Friday, May 30, 2008

Sex And The City

I'm never the first one to do anything but today Debi and I snuck (sneaked? snucked? ) out the back door at work to see the first showing Sex And The City...and it was good. Not Acadamy Award Citizen Kane Gone With The Wind great but very good and well worth seeing. I almost didn't go because the review in our local paper was so bad but when I read to the bottom of the page the reviewer mentioned he had never seen the TV show. Well good Lord, why in he world would the paper have a MAN review a "chick flick" and especially a man who has never seen the show on HBO. The movie is very well done and of course the scenery and wardrobe will just blow you away. I wish I would have counted how many wardrobe changes there were for Sarah Jessica Parker, can't even begin to guess. There aren't a lot of surprises but for me this movie was like running into old friends whom you haven't seen in years and that certainly beats working on a Friday afternoon... PLUS there was popcorn!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Just when you think you've seen it all...

By the time you've raised three children you feel like you've pretty much seen it all. One child took the lid off of the back of the toilet (ALL I said was jiggle the handle) and managed to drop the lid through the tank and flood the entire downstairs. We had another child who loved to lay on their bed, talk on the phone and throw dirty socks in the ceiling fan which would result in the dirty socks being slung across the hall into her brothers room and start a fight of epic proportions. OH...and my personal favorite was when the youngest child gave the cat a ride in the dryer. That was a real fun morning but Estelle emerged from the dryer all fluffy and April Fresh. get the picture, not easy to surprise a Mom. The youngest child left home for college 20 years ago so there haven't been many surprises around here lately...until this morning. OK...I woke up at my regular time, listened to the local news, made a cup of coffee, brought the paper in and climbed back into bed to enjoy my coffee and the paper before getting ready for work. leg touched something verrry strange toward the foot of the bed. I carefully lifted up the comforter and Morty jumped up on the bed all huffy, gave me a dirty look and dove under the comforter. He proudly emerged with a partially eaten CHICKEN BREAST! YEEEWWW! I had stopped at Bojangles last night and brought home a chicken breast for dinner and since I didn't finish it Morty apparently decided to have a little Midnight snack. Yuk...a new low, sleeping with garbage.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Salesman Repellant

Why is it when I go shopping I either have a sales clerk following me around like they think I'm trying to stuff a DVD player down my pants, sorry...but that space happens to already be occupied by my ample rear end and believe me, there tain't anymore room. Or the other end of the spectrum is sometimes I really need a sales clerk and I could do a tap dance on the cash register and still nobody shows up to help. Anyway, my friend Sharon and I have found the cure for the overbearing sales clerk that is guaranteed to work at any TV or appliance store. All you have to do is walk in with a Consumer Reports tucked under your arm and you will be all alone for HOURS. Apparently there is a secret signal that goes off anytime two women come through the front door of an appliance store carrying a Consumer Reports and every salesman suddenly is called to the back room...sort of like a signal from the bat cave. When we first walked in the door of Appliance World there must have been 6 salesmen scattered around the store in various stages of relaxation. They were talking and laughing while leaning on stoves, kicked back in office chairs watching a game on TV and of course the eager (eager = works on straight commission) ones who greet you at the door. My hand to God...all I did was lay the Consumer Report on a counter, open the magazine to the item I was interested in and every salesman evaporated into thin air never to be seen or heard from again. However, I did learn something very important. Not only can you shop online for a new TV (in your jammies or even nekid if you want to) the delivery man even hooks up your cable if you can manage to look helpless enough. Not a problem for this old gal...I am becoming more helpless each day.

Monday, May 26, 2008


For someone who is the only child of an only child I certainly have a butt load of pictures. I am trying to get things better organized (when you are pregnant it's called nesting when you are my age it's called impending death or the big dirt nap) and the only MAJOR project I have left are all these darn pictures. I've been reading articles with suggestions for sorting and organizing pictures but everything I have read seems to be directed to the type of person who has two snapshots in their jewelry box and a shoebox of photos on the top shelf of their closet. Honey, I have 6 (SIX!!) 36 gallon Rubbermaid totes of photos, letters, swimming awards, report cards, letters from WW II and well you get the picture...har har I just punned. The most recent article I read suggested keeping your box of photos next to your favorite chair and organizing while you watch TV. OK...first of all I don't need a new refrigerator and that is the only size box that would come close to holding all my photographs and I have to tell you I don't think I would like climbing in and out of that box a gazillion times while I'm trying to watch My Big Redneck Wedding. I have come to the conclusion that THE GREAT PICTURE PROJECT (yes, I do feel the need to capitalize AND bold) is going to be like trying to eat an elephant. So, if any of you have any suggestions, encouragement or even sympathy....I could use some HELP!

Saturday, May 24, 2008


I don't have anything against motorcycles...really I don't but three straight weekends of motorcycle rallies can stretch a persons patience. The past two weekends have been the Spring Harley Rally. The Harley's are noisy, they drink a lot of beer and they like to have a good time BUT 99% of the Harley owners are my age or older so they are ready to go to bed by midnight. This weekend is Atlantic Beach Bike Festival and these folks are just getting ready to party at midnight. Most of them are young (remember when we were invincible?) so they take crazy chances on the roads and a good number of them forgot to pack their clothes. You have never seen so much nekid booty on a motorcycle in your life. Apparently these girls did not have grandma's like mine. My grandma always said, "If it ain't purty then don't put it on the front porch." plan is not to go out my front door until I have to leave for work on Monday morning and yes I have to work on Monday. HELLOOOO??? I work in tourism, holidays are just another day in the week to us but at least I'm not bitter.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008


Some people remain calm (at least on the exterior) during a crisis and some folks can't. For some reason God decided I am one of the calm exterior folks and last Friday that was put to the test. First a little background, oh come knew there would be a story! My good buddy, Debi, put her retired husband, Sid, to work at the aquarium and that was because while Deb was at work, attending meetings, dealing with idiots and all that good stuff Sid was sunning himself on the beach, going to the gym, golfing and well, you get the picture. Well Deb did what any good wife would do and she put a stop that that nonsense and put his butt back to work. Let me rephrase that...we were in need of a new mascot person so as it is known in the tourism industry, she slapped his butt into a puppet suit. So ole Sid was back to work...not full time but at least enough to keep Debi from smacking him upside the head everytime she saw his tan lines. WELL...our Director of Operations found out Sid is a retired electrician and he jerked Sid's butt out of the puppet suit and put him back to work as a "PART TIME" electrician. I don't know what part time hours are in other parts of the country but here in SC apparently they can hit 40 hours. All together now...POOR SID but the important factor here is Sid's tan lines were fading so Debi was much happier. Well, last Friday Sid was on a ladder working on a wiring project and met Mr. Electricity. Debi came running back up to our office and was trying to tell me Sid was hurt and the ambulance was about to take him to the hospital. The problem with that last sentence is Debi is not a "calm exterior" person and was hyperventilating so it was like listening to Lassie telling Grandpa that Timmy fell down an old mine shaft just past the Old Apple Orchard Road. This is how it went, "" Can you picture Lassie dancing around your feet and barking? Yep, that was exactly what it was like. was quickly determined that I was driving (that happened when I snatched the car keys out of her hand) and we headed to the hospital. The ambulance arrived with sirens blaring and Sid was quickly evaluated, treated and is recovering from multiple painful injuries. Sid, it's been a long time since I have been that frightened. You have no idea how thankful your friends are that you are on the mend and by the way...the puppet suit is all cleaned, pressed and laid out for your next appearance. Your ginormous shoes have even been polished.
Now for the question of the day...are you a "calm exterior" or are you a "Lassie?"

Saturday, May 17, 2008

The Furminator!

Holy cow, I have found an Epilady for cats! I love my kitties but I am more than a little weary of crankin' up the Dyson once a day to suck up the cat hair and this time of year...Lord a mercy, it's a full time job. I saw an ad for the Furminator and thought yeah right but I decided to invest in one and give it a try. OH GOOD less than two minutes I had a plastic bag full of hair from just Morty. Gingles will let you brush her for hours but Morty, not so much. He tolerates brushing for a few minutes and then he is DONE. This tool is incredible and I could tell they both felt so much better after being...Furminated? Is that a new word? After I had a respectable pile of cat hair I did what anybody with a sick sense of humor would do..I took pictures with my cell phone and sent them to my friends. Now that I have a Furminator I need to find the ole Flowbee and go into the haircut business. Yes...I really did have a Flowbee and YES I did cut my kids hair. Don't laugh, between the Flowbee haircuts and the plaid polyester outfits I dressed them in it's a wonder they didn't get beat up everytime they left the house.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

The price of economy.

Do you remember Jimmy Carter and 22% interest rates? Oh yeah...good times. Probably the only time in my life when it made sense to buy a house on a credit card. I seem to remember it was during Carter's term when gas was inching up toward $1.25 and everybody was in a panic and could NOT believe gas was over a dollar. At that time we were driving a full size van which drank gas like a good Southerner gulps sweet tea. Dave finally managed to convince me to at least consider trading in the van and look for a smaller car. Convince = dragging me kicking and screaming to the car dealership to GIVE AWAY my beloved PAID FOR van and look at deathtraps that were so small all three kids had to be sprayed with WD 40 to squeeze them into the tiny interior. We won't even discuss book bags, friends and Irish Setters. Have you picked up on the tone of this fun filled family excursion? I was not happy and the kids were not happy because they were spending Saturday afternoon at a car dealership with their parents and it finally dawned on them that if all five of us were in this circus clown car reject at the same time only three of us would have both butt cheeks on the seat. The other two occupants would be sitting on one cheek while the other cheek lopped over onto the lap of the person sitting next to them. Dave LOVED trading cars so he was in his element while the rest of us were shuffling along behind him in various stages of depression. One of the reasons Dave was so happy was because he had this GREAT van with low mileage and since he was trading this great vehicle for a tin can with a steering wheel I think he had visions of leaving the dealership with a new car and a very small payment book. Yeah right, gotta love a man with a dream. Every car we looked at was smaller than the one before. We finally found one that didn't make me cry and got great mileage. It was less than half the size of the van, didn't have the great sound system and no sun roof but it did get good mileage. SIGH...fine, let's get the numbers. So while the kids and I stood around our beloved van preparing to tell it goodbye we looked up just in time to see Dave stomping out of the dealership, purple face, veins popping and FURIOUS. I have never claimed to be a genius but I pretty much guessed the financial part didn't go as well as David had hoped. As we scrambled to get in the van the salesman came running out to the drivers side motioning for Dave to stop. The salesman said, "Mr. Connell...I am sorry you are upset but if you want economy YOU HAVE TO PAY FOR IT!" That was all it took...Dave and I looked at each other, burst out laughing AND I got to keep my van.

Monday, May 12, 2008


There are many milestones during our lives and of course we all remember the first day of school, finally turning 16 and passing the driving test and your first date are all happy milestones but we also have milestones that are heartbreaking and one of mine is today. Twenty years ago today our handsome, smart, talented, funny son left us. His departure actually began five years earlier when he was fifteen and discovered drugs . Like most people his first drug choice was marijuana but it only took a month or two for him to progress to cocaine and turn his, as well as his family's, entire world upside down. Our Eagle Scout, good student, star athlete became a stranger. A stranger who would steal from his family, friends and neighbors to get that next fix. A boy whose smile could light up a room became a surly, lying, thieving stranger. Those years were horrible for his sisters as well as his parents but most of all for himself. We became "Rehab Regulars" and just as we would all begin to get our hopes up that our boy was back there would be a relapse. I lost count of the number of times this happened but we never gave up. However, at 11:15 AM on Thursday May 12, 1988 my darling boy did give up and put a gun to his head to end his pain. What a coincidence, because that is when our pain truly began.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Boat Launching and the DNR

It's a well known fact that I am not exactly gifted in the driving department and backing a boat trailer...oh good Lord. Dave, the three kids and I were out on the lake for the very first time in our new sailboat and at the end of the day Dave realized that he was faced with a real dilemma. He could leave me with the three kids and his new who can't swim and had NO clue how to get a sailboat up to the boat ramp and loaded on the trailer OR he could send me up to the parking lot and back the trailer down the ramp. I would like to think it was the thought of the kids and I helpless in the water that tipped his decision to send me to get the car but we all pretty much know he was really worried about his new boat. Soooo....Dave pulled the boat up close to shore and I trekked to the parking lot to get the car and trailer. I eyeballed the ramp on my way to the parking lot and noticed it was 4 lanes wide, piece of cake...I can do this, no problem. Even a total idiot can get a boat trailer to the water with that much space AND best of all there were no other people around trying to load or unload. biggie. The parking spaces were pull through so all I had to do was put the car in drive and head toward the boat ramp. Crap, by the time I get to the ramp there are 3 trailers backed to the water and 5 ahead of me waiting to pickup boats. problem, don't panic..YOU CAN DO THIS. Finally it was my turn and I moved to the front of the line. My heart was in my throat, my head hurt, my hands were shaking...I AM GOING TO DO THIS. Well, 20 minutes later I am in tears and have managed to get the car and boat trailer across all four ramp lanes. The front of the car is inches from going into the lake and somehow I have managed to parallel park 50 ft of car and boat trailer on a boat ramp. All this time Dave is sitting on the front of the boat watching and pretending he doesn't know me. There is a knock on my window and a DNR officer very kindly asks me if I would like some help? I managed to suppress my first thought which was, "YA THINK???" and gratefully slid over while he took the wheel, helped load the boat and finally got traffic moving again. The next day Dave rented a boat slip.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Birth Defect

Most people are born with a filter between their brain and their mouth but apparently my filter has been missing since birth or I have had so many brilliant thoughts that my filter is worn out. Whatever...the end result is the same. If it pops in my brain you can pretty much count on it falling out of my mouth. So combine what I call the "Maxine attitude" women seem to develop as we age plus my filter defect, hanging around with me in public can be dangerous. I joke about getting older but in reality I love it and wouldn't be under 40 again for anything in the world. Well, don't hold me to that one but let's leave it at me being content with my age and more importantly I'm very content with old, flawed unfiltered me.

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Party Line

Everybody already knows I'm so old I fart dust but I discovered today at work that I am one of the very few (yes, my age) who remember a party line telephone. We didn't live out in the country but with only 500 people it was just barely a town and we did have party lines for a few years. This was the early 50's and the phone was a wooden box on the wall with a crank on the side of the box that you turned until Central answered at the phone office. In our case Central was Helen Madden and you would tell Helen who you were calling. Helen would not only connect you to whoever you wanted to talk to but she would also stay on the line and sometimes even join in the conversation. It was considered polite to not make any phone calls unless it was an extreme emergency after 8 PM because Helen went to bed early and if you woke her up she would answer with, "This had better be an emergency" instead of her usual, "Central, how may I help you?" Yep, ole Helen made it pretty clear that you better get your visiting over with before 8 PM. I remember one Friday night my grandparents were having company for supper followed by a big euchre game. Poppy called home to tell Grandma he would be late for supper. They hung up and Grandma rang central to call the people who were coming for dinner. Well...Helen told her that wasn't necessary because she had already called them when she heard Poppy tell Grandma that he was going to be late. My Grandma didn't get mad very often but she was HOT that night. To make matters even worse the telephone office (and living quarters) were above my Poppy's IGA store so Helen never felt like she was butting in....she was just relaying information. Relaying information....hmmm, don't think that's what my Grandma called it that night. Anyway, I miss my Grandma and Poppy and I even miss Helen ....but you can keep the party line in the past.