Friday, February 29, 2008

Will the Real William Sledd Please Stand Up?

Is it just me, or does American Idol's Danny remind you just a little too much of William Sledd, only brunette and teary? He should guest-star on "Ask a Gay Man." Please tell me you see it, too.

BTW, if William should ever read this, I would want him to know that I consider both he and Danny beautiful, bitch-es!

Thursday, February 28, 2008

Meeting Cowboy III

Pheromone: a chemical substance secreted by an animal that influences specific patterns of behavior in other members of the same species.

That's the only explanation I have. We had nothing in common, not really. However, the attraction was animal-like. We were inseparable. Our friendship vow was compromised by the sheer frenzy we had for one another.

I told him it must be pheromones. He thought I had invented the term. Then, he went to work and told a friend that I was strange, that I thought we had been brought together by some smell. "What, pheromones?" the friend asked. Cowboy was speechless. Nine years later, I still love telling that little story.

We called in sick to work in excess. We stayed in bed half the day. We drove to the lake, we slow-danced in the kitchen, we even awoke at 5:30 a.m. to sit outside and watch the sun rise (ok, we did that once).

Several weeks later, he went home to Alabama for the weekend to visit his son. I thought of him constantly and wondered, was he thinking of me? I surfed, watched bad television and paced my apartment. Sunday night couldn't get here fast enough!

He called that afternoon. "Are you leaving now?," I asked. "I'm not coming back today," he said. "Ex and I are going to try to work things out. I love you but I can't do this to my son." I whispered an "ok" and hung up.

Then I threw up.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Fun, Despite All Odds

I'm sitting in the Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza in downtown Knoxville. I have a meeting tomorrow. Today was all about getting here.

Cowboy (with Cowboy work being slow in the winter and all) came with me. Nana is keeping Curt for the night. It is a short trip as we are coming back tomorrow. Today has been a great day despite, a.) Cowboy running his Big Truck out of gas on the way to getting it serviced this morning; and, b.) our renters calling us in Nashville, telling us the water had been turned off.

Both potential disasters were averted. However, the second caused Cowboy to scream into Water Lady's ear and acquire hive-like bumps below his eyes. I had to physically take the phone from him and apologize. We paid the bill, but apparently they lost the check for the rental, but cashed the one for our home -- both being paid at the same time. All's well that ends well, because my friend LT (whom I would give mighty snaps to if she actually knew about this blog) paid the bill for us. And, they apologized.

Moral of the story: Just because a man is from Alabama and talks slow does not mean he is laid back.

The third potential disaster was that I booked the hotel incorrectly. However, we found the right Holiday Inn and it was better digs. We are one block from the Old City and walked down to eat at Regas, the Godfather of all Knoxville steakhouses. It was like eating in a 50s steakhouse and I mean that in a good way. We shared a bottle of Merlot (after we chose it from the wine list and the waitress had us "approve it" -- tres' classy) and had great steaks. Our waitress asked us if this was a special occasion and I told her, "Yes, we're without our 3-year-old!" At the end of meal, she treated us to a mini-red velvet cake usually reserved for birthdays or anniversaries. She had a 6-year-old. I guess she understood.

We sauntered back to the room made leisurely love; Cowboy is now deep in slumber. No toddler between us tonight. We needed this.
P.S. In addition, we stopped at the Lebanon Outlet Mall and I found a pair of extra-skinny black pants with silver-side zippers at the Gap Outlet that fit me like a dream. $58 retail -- Semi-price: $6.97. If that don't make a girl happy, I don't know what does.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Language Link

Life with a late-talking child is not easy. It's too bad so many folks want to make it worse. Ange has gone through much of the same hell I have, with an extra dollop of hell on top. She says it much better than me.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

Boiled Peanuts and Spit Cups

Thankfully, the trip itself was uneventful. Curt was a very good traveler -- not one fit! In fact, he was as good as could as I could've hoped for the entire visit.

Saturday morning, Cowboy, Curt and I traveled another 20 miles or so to go to Collinsville Trade Day, a weekly event which is quite unique. There, you will find:

  • clothes -- mainly SEC fare (Alabama and Auburn being featured most prominantly)
  • puppies

  • Lots o' socks (nearby Ft. Payne is Sock Capitol of the World and home to supergroup "Alabama")
  • A "Jumping House," pictured at the top of the photo at right, which Curt l-o-v-e-d.

  • funnel cakes

  • chickens

  • knives

  • goats

  • fishing rods

  • furniture

  • lots of "characters"
  • and much more!
Favorite statement overheard: "Mama, you dropped your spit cup!"

This did not deter Cowboy from consuming his funnel cake and boiled peanuts. We left with two knives (these may be worth something someday!), two hats (Alabama and John Deere -- hey, they were two for $5!), and a rustic ($4) sign for our camper on Kentucky Lake/Tennessee River which reads, "River Retreat."

Curt has five first cousins (ages 1,3,6,6,8) and his half-brother (my stepson) there, in addition to lots of aunts and uncles. Oh, and two grandparents who not only do not live together, but do not speak. We saw most of of those relations and no one was injured or fought hard enough to bring blood.

I consider that a successful weekend in Alabama.

Friday, February 15, 2008

Sweet Home Alabama

In a few short hours, we're off to Alabama for the weekend to see Cowboy's family. I feel quite confident that I will return with fodder for at least two interesting posts.

Please join me in my hope they won't be about the six-hour drive with a three-year-old in tow. Roll Tide!

Sunday, February 10, 2008

Sail on, Silver Girl

Semi and Bizzy, circa 1995

I found this photo last week. I hadn't seen it in years.
My first real "meeting" with Bizzy was when she came to my apartment to visit my roommate, who wasn't there. We shared a glass of iced tea (we are in the South, you know) and talked for more than an hour. She was real. I don't know if I was; I can't remember. Give me a little slack -- it was 1989.

What I do remember is that I knew I liked her -- right then. I don't even remember what we talked about, except our one connection -- my roommate and her friend.

We are both Virgos. If you believe in such things, we are certainly two ends of that spectrum. What drew me to Bizzy? She was smart, and she was not afraid to tell anyone (including me) that they were full of shit.

We always seem to be at different times in our lives. When we met, I was single and she had a beautiful three-year-old little boy who I once tried to teach to swim. This was impossible, he told me, because, "I have tubes in my ear-yas!" Her little blond is all grown up and mine is now three.

We have gone through marriages, divorces, almost marriages, almost divorces, trust, betrayal, the whole gamut. We rescued each other from bad dates, flat hair and back roads. We had our own dialect which wasn't all that attractive -- someone in the next booth once thought we were on a day-trip from the "special" place where we must've resided.
The adventures of our younger days will never, ever be in print. Even if she becomes a famous writer, no one will convince me to tell the "Orange Shag Carpet" story!

Oh, the emails we shared after I moved from Paducah. "We should publish an on-line journal! We could use these damn funny emails!" Ten years later, Bizzy finally convinced me (ok, I was ready, but I needed a kick in the ass) to do this. It still makes me happy to write.
Bizzy's gone through a lot of changes the last few months, but she's come through it on the other side with the same strength and grace she's always had.
"Sail on, silver girl,
Sail on by.
Your time has come to shine.
All your dreams are on their way.
See how they shine.
If you need a friend
I'm sailing right behind."
"Bridge Over Troubled Water"
Simon and Garkfunkel

Friday, February 8, 2008

"Could I borrow your underpants for 10 minutes?"

"Sixteen Candles" is playing as I type. One of John Hughes' movies. Oh, my. John Hughes movies and its songs were the soundtrack of my youth. As I try to write this whilst Curt is throwing flashlights and standing on tables, I realize how easy it was then. It didn't seem like it, but it definitely was. The crazy, college boyfriend is a post in itself. Long live Long Duck Dong.

Don't even get me started on "Say Anything." Dammit. John Cusack was hot in the rain with that boombox.

Thursday, February 7, 2008


Tuesday, Jackson, Tennessee was hit, yet again, by devastating tornados. Union University had damage to 80 percent of its campus and is closed for at least three weeks. Rescue squads had to uncover students from a building that collapsed around them. It is an absolute miracle no one was killed on this campus. Below is a link to a short video of the devastation and an interview with a student who survived it.

Others throughout the southeast weren't as fortunate. The last death count I heard was 50.

Tuesday, February 5, 2008


Men suck, but these two I love (most of the time).

Come to think of it, the blond one looks a little like me...


Cystic Fibroid Tumor. Great news. Mammogram again in six months. The doctor recommended daily fish oil, but didn't tell me to cut out my beloved Diet Cokes. I picked Curt up early from pre-school and gave him extra Cheetos. Life is very, very good.

P.S. I'm considering changing the name of the blog. Although I admit to being stuck in the 90s (80s?), I don't know that the name should reflect that. I'm considering "Reflections of a Former Social Hummingbird." Bizzy will get a chuckle out of that. Thoughts? Other suggestions? (Nothing breast-related, please!)

Monday, February 4, 2008


Ok, it's supposed to be h-e-l-p, but I like the way Curt pronouces it (as in "Hep me, hep me, I've been hyp-motized!" Some child of the 80s please hep a chick out and tell me where that's from!)

Bizzy (or anybody), I would hyperlink to your name, but I DON'T KNOW HOW! Also, I tried to set up free stats, but I don't know if I did that right, either. Techo-savvy, she is not.

I've been posting a butt-load, I know. It's a better alternative to tomorrow's news than chain-smoking. Chain-posting! That's what it is!

Any prayers, well-wishes, or good vibes (depending on your groove) for tomorrow's follow-up visit are appreciated. You don't have to send them, just have them in your head, OK?

A Different Kind of Hero

You may have stumbled onto this site from the Pumpkin Shell (thanks for link, Ange!) and her Late-Talking links. You may be searching desparately for information about your child, who is not talking yet. You may be in a state of panic and receiving conflicting statements from family and friends, from "He'll talk when he gets good and ready" to "Have you considered trying Floortime? (i.e., "I believe your child is autistic, but I am trying to say this in a very nice way.)"

You may be experiencing the personal hell that is Early Intervention and your child may be receiving "therapy" from folks with no real training whatsoever. You may have been called to a meeting where women who have spent very little time with your child tell you that you need to have him tested for autism. Those same women may get snooty and think you are in denial when you tell them you are taking your child to an expert who specializes in children who are late-talking for a full evaluation.

If you came here for help or for answers, this is it. Camarata. Dr. Stephen and Mary Camarata. Nashville, Tennessee. Call them. Drive there. Fly if you have to. It's worth the time and money for these two to sit with your child and treat him like an individual -- not a label. To have your child thoughtfully examined (3.5 hours!), so that they can gain his trust slowly -- so they can truly see him. His differential diagnosis for Curt was expressive/receptive language delay or, as the Doc said, "A bunch of mumbo-jumbo for late talker."

The best advice of all was when Mary Camarata said, "Enjoy your child. Don't let your worry or others steal the joy that comes from watching him grow." That says it all.

It may not be all wine and roses. It doesn't have to be all agony and despair, either.

This is a very good article:
(with contact numbers at the end!)

This is their new website (just getting started). I wish you the best.