There's a chill in the air, along with the scent of woodsmoke and freshness. 
I love autumn.

This Is News?

There's an article on my favorite news site telling us all that retail therapy doesn't really work and we'd be happier if we went for a walk or went to church instead of strolling the mall.  No kidding?  You mean....gasp!  Could it be so??  If we slow down, take the time to pay attention to the gifts from our Creator, we might find satisfaction in that?  You mean we can't buy happiness?  Even at the MALL?  Wow.  Who woulda thunk it.

Really, now, kids.  Do we have to be told this?  I sure hope not.  The only thing I get at the mall is a bad case of crowd anxiety and an impacted bank account.  To be fair, the nearest mall is 90 miles away, so maybe I'm not the best judge.  I go to the mall when I need or want some particular thing.  I go there for Christmas shopping.  Being a very mission-driven person, going to the mall is stressful for me. 

The people who stand in a knot right at the narrowest part of the walkway bug me.

The people who drag their exhausted, petulant, bawling toddler into yet another store bug me.

The people who walk around with a giant drink in their hands and their feet overflowing their rubber flip-flops bug me.

The people who swear very loudly even though there are children and grandmas within earshot bug me.

The people who are carting 5 big bags and still shopping, but will go home and NOT pay their bills, bug me.

Those kiosk hawkers who practically tackle you to point out your crow's feet or your grimy jewelry bug me.

The poor guys sleeping in the easy chairs out in the middle of the mall bug me, only because I envy them some.

And quite honestly, I'm only human.  Seeing all kinds of things that I really like but can't afford BUGS ME.

If someone would build a mall that contained a good clothing store, a great shoe store, a wonderful housewares store and a Panda Express, I'd be satisfied with that.  In the holiday season, they could have a calendar kiosk, but the salesperson would not be permitted to chase anyone.



One time, my oldest brother found a part of a shingle leftover from when Dad put the roof on the house.  He had the brilliant idea that if he climbed on the roof, and put the shingle on the spark-arrester in the chimney, the fireplace would smoke and Mom and Dad wouldn't want fires very often....and he wouldn't have to split as much firewood.  If my brother had applied all of his brilliance to work, instead of getting out of work, he could have solved half the world's problems.

I hated P.E. class so much that I once forged a note from my Dad.  I got busted.

About 40 years ago, I had just learned about how rifle cartridges and shotgun shells work, with a powder charge, a primer and a projectile.  So, applying that new info to all guns, I asked my brother, "Do BBs explode?"  He said, "Yeah, you throw them like hand grenades."

My first sewing project in Home Ec was a t-shirt.  Mom had already taught me how to sew but I missed the part about pattern and nap, I guess.  The t-shirt fabric I picked was an adorable jersey with an all-over pattern of sunflowers in different sizes.  When I finished my shirt and tried it on, I had one giant yellow sunflower centered perfectly over my right boob, and one giant yellow sunflower over my left boob.  I guess I still had something to learn.

We had a pony named "Lucky".  He was a mean-eyed little stinker who would run for the nearest low-hanging branch as soon as you lit in the saddle.  We even used one of those devices that twists his nose to make him behave (they probably have a proper name, but we always called it a Persuader).  Lucky was standing in his corral, glaring mean-eyed at the world, when a rattlesnake bit him square on the nose.  He wasn't so lucky that day.  I wouldn't be surprised if the snake died from biting him.  (Oh, quit groaning.)

My best friend, Suzy, was the most gullible child on earth.  We had her convinced that we had an alligator living in a wide spot in the stream.

Our favorite Uncle Jack played baseball in the minors.  He had just been called up to the majors when he got drafted.  By the time he got out of the army, his ball career was shot.  But, oh, the fun when Uncle Jack would play ball with us kids! 

The year that our FHA convention was held at the Broadmoor in Colorado Springs was the same year they were filming the movie, "Ice Castles".  I got to see the very spot where they filmed that scene where she crashes into the patio furniture and loses her sight.  It was very exciting to see it on the big screen and say, "I've been there!"  I'm easily amused.

My sister's dog, Cinnamon, puked a lot.  I have a dog who pukes a lot.  Is this a trend?

I had a friend in school whom I used to go ice skating with.  We were about the same size, but whenever I fell on the ice I landed with a **CRASH**!!!  and Carrie just kind of floated down like a feather.  **whoop**.  Why?

If Mom and Dad bought a case of Pop Shoppe soda, the empty bottles went in the closet in the foyer, to return so they would get the deposit back.  That was also the closet where our shoes went.  When an especially bad smell was coming from the closet, Mom went looking for the source.  She was sure it was my brother's stinky sneakers.  It was actually a mouse that had gotten into an empty bottle and died.  But don't blame Mom;  brother's shoes smelled equally, if differently bad.



I finally had to ask my neighbor to make their dog stop barking.  I hate to be that way, but enough is enough.

The same night the dog stopped barking, it got too cold to sleep with the windows open.  Ironic, yes?


Mothers and Mothers-in-Law

I've been listening when you talk, sisters!  I hear you, brothers!

This is another one of those posts that will probably get me in hot water, but I could use a soak right now anyway.

I am determined to NOT be the kind of mother or (someday) mother-in-law (MIL) that I've been hearing about.  My kids are grown.  They no longer require my advice on how to wear their hair, or clean their home, or do their laundry.  Since I am no longer responsible for them, I am choosing to BUTT OUT.  I know that this is not how all women approach their relationships with their grown children and their spouses.  Here are some things I promise to not do, my ten commandments for Moms:

  1. I promise to not get all weirded out when one my sons spend a holiday with HER family.
  2. I promise that when I am a dinner guest in my son's home, I will behave like a guest.  I won't dust.  I won't instruct.  I won't discuss my gall bladder, or any of my other organs.
  3. My Ohio grandma ate at our house very often, and my Momma is a wonderful cook.  Mom would do the dutiful-daughter-in-law thing and call her every day to check on her.  When Mom called Grandma on the day after she'd eaten dinner at our house, Grandma would say, "Oh, I don't feel so well today.  It must be something I ate."  She did it every time.  I vow before all that is holy, I will never do that.  Even if my DIL poisons me, I'm not going to blame it on her dinner.  I promise.
  4. I promise to keep the embarrassing stories about my son's childhoods down to a minimum.  I can't promise to never tell them, but I'll try to control myself. 
  5. I promise to remain calm if I hear my son refer to his MIL as "Mom".  I've had the sole title for over 22 years so far.  I know I can't be the only one forever and I understand that loving your MIL doesn't mean you are throwing your Mom away.  Speaking of which, my son's girlfriend doesn't really call me anything.  Not Mom. Not by my name.  I think she doesn't know what to call me.  But I digress.
  6. When I was expecting, Mom told me that all of her children were completely potty trained right after they were two years old.  By the time my son was born, she said we were all under two when we were potty trained.  And by the time he was learning that valuable skill, Mom reported that we were all only 18 months old when we had complete control of our bodily functions.  I promise to keep my mouth shut on the subject.  Except to relay that story right there.
  7. I am sincerely hoping that one of my DILs or maybe a someday-granddaughter will want to wear my wedding dress when she marries.  If none of them do, I promise not to pout.
  8. If my sons and their love interests will promise to not discuss their sex life with me, I promise to not discuss mine with them.
  9. I promise that I will only offer marital advice when asked.  If my son should really need a slap upside the head, my DILs will have my unqualified support in administering it.  If my DIL needs to be told that she's being a drama queen or something, I'm going to stay the hell out of it.
  10. I've brought you this far, boys.  You'll have to figure it out from here.  To the women who commit yourselves (and commit might be a good word there), I've done the best I could.  All the rest of it is for you two to work out on your own.  Don't ask me.  I see nothing.  I know nothing.  (Name that TV show character?)  I love my sons and I will love the women they choose to spend their lives with.  I promise to act in a way that lets you love me back.



Just so you don't think I'm imagining things (in my previous post about there being something grumpy in the air)...and just so you don't dismiss this as a local is an email I received today from someone over a hundred miles away:

"Ok, so your next article needs to be about people's understanding of cell phone technology and how cell phones work. Specifically why the user no longer needs to shout his conversation into the phone to be heard. The manufacturer put a microphone inside the phone for this very reason. Now, when you call your spouse or friend 10 miles away, you don't have to shout as though they are actually 10 miles away. Its called progress. Embrace it.

That's my gripe for today. Thank you for listening."

See?  It's an epidemic!



I love this picture.  Can you find my sweet hubs in it? 
Look close............... maybe he'll make your little heart go "pitter-patter", too.

Something In The Air

Can you sense it?  Do you feel it?  There's something in the air this week.  It's something......something..........something..........GROUCHY.

I've been yelled to, cussed to (not AT, thankfully...cussing at me never gets you great results), cried at, grilled, questioned, cut off, interrupted and dismissed.  What is in the air?  We've had phone problems and technical troubles.  Paper jams and traffic jams and heaven-knows-what-else. 

Our dog has been barfing even more than usual, if that's possible, and the neighbor's dog is barking more than usual, if that's possible.

But it's Friday night and it's going to be alright now. 


What I See--Alita

Oh, Alita! What can I say? We've known eachother for so many years! Alita and I became acquainted first because our husbands worked to...