#TBT: My Boys

I was eight years old when I got brothers.  They were older than me, not babies, so I was leery at first.  A baby brother would have been a dream because I could tote him around in my dolly stroller and dress him up in my dolly clothes with a minimum of fuss and a maximum of bossiness.  (Martie never let me boss her around even though I was a full 20 months older than her.)  Instead I got these wild things who ran non-stop into and out of the woods, who double-dog dared me to launch myself into the creek from a rope swing, and who sometimes pushed me out of hammocks onto some very pointy rocks.  I was crazy about them.

Barracuda!

All the girls that we went to school with were crazy about them, too.  Martie and I got phone calls all the time from these much older girls who’d ask, “Vawn nere?”

Martie would look at me, her forehead wrinkled into a question mark, and hold out the phone to me mouthing, “I don’t know what she’s saying?”

“Hello?” I’d say, and then I’d hear, “Yah, Vawn nere?”  I’d look back at Martie, my forehead wrinkled into a question mark, and shrug.  It took us a little bit to realize that Popular Girl Tammi wasn’t really calling to talk to Martie or me, despite her asking for us, but was calling to determine if Vaughan (Brother Bear) was home.  Oh.  Vawn nere? = is Vaughan there?

“He’s fahr,” another girl said admiringly of Brother Boo.  By this point I’d caught on to the lingo.

“Yes, fire would be a good descriptor for him,” I’d say, knowing that my version of fire and her version of fire were two different fires.

Hotties

After the boys learned to drive, and it was early as they had been clamoring for that privilege since they were able to sit upright, they’d worry the mess out of Madre and Poppa to go somewhere.

“I’ll run over and get some milk from the dairy farm,” they’d promise and then roar off in the old Cadillac, always returning with the car but sometimes not with the milk.

“I’ll just go get the dog food, no problem, can I have the keys?” they’d ask, right before they disappeared down the country dirt road, not to return again for two hours.

“I’ll mow the grass,” Brother Boo yelped, and he’d drive lines up and down the yard all afternoon.

That grass mowing business left me raging with jealousy.  I had been begging to mow grass since I was too short to even reach the push mower handles.  My cousin, Reid, was tasked with that chore before we got brothers and then afterwards, the boys took care of it, so Martie and I were never allowed the privilege.

“Show me how to do that,” I remember asking Brother Boo.  “Please, I want to do that.”

Y’all, for three whole minutes he patiently taught me.

“Let the clutch out slowly, you want it to be smooth,” he said as I positioned myself on the seat.

I tried slow and smooth just like he said but at nine, slow and smooth were not yet in my vocabulary.  I wobbled all over my one line, mad at him because I couldn’t get it right.

“Are you sure slow, because this isn’t working,” I snarked.

That soured Brother Boo on the game and he said, “No, actually, it’s easier if you just pop the clutch.  I was messing with you before.”

So I, ever trusting, popped the clutch and nearly flew backwards off that lawn mower.  Brother Boo laughed at me, claimed his rightful place in the driver’s seat and smoothly drove off to finish his mowing.

Glory

Later, once we all knew how to drive and had cars with which to do it, our brothers would drive theirs until they had no gasoline left, and then ask if they could borrow ours.  Brother Bear was particularly charming in his requests and he’d fly off after we handed over the keys.  Hours later, he would return from his party or his game or his date and he’d leave the car in the front yard with almost enough fuel to drive three miles to the nearest store.  Oh, it was irritating!  It happened EVERY TIME he borrowed a car yet Martie and I still willingly handed over the keys when he asked for them.

As kids do, we all grew up and turned into our own people.  My brothers started a band and played on big stages for a while.  They got married and had families and pursued other dreams when the band faded away.  Sometimes we stay in touch with regularity and sometimes we have to have marathon sessions for catching up because it’s been too long.

 

Band Member, Boo, Bear, Band Member, Band Member

Band Member, Boo, Bear, Band Member, Band Member

When Poppa got sick, Brother Bear was able to fly in to lend his support.  I picked him up from the airport and drove him to the hospital where we sat with the rest of the family in a vigil for hours.  We soon realized that the vigil would continue for longer than hours, more like days, and Brother Bear and I took turns staying overnight with Poppa because he couldn’t be left alone.  I’d drive home at midnight to sleep and then in the morning would relieve Brother Bear so he could take a turn at my house.  He’d take off in my car, pick up food and then crash for a few hours before coming back to relieve me.  It was a terrible time.

After a particularly trying night, I left the hospital, weary to my bones and sad.  The two of us knew before anyone else, I think, that Poppa as we knew him would not be coming home.  I got in my car and started it up for my drive across town.  I glanced down at my dashboard and you know what I noticed?  My brother had filled up my car.  My tank was full.  I laughed through my tears all the way home.

Handsome

This Thanksgiving, the four of us could not be any further apart.  Not one of us will see the other today.  It’s okay, though, because we don’t need to see each other to know we are loved.  Our hearts are connected by more than that.

Happy Thanksgiving, everybody!

 

 

Cutest

This cute little thing is DJ, Lynnette’s little boy.  He is obsessed with Spider Man and when we asked him to pose for his Halloween picture, this is what he did.  Don’t you just want to squeeze him till he pukes?

Spider Man!

Spider Man!

This year, instead of giving out the standard 50 pounds of chocolate to my neighborhood kids, I got to see how the other side lives and take my own kids trick-or-treating.  Pooh and Tigger live out in the country, and while they can trick-or-treat at the measly three or four houses around them, they don’t really get the experience of neighborhood trick-or-treating.  You know, the kind where you get so much candy that you can barely lift your pillowcase anymore and your parents are screaming for you to quit with the chocolate already because it’s 12:30 am and you are still bouncing off the walls due to extra high sugar consumption.  That kind of trick-or-treating.  The good kind.

Coach, their daddy, drove them up to my house where we slapped on makeup in a frenzy and changed into costumes lickety split and then sat on pins and needles waiting for it to be dark enough to go spooking door-to-door.  All that anticipation from Pooh and Tigger, and also DJ because he needed to trick-or-treat in a friendly neighborhood, and we only walked through two cul-de-sacs before these children had more candy than they’d ever seen in a lifetime.

 

Dead Softball Player (why?) and Goth Fairy

Dead Softball Player (why?) and Goth Fairy

“We are done, Aunt Jimmie,” they said, and I looked at them aghast.

“You’ve not even walked half the neighborhood,” I said.

“Yeah, but my bag is too heavy,” said Pooh.  “It’s too much.” Tigger nodded, and let her bag droop to the ground where it could rest on the concrete instead of her arm.

These children are amateurs, I tell you.  Total novices.

You know how I tell you all the time that I don’t want children? It’s the truth.  I don’t want any, and aside from all my physical and selfish reasons, that is largely because I already have the two cutest ones in the world.  (I’ll take three if DJ ever lets me count him as one of mine.) The whole point of this story before I got off on the trick-or-treat tangent was to tell you about the game that Pooh and Tigger love to play, the one I catch them at most often, because this is just about the cutest thing I ever did see.

One date night weekend I walked into Martie and Coach’s house to find Tigger wearing her purple fluffy skirt, her pink kitty cat sweater and her black boots. She had on her fake glasses and was carrying an old briefcase that Madre bought new in 1974.  Tigger was very earnestly finger-wagging at Pooh, saying, “You need to clean this place up. This is a disgrace.”

Finger Wagging at It's Finest

Abby Mace is Tigger’s Alias

She then withdrew a portfolio from her briefcase and selected a hand drawn form upon which she had written instructions.  She scribbled earnestly on the form and then in flamboyant flourishes wrote a number.  She handed the form over to Pooh who sighed heavily and looked around in dismay at her surroundings.  Tigger then marched off, boots whuffing as she breezed down the hall.  It was officious and intimidating and adorable because she was wearing a kitty cat sweater and a purple skirt.

“What are they doing?” I asked Martie.

“Playing health inspector,” she replied.  “It’s their favorite game.  They dress up in their most professional clothes and take turns writing each other up and assigning public health food scores.”

Monthly Schedule of Inspection Visits

Weekly Schedule of Inspection Visits

Oh, you guys!  Oh, my stomach!  I laughed so hard that Tigger walked off in a snit.  She takes her job very seriously.  I tried to tell her that I loved it so much, that I could not get over the cleverness of it, but I couldn’t really get my words past the tears in my throat and the giddy laughter that bubbled from my mouth.

 

Officious Form

Sarah Marcs is Pooh’s Alias

I’ve worried these last few years about the effects of video games and lame crafty ideas and apps on a phone that do everything for you.  I worry that our children will have no imagination left. I guess that was needless on my part.  Give my kids some paper and a pen and pair of fake glasses, and the games they play will blow your mind.

Also, before I forget, I updated my last post about my date night with Pee-Tah.  You should check that out.

Reason #498 For Jimmie To Not Have Children

What you see here is my niece, Pooh, playing softball.

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And what you see here is my niece, Tigger, ponytail flying, socializing with her friends. That is her sport. She’s very good at it.

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What you don’t see here is me, sitting on the bleachers, sniveling and carrying on because these children are growing up too fast for my liking. Every accomplishment they attempt makes my throat close up and my eyes sweat. Pooh plays the trumpet in the band. Tigger reads at a level far above her years. Pooh is in middle school. Middle school! She fixes her hair now and wants to look trendy, and sometimes the three of us talk about boys!

These poor children. They want to live their lives and do all the things their friends are doing and I’m cheering them through it on the outside, but inside I’m begging them to stop. Just be babies again, just for a minute. My heart cannot take this, and my eyes are puffy enough what with my being over 40 now.

Still, I take it on the chin like every self-respecting adult. Like a grownup. When Pooh runs off the softball field, eyes shining and words tripping breathlessly out of her mouth in a rush to tell us that her coach is proud of her, I do my level best to croak out a “Me too, baby. I’m proud of you, too,” and then wait until she flitters off back to her friends before I let the tears fall. It’s what an aunt does. It’s as close as she can get. I don’t know how you parents do this.

Among Other Things, A Series Of Selfies

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I was packing my walking shoes for the trip to Key West I was taking with Madre when I noticed that I’d worn out the bottom of my shoes. There was a large spot in the center of the shoe that only separated my foot from the sidewalk with thin pieces of rubber and stuffing. I suppose that says a lot for the amount I’ve walked since Easter, when I bought the shoes, and a lot for the amount of work my pedicurist had to do when I last visited her. I crammed the shoes down as far as I could and zipped the case closed.

Madre and I had been planning this trip since Poppa died but only 18 months later did we plan it in earnest. I think Madre didn’t want to leave her comforts, her safe places, and I had other trips already planned with My Girls. But plan it we did, and on a Monday night we flew out of Nashville into Miami on a puddle jumper that rattled in uncomfortable ways.

For six days Madre, Auntie Anne, Auntie Susanne and I enjoyed nearly every nice thing the Florida Keys have to offer. Aunties Anne and Susanne have lived there for a while now, so it’s lovely that we can visit whenever the hurricanes are not in season and when the Aunties are not travelling elsewhere. I get my love of travel from Auntie Anne, the person who took me to Chicago at seven, New York at twelve, and Europe at nineteen. I celebrated my twentieth birthday in Chamonix, a chilly little ski village in France and found myself an Italian boyfriend for two days in Sienna thanks to her. Not everyone can say that, I assure you.

The four of us packed up Auntie Susanne’s boat one day and headed out to the Marvins, the one place I was desperate to go. All the pictures in green, the ones that don’t look real, those are the Marvins. Madre and I walked around the island in the middle of the ocean, swishing our feet over the sandbar and swimming in the tide around the parts that were too deep. We nearly proved ourselves inadequate for that task, but we made it around the island feeling tired and virtuous. I could happily spend the rest of my days on that island, but it seems to me that I say that about every body of water I’m parked near. I guess I’m a water baby.

I met Seaborne, the dog you could tell was over me and my selfies. I met Chico, whom I’d have taken a selfie with but I had a suspicion Chico would have eaten my face off had I folded myself Indian style next to his carriage. Auntie Anne is the one with the very short hair, Auntie Susanne is the one fiercely captaining her ship, and Madre is the one with the sponge man, a strange yet delightful Key West oddity. The car door has a car painted around it and can be found on the wall outside of my bedroom at the Aunties’ house. The tarpon you can see underwater probably weighed nearly what I do. The trees are Banyans. They grow in ropes and are massive. The art belongs to the University of Miami, where Madre and I took a walk and got soaked in a torrent of rain about a mile from our destination, rendering me a liar. I’ve now been in public in a wet t-shirt. The snail was simply scootching along, minding her own business, enjoying the heat and the humidity.

Speaking of the humidity, I’ve never in my life had such unruly hair. In the normal state of things, humidity and heat cause my hair to go limp and sit lifelessly on my head. In the Keys, however, my hair took on a whole new persona, one that was fluffy and large and often unmanageable. If you think that upset me, you are sorely mistaken. I reveled in the bigness of it and gleefully tried to comb it out every night, admiring how the sides of it barely fit into the image I saw in the mirror. My skin was hydrated, dewy (sweaty) and covered in mosquito bites by the end of the trip. My body was relaxed after days of lounging in the pool or lounging in the hammock or lounging in a chilly bedroom with a good book. I read five.

Madre and I packed our belongings to come home. I stuffed in my walking shoes, even thinner on the bottom now as Madre and I walked every day and zipped my case closed. It was fatter than when I arrived (shopping) and at the airport, they made me unpack it so that it would fit in the carryon bin of our puddle jumper airplane. I tried rearranging everything but finally resigned myself to the fact that the shoes were not coming home with me. I threw them in the trash, re-zipped my case and passed through security with flying colors. Madre and I discussed how I would get a new pair of shoes when I got home and how she now knows that she can leave the comforts of home for other comforts and not worry. She can let go and relax and not hold everything on her shoulders that she and Poppa used to shoulder together. She has others who will shoulder it with her and for her when she wants to visit her sister and take some time to laze in a hammock.

Thank you, Auntie Anne and Auntie Susanne, for allowing us to be your houseguests. I’ll be back soon, Woney in tow, and let her see for herself why your house is such a wonderful place.

Meet The Flintstones

Once upon a time, a long time ago, I had a husband. That husband met my parents and liked Daddy-O enough to plan a trip down to Florida so that he and Daddy-O could go fishing. Husband showed up at Daddy-O’s house at the appointed time and found Daddy-O cutting back trees in the yard. Daddy-O asked Husband for assistance with those trees before they left to go fishing and eight hours later, Husband said, “I don’t know about you, but I’ve never done any fishing like this” as he carried the final bunch of limbs out to the curb. They never did go fishing together and both learned a valuable lesson – sometimes plans fall apart.

Once upon a time, very recently, I made plans to hang with Woney and her parents in Georgia for Memorial Day weekend. We were going to attend parties, have some cocktails with my friends, Miguel and Will, and lounge by the pool. I wasn’t worried at all about liking Woney’s parents because, hello, Woney. And I wasn’t worried about them liking me because, hello, Jimmie. I showed up at Pa Fred and Ma Wilma’s house ready to party but instead I moved furniture. Someone in the family sold a house and someone else felt like it was a marvelous idea to schedule a surprise clean-out on the only three-day weekend this family was gonna get. I wasn’t dressed at all for moving as I like girlie dresses and floppy shoes, and after a long time of me uselessly flapping around saying “What should I pack next? Whose truck does this go in? I can lift this end if you can get the other end,” we finally got to sit down and eat pizza in our dirty, sweaty clothes. I said to the Flintstone family, “I don’t know about you, but I never attended any parties like this before – usually there is a pool and a barbeque,” as I wiped the sweat and mascara from my cheek. We never did get to meet my friends for drinks, either. I learned a valuable lesson – sometimes plans fall apart.

Lest you think I have my panties all in a twist over the surprise moving party, I’m going to tell you that my Memorial Day weekend was fabulous. It really was. Woney’s parents, Pa Fred and Ma Wilma, were just the nicest parents ever. When I arrived, Woney was showing me all around the room, introducing me to her family, and mentioned that I was the friend she took to Ireland. She was telling the story about how I would not kiss the Blarney Stone (y’all, it has been urinated upon) to receive the Gift of Gab (that’s what it promises), and Pa Fred said, “She already has the gift of gab – she doesn’t need it!” I hadn’t even said hello to him yet but I could tell we were gonna see eye to eye, Pa Fred and I.

Oh, I loved those people! Ma Wilma made a salad for the family but because I don’t eat maraschino cherries, she left them out. Aunt Collette offered me some of Aunt Sue’s belongings even though I never met Aunt Sue and won’t because her house was the one that was sold after her passing. Niece McKenzie, the most beautiful 16-year-old girl I know, is making plans to travel with Woney and me in the near future. All Woney’s brothers treated me like they treat Woney except maybe nicer because while I’m sister-like, I’m not really their sister and don’t deserve to be picked on just yet.

I also met Woney’s new cat, Boo. Isn’t she cute?

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Well, she’s cute in real life where she is exactly this blurry as she tears all around the house and finally stops when she claws her way lickety split up your leg and you knock her off. We came home from moving to find Pa Fred kicked back in his recliner, a bandage fashioned from a paper towel and secured on with a ring of electrical tape around his leg to staunch the bleeding inflicted by Boo’s claws. He reminds me of Poppa. “I hate that damn cat,” he’d say but then five minutes later you’d catch him stroking her furry, blurry head.

I got more hugs that I deserved from these people. The Flintstone family gives great hugs, just like my family. They share their inside jokes and make fun of each other and have dinner together at a table that is ever so slightly too small but it doesn’t matter because they all like each other and want to sit close. I got more apologies than I deserved, too. Each person apologized to me, their guest, for being forced into a move no one planned on the weekend meant for parties and barbeques, which I really did not mind. I hate to tell them but when they meet my family, they will have to move tree limbs in order to earn pizza and fishing. It’s all going to come out in the wash!

Throwback Thursday! No Words Needed

Madre

Madre

Auntie Pastel

Auntie Pastel

Lynnette

Lynnette

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Junior Prom Date and Jimmie

Jimmie and Martie

Jimmie and Martie

Dammit Todd

Dammit Todd

Jimmie

Jimmie

Martie

Martie

Madre and Poppa

Madre and Poppa

Martie and Jimmie

Martie and Jimmie

In Which I Write A Guest Post For Someone Else

A couple of weeks ago, I told you that I would link to a blog post I wrote for Martie, my sister. I didn’t do that because she didn’t post my blog right away, and then when she did, I had written up a bunch of stuff for you about my cruise. I’m not done talking about that yet – everybody knows that there is food galore on one of those ships and I MUST tell you about it – but in the interim, I thought you’d like to read about makeup. Boys, I know you cannot wait.

Anywho, below is the link to Martie’s blog but my writing. And while you are checking that out, Martie has an Etsy shop with some super nice stuff so check that out as well.

Martie’s Blog

Martie’s Shop

I’ll write at you again soon. SPOILER ALERT: I talk about chocolate!

A Note To David

Poppa 2

Hey, Poppa.

It’s been a whole year. Today is a year.

You know, you don’t always understand how much influence a person has over you until you have to live life without that person. Do you know how many times I see a bird and think of you? Do you know how many times I’ve wanted to drive up into your driveway and tell you about my trip to Ireland or something I heard on the news? I’ve read so many books I want to tell you about. It’s the everyday things that are the hardest. It’s in the mundane you are missed the most.

Please don’t worry. I’m not moping around mourning you every day. None of us do that. What kind of testament to your life would that be? All sadness all the time? You’d be so mad if that’s all we had left of you. But some days I miss you so much that it feels like I’ve been walloped in the stomach with a bag of rocks. My breath hurts and I just can’t see my way out of the tears. Those days pass, though, and I’m left seeing you in so many other ways, happy ways.

The whole family has been reading your journals. Every morning you sat in your chair and wrote about the weather or what project you were finishing. We now take turns sitting in your chair, and when one of us finds our name, we get giddy and read to everyone else what you said. Isn’t that funny, that my name in your handwriting is so special to me? You said my name a thousand times but when you wrote about me, that means you thought about me when I wasn’t there. Oh God, that hurts. And speaking of God, we never talked about that. Why didn’t we talk about that? But every day, no matter what kind of pain you were having in your feet or what sort of financial thing you dealt with or what kind of joy you experienced, you thanked God. “Thank you, Lord,” was the way you ended every entry, every day. A life well lived. You were steady, even to the end.

Sometimes one of us will see an owl or a kestrel and it feels like you are checking on us, so we say hello. We cry a little but we still just want to say hi, to let you know that we see you in everything and that we still see things through the lens of your eyes. Mom let us read one of your love letters. Only one, but it was so powerful, so you. You ended it with “Your children are my children” and whether or not that letter won you my mother’s heart, it won you mine. You already had it, of course, but I could look back over all the years I had with you and know you meant it. I never had to read a letter to know how you felt. I was your child, too.

Poppa, I miss your hands. I miss walking by your bedroom at night and seeing the top of your head over a book and your feet sticking out from under the blanket. I miss your stories. I even miss the way you’d talk about something that was so far over my head yet I felt compelled to nod and say “uh-huh” despite the fact you’d lost me in the first sentence. You loved Willie Nelson but as much as I love you, I don’t miss listening to that music one bit. Sorry. Christmas and Thanksgiving – the year of the firsts – those were melancholy in moments but we all knew that had you been with us, you wouldn’t have really been with us once you got your hands on a gun stock or a book. Opening day of deer season – that was the worst. I missed the phone call I should have gotten about how you spent three minutes getting to your deer stand, shot the biggest buck anyone has ever seen within one minute of settling in, and then spent nine minutes getting it home, much to the disgust of every other person you ever hunted with. No one ever gets a deer as fast as you. That day was hard.

Poppa, we are okay. Mom misses you the most. Living without you is the hardest thing she’s ever done but you know how she raised us all. Independent. Fierce. Substantial. She is those things – that’s how you teach someone else to be those things. It’s just that some days the loss of you wears down the fierce and the substantial. Some days are harder than others. Today is one of those. I’m so sorry we lost you. I wish we never had to experience loss. But never experiencing loss means never having loved and that will never do. I lost you, Poppa, and that hurts so badly but I know that it means I loved you so much more. I’d never trade that out, never. Love rules, even over loss.

Today we will wave to you. Today we will talk about you a lot. Today we will mourn but we will also laugh and we will also love. You left us, but we are coming to you. Give us time. We will see you again. I’m just so damn happy about that.

In your words, Poppa, Thank You, Lord.

As ever, your favorite oldest daughter,

Mandy

Poppa

Breaking News! (And Other Assorted Stories)

“How do you stand it?” asked Slim. “It’s so quiet in here!”

I get that a lot when someone new comes to my house. Remember I don’t have a television and you should also know that I don’t have internet either.

You know what else I get, though? People, who upon arriving at my house say that they would die without the noise, falling asleep on my sofa because they are just so relaxed in my marshmallow house. Slim is one of the many whom I’ve found laid out under the fan, hand resting on a sleeping Murphy’s head, snoozing. It only takes about ten minutes for that to happen and then suddenly, everyone is converted to my way of living.

Well, not everyone. Luke is not converted. Luke actually has a giant man-television in his bonus room on which he watches football and other assorted man-TV. Sometimes when I drive by his house and see the glow of the television, I get sort of . . . . jealous. I miss the mindlessness of television on occasion. I miss the laziness of it after a long day, when holding up a book with two whole hands is just too much work. I texted Luke about it one night.

“Hey, can I come watch tv with you sometime? I promise not to talk during any football games and I can bring food.”

Turns out those were the magic words. “Come any time,” he said, “and I like chili.”

One Sunday evening soon after that I ran into him in his yard. “Tonight is the season finale of True Blood,” he said. “You should come watch it.”

“What’s True Blood?” I asked.

“I’ll explain later,” he says. “What are you cooking?”

That evening I put on decent pajamas, ones that cover my whole body, and a hoodie and traipsed over to Luke’s house. I first made my nosy inspection of all his rooms, his washer and dryer and his closets, having never been through his entire house. Then I perched on his futon sofa, highly anticipating a fantastic, lazy, mindless television experience.

That is not at all what I got. Firstly, I learned that True Blood is a vampire show and secondly, I learned that there is all kinda nudity and sex in it. Luke sort of knew that but after about two full-on nudie, really uncomfortable, not-much-left-to-the-imagination-sex scenes, he tentatively said, “Erm, I didn’t realize there would be so much of . . . . that . . . .” as he waved his hand in the general direction of the television. I could barely look at him and we both did that nervous giggle – a very tepid and strangled heh. Heh, heh, gurgle, heh. It only got worse when we saw some full frontal male nether parts. We both sat there, crimson and quiet.

So that lasted for an hour. He flipped around the channels after True Blood and then I got to experience Duck Dynasty and that was eye-opening. Also, cleaner. I enjoyed it very much. We ate M&Ms and watched television and for one half hour, all was marvelous, mindless and lazy. I am a Duck Dynasty convert.

I have other news to share with you. I have no nifty segue, though, so I’ll risk the jarring leap and just jump right in.

You remember my sister, Martie, right? The one who is practically my twin? I mean, look at us. Could we be more alike?

Martie’s musical talent:

La, la, la!
La, la, la!

Jimmie’s musical talent:

Decidedly not la, la, la

Decidedly not la, la, la

Martie’s children:

Pooh

Pooh

Tigger

Tigger

Jimmie’s children:

*crickets*

*crickets*

Martie’s pets:

Rock

Rock, weighing in at roughly 71 pounds

Roll

Roll, weighing in at 72 pounds or so

Jimmie’s pets:

Murphy, weighing in at 9 pounds

Murphy, weighing in at 9 pounds

Seamus, weighing in at 14 pounds, give or take a bag of treats or two

Seamus, weighing in at 14 pounds, give or take a bag of treats or two

Martie’s husband:

Coach

Coach

Jimmie’s husband:

*crickets*

*crickets*

 

Martie’s hair:

Glorious, Full, Thick Mane of Horse Hair

Glorious, Full, Thick Mane of Horse Hair

Jimmie’s hair:

Dandelion Fluff

Dandelion Fluff

Erm . . . huh. How bout this one?

Jimmie’s blog:

Jimmies World

Martie’s blog:

Is That A Hair In My Biscuit?

That’s right, folks! Martie has a blog and you should totally read it! Especially this one, as it’s my favorite.  Plus, she has a contest going and you could potentially win cool stuff.   We will link to each other often, so get ready. You now have two of us! Heh. Heh, heh, gurgle, heh.

I Win!

 

Roll

Roll

You see this dog?  This dog is the Seamus of dogs.  He’s a beautiful dog.  He likes treats.  He has fur.  And he cannot stand me.

I am not, by nature, a very patient person.  If you look at me from the outside you would disagree with me.  I do have the appearance of being extraordinarily patient and calm.  I speak softly when I answer the same questions you have asked me fifteen times already. I don’t wear scents that burn the very hairs from your nostrils, but instead one that is faintly reminiscent of warm brownies.  My hair is gently fluffy (unless I am applying for jobs, then it is full out “Fatal Attraction” sexy wild.  Apparently.)  My clothes consist of gauzy, wafty things that drape gently around me.   See? Patient.  And dare I say, wholesome.

I think I got off on a tangent there.  The point I am trying to make is that I appear to be longsuffering, as evidenced by the four years I’ve spent trying to win the love of Seamus, the cat, and the three years I’ve spent trying to win the love of Roll, the dog.  (Roll belongs to Martie and Coach, along with Rock, pictured below.  I probably should have explained that.)  On the outside, I am calm and serene.  On the inside, though, I’m a burning mess of “Why won’t you love me, @#%^ cat?!”  or, “@#%^ dog?!”, depending on whose house I’m in.  (This dichotomy is good for the stomach lining, by the way.  No acid reflux here, no sir.)

Rock

Rock

Like with Seamus, I’ve done everything I can think of to win that dog’s affection.  I’ve offered my long scratchy nails.  I’ve purchased hamburgers specifically for his consumption.  I’ve folded my legs Indian style and parked myself on Martie’s patio for extensive minutes, waiting for Roll to stop running away from me as if I’m going to beat him between the eyes with a ball peen hammer.

And y’all?  It worked.  It worked!

Last weekend I drove up Martee’s driveway and hauled my three bags of clothes into her house for my two-day stay.  We ventured out to the patio and once again, I called softly to Roll, asking for the pleasure of scratching his ears.  He was not having it.  I sighed and sat grumpily down in the patio chair, mad at the dog who never lets me pet him.  Martee and I watched Tigger ride her bike all around the yard and talked about nonsense and watched Coach water the flowers.  I felt something lick my leg and lean its head on my knee.  I reached down to scratch Rock’s ears and just happened to glance at what I was scratching.  It was not Rock.  It was Roll.

Martie has been telling me for years that Roll loves me, that he’s just shy and protective.  I’d have believed it if I didn’t see him wallering all over everyone else in the family but me, his stomach exposed and his ears flopped back, the epitome of a relaxed dog.  I guess now I see the truth.  He does love me! He really does! Happy sigh.

I will end this heartwarming love story with an open note to Seamus, the cat.

Dear Seamus –

You will not beat me, cat.  You will not.  You will love me.  I will pursue you with a relentless fervor and an endless bag of treats.  I did that with Roll and I won.  I will win with you, too.

Suck on that,

Jimmie

P.S. I somehow fixed the Post About Nothing. I have no idea what I did, so please, no one contact me for technical assistance as I will only be able to tell you that I got my hair cut and whined about my broken blog a whole lot. Read it if you like – it’s only moderately interesting.

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