Archives for January 2009

Flexible Friday #25 The Name Game

My name is a wee bit unusual especially for my age.

I’ve known this since grade school. (We’ll save the endless list of current strange names for another post.)

Typically, the teachers, all the way through college would simply ignore the “a” at the end of Sherra and roll call usually went something like this:

Insert Ferris Bueller’s teacher voice here:

“Sherry? Sharon? Sheryl?”

My very rebellious nature led me to sit quietly while other students would whisper…

“The teacher is calling you.”

By college, when I finally broke out of my quiet, meek shell (not kidding) I had this awesome one-liner that my friend Ann says she clearly remembers as the first thing she heard me say in Freshman Seminar. I sometimes still use today.

“I’m Sherra, rhymes with Sara.”

Because I find it incredibly awkward to correct people in future meetings when they say, “Sharon?”

I’m not quite as flexible as PhilBillPaul, who you may remember, went for a solid YEAR and let someone call him “Paul.”

He likes to introduce us as Sharon and Bill just to confuse people. He’s funny like that.

I have lived through this name game and I’m no worse for the wear.

Then I saddle my firstborn with a name like The Grunter Everett, rhymes with umm…nothing.

I’m a firm believer in giving a kid a name that they can grow into instead out of.

Our college boy has grown into his name but I see now he may face some of the same problems I have. I learned this when he shared some student critiques from his Speech class.

The phonetic spelling of our last name is the best version yet. That a college student wrote it makes me worry about this generation we’re sending out in the big, bad world.

Evan is close and this student didn’t even attempt the last name. Way to play it safe.

Ahhh, meet my son, EverettEdwardEvan. He did get an “A” on his speech.

Little Lesson (LL): Names matter and it shows you care when you pay attention and get them right.

Share a Little Lesson (SALL): Are you good or bad with names? Have any tips that help you remember someone’s name?


January Movie Reviews

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I’ve been back home for a whole week now and managed to squeeze in four movies and three basketball games in between opening mail both the paper and computer variety.

I know you’re thinking I have nothing to do and should get a life but really, my “to do” list is so long that I’m very, very BUSY refining my avoidance behavior skill. Please don’t judge.

And don’t forget we like to take full advantage of The Grunter’s movie benefits i.e. FREE tickets for family members. PhilBillPaul lives in fear that they could take that benefit away at any moment!

Movie Reviews…

…because I know how much my opinion matters to you.

Defiance starring Daniel Craig, Liev Schreiber
My last week’s Wednesday night date with PhilBillPaul. Another piece of history based on a true story. Fascinating, learned more about the time period and thoroughly enjoyed the movie.

Bride Wars starring Kate Hudson and Ann Hathaway
My Friday night date with Scary Baby. Cute, sweet ending.

Frost/Nixon starring Frank Langella and Michael Sheen
My Saturday night date with PhilBillPaul. Pretty sure the teens don’t have enough history to even understand the movie which would be why there were plenty of seats and is a real shame. Stellar performances and we both loved it. Guessing only the over 40 crowd will enjoy it.

Last Chance Harvey starring Dustin Hoffman & Emma Thompson
After last night’s ballgame we squeezed in this one. I love Dustin Hoffman and it was cute but I probably could have waited for the video.

Still need to squeeze in three hours for that Benjamin Button flick because Ann said I should.

Any movies I’ve missed and should see? What ones are on your list to see?


Mail Avoidance Behavior

I’ve been busy catching up.

I’m sure you already know this and it may be a good argument for never leaving home…

For however long you go away, you must double the amount of time to catch up and get back to some sort of *normal* routine.

Which means I need four weeks to recover from my two weeks away.

I still have many emails starred to respond to – I promise I’m not intentionally ignoring you.

Sitting on my bed this weekend surrounded by 3 piles of mail, I’m pretty sure if I had stacked the piles they would have touched the ceiling.

PhilBillPaul avoids mail like the plague. He has some sort of aversion to paperwork and communication.

He’ll cook, do laundry and clean, bake, paint gourds, mess with his girlfriend in the garage, cut tree limbs, and just about anything else to avoid mail.

This mail avoidance habit also runs over to his email. But he may change this avoidance behavior after this harsh lesson.

It seems he got a fascinating email while I was gone. He actually found it in his SPAM folder and it could have CHANGED OUR LIVES.

Here is the exact email that he ignored – spelling and punctuation left intact:

—–Original Message—–
Sent: Sat, 10 Jan 2009 11:19 pm

Here writes Madam Sarah Devids(Phd.Msc,Fsd),I am married to Engineer Devids colmoan an Englishman who is dead.When my late husband was alive he deposited the sum of 5 Million(Five Million Great Britain Pounds Sterling which were derived from his vast estates and investment in capital market with a security company here in UK.Presently, this money is still with the online bank.

My Doctor told me that I have limited days to live due to the cancerous problems I am suffering from. I have decided to donate this fund to you and want you to use this gift which comes from my husbands effort to fund the upkeep of widows, widowers, orphans,destitute, the down-trodden, physically challenged children,barren-women and persons who prove to be genuinely handicapped financially.Contact me on my most private and confidencial email address :( )

Way to go PhilBillPaul. A lost opportunity for sure.

I’m both down-trodden and genuinely handicapped financially so this could have CHANGED MY LIFE.

Let this be a lesson to everyone that avoiding your email and regular mail may mean missing life-changing opportunities.

I also uncovered a $2.23 rebate check from Costco in the 1,276 envelopes I opened. Oh yes, we will be using that this week.

If only PhilBillPaul would have taken action with Madam Sarah, I would have been able to hire someone to open our mail.


Any good news in these bad economic times you can share?


The End of the Road…trip

WHEW…it is very good to be home!

I slept in many different beds while on the road…

Wait, that didn’t sound right.

I mean I am grateful I had many different beds to sleep in on my road trip.

Um, that didn’t sound much better.

Let me try that again.

Thanks to Merry, Ann, Susan, Sally and Mom for a place to sleep!

Questions for the Volkswagen Beetle engineers:

Shouldn’t the plastic parts withstand freezing temperatures and not break off in a passenger’s hand, i.e. lever to move front seat forward?

Just curious.

Should the small reflective tail light just pop out and hang by the wires when traveling long distances?

I’m just sayin’

If the odometer can track 2,000 miles, why can’t it keep counting up to 3,000?

Holy cow! That translates into over 40 hours in the car.

It really was the longest road trip of my life.

And I am so grateful that the little blue bug started up every single time…

…in the frozen Midwest tundra.

Lest the Volkswagen Beetle engineers think I’m too negative…

The seat warmer feature is a winner!


To recap family life while I was away…

They survived and thrived without me.

PhilBillPaul did an exceptional job taking care of his children.

Scary Baby scored her FIRST basket in a basketball game.

The darling twins were both accepted into different colleges.

The Grunter was helpful and present when Dad needed him.

Here are the darling twins modeling the lovely clearance winter accessories I brought home for them that we rarely need in Georgia.

The looks seriously represent their personalities. Roger Leroy is living up to her code name.

I was too cold to remember to bring anything for Scary Baby so I’m taking her to a movie tonight.

I’ll work on something for The Grunter this weekend.

I’m catching up and looking forward to getting back into a routine next week!

What have you all been up to in these first weeks of 2009 while I was away?


Why I Live in the South

Because no human being should ever experience MINUS 22 degree weather.

Even if the snow falling on the Mississippi River is beautiful…

And nice people I know feed the birds so they don’t freeze or starve or both…

The mountains I love are not this kind…

I love, love, love my glass filled with ice but not my house…

Good news though – chivalry is not dead…

But I really didn’t want to freeze another human being just because I couldn’t find that darn ice scraper that PhilBillPaul bought me.

Thanks Mac and all my wonderful friends and family who put up with my shivering and shrieking because I am living proof that your blood does thin after 6 years in Tampa, Florida and 18 years in Atlanta, Georgia.

It is official.

I am a wuss.


Midwest Road Trip

Remember that clean VW bug I mentioned a week and a half ago?

It’s been thoroughly winterized now.

As you can see from my poor little bug, I’m not home yet but I’m winding my way back to the south.

Side note to Julieann: Lexington, KY was not on my route so I did not partake in drive-thru squirrel or possum.

I’ll share some more scenic pictures of my road trip on Wednesday.

Until then, stay safe and warm.

I’m really coveting the warm part…


Longest Road Trip of My LIFE

This morning I embark on the longest road trip of my life.

In the car by myself.

Which is both delightful and a little scary.

In my meticulously detailed VW bug. Because I can’t stand a dirty car.

Thank you PhilBillPaul.

The car was also “winterized” over the weekend which is something we really don’t do in Georgia.

And outfitted with an ice scraper. Another item we rarely have or need in our car.

I’m off to the often icy, floody Midwest.

Side note: If icy is a word, why can’t floody be a word?

Because January is totally THE BEST month to visit the Midwest.

Or not.

This is a business trip with visits to family and friends sandwiched on both sides.

Back to my roots with some special visits with friends and family.

Like Sally and Imogene and Uncle Jack.

And Ann.

I know this journey is exactly what I need for many reasons.

Forgive me if I blog intermittently. I’m going to be spending quality time with some people I love and adore. And not getting my shorts in a bunch if I don’t have an internet connection.

I’m confident that everyone will be okay if I don’t post on my regular schedule because you are all just as flexible as I am.

When I get back home, we’ll celebrate my one year anniversary starting this blog with some fun things I have planned!

Meanwhile, if you have a moment, send up a prayer for me on the road and another one for PhilBillPaul as he does his Super Dad routine of taking care of the four darling children, two wiener dogs and himself.



Happy New Year?

This is my first official post of 2009.

It’s the post where, if I follow other bloggers, I might review the highlights of 2008.

Or I could tell you how I am going to make 2009 divine.

But since I’ve never been a follower and 2009 is not giving off divine vibes on this 5th day…

I’m going to keep this short and sweet and instead tell you all that…

the house is un-trimmed.
Thank you darling children. And PhilBillPaul.

the basement is put back together
Thank you darling children. And PhilBillPaul.

the wiener dogs got a bath
Thank you darling Wizzy.

the kids are going back to school
Thank you Georgia school system.

I’m not really a resolution girl. I have a lot of lists and small goals and one of those is to pay attention to the little things every day this year.

How’s your New Year shaping up so far?


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