Monthly Archives: January 2010

The Perfect Day (for Tuck)

This picture is what Tuck was doing while I took a shower this morning. He decided to make the most of his “teacher workday” and enjoy some sunshine and a “smoke” on the screened in porch.

The cigar is not lit …yet…. but if I had decided to primp a little more… who knows what would have happened!

All I can say is that Moses (our faithful beagle) was relieved that I stopped the “base camp” in its early stages. I think Tuck had plans for capturing “the enemy” and Moses was the only available option (i.e. Jordan didn’t have a “teacher workday today;)

Just another day in the life!


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Don’t Steal My Sunshine

Sometimes things are just not okay.

There are days when someone squashes your daisy, the grass looks greener on the other side, and you just need to see some palm trees without the forest.

On Saturday that’s where I was, but I wasn’t alone.

Chris was having his own set of issues in Indiana.

After a full-blown pity party, we discovered a common denominator; lack of sunshine.

Chris hasn’t seen the sun (literally) in three weeks. Indiana offers frigid temperatures, bouts of melting muddy snow, showers of sleet, and gray skies as far as the eyes can see. It’s a long way from South Carolina.

I’ll grant that Chris has a much more bleak forecast, but back at home…the weather hasn’t been kind to me either. For the past two weekends (one of which involved a 2 day LONG school holiday)…it has rained!!! I’ve been trapped, smothered, surrounded (any verb will do here) by children who need to run and play outside. There just aren’t enough blockbuster movies to keep my “Big Wheel” rider satisfied. The long and short of it….I’m worn out and weary with the weather too!

After lamenting our list of complaints, Chris and I were at a loss of words. We had wallowed so deep in our own frustration and pity that we couldn’t pull the other one out. Chris finally broke the silence and asked about Upward Basketball. You see…each week, Tuck has to memorize a verse of scripture to earn a star. To our amazement, Tuck (who is our “reluctant academic”), has risen to the challenge and remembered every word. His little star is starting to shine.

After talking a few more minutes about Tuck’s game, Chris said, “Well I’ve got to go, but email me the scripture verses that Tuck’s learning. I would like to read them.”

I agreed and hung up.

When I sat down to email Chris. I was shocked at what I found. Here are the 2 verses that Tuck has learned so far this season:

I John 1:5 – “God is light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.”

John 1:5 – “The Light shines in the darkness. And the darkness has not overpowered the light.”

Well…I think it’s safe to say that God crashed my pity party. I love it when He plants himself right in front of me! 

We may not have (literal) sunshine right now, but God is reminding us that there is light at the end of the tunnel; His light!

I can take more gray days, God’s not going to let them steal my sunshine.


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Swamp Juice


With a title like that…. could this entry be about anything else but an update on Tuesday’s “man day” ?!?

Tuesday was yet another “man” day for Tucker and my Dad. I believe all of the truck ridin’, shootin’ and wrestlin’ continued, but this week there was a new addition, swamp juice.

And what pray tell is that you ask? 

It could define my cooking lately (i.e. “best cooker” post), but no… it actually describes something you purchase at the local Pitt Stop Filling Station in Lexington, SC.

Leave it to Daddy to feed my child from a gas station. According to him, vienna sausages are an essential part of the food pyramid. Buying  lunch and fishing tackle from the same refrigerator at the filling station is not new, however, swamp juice is something I never encountered in my young life.  According to Tuck, it is the most delicious drink on the market!   According to me…it must involve Mountain Dew (crack for kids), a ton of sugar, a shot of espresso, and some testosterone all mixed together in a mind-numbing icee concoction.

Leave it to a grandparent to introduce “swamp juice” into my child’s diet.

The irony of all of this….Chris is part of the “Swamp Fox” battalion… maybe I should send those fellas some “swamp juice” to get ’em through the deployment. It will certainly keep them awake and invigorated. It could be the secret weapon in the war. A bunch of SC boys pumped up on some “swamp juice” is something to be feared!

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I’m married to….?!?

Chris recently sent me a video to reveal his new hairstyle, if that’s what you want to call it. Personally, I  think the term “hairstyle” is a misnomer when no hair is involved.  And I’ll admit, my initial reaction was dislike on sight!

I thought to myself….”I’m now married to Ziggy!”   Just add some safety glasses and an orange light saber thing across his chest and there you have it….Ziggy Neeley.

It’s funny. I haven’t thought of Ziggy or even seen his likeness since the 80’s. He was a popular fellow growing up. So I decided to do some research. When I looked up Ziggy on Wikipedia … Here’s what I found: “Ziggy is a small, bald, pants-less, barefoot, almost featureless character (save for his large nose) who seems to have no job, hobbies, or romantic partner, just a menagerie of pets.”

I can deal with bald, pant-less, barefoot, no job/hobbies and even the menagerie of pets part, but there are two things I just cannot accept. The first being small; I used to have a rule in college that I would never date any boy who wore a “medium”… It had nothing to do with height, it was more or less a girth issue. A boy that wears a “medium” either has the metabolism of a hummingbird (not a good life partner) or he doesn’t live to eat (an even worse life partner). My family loves you with food (i.e. Sam’s Club entry). I can’t love someone who doesn’t love to eat. I fell in love with Chris Neeley for many reasons, but one high up on the list has to do with the fact that he always orders appetizers!…. So you can see, “small” just won’t work for me.

My second argument against poor Ziggy is that he doesn’t have a “romantic partner.”  I guess that is a “PC euphemism” to suggest that Ziggy is either gay (not Chris Neeley) or he doesn’t have a wife (which is also untrue). Chris Neeley definitely has a wife!  Through rain or shine…in or out of the money…baldness and bareness…. and even deployments….I am still completely and unbelievably in love with Chris Neeley.  He has a “romantic partner”… no doubt about it.

Bottomline: The Ziggy analogy is out!

After much thought and consideration, I have chosen a better likeness for my bald Chris Neeley.  I even decided to throw in a reference to myself and I think it fits.

He is the love of my life! …and I promise not to snatch the football.


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The Best Cooker

It’s at that point in the week when the kids are starting to recognize that I’m a flower wilting in its pot. They see my shoulders slump and know that I need a little pick me up.

So…. Tuck decided to give Mama a  little compliment!…which I might add is quite a challenge given the week we’ve had….so he was really having to pull from the deep recesses of his brain to say,”Mama, you are the best cooker!”

How about that?!? 

I’m some cooker alright….I ordered Chinese the night before, we ate subs from Publix on Tuesday and on Monday when I did attempt to cook….for some strange reason I decided to try a recipe for Porcupine Balls…which really indicates something about my mental state!… Who does that?!?  The kids stared at the strange meat contraptions sitting in a lonely puddle on their plates (I forgot to make side dishes) and smiled at me like I was a mental patient… Jordan being the considerate child that she is… said, “Wow mom, this is really interesting” and Tuck followed her up with “Do I get dessert tonight?”

From the examples listed above, you can see why I wasn’t elated with the “best cooker” title, but to add injury to insult…Tuck took it a step further when he added…” And,  you look like that Julia Child woman too!”

Well, there you go again…another day in the life.

For the record…I do not look like Julia Child…. at least I don’t think so, but then again, I haven’t looked in the mirror much this week! I might need to check 🙂

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If you would like assistance, please press…

This is a rant, so get ready!

I can’t even begin to explain the number of phone calls I’ve been forced to make to ensure that all of our accounts are notified of Chris’ deployment, have a copy of his orders, and have my name as the contact. Previously, I was anonymous/spouse  Neeley, which was a title I enjoyed before I became CFO. So you can imagine my frustration…

When I make a phone call, I want to speak with another person. I don’t want to be dumped into some automated system that has voice recognition technology. Whoever designed that mess was obviously from the Midwest because those computers do not recognize the dialect of a MAD southern woman. Otherwise, they would hurry up and get me a human being to talk with and not direct me to another menu.

Anyway, this started off as a rant and now my southern guilt is playing on my conscience… I feel really bad about abusing a “friendly” customer service representative from LLBean named John. I am sure his sweater is tied more tightly around his neck after dealing with me…

So, John…if you are out there…I’m sorry…I’m not good at this army wife stuff. All of my sugar, spice and everything nice was depleted for the day due to your phone system and my husband’s deployment. Please hire an OPERATOR and we will be back on good terms.

Love, Boots

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A “Man” Day

What is a “man” day you ask?  Well, you’re asking the wrong person…

Here’s Tuck’s definition: It’s when men ride in a truck,  shoot things, wrestle and then eat.

Clearly, I’m not qualified for a “man” day (except the eating part), so I relinquished this duty to my Dad. Tuesdays are now the official “man” day in our household. This is the day my Dad picks up Tuck from school in his pick-up truck. They ride around and talk like men (Tuck’s description…I can only imagine that conversation). Then they go to my parents’ house in the country and shoot a Red Rider BB gun at targets, cans and/or anything that moves (poor squirrel).  Finally, the day is washed down with a little wrestling and some good grub. Per-fec-tion!   At least in Tuck’s eyes.

I’m really glad my Dad is in charge of this!

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