Thursday, November 30, 2006

Redneck Hell Fire

While it is still November I thought I'd tell y'all about the Legendary Canned Thanksgiving When Uncle Larry Set Himself On Fire. Ok, first you need to know that Uncle Larry (UL from here on out) is a quiet, quiet man. He's been married to my Aunt Nina for just about as long as I remember. I'll never forget that wedding. I was a pre-teen and excited to wear my strapless gown in that crowded single wide trailer. They upgraded to a double wide a few years later and have lived there ever since. In all the time I've known UL I think he's spoken about 5 words to me. And that didn't happen until my wedding. He told me "Congratulations. This was all real nice." I even got a hug. It was a big deal. I should also state that I love my family, but I am not blind to the fact that some members of our family lean toward the redneck side of Southern. Just a bit. Heh.

So anyway, my mom, Morgan, and I headed down to their place for Thanksgiving one year. We brought a few dishes- some casseroles I'm sure, and I think the turkey. We walked in and noticed the complete and utter absence of any Thanksgiving dinner aroma. There was nothing in the oven. Nothing in the crock pot. Nothing. Eerie. We put away our offerings and retired to the big living room. Morgan went off to play with our cousin and my Mom and I resigned ourselves to watching the race or whatever was on the big screen tv with UL. We took a seat at the far end of the mile long sectional sofa. You know the ones- the velour number where each seat turns into a recliner and there are cup holders and shelves built right in. UL was on the other end smoking away. At this point he was smoking regular cigarettes but he had enjoyed his share of the wacky weed before we arrived and he still smelled like a dorm room after a Dead show. He got up at one point to adjust the antenna at the back of the tv. He was wearing a t-shirt with an unbuttoned flannel shirt over it. He reached across the tv (now this was moons ago, about 10 years, and the tv was one of those gargantuan jobbies with the big wood wrap around it) and was fiddling with the antenna, smacking the side of the tv, cursing under his breath. At one point he dropped his arms to his sides while checking out the screen and that's when we noticed his sleeve was on fire. He must have caught it on the Christmas candles on top of the tv. And by on fire I mean flames literally shooting up his arm. It is a miracle his mullet didn't go up in flames as well. Mom and I looked at each other in shock. I mumbled under my breath (so UL couldn't hear me)
-Mama, he's on fire. Do you see that?
-Yeah, what should we do?
-Well go tell him.
-You tell him.
-I'm not telling him. We've never talked. This is not going to be our first conversation.
-Well somebody's gotta tell him.
Meanwhile, UL decided he was pleased with the reception on the tv, walked back to his recliner portion of the sofa, sat down, and snuffed himself out.
-Oh my gosh, do you think he knows?
-Who cares? It's over.

A few minutes later AN appeared in the doorway and told us to let her know when we were ready to eat. We said we were ready and then all the sudden the mehhhnnnn of the can opener could be heard. The woman opened a can of corn, beans, cranberry sauce, and ham. Even the meat was canned. We ate on styrofoam plates with plastic utensils. For Thanksgiving.

After we ate my little sister and my girl cousin occupied the 2 bathrooms in the house, much to the dismay of my boy cousin who we'll call Cletus. There was much screaming of Mom! and They won't get out the bathroom! and I gotta pee! with AN screaming back in her Marge's sister's voice- What do you want me to do about it?? and finally, Then just go outside and pee!
With that, Cletus went outside, stood on the deck (which was right off the dining area through unfortunately sliding glass doors) and commenced relieving himself as directed.

That was our cue to pack up the car and high tail it down the dirt road and back to the highway. That was the last time we were there until 3 weeks ago when Lisa was in town. I know you're wondering why we didn't rush back for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Baby Crocs

Even if you're not a Crocs fan, you've gotta admit these are way cute. My niecelet Olivia's grandma bought her the Disney Crocs and they are just the cutest.So tiny!

Monday, November 27, 2006


Ladybugs have landed on our house. A bajillion of them. They started coming here about a month ago and quite a few have moved in. I read that they are attracted to light colored houses and they're just here for the winter so just leave them alone. That's fine with me! I can use all the ladybug luck I can get! Here are some having a meeting in a corner of the kitchen:click to enlarge. I never knew their little spots were so symmetrical and each one has a different pattern. They were dive bombing my husband and BIL while they were building the fence and my BIL told me they were biting him! Big baby! They don't even have teeth! ;)

Saturday, November 25, 2006

Sign here Cap'n

Speaking of online shopping....I bought Morgan's (little sister) Christmas present online a week or so ago. Now, before I get to the meat of the story I have to remind you of something. Back in September it was National Talk Like a Pirate Day. So I looked up my pirate name online and found it to be Cap'n Misty Buttscar. Cute right? Well I typed it into my address book on my computer along with the other Tiara Girls' (Susan, Deb, & Shannon H.) pirate names. My Crackberry links up with the computer so when they call and Jelly Legs Velma comes up on the screen it makes me laugh. Anyway, I got to the check out part of the order process for Morgan's gift and just hit S when it came to name, address & so forth to let the computer fill everything in. A couple of days ago I was checking my gmail and found the following email:

From: B&H Photo
Date: Wed, 22 Nov 2006 20:33:55 UT
Subject: Order Status

420 Ninth Avenue, New York, NY 10001
800 - 221 - 5743
212 - 239 - 7765

Order Status


We are pleased to inform you that the following order has been shipped.
Order Number: 1021734
Billing Address:5*** H********* DR *********G NC 2****
Shipping Address:Same As Billing Address
Shipping Method: UPS 3 DAY
Boxes: 1
Tracking #1:1Z1310352319686


If the Ship Date is a non-business day (i.e. Sunday or Legal Holiday)
then the shipping carriers are closed and your order was NOT shipped
on this date. It is merely the date that your order was packed by B&H
and will be picked up by their respective carrier on the NEXT business
day. Please be advised that the above Tracking number(s) were created
by the B&H shipping department and they will only be recorded by their
respective carriers late in the evening of the day of pickup. Tracking
information for orders shipped via USPS is not available for all

Item Qty Item Description
MOAIIPFMCH 1iCarPlay Wireless - FM Transmitter/Charg

There are two options available to track your orders with B&H.

1. Email:

Send a blank email to, Include ONLY the
ORDER NUMBER in the SUBJECT LINE of your email.

2. Phone:

Call our 24 hour automated Order Tracking Line at 1-800-221-5743 or

We hope you enjoy your new purchase and look forward to serving you again.

Thank you
B&H Customer Service

Lord help me! My auto fill must have put my pirate name in as my regular name! And they are sending it UPS! Which means I might have to sign for it! Can you imagine what the UPS guy would think? Uh, Cap'n, can you just sign right here? And, um, how big is your butt scar?

Friday, November 24, 2006

O Tannenbaum

Thanksgiving: This year was our year to be at Jon's parents' house. It was nice to see everyone and we all had fun catching up. Jon's aunt, uncle, cousins, and a couple that's good friends with his parents (kind of like our honorary aunt and uncle) were there.

Today: I was able to do all of my Christmas shopping online this year (save one hard to find item that Susan found for me in her town- THANK YOU!) so I did not brave the Black Friday crowds. I did that 2 years ago and it was enough for me.

Tonight Sara and I took the boys to a Christmas tree lighting. We ran into Melissa, Logan & Andrew while we were there. Some photos:

Wednesday, November 22, 2006


For Jon (CSP), my family, friends, health, you guys, the opportunity to adopt, so much more.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

I'm a danger to myself even while I sleep!

This was going to be a boring ol update post, but now you lucky devils get a near death story to boot! But you'll have to wait til the end- muhahaha!
-Our bed situation: the king size mattress is still in the family room, however, we've been upgraded! My mom gave us 2 twin mattress sets that my little sister used to have in her room. They were covered in a plastic anti-allergen cover the whole time and Morgan only used them from ages 6-12 or something so she didn't weigh but a thing so it's like they are brand new. We pushed them together and it's like we're sleeping on a king sized bed again! Woohoo! I can sleep with my arms at my sides! Now CSP just has to get the bed frame upstairs (won't fit- shocker!) and we'll be all set. (foreshadowing!)
-Health: my arms are doing well. The braces really help. We're putting off my surgery for a while because we just can't afford to do that and finish our dossier right now. My arms can wait. My knee is also getting much better. My Ortho recommended physical therapy but I just didn't see the need to pay $80 a week so someone could tell me what exercises to do to get it stronger when we have Google. My only weak points right now are after I sit or sleep for a while and try to get up, and going up and down stairs, or after a long day of walking it will tighten up and buckle. So I'm really pleased with all my progress!
-House: I'll be devoting an entire post to all the reasons why no one should ever build with CP Morgan, but that will have to wait for another day. We're slowly getting unpacked. It seems like we moved in then all kinds of things happened to slow me down, but I'm picking up speed. We have to wait on painting and putting up lighting and ceiling fans until CP Morgan comes in and fixed our ceilings so we're still living in a white box with horrible lighting and no one is allowed to visit yet. But we'll get there!
-Nephews & Neicelet: LOVE and adore them. Jacob has become really affectionate and loving and gives the best hugs. Joey has become a lint eater. This kid will sit on the sofa and pick fuzz off the afghan and eat it. He will choose sock fuzz over real food snacks. Bizarre. Oh, and did I mention that Olivia regularly says Shanny now? Melts my heart.

Ok, you've been patient long enough... I was sleeping peacefully on my twin/king bed last night when I awoke while drowning. See, you're not supposed to have your machine higher than your head, but the bed frame has to be taken apart and put back together up in our room (CSP built it himself) so we're just on the mattress/box springs right now and my bedside table is higher. And somehow, some time during the night I managed to pull my machine off the table and tipped it so it was standing on the humidifier part on the bed. And all the water in the chamber raced down my tube and into my nose. I woke up in a panic (mainly because I was drowning! in my own bed!) and ripped my mask off. In the process I broke the little plastic piece that holds the strap on. I coughed and sputtered and cleaned up my mess and tried to rig my mask back to my face to no avail. I managed to get some sleep last night, but not much. My throat is killing me today. But the good news is that the way my machine fell meant that the water went away from the motor. Yay!! But no one is calling me back from the supplies place- probably because of the holiday. Boo!! Oh, and what was CSP doing throughout my ordeal last night? Sleeping peacefully on his twin mattress side of our ghetto king bed, blissfully unaware that I was facing one of my least preferred methods of dying. Thanks for all that marital support there, honey!
So there you have it. Proof that even while sleeping I'm a major klutz and a hazard to myself!

Monday, November 20, 2006

Picking up where we left off

We're all moved in, the checks have cleared. We've taken care of all the business necessary when you move across state lines- new driver's licenses, car tags, etc. Now, we're ready to begin again with our paper chase and get this adoption finished! There are lots of things we have to do differently now that we're in NC vs SC, and some things we have to revise- like parts of our autobiography that describe our home and its proximity to hospitals and schools and whatnot. I've already got my call in to the social worker to come check out the new house- unpacked boxes and all! I plan on doing everything within my power to make this the fastest dossier put together the world has seen. We're tired of waiting. We've sold our house and made our move for our girls, and now, we want our babies home.

Friday, November 17, 2006

A new artist in the family

My little sister Morgan (16) took a drawing class last year and loved it. This year she's taking painting and is really blossoming into quite an artist. One assignment was to use mixed media (she used watercolors, crayon, pen, pencil & chalk) and recreate a photo. They had to take the subject of the photo and change the background. She used one of my very favorite photos of Miss Kiki: And as a surprise for CSP & I she painted this: I'm so proud of her and am touched that she chose our Kea to be her subject. We'll be framing this asap to display proudly in our home.

*click pics to enlarge

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Uncle Creepy

If you need a good laugh today, click here and check out Weird Al's short video parody of Taylor Hicks' "Do I Make You Proud". Heh.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

On the cutting edge of pop culture

The other day while on the phone with my mom:
Mom: Did you watch tv last night?
Shanny: Yep.
M: Did you watch any cartoons?
S: No, why?
M: I saw the most bizarre cartoon last night. I think it was supposed to be a cartoon for adults though. Maybe you've seen it. There's this dog that talks and a baby with a football shaped head.
S: Uh, yeah Mama, that would be Family Guy. Jon and I have been watching that for years.
M: The dog drinks martinis. Bizarre.

A while back I got a similar phone call where she told me she'd found a show I might like where "they take 7 strangers, put them in a house to live with each other, and show you what happens." 3 guesses what show she's talking about.

Monday, November 13, 2006

Where the Swedes kick my Southern ass all the way home

Driving to Atlanta, shopping at IKEA, eating at Lisa's, fighting over smokers, more shopping, driving home, and unloading is a crippling experience. But I can't resist the call of the affordable Swedish homewares. As soon as you walk through the doors something happens to you. Me, my brain slides out of my ears and lies in a quivering mass on the floor. I can never go to IKEA and get my order right. EVER. What did I screw up this time? I bought 2 sconces that must be hardwired instead of the ones that plug in, 3 shades for the screened porch that are 9 inches too short (and I was armed with measurements from home), 3 toliet brush holders instead of toilet tissue holders, and 1 giant cracked mirror. I am a shopping dumbass.
Our drive down was fun and liesurely AND we witnessed an up close and personal Fast and Furious Atlanta style as 5 or 6 souped up Hondas stopped- stopped!!- on the highway then took off like rockets with tires smoking. They crossed 5 lanes of traffic before hitting the exit ramp. We stayed in a fabulous hotel with a modern flare and enjoyed the giant plasma tv, ginger smelling shampoo and soap, and the free breakfast. We did not, however, enjoy the person who insisted on smoking in the room adjacent to ours. Since they were adjoining rooms the smoke came right under the door and flew right down my CPAP machine tube into my lungs. The entire hotel is non-smoking so this was an issue. Susan called down to the desk and told them about it so we wouldn't get charged the $200 smoking fee and so they'd make the smoker stop. We went back to sleep, but the drama didn't end there.
Saturday we shopped at IKEA about all day- 366,000 square feet is a lot of ground to cover, especially when every Atlanta resident is there with you. Man was it crowded! We loaded up our purchases and quickly got lost on the many highways that crisscross the metro Atlanta area. We pulled into a McDon@lds and asked the drive through girl what town we were in while Lisa looked up directions. We finally made it to their house and enjoyed a fabulous dinner and even better company. We laughed and talked til late and headed back to the hotel. Our room smelled clean again so we were hopeful. We were so tired and sore and went right to sleep. Only to be woken up at 2am with a room full of smoke again. This time Susan brought the front desk guy up to our room and do you know what he said? That we just smelled carpet cleaner or incense!!! My ass! We were so tired it just wasn't worth it to switch rooms so we endured another fitful night's sleep. By this time our clothes smelled even! We made sure to talk to the manager when we checked out and secured coupons for a free future visit. We went back to IKEA to return the 7 foot long curtain rods I bought the day before for our 3 foot wide windows. Duh. We couldn't help ourselves and went back through the store one more time before hitting the road.
We stopped for lunch on the way home and had the strangest waitress. Each time she'd refill our drinks or bring us something and we'd say thank you she'd say "thank YOU". It was so weird.
We finally got home with all our goodies and deemed it a fantastic weekend. I was so glad Susan liked IKEA too. And of course, I can't wait to go back!

Wednesday, November 08, 2006

The votes are in...

...and my FIL didn't get re-elected. This sucks on many levels. But, he when you're a democrat in a republican county in a republican state up against a rich republican- you've got a tough row to hoe. So they're putting their house up for sale and he's looking for a new job. Hopefully they won't have to move too far. He just can't practice law in his county since he was a judge there for so long. Boo. He's employed til January and has a ton of vacation to take so at least he'll get to chill out for the holidays. Once he's completely out of office I'll be able to tell you the story of the mom who left her kid with a babysitter who happened to be a 200 pound bear cub! Well, that's pretty much the story. The kid was fine- a miracle since he was only 2 years old. My FIL sentenced the mom to jail time, the bear was released back to the wild, and all was well. Until some crazy people started up flack saying my FIL didn't respect families since he jailed the mom. And those people got to vote. Boo!

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

L-L-Lisa's in the hizzouse!

Highlights from Lisa's visit:
Saturday I picked her up at the airport and we had lunch, got our nails done, then headed over to my mom's house to hang out. My nephews were spending the weekend there so we were able to see them as well. And Lisa got to be a part of an exciting event- my little sister Morgan receiving her 1st car! We went on a test drive to the grocery store and had a great dinner.
Sunday we met up with Susan, Will, & little Miss O for dinner.We had a great time visiting with them and cooing over O. I don't wanna brag, but my little niecelet can say my name. The kid is a genius.
Monday we met up with my mom and went down to my Grandmommy's house (the one with Alzheimer's). My mom gave Gmommy a haircut and we took her to lunch. We had fun with Gmommy and on the way home we decided to stop and see my aunt and uncle. We'll call them Nina and Larry. We haven't been to their house for about 10 years, since the Thanksgiving when Uncle Larry set himself on fire- a story for another time. They weren't home and a quick call on the cell later and we were meeting them at the local watering hole. At 4pm on a Monday. OK. We walked into the bar, which was less of a bar and more of a cinder block outhouse that served alcohol, and Aunt Nina greeted us in her Marge's sister voice and asked if we'd like something to drink "...but all they got is beer." I ordered a Sprite and after some quick catching up with my aunt and uncle, Lisa and I went to the less smokey part of the bar to play bar video games while my Mom and Aunt Nina discussed my Gmommy's current state of health and living arrangements. It was all so bizarre. We stayed for a while and then laughed all the way home over the strangeness of my family.
Lisa had to go home Tuesday. I was sad to see her go and can't wait for her to come visit again!

Monday, November 06, 2006

Rock it and Cross em

Just a quick post to let y'all know that:
a) we're having a fabulous time and laughing so much.
b) be sure to get out and vote tomorrow.
c) please cross your fingers for us. My FIL is up for re-election tomorrow. He's a cheif justice and if he doesn't win they may have to move as it would be difficult for him to practice law in the county he presided over for so many years. We're all on edge!

Saturday, November 04, 2006

Our first house guest

At the new house will be Lisa! She's on the plane right now on her way down for a few days. We're going to have a ball!

Friday, November 03, 2006

News from the back 40 *updated

You know what really chaps my ass? First, there's no Christmas anymore. It's just Holiday. "So what are you doing for Holiday?" "Oh, for Holiday I'm having Holiday ham and opening Holiday presents." It's so generic. Like it could be Groundhog or Flag Day but we'll never know cause we're just calling it Holiday. And now? Now? Just the other day I was flipping through the sales flyers that come in the mail and noticed that "Harvest Decor" was on sale at a local giant crafts store. Then at a large discounty departmenty store I came upon the display for "Harvest Dining Supplies". WTF??? Can we not call it freakin Thanksgiving anymore? Who does that offend? Ungrateful people? And they picked Harvest instead? Is the public at large made up of field workers counting down the days til we can bring in this year's crop? I have the utmost respect for farmers, have them in the family. Just didn't realize they were the new target demographic. Jeesh.

*Just so you know, I'm all for different cultures, races, and creeds. That's what makes this country great. My family is made up of many different cultures, races, and creeds. I've been a part of many a Passover dinner, weddings of faiths different than mine. I served for many years as the head of the diversity council at my old job. Heck, I'm adopting from a country where the ethnicity, religion, and culture are completely different from my own. And I respect that to no end. I even make sure my Christmas cards include a set that say Happy Holidays for the people I'm not sure which holiday they celebrate. I also have no problems with "Happy Holidays" as that implies you're wishing happiness for multiple holidays. I think calling Christmas "Holiday" is strange though. I feel that we as a country can, and should, include other religions and cultures without having to tone down others. I see no reason why there shouldn't be a Ramadan display next to a Christmas display. Or Hannukah. It is all so hypocritical when the stores tone down the Christmas language in ads and displays yet blast Christmas carols from Halloween til December 25. I didn't intend for this post to spark a debate about Christmas vs. Holiday. I get that. I just thought Harvest was taking it all too far.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

LogoThere are:
people with my name
in the U.S.A.

How many have your name?

Apparently, I do not exist. Our last name is too unique for the above system. 15 people are walking around with my maiden name though. Turns out I come from a unique family too. While there are 12 other Morgans out there, Sara's the only one of her kind (with her married name) but there are 16 of her single name. No Hot as Hales in this country either. My Mom's the only one out there with her name.
Go check yerself out and see how many of you populate this planet!

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


We had a ton of trick or treaters last night but I still have about 94 lbs of candy left. I over prepare to say the least. Lots of cute costumes, some lame ones like the teenagers who refused to dress up. I stationed myself on the front porch on my bench so the doorbell wouldn't freak out the pugs. I'd stand there in silence until the teenagers with no costumes would say trick or treat. Then I'd ask what were they dressed up as (besides punks asking me for free food. shoulda given them canned corn). One girl said a typical teenager, another said a basketball player (obviously it was off season for him). One kid said a bum, then he had the nerve to come back to my house a half hour later! I told him he could take that bum talk home to his mama. One group of people coming down the sidewalk to my house appeared to have a jester. Then 2 kids came to the porch, and one boy was a jester, but his dad was wearing the hat.
Me: Hey Dad, nice hat!
Dad: Well this little punk wouldn't wear it and I want my money's worth!

I thought I'd share some of the face painting requests I received on Saturday. Lots of pumpkins, spiders, kitties, etc. One kid wanted "a hockey player, a hockey stick, and a puck". I'm not painting the side of a van, kid. Another one wanted me to paint her whole face to look like an eagle. I talked her into a bat. My favorite request of the day went down like this:

Me: Hey! I love your costume! What would you like for me to paint for you?
Kid: I want a lawnmower.
Me: Ok, but what do you want painted on your face?
K: A lawnmower. On my hand.
Me: A lawnmower??
This is when my friend A jumps in with "You can do it Shannon! You can draw anything!" I introduced A to the family finger (pinkie finger flashed instead of the middle one)
Kid's sister spots my nephews' play lawnmower and brings it over. She excitedly tells me I can just use that one as a model. Gee thanks.
So I paint a lawnmower on his hand. Looks alright, but not my best work.
K: I can't see the blades.
Me: That's cause they're underneath.
K: But I wanna see the blades.
I paint the blades on top. The lawnmower is now an air mower.
K: There's no grass.
So I paint grass while I'm thinking that I'm not a muralist, kid.
Me: OK, there you go! There's your lawnmower! Do you like it?
Kid looks at me with wide eyes and runs away to show his parents who probably wonder why the nutjob face painter painted an upside down lawnmower on their kid's hand.

It's a sad day for America

My beloved Price is Right will never be the same. Bob Barker is retiring. I mean, I can't blame him, he is 83. But this means I'll never meet him. For those just tuning in, I have a life long dream to go to LA and be on the Price is Right and Family Feud. I got so excited when John O'Hurley started hosted FF, but now, with this news of Bob's retirement,well....this is a sad, sad day.