Monthly Archives: November 2011

Peach State says . . . A New Way to Look at the Concept of Being “High Maintenance”

What do we typically think of when we think of the phrase “High Maintenance”?

The best of everything that money can buy; expensive haircuts and color with a VIP stylist, designer purses, fashions produced by the elite in the business.  The “Red Carpet lifestyle of the Rich and Famous” gives the concept of what to look like and wear to be deemed worthy.  Wow…I am not “High Maintenance” based on these criteria.

The scary thing is I have recently come to the conclusion that I am “High Maintenance”!  Let me explain!

I know you probably laughed a soft laugh thinking “How can my cuz consider herself as a “High Maintenance” woman?” It is not me as a lifestyle but my body that I am considering “High Maintenance”.  You have seen me in action many times in the past several years.  Consider the steps we go through to keep up a house or a car.  The paint chips and we repair or repaint, the engine knocks and we get a tune-up.  With this in mind I state, without a shadow of doubt, that I am “High Maintenance”.  I have to color my hair to keep the color vibrant and the amount of styling products, not usually name brands, ranges from 3-5 a day.  Then, there is the irritating factor of fine lines and wrinkles that I try and decrease and cover with my facial products in the morning and at night.  The sagging of skin on the throat and jawline frustrate many in this stage of life.  Yuck!  Did I just write that out loud?  I feel like the owner of a car that has been totaled and the insurance adjuster says it will cost to much to repair…  The never ending battle does not stop there…nope.  The arms and, insert chuckle, the rest of the body is one we look at a go running from the mirror amazed the mirror did not fall from the wall.  Okay, I know what you are thinking cuz!  I do feel better due to losing all the weight but with other age and stage related occurrences working against me I feel like I will never be a semi-societal size.  That is to say a size 12…..HEHE!  That is all I really wanted and for the life of me I cannot seem to stay in the zone.  I have lotion for dry itching skin and lotion to moisturize overnight.  Two different types of abrasive additives for my facial cleanser that I use every other day.  A cleanser for the morning and one for the evening.  A summer lotion and a winter lotion always in my purse.  It is really amazing that I can stand up and not fall under the weight of all the products I use.  There are days, recently, that I have done nothing to try and overhaul this old “rust-bucket”.  Looking at myself in the mirror and shrugging my shoulders, “Yep, that is as good as it will get”.  This fight that continues daily is my mindset and know this.  The inability to face facts in the race of aging and feeling young. I do not want to be this way but, in reality, I struggle with this daily.  The reassuring thing is the fact that I know I am not alone in this struggle.

However, in my defense, I can honestly state that the products and methods I use are not those that cost a lot of money.  Quite the opposite! If the money is not available then the product is not bought.  Substitutions are made to fit the need both physically and financially.  In this regard I am not “High Maintenance”.  Well that is good news!  Being creative and frugal are not only essential requirements in the world today but was part of my up-bringing.  Do you remember Mema’s regiment every night and every morning.  She always said “Our family is privileged to have young looking skin so take care of it and it will last longer”. “Up and out with the moisturizer everyday and keep it clean”.  I truly hope I do not look my age and hope that I age as gracefully as Mema has.  Trying to always look good to feel good is an ongoing battle and you and I have talked about this in length.  Making the effort, without seeking professional help or the use of heavy equipment like a sandblaster, is a habit I will continue to perform.

I will not retreat and will treat myself to this type of maintenance to help, any way I can, to keep this body in working condition and strive to put my best face forward.


Heart of Dixie says . . . Last Night

What an artist. I am in awe.

Heart of Dixie says . . . I Would Play Timpani

In life we have no do-overs.  And who knows what kind of mayhem we might cause ourselves if we tried to undo just one little thing – one little decision.  BUT, I was listening to Tchaikovsky – loudly – on my way home.  Or where home is at the moment.  Anyway, I decided that if I could do one thing over in life, I would play the timpani,

Timpani covers mediocre singing (I know because I’ve sung mediocre-ly and been oh so thankful for the timpani).  Timpani adds spice, interest, excitement.  Timpani must give the player great satisfaction.  Imagine just wailing on those big drums.  Timpani is the most wonderful instrument.  You can release all your frustrations and thrill people at the same time.  Throwing a hissy fit doesn’t really net the same results.

Now, I am no instrumentalist.  I am a mediocre singer, but the more I think about it, the more I think I may have missed out in life a bit.  But then, haven’t we all.  Not many of us play timpani.  Not many of us write or sing or paint or train dogs or jump horses.  We mother, we cook, we clean, we work.  But somewhere within us all, we dream of something bigger.

The funny thing is that I am off — in 10 minutes Southern Man tells me (Daddy Bill would have said 6 minutes and 37 seconds, wouldn’t he, cuz?).  I’m off to hear Joe Bonamassa at the Concert Hall.  I listened to the classical music (which I never do) because I’m going downtown where Mema and Daddy Bill went religiously to hear the symphony. I enjoyed it.  Tonight I will enjoy the blues.  I wonder if they will have a timpani.

Peach State. says . . . Murphy’s Law

You know what it is like to set your daily schedule trying to fit everything in a nice tidy order of events.  I have long been one of those creatures of habit that could plan a huge meal and everything came out of the oven and on to the table still hot and ready to serve.  But then Murphy’s Law comes to life invading the very foundation of scheduling and says “Not today” and laughs as I try to “Recalculate”.. [I love that commercial with the guy as the GPS giving driving directions to wreck].  Alright, back to the point!

I had my day lined out to follow-up on this blog and writing a couple of chapters for my book.  Then moving the laundry and making the phone calls to my youngest child’s doctors to keep them up to date on his recent activities and injuries.  “He fell and it looks like he may have sprained his wrist while riding his scooter on Saturday.  I iced it and gave him Tylenol and the swelling is gone and there seems to be no bruising.”  I felt like I had done all a good mother could do.  “He is using it more and appears to no longer be in pain”. Yea me! I continued on with my morning activities like cleaning up the kitchen and loading the dishwasher and then it happened…Murphy’s Law…[Ring.. Ring..] “Hello”  This is the nurse and the doctor would like to see your son and take a possible X-ray.  Can you be here at 11:30?” Okay so off I go to prepare for a short visit to the doctor so they can earn some money.  I checked my son out of school and he came bounding out the door with his bookbag and asked if he was coming back.  “Yep…the doctor may want an X-ray but then you will be back.”  2 1/2 hours later…Murphy’s Law... we were given a referral to the local Children’s Healthcare facility for Orthopedic Medicine.  Driving the 40 minutes to this facility I told my son it was a good thing he had his bookbag with him.  However if he had left it at school he could have gotten a pass on doing the homework he had already received from the earlier classes.  He was a little upset about missing Art Class.  Once we found the correct medical facility and got signed in the office staff put our information in the3 doctors slot to be seen.  Oops! Murphy’s Law again crept in to the order of things and the office staff put our paperwork in the wrong to be seen box and that doctor was not in at that time.  We waited and waited and ..well you see the picture.  An hour passed and after asking once we were finally seen.  It was at this point we found out what had happened as the nurse told the other nurses in the back when he showed us to the room.  So after all of this lovely travel and time spent with my youngest we were told the final painful result.  “Yes mam… I have looked at the X-rays and it is just sprained.”  Where is my pay check for diagnosing the injury from the onset?

Now we are homeward bound and facing the local interstate traffic and it is rainy.  [Recalculating]  I changed my dinner plans and was ready to fix dinner as I walked in the door.  This day had started, for this particular event, at 11:10 and it was after 5:00.  The other boys were hungry and sometimes their schedules involved needing early dinners. Oops, Murphy’s Law jumped in again.  The kitchen had been almost totaled in my absence and the sink had the very skillet I needed for dinner preparation.  The questions and requests cam at me from four different directions and I began to clean to cook.  My youngest sat down to do his homework and my number two child had ordered a Netflix movie for me and wanted to watch it at that time…whoa!  One thing at a time…please!  Skillfully navigating the dangerous son infested waters I prepared dinner and finally slipped into my jammies and watched to movie.  Back to normal!!!!! I had not completed the chapters for my book but that could be done later.  The boys moved the laundry and finished the kitchen after dinner.  I even fixed myself a Skinny Peppermint Mocha with my espresso maker and slowly gained control of the rest of my day.

Plan for the day….1] no phone calls to doctors, 2] no checking a child out of school, 3] play it by ear…. Me!  Yeah right!

Blog done for the morning….on to the chapters in my book.

Peach State says . . . My favorite Christmas Movies

Such a silly question posed by someone who I thought knew me….

Christmas in Connecticut with Barbara Stanwyck  is among the top five.  She is a magazine executive that has been living a lie.  Her boss wants her to host  a War Hero, Dennis Morgan, for the holidays at her home in the country giving him the “Family Christmas” with all the trimmings.  I love Felix the chef in this movie.  I highly recommend this movie.

Bing Crosby holds two spots on the list. Holiday Inn and White Christmas. Although the song White Christmas is in both the stories are quite different.  Fred Astaire stars with Bing in Holiday Inn as riaffection the affection of a special young lady.  Danny Kaye is the sidekick in White Christmas that struggles to get the character played by Bing to fall in love for several reasons. Traditional Christmas scenes and songs fill these two movies.

Tim Allen makes the top 5 as Santa in “The Santa Clause”. This fresh spin to the story gives us a new reason to believe. The situations that arise with a step-parent and biological parent and the lengths they go through for the sake of a child.

The last place is a tie between two Hallmark movies. “The Christmas Visitor” and “The Christmas Card”. All I want to say about these two are watch them and let me know what you think.

The sad thing about this list is the fact that I typically have to watch them by myself.the rest of the family usually do not like to watch sappy holiday movies.  There is one movie that I did not put include on this list.  We actually watched it as a family last Christmas. “It’s A Wonderful Life”. Who does not love this movie.  So place the bell on the Christmas Tree and say the line “every time a bell rings an angel gets it’s wings”.

Heart of Dixie says . . . Christmas movies

Hi cuz,

What are your favorite Christmas movies?  I fell through the ceiling on Thanksgiving Day.  Put a hole in Roomie’s garage.  I’m thinking Christmas Vacation.  Personally, I think that Skipping Christmas (the book) was way better than Christmas with the Kranks, but that might be because imagination is always better than what they can put on the screen.  Jamie Lee Curtis rocked the bikini.  I appreciate her determination to be real with us older(ish) women.

I don’t feel like going all nostalgic right now, so I’m sticking with comedies.  And Southern Man is making noises that sound like, “What did you come see me for, woman, if you are going to sit in the living room and write?”  Hey, but this is who I am, and I am not going to be fake every again in my life!!!!


Heart of Dixie says . . . Inanimate Love

“It’s just stuff.”  That’s what we say when a house burns or a car wrecks.  Thank goodness everyone is fine.  The tornado took it all, but it was all just stuff anyway.  And that’s true.  We shouldn’t love inanimate things.  Today my parents had to put down their dog who had pancreatic cancer, making today’s observation all the more trivial  But I’m feeling it – quite strongly in fact – so I’m going to share.

I am comforted by my sofa, the Asian overtones that speak to my time in Hawai’i without knocking you down with a tropical theme.  I am comforted by my little green chair in the corner.  It didn’t look cute where it was before.  It matches the sofa…it wanted to be near the sofa to realize it’s full cuteness potential.  I look at these items that were in different places and are now brought together under one roof.  They look so happy together.  In fact they look like parts of me.  The roof they are under is not mine.  Yet they still comfort me.

And I long for my Mema’s dining room suite.  It’s sitting in a basement covered with sheets.  I want to display her red crystal goblets, but they are in a box in yet another basement.  I want her piano – not because I play, but because it is part of me and of my blogging cuz, and of all of us, and it deserves to be preserved and loved.  It is not in a place where it is loved, but it is sheltered from the elements, and for that I am grateful.

It’s just stuff.  But it’s stuff that is part of me.  If I lost it in a tornado like so many did last April right here in my own state, I would comfort myself that it’s just stuff.  But looking at it makes me so happy.  I feel complete.  Kind of like I feel when I’m with my family.  Kind of like I feel when I’m with my kids.  Kind of like I feel when I’m with Southern Man. I appreciate him babysitting my furniture.  It’s good to see it all together.  I wonder if he realizes that his house is starting to look like my house?

Back to reality.  Compared to the dog that has comforted you for years and years, furniture is so trivial, unless it belong to someone else – your mother or grandmother who comforted you as well.  It’s trivial, but I believe that if we are honest with ourselves, we would find that there are inanimate loves that comfort us all.


Peach State says . . . Rainy Days and Mondays

Here we are at the beginning of the three week countdown until Christmas Break.  It has been raining all night and is still raining…

Jacob has decided that he hates school but is at least cheerful about it.  He just wants to go back to bed.  I wrapped his wrist and hand up this morning just to remind him that it still hurts.  The swelling has gone down but it is still tender.

Once Jon leaves, in about 30 minutes, I can carry on with the perfect activity for a day like this.  I will open my blinds in my office and curl up on my couch with Brittany.  Of course I will have to make sure she is not wet from going outside first.  The wind is blowing through the trees so they are gently swaying back and forth in an almost hypnotic way.  The leaves which remain on the limbs are brown now.  Dare I say it….They sky is gray…. Join me in song……The Mama’s and the Papa’s best song ever with The Carpenter’s..  Sounds like a good smash combo to me.  Rainy days don’t really get me down they just allow me the chance to reflect and not hurry through the day.

About 8:30 I will work on my book for a little while then move the laundry.  Ewww…Laundry!  At least the amount I have to do is very little now that the boys all do their own, except for Jacob.  He has a couple of years before this responsibility is his.  I will go over my solos for the upcoming five weeks and Christmas Eve Service when Justin gets up.  We only have one more practice because of Back to Bethlehem starting on the 3rd.  I have 3 solos and the two trio songs to learn well.  That is as it stands now. The Ladies Quartet is not singing for Christmas Eve so we may turn to a trio song.  Then it is off to the pantry to plan dinner.  My family loved the leftover turkey meal last night.  Justin asked if we could have it again and I gladly replied “after Christmas”.  HEHE!

I think a Christmas movie in on the schedule today…before Jacob gets home.  The weather should cooperate and be rainy all day.  If the temps drop we may have a mix tomorrow.  That will be another conversation….Love you cuz and have a great day.

Peach State says . . Busy Day Decorations and Baking

Well the day is here and I should hopefully be done with the Christmas Decorations.  I finally got the furniture moved and the tree up in it’s place.  I put a few ornaments on the tree and may add a few more today.  I should be able to make the pie a friend bought and have it ready to deliver tomorrow and complete the decorating in time for the 3:15 deadline.  I finished the Thanksgiving pie and cake orders with 12 pie orders and 4 fruitcake orders.


You can't eat just one piece!

I love my Fruitcake recipe and so do the customers.  I only had one funny , age related, joke from a church friend.  I set him straight with a sample.  HEHE! Want the recipe?

"Chocolate Chip Pecan Pie"

To good to eat...Yeah right!

I made a decent percentage but will have to sit down and really add things up.  My orders started a week ago for the Christmas season.  I also added a Red Velvet Cake for people to order.  The Red Velvet Cake will be $28.   The Chocolate Chip Pie was the big hit.  With all of that said I hope to have snacks on the table, dinner cooking and the Game on by 3:15pm today.  Iron Bowl Day!!!  I am a little apprehensive about this game and it’s outcome.  I am hoping that I will not have to run from the room in tears or turn off the TV and busy myself with another activity.  I would love to wear my orange sweater with my blue shirt tomorrow but have a black outfit just in case we lose.  War Eagle!

Peach State says. . . Experimentation: Here is to moving furniture!

I took another break from moving the furniture and decided to play around with the blog.  I am a little jealous that you went to exercise cuz.  But maybe moving furniture can be my exercise today.  HEHE!