The View From My Window

The world as seen from my window and through my eyes

Wedding week countdown: Tuesday July 31, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 2:02 pm

Mark this day on your calendars, folks. I had my first pedicure EVER. Believe me, the only reason I had one is because my daughter talked me into it and thought it would be a fun thing for us to do together.

I’m not sure how I feel about letting a little Asian man play with my feet for 20 minutes. He reminded me of the General on the movie “The Ladykillers.” He was a bit lacking in his “chairside manner” and I’m not sure how much I enjoyed it. The jury’s still out on that.

Oh, and speaking of jury, I got my lovely little letter in the mail telling me not to make big plans next quarter because my county may require my participation in putting away criminals. I’m a pretty patriotic sort of person and would obviously serve if I’m called, but, I was too tired and overwhelmed with other things to think kindly about my constitutional obligations this week.

I purchased all the supplies for the punch, dropped the wedding programs off at Kinko’s to be printed and I’m now back home cleaning house. I love home. I just wish I could spend more time here! 🙂

So far, so good. All is okay on the wedding preparation front.

 

Wedding week countdown: Monday July 30, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 6:04 pm

Oh my gosh, it’s a good thing I looked over the rental contract again. Our crimson tablecloths were listed as ivory. If I hadn’t noticed it today, it would have been too bad and the bride would have been really mad at her mother on Friday.

Thank goodness for my son’s best friend, Art. One phone call and a quick trip down the street and Art had taken care of the problem for me. He’s a real keeper, Artie is.

Today I spent a lot of time at the hair salon. Annie had her “trial run” and determined how her hair will be done on Saturday and me, I just needed a trim. I also managed to get a final decision on which punch recipe to use and designed the ceremony program. We’re getting things checked off the list!

 

Wedding week countdown: Sunday July 29, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 1:11 pm

It’s seemed so far away for so long, but, it’s now upon us: wedding week. The countdown to the big day for our daughter, the final preparations and the hemorrhaging of our wallet have begun.

I spent some time yesterday making some massive to-do lists for the week. It’s amazing how many details are left. I’m sure I’ll forget something along the way, but, I hope I’ll have most of the list under control.

The details right now are focusing on timing and food. You’re know you’re getting close when you start ordering and preparing the food items for the wedding. I’ll keep you posted as the week progresses. You’ll have to let me know if my tone begins to indicate panic…

 

Black satin, bling and some rhinestone danglies! July 27, 2007

Filed under: My View on Events — auntlelo @ 3:53 pm

We’re now one week and one day away from the big wedding and the details are being dealt with as we speak.

After returning home from the conference, I realized that I hadn’t purchased suitable shoes to wear with my dress. I went out today and bought some lovely black satin ones with a little rhinestone “bling” and some dangly earrings. That’s about all the thought I plan to give myself. I’m finished.

I also went with Annie to have her final fitting for her dress so that I could learn how to truss and untruss the bride, as necessary. I suppose that isn’t the right language, but, that’s how it looks and probably feels. Glad it’s not me!

By this time next week, I doubt I’ll be writing anything at all. I’ll be wildly busy and will have probably completely lost what little sanity I have left! It’s been fun, but, I’m sure both my daughter, her intended and all of the parents will be grateful when it’s finally here.

 

Crawfish, fried tomatoes, red velvet cake and the Country Music Hall of Fame July 24, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 6:02 pm

I knew it. There was food in the title and, of course, it grabbed your attention! Greetings again from Nashville where it is currently pouring down rain. I, however, safely made it back to my lovely rectangular room in fair Vanderbilt Hall before it began. So, here I sit at my desk, feeling a little like a college student.

The conference has been great so far. It’s very relaxed, lots of fun and the people I’ve met are just terrific. It makes me so grateful for my job and our team and all we’ve achieved, especially when others start to talk about some of their horrible work situations. It really puts things in perspective. I’m especially proud of all the compliments our team at Mizzou have gotten for their work. I wish they could all hear what wonderful things are being said. But, they might get big heads…

Last night we had our big event at the Country Music Hall of Fame. The food was fabulous. Yes, I did eat some fabulous crawdads, fried green tomatoes and red velvet cake—all very southern. I also ate a lot of other things and thoroughly enjoyed it all.

Tonight I’m having dinner with family. It’ll be good to see Holly again and I’m sure we’ll have lots to catch up on as we’re both big talkers!

 

Back in a dorm room… July 23, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 3:01 pm

Wow, for those of us who work in student recruitment in higher ed, it’s certainly an eye opener to spend a few days living as a student in a dorm. This room is SOOOOOO small!

No TV. Communal showers. Dining hall. Thin walls and lots of night noise. It’s a good thing I get so tired or I’d never be able to sleep.

Anyhow, it’s a great reminder about how much I appreciate my nice, soft, big bed at home. Ahhh, waiting for Thursday night!

 

Off to Nashville July 20, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:24 am

Greetings!

This will be my last post from home for a few days. I’m leaving “Fat Chick” in charge of my life here while I traipse off to Nashville to participate as a faculty member for the CASE Summer Institute in Marketing and Communications.

Yes, I know, we’re now on a two week countdown to the big wedding on August 4th. But, I think I’ve done pretty much all that I can do for now. It’s time to take a breather and focus on some work-related personal development. Besides, leaving town at a time like this ensures that everyone will miss me, right? 🙂

So, at midnight tonight my son has agreed to head out and pick up my copy of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. I will slay anyone at the airport or on the plane that tries to chat me up while I’m trying to read! On a personal note, shame, shame on those individuals who have done their best to try and spoil the satisfaction of waiting and anticipation by trying to divulge the book ending prematurely.

So, adios for a day or two and I’ll try to post a bit from down south while I’m away. Take care and stay cool!

 

Something important between brothers July 17, 2007

Filed under: Short stories from my life...so far — auntlelo @ 9:53 pm

Another story from my life…so far.

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Something important between brothers 

They were only 13 months apart, my two oldest sons. From the time they were babies, Bobby and Mark shared a very special bond. They shared more than a bond, they shared everything.

When they were just toddlers, not yet in school, they developed a special kind of sharing. Whatever one brother got, they always managed to give half to the other. If it was a toy, it was shared at playtime (even the special GI Joes). If it was a drink, they each had an equal share. Cookies were broken in half and they took turns riding in the front seat. One of my favorite memorable moments happened at that time in their lives.

It was the first time they were doing a chore for “pay.” Both boys took turns manning the rake in the yard, desperately trying to rake leaves into a pile. Honestly, that rake was at least twice their size and sometimes they both had their hands on it. Together, they would diligently pull back and forth and try to make a pile like mine. At the end of our chore time, I pulled a couple of dollars out of my pocket and handed one to Bobby first. Before I had a chance to say anything, Bobby quickly tore the dollar bill in two and handed half to Mark. Markie grinned from eat to ear, saying nothing and they both pretended to be big boys and stuffed the pieces into their pockets.

It was one of the sweetest things I’d ever seen.

Many years later, when Mark was leaving for the army, I went to my dresser drawer and pulled out an envelope I’d saved for nearly 20 years. I gave Bobby and Mark the halves of the dollar bill that had always reminded me how much these two brothers had shared. I thought it was only fitting that while they were apart, each had something that would remind them of the other. As far as I know, they both still carry those little keepsakes around.

After all, sharing is something pretty important between brothers.

 

Do You Remember When… July 16, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 9:24 pm
  • Eating dinner in front of the TV was an exception, not an every night thing?
  • A TV dinner or a frozen pizza was a rare treat?
  • Mom’s home cooking was boring and a fast food burger seemed like gourmet fare?
  • Mom bought 2 cartons of soda and it lasted an entire week?
  • There were as many home canned fruits and veggies in the kitchen cupboard as ones bought at the store?
  • It wasn’t such a crime to give and expect your kids to do chores at home?
  • You washed the dishes instead of threw them away?
 

“Just Licking My Lips”

Filed under: Short stories from my life...so far,Uncategorized — auntlelo @ 7:43 am

When telling some of the more humorous stories from my childhood, I’m often asked by children or other family to write them down. Although I think something is lost when the stories aren’t told verbally (primarily my voice and facial expressions, and of course, the constant waving of my arms), I’ll have to agree that there is value for the future in writing the stories down and passing them along. So, for your amusement, here is the first of the lot. Hope you enjoy it!

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“Just Licking My Lips”

It was almost like the painful, interminable waiting that Ralphie Parker in The Christmas Story had to endure waiting to see if Santa would bring him a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. The difference in my case was the BB gun was, instead, a set of oil paints that I had dreamed and wished about for at least six months. Did they listen to my begging? Did they think I was old enough for a real grown-up set of oil paints? I wanted them so bad I could taste it. The days drug painfully by as we inched slowly toward December 25th.

I was about 13 or 14 then. The perfect age for dreaming and wishing. Also the perfect age to completely despise my younger sister who was about 6 or 7. What a pest! While I was going through the agonizing beginning of my teenage years, fought with my mother all the time and could do nothing right, this rotten little kid seemed to have been born with the mind of an adult con-artist. She seemed always ready to jump right in and expose any mistake I made, all the while covering up her fiendish plot with the blonde curls and angelic expression whose spell my parents always fell under. Well, it was Christmas and she had her own problems to get past. She was trying to figure out whether or not Santa was real or whether she really needed to spend time kissing up to Mom and Dad.

Finally, it arrives. It’s Christmas morning and, as usual, the heaps and piles of gaily wrapped holiday bounty were spread underneath the tree and spilling out into the living room floor. My eyes were quickly scanning to see if they could identify a rectangular package that looked promising. No, that one looks like clothes. No, that one is too square. No…what the heck is that? Looks like the little kid wrapped it! Finally, my eyes fall on the likely package, toward the back of the tree. I wanted to climb over and dig out the only thing that interested me that morning, but, I had to be patient.

I didn’t have to wait through the opening of the stockings. We were allowed to do that during the night or as soon as we got up in the morning. As you might guess, it always happened during the night. Finally, the packages were being passed out. Shirt, jeans, book…where is it?????? There! Finally, the package is passed to me. I bite my lip, say a silent prayer and start tearing at the paper. Is it? Can it be? YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! A full set of real oil paints, paint brushes and books. I was ecstatic! I could act like a true artist now and pretend that I wasn’t sitting on a farm in Missouri, but, on the banks of a river in Paris or London. Ahhh, what bliss!

The morning wore on and we had picked up the paper, eaten a big lunch and some of the grown-ups were taking their Christmas afternoon naps. I wanted the day to be over. I wasn’t allowed to get the paints out and try them while we had all this company. They were messy and would smell up the house. I had to content myself with picking up each and every one of the 24 tubes of paint and familiarizing myself with their names: burnt umber, burnt sienna, cadmium red and orange and purple, cobalt blue. I’m surprised I didn’t make myself high that day, as many times as I unscrewed the lids and sniffed the paints that would identify me as a serious artist. Ahhh, time. It was my enemy.

In the meantime, as with most Christmases, people who had been up too early and had stayed awake too late the night before began to get cranky as evening approached. The younger sister was no help, picking and pestering the whole time, just trying to make herself generally disagreeable. We started snapping at each other and pretty soon, the inevitable happened. Mom was walking through the living room and yelled at us, telling us if we didn’t cut it out she would send us both to bed. Both! All I was doing was sitting on the couch looking at and dreaming over my paints. How could I help it if the seven year old bain of my existence wouldn’t leave me alone? The injustice of it just burned me. As my mother turned around to walk down the hallway, I quickly and without any thought, stuck my tongue out at her retreating back. I knew I was in trouble when the lump sitting next to me on the couch said “Ummmmmmmmmm!!!!!!!”

Mom turned and gave me one steely-eyed look and said, “Did you just stick your tongue out at me?” You see, the universal language between Mom and the little sister was the word ummmmmmmm. It meant I was doing something that my sister could exploit into “I’m bad and she’s good and, oh, isn’t it fun to see her get into trouble?”

“Yes”, I said defiantly. What did she expect? I was being put upon by my little sister and had only been defending myself.

“That’s it. I’ve had enough. I think I’ll just take those paints away for two weeks until you learn to behave better.”

Oh my gosh, did I just hear that correctly? Did she say she was taking my paints away? For TWO WEEKS???? Surely she had to be kidding. Surely she wouldn’t take the one thing I waited for all year and withhold it for the whole of my Christmas vacation? Oh yes, she meant it. The hand came out and took the box of paints from my hands. I would have sooner had food and water withheld. I couldn’t believe I had to wait another two whole weeks before getting to try out those beautiful, beautiful paints.

Thoughts of horrible, nasty deeds I could perpetrate on that awful little sister were swirling in my head. I had to get away before I got myself in more trouble and just slapped her silly. I went to bed.

Time drew on. It was several days later, although not long enough that my paints had been returned to me yet. Again, I was sitting on the couch. Again, the little pest was picking. And, again, we began to fight. Enter the female authority figure (a.k.a. Mom). Again, she laid down the law. And again, she turned to walk down the hallway. Then, I saw it! That little pink tongue peeking out of that seven year old tattling mouth. That’s when I knew the opportunity was mine. I thought quickly and said, “Ummmmmmmm!!!!!!!!!!”

Mom turned around and her eyes set upon the younger sibling next to me. She said, “Did you just stick your tongue out at me?” I waited, smiling, as my moment of triumph, my revenge was close at hand. I looked at my sister and waited for her to say “yes” and for the punishment to begin.

“No, I was just licking my lips!” she said.

What? What!!! WHAT??!!!!!! She was WHAT???? Mom looked at her for a minute and then turned and walked away. I couldn’t believe it. Did that really just happen? No, it can’t be possible.

I looked over at my sister who was grinning at my stricken expression. She giggled, hopped up and ran away to play with her Christmas toys. The toys that, a moment ago, should have been taken away for two weeks.

That’s when I knew it. Life as a teenager in a house with a seven year old demon was going to be hard. Mom and Dad were under her spell and there was nothing I could do. If only I had some paints…

Well, that’s what Christmas is all about right? To quote The Christmas Story, “Peace. Harmony. Comfort and Joy… Maybe Next Year.”