Monday, December 31, 2012

My YeAr In ReViEw 2012

This year has been a rough year for me. It has also been filled with many good memories and blessings as well.  So as my nose drips continually down my face, on this New Year's Eve, let's review the wild and wonderful happenings of 2012.

ThE BaD,  tHe UgLy, aNd ThE bUgS

1. The year of firsts without my mother (The Grief 365 Badge)
2. My female surgery in January ( A Scrape, A Burn, 6 Incisions, 4 Units of Blood, and a Little Heart Shaped Suprise
3 .Moving to Kentucky (see any of the 5 posts from 5/12/12-6/30/12)
4. The Ant Infestation, the first one of my life.  I did not post about it, because I was too busy in hand to ant combat!
5. Breaking my leg at Roanake Island Festival Park, on check in day of our second OBX beach trip.  Yeah, that one sucked.  BIG time! ( Top 42 Things I Have Learned So Far From Breaking My Leg,   Even More Things I Have Learned From Breaking My Leg, and GoodbyeHardware;NakedMommyAloneTime )
6. Spiders (Mommy Lesson #35-Bravery and Today's Random Thoughts)
7. The major sucky life event that happened 3 weeks before Christmas ( Shakin' the Foundations)
8. Grief (Son Of A......$#@%^ )

ThE GoOd, ThE fUn, AnD tHE bLeSsInGs

1. My wonderful husband.  He is the besand has taken care of me through this rough first year without my mother, and during all my illness.  He has stepped up like a champ!  I love you with all my heart, oh soul mate of mine! But here's a little funny on him, and men in general! (Man Habits I Live With)
2. My beautiful, healthy, hilarious little punkin doo, otherwise know as the 4yo (Mommy Lesson # 36- The Plastic Devil and the Silver Lining, Tears, a Tea Party, and Smuggled Chili, and My 4yo Living Christmas Tree)
3. Vacations. Atlantis, Lexington for a week when the big storm hit, and the power was out, OBX two times, Tennessee twice, and Florida for Thanksgiving(which was the one year anniversary of my dearest mother's death).  I am a very lucky girl.  Best hubs and daddy EVER! (Beach Therapy)
4. Reconnecting with a long lost Aunt, who passed away later in the year. (A Last Afternoon With My Aunt)
5. My 20 year High School Class Reunion (The 20 Year High School Reunion, and The Reunion Review)
6. Connecting with and getting to know my paternal biological sister and other two paternal biological brothers...although why the middle brother's wife defriended us all on FB and nobody knows why, so scratch that, make that 1 bio-bro.
7. Family snuggle time.
8. Daddy and punkin doo hugs and kisses.
9. Family.  I have the best family hands down anywhere.  I love my daddy, Nana, my MIL and FIL, and my GMIL and GFIL. Love you guys!
10. Besties.  I have the best friends a girl could ask for! Love you all! (Oldies, Chocolate, Sex, and Tweezers)
11. The birth of my first nephew.  My brother and sister in law were blessed with a healthy, happy, bouncing baby boy!  Proud Auntie G here!

So that is all Folks! After reviewing my good and bad lists, it sure seems like I had a lot more blessings than bad stuff.  Even though the bad stuff was pretty huge.  I feel incredibly blessed.  Blessed with my soul mate, a beautiful child, wonderful stepkids, great parents, wonderful in laws, moving back to my home state of WV soon, and the bestest friends, that would drive 2 hours to hang out for 2 hours on Christmas, or meet me at the drop of a hat when I am in town, or pick up right where we left off friends, that a girl could ask for!  Happy that I am able to blog, and people like what I have to say!  Feeling incredibly blessed and very thankful!  Here's to a fabulous 2013!  Happy New Year  Everyone!

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Christmas Carnage and Temptation

So apparently I am on a roll.  Today is the day that has been earmarked for cleaning up the rest of the Christmas carnage.  You all know what I am talking about.  The half boxes overflowing with each family members stack of new clothes, pajamas, socks, and underwear.  In the living room, and under the tree.  The boxes of blue ray players, GPS systems, iPod docks, surround sound systems, this years new Christmas ornaments, calendars, boxes of candy, stuffed animals, the stack of new movies, new books, the gigantic bags and boxes from grandma and grandpas houses respectively filled with coloring books, glow bracelets, light up necklaces, PlayDoh, and various other little kiddie items, that I do not even want to unpack. The new electron-O-gadget for your child and box that goodness forbid, we ACTUALLY throw away, cough cough sputter. The infomercial toy boxes, the disco ball and box, the new Jim Shore statue and box, the new enormous Disney Barbie castle(ie todays Barbie Dreamhouse equivalent for those of us born in the seventies), and the entire cast of Cinderella in Barbie dolls. The tub toys mermaid contraption, and of course the new Santas little helper Barbie. 
  Okay.  So you get my point.  So to further, my oh so tempting, procrastinator tendencies, of putting off the cleaning up of my house, and restoring order in the wake of the Christmas carnage, are six more things that are making it impossible to get started.  When I woke up this morning, I woke up to the most beautiful snow covered back yard landscape.  The 4yo has been dying to make a snowman.  The last time it sowed, we made snow angels, and played in the snow-mud, but there wasn't enough for a snowman. Today there is.  But the snow bibs, heavy coat, snow boots and gloves are outside, in the car, in the snow.  Argh! Number two, we both woke up this morning with the results of our recent horrible colds coming out of our noses.  Right, yummy.  I blew my nose and out comes yellow.  The 4yo sneezes, and out come two big, long, thick strings of fat mucousy, yellow snot.  Straight down her face, covering her mouth, so she screams, "Mommy, heeeeeeelp, Mommy, Mommy, MOMMY!"  Mommy to the rescue with a roll of toilet paper, while trying not to puke!  We have surpassed the boxes of tissues in this house, we are to the 'toilet paper' stage.   That, dear readers, without little snot machines running around, is the point when all the occupants of your house have exhausted so many boxes of tissues, that you say 'screw it' and resort to toilet paper.  This is because you yourself feel like crap, but mommy isn't allowed to be sick, so you resort to toilet paper to keep from showering everybody, dressing everybody, listening to everybody's increased whining, and dragging everyone to the store for more tissues, in fear that it will inevitabley turn into a full blown shopping trip.  Number three, I have the two most recent issues of my favorite magazine, that I have read religiously since the fourth grade, People Weekly.  I would love to curl up on the couch and just have a lazy reading day, not to mention that Nook gift card I received burning a hole in my purse, but alas there is Christmas carnage to attend to.  *Sigh*.  Number four, our home state of WV, has a team playing in the Pinstripe Bowl today, WVU.  That one is not until two pm, so I may turn that one on while cleaning.  While I went to Marshall University(the smaller in-state rivalry school), I was raised in a WVU household.  We cheer for both.  And last but by no means the least, numbers five and six, my father's Christmas Chex mix and the chocolate no-bake cookies, both of which he is locally famous for.  Every year he and my mother would make these two favorites of mine and my little brothers.  I was so proud of my daddy when he continued the tradition last year, right after we lost my mother. These are foods made with love.  I just want to soak up all their lovey dovey sweet and salty goodness. I am tempted to sit around with my snotty nose, and my snotty nosed kid, and eat chex mix and chocolate cookies all day while we watch WVU in their bowl game, snuggled up under my favorite kitty cat childhood blankie.  Just to make you jealous...
  But I cannot.  I neglected to mention the bedroom full of mounds of clean clothes that need to be folded and put away.  These have been neglected due to the fact that we have been traveling back and forth between WV and KY for the last two weeks.  We have been up I-64 and back eight times in the last two weeks.  I kid you not.  So....hang on a sec............aaaaaahhhhhhh chex mix and chocolate cookie fix.  Yuuuuuumo.  Heaven.  Okay I can think again.  Maybe I can motivate through all these temptations, with the help from a couple of them?  Yes, I think so!  So laundry is in, couple of boxes are emptied, dishes are started, and I think we will go play in the snow before it melts, and satisfy my 4yo's desire to build a snowman!  Then I will tackle the Christmas carnage while watching the Bowl game!  Anybody want to drive to KY to help? Any takers?? Just kidding!  The chex mix is all mine I tell you, ALL mine! Hah! Have a great day!  And for any of you wondering, yes those are my cute little Christmas socks in the picture!

Friday, December 28, 2012

Shakin' the Foundations

It feels like I have not written in forever, with the holidays and all, but I hope everyone had a very merry Christmas with family, friends, and loved ones.  My family had a very good Christmas.
   We have also had a very long and hard three and a half weeks.  One of those situations, you know the ones, that threaten to shake your foundations.  We have come through the worst of it on the other side, but are still working through the middle.  The good news is that we will be moving back to our home state of West Virginia. Yay!  Now to find a house, in West Virginia, while we still live in Kentucky!  We have done nothing but travel back and forth for the last two weeks! I am pooped! And we haven't even started packing!  Here's to hoping our landlord will be understanding about us breaking our lease!
   My husband and I were talking, and just when you get over a life changing event, something else comes along and blindsides you.  Whether it is fate, karma, or God testing you, there will always be trials and tribulations.  That is what makes it life.  It is not what happens to you, but how you deal with what happens. With grace and hope is how we roll.  Oh and me constantly blowing sunshine and positivity!
  Seriously though, after mom dying right before thanksgiving last year, my almost bleeding to death a few weeks later, my surgery last January, recoup time, our moving to Kentucky away from everything and everybody we knew and loved for the next step on the corporate ladder, a year of firsts without mom, breaking my leg in August, convalescing and recuperating , marking the first anniversary of her death, and then being released to walk after a three and a half month broken knee/leg ordeal, I felt like I could breath a sigh of relief. Then the bombshell dropped four days after I was released to walk. Aahh life, why must you test me so?  Just when life gets back to normal, why must you jerk the rug out from under me again?
  Am I the only one who feels like I am constantly being tested?  Like the good in my life must be equaled out with bad?  I am a glass half full kind of girl.  I am the one who finds the positive and the silver lining in everything, and makes the best of sour apples.
  So in the midst of what has already been a crazy almost four weeks, and a crazy packing and moving probable next four crazy weeks, I wanted to do something fun with my 4yo.  So we go to have lunch and she plays at the indoor play park.  We then go to the store and return home.  And what to my wondering eyes appear?  My 4yo and eight bags of groceries round my feet , crowded near. 
  Okay, okay, wait just a second.  That is entirely too cheerful for what just happened.  Chuckin' the cheerfulness out the door, or in the door if I could!  We have one of those pesky insert, push while your jiggling side to side, front doorknob locks, that you simultaneously have to pull and up and down twist and baby.  Wiggle, wiggle, push, twist and up, and down and wiggle and jam some more.  It is seriously bordering on the pornographic what you have to go through to get into my house.  So tonight the babying took on a new meaning.  Begging and pleading entered the picture.  As I juggle my 4yo, the groceries , and my purse, the key breaks off in the lock as I am babying it.   Guess it's seen a lot of use huh?  Anxiety rushes down my spine.  I try to remain calm and not spout the plethora of colorful curse words that enter my head, as I try to figure out what to do next.  I try to insert the rest of the key, and push, and shove, and turn, etc.  All to no avail.  Well, actually, the broken piece did go in a little farther.  So now I am determined I can shove it in the rest of the way, and get my child out of the freezing cold and inside our warm, toasty house.  Idea number one was a fail.  I put the 4yo back in the warm car, while I march back to the front door, determined I will beat this door.  My husband has tried to show me how to jimmy a lock several times.  I was not a proficient pupil.  Next time I will pay attention. I call my dear old hub, who is at work out of town, and tell him what has happened.  He walks me through how to jimmy our current door.  I tell him I will try, and let him know if we get in or not.  No such luck.  I am a weakling.  Where are my pro fitness and bodybuilding brother and sister in law when you need them? Oh, hah, that's right , in WV, where we should be! ARGH!  Never mind the fact that we don't have a spare key.  My husband used to work right down the road, and I have been a stay at home mom.  Not anymore can I just swing down the road and grab his key.  So a little foresight would have been helpful in this thirty degree situation.  Okay, what to do now?  I peer across the street at the only friendly neighbors we have.  Both their cars are home.  Maybe just maybe they will help poor little old stranded me.  I am desperately trying to remember if we gave them anything yummy back in June, when the power was out for a week, and when we left to hole up in a hotel, we gave them the remaining contents of our fridge.   So I call the mom across the street.  I tell her it's me and I have an emergency, and ask if I can borrow her husband.  I then explain the situation, realizing that the first sentence out of my mouth sounded a little suspect, and if she has just seen what I have been doing to our front door, she probably wouldn't lend him to me!  She said sure, she would send him right over.  She is a doll!
   So Mr. next door neighbor comes over, and I explain the situation, including a descriptive narrative on what I do to our doorknob every day to get it open.  The funny part was, he brought some foamy white greasy stuff to help.  Bahahahaha!  So I tell him how my husband described how to jimmy the lock.  So he tries it.  As he is trying it, he tells me he has never done this before.  Great!  I just turned Mr. next door neighbor into a dirty felon!  But it works, the door popped right open!  Choruses of Hallelujah fill the air...wait, that was only in my head. I profusely thank Mr. next door neighbor for saving the day. Then we proceed to chat for a little bit.  Then I get the 4yo out of the car and into the warm house.  She gives Mr. next door neighbor a hug, a thanks, and a branch from a tree in our yard! Hah! Four year olds!  Sooooo...we are safely in the house ,the groceries are in the fridge,  the end of my front door key is still safely in the lock, and I owe my neighbors some  chocolate chip cookies!  See?  Negativity gone, and positivity back as the warmth seeps into my bones, and I put on my favorite pajamas.  Plus when I logged into Blogger to write this lovely post for you, I got an eleventh follower! Yay me!  Simple things make me happy! Welcome and happy and hilarious reading!

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Tattler Thursday

OK, it's official! It's time to take this page interactive! Today is the first ever Tattler Thursday! Sponsored in part by my lil punkin doo being up half the night hacking, coughing, drowning in a sea of snot while trying to breathe, with an icky cold. Yes dear readers, the snotties, coughing, hacking, poopies, and congestion have hit our house. So it's time for you to tattle! Time for all the stories about the yuckies from in the trenches parenthood! Yes mommies and daddies, aunties and uncles, and grandparents too, it's time to spill all of those hilarious, gross, and nasty stories! Stories about poop squishing out of diapers, bff's babies using your mouth for target practice, puking all over grandpa's sweater, pooping everytime a child is around a certain grandparent, sticking your hand in it, etc. Anything goes!  So ready, set, GO! Get to tattling! Leave your tattle tales in the comments below, or in the comments section of this post on my blog,! I can't wait for you to start cracking me up! Happy posting!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Oldies, Chocolate, Sex, and Tweezers

It has been almost three weeks since my last post.  I know, I know, you all thought I fell off the face of the earth.  Well here I am! Happy, plucky, cheerful, blowing sunshine up everybodys wazoo, old me! I am back!  My family has had a monumental two weeks.  Our world has been turned upside down, here three weeks before Christmas.  Monumental disasterous upside down.  Like we haven't had enough happen in  the last year, actually the last four years to last a lifetime, but I digress.  So I have been a little busy, and preoccupied to say the least.  I will not go into details, but those of you that pray, please keep praying for my family! 
  So my momma always taught me by example, and in lesson, that when the going gets tough, the women are the pillar of strength for their family, and the tough go to momma.  Mommas are the ones who hold families together(no offense to any awesome daddies out there).  My momma was the toughest old bird I ever had the pleasure of knowing.  Those of you that knew her would definitely agree. I have found this to be true.  Especially in the last two weeks.  Geez, more and more, I am beginning to feel like my mother!  We are starting to see the beginning of the other side.  Baby steps. Even pillars of strength need a release.  That is what this post is about.  Stress relief, not the actual stress.
   When you find yourself in circumstances that do not allow you to openly express your opinion or your personality, but require you to be a perfect little lady, you need a stress reliever.  When you have been too strong for too long, you need a stress reliever.  When you have to be the bad guy, you have to get it off your chest.  When you feel the need to blow off some steam, or else you are going to bite your tongue off, you need a vent line.  When your patience is all out of patience, you need a mini break.  When you are at the point, or feel yourself getting to that point, everybody needs one they can call.  That drop anything friend, that will meet you for breakfast in the blink of an eye, on very short notice, when they already have other plans, that will let you vent long, hard and nonstop about anything and everything that is rocking your world.  They saved lives and they do not even know it!  The kind of life saving friendship, where you have known the person your whole life, that you can pick right back up where you left off without missing a beat.  I am a very lucky girl to have many of these lovely lifelong friends. My "oldies" so to speak.   I would like to thank Miss M for being such a doll and meeting me for breakfast the other morning!  I love you girl!  Thanks for the much needed shot of sanity!
   The other stress reliever in my life is always by my side.  I never leave home without it.  I am in love.  I feel immediately calmer when my hand slides down the cool metal.  As my hand closes, and I get a good grip, I immediately feel more powerful, more in control of my destiny.  As I aim at my target, push the cool metal together and feel it touch the other side and pull, I feel like nothing can touch me now.  As I get my intended target, At that moment, instant relief and self gratification rolls down my spine.  I am then as relaxed as if I have just eaten chocolate or had sex(my other two favorite releases, no explanation needed).  So I aim again, and again, and repeat until I am satisfied.  I seriously cannot leave the house without them.  I freak out if I lose them.  Even if I canot use them at any given moment, I can reach into my purse and touch the cool metal, and it calms me. I use EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. I must have them with me at all times, or know their whereabouts.  I confess.  I am an obsessive compulsive tweezers addict.  There is nothing that comes between me and my tweezers.  Except my family these past two weeks.  When we were reunited today in the car, I felt instant relaxation, as all the stress left my body.  All is right with my world again.  Well almost.  Balance has at least been restored to my eyebrows, and that pesky chin hair.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

My 4yo Living Christmas Tree

So there I am in the shower.  A blissfully uninterrupted shower.  I can hear my 4yo playing in the living room around our Christmas tree.  Then She comes in and asks,"Momma, can you smell me?"  Oh dear!  So let's rewind a couple of days shall we?
  I had my last doctor's appointment regarding my broken leg last Thursday.  I was given permission to walk.  Words I have been waiting since August the eighteenth, when I broke my knee and leg, rather badly, in two places, to hear(still crutches and cane as needed during therapy).  So I was jumping(ie walking) for joy!  So my daddy met me at my doctors appointment, and we went to have a celebratory lunch after.  After all, it was him and my daughter I was with, when on a family beach vacation, when I fell and started this journey!  So it was appropriate that we were celebrating together!  He brought me a singing feel better frog equipped with a right leg brace(purple of course)and a crutch, and a Yankee candle that I had wanted, that smelled like pine and Christmas.  He also bought me two Yankee candle room sprays.  One that smelled like Christmas, and one that smelled like pine!  I love my daddy!  So fast forward back to today in the bathroom.
   So to answer the 4yo's question, yes I can smell her.  She smells rather strongly, like a gigantic Christmas Tree!  Normally this would pose no problem.  She did not get it in her eyes or her mouth, so wer'e all good right?  Wrong!  We are going to meet my mother in law and oldest daughter for lunch and winter formal shopping with daddy(my husband has the best taste in the family, with eldest daughter a close second.) Shouldn't be a problem right? Wrong!  My mother in law is smell sensitive.  She is allergic to any candles, lotion, perfume, room spray, you get the picture.  So dragging a huggy 4yo who smells strongly like a christmas tree may pose a problem.  We are talking, when we were out of town together in June, she gave us the keys to their truck, and opted not to go with us to dinner, because she was hacking and coughing because I put on perfume.  It is not her fault, but smells make her deathly ill, and give her a migraine.  Albeit, she is a little dramatic at times with the coughing and gagging, but she really is sensitive.  Which has been a learning curve for me , because I come from one big like to excercise out right to perfume family.  So I am now no longer enjoying my solo uninterrupted shower, I am mentally brainstorming a way to tone down and cover  the tree smell.  When I get out of the shower for the first time in four months on two feet, I do no happy happy dance of joy to celebrate, instead I am brainstorming how to not shower, but un-pine spray my child.  Yes MIL is allergic to Febreze too.
   So after clean clothes, powdering my child, lotioning to try to cover up the smell, and taking time to breath and get dressed, we are ready to go and meet the MIL and sissy the oldest.  I can no longer detect the odor.  Hopefully MIL won't be able to either!  We shall see!  If she does, I promise to take a picture of the face that is sure to ensue at my little 4yo living Christmas Tree.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Son Of A......$#@%^

For those of you who read The Grief 365 Badge, this is the unexpected 4am follow up.  For those of you just tuning in, go and do your homework. Just kidding! My family will not be together this Thanksgiving Day.  My father had to work, my brother will go to his in laws house, my family has flown south with my in laws, to Florida to escape, and my mother will be having the time of her life spending Thanksgiving in heaven. 
   The 4yo loved flying for the first time. We touched down in sunny Florida and had a great first day.  We hit two local restaurants, hit the phenomenal garden tub in our room for an extended scalding hot, smut reading, during nappietime soak, hit the shops on the boardwalk, and daddy took the 4yo swimming.  We all went to bed early and fell sound asleep.  I, as usual, woke up at 3:30am to hobble to the bathroom, on my crutches.  I got a drink of water, laid back down, and son of a bitch, it hit me.  All the memories came flooding back  all at once.  The very memories I have been trying to escape this holiday season.
   The call. The call that I received from my father early in the morning , on the 21st of November, 2011.  The call that would start the ball in motion, and that would mark the beginning of the events that would forever change my life.  The memory of my father's voice, his words markedly different this time.  The memory or rushing to the hospital as fast as I could.  The memory of the state my mother was in.  The memory of how pitifully frail she looked sitting in the Emergency Room hospital bed.  The memory that I will cherish for all time.  The one where I felt a sudden overwhelming need to tell my mother I loved her, like she had done for me so many times when I needed to hear her words.  The same one where I remember trying to put all the feeling I had for her in it to make it convey how very much I loved her, because I somehow innately knew she needed to hear it this time more than any other.  And then the part where she smiles and raises my hand that is holding hers to her lips, and kisses my hand.  Then the part that kills me every time.  The part where she kisses my hand slowly, and leaves her lips pressed against my hand, and inhales.  As if she was memorizing my scent and the texture of my hand, and cherishing just being that close to me one last time, cherishing her precious daughter.  A last stolen moment just between us.  I immediately knew.  I knew this was the last time my mother would kiss my hand.  As I have said before, I HATE forshadowing.  This was the biggest smack you in the face and take your breath away instance of foreshadowing I have ever had.  Tears immediately ran unchecked down my face.  I tried to be sneaky and hide them from her.  She had been the family matriarch for a long time, she was always the strong one.  This was this point, was when I realized it was my turn. 
   My turn to be the strong one, for her and for our family that was about to be irrepareably broken.
   The memory of my mother's last phone conversation with her son.  The memory of my daddy being more scared than I have ever seen him.  The memory of holding my mother's hand all day long.  The trip to the Medical Intesive Care Unit.  The memory of trying to act like nothing was wrong, and go along as we normally did on each and every one of her forty plus hospital visits.  Talking to her, regaling her with funny stories about my daughter, and holding her hand while she slept.  Talking about my brother, his bodybuilding competition trip to FL, and how she hoped he would get back safely but quickly.  The memory of her freezing under a mountain of blankets, hers and the hospitals.  The memory of my last hug from my mother, the last I love you spoken from her lips to me, her firstborn, while she still knew who I was.
  The four in the morning call, again.  This was the last call I would ever receive to meet my daddy at the hospital. This is the memory that gave me nightmares for months. The last call. The dreaded last call.  The memory of the words spoken from my father's lips.  Crashed.  Her heart stopped.  They got her back.  I need you.  I'm scared.  I'm really scared. Tears. Okay, I'll be right there. The memory of calling my Aunt whom my grandmother lives, on my way to the hospital.  The memory of having to be the bearer of bad news.   The memory of me thinking the rain on the way to the hospital was a bad sign, like God himself, was crying with me.
   The memory of my father walking out the back end of the MICU, to let me in, and us having a good cry together, so that we could face whatever the day may hold together.  A hug of camaraderie and love.  The bone dead look of complete mental and physical exhaustion, and such pain on my father's face.  The memory of her being hooked up to a machine that would shock her heart if it stopped beating again.  One of my most vivid memories, the code blue form on the heart cart. I even took a picture of it!  This is a form you never want to see, let alone spend an entire day sitting beside, with the the threat of what it implies looming over you while you pray. The memory of her finally waking up a little from being unresponsive, to remember her name and birthday.  To answer every question the doctors and nurses asked her with her name and birthday.  The first word croaked out after semi-waking,"blankets."  The memory of her occasionally jerking her hand away from mine. The heart stopping and heartbreaking realization when quizzing her about her family, that she did not remember us.  Any of us.  She did not know who I was.  But I knew exactly who she was. My mother.  The woman I loved most in all the world. The woman who brought me into and guided me through this world.  The greatest woman, mother, friend, and human being that I've ever had the pleasure and honor of knowing.
   So I spent the afternoon telling her all the cherished stories of her life.  I told her about her wonderful husband who had taken such great care of her, and never left her side. I told her about her children, her cherished granddaughter, and grandson on the way.  I told her about her mother, father, brother, and sister.  I told her about how she and her mother were best friends, and once I came along, we three were unseparable.  I  spent the hours doing what she had prepared me for my whole life.  It seemed as natural as rain and the tears coursing down my cheeks. 
   The first time the machine shocked her heart, I almost had a cow.  Nothing prepares you for that sound.  It was a sound I heard many times that day.  Seriously, you couldn't have warned me what it was going to sound like?  And that it would likely kick on multiple times?  I know my daddy is a dahktah, and I was raised practically in a hospital, but geesh!  It became a normal part of the flow for the day.  The memory of the emergency dialysis to try and help pull the infection out.  The memory of it not helping.  The memory of the nurse repeatedly returning and informing me(us)that the level of infection in her system kept going up.  The memory of two of my dear friends Angie and Michelle, coming to visit my mother one last time.  The memory of the one time I stepped out of her room to pee, that something went wrong with her breathing again.  The memory of the last time I saw my mother's beautiful green eyes open on her own, confused and in bewilderment.  The memory of my mother startling awake multiple times and looking to the ceiling.  The memory of me wondering if she was seeing her angel(s) and or her loved ones.  The memory of me wondering if everything she believed in was true.  The memory of my brother and pregnant sister in law arriving in her room.  The memory of me reintroducing her son and her husband to her.  The memory of me telling her he made it.  The memory of truly believing, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that she waited for him. That she waited to see her precious, beloved baby boy one more time.
   The memory of leaving the hospital to go home, and the pouring rain.  I can remember thinking that the rain was appropriate, because all our souls were drowning in tears and heartache. The memory of crying all the way home to my husband and my child.  The memory of calls to my Aunts on the drive home updating them on mom's progress report.  The memory of the call a short two hours later, to return to the hospital, that she had crashed again on the way back fron an x-ray, and it didn't look good, that she was barely alive.  The memory of  rushing back to the hospital in the rain, trying not to break down into a full blown crying jag, as my mother used to call them!  The memory of calling my Aunt and Uncle, to let them know what was going on.  The memory of walking into the hospital, each step leaden as if each one was one step closer to sealing her fate.  The memory of the scene upon turning down the MICU corridor, filled with dad, my brother and sister in law, and mom's two nursing helpers and friends, Stella and Sandy, and dad's friend Dave, a hospital adminstrator.  The memory of looking down the corridor and seeing her intubated, and on all kinds of machines. The memory of daddy telling me that this was probably it, the day we had all secretly, in the back of our minds dreaded for so very long.  The memory of the countless staff members in her room, manually hand pumping her heart to try to save her, when her heart stopped again.  The memory of getting a calm peaceful feeling at 11:18, after the attempts to save her went on for almost an hour, that we should make the call to stop pumping at 11:22 on 11-22-11. That she was already slipping away, and did not want to be on machines if there was no hope.  The memory of having to tell dad my feeling, essentially being the one to make the call.  The memory of having a morbid sense of having to be there, by her side, as she passed away.  I had to be with her every single second.  She was the the first to hold my hand when I came into this world, and I wanted to be the last to comfort her, and hold her hand as she slipped out of it.
   The memory of being the one to make the calls to family, relatives, and loved ones, talk to the staff about where to send her body, and the one who cried as I held every member of my family as we all howled, cried and express our deepest grief.  The memory of my brother bending down to whisper his unborn child's name into her ear, before she passed.  She was the first and only one to know.  It remained a secret until he was born.  The memory of my father walking me out to my car in the rain after.  The memory of deciding along with my brother, that my father was coming to one of our houses, he was not going to be alone.  The memory of the excruciating drive home.
   Then there are the firsts.   The memory of the first night without her.  The memory of having to tell my baby.  The memory of the first morning without her.  The memory of the first time this giant black hole opened up inside of me, and drowning in the vortex of pain that sucks the very life out of you.  The memories of my close friends, Angie and Debbie, who were there for me, when she suddenly died a day and fourteen minutes before Thanksgiving.  The cards, calls, flowers, angels, blankets, plaques, food, oh the mountain of food, and people that were there.  The memory of my husband cooking our first Thanksgiving Day dinner without her.  The menu she and I had planned on the phone a few short days before.  The memory of my house becoming the gathering place, neutral ground for my broken grieving family, for the first WVU tailgate with out her.  The memory of the trip to the house with daddy to pick out their clothes, her new lucky WVU socks, her makeup, her perfume, and her jewelry.  The memory of ordering the casket flowers and pillows with daddy.  The memory of going to the graveyard with my bff to pay for their services.  The memory of good friends Libby Chad and Amy, Mexican food, margaritas, bff Julie coming all the way from Beckley to babysit, and midnight black Friday shopping with Amy.   The memory of my in laws coming home early from vacation to be there for me.  The memory of my wonderful husband doing anything and everything I needed, and the things I didn't know I needed; taking care of me while I took care of my family.  The memory of Erin bringing her daughter up to play with my 4yo, and being the first to get a preview.  The all girls make-up party plus Doc Cha, entertaining me while I did my mother's makeup.  The memory of the funeral director thinking we(I) was crazy or on drugs.  The memory of my family seeing my mother before the wake.  The memory of my brother holding my father while walking him up the aisle to her casket.  The memory of my mother's beloved Rainbow Girls each and every one showing up to do a special memorial just for my mother.  The memory of my sunrise my mother sent to me, and the peace she flooded me with to be able to get through the wake, and greet everybody, and not break down into a sobbing mess.   The funeral day sunrise, again in her favorite colors purple and yellow.  The memories, so many, many memories.  And then there was the first Christmas shopping, and our first Christmas without her.  The memory of their first anniversary not spent together in 33 years of marriage on New Years Eve and Day.  The memories of first Valentines day, and my father's and brother's first birthdays without her.   The first Easter my mother wasn't here to take my daughter for Easter pictures, or to eat Easter dinner together.,  The memory of the first anniversary my mother did not call to tell me Happy Anniversary on.  My father's first beach trip without her.  The memory of moving to Kentucky, and not being able to call and tell her.  The birth of my brother's son without her there.  My and my daughter's first birthday's without her calling to wish us a Happy Birthday, going out to dinner, shopping, and my daughter's own special birthday party at Gran Gran's.  It has been a year of learning how to deal with seeing her everywhere and in everything.  It has been so very hard.
  There has been a mountain of new memories and firsts without her in the past year, since her passing.  It does not seem like it could have been a year already, and at the same time it feels like forever since I have been with her and close to her.  She lives on in my heart forever.  So I have done it, I have taken these precious and hard memories out, I have cried all day, I have mourned.  But I have also had fun today too, in between the tears.  I think that's what it is all about.  After a year without her, I have learned that there is a time for fun, and a time to remember, a time to mourn and let yourself grieve, and a time to remember happy memories fondly.  I have learned that surprise attack days will happen when you least expect them, and hard marked days, like holidays and birthdays will be both happy and sad, but bittersweet.  So this afternoon, in my mother's memory, I delivered 61(her age) tootsie roll pops to the restaurant across the street from out hotel.  The Cafe Shanty Shack(South Beach Shanty Shack) will hand out suckers in memory of my mother until they are all gone.  They all have a tag that reads; In Memory of Carla J. Wright, 10-14-50 to 11-22-11.  This has helped me honor her memory this first year anniversary without her. 61 people will know that she was here, and that she was important, and that someone wanted those 61 people to know how wonderful she was.  Rest In Peace my dearest mother.

Monday, November 19, 2012

The Grief 365 Badge

Well dear readers, I apologize for not having written lately.  I have been a bit tongue tied.  With the impending first anniversary of my mother's death, I have been purposefully been avoiding digging too deep.  I have had a couple of crying fits, and have been trying not to remember the details of the days leading up to the day of her death.  Those memories find a way of creeping in anyway.Well, today is the day I am ripping the band aid off.  No more avoiding writing about the first anniversary. 
   I had a friend suggest finding a creative way to memorialize the date, and her.  Make it a fun or happy memory, filled with things she loved, or good memories of her.  I liked this idea, since I have been secretly dreading this day for weeks.  Of course it had to fall on Thanksgiving this year.  I noticed the date of Thanksgiving for 2012, last year right after she passed away.  So you could say it has been in the back of my mind, or I have been dreading it since right after she passed away.
   The first year after a death of a loved one is filled with firsts.  Everything is a new first without them.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  You get used to a new functioning normal.  When I say functioning  normal, I mean a precariously fragile state where you are on the verge of tears all of the time, but are pressing on with life. That is what they would want you to do.  Where the simplest thing can break open the dam of sadness you have been fighting to hold back.  Where a sunset, a song, a picture, a decoration, a favorite phrase,  a rainbow, fall leaves on the trees, a blanket bought for your child, a call from another loved one sharing their grief could  all knock you from your precarious position of functioning,  right back into the depths of your grief.  How do you ever get through it?  You soldier on.  You tell yourself that the loved one wouldn't want you to be so sad.  You go through all the stages of grief; numbness, denial, pain, anger, helplessness, and sadness. You tell yourself she would want it this way, and this is how she used to do things.
    Eventually you get to a point where you can talk about them without breaking down into a blubbering grief monster.  You can remember the good and funny times without quite so bad a longing. My favorite memory lately has become one of my mother in a hospital shower, one of the many of her forty some odd hospitalizations.  It was a day where I had gone to visit and spend the day with her.  She had asked me the day before if I would mind helping her get a shower.  She had designated that day as shower day.  I helped her get a shower, and wash and rinse her hair with a Slurpee cup to get the soap all out.  I told her shower stories of bathing my then two and a half year old, and using a Slurpee cup to rinse her hair as well.  We talked about my showers when I was two, three and four. She was so very grateful to have me help her with her shower, not a stranger.  I helped her rinse and soap her feet, and washed her back.  It makes me smile to know what simple pleasures I brought my mother by helping her shower.  This is something I did quite often.  I would help her shower and "put on smell good"for my daddy.  This memory brings me comfort, no matter how strange it may seem.  Any of the myriad of memories, and I pick a shower scene!  Those of you who knew my mother(and her obsession with being clean) and know me, understand how morbidly perfect this is!
   And then there are those days.  The days that no matter how hard you fight it, the grief comes pouring out.  You get better and more seasoned, so to speak, at hiding your grief, and compartmentalizing it, but then one of those days, comes along and knocks you on your ass.  The days where you leak all day, remembering.  The days where you sob and sob, and take to your bed to mourn, because there is nothing else you can do. The pain never gets any easier, I think we all just learn how to deal with it better.  We get better at dealing with the all consuming, mind numbing, raw pain involved with losing a parent, especially one with whom we were close.  Everyone deals with grief differently, but for me it has been one of the hardest things I will ever have to do in this life.
    I promised my mother that I would never let her grand-daughter forget her.  So I decided on a couple of things to memorialize her on the one year anniversary.  My father has to work on Thanksgiving this year.  My husband, daughter, and I decided to fly to Florida for the holiday with his parents.  We will be visiting more of his family while we are there. My daughter and I are writing letters to my mother, and her Granny, one year after losing her.  We are putting them in bottles, and when we are on the pier, we plan on throwing the bottles into the water.  We are including our return addresses in case anyone ever finds them, a la Message In A Bottle.  My mother also loved children.  She worked tirelessly with a children's youth group she was in when she was younger, as an adult advisor, sponsor and friend.  Not to mention all of my brother's and my friends that she cared for.  Our house was THE place to go!  Slumber parties and WWF central was our house.  So I also liked the idea of giving out sixty one suckers(her age when she died) to children, with a memorial tag remembering her.  So we'll see if I get arrested or not trying to give out suckers to unsuspecting children on Thanksgiving! Hopefully not!
  So I bawled the whole time I was writing this, and while telling my father my plans.  He has to work, and it is probably better that he keep busy caring for people.  He liked my ideas.  I am glad. 
   So a year later, we are doing okay.  We still miss you like crazy mom, but we are living life.  It seems so strange to say a year later.  A whole year without you in it. It almost feels like a big sigh of relief, like I have earned my grief 365 badge.  It is a badge I would give back in a heartbeat, if I could have one more second, hour, day, month, or year with you. But I know that I cannot. But I have realized, that you are in it, in every moment, and always will be.  You are always with each of us, in everything we do. EVERY. SINGLE. DAY.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

I Believe; Wind Chimes, Sunrises, and Rainbows

     Have you ever seen a rainbow? During that period when the rain hasn't quite yet stopped, when the sun comes out?  It is God's promise to his people, that he will never again destroy the world.  I have seen many rainbows over the years.  I was in a youth organization called The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  It's main symbol was the rainbow.  The rainbow was always special to me because of my membership in this special  fraternal youth organization.  My mother and I would always look for the rainbows in the sky after the rain. It was one of our special things we did together.  This was an organization that my mother and I got to participate in together.  It was a special time for us, and for all the young girls to whom she became both a mentor and friend.
  My father, daughter and I, went to Tennessee on a mini vacation. To have some family bonding time, and to pass the days until my broken leg healed.  On the way to Tennessee, it started raining.  On the way to Gatlinburg, we saw ten rainbows.  Yes,  I said ten different rainbows.  I have never seen more than three at one time in my thirty eight years on this earth, let alone ten.  Many of these rainbows were the brightest, widest, and longest I have ever seen.  But I get ahead of myself.
   Now I don't know how you feel about those from heaven, or from beyond, or from wherever they come sending signs, or contacting you, but I believe.  I believe those rainbows were sent from or on behalf of my mother, and I will tell you why.
   After my now husband and I, began dating, he met my grandfather.  My grandfather was in the hospital , and I took my now husband to meet him.  My grandfather passed away a short while later.  My "Pawpaw", as I called him, was always giving out some form advice or another.  Well of course, advice towards my boyfriend was no exception.  He told me,"If you can't be the tablecloth darling, don't be the dishrag!"  Okay, I will give you that my Pawpaw was a fiesty old character, but I remembered his advice.  On my first Christmas visit to his mother's house for our first family Christmas together, I became overcome with emotion.  I excused myself, and stepped out on the porch.  It was a very quiet night, having snowed earlier in the day.  There was no wind, but it was bitter cold.  I remember it like it was yesterday.  I had a good cry because I was so happy, and then something happened that stopped me in my tracks.  I looked up to the sky, on this cold, windless night, and spoke to my grandfather.  I said, "Look Pawpaw, I'm not the dishrag anymore!"  Immediately the wind chimes hanging on the porch in front of me started clanging back and forth.  Mind you not all the wind chimes on the porch, just the one set in front of me.  There was still no wind, and I was not pushing or blowing on them.  It was not snowing or raining either.There is not a doubt in my mind that was my Pawpaw saying to me,"I see baby girl, I see!"   I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt, in my heart of hearts, that it was my Pawpaw. There is no other logical explanation to explain it away.  Call me crazy if you will, but I believe.
   My mother died unexpectedly last fall.  The night she died I came home around two in the morning, after calling all the appropriate people, and making arrangements of where she was to be sent.  I was sobbing in my husbands arms on the couch, when I suddenly heard, we both heard my daughter giggling in her sleep.  She repeated the giggling several times.  I dreaded telling my baby the next morning, that her beloved Gran Gran had went to be with Jesus.  When I woke her the next morning, she told me that she had a dream about Granny.  She said Granny was with the angels.  I then told her what had happened.  There is not a doubt in my mind that my mother came to tell my daughter she was with the angels now, that she was going to be okay.
  My mother dying last November, left me with big shoes to fill.  I was running around like crazy.  The whole family went to the funeral home to pick out the casket, discuss the obituary, and to attend to all the other minor details that the death of a person entails.  She passed away a day and fourteen minutes before Thanksgiving.  My husband cooked the Thanksgiving dinner  that my mother and I had discussed on the phone, for my grieving and broken family.  Then the next day I went with my father to help him pick out her dress, jewelry, her makeup, and his clothes for the wake and funeral. We also stopped at the florist to order the casket spray and little pillows from her loved ones.  It was a tough day.  I then had one of my best friends go with me to the cemetery, to take care of business, and then back to the funeral home to honor her last request of me. 
   A few weeks before she unexpectedly passed away, she asked me if when something happened to her, I would do her makeup.  My mother was one of those beautiful women, who did not go anywhere without her makeup done, her hair fixed, or without all of her jewelry.  She said since she taught me how to put on makeup, that I was the only one she trusted not to make her look like a clown.  Of course I agreed to this request.  Assuming and telling her that it was going to be a long while before I would need to honor it.  Little did I know, that a few short weeks was all.  So my friend and I go to the funeral home armed with her bag of makeup, her favorite picture of her recent self, her underwear, dress, her new lucky WVU socks, that she never got to wear, and her perfume.  Call me morbid, call me crazy, call me strong, I did my mother's makeup.  Just the way she taught me.  My friend was one of her 'girls' from our youth group as well, and we all joked that mom was up in heaven laughing at us.  We carried on, remembering her and funny things she had done.  It was like old times at the youth group slumber parties, that we always had at our house. About halfway through her makeup, another youth group girl that was one of my momma's 'girls', stopped by and joined the party at the funeral home.  She brought her husband, who is in medical school, so we did not bother him a bit.  We laughed and had a good time together remembering her, and celebrating her, just like she would have wanted.
   So the morning of the wake, I was awoken at sunrise to this bright, brilliant light, streaming through my window.  Now normally morning sunlight does not just come streaming through my window.  And normally I don't just 'get up' at sunrise. I sleep through anything most of the time.  Something told me to get up.  So I got up, and looked outside.  I do not have the words to describe what I saw.  It was a sky filled with the most beautiful shades of purple and yellow, my mother's favorite colors.  I grabbed the camera, and threw my husband's shoes on, and ran outside.  I started snapping.  I was awestruck.  A sense of such peace and joy filled me.  At that moment I knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt it was my mother sending this to me.  This beautiful sunrise between me and her.  It was her way of letting me know she was proud of me for leading my broken family through this most difficult time.  That I was doing good.  The purple and yellow clouds surrounded my house, and lasted almost forty minutes. Again, it was loud and clear to me.  I believe.  I know she is in heaven rejoicing, and she wanted me to know!  I had also had a conversation with her the last day my baby and I spent at her house with her putting up the Christmas tree, less than a week before she passed away.  She mentioned something about dying soon, that she was ready, and I told her that she was being silly, but if she should ever pass away, that she had better keep in touch! 
   There were almost four hundred people at her service.  My mother was a very well loved individual.  The next morning I again woke at sunrise, and there was another purple and yellow sunrise, although in more muted shades than the day before, and that magnificent display.  I was again flooded with a sense of peace.  I truly believe that it was my momma sending me peace to help me get through those two days.  These sunrises helped me get through a few of the most difficult days of my life.  I believe that I had a little help from above.
   So back to the rainbows.  We had seen ten rainbows over the course of two hours.  My daughter said we were in rainbow alley.  I got chills after the first rainbow.  It took my breath away. It had all seven colors, bright as a neon sign.  I also got that cool, flooding sense of peace that my mother sends me.  It was the biggest, brightest, and widest rainbow I have ever seen.  Then there were more.  There were bright rainbows, double rainbows, and glimpses of rainbows peeking out from the clouds.  I told my father that I thought it was my mother telling us she was approving of our bonding trip!  He wholeheartedly agreed, and we both leaked a little.  He stopped at Starbucks for coffee, and the rainbows had all but faded when he returned to the car.  I told him again, it was definitely mom.  As we drove out of the parking lot onto the main  road, I'll be doggoned, there was another one right smack dab in front of us.  Loud and clear mom, loud and clear.
  Just a couple of weeks ago, I smelled my mother in my living room.  It was her unmistakable scent.  That was all it was.  Just a whiff of her perfume.  I found that a little odd.  It made me wonder though.  Was it just my imagination?  Some spilled koolaid on the floor? I do not know.
   In closing, I will tell you, I believe. People in my family have had similar experiences. They do not think I am crazy. Does it run in our family? Yes.  Does it happen to everybody? No.  I can only say that it has happened to me, and has happened in my family to other people as well. I cannot speak for them, but I can say that I am glad to have had these experiences with my loved ones.  So call me crazy if you will, or believe with me if you dare!  Just thought I would share.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

106 Random Gingerssnaps Facts

  1. I am funny(no what seriously, you hadn't figured that one out on your own yet?;))
  2. I am a closet smarty pants(most of the time I try to just keep my mouth shut, so what I say isn't misconstrued...which has been recently...a lot.  See #1.) 
  3. I love big, fuzzy, wool socks with my favorite tennis shoes(yes I am sooooo a child of the 80's!)
  4. I love cute, bright, conversation worthy socks.  They make me feel good when I am wearing them, just like new panties!
  5. I love to snuggle with my 4yo.  
  6. I love chocolate cake doughnuts.(Just had one for the first time in almost a year!)  
  7. I love to nap during thunder storms, for some odd reason, it makes me feel peaceful.
  8. I dislike anything pumpkin tasting.
  9. I am a closet hairdresser, with a child who doesn't like her hair messed with. Poop.
  10. I was a band geek(flute and piccolo) and a flag twirler in high school.
  11. I was a sorority girl.  Sigma Sigma Sigma.
  12. I love to read.  
  13. I love my husband.(No really, I do.  I honestly love my husband.  Nobody paid me to say that. Right Mr Soul Mate? Heh Heh.)
  14. Being a stepmom is the most thankless job in the world.(I do have to say that one of mine has turned out super thoughtful and sweet! The other hugs me and occasionally says I love you, which is thanks enough.)
  15. One of my favorite things in the world is the sound of my daughter's giggles.
  16. My daddy has sent me flowers every year on my birthday since I was 4.
  17. Long extended phone conversations with my almost 85 year old Nana make me happy.
  18. I worked in the Telecommunications industry for almost 15 years.
  19. Miranda Lambert's 'The House That Built Me' makes me cry every time I hear it.
  20. I am a crybaby.  No seriously, I cry at commercials!
  21. I am addicted to People Weekly, been reading it since the fourth grade!
  22. I love Nerds!(grape and strawberry not skin and bones)
  23. I love riding our Harley Davidson motorcycle.
  24. I am a daredevil.
  25. I love roller coasters.(The Loch Ness Monster is the best hands down!)
  26. I love all seasons, but summer, fall, and winter are my favorites.
  27. I am a people person.
  28. I love to talk.
  29. I adore Lady Gaga.
  30. I love BTO.(google them young whipper snappers)
  31. Photography is my passion.
  32. I have an inordinate amount of patience.
  33. I have never gotten sucked into a political debate.  Until this year.  I caved.
  34. My mother, grandmother and I were best friends.  We did everything together.
  35. I miss my mother every single day.
  36. I love books about vampires.
  37. I am addicted to Laurell K. Hamilton's Anita Blake vampire hunter series.
  38. I love a good smutty, sex filled book.
  39. One of my favorite books of all time is Skye O'Malley by Bertrice Small. Best. Heroine. Ever.
  40. More white hair=more blonde moments.
  41. I have smell associated memories.
  42. I love the way my daughter smells.
  43. I love how mommies kisses fix all boo-boos.
  44. I love my family.
  45. I have a half sister and two half brothers, that I am just starting to get to know.
  46. Baby wipes were the greatest invention in the universe.
  47. I love Sons of Anarchy.
  48. I have been to an Easy Riders Biker rally in Chillecothe, Ohio.
  49. I have been to Atlantis in the Bahamas, twice.  Both with my husband.
  50. I have been to Cancun, Mexico twice.  Once with my best friend and once with my husband.
  51. I have been to Grand Cayman, BWI, twice.  Once on a cruise ship with my bff, and once for a week with my husband.
  52. One of my most cherished possessions is the quilt that my Granny made me for my high school graduation.
  53. I am a former Longaberger basket addict.
  54. I love beach sunsets and sunrises.
  55. I like guacamole.  I did not start liking it until I was pregnant.
  56. I make killer tacos.
  57. I married an excellent cook, because I do not cook much.
  58. I love pomegranates.
  59. My favorite apples are Granny Smith apples.
  60. I am not a big drinker, but when I do, my favorite drink is Lindeman's Framboise Lambic.
  61. My daughter started out as twins.
  62. I used to own Keds in every color to match each outfit.
  63. I love myself whether I am a size 2, 12, or 22.
  64. Some days I miss my long hair.
  65. I was on the Greek Panhellenic Council in College.
  66. I was a Rho Chi during sorority fall rush week.
  67. I had four little sisters and five little brothers in sorority/fraternity life.
  68. I think I can sing Whitney Houston's, The Greatest Love of All.
  69. I went to George Washington High School in Charleston, West Virginia.
  70. I went to college at Marshall University in Huntington, West Virginia.
  71. I hate bugs.  Especially spiders.  I abhor spiders.
  72. I can spot a spider in the dark, across the room in a corner. I have a sixth spider sense, I swear.
  73. I love bubble baths, a good book, and a glass of my favorite Framboise Lambic.
  74. I loved being pregnant.  I was a lucky insatiable pregnant girl, with few issues and an easy pregnancy.
  75. I am a glass half full kind of girl.
  76. I am that annoyingly positive and happy girl.
  77. I love to dance.  I took dancing for ten years.
  78. I had never broken a bone until this past August.
  79. I love music. 
  80. I love the West Virginia mountains.
  81. I love playing with my daughter.
  82. I enjoy making creative foods for my four year old to eat.(IE Pb sandwich forts, applesauce moats, with goldfishes in the moat)
  83. I am a crafty person.
  84. I think my daughter is the funniest person in the world.
  85. I love to write.
  86. I am a big fan of my twenty year old step-daughter's artwork.
  87. Everybody loves me.(with few exceptions)
  88. I am a Past Matron of South Charleston Chapter #131, Order of the Eastern Star, and a Past Grand Representative to Arizona.
  89. I am a Past Grand Hope, of the state of West Virginia, of the International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.
  90. I love my husband's family.  They are awesome. Quirky, but awesome.
  91. I love being silly.
  92. I went to Marshall, so I am a Thundering Herd fan, but I was raised a Mountaineer fan.
  93.  I quit smoking cold turkey when I got pregnant.
  94. I have a bad habit of biting my lips.
  95. I used to always say when I was little that I wanted three kids.  I have three.
  96. I used to want to be a dancer when I was little.
  97. Beaches is my all time favorite movie.
  98. I love Hugh Jackman.
  99. It takes a lot to anger me, but once I am angry, I have a bad temper.
  100. I am a big enough person to know when I am wrong, and to apologize.
  101. I am addicted to my husband singing Karaoke.
  102. I love The Voice and American Idol.
  103. I got tipsy the first time at college, fell down, and ended up having to have major surgery.
  104. My best friend helped me catch up after missing two out of the first three weeks of college. Been lucky enough to be stuck with her ever since.
  105. I didn't get married until I was 29, but God definitely blessed me with the best lifelong friends a girl could ask for while I was waiting on Mr Right!
  106. I randomly play volleyball over the freezer section in the local grocery store.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

A Last Afternoon With My Aunt

Since my mother died last November, I have been trying to locate my Aunt Cathy.  She is my biological father's sister.  She is the one who kept in touch with me over the years.  The only one. She would come and visit for Christmas, and bring my little brother and I presents, even though he wasn't her blood relation.  She treated him just like her own.  She was that special lady who loved children, but could not have any of her own.  She worked tirelessly with the Special Olympics, before she got sick. She was the one who made an effort to keep in touch with me, even after my  bio-dad signed away his rights to me.  My mother remarried a wonderful man when I was four and a half, and he legally adopted me as his own, and changed my last name.  That man is my daddy.  He is the best father a girl could ever ask for.
   Now for a little history.  My mother met my Aunt when they were young ladies in a fraternal organization called The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  Later when my mother met and started dating her first husband(bio-dad), they already knew each other when introduced.  The man she was dating was Cathy's older brother. I am somewhat sketchy on the details, but he was in the Navy and had served in Vietnam.  They got married, and  she moved to Virginia Beach, Virginia with him, where I was born.  After I got married, my mother told me I was not a planned pregnancy.  She told me that she was excited, but my bio-dad was not.  She was a Lab Technician.  Nothing like your momma telling you that you were an oopsie!  So glad I was a well adjusted adult when she dropped that bombshell!  She worked up until the time I was born.  My bio-dad was in a bar on my birth-day. She left my bio-dad two weeks after I popped into the world.  Her dad, my PawPaw and Nana, her mother, came down to Virginia and moved us home to West Virginia.  My mother wanted a better life for me than what bio-dad could provide.  Alcoholism is a very ugly disease.  Vietnam was an ugly war. Being controlling, jealous, and obsessive were behaviors that my mother was not going to tolerate around her child. 
    My paternal great grandmother died the summer after I graduated high school.  Aunt Cathy was the one who called to let me know.  Aunt Cathy was the extent of family I had contact with on that side. I debated whether to go or not.  I was scared, and my mother told me it was my decision.  If I decided to go, then she would go with me.  I was scared, but I figured if she had the time to spend with me when I was little, then it was the least I could do, to go and pay my respects.  She is after all, in pictures with me in my baby book. I went to the funeral and met my half siblings.  They were all significantly younger than me, to the tune of six, eight, and ten years younger respectively.  So they were twelve, ten, and eight. My paternal grandmother always said that she would live long enough to take care of and bury her mother.  She died two weeks after burying her mother.  She was a severe diabetic as well.  So I had yet another funeral to attend. Great.  Like it wasn't stressful enough being around this group of strangers, whose blood coursed through my veins the first time! But it was not about me! Once again I saw my half siblings.  A cousin from bio-dad's brother, Mike, invited me to come to the State Fair down towards Beckley, West Virginia.  I was scared and did not go.  Her name was Angie.  This was the only contact I had with any of these people previously.   Besides the Grandmother that had just died that is.  She and my grandfather Dan visited up until I was four.
   The only attempts bio-dad had made to contact me were a drunken rambling demanding to speak to my mother, when I was twelve.  Until this point, I was blissfully wrapped up in my father's love and my idyllic childhood, and had forgotten that bio-dad existed.  I was in the seventh grade, and will never forget the words of that conversation.  They are forever imprinted on my brain. He was cruel.  This scared me and sealed the deal with my never wanting to contact him or have anything to do with him.  My mother was right, I was better off without him.  I did not know that this was around the time his second wife left him and their three children.  A little later I am told, he sobered up, and raised his three kids.  But more on that later.  The only other time I had contact with him was at my grandfather's wake.  He died when I was twenty four.  My biological sperm donor showed up with his youngest son.  He had cut his ponytail off.  I was talking with a friend, when I saw him come in the door.  I think I was scared and in shock.  I reverted to that scared twelve year old, and ran to tell my mother.  I wanted her to be prepared, and to protect me from having to speak to him. All I could squeak out was,"he cut his ponytail off!" She was as shocked as I was, and we looked through the adjacent back door to the chapel, and my Uncle Milton, mom's brother, was talking to him.  At the time I was in shock, and quite angry that he had the audacity to come to my mom's father's wake.  I was still naive.  He was, after all, my Pawpaw's former son in law.  So he chatted with my Uncle a little while, and then payed his respects.  Then he came to the alcove at the back of the chapel where we were all gathered.  He was brave enough to come in and speak.  My father was livid.  He had never laid eyes on bio-dad. While they were talking, I left my livid father at my mother's side and escaped to the bathroom.  There I remained with a close friend until they left.  I was shaking in my boots.  At that exact moment, I hoped he got a good look at what he missed out on.  The women in my family are beautiful, and I was no exception.  So those were the only two times that I had contact with bio-dad since I was little, until recently, and quite accidentally.
   When I got married, my Aunt Kathy came to the wedding shower.  She also came to the wedding, along with her husband, my Uncle David, and Grandpa Dan, her father.  After the wedding, I got busy with my career, my new step children, and my new husband.  I did not keep in touch.  When I learned I was pregnant, I called my Aunt and told her.  I invited her to the baby shower.  She did not make it. She was starting to go blind, had severe diabetes like her mother before her, and Alzheimer's had started.  I again got busy in my newly altered life as a brand new mommy.  I did think of her often.  A couple of months after my mother died prematurely, I began to wonder how my Aunt was.  I tried to call her, the number was disconnected.  I searched the obituaries.  Nothing.  Then I found an obituary for her husband from the previous year.  My Uncle David had died.  I then began my search for my three half siblings.  Bio-dad's other children.  So I could find out what had happened.  I thought I remembered four kids.  So I found four that were all connected through facebook, with the last name spelled correctly.  I sent messages to three of them.  I explained that I was looking for my aunt, included the details, and added an apology if I had contacted the wrong people.
   By that evening, I had three responses.  Whoa! So I opened the first message from the person I thought was my half sister.  It was her.  She was very forthcoming with details.  My Aunt Cathy was in a nursing home in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.  We chatted for a while, and I learned a lot.  I learned that the kids knew of me, but that bio-dad never spoke of me.  They had met me only at the funerals, but she remembered me.  She seemed very nice, and funny.  We have kept in touch.
   Response number two came from someone who I assumed was the other brother.  I was wrong.  I had accidentally contacted bio-dad. Crap.  So I conversed with him in a facebook message about my Aunt and Uncle.  He shared the details of how my Uncle David died, and what was going on with my Aunt Cathy.  He also told me about my Grandpa Dan, and how he was in a different nursing home, also in the advanced stages of Alzheimer's.  OK.  I did it.  I faced my fears.  I actually talked to him.  I wasn't scared of him per se, I just never had the desire to contact him.  There was no big missing hole I needed to fill, etc.  I was just finally at the point where his existence no longer threatened my happiness. I had grown up.  But I needed to find my Aunt, so I did it.  So bio-dad was the sole caretaker for the Grandpa and Auntie, and handles all of their affairs.  He was polite during our short conversation.  He answered all of my questions.  I also had to inform him of my mother's death.  Sucks to be the bearer of bad news.  So that was that.
   The third response was from my half brother, who is in the Air Force stationed in Florida.  My Aunt had told me he had gotten married.  He was the little boy with bio-dad at my PawPaw's funeral. He was very nice, and warned me if I did go to visit her, to be aware that she probably wouldn't know who I was.   She was that far in her progression of the disease.  He also gave me phone numbers of people to contact, as well as the nursing home information.  Seemed like a very nice young man.  Then of course, I added two of my half siblings on Facebook.  Then the half brother's wife sent me a friend request.  She is so sweet!  She is just a doll!
   So I went to see my Aunt at the beginning of the summer.  I had hoped to meet my half sister, but her shift ended before I got to the nursing home where she works and my Aunt stays.
   I went to my Aunt's room, and she wasn't in there.  I asked a nurse, and they took me to where she was sitting by the large window getting some sun.  I walked right past her and didn't even recognize her. She had lost so very much weight, was recovering from a broken hip, and didn't look like herself.  I sat with her all afternoon, and chatted away as if nothing was wrong.  I took her roses and pictures of my family.  I painted her fingernails and held her hand all afternoon.  I shared my love for her, with her. She was able to get out a few intelligible sentences.  She had that sparkle in her eye most of the afternoon, that let me know she was still in there.  Thank goodness she was having a good day while I was there. She was glad I was a mother, had contacted bio-dad and my half siblings, and was sad to learn of my mother, her friend's, passing.  I told her stories of when she came to visit me when I was little, how dedicated she was to the special Olympics, and how much I appreciated her kindness and love towards me and my little brother.  I told her all about her wonderful life. I recalled stories of my mother and her youth group escapades, how I remembered her being at my wedding shower and how much it meant to me that she was there, and how she, her husband, and my bio-grandad came to my wedding.  I thanked her for the family tradition  that she passed down to me on my wedding shower day.  It was hard, but I had a great day just hanging out with my Aunt.  Unfortunately, it was the last afternoon  I ever got to spend with her.  My family has relocated to Kentucky, and I did not get a chance to visit with her again. I asked bio-dad to call me if anything happened to my Aunt.  Well that call came today.  She passed away yesterday around 12:45pm. I am saddened to hear of her passing, but glad she doesn't have to suffer anymore.  My visit with my Aunt taught me things about Alzheimer's Disease that I didn't know.  I knew it made you forgetful.  I did not know that it can affect your muscle control, your speech abilities, and such a wide host of other things outside of memory.  
   After my visit with my Aunt, I had an early sense of deja vu.  I knew I would be glad that we had this time together, when and if anything every happened to her.  The older I get, when I do things, I look forward and say to myself, "I will be really glad I did this down the road!"  I hate that.  I think it happens to us all as we get older and wiser.  It's like reverse deja vu.  You recognize how you will feel about things farther down the road.  I wish I didn't have that feeling tonight.  I wish I did not have a wake and funeral to attend next week.  But I am so very glad that I took the time, that I made the time, to spend one last afternoon with my special Aunt. 

Monday, October 22, 2012

GoodbyeHardware;Naked MommyAloneTime

Hello dear readers!  Nice to see you again!  Today I am going to tell you about my day of naked mommy alone time. 
   Last Thursday, my husband took me to the Ortho Doc, to check the progress on my broken leg.  The doctor said it was healed! Yeah! Happy leg dance.  After being laid up non weight bearing for nine weeks, this news was candy to my ears!  So I began the barrage of questions.  Questions about physical therapy, when can I put weight on it, exercises, when can I drive, etc.  Good news is, that pesky Terminator looking leg brace hardware is gone! I just lost twenty pounds right there!  The doc said I have to go three more weeks with no more than five pounds(for balancing)of pressure put on my leg.  But then, get ready for it, here it comes.....on the fourth week, I can progressively start putting weight on it!  Then when I go back to the doc the week before Thanksgiving, depending on how good I am walking on it, I may not need physical therapy!  Wahoo!  To facilitate such a miraculous happening, the doc has been giving me daily exercises.  Leg lifts mainly, ankle rotations, stretching, and now full leg bending and stretching.  Wow those muscles are tight.  Interesting what happens in a short non weight bearing nine weeks, versus walking on it my whole life.  Just a minute.....ok I'm back I had to stretch.  Can you see how anxious I am to get walking?
  Anyway, my doc decided he was a comedian.  I asked him if I could drive, and he looks at my husband and says,"Well that is a loaded question.  I am not sure I am qualified to answer that question.(to my husband)Could she before?"  Yup.  Funny guy.  My husband and the doc then have another good old laugh, when he suggests taking me to the empty section of the Walmart parking lot, and practicing driving again.  Very funny guys.  I hope that you have to teach your kids how to drive one day, and that they run into a dumpster!  Just kidding!
  So after the appointment, we go to pick up our four year old  at great grandmother's house.  The four year old has decided that she is spending the night with Mamaw.  She is a very persuasive ie. manipulative child.  She knows how to get exactly what she wants.  So daddy and I are babysitter blessed and kid free. We have a good dinner with the mother in law.  She is hilarious, and we suceeded in grossing the hubbie out.  We then had a mommy and daddy "quality time" kind of night.  Wink, wink, if ya know what I mean!  We had to celebrate the fact that the leg brace wasn't slamming him in the back, side, knee or leg.  Celebrate we did!   Multiple times!  Husband and wifey snuggling ensued.  We checked mommy and daddy at the bedroom door!  So this brings us all up to speed on how I happened upon naked mommy alone time.
   The next morning, I gloriously reveled in the opportunity to lay in my bed, all wrapped up in my blanket, alone, and buck naked.  Naked as the day I was born.  Naked mommy alone time! With a four year old, being a stay at home mom, and living and hour and fifteen minutes from the closest relative, I do not get this opportunity very often.  What a rare luxury!  So I rolled around and tested out new leg positions.  Could I finally sleep on my tummy? Yes! Could I sleep in the one knee bent up position? Yes!  Could I sleep on my side with both legs pressed together, one on top of the other? Yes! So then, after rolling around for a while, trying to decide what to do with my naked self, because i was so not putting clothes on; I decided to call my grandmother, my Nana.  I told her, when she asked what I was doing, exactly what I was doing!  I told her that I was enjoying a me day, alone, totally buck naked, snuggled up in bed.  She died laughing.  Well not really, she is very much alive and kicking.  She is a pistol.  The sassiness in our family comes from her. She totally got the home alone bare-assedness, having raised three kids herself.  I told her that Mamaw had the four year old, and that I was enjoying some much needed alone time.  She said,"Well good for you!"  We also had a great laugh about alone mommy naked moments!
   The strange things that go through my mind, while laying naked in bed talking to my grandmother!  It must run in the family!  My mother(her daughter)and I used to always call each other while we were in the bathroom! Nutty family!  Actually it stems from being the only place where, as a mom and a wife, you are totally alone, in the whole house!  Anyway, I asked her if she remembered my grandfather's great grandmother's name.  She was a full blooded Cherokee Indian, and I was wondering if she remembered(this was the original reason I had called, besides wanting to chat uninterrupted).  Then I asked about her mother's siblings.  I learned there were eleven.  Hmm, I never knew that.  I also learned that several of their names rhymed.  Annie and Fannie, Earldine and Madeline.  Cute. We proceeded to chat for an hour and a half.  Or until we both had to pee from laughing so hard, and my phone was dying.  I just love my grandmother.  I had no problem talking to her all morning, so as to avoid cleaning before my MIL brought the baby home!
   So I then decided to grab a quick bite to eat, naked.  I then got to cleaning, naked.  I decided, why dirty more clothes, when I am just going to hop in the shower after cleaning anyway?  So relishing my new found, however short lived, naked freedom, I picked up, folded laundry, did the dishes, swept the floors, put away dishes, all while zooming around sans clothes in my wheelchair, stopping every now and then for leg lifts!  If the neighbors across the back yard diagonally were home, they might have gotten a pretty good show out of our kitchen window! Hah!
   So then I took a nice, long, hot shower with my ears blissfully closed.  I did not have to strain my ears to hear sounds of the four year old crashing off of the bed while jumping, screaming, yelling for mommy, running into the bathroom with a question, to check on me, or to throw back the curtain to surprise me.  A nice long mommy shower.  All the hot water was mine all mine!
  Moral of this story is; Every mommy needs naked mommy alone time.  It is refreshing and good for the soul.  It takes you back to those days before husband and kids, when all you had to think about was you.  Running around naked, cleaning naked, and bathing at leisure.  When no one else mattered but you, and focusing on your inner goddess.  Pampering her every whim.  All about you time. Doing what you want, whenever it pleased you to do it.  Focusing on being sexy, and a sexual goddess in bed.  Laying around the day after, and reliving your sexual or flirting prowess in bed, naked, and alone.  Without a child(ren) or a husband expecting their due time and attention.  Every woman needs to relive this time in her life occasionally, taking a break for herself, from the busy day to day hustle and bustle of raising a family.  One must always have, however regularly or infrequently, inner goddess time.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Prayers for a Childhood Friend

As a child, I belonged to a wonderful youth group, The International Order of the Rainbow for Girls.  It is a Masonic affiliated youth group.  it teaches a belief in a higher being, and the basic truths of the bible; Love, Religion, Nature, Immortality, Fidelity, Patriotism, and Service.  It also teaches public speaking, leadership skills, and how to act like a lady.  It is an organization that is near and dear to my heart, as well as to my childhood friend.  I met her at Rainbow Camp, held at Camp Muffly in West Virginia.  It was my first camp experience in junior high school, and I made a friend who I have never forgotten.  She was sweet, smart, and funny. I found her again a couple of years ago on Facebook.  I was heartsick to learn she was fighting for her life.  She was battling lung cancer.  She has always been a non smoker.  I have followed her blog and Facebook posts religiously, and this year her cancer has not only returned, but it has popped up in different places.  She now has lung, brain, and spine cancer.  They also removed a tumor from her pituitary gland earlier this year, and she has been having female issues as well. She remains one of the most upbeat and positive people that I have had the pleasure of ever knowing!  She is truly a beautiful soul!        
   This morning I pulled up Facebook and was scrolling through my feed, when I saw that she was having surgery this morning to remove her spinal tumor.  This is a very dangerous procedure, and i would like to ask for prayers for her today, and in her battle with cancer.  She is also the author of a blog about her journey through cancer. Please check out her page for a truly uplifting journey through cancer!  Here is the link:

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Tears of Hope; Nefeterius and Taitlyn

This post was originally published in 2012. I decided to post it again today as I have learned and am deepy saddened by the passing of Neferterius from abdominal cancer. She was a bright shining star among us and now from heaven. RIP Neferterius A McPhereson.


Over the course of the last few days, I have cried several times. I have been touched by a beautiful story of two incredibly brave and beautiful young women. It is a story of one twelve year old girl who saved a 38 year old woman's life that she had never met.  It is about the older of the two honoring the younger one's dreams to change the world. It is a story about organ donation. This is an article about their story.

You can also find these special ladies, Nefeterius Akili McPherson, and Taitlyn Shae Hughes, and their story on Facebook at!/livertransplant, and!/pages/Taitlyn-Hughes/132186980221999.

I can honestly say this story touched my heart, as my mother needed a kidney transplant before her death.  She never received her transplant because she was not healthy enough for the surgery. Kudos to this twelve year old who was wise beyond her years in choosing to become an organ donor, and to make a difference and save lives. Kudos to this young woman who is honoring her donor, by keeping her dreams to make a difference alive. This kind of story is few and far between.  It gives me hope in this day and time in which we are living. This young girls hope and dreams to change the world, and the recipients thankfulness, drive, and dedication to see that her donor's dreams come true, is truly inspiring. The world needs more people like these remarkable ladies!  Happy heartwarming reading!

Friday, September 28, 2012

Today's Random Thoughts

Today's random thoughts are brought to you by my neuroses, my 4yo, and Facebook comments.
  So  those of you who are just joining us for the first time, welcome!  To catch you all up, I hate spiders.  I am a stay at home mom to the most adorable 4yo, and I have a broken leg at present.
  So my Daddy decided upon returning from our recent trip to Tennessee, that he would stay with us a week to help me out.  The heating element in our dryer was broken, and we were waiting on the new dryer to be delivered later in the week, when it started.  I was one leg balancing, cleaning the bathroom sink, before the strange dryer delivery men had to see my bathroom where the dryer is located.  I was cleaning, and I realized I was not even going to attempt to clean the empty tub.  It has not been used for months due to poor shower pressure, and the new removable shower head in our other full bathroom. Can I digress and just give well deserved props to the inventor of the removable shower head.  Genius right there!  Love! Okay, so back to the shower.  My husband had killed several itsy bitsy spiders in the empty tub.  He just thinks it is enough to smoosh them. He rarely cleans up the carcasses.  So every time I hobble hop into our bathroom(this one is the most crutch friendly), I stare at the dead half carcass and squooshed separated legs of one of my dear old hubs kills. Gross.  So as I lean over the tub to pull the curtain across the length of the tub, I have to look.  I have to peer into the tub, scanning for that ginormous spider that I just know is there.  There have been many giants found in this tub before.  This time, there are two small spiders that have made webs in the bottom corners of the tub that I cannot reach while balancing on one foot.  Okay, life as we know it is not threatened by these two tiny little guys.(BTW, this is definite progress on my part!)  I will have hub kill them when he gets home.
   Every night since that day, when in the dark of the night, I have to go to the bathroom, I hop in fear into the barely lit bathroom on my crutches.  I hop in, turn around, balance, balance my crutches on the wall one at a time, precariously pull down my britches, grab the sink corner, and while still elevating one leg, lower myself onto the toilet.  Then the familiar dread creeps in. I wonder if I pull back the curtain, if there will be a bigolhugeospiderthatwilleat myfaceoffandjumponme spider in that tub again? Most nights I just hurry up and do my business and get the heck out of there.  So every couple of days I feel compelled to pull back the curtain and confront my fears.  I am happy to report that after today's inspection that we are still ginormo-spider free for now! Yay! But I can tell you everywhere in my house that there is a spider.  There is one down the hall, in the corner of the hallway ceiling, across from my daughter's bedroom.  It moved in last night.  There is one, possibly two, that took up residence in the far corner of my bedroom at the beginning of the week.  There are still the two longtime residents in the bathroom tub, and there is the kitchen spider.  He is a slippery little sucker.  I decided to face my fears and let him co-habitate for a small block of time.  I wiped his webs down, when they moved past the corner of the kitchen window.  So he decided to move higher, to the top half of the window, where I cannot reach.  It is like he is laughing at me.  I can hear his tiny little spider voice saying, "Haha lady!  I know your temporarily crippled and too short to get me anyway! Go ahead,try and reach me! I wanna see you knock down my webs now! Nah nah nah, nah nah nah!" So anyway, he is still there, for now, because I cannot reach him.  There are also three outside web spinners.  Two are on and their webs are across my front living room windows.  They only come out at night.  I think they are vampire spiders, because I never see them in the day.  Not pretty and sparkly like Edward, but only come out at night like really big and bad vampires.  Then there is the third one.  I have been battling him since June.  He moved in while we went to the beach.  He first camped out on the back doors.  He spun big, huge web in the night.  He then hides during the day.   i have knocked down his porchwide webs numerous times with the broom, only to wake the next morning to a brand new web in the exact same place as the one I just swept away.  I found him one day earlier in the summer, when I went to turn my daughter's hose on for her sprinkler.  There he was big web under the porch.  Ugh.  I spreyed him and the web with spider killer many times as well.  Aint nothing killing this sucker.  So for now, he is under the porch during the day, and habitates the opposite corner of my porch at night.  Ah well, winter is coming soon! I do not get outside much these days anyway!
  Here is my second randomMy 4yo cracks me up. She is walking stand up comedy I tell you!  She has her own little brand of curse words.  Whenever she is suprised or ticked off, she will say,"Oh Coconuts! or Yeah Hay, no Way!" Thanks Jake and the Neverland Pirates at Disney for those!  Today I hear her exclaiming,"Oh friggle fraggle!" Too funny! She has also said ,"aww wobble!" Another favorite is "Aw, poop a duck!" As any mom will tell you, thay have their own language!
   My third random thought for the day is for my dear friend M.  She is currently going through the ex headache.  Yes, almost half of all of us wives out there, have had to deal with at least one if not more ex wives.  She is now first hand experiencing the aggravation.  If you have a husband or boyfriend that shares a child or children with another woman, then you know the headache I speak of.  The one that we never talk about, because that would make us the 'bitchy' ones.  The best way I have found from personal experience, is to be the better, and bigger person.  Kill 'em with kindness.  I know this entails biting you tongue harder than you ever though possible, drilling your freshly manicured fingernails into bloody half moons in your palms in order to hold your tongue and smile, or taking a deep breath and counting to at least 10,000.  It envolves the patience of a saint, and believe me, by the end of the next up to 18 years, you will have earned that title.  It involves watching broken promises eat away at your kids, having the kids exposed to things that kids should never be exposed to, it envolves putting the kids in the middle, and lots of tears from big and little broken hearts.  Your heart will break for them a thousand times, and there is not a thing you can do but hold them and rock them to sleep. It envolves watching the birth mother hurt YOUR child time and time again, while you are raising and loving them.  It entails watching the birth mothers intentionally hurting their child, to hurt your spouse and to make the child hate or think less of you.  Your heart will break for your spouse and or signifigant other, as the other ex half tries to keep the children from you, because they do not like you.  You will see the ex's trying to still control their former husbands and boyfriends in a myriad of ways.  They will try to rip his heart out, ie through his kids.  The hardest thing to do, is to stand by his side and hold him as he cries, yells, or plots their death(just kidding on that last one!)  All you can do is be there for the kids, as their safe haven, their shelter from the storm(ie their mother), and love them unconditionally.  Your heart will break as your shared kids see the truth about their biological parent(if they were unlucky enough to get a bad one). You will wish you could smack some sense into a woman who calls herself mother, that only spends time with her child, when she wants to play mommy, or needs a babysitter for her current brood, not a real relationship with her firstborn.  You shake your head at horrific stories that your other half's family tell you, of things that she did to hurt the kids. You are the one who has to deal with the counseling, the acting out in school, and the terror stricken habits the kids developed because of nightmare exes.  You are the fall out girl.  Ms Make Everything Okay.  And you are glad to be, because you are full of love not hatred. You will pray to God to answer the question for you,of how could a mother treat her children this way.  You will also have to deal with late night or always during your family dinner kid time calls from intoxicated ex-spouses begging to know why, oh why didn't we work out, and the patience it requires to deal with it, so sthe ex dosen't yank visitation from your significant other? What was wrong with me and or our relationship, and what does she have that I didn't.  You will find that eventually as they grow older, that the what seems like the exes hold on your life loosens and goes away.(How boring their lives must be now that they cannot mess with you and yours, and now that they have alienated their kids!!!) But then you have the emails from the exes, asking marital advice in their current disfunctional marriage.  Trying to get to know your man again on the sly.  Stating that it scares them, that they might still have feelings for him, and they miss his family.  You will find yourself still getting posessive, and wanting to go at it, but your better than that.  As a grown up, you have all the exes secrets!  So instead of being all like,"Bitch, you wanna piece o me? Now it's like,"Bitch please, I been around for almost 14 years, and I know ALL your secrets.  Ones that even your kids don't know, so back off bitch and leave me and mine alone! Boom!"  You don't even have to say it aloud, just the knowledge of the power you hold is satisfaction enough!  You are the nice one, the kind one, the one who listens to everybody else bitch, but never says a word.  Knowledge is satisfaction enough! Plus I don't think the current hubbie would like the fact that you were trying to creep on your ex, ya know?  So when the child and her father are having a FB comment dialog, ex, please do not comment.  There is plenty I could throw out there here and now, but I have edited and am keeping it clean. Stay out of it, it's none of your business.  These are kinds of things that will happen to you.  These are all real situations that have happened to real people I know.  I have always said, don't ever talk bad about the other motha's, the kids will one day see for theirselves!   Every girl who has the potential to be soon dating someone with kids needs to read this.   I luvya Miss M! You have a heart of gold!  Hang in there, because it takes special people to be step mothers, and you are one special person!  ***EDITED with adult children in mind***  Random thought #3 was not intended to offend or hurt anyone, I was simply stating facts and my observations.  If you have taken offense to this post, it was not my intent to upset anyone.