Apr 30, 2008


Please help solve a debate. I don't think many read this blog. On the contrary, SiteMeter shows some of you ARE reading and from the locations/ISP addresses, I can make some educated guesses as to who you are. However, that's not like KNOWING who you are! Additionally, I just might be making new bloggy friends, and I'd like to know that, too.

If you're here and you're reading this, won't you please take a moment and comment with your name and general location and how you found my site if you got here from someone else's blog? It's fun to know who is taking a peek (pardon that pun... for those of you who know me well enough to GET that pun) into my little world. (It also helps my self esteem, 'cuz really, who likes to feel like they're being ignored? Glenn Close won't be ignored. Neither will I!) Comments make my day, and they tell me whether or not I should continue with this little adventure called blogging.

Mrs. Studly

Apr 28, 2008

When Picture Taking Gets Ugly - in Church

Over the weekend, Studly Man and I drove five.long.hours. to see his niece and nephew receive their First Holy Communion. We’re not Catholic. Studly’s family is, but Studly and I are not. Our church handles communion quite differently, so I was in for an education.

There was LOTS of excitement. There were LOTS of people. Seventeen of them were either directly or distantly related to us. I took pictures. Lots and lots of pictures, ‘cuz that’s what I do. (I used to take pictures to document life’s adventures. Now I take them for blog fodder.)

Now what I failed to realize is that e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in Austin, Texas has a blog. I know this because e.v.e.r.y.o.n.e. in Austin, Texas stepped in front of me and my camera to take pictures. I can only assume they were doing so for their own blogs, no?

Have you ever seen a fight break out? In church? At the altar? Me either... until yesterday.

Ever INSTIGATED a fight? In church? At the altar? Me either... until yesterday.

It all started innocently enough. Darling Jonathan and Alondra were dressed all in white, and excitement filled the air. Their mommy was aflutter seeing to all the last minute details and greeting each family member and friend upon arrival. Multiply that by 24 mommies who were doing the same things, all the family members, plus all the regular parishioners present, and you’ve got critical mass. (Sorry. Couldn’t help myself.)

After lots of ceremonious music and activities, the first pair of the precious 26 First Communicants made their way down the center aisle. Before they got halfway to the altar, 6,432 people armed with every variety of video and still camera leapt from their seats and jockeyed for pole position in the race for the best photo op. At first I thought I had slept through a fire alarm and missed the urgent call to exit the building. Then I realized it was simply a throng of people awaiting the entrance of their beloved

I elbowed my way through the crowd and stepped over the body of a little old lady positioned myself for some prime picture taking. Jonathan’s pair came before Alondra’s. His smile started at his left ear and went clear around to the right ear. I snapped away and got great shots of our sweetie as he fulfilled each step of the process just as he had been instructed. I smiled and winked at him, and he headed back towards his seat.

Next was Alondra’s pair. I held the camera up to my eye, and got a shot of her as she was about to place her rose in the vase. (Note portion of camera-wielding throng in background.)But just as I was about to press the shutter button to capture her first participation in the actual communion, a very large buffoon man stepped between me and my perfect shot of Alondra. From somewhere deep within me, a low guttural voice said, "Oooohhhhh, MISTER! Move! Mister! Mister!"

And it was over. Alondra had partaken of her First Communion, and I missed it. Mister’s communicant was three kids (and sponsors) behind Alondra. Three kids later! He had two more HOURS to get lined up for his photo, yet he, in the quest for the perfect shot of his little sweetie taking his/her First Communion, prevented me from getting mine.

No longer being in control of my faculties, I knew something bad was going to happen. My
Cato-esque instincts took over, and Clouseau the man never stood a chance. I mopped the floor with him. (Okay. I made that last part up, but I WANTED to hurt him.) Alondra and I took our seats, and amazingly, life went on.

After the mass had ended and our mass of family had taken a zillion posed pictures, we left the building. We heard an audible sigh of relief come from the parking lot as our caravan drove away. I’m not sure who sighed... perhaps it was the building itself!

We motored on toward the house for everyone to change clothes after which we took some shots of the entire family group on the front steps.
Next we piled into six vehicles and drove until nightfall for about 35 minutes to The Salt Lick BBQ restaurant. We'd picked up stragglers along the way, and we were now a party of 28. Talk about strappin' on the feed bag! We ate so much I think we moo'd from the misery of fullness.

It was a great family time. Before we left, we spent a few minutes saying our goodbyes. Studly saw his father and little brother talking. He went over, got between them, and put his arms around them. My camera did this: The smiles on their faces (especially Studly's) made the whole trip worthwhile. His 85-year-old dad was plenty happy to have his sons (and the whole family) around. His happiness was our happiness.

God bless them, every one.

Apr 25, 2008

Bon Voyage?

We've been traveling.

A lot.

More than usual.

Our children don't like it.

One of them mounted a protest.

That makes me want to forget this next trip and just.stay.home.

Apr 23, 2008

But I didn't MEAN to steal....

Thou shalt not steal. Exodus 20:15

I studied that for the first time when I was six years old. In Room 4 of the Education Building of our church. When I was six. I had to memorize it (along with the other nine commandments) when I was eight. I think it was part of the curriculum for all the eight-year-olds in our church, but I’ve always wondered if my mother put the teachers up to making the whole class learn it in an attempt to disguise her desperation to keep.her.daughter.from.stealing. Again.

Mom almost always took me with her when she went shopping for the family’s needs. This day at Brambleton Drug was no exception. In 1967 in Virginia, parents didn’t worry so much about their children wandering to another part of the store as a parent in 2008 would. She was on a hunt for a new shade of lipstick. It was serious business. She was happy for me to go somewhere else so she could concentrate.

I found my way to the front of the store. You know what I’m talking about. The Place. The Place that all kids love and every mother hates. The incredibly-tempting-explosion-of-unnecessary-but-colorful-crap at the check-out counter. And there it was. My temptation.

Learning about Zodiac signs was something I had recently experienced. I was intrigued because, hey, I’m a ram. I’m an Aries. So’s my daddy. I’m like my daddy!! Oh, wait. I was telling a story.

(Now I know that the Zodiac has no place in the Christian’s life, but at that time, it seemed cool.) There was a pretty little purple book just loaded with information on all things Aries. Purple AND about Aries? EVERYBODY knows purple is the bomb, so it must be manna from Heaven, I thought. (Aren’t you impressed that a five-year-old knew what manna from Heaven even is? I impress myself with that thought, but alas I know it doesn’t impress you because you know I didn’t know what it was way back then. Poetic license. Deal.)

Moving on....

That darling little book somehow found its way into the pocket of my coat. I figured if someone had gone to the trouble of displaying a purple Aries book at the eye level of a five-year-old, it was just MEANT to find residence in my pocket.

I went to find my momma. She met me coming up aisle two and took my hand as she said, "Ready to go, Sugar?" (My mom always called me "Sugar." Still does. ‘Cuz I’m sweet.) "Yes, ma’am," I said using my very best manners.

She placed all of the items from her basket on the conveyor belt at the cash register. The little clerk with crooked yellow teeth and a beehive hairdo said, "Is that ALL for you today?"

I had just been sucked into a scary fairy tale. The clerk would soon morph into a huge wolf with a big nose and lots of teeth with which to eat me alive. I’d never get to read my prized purple Aries book. I’d never be able to tell Daddy how much he and I had in common because our birthdays are so close together. I’d never see first grade.

Still, I remained silent.

Once outside the store, in the meekest voice I could muster, I asked my dear mother if she wanted to see what I had. Her face contorted into the likes of which I’d never seen and hope to never see again. "WHAT have you done? WHAT have you got?" she quizzed.

I slowly allowed the top of Purple Aries Book to peek out from the recesses of my pocket. With lightning speed, Mommy Dearest snatched it from my clutches, examined it carefully and demanded to know where I had gotten it. "In there," I said pointing to the store.

Her face turned a gorgeous shade of red that closely matched the color of her hair. Steam poured from her ears, and I thought about how cool it was that my mom could make like the Tin Man in the Wizard of Oz. Her hands began to tremble, and she lowered herself to my level. Her eyes were locked on mine, and I could feel the heat.

"God doesn’t like it when we steal. Honey.... Sugar, you’ve just stolen this little book from the store. We didn’t pay for it, so it doesn’t belong to us. Do you understand?"

With huge tears falling over the spillway of my eyes, I nodded in understanding. "I’m sorry, Mommy. I’m sorry." She hugged me to reassure me that she loved me, but then she said it. And I knew. She didn’t really love me at all. SHE had turned into the huge wolf with a big nose and lots of teeth. She took me by the ear hand and escorted me back into the store and over to the counter where the manager stood. He had on his wolf suit, too.

"Tell him what you did. Show him the book."

I swallowed my heart and then produced said book.

"Tell him what you did."

He stared at me. And waited.

And waited.

"TELL HIM what you did," the big bad wolf said authoritatively.

"I.... um..... I.... I.... have this."

"And did you pay for it?" he asked.

Staring at the floor, I shamefully shook my head.

"He can’t hear you," said the she-wolf.

"No, sir. I didn’t pay." And then the waterworks started. Again.

A lecturing duet began, but just like Charlie Brown’s teacher, all I heard was, "wah wah wah wah wah...." I’m sure their well-meaning instruction to this wayward little girl was spot on, but I could only focus on the fact that I was losing Purple Aries Book AND I was in big trouble. There was no time for any lesson learning.

Mercifully, it ended, and the wolfish momma led me to the car. "We’ll have to talk about this when your daddy gets home, but you’ll spend the afternoon in your room."

Great, I thought. At least in there I can’t STEAL anything.

You think I learned my lesson, don’t you? And you’d be right. If I were a good student. I’m not.

I stole.



Having been digging for my car key in the bottom of my purse for nearly two hours, I finally turned the black hole that is my purse upside down and dumped it out on the kitchen counter.

And I saw it.

The "do not disturb" sign from the Embassy Suites. There... on my counter... in my kitchen. From my purse.

I didn’t MEAN to steal, I really didn’t. But I DID steal. Somehow that little piece of plastic ended up stuck in with the papers from our hotel stay and made its way home with me.

(I keep looking over my shoulder, hoping the big bad wolf isn’t in hot pursuit.)

What have I learned from this experience? The little "do not disturb" sign is actually pretty clever and will really be funny on the door of my office.

Oh, and I should be ashamed of myself.

Apr 21, 2008

I'd Marry Him All Over Again

And I really want to, because when we got married, they didn’t have these. Okay, well they did, but they were "new" on the wedding scene, and we hadn’t ever heard of them. Every April, I tell Studly Man we hafta get married again so we can have one at our reception. He ignores me.

Since he won’t let me have another wedding (I LOVED being a bride), he compensated with a wonderful anniversary celebration. Last year at our church’s annual golf tournament, he won a gift certificate for a night’s stay
here. We cashed it in on Saturday night. What a grand idea! It felt like a honeymoon trip all over again.

After we got
Frick and Frack settled at my parents’ house, we journeyed on to Frisco to begin our adventure. (Those dawgs would not be happy with their mother for calling them Frick and Frack, but hey, they can’t read.) When we arrived at the hotel, Studly went to park the car while I went to check us in. My eyes rolled back in my head and a seizure ensued I was so excited when I entered the lobby. It was beautiful and hip, and I knew we were in for a treat. After presenting the gift certificate to the nice young gentleman at check-in kiosk number 1 (no long traditional check-in counter), I received our room key. Cracked me up.

All of the keys have one of about 20 clever little sayings on them. Studly’s said, "Take your children on an outdoor adventure.... in our lobby." Mine was cuter. But then, that’s not surprising. But I digress.

While I waited for Studly to arrive from Outer Mongolia the parking garage, I whipped out my trusty camera. I am my father's daughter, and I took pictures of just about everything! As I've always had a love for beautiful art glass, I took lots of pictures of what we saw. I also love beautiful light fixtures and chandeliers, and imagine how happy I was to find beautiful colored art glass light fixtures and chandeliers! (Those three sentences are for Susan. She says I make her listen to all my stories more than once, so it’s her own fault for coming here to read about a story she’s already heard. 'Cuz o' that, I cut and pasted sentences from an email I sent her. That'll teach her. So there.) Anywho, here are some of the beautiful lights in the hotel’s lobby.

Studly arrived, and Jason, our young bellman, escorted us to our room with our puny little overnight bag proudly riding on the hotel’s huge luggage cart. It looked so lonely all by itself, but Jason gave it (and us) the royal treatment. He opened the door to Suite 424 and little bluebirds circled above our heads and serenaded us in sweet song we entered our home for the evening. It was beautifully appointed.

After we embarrassed ourselves by taking geeky pictures of a hotel suite changed our clothes, we left the hotel for dinner at
Nicola’s. If you live in North Texas and have never been to this fine establishment, you have been cheated. We had an early reservation and got there before the throngs of weekend revelry seekers arrived. It was beautiful and quiet and wonderful. And it had chandeliers. LOTS of chandeliers! So I threatened bodily harm asked Studly to snap a few shots.
Our waitress noticed our attempts at documenting our evening, so she volunteered to take a picture of the happy couple together. Not bad...After a glass of wine and some fabulous bruschetta, we ordered dinner. I had Lasagnetta, one of the house specialties, and it was indeed special. It was chicken and artichoke hearts layered with lasagna, Ricotta cheese, and tomato sauce. To die for! Studly had Filetto di Manzo which was black pepper-crusted beef tenderloin with grilled vegetables, red wine and gorgonzola sauce. It was mediocre only in that it was HIS dinner and not mine. Both entrees were out.of.this.world. Jealous much?

Thinking we couldn’t possibly eat another bite, we asked for the dessert menu. The choices were legion. After a brief discussion, decisions were made. The gentleman had Affogato al Caffe (that just SOUNDS romantic) which was vanilla bean gelato with a shot of espresso and Cantucci almond cookies. The lady (that’s me) had Semifreddo al Croccantino. That’s semi-soft Amaretto Italian gelato with crushed almond praline topped with a touch of chocolate sauce. My mother taught me never to lick the bowl in public, but hey, Momma wasn’t there! Oh.my.goodness. Perfection in a bowl.

Being thoroughly satisfied with our dining experience and desiring to get out of the fray of the weekend rush, we walked outside to a gorgeous Texas evening and began our stroll through the plaza filled with restaurants and shops and theaters and flowers and fountains and people listening to a wonderful street musician. It was a great way to pass the time until the next portion of the evening began.

We went to the Angelika and saw Smart People. It was enjoyable, but the best part was running in to our very dear friends, Amy and Chris, as we were exiting the building. They were celebrating their first wedding anniversary and were on their way into the theater to catch a flick as well. It was great to see them and share the celebration of two anniversaries.

Then it was back to our palace for the evening. We rested well and slept in late. When we finally got dressed, we went down to the complimentary cooked-to-order breakfast that included fresh fruit, yogurt, cereal, French toast, crispy bacon, buttermilk biscuits and gravy, scrambled eggs with cheese, sausage, grits, ham, steak and omelets. We ate until they made us leave we couldn’t eat another bite.

It was a wonderful celebration. We picked up Frick and Frack and went home to get our insulin.

Happy sixth anniversary, Honey. I love you.

Apr 18, 2008

Haven't seen you in 24 years! Excuse me while I vomit. In your new home.

This past weekend, Studly Man and I escorted my dear parents to Atlanta for the celebration of Mom’s brother and sister-in-love’s 50th wedding anniversary. Though American Airlines TRIED to ruin our fun, we persevered. Almost.

Speaking of air travel with elderly parents, here’s a tip: Prearrange with the airline to have wheelchairs meet you at the door. I’ll never fly again that SOMEONE in my party isn’t in a wheelchair, whether they need it or not! Assigned bulkhead seats that can’t be taken away, early pre-boarding, wheeled by escorts from door to door - it’s the only way to fly. That is unless you can afford one of these. We can’t.

My four cousins, whom I had not seen since our grandmother’s funeral in 1984, had planned a great party for their parents. (I had seen my aunt and uncle since then, just not their kids.) It was so much fun to meet their spouses and children I’d only heard about and seen in pictures. Studly finally got to meet those people he’d heard so much about when I’d share stories of the six cousins (four of them, my sister and me) growing up together. We were "stair steps," separated only by a year or two. I am fourth in the line-up, which means I usually fell right in the middle of the shenanigans. We reminisced and talked about favorite home movies we all watched over and over and over again - in reverse! We laughed about funny things our grandparents did and their funny little dog. We quizzed each other on events that happened decades ago. We laughed until our sides hurt. A great time was had by all!

Can I just say... my cousins ROCK. They planned every detail of the party, right down to
these. The food was awesome. I wanted to get in the punch bowl and absorb that punch through my pores. The flowers were gorgeous. The speeches were heartwarming. It was grand. It was fun to have (most of) the family together again after all these years.

After the party, Studly and I were to spend the night with my cousin. He’s single and lives in a beautiful townhome. He’s an architect, and he has quite the eye for interior design. He was a gracious host. I mean really gracious.
Somewhere in the wee hours of the morning, I woke up with a headache. Knowing I needed to take something soon, I glanced over at Studly who was sleeping soundly. I considered what my dear cousin had said shortly before we turned in for the night. Cuzin Joe is a light sleeper. Passing his bedroom door to go down the wooden stairs for a glass of water would surely wake him. That'd be three people awake because I needed a glass of water. I decided against getting up and prayed the headache would abate.

Bad idea. Bad, BAD idea.

When we finally got up in the morning light, I knew I was in trouble. I got in a hot shower and asked Studly to please go get something
liquid to wash down the medicine I was overdue to take. He smiled and said, "Be right back!" I continued getting ready for the day, even though I could feel the tiny little men with pickaxes chipping away at my brain. We were going to do some touristy stuff. We wanted to go here and here. We had big plans.

It occurred to me Studly had been gone a long time. I called down the stairs for him. Silence. I called for Cuzin Joe. Silence. I looked out the window. Cuzin’s truck was gone. I knew in a instant where they had gone. Studly knows caffeine often helps with my migraines. He also knows I love me some coffee. I waited. And I waited. And I waited s'more. FINALLY they arrived. Studly was holding my latte and wearing a big grin that said he was so proud of himself for securing the favored caffeinated drink for his ailing wife. I sat down on the couch after swallowing some Advil with a latte chaser. Trying to make pleasant conversation was a chore. And then I knew. I knew I was in real.serious.trouble.

After excusing myself, I made my way dizzily back up the stairs to the privacy of the bathroom. And I got sick. I mean REALLY sick. While I was wondering if Studly and Cuzin could HEAR me being sick, I got sick again. And again. A venti latte from Starbucks is a lot easier to clean off the wall than lighter liquids might be not nearly as appetizing the second time around. I’m just sayin’.

When at last the evil vomit monster retreated, I looked for a cool washcloth to soothe my face. I looked in the mirror. Oh, NO!

Here's what I saw:
I had strained so much that tiny blood vessels under my eyes had ruptured. Now I’d been sick in my cousin-whom-I-hadn't-seen-in-24-years' home AND I looked like a battered woman. Nice. Really nice. It did bring some sympathy, I must admit, but it certainly wasn’t funny. (BTW, those pictures clearly show what my momma calls my "sick eyes." How apt a description is that?)

I wandered downstairs and frightened both my husband and my cousin, who had in fact NOT heard what had been happening upstairs. (Thank God for that!) They stared at me and inquired about my new appearance. I told them I had been assaulted by the American Airlines ticket agent who had had.enough.of.me. at the airport. Geez. How lovely.

Then my dear cousin suggested
this. I love that man. He also suffers from migraines, but he is smarter than I am. He never gets too far away from the big guns. I never will again either. I learned my lesson.

Humbled? Yes, sir. Embarrassed? Yes, ma’am. Glad it’s over? Um, yeah. I think I am.

I invited my cousin to visit us in Texas. Wonder if he’ll do it. I may have just scared him off 'cuz really, who wants to visit their Vomitin' Cousin? At least we aint' the kissin' kind. And that's all I have to say about that.

Apr 9, 2008

I'm pretty sure those don't come in your size

Neverending quests. Those are always fun. I went on one to find the perfect undergarment. Ideally it could be worn with pants, shorts (not that this girl owns a pair, but in theory), skirts, capris.... whatever! It would also not roll up or ride up, cuz really, who in quality control thought THAT was a good idea. Said garment would play multiple roles in my world: part VPL handler, part panty hose, and part, well, part girdle. It would come in multiple colors because I'd prefer to avoid the personal tragedy of ever wearing black hose under white pants (again). The perfect creation might even have lace. It would absolutely have to be toeless. Above all, it would have to be CHEAP. Cuz that's the way we roll in Chiquapin Parish. Ain't spendin' no $25 on a pair of hose or panties or any combination thereof. Not doin' it.

Now I could never, say, tell anyone I was looking for such an animal because that would result in endless recommendations about "just the right thing." Can I just tell you... I'm pretty picky. I really didn't want to know about everyone else's perfect undergarment. I wanted my own. I wanted my quest to end with the satisfaction that I had conquered the underworld on my own. All by myself. I am, afterall, a big girl, and I can make my own decisions.

I tried 3,684 different brands and styles. I tried these and these and then these and myriad more. Such disappointment! Most of them never even slipped over my hips. It's a little like that fairy tale of the princess and the pea. Sensitivity - when related to clothing items - seems to haunt me. I must have no itching, no pulling, no digging, no cutting, and certainly no low hangin' crotch. Hates me some low hangin' crotch. In panties that is. But I digress. If I gathered together all of the samples of all the products I tried and put them together, I could completely max out a landfill the size of Georgia. My quest for the perfect-yet-cheap garment was becoming quite expensive. The bank turned down my request for a loan for further research. I was getting desperate.

And then it happened.

Two summers ago I thought I had found nirvana. No nonsense (shouldn't that second word be capitalized in their branding?) made a nice little specimen that came in both bike short length and capri length. It came in black. It came in nude. Yes! Finally! I can wear sandals to show off my fresh pedicure AND there won't be any pantylines. Chalk one up for the old girl - she went, she saw, she conquered. Until No nonsense discontinued the little darlings.

Searching high and low yielded nothing. Even eBay couldn't help the if-you-can't-find-it-on-eBay-you-don't-need-it girl. Are you kidding me? ARE YOU KIDDING ME? I'd found the perfect thing and they. stopped. making. it.

Having no choice, I treated my three little pairs of perfection like newborn babies. They were handwashed daily and lovingly draped over the shower rod to dry. I'd shut the door to the bathroom to keep Studly Man and those dawgs outta that room while the babies were drying. They were sacred, and they shouldn't be disturbed. Afterall, they couldn't be replaced, and I knew they wouldn't last forever.

And they didn't. Last week, my thumbnail excavated a huge hole in the last of the precious garments. There was weeping and gnashing of teeth. Seriously. Studly thought someone had died. Alas, nirvana had come to an end. That could mean only one thing: a new quest. Joy of joys.

I stopped in at my beloved Steinmart last week. A trip to Steinmart can fix almost anything that ails me. It's a known fact. As I was about to leave, I thought I heard someone calling my name. Looking over my shoulder, I saw no one. Digging for my keys, I heard it again. Still.... no one. I took a few steps in the direction of the voice, and there it was. In all its glory. A beautiful display of what just might become my favorite undergarment ever. Spanx. Yes, I KNEW about Spanx. My friends wear Spanx. Patients who come to my office wear Spanx. Smart people wear Spanx. Me? No wear the Spanx. Too expensive for this girl.

But there they were. In my Steinmart. Calling out to me.

I caved.

Perusing the color and size choices, I selected a black number in the jumbo size. When I got to the register, I cringed at the thought of hearing the clerk ask me for twenty. five. dollars. for a pair of hose. She didn't. She asked for ten dollars. I leaned in closely and asked her to repeat the price. She showed me the tag which I had neglected to view, and it said $9.99. I wept with joy. Okay, I didn't weep, but I thought about it. Cuz really... could it GET any better than this?

Driving home with my find, I wondered whether these things were all they're cracked up to be. Would I fall in love again? Would my new quest be over as quickly as it began? Had my one and only true beloved been there all the time just waiting to be discovered? Could I cancel that call to the banker for that loan?

The next morning, steeling myself with a cup of coffee, I sat on the side of the bed with the package in my hand. I trembled at the thought of what was about to happen. My life could be transformed in a moment. I inhaled. I exhaled. I inhaled again. One leg on, then the other. Then the panty. Hmmm.... not bad. Not bad at all. But it was 8:00 in the morning. How would I feel at 4:00? At 6:00? We shall see, I thought. We shall see.

When I woke up the next morning still wearing my Spanx and began reflecting on the experience, I knew I had a winner. I'm in love. For the first time and the last time. It is the best ever. Ever. The search is over. It was right there all along.

So today, I went back to my formerly-beloved Steinmart to stock up. No jumbos. I examined every package. Yep, no jumbos. Opening the drawers below the display case, I thought I might find, you know, additional stock. Nope. What I DID find was a cute young Steinmart employee (well, she was not in the drawer, but you know what I mean) who eagerly asked if she could help me. I told her of my plight, and she looked at the display case. She looked back at me, gave me the once over, and looked back at the case. Mumbling something unintelligible, she stared at the floor. I leaned in closely and asked her to repeat herself, noting my pattern of such things here at Steinmart. She looked up at me sheepishly and said, "Um... I'm pretty sure those don't come in your size." "My size? What? Jumbos? Oh, sure they do. I bought some here a few days ago." "Well, I'll go ask my manager, but I don't think they... um, I don't...."

I took the impish young girl by the hand as we moved closer to the display case. Armed with PROOF that Spanx DO come in jumbo, I showed her the back of a package of the teensy-weensy size that would fit, say, a third grader. There in black and white was the Official Spanx Size Chart. And yup! They make jumbo. With her wounded spirit and my wounded ego, we walked to the front of the store to find the manager. Imp girl told the manager, a distinguished gray haired gentleman, that I needed help finding my size in a particular product. She handed him the package and explained that I was insisting on having a jumbo size, but there weren't any in stock. He looked at the package. He looked back at me, gave me the once over, and looked back at the package. (Again... a pattern there at Steinmart.) He said, "Um.... I don't think these, um, come...."

"Yes. YES, they DO!" I heard myself shout.

And that's how I ended up in handcuffs in the back seat of the police car.....

Apr 8, 2008


So much has changed since I was last here. Studly Man still hasn't yet found his "niche" in the marketplace, and we're a year further out from the egg donor IVF idea and Studly's last paycheck. I've taken (and passed) all but one of the necessary medical tests to do the IVF. The last one can be scheduled at any time.

But that burning question remains.... does God have other plans for us?

It just doesn't make a lot of sense to me to take most of our savings to try to get pregnant when there is no solid source of income right now other than my own. IF it worked and I were to have complications (gee... age 46, some medical challenges like antiphospholipid antibody syndrome, hypothyroidism, and migraines - there's a good chance) and I either get put in the hospital or on bed rest, how would we pay the mortgage? No insurer will underwrite disability insurance that includes complications of pregnancy on a 46-year-old. I checked. Nada. We'd be in a precarious situation financially.

Then the question becomes, "Don't you trust God to provide?" Of course I do. We do. But that very same God Who provides for our every need also gave us wisdom and sound minds (okay, okay... semi-sound minds), and I'm having a hard time finding wisdom in potentially putting ourselves in the poor house to force a high-risk pregnancy.

And then there's the peace thing. Somehow over the past several months I've noticed this interesting new peace creeping into my not-so-fragile-as-it-once-was heart. Can I visualize growing old with Studly Man sans kids? Yes. Can I see us being happy that way? Absolutely! Our lives are so full and so blessed, and I can't say I'd feel incomplete if there were never to be any children. I recognize that as a gift from God. I know many women who have struggled with infertility and have carried a great lifelong sadness over the crib that was never filled. I also know a few women who were paralyzed by the empty crib. Would God want me rendered ineffectual in His kingdom because I don't have a child? I think not! Then doesn't it stand to reason He would give me peace about not having children so that He can still use me?

And what if we DO deplete our savings and no pregnancy results? That would make me mad, 'cuz really. Does anyone WANT to just toss away thousands of dollars?

Many issues. Many issues, indeed. Yet I'm not worried. My biggest concern is how Studly feels about all this. His peace matters, too. And at almost 54 and still job hunting, he doesn't need the added stress of having to make a "slug of money" as he calls it to refill the coffers emptied by IVF.

There's always adoption. We're not opposed to the idea, but haven't really spent much time focusing on it either. Studly Man's sister has adopted four gorgeous, sweet, loving little people, and the experience has been wonderful each time. Dear friends have adopted three with similar results. Wonderful adoption stories abound. We just haven't gone there in our thinking (or discussion) yet. Pregnancy seemed like such a good idea.....