Category Archives: fashion/style

Even Grown Kids Say Funny Things

There are some fantastic prompts this week at Mama Kat‘s. It took me a while to narrow it down, and I may do a couple of the others just for fun! But I’m stepping outside boundaries just this once to share a couple of things my sons have said or texted within the last week.  Aaron will turn twenty-seven next week and John will turn nineteen next month.  Even though they are far apart in age they are very close, and look eerily alike (except the hair).

Aaron’s hair is military-short, and hasn’t felt a comb since middle school. John’s is now long enough for a man-bun, and he’s fairly  proud of that. I’d planned to include pics of my sons here, but this is the screen I get, and it won’t let me scroll to anything else. I can’t even make a phone call or listen to a voice mail! Help!!

I can’t even attach the screen shot I took, but it only has three sections: Photos, notes, and phone favorites. And none of them are complete – ARRGH!! Going to try turning it off and back on, and if that doesn’t work my trip out tomorrow will NOT be pretty!

So John’s statement was earlier in the week. He said, “I was made for college!” I suspect all of his teachers K-12 would agree. He needs to be in charge of his own schedule, take the classes he enjoys most, and live in the squalor of a Freshman boys’ dorm for a year. I’d nipped at his heels like a yappy dog for years. Now he will see the cause and effect of all his actions. With UofL’s diverse campus he’s making friends everywhere he goes. If he was taller at age three I’d have just dropped him off on campus instead of Mother’s Day Out, and he’d have done fine. He’s going to love college as much as I hated it, and I couldn’t be happier!

Aaron was finally texting me what he’d like for his birthday – I gave up somewhere between X-box games and Raspberry Pi – and I couldn’t find the games he was looking for. I found things that were close, and texted those back to him. He replied, “Yes, autocorrect is harder while holding a baby.” Yes, especially a drooly teething one who has been watching Mommy and Daddy use phones and computers since birth. Are there drool-proof electronics cases or covers? All suggestions appreciated!

I Want Your Books!

OK, when Mama Kat suggests we post about “books” I know she’s talking to me. The hardest part of this post was deciding on the name. “I Like Big Books And I Cannot Lie” was a serious contender, but I couldn’t get Eddie Murphy’s Donkey Voice out of my brain. So we’re going with a song from my decade, the eighties.  Decade of the best movies and the best music. First you have to watch the video (I earned some awesome SwagBucks for searching this, BTW!

OK, I don’t care about your gender or sexual orientation – this is just sexy as hell. As has been said of Tim Curry in Rocky Horror, “If you don’t think that’s hot you have issues!”
Next step: Replace “sex” with “books” or “reading” in all the lyrics.

“Not everybody does it, but everybody should.”

Damn skippy! Everyone should read. One thing I liked about life before e-books was that you could visit someone’s home and learn a lot about them by the books on their shelves. It’s considered rude to ask to browse someone else’s Kindle or Nook, sadly.

But there are still red flags, even for those young enough to have gone digital with most of their library. One should never use a lovely Barrister’s bookcase for this *insert dripping contempt*:

There’s a special barefoot, no-pedicure area in the afterlife for people who do this.

Another is when you’re making small talk with someone you’re fairly sure has nothing in common with you and you pull your final card. “What do you enjoy reading?” If they say, “Oh, I can’t even remember the last time I read a book!” or worse, “Oh,” laughing, “I don’t read!” I’m done. I’ll text my husband where to find me and lock myself in the spare bathroom to lie on the bathmat, towel for a pillow, and pull up the Kindle app on my phone.

I’ve probably offended everyone who doesn’t read already (or they don’t read blogs to begin with because all the new hair and makeup stuff is on YouTube) but just in case you’re still with me here’s a tidbit of advice: Lie. Do not tell anyone that you don’t read books but have never missed an episode of The Bachelor or Real Housewives of Pittsburg.

Get creative: Come up with a writer’s name they’ll never remember, laugh and say it’s actually a nom de plume for (other fake name) and he/she only writes biographies of second-generation immigrant poets. Or look embarrassed and say you’ve been so busy with the triplets, your volunteer work, and raising chickens for those fabulous organic eggs that it’s hard for you to even keep up with your professional journals. You’re only a month behind on the Journal of Pediatric Neuroscience, but you’re at least two months behind on all the others. Play it right and you’ll never have to talk to that person again. Unless it’s me. ‘Cause I’d make a beeline for you next time and immediately ask about the triplets and the chickens. Just sayin’.


Extra Tidbit: I laughed hysterically listening to this song when I found it, because even if I watched the video a thousand times there’s only ONE visual it will ever bring to mind for me.  It was the summer before I was a Senior in college (or a weekend during my Senior year – hard to say) and I was working as a Nurse Tech in the Coronary Intensive Care Unit. We had very strict visiting hours back then, so there weren’t family members just wandering about gawking. A nurse named KT was giving a comatose patient a bath. It could have been any hour of the day or night since they worked the techs 7a-7p, 7p-7a, 3a-3p, and 3p-3a. And they switched it every two weeks, just to show us what to look forward to after graduation.

Anyway, somebody out at the station had a boom box (ancient piece of technology that was as large and heavy as possible and played cassette tapes). George Michael was on, and “I Want Your Sex” started. She yelled, “Turn it up!” and threw open the curtain. She was an adorable little curvy brunette, and had killer dance moves. She shook everything she had, swung towels and wash clothes above her head, and twerked before Miley Cyrus was ever a glint in her daddy’s eye! She also sang at the top of her lungs. Yes, every single patient was fully sedated, I assure you. We laughed, applauded, cried, and rolled on the floor. By the end of the song the gentleman was squeaky-clean with fresh bed linens, and the only sad part was he wasn’t awake to enjoy the show. That’s one medical bill he’d have paid with a smile on his face!


When a Nonna Wants a Rocking Chair . . .

I wanted an old rocker. A rocker that had already put generations of babies to sleep. I had one many years ago – my grandmother’s, in fact. But our family will always have at least one female chocolate lab and our first, Millie, ate everything. Her preference was loafers with tassels, and she didn’t care if there were feet in them or not. Her second choice, though, was wood. She preferred it nicely painted or stained. The runners on a rocking chair were a snout-level snack when we were all away during the day *sigh*.

Anyway, I had my first grand-baby flying in from Austin (oh, and her parents) and I was by-God going to have a rocker here when they arrived. So I’d been stalking rockers on my fave online estate sale auction site, Everything But The House. Just in time I scored an old rocker we picked up about ten minutes from our house. I was glad Michael had insisted on coming with me, because there was no way I could have moved this baby on my own. I couldn’t even lift it!

It was covered in cobwebs and dust, and someone had clearly given it “a lick and a promise” with some leftover white paint about a decade ago.

Ornate curlicues had been knocked off (probably by a basketball that wasn’t supposed to be in the house) and replaced by someone who needed new bifocals.

It has an embossed leather inset seat that had been painted (EEK), has at least three major cracks, and has plain upholstery tacks holding it in place in a completely random pattern. Or perhaps Morse Code. Or by the same person who painted it after a few too many beers. Decide for yourself.

It also has lovely decorative carving on the headrest, and is way comfortable. Since I can’t sit in an ergonomic desk chair for more than fifteen minutes, this is high praise.

The chair, without even a sponge-off, went to the Graduation / Welcome Baby Emma party along with Emma’s great-great-grandparents’ card table. While I was there the rocker was never empty, despite the overstuffed chairs and sofas in abundance.

Cut-throat card games are a traditional activity at all large Ballard family gatherings, and we were packed in there like sardines. I left before the card games started, but Michael and John didn’t get home until nearly midnight. The party started at 2 p.m. – LOL!
So my question, I guess, is where do I even start? Is the embossed leather salvageable? If so, do I need to remove it and restore the wood and leather separately, then replace? The chair is very sturdy, but this section is split.

Fill with sand-able, paint-able wood filler/glue, right? Ideally, I’d like this beauty to be a deep lake blue, about the darkest blue in this upholstery fabric I bought when a local craft store went out of business. I plan to use it to cover the throw pillows on my chocolate brown sofa (matches the dogs)

But I want it distressed all to hell so it doesn’t matter if a little one scratches it with a fork or colors on it with a crayon, or if I get a bit of nail polish on the arm. And I would like brown leather on the seat, with decorative nail heads or something equally pretty and comfy. I have a large number of creative high school grads I can put to work on this project. And it can be done in stages. Emma is hopefully only one of many children to be rocked in that chair – why not leave room for each to add his or her own touch?

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