it, and so on. Leave your post URL in the comments so people will be able to follow the chain, and link your image to the post you photographed... this way people will be able to zoom into the monitors by clicking.


Kerry Woo

I'm pretty sure I didn't do this right... basically because the directions aren't written in six languages and didn't have diagrams. But this is as good as it gets. Sigh.

Here's the pic I wanted to make the "official" monitor chain photo because it shows me watching "House Hunters." I love that danged show. But I think I like Flip This House, Sell This House, and Designed to Sell even better.

I got nothing else. Except a mouthy teenager who I just told to go to bed because it's 10:15. Her reply, "IT'S 10:15!!!!" Um. Yes? That's why I said to go to bed. Her reply, "Phsh." And she's still on the office computer. I guess I'm going to have to beat her about the head. Ooo... let's try this... "If you don't go to bed, you won't get to go to that... what is it? Buzzfest." Her reply (and this is live-blogging at its finest), "Oh pfffffft." And then she spelled p-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-f-t for me because she's a smart aleck.

"Daughter. Time to log off."

"Of what? Can't I stay on until 10:30?"

Errr.... she's saved by the bell. Or in this case her sister who just came bounding up the stairs asking what size cake we should get for her birthday party on Tuesday night. To demonstrate half a sheet-cake, I just unfolded my laptop to "flat" to show her.

I'll try one more time. "You have three minutes."

"Okay. Go away."

All-righty then. That's my cue to log outta here too.

No News Is Good News So Far

No word from my doctor with concerns about yesterday's stress test. Yay!

Well I've been doing a little bit of investigating. I finally tracked down the phone number for my former neighbor who has two empty houses next to me. He is getting ready to sell them. So if any of you want a GREAT NEIGHBOR, let me know! Mwaaa-haaaa-haaaa!

Wednesday, July 26, 2006

Mothership Eatin' Meetin'

I have pictures! Woot! I finally dropped my pics of the Mothership Eatin' Meetin' from my camera to my computer. :)

What a handsome group of people! From left, Big Orange Michael, Malia, Bad Bad Ivy, and John of Salem's Lots. Notice the empty plates? Mmmm... I felt old because I recognized about half the groups/singers all over the walls. Muskrat, muskrat, candlelight....

Here is a fun crowd to be around. Vince is turned pulling up photos of the fab new house, Gunner, Christian, and Michelle. I am so jealous of her hair.

Here are Kerry and Elizabeth, both clutching their cameras. I hate having my picture taken, but love being the photographer!

A good time was had by all.

Changing gears... had the stress test today at Stonecrest and didn't die on the treadmill. But they did try to kill me. Really. "Run Forest RUN!" Huff. Huff. Huff. Actually, I love the lady named Joyce who works in the imaging department. She's the tech who did my "hidascan" when I had the gallbladder attack in February. Such a friendly, caring person. I don't have results yet, but was assured by Joyce that no news is good news. I'm trying to read into that a little in hoping she's telling me she didn't see anything. Shrug. The creepiest was when they inject the nuclear gunk in me. I broke into a cold sweat and could feel my heart lurch a little. Creepy creepy creepy.

I just sent another cute cute mailing. If anyone wants to get on my real estate database, let me know. (As if!) haha... But really, I try to send interesting, helpful, fun stuff. :::begs::: ha.

Welcome Dougie Rants

Hey guys, gals, nerds and cool people (and anyone in between). Because we know you're out there. haha. I want to give a great big shout-out to my friend and colleague Doug Atkin. He is an official blogger, as of now. Go to his site, Dougie Rants, and be sure to read his sometimes misguided political blabbering. Can you tell we don't see eye to eye politically? But I tolerate him anyway... hahahahaha....

Really. He is a wonderful human being. He is funny. He is smart. And he is stupid. Just kidding. No I'm not. (If he wasn't reading over my shoulder, I'd never say this because I wouldn't want to hurt his feelings.)

So go! Visit him! Get him riled up! He loves it!

Tuesday, July 25, 2006

We Are One, Herbert

Tomorrow is the big day ... the day the hospital tries to induce a heart attack to see if I'm having a heart attack. It's my stress test day. After my birthday almost two weeks ago, I woke up with a heavy feeling in my chest and was in a cold sweat. Both of these "symptoms" persisted for several days. My doc ran an EKG and thankfully it came back normal. But he's also ordered the stress test.

The good news is that I've felt fine for the past week. I had no jaw or neck pain. My left arm ached, but both arms do that, I think from years of typing. I'm just crossing my fingers that it goes well. I hate being worried... about my health. I just got off the phone with Ivy and she's already joined a gym. I may join with her so we can be accountable to each other. I thought about joining Michelle's Ninja/Karate/Hi-Yah! class, but it looked kind of painful. And I'm afraid I'd toot every time I jumped or jerked my legs or arms. How embarrassing.

Meanwhile, the LaVergne blog continues to hop. After one reader moaned and groaned about our "false facts," the city's PR director contacted me and gave our blog permission to scan in, post, and ask for comments from the public regarding the newsletter (I haven't yet had time... I do have a job and a family!). I think she did a marvelous job defusing what could have been a scandalous situation, especially after everyone spoke up about "right to free speech." Anyway, we're all belching rainbows and lemondrops now, and the blog stats show a huge increase in readership. Ironically, I once wrote an article about how politicians are sometimes unflatteringly portrayed in political cartoons (I'd link to it, but it was in 1989... before those tubes and thing we call the information highway were connected). I started the article with a quote by 18th century poet John Wolcot:

"When the rage for fame
Attends both great and small
Better be damned
Than not mentioned at all."

Ain't it the truth??? We had one person (that we know of) damning us at city hall and now we have a boatload of people reading (or is it monitoring) the blog. I think I may be getting a little paranoid about it, too. I watched War of the Worlds the other night. We also posted last week about how the city of LaVergne is conducting an inside investigation on one of the officers. So I dreamed last night that we were being invaded by space aliens who had the intent to destroy our world. Instead of fighting the aliens, the LaVergne city police were searching my house and taking my computer. I kept asking why they weren't fighting the aliens who were outside killing people, and their reply was "That's resisting arrest, missie!" I woke up sweating (again). Ugh.

Meanwhile, we've been talking about designing a shirt to wear around town. Michelle already has a Smyrna store set up on cafe press and we want one too. So if we have any snarky designers out there who are bored and who want to give us something-for-free-because-you-love-us, let us know!!!!

Sunday, July 23, 2006

We Didn't Drink the Koolaid

Before we left for the Mothership, my husband suggested we not wear our black Nikes and advised us to not drink the koolaid. He's so silly. So I made my first tip of what I hope will be many to the famous Mothership BBQ. I'm not sure Dr. Funkenswine will ever let me in again, though. He sure has an intimidating glare! It was an innocent enough remark.

I wanted to impress my husband with the delicious cooked pig, so ordered a pound of pulled pork and a half rack of ribs to take home. Jim didn't like when I asked him if it tasted good re-heated in the microwave. Oh man.... his guy who was also working said, "Them's fighting words!" and ran out of the kitchen. Gulp. In any case, he should know that when we reheated, it was done nice and slowly in our oven and not in the microwave! And it was lip smacking good! Thank you, Jim for letting us roost at your pad for a wonderful meeting!

So the meeting was loads of fun. It was great seeing so many familiar faces, and I sure enjoyed talking with Christian Grantham and Vince (LOVE the house, man!). I was embarrassed that I thought Mashby was Huck. Duh. Malia was her usual beautiful self! I think Kerry Woo is the coolest person I know. I mean, dang. Gunner and Elizabeth were gracious and so welcoming! Big Orange Michael is such a great guy with the most fantastic smile! And I was privileged to see John of Salems Lots again. Actually I think he'll give Kerry a run for the coolest person I know race. By the way, I finally blogrolled John, Christian, and the Mothership.

But no meeting report would be complete without the opportunity to brag a little about my two good friends, Ivy and Michelle. They don't know it, but they are two poeple who I greatly admire. Ivy is so much fun to be around... we think so much alike it's scary. She's sensitive, funny, caring, generous, and one all-around interesting chick. Interesting as in not boring, not freak-show interesting. haha. Then there's Michelle who has overcome so many challenges in her life, coming through with three beautiful, well-mannered, smart kids as a testament to her inner strength. Both of these women inspire me to just try a little harder in everything I do. I like them both a lot and hope our friendships last a lifetime.

And that's the coolest thing about blogging. Every single person who was at the meeting has such marvelous character! I feel good about myself just being around them.

And to make a good day even better, my husband put on an alien making the peace sign sticker on my car. He said my two favorite things: aliens and hippies. haha. He forgot the dragon. I love dragons (thanks to Anne McCaffrey's "Pern" series). :)

Friday, July 21, 2006

Welcome my Friend Boop

I just wanted to give my friend "Betty Boop" a shout out! She has just started her own blog, isn't sure what it's all about, but is excited about the idea! So give her site a visit, comment, and be sure to give her your blog address.

Ruffled Feathers

Although I love writing and talking, I'm fairly new to blogging. This is my personal blog. I also totally copied Michelle from This is Smyrna and started a blog for the community of LaVergne.

Well. Apparently the folks at city hall have become aware of the LaVergne blog. And some of them (at least one person, anyway) don't like it too much. A reader wrote some pretty libelous comments about how the blog "spews false facts" and strongly suggested we should call and talk to city officials rather than just blogging about our concerns. I think the person took offense at two posts... one said the little newsletter the city publishes was rather a waste of money because there was no news in it. The other was from the suggestion that LaVergne should also hold a "Night Out" event to fight drugs because Smyrna had one and it sounded like fun. What we didn't realize is that LaVergne DOES have a night out. Of course when we originally posted about Smyrna's night out, the official site of LaVergne hadn't announced LaVergne's night out. It has it now.

Here's what I think. I think some city employees believe our little blog is "competition," that we are usurping their position as a source of information. Well that's just a-okay with me because now our residents are getting much-deserved updates on the city's web site. Now more people are informed about what's going on in this community. Now our city officials are hearing from residents about what we want for this city. My hope is that these officials respond to our thoughts and comments. Time will tell.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

All Grown Up at Age 46

It occurred to me that what I did today is something I did for the first time in my life. I made a major purchase without having a co-signer or as a joint purchase. I bought the sweet, sweet Honda Pilot I gushed over earlier. Woot! Woot! Woot!

The man and I discussed it at some length last night, checked the blue book, ran our numbers, and discussed it more. Our conclusion at 1:00 a.m. was that if I could get the payment below $400 p/month, then I'd only have to have one closing every three months to pay for it. I can do that! So when I went to pick up the Odyssey this afternoon (thanks, Chip, for the ride) (my daughter thought he drove me on his school bus ... haha), I sat down and had me a chat with Lori, the sales manager. I also spoke with the owner of Accurate Automotive, Ed Brian. He is so much fun, especially his story about how he accidentally bought his wife a Honda Pilot for their anniversary.

I filled out my credit application while Lori pulled my credit score. I didn't want to admit it, but I was nervous. A lot of people don't realize it, but your credit score is EVERYTHING. And when you have one little payment on one little credit card that's 30 days late, it's going to dent your credit score. I had that one little ping. It once took me 45 days to pay a $5 charge on a Discover card four years ago and that one little item lowered my score. It's like bad cops, bad bosses, bad cashiers ... when they have the power to do it, these people are going to fu*k with you. They enjoy it. They are jerks. But since it was my ONLY ding, my credit score was almost 800!!!! What a joyful day! The good credit score allowed me to finance the car at 7% APR rather than 7.5%, thus lowering my payment even more!

Now I have me a shiny new (to me) car! Just like Brittney (not that I'd ever compare myself to the amazing Brittney). If you see a slate blue Honda Pilot with yellow Bob Parks signs on it, honk, give me a peace sign, or wave! If I see you in time, I'll return your gesture of affection. If you give me the finger, I won't fly one of those back because I learned my lesson from that 20 years ago. But that's a whole 'nother story.

New Cars and Old Friends

No Brakes + Moving Vehicle = Baaaaad. Thankfully it's just the master brake cylinder and only $280 plus tax. Because my van now has 159,000+ miles on it, they also wanted to "service" it for another $400... new plugs, rotate tires, new fluids, etc. My husband said no. But I did okay an oil change (I'm only 200 miles from having another one due).

Okay, here's the freaky stuff. If you ever read this blog, you may remember my post about "The Secret" ... the movie I watched that went into the whole perception is reality concept. Since watching that movie, I have been picturing myself driving my sweet new car since mine is 11 years old and I'm ready for a new one (it's embarrassing to load clients into an old rattling van). I've been talking to my husband about it for nearly a year and he hadn't been interested, really. Well there may be something to this whole "universe brings things to you concept" because after having further discussions with him (and test driving a 2003 Honda Pilot), I think I'm getting a new car. ::::Jumps up and down with glee::::

I would love to have that sexy red convertible that Ivy has. I like the idea of a sweet compact car like Michelle has. But I'm drawn to the Pilot. I also test-drove a 2003 Acura MDX... just didn't like it. I may test drive a Lexus SUV before I commit to the Pilot because it has a GPS system and that would be very handy as I'm showing houses in the middle of BFE.

Here are some pictures I kited off the Accurate Automotive website.

Isn't she a beaut? Crap... I'd have to figure out a name for her. I'm not good with names (which is why my kitty is named Kitty). Duh.

Notice the little black buttons on the left side of the steering wheel. Those are volume control and channel buttons for the radio. How sweet is that? Especially when you have a 15-almost-16-year-old who is obsessed with being in control of the radio! Mwaaa-haaaa-haaaa.

So our next issue is what to do with the other car. We're definitely not trading it in since it's paid for and we have a Mom who lives with us with no wheels and an almost 16-year-old with no wheels. The problem is my husband's best friend. He is 50 years old and his car just died. Kaput. Lifeless. Can't be resuscitated. He thinks we should give our van to him. Only we've given him thousands of dollars over the last several years (including paying his property taxes last year so he wouldn't lose the home his Mom bought for him). We're going to be hardasses and tell him no. And it breaks my heart to say no because we really love and care for this man. However, we feel that it's time he gets a job that has a regular paycheck. He can find a job in a factory, a laborer, a janitor, a warehouse, anything. I think about my friends who have had to work TWO jobs to make ends meet, feed their children, and keep a roof over their heads. Or the father of my daughter's best friend who is a janitor... supports his family and makes his house payments. If they can do it, then this guy certainly can. We do love him, but we are only enabling him to not get his life together.

I think I'll go wrestle with my conscience for a while.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Pop Culture Alert

Inexplicably, I am so happy to see that Kid Rock and Pamela Anderson are getting married. I don't know why. I'm not really a fan of either of them. I did read with quasi-interest when the Kid was arrested for fighting in the stripper-bar. However, I never watched any of Pamela Anderson's home movies with her other husband. Didn't watch Home Improvement when she was on it (or when she wasn't on it). I don't listen to Kid Rock's music. But it just tickles the bejeezus out of me that they're getting married. I don't know why.

The Secret

I went to my monthly "Ninja" class today and it was quite interesting. We watched a movie called "The Secret" and it is one I'd recommend. The movie is similar to the concept in "What the Bleep" about how the universe operates, only it delves into specific examples about how you impact the universe. The secret is called the Law of Attraction.... whatever you focus on and think about is what is attracted to you.

So, if you have a daily affirmation that money comes easily and frequently to you, then it will happen. If you think on a daily basis that you have too much debt, then debt will keep coming to you. If you think you have bad luck and your job sucks, then you will and it will. But if you think you feel good, you will. If you think you want to make $100,000 this year (and constantly remind yourself of this), then you will ... if you take advantage of what the universe provides you.

I want a new car. I'm sitting back in my chair now visualizing my drive in my new car. It has soft leather seats and smells fantastic. If I keep thinking about this, I will have both the money and opportunity to buy this. But I have to act on the opportunity that the universe gives me... Essentially, I'm attracting that opportunity to me by thinking about it in the right way (NOT I need a new car, but can't afford one, instead my NEW car is fantastic!).

I would encourage you to go to The Secret and either order the DVD or watch it online. It's well worth it!

Monday, July 17, 2006

Good Doc Visit

I've been both dreading and looking forward to my doctor appointment today. Dreading because I knew he'd slap my hands for not doing great on my diet, etc. I am weak when it comes to food. Especially sweet food. I love and adore ice cream, cookies, candy, cake, donuts. And carbs. Spaghetti, bread, rolls. Mmmmmmmmmmmm. Meanwhile, I was looking forward to the visit because I felt after having chest pain all weekend, I needed to see a doctor. Not just chest pain, but also cold sweats, neck pain, and pain in my shoulder blades. (Uh oh, I thought.)

Well all in all, I think it was a good doctor visit. I've lost 3 pounds, my blood sugar was down, all my other levels (liver, etc.) were down. He went ahead and did an EKG, and it was fine too. Whew! He did set me up for a stress test (you know, where you have to walk a treadmill until you really DO have a heart attack) for next week. I'm nervous about it, but feel it's important.

I'm very relieved.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

From Squirrels on Snark

This is one of the coolest videos I've seen in a long time, posted by Squirrels on Snark!

Dancing Around the World with Matt.

Saturday, July 15, 2006

Honesty Doesn't Pay

In real estate, I work on commission only. I have lost more business than I can put a number to because I am painfully honest with customers. For example, I introduced a buyer to a home I have listed and explained they could write a contract through me, but I would be a "facilitator" rather than representing them or the seller. They seemed okay with this until it came down to writing the contract ... then they decided they wanted an agent to represent them. Fine again... I did my job and had explained "agency" to them.

Unfortunately, they wrote a contract TENS OF THOUSANDS (you read that correctly... not thousands, but TENS of THOUSANDS) less than the asking price, then threw all kinds of additional crap on top. The contract, to be frank, was insulting to the sellers. I did talk them out of outright rejecting the offer, but the counter they wrote was a slap back (full price).

So now no one is happy. The sellers don't have a buyer. The buyers aren't buying. Had they agreed to allow me to facilitate, I could have told them that their offer would insult the sellers and would have encouraged them to name a more realistic price. At least something where they would have received a realistic counter offer. I would have asked them to put themselves in the sellers shoes and imagine how they'd feel if they got an offer like that.

I find it appalling that there are agents out there who conduct themselves as if they are a shark on a feeding frenzy. When you represent a buyer, it doesn't mean you have to rip off someone on a buyer's behalf. Buyers are delusional if they believe they can buy a home at a cut-rate price. People, there are no "steals" out there.

Sometimes honesty doesn't pay. But by being honest, I am upholding the real estate laws of the state of Tennessee.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

It Took 46 Years to Get to this Point

Big day here at Kathy T's house. Although I've been saying it for the past 10 months or so, I'm now officially 46. What have I learned in this nearly half a century? Here we go:
  1. A generous spirit can sometimes backfire and hurt you, but the bounty from a lifetime of "giving" is love, friendship, trust, and the feeling deep inside that you have helped somehow.
  2. We all live lives of quiet desperation.
  3. Sometimes the people around you aren't quiet about it.
  4. There are vastly different levels of desperation.
  5. You should always marry for the right reason.
  6. True love is comfortable.
  7. Don't be afraid to be daring.
  8. Truly, you sometimes have to say "What the f*ck!" and go for it!
  9. You are judged on how you look ... frequently this is grossly unfair, but that's just how it is.
  10. Children fill your heart with absolute joy, but they also test you at every turn (especially when they learn to speak!).
  11. It is okay to spank, but not in anger.
  12. You must take care of your health. Bad habits add up quietly and can be deadly.
  13. Tell the people you love that you love them because life is fragile.

Since today is the 13th, I'll leave the list at 13. I don't want to spend this entire day writing a list because it could hit 1300! I turned 13 on a Friday the 13th. Age 13 was not a fun year. I do have to get some work done today - pay some bills, pick up and present a contract on one of my listings. Yippee.

OH! Did I talk about my closing from hell??? I got yet another call yesterday on it. The appraiser said the crawl space door wasn't made from "treated" wood, so it had to be replaced or the loan would be called. So the lender and I bought the wood, had it cut, and went over to the home with my husband's battery-operated screwdriver. I, by gosh, put my first crawl space door on a home! Here's a picture to prove it!

See? Some realtors go out of their way to make sure everything is good!!! I'm hoping this is THE LAST problem with this home. I will never use a certain title company again as they lied throughout the process to cover up their own ineptitude. Here's the door!

Isn't it pretty? :)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Gushing, but Sore Toes

I went to my very first scrapbooking meeting tonight with my oldest daughter's girl scout troop. Boy was it fun! I really believe that my kids didn't argue once while we were there. My youngest did burp aloud, though, after dinner. I guess she thought she was home. Sheesh. I did about five or six pages of the scrapbook before I ran out of photos (my girls were hogging them), but I can see how people find it so relaxing.

I definitely needed my mind to focus on things besides real estate this afternoon too. I'm still recovering from a closing that took T.H.R.E.E. days (not including the weekend). I will never use this title company again - they messed up at every turn. The closing started Friday at 8:30 a.m. and tonight when I finally thought we were DONE, the title company called at 6:30 to say the lender had overcharged for something and my client was getting an additional sum of money back. I would bet the exact amoun$100 that it was not the "lender's" mistake... I think it's safe to say that I'll never do a closing there again unless I'm absolutely forced to.

On another subject (and a whole lot less fascinating), I wore some snazzy flip-flops today. I haven't had anything between my toes in.... well, it's been years. I knew it would take some getting used to and I was very grateful to take them off for a while while "scrapbooking".

Finally, let me say how happy I am that PeeWee Herman is coming back coming back on Adult Swim! HHHHhhhhe! (my best typed PeeWee laugh). I loved PeeWee.

Sunday, July 09, 2006

Alone in the World

I talked to a loan officer this morning and he informed me I was the only person in the world who wasn't watching the World Cup (apparently some big soccer game). As usual, I spent another Sunday doing the Realtor-thing. Driving people around. Looking at nice houses. Looking at crappy houses. The houses today were mostly nice except one where an elderly couple lived (before she was placed in a nursing home due to heart problems and her husband died the day she was admitted). Poor things just couldn't keep up the home before their lives turned so drastically. And the kids put it on the market without any repairs, cleaning, etc. It made me sad for the whole family - obviously a sad time to struggle through. But it begs the question of why the kids weren't there earlier to help the parents. Were the parents too independent and refused help? Were the kids out of state and couldn't? Or were they just out-of-touch? One of the daughters-in-law was there and said all the kids were pitching in. But I didn't see it. They met us at the door - him with a cigarette hanging out his mouth, her holding three snarling dogs back. It didn't make for a good impression of the house at all (which is why if you're selling your house, DO NOT BE THERE FOR SHOWINGS.

But about our parents and the time we spend with them... my own Mom's health is starting to fail. She has used insulin for 30 years and worked hard to eat right, exercise, etc. But still, she had a double bypass last October and last month one of the bypasses failed so she had to have a stent put in. I try to call her at least every other day and make sure I say "I love you" before I hang up. I've also made an effort to drive the two hours more often because I want to be with my parents while I can now and not regret in 10 years that I hadn't been there more.

My Dad is also not in great health. He sometimes has "spells" where he gets very nauseous and shaky. He lays down and it passes, but he's weak for several hours afterwards. The doctors have run dozens of tests on him and can't identify the cause. It's not his heart, blood pressure, etc. He did retire when they started thinking the spells were a reaction to mold (he used to climb under houses working on heat/air units).

So I'm faced with the harsh reality that our time on this Earth is very limited. I am going to lose my parents one day and it won't be decades from now. It will be years (and years and years I hope) from now. As they reflect on their lives, do they feel their time on Earth was well-spent?

When I go, will I? I want to leave behind a legacy when my time is up. I understand this is one of the urges that makes us human and compells us to have children. Children are the everyday man's way to impress history. But after two generations, the memories of us as individuals will be gone. So we write poetry and novels. Or we create songs. Or we paint masterpieces. Or we build furniture. Or we enter politics and maybe a bridge or school can be named for us.

What do I hope to accomplish? I want to know that I brought happiness to the people I love. I want to know that my actions may have also brought happiness to someone I don't know. Will I be remembered 100 years from now? Will I have made some contribution that will have an unforgettable impression? I hope I don't accidentally step on the caterpillar that produces the last hope for a meal for a species struggling to survive in 400 years. Maybe one of my daughters will be the first female president. Or their son will discover the cure for diabetes or cancer.

I may never know. But then again, maybe I will.

Friday, July 07, 2006

My Blessed Shirts

After reading comments made by other bloggeritas about my goofy thumbs-up picture, I took another look at it. I do that thumbs-up for the sake of my children because it's sometimes the only way I can get my teenager to communicate with me. "God Mom! You are such a nurd!" "Stop doing that!" "Please tell me you don't do that in public!" Mwaa-haaa-haaaa... why yes my little pretty, I do! Have you seen my Blahg?

So I'm looking at the geekilicious photo and noticed another thing. My purple shirt. I'm wearing it even as I type. I've had it for about 15 years now. It's a size 2x so it's not form-fitting and I have room to move around. My youngest used to think it was scary because it has a forest behind the lettering with trees that somehow look evil (I don't see it). I have three little holes on the front of the shirt, but none that reveal too much yet when my girls are untethered (if you know what I mean). The worst holes are in the underarms, estimated to be about the size of tangerines.

The point is, I can't bear to throw the shirt away. The collar is loose enough after a decade and a half so that if I sleep in the shirt, it doesn't choke me when I flop around at night. I have another one I got from girl scout camp in 1999 that has a better (by better I mean looser) collar. It hasn't held up as well as this one from 1991, but it is also oh-so-comfortable. The shirts aren't exactly a turn-on for my husband but I think he doesn't object too loudly because otherwise I'd be wearing HIS shirts.

I've had to throw other glorious t-shirts away after they become so unfit to wear that even I notice. And I still grieve for them. The Vermont shirt. My old WKMS-FM shirt from college (and my Murray State University shirt). How I miss them.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Who's Who in Blognirvana

A good time was had by all. The WKRN blog event was so much fun! My voice (described as a "cool" husky sound by Newscoma) was really just hoarse because I gabbed waaaaaaay too much because I like hearing myself babble about about inane things hoping for the occasional story that is mildly entertaining. Aaaand breathe.

My friend Daily Diablogger of This is Smyrna invited me to share a ride into the big, scary city with her. I was more than happy to accept her generous invitation and confessed that I might not have gone alone. That's when I found out her ulterior motive was she also didn't want to go alone! Hey man... it worked out for both of us and we had a great time! No bugs crawling on us. No hurrying to get to work. No coffee. But that was okay because we had diet Pepsi! It quenched the thirst in my hoarse, sexy-voiced throat. Hee hee hee.

I never got to speak at any length with Brittney who still hasn't blogrolled this personal blog o' mine. She's blogrolled the LaVergne blog ... guess I have to send her an email. But Brittney was swarmed with people the entire time so I didn't go all starstruck on her.

Had some great laughs with Harelipfrog and No Quarters. Gunner was kind enough to pick up a soda for me because he doesn't go unnoticed at a bar (I couldn't get the bartender's attention). I really wanted an ice-cold brewski but what with this liver disease....

I also met and/or saw:
  • Busy Mom
  • Ethos
  • Lake Neuron
  • Squirrels on Snark (poor thing had to listen to my story about being pelted with a nut by a squirrel PLUS my squirrel poem) (But I got to hear about her siting of a dead squirrel with it's stiff legs pointed up). ha.
  • Terry Frank (I think I saw a nametag go by with her name)
  • Tiny Cat Pants (my personal hero!)
  • TV on the Fritz (cute l'il dude)
  • Rachel of Women's Health News
  • Shauna (Sweetpea's Mom)
  • The extraordinaire Kat Coble (and her work-at-home husband who likes to get out)
  • CeeElCee (his site has been hijacked by David Blaine)(his blog is the first one I've ever felt a personal connection too with his Poseiden adventure).
  • Sista Smiff (She has the coolest blog name that I was intimidated by it, but she rocked!)
  • Mike Sechrist, general manager of WKRN. He was nice until Michelle showed him the canned food she carries around with her. Then he left.
  • Rex L Camino (I heard he was there but am not sure I saw him)
  • Lindsay of Suburban Turmoil
  • Jag (she was fun and I like her layout!)

Okay, that's all I have for now. I think I'll have to begin blogrolling a lot of people! Now if I can just be rolled by NiT! Woe is me.

Putin Kisses Boy's Tummy

If there is ever an appropriate time to ask WTF?!, then this is the time.

Putin Explains Kiss

Apparently he squated down in front of this seven year old boy, lifted the kid's shirt up until his stomach was bare, then kissed his bare tum-tum. And I ask again, WTF? Methinks Russia has a perv in power.

Wednesday, July 05, 2006

I don't like puppies either, but....

I always knew I wasn't really a dog person, but I capitulated and let my family get a dog. Then I brought home a puppy so the dog wouldn't be lonely. They do well together. However, I don't go around singing Happy Happy Joy Joy with the four-legged canines around. I think dogs smell bad. They chew things up (sometimes). And they pee and poop when I've been negligent and forgot to let them out early enough (shame on them!). Even with all of this, I don't like them so much that I'll shoot them. With a gun. Nor with a bow and arrow. Good grief.

So Survivor winner Brian Heidick (I think) beats up on his wife, then gets his bow and arrow out and shoots a puppy. Here's the link to the article about the Poor Puppy. You know... I didn't like the guy when he was on Survivor and still don't. His behavior was arrogant, sexist, and lacking during the show - it appears that this is an example of where a reality tv show actually revealed what a person was really like.

By the way ... can't wait for the next season! I always thought it would be fun to have a real famous people Survivor. Who would I like to see suffer on an island?
  • Tom Cruise
  • Geraldo Rivera
  • Paris Hilton
  • Star Jones
  • Barbara Walters
  • Bill Frist
  • Mitch McConnell
  • Woody Allen
  • Bjork
  • Flea
  • Any Car Salesman that Shouts Commercials at Me
  • Madonna

Yes, this is a good list. No insect repellent. No sunscreen. Only rice to eat (and bugs). Competing against each other. I love it! While we're at it, I think it would be a good idea to take them off the island and send them to the Arctic!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy Independence Day

I'm sitting here watching one of my favorite movies - Independence Day. I love this movie. We went to Kentucky today to my brother's house. He had a cook-out and has a pool. Those are two things that make us happy, so we went! On the way, we saw a cloud shaped like the state of Kentucky. Here it is ... I don't know if you can see it or not as it was taken with my little cell phone camera.

See it? I know it's lame but I thought it was cool. We also listened to our favorite 4th of July song that my husband thoughtfully brought along: Tumbuk 3's National Holiday.

Put the chairs out on the lawn
Grandma's got her new dress on
Fresh flowers on grandpa's grave
Junior smells of aftershave

Free the hostages
Pay the ransom

No more pain, no more sorrow
Real life will resume tommorow

My my, hey hey, it's a national holiday.

Those are the only words I remember off the top of my head. Obviously it shows the song was written prior to the Reagan administration... however the more things change, the more they stay the same!

EDIT: By Tumbuk 3, I really meant Timbuk 3. D'oh!