a visit to hooters

yes.

we took our 16 month old baby girl to Hooters.

please don’t call out the Department of child Services on me yet okay.

there were extenuating circumstances.

We were in Knoxville, visiting friends.  Lots of friends.  We had been bouncing about from party to party (not boozing, just social gatherings) and the occasional break for shopping.  It was Saturday.  We had one last stop to make at Liz’s house and then we were heading out of town.

Liz’s party wasn’t scheduled to start till 4 p.m.

by which point we were scheduled to be on the road back to Atlanta.

Liz very graciously said that we could come by early so that we could hang out and see her and her hubby for a while.  We knew they would be doing party prep, but we were hoping to be as little of an intrusion as possible and still enjoy some time together.

To help us be as little bother as possible, we felt we should eat before arriving.

So there we were.  Shopping was done, we were driving down a commercial street filled with lots of expensive eateries and I saw a sign  that said

“kids eat free before 6 p.m.”

okay, sold.

me – Honey, let’s go there.

him – where?

me – there.  hooters.

him – WHAT ?!?!!!!!! you didn’t just seriously say that we were going to Hooters for lunch.

me *sheepishly*- yes.  the food is decent. or so I hear and I’m in the mood for wings, AND KIDS EAT FREE so Ginny’s $7.00 chicken strips or whatever will be FREE

(can you tell the word FREE had gotten lodged in my brain?)

him – ooooookkaaaa-ay. If you’re sure.

me – yup.  FREE food.  How bad can it be?

Now in all fairness, yes, I know that the entire Hooters business model involves exploitation of women’s bodies. and NO I AM NOT IN FAVOR OF THAT.  However I must say that the outfits were much less offensive than I recalled from my one other time in the restaurant way back when I was an insecure 21 year old.

And guess what? the food was good.  I liked the medium spicy wings. The wait staff was very knowledgable and didn’t …um….thrust themselves upon my husband notice.

and people…the place was CRAWLING with kids.  Families, 3 generations at one table, babies, toddlers….I was stunned.

No I would never take a child there who was old enough to be ….interested in the attributes of the women on all the posters and the wait staff.  But for another year or two, it will be a decent place to take Ginny when we want her to get a free lunch and mommy is hungry for wings.

To his credit my sweet hubby had never been in a Hooters before and declared himself to be unimpressed by the…..scenery.  ( I LOVE my man!)

now the $64,000 question –

How did Ginny take all this?

well…….

There’s the rub.  See it took us so long to find somewhere to eat lunch that by the time we parked and turned to get her out of her car seat, she was asleep.  We figured that she would wake up when we got her out of the car.  Nope, still snoozin’.  Okay, the walk across the parking lot will certainly wake her up, the air is so cold up here!  Nope, still snoozin’. Okay, perhaps putting her in her high chair will awaken our sleeping beauty….nope.

she lay back in her chair for a second

then slowly rolled her head forward

and gently rested it……on. the. table.

still snoozin’

the wait staff…oh alright, the hooter’s girls kept coming to ask to have their picture taken with our sweet baby girl ’cause they thought she was so beautiful and cute.  Martin raised Ginny’s head at one point and put his hat under her face so she would have something resembling a pillow.

So we have no idea what Ginny’s opinion of her first Hooter’s visit was….

she slept right through it.

Eventually she woke up and enjoyed the chicken fingers very much on the drive home.  But we will have to wait till next time to find out her true opinion of the place.

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tips for praying in traffic

In honor of tomorrow and the National Day of Prayer I thought I would post a few tips for Praying in Traffic…since that is where a lot of us actually pray.

  • do not close your eyes
  • pray out loud  (it might help you stay awake so that you don’t hit someone)
  • bless your enemies****
  • remember to start your prayer with PRAISE.  Thank God for what you have.  Whether it be a roof over your head, a job, your health, or “just” that you are alive.  I am assuming here that if you are reading this blog that you are indeed alive.  If you read this blog and you are already dead…….I don’t want to know about it, ‘kay?
  • pray for our leaders at ALL levels (local, regional, national)
  • and remember Genesis 18:14 “Nothing is too difficult for God!”

**** enemies here means ANYONE you dislike.  From the guy who just cut you off in traffic to the member of the opposition party who just got elected to public office.  God has very explicit instructions for praying for our enemies: we are supposed to pray SPECIFICALLY for blessings to rain down on them.   Luke 6: 27 & 28/Matthew 5:44/Romans 12:20/Proverbs 25:21/Exodus 23:4

heading out

long time readers of this blog will  know that my husband and I go every year to do medieval re-enactment for 11 days in early March.

Well it’s that time of year again.

time to pack up all the stuff and drive to rural Mississippi to join 4,000 of our closest friends.  this year we get to add something entirely new to the mix: the adventure of taking our six month old baby girl to her first camping event.

Now for those of you you are picturing a backpacking type trip….um…get that image right out of your heads.

The stuff we pack takes up an entire 24 foot long passenger van from floor to ceiling,  plus a  12 foot long trailer hitched to the back.  This is camping in comfort.  Our tent has a 17 x 17 foot “footprint”  the dining room for our 27 person encampment is 20 x 20 and the kitchen is another 19 x 24.

Here are a few shots from last year

our closet

our closet

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

dinner one night. fire roasted game hens, mushrooms, olives, quinoa, carrots, pickled vegetables, breads

Martin tending the fire

Martin tending the fire

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

the old dining room. this year will be twice as big

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

us in front of our tent. I can't wait to re-take this shot with Ginny included

We mostly likely will not have any internet access all week, but be assured that I will post photos and stories the minute I get back to civilization.

alright, that’s a lie.  I’ll post the photos AFTER a nice hot bath.  Baths being the one piece of civilization I miss the most when I am camping.  Showers just are NOT the same.

driving to heaven

I generally have a lead foot on the highway. I think it’s cause I’m visually bored. I mean there’s just not much to look at.

the long ribbon of asphalt (or pavement)

the median

the trees on each side

the little yellow dashes that go tripping by

only the occasional billboard.

yup. driving during the day is the most boring thing imaginable.

Now night driving, on the other hand, is exciting. First off I’m getting to stay up all night. It appeals to my inner twelve-year-old. I must not have gotten to go to enough lock-ins and “sleep-overs” as a kid.

Secondly driving at night is more stimulating. I arrive at my destination absolutely wired and ready for anything. Whereas if I were to do the exact same trip during the day I would arrive wiped out and ready for a nap.

Night driving didn’t become a part of my life until I was out on my own though. My parents definitely didn’t like driving at night. We always drove during the day unless it was an emergency. Maybe that’s why night driving still makes me feel like I’m on an adventure?

Anyway, I recall this one time we were heading back from North Carolina to our town. Interstate 85 goes sort of west-southwest at that point so I am driving almost straight into the sun. Or sun-set actually.

It was stunning. The clouds were structured just right so that when the sun dipped below them the sunset colors spread all across the whole sky. And I do mean the whole sky. The colors were an amazing range from neon pinks and golds all the way to fluffy pastel wisps. It looked like the gates of heaven. Or at least what the gates of heaven might look like if they were made out of clouds….

I think my brother and my dad were both asleep so mother and I just oooooooed and ahhhhhed for a while. Enjoying the moment. Then my mother leaned over (to check the gas gauge maybe?) and noticed something:

“um, DeeDee….you are going over 100 mph”

ooops!

We decided that if a cop did stop us I’d have to tell him I’d been trying to get to heaven…….by car.

Is Christmas supposed to be like this?

Okay, here’s the scene.

My mother in law is in town. My mom and dad live just a mile away from me. My brother and his new wife are living in our basement (for just 2 more weeks, more on that some other time) My brother’s daughter is staying with my mom for Christmas. And my brother’s wife’s three kids are supposed to be staying with us as well.

Everybody got that?

okay.

I tried to have an organized Christmas. I am a goddess of organization. I can do this. No problem. I had a schedule. With church activities and “down time” and family activities. It was all worked out neatly……on paper.

No part of my plan has survived unscathed. Take last night as an example.

From 6 to 9 p.m. we are supposed to go driving around looking at Christmas lights. My darling husband has strained his back making sure all the seats are in place in our large (15 passenger) van. My brother calls. He has taken his wife and all four kids to a freinds house to “do some baking” but he assures me they will be back in time to enjoy the Christmas lights event. right. why didn’t I know better? By the way, the reason they have had to go to a freind’s house to bake is becasue I’m a mean awful nasty person who won’t allow them to bake in my kitchen that’s already cleaned up and ready for guests. I’ve cooked everything we need for the week already and I refuse to allow more mess.

Anyway…we are supposed to leave at 6 to look at lights. At 5:45 my brother calls to say he doesn’t think they are going to make it and can we go do the lights without them? Well, a van full of adults driving around looking at lights is not nearly as much fun as a van with excited children in it, but sure. We’ll manage. somehow.

So now I have to call my mom and convince her that not having the grandbaby (who is 14 by the way) along for the ride is NOT the END OF THE WORLD as we know it.

It is now 7 p.m. We have me, my hubby, my mom and dad and my mother in law all in the van and ready to go.

We drive around. We look at lights.
Approximately 9:45 my brother calls. He is now going to be baking all night and can we come get the 14 year old and take her home since she has Swim practice tomorrow. He will meet us half way. um…okay.

We get to the rendevous point. No Brother. No 14 year old. But here’s another phone call.

Turns out my brother can’t find the keys to his car. So can we please drive another 20 minutes to pick up the 14 year old.

Sure. This we do.

We pick her up. We drive home.

We have now sucessfully completed 3 hours of driving. We get home……and my dad wakes up.

Merry Christmas.

Deer in the headlights

Coming back from the once-every-two-years trip to Texas this November I finally got to see a real “deer the headlights”

My husband and I both love to drive at night, so we tend to plan these long trip (Our town to Dallas) so that most of the driving is at night. So there I am driving along at 3 a.m. singing to my favorite Michael W. Smith CD when all of a sudden this THING that is as big as the hood of my car (Ford Escape Hybrid) is taking up my entire lane.

and it’s just looking at me! I can’t change lanes to the right, cause there is someone there, so I slow waaay down and the silly thing continues to stare down my car (like it thinks it’s going to win this bizzare game of chicken. I’m becoming more and more aware of just how big this thing is. It’s turned broadside to me and it is honestly taking up the entire lane.

Eventually it shakes itself and ambles off into the dark. and let me tell you I’ve never been so careful a driver as I was for the next 100 miles or so. You may say I was just shaken and nervous. I will deny it. I was merely being careful. The headlights on bright are a precaution that everyone should use. And my constant scanning of the bushes on each side watching for whatever the next thing is thats going to leap into my path is NOT a twitch or a tick. It is a perfectly reasonable caution.

So now that I know what a deer in the headlights really looks like, I can honestly say that that was how I felt last night when I got the news that the head coach of my hometown professional football team has quit. I’m stunned. I can’t seem to move off the subject. I even brought it up in the middle of a completely unrelated conversation at work this morning. *sigh*

the thing I can’t understand about it is that we only have three games left. Couldn’t he have hung around for three more games? maybe even used the secret knowledge that he was leaving to go ahead and be the bad guy and fire some of the trouble makers and low performers on the team?

oh well. now we have to start over….again.

maybe I’d better get off the road, before a car comes along and smacks me.