Posts from the ‘Around Casa de Smiff’ Category

Quick Trip To Knox County


Check out Payton’s new teefuses.  He is proud of them. 


Loved, loved, loved the Living Christmas Tree put on by the fine folks at Sevier Heights Baptist Church in Knoxville. 


Was especially fond of the little blondeheaded girl grasping onto the Lord Jesus there….that’s my niece.

Was also fond of the 120 shepherd there….and his staff….that would be the Engineering Brudda In Larrr…


The kid in the green vest and red shirt there. (Heh) Third from left….the Nephew With The New Teefuses…

The Sister was also in the production….she’s the one in white.  (Not one of the levitating ones though)


I couldn’t find her in the midst of  all the white but she’s there somewhere.


The Gay Street Bridge there behind the Arena was quite lovely.


As was this old-timey Arby’s sign. (I have a thing for neon)

Oh and here’s my Christmas tree….I wish it were wider and all that but it’s gonna have to do. 


Notice there is not nary a single gift under the tree.  This is because I have yet to buy the first Christmas gift.  I think I may give the gift of “Joy” this Christmas.  Yeah…that’s it.  That’ll go over HUGE with the kids. 

(Note to my children….please answer my texts when I ask what you want for Christmas….love ya, Mom)


Numero Dos was not in the mood for me to take his picture this evening.  Can you tell?

While two thirds of my offspring are with their Dad at the Ryman at the IBMA Awards tonight and while others are watching what I would assume would be Sarah Palin dying on live television, I am enjoying a documentary on my computer of Les Paul via Netflix.

What does it say about me that I don’t care about the VP Debate and find Les Paul more interesting and that I’m irritated that there is no Office this week?  Does that make me a bad, uninformed, uninvolved American? 

Then so be it.  Football and politics are duller ‘n dirt to me.  Gimme Les and Mary anytime over Say-ruh.

The Elephant In The Room

I’ve hinted at it here and there and have been deliberately delicate about how to approach this subject here.  I think it’s kinda obvious what has happened at the Casa de Smiff.  Yep.  Me and Mr. Smiff have, in the words of that great American, Tex Ritter, split the sheets.

So there ya go. 

It’s an odd place to be.  Even though we’ve been here before, this time is a totally different experience than the other time.  8 years is a good amount of time, and really, I don’t feel like I’m even the same person I was then, much less the same kid I was when I got married in 1989. 

This is the question I get a lot…”How are you?”  It’s usually said with a little trepidation, like the asker is afraid I might actually tell them how I am. 

My question is, DO people really want to know how you are when they ask?  Cause, like, people ask me the question and if I say “I’m good, how are you?”  They will say “REALLY?”  It’s almost like they want  you to not be ok. 

I was in the bathroom at work the other day, talking to Dr. Mac.  Dr. Mac is, well, she’s a doctor.  She is probably the most absolute coolest Canadian I’ve ever run into.  She is hysterically funny, she spins, is very personable, plays on a co-ed hockey team…just love her.  She has also recently been diagnosed with breast cancer.   

We’re in the bathroom washing our hands and I turned to her and asked her how she was.  Then, I remembered who I was talking to and I said “Do you almost get the feeling people want to see you fall apart in front of their eyes?”  She laughed…of course. 

I’m not comparing a divorce with breast cancer.  Apples and oranges , but, both are major, turning-point-in-your-life experiences.  People ask Dr. Mac the same sorta “How are yew doing?” questions and try to answer for her.  I guess people mean well.  Breast cancer and divorce are unpleasant things and I think people are afraid that they may be contagious or something.  I dunno.

So, how am I?  Let’s just say this last month, especially, has been very difficult.  There have been good days, bad days, REALLY bad days, so-so days.  I’ve had some days where I’ve told the co-workers, who are not used to seeing me in teary mode, “If I appear tearful, just ignore me and for pete’s sake, DONT ask if I’m ok.” (Why do people do that?  If you are crying, perhaps “OK” is not the word you’d use to describe yourself.  Just what IS ok anyway?)

I’ve found myself hibernating a bit more than I have in recent times.  It’s not so much that I’m sitting here in my adorable, homey digs weeping and wailing (although I have, make no mistake). I’m just finding myself chillin’.  I don’t know how to describe it.  Quiet. Lots of thinking.  Lots of reflecting. Lots of praying.  In some ways it’s a really good thing but then again, it’s sad.

 I’m not one to meltdown very often, but, according to my counselor, I should do it more.  I haven’t exactly been great at owning my feelings for many years, in fact, I sorta got numb to them.  I believe they call it in the Psyche world Disassociation.” 

It was kindly humbling to find out that what I always thought was one of my “spiritual gifts”, sarcasm, was really a coping mechanism.  Ain’t that something?  Here I’ve been thinking how stinkin’ clever I can be.  And even more humbling was a couple weeks back, my Sunday School teacher pointed out that the root word of the word “sarcasm” comes from the Greek “sarkaizen” which means to “tear flesh.”  Webster defines sarcasm as “a sharp and often satirical or ironic utterance designed to cut or give pain”.  Yikes. 

 Interestingly enough, only in the last year has it ever been directly pointed out to me that ya know, that sarcastic thing you’ve got going is sharp and witty, but, you can hurt people with it.  I’m sure others have thought that but didn’t nobody ever directly say that to me.  I have had a couple instances here on the blog where my sarcasm was hurtful and that was huge for me.

How’d I get on that subject?  I was talking about getting divorced….anyway…I’m not gonna use this space to give details about what happened that led to this, etc.  Me and Mr. Smiff are working very hard at number one, helping our kids to adjust the changes and neither one of us are interested in destroying the other one.  19 years is a long time.  One more year and I would’ve been with him longer than I was with my parents.  I have very strong feelings where Mr. Smiff and his family are concerned.  (Strong as in deep)

So, if you know somebody that’s going through a rough period in their lives…whether it be a divorce, an illness or any number of other tough times, and you don’t quite know what to say, my suggestion is (I’m bout to get Biff on ya) “Drop them” a note or an email that says just that.  I’m here for ya…I care…blah blah…don’t put people on the spot.  Don’t get all in their face and ask for details or try to convince them that they should feel this or that.  Sometimes a hug is good (cept for weirdos like me that aren’t always comfortable with that)…feel it out.  It’s awkward all around.

Clingin’ To The Ollllld Rugged Cross

I looked out the back window today to find my youngest child playing.  That’s not unusual.  He’s quite imaginative, that #2.  It took me a minute to realize just what he was playing…

He took two planks of wood and made hisself a cross.  Pretending he was being crucified.  I was trying to take these pictures without him seeing.  At one point, me and Tyler thought he was gonna pull a Peter and go the upside down route. 

The HT wasn’t home when the crucifixion took place.  We were telling her about it and we were talking about how hysterical it was and how many kids do you know that would play something like that. 

Me and my sister used to play church all the time and baptized each other many a time every summer in the swimming pool. 
The HT said…”That’s, like….weird…..”    May be, but, we didn’t have cable, video games, computers, blah, blah…we walked to school in 10 feet of snow barefoot (no we didn’t) and back in those days, we played and actually, like, used our imaginations.  We were some playing kids.  Serious play. 

The Collie Sisters did play us some Church now.   We’d take turns preaching, singing, all that.  I’m sure our sermons were some sorta powerful. 

We also used to…on all those long, tedious trips to various antique malls, furniture stores (our mother loved to go to furniture stores, yet, I don’t remember there always being new furniture purchased.  We had the same couch from the time I was in Kindergarten until after I married and moved away.  I guess that was her diversion.)  Anyhoo…we’d go along to these furniture store trips and we’d act like we were foreign and like we spoke Spanish or something.  The funny part to me is we actually thought we were fooling people.  This woulda been about the time this fabulous picture was taken…back when we often were dressed alike….I mean, look at that face….is that a face of a kid who had imagination?

And what color is that Dad had on?  We was stylin’.

I was pretty glad #2 provided a little comic relief today.  It was needed. 

Meanwhile…At 4 A.M. At Sista’s House



Wacky Wednesday

I want a basement.  After two major tornadoes have hit my county (one a little too close to home), I am of the mind that we need our own “Special Happy Place.”  (The newspeople kept referring to the “Special Place” last night.  That is funny to me).  We don’t have a Special Place in our house to ride out potential tornadoes.  Our house is not big.  We are low on closets here at the Smiff House and our “hallway” is not much of a hallway.

This story about the baby that survived just kills me.

Yay to WSMV for not wasting any time and holding a telethon tonight to raise money.  And yay to all the people who called in donations.

Y’know, that Dan Thomas kinda won me over last night20071025_tedbaxter.jpg doing his weather thang.  He’s kinda lost his Ted Baxter-isms.

Mice and tornadoes send me into a tizzy.  I haven’t spotted a mouse this winter (I’m sure I will now that I’ve said that) and I think I can think X the Owl, who lives in the big pine tree in our front yard for taking care of that for us.

Mr. Smiff will soon embark on a cruise to somewhere down South where it is very warm.  I am not accompanying him.  I have been on these cruises before.  They are nice.  I wasn’t fillin’ it when this came up.

I don’t want to wish my kids’ lives away and all that, but, it’s like this…I’m over this teenager thing.  It’s making me cranky.

The Drama Queen’s cellphone was returned to her today with warnings that I can and will take it away again if she doesn’t learn to put a guard on her oft-smart mouth.  I also told her I have the power to take other things away from her, if need be.  She was to’ up not having that cellphone for a week.  That one hurt her.

I’ve had a door slammed at me not once, but, twicet this evening by a certain 16 year old son.  It was a blessing. Sometimes I ask myself why I didn’t enter that convent.  Maybe it’s cause I wasn’t Catholic.

Things You Probably Don’t Want To Know About My Saturday

 If your dvr starts acting like it’s possessed by Satan, you can unplug it, plug it back in and it will work.

I forgot the Game Show Network shows “What’s My Line” and “I’ve Got A Secret” at like, 3 in the morning.    Bob Crane was on the WML I saw when I couldn’t sleep (again) with a young and quite pert and cute Phyllis Newman.  I love her.

Poor Bob Crane.  That’s one sad story there, friends.  This episode was from 1965  during the height of his success with Hogan’s Heroes.  He was one  good looking, charming sonuvagun.

Bob is the  perfect example of how life can spin scarily out of control and before you can say “Colonel Klink”, you can find yourself in a heap o’trouble.  (This is where I insert the “Mmm, mmm, mmm” just like my father used to do when telling a sad, unfortunate story).

Feelings are Time Travelers.  Did you know that?   I learnt that on the Oprah Show yesterday. Some very wise rabbi (not Schmooley) said so.  I think the Good Rabbi is dead on right there.  What would we do without Oprah?

I learned that just because I set my alarm for 6:30 on Saturday morning to get to #2’s basketball game, that does not mean I will hear said alarm the first time it goes off.  In fact, I just might not hear it til say, an hour later when #2 is supposed to arrive for game.

I learned that it’s not a good idea to forget #2’s earplugs when he goes to play basketball.

Heh, I say “Play” but he mostly ran up and down the court today trying to make some kid on the other team laugh. #2 just has the best time wherever he’s at.  The loss today was not quite as horrid as last week’s.  We actually scored 10 points to First Methodist’s 20 or something.  Gavin loves that, I’m sure.

Chad gave #2 some cotton balls to stuff his ears to help muffle the noise.  Part of Asperger’s is the extreme sensitivity to sound.   Sounds that may be a little annoying to  most of us, are literally, painful to #2.  Scoreboards and whistles are kindly loud.

I couldn’t help but laugh everytime I looked at my kid, cotton balls in ears his funny little run he does when he’s really bored and uninterested in the game (most of the time)….he made me think of Warren and his earmuffs.  (Somebody out there’s gonna say I’m awful.  I have to laugh about it so I don’t cry.  Some of us deal with stuff through humor. )warren.jpg

8:00 basketball games aren’t really so bad.  If you look at it like you can go get it over with and come back home and take a nap, like Yours Truly did.  It’s really o.k. It’s just getting there that’s the interesting part.

Cinnamon does not have any place in Hazelnut creamer, Tiger Mart People.  Sorry.  Since when did y’all quit having the regular, hazelnut?  I do like the creamer pumps you got going though.

Did you know that there was such a thing as Corn Nuggets?  As in a cousin to the Chicken Nugget?  The Drama Queen would not eat spaghetti tonight but wanted Corn Nuggets instead.  That’s, like, gross.

I had one of the most humiliating experiences this evening, that I think I’ve ever had.  It’s in the Top Three of Sista’s Worst Moments.  Then again, it may be just the kick I need.

(Someday, I may tell y’all my most horrific moment in my life that still, to this day, almost 20 years later makes me cringe and shiver and want to put a bag over my head.  Today’s not that day though.  It’s actually funny now but very embarrassing.)