Archive for December, 2007

Happy New Year

Thus far, the New Year’s excitement at the Smiff House has consisted of flatulence (I’m not sayin’ who, but, it is not me), loud belches, (again, not I), laundry, more laundry, trying to figure out why in the hay-ell I can’t get #2’s Ipod Nano to sync and it’s making me ill, cleaning up the fright that is the Holy Tara’s room, oh and #2 insisted on going to buy a New Year’s hat and has paraded around the house this whole evening in said New Year’s hat and tighty whities.  I’d put a picture up but I don’t want nobody saying I’m exploiting the child.

So, from Baby New Year, the Manchild and his gas, the Holy Tara and her loud belches (“I’ve been holding it in since I was on my trip!”), me folding and putting away laundry(and wishing I was doing something fun), the relaxing Mr. Smiff….we all bid you our best wishes for a great ’08.  Thanks for coming by to read my blathering ramblings day after day.

The Homebody

Have I ever mentioned here about how I married, perhaps, the most anti-social person on the planet?  Well, I did.  He could go to a deserted island and live all alone, never seeing a soul again and he would not be bothered at all. As long as the deserted island had ESPN reception, he’d be good.

It’s not that he doesn’t like people. I think he’s got that shy, introverted, artist-type of thing happening.  He has to Shake ‘n Howdy all the time on the road, which he enjoys to a point.  When he gets home, he wants to hibernate, thus, we have no social life to speak of, at least together.  We are a weird couple that way.  I guess, to friends of mine, Mr. Smiff is somewhat of an elusive character that they see very rarely, on special occasions.  Not everybody is cut out to be married to this type of person.  It can be a lonely existence, for sure.

Then again, it’s kinda nice cause he never surprises me with dinner or houseguests or throws any sort of weird social situation at me.  My dad was always springing people on my poor mother.

We had an invite for a New Year’s gathering.  I really wanted to go.  One, it sounded like fun.  Two, once the new year starts, so will Mr. Smiff’s busy calendar.  The Revolving Grascal Door will start swinging.  It was a nice idea to go out to a gathering on New Year’s like normal people do.   But. …He wanted to stay home.  He said he wanted a “nice, quiet evenig at home.”  I reminded him every night he’s home is a nice, quiet evening at home.  It would’ve been neat to actually, like, go out, me and him for a change.

I don’t think he sees it from that point of view at all.  He’s not trying to be a selfish, it’s-all-about-me ass.  He’s a homebody, plain and simple.  Still, it aggravates me and I wish we were going to that party.

Should Old Aquaintance Be Forgot….

Memorable moments of 2007 in no particular order….

Kicking off 2007 by going to see The Schoolhouse Rock Live with Aunt B, Short & Fat, CLC, Mrs. Short & Fat, RUAbelle and The Butcher.  Much fun.

Starting new job…new friendships with people like Susan, Cherry, Dave…interesting, new experiences. Learning more than I ever wanted to know about Sexually Transmitted Diseases and what restaurants you really don’t want to eat at.

Hazel’s surgery and recovery-She’s doing great now.

The Holy Tara singing in public….blowing everybody away.

The Manchild becoming a guitar god.

#2’s diagnosis of Asperger’s.

Hearing The Police reunite over the cellphone from Mr. Smiff who saw it live and in person at the Grammy’s.

Enrolling in college courses for the first time.  The frustration that followed when trying to grasp fractions then the euphoria of getting it. (Not sure what the next move will be where that’s concerned.)

Reunions:  20 year high school reunion with both of my high schools.  People I knew from schooldays finding me on My Space and through the blog.

First face to face conversation in 18 years with the Boyfriend that I lost my innocence to (innocence lost in more ways than one). Watching him go from a 40 year old mature man and turn into the 20-21 year old boy I remember while we caught up on what we’d been doing the last couple decades.  In spite of the minor awkwardness of the moment, it was a warm-fuzzy thing.

The Grascals winning Entertainer of the Year again…

My ADD diagnosis and being able to pay attention to things.

Matt Tullos becoming my pastor. The excitement at church that I’ve never really experienced.

Co-worker Dave leaving for another job.

Cousin Mary and Cousin Josh losing their battles with cancer and Bipolar Disorder…hope that Cousin Buddy is fighting his battle with addiction…and so far, winning.

Remembering Rick…

I always think about Rick Nelson on New Year’s. I remember like it was yesterday that New Year’s Eve of 1985 when my mother came in from picking us up some chicken at Mrs. Winner’s for supper, coming in our sliding glass door carrying those bags, looking white as a sheet. She was almost in tears when she blurted out that Ricky Nelson had been killed in a plane crash.

I don’t know if my memory of that is so vivid, not just because of my freakish ability to remember events with total recall and remembering insignificant, minute, details (yet, I never can find my car in a parking lot) or partly because it was the next day, I think, that my mom’s brother, my Uncle Jack, got very sick, quite suddenly and died, thus my mom and me flying to LA the next few days and being in California the same day Rick was buried or just that I loved Ricky and all the Nelsons.

I can remember in First Grade, way before VCR’s, they would show us movies. I mean, movies on a film projector. I remember (again, Rainman moment) our guidance teacher, Mrs. Smith-Neely-Edwards (she was married about ten times the whole time I was in elementary school) showing us an episode of “Ozzie and Harriet” and saying “When I was your age, I loved this show”. I can also remember thinking she was entirely too old to have watched O & H when she was my age. I bet she was all of 35 then, but, she seemed ancient. I remember that being the first time I saw the Nelson’s and I just loved them, especially the “Irrepressible Ricky.”

Later, I loved the music Rick made and how he blended rock and roll with a strong country influence. To me, his tragic death at only 45 is one of the biggest losses ever to music.

I think this is the coolest clip of Rick’s boys, Gunnar, Matthew and Sam (who, oh my gawsh, looks like his Daddy) paying tribute to their Dad with his signature song. Very, very cool. I think the Twins should add Baby Brother to their act and make it a trio. Sam Nelson could be a huge star if he wanted to be. My word, that boy has charisma.

How smart was young Ricky Nelson to hire James Burton to play guitar for him?

A Note To Myself

 Dearest Sista…

In about 30 years, when you’re pushing 70, if you fall down and find yourself in pain and your grown child says “Y’know…you might arta go see about that”, just go. Why?

Cause, like, if you call your grown kid a week after said fall, at 10:38 on a Saturday night, just as she’s finally getting around to engaging in watching “A Donny & Marie Christmas”(I didn’t get around to watching any of my favorite Christmas movies til after the 25)  and say “I’m hurting” whilst making gasping for breath noises and grown kid says “Ok, I”m coming” and then you say “Well, come on and we’ll see when you get here” and Grown Kid says “Uh, no…if I come all the way out there, there will be medical attention” and then when GK arrives to take you for medical attention, you’re all like “I have to fix my hair” (like you’re going to be seeing anybody?) and then sit back and smoke a cigarette, choking GK so that she has to go outside (this will not apply to you then because you will never smoke again) and lollygagging in general while moaning and groaning and saying you don’t know if you want to go and then GK reminds you “You have a friggin’ stent in your chest and you are hurting there….you don’t mess around with that stuff now get in the car and come on”.

You go to local, Catholic hospital, giggle because there is a huge, life-size portrait of a late physician that used to treat your parents and whom you had a not-so-pleasant experience with back in Reagan’s first administration, that the ER is named in honor of.  You giggle because late physician with the ER named after him was Jewish and his face on one wall and Jesus on the other just makes you laugh.

The GK notices the waiting room is full of other Sandwich Generationers who have brought their parents in and you know that you are in for a long night.  You are escorted back to the room at 12:15, where you begin to fuss  and the GK tells you you must behave.

After waiting, and waiting, finally at 3:30, the doctor pronounces you as about to have an attack of Shingles and that chest xray looks good…no rib fractures, no lung problems (amazing because you do like your Marlboros).  GK lectures you on how you should’ve quit smoking 20 years ago and you tell about how you wish you’d have never started and that it was a dentist who gave you your first cigarette. (WTF?)  Ahh…but it was a bonding time in the ER, yes indeed.

The GK has to get home and doesn’t want to sleep on your couch because she has two boys at home alone, plus, she’s just plain wo’ out, but, she doesn’t mind at all seeing that you’re ok because you are her mother. The GK is also relieved that you didn’t have a heart attack, get a weird diagnosis of some sort of lung funk because she worries about you living alone 35 minutes away, not having neighbors who speak English and all.

The moral of this little love note in advance to yourself….just go see about whatever is ailing you when it’s daylight. Just do it.

Love, 39 38 Year Old You

And now, I am going to bed.

I May Be Joining CLC On The Bus

If I were to tell y’all what we’ve been through the last 14 hours or so, you probably wouldn’t believe me.  It has involved the movie Love Actually, tow trucks, late at night,  very large, redneck towtruck guys, your Sista confronting said Very Large Redneck Towtruck Guy, lots of cussing and general hatred towards a certain financial company : cough WELLS FARGO FINANCIAL cough: a mistake made by the Federal Reserve (your tax dollars at work, friends) and the Smiff’s suffering because of it. 

I’ve said it before and I will say it again….I hate Wells Fargo and will produce a blasphemous, scathing post once everything is paid off and I will warn all of you to not patronize this company. If you are ever about to finance something and anything is mentioned about the above mentioned, ass-hat company, FLEE.  Just do what I say.

You don’t have an extra…car you aren’t using til Wednesday, do you?

What We Need Tonight

From the Kennedy Center Honors the other night….magical, wonderful performances by Hootie and the Blowfish and Libera (Is it just me or does the guitar player for Hootie and them look like he was separated at birth with Dierks?)

and….Love and Mercy….this will make you cry. Especially knowing Brian’s beginnings were as a boy soprano in the church choir. Watch Diana Ross. It got all over her.

A shame there aren’t more magical moments on television like this anymore.

And while we’re at it…let’s have some of the real thing, shall we? I dig me some Beach Boys. This song…heh…every single time I hear it, makes me think of something in particular and it makes me laugh. Someone out there knows exactly what I’m talking about. It never fails to crack me up if I’m standing in the Walgreen’s and it comes over the speaker….hee hee.

Come On Down…

The alarm clock went off this morning.  It was on WSM.  Bill Cody said something about “An Evening With The Grascals and Eddie Stubbs.”  First I’d heard about a romantic evening between them and Senor Stubbs. 

A little later, they put this guy on the air and asked him trivia questions.  This ol’ boy was on his way to work and he answered them all correctly and his prize?  An Evening With The Grascals.  Heh.  That made me laugh very loudly at such an early hour.  “Listen to that”, I said to Sleeping Beauty Mr. Smiff.  “That guy’s prize is he gets to come see you. What a lucky feller.”  Har har. I don’t think Mr. S. thought it was that funny but lordy, I sure did. Imagine that.  Some hard-working feller calls in to WSM on his way to work and he wins an evening with Mr. Smiff, Bobo, Boo, and the whole Hee Haw Gang.  Hys. Ter.I. Cal.

You too could be the lucky winner of an evening with The Grascals.  Go here and see how.

Your Sista will probably have to miss said evening with The Grascals.  That’s the day of the Endo Zap of ’08.  I’m hoping to be loaded up on some sort of narcotic or something similar.  If not, maybe they’ll let me in.

Kennedy Center Honors

The Kennedy Center Honors thing tonight was absolutely fabulous. Earl Scruggs dashing new look, plus, he and Randy doing a little bit of a soft shoe in honor of Steve Martin was just the shizz. Loved it.

The tribute to Brian Wilson….like buttah. The boys choir at the end singing “Love and Mercy” with the beach balls floating about…whoever thought of that deserves a raise.

I love Steve Carell. I think I have a crush on him and Randy Scruggs. And Darius Rucker. And Steve Martin.

Speaking of Scruggs Love, I rented a dvd off Netflix last week. It’s a documentary from 1972 that aired on PBS on Earl. It has clips of him, Randy, Gary, and Steve playing with Doc Watson, Joan Baez, The Byrds, Bob Dylan, an Opry performance….it’s some kinda wonderful.

You know, one of me and Mr. Smiff’s first dates was at the Scruggs house. June of 1989…Glen Duncan (who plays fiddle in this Letterman clip and played in our wedding that December) was there…Charlie Cushman….Alison Brown…some Japanese guys…and there I was, sitting with Louise and meeting my future mother in law, brother in law, sister in law and nephew for sorta kinda the first time. It wasn’t really the first time I met them, but, under those circumstances, it was. Pretty beezar. There is video somewhere of that little pickin’ soiree. Good times.

Here’s the guest list from the White House reception after the Kennedy Center tho’down.

The Gift of the Manchild

Those people that I gave birth to?  They never cease to amaze me.

I did not have children with the best, well, the best Present Guy on the planet.  He can play the fire out of a bass and he sings great, but….giftin’ ain’t his cup ‘o tea.  Christmas is usually put together by moi with a “What do you think of this?” and the Mr. saying “Sounds great”, no matter what it is. 

I’ve been saying since November that there wasn’t going to be much of no Santy Claus if I didn’t get some help doing stuff.  I didn’t get any help and really, it was a toned down sorta Smiffmas.  It was lovely and I’m not complaining.  This was just the year I finally learned that I can’t do it just like my mother did and that Norman Rockwell is long gone and that world he painted didn’t really exist anyway. I also learned that the more you try to make stuff like Christmas all perfect, the more it’s not perfect and you end up pissed off when Christmas is over.   Christmas is done.  I still love Christmas but I’m glad it’s done. On to the next thing….

My mother gave the Holy Tara and the Manchild some money for Christmas.  She’s gotten older, crankier and more winded, thus, she doesn’t Christmas shop.  (Remind me to tell later how my sister became just like the aunt in a Christmas Story that gave Ralphie a bunny suit).  The teen-types are all about some cold, hard cash for Chri’mus.

There were presents under our tree yesterday from our children.  I figured Hazel gave them the money.  I was wrong.  The Manchild used part of the money my mom gave him to get us some cool dvds.  He did remind me of how I ranted the day before that my kids were selfish and didn’t know squat about what it means to give.  This is why I’ll never be voted Mother of the Year.

Anyway, we were pretty moved by our firstborn doing that. 

   eldredge.jpgThose things there, that thing in between Bobo and Mr. Smiff….always make me think of the Three Stooges.  It seems there was an episode of TTS where there was something like that chasing them. 

Incidentally, #2 got some Three Stooges dvd’s. This made his father very happy.  I like and appreciate the Stooges, but, I’m really thinking there’s something about them that one has to be male to really love.

An Open Letter To Aunt B. or Yes Ginger, I DO Have ADD

Dear Aunt B.,

Remember last Christmas I emailed you (something I’ve rarely done with you…no reason…me and you just haven’t emailed much) and I asked you for your address? The plan was I was going to address a card to you and the Butcher, stick a stamp on it, put it in the mail and send you my warmest wishes for a great Christmas and a Happy 2007.

Guess what I found in my car the other day? (oddly enough, I was searching high and low for the gift card I bought for the Engineering Brother In Law) Searching in between and under the caseats I found a perfectly addressed Christmas card to you and the Butcher. It even had a stamp on it and a cuter-than-cute return address label. I would’ve just stuck it in the mail, ‘cept postage has done gone up since then! I didn’t even tell Mr. Smiff about it cause he and the kids would’ve laughed at me and I don’t think I’d have handled it well.

This Christmas has been brought to you by the letters P-M-S or in other words, I have not been consistently the nicest gal in Hendersonville the last week.   My female parts are determined to give me hell just one more time before the “Endo Zap” that is soon coming and sure to provide some blog fun.  Hopefully, it will do its job and I can feel better.

So back to the story….a year late and a few dollahs short….Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year to you and the Butcher.

It reminds me of that time I checked this book out of the church library. The Christmas Box, it was called. I really and truly thought I turned it back in. I don’t think I ever even read the dang thing. This was probably in 2000 when I checked it out.

Mr. Otis was the man who was the church librarian (and has since gone on to Glow-ry). He kept asking me about that overdue book. “Mr. Otis”, said the Sista….”I turned that book in.” I really thought I did. For real. Mr. Otis would just look at me like I had three noses on my face everytime he’d ask me about it. I musta got 80 notices in the mail about that book.

This is the weird part, a few Christmases ago, in about 2003 or 2004, I got my Christmas stuff out and opened a box and what to my wonderin’ eyes did appear but….yep…The Christmas Box. There it was. Mr. Otis watched that library like a hawk. He knew of what he spoke.

What’s so weird is that VERY day I opened that box and found the book was the same day Mr. Otis died. No joke. I think that was him hollering from the Great Beyond saying “See? Told ya you dingaling.”

So to answer Ginger‘s question, ” Yes, Ginger…your Sista really has ADD.” (From an inside joke…not too long ago, Ginger thought I was just kidding about having ADD. Har har)

The Best of Christmas Past and Present

Because I’m a reflector and my middle name should be “Nostalgia”, there are some favorite scenes from Christmases past and present.  Some of these moments I was present for, others I was a twinkle in somebody’s eye but these are some of my favorite Christmas images.

christmas_1998.jpgChristmas 1998-look at my babies.

christmas-99.jpgThen in 1999….

I was 19 years away from being born at this Christmas, but I LOVE this picture of my cousins Doug and Brian, Christmas 1950.brian___doug_collie.jpg

christmas_at_the_collie_s.jpgA Collie Classic here….this would’ve been, probably Christmas 1972.  Look at Mom’s hair….heh.  You can tell she hadn’t yet had her first cigarette and cup of coffee yet.

i_have_to_share_this_one_.jpgMy cousin, Anne at Christmas, 1952.  (These cousin pictures are first cousins. Most of them are old enough to be my parents).  This picture has always made me think Natalie Wood & Edmund Gwenn.  I love it.

look_what_santa_brought_.jpgChristmas, 1996.  The first Christmas we lived in our house.  This picture of the Manchild makes me want to cry.  This picture makes me  hear his lisp and inability to pronounce his “r’s”. He’d say “Fain” for “train”…we didn’t want him to say the word “truck.”

christmas_1975.jpgChristmas 1975-my Uncle Jack.  He had a 2 million dollar smile.    (Dig that tree!)

sharon___kids.jpgChristmas 2004 at Cousin Terry’s…and another from that same evening when we sent Christmas welcome_home.jpggreetings to Terry’s stepson who was in Iraq.

proud_grandmother.jpgChristmas 1996…my nephew was brand-new.  One of my favorite pictures, ever of the Holy Tara.

100_8115.jpgChristmas, 2006-Party at the Mothership when Ivy sang that Chris Ledoux song.

channel-5.jpgWho remembers this? (Pretty much exclusive to Nashvillians) Another Nashville Christmas memory, that I never experienced, but, would’ve LOVED to is the Nativity that was at Centennial Park from 1953-1967.


Merry Christmas

What Was The Name of the Lone Ranger’s Nephew’s Horse?

pbilling2-sm.jpgI’m amazed at the people who still do not know this wonderful bit of trivia.  Because I am the Queen of Unimportant Facts You Need To Know, it is my Christian duty to let you in on a little secret (unless you already know it)….Ralphie, aka Peter Billingsley, is also in another Christmas movie favorite, however, his role is uncredited.  Once you know this fabulous tidbit, you will look at it and go “Of course it is!”  Give up?

elf_d95-18f.jpgThe Head Elf in “Elf” is none other than our own Ralphie.  I think that’s one of my favorite, unimportant facts ever.  That and the fact that Peter is related by marriage to this iconic figure…barbara.jpg

And also that Peter’s great-uncle was the proprietor of a little club in New York called the Stork Club.

Just a little useless, mindless, fun facts for you this Christmas Eve.