Sunday, July 31, 2005


And this would be the flip-side of previously-posted Happy Sweet Puppy-Hugging Girl. Please, one and all, allow me to introduce you to Tantrum Child.
Tantrum Child shows up at unpredictable times--but she expresses herself in a predictable way: By stridently proclaiming, at the top of her lungs, how she will "NEVER", or sometimes "NEVER ANYMORE" do whatever it is that you are desperately wishing she would currently, please, for the love of flowers, puppies, Grandmommy and popsicles, please please do, stop doing, eat, or submit to.

Here is a recent series, all from the same day--I'll even spare you the first HALF of the day, which was much the same, and start with late afternoon, when I've picked her up from her short stint at the daycare a few doors down from the office (where Daddy and Grandmommy H. also are), and we're getting ready to go home.

"NO, I NEVER! I NEVER! I NEVER GO HOME ANYMORE!" We make it out the office door, and then,

"I NEVER GO IN THE ICE (ed.--white) TRUCK. I HAVE TO GO IN THE RED TRUCK!" Ten minutes later, she's finally in the white truck.

"I HAFFA GET OUT! I HAFFA GET OUT! I NEVER GO HOME AGAIN!" We make it home, She Who Will Not Be Quieted screaming, crying, and struggling against the 5-point restraint of her carseat (sometimes even managing to get an arm or two out through sheer force of will) all the way. We pull up in the driveway, I go around to her door, and open it. She is now desperately clutching her seatbelt straps for dear life, looking as if I am planning to pull her out of the vehicle and toss her directly into our conveniently-placed drivewayside alligator pit (note--alligator pit does not actually exist). Again screaming.

"I CAN'T GET OUT! I NEVER! I NEVER! I NEVER! I WANNA GO BACK! NOOOOO, MOMMEEEEE!" I pry her, with much difficulty, out of the car, whereupon she wrenches herself out of my arms and runs back to the car door, clutching the handle and still yelling. Now into the house. Luckily, she's still only 30 pounds or so, even if it is like 30 pounds of greased, rabid badger with 14 elbows. Once inside the house, we have several more NEVER NEVER spells, involving staying inside, getting undressed, me changing clothes (both the removing of my work clothes and the putting on of my comfy clothes gets its own tantrum. As does my taking off my shoes.) And letting the dogs out. And letting the dogs back in. She spends a while roaming around the house crying and forlornly clutching my shoes, purse, and her diaper bag.

Next we have an epic struggle to get her into the bathtub, starting with getting the Pull-Up off (this tantrum will be played out in reverse after the bath, when it's time to put a Pull-Up back on). Bathtime cheers her up considerably, as it always does. Until....that's right. It's gotta end sometime. No matter how sorely you are tempted, you simply cannot in good conscience leave a wet toddler in an empty bathtub overnight.

What is pictured above is the epicenter, if you will, of an "I NEVER! I NEVERNEVERNEVER GET OUT OF THE BAPTUB ANYMO-ERRR!" tantrum. She must have stayed in there a good half hour after the water was gone. I finally bribed her out with a popsicle, I's all a little blurry. I do remember her listing a litany (Daddy, Grandmommy, Andrea, Grayson, Chip, Grandmommy--she has two) of people who she would NEVER see again anymore ever.

I also remember that she was remarkably cheerful and sweet the rest of that evening. She seems to have an innate sense of preservation that lets her know just exactly how far she can push her Mommy and Daddy before we go screaming into the night.

And God, if you're listening (and I know you are), I gotta tell you...I love her more than the entire world, more than my own life, and wouldn't trade a second of any of it for all the years of pre-Bella existence.

And in this corner...

Our newest contender, "J.T.", aka Impulse Bad Intentions! He's a keeper, and a pistol, and we really hope he lives up to his namesake! His brother and sister have gone to their new homes in Huntsville, AL and Memphis, TN, respectively, and we expect to see and hear great things from them in the future, as well. Proud parents are Hope (CH Renaissance Hopeful Impulse) and Mason (CH Myriad Moonstruck NA OAJ).

Thursday, July 28, 2005

The Downside of TiVo

I never thought there was such a thing, but I now realize that there is. When you TiVo all the
"Buffy the Vampire Slayer" and "Angel" reruns on FX and TNT, you are subjected to the incredibly annoying DirecTV "Sunday Ticket" commercial--you know the one, with Jeff Garlin and assorted NFL notables (Dick Butkus, Peyton Manning, Barry Sanders) prancing through the suburbs as if they are all neighbors in middle-class America AND in a live musical every day, belting out the "NFL Sunday Ticket" song to the tune of "I've Got A Golden Ticket" from "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory"--at least 8 times per episode. And it's a LONG commercial. And did I mention, it's an IRRITATING commercial? Now, this would not be a problem if I were watching the shows alone and using my cat-like TiVo reflexes to zip through the commercials at triple speed (that's right, baby--THREE arrows for me!) and stopping at EXACTLY the point at which the show resumes (I have mad TiVo skilz, yo), but since Alex has now (inevitably, though he resisted) become enamored of the Buffyverse, having missed it all the first time around, he invariably winds up holding the remote (I think because he has a penis? Not really sure how that keeps happening) and taking great delight in TORTURING me by letting this ENTIRE commercial play. EVERY time. He'll get his, I say. I am a patient woman with a long memory.

We Love You, Dr. Pallone!

Victor thanks you heartily for saving his life tonight. He was in such pain, and you stopped it, when we had already given him up for dead and were grieving. It would have just been too much death in too short a time, and we thank you for sparing us that. Good job, Doc.

Tuesday, July 26, 2005

To Alex: Some Pros and Cons of You

I really hate that you figure this out faster than I do.

But I do love that you will go and get me Chinese takeout just because I ask. Or Coca-Colas or chocolate that I don't need.

I really, REALLY wish you hadn't taught our beautiful, delicate daughter the class act that is "pull my finger".

But I just love that laughter that she makes ONLY for you, that high, lilting ethereal giggle that says not only "I am amused", but "Being with my Daddy is one of the happiest things in my life."

It drives me nuts to hear a grown man using terms like "tum-tum" and "nappy-poo"...when referring to HIMSELF.

But I appreciate that you baby me like crazy when I need it, even if I don't know that I do (need it).

I HATE playing cards with you, because you are unbeatable.

But I admire that you will continue to agree to play with me even though you know ahead of time the fit I'm going to throw, and how much I'm going to sulk, when I lose. And you are always a gracious winner. I am not.

The singing of goofy made-up lyrics to any song you halfway know the tune of can be maddening.

But I could listen to you sing all day, with your beautiful voice, when you're doing it right and not acting silly.

Again, the fact that you are unbeatable at so many number/card-oriented games can be infuriating.
But I'm glad you will play word games with me...and lose honestly.

And finally, since there are so many things you can do better than me, I love the fact that you can't make a decent analogy to save your ever-loving life.

Not only do I love you; You're fun. Thanks. Oh, and thanks for watching all the "Buffy" and "Angel" reruns with me...even though I know you secretly like them. You do.

Prepare Insulin...

Or risk diabetic shock from the pure sweetness that is child and puppy. This is also being posted as a sort of "evil eye" to ward off The Tantrum Child who has taken over the last four days. Listen up, Tantrum Child, we want THIS child, OUR child, back. We know you have her, for we get glimpses of her from time to time. Release her, and there will be green popsicles and Grandmommies all around. Give us back our little piece of pure sunshine, or else...well, we'll cry pitifully and start debasing ourselves through abject begging. You don't want that. Go for the popsicles. Make it easier on all of us.

Monday, July 25, 2005

A Coded Message To My Husband

...two weeks of sitting in the mud
made me lie to the man that I could drive a truck...

I'm so sorry, Baby, and I hope it's better soon!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005

The Best Dog

Cayenne Delphinspirit Capone CD NA CGC VIP-VC
It is with a very heavy heart that I share the news of Cappy's passing. He went to sleep last night and just didn't wake up again. He was 14 years old, a distinguished elderly gentleman. His life was a bright light, and he brought more joy to me than I could ever have repaid. He would have done anything for me, and was loved by everyone who knew him. I'm in shock that he's gone, and at a loss for words to describe how wonderful he was, so I will just tell you in the simplest and most definitive way I can: Cappy was a Good Dog.

Rest well, faithful one. I will see you again soon.
06/09/1991 - 07/20/2005

Not Isaac

10 days old. Cute, much?
Oh, and Sue? Stop calling him "Isaac". I know that from your perspective that name comes from a thoughtful pondering of Biblical significance, made even more appropriate by the advanced age of our Rosa, who, like Sarah, gave birth at an age no one would have thought it possible, and that it means "laughing one" in Hebrew, which is also kinda neat...
But the fact is, the first thing I think of when I hear "Isaac" is the groovy bartender dude with the way ambitious mustache from "The Love Boat".

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

Tom Cruise=Ignorant Cultist

NAMI--StigmaBusters Alert: July 1, 2005
Boos For Cruise
Protests have grown steadily since actor Tom Cruise, while promoting the movie, "The War of the Worlds," first criticized actress Brooke Shields for taking antidepressants for postpartum depression.
On June 24, Cruise finally crossed a line when in a TODAY Show television interview, he declared: "There is no such thing as a chemical imbalance." In an Entertainment Weekly interview, he also compared psychiatry to Nazism.
Along with the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and National Mental Health Association (NMHA), NAMI condemned Cruise’s remarks in a formal statement released to the news media. He is entitled to his personal point of view, but not false facts -- particularly when they perpetuate stigma around the nature of mental illness and treatment.
Some StigmaBusters have called for a symbolic boycott of the new movie. Realistically, there’s little hope of making a dent in the millions of dollars in profits it is expected to rake in. But every individual can make a choice based on personal conscience—and write letters to editors condemning the irresponsibility of his remarks.
Cruise also has spread his views as part of a Paramount Studios publicity tour for the movie. Don’t let the studio off the hook. Please contact its head to make the following points:
Mental illnesses involve biological brain disorders, no matter what Tom Cruise says. Medication and proper therapy often make a difference between life and death.
It is irresponsible for Paramount Studios and Mr. Cruise to use a movie publicity tour to promote an ideological view that deters people with mental illness from getting the care they need—and adds to stigma.
Paramount Studios should help undo the damage. Support legitimate mental health organizations and public awareness campaigns around mental illnesses.
Contact:Brad Grey Chairman & CEO Paramount Studios 5555 Melrose Avenue Hollywood, California 90038 323-956-5000 323-862-1204 (fax)
NOTE--I've had reports of the Paramount guy's email address bouncing things back, so he must have been inundated with angry emails and changed his address. Stick with actual snail-mail letters; They have more impact, anyway. Image above borrowed from

The Crapes Are On My Nerves

Yes, I know they're pretty. They're really pretty. They just...annoy me. Something about how they're so wild and sprawly, and just grow new limbs at the drop of a hat. Maybe I'm too repressed to truly appreciate the unkempt splendor of the crape myrtle--I do tend to gravitate more toward the neat beauty of, say, a shapely, compact, polite Bradford Pear tree. Maybe it's the noise the particular trees pictured make while scraping the top and side of my truck as I drive up or down the driveway. I can hear the paint coming off, I swear. Maybe it's the fact that I always forget to prune them in February, when you're supposed to, so that now, when their limbs are pendulous with blooms, they are gradually debriding the finish from my vehicle. They're a pain in the butt to mow around, too, but since I've abandoned all lawncare responsibilities to Alex since marrying him, I suppose it's his place to complain about that...which he doesn't. Dang. But they are pretty, aren't they?

Monday, July 18, 2005

David Rocks!

My friend David, who lives in Dallas, is the best. For lots of reasons (including the fact that we can have an IM conversation out of the blue, not having spoken for weeks, and it's like we were never apart), but currently because even though he lives far away, he thinks of me and sends me funny/touching cards. In the MAIL. The USPS-delivered-to-your-house MAIL. With handwritten messages inside that always make me smile. I miss him being nearby. I really, really want him to start blogging. Maybe this post will "nudge" him.

Sunday, July 17, 2005

Love=A Lump In My Bed

Just had this actual exchange with Dearest Husband:

Me, just having had the bedroom door shut in front of me, with me on the wrong side: "Why'd you just shut me out of the bedroom?"

Alex: "I thought you were in here already."

Me: "How?"

Alex: "I saw a big lump in the middle of the bed*, and I thought it was you."

Me: "WHAT?!?"

Alex: "I didn't mean it like that."

Alex: "I love you."

Alex: "Honey?"

*Bella had earlier brought nine, count 'em, NINE stuffed animals in and deposited them in the center of our bed, along with her monkey pillow and Spongebob blanket. For the record, I don't think this mass resembled me much at all, however lumpish I might feel at times.

Jermain Taylor, World Middleweight Champion!!

We are just so dog-goned proud! That he's a "hometown boy", that he's an amazing, disciplined, athlete, and most of all that he is so atypical of young star athletes these days: polite, articulate, and respectful.

Alex could not sit still for most of the day leading up to the fight, and jumped around the living room for most of the actual event. He was so wound up, he even had Bella (yes, of COURSE she was still up) yelling, "J.T.! J.T.! J.T.!" It was a really wonderful thing to be a part of, even from a distance. Part of me can hardly believe I'm saying this, since this is, after all, a sport where a couple of muscular guys try to beat the tar out of each other...doesn't seem much like "me", does it? But when an athlete is as gifted as Jermain, it is a joy to watch him do his thing.

I think some of my favorite fight analysis came from my Uncle Jesse:

"Atta boy JT!!!!!!

Was proud of the way he took it to the champ. Hopkins is a wily veteran loaded with tricks, but he waited too late to start fighting. JT might be fortunate to get the decision over a reigning champ but a win is a win is a win.

Judges don't like standing around and stalling for time because you're getting too old to cut the mustard. Also, JT is a poster child for what boxing needs, a genuine nice guy who overcame a hard knock background to rise to the top. OTOH, Hopkins' attitude is repulsive and his showboating during the fight was probably distasteful to the judges. Hopkins also repeatedly threw low blows, "accidental" head-butts, and should have been penalized for hitting during a clinch, and the judges could have figured that into their decision.

JT got some big time experience and he will continue to improve. JT will whup Hopkins with a lickin' stick if there's a rematch."

Ed.--Whuppin' folks with various kinds of sticks (lickin', ugly, dumb, etc.) may be an Arkansas/Southern colloquialism...if you need an explanation, just drop me a line, and I'll fill you in!

For more on Jermain, see

Wednesday, July 13, 2005

"I Needa Make You Happy!"

And you really, really do, my darling girl. You know Mommy's had a bit of a rough time lately. I lost my Daddy last September, and I've really had a hard time trying to redefine my place in a world where he isn't. I'm not there yet, but you are helping me fill in the pieces slowly but surely, day by day. As is your Daddy. And the rest of my amazing, too-wonderful family. I want to be around a long time for you, Bella, so I can tell you all about the things you're too young to remember, like how your Granddaddy doted on you, and how he's responsible for your serious popsicle habit. Like the way you name all the Star Wars charcters: Dark Beater, Chewbacca (go figure), Yoga, and Roobot Tootie. How you *adore* your cousin Grayson (those will be particularly sweet memories when you're both teenagers and annoying each other to pieces). How you inherited your great-grandmother Helen's appreciation of all things pretty and special. And lots, lots more, that I will devote particular attention to in later entries. But what I'm wanting to commit to writing in the wee hours of this particular insomniac morning is how very much I appreciate the ritual you've invented in recent weeks--the one in which several times throughout the day, usually when I just happen to need it the most, you fling yourself into my lap, throw your smooth little arms around my neck for a hug, then grasp my face in both of your warm little hands and say, "Mommy, I needa make you happy." Then you give me a great big kiss, complete with "MMMMWAAAA!" sound effect, lean back, smile, and say, "Dere! Now you are HAPPY!" And you are 100% correct, every single time.

Sunday, July 10, 2005

About Me

*I'm a lifelong Southerner.

*I'm a Christian.

*I'm a member of a Southern Baptist Church.

*Politically, I lean left.

*Cognitively, I lean right.

*I am generally conflicted.

*I see almost every issue in shades of grey, not black/white.

*It is difficult for me to make decisions.

*I am highly empathetic.

*I had a very happy childhood.

*I love my husband.

*My husband loves me.

*We have had some rough times.

*We have had some great times.

*We believe the worst of the rough times are behind us.

*We have a daughter who is a miracle.

*We love to sing together, to Isabella, and in the church choir.

*We are very proud of our child, our poodles, and our horses.

*We love Arkansas, heat and allergies aside.

*I do not believe that "Christian" necessarily = "Republican."

*I trust in the Lord in all things.

*I am afraid for my daughter's future in this country, in this world, the way it's going now.

*I am incapable of operating an electric can-opener.

*I think that Jermain Taylor is cool.

*I want everyone to have access to food, shelter, health, and education. Everyone.

*The worst book I ever read used to be "The Bridges of Madison County." That was supplanted by "The Devil Wears Prada."

Saturday, July 09, 2005

Aluminum Underpants

Someday, I am going to publish a collection of the bizarre things that actually come out of my husband's mouth. They will be totally out of context, which of course will make them even funnier. I can't count the number of times I've said to myself, "I wonder if anyone in the history of the English language has ever uttered those particular words in that particular order before?" As an example, this morning we're lounging around doing a lot of nothing (Bella is with her grandmother and great-grandmother for a girls' day out)...I'm reading, and Alex is watching an old Star Trek episode, "Gamesters of Triskelion". Joy of joys, it's the one with the disembodied brains, which of COURSE Kirk can outsmart, but not before he seduces the obligatory alien woman. This alien woman, "Shahna", is wearing what looks like some sort of shiny aluminum bathing suit--ALL Star Trek females, no matter what species, dress like Vegas showgirls. So I'm minding my business, reading 'blogs, and Dear Alex turns to me and says, in his best Nascar-fan accent, "Baby, why don't you get you some of them tinfoil panties?"


Look what we got this morning! It was a total surprise, from our 25-year-old mare, Bey Sharose. She has been living with Montrachet for three years, and we'd given her up as barren. It's a boy, and he's quite nice, though I'm not sure how I feel about that, er, unique facial marking. Welcome to the world, little surprise! Name help is welcome and solicited.

Friday, July 08, 2005

Ninja Poodles? What?

Well, I'm trying the blog thing. Been reading them for ages, thinking, "I really gotta start doing that." Especially since Isabella (10/20/02) came along, because there are so many things she says/does that I'm afraid I'll forget if I don't write them down. SO...."Ninja Poodles"? That comes from dear friend Sue. See, we have poodles. A passel of poodles. We show them, occasionally breed them, and make stuttering attempts at agility and obedience with them, though we're definitely neophytes in those fields. Anyway, we have Sue to thank for our very first champion, Reggie. During Reggie's puppyhood, Sue had another litter of black miniature poodle puppies. She kept the whole darn litter. They were mischievous, highly active, and exhibited a collective consciousness in their troublemaking pursuits. Sue referred to this group in an offhand and matter-of-fact way, as "The Ninjas", which always cracked me up. There's just something so appealing, and so fitting (especially if you know miniature poodles) to the idea of Ninja Poodles. So...away we go, entering the blogosphere.