Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sweet 16: A Happy Birthday Post

An interesting thing happened shortly after Christmas.
Our tree converted into a "Happy Birthday Tree".

Best friends came together in a surprise celebration...

...As my dear Bethany turned Sweet 16.

Unbeknownst to Bethany, 
her friends and I arranged a surprise birthday sleepover.
They dined on homemade pizza and a 7 lb. chocolate cake
downed with flutes of sparkling cider.

Bethany was truly grateful when it came time to open gifts

The girls stayed up until 4:00 am gabbing, laughing,
and simply enjoying and reveling in each other's friendship.
I considered shushing them at one point 
but thought to myself...you only turn 16 once...let them be. 

Our gift to Bethany was a shopping spree scheduled for the next day.
She's not much of a shopper so with her friends' help
they shopped the day away, pausing only to take a break for some frozen yogurt.

See the hat? That was her 1st purchase of the day.

Bethany was overheard saying to her friends,
"This was the BEST birthday ever!"

Happy Birthday Bethany.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

What a Difference a Day Makes

Remember the photos I took yesterday
You know, the bare tree and the dining room full of boxes? 
Allow me to share with you the end result.

I realize the beads are a bit much 
but Bethany really likes them
so they stay!

Yes...my dining room DOES have a floor.

There are a few decorations we own that I absolutely adore. 
Even though I pared down my decorating this year, 
these are a must each and every Christmas.

The Lennox Manger set from Mr. Sister's aunt

My "Saint Nicholas" nutcracker

The little yarn Santas that used to adorn my childhood tree

Ooooh...more nutcrackers. 
I <3 nutcrackers.

The Santa my nephew made over 25 years ago.

The safety pin angel a home care patient
of mine crafted.

Our Jingle Bell Rockin' Santa.
It plays Jingle Bell Rock 
and dances and spins around.
So dorky but adorable!

The Santa Bethany made out of a paver.
Pure awesomeness.

The wreath that has graced our front door 
since Bethany was a baby. 


As Christmas approaches I have no choice but to pare down my blogging. I apologize if I haven't had a chance to visit you. My work has been quite busy ('tis the season to be wheezin') and the hectic pace of the holidays have me completely swamped. My hope is to be back in full blogging mode by the beginning of the New Year. In the meantime, I'll pop in periodically as I am able. 

God bless you all! Whatever holiday you celebrate,may it be filled with warmth, love and laughter in the bosom of family and friends. 

Monday, December 20, 2010

Microfiction Monday #62: Show Offs!

Muffy was miffed!
The invitations clearly read
“Come deck the halls with boughs of holly”
Jack and Jill with their fatted pig
Was over the top! 


I am so late with Christmas this year! Can you tell?

My poor bare tree. 
At least it's a pre-lit tree
so not untangling lights this year.

My dining room contains decorations
that still need to be put up, along with things that need 
to go into storage until after Christmas.

I'm off to complete my Christmas shopping, then it's tree trimming time. So if you don't see me for awhile I think you'll understand! 

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Sunday 160: The Dance Goes On

Two stepping
Slow dancing
The new song


To participate in this weekly meme (where you have a total of 160 characters to write your prose or thoughts) or to read some really fantastic entries, please go visit my friend the Monkey Man.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Flash Friday 55: Morning Grounds

Sipping lattes,
Cappuccinos, too
Souls gathering
Before morning hustle,
Of the daily grind.

Carpool moms,
Barking orders to baristas
Hustling espressos.

Contrived camaraderie
Masking lives that are

Coping the best they can
Finding respite,
blessed release,
staring into that venti mocha,
non-fat, extra hot.
A caffeinated oasis.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

L is for Legacy

Leaning in, she
Loosens layers
Latched to his heart

Listening quietly
To laments
Of loneliness

Bare, his soul lay
Lost, lusting for love
Longing for hope

How so like him
She learns is she
Laboring for similar things

Belief whispers gently
Never too late it is
To receive what is lacking

Lovelorn, lost as well
Lending him her lips
Limbs entwine

Lure strong, powerful
Legacy launched
Lives eternally linked


Jenny Matlock

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Tuesday's Tidbits: December 14, 2010

Dream snippet:

I rushed to join the marching police band for the parade. No one wanted me marching next to them. I looked down at my clarinet and realized I had no reed. You can't play the clarinet without a reed. Oh well. I didn't know the songs anyway.

So I raced off to join the firemen and march beside their truck, but they drove way too fast and I couldn't keep up. 

Maybe the lesson to be learned here is that I must march to my own tune at my very own pace. 


It was a miserable game this past Sunday: the Panthers vs. Falcons. It was cold and blustery, too. Trying to maintain any enthusiasm for my beloved team is difficult at best these days, especially when the team was intentionally gutted by management. I normally do not use the language I am about to but I know you'll agree with me: The Carolina Panthers SUCK! There I admitted it. It's the 1st step towards healing. Now I pray that they can admit it as well and use their draft picks wisely. 


Dear Starbucks Barista,

Yes you're quite cute. And silly, too. But seriously, telling my daughter about your 12 inch burrito was, let's say, inappropriate. From this point forward I kindly request that you keep your enthusiasm about said burrito to yourself.

Thank you,
Mama 5th


Munchie-Boy was moved up a division in swimming. This means more scheduled practices (6 times per week), and longer practices as well (up to 2 hours). He's getting quite the work out and comes home exhausted. This division will either make or break him. So far, he is holding his own quite well. I'm proud of you Munch!


I'm on this crazy elimination diet (doctor prescribed) in order to find out what foods I am "sensitive" to. I already know I am sensitive to corn and corn byproducts (high fructose corn syrup, modified food starch, etc.), MSG and a few other chemicals. But taking away my yogurt, aged cheeses, and fruit is just plain mean!

Which leads me to a very kind thing Mr. Sister did for me yesterday. I am not suppose to eat store bought bread because of the added chemicals and preservatives. So Mr. Sister, knowing I had a very busy day ahead, baked for me a wonderful loaf of bread...from scratch! How sweet was that?! 


We finally got our tree up yesterday. It's not decorated (except for lights...thank goodness for pre-lit trees!) and will probably remain that way through the weekend. I also have stockings hung but not much else. The time has flown by this Christmas season! Hopefully, after this weekend (I work) when school is out we will all have time to breathe and pause to remember the true reason we celebrate. 


I must now get started on the day at hand...Make it a great Tuesday everyone. Thanks for dropping by!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Microfiction Monday #61

No one suspected
the white powder
In the detergent box
Was anything but
Laundry soap

But I knew better

No one is that
Cheery wringing
Dirty drawers


Micro-fiction Monday is a fun, weekly meme hosted by Susan over at Stony RiverShe provides the photo prompt and we provide the "micro-fiction", which is limited to 140 characters total. Please check out the link for some truly phenomenal stories and prose. 

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Sunday 160: Guess Where I'm Going Today

Gray sky overhead
A wet, cold, and dreary day
Donning appropriate apparel
The journey begins
To see if we can maintain
The coveted spot:
Last place position
In the NFL

Carolina Panthers 3 Wallpaper

To participate in this weekly meme (where you have a total of 160 characters to write your prose or thoughts) or to read some really fantastic entries, please go visit my friend the Monkey Man

Friday, December 10, 2010

Flash Friday 55/Saturday Centus #31: Entangled

Today I am combining 2 favorite memes of mine: Ms. Jenny's Saturday Centus (where you design a story of 100 words or less behind a prompt) and G-Man's Flash Friday 55 (where your story or prose must be 55 words exactly). G-Man thoroughly chastised me last week for including my "55" within the body of a 3 part poem. Trust me...you don't want to make the G-Man mad! So below, please find my combination post using the following prompt:  "bin of tangled up Christmas lights". 55 words exactly...go ahead...count 'em!


73119184, Influx Productions /Photodisc

I find myself waxing philosophically as I go through the bin of tangled up Christmas lights. How so like these lights my life has been. I'm working diligently to untangle this crazy mixed up mess and am comforted to know my friends have my back! Maybe, just maybe, the light within will shine true someday.


Note: Ms. Jenny does not allow use of a photo to accompany her prompt. So please ignore my photograph above if you are here from Ms. Jenny's "Mr. Linky". If you are here from Mr. Know it All's site, then never mind! Photo is courtesy of Getty Images

Jenny Matlock

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

K is for the Kindly Knight

Awaiting the kindly, silver knight
For he, I believe, holds the key
That unlocks that place
Where love is kept
Buried deep inside of me

I will wait for him on yonder knoll
Upon bended knees I shall kneel
Anticipating his kiss,
Untying heart’s knot
As he kindles my desire to heal

Ah, my knight in shining armor
The keepsake he gives to me
Is the knowledge I now have,
This kernel of truth:
That I, all along, held the key


Jenny Matlock

And That is What He Wrote! Really!

Received 12/7/10
From Carolina Panther owner, Jerry Richardson
Please note: personal comments from me are (in parenthesis, bold and italicized)

Dear Joseph and Polly,

I know how difficult this season has been for you. (um, yes) As the person ultimately responsible for putting a team on the field, I take full responsibility for our shortfalls.(as you should) It is agonizing that we have not performed at the level we had planned for and expected.

When the season began, we believed there was every opportunity for success. (even though it appeared you were readying yourself to the possibility of a Collective Bargaining walkout?) Many of the players were returning from a team that had finished last year very strong. The motivation for the approach was bother performance-based and a commitment to the future. Obviously we have fallen short (you think?), but our faith and commitment are still the same.

Going forward, our plan of attack is to build through the draft while retaining our core players.(it became painfully obvious that we were playing for 1st round draft picks) We have one of the youngest teams in the League, and a number of those younger players have shown genuine promise in this otherwise disappointing season. We won't give up on them. We also have a solid nucleus of veterans that we will seek to keep intact. (I wouldn't blame any of them if they wanted to leave)

I want you to know that we plan to look at every aspect of our organization. What we do in the future will entirely be geared toward putting the best possible team on the field. I am committed to fielding a winning team, and I'm willing to invest the resources necessary to make it happen. (Don't you EVEN dare consider to raise season ticket prices to do this, as you had the audacity to do this past season!!!)

(Blah, blah, blah, yadda, yadda, yadda....then come some personal excuses and such about any public commentary from the team owner being a distraction to the play on the field...Me thinks the pitiful Panthers were already pretty much distracted and distanced from playing anything resembling football)

I understand that in a season like this, words can sound hollow (you got that right!), but as PSL Owners, you have my commitment to provide you a team that will make you proud.(wishing you would have had committed to this effort last year) With three NFC championship game appearances, we have come close. I can assure you we will be aggressive in getting there again. (I guess we will have to wait and see)

I thank you for your patience and support in a very challenging time. (our support and patience has worn pretty thin, Mr. Richardson)


Jerry Richardson

(I think Mr. Sister put it succinctly when he said that this was as close to an apology as we'll ever get. What a miserable, pathetic season this was! It is my personal, sincere hope that what Mr. Richardson stated in his letter comes to fruition)

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

"Carry You" and Other Tidbits

When my daughter was but a wee child 
I would ask her, "would you like for me to carry you?" 
When she began to speak 
and was too tired to walk 
she would look up at me with pleading eyes 
and cry out "Carry you, Mommy, Carry you?" 

Humbling myself upon my knees,
when I am too tired to continue my own journey, 
I ask my God the same thing...
"Carry you, Lord, carry you?"


This Christmas I find myself having everything I could possibly need or want. Sure, maybe I could use some prescription sunglasses, or a ceramic bread pan or two, but really...I don't need them. I honestly would like to return to simpler times and redirect my focus to what the spirit of Christmas truly represents...Peace, Hope, and Joy. 


Why is it that I have to purchase special clothing for my son to wear for his choir concert this evening? Why can't they just wear their school uniform? Besides, Munchie-Boy refuses to stop growing! So I shall add a trip to Kohl's, for a pair of black slacks and a white button down dress shirt (and a new pair of jeans for myself), as one of my many stops this day. 


The carpool I enjoy the most is the one where I take my daughter and another young lady to their weekly choir rehearsal in Charlotte. These girls are at their silliest, cleverest, and most delightful selves when they get together. I so enjoy eavesdropping on their conversations. And no, they do not talk about boys (very often). They never fail to make me laugh. 

Also, while they are in rehearsal, I take the opportunity to frequent the local Starbucks and enjoy a steamy cup of Chai. I never fail to meet the most interesting people there. Recently, there was this woman who, out of the blue, began speaking to me. At first I just would look up from my lap top, nod, interject a word or two, then go back to my work at hand. But she was persistent and continued on. I realized she just needed someone to confide in. So I closed my computer, packed it up and turned all my attention to her.  I am so glad I did for she was the most interesting woman! I discovered she was all alone, recently widowed (her husband was a former Air Force commander), and struggling to belong in the crazy, schizophrenic city that is Charlotte. I won't go into details of government secrets and espionage, but suffice it to say I was quite entertained and intrigued by her story. Finally she confessed that she just had to put her beloved cat down...he was old and very sick. She did not want to go back to her empty home. Unfortunately, it was at this time that I needed to go and pick up the girls. I honestly did not want to leave! If you have it in your heart, please say a silent prayer for this lonely woman. I do whenever I think about our encounter. 


I must now take on this day and all the "busy"ness it entails. 
Have a terrific Tuesday everyone!

Monday, December 6, 2010

Microfiction Monday #60: A Grave Matter

At first perplexed by the tilted tombstone,
his heirs realized this was bound to happen
with the many times father had rolled over
in his grave

Micro-fiction Monday is a fun, weekly meme hosted by Susan over at Stony RiverShe provides the photo prompt and we provide the "micro-fiction", which is limited to 140 characters total. Please check out the link for some truly phenomenal stories and prose.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Alphabe-Thursday/Flash Friday Combo: J is for June Bugs


It felt just like
a cold January night
unaware the journey
was soon to begin.
For June bugs froze
in mid air flight
between sips of wine
and jiggers of daddy’s gin


Jaded eyes now seeking,
piercing through the fog
over steamy cups
of jasmine tea.
Memories, though jaundiced,
have been jogged…
jostled and jolted
into reality

At this juncture,
praying hard not to fail
juggling, struggling,
with choice that's made                                                                               
to step off the jagged,
junk strewn trail
and into light
of the jewel toned glade



The June bugs have found
their voice at last
warmed by embrace of a brand new day.
No fearing, no regretting
the remorseful past.
Simply finding joy in jubilant song.
It truly is better this way. 


I will be working all weekend so may not be able to comment on all the wonderful Alphabet/Flash Friday entries. I shall return on Monday. Oh, and for the record, my Flash Friday 55 contribution are stanzas 2 and 3 of the poem above. 

Jenny Matlock


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