This post makes me feel like James Joyce

Oh I feel like a little moo cow coming down the road.
This post will be a salute to all things arbitrary.

I want to start out with a brief confession: Most of the things I initially disparage, I end up married to. For example:

  • Todd. Couldn’t stand him. Literally married him. Love him.
  • The iPod Nano. Publicly decried Apple, all Apple products, and Apple product owners. Now I belong to a family of Apple product owners and the children all have nanos.
  • Bunko. Thought the whole game was stupid. Now I play it like a crazed old goose. Monthly. With other crazed old geese.
  • TiVO. Belittled the technology greatly. Called it a “classic waste of money.” Then I discovered taping episodes of Little House on the Prairie. Oh, the joy of watching that show on my lunch break in the quiet of my home. And one day the TiVO broke. I called Todd in a cold sweat and asked him to get a new unit on the way home from work. The end.

I could go on, but why? You get the point.The nano is a very real obsession of mine, though. And that’s where this post is headed. I bought myself a little iPod nano through Craigslist a couple of years ago. Got myself a good little deal. And when I held that tiny baby in the palm of my hand, I fell hard. And I petted it and petted it. And gave it the occasional peck on the forehead. Then I started buying them for others. My children. My mother-in-law. My dad. My friends. My friends’ kids. It became a real problem. And if the house is dark and quiet and I can’t sleep, sometimes I can be found in the glow of my laptop, shopping for nanos.

And in that pursuit, just last week, this little gem of an ad turned up:

5th gen i-pod radio cam and all already loaded with variety of new country and classic rock call Skully any time make offer reasonable please call anytime retired and always up seem to be up. text anytime for sure. or will trade for a hand raised small parrot will pay boot on rehome fee.

WHAT? Huh? Skully? And Skully wants to trade his nano for a small hand raised parrot? What does that even mean? And what in the world is “pay boot on rehome fee?” Honestly, I feel trapped in a bad scene from Forrest Gump.

Really. I wonder if reading that ad was the marketing equivalent of sitting through a Jimi Hendrix concert in 1969.

I could go on, but I’m tired and this could get old fast. Oh wait. We are way past that already. So here are a few of my favorite, non-electronic, things:

Got Bieber Fever?

Yeah, you do.  You KNOW you do. The whole world does.

If you don’t have Bieber fever, then maybe you like tap shoes and kindergartners. And if you don’t like tap shoes or kindergartners, then maybe you appreciate utter cuteness. If you don’t appreciate utter cuteness, just turn and walk away. You won’t be happy here today.

The Patrick Swayze and Jennifer Gray of this video are InformiJR and LittleFallsAlot (indian name). They do a fabulous job here.

Nothing I could post today could hold a candle to this, so take it away, guys…

Holiday Howdies

I wonder if you use grammatical rules of plurals on things like howdy. It looks right to me, so I am going to remain true to Professor Grammatical.

I know it appears that Neglect is my newest personality trait. Also, I know no one really cares WHY I’m neglecting Snappshots. And it’s entirely possible that no one even cares that I am neglecting the site, period. But I don’t consider Neglect a personality trait and it isn’t going to become the norm. I have been as tired this week as I was in the first three months of every newborn I’ve ever reared. I was not nursing a baby, but a chapter. And chapters, as it turns out, are very demanding feeders. Don’t even get me started about the burping. The gas was just awful.

A person who has nothing to say should not talk.

And yet, it is difficult to stop myself at this point.

Thing is, I DO have things to say. I just can’t say them all yet. People that have secrets are so annoying. Really. I mean that. I hate it when someone lets on that they have stuff to tell you, but they can’t. Then why’d you open your Pie Ingester in the first place?

Still working on a creative project that may or may not become an at-home job for me. I am hopeful. I am also tired, but we discussed this already.

Still trying to lose 15 pounds, but gained three. Good. Really good. I’m waiting for a letter from that might go something like this:

Dear Missy:

You really stink at this whole process. In fact, we are going to ask you to leave our site on your own volition so that you don’t continue to drive our averages the wrong direction. This is not a weight gain site (sorry, Wade). Therefore, you have the following options:

  • Lose 3 pounds in the next week and get yourself together. You are on probation from this point forward.
  • Remove  yourself and be quiet about this.
  • Allow us to send a representative to your door who will follow you around and confiscate the Cheetos bag (we’ve done research on you…) when you inevitably get a hankering for orange fingerprints.
  • If none of the above occur, we will delete your profile and you will be dead to us.

Enjoy your muffin top, Loser. (But not the right kind of Loser, if you understand our implication.)

Sincerely yours,

Now, to all reading this, please don’t send me pity mail. I’m not depressed. I am simply waffling (interesting choice of verbs here. I wonder if this could be half my problem…always thinking about cheetos and waffles.) between the camp of deciding to just forgo the other half of the closet and the camp of deciding to hit it hard and forgo the occasional trip to CiCi’s Pizza with the family. Yes, I just got back from there.  I’ll let you know what I choose. Or you can just check my muffin top and you’ll know. Ha.

Friday I spent the day at Silver Springs with my son, my friend’s son, our buddy that practically lives in our house, and the entire 3rd grade. I thought I was in for a bad run when I got stuck in the back of the charter bus with a kid with really tall hair (not that I have any room to talk about big hair, mind you) who wanted to chat about video gaming. At one point, he looked me square in the eyes and said, “If you could have just one super power, what would it be?”

“Mmmm, maybe teleporting?” I answered.

“I’d choose stretchy.” Ah, good to know, little fluffy fella. Then his teacher moved him to the front of the bus (maybe he wasn’t supposed to be mingling?), another kid traded across with me, and suddenly I had the best seat in the house.

Silver Springs was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve done in almost a year. I loved it and highly recommend it as an interesting, yet mellow, place to see in central FL. I loved being with AG and his buddies. I loved seeing the Kodiak Bear that they must be trying to kill off. How does a Kodiak bear survive in Florida? I loved the ancient, could-break-and-kill-you-at-any-given-moment rides. I loved walking and walking and walking. Seeing panthers. Seeing tarantulas (from a distance). Seeing the injured alligator who was grumpy and looking for a free snack.

In the above picture, the white spot on the left back leg is a leg blown out by a boat motor. That’s tissue. But don’t pity him too much. He’d still eat you without remorse.

My favorite moments of the day were the glass bottom boat rides. There is just something amazing about being able to peer down 90 feet and see things that have not been altered in hundreds of years. Silver Springs was where they filmed the black and white dorky Tarzan movies. It’s also where SeaHunt (Lloyd Bridges) was filmed. Actually there were about 60 things shot there that you would have heard of. None of them seem worth a rent, but I might rent them, just for sentimental reasons.

The slanted tree in the right section of the following picture is the tree Tarzan always ran out on and jumped from. Really dorky stuff, but a cool tree.

I even loved Chief Micanopy, who narrated our first boat ride in language that I did not understand a word of. I take that back. I heard him say fish. The rest of what he said, all 1500 words of it, completely unintelligible.

And I love these guys.

Happy Memorial Day.




A Letter from the Edge of Somewhere

So, I was sitting at my desk tonight…11:30…about to reach a good stopping point for the night. Actually, Todd would tell you I’m sitting at HIS desk, but it’s only his because he stole it from me exactly one year ago. I have been unable to create a strategy to take it back. My only successes are when he is out of town or when I mess it up so badly that he will not sit down at it. The mess thing I just figured out tonight. It’s kind of like Kryptonite. I’m going to try again tomorrow and maybe I’ll have a desk better than my dining room table.

But I digress.

I was closing up shop when I decided to check my email one last time. Would there be a Groupon for a monkey sanctuary? Would there be a note from a rich man in Tanzania who wants me to be his heir?

Better than Tanzania. Better than monkey sanctuaries. There was this. I got permission to post it, but I have to be honest: I was thinking of posting it whether permission was granted or not. Meet Mrs. Wheatfield. She lives in the middle of Nowhere, skis like fiend, cooks like a prison chef, and manages farm animals, domestic animals, and kid animals out in the middle of, well, nowhere. She needs her own blog. Trust me. She does. But since she won’t ever do that, I’ll share mine for tonight! This is a day in the life of a crazy farm wife.

Dear [It was written to me, but Insert Your Own Name for a More Personal Feel]:

If you were here right now, it would give you SO MUCH creative energy. I say that because when you live in a place that is nearly uninhabitable for 9 months of the year, spring time is an electrifying, pushy and beautiful experience. Cranes, bald eagles, frogs, little bouncing lambylambs, ticks galore, teensy little calves with eartags bigger than their heads, deer everywhere. Trees are exploding with neon leaves like a long forgotten promises finally fulfilled. Magical.
Have you ever wondered what squirrel shooting in one’s pajamas, a pig in a hole, and setting live traps for your own darn pets have in common? I’ll tell you. They all took place in my newly minted farm life on Sunday. The whole family went on an early morning squirrel shoot in our pjs and mud boots. Very enjoyable, though deflating. I like to think of myself as a much better shot than I am. Then we attended a post graduation party in the afternoon. The graduates and various members of their clan drove up, climbed out of their various pickups, grabbed shovels and picks and things, and went over to a smoking pit and pulled lunch out of the ground. Have you ever seen O Brother Where Art Thou when they eat that nasty gopher rodent on a skewer? Same idea, just ever so much larger, and thus, grosser. No gloves. No meat thermometer. Just slabbed up that underdone looking porker and slapped it on a platter. I reverted to claiming vegetarian inclinations on the spot, and did so for my whole family. We don’t eat pork. Only vegEtables. Sorry. And after wrongly assuming we had two male kittens, we made a vet appt for the male and the pregnant female to both become a little less so on Monday. The vet told us we had to catch them on Sunday. No problemo. After all, they are our cats, and we are their people. 3 days and a live trap later, we finally got both adjusted. Very cool, a live trap. That and the shock collar made short work of some serious animal problems we had going on. I think we’ll keep both for potential teen problems later.
HEY! I am the new owner of a kelty. A just right Kelty. A $50 Kelty that I saw in the paper and only had to drive over 2 hours to get it home. Hope you appreciate your Craig’s List!
P.S. This is Missy again. I just want to assure you that I didn’t make any of this up. Sometimes the squirrel-shootin’ truth is stranger than fiction.
P.P.S. What’s a Kelty?


My entire life I have wanted to be a writer. It is really all I ever wanted to be. I remember being 9, in Miss Upchurch’s 3rd grade class, and being assigned to write a story. It was my favorite assignment ever. I thought about it all the way up the hill from the bus stop to my house on Marston Road. And I announced to my mom that afternoon that I wanted to be a writer.

I never changed my mind.

I did have a stint in late high school where I thought I wanted that writing to be journalism. I took a journalism class. I even did some work on the yearbook. None of that made me happy. Drew Hansen made me happy. Until I figured out how extremely antagonistic and annoying he was. How many times can you start a conversation about genocide with high school students? Really, Drew. You should have been drawing social security in the 11th grade. It declined to the point where there was no bright spot to Journalism I anymore. And following that little train wreck, I planted my feet firmly in the creative writing camp and I am still standing here today.

For this reason, I love my blog. I can yammer on about things that are mostly true, but discuss them in ways that make other people wonder what fumes I might have just walked through.

But I currently have a project I am trying to win that is taking most of my time and all of my creativity. If I pass with the people who matter, I would be a writer for real. And that would be cool.

I will try to keep this baby fed, too. Just not quite as daily as before. Sometimes a baby just has to cry it out at night…right?

Homecoming Day

For the first year of AG’s life, I could not answer May 20, 2001 when asked to supply his birth date. For me, he had not existed on May 20 and May 22, the day we met him–the day we brought him home–was so extremely significant. And so I stumbled on that question for months, possibly years. I no longer stumble over the information and the entire sequence is perfectly clear in my mind. We were tired, but frenzied with excitement, when we got up that morning. We had predetermined that Einstein Bagels would be our breakfast on the way out of town. In the car, each of us would call our bosses and ask for the day off. If they told us no, we would become indignant, scream obscenely, and quit on the spot. Also we would sue. For 5.5 billion dollars. This would pay for his college.

Neither boss denied us a day or two off for Baby Retrieval, so that whole law suit sort of went away. Bummer. College is looking grim for the boy. The other children need not even consider it.

We had been told by Ray to meet him in the hospital lobby at 11 a.m. I was so sick to my stomach over it all. I was going to meet my son! I spent about an hour of the drive trying to convince Todd to reverse his “Don’t Tell/Don’t Tell” policy with friends and family. He refused. Guts, again!

And then we were there. We parked in a parking garage. I so vividly and distinctly remember the pavement between the parking garage and the lobby. Will I ever forget walking that path? Why did I choose those shoes? Did I look like a mom? Why don’t they use Round Up for all the weeds growing up between the pavers? What are you running here, a farm?

I’m sorry. I’ve grown distracted. Ray was walking off the elevator when we walked through the automatic doors to the first floor lobby of Shands Hospital. He spread out his arms, wrapped us up in them, and said, “Hello, parents!” I think I must have passed out or completely crumpled. But if I did, it seems like Todd would have mentioned this before now, so probably I just cried a little. We wanted to know what had been going on up in the room.

“Well,” he said. “April has a migraine and is on some medication right now. The ink is probably not yet dry on the paperwork, but it is signed and you are parents. Your boy is waiting for you upstairs.”

“Can we see him now?” we asked.

“Of course,” he said, “But just realize that this is a hard time for all of them. Don’t expect too much.”

How could I expect anything of them? They had given birth to perfection and offered him to me? What else is there?

When we walked in, April was feeding him through a bottle. She handed him to me and looked away. He was a sloppy eater. Still is, that varmint. But while he was sucking like a fiend on that bottle, I saw his dimple for the first time. I fell completely in love with that dimple. It is still adorable. We have asked him not to smile around females. We have a wife picked out for him and some paperwork already in a safe deposit box. We don’t want the Unchosen Girls to get mixed up in that Dimple Business. That can only hurt our cause.

He took my finger after he finished spewing most of that bottle. Five tiny fingers wrapped around my one. If I had won the $5.5 billion lawsuit, I’d trade it all to just have those five fingers holding mine for the rest of my life. But he will let go. Sooner than I want him to.

And I won’t even have the money for a comfort.

I love him.

Happy Homecoming, Dear One.

May 21, 2001

Ten years ago, at this precise hour, my oldest boy was 24 hours and 29 minutes old. But in my mind, he was 5 hours old. That afternoon, at 4 p.m., we’d gotten the call that changed the world. If Ray, our adoption agency’s director, had announced that I would soon grow a third eye or the world would soon have live Dinosaurs again, things couldn’t have changed any more drastically. I am glad, for the record, to have only 2 eyes and to have a large insect be my biggest predatory fear. I’m pretty sure the grammar is wrong on that. I can’t care tonight. I have work to do.

Only 5 hours old in my mind, I had no idea what he was like. What did he smell like? What did his cry sound like? What color hair did he have? Would he be blonde and blue-eyed? That would be a beautiful break in family tradition. Something like this perhaps…

Or would I have to work at adjusting to him, if he came out a little more like this?

Would he be sleepy? Alert? Hyper?

Would we know what to do for him?

That night was an unhinged series of shopping trips and cleaning tasks, to ready our selves for picking up our son. Though I wanted to hire a sky writer to spell out “WE ARE GETTING OUR SON TOMORROW!”, Todd wanted to tell Guts. So we told no one except the friends that were loaning us a car seat and some receiving blankets. His homecoming outfit came from Wal-Mart and was purchased around midnight that night when the bats in the belfry are the only ones shopping at Wal-Mart. Sorry, boy. Gap was closed at that hour of the night. Unless the monkey picture was accurate, I was certain he could make Wal-Mart look like Gap.

I laid down at 3 a.m., though I had to get back up in 4 hours. My sleep was spotty and dream-filled. And the dream was waiting in Gainesville…

Letters to a dear boy

May 19, 2011

Dear Boy:
Tomorrow is your 10th birthday. On the one hand, it feels as if a lifetime has passed in these 10 years. But on the other hand, I feel I have hardly taken an adequate breath. I have not had time to stare at the dimple in your cheek or feel the soft wispy hair as it grows from buzzed fluff into hair befitting of a ten year old. You are halfway to 20 now. I will blink once more and you will be calling home from a dorm room. Or worse, not calling home from a dorm room. How has it gone so quickly?

When I stop to reflect on all of the things that grabbed hands to make your miracle happen, I get almost weepy. You are too meant to be. Too amazing. Too good to be true. But you are true. And you are mine. For now. I love you. Happy Birthday. Happy 10th Birthday.


P.S. Your friend’s mom keeps calling me and it’s 10:30 p.m., so I may have to take some of this back if this keeps up. Just kidding.

October 28, 2000 (almost exactly 7 months before his arrival)

Dear Baby:
While I haven’t yet seen you with my eyes, I am able to picture you in my mind and you are beautiful. And although I don’t yet have you to love, I can tell you that I love you already.

At this moment, everything about you is a mystery to me…what you will look like, what color eyes you will have, your cry, your voice, your talents, your interests…I know nothing of these things. But one thing I do know is that you are special. you are a gift from God that is coming as an answer to many, many prayers. You have been prayed for by more people than we could count. It is my hope that, as you go through life, you will have a sense of your life’s special purpose, knowing with confidence that you were loved and longed for before you were even born. If you ever have doubts, I hope the words from these pages can dispel them. Everything I have done in my life up until now has led me to this: to light a path for you that you can always find, no matter what you are facing.

I have seen you in my dreams many times. I can hardly wait to meet you face to face.

Dear Baby –
Figuring out what to name you has been a much harder task than I first thought it would be. We considered Pookie, which is of German descent and means “cute person,” but I think we’ve decided to take a more traditional approach. Two days ago, we wrote down all the different name choices on a barf bag from an airplane. Someday this will make you proud. Your name–whatever it may end up being–is loosely connected to vomit. I  hope we won’t give you a name that will cause you to suffer through elementary school. But if we do, and your name ends up rhyming with something it shouldn’t or whatever else, just know that it wasn’t for lack of trying. It’ll be because we were too stupid to see it coming.

April 27, 2001

Dear Baby,
We have believed from Day 1 that you are out there waiting specifically to come to us. We are not searching for just any child. We are searching for you. We believe that nothing is going to keep you from us. We aren’t really going to fully understand this until we are a happy family looking back on these early days. But we trust God. We trust that right now — April 27, 2001 at 9:16 p.m. — God is watching over you, baby. And right now, at this very same moment, God is also watching over us. He will bring us together at the right time for all the right reasons. I know there will be times and situations that you don’t understand through your years as a young person. In those times, we pray that you will trust God. He has been holding you in the palm of his hand from the very beginning. As we continue to wait, we love you.


Shoe Lady

There was an Old Woman who lived in a shoe. She had so many children she didn’t know what to do. She gave them some broth without any bread, then whipped them all soundly and put them to bed.

That‘s what I’ve been doing wrong.

Feeding them like kings, not whipping, and letting them stay up past 6:30. I shall try the Old Woman’s approach tomorrow. Because I have most certainly become her.

I’m going to bed. Tomorrow feels like a big day.



Some greeting cards just seem to slip through the cracks and can’t quite find a market.

This may be one of those.

Hallmark Card FAIL.