July 31, 2010


My son and my husband share one trait: a smart mouth. Other than that, there's just not much.

The cowboy is all about the outdoors. Cows, horses, and hay make him happy. He loves the smell of manure in the morning. He likes westerns and Will Ferrell movies, chainsaws and International Harvesters, bluegrass and Linda Ronstadt. And the only thing I've ever seen him read is a map.

The man-child, on the other hand, wants to go urban. The only animals he has ever owned are cats and a turtle. He likes baseball, ultimate frisbee, xbox, and good movies; guitars, drums and iPods; jazz and Jason Mraz. And he's almost always in the middle of a good novel.

All that is to say this: Kevin has been volunteering for the last two weeks at a camp in Missouri for kids with special needs. It's pretty outdoorsy, as most camps are. Now that he is home, it is time to get him registered for school.

We were discussing all this yesterday, when I mentioned that we needed to go out to the community college and register him for a public speaking course, since his high school does not offer one. (Seriously!?) His dad, however, thinks he would greater benefit from an agriculture class. Kevin said he would just give a speech ABOUT agriculture in his oral communication class. His father did not seem satisfied. I suggested Kevin could then go out to the barn and give his ag speech to the horses and cows. "That should satisfy you both," I said. "Not quite," was his dad's response.

"Oh! Hey Dad!" Kevin exclaimed, "You would be proud of me! I hypnotized a chicken at camp this week!"

"WHY WOULD I BE PROUD OF THAT?" his father queried.

"I was doing something with farm animals. I thought that would make you proud," the boy responded.

"Sheep molesters do things with farm animals too . . . do you think THAT would make me proud!?"

Somebody asked me recently how much of my blog is true. The answer is: all of it. You can't make up stuff like this.

July 27, 2010

it's a beatles song

My son is a traitor. See, Toy Story 3 came out while he was a camp. And I REALLY wanted to go see it. But since it is the first movie Kevin ever remembers going to the theater to see, and since we had at least 3 “Toy Story” themed birthday parties, and since he owned the whole realm of Woody, Buzz, Etchy, Ham, Mr. Potato Head, Rex, Slinky, a Tub o’ Soldiers, AND a Barrel of Monkeys toys, he made me PROMISE I would not go see it without him. PROMISE, mind you. So I did.

Upon returning from camp, I knew this would be the first thing he would want to do. I picked him up on Saturday night ready to go straight to the theater, but he was exhausted. Okay, I’ll give him that. We’ll do it Sunday. “No,” he declined, “We’re trying to get a group to go see it together. I want to go with the group.”

EXCUSE ME????? But he made me PROMISE! I think there was pinky swearing involved, not to mention some heart-crossing, and a couple of “stick a needle in your eye” things.

Fine. Fine. I’ll see it with someone who loves me.

So the lovely Philip and Sara invited me to go to the drive-in with them this weekend. Who better to watch Toy Story with than the adorableness that is their children?


I was alone last night. I don’t do “by myself” very well these days. Something about being depressed and lonely and angry with God just doesn’t mesh well with 12 hours at home alone. (For those of you who haven’t caught on, it’s been bad. Really, really bad for months now.) I probably should have called somebody to hang out with, but I just wasn’t up to being social, so . . . I decided to go to the drive-in. Alone. Yeah, I know. Very Eleanor Rigby of me.

But it was to see Toy Story 3! Right? A happy little Skittles & Raisinettes movie! Right?


Oh my goodness. This was the saddest little movie ever. I sat there, alone in my car, just me and Orville Redenbacher, and wept. No, SOBBED. (Spoiler alert: I am now going to discuss the end of this theatrical experience, so don’t read any further if you feel strongly about not knowing Buzz and Woody’s fate.)

The metaphorical implications of Andy choosing to let go of something he has loved so much his whole life, and to unselfishly decide not to keep them in the attic waiting for him, but instead to allow them to belong to someone else who would love them and play with them and take care of them was just more than I could face without a box of Puffs Plus. The big box.

I am now going to force Kevin to watch “My Big Fat Greek Wedding” with me.

He so asked for it.

July 21, 2010

let's be clear

Breakfast in Bed
A few days ago, my friend Amanda's husband was complaining about her lack of meal preparation, when Amanda pointed her finger at him, smiled, and said, "Honey, I told you a long time ago - I cook in ONE room, and one room only . . . YOU PICK WHICH ROOM!"

It's Just East of the Mediterranean

We were having a serious group discussion last Sunday, when one of the guys stated, "That's the problem with the guys who strip."

HUH? What does THAT have to do with anything?

As I looked around, I could see I wasn't the only one confused. Finally, someone asked him, "What did you say?" To which he replied, 'That's the problem with the Gaza Strip."

Oooohhhh. Well, that's a very different thing now, isn't it?

It's a Moo point
(Ashley emailed this to me today): A farmer was helping one of his cows give birth when he noticed his young son standing wide-eyed at the fence, taking in the event. The man thought, "Great... he's 5 and I'm gonna have to start explaining the birds and bees. No need to jump the gun, I'll just let him ask and I'll answer." After everything was over, the man walked over to his son and said: "Well, son, do you have any questions?" "Yeah," gasped the kid . . . "How fast was the calf going when it hit that cow?"

Which made me think of a conversation with my sister, shortly after her daughter was born. Stacey was holding week-old Lindsay when someone commented, "Don't wanna send her back, do you?"

To which my sister replied, without missing a beat, "NOT THE WAY SHE CAME, I DON'T!!!"

July 14, 2010

the name game

I am going to be a GRANDMOTHER. I do not know how this happened. Okay, technically, I know HOW this happened, but I don’t know what happened. To my life, that is. Where’d it go? I’m not ready for this. I’m NOT old enough for this. (I’m 46. Shut up.)

The thing I am most “not ready” for is The Name Change. I like my name. Stephanie. Steph to those who get close. I like my identity. Mom. Mommy even still on occasion to both my grown and nearly-grown children. I like it. I’m a natural at the mom thing. It fits me. But this "G" word thing . . . well, not so much. Okay, not at all. It SOUNDS old. It FEELS old. And I have to LIVE with this stupid new name for the rest of my natural-born life (which may be spent in the state pen for strangling my son with his own tongue if he jokingly refers to me as “MeMaw” one more time.)
I am so not kidding.

I have now been on a 6-month mental quest attempting to ascertain an appropriate alias, and I have been astronomically unsuccessful. But, as Thomas Edison might have said, “I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 names that won’t work.” At least, not for me.

As far as I’m concerned, if you're gonna call me any variation of the "G" word, just go ahead and build a pine box, put me in a powder blue polyester dress and pull my hair back in a bun. That's all she wrote. It's over and done. The fat lady has sung.

See, the only REALLY cool grandmother name is GiGi, and Vicki beat me to it (Vicki is the other grandmother, and truly one very cool woman.) So I’m going to have to find my own cool, or at least creative, name.

Not TOO creative, mind you. In my quest, I have run across far too many like Granny Grunt, Big Momma, Gunkie, Cookie, Sugar, Cupcake, Cherry, Peaches, Sweetums, Cracker, Chicken Nana and Butter Butt. Seriously.

Right off the bat, I eliminate Nana (my mom, Nancy), Granny, Grandmama, Grandma, Mom G, Momma M, and Ma-Ma as those have been in use within the family already.

I can also eliminate GrandMother and GrandMaMa as I have never owned, nor ever plan to own, any Victorian furniture.

MaMaw, MeMaw and GeeMaw all sound like HeeHaw.

I thought there might be potential within the barrage of international names:
Oma (German) - but my great-grandmother’s name WAS Oma, so that doesn’t work.
Ya-Ya (Greek) - but there’s the whole Sisterhood of Divine Secrets thing.
Lola (Philippino) - but, you know, she was a showgirl, with yellow feathers in her hair and a dress cut down to THERE. And I don’t Merengue or do the ChaCha, so . . .
And the Yiddish one: Bube.

Speaking of boobies (Did I REALLY just use the word “boobies” in my blog?), my husband thinks I should be Chi-Chi, which, in Spanish, is apparently a slang term for breasts. Frankly, as one who always has cleavage issues, even when wearing turtlenecks, I really don’t feel that my grandmother name needs to further the focus.

I've also heard DeeDee as a grandmother name, but again, with "DD" we could be adequately referring to my bra size, so that one’s off the table as well.

I like M.O.M., as in "Mother Of the Mom", or, perhaps, "Mom, the Sequel". That's cool and definitely fits with my movie-watching persona.

Other rejected options included:
Gams - I don’t have the legs to pull that one off.

Grammy - like the music award.
Grammar - my kids already call me the "Grammar Nazi", so this one is, at least, appropriate.
GaGa - "Rah-rah-ah-ah-ah! Roma-Roma-ma-ah! Ga-ga-ooh-la-la! Don’t think this name works!"

I kinda like the concept of Diva or Goddess or Majestic Sweetness, but there’s no way my children would EVER let me get away with those. At least not with a straight face.
Maybe, Bella, which means “beauty” in Italian. Why are YOU laughing??? Clearly that one suits me.

One of our 3-year-olds at church always greets me with “Hello, Gorgeous!” I kinda like THAT.

It's also been suggested I simply be "Hot Granny". And, you know, who am I to argue? But "Hot Granny" has got to be the ultimate oxymoron.

Frankly, I just like "Stephie". It's the name my niece and nephew have always called me, and they were the ONLY ones allowed to call me that (at least until Sara M's lovely children came onto the scene.) My son-in-law fears this will sound disrespectful, and I guess I can see his point.

So, as Kacey and I were driving around discussing my dilemma, she simply stated that my grandmother name be cute and cool, but be something that's NOT my name.


After analyzing all the applicable autonyms, I've decided on a grandmother name. It's cute and cool and NOT my name.