Monday, April 26, 2010

Ah...Young Love

It's Monday, kiddies and you know what that means - Monday MckLinky! Today over at The Real Housewives of Oklahoma the question is: What funny lessons did you learn in your first year of marriage?

Oh, folks....I learned a lot.

When my husband and I got married I was 19 years old and incredibly dumb. He was 29 years old and also incredibly dumb. However, he had one up on me - he had been living on his own since he was 17. I went right from living with my momma to living with him. Lemme tell ya, going from a household of only women to living with a man is SHOCKING. He knew how to pay bills, clean a whole house, cook, lock the doors at night, check the oil and do laundry.

I uhm....knew how to balance a checkbook, clean part of a house (with a sister and a mother I'd never had to clean the whole thing), bake chocolate chip cookies, jump at every noise outside and obsess over the thought someone might want to rob us, drive a car ("What's a dipstick?" - I literally said those words) and fold towels. I didn't even really know how to wash dishes well - we'd always had a dishwasher.

I had longed for being married for so long I had a really hard time that first year. I thought that marriage just made everything perfect and couple didn't fight until they were married 20 years and had kids. I had no idea that marriage was hard and that he could be so annoying. Because we all know I wasn't.

Here are a few of the lessons I learned in that first year, that year I wasn't sure I'd survive:

* Yelling, sighing, whining and screaming about the toilet seat being up does absolutely no good whatsoever. After nearly 30 years of living life either with three brothers or by himself he was ruined. I just learned to never go pee in the middle of the night without turning the light on, although I had several nights of wet buns before I learned. After 17 years now I have now switched my efforts fully over to screaming "SERIOUSLY? LIFT THE SEAT! STOP PEEING ALL OVER IT! YOU CAN EVEN LEAVE IT UP IF YOU'D JUST PUT IT UP TO BEGIN WITH!" It's all about compromise.

* Makeup sex is worthless if you don't make up first.

* Unless you were a softball champion in high school you should not throw things at your new husband because, chances are, he can throw harder than you. The first year I stuck to the checkbook and the occasional tea towel. He always threw them back, usually at my head. I should have either stuck to soft, light things or stopped altogether, because in Year Five I threw a bottle of Baby Magic at him and hit him in the small of the back. He threw it back and hit me in the arm and bruised me. I knew as soon as it hit him I should've thrown Sam's burp rag - it was just as close. But nooooooo, I lobbed that nearly full bottle of lotion at him because he was ignoring me and dude, it made me mad. Turns out, getting hit with a bottle of lotion made him just as mad. I haven't thrown anything at him since. He hasn't either. He doesn't ignore me anymore either.

* Making him cookies every time he asks will make you fat. Not him. Just you. So don't. If I had it to do over I'd give him carrot sticks and extra money for the vending machine at work to satisfy the sweet tooth.

* If you "make a deal" early on and really work hard at said deal, chances are it will stick for all of perpetuity, so make sure you think wayyyyyy ahead. Also note that he will find a way to re-work the deal to his liking, so be prepared for that. When I started staying at home full time the deal we made was that he would take care of the outside of the house - he would mow, weed-eat, clean up, take care of the vehicles and pets. I would take care of the inside of the house - I would cook, clean, do laundry, clean up after meals, etc. He got this wild idea that since the trash was technically on the inside of the house it was my job and refused to take it out. So I just started sitting the trash by the front door. He got really tired of having to either step around or over it and saw my point. Of course, I also asked him to cook dinner one night a week and he made peanut butter and jelly. He'd rather not step over stinky trash and I'd rather not eat PB&J for dinner on a regular basis. Our deal is still holding.

* Just because his mother doesn't burst through the door and embrace you every single time she visits doesn't mean she doesn't love you. Maybe that's just not her thing. Maybe she's just not an affectionate person. Maybe she's having a hard time trusting you. Maybe she is afraid you will hurt her son like that last one did. Give her time. It might take 15 or so years, though, but she'll get there.

* Enjoy those early, childless days. I didn't learn that one in the first year - it's a reflection. I love my children with every ounce of my being, and when we had them was the perfect time for us, but I wish I had enjoyed the child-free days a little more.

So now it's your turn - ponder on the lessons you learned and then share it with us!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

So Much Happening!

I can't even begin to tell you just how many times I've met myself coming and going lately. I feel like this laptop is attached to my lap some days. I'm not complaining because honestly, I love what I'm doing, but these last few weeks have been busy my precious little Diva blog has gotten ignored. And so has my column at WelchOK. And the laundry. And vacuuming....and dusting....however, I did clean the bathroom a few
times because I don't want to have to put up biohazard stickers.

The most time-consuming big news is that The Real Housewives of Oklahoma site is up and running! We seven ladies and Mrs. Robinson (she ain't no lady) are taking Oklahoma and the internet by storm - or at least by a brisk wind and the occasional "rawr". I can't think of a better group to be working with and have huge hopes for what we can accomplish. We have RHOK-out events planned, charity events, field trips, giveaways, guest posting opportunities and of course, lots and lots of blog posts in store. Please bookmark the site and check it daily. You won't ever check in there and find no updated posts for days at a time. We're actually organized over there and it works. Who knew?

Probably the most shocking news is that we Hoovers have actually been going to church. I KNOW! I didn't think that would ever happen again after our rough go of things last summer and months and months of searching for a home, a place we felt comfortable and welcomed from the get-go.

Mom and Pops had been going to Bar-None Cowboy Church for a couple weeks when they started telling us we should give it a try. Now, we're redneck, remember? We're not cowboy. I kept telling her we wouldn't fit in, we'd stick out like a sore thumb. She kept smiling and saying, "Just come visit." We did and folks, we walked in the doors of that Flying Cow Arena that day, to the smell of horses and dust, into a church filled with loving, caring people who were genuinely glad we were there. We have never felt a moment's unease and judging is just something not done there. While it's technically a "cowboy" church, it's not just for cowboys. All sorts of people from all walks of life are there and worshipping God in a way I have never experienced. It's not fancy and like the pastor has said several times, "You know it's a cowboy church because when the service is over we pick up more spit cups than we do coffee cups."

Easter Sunday our baby girl, Kady, accepted Jesus Christ into her heart as her personal Savior and was baptized the following week. The week of her baptism, my nephew went forward for salvation and was baptized last Sunday. God is working a wondrous healing in our home, in Paul's and my marriage, in our family. My husband who had to be bribed, cajoled and begged to go to church before is now the one hurrying us out the door on Sunday mornings AND Wednesday nights. Praise God!

I am working closely with my favorite Bow Lady in getting her website up and running. While I'm enjoying the playing around on the site (Much thanks to With a Southern Flair for the design) I'm enjoying the phone calls and visits with Debbie while we get things going. There's nothing in the world like a good friend.

There are 19 school days until the kids are out for the summer!

We decided to scrap our Disney World Christmas plans and instead of scraping and doing without and blowing all of our savings at the end of the year on one big trip, to instead take some smaller trips a little closer to home this summer and work on building our savings. Babysitting for a teacher has lots of perks, the biggest being SUMMER VACATION.

I know this post has been somewhat lacking, especially after such a hiatus, but now you're somewhat caught up and just keep checking back. I'll eventually figure out which way is up, how to manage all my writing projects better and earn that "Best Rural Blog" title.

Really. Please don't leave. I'll cry.

In the meantime, go check out today's RHOK post - it's about 'possum. And how big of a wimp gangster I am.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Who's That?

Abby was reading Conner a book that rhymes. It has different characters from Cars throughout the book and each pages asks the question, "Who am I?" There's a fire truck on one page, a police car on another and so on. One of the pages features a checkered flag and the text reads, "You may find me on a pole..."

Abby read the question in a sing-song voice, "You may find me on a pole. I'm..." then she turned the page and in the same cute voice answered: "Miley Cyrus."

Sunday, April 18, 2010


Hey y'all, while you're just hangin' out this afternoon, head on over to the Real Housewives of Oklahoma and see the housewives in all their lacey dressed, Aqua Netted, big haired glory -- their Prom pictures!

And while you're there you can play a little game and try to match the Housewife to their picture! Oodles of fun on a Sunday afternoon, right?

The correct answers will be revealed tomorrow, so check back in and also chime in on the MckLinky Monday.

The pictures are Promalicious. Seriously.

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Who Lives in a Pineapple Under the Sea?

Well, SpongeBob is the aquatic fruit-dweller, duh, but this post isn't about SpongeBob.

It's about Sea Monkeys. Yes, I said Sea Monkeys.

When I was a kid they were all the rage and for whatever reason Mom said no. She let us get those magic crystals you could grow in a fish bowl - which were cool and all - but they were no Sea Monkeys.

Last Thursday night Pops took my husband, my son, nephew and me to see Clash of the Titans and while we were at the show Mom took my daughters and niece to Walmart to let them get a treat.  My youngest child got Sea Monkeys. My mother bought my child Sea Monkeys! My mother is the quintessential grandparent, giving the grandchildren all the things she deemed too messy, expensive or labor-intensive when she herself was a parent. And ice cream whenever they want. Like before dinner.

Like I have time to raise a bunch of dang mutant brine shrimp. I have Facebook and Twitter and blogs to keep up with, people! There is no room on my plate for shrimp. Well, only if there's cocktail sauce....

But I allowed the Sea Monkeys to come home because really, Kady was as excited about her new critters as Ellie Mae Clampett would be about a new raccoon, so I thought I would take you on an adventure under the sea with us. Okay, an adventure in a 12-ounce plastic container.


First off, here is Kady looking.....well, I can't decide if it's manically happy or just plain creepy. And in serious need of a brush.

Here's the setup: a flimsy plastic container, an itty bitty scoop, three packets and a magnifying glass.
(Anyone think those packets look familiar? Like maybe if you've played the Sea Monkeys slot machine?)

And here is Hanna Montana overseeing the pouring of the water which needs to be purified because it's rural water and sometimes I think it needs to be purified for our consumption.
(Does anyone else pay attention to what's in the background of people's pictures? Like the gigantic GALLON O'PICKLES on my kitchen counter? And a two-can package of Febreze? And my outrageously large bag of Dunkin' Donuts coffee? You don't get that atmosphere with the Pioneer Woman's pics, do ya?)

Ooh, water purifier. How convenient. I was just mentioning the need for purifier. Wonder if I can get that in a 55 gallon drum?

And here's the water all sittin' in there a purifyin' and whatnot. Now we wait for Day Two.....

....drums fingers on keyboard....

Ooh look! Day Two!
And again we see our favorite wackadoo Kady super excited about the laying of eggs.
*bawk bawk*

The eggs. I'm just so glad they came in a packet like this and not in about 50 itty bitty styrofoam cartons.

Into the soup!
(Look! The Easter Bunny brought cookie mix! Because apparently he was too lazy to bake them himself. What else is laying around... an albuterol inhaler and Avon Magix! Have y'all ever tried that stuff? It is magic! Thus the name I guess. Oh look! A recipe for pea salad. I should really tidy up more before I do a Sea Monkey photo shoot.)

And here are our new pets in a sunny window awaiting the call from the Mother Ship so they can awake from suspended animation and take over the universe MUAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh imagination got the best of me there for a minute.

And now we wait.

...To Be Continued...

Monday, April 12, 2010

Where I Come From

This week's Monday MckLinky question is:

Where do you come from?

I grew up in the country between the little podunk town of Wyandotte where I went to school and the big booming metropolis of Miami. At 18 I moved to Miami. When I married my husband I moved to Wyandotte with him. Then we moved to Miami. Now we're out in the country between Miami and the itty bitty town where our kids go to school.

So uhm.....where do I come from? (Or maybe you'd like to know where I'm going via where I've been.)

My Facebook profile lists Wyandotte as my hometown, but I don't necessarily feel like that was my hometown since I didn't grown up in a town. Sure, I went to school there from Kindergarten until I graduated, but is it my hometown? It's definitely my school. In Wyandotte they say, "Once a Bear, always a Bear," but in Miami they say, "Once a Wardog, always a Wardog." I guess pretty much any town boasts a lifelong committment to their mascot. My kids will always be Owls, I guess. And when they are adults they will probably feel an overwhelming urge to don red and white every Friday just like I still want to wear black and white.

If I had to commit right this very minute to where I consider myself "from" I guess I would have to say: the tiny little Ottawa community out east of Miami.

Mom and my father built our house there when Mom was pregnant with Tater and we moved in a mere week before she was born. I met my best friend, DeLisa, when Mom called her mom and invited her to my 5th birthday party. She lived less than a mile from me. Sis' best friend, Amy Jo, lived just past DeLisa. The four of us grew up together and when we got old enough, kept that road hot. We rode bikes between the three houses usually, but sometimes we walked, we ran or hitched a ride with a neighbor or one of DeLisa or Amy's brothers. Summers were spent down in the river bottom swinging on grapevine and picking flowers. When the weather got Okla-hot we were at each other's houses in the air conditioning, playing Barbies and eventually playing Nintendo, watching MTV or calling boys. We knew everyone that lived on our road and several roads branching further out. We were never scared. We didn't have cell phones to stay in constant touch with our parents, we just showed up at someone's house to eat around noon. Sleepovers were spontaneous and sometimes involved sleeping outside on the trampoline.

We lived on 1 1/4 acres, a corner lot on the site of the old Spring River schoolhouse. The property still had the concrete foundation of the school house, the well house, both stone outhouses and the coal shed when we moved there. The girls outhouse eventually was turned into a clubhouse by Tater and her best friend (it was so old there was no uhm....evidence it had ever been an outhouse). The coal shed was where we stored our bikes, the dog had puppies and sixty bazillion wasps lived. The concrete foundation served as a stage, a great place to ride your bike off and do stunts, was marked with the black scars from "snakes" on the 4th of July and eventually became a raised garden for tomatoes and geraniums. My prom pictures were taken in the well house. A few years back the new owners bulldozed the outbuildings and the schoolhouse's foundation. I cried.

When someone in the community passed away, one of the neighbors, usually my mother, went house to house taking up donations to buy flowers for the bereaved; the card always read "the people of the Ottawa community". Casserole dishes were passed around liberally, always full, either on the coming or the going.

We had a party line.

We planted a garden.

We shot off fireworks on the 4th.

During the Iran hostage crisis there was a big yellow ribbon around the tree in the front yard.

Our yard saw many a wiffle ball game, croquet game and Easter egg hunt.

We had a go cart.

We had a pool.

We had an aerial antenna and that only afforded us three channels - until we got a gigantic satellite dish with a hand crank planted in the back yard.

We never had pizza delivered to our house.

We lived in a close-knit community. Most of the mommas stayed at home and if the daddies weren't farmers they worked at BFGoodrich in Miami. We helped each other out, we supported each other, everyone kept an eye on each other's kids, we played pranks, made casseroles and lived life the best way we knew how.

I've said it before,but it's true: where I come from has made me who I am today.

Where do you come from?

Join in the discussion over at the RHOK!


Write a post on your own blog then enter the link in our handy dandy MckLinky.
It's simple and shares your blog with people that maybe haven't read it before!

Thursday, April 08, 2010

Say Anything

Awhile back I was contacted by Dee at Say Anything who told me she had gotten my name from a reader who thought I needed to be interviewed by her. Well, my thinking is anyone who is interested in me should, by all means, learn more!

Now, here's where I dropped the ball - I forgot today was the day. What with all the Real Housewives of Oklahoma excitement it kind of got lost in the shuffle. She even reminded me the other day and still I forgot. I have way too many dates floating around in this big ol' cavernous head of mine.

Here's the interview, so go learn something about me that maybe you didn't know. Highly unlikely, I know. I pretty much share it all. But there's a chance I reveal something so go check it out!

So my sincerest apologies to Dee because I know she works hard to put together her interviews and keep up her blog. She's a hoot and she's bubbly and really seems to love hosting other bloggers there in her little corner of the web. Show her some love, wouldya?

Wednesday, April 07, 2010

What is a Housewife?

What is a housewife? Have you ever asked yourself a question like this?

If you ask, "What is a doctor?" or "What is a fire fighter?" To those questions one might answer, "A person who takes care of sick people, prescribes medicine, gives advice and direction" and "A person who puts their life in danger to save people in dangerous situations, puts out fires and stands in intersections around Labor Day holding a boot."

So really, what is a housewife? defines a housewife as, "A married woman who manages her own household, esp. as her principal occupation." It also lists it as "archaic" and "offensive to some" and suggests homemaker as a substitute.

Seriously? Offensive?

I'm a wife, I pretty much don't leave me house. The word housewife isn't offensive to me, but I'm kind of old-fashioned that way. But what I do is so much  more than merely "manage my household." 

What I'm doing now is my dream job. Before we had kids I worked as a Pharmacy Technician in a hospital pharmacy. I was a cocktail waitress in my pre-kid days as well. I worked as a daycare teacher and I've been a secretary/receptionist, too. In recent history I worked in Child Welfare at DHS. All of those are rewarding jobs and I liked most of them, but doing what I'm doing now is what I'm supposed to do. My family likes me being here and I like being here. It works for us. We do without a lot, we've had our times where there wasn't enough money to pay the bills and there were even times I felt the walls closing in for lack of conversation that didn't center around Elmo, boogers or poop, but this is my job and it's the one I've stuck with longest.

Wanna know a secret? Hugs from kids that smell faintly of outside, puppy and dirt, spontaneous, rare smiles from a usually-sulking teenager, having someone tell you your kids are great, being available to pick up sick kids from school without having to worry what my boss thinks, hearing "Momma! Guess what?" and wearing sweats to work are what keep me coming back day after day.

Now, while I speak glowingly of my job, there are many, many requirements and downsides, too. However, all the kid puke, shower scrubbing and hearing the comment, "Oh, you're just a housewife," is worth it to be doing something I love and to be able to wear sweats to work. HUGE job perk, those elastic waistbands.

Now, before you trade in your retirement to become one of the ranks you might want to research this position a little more. Here are the specs on this particular housewife:

Cook/Chef/Baker - Daily, many times. Green things are limited to green beans and only four of us eat those. There's lots of spaghetti, macaroni and cheese, cupcakes and animal crackers on the menu around here. Casseroles and I have a deep, meaningful relationship. I can hide vegetables in anything.
Dust-er - If by dusting you mean being able to write my name in all horizontal surfaces, then yeah, I do that.
Vacuum-er  - I actually have an eight year old that loves this task. Score.
Sweep-er - I have a 13 year old for this. She hates it, but she hates to hear me harp at her even more.
Mopper (rarely) - Mopping is stupid. The floor just gets dirty again. Duh.
Cobweb Removal Specialst (rarely) - This happens usually once a year, right before the family gets here for Festivus.
Silly Putty on the Bedspread Removal Specialist - Only once, thank God. Silly Putty has since been outlawed in this house.
Turner offer of the weather radio - Because someone *cough cough the man I married cough* thinks storms are awesome to sleep through.
Setter of alarms/Waker upper of children - Because I am the only person in the house that responds to an alarm. Hope I'm here if the house catches fire.
Loader of the Dishwasher - I'm the only one that can do it right. Some of you know exactly what I'm talking about.
Shopper of the Groceries - Because if my husband did it we would live on microwave burritos and frozen pizzas and would have a closet full of really, really awful toilet paper and the tissues without lotion.
Organizer of the Calendar - Mine is color-coded and everything. A gigantic desk calendar mounted to the dining room wall - best thing I ever bought myself. I can manage three kids' schedules, two of whom played basketball in different towns on the same day at four different times while keeping track of school pictures, field trips and church dinners. My husband was once found in the fetal position after I asked him to check the calendar during basketball season. It ain't for sissies.
The Getter Upper in the Night with Puking Children - Those alarms he "doesn't hear"? Yeah, he "doesn't hear" sick children either. Convenient, huh?
Checker of/Helper with Homework - However, my expertise ends when the children get into Middle School Math. Then they are their father's responsiblity.
Payer of the Bills - He knows where the bank is located and that they will give you suckers if you just say there are kids in the car. That's pretty  much it.
Sewer on of Buttons/Hot Glue-er of Broken Things - Those are pretty much the extent of my sewing skills, but I do own a sewing machine and someday hope to use it.
Creator of Valentine Boxes/Halloween Costumes/Career Day Ensembles - I have made a two foot tall 3-D SpongeBob, two robots and a TV out of styrofoam cooler (complete with antenna AND power cord) for Valentine boxes. I found a shopping cart so my daughter could be a bag lady for Halloween. I came *this close* to showing cleavage for Krispy Kreme paraphenalia for my son's Career Day until he changed his mind and went with actor, which pretty much required him to just use his hands a lot and look morose.
Worrier Over Fevers/Rashes/Tummy Aches/Dental Visits/Calls from the Principal - I excel at this particular one.
Receiver of Dandelion Boquets/Pictures Drawn with Your Own Sharpies Which Bleed Through Onto the Dining Room Table/Enough Refrigerator Art to Open Your Own Museum/Coupon Books at Christmastime Good for Clean Rooms That Never Happen and Free Hugs - Better than a 401k any day.

So tell us, what is a housewife?

Give your answer on your blog then link to our MckLinky so we can see what you have to say!

** Monday MckLinky is something the Real Housewives of Oklahoma will do well, every Monday, so make sure you visit the Real Housewives site every Monday morning so you can play along! (Yes, today is Wednesday. Go with it, okay? It's launch day and we're all aflutter.) All the cool housewives do Monday MckLinky, ya know. And you know you wanna be cool.

It's here, it's live and it RHOKs

If you follow my Twitter feed or are my friend on Facebook you've seen the hashtag #RHOK and heard me talking of this super secret insanely crazy announcement "coming soon".

Well, soon is now my friends because today The Real Housewives of Oklahoma site is up and running and ready for you to fall madly in love with it and ask it on dates and want to take your kids there on vacation. We'll be bigger than the biggest ball of twine in Arizona!

We're just a group of Okie housewives who want to give other Okie housewives - and housewives everywhere - a voice. We are a insane special breed of woman and whether you have kids or not, staying home and taking care of your household is a job. A big one. An important one. A rewarding one. A tough one. And let's face it, a cool one.

Bookmark us, visit often and keep up with all the happenings.  Every Monday we'll host a "Monday MckLinky" where we ask a question and you get to answer on your blog and then tell all kinds of people about it. We'll be RHOK'ing out, attending some events and local sites and attractions, donating our time to some worthy causes, vlogging, blogging and clogging. (Okay, I made up the clogging. As far as I know, I'm the only one in the group that even knows how to clog and I don't intend on performing for y'all.) Follow us on Twitter, too! (@theRHOK)

It's been a crazy week, more than one of us has had a tension headache or two, some of us  have had to peel our contacts off our eyeballs by day's end (not me because, ya know, I'm the old lady in the bi-focals), but we're live and large and in charge.

And we RHOK.

Thursday, April 01, 2010


My first glasses were plastic framed and in hindsight perilously close to the horn-rims of the 50's. They were pinkish and just horrible. Hey, what did I know about fashion? I was 11. I thought twist-beads were the end-all-be-all. At the time I was also rather plump, shopping for all my clothes in the "Pretty Plus" section at Sears. I was the quintessential nerd, lemme tell ya.

Having been in glasses for the past 26 years I have seen my fair share of lenses and frames. I've had the horn-rims, the GIGANTO round frames (think Sally Jessy Raphael), I've had square, I've had oval, I've had plastic, metal, full-frame, half-frame and for the past few years the expensive ones with the magnetic sunglass clip so I don't have to resort to wearing those flip-up sunglasses the oldsters buy at Walmart. Hey, I need my sunglasses because I so rarely leave the house and go out into the sun, well, my eyes don't like sunlight. It burns. And it's

Since I don't have insurance, I pay cash for my glasses. This is why I only get glasses every two to three years and only if I'm having issues. Like debilitating headaches. Or blindness.

I am horribly near-sighted and teetered on the edge of legally blind for years, but starting about five years ago my eyes have actually gotten a little better. The eye doctor I've seen since my tween years said I was a candidate for Lasix. I said, "Only if I find an extra $3000 someone dropped in a parking lot. Or if some long-lost aunt kicks the bucket and decided I was her favorite because she read my blog and decided I'm just that awesome. Now show me the frames, please." I have tried contacts and I am just one of "those" people who can't wear them. I am destined to a life of glasses and really, I'm okay with that. I've worn them longer than I didn't by far and I think I look funny without them on now. They complete me. I am one with the glasses.

About six months ago Kady asked me to untangle a knot in a necklace chain. I started the process of untangling when I realized I couldn't see, so I squinted. It didn't help. I opened my eyes wide. Didn't help. I looked over the top of my glasses and voila! It also became starkly clear that I was mimicking the exact routine I had seen my father do back when I was a kid and needed something untangled. I mentioned it laughingly to Mom one day and she said, "I bet you're going to need bi-focals soon, dear." I glared at her and told her that she was delirious and I was only 36 and that just wasn't going to happen. She gently reminded me that my father was in bi-focals at 16. Great.

And really, aside from an occasional moment where I had to look over the tops of my glasses I've done fine since then. I didn't do any counted cross-stitch this winter and really didn't read much either. I have yet to use that sewing machine out there collecting an impressive amount of dust. I've done my Facebooking and blogging with very little problem and can see great when driving at night and can see distances without a problem. I drove to Yukon over Spring Break - three hours of solid nighttime driving without so much as the twinge of a headache.

The Sunday of the freak Spring Break snow storm I downloaded the book The Lovely Bones to my iPod and started reading it. The print was no smaller than in a book, so I knew I wasn't straining to read something uber small, but an hour into reading it I was suddenly smacked by one of the worst headaches I've had in a long time. So bad I was nauseous and had to lie in the dark with a washcloth over my eyes for a few hours until it subsided. I get about two to three migraines a year, but this one didn't feel like a typical migraine even though it went away after doing my usual migraine relief techniques. Since that fateful headache I've been having more and more, especially after a day on the computer or reading. I can only read in about 15 minute increments and most of the time I take my glasses off to do it.

Paul's been complaining for months that he hates his glasses, he can't see at night and the computer screen he sits in front of for eight hours a day at work just gives him fits. I heaved a heavy sigh and said, "That's it. I'm making us both eye appointments."

Paul went first. The man is 47 and one of those folks who didn't get glasses until about age 35. It's a natural progression of age. So of course, his prescription needs to be strengthened, in his lens and the bi-focal, too. The eye doctor, a guy who played baseball with my high school boyfriend and is partnered up with the optometrist of my youth, suggested a new type of bi-focal for people who work on computers and heavily recommended an anti-glare coating. Paul has great vision insurance so I just nodded to everything the doctor suggested. Then it was my turn. I told him he problems I was having. He asked if it was always hard to see when I read or just sometimes. He nodded and hmmh'd as he asked me more questions - driving, computer work, etc. He said, "Here's what I think. We've got one of two scenarios going on. Either your prescription has changed again are going to go into bi-focals early." I told him to bite his tongue and gave him a very nasty look. He examined my eyes and for the distance stuff I did great. But man, when he put that itty bitty text right up in front of my face and spotlighted it, it was a booger to read. Then he did his magic little "Better 1 or 2.....3 or 4....4 or 5...." schpiel and suddenly I could read that teeny tiny little blurb about the grass on the hillside exploding into green or something like that.

He took the equipment away from my face, put his hands on his knees and said, "Well, dear, here's the thing: Your distance vision hasn't changed a bit. Your prescription doesn't need to be adjusted in the least....." and then he took a deep breath and said, "....but you need bi-focals."

I would've immediately burst into tears had it not been for the fact that my tearful explosion was pre-empted by my husband's exuberant guffaw. He was laughing at me! Laughing at my optical misfortune! For better or worse obviously didn't cover "In single vision or bi-focals".  Then he told the eye doctor WHO IS ONLY A YEAR OLDER THAN ME BY THE WAY that I had been making fun of him for two years since he got bi-focals. LIAR! My husband LIED to our optometrist! I don't know what came over that man. It's not enough that I am ten years his junior and have WAY more gray hair than he does, but now I'm in bi-focals as well. And as if the laughing at my unfortunate optical development wasn't enough he then TOLD the doctor I had more gray hair than him. Then? THEN? He told the OTHER eye doctor the same thing! Oh, he was having a grand ol' time, lemme tell ya.

Dr. Walls was very nice about it really and while yes, he did chuckle at my husband's obvious mirth, he sweetly said, "We'll make sure you get a no-line and then no one but you, me and your husband have to know, okay?" And to that Paul laughed again and said, "Are you kidding? As soon as you walk out of this exam room she's going to put it on Twitter and Facebook! She can't keep a secret! Even one like this!"

And he was right. Even though my eyes were dilated and I couldn't see worth a whit I managed to tweet and Facebook update right then and there. I also sent a text to my mother and sister, knowing they would have words of comfort and wisdom for me because, after all, they are my two best friend. Sister immediately sent a text that said, "Make sure you ask for the package deal - the one where they throw in the walker with the tennis balls on the feet." I text her back immediately as well, but I won't write here what I called her. I'll let you use your imagination.

I picked out some cute purplish, mauve-ish frames which, of course, have the sunglasses clip. My husband and I got the same exact lenses, the Definity and anti-glare lenses. His, with his insurance, cost $280. Mine without insurance cost SIX HUNDRED FIFTEEN DOLLARS. It's fun going directly from the eye doctor to the bank to withdraw from your savings just so you can see. I considered taking out another $100 because a trip to the salon to cover all the gray taking over my head felt in order at that point, but I resisted. 

Paul's boss sent me a text later in the day suggesting I look into AARP's vision discount plan. I told her to shut her mouth or I would beat her with my cane.


Where YOU Been?

In case y'all aren't already regular followers of my other gig at, for starters you should be. Shame on you. Tsk tsk.

(Also you're missing out on some good quality, local, hometown, homegrown news there as well, aside from the fact that I write there, too, so go visit, have a look around and bookmark it.)

I try to post to the column once a week, but sometimes that doesn't happen. Okay, lately that really hasn't happened at all, but I'm going to do better. Really.

Anyway, here's the link to my latest Diva Dish, "Just Chock Full of Grace". And make sure to leave a comment!

We....the people

Originally published in The Miami News-Record, July 2020 Everything is different now. I’m not just talking about masks and social distancing...