Thursday, March 30, 2006


I'm not sure if you've gotten your computer back from the computer fixer guy, yet, but if you have, I want to say Happy Birthday to you, my dear mamma. Can't wait to celebrate at Dave's tonight, even if you said you didn't want a cake. I'm bringing double-stuffed Oreos, which are so much healthier than cake, so you can indulge anyway! (Emily put in a request for those. I had nothing to do with it.) I'm really looking forward to our Casino Birthday Weekend Extravaganza with Auntie Linda, too. We are going to have so much fun bonding over wine, cigarettes, and slot machines. Kinda makes you feel all warm and fuzzy, I know. (That's Mom on the right in the photo, with Auntie Linda and their cousin, Ramona, whom they recently visited at her home in Florida.)

I love you, Mom!

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Just Scratching The Surface

I've been looking at this blank page for five minutes and had to begin typing just because I was tired of looking at it all nekkid.

The new job is okay. I don't really know what I'm doing, but I will learn what I need to know. Oncology is new to me. I'm still freaking out every time I read a diagnosis, and every single patient has cancer. I know, duh, oncology is the cancer department, but I'm not used to it yet. The nurses and the doctor and, believe it or not, the patients are extremely upbeat, so it's not a depressing atmosphere at all.

I have a bit of dermatitis, a.k.a. itchy rash on my upper chest, neck, and shoulders. I get this every couple of years, but this time it's been hanging on for a month and getting worse. Benedryl's not helping. Any suggestions, other than seeing a doctor? I'm not going to be taking off work for anything no matter what for the next few months. I'm determined to keep this job until August if it kills me.

That's pathetically lame, I know.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

She's All Riled Up After That Liberal Movie

I've gotten behind on my movies lately, so I decided to start playing catch-up this weekend. First I rented "Good Night, and Good Luck." Aside from the historical significance of the events that occurred, I thought it was boring. The acting was good, but nothing that special. It's a black and white film, which secured the feeling of authenticity, and, well George Clooney is just luscious no matter how nerdy he tries to look, so for those reasons it's worth renting. I'm somewhat familiar with the McCarthy era because I'm a huge fan of Lucille Ball, and after reading one of her biographies that explained how she was nearly black-listed from Hollywood due her membership in the Communist Party, I did some research. I doubt if anyone under the age of thirty, or even forty, would know much about the fears of the 1950's, since so little of it is taught in American History classes. For that reason, I felt the movie lacked some substance that it should have included. Gosh, am I sounding like I should be writing a school paper? Perhaps that's because I've been working on grad school crap this weekend.

I then cried my way through "Crash" today. I can certainly see why all the critics praised it and preferred it for Best Picture this year. It's quite a movie, and the best one I've seen this year. The characters' racist behaviors were quite different from what I see here in the South. We Southerners are so much more discreet about our prejudices. Those people in LA are in-your-face racists, unlike we polite Southern racists who only display our hideous prejudices in the presence of "our own kind." We're not any better than those people represented in the movie, but we think we are. Yes, we go to church every time the doors are open and then spew our racist remarks in the car on the way home. Of course, "Crash" never played at my local movie house. You can guess why.

Masterpiece Theatre is showing Trollope's adaptation of "Othello" tonight and next Sunday night. It's a repeat and I missed it last time it was on. Othello's one of my favorites of The Bard's and Trollope will put that Victorian twist to it. OH, and it's on after "Desperate Housewives," which I hate to admit I've been watching for the past few weeks. Ask me about it, however, and I'll deny I've ever watched it.

Friday, March 24, 2006

And I Still Have Two More Days Of Fun

Emily and Reece have been on their Spring Break this past week and I was off work yesterday, so I decided that would be a good day to spend hanging out with them. Dawn was working all day and although Emily’s old enough to babysit, I thought I would go over and spend a few hours with them as an unofficial babysitter. I called their house at 10:40 that morning and Reece answered. “I was just about to call you, Nessa,” he said, “Emily’s still in bed and when I tried to wake her up, she said she wanted to sleep for thirty more minutes and I’m really bored. Will you come over?” “I was calling to tell you I was coming over, Reece,” I said. “How long will it be?” Reece asked. “I’ll be there in ten minutes,” was my reply. “Good,” he said, “that will give me time to fold some clothes.” He is nothing like I am. Or his dad. Or his sister. We always wait until the last possible moment to undertake our household chores, but Reece was going to do his chores straightaway. I’m glad he didn’t inherit our procrastination gene.

When I arrived at their house, Emily greeted me at the door with her sleepy eyes and her cell phone in her hand. I think she sleeps with it. We spent the entire day, with the exception of lunchtime, when Dawn came home for a bit, watching movies. We snuggled on the sofa, covered in blankets and it was great fun trying to figure out the plot of “The Matrix.” They loved it. Emily recognized the Utopia v. Dystopia elements of the movie. How smart can a twelve-year-old be?! We also watched “Flight Plan” and we loved the suspense of the movie. It was my favorite kind of day, when I have both sweeties curled up with me and they are not fighting and everything is right with the world.

I awoke this morning to dog shit on every carpeted surface of my house. Roxy is staying with me while Auntie Linda is out of town. I’m not sure I will feed her another morsel while she is here. If it isn’t ingested, it can’t reappear on my carpet, right? Nothing like a diarrhea doggie to snap me back to reality and get me in a cleaning mood.

Oh! And, I filed my taxes today. March 24. That’s a new record. Usually I’m one of the idiots speeding to the post office at midnight on April 15. Maybe Reece’s good habits are rubbing off on me.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006


Three days at the new job and I've not been fired! The clinic where I'm now employed is going to be closed for the remainder of the week, so I have four days off. That's a good way to start a new job, just get my feet wet a little, then get a four-day weekend. I have a ton of paperwork to do in the next few days, so I'm happy to have the time off.

Mary and Stephanie are having a rough time right now, so if you pray, please do so for them. Otherwise, send them some loving thoughts. They are two amazing, articulate, sensitive women who don't deserve all the worries they're experiencing right now, so send 'em some love, okay?

Sunday, March 19, 2006

Softball's Finally Here!!!!

Emily Up To Bat
Originally uploaded by Aunt Vanessa.
We, The Family, went to Dyersburg, TN yesterday to watch Emily's softball team play in their first tournament of the season. The weather was great; it was cool, a little windy, but very comfortable. I thought it was perfect. Reece had a great time playing with the kids at the park and we got to watch some good sport. We snacked and laughed and yelled for the team and simply had a wonderful time. The tournament is still on today, and I'm at home, so I'm not sure how her team's doing, but I'm pulling for you, Emily!

Oh, and when I arrived home late last night, I had an acceptance package in my mailbox from the University of Missouri for school this coming fall semester. Yeah, Saturday was a pretty good day.

Friday, March 17, 2006

It's My Island!!!

Happy Saint Patrick's Day to my huge, loving, freckle-faced Irish family and my Irish-For-A-Day friends!

What Shall I Say About the Irish?

The utterly impractical, never predictable,
Sometimes irascible, quite inexplicable, Irish.Strange blend of shyness,
pride and conceit,
And stubborn refusal to bow in defeat.
He's spoiling and ready to argue and fight,
Yet the smile of a child
fills his soul with delight.
His eyes are the quickest to well up with tears,
Yet his strength is the strongest
to banish your fears.
His hate is as fierce as his devotion is grand,
And there is no middle ground
on which he will stand.
He's wild and he's gentle,
he's good and he's bad.
He's proud and he's humble,
he's happy and sad.
He's in love with the ocean,
the earth and the skies,
He's enamoured with beauty wherever it lies.
He's victor and victim, a star and a clod,
But mostly he's Irish—
in love with his God.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Smart Cookie

That's an award Reece is holding in his darling hands for making ALL A's. The awards ceremony was this afternoon at his school. After the ceremony, we were getting ready to leave and he asked me if I would take his picture with Matia. His girlfriend. She is this beautiful, blue-eyed, little second-grader with the color of blonde hair many women spend a fortune trying to emulate. She was standing across the room from us and as Reece approached her, he realized that she was standing with her dad. Reece hesitated for a couple of seconds and turned around and walked back to us. He lost his nerve. It was really, really beyond cute.

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Adoration For The Young 'uns

The second job interview went well. I'll know tomorrow if I have the job.

I had lunch with Reece today at his school. Nothing could be more fun than eating pizza with a bunch of adorable second graders! I called Reece earlier tonight to tell him that I enjoyed having lunch with him and he said, "I can't wait to see you again, Nessa." aaaaahhhhhhhh!!!!! Talk about melting all over my sofa.

Last night I got a phone call from Emily and she was on her NEW CELLPHONE. David says she's the happiest preteen in the world right now. Of course, I wasn't the first person she called. Oh, yes, you can guess, mmm hmmm. The split second she had the contraption in her darling little hands she was sending a text message to MATT. Dawn said she sent him a message saying she had her own phone, and his reply, which was prompt to the point of being ridiculous (or a little bit in love) was, "Sweet!" Don't you just adore young love?

Sunday, March 12, 2006

Weekend Update

Friday night the family celebrated Dawn's and Don's birthdays by going out to dinner. We had a good time, as usual, and ate some good food. Sadly, Emily had to leave the party early because she had a date, yes a date - I can hardly stand to even type the word - with Matt to go to the movie. As excited as I am for her, really and truly I am, I'm also so freaking sad I could cry. In fact, tears are trying to escape my eyes right this very second. I'm losing my little girl niece and she's being replaced by a preteen who would rather go out with her boyfriend than hang out with me. I'm taking it too personally, I know, but crap, I have the right to be irrational if I want! All I can add to this now is, thank God for softball! It's probably the only way I will get to see a lot of her this summer.

Reece, Abby, and I went to the park yesterday for a little playtime. I will, however, count it as exercise since I spent the entire time chasing after Reece and climbing hills and breathing the fresh, humid air. I had a great time with the boy. Look at my Flickr photos to see how cute Reece was yesterday. Afterwards, I went home determined to finish the fourth Harry Potter book, and I finally did, after a three-hour nap! It was cloudy and warm and the sofa was really inviting, and before I knew it, it was 6:00 p.m. Guess I needed the sleep.

Upon Angela's recommendation, I'm going to start reading Bob Dylan's latest bio today. I also have some Alice Munro short stories I want to read. Then, I'll tackle the remaining two Harry Potters in the next month.

This morning, Abby and I went to the YMCA park, which is very near my house, and we walked one mile around the track. That's 100% more walking than I've done in a long time, and I was actually sweating! Abby's now passed out on the floor. She couldn't even make it up onto her perch on the top of the sofa. She's as out-of-shape as I am. I feel better, however, mentally as well as physically and intend to walk every single day. It's not as if I have anything else to do right now.

Speaking of being out of work, I did substitute teach Friday for half of a day. Fourth graders. Eighteen of them. Piece o' cake, I thought. Until I actually started trying to be the teacher. (I don't know how you do it everyday, Mary.) It was a challenge trying to get them to stay in their seats and not all be in my face all the time. "Ms. Adams, I have a loose tooth...Ms. Adams, Justin took my book...Ms. Adams, I need to go to the bathroom...Ms. Adams, she can't go to the bathroom alone, I'll go with her!" It was like that all afternoon. I did, however, melt about eighteen times, everytime one of them smiled at me. They were great and I actually got some hugs when the day was over. I'm teaching high schoolers next Wednesday. That should be interesting.

As much as I don't want to start another real job, since I'm going to be leaving in August to return to school, I have to be realistic, and therefore I have a second interview with a doctor's office on Tuesday. This will be different from my last job, however, since I will be working for only one doctor and will be mostly filing insurance and will not have to deal with patients all day long. The pay is good and the office manager is an old friend of mine, whom I really like and so I actually hope I get the job. I can then begin to save some money for the big move = destination still unknown.

What's in store for the remainder of my weekend? I have got to wash dishes, wash clothes, give Abby a bath, and color my hair. Sounds like fun, I know! Think I need a little Van Morrison to get me going.

Thursday, March 09, 2006

Yes, This Is Birthday Week!

When I was fifteen, I made my first trip to Europe and toured France and Switzerland. I made a scrapbook of the trip, carefully placing all the photos in order and labeling them so that I could remember everything about the experience. When I was about twenty-five, I found the scrapbook at my mom's and opened it and on about every other page there were pictures of dogs instead of my photos. These images were magazine cutouts of different breeds of dogs that had replaced my photos. "What IS this?" I wondered. Then I turned to the first page of the photo album and it had a title, written in what appeared to be a young boy's handwriting, "FRACE AND DOGGIE SCRAPBOOK" - yes, indeed, it was Frace without the "n" - written by my baby brother, presumably when I was away at college, when he had a little creative free time on his destructive little hands. One can imagine how many little family jokes we have about this incident, and we have used these jokes for the past fifteen years. You see, this ingenious redesign of my scrapbook was accomplished by my darling little brother, Don, who doesn't read my blog, so in my opinion is fair game. Have I ever mentioned that this brother, Frace-boy, has a PhD and is a university professor?

Should he get wind of this post, he will kill me, but it will be SO worth it!

Happy Birthday to you, my dear little brother. You are my very good friend and one of my favorite people on the planet. I love you.


This is the only photo I have of you, Ty, because you always run and hide whenever I start taking pictures. Happy Birthday to you, my dear friend! I just read your latest e-mail last night, since my computer has been away for a few days being repaired, and I'm going to call you later and hopefully we can get all caught up. Hope you have a great day! Do something for yourself, okay? Love to your girls!

Wednesday, March 08, 2006


To my sister-in-law, Dawn, the woman who not only gave birth to my niece and nephew and made my life complete, and puts up with my brother on a daily basis, but who also lost her name with the birth of my niece. She became "Emily's Mom" and "Dawn" went right out the window. So, sis-in-law, Emily's mom, Reece's mom, and finally, DAWN, I am hereby giving you back your name and promise only to refer to you as E's or R's mom, or SIL when I'm talking to someone who does not know you. I enjoyed having lunch with you today and talking about things other than our children. Oh, I mean your children. Looking forward to the family party on Friday night!

Now, back to me. My computer's been plagued with a plethora of paralyzing viruses and I had to take it to Dan The Computer Man to have it repaired. I just got it back about an hour ago, so I'm very behind on my blog reading and missing my friends.

Okay, so that's it for now. I need a little nap after all that Mexican food I had for lunch. Plus, I'm unemployed. I'm supposed to sleep more.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Saturday Morning

Happy Weekend! Good news: I'm going to begin substitute teaching next week. Surely, this will lead to some interesting blogs.

I'm off to see Reece play basketball. Everyone be sure and watch the Oscars tomorrow so that we can have some people to ridicule next week!!

Friday, March 03, 2006

It Only Takes A Minute

Everyone seems to have a cause these days. is mine. Everytime I watch a movie like "The Constant Gardener," or "Hotel Rwanda," I'm reminded how apathetic this country is to the plight of Africa. While I'm in my unemployed, endless-free-time situation, I'm spending some time researching the current situation in Africa and I'm trying to figure out a way to help. One of the best ways to help, according to the folks at The One Campaign, is to get the message out there to everyone that they need your voice. They don't ask for money, just your participation, which is easy. If you'll CLICK HERE and take one minute to sign the petition, you'll be helping, and every click counts.

I have to go get ready for a job interview now. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Perfect Post Award

A Perfect Post

One of my favorite bloggers, Lucinda, of "Suburban Turmoil" and MommaK, a blogger I've recently discovered, have come up with a great idea to acknowledge exceptional posts by many of the bloggers out there in our blogging community.

I'm happy to be one of the participants, and I'm recommending that you all read THIS POST written by Mary. Of all the posts I read in February, this one stuck with me and made me think more than any of the other wonderful posts I read all month. It's not a happy, funny post, so be prepared. You will, however, be touched not only by the subject matter, but also by Mary's writing ability and her huge heart.

I'm looking forward to reading many more wonderful posts that are being honored today. Thanks, Lucinda, for this great idea!