A List of Ten Random Tuesday Things I Feel Guilty About

Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking and typing about.

Every Tuesday, I think to myself, “This week I’m going to finally get around to participating (not really, I really don’t think the word “participating”)

OK. Start over. Every Tuesday I daydream about writing something really epically random for the Random Tuesday blog. And every Tuesday, I try to figure out what in the heck I’m going to write about. Does anyone else have this problem? Or do all of y’all just walk around thinking random stuff all day, willy nilly?

Alright, so there’s my confession. I am guilty of being random-thinking challenged.

But today will be different. I will blog about some random stuff if it kills me. I’ve been reading advice on how to make your blog more interesting over at Copyblogger, and one of the big things they recommend is making a list. Apparently, people like to have stuff served to them in little bite-like bullets. So I will attempt to give you ten other random things that I feel guilty about.

What? I’m southern. Feeling guilty is what I do.

1. Even though it is a huge waste of time – I like to do crypto-quotes and play Farmville. Anybody else?

2. I really like going into stores that have sample bottles of hand lotion, that let me pump out a bit on my hands. And yes, I realize that sounds kind of nasty. This is what happens when I try to do random.

3. I’m related to Elvis. Yes, “The” Elvis. He was my father’s cousin’s step brother. Or, he was my step second cousin. Or, he was my Great Uncle’s wife’s stepson. OK, got that?

4. I really want to go somewhere warm this week. Like Tahiti, or Cancun, or Silver Springs.

5. I love reading Sophie Kinsella books. It’s a pleasure as sinful and guilty as eating the whole top layer of a box of Whitman’s Chocolates all by yourself.

6. My first impressions about people are sometimes wrong. Very wrong. I would tell you all about this, but I can’t quite bring myself to blog about really personal topics. I don’t want to be that crazy old woman at the family dinners wearing the tee shirt that states, “Be Careful Or You’ll End Up In My Blog.”

7. I’m obsessive  about checking my WordPress stats. Several times a day, OK? It’s a little game I have with myself – to see if there is ever a day that goes by that I don’t get a hit from someone searching for “sexy mature feet,” or “red toes,” or “foot fetish.” I may go down in history as being The Woman With The Sexy Mature Feet, y’all.

8. My husband is having a mid-life crisis. He admits it. He wants to buy a new car – a red Corvette. I suppose that’s better than wanting a new wife. Maybe if I spent less time playing Farmville and checking my toe stats…?

9. I broke up with my hairdresser. He spent too much time wandering around the shop talking about his gay boyfriend, while I languished under the frosting cap, looking like a gargoyle looking my watch. And I haven’t even told him that he’s been replaced. He’s still asking my mother where I am, and she won’t tell him either.

10. Those are my feet in the photo. Yes, I am shamelessly trying to boost my blog stats. I might even start a whole blog about my feet. Just to get the stats.

What about y’all. What do you feel guilty about today?

Just randomly trying to keep up with life

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking and typing about.

Today is actually Monday, but I will be gone for a few days. So I’m going to take advantage of the publishing feature that allows us to schedule posts for a day in the future.

This is me, speaking to the future.

I’ve been neglecting my blog the last two weeks. It has one of those times in my life where I feel like I’m struggling to keep my head above water. A lot of “stuff” has been going on.

My father-in-law is in the hospital. He had open heart surgery about six weeks ago and has not been well enough to go home. His wife, my husband’s step mother, is worn down from trying to go back and forth between their home and the hospital every day. She is relying on friends and relatives to take her and it is about a 45 minute drive, one way. We are going up to see what we can do for her, in the few days we have off from work.

The doctors keep changing his medication. One day he is “himself” and the next day he is confused, uncooperative and angry, depending on which medication is the “flavor of the day.” We have a big meeting scheduled for Tuesday with his doctors to try and convince them to stop trying all kinds of new meds and put him back on what was working for him before his surgery.

We were supposed to attend a college football game last Saturday. My youngest had tickets for us to go with him and his girlfriend to the ECU game to watch the Pirates play. But, my son’s grandmother, my first mother-in-law, passed away last week. The funeral was on Saturday. She had lymphatic cancer and suffered quite a bit the last few weeks. Two of my sons, the oldest and the youngest were pall bearers. The middle son was unable to attend because he was in the process of moving to Michigan, with his girl friend and my grand daughter.

My grand daughter who is just five months old. My grand daughter who is just starting to recognize people and smile at them. My grand daughter who is the first female baby that has my genes in her. My grand daughter who is just starting to develop a cute, little personality of her own.

It took the better part of two weeks to get them a truck rented, and packed, and for them to decide where they were actually going. At first they were moving to Virginia. Then, that fell through. Then Grandma Dot got sick and they had to pay her a last hospital visit. The banks were closed on Monday. When they finally got on the road, they had numerous stops to feed the baby, and change the baby. On top of all of that, the weather was bad.

I was so relieved when I got a text message that said, “We’re here.”

I’m glad they had a home to go to in Michigan. They are going to be living in her grandmother’s house. They are near Ann Arbor, and we hope Ryan will be able to find a job as a chef in one of the many restaurants there. But they will be too far away to visit very often, and it breaks my heart, y’all.

I got a new cell phone this week so I could send and receive text messages. Hopefully I’ll be able to stay in touch with my kids a little better, since texting is all they do. My old one had  small numeric keys that require you to hit each key about one hundred times, before it “guesses” which word you’re trying to type. It was maddening to me. And yes, I know you can change it to some other form of key function, but it kept reverting back to the other way and I am just too old to fool with all that.

So my new phone has a slide out, full keyboard that allows me to type on it like no bodie’s business. Look out, teenage step daughter! When we see you this week in New York, you might have to watch me text all the time, like we had to watch you constantly texting all summer!

Oh. No. Wait. Scratch that. She just got a new blackberry, so she will be way too busy texting on that to even notice what I’m doing.

It’s hard keeping up when you’re an old lady like me.

Random Ramblings

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking and typing about.

I’ve come to the conclusion that when people stop blogging, it’s  for one main reason. Y’all want to know what it is? It’s  work. Now,  I’m not talking about how jobs interfere with important stuff like keeping up with your blog, although that’s a problem, sure. No, what I mean is – keeping up with a blog is hard work, y’all.

It’s not like you can just sit right down and start writing. You have to figure out what you want to say, figure out if you think anyone is interested, figure out if you want to post a photo, or not, then try to find the photo you have in mind, give up looking for it because you saved it onto a disk several months (or years) ago, figure out what your title is going to be, decide if you want to just post something without a photo (or there’s always stock photos!) actually get around to writing something, spell check it, preveiw it, decide whether or not you like what you’ve written, worry that it might really sound stupid, go back and edit out the stupid sounding parts, preveiw it again, decide you really do need some kind of photo, spend a half hour perusing all your photo folders, finally pick one out and wait for it to upload, go back and change the title you had written while you are waiting for the photo to download because you obviously need something that sounds more dynamic, preveiw everything again after the photo is in place, go back and rewrite parts of what you had written because now that the title is more dynamic the post doesn’t quite measure up, glance at your watch and realize you are running out of time to get ready for your real work (the one that you earn your living from) save the whole mess as a draft, and try the whole stinking thing over again the next day.

Seriously, who has time for this?

Certainly not me, not this week. Remember my sad little post a few days back, about my grand daughter and her parents moving to Virginia? Well, it’s gotten a little more complicated. Now they are moving to Michigan. Up near Ann Arbor, to be exact.

This little complication has been happening since last Wednesday morning, when after working a twelve hour night shift, we rented a moving van for them to pack all their furniture into – in order to move to Virginia. On the weekend it was discovered that there was no longer an offer of a rental home in Virginia, so after the house they lived in here had been cleaned out, the key returned and the land lord had been kissed goodbye, the excruciating decision was made to move, instead, to Michigan.

Thank God her parents in Michigan had a vacant house that was offered to them. If only it wasn’t so far away.

Are we the only people who didn’t know that yesterday was Columbus Day? And that all the banks were  closed? And that a young couple with a four month old  baby, who are down on their luck, and trying to move all their earthly belongings somewhere, anywhere, with one set of parents in Michigan trying to deposit gas money into a bank account and the other set of exhausted parents working a twelve hour day shift in a place where they are virually cut off from outside communication, would be unable to withdraw any much needed traveling money and be forced to put off moving for another day, while the meter ticks on the exhausted working parent’s credit card to the tune of $60 per day for every day the moving van, which was due in Virginia last Wednesday, but now is being rerouted to Michigan, is turned in late?

Yeah. But it’s all because we love them, y’all.

A few things I don’t love. Like, having to carry a damn radio everywhere with me at work and being forced to listen to everybody’s boring conversations for twelve hours. Like, pretty young women (who know quite well that they are pretty) who spend their whole twelve hours at work giggling and simpering to all the male coworkers after every single sentence that comes out of her mouth. (Really, honey, everything you say is not that funny, OK?) Like, having to have an evacuation drill in the middle of the morning, which forced us to stand out in the parking lot in the beautiful sunshine, knowing that we have to go back into the building for the rest of the day until it gets dark.

Like, having to proofread this post now before I can post it. And edit it. And find a picture. And…oh fiddlesticks!

No picture today, y’all. I’m just not in the mood.

Seven Random Tips To Get People To Read Your Blog

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking.


As all of three people everyone who reads my blog knows, I’ve had this thing lately about comments. In other words, I suck generally only get about three comments per post. Obviously I need to get more readers.

I’ve been doing (some) online research lately to learn how to improve my blog writing skills, in a lame attempt to make this (more) interesting. The theory is that better writing will get more people to read. Did y’all know that there are entire blogs devoted to this subject, “How to Drive More traffic To Your Blog”?

One I’m addicted to is Copyblogger. The advice over there is (very) fascinating and (a little) entertaining.

1. Get rid of vampire words.

I know. I was thinking “What the hell?” too. Vampire words are words that drain the blood out of your rubbish fine writing. These are all those unnecessary, overused, boring words that water down your text and make your readers’ eyes glaze over. Words like little, only, sort of, very, more  and some. You have to be bold and concise. Don’t beat around the bush. Things are either fascinating and entertaining, or they’re not.

2. Write the title first.

Evidently, (only) 20% of folks who read your title actually read your post. You have to give people a good reason to read your drivel fine writing. The title is what you use to reel them in. I thought this was an interesting concept. I know I’m guilty of skimming the titles, aren’t you?

The theory here is you make your promise first, then you are forced to deliver. This is like delivering the punch line first, if you ask me. I usually write my piece and then figure out what would work as a title. Now I see that my titles must suck be pretty lame utterly useless.

3. Devote the first ten minutes of every day to your writing.

This means don’t check your email, don’t check your son’s plethora of friends’ Facebook statuses, and don’t harvest your crops on Farmville! Ten minutes of non-stop writing is supposed to make your creative juices start flowing.

OK, there’s (only) one problem. It took me fifteen minutes to think up my snazzy title. Just sayin’.

4. Don’t be “that guy.”

You know, the one at the party that you think you want to talk to until he starts telling you all about how he crushed his hand at work inside of a huge piece of equipment and now he has no feeling in his ring finger and he has to go see a cute little physical therapist every Thursday but his wife has to drive him because he lost his license in the DUI he got from speeding to pick up his bosses dry cleaning and…..yawn.

You get the idea. People like short sentences.

5. Edit.

After you write your piece take a (little) break. Presumably, this would be a good time to harvest your crops on Farmville, or whatever you do. Then come back refreshed and edit. Edit means you now cut out everything you wrote that you really like. Seriously. In other words, everything that makes you sound like “that guy.”

6. Ask, “Would my mother read this?”

This is an important question. Chances are, if your mother wouldn’t take time to read it, no one else will either. Or, if you are like me, your mother will never read it because she thinks, “I don’t have time to sit in front of a dumb computer and read a bunch of silly emails from foolish perverts that are just trying to give me a free sample of Viagra.”

Love you, mom.

7. Don’t wrap up your ending.

Meaning, if you’ve already said everything there is to say on the subject, your readers will not feel compelled to leave a comment. This is another bad habit of mine.

Better blogging demands that you leave some room for discussion. Invite your readers to finish saying what you haven’t.

So, let me ask y’all: What inspires you to blog? What tips do you have for dummies newbies like me to help me build a bigger readership? How do you get ideas for your posts? Do you believe in editing? Do you write you titles first?

Was any of this drivel inspiring advice useful to you?

Now leave me a comment, dammit (pretty) please!

Random Thoughts about Dog Poop and Dementia

randomtuesdayKeely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it. Try it – it’s addicting. Then link back to Unmom and see what other people are randomly thinking.

~I have proclaimed today Official Domestic Goddess Day at my house. That means, I have the whole day off,  I’m home alone and I love it, y’all. I love the silence, I love padding around from room to room with a cup of coffee in hand, thinking about what I want to clean, organize, rearrange and redecorate.

I love writing all this down on a great big ole To Do Today list and then scratching things off. Today, so far, I have walked the dog, started a load of clothes and made a hair appointment. I feel so accomplished.

~I’m still trying to figure out this “how to get people to comment on your blog” thing. This really really puzzles me. I read on one of the authoritive-type “How To” blogs that in order to get people to visit and read your blog (and this, apparantly, is what has to happen before they actually leave a comment) you have to write something that is interesting, thought provoking and/or funny. In other words, quality stuff.

The other day I posted a rant story about how much I hate dog poop. It was funny, if not thought provoking, (at least I thought it was.) More importantly, it took me over an hour to write it. It got three comments.

Now to the three wonderful people who commented, (and y’all know who you are) I thank you. Profusely.

But on my other blog, Wilmington Daily Photo, I posted a picture of my shadow and I wrote two sentences. Two. Anyone wanna guess which post got the most comments? Well, I’ll tell ya. The Shadow post got fifteen! Obviously something is wrong here. Either the experts are all wrong, or I can’t write. Or maybe dog poop stinks isn’t as funny as I thought it was.

OK, I’m done whining now.

~Have y’all been listening to all the news about the alarming rise of dementia cases? This worries me, because I forget stuff all the time. Like what I was going to say. Then, when I pause for what might be long enough to write a short novel a nano second, my husband jumps in with his own version of what he thinks I was going to say, and it’s always something sexual stupid.

For instance, Me: “Sweetheart, I thought of something else we need to put on our shopping list…”

Long pause while I try to remember what I was just thinking of.

Jeff: hopefully, after waiting patiently “…..condoms?….lube?…..vibrator?”


I hope it’s just another sign that I’m getting older, like all the other things that keep pestering me. What other things, you might ask. Saggy knees, curly white hairs (so stupid considering all the brown ones dyed blond are straight) foot pain, tennis elbows although I don’t play tennis, hot flashes, crazy acne that has persisted way past puberty and really looks disconcerting on my wrinkly cheeks, and of course, hot flashes.

~Still, I’ll take all of those things if I can continue to enjoy the one thing getting older has given me: grandchildren. My God, it is wonderful to hold a baby again.

I have told y’all that I have another grandchild on the way, right? A boy! He’s due January 1st. I can’t wait.

~Yesterday was what we affectionately refer to as “Crappy Day.”Crappy Day is the day after our last 12 hour shift of night shift. My husband, Jeff, and I work together in a factory, the largest one of it’s kind in the world, that makes optical fiber. Optical fiber is that stuff that allows your computers to connect to the internet, just in case y’all didn’t know. And it’s made out of glass. Very hot glass, before it gets turned into fiber smaller than a human hair. I handle the hot glass. Jeff works on the equipment that measures the final product’s properties, before it is shipped out the door.

I know. Boring.

Anyways, we work 12 hour rotating shifts, or “swing shifts.” That means we work nights from 7 pm to 7 am, then we are off for three days and go back into work on day shift, which is 7 am to 7 pm. Then we are off for one day, and we go back on nights. Then we are off for three more days and then we go back in for four days and then we get a seven day break, except we have to work forced overtime for a day or two, and/or maybe a night during that week off.

Confused yet? Welcome to my world.

My doctor tells me that it is a proven fact that folks who work this kind of schedule are 90% more likely than someone who works a regular 9 to 5 job to develope stomach ulcers (right after she diagnised me with one). Apparantly the body does not respond well to the stress of constantly figuring out whether it is supposed to be awake or asleep. Go figure.

Maybe this accounts for my memory loss and my whiny attitude. Maybe shift work causes dementia. I know it causes whining. Just ask Jeff if you don’t believe me, y’all.

A Random Question. What Kind of God?


Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.

The other night at work, I was humming. Yes, humming. To entertain my self while I was vacuuming. Yes, vacuuming. And no, I’m not a cleaning woman, although it sure does feel like it sometimes. I’m not vacuuming toenail clippings off of some cheap hotel carpet, y’all. I vacuum soot. And no, not the soot that comes out of your fireplace, the kind of soot I’m talking about is white and chalky and it gets all over everything.

Like my new black suede MBT shoes that I bought at the expensive shoe boutique for 230 bucks on sale because I heard they would make my feet stop hurting. And like my hair, which I carefully spike up before work every day, and yet by the end of the day I look like I’ve just climbed out of a vat of powdered sugar. And all over my pants, my clean coat and my safety glasses.

Anyway, back to the humming. Vacuuming, as y’all all know, is a pretty boring and solitary job, so to pass the time I usually hum whatever tune pops into my head. A lot of time I get short little spiritual ditties, called “choruses” floating around in there. In my former life, before I backslid and got divorced, I played the piano for a Pentecostal type church.

For twelve years, y’all. That’s a whole lot of little spiritual “choruses.”

So the other night, the tune I had stuck in there was one of our major choruses. Only about four lines long, we would frequently sing it to start the services off with. “Our God is a _____ God.”

That’s right. A _____God. Now looky here, y’all, I could not, for the life of me, remember the words. So I’m thinking to myself, “Now, Ginger, think. What in the Sam Hill kind of God is He, anyway?”

I came up with several possibilities.

I wanted to claim it was Thankful. But no, Our God is a Thankful God didn’t seem quite right. We should be thankful, not Him.

I ran through everything I could think of….I knew it was two syllables. Mighty? No. Loving? No. Truthful? No. Jealous? No. Frightful? Clearly, no.

As y’all can tell, it was really buggin’ me. I started to wonder how on earth I could have forgotten this. Was I that far gone into Backslidingdom that I couldn’t remember what kind of God we have? Or was menopause, or lack of sleep, or my love of mojitos to blame?

I walked around in a memory fogged daze for a while, cleaning soot out of my machine and starting it back up, all the while trying my best to remember.

Our God is a _____ God? I just couldn’t fill in the blank.

Finally, after who knows how long, I decided to go down the alphabet. Sadly, I find myself using this trick more and more to recall things like this. Like, peoples’ names. When you know you know the name, but you just can’t quite grasp it. Amanda, Betty, Carmen, Donna, etc.

Yeah. Getting old sucks.

So, I started doing the alphabet game. I was going to go down the alphabet and think of a two syllable word for every letter that describes God.

I’m happy to report it worked. A. My first word was Awesome. AWESOME! YES! OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!

Now I’m humming. Now for the rest of the song!! Our God is an Awesome God, He reigns…..uh…..blankblankblank on High. Huh?

Oh well, at least I got the title. At least I still remember that God is awesome.

I’ll work on remembering the rest of the song later.

But if y’all ever hear me say I’ve forgotten the words to Amazing Grace? Well, just shoot me.

Tuesday Randomness

Thanks to my friend, Jan, over at Jan’s Sushi Bar, I’ve decided to give this here posting every day thing a try, y’all.

It’s called NaBloPoMo,and I can’t believe how long it just took me to write that. Stands for “National Blog Posting Month”. You post something every day for a month.


Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.

I’ve not done very many Random Tuesdays. OK, actually I’ve only done one. So this is random post number two. The reason is, I don’t ever think I can come up with anything random. I never post anything unless I think about it and plan it out for a while. Some of my posts are percolating in my mind for months before I ever get around to writing them.

Speaking of percolating, have I ever told y’all about my husband? He is the sweetest thing, y’all. He gets up every single morning and makes my coffee. Then he brings it in to me, in bed. Then the dog and the cat come in. My dog, a large rottweiler named Hannah sits at the side of the bed, waiting to be scratched, and the cat, Pixie, hops up onto the bed and curls up next to me, waiting to be stroked. At this point, both of my hands are busy petting the fur babies, and I have no way to pick up my coffee cup.

Sigh. I love my life.

Last night my son and his girlfriend came over with my grand baby, Freya. It was the first time she has been in my house, ever. We had a wonderful meal, which my son Ryan prepared while I sat and held my beloved grandchild. It just doesn’t get any better than this, y’all.


Speaking of my granddaughter, Freya, I am amazed at how many people look perplexed when I tell them her name is Freya. They look at me funny. They say stupid things like, “Where in the world did they come up with THAT name?” and “How in the world do you spell that?”

I don’t get it. I mean Freya is an actual name. She was the Norse Goddess of love and fertility and Friday was named after her. (Yes, I googled it, get over it.) But really. It’s not like they named her some made up name like Neveah (Heaven spelled backwards) or Aquinetta (pronounced like Aqua Net hairspray). So Dear Lord what is the problem?

Now I really do know women named Neveah and Aquinetta, so if that’s your real name, too, I think it’s lovely. Really. I’m just tired of people making comments about the baby’s name. It’s rude y’all.

Another thing that gets on my last nerve is when someone looks at my grand baby’s picture and they say NOTHING. No, “Oh she’s cute” or, just in case they don’t think she’s cute, they could say, “She’s so tiny” or “I’m sure YOU love her to death!” My point is, say something. I love my granddaughter, and I’m proud of her, and if I’m showing you her picture, I must think something of you. The least you can do is comment.

My once-upon-a-time stepsister made a comment. It was: “Do you have any pictures of your dog, Hannah?”

I’m not kidding. I can’t make this stuff up. She really said that. Now I love Hannah. But that was just rude, I don’t care who you are. She might as well of hit me with a sock full of doo doo. (That’s the polite southern nickname for poop, y’all.) Anyway. That’s why she’s no longer my step anything, as far as I’m concerned.

Well this was pretty random, I suppose. Y’all have a great Tuesday. I’m going to go kiss my husband and have some more coffee.

Unrandom Thoughts On Tuesday


Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.

I don’t think my thoughts are very random, y’all. If you knew my parents, you’d understand. They are both very anal about being organized, keeping a schedule, being on time, making plans, knowing exactly where they are sitting, what they are doing, and where they are going to be. Every minute of each and every day.

Did I mention that they are both a tad inflexible?

If you invite my mother over for dinner, you’d best be specific. “Y’all come on over for supper tomorrow night” just won’t do. If you want to avoid multiple questions, sighing, whining, helplessness, and a major guilt trip, you have to say something like this:

“Hi Mom! We were thinking about having y’all come over tomorrow night for supper, but, of course, we need to check first to make sure you don’t have anything already planned, like a funeral, or a hair appointment, or a Sunday school class dinner, or a shopping trip, or a salsa lesson, or a dance cotillion, or your routine tanning bed visit, or ironing and packing for your next trip. You’re available? Really? Great! Well we were thinking about grilling out. Is chicken OK? No? You had that yesterday and you don’t want it twice in a row. OK, how about steak? Oh, I forgot, you have trouble chewing. Hamburgers? Oh, right. Too greasy for the cholesterol. Tacos? Oh yeah, you “do” spicy. I forgot. Homemade spaghetti? Yes? OK, fine, as long as we don’t add too much pepper. Got it.”

OK, now that we have the menu kinda/sorta nailed down, we move on to the item. “We were thinking about six-ish” is a big No-no. Here’s what you say:

“I know y’all like to eat early, yes, I know you can’t sleep if you eat too late. How about if we eat at 5:16 PM. Yes, Mom, we will eat at 5:16 PM. On the dot. Yes, I will have it ready. On the table. At 5:16 PM. What’s that you say? What time do we want you to be here? Be here at 4:44. Yes. That will give us exactly 32 minutes to say hello, have a pre-dinner drink, pat the dog, wash our hands, help me set the table (with matching silverware or SOMEBODY’S gonna die, y’all) and, most important, figure out the best seating arrangement for everybody.”

Other details that have to be discussed are: what can she bring? who all else will be there? what are we wearing? how long do we expect them to stay after they eat? has the dog been bathed lately? and are we sure that we can have everything prepared and ready by 5:16 Pm, on the dot. Because, Lord knows, don’t ask her to waste any of her precious time by having her show up five minutes early. She’d have to sit around and WAIT, for God’s sake!

Oh, and have real napkins. I know a folded paper towel is acceptable to most people, but it is not a real napkin. Just trust me on this one.

My dad is just as bad. He lives out of town, and he comes to Wilmington exactly twice a year. The weekend before Christmas, and the weekend before Mother’s Day. And it’s always the same. First, we have “the call.”

“The Call” is to announce his plans. It goes something like this:

“Hello, Ginger. This is Pa Bill. We are thinking about coming to Wilmington in two weeks, but we wanted to get y’all’s work schedule. Of course, now, we can’t come next weekend, because we are going to Myrtle Beach afterwards, and we don’t want to be there during Bike Week. We can’t stand all those crowds. And we can’t come the week after, because that is Black Motorcycle Week. And then the week after that is Gay Motorcycle Week, and then starting every weekend after that, I have to teach Sunday school.”

Me: “OK, Dad, well I guess two weeks from now will work out perfect.” (I know better than to challenge his plans. I can do a shift swap, ask for a vacation day, or risk an incident by calling off, but I won’t dare to say I have to work.)

Dad: “Great! Alright, we’re leaving here Friday morning. We’ll stop by the cemetary to put flowers on your grandma’s grave. We’ll get into Wilmington about 4 o’clock. After we get checked in, I’ll call you. That will be around 4:30. Then we’re going to go to dinner early at the Cracker Barrel, because Shelba will be tired. Saturday morning, we are going to take your aunt out to breakfast. Then we’ll go by and pick up your brother and take him to lunch. We will then go back to our hotel room to wash up and rest for a while, but we’ll be out there to your house about a quarter til five. Can you invite all your boys (I always do.) and tell them to be there at 5 o’clock? We want to get there early so we can get the best parking spot (in my driveway, not on *shudder* the street)”

Me: “OK, Dad, sounds great!” (Thinking to myself that if any part of this schedule was  ever any different, the world as we know it would surely end.)

Next, we have to talk about the menu.

Dad: “Now we don’t want you to go to any trouble. We’ll eat anything.” (SO not true! Shelba can’t eat rare meat, steak, mustard, anything with seeds, anything with spices, collards, Mexican food, Chinese food, fried food or anything that was ever at any time anywhere near the dog.)

Me: “OK, great! How about hamburgers on the grill and potato salad?”

Dad: “Hamburgers sound good…but Shelba can’t eat alot of things that are in potato salad….how about just having potato chips? And make sure you get plain rolls. Shelba can’t eat sesame seeds.”

Shelba also can’t tolerate being hot, being cold, drinking from a “heavy glass without a handle”, being outside, going up stairs, sitting on too low of a seat, not having a pillow behind her back, staying out past 7;30 at night, or being in the same room as my dog. And Dad has to have coke, rum and toothpicks. But they are “no trouble”, y’all.

So y’all can see why I am way too organized to have a bunch of random thoughts?

I might could come up with a few things, but it really would be just a list of things I am planning or already have in the works. For instance, I started a new blog, called Wilmington Daily Photo that is taking up a bunch of my time.Y’all check it out!

Also, my middle son’s girlfriend is due to have her baby in about two weeks and I just received the thrilling news that my oldest son and daughter-in-law are finally expecting, too! So we’re about to become first time grandparents of two babies within a year!

But right now I have 27 minutes to shower, dress and let the dog out. Then I’ll have just enough time to drive across town and make my 10 o’clock hair appointment. After that, I’ll swing into Home Depot and pick up a nice houseplant for a housewarming gift for friends that invited us to dinner tonight. At 1:00 PM, I’ll pick my husband up from work, and we’ll need to get groceries and pick up a little something for the new mother, before coming home to make a salad, walk the dog, do a load of laundry, get our Mother’s Day cards ready to mail, practice hitting golf balls for our golf trip tomorrow, and get ready to go to our friend’s house for dinner. At 6 PM, sharp. I’m not sure exactly what time we’ll be eating, but I do know we’re having steak and I volunteered to bring the salad.

Yes, I asked them what time. And about the menu.  But I don’t have to have a real napkin. I swear.