Tuesday, May 31, 2011

A serious transportation problem.

I went to Birmingham this weekend to see my friend Ashley and her family. Ashley has a 7-year-old daughter named Ann Elizabeth and she is just the most precious thing. She apparently gets onto topics occasionally that she obsesses over and, at the moment, the topic of obsession is the North Pole. I found this out firsthand when she sat by me at lunch on Sunday and had this conversation with me:

Annie: Catchy, do you want to come back to Alabama one day and I will take you to the North Pole?
Me: [emphatically] AbsoLUTEly. When? Like next year maybe?
Annie: [looking at me like I've lost my mind] No - when I'm grown up.
Me: Oh, of course. That makes sense. Yes - I would LOVE to come back and go to the North Pole with you when you grow up.
Annie: [getting a VERY serious thinking face, looking down at the table, tapping her lips with her finger as she thinks] But how will we get there?
Me: [joining her in this serious problem-solving brainstorming session and then, after a few seconds . . .] A sleigh?
Annie: [still very serious] Yes. [nodding her head slightly as she mulls this over] Yes. A sleigh would work. [pause as she thinks and taps her lips with her fingers, still looking at the table and squinting her eyes] But how will we push it?
Me: Hmmmmm . . . that's a good question . . .
Annie: [VERY seriously, still looking at the table] I don't have ANY pixie dust . . .
Me: Oh man . . . I didn't realize that.
Annie: [tap tap tap]
Me: [seriously] Do you have any reindeer?
Annie: [looks upward as if doing a quick inventory of her available resources] No. No, I don't.
Me: Oh man. This is going to be tough.
Annie: [nodding gravely] Yes, it is.

Unfortunately, we didn't get it figured out before I had to head back home. But something tells me that Annie will figure out a way to get us up there when she grows up.

If only she could get her hands on some pixie dust . . .

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Profiles in fruit . . .

My friends Sean and Britt and I had lunch today in one of my favorite places in Huntsville - Benny J's BBQ. While we were eating the BEST BRISKET EVER, I looked up and noticed a picture on the wall that I thought was worthy of sharing:

What I love most about this picture is just the randomness of it all - none of it really seems to go together. I like to think about the artist's thought process as she painted it: "[staring at blank canvas, fingers drumming the table] Hmmmmmm . . . what should I paint?? It's such a hard decision - this could be my masterpiece, after all. I'm REALLY good at fruit. [pause] But I'm also REEEEEALLY good at profiles. Especially the right side . . ."

Decisiveness is SO overrated.

Monday, May 23, 2011

Roomie Reunion!!

I had dinner tonight at Cheesecake Factory with all my old roommates. I've lived with some really cool girls over the years so it was a fun group to spend the evening with - we definitely made our presence known out there on the patio tonight. There was Jill (my best friend and now mom of 2), Krista (who was in student ministry when she lived with me and now is a mom of 2, with one on the way), Hannah (who was ALSO in student ministry when she lived with me and is now a mom of 2), Tracy (Jill's sister who was an actress when she lived with me and is now - you guessed it - a mom of 2), Christen (yet ANOTHER who was in student ministry when she lived with me and who is now doing the hotel-corporate thing in Denver), and Melissa (my current roommate and super sweet kindergarten teacher). We spent a lot of time catching up, updating everyone on the latest changes in paint colors in their old rooms, and reminiscing about all the fun times we have had over the years in La Casa de Catchy.

Tracy and Hannah told a story tonight that I had forgotten about and it just made me crack up all over again so I thought I would share it with y'all. In order to appreciate this one, you have to know that Tracy was an actress and is naturally very theatrical and expressive. Hannah, on the other hand, is super low-key and laid-back. Tracy and Krista had been living with me but Krista got married and moved out so Hannah moved into Krista's room. I had given Hannah a key because she told me that she wanted to go ahead and start bringing her stuff to the house the next day. That was great with me but, unfortunately, I neglected to tell Tracy that Hannah was moving in . . .

So the next day, Tracy's at home by herself and she decides to jump in the shower. Knowing Tracy, she was probably singing some opera song or practicing her accents - living with an actress is so very entertaining. Anyway, she jumps in the shower and, when she turns the shower off, she hears a noise upstairs, outside of the bathroom door. Knowing that I am at work and thinking that no one else should be in the house, she immediately determines that there's an intruder in the house. In a split second, two things happen:

First, she remembers a story that her dad had told her once about a time when he was in the shower at a hotel and heard someone break into his room. He immediately rushed out into the room, butt-naked, to confront the intruder. The guy who had broken in was so startled by the fact that this naked man was running at him that he turned and ran out of the room, closely followed by Tracy's naked dad.

Second, Tracy makes the split decision to charge naked out of the restroom and scare whoever it is who has had the nerve to break into my house.

Meanwhile, outside the bathroom, sweet Hannah is head upstairs to check out her new room so she can decide where she's going to put all her furniture. She's walking down the hallway with a pep in her step, feeling excited about her new living arrangements and her new roommates. She knows me and Tracy and is really happy to be moving in with us because she thinks we're really fun and super normal - no crazy drama in THIS house! She hears the shower turn off, hears a slight pause, and then SUDDENLY a naked Tracy is running down the hallway at her with a crazed look in her eyes, waving her arms and screaming "AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!"

Hannah quickly looks up at the ceiling, puts her hands up in a defensive position, shuffles backwards as fast as she can, and yells "It's ME! It's MEEEEEEEEEE!" So Tracy, seeing that it's just Hannah and not a scary intruder, does a quick 180 and runs the other way, yelling "Oh hi, Hannah! Sorry about that!!"

Not QUITE the kind of Welcoming Committee that Hannah had expected.

Then, as we're wiping our tears from laughing over that story, Jill tells us that the story about her and Tracy's dad did not end with that guy running out of his hotel room. What actually happened is that their dad actually ran out of the room, too, and into the hallway - he just wanted to make sure the guy was DEFINITELY out of his room. Luckily, no one saw him. UNluckily, his door closed and locked behind him and he was stuck outside in the hallway. Completely naked. Aaaaaaaaand had to go to the front desk for a key.

I bet that hotel revamped its security protocol after THAT.

As for MY protocol? No need to revamp - just ask Hannah.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Hairy Scary.

I've been nauseated off and on this week and haven't been able to figure out if it's because of something I ate or if it's some sort of stomach bug. But whatever it is, it's annoying - I've been dealing with it since Monday and I'm over it. Yesterday I was out with my mom and sisters for a belated celebration of Erin's birthday when I was overcome again with nausea and had to go lay down in my sister's car while they all shopped. Luckily, my mom had some chewable Pepto Bismol tablets with her so I took those and, after a little while, the nausea seemed to subside and didn't really resurface for the rest of the night.

This morning I woke up and walked to my bathroom, feeling fine for the first time this week. I brushed my teeth and, when I went to spit the toothpaste out, I noticed that my toothbrush was covered in gray, as if I had something gray in my mouth. I opened my mouth and, sure enough, my tongue was black.

My freakin' tongue was buh-lack.

I quickly racked my brain, trying to remember if I had eaten anything purple or dark the night before that would have turned my tongue that color but I hadn't - I had eaten only bread and Sprite that night because of my nausea. My heart started racing as I began to convince myself that I was obviously turning into a Chow or suffering from some rare disease that makes you nauseated and then turns your tongue black - either option meant my future was bleak. Just as I was nearing the panic zone, I decided to take a pro-active approach to this problem - I rushed downstairs, pulled my laptop out, and Googled "nausea black tongue."

One of the first search results that caught my eye on the page said something about a "black hairy tongue" and I heard myself scream "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!" - this worst case scenario! But then I was amazed at how quickly I became resigned to the curse of a hairy tongue. I slowly shook my head, and slumped down in my chair, recalling fondly the days of old with my hairless tongue. But then my head started spinning as I began to think of all the things I needed to do: call my family to explain why I had to go into hiding immediately, write my boss to let her know that I wouldn't be returning to work, and find a cave in a remote location in a third-world country where my hairy tongue and I could live in peace, free from persecution. And just as I was about to google "how to french braid your tongue hair" I saw the other Google results, all of which mentioned that Pepto Bismol can make your tongue turn black.

No hair. Just Pepto.

I was simultaneously relieved and disappointed - I mean, after all, I had already come up with some cute decorating ideas for my cave AND my tongue that were now useless to me. But then I saw THIS picture on Google images:

Aaaaaaaaand then I just felt relieved.

And, frankly, a bit nauseated again . . .

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Chinese Massage Torture.

I went to the mall with my mom this weekend to get a few things for my night of speed dating and, after we had wrapped up our shopping and were on our way out to our cars, I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to get one of those chair massages. You know what I'm talking about - you've seen the Asian chair massage people a million times and you've probably passed them by without thinking twice about it. So do I, usually. But this time I decided to give it a try just for the heck of it. I walked up to the guy who was standing there and, seeing that I was interested and not wanting to risk that I would change my mind, he started pulling me toward a chair. I resisted so he put his arm around my shoulder and tried to push me toward a chair.

This should have been a red flag.

When he realized that I was strong-like-bull and couldn't be pushed and/or pulled against my will, he gave up his efforts at trying to abduct me and, instead, showed me a laminated card that had their prices and the different kinds of massages I could get. I saw that I could pay $12 for a 10 minute massage or $24 for a 25 minute massage so, naturally, I decided to go for the 25 minute massage - it just made sense. So I let the guy pull me excitedly to one of the massage chairs and push me down into it. There was a bit of a language barrier but he did his best to "introduce" me to the guy who would actually be massaging my back and then THAT guy gestured with his hands to tell me that I needed to lean forward and place my face into what we'll call the "face holder" because I don't know the technical name for it. I followed his directions and leaned forward until my face was planted into the little face holder. Then my little massage guy went to work.

And it was quite possibly the most painful experience I've ever had in my life.

Now, granted, I've never birthed children. But I daresay this chair massage would be more painful even than that because it wasn't as much a "massage" as it was a "beating." He started by standing in front of me, pushing my shoulders in an alternating pattern - right, left, right, left, etc. - and he was pushing on my shoulders so hard that I thought for sure I heard ligaments in my neck snapping. I looked through the little face holder and saw that he was leaning into this move with his entire body weight, as if he were walking against Category 5 hurricane-force winds.

That's when I looked at my watch and cursed myself for not picking the 10 minute option.

Then he moved to my back and started "massaging" down my spine. He would push with his thumbs on either side of my spine and then slam his hands into my back so that all I felt was push SLAM! push SLAM! push SLAM! push SLAM! push SLAM! push SLAM! down the entire length of my spine. Aaaaaaaaaand then back up again. When he finished that, he tried to work out a stress knot that I'm pretty sure was a vital organ. Then he started using his forearm - which is NEVER a good sign - and I'm fairly certain that he caused nerve damage at that point. And before I knew it, he was punching my thighs - and I mean REALLY punching them. Not like you see massage therapists do when they sort of hammer someone's back - this guy was working out some major aggression and LITERALLY punching my thighs. He continued down to my calves and ended his work on my legs with a couple of extra blows to my thighs and an enthusiastic pinch of the skin on my ankles.

Seriously? My ankles? That was just mean . . .

Toward the end of the 25 minutes, he started to massage my scalp. I felt relieved because scalp massages usually feel so good and, since my scalp is just bone, I foolishly thought "what pain could he really cause me?" He started with my ears, rubbing them until I thought they would burst into flame. Then he moved to the base of my skull and did his push SLAM! technique there for a few minutes. Unfortunately, every time he SLAMMED me, he pushed my throat into the base of the face holder so that I was basically getting choked every 3 seconds. As I sat there trying to figure out how I had actually been suckered into paying $24 for an assault AND strangulation, he began trying to harvest my frontal lobe with his thumbs. Eventually he moved his attention to my temples and that's when I got seriously concerned about the potential for brain damage and/or looking like this guy:

Mercifully, my 25 minutes came to an end and I was released. My little guy slapped me on the back and I winced at the bruises already forming. He smiled at me and proudly asked "You feel better?" I put a brave smile on my face, and said "Yep!" - I mean, what else could I say? He seemed so proud and I didn't want to let him down.

And, frankly, I was more concerned about getting home to put some ice packs on my ears . . .

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

If you prefer brains to brawn . . .

Well, since Gustavo is taking FOREVER to declare his undying love for me and carry me away on his lawnmower, I've decided to try a different way of finding Mr. Right. The online thing didn't really work out for me, the mail-order-husband thing is just too expensive, and prostitution is hard to get into, what with finding the right pimp and all. So I tried to brainstorm about some other options and, in the process, I remembered watching the movie Hitch a long time ago and seeing a scene where they were speed-dating. I remember walking out of the movie theater after watching that movie, thinking to myself: 1) I'm strangely attracted to Kevin James (but that's a blog for another time) and 2) I must try speed dating one of these days.

So that's what I did this weekend. I got online and found a speed-dating event that was happening this weekend and it was geared especially for "university-educated" folks. The write-up on it said something like "If you prefer brains to brawn, then this event is for you!" and, while I didn't think THAT seemed like a good sign, I decided that I wanted to try it. Then I called up my friend Lincee (who writes a blog and a Bachelor/Bachelorette recap called i hate green beans that is HILARIOUS . . .) to beg and/or bribe and/or extort her to join me so that I didn't have to do it by myself. She agreed to go so we registered ourselves, talked about what we were going to wear, aaaaaaaand then invested in a case of Pepto Bismol each . . .

We weren't really sure how the whole thing was going to work - all we knew was that it started at 7:30 at a bar in Houston that we'll call the Texas Bar. So we met at a parking garage downtown, just a block down from the bar, and walked over to where this little bit of awesomeness was supposed to take place. The Texas Bar is located on the second floor of a two-story building so we walked up the stairs expecting to find a happenin' singles scene, filled with eligible and lively bachelors. What we found, instead, was the quietest bar either of us had ever been to. There were no signs up to let us know that we were in the right place, there was no host or hostess to greet us and welcome us, there wasn't even any music playing - it was the weirdest event EVER. There were about 3 people sitting at the bar to our left and about 2 others sitting at tables to our right. And no one was talking. In fact, the only thing you could hear was the faint sound of me and Lincee popping Pepto Bismol tablets into our mouths . . .

After a bit of discussion and debate, Lincee and I decided to NOT jump off the balcony to put ourselves out of our misery and we decided to stick it out. At about that time, our "hostess" finally showed up and directed us to a lounge area where there were tables and couches set up for our evening. The girls each picked a table and sat down at it then the guys each sat down at one of those tables. Our hostess told us that we would have 8 minutes for each of our "mini-dates" and that, when our time was up, she'd ring a bell and the guys would all rotate to the their rights and begin their next mini-date with the next girl. So that's how our night went - 10 guys sat across from us for 8 minutes each and we had our little "mini-dates."

My biggest impression of the night was that, at 5' 7", I was the tallest person in the room, except for one - possibly two - Indian men. I usually have a height requirement with guys - they have to be at least as tall as I am when I'm in my heels - but, as I stood there in my 3" wedges looking around at the tops of their heads, I decided to keep an open mind and give the whole Nicole Kidman/Tom Cruise thing a try. But, alas, Tom Cruise was not there.

It was a fun night but I must say that 8 minutes is not long when you're trying to give someone a glimpse of who you are. I had a hard time knowing how I should open my conversations. "What do you do for a living?" - that seems so mundane. "What kinds of things do you for fun?" - snoooooooze. "Where did you go to school?" - predictable. So I tried to think of some outside-the-box conversation starters but nothing really seemed to work. I thought about talking about a recent burn I sustained on my stomach and the resulting lesson I learned about the dangers of ironing without a shirt on but thought that might be, perhaps, too educational - I mean, who wants to learn a lesson about ironing hazards on a first date? Then I thought maybe I'd give them a glimpse of my inner soul and talk about how one of my favorite things in the world is when the air conditioning vents in the car are at just the right angle and they blow cold air up your shirt sleeves so that your armpits air out. But then I decided against that for obvious reasons - I mean WHO wants to talk about right angles on a date, right?? So, in the end, I just played it safe and went for the predictable. I found out all about their jobs and hobbies and just quietly hoped none of them would go on to sustain an ironing injury that I might have prevented.

Everyone was a little awkward at first but seemed to warm up as the night went on. Unfortunately, one of my first dates - we'll call him "Bob" - had not quite warmed up before he came to my table. He started off with the "What are you hobbies" question but he decided to put a little spin on it. He used a dramatic tone of voice and big hand-gestures and said:

Bob: So what makes you LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE???? What is it that you LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE to do??
Me: Well -
Bob: What is it that makes you want to wake up in the morning and LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE?? Because you know you have to LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.
Me: Yeah, I -
Bob: We only work to do one thing - LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!
Me: Right -
Bob: So please tell me that you take time to LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE.
Me: Yeah, I do -
Bob: I want to know what you do to LIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!! Tell me how you LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE!!

I was THIS close to reminding him of our 8 minute time-limit so that he didn't continue to waste 2 minutes getting his question out. But I waited patiently through his dramatics and then said "reading." I watched his face drop as he mulled that over and felt quite certain that he did not feel the chemistry with me. Oh well, something tells me I'll LIIIIIIIIIIIIVE . . .

The hobbies question was an interesting one because I definitely saw that some people weren't too honest in what they said. For instance, my LIIIIIIIIIIVE guy told me how he likes to go race his "'Vette" around the racetrack to really LIIIIIIIIIIVE. But when I asked him if he was a thrill-seeker in general, he quickly back-tracked and said that, no, he didn't do anything dangerous because he wants to - you guessed it - LIIIIIIIIIIIVE. Then I talked to another guy who was - how shall I say this? - not the most in-shape guy I've ever seen and he told me how exercising is his favorite thing to do and is a really important part of his life. It was so obvious that that wasn't the truth and I wanted to reach down and pat him on the head and assure him that he didn't have to lie about that with me. But he kept on with it, telling me all about how great exercising is and how he does it morning, noon, and night and blah blah blah. I thought about playing along and telling him that I model and teach pilates on the side but the bell rang and I had to be satisfied with just saying something awesome like "Well . . . way to go, you . . . you just . . . keep pumpin' that iron . . . bud!"

Despite feeling like an Amazonian woman in my (perhaps ill-advised) wedges, I had a great time and am able to declare that, even with its awkward moments, it really was a fun evening. But as all fun evenings must, this one had to end. But, although I didn't find the man of my dreams, it definitely wasn't a wasted evening. I got to spend a few hours meeting some very nice guys and doing something totally new and different, I got to hang out with my friend Lincee and spend lots of time cracking up with her about all the awkwardness, AND I got to air out my armpits on the way home.

And it's moments like that that make me want to me LIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVE . . .

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Toilet inspector

My sister Erin runs an in-home daycare and watches some of the cutest kids in the world. One of the little girls she watches is named Alana and she is just so precious and says and does the funniest things. Today, she cracked Erin up with a slightly passive aggressive move before she went to the bathroom . . .

So now Erin, understandably, has a complex about the cleanliness of her toilet seat . . .

But at least I have something to blog about!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Kevin in a Bottle

I've told you about my mom's entertaining late-night phone calls to me when she was taking Ambien. I've also told you about my mom's late night Ambien-induced banana search in a hotel, whiiiiiiiiiiiiich ended her delightful run of Ambien usage. While she was taking Ambien, I was always the one she called in the middle of the night for her crazy chats and I didn't know it at the time, but Erin always secretly wished that my mom would call HER during one of her Ambien hazes. So when my mom quit taking Ambien, it hit Erin particularly hard.

Until the other night.

My mom has been really sick lately and has been taking her really strong prescription cough medicine. She's taken it a million times before and it just knocks her out into a blissful, cough-free sleep. But, for some reason, the other night it affected her in a way that it never has before. And Erin was the lucky recipient of her cough-syrup call . . .

[phone rings at 1:49 a.m.]
Erin: [flying out of bed to grab the phone]
Matt: [flying out of bed to see who died]
Erin: Mom? Is everything okay?
Mom: [in a sweet, childish voice] Hi, Erin. I was just calling to let you know that Kevin is now in charge of handing out the little pink pills. And he lets you have as many as you want - he's REEEEEEEEEAL sweet . . .
Erin: Wait . . . what?
Matt: [to Erin] Everything okay?
Erin: [giving the international sign for "she's crazy"]
Mom: [again in childish voice] Kevin's in charge of the pink pills now and I'm soooooooo glad because it's a big responsibility and it's reeeeeeeeally overwhelming.
Erin: [My mom is NOT tripping on acid. My mom is NOT tripping on acid.] Okaaaaaaay . . . does Kevin give YOU little pink pills?
Mom: Oh yes! He gives me as MANY as I want! He's REAL sweet!
Erin: Yeah, you mentioned that. Ummmm . . . did Kevin give you any pink pills TONIGHT?
Mom: [seriously] No - they're for nausea.
Erin: Oh, silly me . . .
[awkward silence]
Erin: [suddenly worried that my mom's out driving around while tripping on her cough medicine] Where are you now mom? Are you out somewhere?
Mom: [seriously] No, I'm in bed. [then like Erin's the crazy one . . .] I mean, it's almost 2 o'clock in the morning . . .

Erin finally got off the phone with my mom and found Matt in the garage smoking a cigarette, trying to calm his nerves. The next day, she called me to tell me all about Kevin and our mom's apparent hallucinations. I laughed and laughed, glad that the torch had been passed and that Erin was apparently the new recipient of our mom's late-night phone calls.

Until the next day . . .

[phone rings at 2:55 a.m.]
Me: [not startled - I'm a pro at this now . . .] Hello?
Mom: Catherine?
Me: Hi, Mom. Everything okay?
Mom: Yeah - I just wanted to tell you that Kevin does appear to be in the bottle.
Me: [Oh boy . . .] Oh really?
Mom: I was just laying here and all the Irish people were here and they were standing on my bed trying to talk to me about selling my cattle and I kept trying to tell them that I don't HAVE any cattle but they just kept trying to get me to SELL my cattle and I was getting so upset because I wanted to make them some tea but I didn't want to get out of bed because I didn't have my good pants on so I just kept LAYING there.
Me: Well, that doesn't sound very convenient.
Mom: No, it wasn't. But then Kevin came in and he told them that they all needed to get out of my room and let me get some sleep.
Me: That was nice of him.
Mom: Yeah, it was.
Me: That Kevin sounds like quite a guy.
Mom: He is. Anyway, I thought I'd tell you that he's in the bottle now.
Me: Okay. Well, I hope he's comfortable in there . . .

Erin and I both told our mom - and several hundred other people - about these phone calls so now my mom has sworn off her super-powerful cough syrup, as well as Ambien. And that's a big deal because her coughing keeps her awake at night when she's this sick. So she's a little worried about how much rest she'll get in the nights ahead. How will she fall asleep? Who knows. How will she stop coughing? No idea. But that's okay.

Kevin will know what to do.

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Must be nice . . .

We took a lot of road trips when I was a kid and always had a lot of fun. I used to LOVE staying at hotels because it usually meant that we got to swim at the hotel swimming pool. And if there was a hot tub, too - FORGET IT. I'd spend the whole evening jumping from hot tub to cold pool and I'd be completely happy. So, as far as I was concerned, whether there was a swimming pool was the only question worth asking about our accommodations.

But things appear to be a little different with the next generation:

Me: [putting my suitcase in the car for a recent family trip]
Ben: Catchy, what kind of a hotel are we staying in?
Me: Ummmm . . . I don't know, bud.
Ben: Are we staying at a 4-star hotel?
Me: [stunned silence]
Ben: I hope so . . .
Me: Wow.
Ben: Because they're REEEEEEEEEEEEALLY nice.

Well, at least he's not demanding FIVE stars. I mean, that would just be high maintenance . . .

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

My Aunt Ruby

My family suffered a sad, sad loss this weekend when my Aunt Ruby (one of my dad's sisters) passed away. She had just been diagnosed with cancer and was taken far too quickly from us - it's still hard to wrap my brain around the fact that she's gone. I was able to speak with her just a few days before she died - she was declining in health but she was able to chat and wanted to talk to me about what music she wanted at her funeral. As you can imagine, it was a very emotional conversation for me and, in true Aunt Ruby form, she kept apologizing for making ME sad . . . she was more concerned about me than she was for herself. Amazing. Before she hung up, she took time to tell me how proud she was of me and how she loved me very much.

I will cherish that phone call for the rest of my life.

And I will cherish another special memory of her, as well. When I was like 6 or 7 years old, Aunt Ruby's church was hosting a Mother/Daughter Day and, alas, she had only two sons. Don't get me wrong - they were GREAT sons. But they made TERRIBLE daughters. So my Aunt Ruby picked me - yes, MEEEEEEEEE - to be her daughter for the day at church. (Hey, Tammy and Erin - remember when Aunt Ruby picked MEEEEEEE and not YOOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUUU to be her daughter for the Mother/Daughter Day at her church? That was awesome, wasn't it?) Anyway, I remember how excited I was to be invited along on such a special day and was ESPECIALLY excited that I was going to get to sit next to her at church. I got a new dress for the occasion, along with new socks and shoes, and my mom gave me an especially fancy new hairdo. I was VERY excited about showing myself off to Aunt Ruby when she got there.

But can you blame me?? I looked PRECIOUS . . .

I looked so cute, you HARDLY notice the huge cowlick in my bangs, right? . . . Right? . . . RIGHT??

And, apparently, I was equally excited about a new slip that had gotten for such a special day:

I remember waiting for her to pick me up and being just about to jump out of my skin with excitement. Can you tell??

But, by far, the most exciting part of the day - even more exciting than my new dress, my new shoes, AND my new slip - was the fact that I got to spend the day with my Aunt Ruby. All by myself.

And I'll never forget it.

Miss you already, Aunt Ruby . . .