Posts Tagged ‘mom’

Dogwood Girl for Moms

Wednesday, December 16th, 2009

My mom, specifically. We were talking about my blog, and she said she loves to read about what the kids and I are up to, but never remembers to check it. I told her that she could subscribe to my blog and automatically get my updates via RSS.

She stared at me like I just told her that pink elephants could come to her house and check my blog for her every day.

Hence the new email subscription option over to the right. Maintenance performed almost purely for my mom and other family members who read my blog. (Dad doesn’t read it, and doesn’t want me writing about him or mom on my blog, or “he’ll sue my ass.” Nice. Love you too, Dad.

So, if you actually read my blog regularly (there are, like, five of you, i think) and don’t want to have to remember to check it, you can click here to subscribe to Dogwood Girl by email. And of course you brilliant computer-savvy folks still have the old RSS option.

Family Trip to the Liquor Store

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2009

My Mom came to my house yesterday and last night, she took us to dinner at S&S. If you don’t know what S&S is, it is just like Morrison’s, except they don’t have the same lemon pie that Morrison’s had every Sunday after church when I was growing up. I got the usual, a veggie plate. It is awesome, and when you go at 6 pm, it is you and all the blue hairs, which i love. Sure enough, I saw my neighbors there. It love that where i live, I often run into my neighbors – makes me feel like I live in a small town in the city.

Afterwards I drove over to the liquor store, because darn it, my basement flooded and Mama needed a beer. Since Mom was there, I was able to leave her and the kids in the car while I went in. This is good, because nothing says classy like dragging your three and six-year-old into the liquor store with you, except maybe doing so with a cigarette hanging out of the corner of your mouth.

When i got back to the car, my mom was cracking up. I asked her what she was laughing at, and she proceeded to tell me about the discussion she and the kids had while I was inside.

Tiller: “What is Mama getting?”
Rollie: “She’s buying beer. And Wine. And Spirits.”

Yes, Rollie can read now and had read the signs on the buildings. Luckily, I was at a nice liquor store, otherwise, it would have been, “Mama’s buying beer, wine, nails, pagers, wings, lottery tickets.”

Hmm. I say “Liquor Store.” What do you call it? “Package Store?”

For Jason B.

Sunday, August 23rd, 2009

For Jason, who thinks Rollie and I look so much alike at Rollie’s age. . . check out my mother, at about the same age. In very p.c. Indian headdress, with old Aunt Zelma, and her dog, Peg. Evidently, Zelma used to fart and blame it on Peg all the time. Mom will have to confirm, but I believe this photo was taken at the duplex on either Seminole Dr. or Mason Dr., Chattanooga, Hamilton Co., TN.

1954vazelma

Can’t seem to find the picture of me in my Birmingham PeeWees baseball uniform, but Rollie and I look a LOT alike in that one.

Coming up on Dogwood Girl: “Before” photos of our basement; “Before” photos of my gray roots.

Torn and Shattered

Thursday, May 28th, 2009

So, this is going to be a big ole diarrhea of the mouth, pity party of a post.

Our world is fucked. The automobile and the plane have made it possible to stray so far from home that we never go back. Modern medicine has made it so that we live forever, eternally burdening our families with caring for us, when by all laws of nature, we should have been dead years ago, and not in a long-drawn-out manner. Maybe we were meant to keel over with heart attacks in the front yard, or die a sleepy diabetic coma death. Our families suffer for the way that our modern world has attempted to fix things.

Families are not meant to live in different cities, where they cannot take care of one another and shoulder burdens for one another and carry the loads together. I should be able to take the four hours my husband will be home today and use that time to dump the kids on him and go check on my Daddy, and my Mama, and my Pop. It is not natural to have to drive an hour and a half just to get there. My sick mother should have me and my sister helping take shifts to watch Daddy. When the doctor yesterday told her she should go straight to the ER for the infection, she should have gone, knowing that we would be around to watch Daddy. If i lived in a town with her (God, no. Not Warner Robins. That is not what I am saying!), she would have had the peace of mind to know that we would be able to cover for her. There would always be someone to spend a night with the kids, or take my Pop to the ER, which is what my mom is doing this morning, even though last night, the doctors wanted her to go herself. There would always be someone to let the Goddamn dogs out. Woof Woof Woof.

What is wrong with us? This is so wrong, so unnatural. How do other people do this? Do they just not care that their relatives are suffering? Do they suffer themselves, in silence, pushing down the fact that they can’t be in two places at once? Is that healthy? Is my family really that freakishly close, some anomaly, just because I want to be there and care for them when they are sick? Do other people feel this torn and shattered all the time?

What the fuck is wrong with us?

Chattanooga, Friday

Saturday, May 9th, 2009

We’re in Chattanooga. Mom, Lisa and I drove up yesterday afternoon. The drive up was uneventful, except for a portion near Dalton where we got the giggles over stories of things we have done or said while sleeping. The one that really got us was Todd’s nightmare about the ghost, where I awoke to him moaning. I thought he was dying. He was trying to scream in a nightmare. This also happened to me when camping with Scott Phillips one time; he dreamed a bear was attacking the tent. I awoke in the same tent to him thrashing around and screaming like a baby. I thought we were goners. There was also the time that Rollie was a newborn and Todd and I were sleep-deprived. I woke up to Todd sitting on the side of the bed, rocking the baby. I sat up, because it seemed weird. I looked down. No baby. He was half-awake, half dreaming that he had gotten up with Rollie and was rocking him. It was so freakin’ creepy. Now those stories make me laugh.

What doesn’t make me laugh? This. Talk about me having nightmares. . . .

I digress.

So, we got to Chattanooga, and checked in at The Read House. I Pricelined it, so there was a smidge of a chance that we would get a King instead of two doubles, which would have been . . . cozy. We lucked out. It’s pretty beautiful, and just reminds me of stories my mom and grandma told me growing up about dances and parties and events there. Mom was genuinely excited about coming home to Chattanooga and i could tell she was really excited about staying here, which made me feel good.

Lisa and i got settled in and Mom went out on her own to look around. Then lisa and i decided we needed a drink. We started walking and came across this church. We recognized it as the church my parents were married in:

St. Paul's Episcopal

St. Paul's

St. Paul's

St. Paul's

St. Paul's

St. Paul's Window

Remission of Sins

I call this "Marriage as Prison."

So, then we walked down Broad Street and found Big River. They had beer. I like beer.

Lisa at Big River

Mom and Lisa

After dinner, we walked a ways, then took the shuttle. I shot this one of The Bijou Theater.
The Bijou

We made a little of a ruckus in the hallway at The Read House, too.
Lisa Gets Frisky

Mama and Lisa are Wild

Wilder

Wildest

And then we were in bed by 10:30, because we are old as hell.

Another Sign of the Apocalypse

Tuesday, October 21st, 2008

My Mom is now on Facebook.

Winning the Lottery

Thursday, December 13th, 2007

You probably would not know it, even if you know me pretty well, but sometimes I get depressed. It’s never enough to make me unable to function (well, there was that one time after I had the baby, but that was just the hormones), but I just get down. Blah. Uninterested. Bluesy. I don’t really want to leave the house. I don’t really want to clean the house I don’t want to leave. I don’t want to do anything at all. It reminds me of when I was a kid, and it would be raining, and there was nothing to do, and I kept on driving my mom crazy, but whatever she suggested sounded like absolutely no fun to me, and the feeling was just pure frustration.

When I get this way, i think I hide it pretty well from everyone but my sister and my husband. God knows, Todd has certainly been seeing the ill effects of my recent melancholy in the sorry housekeeping I have been doing. But for the most part, I really try to overcome my down days, to find things to do to pull me out of the depression, or at least keep me busy until it passes. Which I guess means that I am not truly depressed at all, because I can still function, can still see the light at the end of the tunnel.

Well, it just seems like lately i have have been bored, depressed, whatever. Maybe it’s the holidays, maybe it’s watching both mine and Todd’s parents deal with their own aging parents, when they should be enjoying their retirements and their golden years. Maybe it is feeling helpless at not being able to make all of the people I love just have it easier, or just get a damn break once in a while.

I am still feeling a little down, but you know what helps? When one of your oldest and dearest friends calls and asks if you can drop everything and help her out by going to New York with her for the weekend. All expenses paid. Because her husband was supposed to go with her and something came up with work and now she will have to go by herself.

Um, okay. I guess so. What? Hells to the yeah, I’ll go! What depression? What boredom?

Who won the lottery?

I did. When I was born to the most awesomest, givingest Mama ever. When I started playing rec-league b-ball with Mealby “Take a Look at My Choices” Barron, and when I met the most understanding, laid-back, fun-loving, hysterical – and yet responsible – man EVER and made my smartest life move yet – Marrying his ass.

My Dad and sister and kids and cutest dog in the world? They are icing on my life cake.

Charleston Recap

Tuesday, November 20th, 2007

We started with dinner at Coast. Very good.

Then we dropped Mom off at the hotel and headed to The Blind Tiger for drinks with the wedding peeps. It was funny, because I had been to this bar before, only a couple months after Todd and I started dating. His friend Kate was married at the same place that my friend Marc married at Saturday night, and the night after her wedding, everyone went out for drinks. We went to the Blind Tiger, where Kate passed out at a table in the courtyard. Ah, memories.

We had to wait a while for our friends, and Lisa is knocked up, so she was pretty much over it by the time they got there, but she perked up when she saw old friends and managed to stay out for a good while. I stayed longer, and had the pleasure of chatting with my old friend Pierce’s wife, Fowler, for a good long while. She is awesome, which I totally would have imagined for Pierce.
They next morning, Lisa and I headed out for coffee and shopping. We hit the Farmer’s Market, which really consisted of us oohing and aaahing over all the cute dogs people were walking around. The weather was perfect. We walked all down King Street looking at shops and I even saw real live fancy shoes at Bob Ellis. I think if I ever were rich, I would have a shoe problem. Plus, shoes and makeup are fun because they don’t make you feel fat. Lisa and I both bought matching heart necklaces and did the sister bonding thing. See how cute we are?

After that, we met up with Mom for lunch. It was a good thing we started looking for a lunch place when we did, because if we had waited any longer, Pregzilla might have eaten Meeting St. We went to Monza for pizza, because that’s what sounded good to the zilla. It was really good, and the service was great, and they played Wilco and Bloc Party, and once Lisa ate something, she was a human again. If any of you are paying attention now, you will realize that Lisa is wearing the sweater I wore on Saturday night. It is hers and really comfy. You will also realize that I am wearing the same shirt from the night before. I know! I packed like 500 things and did what I always do – Ended up wearing the comfortable tee. It’s my signature look.

After lunch, Mom and Lisa headed home to nap (?!!) and I found a bar with as many tvs as possible so as to assure that I saw at least the first half of the Georgia/Kentucky game. I sat with some lovely Ohio State fans, and some not-so-lovely Gators and Vols. Most people were watching Ohio State/ Michigan. I had to leave at halftime to go get dressed for a 4PM wedding. Evidently, people from the Carolinas and Texas did not get the memo about NO WEDDINGS IN THE FALL IN THE SOUTH. It was explained to me later by the Texan groom that they just don’t do weddings on Sundays, because of the Cowboys. Whatevers. UGA won, and I was spared the heart-attack and heartbreak-inducing Tenn/Vandy game. Arrrrgggggh.

Found the lovely wedding location, Lowndes Grove, with time to spare. I always wonder what Yankees think of the south when they see a place like Lowndes Grove. Do they think that Southerners are immune to the beauty of such a place? Do they think regular folks live in places like this? Not so. I am in awe whenever I am in a place like this. The weather was beautiful and the ceremony was timed perfectly to coincide with a lovely sunset over the Ashley River. Wedding went off without a hitch, even with that tricky “speak now or forever hold your peace” part. (Oh, the thoughts that went through my head just then, little Marky! Exploding hotdogs! Underage preteens passed out on my parents parquet floor! The never ending retaliatory prank calls the bride will endure!

Okay, here are the rest of the pics, taken before the reception was over and we got to the too-drunk-to-operate-camera, much-less-my-own-two-mysteriously-skinned-up-legs portion of the evening. Twas not pretty, but was better than my horribly-hung-over Sunday. Note to self: When drinking copious amounts at open bar, also partake of dinner buffet.

Me and Marc’s college roomie, Mitchell, who lives in Midtown.

Lisa, Fowler, and my Mom.

Two not-so-sober old acquaintances. I hadn’t seen John in almost 20 years. I think the last time I saw him I was cleaning up puke at Aunt Dot’s house. He was probably 15. Got to meet his wife, Ashley, a sassy and cute Aussie.

The reasons we were there – My mom and the Groom’s mom, Judy, who were childhood friends in Chattanooga.


"The Stadium is Worse Than Bonkers!"

Saturday, September 22nd, 2007

This is kind of a sad day for me as a Bulldog fan. Tonight is the first game in my lifetime that won’t be called by Larry Munson.

This article is a good overview of his career, and includes some of his greatest calls. My first recollection of Larry calling a game was about 1984. I remember it like it was yesterday. I was twelve years old and it was a cold and rainy day in Georgia. I played soccer on Saturdays at the Roswell soccer fields. By high school, we would call these fields and their parking, just off the high school campus, “The Water Tower.” As in, “meet me at the Water Tower,” or the more exciting, “Fight at the Water Tower after school today.” Good times. I think we were waiting for my game to begin, sitting in the warmth and dryness of mom’s red station wagon. I’m not sure if Lisa was there, and I have no idea where Dad was, but Mom and I listened intently to Larry’s voice on the radio as the cold rain poured down.

“So we’ll try to kick one a hundred thousand miles. We’re holding it on our own 49-and-a-half … gonna try to kick it sixty yards plus a foot-and-a-half … and Butler kicked a long one … a long one … Oh my God! Oh my God! … The stadium is worse than bonkers!” – calling Kevin Butler’s field goal in the final seconds to win over Clemson in 1984″

You would have to know my mom to have any idea of the response this elicited from her; Words cannot do it justice.

I know a man needs to settle down, but Larry will be missed.

About an Old Friend

Sunday, June 3rd, 2007

There’s a pretty cool article in today’s New York Times, written by Aimee Mann, about “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band.” This weekend is the 40th anniversary of the release of the album; It came out about five years before I was released.

The interesting thing about the article is that she reminded me of what I thought of the album as a kid. At 35, I have lots of other ideas about the album that I’ve picked up here and there throughout the years, but she reminded me of the sheer curiosity with which a child picked that album up out of all of her parents’ other albums.

I am a lucky girl – My parents listened to some pretty cool stuff. Mom liked folk and rock and roll: She was a card-carrying member of the Elvis Presley Fan Club, but also listened to The Everly Brothers, Ricky Nelson, The Beach Boys, Bob Dylan, Jan and Dean, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, and Peter, Paul, and Mary. I still remember wondering what “Virgin” meant – One of her friends had written it on her Bob Dylan album cover. (Her name is Virginia.)

Dad listened to rock and roll, too, but his tastes leaned more towards Jerry Lee Lewis and lots of 60’s soul. I still to this day think Otis Redding is the best “cleaning up the house on Saturday” music ever. I wore out all of the Otis discs and that Stax/Volt Review album he had. My sister and I put on clown makeup and danced around the playroom to the Everly Bros.’ “Kathy’s Clown.” To be fair to my parents, they also listened to some great classic country and 70’s honky-tonk Country and Western, too. People, we had a dog named “Waylon.” I shit you not.

Nothing, however, could compare to the magic a kid felt looking at that Sgt. Pepper’s album, and then finding that what was on the inside was just as other-worldly. In later years, Sgt. Pepper’s was the album I listened to (on endless repeat, all night long) the first time I did LSD. In fact, that experience made me not want to listen to if for years and years after.

But after reading Aimee Mann’s article this morning, I decided it was time to pull it out and listen to it again. Okay, i don’t have the album anymore, but Todd has a Beatles problem, and we own 22 Beatles albums; We could listen to The Beatles for 17 hours straight, according to ITunes. So, here I am, listening to “Good Morning, Good Morning” and thinking that it has been too long since I listened to this old friend.

Gotta go. The dog is barking. Oh wait. That’s just Sgt. Pepper’s.