list 13: 18 reasons why I suck at Words with Friends

1.  I am not a good speller.

2.  I flunked most of my 2nd grade spelling tests.

3.  My 9-year-old is a better speller than I am.  He's in 3rd grade.

4.  Whenever people ask me how to spell a word, the Golfer has a hard time stifling his laughter.

5.  I just had a hard time spelling stifling.

6.  God bless whoever invented Spell Check.

7.  I have no game strategy whatsoever.

8.  I am actually surprised that I spelled strategy correctly.

9.  I don't cheat.

10.  If I find a word--any word--that I can spell with my tiles, I use it (even if it only gets me 6 points.)

11.  Maybe I should be cheating.

12.  For all the time spent playing, it doesn't seem to be making me a better speller.

13.  Clearly I'm not as bright as I thought.

14.  Reading is supposed to make you a better speller.  What a crock.

15.  Crock would probably be a high scoring word with some "TL's" and "DW's" mixed in.

16.  The computer that picks the tiles that I get obviously hates me.

17.  And for whatever reason I continue to play.

18.  Probably because it's fun.

Real Housewives Overshare

Okay.  For a while I've debated.  To post or not to post?  Now it seems like such a silly question.

See this housewife?

In case you live on Mars and haven't watched any of the Real Housewives episodes, that's Taylor from the Beverly Hills series.

So I'm watching it a while back and the Golfer walked into the room.

"How do you watch that crap?" he asked, then proceeded to sit and watch with me.

Suddenly he said, "Hey...that's Shana!"

"What?  No," I said.  "That's Taylor.  She's from Oklahoma."

"I know," he said.  "Her real name is Shana and I went out with her."

I hit pause on the remote.  My Golfer?  Dated one of the Housewives?  Please God, No.  I know the golfer dated other women, but one of the Housewives?  I couldn't help but throw up in my mouth a little.

You see, there was a period of time, close to a year, that the Golfer and I were broken up.  He dated.  I dated.  Just not each other.  And apparently, one of the people that he dated while we were broken up was this Shana/Taylor person.

"That doesn't make any sense," I said.  "Her name is Taylor."

And then he explained.

When he knew her, back in the mid-90's, her name was Shana.  But then suddenly she decided to start calling herself Taylor even though that was her last name.  Everyone thought it was weird, but according to the Golfer she was a little weird.  Then the Golfer took her out on a date and confirmed her weirdness and that was that.  Now, here she was on Bravo living in Beverly Hills telling people that she's gonna take you outside and get "all Oklahoma up on your ass."  Proud, proud moment for all women from Oklahoma now living in California.

Anyway, now several blogs (here and here for example) have exposed Shana/Taylor for who she really is and I can't help but feel scooped.  I mean, I had the story months before anyone else!  I could have broken the news to the world!  I missed my opportunity!  Bummer.

But don't worry.  I asked the Golfer the question I know you're all wondering.

"Did her lips look like when you took her out?"

"No," he said.  "They didn't look like that."

So she wasn't weird enough to blow up her lips like Disneyland balloons, but she was weird enough to start calling herself by her last name.  Ah, I see.  Makes sense.

After that, I couldn't help myself.  Every time the show came on I would yell, "Honey!  You're girlfriend is on T.V."  For some reason, he didn't find it funny.

But I do.


The family that golfs together...

:: the big cheese playing is first 9 holes at holmby hills in beverly hills ::

I was talking about my basketball bracket the other night at our small group and one of the women said (in a nice way), "Oh yeah!  You're really into sports."

The truth?  When college athletics pays the bills, you tend to really be into sports.

Granted, being Sooner Born and Sooner Bred it all goes without saying.  I was teasing one of the young pastors at work about not knowing how to fill out his bracket.

"You're from Oklahoma," he said.  "People in Oklahoma are way too interested in sports."

I rest my case.

But it isn't basketball or football that pay our bills.  It's golf.  And as the wife of a college golf coach, I'm sure you can guess the number one question I am asked repeatedly:

Do you play golf?

And when I tell them no, they are shocked and amazed.

That, however, is all about to change.

Before I continue, let me reiterate something that I have said here many times before: I am not athletic.  I am married to an athlete and even though we sleep in the same bed, none of his talents have rubbed off on me.  Well...none of his athletic ones anyway.

But I digress.  When the boys were babies I used to joke that eventually, one day, I would be left alone on Saturdays while my boys all went out to play.  And no, I did not see that as a bad thing.  But I am realizing that as the boys get older, there will be fewer and fewer things that we will do as a family.  And in truth that makes me a little sad.

Yesterday the boys had there first junior golf class.  Our country club has a wonderful junior golf program that runs from March to November.  It's an awesome program and we're glad that the boys get to be a part of it.  There's nothing cuter than a bunch of kids (boys and girls thank you very much) all in their nice pants and collared shirts and their golf clubs that are as big as they are.  Nothing cuter.

When the class was over we headed inside for our Shirley Temples and Club Specials (two for them, one for me).  The Monkey asked, "Can we go play some holes?"  Unfortunately, the Golfer was away at a tournament, but he was so cute and so excited that I found myself saying, "Next time we will.  When daddy gets back and can play with us.  I promise."

Perhaps it was the Club Special, or maybe it was just wanting to make my little one smile.  Either way, the family that golfs together...gets to enjoy cocktails after the round.  Well...the parents do anyway.

Why it's taken me so long to get into this fabulous game, I'll never know.

Weekly Column: Wild.

©Stephenie Freeman

All women feel the pressure when they become mothers.  They feel the pressure to measure up to a certain standard that was set before them by a mother, a grandmother, a family friend, or perhaps, all of the above.  I felt it due to the wonderful example set by my own mother.  But I have recently come to better understand the reasons why my mother was so good at being a mother.
Two reasons: I was a girl and an only child.

I am raising two boys who fight with each other and constantly have their hands in their pants.  They make messes that they never clean up willingly and love to use my couch as a trampoline.  They pee all over the toilet seats and usually put their underwear on backwards.

My mother has no idea how easy she had it.

I would never even think of behaving this way when I was a child.  Probably because I knew that my parents would kill me if I did, but also partly because it just wasn’t in my nature to be wild.
Oh, but how I longed to be. 

I had friends who were wild and fearless, and I was jealous of how free-spirited they seemed.  Growing up I had a friend who used to jump over his neighbor’s fence and swim in their pool without permission.  Another friend of mine used to climb a tree in his front yard whenever his mom would order a pizza.  He’d just sit there and wait for the Domino’s Pizza delivery man to walk up just so he could jump out of the tree and scare him.   They were always doing crazy things that always got them in trouble, but they kept doing them anyway.

They were boys. 

None of my girl friends did these sorts of things.  When I would go to a girl friend’s house, we were so quiet our mothers often forgot we were even there.  We would play things like school and dress up and pretend.  We would make up dances to the Annie soundtrack and make friendship pins to go on each other’s Keds.  One of the craziest things we ever did was sneaking a couple of chewable Flintstone’s vitamins in the pantry for a little sugar rush.  Other than that, we were perfectly well-behaved.

We were girls.

Mothering girls is simple.  With girls you can simply get out the craft box, leave the room, and return to find beautiful creations and a minimal mess.  I would never even think about leaving my boys alone with our craft box.  I found out the hard way that bottles of glue, pipe cleaners, and brothers don’t make for a good combination. 

But the majority of my childhood friends were boys.  I grew up learning to appreciate Hot Wheels and watching "Dukes of Hazzard".  I was Princess Leia to their Luke Skywalker and learned that I had to ride faster on my bicycle if I wanted to keep up.  Now that I have two boys of my own to raise, I can see that those friendships were my training ground for motherhood.

I’m not saying that mothering girls doesn’t have its share of challenges.  I remember my two cousins, who were sisters, having fights like nothing that I had ever seen.  When they got mad at each other the yelling would start and before I knew it I was sitting ring side to a 1970’s female version of Ultimate Fighting Championship.  Someone always ended up in tears.  Usually it was me.

My cousin’s sibling issues were good for me to witness.  As an only child, I had no understanding of sibling relationships and they showed me the good, the bad, and the ugly.  Once again, it was good training for what I would later experience as a mother.  I’m not sure if my cousins would agree.

So far, I haven’t gotten a call from the neighbor telling me that my son is in their pool swimming uninvited and the brotherly fights (which are often) have produced little to no bloodshed.  When their friends come over to play it is always loud and messy and wild and I’m starting to get used to it. 

Just beware if you deliver a pizza to our house.  There’s no telling what might happen.


Redecorated. It's what I do.

Our family room is complete.  Complete until I decide to redecorate again.

After the white couches, I went with a mono-chromatic cafe au lait color.  Dirt and dogs tend to blend in well with this kind of color. 

My Lucite side table is my new favorite thing.  My accent color in this room has always been a parsley green, but I wanted to add a yellow as well.  A lemon yellow to be exact.   

We order the chairs months ago.  They were well worth the wait.  They are made of a thick corduroy that is amazingly soft.  And best of all--they recline!  When you have a small room without enough space for two ottomans, recliners--recliners that don't look like recliners--are a great alternative.  I also used some of our many coffee table books and a large, upside down ceramic vase to create a side table next to the chair.

And then as redecorating is known to do, I decided to change up the dining room just a touch.  My orchids are so pretty.  Keeping them alive will be nothing more than a miracle for me.  

My Japanese Fu Dogs are my new favorite thing.  I saw them first in the March issue of O Magazine and then spotted these at Home Goods.  In Asian culture it is believed that if you place the pair near your front door they ward off evil spirits.  My grandmother always had a gigantic pair of Fu Dogs near the entrance of her house.  If you knew my grandmother, then you know they didn't work.  

Instead, I have this to take care of any evil spirits:

The Golfer and I bought this cross in Laguna back in the 90's.  It's hung in every house that I've lived in since I graduated from college.  It's made of a heavy, solid wood and if any evil spirits try to enter my house I plan on hitting them over the head with it.

Citrus growing in our backyard officially makes us Californians.

This is our orange crop.  Actually there were 6 ripe Valencia oranges to harvest, so this pic simply doesn't do our crop justice.  I mean, it wasn't a big enough crop to hire migrant help for the harvest, but we felt like we hit the jackpot that we got any at all.  

It was only 1 year ago that we started our backyard remodel which included the addition of our fruit trees.  The Golfer was bound and determined to have citrus in our backyard.  Bound...and...determined.  I teased him about it.  Gave him a hard time about how much he talked to our landscaper about it.  And now I get to eat my words.  Literally.

You should have seen how proud he was to walk in the house carrying his bounty.  I will admit, there something very cool about being able to walk outside and pick a snack off of a tree not even 10 feet from your backdoor.  The boys thought it was pretty cool too.  They were small, but oh so juicy!  I've never seen people ooh and ah as much over fruit in my life.

You know someone who says, "She was pretty as a peach blossom."  Well, this picture explains why.  We have these little peach blossom all over our peach trees right now which only leads me to hope that there will be lots of peach cobbler and peach ice cream this summer.

I'm not a gardener.  Not even a little bit.  In truth, I am better at killing plants than making them grow.  I do have a compost bin that I occasionally tend to, but everything in there is already dead (so to speak.)  Most of the time that I spend in the yard is to scoop poop or pick up balls that have been left out over night to fend for themselves against the morning sprinklers.  But there's something about these little buds that make you want to go out and garden.

If not garden, well, at least go out and take pictures.

Oh, give us pleasure in the flowers today;

And give us not to think so far away

As the uncertain harvest; keep us here
All simply in the springing of the year.

~Robert Frost

Since it's the first day of march...

don't you love this?

i found it here,

which was linked from here,

and before that i was here,

because it all started here.