Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Have We Ruined Our Kids Prom?

I'm probably about to make A LOT of people upset with me.....but I'd like to ask a question. Have we (as parents) taken the Prom away from our kids?

Seriously. After a discussion with some friends last night, I feel that I may not be alone. It makes me sad when I hear about our local prom in Lincoln County. It seems as though, after weeks and hundreds of dollars spent on dresses, tuxes, rental cars, nails, hair, corsages, etc. our high schoolers go to "prom", walk a grand march, then most change clothes and leave. WHY?! This is supposed to be one of the most memorable nights of their high school career. A night to have fun with classmates.

I think it's our fault...the parents. I'm not pointing fingers, because I'm as guilty as anyone. We all think we have to BE THERE to see the parade of dressed up kids. We have to BE THERE to take more and more pictures. (Now we need one with your stand with your with your neighbor from our first house....poor kids!) Maybe we should back off.

This has also added to the planning for our school's administration. Not only are they having to plan for our children, but make accomodations (parking, seating) and rules for all the parents, family, visitors that are going to watch.

Here comes the part where I sound like an old geezer.....but when I went to my high school prom twenty cough-cough years ago, my date picked me up, mom took the awkward photos of the corsage placing, getting in the car and THAT WAS IT! Mommy and Daddy didn't then go to the prom WITH ME! We went to the event with our friends. There was a dinner served (which we missed because my date drove crazy and we had a wreck....but that's another story), then the "Grand March" if you will. I do believe there were maybe a half-dozen parents there videoing. And, if those were your parents, I'll tell you we made fun of you. (sorry!) But, seriously, WHO'S PARENTS WENT TO THE PROM WITH THEM?! We danced and talked and had fun the whole evening....get this....AT THE PROM! There wasn't the prom party where everyone left the PROM in order to attend. Read those words again - does that sound crazy to you, too?

I would love to know if this is just how it is now everywhere, or if we have just messed up our local kids prom.

Please don't hate me! I would love other opinions on this. Maybe you can even enlighten me! Are our kids happy with the way it is now?

Saturday, June 23, 2012

The Day Mama's Bean Bowl Broke

It was warm outside, in nineteen ninety five
As our family was ready for finger-lickin’.
You see on Monday night, Mama baked boiled & fried
A meal famous from Kelso to South Lincoln.

Fresh veggies of all flavors, and when cooked you would savor
The corn, tomatoes, onions and greens.
But in the center of the table, was our family’s meal staple,
A big bowl of pinto beans.

Not just any bowl could serve, but one proven it’s worth,
And this one fit the bill just right.
The brand, not sure I can tell; but I think it was Corelle,
Burnt orange with an inside of white.

Filled to the top, I had to make myself stop
From grabbing a fork and starting to eat.
But watched in delight, for Mama to place it just right
Before beginning our Monday night feast.

Then the world stopped, though the bowl she didn’t drop,
Yet it cracked like leaves in the fall.
And when it shattered, bean juice spilled & splattered,
All to the Last Supper picture on the wall.

Mama’s tear began flowing, there was no consoling
This loss so very dear to her soul.
Our cleaning we began, on the bean juice as it ran
From everywhere, even St. Peter’s toe.

Although our meal did remain, it just wasn’t the same
Without our pinto beans garnished with relish.
Others wanted to know, how the bean bowl had broke
But the story we wouldn’t embellish.

Many trips have been made, round the sun since that day,
The earth shook and that is no joke.
Occasionally we will talk, about the day the world stopped,
The day Mama’s bean bowl broke.

Friday, May 14, 2010

My Belly Ring Saved My Life

A few years ago, I decided that there was something missing in my life. And, of course, it was a belly ring. Don’t judge me. I was coming upon a milestone birthday….and it was really cute. Anyway, I did want this done in a clinical environment – sterile tools and numbing cream, so I went to see Dr. Stephanie Gafford to perform this much needed decoration.

While there, I had noticed this really ugly little piece of skin hanging on my arm and asked her about it. She told me it was a skin tag….no big deal…and snipped it off. Dr. Gafford then said, “but while you’re here…let’s check you out”. (Meaning my skin.) I’m sure she noticed that I was doing something that I thought was just a way of life…..tanning. My mother owns a tanning bed. And I loved laying in it…it was so relaxing – no phone – no kids – just me killing myself to get a tan.

Dr. Gafford was checking my back and noticed something there. “Let’s get a sample to check it out”. No big deal, I thought. That evening, cute new belly ring in place, we went to the lake…and I continued my process of trying to get more tan.

Let me tell you, I don’t know a lot about my heritage, but I am part Irish, part German, and I don’t think any of my ancestors even held hands with someone with a dark complexion. I am naturally as white as white can be. And Joey is the same way. Our kids practically glow in the dark – which makes it easier to keep up with them at night, haha! My point, I worked to get this tan.

Back to my story – about a week later, I receive a call to get to Dr. Gafford’s office ASAP. It took quite a while for the news to sink in that I tested positive for melanoma – the worst kind of skin cancer. I was quickly sent to Vanderbilt to have a larger spot removed, and thankfully, the edges were clear. Few people are as lucky as I was to find their melanoma in the first stage. That’s how my belly ring saved my life!

I still have the privilege of annual skin checks….to make sure nothing new has popped up. I have had a couple of other places removed. And now, I wear SPF 50 every day! Any tan you may see on me is from sunless tanning creams and foams.

Did you know that tanning beds increase your risk of skin cancer by 75%? I’m not trying to give medical advice…..but since May is Skin Cancer Awareness month, I do feel that I should share my story. Anyway, just my opinion but, when your skin starts becoming the same texture as your leather purse…….that’s not a good thing. =)

NOTE: Please don’t feel the need to show me your strange moles. I really have a weak stomach. If you notice anything changing with your moles or skin, see your physician.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Did your accent fall in my flied lice?

I have a mall, not necessarily hitting the sale racks (that's a given), it's lunch at one of the Chinese food booths in the food courts. My breath may kick afterward, but it's worth it!

It has always been intriguing to me, however, how the malls find "natives" to work so many of these fast food booths in Huntsville, Alabama. Friends, I think I have cracked the code.

While shopping this week, (aka eating lunch) I go to my favorite booth...the usual conversation; "general tso chicken", "flied lice" (that's how it sounds to me when the say it...actually it's "fried rice"), "mixed vegetable" (they always use the singular I'm just going to get one veggie), and finally, "You like drink?" (of course!). I pay, tell him "thanks - have a great day!"...and, what do I hear?....but, a Tennessean took over his body and replied with a think southern accent "You, too, ma'am - thank ye." -----what??? (sound of record scratching to a halt) I'm sure my eyes about popped out, and he noticed. An automatic smile on his face and an immediate, "You have nice day!"

Hey, I know what time it is....I've thickened up my southern accent when I can use it to my advantage. I now have a visual of him getting in his pick up truck after work....probably checking on his farm and mending a fence.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My Favorite Stage...

My first-born, Ty, turned 12 this past Saturday. Twelve-years-old! That is so hard to believe. I think, “Do I look like the mother of a 12-year-old?” Don’t answer that. And, yes, it does make me begin to get so very sentimental.

Ty has been an easy child to raise, thus far. I can only hope that he will continue as he is. And, although I wish I could keep him as a young little boy, I am enjoying so much being his Mom.

As a baby, he hardly cried. I could take him anywhere and never really worry about how he would be. He was such a little chunk! The most kissable cheeks I had ever seen. And I thought, “this baby-phase is definitely my favorite stage”.

As a toddler, he never minded holding my hand, and he looked so cute in his saddle-oxford shoes and knees socks. He would play with matchbox cars for hours! Lining them up over and over again. And I thought, “this toddler-phase is most definitely my favorite stage”.

His elementary years (which flew by) I watched him begin to grow into his own person. Gaining so much knowledge, and always hungry to learn more. He continuously would build things with Legos, Magnetics, and Lincoln Logs (STILL DOES!). And, yet again, I thought that was “my favorite stage”.

But, now…this child is changing into “simply Ty”. And, on his birthday, he and I spent time together, just the two of us. Just walking around the square (there was an arts festival). We enjoyed hot chocolate and frozen coffee together from the Coffee Company. And, I soaked up the moments with him. Having true conversation with this young man. I am so excited about his future…..but TODAY, I can honestly say, “THIS is my favorite stage.” Until, tomorrow comes…………

Thursday, March 26, 2009


It has been quite a while since I have blogged......not because there aren't a gazillion stories constantly going in my head....but because I haven't sat down and typed them up. So, I am going to be a rule-breaker (if there are blogging rules) and do a re-post of one from August. One that I had posted through another source (not this one). Just call me a rebel, I guess.....and here it is!

E-I, E-I, Oh, Not In My Car! The past year has brought about many changes in my life. One of those changes includes my son becoming completely fascinated with hatching and raising chickens. I was raised on a farm, but I confess that I wasn’t directly involved with chickens - before now.

Last fall, Ty saved up some money to buy his own incubator, and talked us into ordering fertilized chicken eggs over the internet. (You see, the fall is not the time of year that hens around here are laying.) Out of these 12 eggs, 3 actually hatched, right in Ty’s bedroom - IN MY HOUSE! There names were Gumby, Pokey and Roger.

NOTE: They were contained until being moved outside. Never did I have chickens running through my house.

Now, let’s skip forward 9 months to the present - August 2008. Ty has increased his chicken farm to 14. Earlier, in the spring, Pokey (the only hen of the 3) was found dead. We don’t know what happened. Gumby and Roger are his 2 most special because they were the ones that hatched in his room.

So, it’s Saturday morning, and I am replying to a message from my dear friend, Angela, when Ty bursts into the house screaming for me. I look up to see him running toward me with Gumby in his arms screaming “Gumby’s dying! Call the vet!” I get enough out of him to discover that he thinks Gumby was kicked by a horse and he found him lying on the ground. Gumby’s eyes are barely open. I’m quite freaked out with a rooster in my house - but do manage to call the vet and at least ask if they will look at him. All the while, changing out of my gown into a shorts set.

We jump into the car - yes a dying rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln! I grabbed an old Bob the Builder bed sheet for Ty to hold under Gumby…….Ty didn’t comply.

A most frantic drive to the vet - Ty is screaming and begging Gumby not to die…..Joey calls me on the phone to say, “Surely you‘re taking a D#%* chicken to the vet!?”, of which I sharply reply, “Yes, I am! If something happens, at least he’ll know his Mom tried!” As I put the car in park at the vet, I - once again - remind Ty to put the sheet under Gumby. Ty tells me “It’s too late” and I look down to see chicken dunk running down Ty…..and onto my seat! Obviously, not a time to discipline Ty for not listening….so I go over to wipe some up, and my gag reflexes kicked in….causing me to almost hurl in the parking lot before going into the vet office.

Ty, usually a shy, stand-in-the-background kid, bursts into the office through the back doors…..and went straight to the vet (who shall remain nameless). He was begging him to please look at his rooster. The vet blew him off and continued looking at a horse that was not in immediate danger. You must understand, this is a little boy, crying and begging for someone to look at his pet…..and this guy blows him off. Gumby’s head is now drooping to the side and his eyes are closed. Finally, Dr. NICE WOMAN sees him and SHE takes some time to search for vital signs. She breaks the news to Ty that Gumby is gone and tells him that she understands. She, too, had a pet chicken when she was younger.

Picture us, standing in the hall of the vet. My son sobbing into the gross Bob the Builder sheet…..and along come two toothless men to tell us that, maybe if we blow into its butt a few times, he may come back to life. They also tell Ty that they would give him a couple of roosters (I’m sure that fight). I didn’t respond.

With tears running down both of our faces, Ty picks up Gumby and we get back in the car. Yes, now I have chicken dunk and a dead rooster in the back seat of my Lincoln. Gag reflexes are really not doing well by now.

We get home, and Ty says (while getting out of the car), “Oh, Mom, he’s turning stiff!” and I catch a glimpse of 2 stiff rooster legs behind me. Don’t hurl, Jen, I think.

So, as he has a few last moments with Gumby - I clean, bleach, scrub, and vacuum my car. Seriously almost hurling the whole time.

Then, we all gather round the grave in the corner of the fence to say our final farewells to Gumby. Ty plucks a few feathers to keep in his memory. And, we mark the grave with a stepping stone.

Sometimes I think about the fact that we have buried so many animals and, if our land is ever excavated, they may think we participated in some type of sadistic rituals.

However, in memory of Gumby, we did not eat any chicken all weekend.

Old MacDonald doesn’t have JACK on me!!!

Saturday, February 28, 2009

Bridles and Saddles and Sequins, Oh, MY!

When my baby girl was born, I held her in my arms and pictured frilly dresses, bows, painted nails, and Barbie dolls......she is the opposite.....and I wouldn't change a thing. Hey - but we do still have sequins!!!
This is her doing what she loves....barrel racing.