Note on the Fridge to That Man

No Telling

Yes, I’m aware that there is a deadly hurricane blowing up New Orleans’ skirts right now. And I’d have to be in a coma not to know about the Republican National Convention bellowing even as I write this. I’ll attend to these things later.

Right now The Perfect Grandson is covered stem to stern in seed tick bites. That is the immediate situation here behind the suburban brick wall, and it’s got me worried sick.

Bear with me here. It took an hour and a half  for his mama to remove seed ticks with a pair of steady tweezers. Hundreds of them, tiny, and most on Very Delicate Places. A five year-old boy (or any boy, really) should NEVER have to endure such pain or close inspection.

I don’t have to explain the whole Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever/Lyme Disease/Tularemia paranoia to most of you, because I’m fairly certain you thought about it two paragraphs up. So far, no big fever, no scary joint pain – nothing to make me go into full blown Mimi-panic. He’s got two pairs of worried woman-eyes staring him down, so there’s not much we’ll miss.

How did he get into all these ticks? Ask his grandfather. Same guy who visited his son at Children’s hospital some 25 years ago because that little five year-old boy had Tick Fever.

I’ve written on this blog for five years without bringing up anything about the man, good or bad, and it was on purpose. I’m breaking that vow of silence right now.

When you’re given insect repellant, use it. This is Arkansas in August and you are a grown man who should know better. Take care of the boy when you’re given the gift of his company, or I will fly at you like a witch unhinged.

Just like I used to.

Sorry about that, folks. I’ll let you get back to your hurricane watch and that Republican soiree.   

Note on the Fridge to BP

No Telling

Dear BP,

I don’t know where to begin. Clearly, neither do you. There’s no point in telling you how appalled I am at your corporate behavior and misbehavior. There are more than enough talking heads on every news channel and politicians running for re-election telling you that, and they’ve articulated this much better than I ever could. Besides, who am I to tell an oil conglomerate what to do?

As a mother and grandmother I am qualified to say this:

When you break something you must fix it.

We’re watching you, BP.

Live feed from

Note on the Fridge to Everyone

No Telling

I‘m having a difficult time turning my attention to anything light or funny right now. I’ve begun three different posts in the last few days and deleted them all. I want to tell you local stories and interesting observations that might otherwise be funny, but knowing there are children in Haiti trapped and dying and waiting for help too slow in coming – I can’t shake it.

The stories and images on CNN and elsewhere have burned through my skin and marked me. I hug The Perfect Grandson too tightly at times and kiss his fat little cheeks until he has to push me away. I don’t care. I have the luxury of knowing where he is and that he’s not hungry or alone in the dark. Or worse.

The thing is, I’m taking this tragedy personally. Many people just as removed from the earthquake as I am are feeling the same. Empathy isn’t a tap that turns cleanly off and I guess it shouldn’t be. Loving and aching for people we don’t know in places we’ve never visited should not be difficult. Something in our DNA must connect us all, like twins who feel each other’s pain, simply because we are human.

It’s the sense of helplessness that’s haunting me right now. There are things to be done and very few time-sensitive ways to make them happen in Haiti. I’ve given money. Past that, I’m just some grandmother sitting in a chair watching the news. I’d rather be clawing at concrete, bare-handed and bleeding.

CNN has a list of emergency relief groups who need your donations. You can also donate $10 via text to the American Red Cross. Simply text “Haiti” to 90999. Giving in this time of anguish is the most and the least we can do.

Note on the Fridge to the Culpable and Irresponsible

No Telling

Dear Rapists and Mute Onlookers,

My rage consumes me. There are no words powerful enough to gauge my reaction to the 2 1/2 hour gang rape of a 15 year-old girl outside of her high school homecoming dance while ten or more looked on and did nothing.


They found her barely conscious and medflighted her away where, they say, she’s gone from critical to stable condition.

Stable Condition. I don’t think so. There’s not enough money in the universe nor jailtime extant to erase those 2 1/2 hours. Her condition will never be stable again.

The rapists will be tried as juveniles if they’re young. A couple are old enough to learn about rape themselves behind bars, which they certainly will. Nothing will happen to those who chose to watch and keep silent.

I understand a few even recorded the event on their cell phones. A few pictures of the homecoming dance, a few more of the gang rape just outside. Just another Saturday night.


The news cycle is thick with various explanations of gang mentality and brain development in teens and I say bullshit. Bullshit. Our young people don’t need excuses, they need consequences. The girl in the hospital, she deserves justice.

That is all.


Note on the Fridge to Those Who Forgot Their Manners

No Telling

Dear Forgetfuls,

Our duly elected President has won the prestigious Nobel Peace Prize. Congratulate him. Those of you who are Americans, the honor is reflective. Be proud.

Off and on all day I’ve read comments written by those who 1) somehow think the Norwegian Nobel Committee chose Obama because he is black, 2) believe the Norwegian Nobel Committee watched too much MSM news on CNN and were brainwashed, and 3) insist he nominated himself. I even read one blog on FOX News where several posters referred to our President as “Buckwheat.” Inexcusable.

The Nobel prizes are international awards. If Those Who Are Forgetful would like to read more about the selection committee and the process, the official Nobel website is a good place to begin. I would also like to remind the Forgetful to brush up on their world view, as well as the way the world views us. We seem to be living in a time of tunnel vision and backyard-centric confusion. Main Street is important, but it is not the center of the universe. It never will be again.

The world is a large place, and every nation carries its own historical baggage into the international discussion. Civility is not optional. Someone else’s incivility is no excuse for your own. Ever.

Forgetfuls, go congratulate the first sitting U.S. President since Woodrow Wilson to win the Nobel Peace Prize. It’s an enormous honor and responsibility, and President Obama deserves the respect due regardless of your political leanings.

As my mama always said, mind your manners.



Note on the Fridge to the Retail Giants… (you know who you are)

No Telling

Dear Retail Mucky-Mucks,

While other parts of the country religiously begin school just after Labor Day, around here the powers that be want school to start this week. You know, when it’s a nice and sultry 100+ degrees and the humidity makes the air palpable. It’s like breathing hot jello.

I’m trying very hard to remember what it was like as a school child in all those unairconditioned 1960’s classrooms. I know one whole wall was nothing but crank-windows and they were mostly open, but that’s because I recall fighting off errant wasps instead of the heat. Is this truly a sign of global warming, or was I too worried about playing on the monkeybars to care?

Regardless, I was reading a post about the horrors of back-to-school clothes shopping at Crazy Texas Mommy (I love her) and she brought up the tricky business of out-of-season shopping. She’s right, your stores are filled with sweaters and long pants and all manner of Fall bits, but Fall won’t happen around here until late October. Maybe not even then.

So what happened to all those summer clothes? They went on half-of-half sometime in late June. They’re gone, baby, and you’re not reordering. The Recession ate our school clothes.

It’s a double whammy. Somewhere all you retail CEOs are sitting around in turtlenecks and throwing back hot toddies. I’m guessing you’re enjoying mid-August somewhere in the Berkshires where folks have four distinct seasons. Down here, we can only dream and sling sweat.

In ragged old Summer clothes, no less.



Note on the Fridge to Moleskine and the Very Good News

No Telling

Dear Moleskine,

I know I’ve been a tad insistent about this ruled, extra large notebook business. I know I’ve whined and shaken my fist in the air in frustration. In short, I know I’ve given you a hard time.

The last email I received about the rebirth of the XL ruled Soft Cover Moleskine was heartening. While my favorite XL ruled cahiers were still history, I could make do. It put a dent in my despair.

So you can imagine my absolute joy this morning when I found this little miracle in my email:

Here I sit, down to my last two or three cahiers, and you slide out of the email ether riding a white horse and slinging out Exactly What I Want. I was this close to breaking up with you, Moleskine, and now you’re offering my favorite notebook in two new colors. I feel like dancing.

You may now consider us reconciled.



(Start your credit cards, Moleskine lovers, and click on the announcement above to stock up.)

Note on the Fridge to my Daughter

No Telling

You’ve become an amazing woman. I’m just lucky to be your mama.
The Perfect Grandson, in all his no-pants glory, is going to have a fine life. It will all be due to you.
As for the rest of you out there, go read How Girls learn About Freight Trains and you’ll see what I mean. This should be required reading for Bristol Palin and every other young woman out there staring down life with a baby on her hip.
I love you, sweetie. You’re going to make it and you’re going to shine.

Farewell Note on the Fridge to Dubya

No Telling

Remember Bush’s farewell speech to the nation on Thursday? Neither do I. Kamikaze geese and miraculous crash landings and heroes stole that thunder. Even while the last survivor of the Hudson River crash was interviewed on CNN, President-Elect Obama’s train pulled out of the depot heading straight for the White House. More distractions.

I wanted to post a Note on the Fridge to Bush – sort of a farewell address of my own – but ended up sitting here, staring at the computer screen, fingers on the keys waiting for inspiration. I had nothing.

Maybe it’s my Southern upbringing whispering in my ear, “If you don’t have anything nice to say…” But I do.

So thank you, President Bush, for introducing us to your lovely wife. Like most Southern women who marry beneath themselves, Laura is charming, intelligent, and a rock. In the end, the best part of your legacy is her devotion. I don’t remember a word you said in your farewell speech, but I’ll always remember Laura sitting there in front, smiling, back straight, legs crossed at the ankles, tirelessly devoted, her dignity perfectly intact. The Republican party can keep their hockey moms, because most women I know are a lot more like Laura Bush.

Like most Southern men who marry better than they deserve, I’ve no doubt you’re perfectly aware of your good fortune, Mr. President. She’s got her hands full with a man like you and deserves some measure of peace. Please see that she gets it. It’s the least you can do.

Note on the Fridge to Moleskine

No Telling

Oh, dear. For the past couple of months I’ve been frantic for more Extra Large Ruled Cahier Moleskine notebooks, and you appear to have ceased production. Can’t find them anywhere – not even the sad Kraft paperbag covered ones.

This simply won’t do. I’ve a special fondness for these notebooks – EXACTLY these notebooks – and it frightens me a little that I may never see another one. Sure, I know you make scads of other sizes and strange gridded things, but my level of desperation for the lovely lined beauties has made me look elsewhere for scribble notebooks.

Elsewhere, I tell you. And it’s not a pretty experiment.

Ladies – you know what it’s like when you’ve got to find a new lipstick, hairspray, shampoo, whatever? We buy and buy brand upon brand, always finding something that’s almost right, but never quite what we’re looking for. Countertops and make-up cases groan under the weight of unused products. Same with the Moleskine.

Apica, chemistry notebooks, cute composition books, expensive leather journals from miscellaneous book stores – they’re all functional and in their own ways a delight, but they’re not the Moleskine’s that slip perfectly into my purse, the ones with the flexible black covers, the ones with the perfect line spacing on exquisite paper.

Please let us know soon the true fate of these XL lined cahiers, because scribbling should be near-perfect tactile experience, and I’m sitting here with almost-but-not-quite notebooks.

Thank you so,

UPDATE: I wrote a pleading email to Moleskine and received this heart-stopping response…
“Thank you for contacting Customer Care. We appreciate your inquiry. However,both the XL Ruled Journals and the XL Squared Journals have been discontinued by the manufacturer. The only XL Journals we have are Plain. We do offer both the Ruled and Squared Journals in both the Cahier Line and theTraditional Moleskine Notebooks in both Pocket and Large sizes. Please let us know if you have additional questions, or if we can assist insome other way. Customer Care

Toll-Free: 1-800-808-7714″
Sweet. Jesus. Say it aint so, Moleskine….