28 November 2007

Ah, the honesty of youth...

Everybody says they love the honesty of kids. And I do too. Even when it "bites me in the butt" so to speak.

Tonight, I was buckling Ben into his carseat to drive home from church (he often rides with me when I'm up in Keller) and he calmly says to me, "Gramma, you are fat." Well, this is true - and something that came up soon after his discovery of the book "One Fish, Two Fish" - remember the line, "This one is fat. This one is thin." Or something to that effect. Anyhoo, soon after that book, Ben asked me, "Gramma, are you the fat one?" It was cute, it was true, it was humerous - it was reality.

Now tonight, I decided that while some things are TRUE, some things are NOT to be pointed out (I was thinking ahead to the inevitable "why does that man have no legs? where is that lady's hair? where is that man's eye?" sort of thing.) So I decided in my best grandparenting voice to do a bit of coaching here. "Yes, Ben - it's true I am fat. But it's not polite to tell people they are fat. You might hurt their feelings." Ben thought about that for a moment and then solemnly announced he was sorry.

I smiled, confident in my "still with it" parenting skills when he then said, "So you're big. Really big."

That's my Ben! Gotta love it!! :)

Deck Them Halls, Y'all!

Well, it's been two weeks since I last posted and for obvious reasons - tis the Season and we've all been decking our halls, right? We are having Christmas in Keller this year in our new second home and spent time last week getting it all gussied up for the holidays. And I admit - I've had a blast! It's been fun not the least because it's the first time I've seen some of this stuff since 2001! Many things have been in the family for years and years - they were moved to England with us when we moved back in 2000. But then the family grew - the kids started getting married and we started having Christmas back in the States instead of London. So these memories lay in storage in the attic of our house in England (called Brown Gables - the house, not the attic - we didn't have a name ffor that unless you want to call it home to mice!) until we moved in December 2005. Even then, they stayed in their plastic time capsules awaiting a glimpse of sunshine. They sat in a warehouse in England until January 2006, then sat in a warehouse in Houston until February of 2006, then sat in the "Texas basement" (a room finished attic for those of you with UNDERGROUND basements) until last month when I hauled them into my trusty "Gramma car" (aka "the Pilot") and brought them up to Keller, which we've appropriately dubbed "Brown Gables", to finally see the light of AMERICAN day for the first time in 11 years last week. (I won't tell you how they gasped for breath when I unpacked them nor the names they called me...)

Anyway, the old is blended with the new (that being GORGEOUS stuff I got at the Accessory Place half-price sale after Christmas LAST year) and we have Christmas in the making! Being the big head I am about decorating and the holidays, I decided to share photos of our home and hopefully inspire you to create your OWN brand of magic (if you haven't already done so) for this fun, Fun, FUN time of year! And if any of you are baa humbug types, go read blogs about deforestation or the demise of the ubiquitous dundee flea (okay, I made that one up) - just don't rain on MY parade!

And have a HAPPY holiday season - enjoy it to the "nth" degree and don't let traffic, crowds or Visa get you down!

So deck them halls, y'all! And have a bodacious Christmas!!!

15 November 2007

Happy Birthday, Megan!

Today is Megan's birthday. She is Tim's beloved, so therefore is one of ours as well. Although she had a "ticket to get in" this family (again, Tim...) she has, on her own, carved out a space in our hearts. And, as I've always told Tim, if they get into an argument, we will ALWAYS take Megan's side so "don't go there". :)

From her willingness to take family vacations with us before she and Tim got married (first few photos are from a trip to the Cotswolds in England - 2003), traipsing through Walt Disney World with us when Tim was working, spending time in Katy with us sans Tim, trusting us enough to keep Kennedy for a few days on our own to her heartfelt thank you notes, webcam sessions (when we lived in the UK), times with the grandchildren, times with her and phone calls, she's been a real sweetheart!

So Happy 27th Birthday - yes, I can post ages 'cause you are so stinkin' YOUNG! We love you!!


Okay, I'm an HGTV addict. And my electricity went out the other day right before the "reveal" on an Edwardian bedroom redo on Divine Design. I didn't realize my show had been compromised till I watched it on TiVo yesterday and discovered, 20 minutes into the show, no more signal! AAARGH!!

So I went to www.hgtv.com to see if I could find the program details on it (which I did - lovely room, I might add) and also found this "Rate My Space" thing. You upload photos of your house - otherwise known as "space" I'm finding. "I use this space for" or "utilizing the maximum potential of my space"...when I was growing up SPACE meant one thing - OUTER space! But space now has a totally different take on it. But I digress.

You then write descriptions about aspects of said "space" and then folks who are likewise addicted come and rate your space and leave comments! Within 1 hour of posting my kitchen, over 200 people had rated my space (I'm glad to report I'm a solid 4 out of 5 stars). Later on that night I posted the powder room (the only two rooms I had photos for) and same thing happened.

So now I'm kind of in a double bind - I love the attention, love the comments, love the instant gratification of it all. But on the other hand, why am I spending so much time on this and why are OTHER people spending so much time on it?? It's addictive so tread lightly (or logon when you either (a) are sick and (b) have the kids at grandmas for more than a few hours). But having said all that, go rate my space!

03 November 2007

And I thought we were so YOUNG (for early 50's that is)...

I've been gone "up north" (otherwise known as going up to Keller). Mike's been half-way around the world. We both got back after a two week separation and did what any loving couple would do (get your mind out of the gutter - I'm not talking about THAT!) We decided to go on a date and see a movie. We have two Alamo Draft Houses here in west Houston (why can't they have an Alamo Coke House? Oh wait, that sounds WORSE!!!). I digress....

Anyway, we went to West Oaks Mall, bought our tickets after a walk up and down the mall (gotta get the circulation going before sitting for a couple of hours eating food that will clog our arteries and further impede said circulation - a pre-emptive move of little benefit I'm sure considering the cheeseburgers, french fries and chocolate shake that was to come) and headed into the theater. I looked on the left side to see our theater and Mike said, "It's over here - on the far right!" So we walk over, walk in and sit down. Now we were there to see "Dan in Real Life". Theater was empty. We ordered food. We watched all the kitch they have before the trailers (why are they trailers when they are BEFORE the movie - shouldn't they be called "leaders"?) and it was like sitting in the Sci-Fi Dine In Theater at MGM Studios, Disney World. All these old gory movies from the 50s, 60s and some 70s. I thought, "hmm, Halloween leftovers?" as it was just this week. I even mentioned to Mike that for a PG-13 movie, the old trailers seemed a bit extreme for possibly having some youngsters in the crowd. Our food comes, we start chowing down and then the aforementioned trailers start.

Now folks, that should have been our 2nd clue - the 1st being the old horror movie kitch while waiting. But no, we sit there waiting, confident our lovely little light movie will be on shortly. And you must understand, there's a good reason I don't watch horror movies - the first being I wasn't allowed to growing up (Thanks, Mom!) and secondly I get nightmares from them. I mean, I can get nightmares just from looking at my American Express bill (okay, NOT a good example...our Amex bill would give ANYONE nightmares). I saw "Carrie" with Cissy Spacek and Amy Irving (Steven Spielberg's first wife - triva for the day) when Mike and I had been married a few years - it was on TV so I thought "how bad could it be?". I couldn't sleep for a week and when I finally did, every time there as a flash of lights from someone's car driving by, I'd wake up and freak out. So there's a good reason to NOT have Cheri watch horror movies (if you live with her and plan on sleeping with her so that narrows it down to about...hmmm....one). So there we are, hope springing eternal, when the trailers come on. I'm again thinking, WHY are they showing this stuff before "Dan in Real Life"?? (have now finished salad and cheeseburger and fries are next). I'm wondering why I even ORDERED food as my appetite is quickly waning in the wake of all this gore on upcoming films. I turn to Mike and ask, "Are we in the right theater?" He says he thinks so. Then the movie starts.

Imagine the surprise on faces of the waitstaff in the lobby when two "early-middle-aged" patrons come busting out of the theater, food in hand, look up at the marquee over the door and see "Saw IV" on it and blanch! "We're in the wrong movie!" They looked at us like we'd spring antlers and say, "You didn't want Saw IV?" (I'm personally thinking at this point, "can't you TELL???" as I'm almost frantic at this point, wondering if some zombie or serial killer is going to follow me out of the theater).

They direct us to the right theater (which was, DOH!, right next door) and we settle in to the handicapped places (it was full by then, movie about to start) and proceed to enjoy a very likeable film (which I highly recommend by the way, not to rub your faces in the fact that we DO go see movies not having little ones anymore - mixed blessings and all that).

Later, after the movie was over, as we walked hand in hand out to the car, we discussed how much the movie was so much fun, how it was nice to finally get a good movie (after several disastrous choices earlier in the year - Wickerman - we actually paid money to see Wickerman - and a dumber movie I've not seen) and finally how EMBARRASSING it was to get the wrong theater. I don't think we've ever done that before but it did give us pause and make us wonder if we were on the cusp of "losing it". But no, I did find the Ladies Room on my own ("in time" I might add), we did find the mall okay, we remembered where we parked and we canNOT seem to forget we went into the wrong theater! So I guess we're okay.

I'm just still traumatized by the trailers....