Big Mama Blog

Oh yes, September is turning out to be a banner month

I think I may have mentioned that yesterday was Caroline’s first day of school. Here she is right before we walked out the door. She was obviously giddy with excitement because she actually let me put bows in her hair.


Please note the Disney Princess lunchbox. She is extremely proud of it and the fact that it has “a real jewel” on Sleeping Beauty’s crown. And really, how can you not get excited over that?

A little bit of bling can take lunchtime from ordinary to extraordinary.

It was rough to watch her walk into that classroom, knowing that I had a day of blissful freedom ahead of me. But I soldiered on and made the best of it. I met Gulley and my friend Julie at the nail salon for a pedicure and we followed it up with lunch. It wasn’t easy, but we tried to enjoy ourselves and even managed to have multiple conversations without one single interruption.

As the pedicure technician (Really? Is that the term?) applied sugar scrub and then massaged my feet, I kept thinking, wow, this is almost as much fun as trying to find Polly Pocket’s miniscule purple boot, while Diego rescues some kind of bug-eyed marmoset pygmy or whatever, and Caroline complains about her peanut butter and jelly sandwich because it’s a little “too jelly-ish”.

Yeah. That’s why they call it peanut butter AND jelly. Otherwise, it would just be peanut butter.

Finally, around noon, I became so relaxed that the twitch that started in my left eye sometime in mid-July, began to subside.

And in other significant news…


It’s true. I don’t know why I didn’t start this post with HEY! I GOT MY BRACES OFF YESTERDAY!!!! except for the fact that it’s hard to convey my excitement in words. But I’m giving it my best try by using multiple exclamation points.

I had an orthodontist appointment scheduled for 10:15 and I told P, “I’m either coming home with no braces or I may be calling you to come bail me out of jail.” Fortunately for Dr. Kevorkian, he said it was time for the braces to come off.

Remember that episode of “Good Times” when they found out they were moving out of the ghetto? I was even more excited than that.

And seriously, I’d like to say I haven’t spent the last 24 hours looking at myself in every mirror I pass by, but that would just be a lie. True confession, a car behind me in traffic today had to honk to tell me the light was green because I had become completely enthralled with my dental appearance in my rearview mirror.

Personally, I thought it was really rude of them to honk because where on earth do they need to be that’s more important than how my teeth look?

The best part of getting my braces off, well, other than the grinding noise of the machine that scraped all the glue off my teeth and made my gums feel like they were on fire, was when Dr. Kevorkian praised me for what a good patient I have been. He said he never heard me complain one single time about my braces.

I think P would beg to differ.

And so would the internet, for that matter.

But in the meantime, I’m tossing these babies in the trash.


Good riddance, hateful ostrich. I won’t miss you at all.

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Is that Handel’s Messiah I hear playing in my head?

Caroline starts school today.

Which is really for the best.

Because this picture pretty much sums up how we’ve spent the last 3 weeks of the longest summer ever.


Umm, yeah. I’m kind of busy. Do you need something?

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Then we played Old Rugged Cross and prayed for the trip home

On Saturday morning, I did something completely uncharacteristic of me. I flew by the seat of my pants. I threw caution to the wind. I was SPONTANEOUS.

I know. It makes me hyperventilate a little just recalling it.

Mimi and Bops were driving to Beaumont to attend a family wedding. I wasn’t invited to the wedding because it was like my second cousin twice removed, or something like that, who was getting married. Honestly, I didn’t even know she existed, much less that she was getting married.

I knew that Mimi and Bops were leaving Saturday morning and, at one point earlier in the week, had contemplated going with them so I could visit my grandmother, Nanny. Then, on Thursday night, we had the whole throwing up in my bed debacle with Caroline and so I completely forgot about it.

Because once someone throws up in your bed, you pretty much forget how to breathe, much less anything else. My life was consumed with beach towels and buckets and dry heaves. And I was the one with the dry heaves because, seriously, I just don’t do well with throw up on my bed linens and my pajamas. Or within a 5 mile radius.

Then, Saturday morning arrived and Caroline had been feeling fine for over 24 hours. So, I called Mimi and Bops and asked if we could ride with them. Nanny is my only living grandparent and, since Beaumont is about a 5 hour drive, I don’t see her very often. It was the perfect opportunity to visit without having to make the trip alone with Caroline.

By the time I decided to go, I had about 20 minutes to get ready. Bops has never been accused of being patient when it comes to time schedules, so I threw stuff in a bag and headed out the door. I spent about the first hour in the car wondering why on earth I thought this was a good idea.

Caroline was whining. I was whining. And have I mentioned I tend to get really carsick? I do. I get really carsick.

Serious carsick issues. I am a pleasure to have in the car.

And constantly digging through my purse for snacks, juice, and DVD’s to put in the DVD player was not helping my carsickness. At one point I seriously wondered if I should just have Bops drop us off on the side of the road and call a cab to come pick us up and take us home.

In the words of Will Ferrell as Ron Burgundy in “Anchorman”, I immediately regretted my decision.

But then, we stopped at DQ in the booming metropolis of Weimar, Texas and a Reeses’ Peanut Butter Cup Blizzard made the world seem like a better place. Never underestimate the restorative healing powers of chocolate mixed with peanut butter. Hello, my old friend.

Finally, we arrived in Beaumont. I knew we were getting close because I could smell the unmistakable smell of refinery in the air. Not to mention the immediate increase in humidity.

Caroline and I walked into Nanny’s house and I was instantly so glad we made the trip. My parents have both moved around over the years, but Nanny’s house has been the same for as long as I can remember. It smells the same, it looks the same, and it sounds the same. Only in Nanny’s house will you hear 26 different clocks going off all at the same time.

Nanny is my mama’s mama. That side of the family is almost exclusively female. I have one male cousin, but all the rest of us are girls. And as we’ve had families of our own, all the girls have given birth to girls. Nanny’s house has always been a paradise for little girls.

Just look.



Caroline is her first great-grandchild in 20 years, but the toy closet remains the same. A wealth of Barbies, baby dolls, jewelry, and sequined outfits. And the books. There are so many books with pictures that immediately transport me back to childhood.

But this is the best of all. Caroline discovered the electric organ.


Not many people have electric organs, but I still remember when Nanny got hers. I was about 6 years old, and my sister and I would dress up in Nanny’s nightgowns, accessorize with more costume jewelry than you can imagine, and put on shows that were worthy of Tonight Show performances. Think Bette Midler in “The Rose”. Janis Joplin singing “Piece of My Heart”.

Of course, we weren’t nearly that cool and there were no mind-altering drugs involved.

Our go-to number was “Little Brown Jug” because my sister does a mean imitation of a drunk with hiccups. And every now and then, we’d move on from drinking songs and pull out some gospel numbers and have ourselves a revival. I can still hear Amy telling all the “people” that they “better quit their sinnin’ because they were goin’ to hell”.

Grace wasn’t really our forte.

Caroline didn’t hold any revivals or sing any drinking songs, but she did learn how to play some chords with a Samba beat accompaniment. It was a treasure.

And so was seeing Nanny.


We should all look this good at 89 years old.

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Something new

I’ve been thinking about this for a while but, honestly, wasn’t sure I wanted to put forth the effort. Which is a little embarrassing because by effort, I mean about 10 minutes.

Anyway, over in my sidebar, y’all will see a new page link called “Favorite Things”. It will be something I’ll add to or change up whenever I feel inspired, but it’s just some of my favorite links of the non-blog persuasion.

And if y’all have any fun sites that you like to visit, I’d love to hear about them.

Hope y’all are having a great Labor Day weekend!

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Episode two

Y’all will be so pleased to know that we worked out our technical difficulties.

Here’s the latest podcast.


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