Friday, March 21, 2008

Lesler Besler Turns a Quarter

On Wednesday, March 19, Leslie Anne Palmer turned 25 years old. Leslie is my older sister by 14 months. She is delightfully flighty and loves television. Since the day she was born, she's known the latest gossip about every celebrity and knows every soap opera actors' names (living or dead) by heart. She is an incredible dancer and a great actress. Growing up, she would walk around the house doing cheers and shut herself in her bedroom and dance to NSYNC to relieve stress. She is a currently a wife, a thespian (Yes, you can be married and be a thespian), and a preschool teacher in Jackson, MS. She also tans beautifully.

Leslie had many nicknames growing up, mostly given by me and my annoying friends. The best one I coined was LESBIE Anne (lesbian), a play on her name Leslie Anne. I gotta tell ya, she loved it. I mean, she asked me to call her that in public all the time....sike! Butthole was another name I sometimes called her, but that wasn't in fondness. Laurette called her Lesloonta. I mean, it's Laurette, so there's no logical explanation for it. Kelvin called her Cherry Brass. Don't ask. My grandmother called her La La (pronounced lay lay) and still does. One time at a church camp in high school, she got hit on by a fellow camper. It went something like this:

Boy - Hey, what's your name?
Leslie - Leslie.
Boy - No, you're attractive.

Speaking of my hot sister, everywhere we went ALL the guys liked her and not me. Let me tell you, it got so old. I mean, tennis camp, church camp, Summer Scholars, the beach (especially the beach), it was Leslie Leslie Leslie! (She's Marsha; I'm so pathetically Jan). Leslie went to prom with a high school junior when she was in the 8th grade! That should tell you a little about her blooming pattern - EARLY. (Side note: Me, I'm a late bloomer. Still blooming. Since Leslie got all the male attention growing up, I purposed at an early age to develop a killer personality. Check. Since I am still blooming, I am just now reaching my "glory days." Leslie's glory days were in high school and college. It's over for her. But mine have just begun. Look out, everyone, Marty's got the whole package!) So, yeah, Lesler was a total babe. I still meet guys who remember her and are disappointed when she doesn't remember them. In some ways, I'll never escape the camp days of "Leslie, why won't your annoying sister leave us alone?" or "Leslie, why is your sister watching us (kiss) out the window?"

I've been her tag-along my whole life. I've lived in her shadow. But there's no place else I'd rather be. She's my big sister, and I love her very much: bad sense of direction, leaving our plane tickets in a gift shop in the airport, being a cheerleader and a dancer every year in jr. high and high school when I only made it once, winning pageant after pageant....and all.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

The belly of the beast

It was Friday, March 7th. I was walking down the sidewalk when I noticed my shoelaces were untied, so I bent down to tie them. All of the sudden I was sliding at lightning speed headfirst down a chute that appeared straight but was winding and curvy. Powder kept getting into my eyes and in my nose and mouth. Each time I took a breath, I inhaled the powder and coughed violently. I held my breath for as long as I could, taking short and shallow breaths when necessary. When I was able to squint some to see in front of me, it seemed green, but I was falling so fast that I couldn't make out anything clearly. After a few minutes of free-falling down the slick slide (unable to stop myself no matter how or where I grasped), my body slammed onto a floor filled with that same horrible yellow powder. I landed with a thud and it sent the powder exploding into a cloud around me. I lay there unconscious for some time. When I awoke, the powder overwhelmed my senses. There was so much of it, my throat began to close and my eyes puffed up and started watering. I was coughing and sneezing violently. My ears and head ached. I resolved to crawl back out of the tunnel as quickly as I could, but the powder was too overbearing. I could do nothing but lie there on the ground. After I rested a bit, I gained enough strength to climb back into the chute. I could barely crawl on the slick surface, but I managed to go slowly to ensure that I moved up and forward. It was very tiring, and I had to stop frequently to rest. But I feared that my head would explode if I didn't get out of there fast! The further down I was, the thicker the powder was and the less I could breathe. I only climbed a short distance during the day, all the while fighting to see through my puffy eyes and trying to breathe through my clogged air passages and closed throat. At night I slept fitfully in crooks in the curves of the chute away from the direct airways that carried the horrendous powder. The closer I got to the top, the better I could breathe. I fought and fought until I finally climbed out today.

Where was I? In the belly of the flower that swallowed me when I bent down to tie my shoes. The yellow powder was the overdose of pollen that hit me two Fridays ago. Ok, that story didn't actually happen. It simply recounts my journey through the worst case of seasonal allergies I've ever experienced. Ever. For the past week-and-a-half, I have taken ibuprofen around the clock to help with the headaches, ear aches, and swollen glands/sore throat (which I thought I had gotten rid of when I got my tonsils out 2 years ago). I took a Claritin a day as well. It was miserable. It literally knocked me down. I didn't miss any work, but I surely felt terrible whenever I wasn't in bed. So, that's what has kept me away from my beloved blog for almost two weeks.

In other news, I got another job. It's part-time to go along with my current job. For now, it's on
source is AFA is a conservative Christian family advocate group that does radio broadcasts, a magazine (the AFA Journal) and news. AFA is known nationwide, but it started in Tupelo, and the headquarters are still here. I am enjoying writing for them. I hope the "as-needed basis" turns out to be often. I am thankful and amazed at how God has blessed my desires to have a career in writing and editing. In Jackson, a much bigger city than Tupelo, I couldn't find a job doing those things. When we decided to move to Tupelo, I gave up hope of pursuing my dream because it's a smaller town and I didn't foresee any opportunities to exercise these talents. Boy am I delighted and surprised to find that both of my jobs allow me to write and edit! God is good.

A few weeks ago, we received about 3 inches of snow. Below are some pictures from it.
Our deck

Kurt with a neighbor's snowman

Me with same said snowman

Our Winter Wonderland

Back of Wonderland

Snowy neighborhood

Friday, March 7, 2008

This crazy weather...

I thought spring had finally arrived from the pleasant weather earlier this week -- clear skies, a crisp breeze, sunshine...but overnight it turned to cold dreariness -- white opaque skies, cold wind, rain (in case you need a definition of dreary weather). The power went out four times last night. Ode to friggin' joy. A storm was raging, so I didn't sleep much. Now the temperature has dropped dramatically and the weathermen (and weatherwomen) are predicting snow. I'll believe it when I see it. And, if I see it, it will be from inside my warm house looking out the window. I really really really dislike cold weather. I could live on the beach and see the sunshine and waves every single day and NEVER see any snow (except maybe on TV) and be totally content, nay, overjoyed! (Hint Hint, Kurt). I can see out the window right now and it just started sleeting. Just as I suspected: time to put down the laundry and bundle up on the couch with some hot tea and a good book.

On another note, my grandfather went bowling on Wednesday for the first time in 30 years and scored 143. He got 3 strikes and 3 spares, according to Grandmom. Granddad will be 84 in August, and he still practices medicine. He's in pretty good health (obviously), and he usually spends his Wednesdays on the golf course or the tennis court. However, the weather this past Wednesday was bad, so he went bowling in Starkville at Bulldog Lanes. Ha! My grandmother went with him, but only as his cheerleader. She didn't bowl. They are the cutest, sweetest people on earth! Apparently my grandfather used his old bowling ball and shoes that he used to wear 30 years ago. So cute!! Laurette's granddad is pretty cute, too. Mert and T.N. currently share the title of World's Cutest Granddad.

I heard that Robert H. "Doc" Foglesong retired as President of Mississippi State University today. Overall, I think that most people are relieved. I don't even know the man. I just think he has a funny last name. I know that some friends of mine who are still students at State were pretty ticked off about Fogie (my own personal abbreviation for him) wanting to mow down all the daffodils. However, I am concerned about higher matters, vis-à-vis, the following: I think Starkville and MSU need to hire someone who will get TCBY back to Starkville (and get rid of Cool Scoops, right LT?). That's my main concern (which is clearly why I have no vote in who they hire). I tried Cool Scoops last weekend, and it was good...not great. The yogurt's texture and flavor are far below that of TCBY. Tupelo doesn't even have a TCBY, and I am both saddened and ashamed. Anyway, if anyone knows or talks to our next MSU president, please be sure to voice my concerns. I think it'd make a huge difference in the lives of the Starkville residents and MSU students.