Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Threatening & Merry Christmas

What sweet children I have until it's time to take a simple Christmas card picture. Once a year for as long as they have been alive, I can count on two fingers the easy picture I have taken. Most years it goes like this: "Alright. Time for pictures! Let's make it in two shots! (smile). It quickly deteriorates into threatening, pleading, sweating with Sam smiling and William acting like he is sitting on tacks. "I AM smiling!" "No you look like you are in pain. Now smile and lean in closer to your brother!" (And Now, a message from Mother Martyrdom)You know it falls on the mothers to document life through photography. Our lives go undocumented while our efforts are rewarded with derision from the family.
After the 15th photo attempt, Curt yells from the other room (he doesn't want to get near this) "Straighten up and smile for your mother!!" As a last resort I pull out the "Don't make me have to get your father." This actually brings a glimmer and so I call Curt in for support. Wouldn't you know it, one funny "Grandpa Face" gets the smile in the above picture.
Merry CHRISTmas everyone! We will see our Indiana/Kentucky friends and family between Christmas and New Year's!!

Sunday, December 2, 2007

Cough, wheeze, hack...and a Sock Monkey

I suppose I have been lucky in the respiratory department until yesterday. I was having a hard time running the Melbourne Causeway. My throat was itchy, chest a little tight couldn't seem to really get going. That afternoon the boys and I drove down to "Skim City" near the beach to check out the skim boards and Indo boards. I couldn't even stand outside the shop without coughing! Then it dawned on me..."Red Tide". I had always heard about it and the nagging respiratory symptoms that accompany it, but we haven't had it in the area since we moved here in 2003. What a pain...Good excuse to get the house cleaned and ready for the Christmas decorating.
Curt and 3 of his friends from church road tripped to Atlanta for the SEC Championship this weekend. He had a great time! He really needed to get out and have a Mancation...he never does that. He may become a convert---SEC convert to make it clear :) The boys and I kept busy with YO-Yo Club and saw the movie "Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium". It was GREAT! I was never really fond of Sock Monkeys until now!! I highly recommend it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Instant Gratification Comes in a Can

Can I just say it? "I love the spray paint!" To be clear....not for Huffing.
I have spray painted enough this past month to have black lung. And I mean black lung because I only use black. I buy so much I get "the eye" at my local Ace Hardware. Bought the last 2 cans of black satin 'Fusion' yesterday as a matter of fact. Guess I need to start "Store hopping", like a painkiller addict Pharmacy hops.
It started in October. I had worn out and weathered white plastic Adirondack chairs. They looked pitiful, but I needed them for my annual Halloween Party. So I took the cue from my friend, Jeannie, and bought the "Instant Gratification in a Can". Painted 3 chairs and was hooked. There was an old coffee table in the garage that was water/weather damaged and was on the verge of taking the Dump Trip. I scraped on it, painted IT black gloss. Found an old long metal candle stand and it received the treatment too! Even sat it on the table!! Looked like "The Bomb!" Hooked, I frantically started searching for other objects that needed a boost. I repainted my patio set---black of course. Then came Trunk or Treat at our church. There was pressure. We won last year and I hadn't a clue for this year. So at 4pm I grabbed a large flat box in the garage bound for the trash and a can of black and silver(crazy) spray paint. I am NOOOOOOO artist, although I really wish I was. Anyway, I painted a loosely interpreted fireplace took it to church draped with funky webby stuff and a ghost and came in 2nd! Marble Slab gift certificates in hand--(a black stained hand), we came home victorious :)
Last night, I painted 4 sets of black shutters for the house and Curt and I put them up. They look great!!! I should wear a mask...My chest did feel a little congested though, but a mask drives me crazy(the reason I'm not an O.R. nurse).
I already have my eye on the stereo cabinet. Just have to get that 42 inch TV first. Hmmm, maybe on my next trip for more black spray paint.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Friday, November 23, 2007

Thankful for Hula Hoops and Friends

Thanksgiving consisted of...Deep fried turkey, mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, green beans, cranberrylicious salsa, pies,pies, and a cranberry duff!! Writing blessings on a white table cloth, hula hooping, touch football and Black Friday ad perusing, the Moores and the Hendersons I will say I was holding out for the dessert...i love pie. It is my downfall at Thanksgiving. My favorites are my mom's Custard Pie, Coconut Pie and Karo Nut Pie---known outside the Wolfe family as Pecan Pie. Not a big fan of pumpkin pie, although it really is just a Custard pie with pumpkin added, right? We also played "Paper Head" for lack of a better title. Guess I was a little hard on Daniel. He had 'Puritan'.
Anyway, we ate and then out to the front yard before tryptophan had us in it's grip. I brought about 10 home made Hula Hoops and we hooped it! We even took family photos :) Sam could do 4 at a time with the 'Back bump'! We had a great time and drew some sideways looks from passers by! The Hendersons from Jacksonville stopped in for a visit as well. We haven't seen them in about 12 years!
It was such a blessing to be with friends this time of year and year round.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Salsa with a tuxedo...

Just finished the pre-Thanksgiving preps--candied sweet potatoes, ham green beans, cranberrylicious salsa, Frozen pumpkin dessert. The mashed potatoes will be tomorrow. My boot camp group will run the Melbourne causeway a couple of times and see if Java Surf is open for coffee after.
Finishing Thanksgiving morning after our run. Now I have an excuse to have that 2nd helping of potatoes:) My big tuxedo tomcat--Tail-- is sitting here with me. Sweet thing. He rolled out from under a car that was taking a left on Clay St. in Henderson and into our front yard. He loved Sam, who was only about 18 months at the time. It's almost Parade time!!!! No one in the house gets to excited about it other than me. I love to watch and live vicariously through Katie Couric and have the best seat all bundled up etc! I have no desire to watch it any differently unless I could sit above the crowds on a balcony or in an apartment with a bunch of friends. THAT would be great! Now if I could just find the remote.
I hope everyone's Thanksgiving is fun--not stressful.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

The New IKEA

Lord. The humanity. All of Central Florida was in the new IKEA Orlando yesterday. I cannot understand it. So many people that you couldn't stop and look at anything. I swear I had that anxiety "can't swallow" feeling. Decided pretty quickly that I didn't need that $12.00 coffee press. It would probably let the grounds through anyway. Sam hung in there though. The best part was that we recognized the juggler at the front door. It was an afterthought to stop by. Sam and I had been at the Orlando Science Center for a Boyscout trip. Should have just driven home, but the traffic was heavy.
We drove over to Mall at Millenia and ate at the Cheesecake Factory.
A swarm of people there as well. We sat next to 2 couples. One had been married for only 7 months---sitting next to each other. The other was a Asian couple who thought Sam was pretty funny eating his spaghetti. They were all very nice. Makes you believe there are still cordial nice people out there. Picked up a couple of things at Anthropologie. Walked around. The traffic was still heavy when we left. Wow. Guess I'll be shopping online this year. So you think there will be nice people to talk with online at Target? hmmm.

Friday, November 16, 2007

CS Lewis etc.

Sam insisted that his hair be parted in the middle and slicked back! The night went well. Sam had a great time. There were some great presentations! We went out for a burrito afterwards at the beach. Got up this morning at 5am for my morning boot camp---49 degrees. Ok it's not northern cold, but COLD for us! My butt is still cold---have to take a hot bath to get the feeling back! My blood has become quite thin living down here!! We ran quite a bit this morning to keep warm. It worked. It wasn't long before I was sweating. Then I couldn't take my sweatshirt off because I would be cold from the sweat..a vicious cycle. I've been doing this for 11 months and have really come to rely on it. I feel better than I have in years. My friend Jennifer and I keep each other in line. Although the text messages on some mornings are telling. "Heavy flow--no go" "No mojo--no go" "not today", "No sleep, no go", etc. Speaking of which..."Butt cold, gotta go."

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Notable Turkish Delight

Tonight is Sam's "Night of Notables" at school. He did a project about author CS Lewis. The child is a funny creative writer, but STRESSES OUT when he has to complete a set paper. There have been far too many tears in this house the past few weeks. I hate it for him. He is such a worrier and perfectionist. Who knew my crazed 3year old would turn out to have this personality? Will doesn't worry about too much. Although he has started ironing his t-shirts. huh. Anyway, Sam has his presentation tonight. He wants to look like CS Lewis, but wants to keep his curly blond hair and glasses. Don't know what to do about that one. We did have fun making Turkish Delight this week. (from Narnia) We scouted everywhere for Rose Water and finally found some at a Middle Eastern store near F.I.T. The owner was very nice and was surprised that we were going to make and EAT Turkish Delight. She suggested we just buy a small box of it as it had an "acquired taste". Undeterred, we pressed onward and bought the bottle, a box of lemon Turkish Delight plus some Tahini for hummus later on :) What an involved recipe--candy thermometer, stirring, mixing all with 1 1/2 tablespoons of Rose water and 2 hours later, placing all in the fridge for overnight. It came out great! SWEET---but we rolled the gelatinous cubes in powdered sugar anyway! Sam actually likes it! Kid will not touch an onion or a fruit, but loves this odd tasting confection. So that was the most fun he had working on this project. Good for him. It is hard to stick to doing something the way someone else wants you to do it. Kid wants to be creative with guidelines. He comes by it honestly. God love him. :)

Wednesday, November 14, 2007


This is from April 2007...

I never thought of calling her Grandma, Grandmother, Grannie. She was Jessie to my Dad, grandkids and all who knew her. I suppose she was what people would call eccentric. She was known for her love of fishing, cats and chickens. Funny combination, now that I think about it! I remember sitting with her and my Pop on the 2nd row of the United Methodist Church in Gillett, Arkansas every single Sunday. Jessie would mouth the words to the hymns, rarely making a sound. The same for the Lord's Prayer. She was the one who sent cards from her Sunday School Class to those who were sick or shut-in. I still remember her handwriting. She wrote to me at college. I really loved the letters. She would write about the weather, how many fish she had caught or the goings on of a particular cat. Nothing wild or exciting, but a handwritten letter from home meant alot to a 19 year old 1,000 miles from the nearest fried catfish and homefries dinner.

She and my Pop lived on a houseboat on the Arkansas River. They never wanted for money. They had it. They had chickens and ducks, cats and hunting dogs. They didn't like living "in town" and did have a house in the country, but the houseboat is where they lived. It was small and had this gang plank from the bank of the river to the edge of the houseboat. How they never fell in is beyond me. In the winter if it snowed that heavy wet Arkansas snow, their friend and farm worker, Puddin', would come and climb on top of the floating box and shovel off the snow. Otherwise they would sink from the weight of it! It used to "fly all over" my mom that Jessie let me swim in the river. Now that I think about it, the current was pretty strong. But southern Arkansas in July was so hot and that water felt so good! She would let me drive her boat--had a huge Mercury motor. We would go out to a sandbar and I would explore and play in the water and she would sit in a lawn chair and read the newpaper. She let me bake cakes from any mix she had in the cupboard. I loved it. I think this where my love of frosting-less cake comes from! I also got to iron handkerchiefs and towels! I loved that as well. Handling hot dangerous appliances must of been a huge draw to a little girl! She taught me how to sew on a foot treddle sewing machine! THAT was fun. We also made a quilt together. One side of it was a golden blanket and the other bright mismatched squares of cloth she had aquired. I used it everytime I slept over.

I was home when she had a stroke. I rushed out to her house. (She moved from the houseboat after my Pop died). Her friend, Topsey, (Puddin's wife) was there. Jessie's pulse was very thready. She was sweaty and glassy eyed, but scared. She had some around by the time the ambulance made it. She would have several of these and finally slip into not recogizing any of us, not even her only child, my Dad. He moved her to a nursing home close by and visited her every Sunday. He took and fed her ice cream. She seemed to like it. The pained look she wore on her face like a gothic painting would lessen when the ice cream was there. Otherwise, she wore that expression unless she slept. I was there in the hours before she died. I read from the Bible and prayed that her passing would be easy. It wasn't. But we don't always get what we ask for, do we? We get what we need in the big scheme of things. We take the experiences that we have had with people and weave them into our lives and our personalities. We pet our big fat tomcat and think of a grandmother who loved cats. We laugh at the irony that our 9 year old has developed a facination and love of chickens!

God surely gives us what we need when we need it.

Thanks for reading...

Where we live...

And I mean We...you know...all of us. I became VERY attached to my previous house in Henderson, KY. Even more so when we moved into a typical 1960's vintage Florida home. White tile floors, white cabinets, white walls...ALL white. We bought from an Italian family and learned that white and tile is what they had grown up with, so...Apparently the clothes lines strung from from every available vertical post/tree was what they had grown up with as well. Complete with LARGE bras and voluminous white underwear and the occasional stretched out thong. When asked where the dryer was located, the man of the house stated proudly, "My wife, she no believe!" God love her--about as wide as her 4'8 frame. (I suspect the owner of the aforementioned undergarments.) House had the aroma of the 24/7 spaghetti sauce. Not to mention the presence of every available object that could be used as a tomato stake in the back yard. We bought the house. I wasn't particularly happy about it. It did have a large lot with a pool, 5 bedrooms and tile....did I mention the tile?
It's been four years and many hurricanes later. Not much white left. The kitchen has cherry red cabinets with green glass knobs; black counter tops; green walls. The living room is a golden tan---the red leather couch fits right in. A large rug covers a great deal of the white tile expanse in there. Curt built a beautiful back porch and we had the pool re-tiled and the deck resurfaced this summer. I placed my other red couch--the bouncy couch out there with a black coffee table. It's a nice spot. Especially with a friend and a glass of wine or with my laptop. The boys rooms have an everyday reminder of Henderson. My dear friend, Ms. D (Dani) painted Sponge Bob spinning pizza with Patrick juggling pins in Sam's room. In Will's room she painted a 4'x4' canvas with the 2006 World Yo-Yo Contest logo--the year Will won his first medal! What makes this house our home?....my two sons and my awesome husband. What makes it better are the experiences we share here. I think that's why I miss 241 S. Main---the good friends that always stopped by and the fun we had. The great thing is, si that it looks like that is still happening there!! That is awesome! Maybe I need to try harder at creating that again here at 511 W. Riviera. -----Can I still miss the staircase, French doors and wood floors? Because I still miss my friends:)