Thursday, April 23, 2009

Notice to the Headache That Has Pestered Me All Week:

I understand why you would choose to spend the week with me. I'm lovable, sweet, funny, kind, and not unattractive. I smell nice and cook yummy meals. I have adorable and funny kids. If I knew me, I'd hang around me too. It just makes sense. And, hey! The weather here this week has been great. The thing, Headache, is that I can't really enjoy this weather or my adorable and funny kids when you're here.

You're no fun. I know that is a harsh thing to say. I'm sorry, but it is true.

But it's worse than that. You're a pain. An honest-to-goodness, make-my-life-miserable, please-go-away-and-don't-come-back pain.

That was even more harsh, and, again, I'm sorry. But it had to be said. You need to know the truth. You need to know how I feel about you. You need to know how you affect my life.

So, I'm breaking up with you. I hope you understand and leave gracefully and with the dignity and self-respect that keeps you from coming back and stalking me.

I'll always remember our times together. Well, most of them. Sometimes you were such a pain that you left holes in my memory. And, for that, I will never forgive you.

But I'll make you a deal. Go away and don't come back and all is forgiven.

Sincerely (Really and Truly),

Keri, the Auburn Gal Always
Former Migraine Sufferer

Monday, April 20, 2009

You're not gonna believe this...

Remember him?

He went back to work Friday and today.

Cool, huh?

That adorable cuteness in the helmet is his youngest daughter.

Thank You (part 1)

Bo is a dear friend who worked for The Mighty Hunter and is now in nursing school. I've attempted to help her with some of her classes (bless her heart!), and we've become very close.

Bo has 2 sons. That is them you see to the left, surrounded by the Service Flag graphic. Lucas is an Army MP and serving in Iraq. Chris is the younger. He is an Army mechanic and on active reserve duty, awaiting deployment later this year. I adore these two young men. I admire them as well.

Two weeks ago, Bo got a message from Lucas, saying that he would be home soon for leave. His approximate arrival was the 17th or 18th. I can't describe to you how excited she was - nor is it necessary to even say it. Just know that her enthusiasm is contagious, and I came down with a big case of it.

I cried several times, thinking of how wonderful the reunion would be. How beautiful our rolling ridges and mountains, lush in shades of green and spotted with the whites and pinks of Dogwoods would welcome him. How he would fill his belly with fried chicken and pinto beans and corn bread and countless other Southern foods. How being in a comfortable bed without fear of bombing or gunfire would rock him to sleep. How natural and foreign it would feel to talk to his brother and hug his mother.

I cried thinking how grateful I am that he has given himself to our country and our world for our safety.

Thursday morning I started checking my phone constantly for the text from Bo that would announce his arrival time. Only twice (ok, maybe three times) did I text her with the straight-forward message of "????"

Friday afternoon, I knew when I saw her on the caller ID that she had gotten the news: Sunday morning, 6:20am, Atlanta airport.

(here's a helpful aside for my fellow logistic/planning compulsives: Atlanta is on Eastern time. I live in Central time. Atlanta's airport is 2.5 hours away. The kids and I could go, but my cold would make the EARLY morning drive painful for me. The Mighty Hunter has Mariott points out the wazoo.)

A quick phone call to The Mighty Hunter, who was stuck in the airport in Memphis all day long, got him on the job of getting us a couple of rooms near the airport for Saturday night. Another phone call to Beboo determined that we would drive two cars so that Lucas and Chris could stay in Atlanta and have some brotherly-bonding time if they wanted.

After Opening Day for Sissy's softball season Saturday morning, I threw a change of clothes and necessary toiletries into a small purple suitcase. Emptied the Pimped Out Mamamobile of the amazing amount of junk that it had accumulated in the month since WDW. Bathed Sissy and dried her hair. Lay down and napped for 25 seconds (ok, maybe 30 minutes) until Lucky woke me with kisses (btw, pretending to be asleep and going bye-bye are the only ways to get kisses from him). Loaded the Pimped Out Mamamobile and left home. Realized I had $12 cash and the banks were already closed. Returned home to get cash out of emergency stash in the safe. Drove through the carwash to get the 3" of dead bugs and pollen off the windshield. Wished I had time to use the free super-vacuums to get the 2,815 cheerios out of the floor and seats. And drove to Beboo's house to meet Chris, Bo and Beboo and leave for the hotel.

Do you know that when you arrive at a Mariott and you're a Platinum Rewards member you get treated with a little better attitude?

The rest of our evening was...

A trip to Walgreens for poster board and markers and drinks.

A quick stop at Krispy Kreme. It's the law that you must stop when "hot and fresh" light is on, and I'm a law-abiding citizen!

A sad attempt at lettering and decorating poster board with a welcome home message.

A room filled with sleepy eyes but excited hearts and minds.

A clock that was screwy after Beboo tried to set the alarm for 4am, but instead changed the time to 4am.

At 3am I woke up, afraid that I would oversleep and be the cause of not greeting Lucas the minute he arrived.

... to be continued when I get the pictures from Bo.

Friday, April 17, 2009

funny memories from WDW 2009

Someone should have told this man to do some push-ups YEARS AGO!

Why would someone (some DAD) do this to an incredibly cute little boy?

I saw this lady in my picture after we got home. I swear in this picture she looks just like Lisa Kudrow. (She's not. How do you know? I didn't tell you about how Lucky and FIL sat next to Lisa Kudrow on the monorail! 'Cause it didn't happen.)

How can there be birds all over a place like WDW and no bird poop?

Why did I allow Pluto to eat my daughter's head? Was I not worried about all the germs in his mouth?

That is all.

You're welcome

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Random Randomess from March and April 2009

We tried the new Digiorno's Crispy Flatbread Tuscan Chicken pizza for lunch. New fave!

Easter lunch was a lot of work but very worth it. I'm still enjoying the Potato Corn Mash and the layered chocolate dessert (especially that!). Also, the ham was huge. I'll be freezing some of it for another day and a few casseroles.

I started exercising today. The sight of me in a sleeveless dress was way more depressing than I had prepared myself for. I was the girl in high school that had the awesome, muscular arms and hard, ripped stomach. Now I'm just the girl that went to high school and then turned to flab.

Watch out, calories. Get ready to burn!

Sissy is home from school sick (again!) This time it's a sinus infection with the beginning of bronchitis. Hopefully we got the antibiotics in time to keep it from getting too bad, although it was already pretty miserable.

The Mighty Hunter went to Phoenix today.

The son of a dear friend (see the little patriotic image to the left) is coming home either Friday or Saturday for a few days from IRAQ! IRAQ!!

Did y'all know that I want to redecorate? srsly

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Not at all what I SHOULD be doing

This weekend will be quite busy.

Sissy is attending a fancy-schmancy, overnight birthday party for her BFF Lauren at a Renaissance Mariott hotel and then watching the Hannah Montana movie.

The Mighty Hunter will fly home Friday (on schedule) or Saturday (if work keeps him over). Either way, he WILL be home for Easter.

Our church will have an egg hunt Saturday afternoon. We will attend.

...unless Softball coach schedules a make-up practice that conflicts. We will go practice and have our own egg hunt in my intentionally over-grown grass. (It was my intent to not cut my grass short for this weekend. It makes for better egg-hiding!!!

That's my story, and I'm sticking to it!

I need to paint my toenails.

Fingernails can forget it.

My house will be clean (-ER) tomorrow afternoon after Bev helps me out. (Bev, I love you.)

I have to iron a shirt for The Mighty Hunter.

I have to find a light sweater or wrap or something for my sleeveless dress for Sunday. (When I modeled it for The Mighty Hunter over the webcam - get your minds out of the gutter - he said it looked like camouflage. Either I have horrible taste or am going blind or we need to get a higher quality video-call service.)

My brother and family, Bev and Carl, my parents and my grandmother are coming for lunch Sunday after church.

I am planning on cooking most everything: ham, potato corn mash, bacon-wrapped green beans, macaroni, dessert, crowder peas, deviled eggs...

I'm a complete idiot.

Also, I should be doing something that is conducive to actually, you know, getting some of these things done before the LAST MINUTE.

But instead, the idiot is getting her blogging fix.

I'll see y'all Monday with lots of Easter egg hunting pictures. And hopefully there won't be any rain until after dark on Sunday.

Did you hear that, Lord? Please keep the rain in the clouds until after dark on Sunday. Thank you. I love you.

ps: I hate you Whoppers for only making Robin's Eggs candy this time of year. (shakes fist at bowl half-full of cute little addictive candy goodness)

You really should click away from this drivel

I had to look up "drivel" to make sure I was spelling it correctly.

Today, Thursday, April 9, 2009, I'm thinking of a few things I'd like to have. And since I'm a narcissistic blogger, I am compelled to document and share it here. Actually, I'm contractually bound to post drivel like this from time to time.

See, I have no choice. It's in the contract.

*I want a stove with 4 (four!!!) burners. Instead, I have this wonderful (?) Jenn-air (big whoop) unit with a built-in grill (which hasn't been used in 19 years, I KNOW!). That cute little towel with the Easter-egg-shaped, purple-plaid baby chick covers the grill. Without a towel over the useless grill, there would be a loaf of bread crumbs filling it.

*I want a kitchen faucet that turns on to a moderate flow level. The handle of mine is stupid. There is just no other word to describe a faucet handle that will only turn on to full-force, Niagara Falls flow and is difficult to put somewhere in the middle.

*I want a guest bathroom faucet that doesn't spit everywhere.

*I want a recliner for The Mighty Hunter that is not a hazard to life and limb with its broken springs sticking out the back.

*I want a couch (or two) that is not just fugly and filthy and in a fabric that doesn't scream 1994 bad taste.

*I want a light fixture in the kitchen that is brighter.

*I want a light fixture in the guest bathroom that doesn't have a short and where both bulbs will work.

*I want a light fixture over my vanity area that doesn't scare me to change the bulbs. (two words: exposed wires)

*I want walls without rough-hewn, 1977 DARK paneling.

*I want pretty curtains.

*I want a pretty bedroom suite.

*I want a mattress for Sissy that is not a broken-down wallow.

*I want a little boy who will give me kisses whenever I ask for them.

*I want a little boy who makes the funniest faces for me and my camera. (check)

*I want a little girl who knows how to speak without whining when she's the least bit upset.

*I want a little girl who loves with all her heart. (check)

*I want fewer toys with a million pieces.

*I want this sore throat to go away and stay away!

*I want to want to clean house.

*I want someone to plant and care for my garden.

*I want to sleep until I can't sleep anymore for a few hours and then sleep again until I'm completely rested.

*I want to know what in the world "JA in a Day" is.

*I want my friends to have more peace and prosperity in their lives.

*I want my family to have their health restored.

*I want everyone to know the real meaning of this weekend's events and celebrations.

*I want to be excited about - or interested in - going to church again.

*I want to wake up and find that the President didn't say this is not a Christian nation.

*I want to wake up and not worry about my future.

*I want to remember that I don't have to worry about my future; Jesus took care of that worry for me.

*I want all two of you to have a great weekend and eat too much and find all the eggs before they rot.
(some observations from my want-list: We have some safety issues in our house. I need to get a grip. I have a lot to be thankful for and need to quit my whining and wishing for more than what God has already generously provided.)

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

80 cents + + +

Dear Highway Toll Administration LLC,

I wanted to take a moment to thank you so much for your conscientiousness. It is such a relief to know that my tax dollars are being spent so responsibly in this Government Bailout Age. I am truly thankful that you are attempting to collect each and every penny that is owed to the multiple toll road and bridge departments in this country.

Also, providing access to toll receipts for rental cars online using a rental agreement was a great idea. This makes completing expense reports a little easier. It can be hard to keep up with all those little receipts. Thank you for allowing me to pull up this information in a pretty easy manner.


On the other hand, I must ask you to consider the economics of sending out an invoice for an eighty cent toll. I feel certain that you have a discount account for mailing large quantities of items. I don't know the exact discount, but let's just grab a number out of the air - 39 cents.

You spent 39 cents on postage to mail the invoice to me.

You printed the invoice.

You purchased the mailing envelope.

You purchased and included a pre-printed return envelope.

You paid someone to punch a few keys and filter your reports to find this invoice and print it and send it to the machine that folds it and stuffs the envelope.

You paid someone to load the bag or box of mail and deliver it to the post office.

When I mail you my check for 80 frizzy cents, you will pay someone to process the payment in your computer system, enter the deposit into your accounting system and make the deposit.

You will probably mail me a receipt, so that's another bulk-mail postage fee, envelope and print/fold/stuff expense. Plus the labor costs for punching the keys and filling and lifting the bag of mail and delivering to the post office.

How much do you think you actually made on my 80 frizzy cents?

On second thought, I retract my gratitude for being so responsible with my tax dollars.

Like the Donald would say...

"you're fired!"

Monday, April 06, 2009

It's clear he inherited his intelligence from his mommy

At Steak N Shake today, Lucky turned around and pointed out the two empty high-chairs parked behind him at the end of the booths.

"wook, Mommy! wook!"

yes. big boy chairs. just like yours.

"two chairs!"

yes! two chairs! very good!

"two chairs!"

can you count all the big boy chairs? (pointing at the one he is and starting him off) one...

"two... fwee!"

Nevermind that yesterday he ran frantically from me when I was trying to get a stray eyelash out of his eye... with his hands over his eyes.

THAT he gets from his daddy!

Thursday, April 02, 2009

The cab ride at WDW story

Monks in Merrells. (You can't see the Merrells, but they're there. Also not shown is Bev, who is "posing" so that I can take a picture of the monks in Merrells without being obvious. 'Cause I'm all about not being obvious.)

I promised you this one...

Thursday, our dinner reservations at Jiko at the Animal Kingdom Lodge were at 8pm. This was our regular meal time during the trip. If you think about it, we live in Central time zone, so it was only 7pm. And if you factor in that Daylight Savings Time began only a week before, it was realy 6pm! But if you think about how tired we were and how many miles we walked that week (65+) and that we had only had a late breakfast and a bag of chips or an ice cream cone, you'd still think we were crazy for scheduling dinner that late.

Well, you'd be right if you'd change it to "Keri was crazy for scheduling dinner that late."

So, we had this lovely dinner where we each ordered an appetizer and shared and tested and tasted. Except me, who was at the end of the table, surrounded by the kids and they ate all my delicious, exotic cheeses and interesting crackers. (Jiko would probably protest my using the word "crackers" here, but I can't think of a more accurate way to describe small pieces of crisply toasted slices of bread.) (CRACKERS, but yummy delicious, FLAVORFUL crackers!) Everyone accused me of hogging my delicious, exotic cheeses and delicious, FLAVORFUL crackers to myself. I told them that the kids were surprisingly aggressive when they're hungry.

Also, Lucky threw his styrofoam cup of Sprite on the floor, and it BROKE, leaking Sprite all over the place. I'm all "what do I do? what do I do?" and resolved the situation in a very practical, albeit rednecked, way: I put the cup in my glass, much like you'd see it in the sink at home, waiting to be washed. The waiter was very appreciative of my quick-thinking and superior problem-solving and took away the dirty-dishes-stacked-in-the-sink Tower O' Glasses from the table quick, fast and in a hurry.

By the way, did you know that a cracker can be spicy?

So, we finish our delicious meal. Berbere-braised pork shank, for me. (yummmm. Wishing I had just eaten that again instead of the 2 hot dogs with cheese and bbq sauce.) (No, I don't know what Berbere is. I think it means "fall off the bone tender and juicy and delicious".) Everyone else was pleased with what they ate. Except Lucky who was recovering from an ear infection and cutting his last baby tooth and not eating well at all still. I might know what the other adults had eaten had I not been at the end of the table surrounded by two aggressive and hungry kids.

Yes, Lucky had an ear infection while at WDW. He woke me up sometime before dawn on Wednesday with a very high fever. We spent the day at doctor's offices to learn that he had one ear infected and the other one jealous and trying to get infected too.

As we leave, we realize that our understanding of the WDW transportation system was lacking in how to get us from Animal Kingdom Lodge to Pop Century Reseort. The free buses don't go resort to resort. And there was nary a bus to be seen at this hour anyway to take us to some park and then to our resort. A cab was the obvious and quick answer.

There was one waiting for us. The typical Chevy, looks-a-little-like-a-police-car cab. Yellow and everything.

Not counting the cab-driver, there were 4 adults, an 8 year-old and a 2 year-old. We had no car seat. Our bellies were dangerously full. Someone probably had gas.

Cab-driver Man was willing to take us to our hotel, but The Mighty Hunter had to ride up front, being the biggest of all. We stashed our backpacks and miscellany in the surprisingly clean trunk. (I don't know why it surprised me that the trunk was clean. Maybe because mine is never clean. Also, I don't have a trunk.) I sat in the middle of the back with Sissy in my lap, seatbelt across both of us. Bev was on my left. Carl, on my right. Carl, for some strange reason, put Lucky on the seat between him and me and then tried to stretch the seatbelt across him that way. After a scolding and correction from the momma, the baby was correctly placed in his Carl-seat (get it? haha) and seatbelted in.

As we left the portico for the Animal Kingdom Lodge, Cab-driver Man turns his radio up just a little bit.

"Jesus take the wheel" is playing.

The irony of this playing on the radio for 5 adults and 2 children without out a carseat in a 5-seat cab does not escape me. The exhaustion of the week only added to my giggles.

When the song ended, I threw out a question to Cab-driver Man, "what would the fines be for how many people you have piled up in here right now?"

The Mighty Hunter shushed me, very emphatically.

More giggling followed, "What if I were one of those 'secret shoppers'? I'm not. But wouldn't that just stink?"

The poor guy got a $6 tip for his $14 fare.

The Mighty Hunter felt sorry for him.

Sissy's shot of Tigger from 1900 Park Faire at the Grand Floridian Resort.