Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

After spending over a decade in law enforcement, victim services and social work, we circled the wagons and brought our kids home from public school. Now, we are on year five. After the first years, we learned to lay to rest all of those good intentions of facilitating unrealistic goals of growth, having tri-lingual kids, and raising prodigal children. We now focus on strong vitals and an education that stands just above 3rd world countries.

Frankly, our boys live like college freshman – stay up late, sleep late and cram like it’s their job. Yes, we have the same 24 hour day as the rest of you, but the mental exhaustion of homeschooling puts that productivity at around 4 hours a day. By the time I do my own jobs, home school and some typical chores, I am mentally done. So, I add wine to the equation and gain a few more hours of productivity.

What do I do with this 2nd wind, you might ask? Mostly, I curl up with a book and ignore all types of responsibilities for a couple more hours. What are my boys doing during this sacred time? They are enjoying endless amounts of technology – YouTube, Xbox, Ipads, TV, etc. Why? Because it keeps them quiet. Because it keeps their vitals strong. Because it protects my sanity.

My boys often ask if we are normal and I say, “Yes!” with resounding confidence. I explain to them that they belong to an internationally, renowned private home school program, I somehow manage to work enough to contribute to my part of the household bills and 80% of our food budget goes to home-cooked food! Did I mention the strong vitals?? We are good, I say!

What’s ‘normal’ anyway. Around Here Normal is Just a Setting on the Dryer.

You are About to be in a World of Hurt, Honey!

I am taking some much needed time to help out y’all in mounting a defense against the World Wide Web, even though so many of you are knee deep in the fight all ready. The younguns aren’t as negatively affected with this concept, as the generation above us – (even though my dear mother conquered Facebook before I caved – she didn’t get her first smartphone until this week). So in celebration of this bittersweet moment for my mother, let us talk about smartphones this week.

1. Don’t Get Your Liver in a Jar.

Let us take a quick journey through time to help build your confidence and remind you that you can survive this big step. Although in hindsight, we totally should have stayed right here….The only dirty laundry on these phones was nice and hidden on a similar string.

.tin can

Then we partied with our neighbors…

Phone 1

Then we were a Jones for a minute…        until we tried to keep up with them….

Old Phone1st cordless

Then these were introduced “for emergencies, only” ….

Bag Phones

Then, we got too big for our britches…

flip phone

And surpassed yet another stage that shoulda been left wellanuff alone….

camera phone

Enter….the best and worst invention of our time. A device that can broadcast our best and worst times to The.Entire.World. in a split second.


2. Forget Slow As Molasses in January.

Smartphones bring the Internet wherever you need it, lickety-split. But first you have to overcome the touch screen. For those of you that came before the TV remote, this one is a dingy and I’m not real sure how I can help you build this bridge. I totally Googled (We will learn about Dr. Google later) it and got nothing. If you came between the TV remote and the IPAD, there is hope for you yet.

3. Smartphones Are Fine As Frog Hair.

If you turn down the wrong country road, there is an app for that. If you want to know when is the best time to go look at stars, there is an app for that. If you forget when to change your contact lenses, there is an app for that. If you forgot when you will start your period, there is an app for that. If you want to compare prices of a certain product, there is an app for that. If you have forgotten what books you have read, there is an app for that. If you want to figure out an amazing, inventive way to organize your life, there is an app for that. Want to read the Good Book, there is an app for that. If you want to prank call your ex-boyfriend, there is an app for that. Get my drift? If you can imagine it, someone has already beat you to it and called it an app.

4. What in the Heck are Apps? (We will jump in a littler deeper in some of these later!)

“Apps” are cute little icons that are only one click between where you are and where you want to be or apps are your answer to whatever question you have. Imagine your smartphone as a tool shed and each tool is an app. If you need to tighten up a space in your house, download Pinterest. If you need to hammer out directions, download MapQuest. If you need to pencil in a reminder, download the app. If you need to run to Lowe’s…download the Lowe’s app and instantly see specials, choices and ideas.

What are your favorite Apps?

That Face thingy.

Technology may have flourished across the planet, but it is more accurate to say that it invaded us mountain folk. Change is not easy for us…. at all. Even the battle cries of the Civil War have been passed from generation to generation and so folks are hesitant to accept new things. It was one thing to wrap our heads around the www but then people go and add in Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter. Throw in smartphones and the world was at war once again with the South.

Hillbilly smartphone


Let us start with Facebook. I’m sure it was meant to connect with severed friends, creep on ex-friends and maybe exchange a recipe or 200. However, by the time it got to us, it was a platform to air your dirty laundry, gloat about your weekly cooking and celebrate the person that you really ain’t.

Survival Tips:



1. Dirty Laundry is meant for the backyard.

If you wouldn’t say it in church, don’t say it on Facebook.

2. Just because ‘they’ put in on Facebook, doesn’t mean it’s true.

3. Don’t take pictures of your supper and post it – your friends do NOT want to know what you are eatin. Especially if it’s better than what they are eatin – if they are eatin at all.

4. If you do happen to capture an amazing, Blessed moment with your family, make it your cover photo and act like the pic represents everyday life. This is important to fit in.

5. Identify two to three Facebook friends to creep their pages, so that you and your closest friend can stay in touch by belittling every post they make. (Not that I do this at all…………..) This will help make your daily life just a tad better and gossip is fuel for a Southern heart.


What do you country girls HATE most about Facebook?? Do you remember when you finally caved and joined Facebook? Tell us about it!