About the Dissertaton 101 class I attended on campus last week: 20 people enrolled. 5 quit before the class began. 15 showed up. 2 walked out during the week. 13 finished, self included. 11 finishers were women. We hypothesized that it’s not because women are necessarily more intelligent, just more hard-headed. It’s an anecdotal hypothesis. Take it as such.

About dissertation completion rates: around 50%. I’ve got a 50-50 shot.

About my house: it’s cleaner than it’s ever been. Dissertation avoidance is a powerful thing.

About making an attempt at keeping up with the Kardashians: what do they do, again, exactly? Best I can tell, they just walk around looking beautiful and havin’ lunch. Heck, I can do that. We’ll call my show, Disserting Dame.

About public restrooms: please flush when you’re done. Only laziness prevents it. And, for Pete’s sake, don’t talk on the phone when you’re doing your business.

About TurboFire: I’m starting it next week. I’m hopeful Harold Camping’s right about a 2011 rapture. It’s my best bet for relief.

About macaroni-and-cheese: I miss it. I want some. This broccoli is just as good, though. On Mars.

About Five Guys: I went there and ate a hot dog instead of a burger. It was sacreligious. And good. Mostly good.

About blogging: it’s been infrequent lately on my part and is likely to continue its sporadic nature due to the fact that the writing of my dissertation/obsessive cleaning of my house has taken its place for the next year. Or 10. Ish. I’m sorry, or you’re welcome, depending on where you stand on the issue.

About Kung Fu Panda 2: Big Daddy took me to see it and forced me to sit through it. Don’t bother. Unless you have a 5-year-old. Or think like one. Big Daddy laughed hysterically throughout. Draw your own conclusions.

About the Bubbe: this is his summer hairstyle of choice. I’m concerned about his relationship with Jesus. He’s out of fellowship, I’m sure.

About the Rolo McFlurry at McDonald’s: it’s a conspiracy, designed to break my diet. I’m a conspiracy theorist.

About tanning: if I sit in the sun long enough, my freckles will converge, illiciting a tanned look. It’s as good as the real thing for those of us with freckles.

About pedicures: when I’m rich, I’ll get one every day.

About Clark Moustakas: he’s my new best friend. I call him Clark Griswold. He’s 88 years old. I don’t think he’ll mind.

About my mother’s recent birthday: I gave her all five Rocky movies ever made because she loves Rocky like a fat kid loves Twinkies. My greatest fear is that she’s going to want to have a mother-daughter Rocky marathon next time I’m in town.


Over and out,



A Farmer John Update

Awhile back, I told you about how Big Daddy and the Diva had taken on a gardening project now that plantin’ season is upon us.

Although it’s still shockingly cool here in the South, daffodil and tulip season is clearly over. Big Daddy (aka Farmer John) pulled up all his spring crops, his Romaine lettuce, his tulips, his daffodils, his spinach and such, and replaced them with some of our favorite summer stuff.

Oh, and the Diva, who, as it turns out, has the gardening attention span of a gnat, has moved on to something more sparkly.  Farmer John has been left to his own devices and has developed quite a passion for gardening, even readin’ fancy gardenin’ books and all.

It all started last summer. We were in transition from California to East Tennessee when Big Daddy decided to plant a few rows of squash and zucchini over at his parents’ place. One day, I was in his momma’s kitchen making dinner, when my father-in-law walked in. Alone. Since Big Daddy and my father-in-law ride to work together, I wondered what had happened to Big Daddy. So I asked.

My father-in-law, he of deadpan sense of humor and mild manners, said with a straight face, “Farmer John’s out there checkin’ his crops.”

Maybe you have to know my father-in-law to know how funny it is. But it is. Very funny.

Anyway, on that day, Big Daddy, forevermore, became Farmer John during the spring and summer months.  Really, he’s kind of obsessed with these plants.  He checks on them as soon as he comes in from work. He waters and feeds them. He looks at them very carefully and reports any new growth to the Diva and me immediately. He wants to be made aware if anything on the dinner table came from his garden.

If I didn’t intervene, he might get a sleeping bag and sleep out there with them.

Here’s what he’s workin’ right now:

Tomatoes. Lots and lots of tomatoes. Seriously, we eat several tomatoes a day, which I currently have to buy from the man down by the courthouse. We’ve got Romas and slicers, and I can’t wait for them to be ready to eat.

Bell peppers. They gross me out, but Big Daddy likes them. He’s the farmer, so he gets to pick. He’s also got some squash and zucchini out there, but no action yet on them.

Herbs. Not the kind of herbs that people get arrested for growing around here. We’ve just got the regular stuff. Basil, cilantro, etc. Last night, Farmer John harvested some of his basil crop, and I chopped it up and put it on top of some sliced tomatoes and fresh mozzerella. Topped with a little olive oil and alot of balsamic vinegar, it’s a real treat!

He’s got some flowers out there, too. Some marigolds and these. Impatiens? Periwinkles? I can never tell them apart. They’re pretty, whatever they are.

And every so often, he talks the Diva into assisting him. There’s usually the promise of a milkshake involved. We’re real healthy around here these days. We like to balance the bounty of our crops with the occasional trip to the Dairy Queen.

Don’t tell Jillian. Please. She scares me.

Over and out,


Pingback Alert: La Petite Pancake

My blogging friend, Mads, is Shredding with us now.  Join her journey at here: La Petite Pancake.

You go, girl!


Ordered Randomness

1. In my bedroom, I have a stack of clothing that I can no longer wear. The reason I can no longer wear them is well-known to you at this point. Yesterday I needed a bit of motivation and decided it was time to see how far I’d come. I’ve come a long way, baby! Sure, I have farther to go, but I’m motivated. For now.

2. At this point, I have a few options for the stack, which measures about 4 feet in height and has been relegated to the corner like a naughty child in the Victorian educational system:
A.  Create a Dunce cap, set it on top, and walk by the stack and taunt it once or forty times per day.
B.  Put the clothing into a large, metal can and have a burning ceremony. You know? Like you burn stuff from an old relationship gone bad.
C.   Try on the clothes and watch as they fall of of me every day for motivation.

3. I’m leaning toward ‘A’. I’m real mature like that.

4. Do not call/Facebook/text/otherwise contact me and tell me to give them to the Goodwill/Salvation Army/whatever. Of course, these clothes will have a good home. In fact, one’s already been assigned to them, and they’re going there. Just as soon as I’m done taunting them. Amen.

5. What’s left in my closet isn’t much. What that means, in layman’s terms, is that I’m gonna need an advance on my clothing allowance, Big Daddy. Hello? Big Daddy? *Tap, tap.* Is this thing on?

6. One of these books has been replaced by the other on my cookbook shelf.

 This shift is symbolic of my life at this point.

7. What that means for you is that, rather than getting recipes here for Peanut Butter Cake and Vanishing Oatmeal Raisin Cookie Bars, you’ll be learning how to make hummus, to be eaten with carrot sticks.

8. I apologize in advance. I’ll try to give you just the stuff that we’ve eaten that didn’t make us gag.

9. I’ll try and sneak the good stuff to you when I make something to send to The Boys. The Boys don’t ‘do’ hummus.

10.  The Diva, who, as it turns out, doesn’t ‘do’ hummus either, is volunteering at the local veteranarian’s office today. See, she’s decided that, when she grows up, she wants to be a vet. So, I gave doc a call and asked if she could help him out a bit. Today she’s seeing patients and doing surgery. Well, she’s probably not doing the surgery. But she’s right there in the thick of it.

11. When she comes home, I figure she’ll have made an official decision: either she’ll be pursuing a career in veterinary medicine, or, deciding that’s not for her, will go with gusto after her back-up career choice, a princess.

12. Having met with the kind and gracious man who will be overseeing my dissertation, I have finally narrowed down a topic in which we both have an interest and one that won’t make me fall asleep just thinking about it. For the next year or so of my life, I’ll be hip-deep in research.

13. I apologize in advance. To myself.

Over and out,


Life, Hijacked By, Well, Life

Over the past few days, my life has been hijacked by, well, life. Although I’ve never been in a hijacking situation, I’m assuming my current hijacking is better than being hijacked by, say, hijackers.

Enough hijacking.

My point is this: in the next few days, I’m going to get wrap up the next installment of my Humor Me, Lord bible study, as well as post an entertaining anecdote or two. Maybe even a recipe for breakfast burritos. You never know. I’m wild like that.

In the meantime, let me say this: I respect the work of Angela Thomas. Much like myself, she’s learned that God can use a person after life piles the unexpected on her. Because I love her work so much, I’m going to be giving away a copy of her latest book, Brave.

Stay tuned for updates to learn how to be eligible to win! If you’re a dude, it won’t hurt you to learn a little bit more about the women in your life, either.

Be Brave,


When Hiring a Photographer, Always Check Her References

A few days ago, I was in the kitchen making this…

…so I could share it with you and send it off to The Boys before I inhaled the whole thing any of it.

I quickly realized that I was going to be physically unable to tend to the persnickety icing and take photos for you at the same time, so, in a pickle, I hired the first photographer I could find to assist me.

About hip-deep in the very time-sensitive cake-icing process, I looked up to make sure my well-paid photographer was adequately capturing the moment so I could effectively share it with you, only to find that she’d disappeared. I called for her, and she reappeared from thin air, and resumed snapping what I later found out were flying saucer pictures of the cake in various stages of undress. The cake. Not the photographer, for Pete’s sake.

Who is Pete, anyway, and why do we do things for his sake? I’ve always wondered that.

Anyway, when I loaded the pictures onto my computer, I was immediately able to determine where she’d run off to during her self-permitted break.

When hiring a photographer, always check her references.

Over and out,


A Royal Wedding List

I think somebody got married last weekend or something. I could be wrong. It’s happened before.

Anyone who knows me will tell you that I’ve never been the princess-y type. As a kid, I spent the summers barefooted, climbing trees and running up-and-down gravel roads, yielding foot crust an inch thick. These days, though the crust is somewhat less-so thanks to the pumice stone, I prefer my pink, camo Dodge cap and Tennessee (University of, not Titans) jersey rather than a dress.

Pappaw says I look like a redneck. I say, it takes one to know one. We’re real mature like that.

Anywho, because I happen to live in the house with an aspiring princess/veterinarian/hair stylist/fashion designer/drummer/songwriter/pediatrician, I’ve seen bits and pieces of the Royal Wedding footage. Here are a few of my thoughts, for what they’re worth.

1. The Dress: it was just lovely. The scarlet red tunic under the red-and-golden cape was crisp and shiny and accented the decor in the abbey. The matching, pointy hat with the gold, dangly thing in the back accessorized it quite nicely, as well.

Kate’s dress was okay, too.

2. The Hats: If I had scored an invitation to that shindig, found a place to park, walked all the way into the abbey in painful shoes, found my blessed seat, and then couldn’t see because I was stuck behind one of those lasses with a dead bird or some such nonsense on her head, I’d be ticked. But that’s just me.

3. The Guests: how did the couple break the news to their friends that they wouldn’t be able to come to the wedding because random royalty had to have a seat?

King of Tonga photo courtesy of http://barimavox.blogspot.com/

My Dearest Susannah,
William and I regret to inform you that all seats in the abbey have been taken, therefore, we won’t be able to send you an invitation. While we recognize your valuable position in our lives (you and I’ve been friends since nursery school, you nursed me back to health after a grave illness, we graduated together, you counseled with us through our horrid break-up and bear sole responsibility for seeing our relationship through to this important day, and are my dearest friend on earth), your seat had to be given to the King of Tonga. We’ve never actually met him, but he seems like a nice chap. Feel free to go ahead and send your gifts anyway.

4.  And The Best Part?

That girl’s got ‘tude, and I love it! I say, get passionate about something, girl! Even if it’s only blocking out the crowd/airplane/ringing bell nonsense. She was just doing what everybody else wanted to.

Thank God it’s over,