Friday, September 30, 2005

I went up to Nashville on Tuesday to help Anne with the children. I got up there after supper. There is nothing in the world to me like arriving at Anne and Ken's and having the kids squeal my name in delight and come running toward me with open arms.

Emma was getting ready to go to her first sleep-over. I went with Anne to take Beth to Callie's house so I would know where to pick her up the next morning. She was very excited.

As usual, George and Adam and I read before bed. Adam picked out a book on sharks and George picked one on how to care for a monster. We also read some Shil Silverstein poems.

George slept in my bed and Adam slept on the daybed in my room.

I watched Boston Legal and then went to bed.

They know to wake me up at 8 o'clock. I usually can hear them outside my door and then they come bounding in and jump on my bed. That is great also.

Unfortunately I left my purse in Anne's car when we carried Emma to Callie's house so I had no keys for my car.

The kids were out of school but Anne was not. It was teacher-parent conference day for her. She also had a doctor's appointment and that is where she was when we discovered the whereabouts of my purse.

I called Callie's father and he brought Emma home. She said she was not homesick. I know her daddy was a little Emma-sick. Anne said before he went to sleep he checked the phone to be sure he had a dial tone. Just wanted to be sure that Emma hadn't called and not been able to get through.

I brought them some marshmallow guns at the barbecue festival. They are made of plastic pipe. You put the mini-marshmallows in the barrel and then blow on the other end and the marshmallow shoots out. We played war with that. When Anne got home she was amazed and dismayed about the white dots all over the driveway until she realized what they were.

Emma decided she wanted me to shoot a marshmallow in her mouth and then she would eat it. I was afraid it would get stuck in her throat but she said she could close her throat and showed it to me. So I shot a marshmallow into her mouth and she ate it. Now I just realized that I need to tell Anne to tell the kids not to do that on their own.

We went down to Sonic for lunch. Emma got chicken nuggets; Adam got a hamburger with only ketchup; George got a hamburger with ketchup and pickle.

Then we went to Crockett Park . Crockett Park is large, with an adventure playground and six ball firelds that have concrete walks all around them. The kids brought their scooters with them. They fold to fit in the trunk. George the mechanical one has to unfold and snap them back together.

They had a good time scootering around the park all afternoon. I'm not sure than there is much energy saving to it because they spend so much time pushing with that left foot but they enjoy it and they go very fast.

They also played on the playground. When they took a break for a drink, I asked them multiplication questions. Adam enjoyed it so much that he stayed with me and did not go back to the playground. I also asked all three of them times questions on the way home.

They all have a good understanding of what multiplication is but they have memorized none of the tables. They get to 6 x 7 by adding 7 six times. I also would throw in some problems like 67 million times 0.

Back home we played with the magnet building set and they decided to watch Spiderman.

Anne got home about 6:30. It had been a good day for her.

Ken was on a business trip to Virginia.

After supper they went to bed in their own rooms since the next day was a school day. Adam cried himself to sleep because he wanted to sleep with me.

Wednesday night is my favorite TV night. I watch Apprentice:Martha Stewart, Lost, and Invasion.

The next morning they got ready for school and were excited that it was cold and they got to wear jackets.

I think gas stations are confused about what price to charge. There is such a big spread between stations that make no sense.

As I drove home and checked prices along the way, the price went up and down. In Nashville proper it was $2.99, but went up to $3.19 at Dickson, a few miles out. Then it went down to $2.85 across the river before going back up to $2.99 in Henderson. Strange.

Thursday, September 29, 2005

I forgot to mention the parking situation at the games at State. After I had complained about the parking changes, I now have to admit that for me it has worked out for the good.

Marty Sparrow suggested I park free at the technology center north of Highway 82. A free bus runs from there to the stadium.

James and I did that. A bus was waiting and we immediately got on and were off to the game.

After the game we talked to the Sparrows a bit, then walked to the bus. It was filled and James had to stand. A kind gentleman gave me his seat because I was unable to reach for the bar above to hold on.

Back at the car, we left and were on Highway 82 headed west in 5 minutes. Actually that was the best ever for me leaving. It has taken me an hour sometimes to get out of the parking lot.

When we got to the game, I commented to James that I thought I had forgotten to lock the car, but, I said, there is nothing valuable in there. Poor James, he then remembered that when he tore off our tickets he just left the rest lying in the seat.

When we got back to the car, it was not locked but the tickets were still there.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Saturday morning I went to the MSU website to find out the weather for the 8 PM game. I was surprised to see that there was no 8 o'clock game; it had been changed to 6:45 pm on Friday.

We all have to worship at the altar of ESPN. For some reason the postponement of the Tennessee-LSU game meant they wanted our game earlier. If I had not checked the weather I would have shown up mad at 8.

The Chester County-Lexington football game came off okay except that Chester County lost. James said that there were as many law officers there as fans.

Julia and I took Mother to the barbecue festival at lunch.

James was supposed to go with me to the MSU-Georgia game but he would be covering the festival during the afternoon. He called me at 3:30 saying he was at home and was ready but wanted to take a nap. I told him I would be there immediately. When I got there I told him about the change of times.

James and I always have some good talks on the way to Starkville. James remarked that I leave Henderson three hours before a game in Starkville and he leaves his hotel in Knoxville for a game at Tennessee.

We got to the game only 3 minutes late. We lost to Georgia 23-10. I thought that was a creditable showing. The last time we played Georgia we lost 47-0. We talked to the Sparrows briefly after the game.

On the way home we talked some about Mr. Spock and his philosophies. I brought up the theory that there are an infinite number of universes where everything possible happens.

James mentioned that there is some universe where Darrell Royal did not leave MSU for Texas. He stayed and built State into a football powerhouse. We have won 4 national championships and 3 Heisman trophies. Our stadium holds 169,000 people, but, on the other hand, I have to leave my motel in Okalona 3hours before the game.

I could do that.

Friday, September 23, 2005

The new TV season is off. I have enjoyed some of my returning favorites and sampled some of the new shows that had a glimmer of promise.

Many of the times there is not a network show for me to watch. If I really wnat to watch Tv then, I will watch Fox News or HGTV.

Sunday is not a good night for me. Just nothing there. I have never tried Desperate Housewives and never will. This Sunday I will watch Martha Behind Bars starring Sybil Shepherd. I watched the first TV movie she did and was just amazed at Sybil. Sometimes it was hard to realize that this was not the real Martha. She has that character down pat. Also I like Martha because she believes that the work that women do in the home is important.

I tried How I Met Your Mother and Out of Practice on Monday nights. I may watch Out of Practice some but will probably be watching a lot of football.

As a fatty myself, I do like to watch The Biggest Loser on Tuesday and will continue to do so. I tried My Name is Earl but will not watch again. The premise held some promise but I didn't watch long because I don't like to watch stupid people making stupid decisions. Boston Legal returns. I love that. I am always amazed at their brilliance and disappointed in their ethics.

And then comes my absolute favorite night: Wednesday. I begin with The Apprentice:Martha STewart, hit the heights with Lost, and end with Invasion. Lost is my absolute favorite show on television. I used to enjoy talking to Julia about it, trying to figure out what was going on but it started to bother her so she doesn't watch it anymore. I have turned to the internet to read other peoples' speculations. The premiere episode of Invasion was very good. I hope they can keep it up.

Thursday is another vast wasteland. The Apprentice with Donald Trump comes on. I have never watched that nor have I ever watched Survivor.

Friday is a good night. I watch Supernanny, Threshold, and Numbers. Supernanny has helped me with both Emma and Adam. Threshold, another new show about invading space aliens, is not as good as some of the others but I will give it a little longer.

Numbers is about a mathematician. I have to suspend disbelief for this. The hero knows absolutely everything about every field of mathematics. That just does not happen. Mathematicians in different fields cannot talk to each other. I read once that until the 17th century it was possible for one person to comprehend the entire scope of human knowledge. Since then, no. There is just too much information. That is also true in mathematics.

I can watch this because they do the same thing in my beloved Star Trek. Captain Kirk or Captain Picard, besides commanding the ship, can fix anything on it. The good doctor can develop a vaccine for any previously unknown alien disease in a few hours. If only.

So I will watch Numbers because of its appreciation of math.

Saturday night I watch college football.

Saturday, September 17, 2005


Tonight I was watching two ballgames, switching between the Mississippi State-Tulane game and the Tennessee-Florida one. That wasn't enough multitasking for me so I decided to organize my shoes.

I was astounded to find that I own 29 pairs of shoes, plus a pair of house shoes and a pair of flip-flops.

When I was a child, I only had one pair of shoes at a time. Usually we bought shoes in the fall before school started back after cotton picking. We went to Henderson to Stansell-Vernon. It was an important occasion and it made me feel important myself. I usually bought some kind of oxfords or sneakers. I coveted a pair of high-top sneakers but I don't think I ever got any. Fit was crucial because if they hurt, they just had to hurt. That one pair of shoes was it. But usually they were plenty big because they were bought that way with one finger length at the toe to grow into.

When the new shoes were bought, I always wanted to wear them immediately. The old, worn shoes were put in the new shoebox and then wrapped with paper and tape. There were no sacks at Stansell-Vernon.

Now I look at these rows of shoes and see some patterns. More than one are high heeled boots or elastic strapped sandals or are slides. I remember where I got them. Sonja gave me the Easy Spirits several years ago; Julia gave me a pair of slides two weeks ago. I bought two pair at my cousin Eva Mae's store.

One pair of boots has thick soles, fake fur lining, and is guaranteed to be warm to 10 degrees. I call them my Ole Miss Game Boots. The pink flip-flops I wore in Hawaii with Beth. The brown boots with the unusual heels I bought when I wanted something different. I announced that at Mother's Sunday table and no one believed me, but, when I put my foot up, Desiree said "Aunt Mary!!!!" One pair of dress shoes still has dirt on the heels from Friendship Cemetery.

I decide to cull my collection and I discard 4 pairs, all shabby.

I wish I had known I would someday have 29 pairs of shoes.

Tuesday, September 06, 2005

Saturday morning was a beautiful day as we all the days we were in North Carolina. We had great weather.

The Lightsey contingent had bought some doughnuts and PopTarts at a gas station the previous night and that formed our breakfast but the Hendersons were kind giving us orange juice and other stuff if we wanted it.

We all trooped over to Beth's house. It is beautiful, high up on the mountain over the lake. She, staying there alone, had an office, living room, kitchen-dining room, three bedrooms, three baths, a deck, and a hot tub.

Thereafter, things are a blur. I don't really remember when things happened. Everyone just did what they wanted when they wanted.

Adam and Ken fished a lot but the fish weren't biting. Ken caught 2 and Adam one. They fished out of a paddle boat.

George. Emma, and Kate preferred playing in the water and sand by the boat dock. The rest of us mainly preferred sitting in lounge chairs watching the three children at play.

One time at the house the adults were all sitting around the dining table talking. Brian, Anne, and Beth brought up the subject of the get-together weekend when they were young. Their parents would sit around talking and the children would be amazed and talk about how they all hurried to get there and now all the parents wanted to do was talk. Now the grownup children were doing the same.

Saturday night the Henderson grilled pork chops. I was not feeling so hot so I napped but I heard it was good. I did eat some green beans they had bought at a farmers' market and I know they were good.

The air hockey game downstairs was used a lot. Adam loved it and was good at it. He finally beat me 5 games to 4. I think he was declared the air hockey champion.

Sunday night the Lightseys cooked. Ken grilled chicken and we also had macaroni and cheese, broccoli, hashbrown potatoes, and brownies. Good food.

We left Monday morning about 11 Eastern time. We dropped Beth off at the Asheville airport.

We passed several military convoys on the way over. They had chalked signs on the side saying they were going to New Orleans. One had their hometown also, York, Pennsylvania.

We pulled into the driveway of the Rucker house in Nolensville yesterday about 4 o'clock and Adam said "This was the best trip ever." We all did have a good time.

I drove up to Nashville Friday. Ken was at home when I got there. He had taken the day off. Ken had promised Anne she could have a cleaning woman come in when she got a job, but when the time came to hire one he balked over the cost and promised her he would do the job. He was busily cleaning when I got there and according to all he has been doing a good job.

Later Anne and the kids came home from school and we took off for North Carolina. Anne and Ken in the front seats, Emma and I in the middle, and George and Adam in the back. Emma immediately put in a new Spiderman movie they had not seen in the DVD player and we did not hear a peep out of the three for the next hour and a half.

They watched movie after movie e but the time came when that didn't help much. Emma started flinging herself onto her pillow saying I'm tired. I told her to look at the cars going the other way. I said there is a tired little girl in each one of them. That didn't help.

Our last stop at a gas station in North Carolina the sign on the pump said there was a $35 limit. This was the only sign we saw of an actual shortage. Ken and I argued several times over the weekend about gas prices. He believes that there is such a thing as gouging. I say it is just the free market working to allocate scarce resources.

I had given the directions to Anne at the gas station but when we got back on the road we could not find it. When we got off the road, we stopped and searched her area of the van but still could not find it. She threw away some trash at the service station so maybe she taccidentally threw it away there.

Both Emma and Ken said they thought they could find it and they did. We went right to it and drove up at the house about 11pm.

Cast of characters (the Hendersons)
Richard and Carol, our friends of almost 40 years, we met at LSU
Brian, their son, a PhD student at South Carolina
Jaime, his wife
Kate, their 4 year old daughter
Laura, Richard and Carol's daughter, Beth's roommate, unfortunately she was back home in Jacksonville sick, unable to come. She got sickin Europe a month ago and hasn't really been well since.

Last year the Lightsey clan rented the Lakeside house. It was lovely and right on the lake. BUT the house was so filled with clutter that it made us uncomfortable. This time we stayed with the Hendersons at Bear Lodge.

Richard had rented another house for Beth and Laura, thinking that maybe Laura would bring her boyfriend Todd with her. Neither were there and that left just Beth up there at Lakeview House, high on the mountain.

Beth flew to Asheville on Friday and the Hendersons picked her up. Then they ate at a Japanese restaurant.

When we got in Friday night, Jaime and Kate were asleep, but Richard, Carol, and Brian were up.

We put the kids to bed. Emma in my room upstairs and the boys in the bunk beds in the living room downstairs. George slept in the top bunk.

The adults divided up, R & C and I talked upstairs and Brian, Ken, and Anne downstairs. They stayed up longer than the older ones did.

One key topic of conversation among them was Charelston. Anne and Ken are going for a long weekend in Charleston next month to celebrate their tenth wedding anniversary. Charleston is Jaime and Brian's favorite city;in fact, they were married there. They had lots of good advice for the Ruckers.

I love Bear Lodge, in fact, I wish it were my house. Upstairs there are three bedrooms, two baths, a large living room, kitchen, dining area, and sunporch. Downstairs is a very large bedroom and a huge multipurpose room with kitchen. It also has an air hockey game that the kids love. Bear Lodge also has two screened in porches, two decks, and two covered patios. And a hot tub in the yard.

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