Friday, October 28, 2011

Let me tell you how I really feel

I totally stole this photo off my cousin's Facebook page. He has the most precocious, delightful child who, apparent from this photo, doesn't hold back when it comes to telling you how he feels. He could be all up in his parents face yelling his displeasure, pitching a tantrum, and trashing his room. Instead he takes the more diplomatic approach of stating his displeasure on paper .... and posting it for them to see.

I wish I had seen this photo last night because I would have totally copied his idea. Except my signs would have been "Danger Mad Wife" and "No mean husbands allowed." Instead I used the other passive aggressive approach after stating verbally "I'm never playing with you again," and gave the hubs the silent treatment for the rest of the night. For the record ladies, the silent treatment isn't really all that effective with most men. Usually they're so happy to have some peace and quiet it takes awhile for it to sink in that they're in the dog house. Anyway, I say we follow Carlos' lead and post signs on our doors telling "them" how we really feel.

If you're wondering what Dale did that warranted such a reaction I'll show you 

Do you see it? My not so dear husband beat me in Words With Friends not once, not twice but five times in a row. And he didn't beat me just a little, he beat me BAD. (We won't even talk about the fact that my sister-in-law and friend Jennifer also rubbed salt in the wound by beating me).

I remember now why I stopped playing Scrabble with Dale. He is good at coming up with words I don't know, he see places to play letters that I would never see, and he's ruthless when it comes to winning. He's also very lucky when it comes to getting the good letters. At one point I had three I's, two U's, an O and some consonant that I can't remember ... the only thing worse than those letters is having V,K,Z,Q,L,G, and W. Yes, those were actual letters I had for one play.

I guess it's only fair for me to come clean and confess a few things:

1. I don't like losing.
2. I don't like competition, mostly because ... well, see #1, but also because it makes me anxious and nervous and who likes those feelings? Not me!

Considering #1 and #2, it should come as no surprise when I say I don't like playing games. I'm actually talking about games that involve other people. I can sit and play computer games BY MYSELF all day long. But board games, card games, and such .... NOT MY THING. Just ask my kids. Poor boys had all the board games growing up but Mom would never play with them. The ladies at church are always asking me to join them for game night but I never go. And now there's Words with Friends on my cell phone and Facebook and they have started taunting me. It's fun when you win, it's painful when you lose, and it's sheer torture when you're repeatedly stomped into the ground ... therefore, I surrender.

Allow me to tell you how I really feel

If there's anyone out there saying I'm a poor loser and acting like a baby. Yessir, that's right! I claim my crown and will wear it with pride.

It's sad isn't it, to let a game have such an impact on one's life? No more! For those of you currently playing Words with me ... this is our last game. Don't take it personally, it's me not you (ah, the oldest breakup line in the world). Really, it's all on meeeeeeeeee.

Now, excuse me while I crawl away to hide and lick my wounds ... and wipe that darn app off my phone!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I have no self control

When it comes to certain foods I have trouble knowing when to step back and say no. Consequently, it's no surprise I am the size of a water buffalo. And while I've never actually seen a live water buffalo, I'm pretty sure we're comparable in size.

Last week when the boys were home from school I made a delicious macaroni and cheese dish. It was a lick the bowl clean type of dish. Even Dale liked it and he's not your average pasta loving fool like the rest of us. As is usual for homemade mac-and-cheese the recipe made enough for a small army. Even with four adults, two of whom are growing male adult-children, we could not eat it all so you know what that means .... yay for leftovers! I was able to put two two-person servings in the freezer for future meals.

Well, wouldn't you know it, I've done nothing since last Thursday but think about macaroni and cheese. The gooey cheesy goodness has been calling out to me on a regular basis and finally today I succumbed to it. Yes, I pulled that package right out of the freezer and heated it up for my lunch. It smelled heavenly and I couldn't wait to sink my teeth into it.

It is with great sadness that I report that my leftover macaroni and cheese was not as good as it was the other night. It wasn't as creamy and the macaroni seemed a bit tough. Of course it wasn't so bad I couldn't eat it. I scarfed down about half the dish before giving up and offering the rest to Spunky. I guess it could be considered a blessing that it was only good enough to eat half  'cause we all know this water buffalo doesn't need all those calories.

I'm also sad to report that because it wasn't as good as anticipated I am still craving ooey-gooey-cheesy mac-n-cheese. And also because my craving wasn't satisfied I'm destined to struggle today with the urge to fill my disappointed tummy with something else. I should have gone to Chick-fil-A instead. It never fails to satisfy the craving.

Before closing out and since we're talking about food, I leave you with these photos from our visit to Mellow Mushroom this weekend.

I had this awesome sub   and Dale and Ian shared this pie
  I didn't get a photo of Andrew's food because he was fussing at me to stop taking photos, which I did after shooting him

bwahahaha, a mother's revenge


 Really I wanted to show him playing with his new phone. Yes, Andrew got the newest iPhone and he spent a better part of the weekend playing with it. If you've read any of the reports on the new phone you know that it's biggest selling point is Siri (which you can read about here  if you're not from this planet and don't know what I'm talking about). I have to admit we all had fun playing with it and the highlight came when he said "crap" to Siri and she replied "let's keep it clean Andrew" There's nothing like having your phone correct you, just like your mother!

I'm also pleased to announce that we have now pulled my husband into the 21st century. He inherited Andrew's old iPhone and is currently experiencing what the rest of us have been yakking about for years.

   See how happy he is? Men sure do love their gadgets! This guy however isn't so happy.  In fact, he's quite sad. Due to recent purchases of a new muffler, a new windshield, and a new piece-that-holds-your-wheel-to-the-axle all of his money is gone and he isn't able to upgrade to the new iPhone. Sorry Buddy, maybe Santa will get a bonus this year and bring you one for Christmas.

I have to confess that I too am the owner of a new iPhone. I opted for a white one  isn't it cute?  In my defense it was clearly time for me to upgrade - my old 3G couldn't hold a charge for a full day, the center home button had to be pressed multiple times to work, and the touchscreen only responded to 50% of my swipes. I did practice self control in that I purchased the 4 and not the more expensive 4S even though I really, reaaaaally wanted it.

Aren't you glad to know that when it comes to some things I can practice self control? Excuse me now, I'm off in search of food - this water buffalo is still hungry!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

All dogs go to heaven??

Our dog Max died Friday. He was old, blind in one eye, and arthritic. For the last few months his health declined rapidly so it was really a blessing that he's gone on to the great beyond. I'd like to think he's chasing his sister around and saying in dog-talk "I wondered where you went!"

I'm embarrassed to say that I can't remember exactly when we got Max, I think it was when Ian was in second grade. Here's a photo of him not long after he came to live was us. He was a cute little puppy  who grew into a very big old dog. He was a mix of black lab and chow. His bark was ferocious but I'm not aware of him ever actually hurting anyone or thing unless you count those stuffed animals and baseball caps that he devoured as a puppy. Despite being the bigger dog Max was submissive to his younger, smaller sister. She was a bully and to be honest I don't think he cared one bit that she wasn't around for the last six months of his life!

Max was a family pet but was technically Ian's dog. Of all the family members though, Dale probably gave him the most attention. I wasn't a very good dog mom because I really don't like dogs all that much. But I will admit it's pretty darn quiet around here without the old boy. Right up to the end he wanted to be right in the middle of whatever was going on and as hard as it was for him to get around this last year, he followed me all over the house. every day. all day long.

Friday afternoon Dale and I laid him to rest. We're not like normal people who take their pets to a vet for their final resting place, all of ours are buried in the backyard. In the twenty one years we lived in this house we've laid to rest four cats and two dogs. I guess you could say we have our very own Pet Cemetery, segregated of course, cats on one side of the fence, dogs on the other. If we ever move we should probably point this out to the new homeowner. We wouldn't want them having any unpleasant surprises should they decide to put in a pool or plant new trees in the yard.

Rest in peace Max - enjoy your new life with your siblings who've gone on before you - Murphy. Dusty, Jeffrey, Tiger, and Holly. Spunky says for now she's gonna hang around here and enjoy being an only child!

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Some things we never outgrow...

Raise your hand if you had an imaginary friend growing up! I did, her name was Mary. To be honest I don't really remember *her,* I just have the memories that my family has provided me. Mary was my constant companion for awhile and it seemed any time there was trouble it was always Mary that was the instigator.

me and my brother David
Mother likes to tell the story of the time my family went camping. She was a little tired of all the trouble Mary created so she encouraged me to leave her at home. As we settled into our campground all seemed to be going well when suddenly I started screaming. My parents raced to my side, fearing the presence of some menacing creature such as a bear or snake. They were quickly relieved to discover that my screams were of delight not fear as I pointed and exclaimed, "look, there's Mary walking down the road. She must have followed us here!" Yes, Mary was quite the resourceful little girl. Imagine that.

Both of my children had imaginary friends. Ian's friend was named Bobby. Bobby wasn't much of a trouble maker but he did cause conflict between the two brothers. Andrew took great pleasure in accidentally sitting on Bobby, stealing his favorite toy, eating the last cookie, and generally being a pesty little brother while Ian and Bobby tried to have play time. Bobby didn't hang around too long. I think it was just too much work for Ian to try and keep the peace. Imagine that. 

Eventually Andrew came up with own little friend, though as usual, he took the concept of imaginary friend to a whole new level. Andrew's friend was named Plank and we could actually see him ... because he was ... a piece of wood! If I remember correctly Plank was one of those kids a parent would prefer their kid NOT hang out with. If there was trouble Plank was involved. Imagine that.

There are a lot of opinions and theories on whether or not the presence of imaginary friends is a good thing. I think the general consensus is that having one can be a perfectly normal part of a growing child's life, as long as they can eventually let go of the friendship and allow themselves to invest in real-body-and-breath friends.

I'm here today to argue this point. Not the part where it's normal for a child to develop a friendship with an imaginary companion, but the part where the relationship has to be replaced with real people. Ok, I just heard a collective gasp. I know you're all thinking "Sherri has finally lost it, she's talking crazy here." But, read on, hear me out, and then you can decide if it all makes sense or if the train has left the station and I'm on my way to the Cuckcoo's Nest.

I believe not only do we NOT have to leave behind our childhood imaginary friends but we should embrace them and make them an integral part of our adult lives. In fact, I think that having IFs (IF = imaginary friend, in case you didn't get it) can enhance our lives and strengthen the real life relationships we have. Friends are a great thing to have but because of their human nature, friends can also cause heartache, disappointment, and other negative emotions. IF's just accept you for who you are and never, ever throw you under the bus.

So, let's just say that it's ok for me to have a few IFs. If that's the case then let's see just who I have surrounded myself with.

First, there's Mary - she is the little-girl friend in my life. With Mary I can pretend to be young and carefree. With Mary there are no adult responsibilities. Together we can sneak and eat ice cream and candy any time of the day or night. We can giggle in the middle of the day for no apparent reason, stay up way past our bed time playing games and watching tv shows that no self-respecting adult woman would admit to watching.

Next is Cat Lady - she is my friend who thinks that a person can never have too many kitties. She loves looking at the 100s of photos I take of my cat and laughs and compliments each and every one. She plots with me on ways to acquire new cats. And while she is imaginary to the rest of the world she is very real to felines. I know this because I see it in Spunky's eyes as she stares intently into space in the middle of the night. She sees Cat Lady and purrs her approval.

Church Lady - she loves the Lord and together we can discuss the ways of God. Completely opposite of the Church Lady on SNL, my Church Lady is never judgmental when I express thoughts and ideas that appear different from that of the fundamental evangelical Christians that surround us here in the Bible Belt. She encourages me to focus not on their words but The Word and to be true to what I know is right. She claps during singing and gently teases me because I have no rhythm and absolutely cannot keep a beat. She also thinks it's perfectly acceptable to raise hands in worship, to use video, skits, etc during a sermon, and knows there's no one absolute way to "do" church. She encourages me to not be afraid to be myself and to not allow others to push me into conforming to their mold of being a Christian.
    Serendipity is my artsy-fartsy friend. She shares my love of all things crafty and creative. She encourages me to try something new, think outside the box, and create whatever makes me happy and not worry about what others will think. Serendipity loves color and textures and an array of mediums which she pushes me to experiment with and she never, never, never makes fun of the results. We work well together, bouncing ideas off each other and whenever I create something totally outlandish I can say "it was Serendipity" and she always takes the fall.

    And finally I have my friend Godiva. She lives on the wild side and is always trying to get me to follow along. She laughs at conformity, scoffs at tradition, and constantly pushes me to try something new. Godiva knows no fear and it's her life goal to help me learn to throw caution to the wind, to live life with intensity, and to have confidence in myself. She's my biggest cheerleader and ally.

    So, there you have it. Mary, Cat Lady, Church Lady, Serendipity, and Godiva - my BIFFs. (Best Imaginary Friends Forever in case you're not up on the lingo). They're always with me and never let me down. So, if you come across my path and think you see me talking to myself, I'm not. I'm conversing with one of my BIFFs, and sometimes it's not just one of the girls but two or three or maybe even all five of them. Fortunately we all get along, and generally like and respect each other which is totally a good thing 'cause having that many girls together in one's head could really be explosive.

    How about you, did you have an imaginary friend, or two, in your past? Wouldn't you really like to reconnect with them? I bet she (or he) is just sitting there in the cobwebs of your brain waiting for a call out. Go ahead, give it a try .... nobody needs to know, it can be your little secret with your very own BIFF. 

    Monday, October 3, 2011

    Who knew?

    Apparently  a few people do read my blog. In the past couple of days I've gotten a few inquiries as to where I've been. I'd like to say I've been on vacation to some exotic location  but alas, 'tis not true. I've been mired down in the doldrums ... and that's all we're gonna say about that. On to better stuff.

    I just had the best weekend. The boys took time out of  their busy school schedule to drive down for a quick visit and Sarah came along too. Nothing picks me up better than time spent with my kids.

    Ian and his dad headed out early Saturday to get a new muffler for his car. On their way home they stopped at Kroger for a couple of packs of cinnamon rolls. Warm-from-the-oven cinnamon rolls is a sure fire way to get the rest of us lazy heads moving faster in the morning.

    What a great start to the day, yummy breakfast and a car that no longer sounds like a tank driving the road.

    We spent a couple of hours catching up on news, Dale opened up his barber shop to buzz Andrew's head, and we spaced out five showers (we really should have gotten a bigger tank when we replaced the hot water heater a couple of years ago - 40 gallons doesn't go so far when everyone is home - last one in takes a real quickie!). All dressed in long sleeves and jeans (yay for Fall weather!) we headed out for what we do best - EAT!

    Whenever we are trying to decide where we want to eat it inevitably turns into a game of "where do you want to go? I don't know, where do you want to go?" So today I decided to go against the norm and say "I want a burger, your choices are Cheeseburger Bobby's, my favorite and Georgia's best kept secret, or 5 Guys. The consensus was 5Guys because it isn't as far, it's closer to Goodwill, and, according to Ian, the fries are better. So, off we went to 5Guys. But don't despair, Cheeseburger Bobby's I'll see you next weekend.

    On this crisp Fall day we are all giddy in anticipation of a momentous occurrence ... Ian is going to eat a hamburger. Yes, you heard that right. Macaroni and cheese boy is gonna eat a hamburger! And rest assured, for an event of this magnitude, Mama definitely had her camera out.

     hmmmm, this appears to be quite tasty.  I think it's the bacon and the grilled onions that really make it good.

    Check out Sarah's burger, she got it with everything .... Ian is not that brave yet.

    Dad is shocked, He can't believe he's witnessing his firstborn chowing down on a burger.

    Andrew thinks if he ignores me I will go away with my camera ....NOT, gonna happen, haven't you learned yet?

    Just don't make eye contact and maybe she'll go away

    I'm trying but she just won't stop!

    Today these two are going along with me. Personally I think they're enjoying all the attention.

    Especially this guy 
    going for the last bite.

    Now get outta here ma!

    For those of you who don't know the story behind my picky eater, this child lived off PB&J, macaroni &cheese, chicken nuggets and cheese pizza for the first eighteen years of his life. The one and only time we got him to try a hamburger he gagged and threw it up. Did I mention we were at a cookout with friends from church? Yes it was embarrassing for us parents and apparently pretty traumatic for the boy because up until recently he's steered clear of hamburgers and ground beef in general. We are so proud that he's all "growed" up now and eating big boy food. I don't know if it's college or the girlfriend that has gotten him to try new foods but whichever, I'm eternally grateful.

    After lunch we invaded the local Goodwill store. It's really funny how my children have gotten into "thrifting." As they perused the store for hidden treasure  it reminded me of the first time I took the boys to Goodwill. Andrew was horrified. "I am NOT going to wear clothes that someone else has worn," he stated. "That's just gross!" It didn't matter that he was standing there wearing a pair of jeans he got from Philip Hartman and a hand-me-down shirt from Drew Johns, he was not having anything to do with second hand clothes from a store.

    Thank goodness he's gotten over that hangup! If not, think of all the treasures he'd miss out on.

    Speaking of treasures, my hubby with thrilled with his find. 
    He's always looking for Ohio State paraphernalia and it's slim pickin's down here in the land of Georgia Bulldawgs. Go Buckeyes!

    Here's Ian assisting Sarah in her search for something cute to wear 
    and Dale and Andrew are making their purchases.

    See that orange shirt in Andrew's stack? Ian used to have one just like it. I took it from him, wore it for awhile and then put it in our Goodwill pile last year. Wouldn't it be funny if Andrew was buying back our own shirt?

    I'm the only one who didn't make a purchase. I'm still holding out for the elusive round table I want for my breakfast nook. If anyone sees one at a thrift store or garage sale call me right away 'cause I really neeeeed that round table!

    According to Ian all the photos I've taken today are proof that I am a stalker lady. He claims it's creepy that I'm taking photos of them shopping. I told him to hush and be glad I didn't take any at our next stop - Walmart. Otherwise, I'd be posting photos of him buying that pair of Batman underwear he just had to have.

    I thought the days of action themed underwear were over.
    I'm so gonna get in trouble for posting this....
     Apparently I was wrong. Don't you just love their little squishy faces? I just want to kiss their chubby cheeks and pinch their hineys! Yes, moms are weird like that.

    After all that exhausting shopping we headed home to watch a little football, do a little homework, catch a few zzzz's, and prepare ourselves for the next meal. And what a meal it was. Grilled chicken breasts seasoned and wrapped in bacon. Roasted squash, asparagus, onion, and zucchini (why is it I can never remember how to spell this word and always have to look it up?), and mashed potatoes. It was delicious even if I do say so myself. And, no, I did not take any photographs of this magazine worthy dinner. We were too busy scarfing it down. We also had a double score today because Mr Picky Eater tried the veggies, including one asparagus tip that I forced on him. He'll never admit it but I'm pretty sure he liked it. We'll find out next time they're home 'cause I'm definitely making this dish again.

    After dinner we had a repeat of the afternoon - football, homework, and talking. Yes, we do a lot of talking. And laughing. And just enjoying being home together. I'm so blessed that my boys like spending time with their parents and they keep coming back even though Mama keeps sharing their lives with all of blogdom.
    Love you Andrew, Love you Ian!