The Wedding


So the wedding…

Let me say up front, it was one of the most unique (in a good way) and detail oriented weddings I’ve ever been to. Traditional with a modern flair, if that exists. She is an event planner so she was able to pick and choose details she’s done for other people and make them her own.

Prior to the wedding, there were so many different things to attend! It started off with girls pedicure on Thursday (me, bride, step mother, brides grandmother, step brother’s new fiance, my daughter, and step brother’s 3yr old illegitimate daughter). We had champagne and cranberry juice with cheese and crackers. After my pedi was complete and I was about three glasses of champagne in, an old lady in there having her nails done went into a seizure. Two of her daughters (in their 50s mind you) were in there with her. She went white and was in and out of consciousness. The ambulance came to take her to the hospital. I had to explain to the kids what was going on in simple terms: that lady is very sick; she has to go to the hospital…but it’s ok…they are taking care of her. Once they got her in the ambulance, my step mother and I finished off the remaining champagne!!! Jesus! The whole time I’m thinking…this is a bad sign.

That night, bride’s family all went to dinner at Franco’s. We (me, Luke and the kids) opted out of that because they were going to have like 30 people in that little restaurant already and we figured it would be too long for the kids to wait. We were invited to Norma’s (step mother) house afterward for dessert with the family and planned to attend that instead.  At the house, people began to pour in; some of them we knew and some we didn’t. Most were nice and introduced themselves. Of course, my cousin Tina was there. She’s the one I have to thank for introducing my father to Norma. I try to keep her at arms length and not tell her anything I wouldn’t want the world to know.  And she grew up in NC and doesn’t know the Ken Hoots WE know…nor do any of the rest of these people. Tina immediately told me her dad (my uncle, my dad’s brother) hated the he couldn’t be there but he just couldn’t come back to Orange Beach anymore without Ken there. My thought? Ummm…yeah. Because who’s gonna buy his airline ticket??? So, this was the first night of , “I’m so sorry about your dad. He was such a sweet man. We all miss him soooo much.” to which I would respond, “Would you please excuse me….I need to go get another glass of wine.” This is also the first time my children met Norma’s new boyfriend, Mike. After, the kids wanted to know if Mike lives with Norma. My response, “No, NorMama lives with MIKE.” You could see the little wheels turning in Cole’s head.

On to Friday, rehearsal dinner night. I took the kids out to Caribe to swim in the indoor pool that day while the family was working on preparations for the wedding and such. That evening, the kids had to be at the church for rehearsal by 4:30p. Luke and I were to go back to Norma’s house to greet friends and family arriving for the pre-dinner cocktails. Again, more people we didn’t really know droning on about my dad and lots of the bride’s young girlfriends with babies….none of whom ever spoke to us. “Please excuse me. I need to go get another glass of wine.”

Rehearsal dinner at Ono Commons. The poor groom’s family. I’m not sure how most people do it because I haven’t been to many weddings or rehearsal dinners but Haley invited ALL her family and friends to this dinner. There had to be at least 60 people there. Maybe 90. But right on time, a waiter approached us coming in the door to find out what we wanted from the bar! YIPPEEE! I got into the red wine. So eventually we all sit down for dinner. I’m at the table with Tina and Mary (Tina’s girlfriend; did I mention she is lesbian?). Mary is great company and sat next to me with Luke on my other side. I felt rather well insulated. The rest of our table consisted of Haley’s cousins. When the time came for toasts, the groom’s father spoke first.  I can’t recall exactly what he said but  I recall it being about the hardships of marriage, tough times and good times and being there for one another. Suddenly, a million instances come to mind of hard times, good times, struggles, and how Luke has always been there; I began to tear up. When the father finishes speaking, Luke turns and looks at me. He too has a tear in his eye.  I touched his cheek and he kissed me. When we turned back to the table, the photographer came running up and said, “Awww! That was so sweet! Could you do that again???” So we did.  🙂

After everyone finished their meal, someone turned on some music and we all started dancing. Things get a little fuzzy after that.

Bridal luncheon – Saturday morning.  I was a no-show.  My damn check liver light was on and I didn’t want to be anywhere at 10:30a! But I was told the dress code was “kinda like the Kentucky Derby but without hats.”  It’s December.

As for the service, the ceremony was at 7pm on New Year’s Eve. Haley’s whole family sings so a large group of them sang. Her REAL father brought her down the aisle with her mom. The unique touch there was instead of playing the traditional bridal march, they played Stars Fell on Alabama. Then all traditional stuff for the Methodist church and at the end as they introduced the couple, through the side doors on each side of the front of the church enter the family singers dressed in choir robes singing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” gospel style…hands clapping in the air, pulling the whole church into singing with them and clapping as the couple exits down the aisle. I’m not generally a crying person but I teared up about three different times during the ceremony.

They were married at Orange Beach United Methodist Church. Not a lot of accessories to the church; there was a flower wreath and swag over the outside door…very beautiful and simple. And each pew had a bouquet of baby’s breath with stalks of cotton in them. That part I didn’t think was so beautiful but she likes the baby’s breath and he’s from MS so they used cotton. I understand the sentiment.

On a side note, Cole and Ila were in the ceremony. Ila came in behind the brides maids dropping flower petals with Ginny Rose. She did a perfect job and behaved like a little lady. Ginny Rose on the other hand, couldn’t be still and was goofing off the entire time during the ceremony. Once, Ila reached over and gently touched Ginny’s arm and mouthed, “Ginny Rose! No! Stop!” That didn’t work. Cole ushered in Norma’s mother and also lit one of the candles at the front. He chose to stand up front with the groomsmen. He was very still and I only saw him yawn once…but it was very small and concealed.  I’m proud of them both.

Off to the reception! The reception was held outside at Orange Beach Arts Center.  Every detail was perfect! She had a large white tent strung with lights, two bars, a dance floor, a leather sectional sofa nearby for seating, and all the food you could ever want.  The first thing I noticed when entering the tent were the bartenders. On one side there were two male bartenders and on the other, two female bartenders. I’m not sure if she planned it that way. The two men were both Eastern European; one was wearing a nylon type flight suit that zipped in the front and had his sunglasses perched on his forehead. His hair was very close cut. He looked just like something out of an action movie! I had a plan. Later in the evening after the couple was introduced and cut the cake, I asked the photographer to take some photos of me with this bartender. I thought it would be funny for Haley to find these in the middle of her proofs. The photographer was more than willing. We went over and I explained it to the bartender. He stepped out from behind the bar and I had him pose with me using our hands as guns. We took several photos then I thanked him for his time. I asked him where he was from but I have no recall of that. When he was leaving, I leaned in to do the European cheek kiss (which I know NOTHING about) and kissed each of his cheeks. He said, “No! No! It is THREE times. Like this.” So we did it once more but three times.  🙂

It was the first New Year’s Eve my children have stayed up to see the change of the year. Actually, they were asleep on that sofa (Ila was tired from dancing all night with Ginny Rose) and we woke them up for the changing of the year. They were thrilled…mostly about the party horns and hats.

We took it home after that. All I remember is waking up on the sofa in the living room wearing my fancy dress and all my make-up. But it was over.

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The Scooter Story – Christmas Eve 2008


The last Christmas we had with my mom, all the family decided to come to our house since my mother was no longer able to travel. Her cancer and chemo treatments left her mostly bed bound. So, my sister Tracy and her husband Randy along with their son Avery came from Atlanta and Kelly came up from Montgomery. We were all geared up for a low-key, quite Christmas with my mom.The big story this year was that Avery was getting an electric scooter for Christmas….not just any old scooter. This thing was like a moped! I was afraid my kids were going to feel slighted by Santa but there wasn’t much I could do.

On Christmas Eve, we noticed our dog Cool was breathing in an odd manner and it seemed to be getting worse over time. Cool was 15 years old and had been diagnosed the year before with congestive heart failure and was on meds for that. Luke and I figured this might be her time to go. Since she seemed to be struggling to breathe, we decided we should take her to the vet. I called and our clinic was closed. I left a message on their machine and waited for a bit, but no return call so we took Cool to the closest emergency vet clinic. After waiting for quite a while, we were taken into a room where someone came in to get information on what was happening with the dog. We explained she was diagnosed with congestive heart failure, the trouble breathing, etc. She took all the information and said the doctor would be in shortly. We waited and waited and waited. Then another girl comes in with a clipboard and papers. She explained that the doctor (whom we’ve not yet seen) said they wanted to keep the dog overnight, flush her with fluids on an IV, do some x-rays, etc to the tune of $1000 and that we must sign these papers stating we will pay that money now before they would help the dog. Well, we had a fit! The dog is 15 years old and has congestive heart failure. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out she needs to be put down. Are they hoping to nurse her into 19 years?!?? After we basically ripped that girl apart, she said she would send someone in to talk to us. The doctor came in and said it would be against her orders if we took the dog home.  All the while, the dog is in my lap GASPING for air with a panicked look on her sweet little face.  We left.

When we got home, Luke immediately grabbed a beer. Now mind you, he’d already had several before we left for the vet. I took Cool into our bathroom and made her a bed on the floor. We brought the kids in to see her and told them she was very sick and probably was not going to make it. We let them say their goodbyes.  I also left Luke with her for a while. When he came out, I went back to her and stayed with her until she took her last breath. She made it less than 2 hours after we left the clinic.  Luke was extremely distraught. He found this dog when she was 9 months old well before he ever knew me. She had been his buddy for a long, long time.

We waited until the children were in bed before we would bury her in the yard. So, during the hours until bedtime, Luke continued to pound beers and also helped out with the pitcher of mojitos my sister made. By burial time, he was plowed. He went out into the cold and began to dig the hole while we waited inside. Tracy and Randy decided they would go ahead and turn in for the night. Kelly was up with me. Luke came in to get Cool and I went out with him to bury her. He took her over to the hole and whispered to her, “It’s been one hell of a ride, sister.” And he placed her in the ground….except she was already very stiff so the hole was not quite big enough. I held the stiff dog while Luke attempted to dig more. I thought Luke was going to break his ankle falling in that hole, jumping on the shovel! But, we got it done.

When we came back in, Luke, Kelly and I sat drinking for a few minutes when Luke looked at Kelly and said, “I think we ought to take that scooter out for a test ride!” I wasn’t about to try to stop them but I couldn’t watch either. They gently removed the bow and rolled that thing out the front door and down the front steps. I saw Luke hop on it on the front walkway and tell Kelly to get on the back. That’s when I closed the door and started to pace. A few minutes later, Kelly came in laughing hysterically. Luke soon followed with the scooter. She said she refused to get on the back but followed him down to the street and watched him take off and once he got nearly out of sight, she saw him lay it down in the middle of the road. All I could think was, “Oh my God! Tracy is going to KILL US!!” We brought that thing in and looked everywhere…all over it… and couldn’t find so much as a scratch! So we stuck the damn bow back on it and decided to call it a night.

2010- March 8


I always seem to make things interesting for myself…but sometimes they are just a little more than I can handle. Gosh, I’m not even sure how to start this one since it does need a little history added to it to understand the “again” part. Let’s start here….

I do love to do some drinking. Sounds interesting already, doesn’t it? Well, at times, I can drink a bit too much and not remember what exactly I did while drinking. This often gets me into trouble with my husband. He likes to hold my behavior against me the next day even if what I did wasn’t really all that bad.  It’s really all about him having the upper hand,  a little something to bring me down a notch or two,  or something he can use to guilt me. And guess what? It always works. I digress…

I managed to polish off a bottle of red wine last Thursday evening while I was waiting for my husband to return from a business trip. I managed to get the kids up to bed and talk my way out of reading to them (because I couldn’t see the words clearly).  Since it was then “my time”, I did what I usually do and that was to get on Facebook. That would be mistake number one.  Now let’s back up just a tiny bit to understand how that led to mistake number two…

Ahhh, spring! Time again for baseball! Our son is involved in the city baseball league and we’ve made some great friends at the ball park. When the season gears up, we find ourselves spending lots of time at the ball park with practices and games but the best part is going out to eat after with all our friends. With my husband being out of town last week, the responsibility fell on me to get our son out to the practices.  I’m sitting on the bleachers looking around because there really isn’t much else to do; my one other mom friend didn’t come to any of the practices this week. Low and behold, I see a real “looker” dad on our team this year.  Yep. He’s definitely EC (eye candy… a sweet treat for the eyes). Is it me or is he staring my way too? Again. And again.  I gotta know who that is! My detective instincts kicked in. I hear him calling to his son and make mental note of the son’s name. When I get home, I look through our emails and find out the dad’s name.  Hmmm…I wonder if he’s on Facebook? Yep.  I bet you see where this one is going.

Now we return to the wine drinking Thursday night and my Facebooking… I somehow got it in my head that it would be a grand idea to send EC a friend request, you know, as long as I justify it with a note saying our kids play ball together. What the fuck was I thinking??? I wasn’t. Upon return to soberhood the next day, I look a little closer at his profile. He only has 20 friends, all of whom are co-workers and MEN except for one that is obviously his co-worker’s wife. He also has a church listed under his Pages section. Oh holy HELL! If his wife looks at his page and sees me in his friends list, how will that look??? What if he decides to ask my husband at the next practice why I’m friending him? The more I think about it all the more I start sweating and shaking and just freaking out. (rhetorical question here) So what do I do??? I try to make it right! Soberly. I go back on Facebook and use the Send Message feature and send EC the following:

Please feel free to ignore my request. In re-thinking the situation, I realize it is totally inappropriate. I apologize and must now go dig a hole deep enough to crawl into.

That was on Friday morning. As of Saturday at noon, no response but we had a practice game. I put my big girl panties on and went wearing my darkest sunglasses.

Upon my arrival, I see EC sitting on the bleachers. I’m scouring to see if someone I know is there for me to sit next to but I can’t find anyone. I look at the other side and notice my mom friend sitting there and realize EC is sitting on the bleachers for the wrong team. I did my best not to look over his way. I also had to introduce myself to his wife, our team mom. My paranoia had me feeling she was talking to another mom behind my back but she was quite friendly to me and made no mention of my stupidity. She even called over to EC trying to get him to come over to the right team’s side but he refused.

So here I am on the following Monday still sweating. The friend request is still dangling out there with no response. Did his Facebook send his emails to his home email? Did his wife get them and delete them? Does he just not check his email? Did I scare him so bad he’ll never touch Facebook again? Is he a Bible thumper? Holy crap. It’s gonna be a long baseball season.

Introduction


I have a creative need that is unfulfilled and thought sharing some of my life events might be an interesting read to others. Let me make a go of it and see if I can find any followers!

It’s all about the life of a housewife in a suburb who thinks she knows how everyone else should live their lives but can’t seem to get a firm grip on her own.

The last year (really two) has brought about many changes for me. First and foremost, I lost both my parents to cancer. My father was diagnosed for the second time with liver cancer an opted for surgery. The surgery was more complicated than expected and he remained in surgical intensive care for 15 days before being removed from life support in June of 2009. My mother was diagnosed with throat and lung cancer in July 2008. Shortly after, she came to live with me and my family to get treatment. She stayed with us until she died in July 2009. Quite a summer, I must say.

That being said, such activity can take it’s toll on a marriage as you might well expect. Our 11 year marriage remains intact but has it’s moments, as they all do. I might seem anti-men, anti-marriage in my writings, but I’m still in it and making the most of what it offers.

I am sarcastic, quick witted, cynical at times. I am still standing after all that has happened and I am doing quite well thanks to alcohol and Nicorette. Perhaps I will hit a turn for the worse someday. Who knows.

Characters in my life… My life is full of interesting characters that keep me going. My family network was quite strong prior to the above mentioned events and for the most part, it remains so. There are a few family members in my life that have made things difficult during these events but I guess that keeps it all interesting. I will do my best to define everyone and give history to keep you from getting lost.

I’m open to your comments and thoughts. I would actually LOVE to hear them. The ones I hear now are (of course) biased one way or another. I hope to keep you interested and entertained.