:: Kudzu ::    A tangle of green thoughts taking over the landscape of my mind.

» 12.31.2003

dirty pudding...

Prepare the pudding per the included instructions. If you can't read the back of the box, it always helps to call your mom. Besides, she's lonely and hasn't heard from you in days...

Crush the cookies into bits slightly larger than sub-atomic particles. It helps to put the cookies into a ziplock bag first as this saves you from having to sweep them off the floor later. Besides, it's somewhat cathartic to beat a bag of cookies against the counter top while ranting about property taxes and the high cost of Pampers®.

In the big freakin' bowl, layer the three ingredients as follows: Oreo® crumbles » pudding » Cool Whip®. Repeat this several times.

For flurish¦astetics¦presentation¦giggles, end with a layer of Oreo® crumbles.

Serve chilled to delight of inner children everywhere.

* you may choose to refer to this item as freedom vanilla. Either way, it will be delectable.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [6]   ]

» 12.30.2003

two'fer tuesday: holiday cheer...

{ Double Stuffed : 10 votes }

{ Twinkle : 3 votes }

{ voting is closed. i'm tired, so the story will be late... sorry... }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [13]   ]

» 12.29.2003

a couple things we missed...

A few things I missed telling you about while I was taking my short blogvacation:

On December 5th, we... well... everyone here knows what happened that day. Since I’m bound to talk about him again, we’ll just skip on over to the next one...

On December 11th, the kudzu turned one year old. This is quite an accomplishment, especially if you go back and read the very first post where I admit to having started journals in the past than never lasted more than a month. I want to thank everyone who’s become a regular or simi-regular reader. (And, Phil, no jokes about the material here being the resultant product of being ‘regular’) I’d also like to thank everyone who’s ever linked back to my humble little ramblings, helping the visitor count grow. Soon I’ll have a nice feature that lets all the new readers take a tour of the best posts of year one. (If you have any posts you want to see included, let me know in the next week or so...)

On December 16th, the lovely wife/mother and I celebrated our 8th wedding anniversary. Our celebration consisted of changing diapers, taking naps whenever we could, and cooing over the product of our love and devotion. This coming January 5th will be the 13th anniversary of our first date. That was many, many moons ago. We’re quickly approaching the point at which we’ll have been a couple for half of her life. Starting to make me feel old. But in a good way.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

» 12.26.2003

ho ho ho...

{ Photo Friday : Treasured }

My First Christmas...

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [10]   ]

» 12.25.2003

and to all a good night...

Little Coleman's first Christmas...

Merry Christmas!

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [3]   ]

» 12.24.2003

the lady beetle...

Bert said he wanted to hear the story of the ladybug, but there's not much to tell. While pacing back and forth in the hospital room waiting for the green light to take the new little boss home, I saw this small, red beetle and quickly grabbed the Nikon. Presto! A Two'fer Tuesday star is born.

Of course, you can't help but wonder what the poor zoophagous creature has been snacking on. Not that I mind ladybugs, mind you. Any bug that's cute and eats other bugs that aren't cute is a good bug indeed. But just how many aphids can one find in this supposedly sterile environment? Not an answer I think I really want to hear.

I also wonder what this little bug witnessed while hanging around on the privacy curtain. Just what have we said when we though no one else was listening. What have we revealed of who we really are? "Fly on the wall" is the phrase typically used by the voracious gossip hound, but flies are nasty creatures. They feed off the dead, the dying, the rot of the world. Just say "Ladybug." The very name conjures pictures of gentility, grace, manners, courtesy, civility. Makes you think this small visitor waited until our departure and, with a loudly whispered "tsk tsk," flew off in the direction of heaven to report our secret sins.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]

» 12.23.2003

two'fer tuesday: in the hospital...

Found this little guy inside our room the day we left the hospital...
{ Lady Bug : 7 votes }

As fun as it would be to make a joke about Coleman getting hooked on drugs, this iv carried nothing but plain old saline...
{ Valves : 4 votes }

{ voting is closed }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [14]   ]

post blogvacation checklist...

Week Two

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]

» 12.22.2003

so, as i was saying...

Hey Momma, _girls_ are _pretty_...  I'm _handsome_.

It’s something like the law of diminishing returns. Any benefit you get on the back side of a bad situation may not be worth the cost. Let me set out the scene. You and a group of good looking friends are out at a restaurant. This is rare, because you have no real friends and you don’t often have the cash to hire the better looking fake ones.

Anyway. You’re in the booth, surrounded by a giggling gaggle of gorgeous guys and gals (hey... alliteration!) and the waiter asks for your order. Well, you figure you’ve gone all out with the expensive rent-a-friends so you decide to splurge and order the steak.

“How would you liked that cooked, sir?” Ooo... this is good. He called you sir. Maybe Chilli’s IS a fancy restaurant. Ok. Maybe not.

“I’d like that medium please.”

“Very good, sir.”

So you sit, and laugh, and enjoy yourself. You eat the bottomless chips and salsa. Eventually the waiter decides you’ve waited long enough and brings out the food that has been sitting in the back under a heat lamp for the last half hour or so.

[pause, rewind] Did Alek Baldwin just use the phrase “psychic equity”? Whaaa?!? I really shouldn’t watch TV while I write these things... [resume]

“Ok. Everyone have everything they need? How’s that steak look sir?”

“Uh. It’s not medium. Not even close.”

“Would you like me to have the cook start...”

[pause] What? I’m in the middle of a post... What do you mean your water just broke? Well get off the new couch then... and off the new carpet... Go call the Dr and I’ll get the bags... (And I thought watching TV while writing was a distraction... Yeesh.) [resume]

“Would you like me to have the cook start you a new steak?”

You try the humble routine, but it comes off pouty instead. So you sit uncomfortably silent as your non-friends slump into their warm, tasty meals. Chew. Smack. Smile. Swallow. Sip. Their merry mastication multiplies your mounting melancholy.

Eventually, meaning the exact moment your last dinner companion has finished eating, your new steak arrives. Though closer than before, it’s still not right. You can’t complain again, though. The manager has already comp’ed you the meal, and truthfully, you really didn’t want to complain the first time. Sure, you say. Can’t beat a free steak, right? Yes. Yes you can.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [7]   ]

» 12.20.2003

a few of my favorite things (in no specific order)

1. my fiancee
2. granny's potato salad
3. nunchucks
4. stavesacre
5. adam sandler
6. a warm bed
7. The Things They Carried by Tim O'Brien
8. Songs: Ohia
9. rain drops on roses that are being bashed by nunchucks
10. my family
11. felix, my cat

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

» 12.19.2003


Cancer- something evil or malignant that spreads destructively.

She slowly pulls back the canopy and tells him that her birthday is exactly seven months away as she insinuates herself next to him. He enjoys this. He likes that no one knows. They met by chance as he was passing by her house, just down the road from his.

Three months later the divorce is final. Friends from his Sunday School class won't speak to him, though he's heard that they pray for him every Sunday. He drinks now and has been warned by his boss that the next time he comes in late or drunk will be the last.

He kneels in the rundown kitchen of the apartment he is now renting, crying over a bottle that fell, shattered, and now cuts him. He knows that he is a fool and that this is the end.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]

» 12.18.2003

beautiful baby bliss...

He is sound asleep in this photo...
{ Theme Thursday : Bliss }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [3]   ]

» 12.17.2003

no more school, no more books, no more teachers' dirty looks

Well, maybe a few books. Sorry I didn't write a story today. I just took my last exam after having a whopping one and a half hours of sleep and then drove home to Mobile. I will write a story tomorrow. Thanks for your patience.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [3]   ]

» 12.16.2003

two'fer tuesday: the other shane...

{ Guest Photographer : Shane Lavalette }

{ The Cancer : 9 votes }

{ Inaudibly Free : 6 votes }

< voting is closed... >

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [17]   ]

» 12.15.2003

since you asked

Well, we met New Year's Eve in Mobile, Alabama when she was down visiting my friend Susanna for the holidays. They were friends at Auburn and I was still in high school. Martha Cary (my fiancee) saw me from across the room at church and asked Susanna who I was (I didn't find this part out until later). That night they were hanging out with my friend John. He called and asked if I wanted to hang out with him, Susanna, and one of her friends, I almost told him no. I wasn't to crazy about the last friend of Susanna's that I'd met. I said yes anyway. When I got there I was floored by how beautiful she was. Martha Cary not Susanna. I'm usually not a shy person, but I was really intimidated. I remember thinking that I would love to marry her. I also remember thinking that there was no way she would remember my name, but she did. We started sending each other emails over the summer and got to know each other kind of slowly. When I got to Auburn the next fall, we started dating.

Thanks for asking Michelle.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

» 12.14.2003

studying all day

Do you ever have something really important to do, but you just can't make yourself do it? Yeah, me neither. So far today I've gone to church, had some friends over for lunch, played two games of NCAA 2003 football, beat my roommate in chess, and talked to my fiancee for an hour or two. I'm about to go study for the Contemporary British Lit final that I have tomorrow, but first I think I need to do a little laundry, and clean my room, and...

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [11]   ]

» 12.13.2003


The old man rose slowly from the chair and moved towards his wife, who was lying unconscious in the hospital bed. It was bright outside and he had not slept well. She had been climbing the stairs in their daughter's house three days ago, when she said she had a headache, grasped the mahogany handrail, and sank slowly to the carpet. He straightened her gown, kissed her on the forehead, and whispered something into her ear. The old man then took the wooden brush with the smooth round tips out of the bag their daughter brought yesterday and began brushing her long white hair, silently praying that this would wake her.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

» 12.12.2003

one week old...

It's been a hard week to say the least...
{ Photo Friday : Childhood }

Week One
First Date

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [11]   ]

» 12.11.2003

not exactly a story

And He came out and proceeded as was His custom to the Mount of Olives; and the disciples also followed Him. When He arrived at the place, He said to them,

"Pray that you may not enter into temptation."

And He withdrew from them about a stone's throw, and He knelt down and began to pray, saying,

"Father, if You are willing, remove this cup from Me; yet not My will, but Yours be done."

Now an angel from heaven appeared to Him, strengthening Him. And being in agony He was praying very fervently; and His sweat became like drops of blood, falling down upon the ground. When He rose from prayer, He came to the disciples and found them sleeping from sorrow, and said to them,

"Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not enter into temptation."

Luke 22:39-46 NASB

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]

» 12.10.2003

gobble gobble

OK, to answer a few questions in the sez u from yesterday- We rapped in an old school hip-hop style. We wrote a chorus part to ice ice baby, did the actual scene to walk this way, and another chorus to gangster's paradise. Yes, there should be a supplication story, but I don't know if I should write it or if Eric wants to, so that should be coming soon.

Finally the turkey story. Around Thanksgiving in 1984 my dad was still in vet school. While he was there, they were experimenting on turkeys. The experiments involved feeding the turkeys food with different antibiotics mixed in and seeing how this affected their overall growth and the growth of their organs. The students would remove the organs and weigh them, but they didn't need the rest of the turkey, so the teachers would give the meat to the students for Thanksgiving. My mom would cook it up and we'd enjoy a great turkey dinner.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [7]   ]

» 12.9.2003

master thespian

Hey everybody, thanks for sharing a few details about your life. It's nice to know how you all know Shane.

I can't write much today. Why you may ask. I'll tell you. It's because I'm memorizing my lines for a theater production in which I will be acting. I am playing Tartuffe. A hypocrite from the 16th century French church. I know that right now you are all amazed and wondering if you will see me doing professional theater one day, so professional in fact that theater will be spelled this way theatre. The truth is I will not be involved in theatre or even theater for that matter. The reason -- we are rapping. Yes, that's right we are rapping a whole scene for the play. So much for my dreams of the stage.

Tomorrow there will be an explanation as to why my father fed me experimental turkey.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [5]   ]

two'fer tuesday: advent...

{ Guest Photographer : Eric Wyatt }

{ Supplication : 10 votes }

{ Justification : 5 votes }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [21]   ]

» 12.8.2003


Well, since Shane didn't really bother to introduce me, I'm Justin, your guest blogger. Pleased to make your acquaintance. Some essential facts about me: I am engaged to marry a beautiful woman on May 14th 2005 (I know it seems like a long way away, but trust me she is more than worth the wait.), I am an English major at Auburn University, and I was fed experimental turkey as a child while my dad was in vet school here.

So now that you know a few things about me, holla back and let me know about you. I recognize the names in the "Sez U" section, but that's about it. Sorry if this is too much like first day in the third grade, but I think it would be a good way for us to get to know each other. And for everyone out there with finals coming up, may God be with you.

{ posted by justin }
[   link   ]:[   Sez U [15]   ]

baby, please come home...

He was actually born around the other side in 224, but the middle window, room 215, is where we spent most of our time and where we had to change our first diapers...
{ Photo Friday (a little late) : Structure }

So we're home now. If you're itching for more photos, don't worry. I've provided links to them below.

Just a bit of house keeping, now. You won't hear too much from me the next two weeks. I'm taking a short paternity leave from the kudzu. I'll not be leaving you alone though. I've lined up a wonderfully guest writer to entertain you while i'm suffering sleep depravation. I'll probably also work on an official web page for the boy... put a little more text with these pictures, record some thoughts on being dad and poop and such. And don't forget to come back for Two'fer Tuesday. This week, Eric will be the guest photographer.

Finally, this coming Thursday will be the 1st anniversary of the kudzu. Look for an extra special post of celebration.

{ Coleman pictures : Day Two & Coming Home }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]

» 12.6.2003

ok, so now i've cried twice...

Subject: RE: He's Here!!!
Date: Sat, 06 Dec 2003 10:45:31 -0600
--- Andy Cloninger wrote:

Hey guys...Congratulations! You have done a wonderful thing. I checked out the online pictures--What a beautiful child. Jenni and I are so happy for you. I pray that God would bless Coleman Lee in every way--that he would come to know the good King Jehova and his son Jesus Christ and never have to stray from that relationship. That he would be filled with a passion to live life fully in the service of the One who made him. And I also pray for you guys as parents, that you would have the large grace and the momentary graces to be humble and consistent parents. And also that God would use this little life to continue to mold you both into the likeness of Christ. We love you guys. You've done a wonderful thing.....AndyThanks Andy. And thanks to everyone for sharing in our joy. We especially appreciate and covet your prayers. This will certainly be a Merry Christmas.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [1]   ]

» 12.5.2003

happy birthday, boy...

I was fine until I started flipping through the 70+ pictures I took today.  When I got to this one, I broke down and cried.  God is too good to me.
Coleman Lee Blake
date : December 5th, 2003
time : 3:54pm
weight : 7lb 6oz
length: 21½ in.

{ more pictures }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [20]   ]

in between the contractions...

Wanted to send out an email to everyone, but I'm still having trouble with the internet connection here. The nurse teased me and said they had WiFi, but I'm stuck on a dial up line. How last millenium.

Oh well. I'll have pictures to post tonight.

Seems like things are moving along, so keep praying. He'll be here before we know it.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [14]   ]

we interupt this broadcast...

"Feel how hard my belly is..."

"It's a contraction."

"No it's not. It's probably Cole stretching. . . . Ooops! My water just broke!"

So, midnight and we're off to the hospital...

Stay tuned for further developments.

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [13]   ]

» 12.4.2003


Finally, the digital scavenger hunting is complete!

26 Things II

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [8]   ]

» 12.3.2003

middle child...

I've an oldest child, a youngest child and a middlest child. Born about three months earlier than the usual nine, her first days and months were a trial by fire. You learn a lot of things about a lot of things you don't want to know when you go through something like that. You learn that at twenty seven weeks gestational age a baby's lungs aren't ready for the big bad world. You learn that no matter how small they are born, they invariably get smaller. She was born weighing two pounds three and a half ounces and lost down to 1 pound 15 ounces due to her shivering in attempt to maintain her body temp. You learn that Saran wrap can be used to help keep heat in.

You learn what an APGAR score is and that an APGAR score of one at birth and three at five minutes would have meant she was stillborn only four years earlier when our first was born. You learn that bright eyed, brace wearing little chippy Dr's straight out of med school don't realize when they explain that having a grade three brain bleed means your child may never walk and may never speak and may not even hold a pencil, smiling and acting happy makes you want to pick them up, throttle them vigorously and propel them repeatedly though walls.

You learn that effectual fervent prayer of thousands of righteous men and women avails very much, especially when the ultrasound Dr (not the little chippy) tells you the brain bleed has disappeared altogether. You learn that no matter how bad it seems for you some have it worse. You learn that even though after 52 heart rending days in the hospital and wearing doll clothes because they are the only clothes that fit her, your child is going HOME, alive and pretty much well. You learn your gift from God is truly that, a gift, from God.

{ posted by Phil }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [8]   ]

» 12.2.2003

guess the baby's birthday...


Pick which day you think Coleman will be born and leave it in the comments. Check the comments first and make sure someone else hasn't already chosen that day. I'll try to keep the calendar updated to show which dates have been chosen by placing an X in those boxes.

There may or may not be a prize for the winner....

{ Don't forget to vote in the Two'fer Tuesday below... }

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [28]   ]

two'fer tuesday: too much like cute...

Middle Monkey Child of the Space Monkey...
{ Middle Child : 10 votes }

Ever notice how some gifts just don't work out?
{ Snickerdoodle : 5 votes}

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [17]   ]

» 12.1.2003

not quite finished...

26 Things : 2

high point
familiar *
too much
the end
sharp *
close up
oversized *

* updated

[   link   ]:[   Sez U [4]   ]

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