Archive for July, 2010

Kids are funny

Thursday, July 22nd, 2010

I told the kids to put on their bathing suits, get their goggles and towels, and get in the car. “we’re going down to meet your dad at a studio, going by Goodwill, then going straight to the pool,” I said. So, that’s how I found myself on 85South, all three of us singing along at the top of our lungs to Tokyo Police Club, and i looked back in the rear view and both kids already had their goggles on down over their eyes, riding down 85, and I smiled at the image of what we must look like to people in cars around us.

Dear Universe

Wednesday, July 21st, 2010

I know you probably think it was funny that i didn’t finish all my work this morning and the kids were bored and tried to kill each other, so I took them grocery shopping, where Tiller proceeded to knock a glass tray of cheese cubes on the floor and it broke, and she cut her foot in two places, while shoppers gawked and I tried not to bite the heads off of the people who tried to help me, because it’s not their fault that they work for a company that puts crap right at kids’ eye levels so that they nag you to buy shit that they don’t need and that will make them fat. You probably also thought it was funny that I worked for 30 minutes putting stuff together to take to the pool to eat a picnic dinner and then we pulled into the parking lot and they closed the pool and then we had to turn around and go back home and then the bottom fell out and we all got wet.

I am not laughing.


Saturday, July 17th, 2010

Joe and I outfished Daddy, but he caught the Big One. Had forgotten how great six a.m. is on the lake.

Help Me Pull the Trigger

Tuesday, July 13th, 2010

On a dining room lighting choice.

So, this is going to be a decorating post. I know. Very out of character. Bear with me. . .

My tastes veer toward antique, junk, found objects, metal, rust, peeling paint. This fit in pretty fine when Todd and I were in our first house in EAV.
I loved that house.

Then we got knocked up and had to move to a bigger house.
Furniture still worked. Schools didn’t.

And now we are in a great school, but in something i never thought i would own. A split-level. And my furniture? It still works, but I am finding that I need to mix it with more modern elements to keep it from looking incongruous with its surroundings.

So, I am getting a new piece of furniture, an old pie safe, from my in-laws. It is beautiful, and I will post a photo when it moves in, and give the whole scoop on its history. (I know. You are just riveted now, aren’t you?) It will go in the dining room. My dining room, with its farm table, beat up junk store chairs, and weird Pop objects: old iron, churn, huge antique crocks. Old photos on the walls.

I decided I wanted to repaint the den and dining room, to brighten the area. I love the color that we picked, but it is turning out to be too dark in those rooms (the den and dining area are connected). The dining room only has one window. I figured while I repainted, I would also use that as an excuse to get rid of the dining room light. It is the exact same fixture my grandparents had in THEIR house in Warner Robins. Need I say more? That bitch needs to go.

I started looking at fixtures. Realized the more traditional fixtures were going to make my dining room look like a Cracker Barrel. Decided what I really wanted was something more funky. Lighter, airier, brighter, less heavy.

This is new for me. I found myself looking at fixtures I would never have looked at before. I got Todd on board. We are in agreement. And now I’ve narrowed them down to a few I like.

I always have trouble pulling the trigger on decisions like this, though. I have a favorite. Todd has a favorite.

Which is your favorite?
Update: Added photos of dining room and adjoining living room.

We Don’t Smell Other People’s Bottoms

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

I overhear Rollie telling Tiller “Smell my finger.”

Having been friends with more boys than girls along the way, all sorts of alarms went off in my head, backed by a “Master of Puppets” soundtrack. (‘m looking at you. You know who you are. Coming out of your girlfriend’s house, when you went in to “see what was taking her so long” when we picked her up on the way to school, and then making me smell your finger? Some scars never go away.)

“Rollie,” I said. “Come here.”

Rollie rolls his eyes (remind me again why I’m not allowed to slap his face?) and comes to stand in front of me.

“Why did you ask Tiller to smell your finger?”

“I didn’t.” [You little liar.]

“Yes, you did. I just heard you. Why?”

“I don’t remember.”

[I’m staring at him and he is staring back at me, rebelliously unblinking and wide-eyed.]

“Why did you say it?”

“Oh, never mind!” He walks away.

“Get back here.” [Try to control voice so it is not a yell.] “I say when we are done. Why did you ask her to smell your finger?”

[Comes back and stares at me.]

“Why? We can stand here all day until you tell me.”

“Because it’s stinky.”

“Why is it stinky?”

“Because i wiped it on my bottom.”

What. The. Fuck.

Is this normal older brother behavior? Am I raising a psychopath?

He got sent to the bathroom to wash his hands and then to his room. I asked Tiller, “Has your brother made you smell his finger before?”

She thinks, eyes on the ceiling.

“No. But he did ask me to smell his bottom one time. I said ‘No.'”

“Good girl. We don’t smell other people’s bottoms.”

Parenting is sometimes completely absurd. It never occurred to me to teach my kids that we don’t smell other people’s bottoms. But it is a lesson they need to know. Sometimes you end up hearing yourself actually saying words like, “We don’t smell other people’s bottoms.” You think, “what the hell has become of me?”

Parenting is fucking hard.

The Chase

Thursday, July 8th, 2010

The Chase

Originally uploaded by DASHIELLREY

My brother-in-law took this when we were on Cape San Blas. The little guy is my nephew, Dash. Note how empty the beach is, and it was 4th of July weekend, but it is usually like that at CSB, so I don’t think it was really attributable to the oil spill.

Would be mighty cool if life felt like this all the time.

The Gulf

Tuesday, July 6th, 2010

I watched my children play in the sand while a storm came in, never quite reached us, but left us a rainbow that spanned the trees and the beach and gulf, all the way to the horizon.

I listened as my children discussed whether the pot of gold was in the forest or in the deep blue sea, and where did the leprechaun live?

I walked the beach at sunset and found the largest shell i have ever found in my whole life.

I sat in my beach chair, and thought about how many times I had sat on the Gulf in my life and thought about how small it made me feel.

I petted my dog’s velvet ears on the screened porch while having drinks with my husband and listening to music.

I had coffee with my sister while our kids played trains and chatted happily with each other.

I poured tequila at nine a.m.

I watched as the kids ignored the big ocean for the small tide pools and then rolled around in the mud. I didn’t worry a bit about the sand and the dirt.

I chased my nephew on the sand, and I clutched my hat to my head as the wind tried to take it from me.

I held hands with my little girl and walked on the docks. We dangled our feet over the edge, watching as sailboats came in, and we waved at the people and the dogs on board. We saw a crab on a pylon and we laughed at him.

I waited for hurricane waves to carry me in, and I scraped my knees on a thousand shells, and the ocean turned me upside down like I was in a washing machine. And I liked it and I laughed a true laugh and my raw, bruised knees felt good. It still feels good. I hope it doesn’t go away.

I stepped barefoot up a hundred iron spiral steps. I heard them clang and I heard the wind whistle through them. I got my bearings. I yearned to climb even farther and see how it all works. I saw beauty in the way things used to be made, and I saw that they could last.

I promised myself that I would try to convince Todd to let me paint the porch ceiling blue.

I wondered what it would be like to live 250 yards from the sea, in a time with no electricity, no gas, no artificial light, no corner grocery. I wondered what it would be like to live there and batten down the hatches. I wished I could have seen it then.

I gazed on an American flag flapping sharply in the wind, and I thought how very lucky I am.

I watched my husband stand alone in the ocean, staring out to sea. I thought to myself that he is the most wonderful person I have ever met, and that is the way it should be.

I pointed out pelicans flying in a perfect vee to my nephew and he pointed to them, too, and then looked at me to make sure I saw.

I saw my children and their cousin laugh and splash in the ocean, and I saw them put an arm around him when a big wave came, and I knew for a moment that I was doing something right.

I sat and waited until the last moment for the storm, a great wall of dark gray, to come ashore, and I got soaked, and I didn’t care. I danced under the awning with my husband and my children while it rained. And then we went right back out for more.

I sat on the beach with only my husband and we talked and laughed and listened to music in the sun.

I napped in the afternoon and woke to the voices of my family.

I felt sunbrushed and ate too much pizza.

I sat steps from the bay, and I watched her people gather, and I listened to their sweet southern voices. I sat next to my son and waited for the sun to set over the water. I listened to the pop of roman candles from the beach behind me, and I watched red and white fireworks pop up in the distance over the cape. I waved my flag and I watched a parade of lighted ships. I wondered what it would be like next year.

I heard the gasps of children and the sighs of grandmothers. I thought of the night many years ago now that I sat with my grandma, Alzheimer’s really starting to get her, and we watched fireworks, and a tear rolled down her cheek, and she whispered, “They’re beautiful,” and “I’ve never seen fireworks before.” And I knew she had seen them before, and that she just couldn’t remember it, but I was happy that she was experiencing them like a child for the first time, and I was happy to be holding her hand.

I thought, too, of sitting with friends and my children in a field in Chamblee last year, and knowing my Grandfather was not long for the world, and being overwhelmed at the sight of the fleeting bursts in the sky, and being moved to tears.

I listened to my children describe the sight and tears brimmed at the edges of my eyes.

“That one’s like a flower blossoming,” and “That one’s like Saturn,” he said, and “they perfectly lightly up the sky!” she exclaimed.

I held my son’s body on my chest, and rested my cheek next to his, and put my arms around him over his chest, and smiled when he reached up to clasp my arms with his hands. I felt him there past the brink of child and onto boyhood. I felt his weight get heavier and more substantial in the way that children do when they are bone-tired from good play and sun. I watched as he fell asleep and began to snore in the car on the way home, fireworks still lighting the sky over the bay.

I saw my sister relaxed and happy waiting for us, and it made my heart happy. I walked with my husband down the boardwalk. I stood, skirt snapping around my legs, and watched more fireworks, up and down the beach, and heard the raucous shouts of those shooting them off carried over to us across the sand. I laid down on the wind worn wood and we looked up at a million stars, and we watched a satellite traverse the sky above us.

I pondered the wonders man had made, and too, the horrors he had wrought.

I thought of the sadness and fear and anger I sensed from the people who make this place their home. And I cursed those who threatened them, and I cursed us all for the way we live. I lamented the fact that we have taken it all for granted until it might be too late.

I thought of a lifetime’s memories there – fishing and nets and swimming and sandcastles. The exhilaration of being away from my parents for the first time. Falling in love. Running on the beach. Watching the sunrise with my future husband, and bonfires and sweat lodges and drunken wrestling with friends. My sweet puppy, now an old dog, romping in the sand. I thought of the first time I ever saw my children play in the surf together.

I left it there yesterday, still pristine, still untouched, and I questioned if I would ever see it this way again in my lifetime, this place that captured my heart and soul.

I wondered if my children would remember it at all.

I Didn’t Even Know I Wanted It Until It Was On My Finger

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

I just spent an hour on hands and knees, scouring the floor for the diamond from my engagement ring. The big middle one, of course. Little side guys are still intact. I am pretty sure that I had it this morning, because i think i would have noticed the empty setting, or it would have caught on something.

I did laundry this morning and seem to recall feeling a pull on the ring. Noticed it missing not long after. Stood, gaping at my own finger, the missing diamond as shocking as if my whole finger had just been amputated.

Just unfolded, gently shook out, and refolded every piece of laundry I folded this morning. Had kids down on all fours searching for “shiny things.” Checked the soles of everyone’s shoes to make sure no one stepped on it and picked it up in their shoe.

Cried on the phone with my sister.

Called Todd to tell him. Got pretty choked up.

Basically, I am freaking out.

I am not vain. I don’t give a shit how many carats the thing is, how brilliant it is. I never even cared a whit about having a fucking shiny rock until Todd surprised me with one. But now it is one of my most prized possessions. I will never forget the night Todd gave it to me and asked me to spend my life with him, sweat pouring down his forehead, kneeling in front of me. I will never forget showing it to my Grandma Palmer, and her suddenly coming out of her Alzheimer’s fog, and with tears in her eyes, looking at me and gripping my hand hard in the way she always did, and whispering to me, “Cherish this.”

And now I have lost it, and I know it is stupid to feel bereft at the loss of a rock, but I am. I am heartbroken.


Thursday, July 1st, 2010


Originally uploaded by Dogwood Girl

Looking forward to this being us by tomorrow night. Spending the 4th on Cape San Blas with my family, and my sister’s family. Words can’t describe my excitement at spending a weekend with my sister at the beach.

And my dog. My dog is coming, too.