May 17, 2007



But anyway, before that, I went and got Boy from school, and as luck would have it, right as I got there, it began rainng buckets. Not complaining, because we did need the rain, but I would have been just as satisfied had it waited about thirty minutes later. Not that that would have mattered, either, because I was blocked in a parking space by every single car in Trussville.

Anyway, I was finally able to get out into the flow of traffic and find him in spite of wind, rain, moms in gigantic earthmover-sized vehicles, and a riotous press of middle schoolers.

Off to the oral surgeon, with a stop at Sonic so I could get some lunch, the order for which was incorrect. Oh well. I didn't get Boy anything since he was about to expose his gaping maw to a stranger, and no stranger likes to see bits of onions and lettuce in another stranger's gaping maw, but I did get him an orange cream slushy deal that he enjoyed up until it gave him a brain freeze.

Got to the mouth cutter, parked, walked into the swanky '90s style professional office building and on deeper inside to get to the office. It was very nice. Signed in, filled out forms, gave forms back to the spectacularly pregnant secretary, wondered why forms have to have the exact same information filled in three different times instead of just using a little check box that says "Same as before," read a Scientific American magazine, which was actually current, and waited for about an hour.

Finally got called back, and waited some more.

HEY! It's the doctor!

Looked just like Larry Tate!

He walked in, asked about the Renfroe account, then fixed himself a gigantic martini. (Not really.)

He looked at the x-rays, poked around a bit, and said that the reason Boy's bicuspid had been reluctant to appear was because of a cyst between the top of the tooth and the gum. Apparently the hydraulic pressure is enough to keep the tooth from dropping through the gum, and, in fact, can cause it to shoot clean out the top of Boy's head! (Not really.)

He explained all about what he was going to have to do to get rid of the offending fluid pocket, which will include a needle and a knife, but also can include nitrous oxide (which I'm certain I'll need), and then the care afterwards until we can get Jonathan back to his orthodontist for the installation of a big eyebolt and come-along so they can pull the tooth into place. Whole process will take about 15 minutes or so. Not too bad, although as I mentioned, I know I'll feel better after a couple of hits of nitrous.

The doctor went through the final page of the patient history with me, including the last listing of approximately 30 different conditions that could create problems during surgery--pneumonia pleuresy consumption grippe heart murmur mitral valve prolapse high blood pressure diabetes gangrene impertinence impudence gabba gabba hey rheumatic fever dangling participles--on and on, delivered with a rapid fire assuredness that can only come from years of rote repetition.

He finished up the arm-long list of memorized diseases and as deadpan as I could, I said, "Sorry, but could you repeat that?"

He did a classic Larry Tate double-take before realizing I was only joking, then saying he would be glad to repeat them, and faster, or in reverse. I got the sense that I was pressing my luck, so I told him Boy was clear of all the conditions and diseases listed.

Back out to the checkout, made an appointment for next week with Spectacularly Pregnant Secretary, and then it was on toward home. With a stop at Target for a watch battery for the black plastic Indiglo Timex that was mine that I let Jonathan wear. (He's taken very good care of it.)

On up the hill to the house, unloaded myself, read the mail, went outside to see what manic Mr. Kitty was doing. He was hungry, so I fed him, then went and took a tour of the garden. Amazing what a little rain will do. Everything has sprouted now, so it doesn't hurt it as much when aggravating furry varmints decide to lay themselves all over the rows.

Or so I thought.

I figured we had enough time for Lightning to play a bit outside before it was time to get ready for church, so I let him out and he began madly dashing up every tree in the yard, and sure enough, found the wet dirt in the garden particularly attractive.

Go, silly cat.

GO, ya stupid furball!

He'd leave, then sneak back in between the carrot rows.

I started to grab him up, but he had other ideas, which prompted a swat upon his furry haunch, which DID dislodge him from his dirt-ophilic rolling and rubbing.

He ran off over to the neighbor's yard, where I followed him, and then out the back door came the girls. Reba had gone to pick them up from Grandmom's and had just gotten home, so they had to run go see KITTY!!

And me, it turns out.

Rebecca came charging across the yard, "DADDY DADDY! I was looking up stuff on the Internet at Grandma's house, and I typed in your name, and this website came up, and it had Catherine's poem about jaguars on it, and I thought 'HEY! NEAT!' and then read it, and at first I thought YOU were just one of the other people on there, but then I realized when it said "posted by Terry Oglesby" that it meant YOU were the one who was writing the whole thing and it was SO FUNNY and I showed it to Catherine and then we looked at pictures from convention on there and one was of Jonathan and..."

"Shshhhh. Let's not be so loud about it--don't tell anyone it'll spoil the surprise."

It was bound to happen, I'm just surprised it took so long. Nothing on here I'm ashamed of, although it does get a bit personal sometimes, and once someone knows you blog, they always treat you a bit weirdly--'Are you gonna write about this?'

Well, maybe.

ANYway, "But I already told Mama--she said, 'Oh, really,' and that she wanted to see what it was you were writing about on there!"

"That's fine, Sugar, but still, it's not all that big of a deal."

Or so I claim. But I guess it is--there's this whole giant side of me that they've never known about, and over the past 5 1/2 years I've written a huge pile of thoughts and sentiments, many of which I've probably never even expressed to my family. I might never have expressed them out loud to them, but here they sit for all the rest of the world to read and comment and complain about. But the intent was never to hide so much as it was just to have some way of making sense of things. It's hard to get a word in edgewise around our house, although I'm sure the family would differ on that, and I'm sure they believe I have no problem in making myself heard. But that's just one thing--and usually it's when I'm being called upon to dispense justice and fear. Otherwise, no one really seems to care that much what I think about art, or love, or lawnmower repair, or world politics, especially in the long-winded, stream-of-consciousness style I use to ramble on here. I could get about three words into a sentence before being interrupted and losing whatever train of thought I had. I don't think that sort of controlled chaos is good or bad; it's just life, and I have it abundantly around my house, and no real complaint about it. But when you gotta say something, sometimes you have to pick your medium, and this one allows me a freedom that's hard to come by elsewhere.

And I have to say this--all of YOU folks have been terribly accommodating of me and my oddness, and for that I am eternally grateful. As I always have said, to me this space is akin to the office chair over there by the door--folks can wander by, sit a spell, talk about whatever I happen to find amusing at the moment (because it's all about me), and you can comment, or nod your head and smile politely and try to find a quick exit.

For those of you who are new to the place--such as, oh, maybe, my family members--I encourage you to look back through the archives, both here and over on the Blogspot site. There's a lot there--several million words (really)--so it'll take some time, but it might give you some idea about what goes through my mind when I'm doing that Jackie Gleason-esque slow burn, or why I didn't do something you thought I should, or why I forgot something I shouldn't have. By the time you've read it all and gotten caught up and digested it, I hope you'll figure out that this is a slightly more involved version of what I tell each of you every day--that I love you all. I might not have a lot of time to say much of anything else around the house, but you all know I DO make time to do that, but more importantly, I not only try to say it, but show it. Yes, I mess up--a lot. But it's like I always say, the only people who never fail are the ones who never do anything.

So, then--hey, y'all.

Back to the gardening, I went over and showed Miss Reba the stuff that was coming up, then got the kids to put up the cat, then it was time to head off for church. Where ONCE MORE the fascination of my online alter ego was of much intrigue to Rebecca, so I told her a bit more about the history of this place, and how it was really an offshoot of the writing I'd done when I kept up the website for our reenacting group, but that it took on a life of its own after the events of September 11.

I didn't get too detailed about it, but I told her it was a way to keep my thoughts organized during a very troubling time. She was much more interested in the craft of it, though--"And I was reading it, and I told Mama that you always called her "Miss Reba," and I was "Middle Girl" and Jonathan was "Boy," except when you called us by our names and Ashley was "Oldest" and Catherine was "Youngest," and..."

"Well, just don't make a big to-do about it, Bec--you're welcome to read it anytime you want to, but I really don't think Mom would care to read it since she's not on the computer all the time."

Which is true, which is another reason why I've never been that fearful of my hiding-in-plain-sightiness being discovered by my lovely bride. Miss Reba's got better things to do than read this silly mess.


Anyway, what was even more surprising is that apparently this wasn't the first time Rebecca had found Possumblog. She'd done family searches before, apparently, and had actually clicked on Possumblog, then decided after she got here that it was just a bunch of words and stuff and wasn't relevant to her search. How odd.

Anyway, I suppose she'll be checking in from time to time, so during church I wrote down the "new" URL (since she has been reliably carried to the OLD site most of the time) AND the URL for Revolvoblog, too. Never know--she might want to know how to install brake rotors. I'm not going to direct her to The Proboscis, mainly because we've all let it lapse for a couple of years. Poor thing.

After church, a stop at Chick-fil-A to get some supper for everyone, then a stop at the gas station, then on to home to watch Melinda get the shock of her life, then FINALLY some time to sprawl out on the bed and read my magazine while Miss Reba and Middle Girl took up their positions downstairs to work on the Apron for the Walker project.

Rebecca had colored some fabric pockets with pictures of various articles, so after cutting those out, the intent was to hem the edges and sew them on the apron.

First call, about midway through my magazine--"DAAAAAUHHHH DEEEEEEEEEE!"




Downstairs, where I politely requested that Rebecca never ever scream up the stairs to get my attention ever again, and where I saw that the sewing machine was eating the fabric. "Hmm," said I.

I got Reba to let me sit down, and after much futzing about, finally got the top thread, the bobbin thread, and the cloth all cooperating nicely together and left it with them so I could go read the next article in my magazine that I got last weekend and still haven't managed to finish.

Several minutes passed, and Rebecca appeared at my elbow and whispered to me that I was needed again.


Machine was messing up again. Did the drill of removing the storage box, opening the bobbin chamber cover, removing the bobbin, removing the sharp round pointy thing retainer ring, removing the sharp round pointy thing, then reinstalling everything.

Still messed up.


It was then that I figured out the thread had come undone from its looping trajectory through all the various hooks and loops and tensioners and bends and elbows, so after fixing THAT stuff, it finally began working right. Ish.

Anyway, I hemmed one pocket, then got wrangled into doing the rest of them. And after hemming, I got wrangled into sewing the blasted things onto the apron.

Sometime during this, there was a story on the TV about some guy who collected Barbie dolls, which Rebecca thought was kinda funny.

"HEY! Ain't nothing wrong with a man collecting Barbie dolls! Ain't like he's sewing aprons or anything!"

I was only faking irritation. Mostly. They stood off to the side of the table, and in a barely audible clenched-jaw whisper, Reba asked Rebecca, "Well, I wonder if he's going to write about THIS!"

Yes, m'dear--I certainly intend to! Even though I acted like I was ignoring what you said!

Surely you must know by now how I am!


Got the apron finished, with only five or six more hate-inducing-thread-related incidents, and even though I completely screwed up one seam, I was able to cover it with another pocket, and in the end it was actually pretty cute looking.

And now she only has six or twelve more to make!

Finally got everyone bathed and in the bed sometime during Conan O'Brian.

For some reason, it was VERY difficult to get up this morning.

Go figure.

Posted by Terry Oglesby at May 17, 2007 02:08 PM

Outed by your own offspring! Hilarious if you ask me! You had to know it couldn't last forever. I can't wait to hear how the familial unit there at Casa Possum will adopt to knowing and/or caring about your writing.

My BSU knows I blog, thinks its foolish and couldn't be bothered to find WE in the least. The rest of my family, Dad, Mom, brothers, sis and ex-wife all keep up with my tales but not the spouse.

Posted by: Nate at May 17, 2007 02:49 PM

Twas bound to happen, I suppose. My own efforts have been anonymous for just this reason.

Of course, Mrs. Skinny is well aware of my nom de plume, so it would not take a huge effort for her to find me should she so choose.

I do so wonder what the divine Ms. R. will say when she finally does read your oeuvre.

Posted by: skinnydan at May 17, 2007 02:56 PM

Probably something like, "Don't you have anything better to do?"

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 17, 2007 03:01 PM

You think after all this time married to you she still needs to ask that question?

Posted by: skinnydan at May 17, 2007 03:32 PM

I think she asks it on purpose so I can say something off-color to her and she can act all shocked and slap me on the shoulder.


Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 17, 2007 03:47 PM

Sorry to hear about Jonathan having to go through a dental procedure. But I'm sure he'll be a brave soldier.

And as far as being "busted" goes--something tells me your family members might not be as reluctant as the STILL never-seen Your Friend Jeff to chime in. But who knows?

Posted by: Stan at May 17, 2007 04:45 PM

I wouldn't worry about Miss Reba - your love and care for her and your family shines through every word you right.

Should Oldest read back through the archives, however, there may be fireworks.

Posted by: Diane at May 18, 2007 07:36 AM

I don't know, Stan--they're all pretty shy about such things, especially Rebecca.

And thank you, Diane. And you're right, there might be fireworks, but maybe one day she'll realize I actually do love her just as much as any of her siblings. No one who DIDN'T love her would ever put up with as much garbage as she comes up with.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 18, 2007 08:03 AM

I think that if they read very much of what you have written it will be obvious how much you love them all.

Posted by: Kathy at May 18, 2007 01:08 PM

And if they don't, well, they can get their own derned blogs! ;)

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 18, 2007 01:25 PM

I don't think Eldest would spend all that much time reading through the archives, as it's just a bunch of old people talking about old people stuff. If anything you seem to have exercised much restraint in writing about her, so maybe she knows that any digging by her will open up things best left unopened. I wonder if you'll inspire Rebecca to start her own blog, like her Possum Papa?

You know you'll have to cook up dinner soon, get some type of flank steak (or boneless/skinless chicken), cut-skewer-roll up the pieces in cornmeal batter and fry them up. Tell them you're trying out a new recipe called "Cornaguins" and check on the reaction. That would be a good test to see if any of them have gone through the archives.

Posted by: Marc V at May 18, 2007 01:46 PM

Marc, please--only the finest farm-raised Emperor penguins will do!

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 18, 2007 01:49 PM

Penguin is so expensive these days and besides, it just tastes like chicken anyway.

Posted by: Jordana at May 18, 2007 02:43 PM

Oh, come now--next you'll be telling people manatee tastes just like beef!

I assure you, nothing beats the tender, squidy goodness of Emperor penguin, wrapped up in a warm coating of cornbread batter and deep fried! Except maybe the aforementioned manatee.

Posted by: Terry Oglesby at May 18, 2007 02:57 PM