Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Photo Dump

If blogger lets me, here are some photos I like.

My daughter, the tooth fairy.

My other favorite. She said she wasn't sure what she is, but she has black angel wings and thought her "red" eyes looked cool. Oooookay. Do I have a goth-girl? Well since she doesn't wear black lipstick and prefers blond highlights to black hair, I'm hopeful she's not full-blown goth.

My favorite pet, Kitty. She loves me without constant meowing like Pootster, the old cat. Please ignore my sock in the photo. The sad part is I can look over the top of my laptop and see the sock still there on the floor. Maybe I'll walk the walk this weekend instead of talking the talk about housekeeping.

Old me at the skating rink last night for the Juliet Low Birthday Skate. I've worried on and off about my wrinkles that have started rapidly setting-in. And they really don't bother me that much because I feel like I've earned every single one of them. Every wrinkle represents an experience in my life, good and bad. You might've seen my good/bad list but there is so much more. Getting my banana seat bicycle at the very first birthday party I remember (I was about 8 or 9 years old) and not getting to ride it until all the kids at the party had a chance because I'd have it all the time after that. And that was okay, so I only earned a little wrinkle from it. The time I was in college and waited for my weekend ride home to finish her play. I waited and waited. After hours, I figured out that they left without me so I was alone for the weekend. That was bad enough to earn a medium wrinkle. Then there was the time I was in San Diego on a business trip and then I got the call from home that my baby girl had accidentally found Grandma's high blood pressure medicine when she was 18 months old and ate it. She had to have her stomach pumped and I couldnt' be with her. That was a big ol' wrinkle. Yes, I've earned every one of them!

And that's all my photos for this photo dump. I'm watching the LAST EPISODE of Season 2 of Grey's Anatomy now, so gotta go.

Happy Halloween

Halloween is finally here and although we haven't decorated in years for it, my girls are still pretty excited. Why don't we decorate? We live far enough off the road that no one could see what we've done anyway, so it's just not worth the trouble.

So I got an email from my office last week saying that every few years when Halloween falls on the same day as our sales meetings, agents are encouraged to wear their costumes. Some interesting facts... most of the female agents came as witches. One or two who didn't were asked if they left their brooms at the doorstep (pretty funny). I didn't dress up, although I almost found a big white sheet to put over me so I could come as Antarctica. Instead, I took about 30 seconds to make my costume.

Can anyone guess what it is? I went as "the real estate market"! Hahahahaha! A realtor joke! Are you rolling on the floor laughing?

I can't stay on here very long. I have to go help my youngest kiddo get ready. She's the tooth fairy because the sequins on her crown and wand are white and look like teeth. I guess I'll just wear a pumpkin pin made of beads and safety pins and go as "The (Not So) Great Pumpkin".

And by the way, I'm so mad at myself for not going to Jamie's party. It looked like a blast. And special shout out to Malia. Yes, I hope you go to Kat's house on Friday! Because you are special. Oh so special. :::hee-hee:::

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I Used to Find Cinnamon Disturbing

Another lifetime ago I worked in a horse barn that had been converted into an office. I sure wish I had a photo of it to share, but couldn't even find one on google images. Anytime you convert a barn, you will still find some barn animals - in this case we still had mice. There weren't too many of them and usually we only knew about them from the presents they left us. Nasty little I-want-to-give-you-a-disease-that-will-rot-your-eyeballs-out-type presents. Nope, I do not like mice.

In some instances, though, a live mouse is better than a dead mouse. But the mouse I'm thinking about died ... inside a wall in the office suite I was in. Then it proceeded to decompose. Did I mention that my office didn't have a window? So instead of being able to keep fresh air flowing, one of my colleagues brought in a cinnamon candle to disguise the smell. I don't know what was worse: the mouse without the candle or the mouse with the cinnamon candle.

For about 15 years, I automatically associate the smell of cinnamon with a very dead Night-Before-Christmas creature. And it took this long to figure out that it finally doesn't bother me. I'm thankful that I can smell cinnamon again without gagging. What does this have to do with anything? Not a dang thing. Except I may try to come up with some ideas this year for using cinnamon as it relates to Christmas presents. What do you think?

Just wrapped cinnamon? Or...

Should I really try to be creative and MAKE ornaments? If I do either, it will really be a true test to see if I've overcome my aversion to cinnamon.

Oh yeah...I also wanted to try to add this as my new profile picture. You like? I've dumped the "two-thumbs up" for now. Enh.

How Many Have My Name

I saw this on John's site and thought it was pretty neat.

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

I also tested my oldest daughter's name. There are 3 people with it.

My Bathroom, My Library

Why is it that I only read in the bathroom? I love to read. I adore it. I thirst for it. But the only time I can do it is when I'm in the bathroom.

Just a few short years ago, I couldn't even read then because as soon as I got myself settled in, I'd hear ONE knock on the door and my daughter would walk on in, "MOM? Can I have ...." I guess she figured she had a captive audience so that was always the best time to ask Mommy for something. I'd often say, "Hello? Some privacy here." but then she'd just park herself right outside the bathroom door and wait. I was being stalked by my daughter back then. I used to worry when I had to go to the bathroom and she had company because I just knew both she and her friend would walk in on me. I am thankful for door locks and I love it that my baby girl has outgrown walking in on me EVERY time I go. Now it's just once every week or two.

So that leaves me some time to read. Right now, here's what's on my shelf (or on the side of the bathtub in this case):
  • Fallen Angel by Greg Iles
  • A Handmaid's Tale by Margaret Atwood (I spelled it "tail" first and had to laugh)
  • Dragonsong by Anne McCaffrey
  • Dragonsblood by Anne McCaffrey

I've read both dragon books several times, but just love that whole Dragonriders of Pern series. I anxiously wait for the day when these incredible stories can be made into movies or television series. Ivy loaned me the Handmaid's Tale and although I saw the movie, I'm thrilled to read the book. I guess I'd probably be stuck as a "Martha" if I lived in that society.

Fallen Angel is pretty good, especially if you have a daughter in high school. It makes me very relieved to have the teenager that I have - one who isn't a ho! Man.

My only big pet peeve in my bathroom is the toilet paper never makes it to the holder. My husband and I share equally in the blame. I put the TP next to my books on the bathtub edge (on the right of the commode) and my husband puts the roll on the edge of MY sink on the left. He says it's because he's left-handed. Well, right-handed or left-handed, wouldn't it be easier to not have to bend your arm back to put it on the sink? I think he does it to annoy me. That's why when he said the other night that he just hates it when napkins are placed ON the plate rather than next to it, I started putting his napkins on the plate at dinner. Hee hee. I'm not THAT mean, people. I only did it once.

Today is housecleaning day since we were busy all yesterday. Melissa won FIRST PLACE in the modeling competition yesterday at the Tennessee Twirlers (TTI) "Twirl Day" in Smyrna. She also won a trophy / superior for her parade routine. After that, we went to LaVergne's Trail of Treats and helped hand out candy for TTI. After two hours there, we went to Smyrna's Halloween event and handed out candy for girl scouts.

When we finally got home, I made chili then we sat down to watch FOUR Grey's Anatomy programs from season two. I think we still have about 12 shows to go before we can start watching our DVR'd season three. We saw the one where the bazooka was in the guys stomach and the one where Denny came back (but he's still alive). I'm hoping to get up from here in a minute and get busy so we can come back upstairs to watch more! My housecleaning calls, though.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Election Fever

I plan to get out and vote early. I'd like to vote often, as well, but ....

How about this election season? Before the talking heads pointed it out, I didn't even connect the dots that the whole Playboy ad had racial undertones. I tend to forget that I live in the South so never even thought about skin color being an issue. Paint me stupid at worst, color-blind at best. I don't really care if Harold Ford went to a Playboy party. If I was invited to one, I'd probably go. I'd sit there like a big, fat prude but I'd still go for the chance to meet new people and to just have the ability to say that I've been.

And Bob Corker is using illegal immigrants to get rich? Well look around folks... if he is, he's not the only one. I met a man who owns a multi-million dollar nursery in middle Tennessee. While he and I were talking several months ago, he went off on a rant about how these immigrants are the only reason he can stay in business. Well I beg to differ. I feel pretty sure that if he paid fair wages, he'd be able to find a lot of people legally in this country who would work for him. This guy is worth millions and millions and he wants to keep it all to himself.

I am hoping with all my heart that Democrats take back Congress. I think the one-party-rule that we now have in place is not only failing our country, but has made it dangerous to be an American. Frankly, the idea of traveling abroad right now is just frightening because we are held in such low-regard across the world.

I don't understand how people can think torture by America is okay, but if you torture an American it's not. I understand the claims that these are terrorists who are being tortured. But how can we be sure? They no longer have the right to an attorney, to be told why they are being held, nor to even exist. Yes, we must prevent terrorists from attacking this country again, but I suspect that not everyone being held is a terrorist. At least not yet. Habeus Corpus, rest in peace.

I applaud Keith Olbermann for having the courage to speak against the erosion of our civil rights and of our democracy. If he disappears, he'll probably be found in some dark, dank prison being water-tortured because he dared to disagree with the president.

I know I'm not eloquent like so many other bloggers (John H., Aunt B, etc.), but I do know that I'm worried about my nephew going to Iraq in February with the Army. I'm worried about innocent people being held, tortured, murdered. I'm worried about the gigantic hole in our ozone. I'm mad about gas prices and hearing that Exxon again made BILLIONS on the backs of American consumers who are struggling to pay their heating bills and make their mortgage payments. I am grateful that gas prices have dropped, but my cynical side is convinced it was planned like this right before elections. I hate these political attack ads and the people who fund them. I'm worried that Hillary Clinton will run for president because although I like her, I don't think she can win. I'd like to see a Gore-Obama ticket.

That's all I have for now.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

A Note to Some of My Friends

Continuing my mission to give some shout-outs to my pals, here's yet another post full of butt-kissing, sucking-up, blatant you-really-like-me-type-sniveling honoring my friends and acquaintances.

Michelle - Congratulations on breaking your board on your first try! Your bruises and sore muscles are a testament to the hard work you put in preparing for the martial arts test! Glad to know you won't have to chase down any bad guys and knee them since your hands are now weapons that can be used against thugs and mean people.

Ivy - You will someday be a famous television hostess or producer! Anyone who can cut out all the F* words I used while we taped the home tour of my listing deserves one of the coolest jobs out there. Oh wait. You already have one. You're the friend I get to say works for MTV Networks.

Mandi - That pregnant glow you have is like a transmittor telling people to get out of your way! If the children in Emma's class don't listen to you when you volunteer, your laser eyes will cut through their bullcrap with one glance. This is your time to get your way! Demand it!

If people are mean to you, or if you just don't like them, practice aiming your morning sickness. You can then pretend to be sorry, but deep down inside you'll be laughing.

Enjoy this time in your life when you can be sarcastic, smart-alecky, and pampered! Harness your newly found superpowers to help fight evil. Go through your whole neighborhood and pull out ALL of those campaign signs! Anyone hiring someone who can work from home? My friend Mandi needs a part time job. She has laser vision and that might be helpful in your business.

Kat Coble - It's so nice of you to host bunco! I appreciate that you said we can bring guests because my friend Mandi really needs to get out of the house. You might want to hide any yard signs you might have for various candidates! Oh... and thanks for that post when you were hosting NiT about your Tivo life. We really appreciated it.

B-Dub - I love reading the bizarre news stories you find on the Internet. I also think you should look out for cave crickets in your new rock-house.

Mark! - The time and energy you have given to the Christmas for the Children event shows what a good heart you have. I like being around people who are caring. And again, happy birthday!

Sonia and Jen - I hope you can make it to the "Skate for the Children" this Thursday, to Kat's place, or to one of the Middle Tennessee Blogger & Podcast Meetin's. You're two bloggers I'd really like to meet in person.

Chip - Thank you for letting my daughter charge her lunch the last two days (if it was you)! I think our kids and we parents are lucky that you have the jobs you have.

Kerry Woo, John H., Brittney, and CeeLCee - Really, the coolest people I know. In addition to everyone else mentioned above, of course! Well, actually, I think all the folks to your right on my blogroll are pretty cool too. I'm just gobsmacked that we all have such differing opinions on various issues, but still manage to tremendously enjoy each other's company.

Get Well Newscoma

I wanted to send well wishes to everyone's favorite western-part-of-the-state news editor, Newscoma. I'm hoping the surgery was flawless and your recovery is speedy. I'm hoping you're being waited on hand-and-foot and being spoiled with ice cream, hot soup, and some great books. Get well soon.

*Shout out to CeeLCee for unwittingly prodding me into writing this post! He's so great about remembering people... Meanwhile, because Newscoma is a supercool, smart, witty, amazing, talented person, we all want you to get well soon!

Monday, October 23, 2006

The Police Came to Our Camp

Although we froze our tails off and had to call the police, Girl Scout camp was wonderful this weekend. In the two years since our troop started, the girls are growing up to be caring, thoughtful, and amazing pre-teens.

Having heard that it was supposed to be quite cold over the weekend, I called the Council ahead of time to see if our cabin had heat. I was assured that the facility was heated, but had no cooking facilities. Well, they were half right. It didn't have a kitchen, but it also didn't have heat. So my coleaders and I worked very hard that first night to keep the girls warm. We took them to the cars to warm up, gave them hot chocolate and hot apple cider, told them to layer, gave up our own coats and socks when their's were too thin, etc. It was still oh-so-cold. Sleeping actually wasn't too bad except for our noses and faces that were outside the sleeping bags. It was hopefully a character-building experience for the girls, although they seemed non-too-pleased about it! We did put them back in the cars Saturday morning to warm them up again.

Saturdays are always our busiest days at camp, so we hit the ground running (after we thawed out). After breakfast, they went the high adventure course and learned about team-building (they need to work on that) and tried out the obstacle course. It was really neat ... I took some great photos while the girls did their stuff.

I did make the decision to miss the Belmont University panel because in good conscience, I knew we had to find another heat source for Saturday night. I stayed with the girls while my coleaders went to town to buy some space heaters (with permission to use them from the site manager, of course). We also bought gloves for every girl, more hot chocolate, and DRY wood so the fire would be roaring that night.

After roasting marshmallows and making s'mores around the fire, the girls made wishes using "fairy dust." It was amazing hearing these girls share their dreams with us. One wished to see her father again before he died (he lives in another state and is ill), one wished for her Mom to quit smoking, one wanted her Dad to stop drinking and get a job, and one wished her Daddy would come back home. There were several "I wish we could all still be friends when we grow up" too, but most were incredibly serious. I felt privileged to be there hearing these girls pour out their hearts and dreams to us. It was amazing.

Because we heard coyotes howling nearby that first night, we told the girls we didn't want them to go to the bathrooms after bedtime without an adult. Because they were sissy girls, they freaked out every time they went. One girl finally shouted, "Those damn coyotes won't hurt you!" Then she clapped her hand over her mouth realizing that she used a curse word. I nearly fell over laughing, but tried to hide it and just looked at her.

We took the scouts to Stratton's in Ashland City for lunch on Sunday and treated the girls to dessert since they were all so well behaved and awesome that weekend. Afterwards, we went back to the camp and were getting ready to leave... cars all loaded. We had to wait for my husband to come since we needed that third car to haul our stuff. He drives up right on time (my mother-in-law and oldest daughter came along too to enjoy the foliage), so we start loading the back of the truck. Then I walk over to my car to open it. My keys were in the ignition. And the car was locked. One of those little angels locked my doors. I was ready to KILL! The facility managers had all disappeared and the auto club said we had to find somone to unlock the car, then they'd reimburse us. We were stuck so finally had to call 911 since there were no police numbers listed anywhere.

After we reached the police, two cars had to go on home, so I remained with three girls to wait for help. The other two cars had to leave because parents were waiting at my office to pick up their girls, and one of the leaders had to get home to take her medicine. After about an hour and a half, two squad cars showed up with three extremely helpful officers. It took them a good 10 minutes to lift the lock, but they got it open. I was very grateful!!!

All in all, the weekend was one of our best camping trips ever. If it hadn't been for the extreme cold with no heat and the locked car incident, I'd say the trip would've been perfect. I'm definitely ready to go again!

Swinging bridge that went from our cabin to the main part of the camp via the horse field.

The cabin without heat.

It was gorgeous at camp!

This tree is sometimes used for the adventure programs. Our girls participated in a team-building exercise and did an obstacle course.

And the police to our rescue. Dang.

Friday, October 20, 2006

A Camping We Will Go

With regrets for not posting more this week, my blog will be equally desolate until at least Sunday afternoon as I'm taking nine girl scouts camping tonight. I've spent all day gathering supplies, pre-cooking some foods (ground beef and macaroni), and loading my swanky new Honda Pilot with gear. No, I'm definitely NOT the crunchy granola type leader... my ideal camping would be at a Ritz Carlton with room service. But I am a Mom and am fulfilling my obligatory duty to my youngest daughter of supporting her during her formative years.

After we arrive tonight at Camp Sycamore Hills and unload our cars, they get to find their patrols. I'm being sneaky in that it's going to be random this time. We found Halloween stickers with three different pictures (black cats, double pumpkins, and puppies peeking around pumpkins). They girls will each pick one card. The three who have the cats are in one patrol, etc. Tonight we're also going to play a flashlight game and a rock game (woot!). We'll probably go on a night hike which should be fun. In the morning, the girls start their adventure programs at 8:30 a.m. so they'll have to have eaten and dishes done by 8:15 a.m. That should be fun dragging them out of bed at 6:00 a.m. Mwaaa-haaa-haaa!

At some point in mid-morning, I'll bathe (I promise) and try to make myself pretty for the Belmont University panel. After that, it's back to camp and cooking dinner (or supervising the 11-12-13 year olds cook).

We're going to eat lunch Sunday at Strattons in Ashland City then head back home. Then I'll probably collapse for about four hours, then watch TV and vedge the rest of the night. That's my weekend plans!

OH ONE MORE THING! Check out this FABOO video Ivy and I shot yesterday of one of my listings. The production company is "We Need a Thesauras Productions" because... well... the words huge, beautiful, and gorgeous are said repeatedly. Haha. She did cut out all the F** words and SHI* words for when I messed up. And at the end when I'm laid out on the couch all fat and sassy, I saw what my husband meant when he said I always twiddle my thumbs. God.

Okay, now you can watch me be a dork. I guess it's no worse than me shaking my boo-tay at the skate party. ENJOY!

This gorgeous Antioch, TN home is for sale! Contact Kathy Tyson for details.


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Twenty-One in a Million

Finally! I have something to talk about! And you'll soon be callng me Braggy Braggerson for it... The million or so realtors in this country received an email several months ago about some of the marketing they're doing to promote their real estate businesses. I sent in a brief blurb about blogging. Say that real fast five times. Brief blurb about blogging. Brief blurb about blogging. Brief blurb about blogging.

So today I get an email from a lender I know from Smyrna saying, "Dude! Saw you in the realtor magazine!" (well, close enough to what he said). I think girls/women need a cool word like "Dude!" I know we sometimes say "Bitch!" which can be either a huge compliment or devastating, depending on how it's used. Actually only two of my friends have ever said that to me when I've taken it as a compliment. Ivy and my college pal Juls who now lives outside of New Orleans.

But I digress. So I get this email from a lender who pointed it out to me. The funny part is that when I went to see the article (or a paragraph at the bottom of a long article), they used my blurb and the Smyrna blog. It cracked me up! And my congrats to the authors at This is Smyrna for making a national magazine! Dudes! Way to go! Haha!

Here's the link. Scroll down ... way down ... it's the third idea from the bottom. But hey! Out of a million realtors in this country, I'm kind of tickled to see it in at all! And one more update since the article - I do have clients now as a direct result of blogging! I think it's because as you get to know people online, you learn what they're made up of, including character, honesty, trust, etc.

Remember: Skate for the Children (Two) is Thursday, October 26th from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Proceeds go to Christmas for the Children.

Monday, October 16, 2006

The Podcasters ARE coming!

I love Paul's post and cartoon on his Chasing the Dragon's Tale blog about Saturday's meeting. Read and see it here. It will be interesting to see how many (if any!) students attend this meeting. The great thing about it, regardless, it's just our regular meeting anyway! Guess I'll have to think of something to talk about.

I could talk about my girl scout troop. I'll be interrupting my girl scout troop's camping trip to attend. Whee! I'm sure my scouts will be happy about that! ha!

See? I don't have much to discuss right now. I really don't. Bloggers block, I suppose.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Sweet 16 Year Old

If you've read any of my "Skate for the Children" posts, you know that my oldest baby was born 16 years ago today. Fair warning: If you don't want to read about infertility, etc. please feel welcome to hit your mute button and skip this post.

It was a year after getting married that we decided we were ready to start a family. We didn't think it would be a problem at all. I should have known I would have difficulty after seeing the ducks and geese in the park at Little Rock Air Force Base with their grossly deformed beaks and heads. If they had those horrible growths on them from their possible exposure to Agent Orange (manufactured nearby), then what was it doing to me? But I didn't connect that puzzle until I lived through the experience of infertility, then stumbled on an article in a women's magazine years later.

So our first year of trying to have a child was fruitless. Then we began going to doctors. My husband was tested and was fine. I was tested and seemed fine. But there was no pregnancy. We started taking (and I probably have this wrong) Clomid. We were warned that the medication could result in twins. For us, it resulted in menstruation month after month after month after month. Every time I started my cycle, I cried for two days. People tried to comfort me as best they could:

"You can always adopt."
"Maybe it's not meant to be."
"Are you sure you want children? They can be so difficult."

Hearing those well-intentioned words was just as heartbreaking to me as getting my period. Here's some advice for anyone who knows another person trying to get pregnant. Don't say anything except, "When you have your child, you know he or she will be extra special." Do not say IF. Do not mention adoption. Do not say it's not meant to me. Do not talk about all those baby girls in China. It's okay to be sad with her, but choose your words carefully. Just be encouraging and sympathetic.

So the Clomid did not work after nearly two years. We couldn't afford in-vitro. We couldn't afford artificial insemination. We did not want to use the next drug (I can't remember the name) because it definitely caused "multiple" pregnancies and the doc said they'd have to go in and randomly abort if there were more than three fetuses. I could not have that done, to take away a child when I had tried for so long to have one.

We picked up paperwork for adoption finally. And I had one more doctor appointment for one more medicine of some sort. Maybe it was another dose of Clomid. I don't know. But the doctor wouldn't prescribe it until I started my period. After several weeks of waiting for it to start (it was horribly out-of-sync and had been like that since I was a teen), I called Rosemary and said, "Can't Dr. Duncan just call in the prescription?" She said no, I had to come in for a blood test. I dragged my sad butt in and waited for her to call to tell me the prescription was being called in to my local Kroger pharmacy.

She called and said, "Kathy. The reason you haven't started your period is because you are pregnant."

I was so angry and confronted her, "That is just cruel, Rosemary. It is not funny at all." I was devastated by her words.

She said, "Kathy! You are pregnant!"

Her words finally sunk in and I was elated! I told my husband, then our parents. We were thrilled! I was certain I was pregnant with a boy, but we didn't know until she was born. I was a horrible, miserable pregnant person. I just bitched and complained the whole time. My feet were swollen, I threw up several times every day, and I waddled.

But after months of waiting, my water broke on October 10th. I called my husband, he came home and rushed me to the hospital. 22 hours. No epidural. Dry delivery. 9 pounds, 1 ounce and 21 inches long. We had our baby girl. She had a headful of black hair. She was beautiful! Her hospital baby picture had her making the "Live long and prosper" sign. She was definitely our baby!

We wanted a nice name and both of us really liked Hillary Anne. The state treasurer of Arkansas, Jimime Lou Fisher told me that the first lady of Arkansas was named Hillary. I laughed at her and said, "Whoopideedoo. No one will ever know that." Jimmie Lou just smiled at me. She knew. So my daughter bears the name Hillary, which is a beautiful name that is unfortunately considered yucky by about half this country. Here is my baby girl.

She is a fantastic photographer. She has a genius IQ - well over 140. She is a computer addict. She has a long-distance boyfriend who she's never met, but they talk on the phone and instant message each other regularly. Hillary is a great babysitter. She has wanted to be a rocket scientist, a teacher, a music critic for Rolling Stone magazine, and a writer. She and her sister fight regularly. She thinks her parents are annoying. She has a loud, abrupt laugh that I love to hear. She makes great grades. She is a very talented writer. She won the county spelling bee when she was in 7th grade, the first-ever winner from her school. She likes to drive the car down our driveway and the first time she did it, she couldn't stop laughing. She is learning to cook. She doesn't do her laundry until the very last minute, and then yells at everyone because she has nothing clean to wear. She hates vegetables. Really hates them. When she was a sick as a toddler, one of us would have to hold her down while the other one gave her medicine. She once stepped on a worm after a rain and screamed so loudly that all the neighbors came running out of their houses to rescue her. She used to love saying, "Bee-Boe" and rocked back and forth on her feet while saying it. She loves Green Day, The Used, My Chemical Romance. She has been a girl scout since kindergarten. She thinks she has a cute, bulbous nose (yes, your nose is cute!). When she was about three, we told her a knock knock joke that made her laugh so hard, she fell out of her chair.

That's my baby. You are 16 and the world is your oyster. Enjoy your youth. Take advantage of every opportunity and sometimes create your own. Sometimes take the path less traveled, the risk maybe well worth it. You will always be loved by someone in this world. Happy Birthday Hillary.

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

Skating Party 2: Coming to a Rink Near You!

THANK YOU to everyone who helped make tonight's skating party so much fun! We do still have a long way to go. Approximately $9,000 is still needed to make Christmas happen this year for the neediest children in the LaVergne and Smyrna communities. Although I'm an optimist, deep down inside I'm afraid that the "Christmas for the Children" will truly be cancelled this year. Let me add, though, that there are other organizations who will hopefully care for these children through their "angel trees" etc.

We received donations of time and money from all over the world - and enough inquiries that we plan to open a PayPal account later this week for others who want to donate.

In a wonderful act of charity, the Smyrna Skate Center has agreed to host a SECOND "Skate for the Children" this month! It will be held Thursday, October 26th from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. In addition, the Smyrna Bowling Center is interested in hosting a "Bowl for the Children." We will announce that date and time when we "pin" it down. (haha!)

Also, Doug Atkin (pictured with the cap) has volunteered to help us put together a "Writer Night." We will be looking for a place to host a "songwriter" night for any of our local musicians to perform. We will probably charge an admission fee. Does anyone have a place they can allow us to use free-of-charge? Are there any musicians who may be willing to perform that evening? (Pictured on the right is another Realtor, Gene Williams. Both he and Doug are good-hearted, thoughtful, generous people who I am privileged to call friends.) Meanwhile, I am certain that part of the reason we gathered this evening was that great minds could come together to come up with additional fundraising ideas. Isn't it awesome that when people have open dialogue, brilliant ideas flow!?!?!

Back to the skating event... Poor poor Ivy. She fell down and hurt her knee. She thought getting on skates was a fine idea until her crash. Logically, she traded her skates in so that her baby boy could have some skates. Every time he fell, he cracked up laughing. It was so funny!

Ivy and her skinned knee. Ouch.

My baby will be 16 years old tomorrow. She's pictured here with her number one fan, Nate. Nate will be 3 years old tomorrow. How cool is that? They share the same birthday!

We are carrying the silent auction over the next event so more people will have the opportunity to bid. Here are some photos of the items for your perusal! hee-hee!

Dr. Funkenswine of Mothership BBQ has donated a meal for EIGHT people to include pulled pork and the fixin's! YUMMY!

Beautiful necklace and earrings from Jen of GlenBlogJenBlog! Thank you for your generous donation!!!

Baseball caps donated by Mark's (Drama Llama) brother! Thanks dude!

I also want to give a big shout-out to M. of ThisisSmyrnaTN, Chip of Chip Talks, and my friends Debbie B., Dugger and Rhonda from my office. Thank you for being there tonight. I hope you all had a great time!!

Monday, October 09, 2006

Can You Spell D-R-A-F-T

It's coming. And this time I'm sure it will be men AND women who will serve our country. Like it or not. It's coming.

North Korea tests nuclear weapon

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

TN Guerilla Women Big Time

Congratulations to TN Guerilla Women for their mention on Crooks & Liars today. Very impressive to make the big league blog roundup!

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Why Do I Always Want to Spell Flu "Flue" ??

I got my second annual flu shot yesterday and I'm paying for it today. My right arm is sore, nose is slightly drippy, my right eye feels itchy, and I generally feel crappy. Oh wait. I think that's because I did housework today. Dusted, vacuumed, wiped down walls, and cleaned two outside storm windows (the ones we couldn't see out of because they were too nasty). My upstairs is still a disaster, but the living room downstairs is presentable.

I am so excited about the great pictures Michelle posted on her Flickr account (the one of my leg and shoe are particularly nice!). Actually, my favorite is of her son laughing! Head kicked back, from-the-gut kinda laugh! I also love Ivy's video of yesterday! My only disappointment is that Ivy edited the part out where she was squatting in front of the pumpkin patch (she dragged me over there with her). While she tried to moderate some great stuff, I stood behind her and mocked her much like Chevy Chase used to do to Jane Curtin.

Just for fun, I'm posting more pics!

Another pic of M's son. He looks so determined to find the perfect pumpkin!

This photo just proves that I have no shame. Please do not write your own caption.

Melissa and Lindsay next to the scarecrows.

How cool is a tire swing? The picnic table behind it is itty-bitty.

I was going to post more pictures, but Blogger wouldn't let me. Instead, I guess I'll quit writing since I have to go take care of my drippy nose. TMI!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Pumpkin Farm Fun

Old Kathy T. had two kids
Ee yi ee yi oh
And the two kids when they learned to talk
Ee yi ee yi oh
Said "Let's go shopping!"
Said "That not fair!"
Said "Take me to Kinkos for I have a project due tomorrow and I don't care if it costs $8 and you have no money because it's due tomorrow and I have to go to Kinkos"
Ee yi ee yi oh.

That was one of our songs we sang on the hay ride. Yes, the lunch at O'Charleys and the trip to the Pumpkin Farm were wonderful fun! As already noted by Daily Diablogger and Drama Llama, several Smyrna and LaVergne bloggers came:

Daily Diablogger
Drama Llama
Chip of Chip Talks
Bad Bad Ivy
Gunner of No Quarters
and me, Kathy T.

Mark of Drama Llama had never met any of his blogging colleagues except me, when we met for lunch to talk about the "Skate for the Children." Mark is such a warm-hearted person. He was so touched when I posted about the (still very real) possibility of cancelling the Christmas program that he has taken the lead in organizing the "Skate for the Children." Private donations from other bloggers (JennGlenn), one anonymous from McMinnville, and from family members have started rolling in. I'm not convinced we'll be able to raise enough, though, because the community has not rallied like we've hoped. Although I did talk with Mealand Ragland of the Daily News Journal. We're hoping she'll do a story this weekend or Monday or Tuesday.

Ivy was there with her video cam, acting like the hostess with the mostest. She's so funny. I dont' know if she videotaped the little kid who pointed to the turkey and said, "Look Mom! A rooster!" ha. Ivy's son Aaron got on his knees to speak to the turkey, "Hello Turkey. You realize you'll be on my table in a few weeks?" hee hee! Megs and Nate were charming, as usual!

Michelle was magnificent. She is such a gracious, interesting woman. She makes everything look so easy! I want to be Michelle when I grow up! Her children are equally impressive. They are smart, funny, well-mannered. Cody is so sweet - he is always sure to tell everyone hello! Keira and Kaitlyn are beautiful girls who I'm proud to have in my home at anytime. I love that whole family!

Chip and Todd are really neat. The two girls with me (daughter and daughter's friend) were cute when they realized they were having lunch with their former bus driver! Congrats to Chip also for his new job. Dude. I don't know when you'll have time!

And my hubby met us at the farm! He didn't join us for lunch, but it was very nice that he joined us in the great outdoors! He keeps calling me "Clod Stewart" because of my new hair-do. I got highlights and perhaps the new cut does look a bit like a Rod Stewart style, but... here are pics! Enjoy!

From left: Mark, Kathy T., Ivy, Chip, and Michelle.

The new "Clod Stewart" hairdo.

Cody & Kaitlyn (aka punkinhead & farm-girl).

From left: Melissa, Chip looking down, Ivy, Aaron, and Melissa's friend.

The kids from left: Kaitlyn, Lindsay, Melissa, Aaron, ody, Hillary, Nate, Megs, and Keira. Alex (Mark's nephew) isn't pictured because he wanted to master the corn maze (get it, corn maze = corn maize) again.

And finally, Hillary and I "scared" because we're lost in the corn maize. Don't look too hard or you'll see the street behind us. Ha.

Note: I've made a couple of edits. I spelled my daughter's name incorrectly and fixed that. Also spelled organized wrong and fixed that too. Doi. Oh and I'm adding the reminder below:

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Thursday, October 05, 2006


Thank you Shauna of *O Pish Posh* for letting us know the Pumpkin Farm doesn't open until 3:00 p.m. As a result, we're moving the lunch time to 1:00 p.m. I hope this doesn't mess anyone up, but we felt it would be :::awkward::: to sit around O'Charleys for three hours. Especially for those of us bringing hyper, bored kids. More news.... I may have talked my husband into coming! Whee!!

Here's who we have and maybe have so far:

M. of Daily Diablogger and family (party of 4)
Kathy T. and family (party of 4)
Ivy and kids (party of 4)
Chip (party of 2, maybe?)
Mark and nephew (party of 2)
Shauna of *O Pish Posh* (maybe? party of 2 or 3 if hubby coming?)
Sista Smiff (please??)

If you plan to come, please comment so I can let the folks at O'Charleys know to reserve an area for us. I think we're up to 15 confirmed and 19-20 if we hear back from the maybes and pleases. Anyone else? We'd love to have you!! I'm sorry Sonia and Ginger and Michael are working too far away to join us.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Beam Me Away from Politics, Dahling

I started a post earlier - a good/bad thing - trying to find both good and bad things both political parties have done on different issues: environment, crime, economy, war, children, etc. I was trying to be non-partisan and did find a couple of things (read: ONE) I'm pleased with that the Powers That Be have done. That was making the Hawaiian island a protected marine resource. I really liked that. Then I got stuck and gave up. I'm too biased so was unable to fairly gather facts to support my thoughts that maybe both parties have some good AND bad in them. This should be a project for two people who get along swell, but have differing political views.

Then I saw something absolutely astounding at CNN.com. It appears that scientists have made it to the next step of teleportation technology. Now that is cool news. It is amazing. Read all about it here. I used to think I was born too late to enjoy the hippie era - I like hippies. I like their peacenik thoughts and views of the world. Then I watched my first Star Trek and decided that I was born too early! That was the world I wanted to be in! I wanted to wear a short little skirt and hand Captain Kirk a clipboard asking for his signature (who blogged about not liking to sign all the paperwork earlier???). Or I wanted to be Uhura. She is probably why I got a degree in communications. I never realized that until this moment.

I am still pissed off that I can't afford the $20 million to go into space with the Russian astronauts (and that my svelte, divine figure wouldn't allow it anyway). But this is cool!!!

"Teleportation between two single atoms had been done two years ago by two teams but this was done at a distance of a fraction of a millimeter," Polzik, of the Danish National Research Foundation Center for Quantum Optics, explained. "Our method allows teleportation to be taken over longer distances because it involves light as the carrier of entanglement," he added.

I know I'm not being logical right now (haha) when all I want to say is COOL! but I can't help it! Logic is out the window! To the moon! Maybe we'll be able to beam hearts into transplant patients someday. Or we can all have our own transporter and just beam over to see Mom or Grandma once a week. Or to borrow a cup of sugar. Or for dinner. How cool! I'm loving it!

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Blogger Get-Together

I've been on the phone with my friend and famous bus-driver DeWayne of Chip Talks and we are plotting. Nothing as nefarious as what to do with rope, duct tape and a shovel (although making a box oven, learning to tie knots, and putting out a camp fire the proper was is NOT nefarious) (haha), but plotting nonetheless.

We are planning a mini-meeting of bloggers! A lunch date! So come one, come all!

WHERE: O'Charleys in Smyrna (kids eat free)
TIME: 11:30 a.m.
WHEN: Friday, October 6th
WHO: Middle Tennessee Bloggers and Friends

Afterwards, we're going to Walden Pumpkin Farm! It's FALL BREAK and I'd like to take my kids to do at least one fun thing. I can't imagine doing anything more fun that hanging out with friends. Let us know if you can make it so we can figure out if we need to reserve a big table!

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I'm Not a Serial Killer

I am not a serial killer. I have never killed anyone. I did hit a bunny rabbit one Easter and felt horrible about it. I accidentally ran over a puppy, too. At least that's what my family says. I didn't feel the bump but they say a puppy died and blamed me. Birds have flown into my car. And a deer once put its foot through my brother's radiator (I was driving). But I am not a serial killer. I promise.

However, if the police come to my door in the next week or so, I blame the people at Target. That's where I asked for help finding duct tape, rope, and a shovel. It's for GIRL SCOUT CAMP people! The duct tape is to make the box ovens. The rope is to teach the girls how to tie knots. The shovel is for the fire... we are not supposed to put fires out with water, but by shoveling dirt. So I proclaim my innocence now. On my honor!

Remember: Skate for the Children, October 10th, 6:30 - 9:00 p.m., Smyrna Skate Center. Or contact Kathy T. at 491-2161 to make a donation to the Christmas for the Children fund.

Monday, October 02, 2006

How About Kat Coble on Skates

Kat Coble, you are the cause of my addiction. You so flippantly said, "You've never seen it? Here! You can borrow mine." Innocently, I took it. Then I put it in my DVD player and watched ... watched it like a Mama Skunk eyeing my dog. Couldn't take my eyes off it. Four nights in a row I watched. Then I went to Movie Gallery to watch the second season. They were all out.

So I took my girls to Target today. I had just had a couple of closings, so was feeling a bit sassy. I was walking down an aisle near the electronics department when I spotted it. Season Two. Grey's Anatomy. Kat Coble, this purchase I made today is entirely your fault. Ha.

To change the subject to something more serious, I want to acknowledge our fellow bloggers for helping me to build awareness for the "Christmas for the Children" event that Bob Parks Realty hosts every year for children in need. My heartfelt thanks to the fine people at Cool People Care (thank you, Sam), ThisisSmyrnaTN (shout out to Michelle), Drama Llama (you go, Mark) have really stepped up to the plate to help us raise money for our gift to the children of LaVergne and Smyrna. We are at this time about $12,000 short of being able to help the kids out, so there is a very real possibility that the event will be cancelled this year.

We are hosting a "Skate for the Children" night at the Smyrna Skate Center on October 10th from 6:30 - 9:00 p.m. Admission is $4 ($2 goes to the Christmas fund), plus skate rental is $2.50. We will also have a donation jar and Mark is pulling together a silent auction. I would like to personally invite the blogging community to come and have some fun with us next Tuesday. If you work outside the home, I ask that you possibly pass the hat around at your place of employment and bring your company's contribution that night. If you don't feel comfortable doing this, please just come - pay your admission to get in and enjoy the evening!

Mark has promised that if we raise $200, I will get out on the skating rink and shake my bootie. This I WILL DO... but not on skates. I value my bones as they are now - unbroken. So please please please come on out. Post about the event on your own blog. If you'd like me to email you a flyer, just comment here and I'll be glad to do this.

I also want to recognize the two businesses that have already stepped in to help:

Ernie Dunbar of Allstate in LaVergne.
Dempsey Howard of LaVergne, Smyrna & Nashville City Guides.

There have been other people who've donated, but the ones I list here are the ones who are donating through blogging or through the Skate for the Children event. Thank you for any help you can give.

Footnote: please don't judge me harshly about my above mentioned purchase when we are trying raise awareness and money. I do give a percentage of every paycheck to a benevolent fund which helps this noble cause, along with other charities throughout the entire year.

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Travel Tours

One of my favorite jobs ever was working at the front desk of a state resort park in Kentucky. We saw all kinds of people coming through - from the business traveler who would stay a week at a time and always managed to dirty his sheets (yes, the housekeeper talk) to an old lady whose stolen car was packed window to window, floor to ceiling with purses (state police handled that one when she kept threatening to use her imaginary gun). We had a lot of groups, too. Mostly family reunions, but some business retreats. But my favorites were always the senior bus tours. Those people were so much fun! Besides the women being sweet and the men telling goofy jokes and flirting, they went to dinner, browsed the gift shop, used the lobby in the evening to play bingo or cards, then were in bed by 10:00 p.m. and quiet the rest of the night.

So I'm reading the Tennessean online a few moments ago and saw this article about the Spring Hill seniors community planning trips in the fall and winter. This is what I want to do when I grow up. I want to be around people I like, seeing the country, having time to read books, and staying overnight at cool destinations, but enjoying the evening with my friends before bedtime. Even though this sounds like a totally old person thing to do, just imagine how much fun it would be with your friends!

I want to go to New England in the Fall (including Connecticut), a warm ocean community in the Winter, the Grand Canyon in Spring, and maybe Jackson Hole, Wyoming in the summer. Oh let's do!