Monthly Archives: August 2009

Who Dresses This Kid? and More Evidence


Sunday morning was a bit cool for yardwork, but Riley and Charles headed out to mow the lawn and play anyway. Not long after, Riley comes back inside and tells me she’s cold and could I please find her “skeleton” mittens. Odd request, but I get out the basket in the closet filled with all our winter goodies and go on about my business.

Minutes later, I check to see what Riley is up to and this is what she looked like:

Okay, this is a nice look for her…

She cracks me up! Hopefully this phase of wearing only boy clothes will pass–I actually heard a little girl behind us in line at Kohl’s the same day tell her Mommy to “look at that little boy’s shirt.” God help us.

Remember Riley’s little Houdini act with the candy wrappers a few weeks ago? Well, yesterday we found even more hidden wrappers behind the big screen in her play room downstairs. When I say a “few” more, I actually mean a lot more:

How did we not notice all this missing candy???

I thought it was humourous the first time–this time, not so much. I think I’m going to have to start hiding the candy in really obscure places–or just ask Dad to quit sending so much of it.


Time to Move


Well, today has been a hell of a day. Busy day at work concluded by a threat from a neighbor and a visit with the Cobb County police. Let me explain…

We’ve lived in our subdivision for 10 years now and never had a problem with any of our neighbors. Heck, some of our best friends we met two years ago when they moved in across the street! But, in the last few years, some not-so-nice folks have moved in around us–especially next door.

A few days ago, after looking at a ridiculous yard next door for years, Charles filed a code complaint against our next door neighbor. She never mows her grass! Well, she does, she just does it every couple of months or so. Right now, her grass comes up well past my knee and looks horrible. We’ve seen an unusual amount of snakes and that prompted Charles to file a complaint online. I do not want a snake to bite Riley! We actually turned in her and a house across the street which looks just as bad. We take pride in our house and yard and it just makes things look tacky when all the people around us don’t give a rat’s ass!

(Charles took some pics, but I don’t have them to post. Trust me, the grass is crazy tall!)

Anyway, this particular neighbor must have gotten her warning letter in the mail today, because this evening, as I was preparing supper, she marches up on our front porch and asks to speak with me and Charles. (FYI–I didn’t even realize she was our neighbor at first. I don’t think I’ve actually seen her before!) She starts her tirade saying that she couldn’t believe none of us (any of the neighbors) brought her a pie or a casserole when she moved in–that no one has ever once offered to assist her in any way. Hmmm, I didn’t know that was a responsibility of mine, but, anyhoo

She starts complaining about the warning she received–she goes on and on about how her yard looking the way it does is a one-time thing. What? Her yard has been like that since she moved in! I swear, she has some guy come and mow it every 6 to 9 weeks–it’s crazy. She tells us she works 24/7 and is never home. Charles says he works too. She laughs and says he only works 9 to 5. Charles tells her not to assume–that he works evenings and some weekends, but sill he finds time to mow our yard and take pride in what we’ve worked so hard for. Charles tells her to hire a service. She says she has a service, but they don’t come regularly. He says to find a service that will come regularly. She says she doesn’t know of another service. Charles asks her, “Have you ever heard of the Yellow Pages?”

The kicker here is that Charles actually saw a man in her garage yesterday, just after he finished mowing, and went over and offered to mow their lawn each time we mow ours–all for just the price of the gas to fill the mower!

This woman keeps going–accusing us of being racists, of picking on her because of who she is. All this craziness for just a warning! It wasn’t even a fine! All she has to do to solve the problem is mow her damn yard!

Unfortunately, I didn’t hear the entire conversation–I was in the middle of supper and had water boiling, etc. I heard raised voices on the porch, but when I came back, I heard the woman say these EXACT words to Charles: “I know your wife is home all day alone, sometimes with your little girl. There’s been a lot of home invasions in this area recently–I sure would hate for something to happen to them.”

Charles just said, “Was that a threat? Are you threatening my family? Okay, I’m calling the police.” And we did just that. Two officers came–one to her house and one to ours. We told our side of the story and she hers. I did hear the officer on her porch say to her at one point, “Ma’am, they are not harassing you.” Us harassing her? What? All this over a stupid county warning about her lawn? Crazy.

Of course, the police could do nothing but file a report. If we’d gotten her comment on tape (curse Charles for not having his iPhone!), she would have been charged with making a terroristic threat, according to the officer. She was told not to set foot on our property and to have no further contact with us. The officers seemed to be sympathetic to our concerns. What monster threatens a five-year-old girl?

Now I’m scared about being here alone all the time. I’m sure this is the end of it–it should be if this woman has any sense at all. I would hope she’s not crazy enough to slash my tires or damage our property in any other way.

I’ve hated Atlanta for a long time now. This is just the “icing on the cake.” If the economy/housing market wasn’t in the crapper, we’d put our house on the market and get the hell out. But, for now, we’re stuck–stuck with a crazy neighbor who saw fit to threaten me and my child. Charles was really taken aback–he’s always been nervous about us being here alone so much…now he’s on a war-path.

What is it with me and all the drama? So. Over. It.

Back to School and Too Short

Riley has been back in school for a couple of weeks now and she’s doing well. I think she’s really excited to be back with her friends and away from her boring Mommy. This week, a teacher took photos of the progress she’s making in class–we were very impressed.

Working with the “movable alphabet.”

What an awesome job!

Riley is also going to try being a Girl Scout this year. Her school has a group there, but she’ll be the youngest. Right now, the girls range from 7 to 11. She should really be a Daisy Scout, but Carole, the group leader, says we should give it a try. Her first meeting is Friday.

Riley’s school is also having a picnic tomorrow evening. I made a yummy lemon nectar cake to take. It should be fun evening, but it would be even better if they served beer and wine!

I also took Riley to get her hair cut today–she really needed it. I asked the lady to cut 3 inches, but she took more than 4! It was a shock for me (I almost cried), but it didn’t seem to phase Riley one bit. School pictures are Monday, so she’ll look extrememly different in her class photos this year.

Having fun with the mirror.

Ummm, that looks like a lot more than 3 inches…

All clean and ready for bed.

Death’s Acre: The Legend of Dr. Bass

On Saturday, Charles and I were fortunate enough to get tickets to the UT Alumni/ Atlanta Chapter event, “Beer and Bones,” held at the Atlanta Brewing Company. I, normally, am not too interested in these things, but when the newsletter mentioned that Dr. Bill Bass would be the featured speaker, I yelled for Charles and we bought tickets almost immediately!

We showed up to the brewery, signed in, got our swag and a beer glass (ours to keep) and found a spot to sit. We mingled a bit, got some not-so-great munchies, filled our beer glasses (note: my favorite is ABC’s new brew: #’s) and I waited for my chance to meet Dr. Bass. During a slight lull in the foot-traffic and got up and handed my book to his assistant. She wrote my name on a Post-It note so he would have the correct spelling. I got to him and he was the nicest man! We spoke for just a couple of minutes–I told him my brief story of how I came to have an English major and an anthropology minor (thanks to a man he actually hired, Jan Simek) and we even talked briefly of the “death” of print.

Signing his life away…

The highlight of my evening–one-on-one time with Dr. Bass.

I should have this framed!

Dr. Bass said he wasn’t all that familiar with the Internet. He told me that an assistant once informed him how many millions of times he’d been “Googled.” Dr. Bass laughed and told me, “I didn’t even feel it!” Ha! What an amazing sense of humor the man has!

His talk had us all completely enthralled. He spoke of three cases: 1) a missing teenager in the early 80’s that he identified using only a single tooth; 2) a woman who was discovered two weeks after her passing–and after her three dogs decided they were hungry enough to eat her; and 3) an X-ray autopsy he did of The Big Bopper in 2007 after his coffin was exhumed to be moved to a new location. I won’t go into too many details, but I could have listened to the man talk all night. What a fascinating life he has led!

One of the X-rays taken of The Big Bopper in 2007.

Charles says that the two words he will never forget from that night are “skin slippage.” If you don’t know what that is, and you don’t have a weak stomach, look it up.

Dr. Bass discussing “skin slippage.”

We ended our evening with a great supper at, appropriately enough, Six Feet Under. The fried green tomatoes were sooooo good!