Monday, August 19, 2013

Things Kids Say

Pierson asked me the other day if Harrison could come over. I'd already spent the day at the Dukes of Hazzard Reunion and I was DONE. I told him no way was I going anywhere else that day.  No way, no how.
Ainsley involved her nosy little self in the conversation. "You didn't have to go to school all week like we did."
"Oh really?" I gave her The Look. "I went to school for all thirteen years, and then I homeschooled you ankle biters for another thirteen.  What now?"
She scoffed. "But you didn't go this week."

She has upgraded from her laid back Janie to my cyclone Blitz in the horse world.  After chasing him around the yard with the saddle yesterday, finally managing to tighten it while he whirled and twirled in moves that would make a professional ballet dancer jealous, she climbed on.  He pranced and did some grande jete's.  She looked a little nervous and said, "I hope I don't fall off and get hurt."  Then she brightened.  "But then I won't have to go to school tomorrow!"  And they were off.

Scotlyn just pretty much stays in the mode of "you've ruined my life don't talk to me".  It's kind of nice. Except she talks to me at will.  I'd like it to go both ways.

Chad came over the other day and went to the Dukes Reunion with us.  He spent the whole day complaining that it was a foretaste of hell.  I couldn't argue. Three hours of waiting in line to meet Daisy and five people to go, she takes her lunch. Son of a gun. And worst thing - just as we got out of her line and went to meet Cooter, he closed his line and shut down for the day. He was the one I wanted to meet!
"Next year," Scotlyn says. 
When hell freezes over, that's what I say.

Pierson is mellow. Give him an Xbox controller and he's happy.
Ask him how school was and get the same answer every day. Without looking up from the screen he says, "I hate it and you've ruined my life."
Mission accomplished.

Sunday, July 7, 2013


I've been in a foul mood today.  It's not escaped my notice that since I left Peter, his family has suddenly taken an interest - for the first time ever - in my children...and in Peter.  This leads credence to their claim that I am, indeed, the cause for all the problems in their family.  After alternating between whining and complaining to Mike this afternoon, it dawned on me...

I don't have to deal with this anymore!!!

No more do I have to worry about what these people think of me. So they hate me.  So?  This matters why?  Ponder this for a moment....  It. Doesn't. Matter.  I don't have to give a rat's hind end about it any more.  I am FREE.

They hurt my feelings when they waited until I went outside to open Christmas presents that year.  It's in the past and I'm FREE.  They hurt my feelings when they invited everyone but me to a birthday party another year.  It's in the past and I'm FREE.  It always hurt my feelings when theymaliciously made fun of me and my husband joined in, never once thinking of my feelings. I'd moved across the country from my family and had only him and his family to lean on, only to have them treat me like a leper.  It's in the past and I'm - guess what? - FREE. 

If Peter needed to use me as an excuse for not calling, emailing, texting, or acknowledging his children for six years, okay.  He can claim it was my fault.  My theory is, if someone told me not to contact my children for six days, much less six years, I'd show them the door and tell them to not let it hit 'em on the butt on the way out. But, hey, that's me. I'm made of sterner stuff than needing to blame someone else for all my lack of character.

So, now you know. I have caused a whole family to fall apart and purposely kept Peter from having anything to do with his family. I'm gonna do the same thing to Mike, even though I love his family.  It's just what I do, you know, go around destroying perfectly happy, functional families.

It's a shame, though, cuz I sure do love Michael's family.  And they're even nutser than mine. That's saying something, too, cuz my family is some kind of crazy.

Friday, June 21, 2013

First Love

Twenty-six years ago today, I met my first true love. My mother says (and I do not remember nor do I admit to saying this) that my first words about him were, "That ugly white horse?"  But pickings were slim, and it was that "ugly white horse" or hoofing it (no pun intended) while everyone else went trail riding all day.

Six hours and six brain-jarring falls later, I begged my mama to buy me that beautiful golden palomino, and that day started a journey of love and adventure that I will never forget.  First, I had to name my new-found best friend. I was sixteen, so of course my loving mother foot the bill.  She worked at Vanderbilt Medical Center then, and their (the university, anyway) motto was "Go for the Gold.  Hence, Vanderbilt Gold was his moniker.

Vandy and I were quite the pair.  I know this is shocking to all that know me, but I was a my younger days. Shocking, I know, but tis true I had an adventurous streak.  Well, Vandy met my wild streak and raised the stakes.  We ran helter skelter up those Tennessee hills, through creeks and ponds, and did our best imitation of Man from Snowy River.  If you've ever seen that movie, you know what I mean. And all before I had a saddle. Saddling the horse took up valuable riding time - ain't nobody got time for that!

Vandy came with me when I moved back to Mississippi and we spent some time swimming in the Mississippi River (I don't recommend that - killer undertow).  He saw me through more boyfriends and breakups than I care to think about.  He was my constant. One guy, a particular favorite, once commented, "You love that horse more than me." Uhh...duh? If Vandy didn't like the guy, the guy had to go.  Luckily, Vandy was a friendly sort of fella, real affable and laid back, so it wasn't a problem much.

Until you got on him.  Then he turned into a psychotic ninja Tasmanian Devil on crack. Goodness, I just loved him.  He had one little bitty fault - he didn't know whoa.

Yeah, that could be a problem.  All gas, no brake. Once, while in Florida (I stole my boyfriend's horse trailer the night of graduation and went on a road trip) we were a lovely stroll down a sandy road.  Vandy didn't want to stop and the highway was coming up pretty fast.  Still he wouldn't stop (a little stubborn, that one) and splat, down we went like roadkill on that sun-baked Florida highway.  The car missed us by about ten feet, though, so I count my blessings.  Vandy was okay, so don't worry.  I was a good cushion.  When I got home to my grandparents' house, Grandaddy looked at me, swathed from neck to ankle in gauze and one arm in a sling, and says, "Fell off yer horse again, did ya, girl?"

But honestly, my favorite time was the mule train to downtown Natchez during my senior year of high school.  About 200 horses and mules paraded all the way from The Barns on Liberty Road the 3 miles or so to Under the Hill.  Vandy was full of hisself that day and bounce, bounce, bounce was all he was capable of.  The three Dr. Peppers I'd had before we left The Barns became unbearable as we were passing the backside of the stately First Baptist Church.  Luckily there was a strand of trees there.  I hated to do it, but people, I was desperate, okay? I didn't want to tie Vandy up; he was so excitable that day, you know.  So I decided it would be better to hold him.


Just as I was *ahem* in position, Vandy's ears perked, he bugled as the last horse paraded past on the road below us, and off he went, determined not to be left behind.  Picture it, my horse dragging me through the woods, bare bottom up... nevermind.  Don't picture it. I managed to stop him long enough to make myself presentable, haul myself up, when he leaped off the five foot bluff onto pavement and hauled a.. *ahem* tail, he hauled tail to catch up with the others.  Only he didn't stop when he caught up with our group.  Noooo... he kept going, all the way past the wagons, past the leaders, past the police that were stopping traffic.  The whole time, people in the parade were muttering along the lines of "what a showoff", "needs to learn to control her horse".  My mother watches me go by and only thing she says to those around her?  "Never seen that girl before in my life."  Only thing I could think of was "I'm going to die, and I still have to pee."

In conclusion of that fun story, I got poison ivy in a very impolite place to scratch in public. Try explaining that one.

So, after Vandy came with me from Tennessee to Mississippi to Florida, we both eventually wound up back in Tennessee.  I had some rough years, mostly of my own making, but some just the rough knocks of life.  Vandy was always there.  I used to watch the sun rise while laying against his shoulder, and sometimes we fell asleep that way.  He would come running when he heard my truck turn in at the top of the drive and he'd be waiting at the gate for me.

The day I had to sell him was a hard day for me, but my life had turned a corner.  I had a child and there wasn't enough time or money to care for both.  I think Vandy understood.  I've never stopped missing him and I'll never stop loving him.  We had some happy years together and I wouldn't trade them for anything.

Vandy was truly my first love, and he's always in my heart.

Sunday, April 28, 2013


I'll tell you what, unless these kids learn a better way to walk than on my floors, they better stay OUTSIDE!  I'm tired of this mess.  It's sweep sweep sweep,, I don't mop, but I should.  Our socks stick to the floor.

And let's discuss this Aussie and her hair.  She promises she's done shedding. NOT. I don't know how she weighs anything, considering I sweep up her body weight in hair on a daily basis.  And those "Guaranteed to remove the undercoat" combs?   LIAR LIAR PANTS ON FIRE. They should be burned at the stake for those lies.  Or better yet, come to my house and sweep.  Change my sheets, since she likes to sleep ON my pillow.

How would a giant red Aussie look with a poodle-do? 

We live on a gravel road.  That's always fun when you have glass end tables.  "Kids, stop writing 'wash me!' in the dust. It's rude." 

Here's another fun one.... "Take the ducks outside.  I don't care if you wiped their webs, they're still outside animals."  How about this? "No, you can not sleep with your baby....Yes, I know he's a very well mannered horse, but he's still a horse and we have a ply wood floor.  And he's not potty trained.... I know Scooby poops in the house, but he weighs five pounds.  Big difference.  Huge."

I want a maid.

So, back to my story, I swept today.  Timed myself to make it more fun.  (Didn't work.)  Then I mopped.  Timed myself with that too.  That's half an hour of my life I'll never get back.  And the mop, because it was on the back porch, was covered with fire ants.  They BIT me!  Like mopping isn't insulting enough. 

This is why I should never have to clean. I'm going to watch back-to-back episodes of Castle now.

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Homeschooling Lessons

People are always asking me what it’s like to homeschool, so I came up with a tidbit from the other day.  Enjoy.

Me:  Ainsley, did you get your language arts books out like I told you?

Ainsley:  (who has been happily jumping on my bed while I attempted to make phone calls, lands with a thump and looks at me as if I have sentenced her to the gas chamber.)  I don’t feel good.  I’m sick.

Me:  I hope you don’t die before we finish school.  Where are your books?

Ainsley:  *sigh* On the table.  (She shuffles her feet as she makes her way to her death sentence, holding the back of hand to her forehead.)  Do I have a fever?

Me:  No.

Ainsley:  You didn’t check!

Me:  I have radar that picks up on fevers.  You don’t have one.

Ainsley:  You’re gonna feel bad if I die.

Me:  I’ll cry terribly.  Let’s begin with the definition of a verb.  ‘A verb is a word…’  Ainsley, sit up, please, and say the definition with me.  Sit in the chair.  Sit UP.  Now, let’s try again – ‘A verb is a word…’  If you don’t say it with me, we’re just going to keep doing it until you do.  I can sit here all day. (Total lie, but what she doesn’t know…)

She finally mumbles the definition of a verb through heaving sighs of disdain. 

Me:  In Exercise 1, read the sentence to me.

Ainsley:  I have a scratch.

I’m looking at Exercise 1, and the sentence there is:  Jimmy Carter was president, so imagine my confusion.  I look at her.  She’s picking at a scab. I’ve learned from experience to never engage in these conversations.

Me:  (louder) In Exercise 1, read the sentence to me. 

Ainsley:  Buddy gave it to me when we were playing.  I have one on this arm, too, but Scout did this one.

Me: Ainsley!  Ex-cer-cise ONE.  READ. IT.

Ainsley: (looks at me accusingly) It hurts.

Me: (gritted teeth) Read. The. Sentence.

Ainsley: Don’t you even care if I’m in pain? 


And that, my friends, is homeschooling in a nutshell.    


Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Assessment Day

Today I went for my job assessment test at the Workforce Commission.  I got there a half hour early because I left home with plenty of time to allow for morning traffic, wrecks, or the very real possibility of having to tailgate a tractor for ten agonizing miles, and encountered none of these instances.  I signed in and the receptionist went to get my person. 

Susan (name changed to protect the innocent) came to the front and introduced herself.  She shook my sweaty paw as I hopped from foot to foot. 

“Could I use the restroom before we get started?” I asked.

“Of course!” She said, ever so friendly.  She handed me a key and pointed to the door I had already tried.  Why does anyone have to lock a restroom?  Do people steal toilets?  Is there a run on hand soap?

“Thanks so much,” I said.  If only I’d stopped there, but no… “I always have to go when I’m nervous.”  Shut up, Kerri!  Shut UP! 

“And you had a long drive, didn’t you?”  Bless her heart, trying to make me feel comfortable. 

“I did, and I was drinking the whole way here.”  Susan’s eyes widened. “Dr. Pepper!  I was drinking Dr. Pepper!  Not drinking drinking, because I never do that.  I mean, when I was younger, I used to….”  I was finally able to control my runaway mouth and nodded toward the restroom.  “I’ll be right out.”

She nodded, looking a little shell-shocked.

The interview progressed from there fairly well, I think.  She asked lots of questions about homeschooling, and I do mean lots of questions.  Looking back, I’m thinking maybe she was wondering if I was/am qualified to bear children, much less educate them.  I was finally allowed to sit at the computer and take the test.  I’m proud to say I passed it.  Granted, it’s not a pass or fail test, but I’m going with ‘I passed it’ because it makes me feel good. 

I must say, Susan did seem shocked to note my scores, bless her heart.  I’m pretty sure she didn’t believe I had a brain, and I actually scored rather high in certain areas.  If you’ll notice my snooty tone of voice, I’d appreciate it. She pointed out some of my possible careers, specifically noting that physician was listed.  Whooo, doggy, I is SMART, girl!  My head got so big I nearly floated out of there.  I don’t plan on going to school for 14 years, but shyute, as smart as I am, who needs med school?  I already know it all, like my teenagers.

Then again, when I got home I read over all my other possible career choices, and listed below physician was race car driver and ditch digger, so maybe I shouldn’t put too much stock into this assessment business.  A whole day spent, and I still don’t know what I want to be when I grow up.  I’m not sure I even want to grow up.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Moving On

I'm back in my Grace House. :)  It's a good feeling, I tell you.  I've already visited with several neighbors, and it is so good to be home.  Yes, it's "just" a double wide, but it's HOME.  I've known from the moment I first came over the hill with the realtor more than seven years ago, that this was the place for me, and it still is. I love the property, I love the neighbors, I love watching the sun set from the front porch and the stars at night.  Maybe I wish it had real walls and not those cheesy wallboard things, but hey, other things are more important.

Today, my parents are coming and we're finishing up the moving.  On Saturday, the kids and I got our mattresses, the couch, and our essentials to spend the weekend.  And of course we got the animals.  I've never seen any happier horses!  They were trying to pull us out of the trailer and toward the pasture.  They'd eat a a few bites of grass, then run - something they haven't had room to do - then eat a bit, then run some more.  Already they act like we don't exist, where before they came up the fence the second we walked out the door.  I guess they're feeling self-sufficient enough that they don't need us anymore. :) 

The dogs are happy enough, except poor Sugar.  She used to be an indoor dog here, and we wouldn't let her come in at the other house.  I've decided to keep her an outdoor dog, and she is so confuzzled.  She lays in mud and kept the house so dirty all the time, so I'm putting her torn up loveseat in the barn, but she waits at the front door with a sad look, not understanding why I've rejected her.

The kids appear to be adjusting well.  The girls definitely have, and are thrilled to be home.  Pierson is the one that didn't want to move back, and he seems okay.  I worry about him because he won't talk about his feelings, and even if he's angry I wish he would tell me. But he does seem to be okay now that he's back.  The shorter drive to town seems to be a bonus, and being closer to his best friend will be nice for him. We'll make this work.

As for the renter, she did some things that I believe were intentional.  I think she deliberately messed up the shower head, because I can't imagine letting that go on for a long time.  It was spraying straight up and soaked the floor with a great deal of water in a very quick shower, even with a towel on the floor.  The floor is soft over a good portion of the bathroom and into the closet, so it will have to be replaced fairly soon.  It cost $8 for a new shower head and took me less than two minutes to replace it.  One of those minutes was trying to open the stabbing at the plastic packaging with a knife.  It was her responsibility to let us know of any repairs that needed to be done, so her negligence cost us hundreds of dollars in furture repairs. 

Plus, she took the mailbox, post and all.  Pierson found it yesterday, behind the barn. The neighbors said that she took it down over a month ago, which is when we gave her notice to move.  Her spitefulness will cost her her deposit. And we gave her almost two months of free rent. I don't understand why she was angry.  She left the house nasty dirty as well. Oh well, she's out and I'm home.

I've been running crazy little with lots of errands and little things to be done, and will continue for the next few days.  After that, I'm hoping life will settle to normal hecticness. I haven't worked on my novel in months, and I'm ready to look at it with fresh eyes and finally finish it.  I've figured out what's wrong and how to make it work, but I have to have the time to set aside and DO it.

Life is a wonderful place these days.  My God is a wonderful God and He is mighty to save. His Grace is covering me. His Peace is in me.

Friday, February 1, 2013


Two days ago, I signed divoce papers.  Yesterday, they were filed with the court, but they are not in effect until I actually move to my new residence in a few weeks.  I'm waiting until the tenant moves out. It's been a roller coaster ride, I assure you.  So many people have, mouths agape, asked me "Why?"  They are so shocked.

Well, I can't tell you why.  It's not because I don't know.  Goodness gracious, do I know.  It's because there are children involved - my children. Unfortunately, my children also want to know why, and I'm at a loss of what to tell them.  Going into details will not help them, and adult matters are not for them to know. 

For those that think we had the perfect marriage...  all I can say is, appearances can be deceiving. Maybe we should have fought more in public, or at least where our kids could see it, because they say they neither saw nor heard any of it. I've always heard it's best not to fight in front of the kids, but considering their complete shock, maybe they should at least have a hint all is not well in Mommy/Daddy Land.  I find that hard to believe because the walls of the doublewide were mighty thin and I'm a yeller, but maybe they didn't hear because they didn't want to hear. I hate what my kids are going through, but even for that, there is no way I can spend one more moment going through this.

Here's a bit of advice - if he tries to control your life, any part of it, it only gets worse with time. And you had better have your ducks in a row.  Louisiana does not view being a stay-at-home mom with any ounce of respect.  Under the LAW, you are expected to bring in an income unless you have a physically disabled child or a child under five.  He was able to refinance a vehicle last week without one word to me - which may now be considered joint debt - but I have no options to get a running vehicle without help from friends or family.  He is getting the six bedroom house on the lake (I don't want it, but hello) and the new truck.  I'm getting the doublewide and the van has 216k miles on.  When asked if he would pay the repair bill on it since he didn't pay the support payment (which is more than 25% less than he told me he would pay) on time, he said no.  He would take me where I need to go.  I want to ride with him like I want to get shot in the head.

But this is important for you to know.  I am the bad guy.  I want this divorce and I do not have grounds for it. He did not cheat on me and he does not beat me.  Therefore, I will not be able to stand before God with my decision.  Folks, I am going to hell.  I now understand why people hate religion.  If it were not for my belief that God is not this angry, vengeful being that he has made him out to be, I would be an atheist, too. 

I'm struggling with my faith right now.  My anger is strong and raging.  And yet....I know I have only sixty more hours.  Sixty more hours until he leaves for his next offshore hitch and I will be free of having to deal with him on a daily basis.  He has no more control over me.   I'll get by without his precious money, and at least then he can't say I "owe" him anything.  I've been low before, and I've pulled myself up.  I'll do it again.

I can focus on my kids again.  And I can be me again. And I can turn to God again.  Looking forward to that.

Yeah.  Looking forward to that.