Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Christmas in July

Ring ring.  Tiny voice.  The Meems.
"I'm getting my hair cut next Tuesday.  When I get home from the beauty shop, can you come take my picture?"

"Are you getting a new style?  A mohawk?  Red streaks?  Are you feeling OK?"

At her age and stage, I generally throw in an "Are you feeling OK" when inquiring about "special requests."

The Meems.
"Hehehe.  Nooooooo.  I'm fine.  I just like the way my hair looks when the hair lady spikes it.  I'm going to put on something red so you can take my picture for my Christmas card."

"Christmas card?"

The Meems.
"Yes.  I want to send picture cards this year because I really like receiving them!"

"So, you want me to come to your apartment after your hair appointment, take your picture, then come home and order your Christmas cards online?"

I know my  mother.  The first question is always the tip of her "do me a favor" iceberg.  

The Meems.
"That would be nice."

"I guess it would be good to take care of that now before 'we' get busy during the holidays!"

"We" equals me.  I do all of Meems shopping and wrapping.

The Meems.
"That would be great."

I already knew the answer to the question about addressing the cards this summer.  That would be a big "no."  We need to wait until closer to Christmas to see which of her card recipients is still alive.

At the photo shoot.

"I thought you were going to wear something red."

The Meems.
"It's red enough.  Do I have lipstick on my teeth?"

I don't even have to look.  She always has lipstick on her teeth.

So, we had our little photo shoot.

In the shade.

In the sun.
Not so much.

On the porch.

Lips closed.

This is how her laugh sounded:  "Ha.  Ha.  Ha."  
Her facial expression belies her inflection.

Oh, how I love my little mother.  I had a blast taking her picture.  She was a great model.  If I had asked her to drape herself over the Raider Ranch sign at the entrance to the property she would have just said, "I'm going to need a ladder."  You know what?  I would have totally gone and fetched a ladder.

Merry Christmas.  Ha.  Ha.  Ha.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Hail to the Jeep

Right now, I'm driving a silver 2003 Suburban sans the front grill Chevrolet logo. We have a family tradition of driving our cars until the wheels fall off.  We just do.  This long term relationship with our automobiles is woven with road trips to Utah and Colorado on family vacations and ski trips.  No amount of detailing can erase the whispers of memories - baseball boys boasting about homers, rolls of laughter thanks to satellite radio and Laugh USA, and the occasional screech of tires followed by a quick, boisterous vomit.

This week we are bidding adieu to "The Jeep."  It came to us all shiny and fresh at the dawn of the new millenium.  The first week or so we jumped in for joy rides just to enjoy the heady aroma of "new car smell."  The Jeep was our first 4-wheel drive vehicle purchased with forethought in a part of Texas where heavy snows blow through from time to time.

It was Alan's Jeep.  Then, it became Bryce's jeep.  It went from driving back and forth  to Alan's office to ferrying Bryce to Baylor and back.  The iconic white jeep signaled "Bryce is home!  Bryce is home!" come holidays and 3 day weekends.  A friend down the block also sported a white Jeep.  Countless times during the middle of a ordinary week, I would see the Jeep sail by my kitchen window.  My Pavlovian response was to run to the door with arms spread wide to welcome my Baylor boy - a welcomed surprise.  Nope.  Just Dee Ann.  Then, just Leigh (her daughter).

Today is a sad day.  The Jeep is literally on the auction block.  Alan is awaiting the call announcing its worth to someone sitting casually while waving a bid number in a I-reckon-I'll-take-'er-off-yer-hands manner.  It's a few shades less gray of losing a pet.  I dreaded going with Alan to take the Jeep to the auction place.  Thank goodness for a prolonged birthday lunch with a friend (White Jeep Dee Ann) that came between me and the tearful farewell.

Alan and Bryce were both sad to see the Jeep go.  I guess we all felt like traitors.  The day Alan took the Jeep to it's new journey in life, he sent me this picture captioned "Fond Farewell."  I bit the inside of my cheek to resist calling him to "stay the execution."  Alas, we do not need 3 cars parked at a home with only 2 drivers.  Bryce doesn't need a car in Chicago, and the Jeep probably wouldn't have survived the long trip.

I leave you with the text messages exchanged by a boy and his dad who shared a love for a car.  Both are sentimental to the bone.  Can't help lovin' those men of mine.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Turns Out I'm a Doodler

As a child, I had dreams of becoming an artist.  I'd look at those cheesy ads in my brother's Boys Life magazines that said "Are you an artist?!  Take this simple test! Draw this horse!  Send us your drawing!  We'll tell you how you can make MONEY drawing pictures!"  My mom majored in Art at SFA.  She always rolled her eyes when I ran to show her what a neato deal I'd found.  All of the oohs and ahhs she poured over my coloring book scribbles had led me astray in the "what can I reasonably expect in life" category.

The last time I drew anything on purpose was in junior high science classes when we had to draw an insect and label it's parts.  "Moooo-ooom!  Does this look like a grasshopper's thorax?!"  A well-traced thorax was my highest form of art.

Over the past few years, I've become a doodler.  It's really hard for me to just sit.  I really like for my hands to be busy.

I doodle when I'm on the phone.

I doodle during sermons and lectures.
Thank you, Linda Miller, for letting me "copy your answers" 
during our Beth Moore videos when I get a bit behind.

During a girls' weekend in April (see:  "Falling Down at the Gas Station"), I visited with a  sorority sister who teaches art.  When I told her about my mindless repetitive doodling she asked, "Do you Zendoodle?"  "Whut?!"  I had never heard of anything called Zendoodling.  I went online and checked it out.  Now, I'm hooked.  

I went from the lovely works of "art" above to this...
 and this
 and some of this
 and a little bit of this
i. can't. stop. doodling.

I can doodle in a house.  I can doodle with a mouse.  
I can doodle in a box.  I can doodle with a fox.

When I began reading about Zendoodling (AKA Zentangling), I was a bit, ummm...turned off by suggestions of getting my "zen on" by taking "deep cleansing breaths" and giving birth to my doodles "organically."

You can learn how to do most anything online.  That's where all my "formal" doodling training happens.  Googling is essential to doodling.  There are about one million doodle patterns and each has its own name.  The creators of each doodle are more than happy to share the secret of their doodles step-by-step.  Youtube is full of videos of people doodling with new age music floating in the background.

Tangle purists are also pretty picky about the types of paper, pens and pencils with which they create their organic, cleansed-breath drawings.

I began on computer paper with pencil.  Then, I invested in a little sketchbook at Hobby Lobby and some Sharpies.  The rest is history.  My sketchbook is filling up.

Doodling is so, so, so deeply relaxing.  Some afternoon when you have nothing to do, call me up.  We can get together and polly wolly doodle all the day.  

Yes.  I did that.  I just said "polly wolly doodle all the day."

Thursday, July 4, 2013

4th of July Panties

Alan and I trekked to Raider Ranch to join the Meems and Leonard for the Ranch's 4th of July lunch.  Mom greeted me at the door thrusting a pair of panties towards me saying "Are these your panties?  I found them mixed in with mine.  I only wore them once, and I washed them."  Yes, they were mine.  Meems must have picked them up by mistake when we shared a hotel room at Bryce's graduation.  I tucked them into my purse trying to decide if my favorite Soma panties that had been worn "only once" by my 87-year-old Mom were too weird to throw back into my lingerie drawer.

Raider Ranchers donned their 4th of July finest began lining up in the lobby at 10:30 for the 11:00 lunch.  Holiday meals are "free" (don't come off of their food allowance), so attendance was high.  There were USA t-shirts, vests that were striped on one side and starred on the other, red, white, and blue necklaces that lit up, and hats.  Oh, there were some hats.  My favorite had a sequined band made up of stars and stripes.  I really wish it had lit up.

We filled our plates at the long buffet loaded with potato salad, cold slaw, beans, cheesy bisquits, sausage and brisket.  Before settling down at the table, we made a trip by the dessert table to claim our pieces of pie - apple for Alan and me, cherry for Meems and Leonard.  Once seated, Leonard said a wonderfully patriotic blessing.  Amen!

As we settled down and began tucking into our loaded plates, Meems asked me in an "outside voice," 'SO, WERE THOSE YOUR PANTIES?"  "Yes, Mom."  "DID YOU PUT THEM IN  YOUR PURSE?"  "Uh huh. Did you try the watermelon?"

Too bad the panties weren't red, white and blue.  I'd have probably put them on.

Happy 4th of July friends!!

PS.  I'm totally putting those panties back in my lingerie drawer.

Meems told me on the phone that she was all dressed in red, white, and blue.
I was a bit worried about what she had come up with.
Love that her "blue"is her blue wool French beret.  Ooooo La La!

Yup.  Saw it on Pinterest.
Our little nieces, Millie and Allison, are coming tomorrow!!  Must have cupcakes! 
In memory of Loyce Deloney.
I love the American Flag and the Statue of Liberty.
And, young, clean cut Pat Boone.
You, go, Green Girl!


Meems had a very special visitor this weekend.  Our friend, Laura Ard, flew down from DC to spend time with her.  Laura lived next door t...