22 aug 2018

If you ask her, Ruthie hates Hobby Lobby. Because one time three years ago she toppled backwards in one of their small carts. She’s sure the same employee is still working there and will recognize her.

We finally convinced her to walk through the doors again and behold, how these aisles must look to a 3ft child. Pretending to be in a jungle ate up a good ten minutes.

It may have even inspired the big eagles nest they made later that day. I have to remind myself that telling them to not come inside unless they’re hurt or needing the bathroom may be a good thing despite their howls at me. They worked on and played in this nest for a good hour.

Ruth’s first day of first grade. She wanted to wear different earrings, and so while I was putting them in she said that last year another girl had these exact ones too but she never told her because she was shy. I asked if she was gonna be different this year and she said, ‘No, I’ll probably still be shy.’ Sweet Ruth.

16 aug 2018

This isn’t the best pic I took of them, but it’s the one I like most. Ruthie starts school next week and met her first grade teacher today. She wanted to wear her most sparkly dress, given to her, I’m assuming, by her cousins. She brushed her hair twice and still looked like she’d rolled down a few hills. When asked a question, she answered in the quietest voice possible. I told Ruth she’s lucky to have such a sweet teacher, but truthfully her teacher is lucky to have Ruth.

She says her teacher has Aunt Amy’s nose.

Right now we’re at the library waiting to pick up Gertie. Annie skipped to the bathroom. After a few minutes I heard her calling my name. I opened the door and asked what she wanted and in the not quietest voice possible, told everyone in earshot how poop comes out your butt. I think Annie’s teacher is lucky too, mostly because I know she’ll get a good laugh in.

Apparently being hip is not a requirement.

I don’t know how I snaked by. Unless it means that only mamas with hips can join. In that case, I was a shoe-in. In fact, I’m sure there’s an email in my inbox right now requesting that I be the spokesperson for that group of mamas with hips. If that were true, though, I don’t think the current clipart is appropriate.

Either which way, I’ve joined this local group.

It’s confirmed, people, I’m hip. So you can stop sending me emails on how to up my cool factor. It’s already been achieved.  After I read the acceptance, I strutted around The Shack pointing and winking at everything.

Then I looked at Ruthie and she gave me her ‘I can see through you and you’re not as cool as you think’ look. Oh yeah, Ruth? Well, for your information I’m now a hip mama. Eat it. So she did. And after 15 minutes gave me the look again.

Whatever. I’ll show you.

But before I walk through this nerdy wardrobe into the Chronicles of Hipness, let’s take a look at my past life. My past awkward life.

Like how I forced R to participate in Thrill The World with me and another couple. It was a bid to try and have the most number of people dance the Thriller at the same time. People all over the world did it. See? I’m not alone. We showed up for the practice and were swarmed by 14 year olds.

If you want to watch the video, here it is. Don’t hate. We spent the day leading up to this at an Oktoberfest festival. It took me nano seconds into the first lager to forget the steps. My friend, J, and I are on the left side (I’m in the black dress and she is in front of me in pants and small jacket.) T & R are on the right, (T wearing a tuxedo shirt and R right behind him.) R’s favorite part is the high-five they did at the very end.

Or what about the time I slipped on stairs in college, landed on my back, and laid there as a high school tour walked by? That will never happen again. Because I’m hip now, ya’all. (maybe I should quit saying ya’all, then.)

If you’re interested in getting a glimpse into my disturbing psyche, in which I obsess over a graceful girl all through class and then try to emulate her, click on the photo. It will take you to the post.

And talk about disturbing. Me, in the woods, with a Jane Austen book. What would Jane think? And why would she be walking around with a copy of her own book? I don’t know, but she was cool… why couldn’t me reenacting mesmerizing looks not be? Well, that’s in the past now. I’ll only be throwing around hip looks from now on, which means I may or may not acknowledge you now that I’m several notches higher.

Click on the photo if you’re into the neuroses of a jane-aholic and would like to be hypnotized by my captivating stares. You’re getting very sleepy….

Upon being accepted into this group, I started looking around at the various meet-ups and found one that would fit Ruthie’s age. I remembered R’s word of advice: “don’t just throw all your cards out there at once, Carrie. Let people know you’re nice and then drop the weird jokes on them.”  So I RSVP’d for an event, and told myself to write something short and sweet. Don’t always try to go for the laugh, Carolyn. They’ll get to know you soon enough.

I’m screwed.

Wrapping Up

From here on out, it will be current or semi-current updates. But this is what we get for me taking a small sabbatical.

Hands down, my favorite part of christmas this year was playing student in Miss E’s class. If this girl doesn’t do something where a crowd of eyes are staring at her, then there’s no hope for any of us. She’s a natural performer.

Setting up shop in front of the fireplace

Reviewing the class rules: 1) Be quiet while teacher is talking. 2) Raise your hand if you have a question. 3) Tell the teacher if you need to use the bathroom. 4) No interruptin’

I thought she added the accent on #4 for my benefit since I’m further south than she is. And when I did in fact interrupt, at least she didn’t try to please the Arkansas in me by saying “Oh C, you’re a mess.” You remember my disdain for that phrase… here.

K had #2 down pat, and R needed a tutor for this subject apparently.

My other favorite parts of the day? Here’s just a few:

Helping prep the food with mom in our aprons.

Gut laughs during our White Elephant party with the cousins, aunts, & uncles.

And last but certainly not least, passing around the sick baby doll and giving him shots in the rear.


Range of Emotions

Okay, before we get started, I want to make sure you keep your eyes on R the whole time. Otherwise, you’ll go stir crazy. Our local library has a little corner in which they sell used books, so our bookshelves have kind of exploded and we’ve yet to organize. Also, there’s a little wire behind our computer that I cannot seem to keep tucked into our 50’s style roadside find.

(psssst, that is one of my favorite styles in furniture).

Anyway, that darn wire haunts me. It’s like the little spider in the Bernstein Bears books.

So now that you are focused on R, I have to mention how much I like watching games with him. When he gets excited he does this little karate kick, double punch thing while yelling our alma mater’s name. I wasn’t fast enough to catch it, but it happens.

Last night we played KU. And we lost. The game gave me an ulcer.

R’s emotions ranged from jubilation to hopefulness to disbelief to annoyance.

Let’s watch.

Sad night.

I’m sure this post will too…

I’ve started tutoring an ESL student a couple days a week after work. It’s only until you’re talking with a foreign speaker that you realize how many idioms you use in not just a day, but a conversation.

As I was flipping through my notebook today, deciding on a tongue twister to practice tomorrow (maybe Peter Piper?), I re-read a page from last week. There were three phrases on the paper meticulously written out for her to copy. They had been used just moments before writing, as it dawned on me that she may not know their meaning.

And with just these three lines, you can easily tell how our conversation went:

“to have ______ down.” or “to have [got] ______ down [pat]”.

regarding conversation starters “to get your foot in the door”

and finally…

“my joke bombed”

… ah, i can only laugh at myself. even if no one else will.


we are having internet troubles right now, so you may be forced to read posts sans photos for a few days. I’ve had some interesting things happen lately (with photos), so this will be tough.

plus, i still need to do part two of the grand canyon. chomping at the bits, here.
try explaining that one to a student.


Doesn’t this remind you of the cut-out shadows you created in pre-school? I can still feel the crayon move slowly around my head…along my arms…and then in between my fingers as I was traced onto paper. Smiling to my little self and relishing those few moments of complete relaxation. That just might have been my first yoga class.

Back in the school saddle again…

I thought I only had one preconception of my sign language class: the more I had to practice sign language at home, the more silence there would be for R. A win-win situation. I quickly realized how many more suppressed ideas I really did have. Let me list them. I thought that:
  • the teacher (A.) would not be deaf — Why was I shocked when a man standing in front of the room was rapidly signing about how he wanted to strangle his high school class from earlier that day. He was making small noises that kind of sounded like words, but only when you knew exactly what he was saying via the interpreter. Speaking of which…
  • due to said deaf instructor, we would have an interpreter — Actually we did have an interpreter for this first class. But A. was quick to inform us that this was the last time he would be interpreting for us. As soon as we walk through the door next week, it will be silent. For two hours. No speaking allowed. Am I capable?
  • my class is past 3rd grade level — When given an open forum, why did one person actually ask “When did deafness start?” [I think] the interpreter deliberately misinterpreted the question. So, based on what the interpreter signed, A. answered with a brief history of the only deaf college in America (his alma mater — of which he had previously mentioned in class).
  • i wasn’t going to be afraid to state my name and why i wanted to take this class — For a second I imagined myself launching into all of my fears leading up to my previous blog post. I somehow managed to fall back onto the ole “i’d like to take on a new challenge”. That always works. 
  • sign language is all about your hands — This is going to be more of an acting class than anything else. Expression is key to signing effectively. Asking ‘why?’ versus ‘WHY?’ is distinct by your facial expression.
I’ve already sized up my class too. There’s the straight-A cocky student who sits in the front of the classroom, signing back to the teacher throughout his lecture to us. Isn’t that the same as talking? So why wouldn’t that be just as rude as responding with “I agree” or “Yes” or “Amen!” every time someone says a sentence in a lecture setting?

There’s the mid-sixties couple who are learning sign language because the man has been given a couple years before he is completely deaf. He seems reluctant and/or sad to be there. I’m glad he has our instructor, though, because A. is very gregarious and interesting minus the interpreter. A good representation of the quality of life one can have without this sense.

Then there’s the girl who chose a seat in the middle of the classroom, expecting to have at least one person to talk to. Instead, every seat to the front, back, and sides of her stayed empty. That’s me. Do I have the plague? Maybe I’ve already lost my sense of smell. Literally, people chose to sit in the front row rather than next to me in the middle. That’s bad.

At the end of class, A. tickled my foreign language fancy by sharing a mistranslation of the sign language sort. In college, he met a friend from Ireland. Because of the different dialects (and therefore, different signs), they would go all over town signing words for this and that. Below is the sign for ‘candy’ in America. Let’s just say, don’t ask for ‘candy’ in Ireland. It will either cost a lot or you’ll get slapped, depending on who you ask. 

Don’t ask why I look like a demon. I got a little crazy with the red eye reducer.

I’d choose common sense. Oh, done.

Tomorrow I’m attending my first sign language class. I don’t know why I chose this subject to study. It may be due to my slight paranoia of losing a sense and then not having a way to communicate. Like you know when you dust off your earphones and put them in, only to have your ear drums blown out by the decibel level? What if it was just loud enough to make you go deaf? What if after you put in your earphones, you step back and crash into your hallway mirror, causing shards of glass to fly into your eyes & mouth and then you’re blind and mute? The next thing you know, some lady is nodding her head excitedly in your hand because you finally signed the word ‘water’. Well, after these classes, I’ll be prepared.

Because of my recent morbid obsession, it has brought to light some good conversation. What sense could I live without? If I go blind, you would have to describe the environment to me. And then I’d be mad if you left out small details like.. the gilding on the ceiling molding is chipping away from the white plaster underneath. I mean, c’mon. That type of detail can make or break the feeling of a room. If I go deaf, I wouldn’t be able to differentiate between real and courtesy laughs. Eventually, I would assume you were just mouthing laughter and so I’d force you to laugh into my hand so I could feel your breath. If I lose my smell, I wouldn’t be able to tell if the cucumber that’s been in the fridge since 1998 is ready to be thrown out. Why name it the crisper drawer if it’s not going to keep its crunch. If I lose my taste, well.. that might not be a bad thing from a waistline point of view. But how can anyone live without ‘The Paper Bag’ dessert from McCormick & Schmick’s? If I lose my touch*, I would last about two minutes on this earth. I am a complete Amelia Bedelia. And even though she isn’t known to be clumsy, (only literal — for example, when asked to draw the drapes at sunrise, she uses a pencil and paper instead of just closing the drapes), her name has a somewhat awkward sound to it & so I use it to describe this unfortunate gene. 

Well, I’m sure I’ll blog about it when I do lose a sense. If I can still see the screen, that is..

*I just learned that this is the one sense no one can live without. See title of post.

I like this post. Wait, no I don’t. Wait, yes I do.

We went to Blockbuster last night to rent Woody Allen’s most recent film and the cashier tried to cross sell us the latest deal.. You can rent however many movies/games you want right from the store & there’s no late fees, but you have to rent from the same store every time. I told him we couldn’t because we’re fickle. And then, in my head, I giggled.

First off, I love that word. Fickle. I like how it’s pronounced… how your tongue rests for a juuust a beat longer than normal, right where the roof of your mouth meets your teeth. Dr. Benson from KSU would be so proud that I’m even discussing tongue placements with you. We spent an entire semester dissecting Spanish dialects and where the sound originates in your mouth/throat & also where you place your tongue throughout the pronunciation of a word. My final project was comparing the Andalucian pronunciation with the standard Castillian. I later studied in Andalucia and realized quickly how tongue placement is thrown out the window when the horse you’re riding decides that he wants to take a scenic route down the side of a mountain instead of staying on the trail.

But more importantly, what I like most about the word fickle is the immediate image I have of Lucy Ricardo convincing both herself & her husband that she can’t go out into the living room to see Bill Holden. That’s the main reason I use the word. It’s my own personal homage to one of my favorite t.v. characters.

Here is the scene in question. If you have time, check out this earlier scene with Lucy & Bill Holden in the restaurant. Absolute classic.