Archives for February 2011

That Stuffy, Achy, Touch-O-The-Plague Feeling

Helllllloooo, internets of the universe. Or universe of the internets. Or y’all.

Where to begin?

Let’s see.

This past Saturday morning the little man woke up with a fever and so much chest congestion that he sounded like a tree frog crossed with a pack of Marlboro Menthols crossed with Kathleen Turner. I believe “raspy” is the word that would best apply. He felt terrible, and he remained in his pitiful estate until Tuesday morning when he hopped out of bed, told me he felt like he was going to throw up, looked pale as a whisper, went back to bed for about ten minutes, started to perk up, asked for some bacon and toast, then promptly pronounced himself ready to go back to school.

So that happened.

But then later that morning I felt like I had a little bit of a cold coming on, and by Tuesday afternoon I knew that I too had been stricken by the plague. Wednesday morning I didn’t have a voice. Today I’ve been better, but now I’m the one who sounds like a tree frog crossed with a pack of Marlboro Menthols crossed with Kathleen Turner.

Which reminds me: does anyone remember how, in the late 90s, Kathleen Turner started talking like someone who wasn’t entirely familiar with the English language? And sometimes she’d do interviews and say things like, “It was a wonderful opportunity to – oh, how do you say? – expand my horizons?

(And you’d better believe she’d drop the “h” on “horizons” like it was a hot potato.)

(Or an “ot potato,” as it were.)

That used to make me so happy. So happy, in fact, that I just used the Google and found an old interview with Kathleen Turner on the “Today” show where she repeatedly pronounced “been” as “bean.”

Good times.

Anyway, in addition to fighting off the various and sundry infirmities that have made their way to our house, I’ve been pushing through what will be affectionately known as DEADLINE ’11 for the rest of my earthly days. I had a huge (UUUUUUUUUGE, as Mrs. Turner might say) work deadline earlier this week – in addition to a couple of bloggy / write-y things that were due Monday – and now that the week is (almost) over I’m having a hard time shaking the feeling that there’s a big ole DUE DATE breathing down my neck. But alas: no.

I’d totally do a hitch kick if I weren’t afeared that I’d permanently damage my ankle.

Now. Let us please to talk about the TV.

[I just typed a whole bunch about “Oprah” and then realized that it’s going to have to be a separate post. Because I’ve been watching the Oprah show this season after about a three year break from it, and I have so many, many thoughts that I will share at another time, oh thank you.]

[But the twin sisters who were on the show today won my heart forever, they did.]

Here are the shows with which I am somewhat obsessed right now:

1) Top Chef – I couldn’t believe that [not naming the name because I don’t want to spoil it if you haven’t seen it yet] had to pack his/her knives and go last night, but that’s what’s been so great about this season. Totally unpredictable – and it’s clear that people really are being voted off for their work in each challenge and not being protected because of their body of work or their reputation. Right now I think Richard is probably the favorite to win – and I think Antonia and Carla are the dark horse contenders. Either one of them could easily pull an upset.

2) Survivor – I haven’t even watched last night’s episode yet, so it’s a pretty bold step-out for me to say that I’m obsessed with a show that I haven’t even seen. So how do I know I’m going to love it? Two words: Boston Rob.

3) American Idol – Oh, people. Peoplepeoplepeoplepeople. It’s never been better. Last night the whole Jacee-needs-a-group thing just unnerved me, but at the end? When he made it through? And his group cheered? And then Scotty McCreery apologized from the stage and could hardly celebrate the fact that he made it through because he was so remorseful about the way his group treated Jacee? I would like to tell you that it made me teary-eyed, but I’m pretty sure that I just flat-out WEPT.

So are y’all watching any of these? Have any thoughts or preferences or predictions?

I would love to – how do you say? – hear your thoughts.

And by all means, do have a lovely evening.

And please know that I’ve missed you terribly.

Edited to add: I watched “Survivor” late last night, and I have to say that the tribal council was some of the finest television these eyes have ever witnessed. For all the reasons I expected – and some that I didn’t. Like Phillip. MY WORD.

A Kidney For Kelli

If you’ve been around here for awhile, you may remember that about four years ago we collected a love offering for Kelli Bach, our bloggy friend who’s in stage 5 kidney failure and waiting on a kidney transplant. At the time we wanted to raise enough money to cover Kelli’s health insurance expenses for a year (her condition had deteriorated to the point that she could no longer work, and the COBRA expenses were pretty steep). That day was a testimony to the incredible spirit of generosity that’s present in this little corner of the internet.

Like a lot of you, I’ve continued to follow Kelli’s condition over the last few years (here’s her story). She has endured tests and treatments and surgeries and hospitalizations that most of us cannot even begin to fathom. Some days have looked pretty bleak. Maybe even hopeless. But she and her family have held fast to faith, and after years of waiting, Kelli has finally been matched with a living kidney donor named Sarah.


Kelli’s insurance will cover all the transplant costs for her and for Sarah, and that’s definitely cause for praise. Even still, there are expenses that insurance won’t cover. Kelli is responsible for Sarah’s travel, food and lodging costs. Kelli will also need to cover her own costs, including travel and lodging for four trips from Oregon to Los Angeles prior to transplant – and for the four weeks (minimum) she’ll be required to stay in Los Angeles after her transplant. She’ll have to stay in a hotel, secure transportation to the hospital for tests and pay for meals. If her husband and children could make the two-day (each way) trip to see her at some point while she’s in LA – well, that would be gravy.

If you’re wondering why she’s going all the way to Los Angeles, it’s because Cedars-Sinai has the best transplant success rate with “highly sensitized” patients like Kelli. Cedars is her best shot for a successful transplant. To be frank, Cedars is Kelli’s best shot for life.

Kelli and her family have moved several times over the last few years in order to be close to the hospitals that could offer her the best treatment. She has not had the luxury of being in the same town at the same church with the same friends. If that were the case, I probably wouldn’t be writing this post. But since it’s not the case – well, maybe some of us can step up today and be the church for the Bach family.

If you feel led to contribute even a small amount to Kelli’s transplant expenses, there’s a very simple, safe, secure way for you to give online at If 100 of us will donate $10, we can make a dent in the expenses that aren’t covered by insurance. If you don’t feel led to give financially, then I know Kelli and her family would be oh-so-grateful for your prayers.

(And just to be clear: I would never, ever want to make you feel obligated to give to or pray for a cause if you don’t feel led to do that. So please know that there is NO PRESSURE. Also, all of the donated money will go straight into the Bachs’ Give Forward account. NO ONE besides their family and Kelli’s donor will have access to or benefit from your donations.)

(There. I believe I’ve over-explained enough.)

God has been so gracious to provide a donor for Kelli. The fact that Kelli has insurance to cover the medical expenses is a tremendous blessing. And now we can step in and provide one of the final pieces of the transplant puzzle.

I don’t know about you, but that makes me smile. What a sweet privilege.

Thanks in advance, everybody.


DeeDee is also linking to Kelli’s Give Forward page today. Big thanks from both of us to Karla for creating a bloggy button for Kelli – feel free to grab it and use it on your own blogs.

When Old People Watch The Grammys

Me: You know what? I heard that Justin Bieber’s movie was kind of good.

Him: Where? Who said that?

Me: I don’t know. Magazines. The Twitter. People really seem to like it. They say it’s uplifting and actually a really neat story.

Him: Really? I think it’s safe to say that I won’t be seeing it. Not to mention that I don’t exactly know any of his songs.

Me: Well, you make a good point.

Him: And you know what? Even though everyone seems to love them and all, Mumford & Sons sort of make me angry.

Me: Angry? Really?

Him: Yes. They just make me want to throw things.

Me: Because their songs are kind of folksy and sometimes seem a little endless and maybe make you feel like you’re trapped in some sort of crowded pub?


Me: Well, at least they’re real musicians. They’re very talented.


Me: Who’s that?

Him: I don’t know. Oh, wait. It’s Cee-Lo. I think.

Me: Oh.

Him: So why is he singing with Muppets, exactly?

Me: Wait. Is that the catchy song with the bad word? YES. That’s the catchy song with the bad word. So maybe they thought it would be funny for him to sing his catchy song with the bad word with a bunch of puppets? You know, to make it kicky and edgy?

Him: Oh. Okay.

Me:*silently worrying about Gwyneth’s tricky shoes*

Him: *leaves the room for a few minutes, then returns*

Me: I think we’re officially too old for this. I mean, why is Katy Perry sitting on a swing made of ribbon and tinsel?

Him: I don’t know. It’s weird.

Me: Jolene!

Him: Jolene!

Me: Who’s that?

Him: She just won Best New Artist. I don’t know her name, though.

Me: It doesn’t matter. I’m pretty sure that I’ve never heard of her.

The end.

A Fool With A Fancy Guitar

Every once in awhile a song gets all up in my business.

Today it’s been this song. Which is why I’ve played it about six times in a row on my iTunes.

That’s a good word, isn’t it? Just thought I’d share.

Happy Sunday, y’all.

So The Week, It’s Been Busy

Right now I’m watching the first round of American Idol Hollywood Week (LOVE Casey Abrams), and I’m just going to jump in and start a post because I’ve been a little slack in the blogging department this week. Life and work have been pretty jam-packed the last few days, but they’ve also been really fun in the most unexpected ways. The little man has been fighting off a chest cold, so we’ve spent big chunks of our afternoons nestled up next to the balmy tropical mist of the vaporizer. We’ve read and read and read some more, and it has been DELIGHTFUL.

The reading, not the chest cold.

(By the way, I can’t really tell, but is Ford Focus an American Idol sponsor?)


(They’ve sort of taken product placement up to a whole new level, haven’t they?)

Anyway, since I’ve been a little out-o-pocket, I have some items that I’d like to share, oh thank you.

Please forgive the absence of narrative structure. Unless you’re willing to count, you know, numbering.

1. Ann Voskamp’s most recent post about marriage? Oh. My. Goodness.

2. Yesterday I read an article about Broadcast News, which just so happens to be one of my all-time favorite movies. And the article reminded me how much I love this scene.

link via Throwing Things

3. Sweet Kelli at Living in Grace finally – FINALLY – has a living donor for her kidney transplant. This is a HUGE answer to prayer for her and her family – something they’ve been waiting on for years. If you’ve followed Kelli’s story, you know what kind of a rollercoaster they’ve been riding in terms of her health, so the prospect of a transplant and a healthy life and growing old with her sweet hubby and seeing her kids get married – well, it’s just incredible. Such a blessing.

Because Kelli and her family have moved a lot over the last few years, each time going to the place where they felt that she could get the best treatment, the blogging world has been Kelli’s most constant source of community. About four years ago the bloggy people rallied and raised money to pay for Kelli’s COBRA expenses (if she’d lost her insurance, her treatment and transplant options would have diminished significantly). Several of us told Kelli that if she ever, Lord willing, found a living donor, we’d try our best to help her offset some of the transplant costs that won’t be covered by her insurance.

Next week we’re hoping to do just that. It’s an incredible privilege, especially considering that this time last year I really wondered if Kelli, who has spent the better part of the last 18 months in a wheelchair, would live long enough to find a donor and go through a transplant. But she did. And she will.

So all that to say: stay tuned.

4. I don’t really have a four. Which is sort of pitiful, isn’t it? I barely blogged all week, and I can’t even make it to four.

I have no choice but to hang my head in shame and then console myself with back-to-back episodes of “House Hunters International.”

Now do have a lovely weekend.


It’s Totally 8,000 Words

Another round of completely random pictures from my phone. Because the fun never stops around here, people. THE FUN NEVER STOPS.

You know, if you take a picture during a game just because you have a lead, that’s a pretty good sign that the season probably isn’t going the way you hoped. I snapped this picture during the State / Vandy game about a month ago while I was standing in my favorite basketball-watching place: the corner of my kitchen (because that’s normal). Anyway, we made a big run in the second half but couldn’t hold on for the win. All in all it’s been a rough year for Bulldog basketball. Way too much off-the-court drama. Here’s to brighter days.

We were in the LifeWay store right after New Year’s. Alex saw this CD, picked it up, and after a few seconds he said, “Mama? Was this Mr. Travis in the olden days?”

Why, yes, young Padawan. Yes. Yes, it was.

Why did I take a picture of almonds? BECAUSE THEY ARE DELICIOUS. The cracked pepper flavor is a revelation.

He just keeps growing.

What? You don’t take pictures of grated cheese? BUT IT’S SO PRETTY.

Sometime around Thanksgiving I bought a new chair for the little den / office area next to our kitchen. I had been looking for something to replace the glider that used to be in this spot (before all the broken springs rendered it useless) – and I found this sassy number at a local furniture outlet. Even better? NINETY-NINE DOLLARS. For the chair and the ottoman (“and it’s LEATH-A,” as Joan Cusack said in Working Girl). I love the little touch of what my mama would call “contempo” on that end of the house – and the chair is my new favorite place to drink my coffee in the mornings.

The little man passed me this note a couple of Saturdays ago while I was on the phone. I saw the “xoxo” and nearly fell off of the couch. A sweet talker at 7? SOMEBODY PLEASE HELP ME.

I took this picture in Martha’s garage at Christmas. For two reasons.

1) Right after Martha moved in her new patio home she called me to see if I would call Home Depot and ask if they had any Rubbermaid storage units she could put in her garage because her neighbor had two of them in her garage and they were perfectly wonderful. I said that the storage units sounded like a great idea and then gave her the Home Depot phone number. And lest you wonder why I couldn’t just go ahead and call Home Depot and save Martha the trouble, let me just assure you that one thing I know for sure after thirteen and a half years of marriage is that it’s probably going to work out better for everybody involved if I am not serving as the volunteer coordinator / go-between for my mother-in-law’s storage and organizational needs.

And see? She found the storage units. And they’re perfectly wonderful.

2) The out-of-season floral arrangements on top of each storage unit? Just tickled me to no end. Because it sort of makes it look like Martha decorated her garage.


I mean, those storage units are so drab! And they just needed a little pick-me-up! A little pick-me-up! Isn’t that MORE FUN? SO MUCH FUN!

Martie’s Phone Number Looker-Upper