man, sometimes life is hard…

I don’t know how these guys kept their hands off me. Somehow they managed. I’m sure it had everything to do with the fact that Fishdog was standing right there…Right? (work with me people…)

Yes, this is Del and Rob…the two British coaches who stayed with us last week. It’s a tough job, but someone has to do it. I will volunteer to host as long as Challenger continues to sends quality coaches to the states…

Here’s the whole crew…plus Fishdog… Rob, Chris, Del, Fishdog, Danny, Eddie, Blaine.

The last night they were with us, we went dancing…Well, Fishdog and I danced, the lads spent time with a couple of tennis players. I guess my continuous rejection was just too much for them so they had to lower the standards. Poor lads.
Okay, so we’re having a good time… Chris, Clay (local boy) Blaine, and Mel

After camp Friday, the lads said goodbye to Rader with a loving hug.

They packed up their roomy car…

And drove away.

They were great guys. We hope to cross paths with them again. Soon. Very soon. 🙂

i’m (locally) famous!

Okay, so I told you guys about the local bru-ha-ha surrounding the sports complex and the county supervisors not ponying up the cash (which is only $150K a year for 20 years). Well, today, I was quoted in the local paper.


Parental concerns

Melissa Francis lives in the city limits so her children will continue to participate in OPC activities, but her two boys will have to face losing some of their teammates. Francis, who is a volunteer with the OPC, has also been vocal about the situation, commenting on Ward 6 Alderman Jon Fisher’s blog.

“The whole thing should’ve been a no brainer on the part of the county supervisors. Sadly, now all the kids will suffer. This is a community issue people. Not a city vs. county issue,” Francis wrote.

“It’s truly sad that the aldermen were put into such a tough position, but I support their decision. It just breaks my heart to know that so many kids won’t get to participate in January. This could’ve been avoided and I honestly hope the supervisors will remember who they really work for and make this right before there is a fracture in this community that is too big to repair.”

Like other parents, one of Francis’ biggest concerns is what this is going to do to the programming of activities in OPC and the remaining kids.

And my friend Andrea (with her last name spelled incorrectly) was quoted just below me…

Andrea Jekobsons said the decision is holding the kids “hostage.”

“It is not fair because my kids go to the city schools and my 6-year-old son will be in classes with the kids who are able to play,” Jekobsons said. “How do you tell a 6-year-old they can’t play soccer with his friends any more?”

Okay, so there’ s a citizens’ meeting tomorrow about this whole thing, and you couldn’t keep me away. Andrea suggested that I print my quote into a big bubble on a stick and carry it with me as I go. I don’t think that’ll be necessary. I have no problems expressing my opinions verbally.

I just have to sensor my language so people will actually LISTEN to what I say. Anyone who is attending, when I’m taking a deep breath, just insert the words “You Assholes” or “you bass-akwards rejects” and you’ll be in my head.

fun with pictures

So, we went to Lake Oauchita (pronounced WASH i tah) over the weekend. I would’ve blogged about that Monday had we not come home to a 92 degree house.

Now that we’re back to proper climate control, I can get back to the blog that shoulda been.

Two other couples met us at the lake, Birdrunner and her family and my old boss/friend who now lives in Little Rock, Allison, and her family.

Now, you may think we had fun by looking at the slideshow, however I can assure you the best pictures are below.

We’re not really sure what Birdrunner was thinking when she sat on the styrofoam ice chest, but let me tell ya, I’m really glad she did it, cuz I haven’t laughed like that in a looooooong time.

where condoms were purchased, despite the crowd

I bought condoms last night. (I’ll explain why later)

Do you know how long it’s been since I bought condoms? At least 15 years. FIFTEEN!

I’m at the cusp of the age where women stopped depending on the men boys to provide protection. In the early nineties, when I finally parted from my boyfriend of 4 years, I decided to take control of my sex life. (Just in case I found one again…) So, I bought my own condoms. At first, I would go to Wal-Mart late at night so I could study the boxes without too much interruption. (this was before the internet…where information was just a click away) Now, I’m not easily embarrassed by any stretch of the imagination–I can talk about sex to anyone. But for some reason, buying that first box of condoms was excrutiatingly embarrassing.

Fast forward 15 years later.

I’m at Wal-Mart, in this small town where everyone knows everyone, standing in the condom aisle trying to study my choices. (Just in case you didn’t know, the condom aisle is right in front of the pharmacy. I was there at 6:00 pm…and apparently so was the rest of Oxford.)

Suddenly, I’m completely embarrassed. I just know that everyone is staring at me and whispering. “Isn’t that Mark’s wife? Isn’t that Ian’s and Rader’s mom? Why is she buying condoms?”

It’s ridiculous, of course, because in the real world, who really gives a rat’s ass. But my conservative church upbringing was rearing it’s ugly head–shaming me–making me feel dirty. I’m a 37 year old woman and suddenly I felt the need to confess my sins.

And that just pissed me off. Why should I be ashamed?

With defiance pushing me, I picked up the economy size Trojans. I stuck them in the top part of the basket and made my way through the pharmacy crowd with my head held high. Even though my cheeks were blazing, I didn’t care. I would not be shamed because I was purchasing condoms. Especially since they aren’t even for me.

I bought them as a gift for a friend. It’s an inside joke and I hope it will make him laugh.

I figure last night’s adventure was good practice for the future. I’ve always said when my boys start dating, I’m going to keep a big-ass bowl of condoms at the front door. “Take a handful on your way out…”

Practice makes perfect, right?

it’s that time again…

Wow, where did the weekend go? (for some great pics of my youngest son and his watermelon festival experience, go here.

Yesterday, despite the fact that I blog-hopped, I wrote 15 pages and edited 10. Quite an accomplishment for someone who wastes good writing time on the internet.

Last night, Fishdog and I were invited down the street to hang out in the pool/hot tub, drink margaritas, and cook out. We went and had a fabulous time. This would be the same couple where “The Great Hot Tub and Wine Incident of 2006” took place at the beginning of the summer. I know I haven’t shared that story with you because it’s just too stupid and I should’ve known better. Just know that though I did consume a couple of adult beverages, this time I stopped before I entered the hot tub and when I got out of the hot tub, I drank WATER only.

And this morning, I feel fine.

See, you can teach an old dog new tricks.

My real boys start school this week. Ian is officially in Junior High. I am the mother of a 7th grader. God help us all.

And I can’t even think about what 3rd grade is gonna be like with Rader…I’m sure I’ll have plenty of blogable stories…and some that aren’t so blogable, but I’ll post them anyway.

I spoke to Simon via messenger yesterday for close to an hour, and that was fab. He was headed to Cincinatti today with Gary for one more camp next week. And then, if the planets align and the timing is right, he might stay with us some the next week before he heads back to Birmingham. I know his family will be happy to see him. I’m still gonna miss him.

Grant called last night when they arrived in KC. They were getting ready to go check out the town. KC is a great place and I would’ve hooked him up with one of my closest friends while there, but Nick was in Colorado. They head to Lincoln, NE today. I think I told you he’d be there for 3 months. I’ve heard Lincoln is pretty conservative and these guys are not, so I’m anxious to see how they manage. They seemed to deal with the Bible Belt pretty well. It’ll help that they’ll have their own apartment instead of staying with a family for three months.

Anyway, today is the beginning of a new week. I’m going to write this morning, read this afternoon, walk tonight. I miss the lads, but they are both happy and healthy and I couldn’t ask for more. I’m both happy and sad that school starts Tuesday. And I’m more than relieved that I didn’t repeat “The Great Hot Tub and Wine Incident of 2006” last night. Life just doesn’t get any better than this.

and a social life found them again; and it was good.

We moved to Oxford from Little Rock, 6 years ago. We were just entering our 30s and we had a pretty happening social life, even with two kids under 6–mainly because we lived around family and frankly, you couldn’t keep them away from the first grandbabies.

So, every Friday night, my Mom would pick up the boys and I would meet the girls for our weekly Girl’s Night Out. My girls were a group of teachers. (Hi ladies!) It was a nice mix–a couple of singles, the rest married–only a couple of Moms. We were a great group and no topic was off limits. (By the way, teachers KNOW how to party. They have all that pent up frustration with unruly kids and unreasonable parents…it’s a blast to be around. I miss them terribly.)

The guys would meet us out after 9 and we’d couple up and sometimes we’d stay in the group and sometimes we’d go off on our own.

We did this pretty much every week. We didn’t pull all nighters very often, but on occasion, we’d end the night at a local gay bar dancing our feet off.

We moved to Oxford and that just STOPPED. On a dime. Without warning.

I went through withdrawals. I am a social butterfly–always have been. And though I love my time alone on occasion, I thrive in a crowd of friends.

This town has been hard for us to find a fit because we didn’t go to school here and we’re not Rebel fans. (Go Hogs! Woo Pig Sooie!) We’re not real churchy–hey, that’s the benefit of being catholic, right? LOL and we’re not rolling in the dough. We’re at an odd age…not old, but not young enough to really fit in. Not that we care about fitting in, we care about finding a group of friends to hang with that we enjoy. And sometimes age makes a difference.

Recently, we’ve started finding ourselves among the social again. It’s been a breath of fresh air. I truly have missed the crowds and the camaraderie. It lifts me up…makes me feel better–if not a little tired. LOL

So, this week, I have plans Tuesday-Thursday with tentative plans on Friday. This is after my all night party in Memphis this past Saturday. I almost don’t know what to do with myself. LOL

It’s such a nice feeling to finally have a group that I’m comfortable enough with to go out and enjoy myself. It only took me six years of living here to find it. I just hope I’m not too old to truly enjoy it now! LOL

Evidence of my fun

Yes, I’m finally back and I have pictures to share!Rader and Ian–Too Cool for School.

We went to a Birds of Prey show where we met various hunters of the sky! They flew in an out of the crowd, sometimes brushing our shoulders, heads, or faces with their feathers. It was amazing!

This is Kaia. She’s a red-winged hawk

This is Juniper. She’s a Great Horned Owl who never learned to hoot. She sqwaks like a Jay. She was found as a baby by a woman who tried to raise her. Juniper cannot be released into the wild because she doesn’t know she’s an owl. She has never hunted and doesn’t realize she’s supposed to be nocturnal. 

And this is Woodward. He’s beautiful. His wing span is 6 feet wide. His beak is deformed and they believe it happened because of somehting in the environment. Woodward can’t eat what he catches because of the deformity. He has to have his food cut up for him.
Isn’t he amazing?

Can you believe this butterfly–>

We went to the butterfly conservatory at the resort. It was truly amazing watching butterflies emerge from cocoons and having all these beautiful different species flying around and landing on our heads, pants, arms, etc.

This is an old pioneer cabin. It made me very grateful for my home. I shouldn’t ever complain about not having enough room again. (Notice I said “shouldn’t”) LOL

This is a view of the lake from the bridge near the Exhibit Center. I can’t wait to go back during the summer to see everything in COLOR!

Aw Naw! I’ve been hi-jacked!!!

Mr. Mel has hi-jacked this blog for a moment. Shut up and have a good time.

Now, if any of you have ever had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Geraci, then you’d know exactly why I whisked the phone away from mama and proceeded to bogart time with MG.

And yes, the loverly Maria G. has been a sounding board for some of Santa’s gifts this Xmas.

And yes, it’s gives mama the red ass to be kept out of the “circle of trust” and given the silent treatment.

If you email me with a convincing argument, I may be compelled to add you to the “circle of trust” and fill you in on the details of her Xmas giftage.

But you couldn’t divulge. There’s too much fun to be had in not divulging!!!

Can ya hear her squirm all the way over there? Can ya?

Music to my ears…

Fishdog – out!

Mrs. Robinson…???

Everyone knows how much I love Maria Geraci. I mean, I practically worship at the altar of Maria. But, I’m beginning to wonder if this was a smart move.

What? say you…

Well, Maria Geraci called me 10 minutes ago. She’s still on the phone, as a matter of fact…but NOT with me…. Nope, she’s talking to Mr. Mel.

What is wrong with this picture? See they are getting together to try to torment me. Apparently, Maria Geraci has been helping Mr. Mel with my Christmas present. And now, they can both tease me with their silence.

They do know how I’m haunted by the quiet. Especially from these two. They are NEVER quiet. Ever.

They are still talking. Should I be worried?

He has always had a thing for older women…