Friday, March 1, 2013

Weekend Happenings, Blog Linkage, Ten Cheap, Fun Dates, A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part Two, The Story of Austin - Part Three

Good Friday morning!

I know you usually find 20 or more pics on A Simple Life, but without Basketball Season, it's a little difficult. Today you'll have to be happy with a couple of dog pics... and I'll do better on Monday's post. I promise.

RANDOMNESS #1 - Duck Dynasty is back, Baby. I honestly think the two new episodes we watched Wednesday night were the funniest yet.

Downton Abbey was so stinkin' sad this past season, I know I will not re-watch the seven episodes of Season Three.

But Duck Dynasty? Well, I'll watch those shows time and time again, even when the season ends.

And I'll not shed a single tear.

Downton Abbey could learn a lot from Duck Dynasty.

RANDOMNESS #2 - Yesterday was New Eye Doctor Day around here. Josh went after school for an exam and contacts. (He's never worn contacts before, but as of last night, he likes them.) Since it was a new doctor, I told him I didn't mind going with him to fill out paperwork, etc., but while The Boy would have jumped all over that offer, Josh prefers to do things himself.

I like that about him.

Two hours and 15 minutes later, he walked into the house, got ready for work and left.

Knowing Josh as I do, I knew a two hour and 15 minutes doctor's appointment did not go well. I knew it did not go well at all.

But I didn't ask any questions, and Roxie and I left for her appointment as soon as school was over.

I guess the kids have heard the following phrase from me over the past 22, 19 and 16 years of their lives.

"Well, that's three hours and 42 minutes of my life I'll never get back!"

I could have been referring to a bad movie, sitting in a dentist's chair, standing in a line at Wal-Mart. The list goes on and on.

But for whatever reason, all three of the kids have said those exact words many times during their teenage years.

The Final Faulkner Three (which is how I now like to refer to the kids) are not a particularly patient group of people. In fact, they do not have a patient bone in their entire body.

While I wouldn't say Mikie and I are the poster-people for PATIENCE, I don't think we are abnormally impatient.

So The Final Faulkner Three obviously inherited a mutant gene... from Mike's side of the family, I'm guessing.

NOTE - That's not entirely true. When I was a kid shopping with my Mom and she couldn't find a particular size of something in a department store, she would go "in the back" herself to look.

It's definitely from my side of the family.

Heavy, heavy sigh.

I didn't tell Roxie how long Josh's doctor's appointment had lasted.

However, when we arrived, the lady at the front desk asked me if Josh was my son. I nodded and started pushing Roxie toward the chairs in the waiting area.

"He was so cute. At one point, he said, 'I am not staying here much longer. This is ridiculous!'"

"That sounds like Josh," I said, poking Roxie in the small of her back to make her move faster.

"Wait! How long was Josh here? Why did he say that? Why aren't you mad because he was rude?"

And then realization hit The Chick square in the face.

"I'm giving them 30 minutes and then I am OUT OF HERE!"

Two hours and 22 minutes later, Roxie leaned down to whisper in my ear as I was writing the last check. "If I don't get out of her soon, I'm going to start hurting people."

And I knew The Chick had reached her limit.

As we were leaving, she said the phrase two or three times, "That's two hours and 22 minutes of my life I'll never get back! EVER! AS LONG AS I LIVE!"

And being the undramatic chick she is, she added, "I will NEVER go back to the eye doctor again!"

She has also said this about the dentist, the surgeon who operated on her broken finger a few times two years ago and a couple of restaurants which had less than perfect service.

As it stands now, Mike and I will be taking Roxie's children (our future grandchildren) to all of their appointments until they get into college... because Roxie just doesn't see the need to waste that precious "life time."

As far as Mike and I go... Well, 22 years into this parenting thing, we're not opposed to waiting.

We use the time wisely now.

Mainly, we stare into space and allow our minds to go totally blank.

It can be a very calm, serene experience if you just "go with it."

The Final Faulkner Three have many, many admirable virtues... but PATIENCE is not one of them.

Stupid, stupid mutant gene!

RANDOMNESS #3 - A Mountain Story (Words... No Pics) - Part Two - When we last left you, we were sitting down to eat at Pancake Pantry... and Mikie had been standing in one line or the other for a good three hours. Or should I say St. Mikie, as he will forevermore be known in our family circle?

A finer pancake-making establishment does not exist to my knowledge, and our little group of 11 was very, very happy to be sitting in a nice, warm restaurant, sipping carbonated beverages and feasting on large amounts of carbs... and syrup... and a little fruit on the side.

Life was good.

We left Pancake Pantry and we had a little over an hour to drive less than five miles away to our snow tubing destination. We were ahead of schedule, and that was very unusual.

We loaded into two cars and headed up the mountain.

Little or no traffic on a side road made us feel very together and relaxed.

No rushing around and yelling and getting everyone where they needed to be by 1:00 for us! No, siree! We were going to be able to stroll leisurely and sip hot chocolate while we waited for our allotted snow tubing time!

WRONG! So wrong... on so many levels.

Problem #1 - With less than half a mile to go to our final destination, the traffic stopped. And it didn't move. And we started to get a little concerned.

Mike told us the kids could actually walk up the hill and be on time to start snow tubing at 1:00. That was a good solution. I called Bev who was many cars behind us to tell her to let the kids start a-walkin'.

Problem #2 - We had NO cell service. I couldn't very well send Roxie, Katie and Austin up the mountain without letting the other three know the plan. I'm not the favorite aunt for nothing! Things have got to be FAIR!

"Well, don't worry. We'll get there, but we won't have any time to spare," Mike reassured me.

Forty-five minutes later, we pulled into a lower parking lot and quickly started climbing up the steep hill to get to our final destination.

Problem #3 - I still had NO cell service. I left the entrance of the warm building and started walking around the main parking lot looking for Bev and company. Our start time had come and gone. This traffic disaster was eating into our snow tubing time, and Roxie (for one) was NOT happy.

I stood on the edge of the main parking lot, took a few pictures and then threw caution to the wind. I yelled as loudly as I could from my snowy precipice, "BEV! SEND THE KIDS TO THE BUILDING! TIME'S A-WASTIN'."

I didn't actually see Bev or the kids, so more than anything, I was just hoping for an echo to reach them.

It did not.

At exactly 1:12 p.m., a bus pulled up from PARKING LOT #3 and I watched as the remaining six members of my group disembarked. YES!

"Quick. Roxie, Katie, Austin and Uncle Mike are waiting for you. Go to the Snow Tubing Building in the back and have fun!" This was said in a semi-hysterical, control-freak kind of voice. Very high-pitched and annoying.

Problem #4 - When we walked into the entrance where I had left my four, there was only Mikie. The other three had wandered off to explore. We couldn't call them because we HAD NO CELL SERVICE, so I told everyone to stay put and I would look for them. If they came back, the kids were to go snow tubing. They were not to worry about finding me.

It was quickly turning into an "every man for himself" kind of situation.

I had no dignity left, so I ran around the huge complex screaming one of three names... Roxie, Katie and/or Austin. Nothing. Nada.

It was now 1:24, and we were going to be left with only one hour of snow tubing. I started running back to the other group to tell them to start without Roxie, Katie and Austin.

Lo and behold! I turned around and EVERYONE was walking up the path to the snow tubing facility. YES! Life was good again!

Problem #5 - Well, everyone except Mikie. He was looking for me. I sent everyone else with the kids. NO MORE wasted time! And I set out looking for Mikie. It wasn't fair to not find him after he had stood in line freezing to death to buy the tickets. It wasn't fair to not find him when he stood in line freezing to death so we could have warm pancakes and carbonated beverages before we had our mountain fun.

I'm not his favorite wife for nothing! THINGS HAVE GOT TO BE FAIR!

I found Mikie at 1:36, and we made our way to the snow tubing "experience." He wasn't mad. I was starting to breathe normally again... And life was pretty good.

I guess A Mountain Story is going to have two or three more parts to it.

Sorry... and I'll start Part Three Monday morning!

RANDOMNESS #4 - The Story of Austin - Part Three

Austin was healthy, a good eater, a good sleeper... in a word, a blessing! (I, too, am a good eater and a good sleeper. He got that from me!)

The shower I had been so eager to take the afternoon after Austin arrived never came. The very few things I remember about Austin's first day of life are as follows:

1. I remember being in recovery with some kind of strip on my forehead. (I don't know if it was for temperature, etc.) I do know the nurse kept slicking my bangs straight back so they could check the strip easily.

Can we get one thing straight? I'm a "bangs girl." Always have been... always will be. I do not look good with my hair slicked straight back. I admire women who do, but I resigned myself many years ago that I was not one of "them," and have lived with bangs every day of my life. (I'm always so excited when I walk by a magazine rack and see a headline, "Bangs Are Back." I know for a few months, I'll be in style.)

As soon as the nurse would slick them back, even in my drug-induced zombie-like state, I would reach up and pull them down. This went on for quite a while I'm told. They finally gave up.

2. I remember waking up and it was dark. I was in my room. Mike was rocking Austin, and I was itching like crazy. I was allergic to morphine. Who knew? So we changed my medication immediately.

3. I remember asking Mike, "How bad does my hair look?" and he told me it was fine. I then remember asking him for a mirror, and he told me there wasn't one in the room. Even on drugs, I knew what that meant.

4. I remember holding Austin for a little bit, but Mike was actually holding him in front of me because I was too out of it to hold him by myself.

5. I remember Mike telling me how many people had come by to see Austin... and how they thought it was cute that I slept and snored through their visit with my head thrown back and my mouth wide open. "Just tell me they didn't take pictures," I said weakly. He assured me the only pictures taken were of the baby. I have to believe him, but only because no incriminating pictures have surfaced over the last 19 years.

6. I remember the next day being much more "aware" of my surroundings and my baby. I was going to get a shower and wash my hair! Life was good.

7. I remember going into the bathroom bent over double because of the incision, taking my shower and starting to get dressed. The best shower of my life! Even better than the shower I take as soon as I come home from a camping trip... and those are GOOD showers.

8. I remember looking at my tummy and wondering why the doctor hadn't "fixed" that right after Austin was born. He was right there. He had all of the "helpers." It probably would have taken all of five minutes.

9. I remember asking a nurse how long it would be before my tummy returned to normal. I remember her laughing... not hysterically, but close. I remember not liking her very much, and I didn't offer her a piece of my homemade divinity (a gift from Mrs. Davis) like I had the night nurse... even though she bent over the box and said, "That looks wonderful."

10. I remember the hour long drive home on the interstate with our precious cargo. Mike was scared to death, and we barely went 50 miles an hour from Birmingham to Cullman, and both of us thought that was too fast.

And from that point on, the memories come fast and furious. Twenty-two years worth of them. I will spare you the rest of those. But I will say, Austin has been a joy. Not perfect by any means, but a true joy nonetheless. I loved the baby... I had a ball with the little boy... I survived the teenager (he has been a VERY easy teenager), and I stand amazed at the young man (soon-to-be college graduate) in front of me now.

I used to get so annoyed with women who would say, "Enjoy it now. It will be gone in a blink of an eye."

At that particular time in my life, my days were 36 hours long... laundry, meals, baths, bedtimes, more laundry, bright colored toys EVERYWHERE, more laundry, play dates, runny noses, two more babies, three times the work. But they were right. I made a rookie mistake, and as I stated in an earlier post... I hate making rookie mistakes. I blinked.

And, oh, how I wish I hadn't.

Blog Linkage - Please go to and scroll down to Wednesday's post entitled "From Two to Three." I'm in love with a little fellow named Dash now!

Ten Cheap, Fun Dates

To be honest, I cannot remember if I posted this in an earlier post or not. I had copied it to my "Blog Ideas" file, and when I was looking at some things for today's post, I couldn't recall.

How sad is that?

If I did, indeed, post this prior to today, I hope you'll forgive me, and move on to the next section.

If you, like The Enchanting Belinda, do not actually remember, read it again to see if you can use any of these ideas from Pinterest.

1. Have a Chocolate Tasting night. (I would SO enjoy this date! I would also enjoy shopping for this date! Godiva, Whole Foods, Edgar's Bakery... the list is endless!)

2. Watch a sports game together (or record one on the DVR and watch it together later). Eat nachos and hot dogs and cheer for your favorite team. Make bets on who will win and choose a fun prize for the winner.

3. Invest in an ice cream maker or a bread maker and invent your own concoctions.

4. Decorate mugs for each other. You can pick up mugs at the Dollar Store and use a sharpie marker to decorate it. It will be such a fun reminder of how much you love each other as you drink from it each morning.

5. Have a Video Game night. (Mike and I don't play many video games, so I think we would be pretty evenly matched. This sounded fun to me.)

6. Host a Book Club... for two! Check out two copies of the same book at the library and discuss the book as you read it. (I'm pretty sure I would need to pick out the book. Mike is smarter than I am, and I wouldn't want to get in over my head!)

7. Write out the story of how you met (and fell in love). Better yet... video tape it! Your kids will be so grateful, and it is fun to go back and read (or watch) years down the road. It's amazing how much you will forget! (Our story is in written form, but it would be fun to do the video.)

8. Have Breakfast in Bed (even if it's a night date). Pull out the TV trays and have fun.

9. Break a record! Find a record in Guinness Book of World Records and spend the night trying to break it. Try doing it together as a team or make it a competition and compete against each other to see who has the better record.

10. Have a Snowy Night Party. If you are fortunate enough to have snow, sneak outside (if you have kids, make sure they are asleep) and build a snowman or have a snowball fight. Come back inside when it gets too cold, make hot cocoa and warm up under some big blankets.

I know you're asking yourself, "Why don't you just look back over your 1,000+ posts and see if you have previously posted these dates?"

To which I would reply, "Are you nuts? I have a life, you know."

Well, actually, not so much "a life" as laundry.

Lots and lots of laundry.

Weekend Happenings

This weekend will mean many different things to many different Faulkners.

Roxie will sum up this weekend in one word. BLAST! That's right. It's BLAST weekend, and Roxie will be spending the weekend with the 10th grade girls from our church. Games, food, worship music, great speakers, ABSOLUTELY NO SLEEP and the Derby Car Race on Saturday night.

That's what Roxie's weekend will be ALL about.

Josh will sum up this weekend in one word, too. WORK! He's going to be earning a lot of money this weekend at his job at Fred's. And he's okay with that... because he's not working Sunday which brings us to Austin's "word" for the weekend.

"BIRTHDAY!" We'll be celebrating Austin's 22nd birthday this Sunday after church with family and friends.

I don't know what Mikie's "word" for the weekend will be... and I don't think he has a clue either.

My "word" is the same as always... LAUNDRY!

Just between you and me, I need a new "word."

Have a terrific weekend. I'll be back Monday morning with the end of A Mountain Story, pics from BLAST weekend, Austin's 22nd birthday celebration and some more St. Patty's Day ideas.

Take care, and I'll talk to you next week.


The Enchanting Belinda

1 comment:

  1. Oh my! I was just laughing so hard about the eye dr appts. Hope you have a pleasant weekend and also that you find a better word for weekend than laundry. Andrea in WA.


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