I Hereby Resolve…

Tonight at dinner, we went around the table and gave our New Year’s Resolutions. Moon said hers was to spend more time with her BFF, Jemi. Jemi’s was to spend more time with her dog. JD and I had the same one – to waste less time, especially on the internet.

I hope that last one doesn’t catch on with the rest of my family or this blog is doomed.

The new year is a great time to pause and reflect on what we could do better next year. So, what are YOUR New Year’s Resolutions? Post them here and we’ll all revisit them this time next year and applaud our great resolve and dedication to bettering ourselves.

Or laugh at how silly we were to think we could actually change, whichever.

Sunday Fail

Do you remember when I said that I was starting a new tradition of hanging out on Sundays? Well, I made it all of 1 in a row. Is it my fault the holidays fell in the middle of December or that I can’t remember what I said ten minutes ago?  I barely even remembered it WAS Sunday. This is what the holidays will do to you. Also, age.

JD says talking to me is like playing Jeopardy.

Me: “Did you see that the movie with that lady is playing in town?”

JD: “What lady?”

Me: “Who’s that girl that dated Brad Pitt?”

JD: “Gwyneth Paltrow?

Me: “The other one, dark hair.”

JD: “Winona Ryder?”

ME: “Yeah. This actress looks like her only younger.”

It’s exhausting just having a conversation.

Instead of hanging out with people and eating biscuits and being like my great-grandparents, we went to eat lunch, then came home and went our separate ways. JD to the office, Moon to her room, and me to the cleaning supplies. The house has gotten out of control with the holidays, so I cleaned, put clothes away, then ran errands. I had planned on doing a few other things, but a friend who hadn’t gotten the message that my hospitality mood was over, dropped in and I was forced to drink wine and sit on the couch. The things I do for people.

Otherwise, this weekend was slow. The most exciting thing that happened was that I took Moon and her BFF to play bridge and I got to fill in at the table. My partner was new to the game and kept forgetting that it was his turn to play. I forgave him because he was new. And because he was 7. Luckily for him, he still managed to make his bid or someone would have spent some serious time in the timeout chair!

This week is sure to be more exciting being as New Year’s Eve is happening, and we’re having a party at my house. And by “party”, I mean Bratt and Kit are coming over and we’re getting out the bridge table.

You might want to keep your phone handy in case things get out of hand, the police are called, and I need you to bail us out of jail.

Kit is also new to bridge, but I’m sure it will be fine. I moved the timeout chair next to the fire so she’ll be nice and comfy.

Netflix Overload

Over the holidays, I caught up on some new Netflix shows. They aren’t for everyone, but I liked them.

The Fall on BBC. It’s kind of creepy, what with the guy running around killing people, but Gillian Anderson is great.

Top of the Lake. Another crime drama set in New Zealand. It was a bit different, and the reviewer that called it “a slow burn” nailed it, but I watched the whole thing – seven episodes in 2 days.

I’ve also been catching up on my On Demand shows on Comcast.

Man Shops Globe. Seriously? I need a store to back ME. If my 40+ years of shopping yard sales and flea markets hasn’t trained me for this job, what HAS it trained me for?

Sitting around and watching television, obviously.

The Day After

I think I must have loved the day after Christmas when I was a child because it meant I could stop being good. SURELY Santa was too exhausted from his travels to check back in that early. Now I love the day after Christmas for different reasons. It means I can spend a day NOT shopping, and NOT spending, and NOT running around to deliver presents. I like NOT doing a lot.

That’s why I enjoyed my Christmas day so much. I was NOT cooking and NOT in charge of anything. Moon got up about 8:30 a.m. to begin the festivities. She had a night of NOT sleeping very well. I know because I was with her. She called me into her room because she couldn’t sleep, then decided to ask me questions about a bridge convention called Texas Transfer. Normally I’d be ecstatic that she wanted to talk about bridge, but since it was midnight on Christmas Eve, I wasn’t exactly in the mood. She woke up again at 5:30, tugged my sleeve and gave a cheery “Good Morning”, but I refused to get up. Finally she slept and we were able to start at a decent hour.

We opened presents and gushed over the gifts and JD made bacon and grits which Moon and I ignored in favor of candy, and generally had a wonderful morning of hanging out and playing with our new stuff. Moon got a computer and books and clothes and a watch and a contraption to make friendship bracelets in about 4 minutes and basically now owns one of everything under the sun. I got lots of fun things including a new book which I am loving, and JD, well not only did he get slippers, but also a CAN OPENER. The Tyre’s know how to live, amiright Kittens?

After lounging about for most of the day, we went over to J&J’s for our traditional Christmas Day dinner. I asked if we could bring anything and I was told that we should NOT because it was all handled. See why I love this tradition? So we showed up and ate our weight in yummy food, which included a traditional Jamaican rum cake that is probably illegal in parts of the US. I was NOT watching my calories and ate and drank everything in site. Christmas is awesome on so many levels.

But now it’s over and tomorrow it will be time to get back in the groove. I have work to do and a diet to begin and a gym to visit. I’ve got to get the tree down and the decorations put away and the house cleaned. Basically, it’s time for me to hit the ground running and get a head start on the new year.

I’m totally going to do that. Or NOT.

Points for Self-Control

I had a post last week that I deleted. This is getting to be a habit, I know, but when the first line of your post contains the words, “hate” and “everybody” perhaps it’s time to rethink things.

Can you blame me? Everywhere I turn people are going nuts. A White House adviser says Tea Partiers are like Jim Jones cultist, half of Facebook thinks Phil Robertson is being attacked unfairly, the other half thinks he’s a hater, and some poor woman made a sarcastic tweet about AIDS, jumped on a plane and when she landed 12 hours later found that she was the most-hated woman in the world.

She has been fired and her family has been threatened. Death by social media.

Obviously, a big lesson in all of this is not to share your every thought with the world. The girl on twitter had 500 followers; she wasn’t a celebrity. She was just someone making a bad joke. I’m going to guess that there are hundreds of thousands of bad jokes made on Twitter and Facebook every week, but for some reason, the Social Media gods decided she must pay. So now she’ll shut up and keep her bad jokes to herself. Note to self: don’t try to be funny/provocative on the internet.

Phil Robertson expressed himself, in what we call “colorful language”, but he wasn’t joking. He was saying what he thought and lots of people who don’t like what he thinks, raised cane. Cracker Barrel pulled his merchandise, got yelled out on social media, and now have put it back. He was fired and his show may end, and while he probably doesn’t give a darn, the lesson for the rest of us is clear- Don’t say what you think because it might offend someone.

We are turning into a humorless bunch of jacklegs.

Here’s my promise to my friends and family – feel free to say what you want in 2014 – I promise not to get offended. You can make jokes, politically correct and otherwise, say stupid things that I don’t agree with, and even post Facebook updates that show you’re against my lifestyle. (I see you making fun of hoarders!)

Can we all just relax in 2014? Let’s choose NOT to post that Facebook rant, not to give a dirty look to the guy smoking. Let’s drink Big Gulp’s guilt-free and give each other great, big helpings of grace. Can we agree that buying a duck call doesn’t mean we hate gay people and watching a Matt Damon movie doesn’t mean we hate Republicans, and sometimes you just really want to eat a Chick-fil-a sandwich and not make a political statement?

If “whatever” was the most hated word of 2013, let’s make “grace” the most used one of 2014.

And next time there’s a Social Media mob, let’s ignore them and get together for a glass of wine and old-fashioned conversation instead.

More grace, more drinking – it’s sure to bring even the most opposite of folks together.


Moron Test Kitchen – Yummy Green Beans

I don’t really know what the name of the dish is, but my friend Lisa made them for the church Christmas party and they were delish. She swears it’s easy – let’s see if she’s right.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

I was making enough for 4 adults and 4 kids. Lisa H. said to use two big (32oz) cans of beans, but I sent my husband to the store and he came home with this 100 oz monstrosity!

Drain the beans, then rinse them and drain them again.

While they’re draining, spray a dish with Pam or something similar.

Pour the beans into the dish. It’s okay if it makes a mound, they’ll cook down.

Cut up a STICK of butter and put it on the beans. Then sprinkle a CUP of brown sugar all over them.

Next sprinkle 4 TABLESPOONS of soy over the beans. Finish by adding 2 – 4 cloves of garlic to the whole thing. I didn’t have cloves so I used 3 teaspoons of minced garlic.

This is the whole shebang ready to go into the oven. Cook for 45 min to 1 hour, stirring a couple of times during the baking process.

These were YUMMY. I took them to bridge and even the kids liked them. Well, one kid, let’s just call him “Fave” ate two helpings and said they were awesome. Sure another kid, let’s just call him “Blacksheep” said they were two sweet, but there’s a good chance he was dropped on his head as a baby. No, I mean he really might have been. I held him a lot.

Moron Test Kitchen – A+    They were super easy and super good. I’d say they were better than cookies, but you know where that can lead.

There are similar recipes out there that call for less brown sugar if you have also been dropped on YOUR head. Some people add bacon to the top, but I liked it super fine as is.

Things My Sister Did

Did y’all know Tania-the-Mad had surgery yesterday? It was nothing serious but instead of being down for a day, she’ll probably be out of it for a week. Which means she probably won’t have time to read this blog, so let’s talk about her!

I read that one of her faves, Tom Laughlin died today. He was the writer/star of Billy Jack and all I remember of that movie was that my sister MADE me watch it and it made me cry. She introduced me to a LOT of things that I wouldn’t have known about otherwise. Like the plot of movies and tv shows that wouldn’t allow me to sleep by myself for years. She would sit on the end of her bed and tell me about Carrie and her crazy mother and the bloody prom, and how the Texas Chainsaw Massacre movie ended and how you weren’t sure if the killer was actually dead, and HELTER SKELTER. Is it any reason I used to sleep in the hall outside my parent’s bedroom?

And it wasn’t just scary movies. She introduced me to songs about terrible tragedies that made me afraid to ride in a car –

Tell Laura I Love Her

Or date someone in the military –

Billy Don’t Be a Hero

I learned about boys by reading letters I found in her room, and that you get the best tan by using iodine and baby oil by watching her and her goofy friends at the lake, and that if you’re ever fighting loudly with your sister and you’re under the bed and she tells you to stay there, you should stay there because your dad has heard ENOUGH and he is no longer in the mood for your tomfoolery. All very important information to have.

Get well, Sister.

We’re with you in spirit!

Bitter free

I had a post written and ready on Friday but I made the mistake of letting JD read it first and he said it sounded a tad bitter. Oh. So I tried to rewrite it with 50% less sour, but I gave up. The truth was I wasn’t FEELING bitter, I was just telling the truth. Basically, I just said that having low expectations is a good thing and one of the reasons I like going home to Tennessee. No one there ever asks me if I’m eating clean, if my cookies are gluten-free, or what colleges my 11 year old has applied to. Life is tougher in the big city, that was all I was sayin’. See, perfectly sweet.

Now that that’s out of the way, here’s the weekend update. Spoiler alert- not much happened. Friday night we had a nice, quiet night at home for once and I went to bed early. I’m not sure what the other folks in my house did, but they didn’t wake me so it must have been fine. Saturday, I cleaned a little and watched television a lot, and hung out with Baby Alison and generally just enjoyed the day. Kat came by and we went shopping at WalMart and I’m not exaggerating when I tell you we could have been killed. Luckily we made it home alive and then I put on my pj’s and went to bed. Shopping will take it out of you!

Sunday I got up and mopped the floor because it was our first Drop-In Sunday ala my great-grandparents. JD made chicken-torilla soup, and I did NOT make biscuits. The good news is that we had three people drop in and relax with us. The bad news is that not one of them played bridge. I’m thinking of making it a prerequisite for next time. Daddy Bob didn’t let people just sit and eat; there were cards to be played!

Sunday night we went to church for our annual Family Christmas Party. There was food, music and fun family photos.

Our church family, obviously, since our daughter refused to be seen with us. I might have been insulted but my expectations with a tween are ALWAYS low. Expecting less is a good habit to cultivate.

Especially for those of you who read this blog.


I’ve been holding my computer on my lap for an hour, waiting for inspiration to strike, but I got nothing. I know that’s disappointing after yesterday’s uplifting post about our impending death, but there are days where nothing exciting happens – not even the discovery of a dead rat.

Today I didn’t buy anything fun, attempt to bake anything good, or see anyone get fired in the middle of  a Georgia Satellites song. I DID crank out a couple of ads, go to Publix and buy more flour, and visit with my bible study group.That last one was interesting, but I’m not allowed to tell you anything that’s said so you’ll have to guess who is super-holy and who drank draft beer Saturday night. It’s a mystery!

I also wrapped two presents, so that makes a grand total of two that are wrapped and under the tree. I’ve been ordering things online, and then I promptly forget, so every day brings a new surprise in the mail. I would tell you what we got Moon, but she’s old enough to read now, so let’s just say it’s awesome. Mainly because JD traded a photo for it, which means we didn’t actually have to spend cash, yay! It’s not anything Moon has asked for, but again, NO CASH.

I still have stocking stuffers to purchase, and I need to buy gifts for 14 or so more people. FOURTEEN. Hmm. Here’s a math question for you:

If a is the amount of money I expect to spend, and b is the number of gifts I need to buy, and the equation is ab=$14.00 where will I do most of my Christmas shopping?

If you leave the correct answer in the comments, you might be one of the lucky people who gets a gift! Don’t be afraid to guess. Even the folks who get it wrong will get a consolation prize. Why do you think I bought more flour?