Monday, October 28, 2013


After dropping every phone I have ever owned into the toilet, I took the "plunge" today and got an iPhone. As someone who has only ever always had a cedar phone, this is a big step.  For several days now I have been walking around with a GoPhone than had none of my contacts and that whole use the numbers as letters texting. If I only had any contacts.

I got the old model 4s iPhone for 99 cents. The lady really tried to talk me into the new model. But, as I told her again and again as she shook her head in dismay, I am used to having a cedar phone. ANY iPhone will make me feel like Jack Bauer. 

Then I bought a case for it that cost $80. What is wrong with this picture?

I am thinking a Celine Dion song in my head to my new phone. And it feels wrong.

Monday, September 02, 2013

Labor Day


Slumdog came on cable tonight. For free. In the living room. 5 minutes in. It becomes clear that it is still too soon. Floods of memories. Too much.

So instead, apparently, as some sort of penance, in my own Caroland economy, I have now listened to Tracy Chapman's "Fast Car" with my husband's very best state of the art headphones, the ones he uses for playing drums in a real live band, going on 31 times in a row. 32. First world suffering. That is one sad song. Relatively. 33.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Writing Spiders

We have these two writing spiders in the bushes on either side of the approach to our front door this summer.  Like gargoyles warding off evil. If we were illiterate, these would be powerful images announcing vigilance against an enemy. Unless you like spiders. Which I do not. They are my one thing. Do you have a one thing? Spiders are my one thing. They are present in most of my nightmares.

Hubby has been feeding them. I have even joined in. The watching of the feeding. I don't touch bugs. Unless they come near the grandbabies. Grandbabies are the trump card. Grandbabies are a more excellent one thing.

The writing spiders loved the bumble bees (carpenter bees that like to eat our deck and that we like to bat with tennis rackets for sport), miscellaneous beetles, another spider even which Hubs tossed their way. Gross.

Toward the end of their reign, we tossed a lightning bug to one of the spiders. It bounced off the web. Several times. When it finally did stick in the web, the spider ran down and kicked it off.

Mike says that the spiders didn't reject the lightning bugs of their youth. He says that the coolest thing was watching it wrap up it's neon prey.

So my take away, obviously, is that we are pickier in our old age. We have learned what tastes foul and what is yummy. Sweet. Best. And if you want to know what to choose, what is best, ask someone old. If you think their answer is off, missing it, it is because you are young. And you will learn.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Flying with babies

I couldn't let this one pass out of memory.  It is too precious for obscurity.

In May, Katie and Brett took Lydia and Calvin to Seattle to visit Brett's parents, Burley and PopPop.
They made these adorable hand-outs for the airline passengers who would be seated nearby.  Isn't that like a 5 hour flight?

Just. too. cute.

In other news, Calvin (aka Bobo) acquired a stomach bug during their visit.  Which he passed around the great northwest.  And then brought home to the southland.  To share.  He's a giver.

Monday, April 08, 2013

Dear Target:

I miss you, Target.

When tax season is over in a week, I am finally coming back.  I will wander your halls aimlessly.  For hours.  And try on all your flats.  Please have some good ones.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

The Old House

Oh man.  Me and Katie took the babies to Dekalb Farmers Market today.  She is making Calvin's baby food from scratch and they have produce from actual farms around here.  And from not anywhere around here.  Anyway, the building is massive and COLD.  They keep this four billion square foot building almost as cold as your refrigerator.  (she packed sweaters for the kids and for me because that is how she rolls)  She also has purloined a wheat mill to make her own bread (we will be glad she is with us in the coming zombie apocalypse)  Again, anyway, she likes to go there because they have the all natural ingredients for Bobo's baby food for super cheap and for her bread making and for the super basic way she is cooking these days.  It's pretty amazing how hard you have to swim upstream to live like Mom lived. She has a group of friends who shop there and they call each other when they are going and get their lists of items to purchase (we had 2 carts and one was for her and one was for her buds - living in community, she is)  Let's just go ahead and say that this whole first paragraph is dedicated to how amazing Katie is.  Her homemaking brings tears to my eyes.  (I am actually tearing up at this very minute just thinking about it all)

I had never been before to the Dekalb Farmers Market.  As you may have deciphered, I was impressed.  So when she told me that this would be our Tuesday outing for the week (we spend Tuesdays together when it isn't tax season), my wheels started turning.  I thought, "That is probably near the old house."  A Google map search confirmed my suspicions.

Several months ago, I did a Google search on Valencia and saw the old house in satellite view.  I know that some of you have driven by there in years past from time to time.  I never had.  The map I printed was a piece of crap and we weren't sure how to leave the market to get there.  But, it is weird.  I just started driving in the right direction.  A really nice older black man saw us on Ponce and could tell we were lost.  He pulled up beside us real slow like in a convertible Mercedes and told us how to get to 2nd Ave.  We didn't retain everything he said and stopped again when we saw a lady outside of a church.  She was super gracious.  She asked us if we were trying to get to the golf course.  It sort of hurt my heart.  I told her, "No, we are looking for the old house, it's where I lived as a child."  In my imagination, we shared a split second of kinship somehow.  She remembered Leslie J. Steele, which is now something else, and told us exactly how to get there. 

So, we got there.  We saw the elementary school where I actually remember singing to myself in the lunch line (in first grade) (that seemed like we were walking to Alabama and not to the next hallway), "Yesterday, all my troubles seemed so far away.  Now I need a place to hide away."  How odd what we remember.  I think I must have always felt the power of melancholy.  I feel it now.  I also remember seeing a hypnotist entertain on the stage at that school and pondering in my little first grade brain what it all meant.  I saw the crosswalk where the crossing guard would say to me every morning, "Every hair in place."  I saw the detour that I took one day walking home from school that sent my Mama into a fit of worry. 

We drove down the road where Gaga would take us on picnics.  That same huge oak tree stands at the helm of that wood.  We saw the Ivey's house and the Martin's house and the girl down the road's house that told her brother to throw me on a uniform delivery truck at her birthday party.  I totally remember not saying what was bothering me when I walked home early from her party.  And I totally remember my Mama not ever allowing me to go to her house ever again.

And the Peacock's house.  What?  That hill from our driveway to the back of their house, past their beautiful daughter lying in the sun smearing butter.  Actual melting butter.  On her self.  That hill seemed like Kennesaw Mountain.  Well, it is the gentlest slope imaginable.  You can't even visually detect the changing topography.  I swear it felt like a mountain marching up that hill in front of my Mama who made me apologize to David Peacock for saying his cat was stupid.  What I would have said, had I not been 5, was that David Peacock was stupid.   And he should be ashamed of himself for harassing little girls half his age day after day after day.  I saw the fence next to the Peacock's yard, it looks like the very same fence, that it was a terrible shame if your ball went over.  And how brave my big brother was to climb it over.  And back again. With the ball.

Still, those were the first lessons I can remember, the first of many, in "be who you are, be the person you want to be, no matter who someone else decides to be.  Be who you are."  It is a lesson I draw on every week.  Every day.  Nothing works if you ain't being you.

So the old house?  Anti-climax.  I couldn't make out the front walk that I distinctly remember talking Ben into putting on his Easter shoes with me (that Mama had just bought) and marching around outside.  I remember taking them out of the tissue, out of the box, the way the patent leather smelled, the way the marching felt on that walkway.  Where is the stoop that I drove my tricycle off of that I remember busting open the back of my head and Mama rinsing me off in the sink just so she could put me in the car to have stitches while she told me Goldilocks and the Three Bears.  Or was it The Three Little Pigs?  

You can't see much from the road.  And, if Bobo is yelling in the backseat, you tend to lose focus.  So, I guess my takeaway is this, it ain't the place.  It's the stuff that happened in the place.  And if you are looking to the place to mean anything in comparison to the happenings, you might be disappointed initially.  But, you will have been given the chance to remember all the rememberings.  And know that it is no wonder to be as awesome as you are.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

I'm working on a theory.

I've been thinking about what happens when a dump truck backs up into the front yard of your life and unloads ten tons of manure.  That you didn't order.  How huge it is, how bad it smells, how unsightly.  If you live in a neighborhood you'll get complaints. 

I've also been thinking about how manure is fertilizer.  How you can, little by little, shovel full by shovel full, take it around to the plants in your backyard.  And your side yard.  And your neighbors yard.  And spread just a little.  And the pile gets smaller.  And the plants get healthier.  After some time passes.

How about the person who placed the order?  How about the person who drove the delivery truck?

You could look at the pile and say to yourself, "It's mine. It's ours. We will handle it."  You could say, when people come by with shovels and offer to take some away, "No, thank you."

The pile is still there.

I think it is weird that something so disgusting actually encourages growth.

I had a pile.  After trying lots of different removal methods, I hired someone to haul it away.  The most amazing stuff grows in that spot.

Friday, August 19, 2011

Ashley Ward's wedding site

It's called The Muscadine Vine and it is gorgee-poo!

The first picture is the apron I'm making for the Belles, so adorable.

The second picture is overlooking the field and lake where the ceremony will be.

The third picture is the one of the kitchen.

The fourth picture is of the yard between the kitchen building and the storage shed where the serving tables will be.

The 5th is from the barn and drive where the guest tables will be looking over toward the serving lines.

I have a few more I'll post later.

Love you Debs!!!

Thursday, June 30, 2011

So much.

So much has happened since I last wrote. I wish my memory was super orderly and I could just spit out a time line or something. Katie B is having her second child in December, we find out today (false alarm - no ultrasound today) if we're getting a boy or girl. If the baby is a girl, how will she be different than LydieBug? If the baby is a boy, how will he be like his big sister? We went to the beach for a few days and got to see Lydia be astonished by the Atlantic. On the way to the beach, she stopped on the boardwalk, her hands stretched out, her mouth dropped open, and she shook with excitement. Seeing everything for the first time again is the best thing about being a grand. I'm always watching her face as she looks at the world. I followed her around all over the beach bending over her when she would veer toward the surf. Letting her feel the pull without losing her to the waves.

Saturday, September 04, 2010


We have lots of new corners at our house.

Soapy sudsy corner.

Playtime corner.

Bouncy, bouncy, bouncy corner.

Listening corner.

Sweet sleepy corner.

Love these corners.
Maybe we're turning a corner, too.