Sunday, February 27, 2011

A note from Ange...

that I felt compelled to share...

Recent events which may become generally known require an explanation to friends, family and interested persons. As our friends know, Woody and I have personally cared for my father for several years. Fortunately, he lived only a few doors down the street and this eased our daily efforts to support him as his health deteriorated. In recent months his physical and mental health have deteriorated more rapidly.

Due to worsening dementia, daddy became more difficult to manage. Recently, we made a family decision, initiated by him, to make arrangements for him in a local assisted living home. He is 90.

A few weeks ago, daddy called one morning stating that he was in extreme pain and no one would answer his emergency call button to help him and to get out of bed. Woody rushed to the facility but could not gain access to daddy’s room. Daddy was on the other side of the locked door yelling and screaming in pain. Woody immediately began searching for an attendant to provide access but found no one in his initial efforts in the halls, front desk or public rooms. He became increasingly concerned. Upon finally locating someone, and in his haste and anxiety, Woody touched a lady in the shoulder area. It was not a push, shove, punch or violent in any way. The lady did not fall to the floor or into furniture nor was she injured in any way. Unfortunately, she has brought a simple battery charge against Woody. On the bright side, daddy was confused and in pain, but was otherwise fine.

Daddy’s situation has reached the point however that we are now looking for another facility with additional services for guests requiring more personal care. Though we regret a charge was made by this one employee for this incident we are extremely thankful for the patience and courtesy of the staff and management in general.

I respectfully request your understanding our need for privacy at this very emotional time. Those of you having lived through similar experiences with loved ones will know what we are living through. We love “Big Dad” which he is affectionately called and we cherish his life. He is a veteran of World War II. We will continue that love and support as long as he is with us on this earth.

Ange (Mrs. Woody) Merry

Friday, February 25, 2011

That's Woody Merry, he's known for stuff like that.

My dad has been in the news a lot lately. Not all of it good. Because the “good stuff” does not sell advertising and newspapers, in my opinion.
Allow me to introduce Woody to you.
Woody is generous, to a fault. It’s probably his biggest flaw. Don’t laugh, it’s like saying “overly punctual” as a flaw in an interview. But, it is a big flaw. He sees the good in everyone and gives second, third, fourth, and even fifth chances. These strangers, probationers, reformed drug addicts, and people who just hit a rough patch can have good in them and Woody works hard to make sure that he sees it. And helps. He has been burned one time too many and each time we think he has “learned his lesson” and each time, he proves to us that there is someone out there who has good. 
Woody’s father died when Woody was young. Silly young, like seven. He was eating breakfast at the kitchen table and his dad said, “Son, I’m going to play racquetball at the gym and we’ll hang out tonight. I love you.” and he was gone. Six months later, Woody was riding his bike down the street and was the victim of a hit and run. His femur had sliced through his skin and he spent the next 16 weeks in an almost full-body cast in the hospital. It was where he was when Kennedy was shot. Because of these events, Woody puts his wife and children first. Very first. Before work, before everything else.
Woody has sold insurance almost his whole adult life. When his father died early, he saw the immediate benefits of how his father took care of his mother. My grandmother never had to go back to work. When she died, Woody downsized his lucrative office on Wheeler Road and moved his practice to the pool house behind our house, where his mother had lived before her death. Every day when my brother and I came home from school, we walked into the office and saw both of our parents before walking into the house to start homework, eat a snack, and take care of our chores.
Speaking of insurance, Woody, literally, has saved not only lives, but families. People bring their problems to him- not like a lawyer, or a psychiatrist, but something equally complex- finances. People bring their problems to him and he reviews what they have done, the good and the bad, and helps them prepare for the next chapter in their lives, whether it is retirement, babies, college, or death. Everything that comes across his desk is immediately locked in a mental vault, not just because it is the law- HIPAA, but it is the right thing to do. Woody came into this business before fancy titles like “financial planner” came about. He came into this business before fees. When “Financial Planners” started charging fees, Woody said point blank, “I did not start with fees and I am not going to end with fees.”
Woody made his bones at The Academy in the height of the early seventies when we were all, as a nation, figuring out just what it meant to be black, white, southern, right, and wrong. We were, as a section of this country, wrong. Under the flag and under God, we are all equal. It does not matter your background, the color of your skin, or your belief. We are all equal.
From those days and into today, Woody’s friends are not always going to be found at a country club or on a golf course. His very best friend is a farmer in Millen and we see him about once a year in his beat up Ford. Woody makes anyone feel welcome in our home and he knows no strangers. He’s short and he’s scrappy, but he’s my dad.
As dads go, I would not cash mine in.
And you should not either. Don’t judge just what you hear from those that do not know him. Ask around to those that do and a different story will start to form. A loving friend, caring husband, amazingly patient son-in-law to a very stubborn old man, and someone who loves this city, and this country deeper than can possibly be understood.
That’s what Woody Merry should be known for. 

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Men in Her Life

Eileen and I are cleaning out our closets... it makes me feel better when the house is a wreck, at least I know that the closets are clean. Sadly, we have lived here a little over seven months and they have been cleaned and organized more times than I care to admit to.

Eileen tries on various funny hats & sweaters, jumps up and down, and then... takes them off for the next round. She still has the blueberry yogurt from breakfast all over her face and is currently wearing a pink Minnie Mouse (IN-E, as she calls it) t-shirt & a red fleece hat with a pom-pom on top, electing that over the lavender dual pom-pom fleece hat. 

By the front door is where we are currently sitting, surrounded by wax cotton jackets, leather jackets, the lone fur my parents have said I could BORROW while we reside in 20002, and a vast assortment of baby layers- sweaters, snow suits, buntings, etc.

Eileen has looked at me, on more than one occasion this morning and said, "Daddy?"

"Daddy's not here. He'll be here in a little bit," which is my standard response when she has not seen Husband for more than ten minutes. The days he is on call, the answer is, "Daddy will be here tomorrow. He's taking care of sick babies at the hospital and sends his love. He wants to be here with us, but he has to be there today." The day he is post call, the answer is, "Daddy's not here. He'll be here in a little bit."

So... here we are surrounded by jackets and Eileen asking about The Curly Headed Man.

"Daddy's not here. He'll be here in a..."
"We aren't going to see An-Ew today, he's with his Da-Dee and Ma-Mee and baby brother today. We'll see him on Friday at the IMAX."
"Daddy's not here. He'll be here..."
"AN-EW?!" With a little more emphasis.
"We aren't going to see An-Ew today."
"Daddy's not ..."
"Honey, I know An-Ew wants to see you, too."

"Yes, Sweet Potato?"
Fish kiss.

While it is clear who the men in this girls life are, it's nice to know that I make the top three.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Hammer & Nails

Husband is going to have to hide the hammer & nails from me.

If I have to be organized- can't I, at least, be cute?

And yes, these really are what she wears to play in, go to the park in, sleep in, and otherwise be a little girl and make big messes.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Husband was on call the other day (shocker) so Eileen and I had a bubble party with THE GREATEST bubbles, EVER. Seriously. Click here:  8oz Gazilion Refill and buy. If your child is anywhere under the age of 40, they will get a big kick out of these.

She loves trying to catch them.

Since Da-dee was gone, we were able to fill the kitchen with ba-boos for the gleeful girl.

This is her... saying, "BA-BOOS! MOMMY! Ba-Boos! Ba-boos!"

And this is her trying to get the ba-boo off my shoulder.

We (Obviously) decided to forgo the cleaning of the kitchen for more ba-boo time!

Everywhere! ba-boos, mommy!

Ba-boos in her hair, on the fridge.

on the stove...

Look at that smug look-- she caught a ba-boo!

And then she popped said ba-boo.


No time for tea sets & plasma cars, mom. There are Ba-Boos.

She wanted to help out but was not successful.

I love the ba-boos in her hair!

The bubbles like to hang out in Eileen's hair.

Can you see them? Stuck to the rug?

And this is my favorite-- the bubble stuck to my flowers!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Crab Macaroni & Cheese

Lobster is decadent, I will be the first to admit that. It comes out of its shell in a long, lustrous piece of wonderfulness for dinner. It's dipped in clarified butter (because plain butter is too mundane and not nearly rich enough). Besides, lobster is very, very expensive. If a statement is to be made, it is to be made with lobster.

Why take something so delicate and drench it in cheese sauce? Save your clams! Use crab!

For Valentine's Day, I made several batches of crab mac & cheese for friends and the vote was unanimous-- Sup-licious!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Aging... Gracefully

When I was young, piously, the decision was made that there would never be any plastic surgery (except my neck, if I get a chicken neck-- we’ll kiss that sucker good-bye). Like my Aunt Susie, I would let my hair naturally go from brown to gray and I would go along with it. Life’s a journey and there is little room for vanity.
Until this morning. Well, let me back up. Two days ago, I was giving myself a haircut -- not a real one, there were just a few loose strands that needed some snipping and this coupon clipper was not going to spend $56 on that. Snip snip sn- What is that?! Surely, no. I’m barely 30 and ...There It Was.
My first gray hair.
It flittered out of my shaking hand before closer inspection. Amongst the hundreds of thousands of strands of hair on my head, the one discolored could not be found. Surely, SURELY, it was nothing more than a reflection of the bad lighting in our windowless bathroom. 
Cursing the bathroom and missing our sunlight filled Raymond Ave, the Heavens were sent a thank-you for lack of grays. Forget vanity, I have a head full of beautiful glossy brown hair.
This morning, though. This morning, Husband and Wife woke up- Husband with the mildest of hangovers (he’s currently sleeping in the chair) due to his Christmas party last night (Check the calendar, it’s February 13th) with his department and I set to work on some blueberry pancakes that were pathetically undercooked and lacked all the wonderfulness that pancakes offer one on a Sunday morning, especially after a hard Saturday night.
I pulled my “mom cut” back with a small clip and the baby wisps by my temple fell out, as they have done my whole life.
And there was another one.
Holy Shirts, Bat Man. I’m going gray.
Screw aging gracefully.

Thursday, February 10, 2011


Sometimes this small place gets the best of me. Eileen has a walk-in closet, which collects more clutter than any place in the house, er, apartment. Yesterday, it was Time. Time to clean out and get a little more organized. Using innovation and imagination instead of my American Express, I went in search for a hammer and nails.

Eileen has 17 pair of shoes. I do not have 17 pair of shoes (I have 8 pair of flip flops, but those don't count- especially up here where they cannot be worn every day). Hammer... nails.... it's pretty low-rent, but it works and if I possessed one of those fancy cameras, it might even be artistic...

Don't worry though, I'm still me...

And Eileen is still a Georgia girl with her boots...