Saturday, September 30, 2006

They Hated me at Camp

They hated me at our "Camping Basics" training this weekend. But my back loves me. I went Friday night to Camp Piedmont outside of Murfreesboro because when my girl scout troop goes on our adventure the weekend of October 20th, this training is required for the place we're staying. It didn't help that I brought a bad attitude with me ... all because I was missing Blogger Bunco for a bunch of soccer moms and wilderness experts.

They started the evening with us telling about how much "experience" we have at camp. Were we Grizzly Adams or Paris Hilton or Shelley Long (Camp Beverly Hills) or Juliette Low. Being difficult, I said I was like Martha Stewart in that I could be creative, but baby give me a hotel and a soft bed. Har-Dee-Har-Har. It was such a funny moment that I had them in the palms of my hands... they were buttah. Then we listened to the trainers talk and talk and talk ... blah blah blah. We told them what we hoped to accomplish at camp, what we wanted to learn. I wanted to learn about the dutch oven, but obviously I even had that wrong because I really meant the "box oven". I :::did::: learn how to burn "dump cake" in a dutch oven.

We put up tents, built a fire, played a game with flashlights, went on a night hike, and stayed up talking until 1:00 a.m. And then I did my little thing that made everyone mad. I wasn't kidding when I said "give me a hotel." I refused to sleep in the tents after our lady-in-charge said she didn't care if we slept in tents or the cabin. In that cabine were perfectly good - albeit thin - mattresses. So that's where I slept. I mean, I'm solidly middle-aged, have IBS, creaky knees, and a hip that's going bad, so why in the f*ck would I want to sleep on a hard platform in the freezing cold?? Let those women who like being Mrs. Wilderness have at it, but if I'm given a CHOICE, I'm going to go for comfort. And apparently I was much more comfortable than the others for I did get a couple of evil looks the next morning. But I didn't care.... it's bad enough to have four hours of sleep in relative comfort. I don't want four hours of sleep in misery.

Anyway, my little group didn't have any hard work at all to do. We didn't have to cook. We did mix the cake to cook in the dutch oven. We smelled it burning but our leader kept saying it wasn't. So we had burnt cake. We cleaned the bathrooms, but not really because the group in front of us did all that work.

We got to be "hostess" and made centerpieces in true Martha Stewart fashion. Here's a pic of one! Impressive, huh? The big green things aren't tennis balls... the gung-ho nature girls called them hedge apples.

Anyway besides being hostesses, we were supposed to "inspect" the tents at the end, but the gung-ho's already did that. We DID learn how to use a compass which was actually a lot of fun, tie knots, proper use of a pocket knife, saw and ax/hatchet.

Here's a photo of the box oven that I was most interested in, but didn't get to do.

You get a big box and wrap the inside with heavy aluminum foil. Tape it down on the outside with duct tape, and make sure you have the little air hole in the back. Once it's built, you put cans with hot charcoals inside the oven.

Then put the dish you're cooking on top of the cans, close the door, and let them cook. Or you can use a pie tin for the coals, and run a couple of metal rods through the box to use as shelves to put the items to cook on. I like the can idea best, though. I definitely want to teach the girls in my troop this really cool way to cook when we go camping in October.

And yes our camping trip is the weekend of the Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster's Group Meeting. I plan to bring my nasty, grungy self to the meeting at Belmont (an excerpt from ThisisSmyrnaTN:
To begin with, we spoke about the special announcement. The special announcement is that the October Blogger and Podcaster's Meeting will be a little different in that we will be meeting as a panel of experts at Belmont University. We will be live podcasting, streaming directly to iTunes for this event. Asked to
participate are: Amy D., Kathy T., Michael H., Gunner, Michael A., and Kathryn
C. The invitation has been extended to Middle Tennessee Blogger and Podcaster
Group Members. If you are a member and would like to participate, let me know.
For those who have confirmed, I will need a bio and a image. I also ask for your
permission to post on the MTBPG members page. Thanks to
Paul Chenoweth of Chasing the Dragon's Tale, for kindly orchaestrating this. I look forward to the opportunity as do others of MTBPG.
Definitely looking forward to this meeting!

Meanwhile, camp training really was kind of fun, but I was so ready to come home and shower. I showed a couple of houses, and now I'm finally relaxing for the rest of the weekend. Ahhhh.

Thursday, September 28, 2006

Definitely Thankful this Thursday

Let's hear it for having two closings in one day! Woot! [If you don't want to read about real estate, skip this paragraph.] In spite of what some agents would have you believe, I am telling you the real estate market did slip in August. I've been crunching numbers for several months and have seen a definite trend in a bigger inventory of homes available. For buyers, this is good. For sellers, not so much. For sellers, they have to have their homes priced just right, have them immaculate, and be ready to show any time to sell. For buyers, if you're looking at homes above $150,000 you have LOTS of choices. It's the $90,000 to $130,000 homes in great shape that are hard to find ... especially in LaVergne and Smyrna.

So it is a good day. Tonight we have Wolfy's... I'm looking forward to the get-together even though I have no idea who the chick from Rocketboom is and also had never heard of Rocketboom. My poor deprived life. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the bloggers!

The other big news that's all over the LaVergne and Smyrna blogs is regarding the annual Christmas for the Children effort by Bob Parks Realty. It started 20 years ago when some agents asked Bob what he wanted for Christmas. He said to just find a needy child and give them a Christmas gift instead. This has grown to the point where hundred of children receive new clothes (including coats) and a toy at Christmas. I thought about 120-200 kids were served in LaVergne and Smyrna last year, but it was 220. Because the agents in my office have been unable to raise $14,000 for this event, it looks like it may be cancelled this year. This is a last-ditch effort to try to find dollars for the kids to have Christmas. Mark at Drama Llama has been working hard to put together a silent auction for the "Skate for the Children" night. We would love it if the blogging community would come to this event. I can't skate, but I'll be there. (If you want to see Kathy T. being gurneyed off the skating rink floor with a broken butt-bone, then I'll skate. Gosh, it hurts just thinking about it.) Anyway, the Christmas for the Children fund will be given $2 by the Smyrna Skate Center for every person who comes. We will also put out some donation jars if you feel you can help more.

Meanwhile, I'm also getting ready to go CAMPING this weekend. My idea of outdoor adventure is bringing a suitcase, laptop case, purse, and shoulder-carry bag into a hotel room without using a bellman. And to make it worse, it's TENT camping. I have to do this for my girl scout troop. Going Friday at 6:00 p.m. (so I can't go to Blogger Bunco) and come back Saturday at 4:00 p.m. I'm going to try to have fun. I'm going to try to be positive. I'm going to make s'mores. And I'm probably going to gross out my family when I get home ... at least until I can shower. Blech.

Looking forward to tonight!!!!

Monday, September 25, 2006

I Couldn't Believe It

Spoiler Alert. If you haven't been watching Grey's Anatomy and are planning to do so, you won't want to read what I'm writing, so don't go any further.

Seriously. Stop reading.

MRS. McDreamy?
Waaaaa! I couldn't believe it. Here I am just blissfully watching how nice and sweet all these relationships are ... well except for the syphilis incident ... and this really mean woman walks up and introduces herself. Hell, I'd be mean too if I were her!

So does anyone have Season 2? I guess I'll go down to the local Movie Gallery and see if it's out. My take on Grey's Anatomy? It's not ER, but I like it like it yes I do.

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Anatomy of Flavor

We're through the first seven episodes of Grey's Anatomy and loving it. I want to just sit down and watch all of them at once, but hubby is watching a race instead. Since he was a wonderful man and fixed scrambled eggs, sliced tomatoes, and bacon for the kids this morning, I'm not going to complain! Instead, I've just finished watching Flavor of Love.

I used to think it was like watching the proverbial train wreck or car crash. But I've revised my thinking to that of watching a drunk person at the college frat party. It's funny. It's pathetic. It's disgusting. It's nasty. It makes me want to scratch my eyes out, puncture my eardrums, and hold my nose. It stinks. But I can't help but watch. Because it's so danged entertaining.

As I watch, an occasional "Ew" comes forth from my mouth. Watching Flavor Flav kiss these girls and seeing how giddy they are to be in bed with him makes me scratch my head. I think it has to be his money and his celebrity. The girl eliminated today, Bootz, might have more class than any of the other chicks... she refused to sleep with that little horndog. And she was cast away. Well good for her - glad to hear she held on to her pride. Unlike girls who were eliminated earlier for shenanigans like pooping in their pants, having a fever blister, and being a porn ho.

My family makes fun of me for watching this awful show. My husband asks, "Is that really appropriate for you to watch when your daughter is in the room?" But I can't look away. It reconfirms what I've learned about people - if there is money or fame involved, they will throw away their integrity for their 15 minutes. And I keep watching.

Next week there are three left:

Delishis who threatened to quit the show this week because (boo-hoo) she wasn't getting enough attention from Flav. She was appeased and made happy, though, because he took her back to his room where they apparently "hooked up."

Krazy who is rumored to be the eventual winner according to Internet gossip. But she seems completely transparent, really working for a singing and modeling career.

New York. She was the second place finisher last season and came this time to help Flav figure out "who was real" ... he put her squarely back in the game because he still had feelings for her (probably down below). We know you can never believe what the show says happened because of editing stories to how the producers want them, but it does appear that he made her happy too. I can't wait for next week when her insane mom comes back for a visit.

All of this drama for him.

Ummmm... no thank you.

Friday, September 22, 2006

Grey's Anatomy Night

Thanks to Kat Coble, we are getting ready to watch for the first time ever Grey's Anatomy. I'm kind of excited to see what all the hubbub is about. I need to go and read the fine folks on my blogroll, but I think I'm going to watch the DVD instead. At least until Bill Maher comes on at 10:00 p.m. Oh! Did anyone see the season opener of ER? I :::love::: that show! I missed the first 20 minutes, though, because I was preoccupied. And I love Earl and The Office. Thursday nights do indeed make my soul happy.

I'm a TV-aholic. Good.
I'm a TV-aholic. Bad.

Get well wishes to Bad Bad Ivy while I'm here. She, Megs, and Aaron all have strep throat. I'm hoping John, his lovely wife Lynn, my friend Boop, and I don't get it from having lunch with her on her birthday Wednesday! I told her I'd fix dinner for her, but I'd have to put it at the end of the driveway for her to come and pick up. She can't come in! That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

What a Shame, Or Is It?

I have a question for gay men .... It's rather stupid, but something I've always wondered about. There are gay men who are handsome, good-looking, and quite appealing. And I think, "What a shame." Of course, this thought is on behalf of the loss to womankind of that good looking man, not because I'm being judgmental. But I guess I am being judgmental because isn't love still love for whomever that gay man shares his life with? But I'm going off topic.

My question: when a gay man hears "what a shame," does he take it as a compliment or an insult? Is he repelled that a woman would find him attractive? Or deaf to the comment because it doesn't matter anyway?

Maybe my question isn't important in the bigger world view. But in my tiny little world, my curiousity begged the question.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Mothership Tomorrow

Sorry for the late notice, but I'm taking Ivy to the Mothership BBQ tomorrow for her birthday! Anyone who wants to come can meet us there around 11:30'ish. I'm also bringing my friend Beth, then we're going to the Girl Scout Council afterwards. Whee. Hope to see you there!

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Next Food with an Amazing Image

Remember the Virgin Mary image on the piece of toast? Or the face of Jesus in the potato chip? Or Nashville's own nun bun?

The image that appeared at our dinner table last night isn't religious. Oh no. Instead, we have something for anyone who loves the caped crusader!

Na na na na na na na na na na na na Batman! Maybe we could climb up the Bell South building and stick this on one of the antennaes.

Friday, September 15, 2006

With Good, There is Bad

Sista Smiff posted a comment about how I got to stand on top of the World Trade Center AND meet Governor Ann Richards. I started to reply that my life seems to balance between good and bad events and decided this could be something worth exploring in a stand-alone post rather than a comment. So let's give it a try:
  1. Have a big, big loving family. Good.
  2. So many of us that we grew up stinkin' poor. Bad.
  3. First one in family to graduate from college. Good.
  4. Went to first job interview wearing price tag on dress. Bad.
  5. Potential boss very friendly and everyone kept waving at me. Good.
  6. I waved back, thus causing said price tag under arm to flap in wind. Bad.
  7. Met some hot guys in college who owned a boat. Good.
  8. Boat did not have bathroom. Bad.
  9. Free beer. Good.
  10. Barge spotlighted butt hanging off side of boat. Bad.
  11. Friend had great time on boat. Good.
  12. Barge sounded horn while spotlight was still aimed at butt hanging off side of boat. Bad.
  13. Got to meet Doug Wilder, first black Governor of Virginia. Good.
  14. Got to meet Tiny Tim in Des Moines, Iowa. Bad.
  15. Know Vermont Governor Jim Douglas. Good.
  16. Knew Ohio Secretary of State Ken Blackwell. Bad.
  17. Wrote speech for politician once that contained phrase that was coined by media when talking about financial and investment issues. Good.
  18. Wrote speech once that contained phrase, "Hakuna Matata" and politician said it. Bad.
  19. Have been to all but three of the states in the United States. Good.
  20. Have been to Cheyenne, Wyoming. Bad.
  21. Have never been arrested. Good.
  22. Received only ticket for not turning right in a "right turn only" lane (changed lanes instead). Bad.
  23. Am a girl scout leader. Good.
  24. Am a girl scout leader. Bad.
  25. Mother in law lives with us. Good.
  26. Mother in law lives with us. Bad.
  27. It's Friday night! Good.
  28. Eye keeps twitching. Bad.
  29. I don't see dead people. Good.
  30. I see stupid people. Bad.
  31. Got to tour the floor of the U.S. Treasury where stacks of cash are printed. Good.
  32. Didn't get to take any home. Bad.
  33. Got to tour the USS Nimitz, including the command deck. Good.
  34. While in San Diego during that trip, my youngest daughter (a baby then) found one of Grandma's high blood pressure pills, ate it, and had to be rushed to hospital to have stomach pumped. Bad.
  35. Got to hear Captain and Tennille sing Muskrat Love in person. Good.
  36. Once sang and made a baby cry. Bad.
  37. Got free tickets to Pink Floyd - eighth row seats. Good.
  38. Once sang and made a dog howl. Bad.
  39. Got to show my daughter her first "cave cricket" last night. Good.
  40. The damned thing try to jump on me. Bad.
  41. Went to Rock and Bowl in New Orleans, Louisiana. Good.
  42. Went to a Roger Clinton concert in Hot Springs, Arkansas. Bad. Very bad.
  43. Have written two brilliant children's books. Good.
  44. Neither have been published. Bad.

I don't have any more for now, but I can assure you there are plenty more! :) To quote Ivy, "Hee hee." (haha)

Tribute to a Governor

I hope Saint Peter has the pearly gates opened wide for former Texas Governor Ann Richards. I had the wonderful pleasure of meeting her in 1991 and was so disappointed she never ran for public office outside of Texas. She would've had my vote from her handshake alone!

In a past life, I worked for the National Association of State Treasurers. In 1990, we figured out that there was no centralized agency helping state debt management officials. That year, we held a conference right here in Nashville at the Opryland Hotel. The turnout was incredible and it was the impetus that started the State Debt Management Network.

In our second year, the co-chairs of this new Network agreed to meet in Austin, Texas. The co-chairs were then state treasurers and are now both U.S. Senators, Kay Bailey Hutchison (TX) and Mary Landrieu (LA). (Even though their political parties rival each other, secretly they are friends). :) Well, Senator Hutchison scheduled a reception at the Governor's Mansion and we were absolutely privileged that Governor Richards was there, and enchanted when we met her.

She was such a warm, caring person. She talked about her battle with alcoholism. Then she did something I've never heard another politician do... she talked about laying awake at night in awe of her responsibilities as Governor. She said that when she was fearful about how her decisions would impact the citizens of her state, she thought about the great men who served Texas: Sam Houston, John Connally, Francis Lubbock, Stephen Austin, etc. She said when she thought of what they accomplished for the state, she knew she had to always go forward without doubting her decisions and without fear.

She was such an inspiration and I must say my world is better because I did have the opportunity to meet her.

Rest in peace, Governor Richards.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Meeting in Chattanooga

I'm in Chattanooga today for a meeting with the Middle Tennessee Board of Realtors - a strategic thinking session. I wanted to be cute and write "planning" instead of thinking and do the "strikethrough" but am not smart enough to figure out how. Anyway, it's been a pretty interesting couple of days.

Here's the one thing that I learned: since the Tennessean bought the Daily News Journal, another Murfreesboro newspaper is making its maiden appearance on October 8th: The Murfreesboro Post. The publisher is the former editor of the Daily News Journal. I don't even know who that is, but it's kind of exciting to me that we'll have another newspaper. I've long thought that Smyrna and LaVergne are big enough to support a newspaper (good grief, my hometown of 3,000 has a weekly paper). If anyone wants to step up and be publisher, I'll volunteer to be editor! Except you'd have to pay me so I wouldn't really be volunteering! ;)

Other news, the state is considering raising educational requirements for new licensees... for example they may require that you have complete an associates degree. Everyone is going on about how anyone who has a pulse can get a license, but I found my class to be challenging and the state test wasn't easy at all. I guess not having a photographic memory makes it harder! Because I don't think I'm stupid at all. Well, sometimes. I know I'm not brilliant like Aunt B, Kat Coble, B Dub, John, Ivy, etc. (if I didn't name you, it's because you're in the etc. category!), but I'm not stupid. I have stupid moments (wearing my price tag to my first job interview). But overall I don't cry myself to sleep every night because of the phenomenally stupid thing I've done that day. That happens just once or twice a year. I haven't done that lately, so I guess I'm about due.

Anyway, I'm going to close this Jerry Seinfeldesque missive with two pictures I took from my hotel window this morning.

Tiny picture - sorry. This is the bright red lit-up Chattanooga Choo-Choo sign. It looked cool in person, but my little phone camera (zoomed in, no less) didn't do it justice.

This is the sun peeking around the building across from me. It looks like a grain elevator or something. This picture didn't have to be big to appreciate its coolness.

That's it! Have a great day!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

WTC 30 Years Ago

After yesterday's five year anniversary of the towers coming down on September 11th, I found my old scrapbook from high school. I lived in Jacksonville, Arkansas in 1976 and was selected along with another student for an all-expense-paid trip to New York to attend a journalism workshop at Columbia University.

My 10th grade teacher was a native New Yorker, so she was of course thrilled to accompany us. We went during the week of Saint Patrick's Day and attended the workshop for about two hours. My teacher, Mrs. Isaacs, said "I can teach you more about New York by going out than by you sitting in this classroom." Our adventure had begun.

One of my fondest memories is dining at the United Nations. I was attempting to slice my entree and it flew off my plate and hit the floor. Bless her heart, my teacher instead of having a cow instantly looked up at the ceiling and said "Where did that fall from?" I had to laugh. Her quick wit saved me from massive embarrassment - and you know how important that is to a 16-year-old.

We rode the Staten Island Ferry, went to the Bronx Zoo, saw Pippin on Broadway, watched the St. Patrick's Day Parade, visited St. Patrick's Cathedral, and went to the top of the World Trade Center. I went through my scrapbook to find those photos of that event. Here they are!

See the Empire State Building behind me?

Here's another shot. I hope no photoshop smart-aleck puts an airplane in the picture like that other picture (you know the one). I remember how this little country bumpkin was ready to kiss the ground when I got home because there was grass and not concrete! I :::loved::: my blue coat (until I got too fat for it!). The other thing that I had never noticed before when I looked at these pictures is how much I look like my Dad. I never realized that he and I have the same mouth.

I am so grateful to have these photos to remember. Out of all my travels (and I've traveled extensively in the U.S.), that trip was probably the most thrilling to me. Times Square. Central Park. The World Trade Center. I'll never forget it.

Monday, September 11, 2006

The Day the Earth Stood Still

Watching the news this morning and last night's 9/11 movie by brothers Jules and Gedeon Naudet opened a floodgate of emotions. I felt I was transported back to that horrible day five years ago when so many souls were lost. Likened to the Kennedy assassination's "Where were you?" question, it's a day that everyone who was over five years old will remember.

I asked Little Bit about her memories of that day this morning. She was in first grade and said her teacher wasn't in the classroom a lot that day - the student teacher was mostly in charge. The students were dismissed early, and when she got on the bus the fourth and fifth graders were very quiet. She didn't understand why. All she knew was she had a great day at school, so was feeling happy. Then she got home and her Grandma told her about it. She said she didn't really understand what it meant then, but she does now.

My oldest daughter was in the fifth grade. She said a boy came into her classroom and said to turn on the television because something happened. The teacher and students watched for an hour and were shocked, but understood it was horrible. I don't think my daughter realized the extent of the horror then, and possibly not even now. She has listened to our dinner conversations about the loss of civil liberties in the name of safety and protection and heard us question why Osama Bin Laden is still roaming the caves and hills of whatever nasty little country he is in. She has heard us express our contempt for this president who has been a poster boy for tearing this country apart and generating ill will much like that of the Civil War when brother fought brother. When I asked her this morning what she thought September 11th did to our country, she said it made us really paranoid and it gave the president a good excuse to be in Iraq. Neither of my daughters talked about the lives that were lost that day.

Meanwhile, I wasn't home five years ago on that day of infamy. I worked for the National Association of State Treasurers and we were in Santa Fe, New Mexico at our annual conference. I had stepped out of the shower around 7:00 a.m. (we were two hours behind) and flipped on the news. I called my colleague across the hall who was then the director of our Washington office and told him to turn on the TV. I then sat on the bed and started watching the coverage, and was horrified as I heard a lady frantically saying "Another plane has hit! The other tower is hit!"

I quickly dressed and went downstairs to the conference area where people were starting to gather. We had a lot of investment bankers from New York at that conference - folks from Fidelity, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, etc. We also had the state treasurer of New York. Watching his anguish was nearly as bad as watching the event itself - he had offices in one of the towers and lost 32 treasury staff that day. The New York bankers were also frantic as they tried to reach their families who lived in apartments near the World Trade Center.

We had a couple of people check out of the hotel immediately who went to the airport, but they came back because all flights were cancelled. Our association's president, now-Vermont Governor Jim Douglas, decided to continue the meeting because no one could go anywhere anyway. It was surreal... we had major name speakers who made their muted presentations. And we kept hearing more news that just kept getting worse. The Pentagon was hit. Another airplane crashed in Pennsylvania. The first tower collapsed. The second tower collapsed.

After the conference ended the next morning at breakfast, I loaded up with three other staff members, including our director. We started driving home to Lexington, Ky. It took us two days to get home. Driving through Texas was eerie because that was where we saw a lone airplane circling a military base. We think it may have been the vice president, but aren't sure. It was frustrating driving through some areas of the southwest because we couldn't get a radio signal to hear more news. We stopped in Oklahoma City and went to the memorial. That was probably the point when I cried the most. I stood on the spot where the first major act of terrorism in our country occurred and cried for the 168 people who died at the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building on April 19, 1995.

Seeing the chairs, especially those of Baylee Almon and the other children killed in the day care center, released even more tears. There was a reporter there from the Austin American-Statesman visiting her family. Her Texas editor asked her to go to the memorial and find a story. I was interviewed and said we were far from home, so felt compelled to stop and share our grief with another city that had lost so much. We stopped overnight in Missouri because none of us could keep our eyes open. That hotel was near another military base, so there were a lot of soldiers milling around. It was September 13th and we looked at our soldiers with newfound respect and gratitude.

I collected newspapers on our journey home. My husband also taped footage on our VCR of the different network coverage. I don't know what we'll do with the newspapers and videotape eventually. Probably hand them down to our daughters, if they want them.

Maybe someday my grandchildren will ask me what I remember about the day. I will tell them I was scared. And all I wanted was to get back to my family. I knew our country was forever changed that day. What I didn't anticipate was how deeply divided we became in such a short time. I could never have imagined the media giving airtime to the poisonous Anne Coulter who called 9-11 widows The Witches of East Brunswick and accused them of enjoying their husbands deaths. I'm appalled that politicians are fighting over whose issue is terrorism. We are a nation divided. I hope it won't take another day like September 11, 2001 to bring us back together.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Unmute the Static

So the message I got yesterday from the WKRN blogger meeting is that I may be the next William Shakespeare or Johann Gutenberg or Jeff Probst. There may be a hidden genius inside of me ready to capitalize on the vast wasteland of tens of thousands of hours of entertainment needing to be filled. So I've been trying to come up with some ideas for a show:
  • Sit at the local convenience center and videotape the junk people throw away, the cars they drive, and the compactor crushing all the garbage.
  • Put the camera on a tripod aimed at the hummingbird feeder and watch the birds and wasps fight for their fair share of that sweet sweet nectar of life.
  • Tape me showing people houses (wait, that's already been done via Househunters).
  • Sit in a dentists office and tape that fun (or an orthodontist).
  • High school.

That's all my ideas for now. But I do have some photos!

We were slow in leaving, but from left is moi, Sista Smiff, CeeLCee, Ivy, Chip, John and B. And is that B-Dub behind Chip??? I'm SO MAD at myself for not saying hello! Oh, and photo credit to Todd (who, like Ivy's husband, really does exist).

Never give up! Never surrender!

OH! Finally, if anyone wants to buy a magazine from my daughter for her school fundraiser, please let me know. Just comment! Or you can look online at and type LaVergne Middle School. She needs to sell five more by tomorrow to qualify for the next round of prizes. And I am not buying any more!

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Stuck Like Gunner

Gunner has some music stuck in his head from ye olde days of PBS or NPR (like 30 years ago). He's trying to put his hands (or his ears) on some music from a show he listened to.

I'm kind of in the same boat, but for a book. I read the book about 15 years ago and can't remember the author or title. It was a thick book - a big read. It started with two sisters in ancient Babylon who had married men of two different religions. They each had one baby, a boy and a girl. One husband was killed (I think). Because of ethnic cleansing (??), the only way to save one of the children was if the sisters swapped. They had to move away from each other, but planned on meeting again to return the other's child. Time came between them and the sisters and their children were forever separated. The story masterfully follows the subsequent lives of their families up to present day, when a son and a daughter again meet. They fall in love and the families are reunited again after 2000 years.

It was an extraordinary story that I immensely enjoyed. I really regret not remembering enough info about it to find it again. Does anyone have any ideas at all what it might be?

New Supermarket

The new supermarket near our house has an automatic water mister to keep the produce fresh. Just before it goes on, you hear the sound of distant thunder and the smell of fresh rain.

When you approach the milk cases, you hear cows mooing and witness the scent of fresh hay.

When you approach the egg case, you hear hens cluck and cackle and the air is filled with the pleasing aroma of bacon and eggs frying.

The veggie department features the smell of fresh buttered corn.

I don't buy toilet paper there any more.

Thanks to my cousin Sandy for sending this. I needed a good laugh! ::smiles::

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

In Homework Hell

I'm feeling a little better today about life in general. Except for homework! Baby girl had a TON of homework tonight, but the worst was studying for her science test tomorrow. I do not have a scientific mind so it's excruciating to me to review kinetic energy, potential energy, mechanical, sound, light, electrical, thermal, chemical, and nuclear - nuclear was the only "energy" word in her science book with the (pro-nun-see-ay-shun) spelled out which I thought was rather humorous. Did the scientific community get a jab in on the holder of our nation's highest office?

Teenage girl also has a boat-load of homework. She has an English teacher who is a student's worst nightmare. They have a project due on Friday and the teacher will not tell them how to format their report. She said they should go to Kinkos because they'd know what to do. Well with gas $2.65 p/gallon, I think the teacher can take five minutes of class time to tell the students what the format should be. I can try to get to Kinkos tomorrow, but it makes me mad for (me!) the parents who have no way to get to one. And speaking of Kinkos, if anyone is looking to open a business, they should definitely look into an office supply store in the Smyrna or LaVergne area.

But back to the English class. The teacher requires the students to purchase the following books for class. We actually owned a couple at one time, but don't have them anymore. If anyone happens to have any of these and wouldn't mind a loaner for the school year, please let me know:
  • Mythology by Edith Hamilton
  • Fat Land by Greg Critser
  • Breaking Through by Francisco Jimenez
  • Death Be Not Proud by John Gunther
  • Wuthering Heights by Emily Bronte
  • The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boone

Thanks in advance!

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

National Crappy Mood Day

Well, it isn't really, but it should be. I'm in a foul mood and am trying hard to get over it. One thing that cheered me today: Baby girl brought home some spelling homework tonight. She told me she wasn't sure about one of her answers. The assignment was to try to figure out the meaning of a word by how it's used in the sentence.

The sentence:
How would you respond to an essay test?

Her answer:
Write neat and use big words.

I couldn't help it... I broke down and laughed. Then baby girl started laughing. I thought her answer was perfect, but she did change it to "write a paragraph" about the question.

I've been down in the dumps lately, so her answer sure cheered me up. Don't know why I'm gloomy except I'm going broke paying for gasoline. I've been negotiating contracts, etc. so that's good. Plus our LaVergne blog was featured on Monday's front page of Murfreesboro's Daily News Journal. It was an article about how much we detest the name of the new elementary school ... not so much because it's a bad name, but because there is no LaVergne Lake. And of course there's someone at city hall who is not happy about the new voice in LaVergne (our blog), so they keep posting nasty comments. But that wasn't what the article was about... well you can read it for yourself right here.

I've also had several girls quit my girl scout troop, which is natural at the beginning of the year. I really don't mind except for one girl because her Mom is so nice and NORMAL. It just broke my heart.

And then there's Steve Irwin. I really liked that dude. My thumbs-up hero... such a tragic loss.

I don't have any :::good::: reasons to be down in the dumps (well except for girl scouts, high gas prices, and one huge jerk of a realtor who YELLED at me yesterday... grrrr). So I'll shake off this funk I find myself in and try to meet tomorrow with an improved mood. G'nite, mates.

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Cleaning and Cookouts

I am so thrilled it's a three-day weekend. We have no plans to travel, but are taking advantage of the extra time off and cooler weather to do some house and yard maintenance. Husband is taking on the outside weeds and garage, while I'm tackling the inside. All bathrooms, floors, and other surfaces must be cleaned. Our vacuum cleaner is about to pay for itself!

We haven't started yet... I'm watching Clean Sweep on TLC for inspiration! The inspiration is that our house isn't horrible like the homes on Clean Sweep! However, if we don't get on it now, it could be! haha! If we are able to get everything done, I'm hoping to have a cookout tomorrow, then we can relax on Monday.

Work has been a roller-coaster. We had an inspection of the home down the street from us, and the inspector found mold under the house in the crawl space. Fortunately, the seller has agreed to remediate it.. otherwise it will never sell. So we'll see what happens. Then I was going to write a contract on another listing last night, but the buyers decided they wanted an agent to represent them, not just have a "facilitator" which I would be since I also have the house listed. I don't know who they're going to use, so I'm just waiting now for a contract. I'm not a patient person, so it's very frustrating having to wait.

I have no other news, so I guess I'd better get busy!

Friday, September 01, 2006

Labor Day Weekend

Why do kids love Dippin' Dots? I'm sitting here watching The View (a re-run I think as they get ready for Rosie to start next week) and a guy is talking about how carnival sweets are made. It's really interesting watching the cotton candy, the candy swirl lollipops, and the dippin' dots. My daughters adore the ice cream dots. I've had them, but wasn't too impressed. They aren't satisfying like a big spoon of regular ice cream is.

So here we are getting ready for Labor Day. We have no plans whatsoever, except possibly cleaning the house. Gas is too expensive to go on a road trip. I'll probably work either Saturday or Sunday showing houses. I held an open house last weekend and had 13 buyers come through, three who seemed fairly serious. I'm meeting one this evening ot write a contract! The couple walked in, fell in love with the home, and have been preapproved for a loan. I dearly love it when people are that excited about a home!

Is there anything interesting going on in this area that won't cost a fortune to do over Labor Day weekend? The key words here are THAT WON'T COST A FORTUNE. The extra cash I have right now is going to buy my baby girl glasses and the older girl books for English. That's killing me... she is in high school and we have to spend about $100-150 on books. High school. Not college. What's with that?

Dang, what a boring post.