"Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let the pain make you hate. Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness. Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree, you still believe it to be a beautiful place."
-- Unknown

Friday, February 27, 2009

Friday randomness

Well, either West Nile has come to my street, or Toby finally caught himself a bird. I walked into my backyard yesterday afternoon and nearly stepped on a poor little dead robin. Toby had a really proud look about him, but I haven’t figured out how he could have possibly been the culprit. Birds fly, right? Surely he’s wasn’t quick enough to pounce on it before it could fly away.

The saddest part was trying to figure out what to do with it (besides giving it to Toby, who seemed all too eager to chew on it for awhile.) I ended up tossing it in the outside garbage can, but that felt pretty cruel. What’s the proper way to dispose of a dead bird, anyway?

On a completely unrelated note, are any of you following American Idol this year? I’m kind of in love with Danny Gokey and Adam Lambert. But a little part of me feels like I’m betraying David Cook… I’m allowed to have a new Idol boyfriend since it’s a new season, right? I think those are the rules. (Jen, help me out here.)

Yes, even with the black outfit, black finger nails, black hair, black gloves, black eyeliner and giant gold chains, I can't help but love this guy.

Oh, and one last thing -

I found this little game at over at BookKitten's blog, it's called Friday Fill-ins. If you want to play, go right ahead. It's pretty self-explanatory.

1. I'm clumsy, I'm sarcastic, I try to find humor in everything.

2. Why do I have short, stubby legs and not long, graceful ones?

3. How does this whole "being a grownup" thing work, anyway?

4. Every morning, I put a big, steaming hot cup of coffee on my desk.

5. I consider myself lucky because I have a wonderful family and friends who love me and make me laugh.

6. One day we’ll see God.

7. And as for the weekend, tonight I'm looking forward to having dinner with my family in Birmingham, tomorrow my plans include going to Chase's Blue Gold Banquet and Sunday, I want to come home and rest from my weekend on the road!

Have a great weekend!!

Thursday, February 26, 2009

I'm NOT old!! Right??

Somebody please tell me when 24 became old. Seriously… last time I checked, I was still a young woman, right? I don’t know. Several people have been saying otherwise.

For instance, when I called to tell my little brother happy birthday this morning he responded by calling me an old woman. Look here Bubba, you’re not that much younger than me! It hasn’t been that long since I was 17, too. (Okay… it’s been seven years. But it doesn’t feel like it!)

And he’s not the only one. My guitar teacher told me I was nearly ancient. He’s only two years younger than me! As far as I’m concerned, that makes him decrepit, too.

Then – and this one might take the crown – I was called an old maid by the waiter at the Mexican restaurant a few months ago. His exact words were, “Wow, 24…shouldn’t you be poppin’ out some puppies pretty soon?” Poppin’ out some puppies?! What the hell, man??

Guys, let me assure you – you get no points for calling a woman old or ancient, and you get NEGATIVE points for telling her to hurry up and pop out some puppies before she can’t anymore. Just thought I’d give you a heads up on that one.

But seriously, happy birthday Sean. Just remember – one day you’ll be old, too. And trust me, I’ll be the first to call you names and steal your walker.

Sean and his friend, Ricky, celebrating their birthdays together.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

My piggyback post

Well, today I’m going to be a follower (yet again). I know what you’re thinking. “Be original, Heather. Come up with your own ideas…” Well, lately my brain is feeling pretty mushy. So until it starts acting right, I’m going to piggyback off of other people. And you’ll just have to like it. (Or not read it. I guess it’s up to you.)

Diane, Mel and Jenners have all done the now infamous Google meme. It’s pretty basic. You just go to Google and type in “Your name needs” (don’t literally type “your name”- you know what I mean, right? Don’t be dumb.) Then make a list of whatever it is Google thinks you’re lacking. As many people before me have realized, Google can be a jerk. Here’s what I supposedly need for a fulfilled life.

Heather needs:

…two therapists. Really? Is one not enough? Am I supposed to play them against each other?

…something more to be satisfied. This is probably true. What do you recommend Google?

…to grow up. Oh, come on! I’m trying.

…a childhood. Well make up your dang mind, Google. Which is it? Grow up, or be a child?

…men. Multiple men, or just men in general?

…some body guards. Is that a threat, Google? I don’t like your attitude.

…a new shrink. You mean besides the two you already recommended? So we’re up to three therapists now. Greeeat. It just keeps getting better.

…Gatorade. Well, now that you mention it, I am a little thirsty.

…a joint. Umm, Google?? I think you have me confused with someone else.

…a vacation. FINALLY.. something I actually want.

…£10,000 a day. Again.. you’re beginning to redeem yourself Google. We could be friends.

…to talk about the weather. Well, it’s sunny and about 60 degrees today. Pretty nice, overall.

…your financial support. Yes. You can send checks, made payable to Heather to… Oh, what’s that? You don’t want to send me a check? Oh. Well, fine.

…protection. Again with the threats. Is there something I need to know, Google??

…to go. Go where? Could you be more specific?

…help. On so many levels.

…prayers again. Again? Well, okay. I’ll take ‘em if you think I need ‘em. Pray away.

… a triumphant return to TV. Well, that could be fun. Although technically I think you need to have been on TV before to make a triumphant return to TV. I’m just sayin’.

Well, that was interesting. Google seems a little two-faced though, if you ask me. One minute it’s threatening me and insulting my sanity, the next it’s suggesting large sums of money and a much needed vacation. Make up your mind, Google. Quit toying with me!

And now, one last little bit of piggybacking. I saw this on Dan’s blog yesterday and thought it looked like fun. Basically, you’re creating your own CD cover. Here are the rules:

Go to “Wikipedia.” Hit “random” and the first article you get is the name of your band.
Then go to “Random Quotations” and the last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
Then, go to Flickr and click on “Explore the Last Seven Days” and the third picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
Use Photoshop or some other image editor to add text & spiffify.
Post a link to your band's album cover here!

Here’s mine.

My band is apparently called Clerks Regular of Our Saviour. It’s a bit of a mouthful, so I have a feeling people would wind up shortening in some way. Maybe just Clerks Regular. Or CROS. Anyway, their first album is called “Travels Faster Than Light.”

From the look of it, I’d say they're an alternative rock band. I might be putting my own musical bias on that though.

If you decide to do either of these, let me know so I can come look!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Toby tells all

Not too long ago, Sundance (Diane’s four-legged friend) took over her blog in the form of a doggy interview. Toby was totally jealous and decided he needed a little face time, too. Since I didn’t have much to say today, I figured I’d let him at it.

1. Do you think you’re hot? Only after I make a few laps around the backyard and get all sweaty…have you seen how fast squirrels can run? It’s insane. I’m going to catch one soon though, just wait. Oh…what’s that? You mean am I cute? Seriously? Have you seen me?

2. Upload a favorite picture of you. Why do you like this picture? Oh, man… that’s my ball. It’s all chewy and bouncy and stuff…I love my ball.

3. When was the last time you ate pizza? Mom usually gives me a bite of everything she eats, but I haven’t had a whole slice in awhile. One time, she left her plate on the coffee table, right in front of my nose while she went to the kitchen. What’s a dog supposed to do?? I thought she was sharing…

4. What was the last song you listened to? Song? That’s a stretch… all I listen to lately is Mom butchering songs on that thing with strings. It’s awful.

5. What are you doing now? Laying around the house while Mom’s at work. I’m usually a bum till she gets home, then it’s full throttle until bed time.

6. What name would you prefer besides Toby? Toby’s not that bad, considering I usually hear “Retard” or “Bad Dog!” She says she loves me, but sometimes I wonder.

7. What’s your favorite thing to do? My favorite thing is keeping those pesky squirrels out of the yard. One time, I sat beneath a tree and barked for three hours, just to be sure none of those furry-butts tried to come back down. I didn’t even budge when Mom threatened me. That’s determination. And she says I have a short attention span…

8. Where do you sleep? On the bed. That’s normal, right? You mean some dogs sleep somewhere else? Why?? Not this dog. I gotta be under the covers. Mom keeps the house cold at night.

9. Do you have a favorite toy? Didn’t we already go over this? My ball…duh! Remember, it’s chewy and bouncy? Don’t you listen?

10. Are there any other animals at your house? No… Mom brought home a really mean dog one time. It didn’t work out. I wanted to play, but he wanted to chew my neck off. And he wouldn’t let me near Mom… Jerk. He had to go.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Update time

Well, there’s not much going on in my sleepy little world right now, so I don’t have much to post about. I’ll give you a brief run down just to keep you updated:

I had my second guitar lesson last night, and thankfully, I seem to be improving. (Maybe?) I now know all of my chords in D and A, and can practice songs like “Wild Thing” and “Amazing Grace”. (Glad to know the genre gap is wide open.) I also learned how to tune my guitar by ear. Needless to say, I don’t plan on doing that very often. I think tuners were invented for a reason. But it’s nice to know how, I guess. My teacher is still being very patient. I keep waiting for him to snap and ask me if I have a learning disorder.

After my lesson, I headed over to the college in town to watch Bye, Bye Birdie. They brought actors in from somewhere (?) and they did a fantastic job. I left the theater singing, “We love you Conrad. Oh, yes we do…” It got pretty annoying after about 10 minutes, but by then it was stuck in my head.

Kevin didn’t sell his land, or his cows –and I’m not sure he really wants to, deep down. We’re not together, and I doubt we ever will be. It hurts, but in the end, I think it’s for the best. We want different things in life, and I don’t think either of us should give up our dreams to make the other one happy. It wouldn’t be fair. I can talk about it like a mature adult, but deep down, I’m sort of a wreck right now. But thanks to the loving support of my family and friends (including you wonderful blog-buddies), I know I’ll make it. So, thank you.

And that’s pretty much all there is to tell, for now. Hope you all have a happy Friday.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

"Don't go in the kitchen...."

Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: Write about something mean you did to a sibling growing up.

First of all, let me clarify that I am NOT mean. Really, I’m not. But at times, I feel that it’s my right as the oldest sibling to shake things up a bit and scare the pants off my younger brothers.

Okay, so maybe it was only once. But you better believe I made that one time count.

When I was fifteen, one of my neighbors was at the house watching a scary movie with me. (This is before I got to be such a wuss and quit watching scary movies.) My brother, Sean, was probably eight or so, and he and his friend thought they were big and bad enough to watch the horror flick, too. I told him it was a bad idea. I told him he’d have nightmares. But he insisted. He was determined to watch. And to my surprise, he didn’t flinch once during the whole movie. He didn’t seem scared at all. I had to fix that.

Once the movie ended, Sean and his friend went to his room to play, while Anni and I plotted our very own little house of horrors.

First, we took out a butcher knife and covered it in a nasty mix of ketchup and maple syrup (to look like blood, of course.) We left it laying on the kitchen counter and smeared some more of our sticky, sweet, tomato based blood all around it.

Then, we hid in my step-mom’s office and used the separate phone line to call the house and torture my brother. When he answered, I said (in my raspiest, scariest voice) something along the lines of, “Don’t go in the kitchen.” It took several calls to get him sounding a little shaky. By the time he finally made his way to the “crime scene”, Anni was sprawled across the floor, pretending to be dead. She must have been pretty convincing. Sean and his friend FREAKED out.

At first it was hilarious. But once he started crying, I felt like crap. I was sure that I had scarred him for life.

Luckily there was no permanent damage to his psyche.

And believe it or not, I never did anything like that again.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Birthday bubbly and Satan's slots

For all of you who celebrated love this weekend, I hope you had a wonderful and fulfilling Valentine’s Day.

Me? I went to the Gulf Coast to drink and gamble my problems away.

Just kidding.

Sort of.

Tomorrow is my grandmother’s 80th birthday. (Happy birthday Grandma!!!) She lives in Ocean Springs, near Biloxi (the Gulf Coast’s very own version of Vegas…on a MUCH smaller scale.) So, Sunday we hit up the Hard Rock for a birthday lunch. And since it was Valentine’s weekend, there happened to be free champagne with all meals. I might have had a few glasses. Then I might have felt lucky and decided to play the slots. It was, after all, my first time in a casino. Luckily, I set a very low ($20) limit and swore once I blew that, I’d step away from the machines. Needless to say, I didn’t hit it big. I walked away very disappointed. Those bright flashing lights will never fool me again. Alas, the thrill is gone.

My Aunt Jayme, me and Grandma after our lunch at the Hard Rock. Grandma's a hottie for 80, huh? She's a feisty little spit-fire, too! I hope I'm that much fun at 80!

On a completely unrelated note, I started guitar lessons last week. My attempts to teach myself proved pretty futile. As Mitch Hedberg said, “I taught myself how to play the guitar, which was a bad decision... because I didn't know how to play it, so I was a crappy teacher. I would never have went to me.” So, I decided to bring in professional help.

The bad news is I’m terrible. The good news is my teacher swears he’s taught worse. I guess that’s comforting? The majority of the lesson was spent correcting my apparently horrible pick-holding technique (or lack-there-of). The rest was spent listening to me completely screw up basic chords. Thank God my teacher is one of the most patient people I’ve ever met. I’m trying hard not to show him how impatient I am. There were times I wanted to yell at my guitar for being so obviously at fault when I couldn’t get my fingers on the right strings. Instead, I took deep, cleansing breaths and probably looked like a total lunatic. I told him to let me know if he ever decides there’s no way in Hades I’m going to learn. No use wasting time on a hopeless case, ya know?

Oh, and for an update on my last post: Kevin and I are currently not together. According to him, we’re on a break until he can prove he’s capable of compromise. He has two people interested in his land and cattle and he’s talking about selling them and moving closer to me. I hope he means it. But I also hope it’s what he really wants. I don’t want him making sacrifices for me that he’ll regret later. I don’t want him to look back and wish he hadn’t given those things up.

In the meantime, I’m going to throw myself into life here in my new town. I’m going to do things for me (like my guitar lessons) and see what I can do to become involved in my little community.
And I’m definitely NOT going to retreat to drinking and gambling. So, no worries. I don't want to be a loser.

Me and Mama after the slots proved to be hateful little money stealers. (That's my sad face.)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Feel free to skip...

Sorry for the sad (but indeed lovely) quote from earlier. Those few words seemed to sum up my thoughts perfectly. But I fear it's time to dig within and type things out. I hear Blogger can be quite therapeutic.

So, if you'd like to skip this post, feel free. No hard feelings. This is more for me than anything else. I'm writing another post about my first guitar lesson that will be much more upbeat. You're welcome to wait for that one.

But if you're still here, let's get started.

Anyone that knows me, knows how much I care about my boyfriend. It's no secret. He's been my best friend for years. I love him beyond words. When we started dating, I knew things would be difficult. He has a daughter (who I adore) that is a big part of his life (as she should be). He also has a job with the county that keeps him from moving. A job he loves. A job he doesn't want to leave. A job working nights, 10 p.m.-7 a.m., to be exact. I work days. At a job I love. In another county. Which is why we've been living an hour and a half away from each other since May. Needless to say, that makes things extra difficult. Not to mention the fact that he has 100 acres of land and 40 something head of cattle to tend to when he's not working. His time is stretched pretty thin.

Then there's the fact that he's emotionally challenged. Conversations become routine. Mundane. Repetitive. Predictable. We talk, yet barely speak.

I've kept myself from making friends in this new, unfamiliar town for fear of putting even more distance between us. And as a result, I've made myself pretty miserable. My life becomes bland. Stale. Boring. Monotonous. I live, yet it's no life.

The bottom line is this: I want more. I want someone to talk to over dinner. Someone to hold hands with while we watch a movie. Someone to go on walks with (that doesn't require a leash). To laugh with. To fuss with (when necessary). To just be with. And I don't see that life with him. He seems so set in his ways. I know he's had a tough life, but as a result, he's put up walls that even I can't seem to break through. And as patient as I've tried to be, I'm reaching my breaking point.

And it kills me, because I really do love him. I hate to see him hurt. I don't want to be the cause of that. He's a good man. He's funny, sweet, intelligent - but at the same time, he's stubborn, and seemingly unwilling to compromise about a lot of things. Important things.

We talked about a lot of this today. Really tried to hash things out. It's funny how eager he is to talk about feelings when he thinks he might lose me. Suddenly, instead of all walled-up, he becomes a gushing fountain of emotions. Promising me the world and all it has to offer. Whatever it takes to make it work. But my question is this: Why does it have to come down to me ending things before he's capable of showing me this side of him? It's so frustrating.

What do you do when you're afraid the person you love can't give you the life that you want? Do you compromise your love for your life, or your life for your love?

Which is it?


A sad truth

"There are things that we don't want to happen but have to accept; things we don't want to know but have to learn; and people we can't live without but have to let go."
Author Unknown

Tuesday, February 10, 2009


Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat: What was the first CD (or record or cassette) you ever purchased? Write about the way that particular album made you feel then. Write about how it makes you feel now.

Oh, dear. I'm about to embarrass myself.

Remember how just recently you complimented me on my taste in music? You might be eating those words after today's post. Just a warning.

The first cassette I truly remember get excited about belonged to this guy:

That's right - Joey Lawrence. Sigh. He made my little 12-year-old heart flutter. I listened to that tape repetitively. In fact, I still know the words to all of the songs - not a fact I'm particularly proud of, but true, none the less.

I remember feeling so cool as I jammed along to "Nothing My Love Can't Fix." As I watched the video this afternoon, cool wasn't quite the word I'd use to describe my feelings. More like utter mortification. Want to see it for yourself? You know you do.

Okay, so maybe I'm lying. Maybe, just maybe, I secretly still think Joey Lawrence is hot. Maybe I miss hearing him say "Whoa!" on Blossom every week. Maybe I still get that cassette out from time to time and sing along (or maybe I did until I got a new vehicle that doesn't have a cassette player.)

In any case, he's still pretty cute. So maybe I'm slightly justified in my former affection?

Hey, don't judge. I'm sure you have some good ones tucked away in your guilty pleasures file.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Music meme

Jenners over at Life With A Little One and More got super creative and invented her very own meme this week. And to make it even better - it's a music meme! So of course I had to do it.

I'm supposed to put my iPod on shuffle and list 5-10 songs as they're randomly played (and explain/defend why they're on my playlist.) I'm totally breaking the rules, though. I'm listing 13 songs. I don't think 10 is enough, but no one wants to sit here and read about 20 songs. So in honor of my favorite number, I give you my random 13.

  1. Life Got in the Way – Sister Hazel: I'm not surprised that Sister Hazel showed up first. I think every song they've ever recorded is stored on my iPod. LOVE THEM. This song is great - and so true. Sometimes, no matter how hard you try to work things out, life just gets in the way.

  2. Ghost in You – Counting Crows: Despite lead singer, Adam Duritz's crazy hair, I've always been a huge Counting Crows fan. This isn't my all-time favorite song of theirs, but it's still pretty dang good.

  3. In the Street – Cheap Trick: I got to see Cheap Trick live last summer when they opened for Journey. The highlight of the night was watching a group of drunken idiots run up and down the aisles in bad wigs, spandex and gobs of blue eye shadow.
  4. Fake Plastic Trees – Radiohead: No particular reason for this song, just love, love, LOVE Radiohead.
  5. 4 a.m. (Loved You All Along) – Our Lady Peace: Again, no surprise. As with Sister Hazel, I think every song Our Lady Peace ever recorded is on my iPod.
  6. Shake Your Money Maker – Ludacris: Dear Lord. I was wondering when something completely ridiculous would pop up! And here it is. I'm not a huge Ludacris fan, but he was at City Stages in Birmingham a couple of years ago. He happened to go on between two bands I really like - so a group of friends and I walked over to his stage to listen for awhile. My friends joke that I have no rhythm and tell me I dance like the whitest of white girls, so I made up a really embarrassing little dance, where I was literally shaking my money maker. Every time I hear this song, I bust out laughing.

  7. Peace Frog – The Doors: Oh, thank goodness. I've been redeemed! I've said over and over that I was born in the wrong decade. I am such a big Doors fan - no matter how screwed up Jim Morrison might have been.
  8. Indiana – Jon McLaughlin: Great song. Jon McLaughlin is an amazing singer/songwriter (and girls, he's HOT just to top it all off.)

  9. All My Lovin’ – Jim Sturgess (Across the Universe Soundtrack): Love the Beatles, so it should be no surprise that Across the Universe is one of my all-time favorite movies. Jim Sturgess did an awesome job with the songs - which might be why he's at the top of my favorite actors list.
  10. Each Little Mystery – Seven Mary Three: I don't love all Seven Mary Three songs (Cumbersome especially grates on my nerves) but I have always liked this one.
  11. Geek in the Pink – Jason Mraz: Oh, this song is fun! I know a lot of people say Jason Mraz's second album was a flop, but I loved it. I know, I'm hopeless - but he's just so dern lovable. I can't help it.

  12. Forever Love – Reba McIntire: Okay, so it's a sappy old country song, but I love it! I don't care how cheesy it is. I really like singing this one at the top of lungs and pretending I'm not tone deaf.
  13. True Love’s Kiss – Amy Adams (Enchanted Soundtrack): Ha! Great movie! My old roommate and I used to watch it over and over. I'm such a little kid when it comes to Disney movies. What a nerd, right? Anyway, we'd randomly bust out in Enchanted songs whenever possible. This was one of our favorites.
Well, there you have it. Hope I didn't bore you too much! If you'd like to play, here are the official rules, per Jenners:

Rules for The iPod Shuffle Meme
Using the shuffle feature on your iPod (or other MP3 player), write down the first 5 or 10 songs that play.

Justify, defend or explain why those songs are on your iPod.

Tag someone else to complete the meme.

Include these rules--and the phrase "The iPod Shuffle Meme was created by Jenners at Life with A Little One and More.

**Note** I tried to make a little playlist of these songs so you could listen, but playlist.com is lame and doesn't have a few of them. And as I'm tired and ready for supper, I'm giving up and leaving you to find them on your own. Sorry.

Oh, and I'm not tagging anyone. If you want to do it, feel free! Just let me know so I can check out your songs!

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A perfect day

It is absolutely beautiful here today. Clear blue skies and bright sunshine. Gorgeous. Days like today make me ready for summer.

I miss being on the lake with friends - music blaring from the speakers of the boat. The way the cold lake water feels on your skin after sitting for hours under the warm summer sun. Boiled peanuts and cold beer. Flip-flops and tan lines.

In a town as small as this one, the only things worth doing are outside. We have two lakes and we're just 75 miles from the beach. But in the winter, those attractions don't mean much.

I'm pretty sure that's why I've been feeling so blah lately. I hate being couped up inside. I think I get my energy from the sun. I need to be able to get out and soak it up.

And you know what? I'm wasting the pretty day! I'm in here blogging about it, instead of going out and enjoying it!

Sorry people... Toby and I are going out to play.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Busted... again

Now that I’ve made all of you nice people doubt my sincerity (and possibly my age), I guess it’s time to get on with it and confess Big Lie Number 2. And just to clear things up for J. Cosmo - I would never lie to you, my dear. And Jenners – 12?? Come on! I promise I really am an adult. (Most days.)

No, the second lie once again dates back to my rebellious high school days. I don’t know how my parents dealt with me back then. Bless their poor souls.

It was my senior year. The day started like any other. I woke up and got ready for school, no big plans for deception. Then the phone rang. My boyfriend’s car wouldn’t start and he needed me to come pick him up for school. Looking back, I blame this whole thing on him. He was always such a trouble maker! (And of course, I was a saint.)

When I got to his house, he had a sneaky little smile on his face. I knew he was up to something. As soon as he got in the car, I knew what it was. The whole way to school he said things like, “Wouldn’t you rather go fishing today?” “Let’s go to Oak Mountain and go hiking.” “It might rain this afternoon. We could have a movie day.” So, being the diligent, hard-working student that I was, I turned to him and said, “Okay. But I have to take Jeanne home this afternoon, so we need to be at the school by three to get her.”

I know. He practically twisted my arm, right?

I turned the car around and we were off to spend a Friday at Oak Mountain. It seemed perfect, too. The following Monday would be our class canoe trip, so we were basically giving ourselves a four day weekend. Not too long after we started fishing, the rain came. After convincing Adam that it was time to go (lightning storms aren’t the best when you’re sitting on water), we headed back to his house and watched movies the rest of the day.

True to my word, I left his house in time to swing by the school and get Jeanne, who lived across the street from me. I knew Mama sat by the window in the living room every afternoon and would definitely notice if I didn’t drop Jeanne off before I pulled into the driveway. Man, I thought I had it all planned out.

Not so much.

Apparently, that rain storm had been a little worse than we thought. We were under a tornado warning. For most students, that didn’t mean much. Sure, they’d have to go sit in the hall with a book over their head for a bit, but then it would be school as usual. Not for me. When the weather gets bad, Mama likes to check her kids out of school. She likes to take precautions. See where this is going?

Somewhere around 10 that morning, she walked into the office of my high school and told the lady behind the desk that she was there to check her daughter out. After a couple minutes of searching on the computer, the lady asks, “I’m sorry ma’am, but did you think your daughter was at school today?” Ha. Imagine her shock. Then she put it all together. She asked if Adam was at school. “No ma’am. He’s not here either.”

So, she went home and waited. Stewing over this. All day. Waiting for my little lying butt to walk through that door like I’d been at school. And I did.

Her: “How was school today.”
Me: “Oh, it was okay. Just school.”
Her: “Really?”
Me: “Yeah, why?”
Her: “You know we were under a tornado warning earlier today?”
Me: Uh-oh… I'm so busted.

I was grounded. For a long, long time. The weekend was terrible, but in the back of my mind, I knew Monday would still be fun because we’d be canoeing. Or so I thought.

While I was sitting in my first class Monday morning, dressed for the trip, the vice- principle’s voice came over the intercom. He said he needed to see Adam and me in his office immediately.

Well, crap.

Turns out, instead of canoeing, we’d be sitting in detention all day, staring at cinderblock walls. Mr. Roller informed us that he didn’t take skipping lightly. It wouldn’t be fair for us to have fun on the river after missing school all day Friday. He said he hoped it was worth it.

And you know? It kind of was.

But the lesson I learned was this: Mama always knows. I honestly cannot think of one time I did something wrong that she didn’t find out about. I learned to quit trying. Things aren’t nearly as bad if you own up to what you did and apologize before you’re called out.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

When in trouble: deny, deny, deny

Weekly writing assignment from Mama Kat:Tell us about a lie you told that you later regretted.

Oooh, which one will I pick? Can I tell two? I know that makes me sound like a really dishonest person, but there are two big lies that stand out vividly in my mind.

Big Lie Number One:
Believe it or not, I stayed in trouble most of my teen years. Not at school and not with the law – but at home, where privileges could be taken away and life could be made as boring as possible. I had a quick temper and a sassy mouth. But Big Lie Number One had nothing to do with either one of those vices. This particular lie was supposed to keep my butt out of trouble. It failed miserably.

When I was sixteen, I began driving my stepdad’s old car. Looking back now, I appreciate it a lot more. But to a teenage kid, a metallic gold 1989 Grand Prix with black tinted windows seemed a little…. Ghetto. In fact, that’s what my friends called it. The gold ghetto car. Nice friends, huh?

Anyway, at 17, my stepdad did something totally unexpected and probably undeserved by my dishonest little self. He bought me a new vehicle. But there was one stipulation: I could only drive it when I wasn’t grounded. If I got in trouble, I had to drive the gold ghetto car. Needless to say, with my track record being what it was, I rarely ever drove the new car. (Despite my best efforts to be good, of course.)

So, you can understand why, when I was finally allowed to drive it, I might have told a tiny little fib to keep myself out of trouble, right? Except maybe it wasn’t so tiny.

One night, my friend Alan and I went to a play that his girlfriend was in. Unfortunately for her, the play was boring and Alan begged me to drive him home. He decided he’d go to her house and wait for her there, so she wouldn’t be too mad when the play was over and he wasn’t waiting backstage. Well, his girlfriend lived in a new neighborhood that still had some construction areas. And the streets weren’t lit. And apparently I’m blind.

As I was turning a corner near the front of the neighborhood, I simultaneously heard a horrendous noise and felt the car shudder and nearly fall apart. I had no idea what I had hit, but I knew I had definitely hit something. I got out of the car and saw a huge, broken piece of concrete lying in the road. I looked under the car to see what the damage was, but because it was so dark, I couldn’t see a thing. So I did the what made the most sense (at the time). I got in the car and drove home.

I honestly thought I was in the clear. The car seemed to be driving okay. I thought it might be pulling to the right a little, but chalked that up to being paranoid. By the following afternoon, I had nearly forgotten my late night accident.

Unfortunately, my stepdad drove the car the next day and, as he had no reason to be paranoid, he had no explanation for the fact that he couldn’t keep the car on the road. Apparently the slight pull that I felt was more like a gigantic jerking that made it nearly impossible to drive.

I was sitting at my cousin’s house that afternoon when he showed up unexpectedly. As calmly as possible, he asked me if I’d had any trouble with the car the night before.

Me: “No. Why?”
Him: “Nothing? No problems? You didn’t hit something? Maybe a bad pot-hole? Or maybe you ran off the road?”
Me: “No. Why?”
Him: “Heather, don’t lie. If you did something, just tell me.”
Me: (relentlessly denying any responsibility) “I didn’t do anything. What’s wrong?”
Him: (holding up a piece of steel, bent in the shape of a Z) “This came from underneath your car. It’s supposed to be straight.”
Me. “Oh?”
Him: “And there’s about $1,600 dollars in other damages. So what did you hit?”
Me: “Nothing…. Oh, you know. There was this one thing….”

Yeah. Needless to say, I didn’t drive that car for quite some time. In fact, I didn’t get to do much of anything for quite some time.

So - lesson learned, right? No more lies from me?


Check back later to hear about Big Lie Number 2.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

For the record....

Well, I'm buried in my bedroom under 14 feet of clothes.
I could drown in all this clutter, I suppose...
Sister Hazel
"Beautiful Thing"

My house is disgusting. I've watched way too many episodes of House lately and done way too few chores.

My closet is cluttered and unorganized. I have clean laundry sitting in baskets in my room because I've been too lazy to fold them. I have unrecognizable food in my fridge.

It's time for a deep clean.

Oh, how I long for a dishwasher.

Wish me luck. I'm off to make my home a little more habitable.

Shhh... don't tell my mother I let things get this bad.

NICE. As I was typing this post, Toby puked all over the living room rug. GROSS. Guess I can add "Scrub the rug with carpet cleaner" to my list of chores.

A big ol' slice of monotony

Have you ever noticed how much of our lives we hurry through? Monday through Friday we count down the days until the weekend. We wish away 5/7s of our lives. That’s over 70 percent, people!

And it’s not just weekdays we wish away. As children, we all long to be adults. At least I did. I wanted to be old enough to make my own decisions, have my own things and operate on my own schedule. I don’t know how many times I glared at my parents, secretly (or maybe not-so-secretly) wishing I was out of their house and making my own rules.

And now that I’m actually here, doing all of that stuff, I sometimes wish I was still just a kid. Because as an adult, I have bills, house work, yard work (which I admittedly do very little none of) – and I have to be accountable for all of the decisions I make. And that’s not always fun, is it?

Sometimes, I just want to curl up on the couch with a bowl of Chef Boyardee and watch Fraggle Rock.

Or read The Boxcar Children.

I want to get excited over T.G.I.F. shows on Friday night and wake up early to watch Saturday morning cartoons.

I miss the Pound Puppies.

And Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

I want to make crazy designs in my Lite Brite.
Being an adult has proven to be pretty boring in comparison to all of the great stuff I got to do as a kid. I think I’ve just let my life become too routine. I get up, go to work, go home, watch TV, eat supper, go to bed, then do it all again the next day. Talk about monotony! I’ve been throwing exercise in the mix lately, so that breaks things up a little – but I need some excitement. I need to spice things up a bit. Maybe if I found more things to entertain my time, I wouldn’t feel like being a grown up is so bland.
(Um, excuse me... but I think someone forgot the seasoning on my little slice of adulthood. Could I have some salt, please?)

Of course, given that the majority of people living in my town are senior citizens, I don’t know how much I can find to do. I hear there’s a weekly Bingo night. And a polka night (no joke). And I could always take my neighbor up on her offer to let me join her water aerobics class. I wonder if I get a neat little swim cap to keep my hair dry.

No matter what I do, I’m going to try to stop wishing time away. I’m going to start living in the now.
Besides, time goes fast enough as it is. I need to preserve my youthful appearance as long as I can, right? The quicker time goes by, the closer I am to wrinkles Botox and gray dyed hair.

Monday, February 2, 2009

An upcoming play date

Meet Ozzie. Ozzie is just over a year old and currently living at a shelter in Florida. Ozzie needs a home. He's lived nearly his whole life without a real family.
I think he and Toby are going to have a play date later this week to see how they get along. No commitments until we're sure this time. (Everyone remembers the Skippy incident, right?)
The owner of the shelter says Oz is already house broken and leash trained. He's been "altered" (doesn't that sound horrible?) And he's current on all of his vaccinations.
All he needs is me.
Mom, I know what you're thinking. But seriously... how long have I been talking about another dog? You think I'm going to just give up? Do you know me???
Anyway, for now I'm being cautious, weighing the pros and cons and waiting to see how Oz and Toby get along. If things go smoothly, Oz will be one less dog looking for a home.
By the way, if you're looking for a new pet, check out PetFinder.com. There are SO many sweet little things out there that need a loving place to live.