Saturday, February 17, 2018

Tough Day

Today's been a tough day for me.  I see my memories on Facebook, and the first one that hits me is my post about being with Meme a year ago, and it being so hard.  That was in reference to the last time I saw her before she passed.  Instant tears. 

So I've kept myself busy all day, took Steven to test drive a car this morning, and then Clydie and I went out and about, buying some wheat straw for the back yard, a couple rose bushes, dirt for the front flower bed, and a couple random things at Wal-Mart.  We got home and cleared the pine straw out of the front flower bed, added the dirt, and planted the roses.  This was in between me playing with the local kitty that Steven nicknamed Bucko, and assumed for some reason that it was a boy, but nope, Bucko is a girl!  Bucko also saved me from what I thought was a very tiny snake (and no, I didn't freak out and scream or run):
Yep, this thing is tiny - about 5 inches long.  After I dropped the bag of dirt near it and it didn't move, I looked at it closer and it had little tiny legs!

So my roses that we planted, one is a red orange, and the other is this pretty pinkish/mauve color.  I cannot wait until they grow and bloom!

We were also busy inside the house after finishing the flowerbed - we are in the process of setting up an aquarium upstairs, and had to move some furniture around.  I'm going to put it by the buffet in the dining area.  I also boxed up a bunch of glass stuff that had been on the buffet and another set of shelves.  It made the area look so much less cluttered than before!

Then after dinner tonight, I'm looking through Facebook and see a photo of someone that looked very familiar to me.  Turns out it was an old neighbor of mine from when I lived in Morrow, and he's in hospice due to cancer.  It's sad enough to think about that on top of Meme, but when I asked if he found love after his partner died several years ago, the answer was no, but that he was so looking forward to being with his love again upon his death.  That just broke my heart. 

Just a tough day emotionally. 

But one thing I think is for sure - Spring is here!

Saturday, January 27, 2018

Humor in Genealogy

Recently I've been doing some research on my son's ancestors on his sperm donor's side.  Yes, we call him sperm donor (SD for short), as the terms "father" or "dad" really don't apply when it comes to that man.  And to provide a little more background information on the SD that will help make sense of something that will be said a few paragraphs down, he was quite delusional that he knew Mafia people, and had the ability to request favors of them. 

Anywho, SD has always claimed that he's more than half Cherokee Indian (CI for short), that his grandparents lived on the NC reservation, and he used to spend summers on the reservation with his grandfather.  I had never questioned these stories, as while I thought it would be neat for Steven to be linked to the Cherokee nation, it really never mattered a lot to me.  I was able to find SD's grandparents' (Steven's great grandparents) information, and nothing past them to try to prove anything one way or another. 

I recently joined a Cherokee genealogy Facebook page, and within 24 hours they were able to provide me with a little more information on SD's grandparents, as well as SD's great grandparents.  First of all, guess what?  WHITE.  Second?  Born, raised, lived, and died in GEORGIA.  No where near a reservation.  LOL  Again, Steven and I don't really care, it's just funny. 

I was reading through the info at the dinner table tonight regarding Steven's great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents, and we discovered that his great-great-grandfather reported on the 1940 census that he had no schooling, was a farmer, and had no earned income.  The info did state that he had other sources of income, and I wondered out loud what the other sources of income could be.  Without missing a beat, Steven said "the MAFIA!"  I. Freaking. Lost. It!

Monday, November 20, 2017

Thankful for the Thorns

My annual reposting......

Thankful for the Thorns

Sandra felt as low as the heels of her Birkenstocks as she pushed against a November gust and the florist shop door. Her life had been easy, like a spring breeze.  Then, in the fourth month of her second pregnancy, a minor automobile accident stole her ease. During this Thanksgiving week she would have delivered a son.  She grieved over her loss. As if that weren't enough, her husband's company threatened a transfer. Then her sister, whose holiday visit she coveted, called saying she could not come.

What's worse, Sandra's friend infuriated her by suggesting her grief was a God-given path to maturity that would allow her to empathize with others who suffer? "Had she lost a child? No - she has no idea what I'm feeling," Sandra shuddered. Thanksgiving? "Thankful for what?" she wondered. For a careless driver whose truck was hardly scratched when he rear-ended her? For an airbag that saved her life but took that of her child?

"Good afternoon, can I help you?"

The flower shop clerk's approach startled her. "Sorry," said Jenny, "I just didn't want you to think I was ignoring you."

"I . . . . I need an arrangement."

"For Thanksgiving?" Sandra nodded.  "Do you want beautiful but ordinary, or would you like to challenge the day with a customer favorite I call the "Thanksgiving Special."

Jenny saw Sandra's curiosity and continued, "I'm convinced that flowers tell stories, that each arrangement insinuates a particular feeling. Are you looking for something that conveys gratitude this Thanksgiving?"

"Not exactly!" Sandra blurted. "Sorry, but in the last five months, everything that could go wrong has."

Sandra regretted her outburst but was surprised when Jenny said, "I have the perfect arrangement for you."

The door's small bell suddenly rang. "Barbara! Hi, "Jenny said. She politely excused herself form Sandra and walked toward a small workroom. She quickly reappeared carrying a massive arrangement of green bows, and long-stemmed thorny roses. Only, the ends of the rose stems were neatly snipped, no flowers.

"Want this in a box?" Jenny asked.

Sandra watched for Barbara's response. Was this a joke? Who would want rose stems and no flowers! She waited for laughter, for someone to notice the absence of flowers atop the thorny stems, but neither woman did.

"Yes, please. It's exquisite," said Barbara. "You'd think after three years of getting the special, I'd not be so moved by its significance, but it's happening again. My family will love this one. Thanks."

Sandra stared. "Why so normal a conversation about so strange an arrangement?" she wondered.

"Ah, said Sandra, pointing. "That lady just left with, ah . . . ."


"Well, she had no flowers!"


"Off. Yep. That's the Special. I call it the "Thanksgiving Thorns Bouquet."

"But, why do people pay for that?" In spite of herself she chuckled.

"Do you really want to know?"

"I couldn't leave this shop without knowing. I'd think about nothing else!"

"That might be good," said Jenny.

"Well," she continued, "Barbara came into the shop three years ago feeling very much like you feel today. She thought she had very little to be thankful for. She had lost her father to cancer, the family business was failing, her son was into drugs, and she faced major surgery."

"Ouch!" said Sandra.

"That same year, I lost my husband. I assumed complete responsibility for the shop and for the first time, spent the holidays alone. I had no children, no husband, no family nearby, and too great a debt to allow any travel."

"What did you do?"

"I learned to be thankful for thorns.

"Sandra's eyebrows lifted. "Thorns?"

"I'm a Christian, Sandra. I've always thanked God for good things in life and I never thought to ask Him why good things happened to me. But, when bad stuff hit. Did I ever ask! It took time to learn that dark times are important. I always enjoyed the flowers' of life but it took thorns to show me the beauty of God's comfort. You know, the Bible says that God comforts us when we're afflicted and from His consolation we learn to comfort others."

Sandra gasped. "A friend read that passage to me and I was furious! I guess the truth is, I don't want comfort. I've lost a baby and I'm angry with God." She started to ask Jenny to "go on" when the door's bell diverted their attention.

"Hey, Phil!" shouted Jenny as a balding, rotund man entered the shop. She softly touched Sandra's arm and moved to welcome him. He tucked her under his side for a warm hug. "I'm here for twelve thorny long-stemmed stems!" Phil laughed, heartily.

"I figured as much," said Jenny. "I've got them ready." She lifted a tissue-wrapped arrangement form the refrigerated cabinet.

"Beautiful," said Phil. "My wife will love them."

Sandra could not resist asking, "These are for your wife?"

Phil saw that Sandra's curiosity matched his when he first heard of a Thorn Bouquet. "Do you mind me asking, 'Why thorns?"

"In fact, I'm glad you asked, "He said. "Four years ago my wife and I nearly divorced. After forty years, we were in a real mess, but we slogged through, problem by rotten problem. We rescued our marriage - our love, really. Last year, at Thanksgiving, I stopped in here for flowers. I must have mentioned surviving a tough process because Jenny told me that for a long time she kept a vase of rose stems --- stems! --- As a reminder of what she learned from 'thorny' times. That was good enough for me. I took home stems, My wife and I decided to label each one for a specific thorny situation and give thanks for what the problem taught us. I'm pretty sure this stem review is becoming a tradition."

Phil paid Jenny, thanked her again and as he left, said to Sandra, "I highly recommend the Special!"

"I don't know if I can be thankful for the thorns in my life, "Sandra said to Jenny.

"Well, my experience says that thorns make roses more precious. We treasure God's providential care more during trouble than at any other time. Remember, Sandra, Jesus wore a crown of thorns so that we might know His love. Do not resent thorns."

Tears rolled down Sandra's cheeks. For the first time since the accident she loosened her grip on resentment. "I'll take twelve long-stemmed thorns, please."

"I hoped you would, " Jenny said. "I'll have them ready in a minute. Then, every time you see them, remember to appreciate both good and hard times. We grow through both."

"Thank you. What do I owe you?"

"Nothing. Nothing but a pledge to work toward healing your heart. The first year's arrangement is always on me." Jenny handed a card to Sandra. "I'll attach a card like this to your arrangement but maybe you'd like to read it first. Go ahead, read it."

My God, I have never thanked Thee for my thorns! I have thanked Thee a thousand times for my roses, but never once for my thorns. Teach me the glory of the cross I bear, teach me the value of my thorns. Show me that I have climbed to Thee by the path of pain. Show me that my tears have made my rainbow. George Matheson

Saturday, November 4, 2017

Oops I Did It Again!

I got lost in the woods again this morning!  LOL  Seems I turned at the correct tree, but went to far this time.  Brian came and got me and pointed me in the right direction.  Dammit man, I need to get reflectors to put on the path to my stand!

No luck this weekend, I did see a very nice buck, but managed to spook him during our stare-down.  Grrrr!!!!  He was the only one I saw.  Last weekend, I shot at a doe but we never found her (we were hunting in a county that is either-sex all rifle season).  There was no blood or hair or anything, so I suppose I missed her and she just ran when she heard the bang.  :-(

We planted our collards and turnip seeds this past Wednesday night.  Silly me didn't wear bug spray, and I'm paying for it now.  I have a bite on my knee, and about 10 on my left elbow and back of the arm.  I don't handle itching well, so fortunately it's stayed mild for the most part.

I managed to have a nightmare last night that to my knowledge was the first time I was screaming or whatever sound it was and had to be woken up.  It was a really strange dream - people were getting kidnapped for their blood.  Not killed, but kidnapped, and they had blood withdrawn from them.  Nurses would sneak up behind the people and jab a tiny needle in them somewhere, and this would knock the person out so they could be taken to have blood withdrawn.  I went to a restroom within a hospital, and felt a sting on my rear, I turn around and see a nurse withdrawing her hand from underneath the stall door.  As I start feeling the effects of the drug, I make an attempt to scream for help, and that screaming was a drugged, slow-motion scream/moan.  This noise is what I ended up doing for real.  Brian managed to wake me up and get me settled back down pretty quickly, and I went back to sleep.  Weird!

Got a busy day tomorrow, lots of laundry, gonna make some candied jalapenos, and a lot of other things.  I hope everyone enjoys the rest of their weekend!

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Getting Lost.....

About the only thing I'm afraid of happening while hunting actually happened this morning.  I got lost in the woods in the dark.  We didn't bring our walkie talkies this time, so I couldn't let Brian know.  I'm sure he probably noticed my headlight wandering aimlessly in the woods, circling back, going too far in, but he did the wisest thing for everyone's safety (and eardrums due to the screams my terror would have unleashed) by just letting me figure things out.  I sat down against a tree and waited until I could see without my headlight.  I was about 20 feet too far in, and about 20 yards short of where my stand is. 

I've seen far too many horror movies to be comfortable in the woods in the dark.  And let me tell you - there's to be no running in these woods, hell you can barely walk in them between the massive spider webs, holes in the ground, and prickly vines that will either stick you thru your clothing or wrap around your feet and trip you.  I'm still picking thorns out of my clothes and I'm back at Casa de Buxton!

Something must be wrong with my Fitbit cause I had not even reached 2000 steps after my little adventure - that was worth at least 4000 steps!

I wear these nifty headphones when I hunt that amplify the small sounds yet minimize the sounds of your own gunfire.  Awesome thing to have.  A couple of things to note - sometimes you can hear your own pulse, it amplifies the sounds you make when eating or drinking, and it also makes gunfire from a couple fields over sound like it's right next to you, not in volume just proximity.  And when you have your gun up, waiting on the buck to come out that you just know is with the 3 does in front of you, and you hear a fourth deer that you don't even see blowing a warning, it will sound like a demon straight from hell blowing that warning directly in your ear. Creepy. As. Hell.  (And the buck never showed btw)

I did see a small button buck this morning.  He showed up a good while after the does, and decided to take a dump right in front of the trail cam.  I also got photos of him on my phone:


I also took several photos of Brian and I this weekend:

                                                            I got in trouble for this one LOL

                                                       he looks constipated!  LOL

had a great weekend and can't wait for the next time!

Saturday, October 14, 2017

Keep Truckin' On.....

My recovery process has been a lot easier than I expected when it comes to pain, but it's still a slow going ordeal.  I didn't get my stitches out on October 4 like I had expected, as they're those lovely dissolvable ones.  I think I have about 4 left, and for the most part, they just get uncomfortable at times.  The incisions are slowly closing up and healing, and I go back on November 3 for another check up.  I was also told that I will have follow ups with the oncologist for quite some time, possibly forever, as it was a precancerous diagnosis and they want to keep an eye on me to make sure my problem doesn't return. 

I have a funny story about my oncologist/surgeon - we were talking about my cruise, and I told him the story of the change in itinerary, and the delay in getting home, and he asked me where we ended up docking while waiting to get back to Florida - turns out he was in New Orleans the same time we were, as he was celebrating his wife's birthday there!  That would have been hilarious had we run into each other there that Saturday!

On the way to that follow-up visit, I started thinking about Meme.  For some reason, I was thinking of how she used the word "tu-tu" to refer to the female privates.  It made me laugh, then made me cry.  I miss her!  And I had thought about writing a blog that brought up "tu-tu" and all the other slang words for that part of the female body, but have decided against it.  You can Google it if you want to see some of the genius names people have come up with for the hoo-ha.

I can't wait until next weekend - it's opening rifle deer season!  I cannot wait to get in the stand and sit in nature.  Time to zone out with the trees and animals and find my peace.  It doesn't matter if I see anything, or shoot anything, I just really enjoy sitting in nature and the peace that comes with it.  I have time to think about my life, my troubles, and make peace with everything that's been going on since last time I was out there.  I even take a notepad and pen sometimes and write (and yes, I still keep an eye out for any deer that might be coming through my area). 

I really need my time in the tree - things are crazy in the world these days.  People bitching about the stupidest things, constant discourse with politics, death, shootings, threats of war.  It's a very scary time, and very annoying to not be able to avoid some of the insanity online.  I've found that I have friends that are on both ends of the political spectrum, some on the very far end of one side or the other, and I'm just tired of seeing all the bickering and bitching about everything.  I just don't have the energy to deal with it all, and don't care to read about it all.  I enjoy Facebook, but damn sometimes I think life would be somewhat more peaceful if I didn't have it.  (yes, I know I can deactivate, or delete my profile, or limit my viewing of it, but it's how I keep up with my friends and family so it's just not something I want to do for now)

Well folks I've said enough for tonight, it's only a little after 8pm and I'm exhausted.  I will probably fall asleep on the couch tonight ;-)  Have a great rest of the weekend!

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A September to Remember

I started my month off with a cruise with my mother, my uncle, and a bunch of other people that they knew, some of which I either knew or was familiar with.  We had a 12 person group, including one couple that were first time cruisers.  Those folks hated it, well at least the man did.  I think him having a bad time made for a bad time for the lady, but who knows.  I just know that I had a blast and can't wait for my  next cruise! 

As many of you know, Hurricane Irma was starting to make her presence known in the Atlantic during the last week of August and first week in September, and she was heading for the Caribbean, right towards where our ship was supposed to be come a few days into the cruise.  We had boarded the ship on Sunday, September 3, expecting to travel to Nassau, Grand Turk, and the Dominican Republic, but before we set sail we were informed that our travel itinerary would be changing to a western Caribbean cruise, to include stops at Cozumel, Belize, and Costa Maya.  We rescheduled our dolphin excursion for the Costa Maya stop, and away we went!

Had a great day at sea on Monday, including a fun time at the pool.  I got sunburned, and the entire pool was flashed by a lady competing in the lip sync battle.  She had on a short dress and NO PANTIES as she was shaking what her momma gave her and the activities director realized she was showing off way too much and stopped her routine.  It was embarrassingly funny though, I just can't imagine what she was thinking!?

We stopped in Cozumel on Tuesday, did some shopping, and boy was it hot and humid!  Wednesday, we stopped in Belize and did some more shopping.  After we pulled away from Belize, our captain made the announcement that due to the hurricane's expected path up the coast of Florida, we were not going to be stopping in Costa Maya and they were going to try to get us back to Port Canaveral on Friday, a day early, to keep us ahead of the storm.  No dolphin excursion for us unfortunately.  :-(

Thursday, we're having a nice day at sea, and late in the afternoon while were sprucing up for dinner, the captain comes on to make the announcement that we would not be going to Port Canaveral after all, as we would not arrive in time to get off the ship, and them to get safely out before the port closed due to the weather, and that we would be heading towards New Orleans.  Oh and it would be Wednesday before they expected to get  us back to Port Canaveral!  You talk about some wild times on the ship that afternoon.  My mother was down near guest services and witnessed a male passenger cussing out and physically threatening a female passenger (he was carried away by security), and she also said there were some women shouting about they were lesbian and proud, and couldn't wait to party in New Orleans. 

Anywho, we made it to New Orleans, I got me some beignets, and away we went.  I did not enjoy going down the Mississippi and back into the gulf on Sunday morning - first time ever being sea sick, and that's an experience I hope I NEVER repeat.  So, so sick, almost all day long.  The ship was rocking so much that they turned off the glass elevators and put barf bags outside each set of elevators.  I toted my bag that my mother picked up for me to breakfast, and it almost came in handy on the way back to my cabin.  (almost because I didn't get it to my face fast enough by Guy Fieri's Burger joint lol)  I got some advice of things to do to help, and going to the highest deck, standing at the front of the ship and looking at the horizon helped the most.  Thanks Rob!  (Sorry David, I just couldn't bring myself to try a greasy burger) 

So, I got an extra 4 days on the ship, and an extra 3 days of vacation time, which made for interesting times at work, getting all caught up AND planning for my medical leave that was set to begin on September 21. 

Speaking of my medical leave - I'm due to return to work on Monday, October 2, and I'm pretty sure I'll be ready to go back.  My surgery went very well on the 21st, other than the nausea trumping the pain that day.  I was so sick to my stomach from the time I woke from the anesthesia until I got home and plundered through the medicine bag to find some anti-nausea pills.  I did tell the recovery nurses that I was quite nauseated, and they didn't offer any additional meds other than what I was given during surgery.  I was sent home with a pretty green barf bag (much nicer than the white one on the cruise ship that I toted around that Sunday morning), and slept until dinner time, nicely medicated on the oxycodone and fentanyl I was given before I left the hospital, and the nausea pill I took at home.

I've experienced minimal pain, only taking Tylenol on Friday and not having to dip into the prescription drugs even once.  I've been so thankful for that, you have no idea!  I had a similar procedure about 9 years ago, but with only 1 incision back then instead of the 3 this time, and that time the pain was excruciating.  I've also managed to pop a couple of stitches, somehow without feeling it, and was told that they wouldn't do any re-stitching, they'd just let it heal on it's own.  I see my surgeon next week to have the stitches removed and review the pathology report, and hopefully I'll just have one more appointment with him to ensure everything is healed up properly and I'll be good to go.  The surgeon expects the pathology report to be good, and to not show anything other than the precancerous stuff they've seen in the biopsies. 

And one last thing for September - tomorrow is the 5 year anniversary of my husband returning from his deployment to Kosovo.  I thought about that this morning and am so thankful for him.  He's been so good to me and for me with this medical crap, reassuring me when I need it, comforting me and making me laugh when I get down in the dumps about it.  He even had the surgeon laughing when I had the initial consultation due to his complaints about a made up condition that he said he needed help with.  Fast-forward to surgery day - we got to pre-op and the surgeon comes in, says he's going to get started with my procedure shortly, and he'd be taking care of Brian's problem right afterwards.  Brian had the funniest look on his face at that!  But unfortunately there was no family there to witness the exchange which would have been even funnier. 

Thankful for my family this month!