Friday, April 30, 2010

Frog at Work

Edie takes play very seriously.  We call it going to work.  She doesn't crack too many smiles and she concentrates really hard on the task at hand.  If you ask her if she wants to go grab a Starbucks she would say, "Look Mom, I'm working really hard right now.  I've got a deadline to get the sprinkler banged into the deck about 475 times before 6:00."

Frog is on the move!  She doesn't hang out in one spot anymore unless she is in the almighty Jumperoo (our lord and savior).  Hanging out on the back deck is exhausting because we have get up and remove her from the edge before she drops off every minute.  Seriously it's that frequently.  After work I really prefer to parent from a chair, watching Frog from a distance so this crawling bit is really proving to be difficult and a little annoying.  Crawling inside the house is a little less taxing because she can't fall off the edge of anything so I can stay seated a little longer, that is until she leaves the room I'm in.  Last night I hung out on the floor of the bathroom because that's where she was working. 

Note the twig hanging from Milo's velcro-like tail.  I'm sure it finally worked itself free into our bed.

Our new Japanese maple.  Thanks Nancy!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Meme Quotes*

"A Scotty dog Christmas."  Whitney, thank you for that incredible quote.  It has been filed away along with:
"She chops her chicken too big." (This said this to Mom and I over 1,375 times on one visit in reference to Deedee's horrible chicken chopping skills."
"Billy is such a busy man." (Because Uncle Billy continually puts work before Meme)
"I'll let you wait on me."
"See you in the a.m."
"Where's Mara" (sub Mindy, Whisper, McDuff, Mandy) 
"I'm in my stooper."
"Are you hot?" (translation- I'm hot, turn on the fan.)  and about 4.24 minutes later she'll say,
"Are you cold?" (translation- I'm cold, turn off the fan.)
"Is it loud enough?" (translation- I can't hear the t.v., turn it up.)  Followed immediately by,
"Is it too loud?" (translation- The t.v. is too loud, turn it down.)
"Do you want a different knife to cut that sandwich with?" (translation- Get a different knife to cut that sandwich with.)
"Huh?" (This or "what" is asked after absolutely everything you say to her.  She says it before she's even bothered to process what you've just said.  It's possibly her most annoying habit)
"Speak to my dawg."
And, I debated adding this one because it is one of the meanest things I've ever heard a person say but I'll throw it in anyway. "You know how those Spanish people are so emotional."  This statement was casually said to me when describing how her friend cried while watching her brand new dream house burn to the ground, a house she and her husband as worked and saved for their entire lives.

It's early and my brain isn't functioning.. what am I missing?

*A warning to my readers.  We make fun (as a coping mechanism) of the eighty and ninety year olds in my family.  This being said, Mimi, Granny, and Doc are/were given such unparalleled care by their children (and P.C.) that it's completely justified.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010


Meet Charlotte Grace.  This is Edie's cousin.  They are less than one month apart in age.  Edie and Charlotte have been together only once over several days last Christmas.  Chris' sister Liz and her husband Jeff will be bringing Charlotte to Dallas over Memorial Day weekend.  Can't wait.  Charlotte is easy going and happy.  She was passed around to everyone during Christmas and didn't mind a bit, unlike her cousin Edie who has certain demands that must be met.  Not to say that Edie isn't a pretty easy going baby but she's no Charlotte.  Charlotte would hang out for hours in her little chair.  If only.  Frog has stuff to do.  I can't wait to see these two personalities develop.

Sweet Frog.

We have a little Jeremiah on our hands.  Frog is obsessed with cell phones, t.v.'s, laptops, ipods, etc.  She will see them across the room and it becomes the only thing in the world she is interested in.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Ducks and Pots

I have never seen a duck on campus.  It was as if I'd seen two moose grazing on the zoysia grass. Erika, this ones for you!

Pots at Embrey.

Sedum, spineless Opuntia cactus, and red Drift roses.

Echeveria 'Afterglow'

Sedum reflexum, I believe.

Blooming Today at SMU



Red Drift roses.

Spanish lavender.  The best lavender for my money.  It needs good drainage though so it works well in a planter.


I am an extremely fortunate person. I have wonderful parents.  The type that did all the right things like put education first, would not allow Liz and I to eat junky cereals or white bread or any type of junk food really, allowed us to pick one t.v. show a week to watch.  I remember watching a lot of The Cosby Show and PBS's Mystery series,  mostly Sherlock Holmes.  Because of Nancy and Steve I feel I know certain parts of Maine intimately.  From Nancy I have learned so much like the art of giving and an appreciation for a wide range of folk art and the handmade craft. And Nancy thank you, by the way, for an unhealthy addiction to pottery.  You've created a monster.  My point is I'm am lucky to lead the life I do.  After family and friends  (the O'Connor/Rushes are really family) I feel my greatest fortune is to work with people that lead lives different from my own.  I work with people that have sacrificed everything, and I mean everything, to come to this great country to live, work, and raise their family.  I work with people that work at SMU and then go to their full time night job.  And they are happy all day.  But the greatest gift of all has been to know Abraham Riak and Simon Koul.  I have worked with Abraham for over five years now.  Abraham is my age.  He came to the U.S. from Sudan about 10 years ago through the efforts of Dallas-based missionaries.  He came with a group of other boys- Lost Boys.  Abraham does not talk about what he left behind.  He doesn't really talk about himself at all.  I do know that Simon's past involved refugee camps.  And Simon's wife's story involves running on foot, at the age of 13, for months with her sibblings and cousins, dead parents, stepping over dead bodies, going from camp to camp, meeting Simon in one camp, and ultimately making it here.  Abraham has always been single but he wanted a wife.  He traveled to Australia one summer to meet a Sudanese girl that had relocated there with other people from their tribe.  They didn't hit it off.  He didn't give me the details.   Two years later he went back to Sudan for several months.  He met a woman and married her and impregnated her.  He missed the birth of his son.  I am leaving out a lot but over a year of paperwork and bloodtests later Abraham was reunited with his wife and son.  I met them both last Friday.  It was one of the most beautiful things I have ever seen.  Thank you Abraham.

Monday, April 26, 2010

See What You Missed (A Visit to My Grandmother's House)

Liz,  I thought you might like to see, in pictures, what you missed.  Let's start here:

This piece is entitled Still-life with Dog Bone.

The best deviled eggs in the world.  Except, where had the light sprinkling of paprika gone? 

Chicken salad.  Three jars.  Sandwiches made, per instruction, Sunday morning.  All tossed in trash can at the Get-It-N-Geaux in Shreveport.

Pictures of children hung in guest bedroom, back of house.

Double barrier.  Sometimes you have to beef up security.

Astroturf, in the living room, thank you very much.  Wearing thin in places.

The Blue room comforter.

I present to you my nemesis. This instrument of torture leaves me riddled with pain after every encounter.  It says, "Sleep?  No, you won't be having any of that.  Just tossing and turning on this piece of plywood you like to call a mattress.  Well, perhaps I'll let you sleep just long enough to pull every muscle in your neck so that you can remember me every time you slightly move your head during your 6 hour ride home."  And let us dissect the word comforter.  Comfort-er.  Not so, on this bitch.  Imagine covering yourself with a piece of burlap.  Basically Mimi could have gone to the local hardware store and purchased plywood and burlap, grabbed some stones to use as pillows, spent much less money and created the same sleep experience.  Its hideousness is completely overshadowed by the pain it inflicts.  I call her the Orange Devil.  Behold..

About .00000001% of the plastic bags Mimi owns.  Considering this quantity it seems strange that she washes out used ones, allows them to dry and then reuses them. 

Like Willy Wanka you can lick the lemons and they taste like lemons.  Lick the grapes and they taste like grapes.

Uncle Billy, if Mimi hadn't been at your bday dinner I would have peeled this off the back of the bathroom door and presented it to you.

The following collar and leash pictures were taken at the same time.  Leashes were not moved around to different locations to make them appear more plentiful.  This is an accurate depiction of their true quantity.  It seems important to mention that mimi now owns one dog.

Have we ever discussed the irony of the message on this cross stitch?

What to say about the following pictures?  I assume many of these Scotties were gifts from Mom and Nancy.
In the main part of the house there a almost no pictures of humans, family included.  The Scottie is represented in many mediums and forms however....

Note the rear of the white, soap chicken.  On the same dish was a small, white soap egg. I didn't get a picture of it because I didn't want it to overshadow the Scottie soap.  It was his turn to shine.  Next trip I plan on bathing with the white, soap egg until it is mostly gone.  Then I will put it back on the dish before we leave.  Only in wildest dreams would that happen! 

Remember when Julie Andrews made clothes out of these drapes for all the Van Trapp kids before the Nazi's took over.  Much like the Jews we have hid in this bedroom with smuggled in Netflix, watching them in the dark of the late afternoon on laptops hoping Heinrich Himmler wouldn't find us and send us all to the den for Lawrence Welk.

A little known fact about Louisiana, 99.9999% of all Bud Ice cans produced in North America end up on the side of the road in the state of Louisiana. My dad being an aluminumcanologist, licensed and bonded in the state of Texas found it almost impossible not to pick these up to take back to Dallas to turn in to make the big bucks.  I think my dad left his heart on the side of the road throughout Louisiana.  Dad had not been to Newellton in eight years.  He provided a fresh pair of eyes and came up with the ingenious evolution of the word McDuff (Mimi's first Scottie dog) to McLetsgetthefuckoutofhere.