Thursday, March 31, 2005

Keeping Secrets

We had a little birthday dinner for Mom at Lazzari’s last night. We stuffed ourselves on their delicious pasta and sauces and bread, oh my! Emily discovered the joys of Tiramisu! Life’s a little better when you know that pleasure. A good time was had by all, except maybe Reece, who was pooped out from all his activities that day. Scroll down and you’ll see what he did for some of the time.

It was supposed to be a surprise dinner/birthday party for Mom. I say supposed to be because my dear Auntie Linda squealed, or cackled, I should say, at 7am yesterday morning to Mom. Yes, Auntie I know all about it, because like you, Mom cannot keep a secret either. It’s a known fact that you don’t tell Linda, Ann (Mom), or Bera anything you don’t want everyone else to know. I love you anyway, women who’ve influenced me for forty-two years.

Love and kisses to all,

Happy Birthday, Mimi, from Emily and her dad, my brother, David. What's with the red eyes, Dave? Posted by Hello

Reece wanted me to photo what he thought was a goofy smile. His mom is ignoring him and hoping he'll go to sleep. Posted by Hello

This is so good of my Auntie Linda and my Mom, her big sister!  Posted by Hello

Good one Emily and her Uncle Don. Posted by Hello

Mom and her Dennis. Thanks, Dennis for getting her there for the party! Posted by Hello

This is what seven year olds do when they're too tired to party. Posted by Hello

Emily and her Mimi. Posted by Hello

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

She Works Hard For the Money

My friend, Angela, works at an automobile dealership. She LOVES it there. Here's an e-mail conversation I had with Angela this morning:

A: Bekah just asked Jeff (the sleeze-ball owner) why it takes so long for convertibles to be produced. Since we are dumb girls he used this analogy: "It is like going from a B cup to a D cup - you need an underwire to convert it."

V: PLEASE let me blog this one!!

A: Be my guest. No one I work with can read anyway.

Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Go, Four City!!

A few days ago, I wrote about a conversation I heard at Wal-Mart. Emily and I were talking about this particular blog entry and she told me a funny tidbit about Forrest City. It seems that when she and her friend, Amber, were about five years old, they would swing on their swing sets and shout out names of towns they knew. Amber, being from Forrest City, would always shout, “For City!!” (‘For’ instead of ‘Forrest’) Emily thought she was saying “Four City” so she would shout, “Five City!” She said that at the time she wondered why Amber always looked at her as if she were nuts.

Blake: "Call me butter, 'cause I'm on a roll today!"

My internet at home is down. It's DSL through SBC and when I talked to the geeks there, they told me that they only had ONE technician covering this area and Poplar Bluff. PB is in Missouri. What's up with that? I have to wait until Friday to get it repaired. Yes, I'm steamed, but hey, whadda ya gonna do? (Love those Italians.)

It seems that Blake is feeling a little left out because I haven't mentioned him in a few days. You'd think he was 9 years old. Oh, wait, he's a man. What was I thinking. (Hopefully the next time I see him in his Hawaiian shirt I'll have my camera handy, because it's a doozie!!) Here are some funnies he sent me last night:

Some terms to describe someone who is, well not all there...
~ A few clowns short of a circus.
~ A few peas short of a casserole.
~ Gates are down, the lights are flashing, but the train isn't coming.
~ The wheel's spinning, but the hamster's dead.
~ Fell out of the family tree
~ A few feathers short of a whole duck.
~ The cheese slid off his cracker.
~ Couldn't pour water out of a boot with instructions on the heel. (Love it!)
~ An intellect rivaled only by garden tools.
~ As smart as bait.
~ Chimney's clogged.
~ Forgot to pay his brain bill.
~ His sewing machine's out of thread.
~ Slinky's kinked.
~ Surfing in Nebraska.
~ Too much yardage between the goal posts.
~ Big like ox; smart like tractor.
~ Not wound too tight.
~ Shirt size: large. Cap size: small.
~ Room temperature IQ.
~ Missing a hard-drive.
~ Doesn't have two wits to bat together.
~ A few Pinata's short of a fiesta.
~ Butter slipped off the noodles.
~ Not firing on all thrusters. (No idea what this one means.)
~ Three dots short of an ink-blot test.
~ Forgot to use a surge protector.
~ The mental agility of a used soap dish.

So, apologies to Emily if I don't get any more posted today. Hopefully the internet trouble will be over by Friday.

Love to you all,

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Aunt V: This pizza is good. Emily: Not for Easter Dinner. It seems that Emily is very much a traditionalist, unlike her Mimi who invited us over for the family dinner on Easter Eve and fed us pizza.  Posted by Hello

Yes, the very second I'm finished with this huge slice of pizza, I'm going to brush my teeth. Posted by Hello

Killer Aunt

Since I missed the childbearing boat with the untimely but so-glad-I-had-sense-enough-to-do-it divorce, I waffle about my feelings of never having had children. I’m sure I would just embarrass them all the time if I had any. You should see me when I have the niece and nephew with me and someone appears to be compromising their comfort zone, even slightly. My fangs and claws come out like it’s a full moon. One night I took the kiddos to the movie and these two teenaged boys sat next to us and continued talking with their "outside voices" five minutes into the movie. I knew Emily and Reece were not going to be able to hear the movie and I was so upset I looked at these boys and yelled, "HUSH!" They did. Not a peep out of them after that. Emily looked at me with a horrified expression on her pretty face. I think she thought I’d gone a little too far.

In one of Emily’s comments to one of my posts, she mentioned the time I let some cranky old man have it because he called her a boy. (She's too young to remember this except that I've told her about it and it's one of her favorite stories.) Oh, I would have strangled the tobacco-chewing, overall-wearing hayseed if my mom hadn’t been with me. Emily was less than a year old and she was in her stroller and she was dressed all in pink with a freaking pink bow in her hair. Yes, gender was obvious. As I stood my ground and told the guy that she was a girl and it was obvious that she was a girl, my mom was cringing and wishing she were dead. Well, I don’t care. You don’t mess with Emily. You don’t mess with Reece, either, and sometimes Emily messes with Reece and I have to protect him from her. Now that’s a difficult situation. (Emily remember this when you’re giving your little brother a hard time. And have Reece read this, too, and maybe you both will start being nicer to one another.) When they’re fighting is when I’m SOOOO glad I can take them back to my brother and sister-in-law.

They do, however, have their moments of pure love and affection for each other. One afternoon we were standing in line to get our $40 bucket of popcorn before a movie and Reece was really being exceptionally cute. Yes, cuter than he always is. Even Emily thought so, and she looked at him with such love and adoration. I’ll never forget her face. She took a step toward him and raised an arm to put around him and he blocked it and stepped back. She looked hurt and said, "Gosh, Reece, I just wanted to hug you." Reece replied, "Oh, I thought you were going to hit me."

I love you, Emmie and Reecie Boy, and wish I’d kept a diary of your antics because now I can’t remember half of them.

Happy Easter to all!

Thanks friends and family for reading,

Saturday, March 26, 2005

So, this is progress, huh?

I don’t mind pumping my own gas. It would be nice if I didn’t have to on really cold days, but there’s one full-service station in town and its owner charges a fortune for gas. With the gas pumps so high-tech now, it’s easy to stick your card in the machine, pump, and go. It only takes five minutes. That being said, I can now get on with my gripe for today. Is the economy really so bad that stores must install these self-service checkout machines? When I saw them in Kroger, I wasn’t too thrilled. You don’t get good conversation from a machine! It’s the American Way to stand in line and read "National Enquirer" and contemplate what flavor of gum we want to chew for the next week. I mean, how else are we going to know where Elvis is now or how many illegitimate children Princess Diana has with Dodi on their private island. (Maybe they live next door to Elvis.) And if I have to try to figure out how to use a self-service checkout machine I’m not going to be buying any gum, no sir. Every time I pass one in Kroger I see that no one is using the machines, so I’m not the only person who feels this way. Now Wal-Mart has installed them! Hasn’t their management been to Kroger to see that these are duds and wastes of space? I’ve always thought that if Kroger would just lower their prices more people would shop there, thus eliminating their need to cut back on hiring, but Wal-Mart is always busy making money faster than it can be printed, so why the self-service machines? Well, I haven’t seen anyone using them in Wal-Mart, either. This morning I was in Home Depot, and guess what? Oh, yeah, they got ‘em, too. I completely understand why Home Depot does, since they have two employees, total, to run the entire store at any given minute of the day. Today, I was in a hurry and didn’t want to try to figure out their ignorant machine, and I didn’t have to! No. An employee appears out of thin air and rings up my stuff on the self-service machine. I cannot say how ludicrous the situation seemed. My friend Tylonia’s sister, Ann, got charged a service charge from her bank because she had used the drive-through window more than five times in one month. When Ty told me this I couldn’t believe it. It seems that when Ann opened her checking account with this bank, she was told that the type of account she opened didn’t have a monthly service charge if she only looked at a human being five times a month or less when she used the bank. She could use the ATM all she wanted at no charge, but forget looking at a person and having contact with a human! What is my point? We, The People, want a little personal help when we leave our house and go to a store and buy stuff. Let me rephrase that: we want human contact, no matter how annoying, obnoxious, irritating, or ignorant the human is, whenever we whip out our wallets. I have an idea for these tightwad businesses that do not want to pay people to work for them: close your stores and we’ll all just buy online from now on. I would love it if UPS delivered my coffee and cornflakes to my door once a week!

This reminds me of a joke that I was e-mailed last week:

Husband says, "last night I came home from work and my wife demanded that I take her someplace expensive. I took her to the gas station."

Je t'aime,

Friday, March 25, 2005

They should be paying ME

Actual conversation I heard at Wal-Mart tonight:
My checkout girl is yelling over my head to the checkout girl in the next aisle, "I don’t have to work until 6:00 tomorrow night. Yeah, I’m glad ‘cause I’m goin’ to Forrest City tonight."
She then looks at me and sees the tattoo on my forehead that reads: Tell me all about your boring, stupid life, and she says to me, "I’m goin’ with the same guy who last time I went to Forrest City he left me there." I’m already clenching my butt cheeks to keep from reaching over the moving conveyor and knocking her in the head with a large bottle of Drano. I’m sure I was looking a little puzzled at this point (I had forgotten about my forehead tattoo) and she continues, "Yeah, we got in a big fight and he just left me there! But this time I’m bein’ smart and follering him in ma own car." This girl is brilliant, isn’t she? "I ain’t gonna get stuck in Forrest City agin!" At this point in the fascinating conversation, the young woman behind me in the checkout line says, "Forrest City!!?? They ain’t nothin’ goin’ on in Forrest City!" Checkout girl says, "Ah, you live there?" Woman in line: "Nah, not no more I ain’t." Checkout girl: "Well, Jake’s just taking me to show me off, since I’m like half his age." She looked about 25, so now I’m getting a little nauseated. Woman in line: "What’s his name?" Checkout girl: "Jake ______. You know him?" Woman: "Nah." Checkout girl: " Everybody just calls him Drunk Jake."
I have no idea what kind of expression is now on my face.
Checkout girl: "That’s why he ain’t my boyfriend no more."

Merciful God, thank You for letting this be the instant she finishes ringing up my groceries so I can pay and get out of there.

Love you guys,

Angela's Top Ten

Thanks, Angela, for sending this to me. I like all these things too, except #3, which I would replace with chocolate:

Things I love

2. Breezy, cool days
3. Being able to run as much as I want to (very freeing).
4. My incredible friends (they are amazing!)
5. Reading
6. Flowers and butterflies
7. Having a garden
8. Learning new things
9. Meeting new people
10. Laughing

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Every word of this is true.

When Emily was very young, she spent the night with me almost every Friday night. As a result of this, I have about a million stories to tell of our wonderful times together. Here’s one of my favorites:

One particularly cold February night, when Emily was three years old, she was at my house and for some reason her car seat was inside my house. It was very, very cold, about 20 degrees, and dark at about 6pm and we were going to go to dinner, so I took the car seat outside to set it up in the back seat of my car. This procedure only took about 2 minutes and I didn’t bother to put on a coat. So, seat belt in place, I ran the five steps to my front door and turned the knob and the door would not open. Someone on the inside had locked the deadbolt. Oh, shit, I thought. How do I explain to a three-year-old how to unlock a deadbolt? She doesn’t know what that means! Panic began to rise in me as I tried to calmly tell Emily, “Unlock the door, sweetheart, for Nessa. Nessa’s cold and wants to come inside.” After I had repeated myself at least 49 times, she started turning the knob. “It’s not the round thing, honey; it’s the thing that goes up and down.” Oh, God, I’d started to panic, and I was really, really cold. She gave up and wandered off. Oh, no! I was imagining her playing with knives inside my apartment while I was outside freezing and trying to think of a way to get inside. I started to scream through the door for her to come to the door and help me, and as casually as she could, she sings, “just a minute!!” (Imagine a really cute three-year-old voice singing that.) Now I was exasperated. Just as I was about to break my kitchen window, she came back to the door and I could hear her fumbling with the deadbolt! When she finally unlocked the door, I was leaning on it and it hit her on her head as it flew open with my weight on it. It knocked her down and she had a large red bump forming immediately. She started crying and I fell to the ground and started crying, too, and held her and told her I was sorry about a million times. I probably said something like, “Oh, honey, I’m sorry you locked me out!” I don’t remember what I said, but I was so relieved to be with her again I would have apologized for all the sins of the world. After she calmed down and we stood up again I looked over into the kitchen and the knife drawer was open.

More stories to come.

All my love to my friends and family,

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Annoying Technology

Yeah, right, give me a break with the cell phones. I started back to the gym tonight after work and I noticed that at least one third of the kids there were talking on their cell phones while working out. Some of them were running on the treadmill, yes, running and trying to have a conversation. I know I would hate to be on the receiving end of one of those conversations. And who are these kids anyway? What could be so important that they have to talk while running? It isn’t like they’re business tycoons making a multi-million dollar deal. Can’t you guys plan your next party after you stop panting?? Call me crotchety if you want, but that was really getting on my nerves. Actually, I really don’t like cell phones at all. They are so misused that Emily Post would have a stroke if she saw the behavior associated with them. True, I own one, and I use it occasionally, but within reason!!! And yes, I was so glad I had mine one day when my car died at a very busy intersection. However, use some common sense and manners, people. I know this one person who wears the cell phone and it’s on vibrate, so when this person gets a call and you’re having a conversation with this person, you are not aware that this person is getting a call until this person puts the phone up to his/her ear and says "hello" so you’re still talking up to that point and feeling like an idiot. Would it really kill you, unidentified person, to just say, upon feeling the vibration, "excuse me, I have a call???" No it would not.
Tomorrow night I think I’ll take my cell phone to the gym and pretend I’m talking to someone and having a huge fight. I’ll shout and swear and get belligerent. Then I’ll start crying and tell the phantom person on the other end of the line that it’s over, and I don’t love ‘em anymore. Yeah, I think that’s a plan.

Big smooch,

A List of Another Kind

I totally, utterly, completely stole these from MSN today, but they are hilarious. Here are the twenty wackiest excuses for missing work. (Obviously I have a lot of time on my hands, and if my boss is reading this, um, well, I'm busted, I know.)

I was sprayed by a skunk.
I tripped over my dog and was knocked unconscious.
My bus broke down and was held up by robbers.
I was arrested as a result of mistaken identity.
I forgot to come back to work after lunch.
I couldn't find my shoes.
I hurt myself bowling.
I was spit on by a venomous snake.
I totaled my wife's jeep in a collision with a cow.
A hitman was looking for me.
My curlers burned my hair and I had to go to the hairdresser.
I eloped.
My brain went to sleep and I couldn't wake it up.
My cat unplugged my alarm clock.
I had to be there for my husband's grand jury trial.
I had to ship my grandmother's bones to India.
I forgot what day of the week it was.
Someone slipped drugs in my drink last night.
A tree fell on my car.
My monkey died.

More later!
Love, hugs, and kisses,

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Puppy Love

So. I went to Emily and Reece's to stay with them for a couple hours tonight while their parents went out. As you know, they are perfect and brilliant and cute and wonderful. Oh, and I sort of love 'em. The three of us snuggled up on the sofa and watched the second Harry Potter movie. I'm way behind, having seen only the first one and never the second or third. (Emily's read all five books and informed me tonight that on June 16th, the sixth book will be released. She's definitely a fan of Harry Potter.) Anyway, while we were watching the movie, Dooley kept bringing us his girlfriend, a pink teddy bear that he constantly is either chewing or "loving" if you know what I mean. We would snatch Girlfriend from his teeth and throw her into the hallway and Dooley would run and grab her and bring her back. It got a little annoying after an hour. Finally, Reece decided he'd had enough of that fun and got in the floor and started to play with Dooley. Dooley continually licked Reece in the mouth and Reece let him...lick him in the mouth...more than once. You know where a dog's mouth and tongue usually are? I am no longer asking my nephew for a kiss. You are now off the hook, Reece.

Love to all,

Our very own Harry Potter with his sister, John Kerry, who's a little confused about who should win the election. Taken Halloween 2004. Posted by Hello

Monday, March 21, 2005

Letterman only does ten.

The idea of a blog is simply to be able to express oneself however one wants. I do want my family and friends to read and I love it when you mention a particular passage to me that you've read and enjoyed. If you don't enjoy it, tell me that, too. I sort of like to argue. Many blogs I read have included a "Top 100 Things About Me" section. I thought that would be fun, especially (it's not exspecially, so do not pronounce it that way, and while I'm on the subject, it it HEIGHT, not heighth - pronounce it with a hard "T" at the end, NOT a "th")...okay, now where was I? Oh yeah, especially since I'm a listmaker. So, here's the first installment of my "Top 100 Things About Vanessa." Feel free to comment or to send me some of yours, and I'll post them.

1. I absolutely love peanut butter.
2. Easter is my favorite holiday.
3. I like it when the time changes and it gets dark at 5pm.
4. I can’t decide if I’m a dog person or a cat person.
5. I cry every time I watch "The Sound of Music."
6. I hate getting bills in the mail.
7. I prefer e-mailing someone instead of calling them, especially someone I don’t know.
8. Coffee is the greatest thing on this planet.
9. My niece and nephew are perfect.
10. My dog likes to eat my snotty kleenex.
11. I know it’s bad for you, so I don’t do it, but really miss it: getting a tan.
12. When I turn 75, I plan to resume smoking.
13. You will never see me in sandals without polish on my toenails.
14. I can keep a bottle of vodka for a year and never touch it, but a box of Samoas gets eaten in 15 minutes flat.
15. I love flowers.
16. I will spend my last dollars on a book.
17. Katharine Hepburn is my idol.
18. I don’t like to wear dresses. (See #17.)
19. I wear makeup everyday, but I hate putting it on every stinking morning.
20. I love taking taxis.

I'll post the next insallment when I feel like it.

Love to all,

Comment from Emily

Emily is on Spring Break, so she's reading and commenting early in the day:

"I am coming with you to visit Angela in Paris, because it definitely wouldn't be fair if you got to go to 2 different countries as FUN as Paris and London are, especially 2 times in one year!!! I really couldn't care less about missing school, so when you think about going to Paris, book a flight for TWO!!!!! Call me when you get this because I want to talk to you about the Memphis trip, because I wasn't very social when we called last night; I was completely pooped!!! Dooley is very glad to be home, and his new bone gives him the burps. I'll tell more,if you call me!!! Love ya love ya!!!Bye!!! PS: I'll ask Mom if we can come visit you today.Bye!!!! :) --Posted by Emily to Aunt Vanessa at 3/21/2005 11:08:17 AM "

Hard to believe she's ONLY ELEVEN.
I love you, Em! And Terrica does, too!

Vietnam Wall Photos

The photos following this entry were taken yesterday at the Traveling Vietnam Wall Exhibit. I couldn't get them to download from my photo host last night. I just wanted to clarify where they came from in case you guys haven't read my Sunday post.

I just got a call from Angela and she is going to France to teach for a year! It's official, she's going in August. Congratulations, Ange! I'm very happy for you. You are going to have such a good time living in Paris. I am definitely coming to see you while you're there.

More later.

Photo is a reminder of how young our soldiers were. (And are today) Posted by Hello

From the exhibit Posted by Hello

No matter how hard you try, sometimes you can't avoid the double-chin club! (Angela, you look great, though.) Posted by Hello

So true Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 20, 2005

I used to have a handle on life, but it broke.

Sunday night is my least favorite time of the week. It is, essentially, Monday Eve. There is a completely different feel on Saturday and Sunday that Monday does not posses. Saturday morning is a feeling of freedom: "I have two whole days to play!!" Sunday morning is good, too: "I have all day to play!" But Sunday night is: "Where did the weekend go?"

Angela and I went to see the Traveling Vietnam Wall today. I am trying to download some photos of it right now, but my photo host is being slow, so I'm not sure if the pics are going to come through. If not, I'll retry. If you are in Jonesboro, I hope you were able to see the display. There were items from the war as well as a replica of a small portion of the actual wall in D.C. There was also a Locator Booth, which made me think of all the people who searched for years to try to find information about their children and spouses who were in Vietnam. There were also some photos of people at the actual wall who were touching the names of their loved ones. That's all they have, some of them.

I do not feel one bit funny right now. Everytime I think about that war I get bummed. And, my presentation at the Delta Blues Symposium is about the violent vet in Larry Brown's book about two Vietnam Veterans, Dirty Work. Larry Brown, who died last November, was a Mississippi writer I highly recommend you read.

Okay, time to lighten up a little. Reece just called while he and the family are on their way home from Memphis. They spent the night in Memphis last night and boarded Dooley here at the kennel. Reece was calling to make sure I picked him up by 5:00 today, since he and the family weren't going to make it back to town in time. Reece is seven and extremely concerned about his dog. Dooley is the most hyper pup I've ever seen. He sat in my lap and licked my face on the way to his house and I wondered if we'd make it home alive. First he would lick me, then he would try to crawl up my arm to sit on my shoulder. He is too big for that, so he would slide down and almost fall off my lap into the floorboard. I would grab him and try to move him over to the other seat, and then he would look out that window for a whole two seconds, until he was bored, and then he would remember my face and how good it tasted and we'd start the process over again! I laughed and screamed all the way to Reece's house.

Kisses and hugs and hugs and kisses,

Saturday, March 19, 2005

"Spreading Joy and Fertilizer at the Same Time"

Good Saturday morning to you all! It's early and I'm having my first cup of coffee for the day. I do believe that's the only reason I get out of bed. First there's the anticipation of that cup when I'm scooping the grounds and dropping them into the coffeemaker basket. Then I hear the dripping and begin to smell that unique aroma. I can hardly wait until it's finished dripping. Sometimes I cheat and yank that carafe out from under the basket and pour a half cup anyway. Thank goodness for dripus interuptus. Yes, I am truly happy for about five minutes, alone with my steaming mug o'java. Then the real world begins to seep back in and I turn into my usual scrappy self that you all know. (And some love.)

Blake, who I think I'll adopt, sent this last night:


Here is a joke I thought you might like. I thought it was hilarious. Hope all is well.

An old couple were getting ready for a night of bingo. The old lady was looking in the mirror and said to the husband, "why are you with me?"
He said, "what do you mean?"
The old lady said "just look at me. I am falling apart. I have bags under my eyes, wrinkles all over my face, my boobs hang to my waist, my arms are flabby, and my arse looks like a golf ball. I have just fallen apart and I can't see why you are with me."
The old man replied "well, because I love you."
The old lady said " how can you love someone who looks like me? Just tell me one good feature I have. "
The old man replied "For one thing your eyesight is perfect!"

P.S. I just love reading my own jokes on your website. It makes me happy. Spreading joy and fertilizer all at the same time. Ain't life grand.
Love in Christ, Blake

Blake, you're great. I'm lucky to know you, Buddy!

I've got to go take a shower now. I have an appointment with my hairdresser at 9:30. I'm sure I'll have something to report after visiting her. Last time I was there, a "dude" walked in with the most hilarious mullet I've ever seen. I could have kicked myself for not having my camera with me. He would have made a great entry in! (I'm taking the camera today just in case.)


Friday, March 18, 2005

Comments from Reece and Emily

I got this from my seven-year-old nephew, Reece, last night:

I love you Nessa!!! Just wanting to say Hi!! Have a happy St.Patrick's day!!!Goodbye!!! Love, reece:) --Posted by Reece to Aunt Vanessa at 3/17/2005 08:33:16 PM

[I think Emily helped him with the typing.] I LOVE YOU, too, Reece! You are wonderful and so smart and so cute. Words cannot describe how much I love you, Buddy.

Equal time for women, of course - from Emily, also last night:

i will kiss you cuz u r irish and cuz i love you:)happy st.pat's day 2 u ya love ya!!bye!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!-emily --Posted by Emily to Aunt Vanessa at 3/17/2005 08:37:49 PM

(a few minutes later:)

I am so sorry that I didnt use correct gramar and speling and abrev'iations in those last 2 messages , because I know that ticked you off a little. Also sorry about no Capitalizations.Ain't I really funny?-Emily --Posted by Emily to Aunt Vanessa at 3/17/2005 08:43:29 PM

THIS from the winner of her school's spelling competition. I almost fell over from the "ain't" - but I know you were kidding, Emily!!! You are really funny for an eleven-year-old! I am so glad you read my website every day. It makes me feel as if we are communicating even when your busy schedule doesn't permit any time with me. Kiss kiss to you and Reece, Sweet Girl.

Happy Friday to all.


Thursday, March 17, 2005

Why do today what you can put off until next month?

When I went to see the doctor last week for a post-surgical checkup, I asked him about going to the gym and working out and he said it wouldn't hurt me to wait one more week, but if I felt like it, then I could ahead and give it a try. I was all psyched to go Monday but I learned that the gym was closed this week because of ASU's Spring Break. (It's ASU's new fitness center where I have a free lifetime membership - can't beat that!) So, I haven't started working out yet, and I feel like such a procrastinator, which is the theme of this posting.

Yes, I procrastinate just like most of you. I have gotten better at doing things on time since I've "grown up" a bit, but I still do it. I think the worst example I can claim would be the time I drove a car with tags that had expired 18 months earlier! That was a good one, but it turned out to be quite costly, because when I finally got pulled over (18 months? yeah, we have really efficient police in Jonesboro) not only did I get a ticket for the expired tags, but when I pulled my driver's license out of my wallet, it had expired, too! The entire little event cost me about 200 bucks and the cop made me park my car in the Wallace & Owens parking lot and not drive it until I got my driver's license renewed. "Ma'am, driving is a priviledge, not a right...blah...blah...blah." Since that episode, which was about six years ago, I've gotten better about taking care of things, and I have not let my tags go past their due date since then.

What am I procrastinating about right now?
1. Paying bills. I need to sit down and write checks and pay the bills online that are set up for it. The entire process would take less than an hour if I would just go do it.
2. Getting my oil changed in my car. I think I needed to do that in November. I'll do it Saturday and hopefully "Krunch" will be there and my Pontiac can bat her eyelashes at him. (See previous entry for explanation.)
3. I'm presenting a paper at the Delta Blues Symposium on April 7. [Go to if you're interested in finding out more about it. I think it's under "Delta Blues."] The fact that it's only three weeks from now doesn't seem to bother me. Have I written the paper? No, of course not. I submitted an abstract and was accepted based on that, but haven't written the paper! Once again, it would not take that long if I would just do it, because I know what I'm going to write.
4. One or two things I'm just TOO embarrassed to mention.
5. See #4.

So, friends and family, fess up. What should you be doing instead of playing on the internet right now?

Talk to you tomorrow.


May the road rise up to meet ye......

Someone had the nerve to tell me I wasn't wearing any green today. Excuse me? I have been wearing my Shamrock charm bracelet for the past week! I'm Irish and that's all there is to it. This website is GREEN for a reason!

Blake sent me another joke and I edited it a little to make it holiday-appropriate. I am thrilled at all the comments I've been receiving, but Blake tells me that the only reason he comments is because he doesn't want to get hurt. All I can say is that my threats are working. Keep that in mind my dear friends.

Blake writes:
An Irishman walks into a pub with a giraffe and they proceed to get blitzed. The giraffe drinks so much it passes out on the floor. The Irishman gets up and heads for the door to leave when the bartender yells, "Hey! You can't leave that lyin' there!" The extremely drunk Irishman replies, "That's not a lion! It's a giraffe."



Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Robert Blake is back on the market, ladies!

It is still cold. ASU is on Spring Break and I'm envious of the ones who actually got to go to Florida and enjoy the warm weather. (Not that I would even think about going to FL on Spring Break, I am simply envious that they are able to go outside without wearing a coat right now.)

I haven't written about my grandmother, Bera. Bera is 89 years young and still sharp as a tack. (I would kill someone who put my age on the internet. Good thing Bera doesn't own a computer.) She has her good days and her bad days, health-wise, but if I called her right now she would be able to discuss Scott Peterson's death sentence, or Robert Blake's acquittal with complete lucidity and probably tell me details about those trials that I didn't know. Sadly, there are lots of days when she isn't even able to make her own dinner, because she feels ill or too weak to stand for any length of time. HOWEVER, she will still surprise us all and get in her car and drive herself to the beauty shop, a.k.a. Jonesboro's Premier Gossip Center. Of course, it's a southern female trait to fret over our hair. I know I would crawl on bloody, broken knees to my hairdresser's if I had to when I'm due for a cut. But still, 89? and driving? She is amazing. She has this VCR that has a blinking red light that will not stop blinking no matter what. I've mastered the art of programming a VCR several times, and so have most of my aunts and uncles and cousins. We have ALL tried to stop that damn light from blinking! It is impossible. Clever Bera found some black electrical tape and simply taped over it and now she doesn't have to look at that blinking and be reminded what failures her children and grandchildren are! Aunt Linda and I were talking about this very subject a couple of days ago and she told me that Fred (her brother, my uncle) had finally gotten the red light to stop blinking. I do not believe her. I refuse to believe that and will die thinking that the light never stopped until someone threw the thing in the trash. We all have things to which we must cling. (And I think Linda's making that up anyway.)

A quick hello to my new friend in New Jersey. Hi Rinaldo!

Much love to all,

Ah, the South

I can't stand to hear "y'all" - and folks in these parts can't even spell it correctly. You will usually see it written "ya'll" which is WRONG. It's a contraction of you and all. But heck, lotsa folk who say it can't (or should I say cain't) even write, so why am I going on about it? (Or stirin' up sech a ruckus)?? Because, Angela just sent me this: A GUY JUST SAID "YOU'UNS" - and she told me not to post it, but I did anyway. Supernurse Heather just told me that the "you'uns" is a SE Missouri thang. That figures.

While I'm here, heard from Blake again and he's really on a roll:

"Once upon a time there was an elderly gentleman suffering from Alzheimer's. His wife of 40 years loved him very much, but she couldn't handle him any longer. He would wander about, never knowing where he was or even who he was. She decided to take him to a nursing home. At the nursing home, while the wife was filling out paperwork, a nurse had the gentleman sit in a chair. Suddenly the man started slowly leaning to his left. The nurse ran over and put a pillow on his left side to prop him up. A few minutes later, he started leaning to his right. The nurse ran over and put a pillow on his right side. Then he started leaning forward. This time the nurse strapped him into the chair. After completing the paperwork, his wife walked up to him and asked, "So are you sure this place is okay?" "It's okay," he said, "but why won't they let me fart?" "

Thanks for reading, "YOU GUYS"


Tuesday, March 15, 2005

This One's for the Middle Child

This just in from my brother, Dave, aka "the other brother:"

"#5 on chores I hate to do: return videos to the same store they were rented from. --Posted by the other brother.... to Aunt Vanessa at 3/14/2005 09:48:15 PM"

Dave, I have never called you "the other brother" but I know you would like to remain so on this website. Nuh uh. Your cross to bear is being my brother, and so you will have all your screw-ups posted on my website and YOU WILL LIKE IT.

So, to what is he referring above? Well, let his sister tell on him:
When Reece and/or Emily spend the night with me we always rent a couple of movies. They always want to take those movies home with them the next day, so it then becomes Dave's and Dawn's responsibility to return the movies on time. They never do. They DO, however, always pay the late fee, so I don't really care when they return them. One day a fellow from Hastings called and asked me where the two movies were that I had rented, like two weeks earlier! I indignantly told the guy that I had returned them. Okay, he said, he'd go look for them again on the shelves. He called back and said they were not on the shelves. I remembered that Reece had taken them home, so I called Dawn and she said yes, Dave had definitely taken them back for me. So I called Hastings again, told them to look again, and was told again that they were not on the shelves. So then I thought, "wait, it was DAVE who took them back." I called Dave and asked him where he took the movies, and he said Blockbuster. Ah hah, problem solved. Funny, because the DVDs said Hastings all over them. Fortunately, Blockbuster still had them and the late fee at Hastings was less than Dave's house payment, so now I just owe the Hastings dude an apology for my behavior. I have yet to call him.

Vanessa loves her brother.

Monday, March 14, 2005

What A Load Of Bull

Heather, my friend and co-worker, told me her dog, Abbey, (mine's Abby with no 'e') was lonely and asked if maybe Dooley might like to meet her. Dools, if you're reading, see below for her photo. She's quite a looker.

I think I need to call El Acapulco and ask them what they put in my fiesta salad last night. It tasted fine, and I felt okay, but last night I had to strangest dream. I never remember my dreams until something triggers my memory during the day. Today it was seeing the UPS van outside my window in front of my dest at work. Then I remembered my dream: I was busy cleaning my house and I heard someone knocking at my door. By the time I got to the door, I could see the UPS van driving away. I looked down and there was a packing slip on the step. I picked it up and it had my name on it and it said "1 Bull," and some dollar amount. I don't remember the amount. I looked out onto my front yard and there was a huge, black bull standing in my yard. He had two enormous white horns and he was huge! The biggest, scariest-looking bull I'd ever seen. He was quite docile, however, and appeared to be drugged. Of course he was drugged. How else would the UPS driver have been able to handle him? And who sends a bull by UPS? And what is he doing in MY YARD?? He just stood there in my yard. Cars were driving by and I was standing on my front porch , trying to process this in my head. Then my neighbor stuck her cigarette-smoking head out of her door and said there was someone here I needed to see. A fellow in a Coca Cola uniform came out of her house in walked over to my yard with a clipboard in his hand and told me that there was a mistake and he was actually supposed to be getting the bull and not me. I was so relieved. I told him to take the bull but be sure to pull him using the rope that was attached to a leash around his neck. He took the bull out of my yard and started walking down the street. I went inside and closed the front door and then I woke up. I wonder what Coca Cola wanted with a bull?

Love you guys very much,

Single, long-haired, Dachshund, female looking for single, fun-loving, male Dachshund for occasional runs in the back yard. Will happily share my kibbles with the right man, but don't ask me for my chew toys. Posted by Hello

Forever Clever

Blake is so good to send me jokes, and they're funny, too! Here's one he sent yesterday:

An old Arab lived close to New York City for more than 40 years. He would have loved to plant potatoes in his garden, but he is alone, old and weak. His son is in college in Paris, so the old man sends him an e-mail. He explains the problem:
"Beloved son, I am very sad, because I can't plant potatoes in my garden. I am sure, if only you were here, you would help and dig up the garden for me. I love you, Your Father"
The following day, the old man receives a response e-mail from his son:
"Beloved Father, Please don't touch the garden. It's there that I have hidden 'the THING'. I love you, too, Ahmed."
At 4pm the US Army, The Marines, the FBI, the CIA and the Rangers visit the house of the old man, take the whole garden apart, search every inch, but can't find anything. Disappointed they leave the house.
A day later, the old man receives another e-mail from his son.
"Beloved Father, I hope the garden is dug up by now and you can plant your potatoes. That's all I could do for you from here. I love you, Ahmed."

Okay, Emily, now you have a new entry to read after school today! I'll post more tonight, guys.


Sunday, March 13, 2005

Just for Miss Emily

I just got this from Emily and it's hilarious:

"Please hurry up and blog for Sunday, because, as your"most loyal reader", I am getting bored with the same old stuff!!!!I've checked on your blog like 3 different times today,and it STILL reads "Saturday,March 12, 2005" The only thing posted today was the date, and it's getting pretty close to my bedtime, so please, chop-chop with the blogging!!!!!C'mon!!!Love ya, love ya!!!!!!!!Love, your most loyal, bored blog reader, and niece, Emily:)"

Okay, kiddo, here you go. I love you soo sooo soooo much, baby girl!!

Good one of Baby Bro and Mom Posted by Hello

Cat in a Bag Posted by Hello

Muki, Don's cat, supervises Don's cooking from the chair Don installed in the kitchen just for Prince Muki to have a place to reign. Posted by Hello

Saturday, March 12, 2005

Myth, Legend, and Romance

Aunt Linda says: "I must tell you Abby's Extreme Makeover was a huge success. And I must confess, I didn't see that purse in the back winder of that car at Kroger's. Gotta go....customers!"

I forgot, it's winder not window. And I know the "s" at the end of Kroger was just to annoy me. Also on the list: it is JCPenney, again no "s!" Emily said that bugs her, too, when she hears that.

Speaking of Emily, she told me a joke this morning:

A blond walks into a shop and says to the salesman, "I would like to buy this TV."
"I'm sorry," he says, "but we don't sell to blondes."
She leaves and dyes her hair red and goes back the next day. Same salesman waits on her, and she tells him that she wants to buy the same TV. Again, he tells her they do not sell to blondes.
"Okay," she thinks, "I'll put on a complete disguise and come back tomorrow."
So, she does just that and no one, not even her own mother, would recognize her now. The SAME salesman approaches her, and when she tells him she wants to buy that particular TV he says, "I'm sorry, but we don't sell to blondes."
"How did you know it was me?" the girls asks.
The salesman replies, "that's not a TV, lady, it's a microwave."

I love you, Emmylou!!

I forgot that I promised to provide lists of junk on which I have opinions. I was going to make it a weekly thing, but have failed to do so. Anyway, here's a list of chores of which I am not particularly fond:
1. Paying bills - come on, paying for electricity after I have used it? It seems like such a waste.
2. Balancing my checkbook - I no longer do this. I have access to my account online now so I just look at it everyday and don't worry about the checkbook. You know the bank is going to be right, not you, so why bother?
3. Cleaning the bathroom. There is baby powder everywhere. I won't even start on how disgusting I think the toilet is.
4. Cleaning the inside of my car. I did this today. I found five McDonald's Happy Meal toys. I don't even have kids. I also had several empty toy packages. A couple of earring cards from one of those earring stores at the Mall. None of these was put in my car by moi. E & R - you know who you are.
5. Returning videos. I try to return them the next day to get that $1.00 credit, but something always comes up and I never get the credit.
6. Returning library books. For every book I buy, I check out three. That is a lot of books every week.
7. Returning anything to anyone. Example: I have Angela's DaVinci Code. She brought it to me while I was home after the surgery, and I was very grateful. And it's a good book. It's very entertaining and suspenseful. So, now I need to return it to her. I know she's not upset that I have it, and she knows she'll get it back, but it's bugging me that it's sitting in my house and I need to take it to her. She's in St. Louis this weekend, so I won't be able to give it back until next week. I guess what annoys me is anything like that which is hanging over my head to complete. I'd love a day, simply twenty-four hours, in which I have nothing to return anyplace or to anyone.
8. Last one: charging my cell phone battery. I hardly ever use my cell, so why is it that when I do the battery is almost run down? Every time.
9. Really the last one: making Abby go do her business in the rain. If you have a dog, especially a little prima-donna-type, you know what I mean. I have to push her out the door and she looks at the yard and she looks at me, and I know she's thinking, "No way. Huh uh. I'll hold it." Then after I've threatened to take her to the pound and she's finally done the only thing I require of her and she comes back in the house, she acts as if I'm cutting off her feet when I try to dry them with a towel. What a princess. I wonder who made her that way.

Don is cooking pasta and shrimp tonight and I'm taking brownies over for belated birthday dessert. I haven't even given him his gifts, yet. I think my mom is coming and bringing bread and wine. I know it'll be good. Don is a good cook.

I'm joining the gym Monday. Phase III of Getting V healthy in '05. (WW, smoking cessation, exercise.) I'll be extremely cranky for a few days. Crankier that usual. I'll post about every ache and pain, so you'll all get to feel it, too. That's what love is...feeling someone else's pain, right?

Love to all, and Reece - hope you had a fun time skating today.

Kiss kiss,

"Get out of the dugout and stop embarrassing me, Ness." I can't help it, E Posted by Hello

That's "Girl Power" in action. Sha-wing batta batta! Posted by Hello

Emily's first game as catcher. Em, you did an AWESOME job. I hope your legs aren't too sore tomorrow. You really do know how to catch that ball, girl. Posted by Hello

The sun and the wind were in his eyes, and yet I hounded him to be still so I could take this. I told him he was too cute NOT to take his picture, so he submitted. I love him. Posted by Hello

Taken last autumn, just as it was cooling off and we decided to go to Craighead Forrest and feed the ducks. They look like little brat-children, don't they? (They're not, they're just cute.) Posted by Hello

Friday, March 11, 2005

A Purse Is a Girl's Best Friend

Auntie Linda and I met for coffee at Books-A-Million after work today. I then conned her into going next door to Kroger with me (it's NOT Krogers, people, there is no "S" in Kroger so please don't call it Krogers, okay?) because I'm making brownies for Don to take to him tomorrow. So, I'm thinking that nothing exciting is going to happen on this trip to the supermarket. I'm right, until we leave Kroger and are walking through the parking lot to go to our cars and we see two police cars parked in front of Books-A-Million and a cop putting handcuffs on this guy. The other policeman is searching the guy's car and there is a girl in the back seat of one of the police cars. The girl's purse is still in the car and it's up on the back part of the car, whatever that place is called, I don't know, the back dash maybe? It was one of those ugly green purses you see everyone in the world carrying right now. So that is what I start obsessing on: the purse and how she doesn't have access to it. I would absolutely die if I were separated from my purse. Just you try to take my purse, buddy, and see what happens. It isn't the eight whole dollars in the wallet that I care about. It isn't necessarily the use of my credit or debit cards, either. It's the idea that I would have to start over. New drivers license, calling the credit card company and the bank. But especially the loss of my makeup and advil container and cute little Kleenex package and all that gum! Oh, and my little notepad that I jot down my ignorant ideas! That would really be impossible to replace. Nope, I'd face a jerk at gunpoint, I think, to keep my purse. That poor girl in the police car. She had no choice. I know, she was a thief or a drug dealer or worse, but I couldn't help feel sympathy for her for not getting to hang on to her ugly green purse.

Wow, thanks for all the comments, guys. Here's a few I got yesterday and today:

Yeah, that's a whopping big zilch on the comments. It takes less than five minutes to say, "Hey, Ness!" One of these days one or two of you people who have the tiniest bit of conscience will tire of reading my discourse on how you are lousy not to write me, and you'll think, "Gosh, maybe she's serious that she wants us to comment."

I hope everyone has a decent weekend and the weather allows you venture out and breathe a little fresh air for a change. I am actually looking forward to some Spring weather. Oh, I'll start complaining again as soon as it gets hot, though, don't worry!

I love you all and wish you lots and lots of happiness.


Thursday, March 10, 2005

"Were you in this line?"

Happy Friday Eve. If the weather is warm this weekend it'll be great to be outside for a change. I think Emily has a practice softball game Saturday, and I need to wash my car, and Abby needs to go to the park, so hopefully it'll be nice and warm so I can do all that.

I'm listening to Van Morrison sing "Tupelo Honey" right now. I think he's my "stranded on a deserted island" pick for music. That island better have electricity. I could also listen to the Chieftains, with or without Morrison, every day and never tire of them. Hey, guys, give me your opinion of the best song ever. Write me and tell me and I'll post it.

Speaking of songs, I'm sure lots of you remember some of the great ones from the 60's and 70's. Well, Blake just sent me this update:

Some of the artists from the '60s and 70's are revising their hits with new lyrics to accommodate aging baby boomers. They include:

The Temptations: "PAPA'S GOT A KIDNEY STONE"

Thanks, Blake!

I was standing in line at Kroger earlier and this woman leaves her place in the line next to me and comes up to me and asks me if I was in line. Her exact words were, "Were you in this line?" I was the next one to check out and I guess she thought if she acted stupid I would let her in front of me. Obviously, she didn't know who she was messing with! I gave her my extremely put-out look and just said, "yes." She giggled and said, "Oops! Okay!" and got back in her own line. When I got up to the checkout, the young girl working the register said, "Were you in this line?" in the most mocking voice I've ever heard. I cracked up. Then, she said, "Boy, I was wanting you to pop her good!" I just love that young girl. I will always look for her when I'm ready to check out at Kroger. Wish I could remember her name.

I was expressing to Tylonia that I wished you people would either write me through e-mail or comment here on my blog, and she said I should threaten you with no more writing until you start writing back! I know better. If I threaten that you'll NEVER write. So, I'm going to keep writing every single, stinking day and you all better get with the program. I even provide topics (see above re: favorite song) so you don't have to try to come up with anything on your own.

That's it for now. Much love,

This is the look she gives me when I'm on the computer or reading. She is trying to tell me that she wants in my lap and wants me to pet her until my hand falls off. Posted by Hello

With a face this cute you can have anything you want... Posted by Hello