Saturday, March 15, 2008

Surry with the Fringe on Top

Today was bright and beautiful so Hubby and I snatched up Mammaw Speck and took a little road trip to the Jonquil Festival. One newspaper columnist snarked that it should be renamed the "Jonquil and Studded Snow Tire Festival" because you never know what the weather will be. Last weekend it snowed out the Daffodil Festival (daffodil - jonquil, same difference).

Hubby and I have gone to the Jonquil Festival almost every year for the past 25 years. It's the first outdoor festival of the season and all of southwest Arkansas comes out to shake off the cabin fever blues. We see tons of folks we know and it's like Old Home Week. We spent most of the day visiting with people instead of looking at the flowers and crafts. We went through the grounds about 25 feet at a time because that's how often we encountered someone else to visit with.

We had to stop and get a huge bag of homemade pork rinds because it just wouldn't be a Jonquil Festival without them. How can one enjoy an outdoor festival without an extra-huge bag of artery clogging cholesterol???

Just past the pork rind stand were two horse-drawn carriages giving rides.

I always wanted to ride in a "Surry with the Fringe on Top." Yes, I was having a Rodgers and Hammerstein moment.

The lyrics to the song are:

"Would y' say the fringe was made of silk?
Wouldn't have no other kind but silk.
Has it really got a team of snow-white horses?
One's like snow - the other's more like milk."

Well this is Arkansaw, not Oklahoma, so the fringe was polyester and the snow-white horses???....


I think mules are cool.

I thought it would have been more fun to ride behind the mules just so I could say I had done so, but luck of the draw landed us behind the horsies. The mules are sisters by the way. Of all the things I saw and heard this day, the only thing I can recall is that the mules were sisters. I'm weird that way.

Hubby, Mammaw and I climbed aboard and away we went. It was fun seeing all the folks from way up in the surry. The clop, clop, clop of the horses' hooves on the pavement were comforting and timeless. The sound connected me with my southern Arkansas roots somehow. After a few minutes the romance wore off rather quickly. Those carriage thingies have an awfully rough ride. I don't think I would want to load up in one for a long trip. They beat you to death. I was ready to get off when the ride ended.

But the mules were cool.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

One Toke Over the Line

I grow old...I grow old....
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
-T. S. Eliot

Our local PBS station was having a pledge drive and aired the special "My Music: My Generation --- The 60s." It was a pretty good line-up of performers and tunes. Some had only the original lead singer, others had most of the original band members.

The Association - "Cherish" & "Never My Love"
The Buckinghams - "Kind of a Drag"
The Byrds - "Mr. Tambourine Man"
Vanilla Fudge - "You Keep Me Hanging On"
Iron Butterfly - "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida"
Blood, Sweat & Tears - "You Make Me So Happy"
The Archies - "Sugar, Sugar"

I was grooving (do they say 'grooving' anymore?) on the tunes, especially the ones performed by the original artists. Iron Butterfly had four or five original guys and I yelled at Hubby, "Hey, come look at this guy in Iron Butterfly. He looks old enough to be somebody's great-grandpa!"

Hubby eyeballed him closely and replied, "That's because he *is* somebody's great-grandpa."


The camera then did a long shot of the audience. With few exceptions they were old, bald, bespectacled men and their gray-haired wives. The were nodding in time to the beat and a few were tapping their feet. It's been eons since they were the drugged-out, long-haired hippies dancing with wild abandon at Woodstock. I chuckled to myself and thought, "Tee hee, they look like the audience on The Lawrence Welk Show."

The magnitude of that realization suddenly hit me right between the eyes. POW! I had become my grandmother!

I watching my generation's equivalent of the Lawrence Welk for the "senior" generation; old fuddy-duddy music. Arrrrrrgh!

I watched hours and hours of Lawrence Welk with my grandmother when I was little. I can sing all the words to the closing theme by heart. If my granddaughter were sitting at my knee at this very moment, she would be whining the same thing I whined at my grandmother's knee all those years ago, "Gee Mammaw, can't we watch something that was popular this decade???"

When did In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida become fuddy-duddy champagne music???

Where did all these gray hairs come from??? When did I get so old???

And for all y'all who think you aren't old fuddy-duddys, here's a little something just for you. Go ahead, sing along. You know you can't help yourself; you know all the words. You've been singing it in your head since you starting reading this post anyway.

A "modern spiritual"... um hum...

I think Lawrence has been hiding his ZigZags in the hymnal.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Triplet Update - With Pics!

UPDATED 3/11/08 3:31 a.m. - Finally got the pics to load!

Since their birthday the girls have continued to improve. They all developed jaundice which isn't unusual with any baby, so they spent two days getting a blue suntan under the bilirubin lights. The two who were on a vent had that removed in 24 hours and just got puffs of room air in their noses to remind them to breathe. That business is finished now too, and most of the lines and tubes and scary thingys are gone.

They all still have a feeding tube because it takes toooo many precious calories to suck during a regular feeding. Every third feeding is sucking a bottle, the other two are through the feeding tube. If they continue to feed well and gain weight, the feeding tubes will be gone in the next few days.

All in all, they are doing very, very well. The main goal for them is to eat and gain weight. In NICU terms, they are "grower babies." That means they don't have any life-threatening conditions that need critical nursing care, just poke stuff in at the top and wipe stuff off at the bottom. The NICU nurse said they are way ahead of most preemies, and will probably be out of the NICU before she gets to bond with them. (She was a little disappointed.)

Momma Butterbean was laid low by the delivery. She had pre-eclampsia, a potentially fatal complication. That's why the babies were delivered when they were. Momma BB was crashing and the only way to fix it was to deliver. She was pale and limp after delivery and required a blood transfusion. Not good. Wednesday was a bad day. She was a little better on Thursday, and was finally strong enough to hold babies on Friday. She was released on Saturday and went home to her momma's house for a little momma-type TLC. She's still moving slowly, understandably so, but seems to be getting better each day. Whew!

We finally got pictures of the Butterbeans with their eyes open, no bili-shades, and almost tube-free. I would post them for all to see, but Blogger doesn't like my slow upload speeds and won't upload them. I'll post them in a few days when my ISP finally "gits right with God."

My ISP still ain't right with God, but at least I can now upload photos.

Those black Velcro patches on the sides of their heads were where the bili-shades attached. They are gone now.

Almondine - Dark-haired; looks just like her daddy.

Butterbean - Blonde; has her daddy's mouth, but otherwise this is the milkman's kid. She doesn't look anything like our side of the family.

Collard Greens - Dark-haired; extremely long fingers, toes, arms and legs. "Woo-hoo! What long fingers!" seems to be the first comment about this baby. She also looks just like her daddy and a whole lot like her 14-year-old sister.

Life is good with the Tres Butterbean clan right now. Our prayers are that it will remain so until they all get pudgy enough to go home.

Saturday, March 8, 2008

Snowman Poop

It snowed here yesterday, an odd occurrence for Lower Arkansas this late in the season. It was a thick, wet snow, also unusual for hereabouts. It blew in hard, practically sideways, and made the strangest doughnut shapes on the north side of poles.

I pondered on the physics of how the formations occurred and decided I am no climatological physicist. Them thangs were weird and joyful and I finally left it at that.

One of the doughnut shapes on our gaslight pole melted down in an unusual formation.

Snowman poop was the first thing that popped in my mind when I saw this:

Jus' one o' them weird thangs.

Friday, March 7, 2008

Valuing the Little Guy

In the business world, the folks who work in the bowels of the company don't often get the appreciation they deserve and rarely even get acknowledged: the accounting department, the warehouse crew, the janitorial staff. They are the heart and the guts of the business without whom there would be no business. It hacks me off that they are so easily overlooked.

I was once one of those people, toiling away in a dark cubicle on the financial paperwork of the little company. My boss, and owner of the company, told me I didn't deserve a raise because I was the accountant and, "didn't generate any revenue." The computer guy, who also didn't generate revenue and had been there less years with less experience and education, did get a raise to a salary greater than mine because, 1) he was a guy; and 2) he had a family to support. I was hacked. I gave my notice the next day.

That brings me to a bright spot email I received recently. I ordered some books through Marketplace where you pay Amazon, but the books come from another company. I received a shipping confirmation email with the standard verbiage: thanks for your order, this got shipped, it will arrive soon, come again.

But there at the bottom was a sig line, the likes of such I had never seen before. A sig line that shows this little company recognizes and appreciates the little guy. The little guy without whom the books would not arrive on my doorstep. The little guy who has a vested interest in my customer satisfaction. The little guy who is valued in this company.

This little company appreciates and honors all their "little guys" so much they include all their names in the email, including Buddy the Warehouse Cat. How cool is that???

Thank you once again from Sonja & Ed Mondazzi, Buddy & Staff............
Justin, Operations Manager, Techno Sound Engineer & Runs this place when Ed is away buying books and stuff.
Nicole, General Manager & Scientifically proven to be "Smarter" than Ed
Irene, Internet Manager & "Smartest" person Ed Knows!
Joanne, Inventory Manager & the "Silent Wisdom" for Ed
Leda, Shipping Expert & "Commentator"
Mike, Warehouse manager & Ed's Right Hand & Everyone's "Go to" Person
Sarah, Going to College and will be "Smarter" than Ed
John, Computer IT genius, Proofs Ed's E mails and needs a tan
Sonja, Wife of Ed, much "Better Looking" than Ed and plays with Buddy
Buddy, Internet Blogger, Boars Head Chicken favorite food (rejects store brands) and Loved by all :)
Ed, No one Knows what Ed does but he looks busy all the time:)

Mondazzi Books
570 Hayden Station Road
Windsor, CT 06095
(860) 285 0538

I would work there.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

The Triplets Have Arrived!

The babies arrived this morning at 9:50 a.m. via C-section. Mom and babies are fine. All fingers, toes, and requisite body parts are accounted for. Dad made it back in time with an hour to spare. The babies were 33 weeks along when they were born, or 7 weeks premature, which is outstanding for triplets.

The vital statistics:

Almondine - 3 lbs, 14 oz., 16.5"
Butterbean - 3 lbs, 13 oz., 16.5"
Collard Greens - 3 lbs, 7 oz, 17.5"

All three came out screaming at the top of their little lungs. A & B needed a little help breathing so they are sedated and on a vent. That's not unusual for preemies, so they are still classified as "fine."

CG, the runt of the litter, did not need a vent and is already having her own little party up in the NICU. The nurses like to keep babies bundled up like little footballs, but CG wouldn't have any of that. She keeps kicking off the covers and hanging her leg out. After tucking her in five times, the nurses finally gave up and let her hang it out. She will open her eyes when the cover is lifted off her little pod thingy as if to say, "Hey, hey! I'm tryin' to get a nap in here. What's your problem???"

Nana said the babies look like our side of the family with "long monkey arms and legs." No photos yet, but hope to have some in the next day or two. Stay tuned, more to come.