Saturday, August 23, 2008

Time is a Flyin'

Gasp! It seems like just a few months ago we were packing up our 2100 square foot home and planning how we were going to integrate 2100 square feet of accumulated belongings into an 1100 square foot condo - with no basement, and wondering if what we would eventually build would have enough room in it for all our "stuff."

In truth, the packing process started as we painted and re-carpeted rooms. Some items have been packed away for well over a year. But by this time last year, DH and I were preparing to make that 600 mile move.

The move didn't just involve us however. We also moved his then 88 year-old father down here, and the preparations for that were even more involved.

We had also moved older daughter down here from Raleigh, NC, so she could attend TTU and live without a roommate.

As we are well into the "emptying the storage unit" phase of the move, I contemplate on all we have accomplished in the last year. Sometimes it staggers me, and I am sure the DH will be happy when I run out of things to do around the house. We certainly have kept busy with packing unpacking and then packing and unpacking again.

Then I look at the atomic clock on DH's office wall and wonder how long I slept last night because it shows the time as follows: 2:40 p.m. CST, APR 30 SUN 09.

Friday, August 22, 2008

What Do I Do With My Pig Dirt!

When our house was finished, our builder brought in truckloads of dirt from a pig farm. I was told by everyone I mentioned this to that we could grown anything in the pig dirt.

The grass started off great, but rapidly turned brown and died. However, we do have a nice green carpet of crabgrass.

As I look out my north facing window, there are six trees on the section of lawn between our driveway and our eastern lot line. Three of them are dogwoods; one is an oak, and one is a tulip poplar. And then there is the unknown tree, which I suspect might be a beech tree. The dogwoods are small and all thee of them are beneath the canopies of the larger trees. When I say larger, I mean 50 to 60 feet tall. On the strip of lawn? between the driveway and the west lot line, there are three more trees in the front. I think two are oaks that are right next to each other and the third is a maple. So we are talking 9 trees in front. The older lawn that was not disturbed by building is actually mostly grass. It's the green stuff closer to the house that is a problem.

Here in Tennessee, when you build a house, you get some landscaping and a seeded lawn. That works really well if your house is completed by September. Ours was finished in May, and seeded then, and that is only a little less worse than seeding in June, July and August.

Last night, we discovered this at a class on maintaining a fescue lawn in Tennessee. So now, DH and I are faced with the daunting task of killing off an area of crabgrass the size of our front lawn when we lived in Michigan.

Oh, did I mention we got rid of most of our lawn tools when we moved?

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Back to School Time!

Well, not for me. School started the last week in July. Kids here go back to school while they still really need to run the a/c to keep them from falling asleep in class. I can't even imagine with the 94 degrees out there how they keep the kids alert in class.

Little Podunk town has a school year where they attend classes for 9 weeks, are off 2 weeks and then back in school following this routine until the end of May. Looking at the school schedule they are scheduled for a 10 a.m. dismissal on May 30th, a Saturday. Is this for real?

I always enjoyed the back-to-school routine even as a kid. New school supplies. Not new clothes since I went to Catholic school for grades 1-12. Uniforms. The ugliest uniforms on the face of the earth. I guess they were cheaper than my folks buying new clothes for six kids, but still.

When my own kids came along, I was thrilled when the school year started. I remember being scolded by my youngest daughter's kindergarten bus driver for being so happy she was going off to school! I guess the happy dance was so obvious!

School shopping was always an adventure. Scrambling to get clothes they both liked that didn't match, and weren't tainted by being gang colors - oh yeah, my third grader was crazy about red, black and white. After filling out her warddrobe, we were informed those were gang colors. I know my kids get their eye-rolling from me.

Our girls would always talk DH's parents into taking them shopping for school supplies a month before school started. This was generally a waste of time and money, because the kids didn't have their supplies lists from their teachers yet. Being indulgent grandparents though, they would take them. Most of that stuff got used at home because it wasn't on the supply list.

And the supply list usually had don'ts on it rather than dos. Don't buy this type of binder, I don't want this type of paper, yada-yada. One spiral bound notebook for each class, except for the Journal they were expected to write in daily. But since we had plenty of big box office supply stores, it was no hardship to take them back for what they really needed.

So, as a new school year draws near for my older college student (her last she hopes), my younger daughter informs us she has applied for re-admittance to college to get her degree. Yes! Doing that kindergartener on the bus happy dance again!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Inspiration And Where Is It When You Need It?

A friend of mine who checks my blog out frequently to see what I have to say, asked why I hadn't written anything for a day or so. Simple, nothing inspired me. The funny thing about inspiration, is you never know when it will hit. Most often, inspiration strikes me when I am in the car with DH. No, that is not a comment on his driving.

Today, as we were returning from some errands, I noticed at least 4 police cars on the road. That's a lot, this town is not that big. We're talking about a community of 28000 and county with a population less than 70,000.

Let's run down the available law enforcement in Podunk City (C'mon that is not the real name). First, there is the Podunk City Police. We are a city, they have Police. I'm not sure how big the force is but there is a Police Truck parked over on the street that leads into ours. I'm tempted to go out at 1 am and see if it is still there. I swear it is parked there 24/7/365. Crime deterrent?

Secondly, we have the Podunk County Sheriff Department. Since we are the county seat, I guess that makes sense. Since most of the crime takes place on the outskirts of town though, I think they should be based out there. Possibly in a trailer park where all the meth labs seem to be.

Thirdly, we have the Tennessee State Troopers. You guessed it, we have a Highway Patrol Station based here in Podunk Town.

One would think that with all those police forces surrounding us we'd either be overrun with crime or crime-free. Well, neither is true. We are an average Tennessee small town with average crime. Most of what we see reported here is petty crime, but the most unusual thing the police were called to do in recent years was to round up the cattle that had escaped from the Podunk Stockyards about a mile away. Apparently that was not part of their job description as the cattle managed to make it the almost 2 miles into downtown without being caught! Wonder if they were issued citations?

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Gotcha! or My Sick Sense of Humor

One thing DH and I have discovered here is the weird way people react to emergency vehicles. On any given day, you may be on the road with a firetruck, EMS vehicle, ambulance. And no one gets out of the way but us! And you get honked at for not obstructing said vehicle.

This afternoon, however, EVERYONE stops and pulls over for a funeral cortege! Heck, the person probably died because no one would pull over for the ambulance!

I was reminded by older college student daughter today of my weird sense of humor. I love being different. Of course, they were too young to understand the significance, but when the girls were young between ages 5-10, I had them call me Beautiful Mommie Dearest after reading parts of the Joan Crawford expose written by her daughter. Many years later, older college student daughter figured it out. She now loves to tell her friends how she and her sister called me that and watches to see how the friends react. See she has my sense of humor too.

No child likes to hear that their parents have sex. To really torture my kids, I remind them their grandparents had sex too.

I'm one of six kids, and am the third oldest. My older sibs were 3 years 5 months and 4 years 4 months older than me. The next one younger than me was nearly 5 years younger. So when I was 18, she was 13. One day this younger sister came home from her friend's house to see if she could sleep over at the friends. Mom & dad gave their permission, but on their way out, in my own perverse way, I told them they should tell the friend's mom that I had VD. Of course, they did that and the friend's dad got bent out of shape, but friend's mom recognized my sense of humor behind it.

My two youngest siblings are 11 and 13 years younger than me. When our brother got engaged, I told these two youngest sisters who were 6 and 8 at the time that our brother was adopted. I told them mom & dad didn't think they'd have kids, so they adopted him. And then had 5 daughters of their own. After all there were five of us girls and just one boy, so it was logical. Of course they believed me. And all was well until they told sister-in-law-to-be and she asked mom, and well, mom of course asked me. Of course I thought it was funny and still do.

Not everyone appreciates my sense of humor. Most children think their parents are really old and kids don't understand the concept of generations and time. When older college student was about 9, and was doing a project for school, I told her that her grandma (my mom) worked in the White House as a domestic .. for Abe Lincoln! Well, grandma got mad at me, and at older daughter for believing it. There was a grain of truth to this one, my mom had worked as a domestic when she was a teenager, but not for Abe and not in the White House.

Both daughters have inherited my bizarre sense of humor. One has gone so far as to rewrite several fairy tales. We hope no psychiatrist ever gets hold of these. The other daughter weaves bizarre fantasies about midget foreign men. Makes a mother proud.