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Telling Tales

As many know, what first inspired the magazine were the emails we received each week in response to our “Telling Tales” column published in the Wednesday edition of the Wilson Post.

Our “tongue in cheek” column is about our “normal” life as working mothers and busy wives who go about our days in Wilson county - muddling through it all – but at the end of the day – thankful for every minute of it.

Our favorite part about writing for the local paper, is when we are stopped at the grocery or the hair salon by someone who enjoysreading our columns and they share with us which of them are their favorites.

We will continue to share our most recent tales with you each Wednesday in the Wilson Post. But now you will be able to enjoy your favorites in the magazine.

We hope they bring you a chuckle at the end of your busy day!

Angel & Becky

Category contains 5 blog entries contributed to teamblogs

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swearEverybody has their favorite. Be it, heck, darn, or &^%$#, there is something to be said about being able to express yourself with just one word.

One fabulous, mind blowing, descriptive word that tells the world how you... REALLY, REALLY FEEL.

I, for one, have no problem with almost any word. As I explain to all who take issue with my word usage...'I was an English major, with a concentration in British Literature. I'm classically trained to use the English language in all sorts of ways.'

A line I first used on my dad after he had just paid for four years of college. Boy, you should have heard the words he used... and he wasn't even classically trained like I was!

But most everybody also has that invisible line in their bad word lexicon that they won't cross.

Mine is *&(^%.

No matter how mad I might be, I don't ever use THAT word.

Becky uses it.  A bunch.

She knows I don't. Ever.

A fact that brings her perverse pleasure, often using the word over and over until I crack!

For whatever reason, to me, that word sounds like fingernails on a chalkboard. I cringe, wince and look physically pained when anyone uses it. Which is odd, considering very little else offends me.

But like many things, sometimes you can have too much of a good thing. This is a point I may have finally reached.  My 14 year old reminds me daily now that "Hello?? There are children in the room."

My co-workers are at that point as well, instituting a potty-mouth jar requiring anyone who uses an offensive word to pay up. Upon being told about the jar, I proceeded to inform them what they could do with their silly jar but didn't use the word "silly," instead I came up with a much more flowery word... which promptly cost me $2.00!

"Who made you the *&*^% police?" I asked.

That one cost me $5.00.

And now even my husband has chimed in, informing me that my expert use of the English language is bordering on verbal abuse.

So from this point forward, I'm going on a bad word fast. Instead I'll be limiting myself to 'gosh darn', 'for pete's sake' or 'fudge'.

Just knowing this, however, causes me extreme anxiety.

I fear without 'my words' I won't be able to fully explain how that driver cut me off, how that supermom wears me out or how very, very badly my toe hurts.

Just listen...

'Gosh darn, my toe hurts', doesn't quite depict the excruciating pain I feel whenever Neill nails my pinkie toe while wearing his soccer cleats. Whereas '&%$#!!!  my toe!' succinctly encapsulates all that I am feeling and more.

But for the sake of all those I live and work with, I'm going to give this fast a shot.

One question, do 'flowery' words in a foreign language count? I only ask because Spanish was my minor, so technically, I'm trained in those words too.

To read more of Telling Tales or other Wilson Living Magazine blogs by our other writers go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

 

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As of Thursday, September 25th I’ve been on this earth four decades. That day usually gives me the opportunity to reflect. 40 seems so grown up. 40 is the deadline for having your life in order. Over the years I’ve looked to friends in their 40’s as my own personal Dalai Lama; full of wisdom and experts at living a life full of intent. But the closer I inched to this decade the more I began to realize it wasn’t that all of my Dalai Lama’s were given the wisdom gene much like someone born with red hair or freckles. Instead they embraced the “what is” and tossed the “never will be.” They didn’t, like I assumed, wake up on the first day of their 40th year with a brand new perspective that was delivered while they slept. They learned through trial and error, just like me and eventually my children will. Sometimes it takes a 40 something’s opinion or insight to make people realize that just because Sarah Jessica Parker is wearing it doesn’t mean it’s the best choice for you. And while there’s plenty of mistakes in my future, I wanted to share a list of a few of the lessons I’ve learned as a helpful guide for my children.

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

A few weeks before school ended, the kids started a countdown. "I can't wait until Granny gets here,"  was their mantra all of May, as I would hand them a slightly bruised banana while at the same time screaming at them to "get in the car," as one more tardy and we were all going to Saturday school.

"She's going to make us eggs and biscuits and not make us iron our own clothes in the morning," mumbled my middle one. "We won't have to get our clean towels from the dryer," commented the youngest. "It's going to be heaven," noted our oldest who apparently has suffered the longest under our parentage.

And as I completely expected, Granny arrived on Memorial Day and things have not been the same!

Other than taking trips together or long holidays spent with my family, this is the first time all three of my children have experienced Granny much the way I did growing up. Which brings a huge smile to my face as there is a big difference between "Holiday Granny" and "I'm Coming To Stay For a Month Granny."

Such a difference that my kids have now started another countdown.

When Granny first got here, it was just as they imagined. Eggs and biscuits in the morning, casseroles and cobbler in the evening and in between she would tell them how smart and pretty they were.

That was week one - while she was still on vacation.

Slowly, however, Granny has emerged from holiday mode to the mother I fondly remember. 

Week two - she started cleaning. 

And when I say cleaning, I don't mean vacuuming. My mother cleans with buckets and dish rags - the on your knees - scrubbing down walls - type of cleaning. And when she is done she takes trash bags, the big black garden variety, and cleans out drawers, closets and cupboards.

Only after that, do we really start to clean.

And while Granny will certainly get down on her hands and knees with you, she much prefers to use young children to do her dirty work. Think the musical "Annie" where all the orphans are scrubbing the bathroom floor and you'll then have a glimpse of how my brother and I spent our Saturdays.

Another treasured memory is Granny's way of teaching you how "to do something the right way." She lives to show you how to fold a fitted sheet, mend a hem or sew a button. And nothing makes Granny madder than opening the linen closet to find a big, wadded up ball of fitted sheets.

"Kids, come here and let me show you something!" has become her favorite line. 

It's funny how in less than 3 weeks the May mantra has now turned into hushed whispers the moment I get home.

"She made me try on all my clothes in the closet, every single one and then refold the ones that fit and put them up neatly," relays my middle one, aghast at how the tides have turned against her.

Brody and I, on the other hand, are quite enjoying Granny's extended stay.

Our floors are clean enough to eat off of, our perfectly folded towels smell like a dewy meadow, our home cooked meals are just divine and our children...well, let's just say, the next time I throw a brown banana their way and call it breakfast...the words "thank you sweet Mother" will be flowing from their lips.

To read more of Angel and Becky's column, go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.  

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madisonBy Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

So the text message went something like this:

Brody: "we're going to miss the first quarter of the Titan's game because of Zoe! I had to stop at the ATM which caused us to lose 20 minutes. We're now sitting in traffic that's at a complete standstill!"

Uh-oh, someone is going to be in big trouble was my first thought. One I shared with our resident, teen-age, middle child who rolled her eyes, mouthed "Not. My. Fault." and carried on looking at the latest fashions on Instagram.

The last time I can remember having cash, on a regular basis, was when fast food chains did not take credit cards. But once that barrier was finally overcome, now the only time I carry cash is when my grandmother sends me a newly minted, one hundred dollar bill for my birthday or when our resident banker deems me credit worthy to receive an allotment.

And if you think banking regulations have become tougher, I can assure you the Federal Government has nothing on the Kane Kids Bank & Trust.

Our kids don't get an allowance per se, but I find they are much more likely to  accomplish a big task like cleaning out the chicken coop or washing our cars, if I offer them the promise of monetary compensation.

And I can assure you, once the task it complete, they take whoever made the promise on a hostage-bank run and quickly pocket the cold hard cash.

And by pocket, I mean... their cash... goes on complete lock down.

Our eldest usually goes from our bank straight to hers where she promptly deposits it.

Our youngest has a piggy bank with a numeric combination that only he and his maker know.

And then there is our middle child, too young for a bank account, too old for a piggy bank.

Just right for the picking.

"Zoe, give your brother some lunch money and I'll pay you back."

"Zoe, your cross country uniform money is due today, pay for it and I'll pay you back."

"Zoe, I don't have money for a tip, let me borrow a few dollars."


Each time, our personal banker grumbles and threatens to cut us off but ultimately folds to the global economic pressures of living with parents who fully embrace a cashless society.

That is, until last Sunday, right as Brody and Neill were leaving for the Titan's game.

"Zoe, give your Dad some cash for parking and he'll pay you back."

"No, I'm not. No one ever pays me back. Madison keeps her money in the bank and Neill keeps his in a booby trapped vault. You and Daddy are the worst! I'm tired of letting everyone in this family borrow money and never being paid back!"

It's seems our not-so international monetary fund had cut us off!

Two hours later Brody and Neill were missing their all-time favorite teams, the Cowboys and the Titans, play because instead of their usual bailout, the boys were forced to head to the ATM.

Later that evening, the aftermath of the Kane financial crisis reached global proportions as fingers were pointed, financial bubbles were burst and key players refused to take the blame.

This Recovery... may take a while.

To read more of Angel & Becky's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

"Have you thought about living in Chicago? I had a friend from high school who went to University of Chicago and she loved it. Or what about Baylor, my cousin's daughter went there."

I try not to make eye contact with Brody when I bring up far away colleges, because if looks could kill, his would be stoning me to death, one eyeball at a time.

"Stop telling Madi to move a million miles away from us. She may never come back!" he whispers (in his loud voice) anytime I bring up any college where she can't come home for dinner. 

I, on the other hand, think college is the perfect time to spread your wings, experience new places and meet new people...well, that's what I like to say to the other mothers ...sounds very grown up, don't you think?

But as we drove through the college gates for our first official college visit, four hours away from home, I almost burst out crying. And I don't cry. Ever. So I was a little confused as to that suspicious lump in my throat followed by my blurred vision.

'Am I having a stroke?' was my first thought.

And then I went from a stroke to hearing voices in my head. Voices that sounded just like my own, shouting out..."but I'm not finished! My time is up with her? How can that be, we just got started!"

Don't get me wrong, I don't doubt for a minute that she is ready. Having seen her in action this summer, campaigning side by side with her Dad, from one end of Gainesboro, to the other end of Westmoreland and back to Mt. Juliet, I know she will be fine. More than fine.

But at this point, her going away to college has become about me.

As we went on the tour from one building to the other, I thought about all the things I meant to do, meant to say...

I don't think I've ever played an entire game of Monopoly with her. I've racked my brain  and can't think of any game, in fact, that I've ever finished with her. I hate to play games and she really loves them. She is so like her Dad in that way. Does that make me a bad Mom? 

And there are all those dinners around the kitchen table I envisioned... there were too few of those, especially as life got busier with work and two younger siblings. From now on, I'm cooking every night until she moves away! Note to self, start going to the grocery again.

We did go prom dress shopping, twice in fact, but she found both her dresses at the first shop we went to, within the first half hour, so it was so quick I barely remember it. She was always such an easy child. Made my job effortless.

Do you think it's too late for me to let her be messy? I was one of those Moms who never liked a mess in the house. If she wanted to finger paint or play with play dough, it was always on the back porch. Is that why she isn't interested in the arts and considers being outside to be a form of torture?

I did teach her what make-up you can buy at your local drugstore and what types are best to splurge on, but did I tell her that less is more? I think I did, or maybe she just figured it out on her own.

Fix-a-Flat. Does she know about that? Maybe I should buy her a taser. She knows to always have her keys out as she walks to her car, but have I told her that if someone abducts you, to never let them take you to a second location? And definitely always punch them in the throat and run. We should practice that before she leaves.

"Your will shall decide your destiny" is one of my favorite quotes but so is, "Awesome things will happen today if you choose not to be a miserable cow" - I wonder which will work better embroidered on a pillow for her dorm room?

Does she remember those times we baked Christmas cookies? I never could get the icing to harden but the white snowman cookies were still the bomb. And that Halloween ghost cake, we made that at least three years in a row. Hopefully I've taught her that icing can cover a number of baking sins.

There are just so many things that I meant to say, meant to teach her, meant to do with her and instead, here I am on a tour that is taking my Madi away.

I looked at Brody as he was watching Madi peruse the t-shirts in the college bookstore. When she found one she liked and handed it to him, he blurted out "You want to buy one with this school's name on it? That's such a big commitment! We just started looking at colleges! Why don't you buy a magnet or something like that?"

Geez... he seriously needs to get a grip!

To read more of Angel's and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

 

I remember, like it was yesterday, the day Madi started kindergarden.

At the time, I couldn't believe she was old enough for school... real school. Dressed in her prettiest sundress, new lunch box in hand, a big bow atop her little blond head, she and I were thrilled about her new adventure. I took hundreds of photos... but that was before Facebook...so until I can find them, scan them and post to FB, you'll have to take my word for it, she was just adorable!

And then, in a blink of an eye... she is about to be a Senior.

Every day now when I open the mailbox, flyer after flyer from one college or another is all that ever arrives. I watch as she examines the mail piece, googles the school and adds it to the places she wants to visit. Right about then, I usually scream out, "Why you want to leave me?" doing my best Greek accent as I repeat my favorite line from 'My Big Fat Greek Wedding.'

To which she rolls her eyes and reminds me, "please stop, you don't sound anything like him!"

In two weeks, Madi starts her final year of high school. That means in two weeks, we also begin the Year Of Madison.

Three months ago, as we sat down for dinner, Madi informed us that as this was her final year to be with us, she fully expected the entire year to revolve around her. That meant, no new home purchases, no remodels, no work changes, no trips without her, no travel soccer leagues for her little brother or cross country meets for her sister and certainly no new dogs, chickens or pets of any sort that required attention. This was her year, and we were to do nothing, go nowhere, talk about anything... that didn't pertain to Madison.

Of course, Zoe and Neill immediately took offense. And after much discussion, it was agreed that the Year Of Madison would sometimes "feature" Zoe and Neill...but not that much, and only if Madison has pre-approved their guest spot appearance.

And slowly the idea of the Year Of Madison has taken hold. Although I do think it's funny that Madi believes that after one year, she will be gone forever.

"You do know college has breaks, don't you?" I query of her, but I don't think she is listening any more... nor is anyone else.

Her brother has already laid claim to her room, while her sister has laid claim to her furniture. And to be honest, I've laid claim to a couple pairs of shoes and belts that were mine to begin with and will not be making any journey out of state.

This past Sunday, we got a preview of the Year Of Madison as she took her Senior pictures. The house with abuzz as we readied her hair and make up and decided between her two prettiest sundresses. And as she stood in the field of sunflowers while the photographer and she did their thing, Brody and I soaked up every minute of the opening credits to the Year Of Madison.

The only thing missing was her new lunch box and a big bow atop her little blond head... other than that... it was just yesterday.

To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com

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By Becky Andrews

Most adults have repeated the same phrase when referring to the younger generation, “What is this world coming to?” From the boomers to millennials, we’ve all been on the receiving end of criticism about our taste in music, movies, politics, and work ethic. My own parents had little patience for my taste in music, refusing to believe it was anything but noise. While there are many things I find annoying about the younger generation…texting a person sitting next to them, neck jerking to keep the hair out of their eyes, the constant mumbling, The Harlem Shake and on and on and on, in spite of it all, I still feel like we adults, the future retirees, are going to be just fine in their hands. Here’s why:

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By Angel Kane

“Do not be a baby!”

Those were the words I read, via text, after parking my car at the Lebanon Police Station last Tuesday night. Twenty minutes before I’d met Brody in our driveway as he was pulling in and I was pulling out. We had both forgotten I was supposed to go on a police ride as part of my Leadership Wilson program. And I was not happy about it! I complained for about five minutes, via my open window to his, with all the reasons I should not have to do this. 

“They better not drive fast!”, were my parting words to him as I drove furiously out of the driveway. 

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Have you ever been involved in a verbal confrontation and, after it was settled, thought about the perfect comeback? Of course, we don’t ever do that because that would be stupid. If we counter with the best comeback one day or even one hour after said confrontation, that person would now think you were even more inept than before. Not to mention, “crazy.” I’m the worst at comebacks. But afterwards, I. AM. AWESOME. I keep these little snappy retorts on file just in case the need to use them in the future ever arises.

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A couple years ago I wrote an article that I often still hear about today. It had to do with my tendency to take down names...in sharpie. I'm not sure when or the how the practice first started, but at some point in my life my Oprah inspired gratitude journal went to hell in a hand-basket.

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I live in a home that is all about justice. Maybe it's because we're lawyers or maybe it's just in our children's DNA, but nothing gets done in our house that doesn't involve negotiation, reward or retribution.

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A feeling of both melancholy and excitement prevails in the Kane household as letter after letter arrives for our oldest, from colleges near and far. As I watch her open each one, I distinctly remember being her age, knowing very little about life, yet believing I knew everything.

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I'm not sure if I should be offended or rejoicing, considering I've just been disinvited to my son's soccer tournament. Our youngest has been playing soccer since as far back as my 40 something year old brain can remember.  

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By Angel Kane

With the holidays soon approaching, I've been seriously considering starting a charity. It's been on my mind a lot lately as I've noticed many who are in dire need of help. And this charity would be like none other!

Now, for starters my charity won't be giving out books, blankets or baked goods. In fact, there are those of you who may scoff at my "so called" charity, but as I always say...or more to the point...sometimes say...or if I'm honest, for the first time today, am finally saying...to each his own!

So the spark was lit for my charitable organization over Labor Day while spending a long weekend at my brother's home. Stumbling over Baby Einstein toys, my sister-in-law's golden retriever and a stack of recyclable magazines, I found my way to the sofa on an early Saturday before anyone was awake. With a mug of organic coffee in one hand (I know! Can you say Generation Y!) and the remote in the other, I hit....Power.

Nothing, other than a blue screen. I hit Power and then On. Nada.

Power, On, Menu.

Negative!

Power, On, Menu, On and then a few wacks on the sofa.

Niet!!!

For the next hour I pushed every button on the television, the remote, as well as every other remote I could find, working myself into a frenzy having missed much of the Saturday Today Show.

My brother was the first to get up, probably because after an hour, I started texting him like only a sister can do "Get UPPPPPP!! Emergency! Emergency!!!"

"What's the emergency?", he said, like a guy who had heard his sister's cries for several decades and guessed my 911 was either I needed shampoo or wanted him to run to the nearest grocery to get me real coffee.

"Don't look at me like that. This one is for real. Your television won't turn on. I tried everything. I even went upstairs and tried the television in the playroom. You need to call the cable company asap.

"You got me up at 7:30, on a Saturday, for that. I sometimes forget how much I hate  you. There is nothing wrong with the television, we gave up cable a month ago!"

"What? You gave up cable? Why, did you lose your job? Mom is going to kill you."

"No, I didn't lose my job! We decided television was taking up too much of our time. It  was bad for us."

T.V. taking up too much time? T.V., bad? Immediately, I understood the code. WE had nothing to do with this. This had Erica written all over it.

Erica.

The reason for the long haired golden retriever that keeps Brody sneezing and itching every time we visit.

Erica.

The reason for the stacks of recyclable paper products, plastics and cans that cause my kids to second guess the Kane family mantra - We Don't Recycle.

Erica.

The reason for my constant weekend headaches caused by drinking her organic, caffeine free coffee-like substance she passes off as the real thing.

"Are you serious? What is wrong with you? What about your kids?"

"Erica says television shows just make you brain dead and they shouldn't watch them. We read and play outside instead."

And just like that I heard my calling. Erica and all the other Ericas of the world were slowly destroying the simple joys of life we were raised on. So for Christmas this year, my brother and his children will be the first recipients of my newly formed charity.

"I'm getting you cable for Christmas!" were the words I texted him the other day.

"Right, is that because it's your turn to come down here for the holidays?", he texted back.

Well, they do say charity starts at home...

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By Angel Kane

If you were to look up the word uptight in the dictionary, there by the definition would a photo of yours truly. And, in that picture, I'd be sitting in a perfectly proportioned square box.

Oh, how I love my box where everything is just how I like it. Nothing out of place, everything color coordinated in muted colors, elevator music playing in the background, putting on my comfy socks on a Friday night, right before sitting in my comfy chair with a good book beside it.

Being as uptight as I am (and proud of it) you can only imagine that when my someone tries to dismantle my box, I don't take it well.

So a while back, Brody came up with the brilliant idea that I should apply for a spot in a local organization that does quite a lot of good for the community. He, himself, had participated in it years before, and he'd wanted me to join for some time. The organization, while a worthy one, required an overnight retreat of its members, where I would not know many of the other participants.

It also involved a bus ride, where it's common knowledge, at the end of which you will be required to tell the entire class what you learned about your seat mate. It required a personality test where your entire personality is dissected and discussed. It required countless interactions, games and discussions with those I barely knew. And it required my sharing a room with someone I had never laid eyes on.

For many years, for these reasons alone, I said No way! That box sounded noisy, messy and way too close for comfort for me.

For one, when I'm on a bus or plane I read, I don't talk, and just in case you try to engage me, immediately upon sitting down, I put on my earbuds and hoodie (the international language for "leave me alone"). I don't need a personality test to tell me all the ways I'm controlling and crazed. And I don't play games because I can think of 101 things I can clean with the time it takes to play an entire game of monopoly or bunco. (Plus the fact that when I have won, I have yet to win anything of substance.) But the number one thing I dislike more than any, any, anything, in this entire world, would be sharing a room (i.e. my box) with a complete stranger.

But for some reason I won't ever be able to fully explain I finally agreed to attend. All I can think of is that there must have been a slight opening in that box due to the fact Becky had just finished asking me to drive to East Nashville with her to have our chakras read and while trying to wrap my head around that crazy thought, Brody had snuck in with this one, which on it's face seemed less uncomfortable.

So last week, I did all sorts of things I never thought possible from my little box.

I made a new friend on a bus. It was slightly painful at first, mostly for her, because she seemed to be one of these people who can talk to anyone. I completed a personality test - that at the end of the day - found me to be judicious and competitive, which are nice words for controlled and crazy. And I played games which weren't so bad except I missed every ball that was thrown at me, which tends to happen when your hands are crossed in front of you. But most importantly, I shared a room with a complete stranger and she didn't kill me in my sleep nor did she steal from me.

My stranger roommate was very, very nice. A former model and diamond broker who now works for a local non-profit, she kept her side of the room neat and tidy, let me shower first and actually went to bed before I did. As potential psychotic roommates go, she was a good one, although the diamond broker M. O. had me worried there for a minute.

When I returned from the retreat, I was met by both Brody and Becky who seemed so very proud of me for stepping out of my box.

So much so, I found it quite annoying. "I'm not completely anti-social," I told them both. "I talk to people every single day of my life and lots of people like me." "Sure they do," both said in unison while trying not to laugh. But I must say, that evening, upon returning home, there was nothing I wanted to do more than put on my comfy socks, sit in my comfy chair, and read about the virtues of properly aligning frames on a gallery wall. While that other box wasn't as bad as expected, there is simply no place like home...especially when it's a perfectly proportioned square box. To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com or www.wilsonpost.com.

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So as I sat there listening to my son’s 5th grade teachers welcome all the parents to Back To School Information Night, I thought this year was destined to be like all the others: struggling through homework, studying for tests and working on class projects.

And as I watched these two women excitedly expound upon the virtues of field trips, flash cards and fabulous educational apps, I was just about to zone out when I heard one of them say, "And we are going to try to NOT send homework home, especially not math!”

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By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

School starts tomorrow and for the first time in many years, I'm rather melancholy about it.

Most years, I'm glad to return my kids to school. And I don't mean just glad, I mean ecstatic, overjoyed, beside myself with overwhelming happiness that I am no longer "Julie, their summer Cruise Director" planning one fun and exciting experience after another so that they won't be.....that word that shall never be spoken again! You know the one...don't say it, it's forbidden!

This year, however, our Madi will be a Junior and the college talk has begun, which means soon she will be leaving us for her own adventures. And honestly, its not about Madi leaving that has me down, it's that, as I told Brody,

"She is the child I practiced on. Remember when I fed her too much and she almost chocked to death? And then I gave her bangs that took years to grow out when all the other little girls had long hair with bows!  Not to mention I've never been her class room mother - ever! And last year I made her join the soccer team to bolster her college applications and she had her tooth knocked loose! She is going to look back on her childhood and remember me as a horrible mother."

To which my always agreeable hubby added, "you also forgot to pick her up at school, what was it twice, I mean who forgets their kid? Wait you just didn't forget Madi, you forgot all three of them, didn't you?"

But all hope is not lost. (And for the record, I didn't forget to pick them up, I was just running late...from Nashville.)

What is clear to me, is that I need to reform my image. You know, rewrite history. If Anthony Weiner can run for Mayor after his texting scandal and Martha Stewart can serve jail time and follow her incarceration with a Prime Time Christmas Special, surely I can become supermom in the next two remaining years.

So, in an effort to replace her memories (and those of her siblings while I'm at it) I pledge to do correct my wayward ways as follows:

1.     I will not forget to pick you up from school. Not even once, because that is wrong and also because it seems to be that one thing you guys bring up over and over and over. I get it, you get out at 3 and I will be there. What you get out at 2:50? Well, therein lies the first problem.

2.     I will make your school lunch for more than just the first week of school. This will, obviously, also entail my going to the grocery on a regular basis which is really a huge thorn in my side but I completely understand, after 10 years you can't eat one more chicken nugget. Have you tried Chick Fil A  nuggets, though, because those are soo good? Ok, no - you are right - make your lunch - done!

3.     I will no longer let my son wear girl shirts to school. Apparently boy polo shirts button up on one side and girl polo shirts button up the other - who knew - well apparently most of the 4th grade boys did last year, so this year - no girl shirts!

4.     I will not forget to wash your tennis, soccer, cross country, football gear every single night - twice - on HOT! Because throwing them in the dryer for a ten minutes with a dryer sheet and then Febreezing them is not the same... even though it kind of is.

5.     I will not wait until the last minute to work on your/my Tennessee Project because all that yelling is bad for everyone. Additionally, I will start building that wigwam at least two weeks early so I can order all the necessities  and not end up supergluing sticks and leaves to an old, plastic piece of tupperware the night before it is due. Because that not only gets you a bad grade but more importantly allows That Mom (you know the one) to make a better grade than me/you!

6.     I will remember to sign your agenda book/permission slip/sports waiver and won't encourage you to forge my name when you call me from the school office. Because the Principal has an odd habit of putting me on speaker and also because your Dad's signature is much easier to replicate. 

7.     If there is a short period (promise, it will be short) where I can't make your lunch and you have to eat cafeteria food, I will remember to put money into your lunch account. Because it's embarrassing not only for you, but for me to get that call...day after day. And while  part of me thinks it's character building, your Dad doesn't think it's funny.

8.     I will encourage you to attend all practices even if that means I will spend every single day of this next year waiting in my car or sitting in the bleachers for hours on end. One, because I love you and two, because I have a feeling your Dad is keeping a file on me and I probably need to step it up.

9.     I will remember that it's important that I get your teacher a Christmas gift, a Teacher Appreciation gift, a Valentine's Day gift, and an End of the Year gift because when I/you get that last tardy before Saturday school begins, she just might be "resting her eyes" as you slip into the room at 8:05.

10. I will do my best to not look absolutely pained as I sit through your Christmas, Chorus, End of the Year, School Award Program...because you/I worked hard for that Flutophone award, just as hard as that kid who has won every single other award for the last 10 years. Just as hard!

 

To read more of Angel or Becky's Columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlivingmagazine.com.

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Posted by on in Telling Tales

 

By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

 

On my travels this summer, I read a lot. And I mean, a crazy lot. If you own iTunes stock be ready for a huge upswing in value because I downloaded almost a book a day.

 

Those around me all read fiction. Brody is a big Harlan Coben fan and the girls love trilogies.

 

Back in the day when I read fiction, I'd turn to the end and read the conclusion first.

 

I know - right - HORRORS! Oh please, get over your judgy self!!

 

I'm not about to invest three hours on a book only to find out that the main character dies in a fiery crash or worse yet, he disappears, thereby causing me to have to buy yet another of this author's books, to THEN find he dies in a fiery car crash!

 

When we first married, Brody found my reading the end first to be a serious character flaw, claiming I'd hidden a terrible secret trying to trick him into marriage. Then came my wiping the fog off the mirror by hand and squeezing the toothpaste from the middle, and you would've thought he'd been deceived into marrying a transvestite!

 

In an effort to save our marriage, I gave up reading fiction and bought separate tubes of toothpaste but I still wipe the fog off the mirror, because, seriously, "I ain't got time for that!" If you have time to wait while fog dissipates from your bathroom mirror - then I guarantee your baseboards are filthy!

 

So, back to my books, since I graciously gave up fiction, I now only read biographies or financial or political  books, because the end is a given. Don't get me wrong though, I'm not sitting on the beach reading books about the life of Lincoln, I definitely spice things up with some "D-List" memoirs.

 

And like all summer reading lists, once read, you are expected to write a report on what you learned, so here goes...

 

One of my favorites this summer was by Jen Lancaster, who lived her life as directed by my all time idol, Martha Stewart, and then wrote about it. At one point,

she chose to NOT follow Martha's directions on how to properly de-yolk an egg, before dying it, facing utter disaster. Her AHA moment came when she realized "there is no benefit to blazing your own trail, when the perfect path already exists!"

 

This morsel was a much needed eye opener! Most things have been done people. I mean you can try to reinvent the wheel but I promise you, round is the way to go on wheels, so if you need to know how to cook something, build something, or clean something - just ask Martha.

 

"When life hands you lemons, grab yourself the nearest bottle of vodka and make yourself a cocktail." This little nugget came from Brandi Glanville's biography. Now there are two types of women, those who watch Real Housewives and those who simply don't admit to watching Real Housewives, so I'm pretty sure you all know her.

 

Alcohol is not my thing but I find this gem to be golden! It's not about the vodka, its about the lemons. Life will hand you all sorts of lemons, but lemons are an opportunity - you can make a cocktail, you can make lemon ice box pie or you can make a good old fashioned lemonade - just never, never, eat a lemon without adding a ton of sugar to it.

 

"If it looks like a duck, walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, but you think it's a pig, then it's a pig." This came from Katie Couric's book wherein she asked various prominent people to impart their wisdom. Per Gloria Steinem, go with your gut.

 

I should do this more, in fact, as I explained to Brody on our last leg of the trip, "When we get home, I'm going to listen to my gut and only do what I feel like doing." Thereby causing my defogger of dreams to impart his own wisdom, "Well, I hope to God your gut is telling you to get back to work or else you and your gut are going to be walking everywhere, after they come pick up your car."

 

No wonder Gloria stayed single for so long!

 

"When in doubt, order the hamburger," that one is per my favorite late night comic Jimmy Kimmel.                 

 

I find this to be so profound, I might just put it on my tombstone. How many times have I been faced with either the fish or pasta, when I should've just ordered the hamburger?  You can't go wrong with plain and simple - ever!

 

And I saved one of my best books for last. Larry David is the genius behind Seinfeld and is not only hysterically funny but also a truth-sayer.

 

Larry relays to...

 

"Always - always - no matter what the circumstances - I don't care if you won the lottery - curb your enthusiasm. Nobody wants to see you jumping up and down - acting like an idiot. Nobody! Unabashed displays of enthusiasm are as off putting as watching a couple make out in public. Do you think Anne Franke appreciated it when Miep Giez, the woman who hid her, paid a visit, then couldn't stop yammering about how beautiful it was outside? 'Oh my God Anne, what a spectacular day! I took a hike, played with my dogs and just got back from swimming!' To which Anne replied, ' with all due respect Frau Giez, I'm glad you had fun. Now do me a favor. Shut the hell up and get out of here.'"

Clearly, have truer words ever been spoken? I mean, I know you went on a trip, but do you have to post it all over Facebook?

 

Okay, so obviously I should've read Larry's book before posting my 1021 vacation photos, but if it makes you feel better, I gained 10 pounds!

 

That's my lemon, now to find the Splenda...

 

To read more of Angel and Becky's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonliving.com.

 

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Posted by on in Telling Tales

 

By Angel Kane

Wilson Living Magazine

 

July 4th is always a big holiday at our house. We start with a late afternoon BBQ of burgers and hot-dogs, followed with Brody and a few other Dads shooting off fireworks while the Moms and kids all Oooh, Ahhh and scream "Neill, get back!!", over and over.

 

This year, however, we will sadly be missing all the festivities as we are out of the country. And nothing makes you appreciate America more...than not being there! So, in honor of July 4th and all things great about America, we Kanes have compiled a list. It should be noted that as I'm typing this column, Brody and the kids are still shouting out things to add to my list, however, since Telling Tales isn't up to two full pages just yet - I'm going to stick with the ...

 

Top Five Things Americans Do Better

 

Ice

 

I don't know who invented the ice cube but I've got a  hunch it was an American! That's because, in Europe, ice is basically outlawed. No matter what the drink, be it a Coke or juice, every drink is served a few degrees cooler than room temperature. It's become my "thing" to ask for ice, which is usually met with a sneer, followed with "No Ice, ... sorry!" But I don't believe any one of them are truly sorry. For one, their tone clearly indicates otherwise, but mostly because, seriously, how hard is it to freeze water in an ice cub tray?!! No, after two weeks of practically begging for a cold drink, I'm convinced whoever did invent ice somehow insulted the entire continent of Europe and his product has been permanently banned.

 

To that end, as soon as we land, I'm finding a Sonic and ordering the biggest cup of crushed ice that they sell. Actually, I'm going to order three, one for each hand and one just to stick my face into!

 

The Big Cup

 

While we are on this topic, let's talk about their big cups or lack thereof. So, I know most Europeans are thinner than us, claiming it's because they walk everywhere. Well, they are liars! Their lack of weight gain is the direct result of the fact that they can't drink their calories, like we can. And that's because every cup here is tiny, from my morning coffee to my evening Sprite, their cups are basically shot glasses. I'm certain I could make millions here by opening a kiosk serving only ice in big cups! I'm not kidding, they may have given us democracy, but once I give them ice in a big sonic cup, we're going to be even. In fact, at that point, I'm thinking they owe us!

 

Driving

 

Okay, I'll admit, I'm not the best driver, but these people over here...they really, really, really can't drive! It's as if they get in their cars each morning - with one thought - I'm going to run Angel over! And, who knows, maybe they  heard about my "ice thing" and are really gunning for me. But I'm guessing I'm not the first westerner to ask for ice, so I'm hoping it's not personal. Driving here is definitely at your own risk, so is crossing the road or even walking down the street. At this point, I've seen my life flash before my eyes so many times, I no longer fear death.

 

Clothing

 

How is it that the women over here can wear the craziest outfits and look positively posh, but if you saw me wearing the same thing, you'd call Brody to tell him "she is walking around Walmart, wearing tights, wedge heels, a jersey dress with holes cut into it, a leather satchel and a scarf. I'm sure she's had some sort of mental breakdown, come get her quickly." Whereas you can spot the Americans, here, from a mile away. We are the ones in shorts, tank tops and our $5.99 flip flops!  And while the natives do look 1000 times more fashionably forward than me, they also look HOT! So hot that I want to cry out "Hey people, ice, big cup, lose the scarf!" I mean its July- who wears scarves in July!

 

Restrooms

 

They charge one Euro ($1.40) to use their public restrooms and some of them consist of nothing but a hole in the ground. When you enter the "water closet" there's usually a rather large woman sitting there, smoking, as she takes your money and hands you a tiny square of toilet paper. And let me tell you from first hand experience, there isn't any amount of my precious American hand sanitizer, that I lugged all the way over from the U.S., that can fix this mess!

 

So on this greatest of American holidays, when our country celebrates it's independence, we Kanes are immensely grateful...more grateful than we've ever been before, that our forefathers won that war! Because I've seen what life would have been like had they not, and believe me, while we would've all been incredibly thin and stylish, we would also be unbelievably hot and thirsty and I'd still be "holding it" until we could get home!

 

To read more of Becky and Angel's columns go to www.wilsonpost.com or www.wilsonlviingmagazine.com.

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