Archive for the ‘Holiday’ Category

And So We’re Told This is the Golden Age

Friday, January 1st, 2016

I often have grand ideas about end of year posts, New Year’s posts, the marking of the passage of time, and what it all means. This isn’t one of those posts.

I stayed up until 3 am with friends. I slept late in a bed fit for a queen. I awakened to coffee and bacon, and no hangover. I visited my sister and drank a cup of coffee with our families and dogs. I talked and laughed at a bar and drank a pitcher of beer with my best friend (spoiler: also my sister) while waiting on takeout barbecue, black-eyed peas, and collard greens. It was okay that this year I didn’t make them myself. I met my first stranger of the year, a sculptor named Nate who goes by Hugh, and I hit the jackpot and brought home a brown paper sack full of beer bottle caps for my son’s bottle cap collection.

I stuffed myself on beer, bbq, prosperity, and good luck while watching a movie with most of my favorite people. I am terrible about seeing movies in the theater. I always find other things to do, or to spend my money on. Even when they are on Netflix, it takes a while to get around to seeing them. So, for instance, I saw Grand Budapest Hotel in the theater, but had not gotten around to watching Moonrise Kingdom. Honestly, Lisa, Todd, and I were going to watch Love and Mercy (I was going to invite Kristin to come over and bring Danny Noonan the puppy!), but the sound was messed up, so we settled for Moonrise Kingdom.

Two things: First of all, I love Wes Anderson movies, but I find them completely overwhelming from a sensory and nostalgia standpoint. I find myself constantly distracted by thoughts like “I really need to wear more mustard and khaki,” or “I miss smoking,” or “Holy crap! My parents had that ashtray with the plaid beanbag bottom!” or “That’s totally what Tang packaging looked like when I was a kid!” or “If I were pregnant right now? My kid would totally be getting a Moonrise Kingdom-themed nursery!” Then I have to reign myself back in to even pay attention to what is going on.

Secondly, I had to watch it, because a few folks told us that our son was like Sam in Moonrise Kingdom. We spend a time or two a year yurting with friends. In the fall, we go to Fort Yargo (in Winder, near Athens) and spend a weekend on a peninsula. We have our own canoes. And now that the kids are all older, we slap lifejackets on them, send them off in the canoes, and pour a drink on dry land. This past October, our kids exercised their freedom in the natural world. And my son was a lone trailblazer. He would wake up and before I had finished my coffee, he was out in the canoe, shirtless at times, heading for the beach across the lake, all by himself. He wanted to be in that canoe by himself. He wanted to feel that quiet that you get in the middle of a lake by yourself, and to go somewhere that no one else is, and where none of your people can see you. We hear tell that he beached the canoe and swam by himself. I guess I am a terrible parent for letting my kid canoe out of my sight across an acre or more of lake, and for letting him swim unattended, but I think our kids never have enough time alone exploring nature, so I am willing to chance it. As he headed off numerous times that weekend (I think he may have done 3 or 4 trips out alone on the lake by himself each day), our friends commented that he was “like that kid in Moonrise Kingdom.” I knew enough of Anderson’s movies to know that might be a compliment, but it also meant, well, he’s kind of weird, but then the apple doesn’t fall from the tree. So, I was looking forward to finally seeing the movie to see a glimpse of what others were seeing in my son.

I saw it, too. His curiosity, independent streak, desire to explore, need to be and do things alone, and his innate craving to be in nature. I’m okay with the comparison.

After, Lisa and Dash went home, I decided to write while listening to my new records. Todd bought me a few albums: Elvis Costello’s This Year’s Model; Squeeze’s 45’s and Under; U2’s Under a Blood Red Sky; Prince’s Prince; Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits; Joni Mitchell’s Hejira. (The Joni Mitchell album deserves a post all it’s own, but I’m working up to that one. Still thinking on it.)

I put on U2, because I’m obvious like that. Rollie sat down next to me with his Sherlock Holmes book, and he let me play with his hair. (He’s 12. I don’t get to play with his hair much longer, so I’m trying to take advantage of times like that.) We talked about U2, and we looked at the album cover, and I showed him photos of Red Rocks online.

I wrote some more while he read at my side. He asked if I would play “Cecilia” and I said “Yes, but we’re listening to the whole album.” His two favorite songs right now are Simon and Garfunkel’s “Cecilia” and Metallica’s “Enter Sandman.” It is not lost on me that this is fucking awesome. I told him how much my mom loves Simon and Garfunkel, and how much I love them, and how we would listen to Simon and Garfunkel on 8-track, and when “The Boxer” came on, I told him that one made me cry, and he said “why?” and I told him to just listen to the album, and one day it would make him cry, too. I didn’t tell him that it is a sad song on its own, and it reminds me of mom, and makes me feel like a little girl, or about my friend telling me that his father loved the song and one of his kids played it for him on his deathbed, but I thought it all, because I think it’s beautiful in the way that only a classic song can be as it infiltrates our memory and thought and intersects with bits of our lives like a puzzle piece.

Todd has since asked if he can watch Black Mirror, so the music is off and the tv is on. The cat is snuggling up next to me on a blanket and the dog is asleep in the chair next to me, and we’ve cleaned up spilled prosecco by turning over the wet cushion to the ugly ripped side.

All of that is pretty much what life is like in general. We turn over the cushion to the more comfortable side. The less wet and dirty side. It still might be a little torn up. We have to choose which side is better.

This was me last New Year’s Day, early on the beach at Cape San Blas.
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And here is me last night, laughing and giving the finger to 2015. (Okay, I’m actually giving the finger to my friend Jason’s parents while I sit on the toilet, but that’s a whole ‘nother story.)

IMG_7156

I know nothing of what this year meant. It may mean nothing. Things I know: I know that whatever I think is normal will change. I know that whatever happens, I will be okay. Whatever happens is what is supposed to happen. I know I need to think less about it all, and that I need to put one foot in front of the other and try to enjoy the small, beautiful moments.

I thought that this wasn’t one of those posts, a post about the year past and the year to come, and what it might all mean. But then again, maybe it is one of those posts.

Top Five Christmas Songs. Maybe.

Thursday, December 24th, 2015

I have had multiple conversations the last few days about favorite Christmas songs. I generally am not a fan of Christmas music. I think it would be okay if we stuck to a week or so of holiday music, but the fact that we start having it shoved down our throat in public at Thanksgiving just ruins it. It makes me crazy.

And no Christmas song makes me see red more than Eartha Kitt’s “Santa Baby.” Mariah Carey’s “All I Want For Christmas is You” is a very close second. I have a moment every. single. year. when I get “The Little Drummer Boy” stuck in my head all day, and that is usually the point that I’m officially ready for January 1st. I would say January 2nd, just to miss the hangover, but then I’d miss the beans and greens and God knows I will not tempt the fates in such a manner. (And yes, I admit that the Bowie/Crosby version is good, but in general, anything with that many Pa Rum Pum Pum Pums is automatically on the naughty list.)

 

That being said, I do like some Christmas music. I am okay with traditional versions of many songs, and even have sweet memories of singing “Silent Night” at candlelight church service growing up, elbowing my sister and cousins to sit as far away from my dad as possible. (Let’s just say that my, ahem, melodious voice is genetic.) Truly, though, I attribute most of my fondness for Silent Night to the fact that I was so damn excited to get home and go to bed and wake up to find out what Santa brought. The dark and the singing and candles were all just part of that magical eve experience.

I concede to Scott Shankman that anything Sinatra for Christmas is okay. Anything Mannheim Steamroller is most definitely not.

I will admit that seeing Patti Smith doing “Oh Holy Night” just this morning was pretty great. (Thanks, Annie, I hadn’t seen that one.)

But which ones do I like? Well, yes, I’ve given it a good amount of thought, and I came up with a top five of sorts. Everyone I know who likes the same kind of music I like tends to pick The Pogue’s “Fairytale of New York” as a favorite. (One even used part of the lyrics in his Christmas Eve proposal to his wife – a very cool story that I had not heard before, and which I admit made me get a little weepy – way to go, Doug.)

And yes, it is in my top five. Depending on my mood, it might be number one. So, when a number of my friends posted the song on Facebook today, I commented that it was in my top five. One friend (The Negative Split) questioned what could possibly top it?

It turns out that the best Christmas songs for me are secular in nature, are not that common (in that you are not as likely to hear them continuously in Target), and they either have a sense of humor (a la The Pogues) or they are wistful, sad, or melancholy. This is not surprising, as I value those qualities in much of my music year round.

So, without further ado, Nat, here is my top five, in no particular order:

No need to explain this one. It’s fucking brilliant. Absolutely funny, witty, fucking brilliance.

Elvis Presley: “I’ll Be Home For Christmas”

“I’ll Be Home for Christmas” is probably the most traditional on my list. I love Elvis, grew up listening to him with my Mom, and it keys into my homesick, yearning for childhood magic kind of feelings. As an adult, you know you can never go back again. Half the people you’d go home to are not even alive anymore, and the homeplace is gone. It makes me sad as hell, but with a silver lining; Let’s be honest. Elvis is hot. It’s hard to stay too sad when you think about smokin’ hot Elvis Presley.

The Pretenders: “2000 Miles”

I’m a Pretenders lover anyway (high five to John Sabol for helping me kill hours in homeroom talking about them in high school.) And this song has Chrissie’s beautiful voice, a gorgeous melody, and it seems to vacillate between melancholy beauty and an almost accepting happiness over the Christmas season. Completely in my wheelhouse. It is just gorgeous.

 

Low: “Just Like Christmas”

This song. It’s beautiful. Melodic. Not really about Christmas at all. And yet, all about the feeling of Christmas. I love it. I want to be in Oslo.

 

Joni Mitchell: “River”

So NOT a Christmas song. But probably my favorite. All of Blue kills me. This song kills me. And to me, it’s about Christmas, and longing, and it is probably my favorite.

Update: I am terrible at this. I totally forgot about this one:

So, top six. Maybe bump the Low song. Or maybe Elvis. GAH.

Update #2: I should not write while in the wine. I forgot to ask – What did I get wrong?

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015
Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe's Coffee. 2007

Inaugural year of East Atlanta Santa at Joe’s Coffee. 2007

Every year we see Santa in our old neighborhood, East Atlanta. I can’t remember how exactly it started, but a bunch of folks with little kids bemoaned the mall santa cost, lines, and hassle, and we ended up spawning this amazing fundraiser and tradition. Joe’s Coffee (shout out to Dawn!) offered up their back porch that first year. Friends and neighbors, most without kids of their own, offered to dress up as elves. Dogs and adults and all manner of kookiness were welcome. The cost was, I think, a gift donated to Toys for Tots, or maybe even that first year they donated it all to the boys and girls club?

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

Tiller with Sheila the Elf, at Flatiron. 2015

This kind of DIY, easy, laid-back event is precisely what I miss most about EAV. (Okay, well, maybe I miss the people just a little too.) One of those neighbors voiced his dismay that some of us who have been every year since they started putting EAV Santa on are now the old veterans. Which just seems crazy; It seems like just yesterday that I was in Joe’s wearing Rollie in a Baby Bjorn. This friend later posted a retrospective of their photos, and I thought I’d do the same. Well, turns out my archiving skills are not up to par, so I didn’t even locate the earlier mall santa photos. I couldn’t even find the actual picture of the kids with EAV Santa that first year (2007), but I managed, with Todd’s help, to locate a photo outtake in the back at Joe’s, along with all the other 8 years with Santa.

I’m not gonna lie, there were tears shed putting this together. My babies are babies no more. But they will have to deal with our yearly tradition of seeing Santa at Joe’s for the foreseeable future. It’s probably my favorite Christmas tradition. (Since my cousins and I don’t exchange Turtle’s Gift Tokens any more.)

East Atlanta, consider this a love letter. I miss you often. Wishing the villagers and the rest of my loves a wonderful Christmas and an amazing 2016.*

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 2 and 4: 2007

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 5 and 3: 2008

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 6 and 4: 2009

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 5 and 7: 2010

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 8 and 6: 2011

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 9 and 7: 2012

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 8 and 10: 2013

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 11 and 9: 2014

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

Ages 12 and 10: 2015

* If I put it out there to the Universe like this, maybe karma will make my 2016 a little better than 2015. No, I won’t be doing a Facebook 2015 Year In Review. People would be wanting to gouge their eyes out or slit their wrists in the bathtub reading that.

A Love Letter to Santa

Thursday, December 17th, 2015

Eastertide

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Easter, '76

Eastertide
We wake, search in Holly Hobby nightgowns.
Daddy says, “I’m gonna bite his head right off.”
Chocolate bunnies are hollow.

Real chicks, pink, purple, green.
“Your sister is allergic to rabbits.”
Green plastic grass sticks to feet
As the dog sits in pastel tinfoil pieces.

Azalea, Forsythia, Dogwood
Lenten Rose and Daffodils.
“Jonquils,” Mama says.

Yellow Easter dresses, white tights.
No white before Memorial Day.
Scrape those black patent-leather soles.
White plastic straw hat, elastic itches

Dorothy Hamill shags
and gap-toothed grins
Smiling for the picture
Sisters side by side

Here is the church and the steeple.
Voices rise together.
“Raise your joys and triumphs high.
Sing ye heavens, and earth reply.”

Gaze, girl, up at sanctuary lights
like wrought iron gazebos.
One day you’ll be sixteen.
One day a mother and take home a lily.

Out into the light
Squint in the sun
Prismatic technicolor Spring
Too brilliant to last.

Recipe for a Good Weekend: The Five Bs

Monday, September 1st, 2014

I know everyone else says their Labor Day weekend was great, but I’m pretty sure mine was the best.

 

First of all, I have an 11 year old now. We took him and five of his friends to the G braves game. The main thing you need to know about the Gwinnett Braves is that THEY SELL BOILED P-NUTS AT THE STADIUM.

 

It makes me feel a little off-kilter when I see how big the boys have all gotten. . .

 

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

(l-r) Jonah, Milo, Jack, Ben, Aidan, and Rollie, at the Gwinnett Braves.

 

They talk. A LOT. Mostly about farts. They are at a crazy age where they are still little kids, and yet almost teenagers sometimes. They listen to REALLY bad music. I mean, really bad. They think it’s good. One of them went so far as to say, “Parents don’t get it. Pop is the music of the future.” And “Mary broke her middle finger. Now she can’t use it any more.” Me: “Use it for what?” Kid: “Playing the recorder.” So, these six stayed up til like 1 am, laughing, inhaling pizza, talking smack, and playing video games. And now my basement smells like puberty.

 

~~~~~

And then there was this:

Oh, baby.

Oh, baby.

On Saturday, my sainted husband took the kids and dog to the lake, and Brett came and picked me up. Brett is my ex-husband from high school. I have known him since middle school, through high school, and into college. We have somehow stayed in touch, even though we have not lived in the same city (and sometimes country) since college. He is like family now. And the fact that he gave me first dibs on tickets (after his own family, of course) meant a lot. So, it’s not often that married folks get to spend an hour or so riding in a car, hanging out and chatting. And Brett and I got all day. (Luckily, we made it through the hellacious turn he made off of 316 into the gas station parking lot. There were squealing tires. Brett is very wild.)

 

So, we drove to Athens, parked at OMG-IT-WAS-SO-FAR. And then we walked. A lot. Fitbit says I walked over nine miles, which explains why on Sunday I felt rather similarly to the way i felt after running a half-marathon. And I didn’t even drink any bourbon while running that one.

 

What a beautiful (Hot) day it was for a walk in Athens. Oh, the people-watching. There is just not much like an SEC football town on a Saturday. So, we walked all the way from the intramural fields to North Campus. We found Brett’s cousins’ tailgate. (what the heck did people do to find each other before cel phones? I have trouble remembering.) They were gracious and gentlemanly and had lovely girlfriends (ah, to be 20-something again), and had ice and beer and . .  no mixers for the bourbon. That’s okay, it seems I can be charming when i want to – i sweet-talked some poor Clemson boy for Coke. He didn’t know what hit him.

 

Then Jason and his friend Brian showed up, and wheee! Seriously nothing better than a sunny Saturday, drinking bourbon, and people-watching with two of your oldest, favoritest people, and about 80,000 strangers.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

Brett, Me, and Jason. I love these two like the brothers I never had.

 

So, it came time to move on. Kickoff was at 5:30. Brett and I bade goodbye to our gracious hosts, hugged Jason, and set off to grab something to eat. I cannot begin to explain the crowds. We grabbed a hotdog from a corner vendor (flashbacks of my bachelorette party, anyone?), walked through the arches, and sat on the steps of one of the North Campus buildings and just watched people go by. There are old fans, and young fans, and couples, and the endless stream of ridiculous plays on the red and black dress. We finished up and headed towards the stadium. We took the scenic route and sat on the steps of Park Hall, just like the old days. I could have been sitting next to Kevin Fagan, doing the Red and Black crossword, smoking before class. Park has a great view, kind of up on a hill from the stadium, and the streams of people going by, and the sun hanging low in the west, and the sweet, sweet anticipation of kickoff never cease to wow me.

 

So, we headed towards the stadium in a bourbon haze, in a sea of red, and then we purchased the most trashy red and black t-shirts ever made. They are unable to be worn around children, or in polite company. (They cracked us up, and fueled by bourbon, it seemed like a good idea at the time. I am hoping that Brett will get a photo of Lucy wearing his, and send it to me. Brett and I both suspect we will get nothing but disapproving shakes of the head from our spouses, though.)

 

And then, a wave of people walking into the stadium, and to find our seats.

 

It's pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

It’s pretty fun to watch Gurley hurtling towards you.

 

Great seats! Okay, the good thing about the seats were the location, the view and the overhang, shielding you from the sun. The bad thing is that it was probably 95 in the shade, and then the heat was rising from below and it seemed to just sit up under the overhang. I was never so thankful for the free fan. Talk about a way to feel southern. Dress in the same colors as the other 80,000 people around you, drink bourbon on early 18th century steps, and then use a fan to cool yourself off.

 

Well, I declare, I thought Brett might have a heatstroke up in that stadium. He’s almost a Yankee now, living out there on the west coast. I guess he just wasn’t used to our heat. Bless his heart.

 

(That was my best Scarlett O’Hara. That’s all I got.)

 

So, then? The game. Brett and I spent the first half being uneasy and nervous. Dawgs just didn’t look too . . . inspired. Well, that all changed, and we got quite a show in the 2nd half. That’s all I’m gonna say about that, because I believe in jinxes, and I’ve had my heart smashed to pieces the last two seasons, and I’m not sure if I’m ready for any outward emotional investment yet.

 

So, we got out of the game and rode the shuttle back out to the car, and drove back to Atlanta. All in all, it was a good day to be a Dawg.

 

 

~~~~~

Sunday, i woke up early, feet blistered, and packed a bag for the Lake. And i got there about 11. And it was, you guessed it, so hot. But i read on the dock, and the kids swam, and I drank beer with my two best friends, and I caught a bass and ate a persimmon and some berries right off the tree and vine, and then we at a steak dinner. And I watched the second half of the replay of the game, and it was just as good, and I got maybe a little excited, but JINXES. And then my husband and I did one of our favorite things, which is to sit on the dock, and listen to music, and gaze at the stars. (And a few fireworks across the lake.) The stargazing was not its best last night, a cloud covered most of the lake, but the Big Dipper and the moon were hanging low and bright in the clear western sky. It was hot and I had not showered, so i went swimming, and night swimming in the still lake, gazing at the crescent moon, with the faint notes of music in my ear is pretty damn near heaven.

 

I slept late (9? Is that late? I guess i am old.) I ate cold pancakes and drank coffee on the screened porch. And then Tiller and I rode the jet-ski, and we went to Goat Island, and it amazes/saddens me that she is so big now that she doesn’t even hold on to me when we ride. We did not see the goats, but boy was the lake busy today. And then i got back to the dock and i took Rollie out. Or should i say, he took me out. Yes, my boy is old enough to drive the thing, and I am just along for the ride. That is both wonderful and scary at the same time. (Still not old enough to take it out on his own, of course.) And my favorite part about that is that we get to have some time together, just the two of us, and we have fun, stopping to swim, and exploring the lake, and stuff like that.

 

So, i had to come home. Which makes me sad. When i was little, i used to cry about leaving the lake. I love it so. I still get sad to come back home. And now, back to the real world. The work week. The grind. But I feel pretty certain there will be a little Tuesday daydreaming about day drinking in Athens, 100-yard punt returns, fishing, swimming, and the stars.

Recipe for a good weekend: Boiled peanuts, Baseball, Bourbon, Bulldogs, and Bass.

 

*Photos courtesy of Brett Shell. It’s really hard to hold a drink while shaking one of those pom-poms and taking photos at the same time.

Spring Break 2012

Monday, April 9th, 2012

We did the Spring Break thing. A few days on Hilton Head (Todd had a shoot this week: Bad advertising world! Bad!) and then we did the lake for Easter with the whole family. About 24 hours of my family in one small 2BR lakehouse is all I can take, no matter how much I love them. I think this is normal?

So busy after being gone – work, laundry, trying to get back into a diet and exercise happy place. I feel like a train that derailed in a fiery crash of fried, fat, beer and excess!

Highlights of the week, not in photos: Fishing with my kiddos at dusk. Morning kids swimming with dog while I drink coffee at lake. Watching Brody revel in lake life. Puttering around with my dad for a day at the lake, fixing stuff, for once not snapping at each other. A rarity. Mom’s potato salad. My kids’ awesome manners while out to eat in HHI. I almost cried. Watching Venus in the Pleiades (spelling?) from the dock on a clear night. On the water at the beach. Seeing kids’ faces when they saw dolphins up close. Hearing their contagious laughter in the car on 441 – They had a “make each other laugh contest” and were killing Todd and I with their laughter. Such sweet music. Driving home on a sunny, perfectly-warm Easter afternoon with only Rollie and Brody in the car. Windows down, listening to an old mix CD of some of my all-time favorite songs, discussing them with Rollie: He asks a lot of questions, like “who is it by? What is it called? What is it about? Why do you like it?” Memorable discussions of songs – “Mayonnaise” by Smashing Pumpkins, “This Must Be The Place” by Talking Heads, and “Tempted” by Squeeze. R. thought it was so funny that I used to sing it to him as a lullaby when he would cry as a baby. Teaching kids to jump rope in the driveway last night. “Cinderella, dressed in yellow. . . ” (What are your favorite jump rope rhymes?)

Hope you all had a great Easter, Seder, spring break, etc.

Sappy, Sappy

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

“I see my life was brightest where you laughed and laid your head…”
– Wilco

Happy Valentine’s Day, Angel. I have never regretted going out for drinks with friends that Valentine’s Day weekend almost thirteen years ago.

Xoxoxo,
Annie

Part II, a.k.a. Shotgun Blast of Thanks

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

I am thankful that I happened to come across a blog post i wrote two years ago on the Winter Solstice. I am thankful that I spent that lovely evening with my dog, Quint. I am thankful that I wrote about it, so I can remember what it was like to sit in the cold on the lake with him and watch stars. I am thankful I still remember what his ears felt like.

This year has been rough and a lot sad, and it has made me even more sad that I haven’t written as much as I normally do. This is part two of looking on the bright side, so that two years from now, I will maybe look back and remember the good things, not the sad ones.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

I am thankful for this little guy, and that he likes baseball.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

That I had the pleasure of seeing Harmony at baseball games, and know the strangeness of old friends having kids play sports together. Always surreal.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for the wonderful people who always step up to the plate and coach my kids' teams. This guy cracked us up by coming out to pitch the last inning of a v. close final game dressed as Braveheart. I am thankful for the weird and the absurd in people.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

Thankful for Yankees in rural Georgia. They make me laugh.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And for quiet, woodsy solitude at sunset.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And that I had time to play hair with friends. I miss those simple time-wasters.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

And good Chardonnay. Don't get the good stuff nearly often enough.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

For a sunny cool day spent shopping with friends.

A day spent trying on hats.

A day spent trying on hats.

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

and being reminded of my long-gone hat collection and how much joy it brought me. (i am a freak!)

And girls drinking in trucks.

And girls drinking in trucks.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

Thankful that I rarely forget to take in the view.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And for time spent in front of outdoor fireplaces. (I will have one, one day. I will!) And for the sweet gift of the MacQueen tartan scarf my Daddy gave me. I love it.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

And thankful that I have more girlfriends at 39 than i ever did as a young girl.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful that Mom finally made it to Alaska and loved it as much as she thought she would.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

Thankful for the beautiful day I spent with friends in Athens.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

And that my husband still takes me to the game every other year.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Even though I bark in the Auburn section, and I am usually bad luck for Todd's Tigers.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Thankful for my sweet, artistic girl, and the chalk drawings she does in the garage.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

Sad that they are not permanent, but that Todd and I managed to capture her precious misspellings. Thankful she lists the things she loves - the cuirur green, sparkely shoes, her dog. - Perhaps she is a bit like her mother sometimes.

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

I'm thankful for decorative gourd season, mutherfuckers!

Because it still makes me laugh every time I think of it. It is a cornucopia of laughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

I am thankful that I know what it means to have a daughter.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And for a most peaceful thanksgiving with my parents. Also, for a husband who has the patience to show my mother how to put books on her iPad. He is worth his weight in gold.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

And that we still do EAV Santa.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my husband's brothers' wife and fiancee. I am lucky we have no drama. And that we all talk when the boys are stoic and quiet.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Thankful for my sweet niece, Luci. Lucky to have a niece and a nephew.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

Did I mention Tills? She is my heart.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

And thankful to know what it is to have a large family. My in-laws are so devoid of drama. They are so very normal. It is nice to have something to balance out the crazy.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

I am so thankful for happy engagements.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

And that my children will know the love of cousins.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

For the wonderful Johnson men. It is a comfort to know that they are such a wonderful example for my son.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

And that I still love my husband and he still (I think?) loves me.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

Thankful for Ned and Vanessa and their sweet girl Scarlett, and for the wonderful afternoon we spent tailgating for Iron Bowl. I love that our kids experience that tradition every year.

And there you have it. One huge shotgun blast of thankfulness. My life is good. Really good.

Yeah, I Wore Pink Tulle. So what?

Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011

“Mama?” Tiller said.
“Yes, baby?” I muttered while cooking dinner.
Tiller: “Mama, will you be a fairy with me?”
Me: “huh?”
Tiller: “Will you be a fairy with me?”
Me: “I don’t think so, baby. I’m not pretty enough to be a fairy.”
Todd: “You know, we just did a tooth fairy spot. I can get you a fairy costume easy.”
Me: “Shut up, Todd.”

And that’s how I came to be a pink fairy for Halloween.

A little background first: