Friday, May 30, 2008

Rebecca Marie Farrant, REJOICE!

I don't know if it was the excitement of last night (as suggested by Kelly), but She Who Never Gets Sick has been struck with a feisty case of high fever, blazing throat, and a general, overall weakness of an already wimpy body. Sigh.

Sleep has helped...Kim & Kristi having my girls for the day has really helped...and the antibiotic my sweet hubby just brought home is going to help. Alas, our big date night for dinner and a move (no Sex and the City for me...or sex in the country, for that matter, as I've joked today) has been canceled. You have to know that I'm really, truly ill if I'm giving up a date, especially when it involves a movie I've waited 4 years to see. Big sigh. As in Mr. Big sighing.

But...putting all that aside for a minute, I had to chime in on the greatness that was last night. After I THUMPED & picked myself off the floor, I realized a lot of my questions & musings from yesterday's Perspective post had been answered. Wow--Lost left us with a few more answers than questions? Amazing! Here we go:

*The highlight of the evening--Desmond and Penny got their reunion. Hallelujah! As soon as I saw that boat and heard the Portuguese being spoken, I yelled, "IT'S PENNY, it's got to be!" By the time Desmond boarded the boat I was literally sobbing. Henry Ian Cusick and Sonya Walger perfectly performed this scene...they didn't go crazy, didn't scream or bawl uncontrollably (like me). It was tender, it was beautiful, it was perfect, and it was right. Oh, it made me happy. Thank you Cuse & Lindelof for not making us wait another 2 years for this.



*My brother-in-law, Robbie, questioned if the show jumped the shark last night. He's convinced the moving of the island was too out here, and the special effects too cheesy. I had to disagree him. (So did Heather.) Yeah, the "blip" noise and the island disappearing was rather wild, but the whole moving thing has caused my brain to work overtime. Remember a few episodes back--Ben's flash forward entitled "The Shape of Things To Come?" We saw him flat on his back, wearing Halliwax's parka, breathing "cold breath," with a cut on his arm. Last night fully set that up with his descent to the wheel, so we know that after he moved the island, his next destination was Tunisia. With me? OK. But...keep going with me here...when he checked into the Tunisian hotel, the clerk confirms the date as October 24, 2005. Current island time (as of last night) is not long after Christmas of 2004. So...my theory is that the island doesn't necessary move geographically, but in time. When pushing the frozen wheel (and for the record--Lost is in full-on Sci-Fi mode now, and you gotta know how happy that makes me!), Ben moved the island forward approximately 10 months. I can't even get a good grasp on this theory, and like all that is good regarding Lost, I could be wrong. This is the theory I'm leaning towards, though.

*YES! Rose (Bernard, how I missed ye) got in a good quip, in the grand tradition that is the Lost finale, chiding Miles (who fascinates me--as with all the freighter folk--looking forward to learning more about them next year) for eating those apparently sacred peanuts. Or maybe she just didn't want an outsider macking on their supply of snacks. Her, "I'll be watching you, shorty," was hilarious and you can bet we'll see her doing just that when Season 5 gets underway.
*Waaaaaaaalt! He's a big boy now. It's strange seeing him as a teenager, but we all know what Peter Brady says regarding the time to change. Kate's comment to Jack about spending "3 years trying to forget what happened" was how the writers' answered the question, "How are we gonna explain Walt's foray into puberty?" I want more Waaaaaaaalt, please.
*Keamy, you evil dude. You deserved to die, but I will forever proclaim Kevin Durand's ultra sexy voice and swagger. So his heart stopped beating? Then the freighter blew. Whatever, that means nothing on Lost. (And while we're on the subject, are Niki and Paulo still dead & buried?)

*Speaking of the freighter...I was on the edge of my couch, saying, "Please Desmond, get to the helicopter, please God, don't let Desmond die!" Because I like to involve God in my day to day conversations. He and I are tight like that. As soon as Christian appeared to Michael, I said, "Aw, heck--they're dead." Then...BOOM. Oh, Jin...Jin, Jin, Jin...it was heartbreaking. Sun's reaction was gut wrenching. But...wonder if Jin's really gone? Hmmmmmmmmm.
*Daniel didn't abandon his skinny tie. But who's excited to learn more about Charlotte? Me, me, me! She'll be the one to watch next year. You mark my words.

*Sawyer. Sigh...my Sawyer. Probably the most redeemed character over the past four seasons. What a storyline arc he's had. (But I'm still grumpy over his lack of flashback/forward this season.) As I said before, he is the reluctant hero. 'Til last night, when his glory was on display for all to behold. Lula-n-Sawyer, 2gether, 4ever.

The man has grown up (figuratively) on the island, and his helicopter leap proves that probably for the first time in his life, Sawyer loves someone more than himself. Sob! I'm dying to know what he whispered to Kate, but I'm presuming it had something to do with Clementine. That babydaddy is a good man. I have the best boyfriends in the world, huh?

Um, yeah...I'd hit that. Just sayin'.

*Speaking of Sawyer--which I could do all day--he had my favorite line of the night, to Lapidus. "Hey, Kenny Rogers!" Hysterical. One of the best nicknames James has had thus far.

*Hurley, I love you. His shock over Walt's visit was almost too much for me to handle. But my second favorite line of the evening came from him, at the end of his visit from Sayid: "Checkmate, Mr. Eko." The sound you heard immediately following this scene was me yelping all the way from Pennington Gap, Virginia. YES!!!!! Love me some Eko. Invisible and all.

*Sayid got his ninja on once again, proving there's a reason why he used to make his living as a professional torturer. He kicked Keamy's butt, no two ways about it. There was no neck breaking, nevertheless it was a jungle smackdown. Sayid, you rock, dude.

*Finally...dum-dum-dummmmmmmm...we know the resident of the coffin. And yes, I'll say it again...totally figured it out. As soon as Ben walked into that funeral home (all steely and bug-eyed, as per usual), I told Scotty, "IT'S LOCKE--it's gonna be John, you mark my words!" Scotty was all, "What? Really? And more importantly, who cares?" Clearly I care. So poop on you, honey. I think I first figured it out when Ben was telling John that whomever moves the island can never return to it...that was my first inkling. Next, Richard's (he of the heavily eyelined eyes) "We've been waiting for you, John" welcome was veeeeeery strange for me. I realized then and there our Man of Faith, John Locke, was not only eventually getting off that island, but also living as miserably as he did before the crash of Oceanic 815. But when? How? Why? We have 8 months to wait for another ride of the Lost roller coaster.

Finally (Beckie, are you still reading?), there was one small scene not many have commented on yet, but a scene I'm rooting for as a set up for Season 5: Sawyer & Juliet. I'm sorry, but his beach swim up was hot, and I gotta say that buzzed Juliet was cute. For the first time ever I thought these two were a noteworthy combination...this one, little scene piqued my interest enough to hope that maybe the writers' are throwing the us a bone. "Hey fans, chew on this for the next 8 months and let's see where it takes us..." I'd love to see them together on the island, 3 years after annoying Jack & whiny Kate are gone...they could drink more rum, make babies (that LIVE!), frolic on the beach, and Sawyer could give her all kinds of sweet little nicknames. Sawyer and Juliet...yeah, I can so see that. Poop on you two, Jack and Kate.


We've reached the end, and those of you non-Lost lovers are gonna be so happy when I make my next promise: No more Lost posts 'til next year. The rest of us who are right with God can continue to chat via e-mail...right, y'all? And Beckie...I love you...all of you...please don't boycott my blog again. Rather, REJOICE over my final words.
THE END. (cue Lost sound effect.)
lost

Thursday, May 29, 2008

THUMP.

That's the sound made when I hit the floor in a crumpled mess. There was, thankfully, an absense of feces. And just a drop of urine.

WE GOT SOME ANSWERS, Lost lovers! I cried. I sobbed. I rejoiced. I freaked. I even said a naughty word (sometimes it just can't be helped, folks), which in turn prompted my husband to shake his head in disgust while uttering, "I don't get this. What's the big deal?"

Honey, the big deal is that this show is a BIG DEAL. A very BIG DEAL.

Those of you who aren't right with God and not watching Lost are all, "Whatever, please post about something else." The rest of us, or the annointed ones, such as we are, fully respect beautiful & worthy television. And we wanna blog about it from the rooftops.

I'll say no more...don't wanna spoil anything for those who haven't watched yet. (Sinners.) But I will go back and answer some of my questions from the previous post. And I'll also brag on how I remained spoiler-free this entire season (a first!) and predicted a major event of tonight's show. (Hint: I knew who was in the coffin. Knew it, knew it, knew it...and still stared in disbelief when we finally learned that identity.) Not a big fan of bragging on myself (you know, "pride goeth before destruction and a haughty spirit before a fall..."), but when I actually figure out something on Lost, it's such a major event that I fully believe parades should be held in my honor. And ooooh, can some of the cast members be grand marshalls?

Lost...how I love thee...but I can't count high enough to list the ways.

the coffin

Perspective.

You must watch this. Immediately after viewing I had my husband's nurse administer my shot of Perspective. Unfortunately it hasn't worked. Yet.




Tonight is the season finale of my beloved Lost. Two glorious hours of most excellent television. (Disclaimer: although recent posts might lead one to assume that I am addicted to TV, I'll let y'all know that I am not. Really. I only watch Lost, and now Battlestar Galactica on DVD. Oh, and The Bachelorette. Seriously--our TV is rarely on. Just didn't want y'all to be worried about me. I do have a life outside the boob tube. But back to Lost...)

Lord willing and the creek don't rise, tonight we will know who is in that coffin. Why stupid Kate leaves my boyfriend, Sawyer, behind on the island. (Please--Jack? What a weenie.) We'll have seen Waaaaaaalt again, and maybe learn a bit more as to why he's so special. Locke & Ben (Michael Emerson, the greatest television actor of our time!) will have either moved the island, as per Christian's (Jacob's?) request or die trying. Is Jin dead or is Sun a really good actress? Will the freighter blow up? Is Claire dead? If not, why is she suddenly in cahoots with Christian, aka her Daddy? And for the love of pete, can Desmond and Penny please have their long-awaited reunion?

Those are the big questions. I even have quite a few small ones, as well as some requests. Cuse & Lindelof, are you listening?

Why is Keamy so evil yet so sexy? I want him to lead me across the island...in handcuffs. OK, kidding. Kinda. Only if he takes that whatchamajig off his arm--you know, the device that will most likely blow the freighter?

Will Daniel ever remove his black, 80's skinny tie? It's casual dress on the island, dude.

Will Rose and Bernard get in a good quip or two before the credits roll? (Sincerely love those two characters--they need their own spinoff.)

Does Hurly truly realize that Jesus Christ is not a weapon? (A gold one at that.)

I want Sayid to break someones neck again. With his legs. He's so badass, that Iraqi.

Lapidus, take me for a spin in that chopper of yours! We'll come back for the gang later. (Love, love, love Jeff Fahey. Truly.)

I WANT SAWYER TO HAVE A FLASHBACK or FLASHFORWARD. We've been robbed of that this season. Darn writer's strike. In Island time he's gone from deranged yet satisified killer (take that, Anthony Cooper!) to reluctant hero in less than a few week's time. Hello--running through the jungle while protecting baby Aaron? Hot, hot, hot.

I'm certain some of my questions will be answered, and in the long standing tradition that is Damon Lindelof & Carlton Cuse, 90% of my ponderings will have to wait 'til next season. 2009, that is. Don't even get me started. The ache in my heart is so heavy and real it's all I can do to sit here and not eat an entire bag of peanut M&Ms. Before this day is over I'll most likely be found by my family, curled in the fetal position, counting down the hours 'til 9 pm, covered in my own urine and feces. Because I have a serious problem, folks. Please send an intervention group to Southwest Virginia and save me from myself. Make sure they have those peanut M&Ms with them, too.

Come 8:59 pm I'll be fine. I'll be Lost...and all will be right with the world. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

*Random Thursday will return next week. Because there is nothing random when it comes to Lost. Just so you know.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Unfurling.

*Warning: the following post will most likely bore and/or horrify you. Read at your own risk, and as Heather says, love me through this.

Many of my traits and quirks are established and well-defined. I am Southern by birth, Georgian by the grace of God. I love my southernisms--sweet tea, Gone with the Wind (both the novel and movie), slang (y'all, fixin' to, reckon, etc.), monogramming anything that'll sit still long enough, growing flowers, raising vegetables, making cornbread, fried green tomatoes, fried squash, and fried okra in my grandmother's 100 year old cast iron skillet, wearing pearls with t-shirts, and always remembering to say "ma'am" and "sir," to my elders. To name a few. I am predictable in my love of all things pink, my devotion to the Georgia Bulldogs, and in my conviction there is no other area on the planet I'd rather reside than below the Mason Dixon line. Perched on my front porch in one of our rockers I could live happily ever after with a plate of fried chicken, cream potatoes, butter beans and cornbread, a big glass of sweetened sun tea, Patsy Cline's glorious voice on the CD player and my family rocking right beside me. As Scotty and I like to say, "This makes me happy."

Throughout my blogging life (all 5 months!) I've mentioned my fangirl status and devotion to certain genres of entertainment that don't necessarily fit my "typical" mold. The more I think on it though, we all have certain areas of our life that would surprise the outside world were we to go public. So here I am, going public.

Hello, my name is Leigh Anne, aka Lula, and I am a Sci-Fi freak. A Southern Belle Sci-Fi Freak would be a more apt description. I recently told Heather that living in a small, extremely rural town where everybody knows way more than your name makes it somewhat difficult to let my freak flag fly. Well, poop on it...I'm raising the banner. Love me, hate me, or find me even weirder than you ever imagined (see my tampon missive below!), I am what I am and there ain't no going back. Yes, some educated southerns still speak this way. Get past it. I know it's not proper English. Move on.

I am a nerd. I know it, I accept it, I lovingly embrace it and I revel in this status.
extra.
He is smokin' hot. Don't deny it.

We all know of my complete devotion to the hour of perfection that is Lost, or what I refer to as The Show I Believe Everyone Should Worship With All That Is Sacred Within. (I mean no sacrilege. Promise. I fully accept Lost as a gift from my gracious God.) But Lost is adored by fans across the spectrum of genre preferences. So that one doesn't count. Let's go deeper and reveal some of my other loves...

I am a Trekkie. Not William Shatner (I'm not that old!), not any of those late 90's, early '00s knock-offs. No, I am a Star Trek: The Next Generation Trekkie. I love Captain Jean-Luc Picard (the brilliant Patrick Stewart), Lt. Commander Data (the almost-human droid), and star of PBS's "Reading Rainbow," LeVar Burton, as engineer Geordi La Forge. I've seen every episode of the series' 7-year run, as well as the 4 silver screen offerings: Generations, First Contact, Insurrection and Nemesis. When Generations first premiered I convinced my mother to stand in line with me at Parkway Cinemas (woo, a Warner Robins shout-out!) while toting a bag full of canned goods. The movie opened the weekend before Thanksgiving, and we uber fans who donated non perishables received the movie's marquee poster as a party favor. Which I still have in my closet back home. Because I'm a geek.
Cast of ST The Next Generation
The crew of the Starship Enterprise. Boldly going where no one has ever gone before. They are rock stars...awwwwwww, yeah.

Do I even have to mention how stoked I am for the latest Star Trek offering, from none other than J.J. Abrams? (The creator of Lost. 'Nuff said.) It's set for release in early 2009 and while it's not a TNG version, it does feature a pretty impressive cast, including Karl Urban, better known and loved by me as Eomer in The Two Towers and Return of the King. (Yes, yes, yes...while not Sci-Fi, I am a Ringer. Full-fledged, hardcore, totally sold-out. Love me some Lord of the Rings.) Karl's pretty easy on the eyes, too. I'm just sayin'.
The Lord OF The Rings

A couple of weeks ago I began watching Battlestar Galactica. The new version, not the original offering from the 70's. Over the past few months I've read review after glowing review of this Sci-Fi channel show, and when critics continually offer high praise (that's not about tampons) I generally take notice. I've just finished season 1 and will begin season 2 today, and I've gotta say...I am in love. No big surprise here. I'm a nerd, remember? But what I am really enjoying about this show is that it's not the least bit cheesy. Admittedly science fiction works tend to be over-the-top and/or smothered with a thick, gooey sauce that makes it unpalatable. And predictable. Not Battlestar...the writing, the acting, the story lines...oh wow, I've been hooked from the start. I have very little patience, and I am not a huge fan of waiting for the good stuff, so having this show available on DVD (thank you, Netflix!) is truly fabulous. I just watch, watch, watch 'til I'm satisfied (tired), then start all over again the next day. Brilliant!
Battlestar Galactica

While I wouldn't necessarily categorize Buffy the Vampire Slayer and its spin-off, Angel, as science fiction, Netflix does, so I'm including them here. Briefly. Because both are on my list of all-time favorite shows ever. And if I were delve into my devotion to these two programs, this post would be 5 pages long and then Kelly would never read it. If she's even read this far. I'll make it short and sweet. I am the psycho fan of Buffy and Angel. I will challenge any of you to a game of trivia concerning the 7 seasons of Buffy and Angel's 5. Are y'all a little worried that I'm a nut job? Well, clearly, yeah. I am.
Touched
One of the most romantic moments EVER on the small screen...Buffy and Spike. Remember, these are the two I lauded in TV Guide. In print. (Not this particular scene, though.) Oh yeah, you're getting it now...aren't you? I'll also mention that James Marsters ("Spike") is my backup boyfriend and I've been a fan of his for years. Being a closeted Goth, I have a thing for vampires. But that's a whole other post.

Star Wars, the BBC's Torchwood, the X-Files (the new movie comes out in July!!!)...need I further prove my nerd status? I'll close (cheering erupts!) with this:


More from the wondrous mind that is J.J. Abrams--his latest program, "Fringe," which begins airing this fall. Check out the trailer--it looks beyond fantastic. Oh, and please don't get me started on Joss Whedon's latest, (creator of Buffy & Angel--I dig him the most!) "Dollhouse," which premieres January '09. These are the two shows I'm most looking forward to next year (Season 5 of Lost goes without saying, of course). And yes, both are science fiction. Of course. Nerds of the world, unite and rejoice!



Monday, May 26, 2008

Precise Placement (tm)

I don't know about y'all, but I love & fully appreciate the edifying comments offered on my behalf by the people who live in this house with me. While I sometimes struggle with compliments given by friends or acquaintances, I have no problems letting my family lavish the praise. They can pour it on thick and I'll just swim right with that current. I mean, come on...my daughters & husband actually believe I'm beautiful! Like Grace Kelly gorgeous. Wow! Scott is convinced I'm going to write the next great American novel...any day now! (And then he can retire!) Caroline tells me several times a day that I'm her "best friend." Awwww. Libbey wants to know why I'm busting my baby-got-back-boo-tay on the elliptical machine because, as she exclaims convincingly, "But you're not fat, Mommy!" Best. Daughter. Ever. EVER! Remind me to get her eyes checked.

Yes, praise & affirmation are good things. I'll happily take that form of glory whenever and wherever I receive it, even if it's the thousandth "You so pretty!" I've heard from Caroline on any given day. Sometimes we are blessed with compliments from total strangers ("I love your purse/shoes/haircut!" or "Your child is really well-behaved."), and then we have those moments when a pal rocks our world ("I'm proud to have you for a friend!"), and life just feels perfect, even if for a moment.

I don't know what problems, struggles, or trials any of you are facing right now. I can't even begin to imagine the issues some of you are dealing with on a daily basis. Stressed out, worn out, burnt out, flat out on the floor...whatever you're feeling today, I can offer you support via generous offerings of encouragement. That's what friends are for, of course.

But there's one other thing I can grant by way of edification. Trot your little merry self down to Walmart, Target, or wherever you purchase various sundries and such, and pick up a box of Playtex Sport tampons.

Yes, you read that correctly. Playtex Sport. The box is pink and green (a bonus right there, as those happen to be my two favorite colors, as well as the required hues of preppies around the world) and emblazoned with hair-swinging gals shaking their groove thang, wanting us to fully believe that we can get down, girl, go 'head, get down while menstruating. Can I get a woot-woot up in here? (Some Kanye & Jamie Foxx would be rad, too.)

Why tampons, you ask? No, it's not 'cause they've just added a free Snickers bar with every purchase. (Tiffany, why aren't the tampon peeps reading your blog?) Nor is it because I want all you gals to experience the joy that is "360 degree coverage," as stated on the back of the box. It's because each and every Playtex Sport wrapper is adorned with encouraging, edifying statements the likes of which you will not believe. Here we go y'all:

*You've got the moves! (While wearing a tampon? Maybe it's the "Oops, didn't get this in all the way" shimmy that sometimes occurs. Too much information, eh?)

*Go the extra mile! (In this tampon! In fact, go 50 miles--see if it holds out. Then I'll be impressed!)

*Girl, you Rock! (Yeah, I rock the Granny Panties, as I'll not risk my coveted Body by Victoria Secret drawers during this time of the month!)

*Life is a sport...play to win! (Playtex 10--Kotex--0! Go, Playtex, Go!)

*Challenge yourself. (To find a better form of internal protection.)

*Show your period who's captain. (Aye-Aye, sir! Wait, am I the Captain or is my period? )

*Who cares if you win or lose--play the game! (I care, especially if this thing leaks and I have to add an extra step to my laundry duties! That ain't no way to play the game, folks!)

And my own personal favorite:

*Take the Plunge! (OK, sure...let me get a firm grasp on this "no-slip-grip" plunger here and I'll be takin' it to the streets. Well, not the streets. You know what I mean. Ew.)

I should have prefaced this post by saying that I am an enormous reader. I'll read whatever's in front of me. Cereal box, shampoo (I have the Biolage Normalizing Shampoo description memorized!), junk mail, my husband's medical journals (lancing a boil located near the perineum? Ewwwwww!), or even a magazine I've already flipped through 13 times. But I can honestly say that I've never read a tampon label, or even checked to see if anything other than "Do Not Flush Applicator" is written upon one. Imagine my surprise last month when I looked down at the little green wrapper and found, "Girl, you rock!" staring back at me. I told a friend, "I just received a written 'hug' of affirmation from my tampon! Did you know that I rock?" Since we were talking via phone I cannot verify her eye rolling, but I'm quite certain those pupils moved in a small circular motion, whether she'll admit it or not.

Truthfully, I am rather thankful I didn't stumble upon (or should I say "squat?") this discovery while using a public restroom. Now I'm gonna get totally real here, and I apologize if you're offended in any way. Because I for one think there is nothing worse than having to deal with tampon insertion while a line of strangers stand a mere six feet away.

Can she see through this crack in the door?
Gross, this stall is nasty!
How fast can I do this without it being obvious as to what's going down in here?

Had I read, "Girl, you rock!" while in the bathroom at Old Navy, I'm quite certain my whoop of joy (Yep, it says so right here on this wrapper--whether you believe it or not, I rock!) would have been relayed throughout the store on those annoying headsets worn by their employees:

Uh, Linda...you getting this? Some chick in here is freaking out in stall #4...oh, Lord, bring the mop, it'll probably be bad.

Yes, God is good in that He knows when to preserve my integrity. And it's obviously not here, as I am doing an entire post on t-a-m-p-o-n-s. I might as well throw in sphincter, bowel movement, vulva, and Brazillian wax, just in keeping with the general theme of this area.

(Just now my mother exited Lulaville and is currently preparing her faux admonishment at my discussing this in "public." Hey, Mama--at least it's not boobs, my preferred body part. I'm saving my breast feeding glory stories for later on.)

There you have it, ladies. Dress 'em up in little skirts and hand 'em some pom-poms. Team Playtex Sport is ready to cheer you through whatever dark hour may come your way. The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders may have their own reality TV show and other ample endowments, but they've got nothing on the support that comes from the wrapper of internal protection, rooting us on through cramps, bloating, zits, and that overall not-so-fresh feeling we experience every month. The tampon...weapon of choice for really mean high school girls (witness: the shower scene in Carrie), and a good solution for a bleeding nose (raise your hand, Sex and the City fans--poor, poor Steve...walking in on Miranda & Robert, and oh, the humiliation...).

The tampon, redeeming itself by providing mini cheers in a box. And really, y'all...couldn't we use a few more encouraging shout-outs in our day? Rah-rah-rah, my tampon says I rock and I have the moves. Nanny-nanny-boo-boo!



Saturday, May 24, 2008

Otherwise occupied.

Busy, busy, busy weekend, y'all. Fixin' to go fishin' (and fixin's a word, for you non-southerners...bless your hearts), then cooking tonight for a graduation lunch after church tomorrow, working on the workout-out room (does hanging curtains count as exercise?), planting more flowers, playing with my hubby & girls, finishing up Season 1 of Battlestar Galactica (my new obsession!) on DVD and beginning Season 2, and enjoying Memorial Day with my family. I'm sensing a grill, some steaks, pasta salad, baked beans, tomatoes with mozzarella, balsamic vinegar, olive oil and fresh basil...awwwwwwwwwwww yeah, Summer's ON!

I'll be here on Monday, so check back then. Coming up next week I'll have posts on affirmation, musical hits from pivotal points in my existence (and yours, too--how can I be so presumptuous to know hits from your pivotal points? Well, just check back and see, my dears!), and my interview with the cast of Lost, on location in Oahu. OK, so that one's not for real. A girl can dream. And I dream BIG!

Happy Memorial Day, y'all!

Thursday, May 22, 2008

A New Look!

A few months ago my fabulous friend Beckie gave Lulaville a much needed makeover. About one month ago, though, Lulaville started having a few problems, aka overwhelming flower-power camouflage in the body of the text. My wonderful readers stuck it out and remained faithful, with only a tiny amount of constructive complaining. 'Cause that's how my peeps roll, y'all. You all rock!

Thankfully Shannon came to the rescue. In a big way. Y'all can thank her for Lulaville's fabulous new look, and you can also visit her at http://www.eightcrazydesign.blogspot.com/ for all your custom blogging needs. And she's not even paying me to say this.

And again, Shannon...I say to you...who needs three columns when two work just wonderfully?

Pray for the Chapman Family, please.

Please lift up the family of Steven Curtis Chapman (a contemporary Christian artist, for those of you not familiar with him), as his youngest daughter, Maria Sue, age 5, was accidentally killed yesterday. Steven's son did not see his little sister in driveway and she was struck by his Toyota Land Cruiser. His wesbite has more information, as well as a link to a precious video of Maria: www.stevencurtischapman.com

I cannot even begin to fathom what this family is going through, especially Maria Sue's big brother. I'm sure the family covets our prayers during this most difficult time.

Steven currently has an enormous hit with his song, "Cinderella," which is about watching his daughters grow. How bittersweet. Back in April I posted a video of my husband with our two little girls, featuring this truly special song. You can view it here.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

A new feature.

One of my favorite words is "random." I use it a lot. It describes my life. My head full of useless knowledge works on a setting that I'm convinced is labeled random. So in honor of this, I've decided that each Thursday I will post the random, stream of consciousness-type stuff that flows through this noggin o' mine. How many times can I use the word "random" in one paragraph, I ask?

You have been warned. Run away! Or, stay! The choice is yours. I'll be here with my coffee (two Splendas and a splash of half & half, please), iTunes (currently playing "I Can't Wait" by Nu Shooz, one of my favorite 80's hits), and Dr. Pepper lipbalm, as it's my all-time favorite.

Speaking of make-up (are y'all loving this segue?) I don't think I've ever posted about my love for face paint. I am a make-up addict. A whore, if you will, as I'm not loyal to any specific brand. Today I broke out the "medium-beige" shade of my Bare Minerals--woo-hoo, summer's almost here. Bye-bye "light"--see you again in mid-October. I'll go no further, though, as my love of cosmetics deserves its very own post. Or two. Or fifty. I'm just sayin'.

Caroline and I went to Walmart yesterday and as we rounded the mountain I saw a sight none of us Lee Countians ever believed would be possible. There it was, proudly rising amidst our glorious mountains, a beacon for all who've held out hope. A vision for all who've believed that if they prayed hard enough, God would answer in the affirmative. Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus, and he's delivering burritos, breasts, and beans. In June, no less!

Do my eyes deceive? Are we really and truly getting our very own KFC and Taco Bell here in the most southwestern corner of the entire state of Virginia? More dining options? (Yes, I realize it's fast food. Leave it alone, people...do not burst my bubble.) More patients for my husband due to even higher levels of cholesterol? (Ok that one might be going too far, but it is what it is.) SERIOUSLY? Lee County is getting two more "restaurants." Folks, this is the equivalent of George W. Bush coming to town. Or at least Pat Sajak, regardless of whether Vanna's with him. This is the big time. Oh yes. Can't stress that enough.

Speaking of our wonderful little mountain town, agriculture is big industry around here. What? You're surprised? C-O-U-N-T-R-Y, folks...I spelled it out for you. (Drugs are also huge industry around here too, but I'll save that for another post.) This time of year we see a lot of cattle being...well, beefed up, rows and rows of corn, and miles of tobacco being raised. My family and I live on over 17 acres of prime farmland. I have a garden full of tomatoes, squash, peppers and cucumbers...but it's just a garden. Our main agricultural offering is not vegetables, fruit, beef, chicken, or even tobacco. No, we raise something else:


Yes, dear readers...you now know that really tall grass is actually an agricultural commodity. Because when this grass (which we've lovingly sewn, groomed, and cared for) is cut by an enormous tractor tomorrow, it will be shaped into rows that will eventually be formed into bales of hay. Many bales of hay. Hay that will feed my father-in-law's cattle, as well as the cattle owned by a family friend. It's the circle of life and I didn't even need Elton John to tell me so. You might wonder if hay farming is profitable? Yes. It saves Scotty the extra mowing time. That right there is worth its weight in gold. Trust me.

Now y'all can throw out random trivia at your next party or picnic..."Hey, I know someone who raises hay for cattle. Can you believe there's such a thing? How redneck!" Indeed. Moving on...

This time of year finds me in my yard pretty much anytime the sun's shining. Gardening is my thing...every spring I can't wait 'til the final frost so I can start burying my hands in the dirt. In the past few weeks I've put out my vegetables, herbs such as basil and rosemary, and a ton of annuals, including geraniums, angeliona, begonias, lantana, nemesia, verbena, melampodium and vinca. But the plant putting on the biggest show as of now is my most favorite--the peony. I love peonies...love that they're perennial (aka plant once, then you're done!), gorgeous and smell fabulous. Libbey and I cut a couple today and brought them inside. The fragrance is unreal, and the color...well, see for yourself:




My most favorite thing about the peony, though, is the way my precious little southern child pronounces the word: "Penny." As in, "Mommy, that 'penny' is simply beautiful!" Yes it is, my sweet, as are YOU. And baby sister, who just refers to them as "Oh, it's pink! A pink flower! It's boo-te-ful!"

Finally...a bit of helpful advice for those of you who are into working out and exercising. I am not into working out or exercising. What I'm into is watching Lost or reruns of Designing Women while spread out on the couch, eating chips and salsa. Or doing what I love even more...SLEEPING! While I'm not a member of the "I Dig Fitness!" craze, my flabby everything deems it necessary that I haul myself to the elliptical or treadmill at least every other day. I don't like it. I probably never will. But I do feel better after a good 30-45 minutes of feeling the burn, and I know my butt will eventually appreciate these efforts to lift it above my knees.

Get off the rabbit trail, Lula...yes, they are cute and cuddly and all, but back to the helpful advice.

Two things spurred me on tonight when I hit that "Can't go any more" mark. Five minutes after I started. Just kidding...it was at least 25! First was the movie I was watching while huffing and puffing. Of course it starred my boyfriend, Jason Statham. But it was a weird flick--Revolver--I only stuck with it due to my undying love for him. Anyway, just as I was about to give in and hop off the machine, there he was...in the shower...and I was all, "Oh yeah, I can keep going! Bring it on!" Get your minds out of the gutter--there was no nudity. Not even a buttock. Though I did press pause to be sure. Darn it. But still...it was enough to keep me going.Jason Statham In Car
When does the The Bank Job come out on DVD? Sigh...

The other motivator came after the movie...I had my "Workout Jams" playlist blaring from the iPod dock, and Christina Aguilera's "Makes Me Wanna Pray" provided just the right amount of oomph to make me wanna sweat even more. Great song. Great vocals. Suprisingly a great message, considering one of her previous biggest hits was entitled "Dirrty." And don't even get me started on "Candy Man," with all its double entendres. Girl done got more than a little dirrty...
Christina Aguilera

And thus you have my most recent exercise secrets...Jason's gloriousness and Christina's ode to prayer. When I say random, I'm guessing by now y'all are realizing I fully mean it in every sense of the term.

Welcome to Random Thursdays. Wait, are you still with me or have you all slowly left, one by one, hoping I'll never notice?

p.s. This is my 100th post since starting in January! To the 3 of you who've been with me since the beginning...thanks a lot! To the rest of you...I sincerely hope this latest effort hasn't scared you off. Remember...future posts will include confessions of a make-up slut, the drug czars of a small town, and one I've promised Tiffany. It's up next, girl. Can you hardly stand it?

I'm It.

Tiffany tagged me and I was taught to play nicely. So here goes:

What was I doing 10 years ago?
In May of 1998 I was finishing up at Liberty University (I was on the "5 year plan") and getting ready for my first "big girl" job. I had also just started dating Scotty and had met his parents, sister, and Robbie (now our brother-in-law!) for the very first time.

Five Snacks I enjoy:
Chips & Salsa and/or Queso
Popcorn with a ton of White Cheddar seasoning sprinkled (poured) over it
Carrots with roasted red pepper hummus
Homemade pita chips
Any of the above with a Coke in a can! (Love you, Sarah!)

Five Things On My To-Do List Today:
Clean, as per usual (we're having company for supper tomorrow night!)
Finish planting squash & peppers
Respond to Debbie's e-mail that I'm 4 days late in replying
Work on my Sunday school class' trip to the Women of Faith conference in September.
Bust booty on the elliptical for at least 45 minutes

Things I Would Do If I Were A Billionaire:
Buy a house in Hawaii so I could visit (stalk) the cast of Lost.
Purchase Dale Earnhardt Jr.'s team so he could drive the "Litton Family Medicine" car.
Hire someone to wash & massage my hair/head every single day. Ahhhhhhhhh...
Buy a pimped out plane for easier travel to Georgia and Richmond (and to see any of y'all!)
Build Mt. Carmel Baptist a new sanctuary and fellowship hall, as we are busting out the seams!

Five Jobs I Have Had:
Babysitting (from the age of 13 'til about 19)
Sales associate at Express
Secretary at Light Medical Offices (i.e. worst job in the wide world!)
Temp at Adecco Employment Services
Licensing Rep at GE Financial Assurance/First Colony Life

Five of My Bad Habits:
Picking my fingernails
Proscrastinating
Losing my cool over stupid things
Keeping score
Staying up too late reading (unless it's the Word) or watching The Girls Next Door

Five Places I've Lived:
Warner Robins, Georgia (born and bred!)
Lynchburg, Virginia
Spartanburg, South Carolina
Jonesville, Virgina
Pennington Gap, Virginia

5 People I Want To Get To Know Better (yes, this means you are tagged!)
(don't kill me, people! and you can just e-mail me your answers if you'd rather do it that way!)
Debbie, my new BFF
Melissa, my new favorite person
Carrie, because she's freakin' hilarious
Kat, who's in Georgia. 'Nuff said!
Vicki, even though I've known her most of my life...'cause she's way fun, smart, & interesting
*does Jason Statham have a blog? 'Cause, you know...I dig him...

Six Random Things:

1. "Lullaby," by the Cure, is one of the best/freakiest songs ever. Very Kafkaesque. I'm listening to it now, hence the reason for my bringing it up.

2. I've seen Gone With the Wind about 50 times. Girls, I take my job as a southern belle seriously.

3. My husband & I met on the internet. And he hates for people to know this. Internet, feel the joy of sharing.

4. My minor in college was Missions, and I did an internship in Ireland during the summer of '97.

5. My high school football team has won the national championship 2 times, state title over a dozen, and region nearly every other year. Ever seen the movie Varsity Blues? Yeah, that's pretty much my alma mater. GO WRHS DEMONS!!!

6. The "Lula" nickname comes from my sister-in-law, Mandy, who christened me almost 10 years ago, not long after we first met. She is famous for handing out new monikers..."June" is what she calls her brother, my hubby, as he is a "Junior." I knew I was in once given my own. Plus, it's supersweet to hear our 19 month old niece refer to us as "Uh June" and "An Lula." (Both my girls called their aunt "Ah-Me" before they learned to say "Aunt Mandy." Adorable.) We rock our names. Thanks, Mandy. Maybe one day we'll give you a nickname of your own. Oh, and while I'm addressing you...delurk already and leave a comment for ONCE!

Can I get any more random?

Here you have it...everything and nothing you ever wanted to know about me. Feel free to comment away!

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

American Girls.

"She used to tie her hair up in ribbons and bows
sign her letters with X's and O's..."
--Trisha Yearwood

My daughters usually get their bath before church every Wednesday night. Their bedtime is between 8-8:30 pm, and even though we live 2 minutes from our church, we are never home before 8:30 on Wednesday evenings, so it's bubbles and scrubs before we even head out the door. When it gets warmer Libbey likes for me to braid her hair while it's still damp so that it will be "curly" at school the next day. Last Thursday morning, however, she wanted to wear her braid to school.

When I picked her up later that day, the sweet lady who will be her 1st grade teacher next year (yes, that's the kind of school she attends--I already know all her teachers for the next 5 years! So look out Mrs. Powers--we'll be headed your way in late August!) stopped to ask, "Where's her bow? Libbey always has a bow. Those Litton girls are known for their bows." Oh really? Sure, my daughters wear them all the time. But known for them? Well...ok.

Libbey was born with a head full of hair. Hair that needed to be pulled back out of her face, even at the age of 6 months. What better way to be both fashionable and practical than with a pretty hairbow? We don't do headbands--those just cause headaches, and what child needs a throbbing head on top of their already busy schedule? Playtime, naptime, snack time, dress-up time...but no time for a headache.

Over the past 6 years we have amassed a large collection of bows. Those of you with daughters who wear these know that they are not exactly cheap. (Beckie, start saving now, in case God gives you a daughter one day. What am I saying? I know you'll just make yours. Whatever.) We have bows in every size, shape, color, pattern, design and style. That's all I'm gonna say about that, lest my husband read this and start mentally calculating our bow net worth. (Calm down, honey...after all, you have a Corvette, Harley, Wii, Xbox, Guitar Hero, and Rock Band. I'm just sayin'!) But, hallelujah...thank God we have two girls to benefit from our bow abundance.

I started looking through our past 6 years of photos on Kodak Gallery, and unless they are asleep or it's early morning, my children are decked out in hair accoutrements on a daily basis. I guess it's become part of their every day wardrobe. Clean panties? Clean clothes? Shoes? Bow? Yep, we're ready!


Here's Libbey before turning 1...


At 2 1/2 (with hair much longer than Caroline's is now!) in Nags Head...

A big sister is born! 3 1/2...

Caroline at 8 months old and barely any hair...yet still enough for me to get that bow in!

On top of Stone Mountain, in Georgia, at 5 1/2...looking at me like an irritated teenager.
Though a late bloomer in the hair department, Caroline's mane is finally starting to flow...therefore she is now adorned with a bow on a daily basis. Just like Libbey she even asks, "Where's my hairbow?" I've unintentionally given my daughters the impression that they are never fully dressed without a smile or a pretty bow perched atop their sweet heads.
Aunt Mandy & Caroline, December '07

Visiting the Whitley family in Georgia, March '08. (And those are stickers, not earrings!)
So there you have it. My blogging ode to hairbows. (Side note to Tiffany--my ode to you-know-what is coming soon--promise! Because it's time, if you catch my drift.)

Yes, we are some serious girly girls in this family. Unabashedly! I'm gonna keep on keeping on with the bows, too...because I know the day will come that I'll hear, "Moooommm...puh-lease do not put a bow in my hair...that's so babyish!" And then I'll be sobbing. In the corner. Performing a duet of Jimmy Crack Corn with Heather. But ooooooooooohhhhhhh...with the money I make selling all this twisted grosgrain on eBay I can take a weekend trip to the beach. Bow Beach Bash. Wahoo! And here I am again, thinking positively.

Quarantine.

Thank you for stopping by. Lulaville is experiencing technical difficulties and will be on holiday until further notice. Lulaville appreciates your patronage (and being tagged for the very first time--thanks Tiffany--will respond as soon as possible!) and is working even now to correct the issue. Please check back soon, as we hope to reveal a new and improved site, sans flowery camoflauge.
Again, thanks for stopping by, and have a pleasant day.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Doctor, my eyes...

OK. According to Kim, Kelly and Danyelle (HEY DANYELLE!!! Welcome!) there is a flower-power issue on my site. Or on their views of my site. When I view this blog, the text is on a solid pink background. When the ladies I mentioned above check it out, they are seeing loads of flowers, making it rather difficult to read. First off...sorry. Second, I'm trying to work this out. Please don't give up on me. And Kelly...I finally understand your comment(s). Finally!

Oh, and one more thing. My parents' cat, Boots, died this morning. She was almost 16 and came to live with us the summer of 1993. It's a sad day in the Roth household. And that's all I can say about that.
Papaw Sonny, Boots and Libbey, Summer '07

The trio again, March 2008.

The Hallmark channel.

For someone who doesn't mind to complain (hey, at least I admit it!), I totally hate to hear someone else get their whine on. I mean, it's ok for me to go off on idiot drivers who obviously aren't aware that I called ahead and ordered the roads cleared for me. And it's completely fine when I gripe endlessly about not having a Target nearby, because I'm convinced it's a travesty of ginormous proportions that I have to drive 40 minutes just to get some bullseye lovin'. It's a hardship. Grieve with me.

I'm certainly not digging the ridiculous gas prices we're being forced to pay now. (And yes, Republicans complain about the price of oil, too--we just don't blame each other because it's not our fault. Get over it, people. Move on.) It's only mid-May and I'm truly sick of the presidential election...Obama, Clinton, McCain...names I would love to go a week or more without hearing. Wars are raging, people are homeless and hungry, cancer is still at the top of my most-hated list, people aren't saying NO to drugs (especially where we live--it's an epidemic, and that's not hyberbole, I promise!), and abortion is denying tens of thousands of children their right to life. Oh, and don't even get me started on human sex trafficking, especially when it's concerning children. I can't go there without falling apart. Thank You, Lord, for my girls and their safety.

Yes, these are difficult times in which we are living. But when it comes to most of the things I've listed above, I remain mostly whine-free. I know...amazing, huh? This is me I'm talking about. I guess it's because my complaints are usually related to the unessential things of life. I don't own a pair of Manolo Blahniks...my thighs are fat...how come we can't go to Hawaii...there's no good place to eat around here...why can't Coke be good for me? You know, important stuff. Riiiiiiight.

Maybe you have an awesome set of rose-colored glasses that help blind you to these issues, or at least make them easier to view. And if they're Gucci or Armani, can I borrow please? Just kidding. Perhaps you're a champion worrier, unable to make it through a single day without certain fear that at any moment an appendage will fall off, a plane will plummet from the sky right into your backyard, or Marilyn Manson will show up asking for a cup of sugar & mesmerize you with his freaky eyes. Ohmyhead. Or do you fall somewhere in between these two extremes?

By nature I am not a worrier. God has just made me this way, so all thanks to Him. But when I sit down & really think about all that's wrong in the world, I feel completely overwhelmed. Who doesn't? Be honest now.

This morning my pastor (whom I love--hey, Rusty--are you even reading this? I'm bragging on you, dude!) spoke about meditating upon God's Word. "...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable--if anything is excellent or praiseworthy--think on these things."--Philippians 4:8. This is one of those verses I can almost quote verbatim, but have never digested well enough to say I've been fed by it. It was one of those "a-ha" moments for me. After returning home for the day and getting into my regular household chore routine (and, ok, waiting for Heather to post yet another chapter in her compelling "Jason" story), I began telling God, "You know, I really do not do this. This thinking on pure, lovely, noble things. Not that You're surprised, as You know my heart, but I really wanna work on this & can't do it without You. Please. Open the eyes of my heart, Lord..."

Without sounding like Pollyanna (and I do love that movie, by the way--Hayley Mills is huge in this house!) I'm going to make an effort to start thinking about what's right with this world. I'd rather "think on these things," because (a) God told me to, (b) it's just easier than complaining...most of the time and (c) there's a whole lot of really good stuff out there. Such as these few:

*sunsets

*fireflies

*ocean tides

*homegrown tomatoes

*the laughter of a child, particularly my own girls', or my niece or nephew's

*mountain peaks

*a couple in their golden years, still holding hands like newlyweds

*the families serving the Lord in foreign lands, because they are obedient & want to tell others about Jesus

*Lost (y'all know I had to throw that one in there!), the greatest TV show on the air today

*Vivaldi's The Four Seasons, and Rachmaninoff's Rhapsody on a Theme of Paganini

*the weeds my children present to me as "beautiful flowers"

*soldiers, military personnel, and veterans

*birth mothers who choose adoption

*Summer picnics

*Autumn bonfires

*Winter weenie roasts

*Spring showers

*the sweet facial expressions and noises a newborn makes

*morning coffee

*good health

*family

*friends

*the Georgia Bulldogs (hey, it's my list!)

*blogging!

*and the most important of all, what Paul is really talking about in Phil. 4:8...knowing, serving and loving God. As Scotty's "3rd" grandmother, Esther, would say, "That there's the mainest thing." It surely is.

This week I am making a concerted effort to guard my heart...to allow God to guard my heart. I am going to think on excellent & praiseworthy things, and not bemoan, for the 347th time, the price of gas or groceries. Please hold me accountable, especially when 10 pm rolls around this Thursday and Lost is not airing. But oh, next week's ep is 2 hours long! There now. You see? Already thinking more positively.

Here's your free gift with purchase: Our 19 month old niece, Eliza, with a very excited Poppy and Caroline. (And Vicki--see part of the cornhole game in the background?)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Tweet-Tweet

Take a look at the left side of this blog, please. See the "Twitter Me This" category? This, my friends, is Twitter (and those are my Twitter updates). A social networking site, if you will. I follow lots of people on Twitter. Tori, Vicki, Kelly. People I don't know personally, such as world famous blogger, Dooce, or the fellas at Dark UFO, my favorite site for my beloved Lost. Twitter is a fun way to post very short updates as you go throughout your day. Twitter is fabulous for super-nosey people. I am chief among these.

I'd like to know when Debbie has a diet coke with lemon. Beckie, when you find an amazing (or better yet, FREE!) deal, it'd be great to have you drop me a quick line about it so I can get in on it. I love cheap/free. I'd love checking in on Kaley throughout her day, as she grows Baby Boy Ehret and plays with Big Brother Griffin.

In short, I think all my wonderful and beautiful readers need to jump on the Twitter bandwagon. I've heard flattery will get me nowhere, but I'm hoping that doesn't apply in this instance! Twitter is free. It's easy. It's fun. More importantly, I Twitter. What more could you ask for?



This is a cute little video on Twitter 101, if you so desire more information. If you decide this is for you (and really, no excuse you can come up with will appease me--not even "I don't have enough time." I don't either...but I still do this.), be sure to follow my Tweet-Tweets. I'm Lula34.
Let the Twittering begin, y'all.

Friday, May 16, 2008

Flashback Friday!

For the past month our 2 minute commute to Libbey's school has been set to "Outrigger Island," which is the music for this summer's VBS. Last night I drove home from Bible study with the radio on XM Channel 8, the "80's,"which I adore, so that's what was playing when I started the momvan, I mean minivan. Instantly the opening strains of Rick Springfield's "Jessie's Girl" filled the vehicle and I told Libbey, "This song was popular when I was about your age." She replied, "Yes ma'am, I know...you've told me that before." Redundancy is often my middle name.

As soon as Libbey hopped out at school, Caroline and I trekked into town for Hardees Breakfast Friday. The next tune up was "Wild, Wild Life," by the Talking Heads. (Remember that awesome video? John Goodman? Good stuff.) I felt a Molly Ringwald fix coming on and I know a viewing of either Pretty in Pink or Sixteen Candles will be on my elliptical agenda sometime this weekend. Immediately I thought to myself, "If the next song is a Cyndi Lauper tune, it's freakin' on, man!" Alas, it wasn't Cyndi, but Chaka..."I feeeeeeel for you...I think I luuuuuuuvv you..." Stevie, you play that harmonica like it ain't nobody's business. Meanwhile I'll be reliving all those times around the rink at Olympia Skate Center. Yes, those were the days. Right, Tori?

We paid for our "just a butter biscuit, please" and headed home. The next song up was "Is It Love" by Mr. Mister, they of great power-ballad fame. (Tell me you didn't love "Broken Wings." It rocks.) By this time I was just feeling the 80's this morning and loving every minute of it. My intended post today was not about songs made popular over 20 years ago, however love for the music of my formative years guided me in a different direction. And here we are!

Those of you who know me and/or have been reading this blog for any amount of time realize that I have a thing for music. All kinds. From all decades. Music, books and gardening...my 3 favorite things in the world. (Outside of God, my husband, my girls and family--duh, peeps!) For those of you new readers (welcome--so glad to have y'all here--ain't we havin' fun?!?) I reckon I just spelled it out here for you. I. Love. Music. Especially 80's era stuff. Michael Jackson, Culture Club, Wham!, Duran Duran, Madonna, Prince, Air Supply (do NOT make fun!), Bananarama, the Go-Go's...songs by these artists just flood my already overloaded brain with memories.

My morning started off rather swell because it featured bits of the soundtrack of my life. Here's an assignment for all you fabulous readers. FABULOUS...let me state it again. What songs take you back to your childhood and/or teen years? Some of you gals might have to go as far back as the 70's (and I'm right there with ya--the first album I ever bought--VINYL, of course--was by Blondie. The second was Rita Coolidge. Again, do not make fun.), while you younguns might claim the 90's as your decade du jour. What songs would play in heavy rotation if your childhood was set to music?


Such a shame that we have to age. Still an awesome song, though!

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Addendum.

When picking Libbey up from school this afternoon, she took me to the "Wall of Fame" to show off her latest piece of custom artwork. Ms. McElroy had the students draw their favorite animal at the zoo, and Libbey's was the "gurilla." (Precious--spelling phonetically, southern style!)

Just now, my good friend Erika called and she was laughing so hard I could barely understand what she was trying to tell me. Here's our conversation:
Erika: Did Libbey draw a picture of one of the zoo animals?
Me: Yes, a "gurilla!" It was too cute, especially her spelling of gorilla.
Erika: Well, Mrs. Burner had Tatum's class do the same & you are never gonna guess what she drew...
Me: OK, tell me.
Erika: She drew a picture of a meerkat in the center of the page. Then over in the corner, she drew two other meerkats on top of each other, with "meanie" faces, because they were "fighting." Can you believe that was her favorite thing from yesterday?

Totally. Absolutely. Positively. Tatum and I are obviously soul sisters.
Boom-chicka-wow-wow.

Afternoon Delight.

Today was Libbey's field trip to the Knoxville Zoo. I could do an entire post about our trip there, our fun there, and even the trip home. But I'm not. Instead I'm going to share with y'all the highlight of my day.

We'd been in the zoo about an hour (seen zebras, walked through a butterfly conservatory, fed camels, smelled elephants, etc.) when we came upon Meerkat Lookout. I was announcing to no one in particular that I'd always wanted to watch that tv show Meerkat Manor. But I have this odd aversion to any show/movie centered around animals of any kind, as they usually bring me to tears and leave me a heaping, sobbing mess on the floor, and I have enough to pick up as it is already. (Witness Old Yeller, Homeward Bound, et. al.) So we walk up to the exhibit and see a group of meerkats playing and putting on a good show for the kids. Awwwwww...aren't they super cute and cuddly? Icouldjusteatthemup!

Over in the corner I spotted two of these furry beings wrestling. I'm all, "Look at those two in the corner--they're getting their WWF on!" And I'm not kidding y'all, at that exact same moment I swear to you Barry White started singing, candles were flickering and the chablis began chilling. Fighting must be foreplay in the meerkat world, because those two were getting on more than their WWF. It was love in the afternoon, full on. As one father in our group said, "Boom-chicka-wow-wow!" Yes, indeed.

We scooted the kids off, but not before Libbey's cousin, Robby, asked, "What are they doing?" His mother replies, "They're wrestling--didn't you hear Leigh Anne?" Robby says, "Well, that sure doesn't look like fighting to me." Yes, Robby, and you remember this for future reference. Make love, not war! Ha.
Extremely Not Boring. I'll say!

A couple of hours later we walked past Meerkat Lookout again. This time the animals were more relaxed. Scotty surmised, "They must have just finished their cigarette."
Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwww, yeah.

There you have it. The highlight my zoo experience. Raise your hand if you're not shocked that it involved copulating? It's not enough to be published in TV Guide for my approval a famous sex scene. Oh no, I have to go and write about the carnal knowledge of meerkats. It's just the way I am.

And just so y'all know...meerkat lovin' aside, we did have a wonderful day with our daughter. This picture proves that:

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Potpourri.

I'm gonna ramble this morning. Because I can.

*I would love more hours in the day. Not so I could get in more hours of work, because I work hard enough in the daylight I've been given. No, I want a few more hours of sleep. I love to sleep. It's one of the the things I do best. Yet here's something I've always wondered. Why is slumber adoration equated with laziness? Jesus Himself slept through a "furious storm," as we're told in Matthew 8:24. Did this make Him slothful or uncaring? Of course not. I'm sure you've all read or heard about the studies which have proved a well-rested evening and/or daytime naps increase productivity, add to overall health and well-being, and pretty much just make one less of a grouch. So true. My husband is the hardest working person I know, yet he is also the most accomplished sleeper I've ever met. In bed, on the couch, sitting straight up...it doesn't matter...the man will sleep hard, anywhere. Honey, you possess many talents, sleep being one I admire best. Yes, I love to slumber. My idea of a perfect day would include sleeping in, napping, and going to bed early. I would be Wonder Woman if I could do this a few times a month. Sigh.
Moving on...

*Last night Scott actually agreed to watch the finale of The Bachelor with me. He really loves me! The Bachelor is one of those shows that I've watched from the very beginning--from the first season with Alex dissing Trista, to the current British Bach, whom I found to be very enjoyable. Londoner Matt Grant chose Californian Shayne Lamas (daughter of Lorenzo Lamas, who has aged well, I might add--remember him making moon eyes over Sandy in Grease?) and proposed marriage to her. She accepted. Slurping ensued, the final rose was given, the music swelled and the credits rolled. And I, for one, actually agreed with a Bachelor's choice. But I think I'm the only person in America who feels this way, according to what I've read online regarding last night's finale. But really. It's not a big deal to me. 'Cause I'm already married.



*We had blackened pancakes for breakfast. I have no idea why. Everything was as it always is when I make flapjacks for Caroline (usually twice a week--she hearts pancakes in a big way), so why the darkness? Caroline ate them, completely nonplussed by the unusually dark hue. I love that child. But for the rest of the day I'll replay my culinary skills, or lack thereof. And it will bother me. Yeesh.
pancakes


*Peanut M&Ms are the equivalent of heroin to me. Just so you know.
Yum!!

*Dr. Ergun Caner, one of my favorite preachers and the President of Liberty University Theological Seminary has an interesting theory on Dora the Explorer. He states that Dora is obviously an illegal alien, as she totes a backpack, map, and a flashlight. And Swiper is immigration. Do you need any further proof?
lil dora
HUH-larious.

*Tomorrow the three kindergarten classes of Elk Knob Elementary will take a field trip to the Knoxville Zoo. A couple of the other chaperones and I have called ahead to confirm that yes, they do serve margaritas in the Zoo. However we have to bring our own valium.

*Yesterday my blogging buddy Debbie wrote about how she had nothing to offer her readers by way of a new post. She then went on to discuss Atonement and dreaming about blogging. She stressed a case of blogger's block, but I am here to tell her and everyone else...it's painfully obvious I have taken that title from her. Hence my jumbled offering this morning. My random, quirky, ever-rambling mind is sometimes a pain in the boo-tay. Only at times, though. I'm not claiming blogger's block because I could write about everything and nothing.

Didn't I just do that here? Have a good day everybody!






Monday, May 12, 2008

My Little Piggies.

It's official! I'm finally a big girl. My daughter reached this status long before I, but no matter...at least I made it!

Aunt Mandy & her family came for a visit last week and since she's having her second child in about a month, we decided it was time for some pampering. "GIRLS DAY!" Woo-woo! Libbey and I are not having babies, however we live vicariously through Mandy, so we included ourselves in the "we need pampering" category. We headed over to the Results Day Spa in Kingsport, TN, for feet beautification, courtesy of one very loving Dr. Litton, who stayed home & worked in the yard while Caroline napped. Round of applause for Daddy, please...and a big thanks from me.

Once arriving Libbey hopped into the pedicure chair like a pro. Wait a minute, she's done this before--several times--she is a pro! She chose a bright orange for her toes, because this is one child ready for the sunny days of summer.

Her favorite part of this experience was the paraffin dip:

Aunt Mandy (and Baby Helen--after all, she was right there with us!) chose a very pale color for her toes, which she described as "boring," but what I feel should really be called, "I'm 35 weeks pregnant and really can't deal with a lot of color on my digits, so slap on whatever's low maintenance, please." Wait--don't anyone steal that from me--I'm gonna contact OPI straightaway and trademark that as a shade name. DIBS!


Finally it was my turn to experience this female rite of passage. (Or even a male one, according to Greg Hogan. I'm still not clear on his pedicure participation, but I'll leave it at that! Hey, Greg!) Being the inquisitive pro that she is, Libbey sat right next to me & asked lots of questions. "Mommy, does it hurt? Is it hot? Does it feel good? What color are you getting? Are we gonna do this again? " My answers were, "No, no, YES, a deep red called "Andie," and YES--you betcha!"


I've been rather protective of my footsies the past few days, as I don't want to mar the perfectly-applied lacquer. These feet have never looked so swell, and it only took 3 decades to get me to this point. All too soon, though, the polish will chip & fade, and I'll just have to take care of that. With another pedicure, please. Addiction, I hear ya calling.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Ain't No Mountain High Enough.

There are days when I believe myself to be the meanest mother in the world. I'm supposing this is genetic, because as a child & teenager I thought my own mother held that title. While I loved her, I remained convinced she was out to get me, as she would never let me do/wear/buy fun stuff, or hang out at all the cool places. I mean, come on! Recently I made a list of all manners in which my mother stiffled my enjoyment during the teenage years:


*In 7th grade, when everyone else was being dropped off at Parkway Cinemas on Friday nights, I was not allowed to go unless an adult was with me, nor was I able to walk the 50 yards (gasp!) to Mazzio's Pizza and hang out with everyone after the movie. C-R-U-E-L.


*Remember Guess? jeans? Remember how everyone in the world had them? Even Anna Nicole Smith? To this day I can say that I have never owned a pair of jeans emblazoned with that perfect Guess? triangle on the pocket. My mean Mama said it'd be a cold day in Hades before she paid $50 for a pair of blue jeans. Hell's still hot, folks.


*In 9th grade a big group of my girlfriends planned a trip to see New Kids On the Block in concert. For whatever reason (my smart mouth, probably!) I was on restriction at that time and Mama said I Could. Not. Go. No amount of whining, crying, begging or pleading would change her mind. I got one of those, "You made your bed, now lie in it" speeches. Utterly devastating!


*I was not allowed to have a phone or television in my room. Ever. My parents insisted that if given my own, I'd spend the evenings tucked away in my bedroom, chatting for hours with girls whom I'd just spent the entire day at school. At the age of twenty I finally procured a telephone for my bedroom...because I had a job at the mall and bought it with my own money. And then I moved to Lynchburg, VA, a year later and it really wasn't that big a victory anyway...one year of having a phone in my room. That's all. Whatever.


*Speaking of the phone, I was not allowed to call boys. I couldn't even call boys who were just friends. I can't tell y'all how many times I'd sneak and call some guy (because yes, I was disobedient), only to have Mama pick up on an extension and say, "I didn't hear the phone ring...get off, NOW!" Sneaky for her. Embarrassing for me. Leniency was given as I grew older...by my senior year she could've cared less who I called, within reason, of course. But you know what? She was right with this ruling. Girls, let the fellas call YOU.


*When it came time to shop for a prom dress, I fell in love with a long black & gold number, heavily sequined with all kinds of designs on a diamond pattern. I wanted that dress. Badly. Mama took one look at the price tag and said, "You can forget it!" I didn't forget, but I did pick out something less expensive that I loved almost as much. And then I got to the prom and saw that Tori had the dress. Being the smart mouth that I was, the next day I whined to Mama, "Tori had on that dress I wanted. I guess her parents really love her." I think Mama's reply was something along the lines of, "Well, I guess they do, get over it." End of story. Meanie pants, that's my mother.


*My mama (and my dad, of course!) made me go to church. Every week. Whether I wanted to or not. My brother and I had to be barfing up a lung or bleeding out our eyes in order to miss church. I've heard it said that if one shoves their children into the church doors, in spite of their protesting, those children are going to grow up resentful of church and all it stands for. Bull-freaking-crap. (Woo, getting fired up here!) My Bible tells me to "train a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not turn from it." (Proverbs 22:6) Mama knew this even then. It was mean of her, sure, but still...I'm thankful for it.
(Yes, I quoted the Word and thew in a little "Christian cussing" in the same paragraph. That's so me, like it or not.)


Y'all get the picture by now, right? I could go on and on, but it's sufficient to procclaim that I lived a deprived existence as a teenager. No fair!


While I thought my mother to be pretty much the meanest ever, she did have redeeming qualities that I look back on in fondness. During my senior year of high school we both skipped a day (she was a teacher at my school--and yes, I had her in class and called her "Mrs. Roth." Embarrassing.) and headed up to Atlanta for some mother/daughter fun. We went shopping at Lenox Sqare, ate a fabulous meal, then changed into some fine evening duds and saw the musical The Secret Garden at the Fox Theater. What fun!

On weekends when I'd go out with my friends or whomever I was "in love" with at the time, she would always wait up for me until I returned home for the evening, sometimes past midnight. I'd usually find her asleep in the sunroom, TV blaring, but she was still waiting. That's serious love and concern right there.


When I became a new mother and was struggling through learning the ropes of nursing, Mama would get up with me and Libbey in the middle of the night and sit with us while I tried to get my baby and my boobs to cooperate. At the same time. Caroline came along 3 3/4 years later, and while she was a champion, no-instructions-needed nurser, when she'd wake for her 5 am feeding, Mama was still right there with us. She kept the baby monitor with her in the guest room, and when she'd hear Caroline rousing, she'd come downstairs and watch QVC or TV Land with me, sitting in the darkened living room. When I told her, "Thanks, but I really don't need you, go back to sleep!" her reply was, "I know you don't. But I don't want you sitting here by yourself." Gulp...sob-sob. I almost cry just thinking about this. Because it's precious. Even though we got on each other's nerves after a while, I was beyond thankful to have my Mama with me for a few weeks after giving birth. She was an enormous help, to say the very least.


After my husband, my Mama is my best friend. We named our firstborn after her, and gave our second child Mama's maiden name as a middle name! Even though she was the meanest mother in the world when I was younger, somehow, through the passing of time & experiences, she's earned the title of best mother in the world. Her own mother, my maternal grandmother, passed away when she was just 33 years old. I am 33 years old now. Not having Mama in my life is unfathomable to me and if I write too much more about it I'll fall into a weepy mess and possibly ruin my laptop. I'm thankful to God to have such a beautiful, special, talented, wonderful and caring mother. My girls have the best grandmother ever. I'm pretty sure Scotty will admit she's a swell mother-in-law, too.


I'll end with this little story: When I graduated high school my AP English teacher (who was also a family friend and colleague of Mama's) wrote letters to the parents of each of her students, thanking them for a good year and offering congratulations and best wishes for their new graduates. The last part of her letter to my parents was directed to my mother. It read, in part, "Mary, as a mother of two boys I have often envied the relationship you and Leigh Anne share. I hope you both realize how precious and rare this is, and how it should be cherished. I have enjoyed watching you two grow in your mother/daughter roles through these 18 years..."

Happy Mother's Day, Mama! I love you forever! And Happy Mother's Day to all the mothers and moms-to-be out there.

(Mama, Caroline and Libbey--October 27, 2005.)