Happy Thursday

Yes, yes. I know I’m early–or late. I meant LAST Thursday. You see, I work with this GREAT bunch ‘o gals. Seriously–in all my years in the education biz, this is THE BEST team I’ve ever had. I am amazed by these ladies on a daily basis. We don’t hold hands and sing Kumbaya in the hallway (although we MIGHT try it if we thought it would frighten our 8th graders into submission), but the gods of education smiled upon our little back 40 of a hallway this year, and we really, really like each other.

I found these cute emery boards for the gals some time back intending to tuck them into a little Christmas package.

I READ the caption as though my co-workers already OWNED the nail file. As though they were using it while saying the caption to whomever was across from them. They already KNOW how fabulous *I* am. . .at being late.

Christmas became Valentine’s Day, and Valentine’s Day became last Thursday. I was in Wal-Mart (my third trip of the week–and YES, I try to plan, but you know how it goes), when I spotted these gorgeous fuchsia roses.

I'm not sure the color translates here--but they were just a really, really, REALLY pretty watermelon pink.

Nearby I spied the pink and white carnations of the SAME SHADE, and a Happy-Thursday-Here’s-Your-Nail-File gift was born.

I made a container for Victoria too. She was so surprised.

(I just googled pink and white carnations to see if I could find the name of this variety. BE STILL MY PINK AND WHITE LOVING HEART!!! I KNOW carnations get a bad rap, but I do love them.)

I couldn’t find the right container, and I wanted something inexpensive but cute.

This set of six aqua tumblers (for a DOLLAR) came to the rescue.

All I needed was some baby’s breath. Alas, Wal-Mart doesn’t sell that. My friends enjoyed their flowers and nail files all the same. *I* (meanwhile) got to enjoy their smiles of surprise AND make something pretty–which I LOVE to and NEEDED to do!!! It does my heart good to mess about with pretty things. PLUS, it’s getting the creativity flowing for the luncheon. Victoria and I are VERY INTO the whole Robin’s Egg blue/pink thing this year.

The presentation. (Photo shamelessly stolen from one of my co-worker's blogs.)

And I got THIS lovely tray at Hobby Lobby the same day. I LOVE WHITE DISHES.

These girls really DO make my days so much easier–so much brighter. I am blessed.

Potpourri.12

Wildflowers are blooming here in Texas: bluebonnets, winecups, buttercups, Indian paintbrush, Indian blanket, blue-eyed grass, coreopsis, meadow pink, phlox. . .you just want to have a dozen eyes so you can see it all at once. I DID stop and pick some blue-eyed grass today, but just like buttercups and other wild flowers, they close within 30 minutes of me picking them and bringing them home. They can be blown by a strong south-eastern Texas wind and not bat a petal, but pick ’em and you break their spirit. They are, after all, wild.

I took the children shopping after church today. Thad needed shoes and Victoria needed shoes and they both needed clothing for church. What Thad did NOT need was another t-shirt, but he got two. This one is hilarious–take the 30 seconds to roll over the image at the Kohls website to see what issues super heroes have, and this one is too.

There is either a penny or a dime that is in the lining of the coin section of my wallet, but I can’t find the HOLE through which it slipped. So there it remains–mocking me. I’m not even sure as to its denomination, BUT as my PawPaw used to say, “If you never spend it, you’ll never be broke.” Maybe it’s just him watching over me.

Tony has acute bronchitis. This is an old ailment for me, but a new ailment for him. We now have matchign inhalers. I am hopeful that he doesn’t decide to pass it along.

It is time for bed. Past time really.

Gems

Victoria and I are in the process of planning for the Mother & Daughter luncheon, 2012. This is our tenth year. How in the world did THAT happen? We discussed invitations tonight, and decided to use a silhouette. We batted around using Victoria’s silhouette, a bird, a butterfly, a teapot, a flower, a daisy, a Gibson Girl, or just a generic little girl.

In the end, we found THIS little jewel. Victoria and I BOTH loved it. I actually ADORED it from the moment I laid eyes on it, but being the mom of a thirteen year old girl, I knew to play my hand close.

“What do you think of this one?” I asked nonchalantly.
“Oh, Momma!!! I LOVE it!!!! What do YOU think of it?”
“I love it too, sugar.”
“What do you REALLY think???” (She is, after all, a woman-in-training.)
“I think I REALLY love it. Do you know WHY I love it?”
“No. Why?”
“Well, because it reminds me of you. You aren’t a little girl any more, but you’re not yet a young woman. And this silhouette looks EXACTLY like who you are right now.”
“I think so too. She looks in between like me.”

Do you know what I love most of all? I love that my 13-going-on-14 year old daughter KNOWS that she is “in between.” She isn’t trying to grow up too fast. She isn’t trying to stay a little girl. She is in between, and she embraces her in between-ness. I was NOT one to do that.

I always wanted to do whatever it was I was too young to do. Some of this may have had to do with my having an older sister, but most of it had to do with me being “prissy.” At the age of six, I INSISTED that my leotards on Sunday morning were to be called PANTYHOSE and my open-toed, block-heeled sandals were to be called HIGH HEELS. My Granny would save empty cosmetic compacts and lipstick tubes and cleansing cream jars for me–stored in her guest room chest-of-drawers–with the STRICT understanding that I was not to APPLY anything I might find in the crevices of the containers. Even my Granny who dug EVERY LAST AVAILABLE BIT of her Merle Norman Ladybug Red lipstick from the tube with a Q-tip was bound to miss some that my enterprising prissy fingers might still reach. I DID occasionally sneak and “use” some powder. It was really just Granny’s old powder puff that smelled of face powder, but it thrilled me no end.

I wore lip gloss as soon as I was allowed. I got my ears pierced as soon as Daddy FINALLY gave up and told me if I wanted to poke holes in my ears to go right ahead. I wore make-up as soon as I had my own money and convinced Momma that I would only use NATURAL colors. (This did not last for long as my photos from high school can attest.)

I don’t think any of that was bad. I am certainly not the first little girl to do so. And if Victoria wanted, this would have been the year that mascara and face powder and light lipstick would have made an appearance in our house. As it stands, she wants none of that yet. She likes to wear jewelry but has no desire to pierce her ears. She likes to wear body spray, but has no desire for make-up. She has long had her own personal preference regarding her clothes and what she “feels” like wearing. She has her own style. . .which happens to be chock full of grace and gentleness and intuition and tenderness and beauty that is beyond me to describe. She is like a luminous strand of pearls, my girl.

Of course, I AM her Momma, so I’m a little partial.

Jack

Exactly two years ago on Tuesday, these crazy kids got married.

Their meeting was one of the most serendipitous of serendipities that God has ever allowed me to help Him with, as I introduced them. Their marriage was not of my orchestration, but I was one of the strings on the bow of the violin that God played to enact their marital symphony–probably the broken one that flies around in all directions during a performance leaving you to think, “Why doesn’t somebody just cut that thing? Isn’t that distracting?” As Tony read my post, he was somewhat chagrined by my “God as a fiddler analogy, and I’m not sure what is up with all of the orchestral/symphonic metaphors except that Jennifer has a doctorate in music–and yesterday I got to meet their Opus. His name is Jack. And he is adorable and cooing and sleepy and soft and good smelling as all babies should be.

We did a “reenactment” of sorts of their engagement photo in my driveway–and here you see the difference in a January, sunny, evening setting and a March, cloudy, morning setting. Plus, I should have scooted them back some. . .anyway–Jack was a wonderful baby during his adoration and photo shoot time.

It is not hard to love such a baby. . .especially when he is the child of The Best Babysitter Ever–the title bestowed on “Miss Jennifer” by my own opuses. . .opii. . .my kids. Since she had Jack, we don’t even mind so much that Mr. Greg married her and stole her away. No SO much. Just a little. We like him too. 🙂

Here are my faves of the Jack photo shoot in color and in black and white. Just ignore the top four–or enjoy them again. . .I didn’t take them out of the gallery.

Overheard

It’s been a busy break. Tonight, the kids and I were more than a little overly tired and giddy as I’ve been using Power Tools and Stud Finders and Laser Levels to hang things like shelves and curtains in their rooms. Both spaces having been thoroughly mucked out and straightened over the course of the week.

After I got Victoria’s pink shelf hung tonight, she was sorting and arranging her gee-gaws. I was handing her things. Thad was sitting on her bed alternating between his own world (where he was pondering the meaning of the universe) and the world in which Victoria and I were present (where he was bombing her with his Clark Kent and Superman stuffed Sonic tater tot toys). As a tot flew across the room, I reached into a basket and pulled out a heap of pink and white ribbons all strung together like a wreath.

Victoria said, “I want to keep those, because Mrs. Stephanie made it for me.”

I said, “Mrs. Stephanie from Arkansas?”

“No. Your other friend Mrs. Stephanie. She brought it to me when she and Mrs. Mary Linda came to see you.”

“Mrs. Stephanie made you this???” (Neither Mrs. Stephanie is a pink kind of girl and BOTH have two boys each and two Zanes among the four male offspring. No pink to be seen.)

“Well, whoever stayed in my room made it. She had a Kindle.”

“Oh. . .THAT was Mrs. Mary Linda,” I said as I stared at the array of pink and white ribbons trying to figure out exactly when and where Mary Linda ended up with THIS MUCH pink ribbon.

Actual pile 'o pink ribbons. . .notice the lady bugs?

Then it hit me, “OOOOOOOOHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH. . .THAT explains it–all the Phi Mu lady bugs!!!” I exclaim. (Mary Linda was and is very active in her Phi Mu chapter.)

To which Thad replies, “FIVE MUTE LADY BUGS?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!”

Evidently the portal between his universe and ours must not have good acoustics. Either that or he has NO schema for Phi Mu but DOES have some for five and mute. Or he just trolls between the two worlds waiting for something as interesting as five mute lady bugs to catch his attention.

The Importance of Punctuation: Lesser Known Edition

I have written before about my love of lesser known punctuation: the ellipsis, the dash. And we have all, of course, seen this little gem.
Woman, without her man, is nothing.
Woman: without her, man is nothing.

or

He eats shoots and leaves.
He eats, shoots, and leaves.

And if you’ve not seen this as of yet. . .

This afternoon, Thad and I were running an errand. Not three miles from our house, we saw the most persuasive evidence yet for the lowly ampersand.

First of all, whilst hurtling past at 55 miles per hour (and slowing down as the sign is at the beginning of a big curve), it takes a moment for what you just saw to shoot through your visual cortices then sink adequately enough into the crevices of your brain so that meaning can be extracted. You get a cerebral image of goats. You get a cerebral image of eggs. The two don’t jibe. THEN, you wonder exactly how that sales pitch could be so.

What is the harvesting process? Is there a huge market for such? Are they now taking nanny goats down the same path of high dollar bulls and stallions with their reproductive. . .productions? Is there some sort of of agricultural in vitro procedure of which you are (blissfully) unaware?

After navigating the curve while trying to sort out the tangle of thoughts this one, small sign unleashed in your brain, you realize that that a simple & would have taken care of the confusion. That thought is immediately followed by a sigh of relief that it did not, in fact, read “goat’s eggs” OR “goats’ eggs.”

It’s all a matter of punctuation.

A disturbance in the Space Time Continuum

I am in the study. Thad is in the living room talking to himself. Now he is singing. I know he is 10 1/2 and wears deodorant (when reminded–AND under duress) and can cook himself eggs in a pan over a fire while I am still in bed. I know this in my head. But as I heard his voice just now–that low mumbling hum of one having a conversation with one’s self–I was jerked back in time and expect to be able to pick him up and have him wrap his monkey arms and legs about my person while I carry him around the house. Since he now weighs in at 100 pounds and is 4’11”, I think reality would come calling pretty quickly. So I will write this little post and let it remind me that my days until the voice changes are numbered. . .

The voice I hear is coming from this child.

And this is the one that lives in my house.