Sunday, December 16, 2007

Monday, December 10, 2007

Happy Birthday to Me

I will admit that I was not in the best of moods this year. I'm usually not one of those people that want to tsk tsk their birthday away - hey, I'm not shy - a day where people can celebrate me, I usually say bring it on!

But this year has not been without its challenges, and I won't lie, this time of year it's hard. The reminders are everywhere, especially when it's so fresh.

So, this year I wasn't in my usual happy birthday mode. I was feeling kind of low, honestly, feeling sorry for myself for all sorts of reasons. I'm at a new job, away from all of my friends. Poor me. No fun lunch plans for my birthday. Oh, woe is me. Oh, yeah, and I'm old. Poor me again.

Well, how incredibly silly that was. Because you know what? Things are pretty fabulous. I've got a pretty fabulous family, and pretty fabulous friends. My husband's pretty fabulous, and so are my new co-workers.

So, for the text messages that started at 5:45 a.m. and came sporadically all day, thank you.
For the birthday songs, thank you. Especially my grandpa and Jacob -classics, I tell you.
For the winter flowers delivered to my work, the card from my old co-workers (I miss you guys) and the food from my new co-workers, the gift from my new boss, the card AND call from a friend I haven't seen in years, the early birthday wish from a procrastinator extraordinaire, all the calls and voicemails, the birthday dinner that you didn't have time to cook but did anyway, and to Kevin for humoring me in the countless ways I made you because it's my birthday, thank you.

To my old job who did the nice thing when they so, so didn't have to, thank you, thank you.

Thank you all for reminding me that I have so much to be thankful for, and for making this a pretty darned good birthday after all.

Monday, December 03, 2007

There's magic in them there glasses....

My glasses, oh my glasses.

The first month I had them I left them on a bench outside the AmSouth Building downtown. They waited. A couple of years ago I sat them on the trunk of Kevin's car and forgot about them. The next day they rode to work with Kevin...hanging on his spoiler. He noticed them when he got off work that afternoon. Yesterday, after the Smyrna Christmas parade (at which we had an absolute blast by the way) I left them in a grassy median on Lowry Street. A half hour later I remembered and left the grocery store in a frenzy, although I don't know why I was worried. I parked, waited for a break in traffic, ran over to the median, took two steps, and there they were. Frenzy unnecessary.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

A Very Special Merry Christmas to You and Yours!!

Quotes Quotes Quotes Quotes Quotes Quotes Quotes

The question is not whether you are afraid to die; most everyone has that fear at one level or another.The real question is whether you are afraid to live.

--- Thane Bellomo --

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Ode to the New Yorker

Yes, the hour is absurd.
And at 1:00 p. m. today I will curse you.
And may even change my mind yet again,
having changed it this morning once already.
Last week I made a vow to myself
and then spoke it out loud to Kevin to make it real.
I will cancel! I will not renew in January!
If I canceled I could spend the next two years reading
the ones I already have. So that's what I will do!
But then my old friend insomnia came calling.
And there you were.
With your ridiculously/deliciously long "letter from moscow"
How else would I learn about the chess pro who aspires to defeat the Kremlin regime?
Or revisit Kerouac through the eyes of a Harvard English professor?
Or read about a translation of Psalms that aspires to preserve the "rhythmic compactness" of the original Hebrew? I suppose.
Though I find it much less likely that I would get out of bed and come upstairs to read,
and much more likely that I would roll over and snag one from the growing pile beside my bed.
So for now, New Yorker, you are safe.
One more year at the professional rate (I do not know why I receive this rate and what you think my profession is, but I hope you think I am a writer, even though that's only in my head.)
One more year.
Just don't tell Kevin.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007


You have read 100 posts!!

Well, maybe.

If you've read them all you have.

Counting today you have read 101.

My how time flies.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Thursday, November 22, 2007

You know those movies -the ones where you catch the same parts over and over and over, but never the entire movie? I'm amazed at how it's always the same parts - the Snoop Dogg scene in Old School, the beginnng of Bad Boys where Téa Leoni is trying to hide from the drug dealers, or Forrest Gump where he and Lt. Dan are celebrating New Year's Eve. (OK, for the record, I have seen both Bad Boys and Forrest Gump through to the end, but you get my point.)

Do you ever feel that that's how your life is? Catching the same parts over and over, watching the re-runs, knowing exactly what is going to happen, but watching anyway because it's what's playing?

I don't.

But I thought it was a good analogy. :)

Happy Turkey Day. Hope you have many things to be thankful for. I do.

To you and yours

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Some advice for you

Should you find yourself in a situation that calls for anesthesia,
let me strongly suggest to you that you do not read a tabloid magazine and discuss Britney Spears just prior to receving the happy juice.

It may cause you to think you are a rock star and yell at nurses.

At least that's what I heard.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Yet another quote

What would you attempt if you knew you could not fail?
-- Robert Schuller

Monday, November 12, 2007

P.S....My name is Melissa and

I forgot to tell you that I'm also a hyprocite.

I ate two packs of Oreo cream cake things (yes, two packs, that's 4 total) right before I made my food snob post.

At least I'm honest.

Saturday, November 10, 2007


To laugh often and much;
To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children;
To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends;
To appreciate beauty;
To find the best in others;
To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition;
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived.

This is to have succeeded.

-Ralph Waldo Emerson

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Food snob

Hi, my name is Melissa and I am a food snob. I like to look in your cart at the grocery store and see what kind of crap you are buying today. Jumbo bag of doritos, white bread, whole milk, 80/20 hamburger, maybe some little snack cakes, and some cokes. Crisco, powdered creamer,hamburger helper, cake mix, and margarine. Ew.

I can't help it. I judge your cart. I like to silently give awards to the healthy carts I see. Celery, broccoli, orange juice, yogurt, fish, and wheat bread. Good job. You win the healthy cart award. I silently high-five you.

I would be a very bad checker. I would be eyeing everyone's groceries and tsk tsking all the time. Telling people about the dangers of trans fat. Humphing at their cigarettes. Trying to figure out what they're making with the odd assortment of things they bought. I would be fired.

Two jobs ago when a large grocery store chain was a client, I worked on a case where I had to review roll after roll of register receipts. There can be some pretty odd combinations. I laughed a lot. Doesn't take much.....

Tuesday, November 06, 2007


It's cold. Finally! I'm happy!

Saturday, November 03, 2007


I found an old birthday card from my crazy, crazy, one-of-a-kind, wonderful friend Pauline. Original art work and an original poem. Now that's my kind of card:

Birthdays! Are colors!
Inside the mind's eye.
Awaken and see them!
So fast this time flies.

Such an old soul,
in brand new slippers,
may yet stumble and fall, to be
lifted by widsom.

Carefully, but cautiously, faster
this time you must run
to answer this lifetime
questions of things yet to come.

Age is only the steps we build
up to the stairway to Heaven.
Angels becoming the God that is so.
Not too light!! Not too heavy!!
But wings that are finally even...

Thanks, Pauline. You are truly one of a kind.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Thursday, October 25, 2007

'tis the season


I wonder what it is about this time of year. This time of year where you are in my thoughts more than ever. Where you are the first thought of my day, and the last thought of my night. I looked back to my last post about you, and it was within 5 days of being exactly a year ago. i have posted part of this ee cummings poem before, and it is fitting here.

i carry your heart with me (i carry it in my heart)
i am never without it (anywhere i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
i fear no fate(for you are my fate, my sweet)
i want no world(for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it's you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you.

and so i carry you with me. to the pumpkin farm with jacob, to work, in the kitchen as i make chocolate pie, everywhere.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

I'm not Irish, but.....

May the road rise up to meet you,
May the wind be ever at your back.
May the sun shine warm upon your face,
and the rain fall softly on your fields.
And until we meet again,
May God hold you in the hollow of his hand.

I'll miss you guys.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Who would have thought the subway would inspire?

Quote on subway ad:

People travel to wonder at the height of mountains, at the huge waves of the sea, at the long courses of rivers, at the vast compass of the ocean, at the circular motion of the stars; and they pass by themselves without wondering.
-St. Augustine

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Yet another quote

"More is lost by indecision than wrong decision." -Carmela Soprano

I hope I made the right decision....I really do!

Sunday, September 02, 2007

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Rescue Blues

I love Ryan Adams. I love to turn him up loud and sing along. I love his lyrics. Tonight as I drove home with the windows down (finally it wasn't 102 degrees when I left work) I listened to Rescue Blues. It made me think about Owen Wilson, and how hard it must be to be famous. Laugh if you will, say you would love to give fame a try, I still say it's not easy. So this is for you, Owen. I wish you a speedy recovery. You are my absolute favorite lovable rascal.

"Everybody wants you to be special
And everybody wants you to be high
They throw you down a rope when you're in trouble, Baby
Screamin' 'save me'
They then charge you with the rescue blues

And everybody wants to see you suffer
They know that you need the pain so much
They throw you up a rope when you're too high
To cruise, Baby
Lord, you lose Baby
Then they charge you with the rescue blues

And everybody wants to see you fall
That's why they always love to get you high
And everybody knows you need the pain so much, Baby
Well, keep in touch, Baby
Just don't charge me with your rescue blues"

Ryan Adams
Rescue Blues

The Ladies

Margaret Sanger, as featured in the 1950's series of This I Believe (see my last post if you don't know about this series) titles her essay When Children Are Wanted. She envisions a world that is a better place because it is filled with children who are wanted. How simple. How weighty.

I am a better person because I was wanted as a child. (Note, I said wanted- I'm not talking about planned. There is an immeasurable difference between being unwanted and unplanned -you can be unplanned and still wanted, don't take me wrong here!) I am a better person because someone wanted me to be. Because someone cared how I turned out. Because someone wanted the best for me. Because someone still does. That carries me through every thing I do, every single day of my life. It shaped my personality. It shaped my tolerances, my esteem, my confidence. It gave me a safe place to grow. It shaped my world.

I spent the weekend with 3 ladies who shaped my world, who wanted the best for me then, now and always. They were able to give that to their children because they are wanted children, too. The world is a better (and funnier) place because of them, and I'm thankful for them, and for their place in my life.

This I Believe

I bought a book a while back called This I Believe. I was drawn in first by the cover, an old wooden chair in yellow-green grass against a slate blue sky. Simple, yet strong. (This I Believe is based on the NPR series with the same name. It's a collection of 80 essays from people both famous and not, who complete the sentence, "This I believe...") I opened the book to a random spot and found Ted Gup's essay, "In Praise of The Wobblies," and I was sold. There I was. Right there in the middle of the book. You see, I'm a Wobbly. Always have been. But before I picked up this book, I had yet to run across anyone who was willing to admit they were a Wobbly, much less write about it in a book for the whole world to read.

As a young man, Ted Gup applied for an internship at the Washington Post. He felt that he badly flubbed the interview, that he paled in comparison to the Harvard kids who knew exactly where they stood on the hot issues of the day - Vietnam, the demonstrations, Nixon. He felt as if he had stumbled on every issue. He didn't get the position, but he did get a rejection letter from the editor who told him he liked his attitude and that he probably had a hell of a future. About that letter, and the change in how Ted felt about not always knowing where he stood, Ted says,
"It had let me know that it was okay to be perplexed, to be torn by issues, to look at the world and not feel inadequate because it would not sort itself out cleanly. In the company of the confident, I had always envied their certainty. I imagined myself some tiny sailboat, aimlessly tacking in whatever wind prevailed at the moment. But in time, I came to accept, even embrace, what I called 'my confusion,' and to recognize it as a friend and ally, no apologies needed. I preferred to listen rather than speak; to inquire, not crusade. As a noncombatant, I was welcomed at the tables of even bitterly divided foes. I came to recognize that I had my own compass and my own convictions, and if, at times, they took me in circles, at least they expanded outward."

So, I was sold, and I no longer feel so bad about being Wobbly. It takes an open mind, and sometimes an open heart, to see all sides of an issue. I don't mind being accused of having either.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

What I Need

Some people need to go, to do, to be on the move, to make plans and have plans. I need to be home. I need to remember how I love the color of my living room walls when the sun hits them, how I like to watch my bedroom curtain flutter in the breeze from the air vent, the little ceramic angels that my aunt bought for me, the way my house smells of spiced cider when I burn my favorite candle, the glass candle holders that I got at my wedding shower that catch the light through the kitchen window, the swirls in the marble top of my dresser. I need to just be. To relax. To drink coffee and read short stories. To sit on the back steps with my dogs. Or on the front steps and watch my husband wash my car. (He likes washing my car, really.) We go too much. We need too much entertainment, too much stimulus. It's nice to just be home. Really, really nice.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Too Old for the Dentist?

I waited patiently in the dentist chair today, contentedly flipping through the latest Elle magazine. I do not have patience for many things, but I'm pretty good at waiting - as long as there is something to read, anyway. I'm a compulsive reader, especially when I know I'm on borrowed time. I quickly scan the cover, then the table of contents. OK....I want to read about the best jeans under $50 on page 154, how to tell if you have the right job for your personality on page 209, and how to redo your living room in three easy steps on page 67. 154,209,67. I repeat these numbers in my head as I quickly read each story. Then back to the table of contents to see if I missed anything. Ahhh, now I can relax and just flip the pages. Yeah, I'm weird, I know...

So I had read all of the must-read pages, and was now leisurely flipping through the magazine. The dentist enters. We discuss the reason for my visit today, and he tells me that he only has one advanced age. He tells me that wisdom teeth extraction is usually a procedure for younger people, and that at my age healing will be much slower. He tells me that if the tooth I needed extracted were on the bottom, that he would not even remove it because of my age. I have to laugh. Come on, I'm not 80, I tell him.

The actual procedure took approximatley one minute. I'm not kidding. He was lightning fast with the shots, one..two...three. Then a quick incision. Then a giant pair of pliers that I wish I had never seen, then he says I'm going to push, and then pull. Then it's over. No pain, really, just a small pricking sensation for the second shot, and some pressure when the tooth was coming out.

After the quick surgery, I drove myself to the pharmacy. Then I came home and changed clothes and painted my bathroom. About two hours after surgery I had chicken, potatoes, and cole slaw. I did some laundry and watched some TV. Tonight I had a full meal. Still no pain. So take that, dentist. I'm doing pretty well in my advanced age, I think!

Thursday, August 02, 2007


No title

I never been on a railroad,

as many times as they pass me by

I never crashed in the desert

or seen a rodeo.

I dont know much about the world wars or vietnam

I've yet to read about uncle tom

Never climbed a real rock

or seen Colorado......

Can't sing that song anymore (that's Train, by the way) ...not that I ever could. I mean, I've seen a rodeo....hello....I'm from Tennessee.....but Colorado I had not seen, not until this past Monday, anyway. I liked it, the little that I saw.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Lest We Forget

Go here. But get your tissues.

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Chelsea loves Spring. Sitting still for photos, not so much

Sweet Bailey

Why can't I stop posting quotes.

Quotes. Seriously! Aren't you a little tired of them? But I can't seem to stop. I suppose it makes sense that I like quotes so much, I mean I love reading, and quotes are just other people's words I've read. Other people's words that say things I wish I had said, that describe exactly how I feel, that motivate me to do or think or be. This is so simple. So simply profound. I'm going to really think on this one.

Things do not change; we change.
- Henry David Thoreau

And yes, I saw that on the Intervention commercial. Smarty-pants.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

My personal record for the longest build-up of a quote

When we were little, my brother and I had a unique playhouse. Years ago my grandparents (my father’s parents) ran a small store out of the downstairs portion of their house. On the back of their property was also a barber shop–a white, clapboard one-room little house, complete with a swirling barber pole and a crank-operated cash register. (I don’t really know who the barber was, but if it was anyone in my family, the hairstyling gene must be dormant. Extremely dormant.) After my grandmother died and my father sold the house, he had the barber shop moved to our back yard where it became, to me, the coolest playhouse in the entire world.

I am three years older than my brother and my oldest cousin. Three years is not a big deal now, but when I was 8 and they were 5 it was all the difference in the world. That year, the playhouse became our “school”, where I would spend hours trying to teach them whatever I was learning in school. My mom remembers my brother running in the house one day, crying and screaming that he “don't want to learn times, don't understand times, and could you please stop making her teach me times?!” Apparently I was eager to pass on my newly acquired multiplication skills. The next year the playhouse became the headquarters for our newly formed club –The Chicken Gang. The membership rite was simple –present one chicken feather and you’re in. Later the playhouse would be our “apartment”, our “store”, our “frontier home”, and on and on. Besides providing a pretty cool backdrop for our imaginative play, the playhouse was filled with old things-a giant Dr. Pepper sign shaped like a bottle cap that my brother and I used as a sled, the cash register, and best of all, to me, old books. I was a fervent reader as a child. I read any and everything -cereal boxes, encyclopedias, the church bulletin, my mom’s old textbooks, user manuals, the backs of hairspray cans- I wasn’t picky. So naturally I was delighted to find old books, especially old books that had belonged to my grandmother. (Imagine my elation the day I opened one of those old books and found a letter addressed to my grandmother from an author. It was a rejection letter, but it might as well have been the original Declaration of Independence. I was thrilled. My grandmother wanted to be a writer. She actually submitted material. Someone actually responded, and although it was a rejection letter, it did acknowledge talent. And, best of all, I had the letter!) Later that day I found another book with a title that, to an 11-year old, sounded very ominous: Up the Golden Stair: An Approach To A Deeper Understanding Of Life Through Personal Sorrow, by Elizabeth Yates. I remember sitting on the concrete steps outside of the playhouse and thinking how it must be hard to grow up and have to face death, and personal sorrow, and loss. I couldn’t imagine someone buying a book to cope with such. It was pretty heavy stuff and I didn’t read much of it that day. I ran across it again years later and brought it home with me, and I have found comfort in it several times. Here’s another snippet from it, which really hits home after yesterday.

Keep your relationships current. Follow the impulse to do that small kindness for another whenever it comes to you. Then you will never be beset by the thought, oh, if I had only done it when I thought of it. This is one of the discoveries I have made this year: that if the inner promptings of heart and mind are obeyed there will never be an echo of the words “too late.”

Not bad advice. And a little more meaningful now than when I was eleven.

Cheerier posts ahead. I promise.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

So, do not run from it. Escape will not do for you what acceptance will, even though the stark realization of what it is you must accept may shake you again and again.

Let your sorrow find its way out in tears, as often as it must, as often as you need this release.

So give way, my dear, to grief. Let the tears flow and let the hands become fists if need be to beat in rebellion. Yet, even as I say that, I will remind you that too long a rainy season is not good for a garden, and too frequent crying will dim the vision.

Something has happened to you, as it has happened to me; something that is the common lot. What shall we do-bow beneath it as if a millstone had fallen on us, or take it in our hands like a key to unlock the gate that opens up the golden stair?

-Up The Golden Stair
Elizabeth Yates, 1966

Friday, February 23, 2007

Today’s quotes. Happy Friday!!!!

Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a harder battle.

Without order nothing can exist – without chaos nothing can evolve.

Think on that!

Friday, February 16, 2007

Somehow I missed a month....

Wow. Long time no type. Usually January is a busy month for me, and usually because of planning like this: “I’ll paint the bonus room/refinish that dresser/take a mini-vacation/have a family gathering at my house/etc…in January, because there’s nothing ever going on in January. And then poof-January is busy. This year January had its own plans for me, and kept me busy all month. I painted and refinished nothing, had no visitors, and planned but failed to go out of town 4 weeks in a row. I worked a lot. Dealt with car repairs. Bought a new car. And now it’s February –mid February at that. The time is a-flying by. Hold on. Pay attention. Before you know it we’ll be complaining about the heat.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

A once in a lifetime pose...

seriously, how did I do this?

Belated post

I meant to post this as my "blog Christmas card".....better late than never....