Saturday, June 23, 2007

It's only hair!

These are pictures of my youngest son Jake. When Jake was a baby, he had beautiful curly hair that I just couldn't bear to cut. Unfortunately, his father could bear to and did. Away went the curls! Randey shaved his head almost bald. Poor thing looked like a little monkey. I was crushed. Didn't see those curls again for years and years. In fact, from about the age of 7 until just 2 years ago, Jake kept his head pretty much shaved. That's about 6 years of near baldness for my baby. But then we moved to what I like to call "civilization". Buzzed heads just aren't all the rage here. So Jake started growing his hair out - day by day, week by week, curl by curl. Much to Jake's surprise, it would seem that girls dig the curls. So now it looks like the boy may never cut his hair again. This doesn't bother me. Mainly because he's not old enough to date just yet. His father, however, is near frantic. Nick, his oldest brother, is threatening to shave Jake's head while he sleeps. His cousin, Megen, is threatening to assist by holding him down. What the heck, people? It's only hair! What's with the hair anger? He keeps it clean and shiny - what more do you want (the picture on the left was taken after he'd mowed the neighbor's yard - that sweatiness doesn't count!)? Personally, I think his curls are perfectly adorable. And I will continue to think that...unless and until the girl situation begins to get on my nerves. Then we'll probably be shavin' him bald...again!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Winter in June (don't I wish!)

This is such a totally random thought, but it's hot and muggy today and this picture from January of Randey and the boys playing in the snow looks sooooo cool right about now.

That Mythical Creature "Good Customer Service"

I was going to start this with "Whatever happened to good customer service?" but now I'm starting to wonder if there ever was such a thing. I mean, surely there was at one point or how would we all be so sure that we're not getting it anymore? Can't miss what you've never had, right? I can vaguely recall going to a restaurant, asking the waiter/waitress a question and getting a knowledgeable answer. I'm thinking those days may be gone forever. The other day, Randey and I were in Ft. Worth and decided to try out an Italian grill (one that shall remain nameless for now). Boy, I love Italian. I love the music, the history, the sound of the language...all of it. But most of all - I love the food. Give me a big ol' honkin' plate of spaghetti and I'm in heaven. I have a rather special fondness for chicken parmigiana, too. I even like a little homemade lasagna every now and again. Ummm, ummm, ummmmm. Oh, but I digress. Here we were at this nice little restaurant - a place neither one of us had ever been. We go in, the atmosphere looks pretty good, the place smells divine (imagine a big fat opera singer belting that word out and you might get an inkling of just how good I thought it smelled) and the staff seemed pretty friendly. We were seated and our waitress hustled right on over to take our drink order. Now I luves me a good margarita. Yessir. But maybe not with Italian food. The rest of the drink menu didn't appeal to me either. But a beer! - now we're talkin'. A frosty cold one. Oh yeah. So I ask Dina, our lovely waitress, just what beer did she have on tap. I think it's important to ask that because you just never know - you might discover the beer of your dreams that way. That's how I discovered Raspberry Wheat beer - at McGuire's Irish Pub in Destin, Florida. If I hadn't asked what was on tap, I'd still be ignorant of the delights of fruity beer. Anywho, Dina, our lovely waitress, was not the bottomless well of information one might have hoped for. Her response to my query? "Ummm, let's see...we have, like, Coors light, ummmm, Bud...light maybe, and ummmmm yeah, like, some kind of Shiner. I really don't know what all we have...ummmmm, I'm trying to think....yeah, that's all I can, like, picture in my head." Hmmmm. Yokie, dokie. I can get Coors and Bud at Wal-Mart. No special delights hiding there. So I settled for unsweet tea. As it was shaping up, I thought I might be needing my wits about me anyway. Then came time to order dinner. The menu featured something called "Grilled Chicken Diavolo". The short description is "grilled chicken breast served with spaghetti and spicy marinara". Ooohh, lah, lah, hold me back. I asked Dina, our lovely waitress, how to pronounce "Diavolo". Dina did not disappoint. That's not to say she knew how to pronounce it, but more like she certainly didn't deviate from the level of service I had already come to expect from her. Her response; "Ummmm, like, I don't really know." giggle, giggle "I, ummmm, think you say it, like ummmmm, Diablo or something like that." As it turns out, she was fairly close. Not exactly accurate, but not as far off as she could have been, I suppose. Confidant that she could convey my order to the kitchen without mangling it beyond recognition, I placed my order for that there Devil Chicken. (Randey ordered the combo - which is so funny if you know how little Randey actually eats when we go out to dinner. Most of the combo ended up in a to-go box.) At last, the food arrives...and it's DIVINE (see previous note about the opera singer). The green beans that came with the chicken weren't worth having, but the chicken, spaghetti and marinara sauce were...well, my gosh, there aren't enough words to describe it. I usually only use "orgasmic" to describe Godiva chocolates, but I'm thinking the devil chicken rated it, too. Well thank goodness the food was good and there was plenty of it. Because Dina, our lovely waitress, had apparently gone on break. Or maybe she retired, I don't know. Enough time passed that when she did eventually stop by to say hey, I damn near didn't recognize her. The time had not been good to her - hair was a little grayer, a few more wrinkles, she looked like she'd lived a hard life since last we'd met. We hadn't fared much better. I suspect Randey and I both looked a little shriveled, probably from dehydration due to a severe lack of refills on our iced teas. We had long ago sucked and crunched the tiny little ice chips left from our teas and had even resorted to licking the condensation off the sides of the glasses. Perhaps if I hadn't been so intent upon snorting, wolfing and raking that de-licious marinara sauce down my gullet, I might have been able to signal for help before the dehydration left us on the verge of extinction. (I don't know what Randey's excuse was - looks to me like he could have launched an expedition to locate our missing waitress. I mean really, when it comes to eating, which of us do you think has more free time - me or Jack Sprat himself?) But he didn't and I didn't and our waitress took advantage of our lax attitudes and disappeared. Dina could head to Vegas with that disappearing act. Hell, maybe she did. She was certainly gone long enough to have made the trip. Now here's the point of my story (yeah, I was starting to wonder if I'd ever get to it, too)...the food was really, really good in fact, that I didn't do more than shake my head at the less than stellar level of service we received. I have become so used to bad service that it no longer phases me, at least not like it used to. I used to get down right irate and would ask for the manager and then write letters to store owners and corporate offices and anybody else who would listen. Now, as long as the food is good, I just accept bad service as being normal. I used to rant and rave that if everyone would stand up and refuse to accept bad customer service, there wouldn't be any bad customer service. And now...well now, I'm just one of the herd. I keep my head down, focus on munching my way on down the trail of life and let the mediocrity of America's service industry become the standard. It saddens me to know this is how I've become. But what the hell...the food was pretty freakin' good.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Marigold blooms

Randey's roses

For Aunt Sandi, a Ruby Slipper Daisy, a white Daytura, a Lily, Lantana and yellow Esperanza

Another pic of Sydney the Wonder Dog...and he still looks Chinese. What up w' dat?

Sydney the Wonder Dog. He looks....kind of Chinese, huh?

Bustin' a Cap

I chipped a tooth. Feelin' pretty happy about that. And not just any tooth. A front tooth. Well technically, I busted a cap that was bonded to a front tooth. Hey! Don't hate me because I'm lucky. That's just the way it is. I figure I'm about one more physical catastrophe away from becoming the next guest on Jerry Springer. I've been porkin' right on up, my hair needs mowin' (both head and legs), most of my clothes have paint splotches on 'em and now I have a chipped front tooth. I guess all I really need is a cigarette hanging out of my mouth, a beer in one hand, a barbed wire tattoo on my bicep and a baby or two hanging off my hips to turn myself into the quintessential white trash grandma. Luckily, I quit smoking, it's too early for a beer, tattoos aren't my thing and (somewhat unluckily) my grandchildren aren't with me right at this minute. Other than that, though - there's not much standing between me and Jerry Springer fame! I'll start working on distancing myself from that fate. Got a dentist appointment July 2nd, a haircut is just a phone call away and we've already discussed that weight issue (remember - I'm only staying chunky because my husband wants me like that!). Here's hoping the dentist works fast and painlessly (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha) and nothing else goes wrong - like peeling toenails or some other strange affliction.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Go ahead - ask me! "Kari, Kari, quite contrary, how does your garden grow?" Well, JUST LOOK!

Left column: althea blossom, spiderwort and roses
Right column: evening primrose, gardenia

Is your phone the boss of you?

I catch way too much flak for not answering my phone. Way too much. Why do people think it's wrong for me to not want to answer my phone sometimes? Why am I considered anti-social if I don't snatch up my phone every time it rings? What's wrong with the caller leaving a message? Don't get me wrong...I like keeping in touch with people, really I do. But I have never really liked talking on the phone. I can remember getting a phone call way back when I was about 13 years old and telling my sister, who had answered the phone, to tell the person calling that I would call them back because I didn't want to talk right then. My mother got so ticked at me. She made me call the person back immediately because she said I was rude to not take the call. Why is that? I'm still mystified! Why are you supposed to be available and ready to talk to someone every time they pick up a phone and dial your number? Why is my time so unimportant that I'm supposed to drop everything and talk whenever my phone rings? Back in the day (back before even MY day, to be honest), people only called when it was important. Now they call with this; "Hey, I'm bored. What are you doing?". I feel like saying "well, jeez, I guess now I'm entertaining you." I know, I know...that's being snarky. But whatever happened to calling because you had something to say? I've had people call me every single freakin' day for...nothin', other than boredom. Now, again, don't get me wrong! I've done the same thing myself. I've called people 4 and 5 times a week just because I wanted someone to talk to. My point is, I've always been ready to not talk in case the person is busy or doesn't answer or just isn't in the mood to talk. I'm okay with that. I understand that my boredom doesn't take precedence over someone else's plans. I think it's great that communication is so easy these days. I just don't get why communication being easy means that communication is an obligation. For anybody out there reading this, please know that you are under no obligation to talk to me if I call. If I'm calling for something specific and you don't answer, I'll leave a message if I can. If I'm calling just to talk and you don't answer, I'll try again later. Either way, I won't take offense because you didn't drop that garden spade or put down that book or stop eating dinner or basically quit whatever it is you happen to be involved with just to talk to little ol' me. Just please call me back, when you get the chance. But don't be offended if I don't grab that phone right away! Like you, I might be busy or I might be wrapped up in something. Or maybe I'm simply exercising my right to not be a slave to my phone.
May we all embrace the concept of PHONE FREEDOM!
(And still remain happy with each other)

Paint it RED!

Ever get a wild hair and decide to paint a room in your house? Who hasn't, right? Unfortunately, this happens to me more than most (just ask Randey - he'll tell you it's true). Even more unfortunate, I have the absolute worst "color sense" of anyone I know. I mean really. I can just look at something and immediately pick out the worst color to go with it. It's a gift, of sorts. If you ever want to know what color NOT to paint something, call me. Ask my opinion and then do the exact opposite. It's taken me a long, long time to come to terms with my color issues. I recently decided that the color I painted the kitchen 2 years ago when we moved in is all wrong. Actually, I never liked the way it looked, but couldn't figure out why I disliked it so much. Then it hit me. The walls and the cabinets just blended in together. If you squinted, you couldn't tell where one ended and the other began. Boring, boring, boring. So - knowing how prone I am to bad color selection - I enlisted the help of my dearly beloved to choose something new. My dearly beloved chose RED. Wow. Couldn't believe it. This is a man who thought I needed therapy because I didn't want any white walls in our house. Apparently, he's been converted to the world of color. And how! Red. Hmmm. So okay. Who am I to argue? My track record speaks for itself so we went with the red. And I think I like it. Maybe. I'm really not sure. It's better than it was. But it's so....well, RED. But here's the thing. Color experts say that red is a great color for a kitchen or dining room because it...get ready - you're gonna love this! - stimulates the appetite. Well, yippee-kie-aye! That's just what I was looking for! Something to make me hungry (or hungrier, if you want to get more accurate). I'm thinking Randey just wants a fat wife! He's done everything except lather me up with crisco (and that would be a WHOLE other blog if it did happen!) to keep me fat. First with the Godiva chocolates. Always bringing them home for every holiday. (Yeah, everyone should have a spouse that mean, huh?) Then with the candy ("I couldn't remember if you like smarties or sweet-tarts so I got them both"). Don't want to forget the bags of Cheetos ("hey - check this out,hon! Cheetos are fat-free!"). And now he picks RED for our kitchen. It's a sign, people! My man wants me full-figured! REALLY full-figured, I'm guessing. And who am I to make him unhappy? Never let it be said that I'm not out to please my husband. Throw out the scales and pass the gravy! I'm gonna make Randey one happy, happy man!

Can you believe these flowers live at my house?