Climbing trees

Matt’s birthday is tomorrow (I’m so glad he was born).  I asked him what he wanted for his birthday and he replied, “I put some stuff in the Amazon cart.”  Score.

The “stuff” in the cart was some accessories for his 4-wheeler, his Christmas present to himself.  These accessories included a 2500 lb winch, a winch mount and a winch strap.  Place order, wait for box with the Amazon logo and enjoy.

Once all the birthday presents arrived, Matt took them and his 4-wheeler to our neighbor and his friend, Josh, for help with installing.  Josh is a mechanic by trade and very good with things like this.

A night or two later, Matt came into the living room and said, “My four-wheeler is ready.  I know because Josh just sent me this picture.”


I really like Josh.

The things we do for love, uh, I mean for smoking hotness.

Matt is having a birthday soon, so we drove the hour or so to visit my mom and step-father last night for a pre-birthday dinner.  My Aunt Baby and Uncle Joe were also there and as always seems to happen, I came away from the evening with a good story or two.  Any time that my family gets together, there tends to be at least one good tale that makes an appearance, because as Baby says, “You can’t make this shit up.  You have to live it.”  Indeed.

Last night, we started talking about how my Uncle Joe was getting back into some of the hobbies and interests that he used to have, like wearing cowboy boots and collecting guns.  He had saved a lot of his pairs of cowboy boots that he had bought in the 70s and 80s and is just starting to wear them again (vintage!), so his argument is that this is a cost-effective interest.

Baby said something like “You’ll want to be wearing Sue boots again!” and she and my mom and Joe laughed and laughed.

me:  What are Sue boots?

Baby:  Back in the early 80s, me and your mom and Joe went to the Mt. Airy Fiddlers Convention with your dad while he set up his booth there to sell his Harley panties.  [My dad would go to flea markets and fairs, etc. and sell cowboy hats, t-shirts, leather wallets, etc. and black panties with the Harley-Davidson logo that said “I’m a Harley Honey”.  Classy.]  Joe walked around to check out the competition and saw this Sioux woman selling boots.

me:  Oh, Sioux as in S-I-O-U-X.  I thought you were saying S-U-E.

Baby:  No, like Indian.  Anyway, he thought she was hot, and she talked him into buying these Sioux boots.

Joe:  She was smoking hot.

Baby:  So he comes walking back wearing these boots with fringe all the way down the front and they cost like $40, back in 1982 that was like $100.  I was so mad!

Joe:  She was really hot.

Baby:  I guess I’m glad she wasn’t selling Sioux chandeliers, or I would have one of those in my house now.

Joe:  Yeah, I would have bought one, cause she was hot.

My Dad's Camper and Displays -- A Shopper's Paradise

My Dad’s Camper and Displays — A Shopper’s Paradise

Joe’s story made me think about the crazy stuff people do when they are trying to get someone’s attention or they, like Joe, think someone else is hot.  We all do it, at some point in our lives.  I know we do.  And I think that for the most part it is harmless, like buying Sioux boots.

I drank two bottles of wine pretty much by myself at a restaurant in New York City one time because our waiter was hot and the more I drank, the more often he would come back to the table to refill my glass.  Worst. Hangover. Ever.

My best friend in college got up in the middle of the night/morning, showered, put on makeup, etc., to meet a guy who called her on the phone, not realizing it was a crank call.  When the guy on the phone asked her what she was doing, she asked, “Is this Dominick?”  “Yes, it is.  Meet me.”  Because she thought it was Dominick, she did it because Dominick was hot.  Of course, no one showed up because it was a crank call.

This temporary insanity is giddy and fun and makes me smile to remember.  I think of the scene from Seinfeld where George Costanza said, “I once told a woman that I coined the phrase “Pardon my French.”” to get a woman.  We will do some outlandish things.  And some times we end up with boots, some times with hangovers.  Maybe sometimes we end up with a new love.

I am so excited for Matt and me to keep bees. These photographs really show how beautiful bees are!

Buzzing Around in My Head

I stumbled upon this website yesterday — it has the best pictures of bees. I’ve posted a few examples. You should check it out: The Bee Photographer at The photographer’s name is Eric Tourneret and his work is fabulous. Enjoy these few pics and check out his site for more.

Building combs – from

Detail of a wing under microscope – from

Multitude – from

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Lucky or blessed? Does it really matter?

Today I went outside with the dog and looked down and bam, right there, standing up taller than all the grass around it was a 4-leaf clover.

It may not be a real clover, but in this part of the world, this is what we call a clover.

It seemed especially appropriate to find this on St. Patrick’s Day.  When I found it, I thought, “How lucky was that!  Finding a four-leaf clover on St. Patrick’s Day!”

I’m not Irish.  Well, maybe like a smidge a gizzillion generations back.  So, I don’t have the luck of the Irish.  I’ve never considered myself lucky — never won contests, never win money when I buy the scratch lottery tickets, never even do well on the Slots app on my iPhone.

After finding the 4-leaf clover today, I started to think about all the ways that I maybe am lucky:  marriage, family, home, friends, health, job…

According to, “lucky”  or “luck” means:

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 6.47.07 PM

Ok, I guess there is some measure of chance related to the great things in my life.  I didn’t have any control of being born in a developed nation instead of a third-world country.  I didn’t have any control of being born in a country that has a higher level of health care than most other countries.

I think that the word that describes me better is blessed, especially the fourth definition of the word:

Screen Shot 2013-03-17 at 6.57.46 PM

I am fortunate, happy and content.  And maybe lucky, as well.  It can’t hurt to be either.

Lá Fhéile Pádraig Sona Daoibh!

What your iPad history could reveal about your mate (or you)

Matt is younger than me.  Not by a lot — only two years.  But he loves to remind me of the fact and ask me things like “How does it feel to be a cradle robber?” or “Do you brag about marrying a younger man?”  To which I very maturely reply, “Ha ha, very funny.”

But I actually may be a cougar, based on this conversation.

me: (looking for a website on the iPad that I had visited the previous day) Where is the history?  I want to revisit a site.

Matt:  Oh, I always erase the history.

me:  Why?  Are you visiting sites you don’t want me to know about?

Matt:  Really?  No.  It’s just a habit.


Matt:  If you saw my history, all you would see would be sites related to four-wheelers, cameras and books about tree-climbing.

me:  You sound like a twelve-year old boy.

Hello, Mrs. Robinson

I think that I have robbed the cradle.  Or at least the middle-school.


What do hoarders have in common? Why, too many things to list!

I have a close friend that has been dealing with a very ill parent for almost 3 months. As she has been talking with doctors, learning about her parent’s illness, etc., she has also been cleaning her parents’ house. She told me the other day that as she and her aunt and uncle were sorting through the laundry room and kitchen that her uncle said, “We should call American Pickers!” She said that she replied, “As long as you don’t say, “We should call “Hoarders.””

I grew up surrounded by hoarders, or at least by people who were on some part of the hoarding continuum. Usually, they resided toward the “keep everything” end of that continuum. I have noticed a commonality between the people who I know that tend or tended to hoard — they lived during the Great Depression.

Matt said that his mom was a hoarder, but she tended to hoard food more than anything. She used to describe to him how she often went hungry during the Great Depression. And she (like Scarlett O’Hara) vowed not be hungry again. My mamaw and papaw tended to hoard, but I don’t remember it being food as much as just “stuff”. My mama has said that she doesn’t ever remember going hungry growing up, though a meal may have consisted of potatoes cooked two different ways and three different kinds of beans. So, maybe what each person hoarded was based on individual experience.

I also grew up hearing certain phrases over and over from my hoarding friends and family. (Ok, I don’t know that any of them were ever officially diagnosed as hoarders, but if looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it’s probably a duck.) As things were put onto shelves, or into drawers, or into sheds, they would say, “We could probably fix this.” Or “Someone might be able to use this.” That last statement was a much used one. Because one thing that I did learn about Depression-created hoarding — it was a community-based practice. You kept a lot of stuff because your neighbors and family might need something that you had — it would have been selfish to throw something away.

Matt's Uncle's Doorbell -- This is how a person from the Depression reuses something

Matt’s Uncle’s Doorbell — This is how a person from the Depression reuses something

Matt and I were talking about hoarding this morning over breakfast and about whether the Great Recession that we have been in (is it over?) the last several years will jump-start another round of hoarding in people. I think that a certain generation of people born in the 80s and later have definitely grown up in a disposable mentality — everything can be thrown away and replaced, much different from the mentality of my grandparents and aunts and uncles. Will the recent years of job loss and unemployment and falling consumer confidence and global recession create a compulsive need to keep stuff?

Matt and I don’t hoard — instead we just don’t buy. When we married and merged two fully formed households, it took months to donate, sell, recycle and throw away the excess to create just one household. So, now we think about everything that we bring into the house. And we don’t hang on to stuff that doesn’t work, or that we don’t use, or that doesn’t fit, etc. We try to find another home for it.

And maybe that is the new mentality. Limit what comes in to begin with, but don’t hang on to what you don’t need.

I’ll take a smile with that shot.


I had my annual physical today, complete with blood work.

me:  (as blood starts to flow into little tube) Is that the right color for blood?

nurse:  Yes

me:  What would you do if you saw blood come out of someone that was blue or green?  Would you call the FBI and tell them that you had an alien?

nurse:  (without looking up)  No.

I think I would like my nurse to have a little sense of humor.  A little ability to smile.

Or maybe not.  Maybe your health is one of the areas that you don’t want any joking.  I remember a visit to the OB-GYN in my early twenties.  It was only the second time that I had ever been to see the OB-GYN and during the previous year’s visit, he had found a small “fibrous” mass in my breast.  “Nothing to worry about” he assured me.  The next year, when he found it again, he asked me about it — “did we find this last year?”  “yes”, I said.  “Well,” he said, chuckling, “it must not have been serious, or you’d be dead by now.”  That was not a sense of humor.  That was bad taste.

Maybe this nurse has an excellent sense of humor and she just didn’t think that I was funny.

Nah, I don’t think it was that.