Thursday, September 13, 2012

Dear Debbie,

Dear Debbie,

As 39 million, 500 and 75 people, at least, have said, "I wish I would have...."

Make me 39,575,001. (x a billion)

I wish you could have known, when you were alive, how much you meant to me this summer.

We didn't know each other very long, barely a year, but you'll stay with me always.

You were one of the FIRST people I heard from in May and one of my biggest cheerleaders throughout the summer. Lunches, breakfasts, phone calls and championed me at a time in my life when I was feeling down. So down.

You saw something in me I never saw in myself. And told me over and over and over.

One of the things you told me was "take a leap."



I didn't take the leap you suggested. It wasn't quite my time.

But I WILL take that leap one day.

I know what you meant. I knew what your spirit intended.

And if my spirit can be half of yours, I know it will persevere.



Wednesday, September 12, 2012

The Karate Kid

Curt had his first karate class last night, Busido-Kai Karate at Colonial Hills Baptist church.

He. Loved. It.

We'd been talking about signing him up for several years, but it was time to put our money where our mouths are.

It looks like it's going to be a great group. Kids of all ages and all skill levels, tons of patient adults AND a prayer before they begin and  a devotional at the end of the lesson.

We can't wait to go back.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Overheard at a 9-year-old Sleep Over

Luke had his birthday sleep over last night, and yes, I eavesdropped supervised.

Luke and his two friends were hilarious.

I couldn't make this stuff up.

Names withheld to protect identities. 

"Go ask your mom. It might be late enough that she doesn't care any more."

"Those dogs are beasts."

"Wait a minute. I need a superhero cape. It helps with my self esteem."

"I don't like pizza, cake or movies."

"Something's on fire."

"Something's flooding."

"Remember when you were a little girl and you played outside with lanterns?"

"If you hit someone in the head hard enough with pillows, feathers fly out of their ears."

"Hey guys! I just got an awesome idea! Let's race down the hallway on our backs!"

"You guys are being too loud." "Yeah, well you're being too pretty."

"If cars were like pillows you wouldn't get anywhere."

"Yeah, I was Mayor for the Day. I spoke firefighter language."

"Are these earrings or bowls?"

"Here's how you do the Boom Boom FLASH!"

"Girls eat boogers."

"The Devil is clearly the grossest dude in history."

"I'm not an alien, I'm Luke!"

"Mom, I found blood in the toilet."

***DISCLAIMER: No children were harmed during the creation of this blog post. 

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Soccer Saturday

Saturdays, during the fall and spring, mean at least one trip to Lindsey Park for a soccer game.

Luke plays U9 for the Americas. This season they moved up to the "big" fields, with 7 players per side, and the off-sides rule (boy was that ugly today).

I took my point-and-shoot this morning and got Luke in action. He really found his stride today. Luke plays defense and BOY does that kid play DEFENSE. He was moving the ball to midfield and handing it off to the strikers. He totally had moves like Jagger today. Just ask him, he'll tell ya.

Yes, he's dancing.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Happy Birthday, Luke Steven

You are smart and funny and sweet and kind and creative and thoughtful and selfless and athletic and accommodating and gregarious and everything a mother could ever hope for. You are simply you and I love you.

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Margie & Ray's

It's only been a few weeks since my vacation, but I am already looking forward to next year's trip to Margie & Ray's. 

We started going a few years ago. Granny and Pop watch the ever-growing brood of grandchildren while the sibs go out for a night on the town at the shack. Bless their hearts.

Minus Beth **sniff

Not that Margie & Ray's is a shack. It's not. It's not a five-star decor restaurant, either, but the food is definitely out-of-this-wordly.

This is Margie. She works the bar, the front of the house and anywhere else she's needed. Don't ask her for anything fancy. This isn't a fancy kind of place. Ray works mostly in the kitchen, although you can find him at the cash register some nights, too.

This is over the bar. It took me two years to figure it out. (((((BLUSHING))))) My brother finally filled me in.

Margie & Ray's is a white-paper-on-the-table kind of place. Usually the waitresses write their name with Sharpie on your white paper table covering. This year they upgraded to Post-It notes.

Margie & Ray's is famous for their She-Crab soup. If I were ever going to write Bon Appetit RSVP asking for a recipe, this would be the one I'd ask for. I think I could recreate it, but the problem is that I wouldn't have access to the beautiful lumps of blue she-crab. *sigh There would be no point. I'll just eat it at Margie & Ray's. I could eat a bucket of She-Crab soup, but then there wouldn't be any room for the crabs.

Or the Crab Balls. Jim/Lesley and Becky/Anthony always order these bites of deep-fried deliciousness as an appetizer (with the soup!). They shared. 

But the main event is the freshly caught, steamed blue crabs. There are no words. They come steaming hot, aromatic with Old Bay seasoning and with enough implements to pluck out every last succulent morsel of crab.

I ordered a half dozen. There were nine.

Yes, I ate them all. 

So did everyone else. 

We have learned from our past mistake, however, NOT to finish the meal with a shooter of the vinegar/hot sauce/Old Bay they bring you to dip the crab meat into. 

Lesson learned.

I can't wait to go back.

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Things That Make Me Happy - JDP edition

Today marks the one-month anniversary of starting my new job.

And I love it.

I mean, REALLY love it. It makes me happy. My co-workers make me happy. The smell of ink makes me happy. Picking up the newspaper every morning makes me happy.

So does my commute. This is my favorite hill. Not a good picture, but then again, I went out on a limb just driving and picture-taking at the same time.

My new business card. I've given out about 2 million already. I love small town journalism. People come by all day just to talk.  The same gentleman came back three times yesterday, because he kept remembering things he wanted to tell me. One woman brought in a picture of her 62-pound watermelon. Another cried on the phone yesterday because she was so overjoyed that an announcement about her son graduating from basic training made it into the paper.

And there it is, Friday's paper. Of course, the big news was the opening of high school football season. I can't wait to bring the boys to a game at the Tomato Bowl. 

I have my own office. With a door that closes. You don't know how happy this makes me.  I haven't actually closed the door yet, but I CAN. This is the important part. The publisher commented on my lack of office decor this week. "You ARE staying here, right?" he asked.

Yes. Yes I am. I just haven't hit on the *right decor yet. Must go to Garden Ridge. Or Hobby Lobby. And see those chairs? Can't wait to go all Pinterest on them.

This is part of my newsroom. It makes me happy because it's empty. Because the hardest working staff in journalism was out covering stories. 

The only office decor so far - my boys.  They were excited when they visited my new office recently and saw their pictures. Oh, and my snack yesterday. And my hair clippy because we all know that about mid-afternoon, the hair goes up.

My MAC. LOVE it.  Still learning all the shortcuts, but having so much fun doing it. I think CMD + Z might be my favorite.