Inaugural Art

I splurged last week and, for the first time in my life, bought the ENTIRE BOX OF 120 Crayola colors for The Girl and Me. We’ve got the classics, the new colors, the American colors, the flourescent colors. . .colors of the world, from endangered animals (Manatee) to the Tropical Rainforest to Purple Mountain Majesties. NO LIE.

When you open the box, it appears that you have been given two boxes of 48 and one of 24–alas–they are different colors. The very FIRST thing that Victoria and I did (as I knew we would) was to put them into color families, then organize them in rainbow order. She and I BOTH prefer it that way, and it’s part of the fun–for us. You can go throwing your crayons all willy-nilly into an old coffee can if you so choose. We like ours GROUPED.

(By way of digression, Tony’s family DID keep theirs in an old coffee can, and he has a distinct memory of coloring a yellow chick. However, the yellow crayon had gotten a little too cozy with a red, thereby leaving a red smudge on the pristine yellow of the little chick. Tony cares not about rainbow order or grouped crayons, but even at the tender age of 5 or 6, he cared VERY MUCH for the order of logic. It was not logical for a buttery yellow chick to have a red smudge for no apparent reason, so he drew a pool of blood underneath it. My husband does not hunt–he fishes–he goes crabbing–but he has never killed a living thing that bleeds actual blood. But morbid or no, logic must prevail. The chick bled. Logic. The Boy we brought into this world HATES to color. HATES. TO. COLOR.)

Anyway, The Girl and I, we anticipated. We planned. We waited for the official beginning of summer. I found some Very Special coloring pages, and today was The Day.

Today, we colored, the girl and me. We colored these cute, little houses, then we colored Barbie on a bike. I actually HAD a Barbie bicycle–like FOR Barbie.

Anyway. We colored today.

Twice.

I highly recommend it.


Victoria’s interpretation of Barbie on a bike.


And mine–obviously influenced by my childhood toy.

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Happy

Things making me happy at the moment:

-writing letters
-friends who have known me a long time and love me ANYWAY
-chocolate covered raisins
-yoga
-a BRAND NEW BOX of all 120 colors of Crayola crayons to share with my daughter in anticipation of a summer chock full ‘o coloring
-my boy telling me that I’m 99% nice and only 1% cranky
-clean sheets
-giving the kids who actually did a PROJECT AS ASSIGNED a surprise 110 for their “hard work, diligence, and effort”
-breakfast for supper
-pretty flowers
-harmonizing with music I really love
-an entire day laid before me ripe with possibility (even if I end up not accomplishing much by the end of it)
-hearing the voices of people I love

Books, Books, Books

Stole this from Melanie. . .and it is, actually, 100% accurate as far as I can tell. . .you tell me. . .


You Are Realistic Fiction


You are an outgoing person and very interested in others. You have many relationships that are important to you.
You are always willing to lend an ear to a friend with a problem. And you’re even pretty good at giving advice!

Some may accuse you of loving drama, but you just seem to find yourself in the middle of it.
You are a true people person. You find the lives of others to be fascinating. You’re up for hearing anyone’s life story.

Weekend Snapshot

Friday night: Walmart on the way home. Yoga. Movie. Bed.

Saturday: Sleep late, kid’s yoga, $5 Hot and Ready pizza in the car with the kids, Target, teacher gifts (ChickFilA gift cards and M&M’s), another movie, cooked dinner (baked chicken, butterpeas with ham, corn), scrubbed shower, scrubbed self, bed early

Sunday: Sleep late-ish, church, lunch out, nap, more church, camp meeting AFTER church, drive home with the windows down, eat left-overs, watch the kittens play, get teacher gifts ready, bed again.

There was filler in there. . .laundry, dishes, this, that, and the other, but I love weekends like this one–drifting from one thing you want to do to something else you want to do. . .preparation for summer. AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. . .

Kitchen Fun

Want a little wacky fun in the kitchen? Here’s the recipe for you. . .SO TOTALLY WORKS and tastes devine. I saw it on Pioneer Woman, and as Victoria has made an odd cake before, I thought she might like to try this one too.

You, basically, start out making brownies, then you put MORE sugar, brown sugar, and cocoa on top of them, THEN you pour 1 1/2 cups water on that–DON’T STIR–and put it in the oven.

It’s easy to do–you should have all the ingredients in your kitchen already–they’re basic stuff. Just grab some vanilla icecream, and you’re set.

My Granny’s Chocolate Cobbler

And here’s the recipe for the “odd” cake. It’s called Wacky Cake and is butter/milk/and egg free (Jennifer). It’s really, really good too. It tastes more like cake brownies and is great plain with just a dusting of powdered sugar. Also a GREAT science lesson.

Ponderable, Serindipitous Blessings

Monday was not a pleasant day. There were many reasons. . .most of them small and annoying and inconvenient. . .one of them expensive. . .several hormones involved. You get the picture. There was to and fro-ing and sit-down-and-be-quieting and haven’t-I-already-told-you-to-spit-out-your-gumming and “What do you MEAN you don’t have a shuttle service after 3:30 so I can get back to your dealership to pay you the amount I would rather spend on tree house materials to replace the wheel of my car that a pothole ate-ing!!!” As Mandisa would say, “It’s only the world.” And my world is pretty beautiful as it is. . .but that day my aura (have GOT to tell you that story) was more puce than pink.

After I plunked down the treehouse in the form of a Mastercard on the counter at the Kia place to get my car back, I called Tony and said, “I am going to go get a glass of tea and sit still for a minute.” And he, having been privy to at least two sets of tears over the phone that day said, “I think you’ve earned it.”

I stopped at a Tex-Mex place I’ve only been to once, ordered my tea, salted my chips and then went ahead and got a spinach enchilada to go with it. After that I needed to go to Wal-Mart, but I went to the Hallmark store instead. Then I went to Petco to comparison shop some cat food (saved $7.00. . .but about that amount was eaten by the racoon that gnawed it’s way through the plastic storage container later that night. . .humming Mandisa). Then I headed home. Skipped Wal-Mart altogether so that Monday–somewhere– Sarah was feeling happy and didn’t know why.

I headed home high on chips and tea and Hallmark figurines and exited my normal exit. However, rather than taking a left at the “shorter short-cut”, I decided to take the LONGER short-cut. . .I was in a twisty, turny mood that day. (Yes, MaryLinda–even MORE twisty, turny than the way I drove you and Steph.)

As I approached the road onto which I would FOR REAL turn (not just twist and curve), there was a car ahead of me at the stop sign. I think nothing of this. Then I notice that the driver of the car–something foreign and silver maybe–is looking in her rearview mirror at me and saying something. I check. I’m not on her bumper. Next thing I know, she opens her door, climbs out, turns my way with arms akimbo and mouths, “I’M LOST!!!!” I don’t blame her. It’s a very confusing place to be in this particular middle of nowhere.

I roll my window down as she approaches, ask where she’s been and where she’s headed. Discuss some options, etc. Then I notice her name tag. I didn’t even read the name on it. I stopped at “Hospice Care.”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Hospice Care.

I doubt that poor woman had been given the time much less a glass of tea that day. She, with her short red hair and bubbly, out-going personality, had sat at the bedside of someone who was dying. Someone who may or may not have been in and out of excruciating pain or consciousness or their mind. Someone who may or may not have had family nearby who may or may not have been a comfort to them. She may have had to manage way more pain that what her actual patient was going through. Either way–this gal had dealt with life and death that day, and if ANYONE deserved to not be lost 50 miles from home at 5:30 on a Monday evening, it was her.

I assured her that I could get her on the right path, “Follow me. . .I’ll take you there,” I said.

As I drove her the short distance to the FM road that would take her directly into rush hour traffic, I thought about the course of events that led me to that exact stop sign at that exact time. She, obviously, didn’t have a GPS (neither do I), and a cell phone wouldn’t have done her much good as we were literally in the middle of a T-crossing set of tiny, narrow, two-laned black top roads with only cows, goats, and a donkey or two to witness our conversation. The nearest gas station was 6 miles away and not even on that road, and there was NO direct route to the nearest freeway. Only more tiny, narrow, farm animal sprinkled roads to navigate.

Yet–by whatever course of events in my day, frustrating though it may have been, I had made small choices that let me cross the path of this hospice nurse who needed to get home.

Once we reached the road she needed, I pulled into the parking lot of our electric co-op, and she followed. We both rolled our windows down and chatted for a bit. . .she thanked me, then I told her about my frustrating day–briefly–and how this thing and that thing had led me to do things I normally don’t do. . .walk into a sit-down Tex Mex place after school for tea and chips. Stroll through the Hallmark store looking at various and sundries. Skip an errand I need to run altogether. Choose the less traveled scenic route of the three I could take home. I told her, that when I saw on her name tag, “hospice care”, it put my day into perspective, and that I had no doubt God had a hand in it. Or atleast, “all things worked together for good.”

She said, “Sister, you are right. I love the Lord, and I sure did need some help back there. I’ve done home health care for years, but this has been a trying day.” I told her that I love the Lord too–that it was my pleasure–to go home and be safe on her way.

I wish I’d been able to fix her a glass of tea.

Mother’s Day Weekend

My Mother’s Day weekend has been lovely. . .Saturday the children and I spent the morning doing whatever we wanted. Tony was at a thing at church with his mom and dad, so the kiddos and I watched the kittens play.


Buttercup is the hardest one to photograph. . .she has these lovely lines and poses that she holds for about three seconds. . .then she is off like a shot.


The kittens love to stalk and attack each other. They jump and hiss and arch their pretty, little backs and make all manner of noises.


Tony’s collection of potted crepe myrtles and redbuds and live oak saplings are their own personal jungle. Poppy has found her inner wildcat.


Here Buttercup and Penny are a little confused as to what, exactly, the children are doing.


And this is what they were doing. . .no high tech toys for the kitties OR the kids. Potted plants and leftover grass palettes will do just fine. The children were jumping on it to see who could stay on the longest. And exactly how much racket their mother could stand.


All the kittens love the cinderblocks, but Penny has pretty much claimed them as her own. If you can’t find her anywhere else, it’s a safe bet she’ll be here.


She has turned out to be the most photogenic of the three as well. Anytime I point the camera at Buttercup–she takes off. Poppy can be caught on occasion, but Penny actually seems to POSE for the camera. She is also the most feisty, so maybe she’s DARING me to take her picture.

Here she is ready for her closeup, Mr. DeMille. Maybe we should have named her Cleopatra.

At 11:00 the kids went to my yoga instructor’s first Kid’s Yoga class. Have I told you how much I LOVE my yoga instructor? Well. . .I do. She’s just wonderful. And she prays during yoga–which reminds me every time that I am in the exact right place. The kiddos loved it. Victoria can do a perfect plow with absolutely NO hesitation or assistance from her hands. It took her about half a heartbeat to get into this position. Thad, on the other hand, is the one that did the bow pose like a pro. Either way, they can both, literally, bend over backwards. And they both want to go again.

We then ate a leisurely lunch, perused an antique store Victoria and I have wanted to visit, and walked the Magnolia Stroll–a new crushed clay walkway down the “main drag” of Magnolia. It was a perfect temperature and a perfect morning.

I was awakened today by some toast and a bowl of Corn Chex in bed–a lovely necklace that Victoria made for me, and flowers picked just this morning by Thad. Unfortunately, Tony got what I had a couple of weeks ago, so when the tire was flat after church, Jennifer volunteered Greg to change it for me. It was a good thing that he was already wearing black pants. I am perfectly capable of changing a tire, but a white skirt and pastel pink blouse are hardly tire-changing apparel. I’m just sayin’. And I’m also sayin’, “Thank you, Greg!!!!!”

As our Daddy was not with us, we didn’t go out to eat, but we DID grab some chicken and head home (very slowly on our donut tire) for lunch and a nap.

So. . .it was a lovely weekend. Summer is knocking on our door, and we are ready to go.