Tuesday, October 30, 2007


Here's Jenna enoying her fall party at school this morning. Her teachers wisely removed her costume before giving her orange-iced cupcakes.

Here she is in her costume. The package said "Twinkle Fairy." Jenna doesn't really care what she is, as long as it's girly. We had to talk her in to putting on the wings. Chad asked her if she was going to fly away after she put them on, and this convinced her that flying away was a very real possibility. So she refused until we convinced her that only birds fly, not little girls.

After a long break, I'm finally reading something again. I seem to be on a Johnny Cash roll right now. When we went to his tribute show the other night, the friend we were with mentioned that she thought Johnny's first wife had written a book. I happened to see it at the library last night, so I got it. It's mostly the letters he wrote to her while he was in the military, but she also talks about their marriage and divorce. It's sad to read about how much she didn't want the marriage to end, and her continued frustration at the country music industry for wanting to write her out of his life. I gather this is not just her perception. "Ring of Fire," the Broadway tribute show we saw the other night, covered Johnny Cash's life from his ancestry to his death but made no mention of his first marriage.


I just received in the mail from KFC a coupon for a "breast deal." Hmmm...


I've been thinking lately about the best love songs of all time. Here's my list so far. Feel free to add.

"In Your Eyes" by Peter Gabriel
"Good Enough" by Evanescence
"Overjoyed" by Stevie Wonder
"Walk the Line" by Johnny Cash (there he is again!)
"Sweet Child of Mine" by Guns N Roses

Labels: , ,

Friday, October 26, 2007

Grown-ups' night out

This morning began with Julia crying in the bathroom and Jenna crying in her bedroom. Julia was upset over a scheduling conflict that will make her miss a friend's party tomorrow. Jenna wanted Pringles for breakfast. I figure the day can only get better from here.

If you haven't already, check out the blog of Leecy, my best friend from elementary school. She recently moved from Texas to Boston, and her accounts of her daily adventures on the subway have been cracking me up.

Last night we went with friends to Little Rock's Brave New Restaurant, where I had the yummiest chocolate creme brulee ever, and then on to Ring of Fire, which is a Broadway tribute to Johnny Cash. It was a great show. I've never followed country music all that much, but I know enough to appreciate the Man in Black -- especially now that I hail from his homestate. One thing I learned about Johnny Cash last night: he was singing about cocaine before Eric Clapton was!


Tuesday, October 23, 2007


It's amazing what I can get done in the four hours I'm alone every Tuesday and Thursday. Today I waged war on the fridge with a bottle of hot bleach water. (Don't worry, I took all the food out first.) I also cleaned out the hall closet, swept and wet-jetted the wood floors, did some laundry and, for the first time since we moved in seven months ago, got the top of our entertainment center looking the way I like it. Of course it's all harvest-y, so in about a month I'll have to do it all over again, but hey.

I also lined up some interviews for stories I'm working on for the next issue of ACU Today. If this were summer and my kids were home all day, every day with me, it would have taken...well, none of this would have gotten done all summer. I keep thinking of what I'll be able to get done once Jenna starts kindergarten in three years. I could clean the house, get all the laundry done, find Waldo, Jimmy Hoffa and bin Laden and negotiate a treaty for world peace. And get something in the Crock Pot for dinner. I'm looking forward to it.

And now, the menu-burning story requested by Wade last week. A big group of us from church were at Lulav in downtown Little Rock for a friend's birthday party. (This friend's initials are not LC and he was not turning 40. Just wanted to make that clear.) Anyway, instead of the restaurant's regular menu, they had printed up paper menus just for the party. Each table had tealight candles burning on them. (You can probably see where I'm going with this.) I had set my menu down on the table and was talking to a friend who was seated across from me. All of a sudden, my friend jumped up, yelled, "We have a problem!" and lunged across the table. (It was one of those big round tables, so lunging across it was a pretty impressive feat.) He grabbed my menu, which was HALF GONE and sporting a big flame on one end. I froze, thinking we should stick it in a glass of water, but my friend blew the flame out before I could act on my thought. Other than ashes blowing around on our table for the rest of the evening, that was it. The executive chef even invited me back, bless his heart.

Labels: ,

Friday, October 19, 2007

Great news!

After almost three weeks, Bunny has been found! He apparently spent two weeks OUTSIDE at Camp Tahkodah before being found by the caretaker. We understand Bunny is very dirty but on his way back to us. Jenna has been doing OK without him, but has occasionally asked for him before declaring a few days ago, "I'm going back to camp to get Bunny."

Now from the "Is This Weird?" department:

Julia and I got our hair cut yesterday. We had to go to a new place because no one was answering the phone all day at the place we usually go. My appt. was yesterday morning. When it was time to pay, the woman who cut my hair just had me make the check out to her first name because she said her last name is hard to spell. I also have a name that is hard for people to spell and pronounce, so this didn't seem strange to me. When I brought Julia back for her appt. after school, a different person cut her hair. When I was writing the check, he said to just write his first name. Then he gave me his business card, which just said "Terrence." What's with this first-name only business? Do they think we are going to stalk them or something?

Note -- all this check-writing is due to my debit card's PIN number getting messed up, and my bank taking a long time to fix it.

My Hannah Montana luck continues. Julia wants to be HM for Halloween. She has an outfit, but I waited until a ridiculously late date to start looking for a wig. All the stores have been sold out, and all the online places have them back-ordered. I started getting desperate yesterday and decided to check with Party City in Little Rock. Turns out this store ordered 100 of them, and out of 400-something Party City locations in the country, the LR location is the only one that got them in. (This is what Mr. Party City employee told me, anyway.) He also said it's good that I came in and got one when I did, because people have been buying 30 at a time to sell them on Ebay.

Here's the picture from the package. I don't even think the wig looks like Hannah Montana's hair, but hey -- at least it's something.

Labels: ,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Suddenly, Texas

Chad's dad got very sick late last week and wound up in ICU in Houston, so Sunday we all of a sudden packed up and drove down there. After a scary couple of days over the weekend, he is doing much better. He was even sitting up in a chair when we visited him on Monday and he will probably go home later this week.

After spending some time at the hospital Monday, the girls and I decided to let Chad and his dad have some time together. So we headed out to Baytown to surprise some people. Julia was dying to see Meagan and Natalie, her best Baytown friends, so I called their moms and arranged to surprise them by picking them up from school.

Here's Meagan's reaction. It's so much fun to surprise people like this!

After a Dairy Queen stop...

...we headed to the library, where these girls grew up hanging out together. On the way to Baytown, I had also called Lois, my best Baytown girlfriend, and she and her husband Bill met us at the library.

Bill asked Jenna to bring him a book for him to read to her, and she brought him one about the dangers of LSD!

Then we went back to Houston, where we celebrated my dad's birthday. We also got to help my mom out at home -- she's recovering from shoulder surgery. We headed home Tuesday and, this morning, sent a bleary-eyed Julia off to school. She's going to have a ton of make-up work, poor kid.

Another highlight from the trip: On the way home, we stopped in Hope, Arkansas (birthplace of Bill Clinton!) at Subway for dinner, where Jenna kept yelling, "I'M A ROCK STAR! I'M A ROCK STAR!"


Saturday, October 13, 2007

It's fall, y'all

Today's forecast promised "abundant sunshine," so we made plans to head out to:

The Pumpkin Patch!

But first, we stopped for lunch at Firehouse Subs, one of our favorite haunts. Julia was recovering from a sleepover, which -- thankfully -- did not take place at our house.

Then we drove out to Hidden Valley Farm and turned the girls loose in the pumpkins.

Hidden Valley has everything: oodles of pumpkins, face painting, hay rides, and even a hill that's perfect for rolling down.

Other fun this week: Tuesday afternoon, Julia and I went to Lulav, a really nice Mediterranean restaurant in downtown Little Rock. (Last time I was there, I accidentally set a menu on fire.) Executive chef Brian Cochrane, a member of our church (and husband of our children's minister) had invited Julia down for a behind-the-scenes experience at his restaurant. We hung out in the kitchen, met the staff, tasted some stuff, and he let Julia make some "Creme Anglaise," which was served with a heavenly chocolate mousse dessert to Lulav's patrons for the rest of the night (including us!) Everything was yummy and Julia tasted things that had never crossed her lips before: snapper, steamed mussels, crab was all great fun. Chad and Jenna were at home eating reheated spaghetti. Oh, well!

As if the Hannah Montana show Dec. 1 weren't enough, we have something even more exciting coming up. Meagan, Julia's best friend from Baytown, will be coming to visit with her mom in January. It will be their first trip to Arkansas. We are pumped!

Labels: , , ,

Sunday, October 07, 2007


Yesterday we drove up to Rosebud, AR, where we hung out with our friends Tod and Jan and their boys and Tod's dad, George. George moved to Rosebud from Alaska at the beginning of the year and bought a place on some gorgeous property that includes this beautiful (and very cold, in October) creek.

After helping George do some work around his house, we took the kids down for a swim. There's nothing like swimming in your clothes on a hot fall day in a cold Arkansas creek.

Jenna preferred to stick to the shore.

We brought two very tired and very dirty kids home. We gave Jenna a bath and she still has mud between her toes. Oh, well. Good times.