A Sick But Satisfying Weekend At Home

I’ve had a cold for a while.  A stuffy nose and a cumbersome cough annoyed me for weeks.  But that’s all it was–an annoyance.  Then, back to work for only two days after a two-week vacation, and real sickness set in.  I felt like someone was jamming an ice pick in my ear and I couldn’t sleep for the wretched coughing.  To the doctor.

Double ear infections. Then I lost my voice.  That didn’t keep me from whining, though.

Oh, my ears.  My head hurts.  I’m dizzy.  I can’t hear anything.  I’m tired.  I can’t even yell at my kids.  The horror.  The horror.

Is it any wonder the husband said he’d do dinner and sent me to bed?  Is it any wonder he didn’t protest when I stayed there for most of the weekend?

I don’t remember the last time I spent the weekend in bed.  Certainly not after my kids were born.  The little suckers couldn’t care less how tired mom is when they’re hungry or wet or cold or awake or can’t find their finger and/or pacifier and they scream their precious little guts out.

Newborn baby

Love those lips!

Maybe after gall bladder surgery?  I was hopped up on so much pain medication, I don’t even remember.  Point is, I stayed in bed and it was wonderful, once the antibiotics and ibuprofen kicked in and my ears didn’t hurt as much any more.

I took my Nook Color to bed, downloaded the Words With Friends app and a couple of books, and settled in.  I read a lot–finished two books, started a third.  I even wrote a review using that little bitty touch pad (The Art of Fielding by Chad Harbach)  I checked Facebook, eavesdropped on Twitter, answered a few emails and read a few blogs–all on my Nook Color, from my bed.  It was fantastic.

Most importantly, I got some rest.  I needed it.  That two-week vacation wasn’t rest.  It was constant going and doing with my overly excited children.  Going back to work was almost a relief, aside from the flare-up of my back pain.  Yet another reason I needed the rest.

It’s Sunday afternoon, my house is a horrible mess and I skipped both church services but I feel zero guilt.  I feel…

 Rejuvenated

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Autumn Is…

Autumn is…

Image via stock.xchngThe bite in the air, the smell of pumpkin.

A time of harvest and thanksgiving.

Warm colors and changing leaves.

Blah, blah, blah.

I love fall.  It’s my favorite season.  But if I’m being honest…

Fall is…

Clothes that cover up my ever-expanding body.

The only time of the year it’s acceptable to eat your feelings as much as you want because it’s the holidays.

The end of making excuses why we can’t go to the beach or the pool and I can leave the bathing suit on the top shelf of the closet where it belongs.

The Ladies Retreat–a weekend with no men and no children and no responsibilities.  Just God and us women, feeling loved and appreciated.

Coloring my hair the perfect shade of dark chocolate with just a hint of red.

Not shaving my legs every stinking day.

Not sweating.

And that is why I really love Fall.

_________________________________________

Crisp apples, picked from the orchard, and brilliant leaves blending into the sunset along the horizon mean autumn has arrived in Michigan.

If you’re in one of the areas of the country still sweltering in summer-like temperatures, perhaps George Eliot can help bring some autumnal memories to the surface:

Delicious autumn!  My very soul is wedded to it,
and if I were a bird I would fly about the earth seeking the successive
autumns. ~George Eliot

For you, what does autumn evoke?

My Old Kentucky Home

Life in Georgia is good.  The winters are warm, the people are nice, and I live in a safe community with decent schools.  I have a husband who loves me even when I don’t deserve it, smart beautiful children, and maybe the best in-laws in the history of existence.

Easter 2011. They're not frowning, just squinting because of the sun.

I also attend a wonderful church, which has been a great blessing.   I have always felt loved and accepted, even when I was new and too shy to talk to anyone. I think when I finally started talking, they were shocked.  I can talk the hind legs off a donkey, as the saying goes, and that comes as a great surprise coming from someone who has barely said a word for two years.  Once the conversation started, it didn’t take long for me to fall in love with these very special people.  I’ve learned from their humor, insight, and even their pain.  They love my children and spoil them rotten.  They are my Georgia Family–grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, and my dear friends.  I love them, absolutely and without exception.

But I miss my Kentucky family.  My flesh and blood family.

I miss my 83-year-old, slightly ditzy grandma. The crazy old lady that used to get my notoriously late-sleeping brother out of bed with cold water or by dragging him out of bed by his feet.  The woman who cannot sit still and let an empty trashcan sit on the curb longer than 2 minutes after the garbage is collected or a coffee cup sit on a counter for longer than 10 seconds before she’s putting it in the dishwasher, whether you’re finished with it or not.  The girl who didn’t date boys who didn’t have the ration points for gas and had no qualms about hitching a ride with a truckload of sailors on leave.  My grandma, who is the most forgiving and faithful woman in the world and who taught me what it means to be a true Christian woman.  Time is running short and I’m terrified I may not see her again.

I miss my aunts and uncles.  The aunt that, when it snowed, would smear my red lips, nose, and cheeks with chapstick if I came within arm’s reach.  The same aunt who took pictures of my baby hiney because she thought nothing was more precious than an infant’s chubby behind and she was right.  My other aunt who made saying the sentence, “I don’t like spiders” a reason to burst out laughing.  The uncle who respects his mother’s opinion so much, he has hidden his smoking habit from her his entire life.  The other uncle who loves cooking shows, turtle soup, and above all, his nieces and nephews and all their children.  The aunts I haven’t seen in years and the uncle I’ll never see again.

I miss my cousins.  Growing up, I lived two doors down from 3 of my cousins.  One who ate onions like apples .  Another who I always think of with a swirly even though he’s a military father of four beautiful daughters and a long anticipated son.  And the one who chopped off the baby curls it took me two years to grow, who let me watch movies with him, and basically tail along behind him for most of my early childhood.  The other cousin who loaned me his purple Skidz because I loved them so much, who always made me laugh, and who is now battling a chronic and debilitating disease.  His brother, the clown, who loved mashed potatoes more than any kid I’ve ever seen.  And all the others who share the same precious memories of loud chaotic family get-togethers and summer days spent in an apple orchard, a car port, at the creek, or in a gully.

I miss my nuclear family–the original four.  My mom, who doesn’t take crap from anybody, who sings like an angel, and who can do absolutely anything she sets her mind to.  My dad, the foodie and workaholic, who kicks butt on Jeopardy and who loves it when a plan comes together.  I even miss my brother, the spoiled brat who never had to do any housework, who is too smart for his own good, and who, without fail, has a smart-alec remark for everything.  I miss his beautiful children and it breaks my heart that our kids are missing out on the shared memories of cousins.  The memories that bind a family together, reminding us of what’s important, even when times are hard.  The memories that keep those who are gone alive and present in our lives.  The memories that make us who we are.

Finally, I miss my best friend, who is also my cousin.  My soul mate.  We are different in a lot of ways, but none that matter.  We share the same insecurities and struggles, we know exactly what the other is thinking, we complete each other’s sentences, and we share the same memories.  We know why the word, “hunkered,” is the funniest word in the English language.  We know that it is possible and so easy to laugh so hard that it hurts and makes breathing impossible.  We know that it’s important to put enough distance between two people when walking down stairs so that their heads won’t knock together.  We know that the best gift in “The Twelve Days of Christmas” is two turtle doves.  We know that two girls traveling in the back seat of a car leave behind a lot of stray hairs.  We know that body suits are the most sentimental and grown-up articles of clothing. We know that it is ridiculous to think a man’s arms are sexy. We know that people who actually go to school every single day in their senior year of high school are chumps.  We know that it is an excellent idea to ride around in a van full of boys you barely know. We know you should never say in front of a little brother what you don’t want broadcasted to a visiting friend.  We also know that sometimes we will get on each other’s nerves and say or do something incredibly insensitive but that it doesn’t matter because we will always forgive each other.  Together, we know everything.  We are kindred spirits, bosom friends, partners in crime, two of a kind.

Best Friends in Gatlinburg, Tennessee a million years ago.

I have been missing my family so badly for the last couple of weeks. Visits home are rare and so short, it’s impossible to see all the people I want to see.  I desperately want to spend a couple of weeks at home to see old friends, visit old haunts, and just be in the place where I grew up.  I want to be where everybody knows everything about me.  I want to see hills again.  I want to sleep in my old bedroom in the log house.  I want my old Kentucky home.

Let Them Eat Cake

Basket of Violets

I have about five minutes to spare for momfog today, so here are more cakes to see.  These are the pictures that wouldn’t load yesterday because of the gremlins in my computer.  Again, the order in which they appear is completely random, according to what this stupid thing feels like doing today.  Also, please disregard any combined captions.  How that happened, I’ll never know.  Ugh.   I HATE computers, sometimes.

Book cake for English MajorClassic Lilies

Wedding Flowers

Spirals Wedding Cake

High TeaSweet Hearts

Pretty in Pink

Death by Chocolate Roses

It's a Boy!

Basketweave and Flowers

Harley Davidson

Girl's 1st Birthday with Smash Cake

Lilies and ScrollsGulfstream Cake

Relay for Life Rice Crispy Shoes

Relay For Life Wonky Cake Fondant People

Teacher Appreciation

Happy Thanksgiving

Tink with Flowers and a Big Bow

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My Cake Hobby

St. Honore Cake via chicagonow.comSt. Honore Cake via chicagonow.com
 I am not a pastry chef, but I am a self-taught cake decorator.  I started making my kids’ birthday cakes about 10 years ago.  In the beginning, it was cake baked in a character shaped pan and filled in with icing stars.  I’ve advanced considerably since then. I started making sculpted cakes after seeing Ace of Cakes on the Food Network.  While I will never be as impressive as Duff Goldman or his Charm City Cakes crew, I’m happy with my abilities.  There have been many mistakes and cake disasters but that’s part of learning something new. (Note:  I’ve been trying to get these pictures to display in some kind of logical order, but I’m having NO LUCK with this stupid editor, so I apologize for the chaotic arrangement and hope you enjoy the pictures regardless.)

Toolbox Cake for His and Hers Wedding ShowerBook cake for English Major

Scrabble Cake Replica of Proposal Scrabble Game

Canon Camera

Diaper Bag

Fondant Froggies

Seashells on the Beach

Flip-Flops on the Beach

Firetruck

Georgia Bulldogs with Smash Cake

Harry Potter's Firebolt

Autumn

Orange Calla Lilies on Wedding Cake

It's a Girl (Poor photo quality)

Close-up of baby (Poor quality)

Sock Monkeys Modeled After Child's Favorite Stuffed Animal

Eyelet Lace Cake Detail

Barnyard Cake based on party invitations

396 Months Old Today (That’s Mom-Speak for 33 Years)

http://linkus.flamingtext.com/

http://linkus.flamingtext.com/

Daily Foglifter:  On this day in history, these famous people were born:

  • 1978 Me (Of course)
  • 1976 Ewan McGregor  (Help me Obi Wan, you’re my only hope.)
  • 1959 Angus Young, guitarist for AC/DC  (Oh, I hope he’s the one in the suit coat, tie, and short pants)
  • 1948 Al Gore (An Inconvenient Coincidence)
  • 1948 Rhea Perlman (Love Cheers.  Love Carla)
  • 1943 Christopher Walken  (This list just got a whole lot cooler)
  • 1939 Liz Claiborne  (And more stylish, too)
  • 1929 Liz Claiborne (And weirder.  Both dates are listed.  No matter, I loved her perfume in 8th grade and wore enough of it to make anyone within 300 ft. gag)
  • 1732 Franz Joseph Haydn, Austrian Composer (The Surprise Symphony is charming)
  • 1596 Rene Descartes, Philosopher (He thought, therefore he was)

In honor of my birthday I’m taking Friday off from dear old Momfog.  Actually, I’m writing this Wednesday night so I don’t have to write anything on Thursday either.    I am suffering from blogger’s remorse and am grateful for the break.  In all honesty, I don’t have anything meaningful to say.  If it wasn’t my birthday, I don’t know what I would’ve written about.   But I digress.  Let’s get back to the birthday!

I got my first little cake Wednesday night and, because my saint-of-a-mother-in-law knows me so well, a key lime pie.  She has also agreed to take the kids Friday night so me and the hubby can go get some chow alone.  First, it’s to the Starbuck’s to redeem my FREE birthday drink certificate while they try to convince me to buy Howard Schultz’s book , then to the Carrabbas to have the fabulous Chicken Bryan (grilled chicken, goat cheese, lemon butter sauce with sun-dried tomatoes)  and then it’s off to the Cinnabon for a large, succulent roll with extra icing (in lieu of birthday cake).  It’s going to be fantastic!

I’m going to try and convince my husband to watch “Letters to Juliet” with me, but I’m not holding my breath.  I convinced him to watch “Bed of Roses” with me 15 years ago and he has never let me forget it.  I think I might be able to guilt him into it, though. ( I watched “The Expendables” which is FAR, FAR worse torture.)  After all, he also gets to eat Carrabbas, drink Starbuck’s coffee, and eat a Cinnabon, so where’s the “gift” in that?  We’ll see.

I’ve received two gifts already.  The first, the $25 check my dear sweet grandmother gives everyone on their birthday.  Second, a glamorous “Happy Birthday” bracelet made from aluminum foil by my budding fashionista daughter, Molly.  It’s tres chic.   Add those to the 10 pounds I’m going to gain, and it’s already looking to be a fantabulous birthday!

An Original Creation from the House of Molly

Hope you guys have a great weekend!

“Every now and then, um, everybody’s entitled to too much perfection.”  ~Line from the movie “Bed of Roses.”

 

Last Friday, I started a little project.  I’m taking an unscientific survey about the music preferences of those who visit this site, be it regular readers or search engine misdirects.  I need the information for a future post.  It’s only 3 quick and easy questions.  If you don’t mind helping me out, click here.  Thanks so much!

Springtime, Bleach, and a Piano.

I’m writing this post Monday night because I have made a resolution.  There will be absolutely no computer activity for the entire day on Tuesday.  No Facebook, e-mail, obsessive blog checking, on-line crosswords or games of any kind.  I’m going off-line and devoting my time to all the things I’ve been neglecting over the last three weeks, paying special attention to housework and time at the piano.  I’m appalled at the amount of time I’ve spent in front of this dumb computer screen lately.  Mostly it’s been to stay in contact with tech support so that I can have a working cell phone again.  Unfortunately, there’s a lot of waiting time and I spend that posting on Facebook, clearing out the never-ending stream of spam from my e-mail, and looking up stupid crap on Google.  As of now, at 10:45 pm on Monday night, all I have to show for it is a mile-high pile of laundry, a kitchen full of dirty dishes, and unbelievable rage and frustration in my heart and mind. 

Normal people would’ve just checked in periodically to see if tech support had left a message.  Did I mention that I’m not normal?  I’m obsessive compulsive, but about all the wrong things.  Maybe it’s more accurate to say I have a crusade mentality.  When I decide that something is going to happen, it’s got to happen before anything else gets done.  Period.  This could work to my advantage if I had this mentality about housework or organizing my closet.  It doesn’t work that way.  The current subject is a cell phone.  Past obsessions include cross-stitching, alphabetizing books or DVDs, or cleaning out the flower bed.  These are great things to get done, but not when there are no clean spoons or socks in the house.  It’s time to prioritize.

Right here, right now, I am making a vow to get the house clean on Tuesday.  This includes the dishes, the laundry (folded AND put away), the bathrooms, and the dusting and vacuuming.  The windows will be open and when Chris gets home the house will smell of springtime and bleach. If I get that done in time, I also vow to spend at least an hour at the piano.  I have not sat at the piano for at least a month.  With my limited ability, I can’t afford to miss that much practice.  Use it or lose it, as the saying goes. 

So there it is, for all the world to see.  I have to do it now.  I may go into withdrawals from the computer, but I’ll be able to sit down and devote my full attention to momfog on Wednesday, with absolutely no guilt.  What a feeling that will be.