The Epitome of Summer

The Epitome of Summer

Well, I suppose it’s about time to admit that Summer is over. No more swimming in the lake, no more F’real’s, and no more life without alarm clocks.


“Oh F’real, how much do I love you?”

Skinner’s, a gas station in Crane Hill, has a F’real milkshake machine. It’s pretty fun – you select a flavor, load it up and listen to it swirl around. We’re big F’real fans. There are some places in Huntsville that have it but so far I’ve managed to keep that information from my little miscreants. It’s a lake thing.

Speaking of things we eat at the lake my niece Abby helped contribute to this little lake grocery list. ‘Unhealthy snacks, soft drinks and S’mores stuff’ – yeah, it’s like the epitome of summer right there.


Meh, they’ll work it off.


They’ll work it off jumping off the rock…


Swinging from the Eno’s…


Riding various and sundry water toys…




And coveting our neighbor’s castle…

The castle at Smith Lake. Man…it was for sale a few years ago and we got to see what it looked like on the inside via the real estate web sites. It’s just as cool on the inside as it is on the outside. It actually used to be even cooler because it had two golden…er…what are those things called?  Let me just go Google it…insert Jeopardy music…wait for it…Onion domes? Wow, Google. Thats really disappointing. Something that cool should really have a better name than an onion dome. Well, trust me – the golden onion domes on it looked really cool.

Oooh! Oooh! How fun are these?


Turtle Eggs! Some sort of soft shell variety – you can tell because of their ping pong ball consistency. At least, thats what David R Steen, PHD says. My brother Joey found them while he was our paddle boarding.

On a side note, don’t go to the lake with Joey. It’s all very guilt inducing. He wakes up with the chickens (we don’t actually have chickens) and takes a swim across the lake, a couple hours later he goes for a run, then he paddle boards. I guess that’s what you have to do if you want to run marathons – which he does.

Oh yeah, and we did lots and lots of tubing.


For the life of me, I can can not comprehend what is so fun about tubing.


Wonder if whatever hatched out of those eggs knows how great F’real’s are. Probably not.

Poor turtles. Can they even say they’ve experienced Summer if they haven’t had a F’real? Guess it will remain a mystery.

Kind of like what actually hatched out of those eggs…

Waffles on Felling Night…

Waffles on Felling Night…

Before the Waffles moved in we did a few things to the house.

Er…I guess this is a good time to admit that we call our foster kids ‘the Waffles.’ This is because when we first started talking about bringing them into our home and possibly adopting them it sounded scary. FOSTER CARE. Just say it. It’s like saying a scary medical term. FOSTER CARE – terrifying, huh?

Don’t you just hear those drums the Texans had to listen to while they were waiting for the Mexicans to attack at the Alamo when the words foster care are uttered?

Boom. Boom. Boom. Foster Care. Foster Care. Foster Care.

But Waffles? EVERYONE LOVES WAFFLES! There is NOTHING scary about waffles! So, we’d say ‘hey, are we getting the Waffles this weekend? What are we thinking about the Waffles? Can we really handle having three biological kids AND three waffles? Do you think we should take the Waffles to Auburn with us this weekend? How in the world could we ever go to Disney World again if we got the Waffles?’

What? It makes total sense.

So, when we started moving rooms around I decided to have Ginger (my decorator – y’all, I’m SO fancy) do something about the closet under the stairs. It didn’t have shelves and ended up just being a hot spot – ya know, one of those places where you stuff things and close the door when your Mom comes over. So, we decided to turn it into a little mini office. We (and I’m using the term ‘we’ here very loosely) took the door off, added a desk with a piece of glass over it, a skirt to cover the electronics, and a cork board.

Enter Patrick Rothfuss. Y’all know I’m a wee bit obsessed with the Kingkiller Chronicles. It’s my very favorite book series. Yes, Patrick Rothfuss did singlehandedly destroy my house one day but I’ve forgiven him for it. So, I decided to order vinyl lettering to put on the wall with the opening of the Name of the Wind – the first book in the series.

Name of the Wind vinyl lettering

I love the way it turned out. It just makes me happy every time I walk by it.

Plus, between you, me and the Internets THE MAN HIMSELF ACTUALLY RETWEETED MY PICTURE when I tweeted it – which, of course, pretty much made my year.

Patrick Rothfuss TwitterHey, have I ever told you about the time he mentioned my blog in his blog?


Only a thousand times?


Well, do you want to hear it one more time?

No? Okay! You don’t have to get huffy about it. 

The thing I love SO much about Rothfuss is he is so good at world building. If you don’t know what world building is it’s the process by which authors create their fantasy worlds. He’s just a master at it.  This fantasy world he has created in which his characters live is so big and so awesome.

For instance, take his first sentence:

It was Felling Night and the usual crowd had gathered at the Waystone Inn. 

It wasn’t some random Tuesday or New Year’s Eve. It was Felling Night. A made up holiday. A holiday just for his world. And it’s not at just any inn. It’s The Waystone Inn. Sigh, I just love it. I just stinking love it!

Alright, simmer down Paula.

Rothfuss also runs a charity called Worldbuilders where fantasy authors and readers come together to make the world a better place. Dude! That’s what we’re trying to do with the Waffles!

I love The Kingkiller Chronicles like like I love waffles – but, not our Waffles because, oh my goodness, how much trouble are they? Okay, okay. I love our Waffles too…most of the time…definitely on Felling Night.


How to Love FaceBook Again

How to Love FaceBook Again

Well kids, this is pretty much how I’ve felt about this election season:


“I’m just going to sit hear with my Oreo and be disgusted while y’all argue.”

Hasn’t FaceBook been just awful lately ? I mean, really, just awful.

The thing is we used to not know how everyone felt about everything. Sure, some people would stick a sign in their yard or a sticker on their car but, other than that, we didn’t know the ins and outs of how every friend we had felt about every issue on the planet.

And that was probably a good thing. Because you know the old saying about big toes and opinions*, right?

“Opinions are like big toes. Just because everyone has them doesn’t mean you should go showing yours to everyone.”  

Didn’t you used to love FaceBook? Well, I mean, you wouldn’t admit it, of course, because how gauche** would that be? But you loved it. Right? Or maybe you tolerated it because you needed it. And maybe you’re one of the three thousand and eleven people I’ve seen lately lamenting how bad FaceBook has gotten. I agree. It’s been crazy bad.

Here’s the deal though – you CAN like FaceBook again. I’ll even show you how.

It’s a step by step instruction guide. Now, lately I’ve used this method for politics but for this example I’m going to use football instead of politics because, even though I think Donald Trump is the biggest…uh…big toe in the history of big toes that have run for President, I have friends that I respect that are voting for him.

Option One: Unfollow the person that posts or likes stuff you don’t want to see. You could do that. Maybe you should do that but it’s kind of flawed, isn’t it? While I have unfollowed and even unfriended (whomp, whomp, whomp,) people lately it’s not something you can do for everyone you don’t agree with.

Let’s take my Uncle Tom for instance. Uncle Tom is a big Alabama fan. Which is fine. However, I’m mature enough to know that I’m not mature enough to handle all the Bammer he has in him. Heck, he’s a Korean War veteran!*** You don’t just unfollow a Korean War veteran! I don’t want to unfollow him – I want to see his posts. He’s great! So, what to do…what to do? The method I’ll show you cuts down on SO MUCH I DON’T WANT TO SEE. I’ll walk you through it.

Step One: See post that you don’t want to see:


Oh look…it’s Rammer Jammer. Barf. Oh look, there’s that maturity I’m lacking that I was talking about. 

See that little arrow in the corner? You’re going to click on that which will produce a pull down menu.


Select ‘I don’ like this post.’


Obviously, I don’t want to Unfollow my Uncle – him being a Korean War VETERAN and all****. And I don’t want to Unfollow him. Third option: ‘Hide all from Alabama Crimson Tide.’ – Oh, heck yeah!

Now, I’ll never ever have to see anything from the Alabama Crimson Tide account again. Tider Insider? Gone. We Love Bama Football? Gone. Publicly I Say I Don’t Approve of Harvey Updike But I Had My Picture Taken With Him at the Bowl Game?***** Hidden. It may seem like a pain but you would not believe how much it cuts down on you seeing.

Heres the deal – Facebook wants to show you things you are interested in. It’s in their best self interest. So, they provide these tools to help. The more you like Facebook the more time you’ll spend there and the more moolah they can make off you.

Now, go forth and unfollow accounts!

The problem with unfollowing accounts is it’s kind of like only having one type of friend. It insulates you and gives you a skewed view of the world. That last sentence – yeah, it’s pretty accurate.


It really is true and I’ll give you an example from my own life. A couple months ago I was thinking about the upcoming football season and I thought ‘was Alabama good last year?’ Like, I really did not remember that they had won the National Championship. I saw nothing about it on Facebook or Twitter that’s for sure – that’s because I hid all that business eons ago! So, see how it insulates you?

Should you unfollow accounts? Sure – just remember whether you support ‘The People Who Love Big Toes Who Run For President’ or not they still exist.

Now, lets all go make Facebook great again.


*The quote isn’t actually about big toes but my Mom gets all kinds of irritated when I use questionable language on the blog so we’ll go with big toes.

**I have no clue how to pronounce the word gauche.

***Uncle Tom used to tell all his nieces and nephews he was in the war even though he WAS NOT. For years I thought he got shot in the Korean War because he showed me his small pox vaccination scar.

****The man is like sixty – definitely not old enough to fight in the Korean War.

*****Yeah, this isn’t actually an account…that I know of.