Sunday, September 28, 2014

Last Weekend in September!

I cannot believe it is already the last weekend in September!  Where has this year gone?!?!?  Time just seems to be flying by so quickly at times, and in some ways that's okay (the work week going by fast to get to the weekends, I don't mind so much).  I just wish the weekends would seem like they lasted longer.

We went to the hunting property yesterday to do a couple things, and that pretty much was our Saturday.  Today I needed to find a blouse that will go with a new blazer I recently obtained, and managed to find not only that, but picked up 3 new blouses in addition to the one I was looking for, and a new pair of pants.  I bought all the clothes at Ross - I had never shopped there before and I really liked my experience there today - I saved about 65% off the suggested retail prices.  Now, I wasn't buying clothes just for the fun of it, I needed some new things as I've put on some weight over the past year and my current wardrobe is just not working for me as well as it was.  :-(

I found a recipe on Facebook for oven baked fajitas, and I made them for dinner tonight - they were awesome!  (If you want the recipe and aren't on my Facebook, message me and I'll get it to you).  We (well, Brian and I) also tried out a ghost pepper.  For those of you that don't know, ghost peppers are one of the top 5 hottest peppers in the world.  We've been growing them the last couple years, and in the past, we didn't know that they are supposed to turn red when they are mature, so we'd been picking them green and eating them that way.  I was able to eat them green and immature, and while yes they were hot, they weren't much worse than a jalapeno.

We've picked about half a dozen red ones this year, and tonight Brian got out the rubber gloves and sliced one up for us to try.  I wanted to video him trying it, as he cut it up in tiny pieces and sprinkled several of them into his fajita.  He wouldn't let me do the video, even though I promised I wouldn't post it without his permission.  After he ate that fajita with all those pieces of ghost pepper, I got brave and tried some too.  Turns out this particular pepper was no hotter than any of the jalapenos I've had.  It was kinda disappointing, as it would have been fun blogging about Brian having a funny reaction to the pepper.  But, the pepper had a nice flavor and only a little sting to it.

Besides going clothes shopping today, I've been doing laundry and did my nails tonight.  I know, an exciting life.  It's my life, and I love it!

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Family Discord - The Truth Comes Out

Okay, before I get into all this, I am writing this with the permission of my mother-in-law, Clydie.  I talked to her about it because I didn't want to share family drama without getting her take on things first, and her okay on it.  Secondly, I realize that this is just our side of the story, and there are always at least 2 sides to any story.  Third, I will not be using the real names of anyone involved in this story, other than the members of my household.  This is not to protect anyone by any means - but in case someone gets stupid and tries to sue me for slander or libel, and I just don't want that hassle. And lastly - I have all the emails and Facebook messages that prove 99% of what's coming in this blog. 

Let's rewind to 2011 - Brian and I are newlyweds, and Brian is headed out for a deployment the first weekend in October.  As a last family gathering with his side of the family, we all loaded up and went down to Lake Blackshear for Labor Day weekend.  All 3 of Brian's sisters, 1 of his brothers, his mother, one sister's boyfriend, another sister's husband, 2 grandkids, and my son were all there.  We were all gathered at my uncle's house, having a cookout by the pool, and Brian's oldest sister (I will call her Jeri) said some stuff to another sister, got mad, and wanted to walk all the way back to Carrollton with her grandson, who I believe was just 7 at the time.  We wouldn't let her go with him as it was extremely hot and would have been very dangerous to hitchhike all the way from Cordele to Carrollton, another sister offered the use of her vehicle and gas money to use to get back home, which Jeri refused, and Jeri left the house on her own.  She called the cops and they threatened all of us with interference with child custody, and Jeri decided to stay, holed up in the bedroom, the rest of the time we were there.

Jeri never apologized for her unreasonable behavior during that weekend, and Brian and I have never heard anything from her in the past 3 years.  Not a word. 

Until last Saturday - she called Brian (he didn't answer the call), wanting to know something about breeding her dog.  Not one word for 3 years, and she calls him wanting to know about breeding her dog?!?!  What the hell kind of crazy shit is that?!?!?!

Also in 2011 - Brian's mother, Clydie, was diagnosed with Stage 3 lung cancer.  She had surgery in July, and started her chemo in late August (the week before the trip to the lake on Labor Day weekend).  She was living with her youngest daughter and son-in-law.  I'll call this daughter Mary.

In early December, I started getting messages from Mary and also the middle sister, whom I'll call Linda.  There was talk in the messages of Clydie's desire to move out from Mary's house into a place in Bremen, and they wanted all the siblings to chip in and help with the bills.  I don't know why I was included on these messages, as Brian and I had not been married a year at this point and I just didn't feel it was proper for me to be included in all this. 

The little bit of information I was able to ascertain from Clydie at this point was that it was not her desire to move, but she was pretty much being told she had to move out.  The persistence of the 2 sisters with the messages to me and to Brian greatly angered Brian - he was deployed overseas, and there was nothing he could do about the situation.  There was at least one hateful, ugly message that Mary sent to Brian, and he responded back in kind, telling her that she and Linda no longer had a brother, that he wouldn't be having anything else to do with either of them.

In early January, Clydie called me and said that Mary had kicked her out, and she had nowhere to go.  She was headed to her friend's house in Alabama temporarily, and Brian and I let her know that she was welcome to move in with us.  I cleared out the spare bedroom in the trailer, rented a U-Haul and moved her in a week or 2 later. 

I am so thankful to have Clydie in our lives!  Is everything perfect?  No.  No relationship, friendship or family is perfect.  But we work through the problems, forgive the transgressions and hurts, grow stronger from it all and move on.  Clydie has tried to move on from all the hurt that Mary and Linda have caused her, but every time someone reaches out, something happens to cause Clydie to pull back again.

At some point in 2012 or 2013, Brian received an email from Mary that was an apology of sorts, and an explanation as to her behavior regarding Clydie's moving out.  Other than that email, he has never heard from Mary or Linda since the whole ordeal with Clydie began in December 2011.  Neither sister bothered to call him, or message him or even inquire about him when he returned from deployment in September 2012.  Not a word.

Oh I take that back.  Brian arrived home from his deployment around 3am on the last Saturday morning in September 2012.  Clydie and I had already made plans to go to Linda's house to pick up a few things that were in storage.  I don't recall whether Linda knew that Brian had gotten home or that something was said that morning at her house that he was home, but she seemed quite irritated that he had not come with us.  Really?  He had just gotten home from deployment, flew from Indiana to Charlotte, and drove 5 hours to get home, at 3am, with no sleep since the night before?  And you expected him to be sociable not just after that, but after knowing how you participated in the ugly situation that involved your mother being kicked out of her home, and you had never bothered trying to explain yourself or apologize for that?

One of the many sad things about this situation is that the brother who lives in Florida has yet to hear his own mother's version of events.  She has told me that any time she even tries to broach the subject, he waves her off.  He just wants everyone to forgive and forget and get along.  He has no idea of Clydie's version of events, of her reasons for feeling the way she does - he just wants bygones to be bygones so that we can all be one big happy family again.  And I say really?  You expect her to just forget all the ugly things that have been said and done, with no real apologies or discussions about it with those that caused all the hurt and pain?  I know I've only gotten her side of things, but I've seen no real efforts from her daughters to make any amends. 

Some of you may think this is none of my business to write about, but it affects me and those I love.  It angers me to know what has happened and all the hurt and anger it has caused.  Clydie is slowly moving past all of it, and Brian just gets so angry whenever something comes up with one of his sisters and the whole situation.  Just tonight, we ran into Linda's daughter at the grocery store - she was so damn rude to us, as if it was truly a bother for her to speak to us.  No one has done anything to her, so we don't know what her problem is.  We can only assume it has something to do with the discord between Brian and his sisters.

Family discord really sucks.  And it's not just happening in my in-laws' family, there's some in my family, too.  I may touch on some of my family's discord at some point, just not tonight (oh is there a lot!).  But rest easy folks, it's not in my household!

What a Blessed Sunday!

Today my mom, my grandmother Meme, and my best friend from college, Michael came to eat dinner with us.  Meme has not been to see my new home yet, for a multitude of reasons - she missed Thanksgiving dinner last fall because she was sick, and there just never seemed like a good time to ask her to come out, as it would involve someone else having to drive her over and we just didn't do it.

Then came May 12, 2014, the day we thought was the beginning of the end for Meme.  I've not talked much about it online, as I'd just been so unsure about her prognosis and well, it's just been hard to talk about.

May 12 - the day after Mother's Day - Meme drove herself to Wendy's in Lovejoy for a frosty (yes, she was still driving at that point - 2 weeks from turning 90 - it was also the last time she would ever drive a car).  She had an "episode" inside, some sort of seizure and fainting spell, and she lost consciousness.  When she fell, she cracked her skull.  The doctors said she had a brain bleed that caused the loss of consciousness, and apparently the first week she was in the hospital she had several more.  The doctors also said that they wouldn't operate on her because of her age, and that not much could be done other than keep her comfortable.

They also discovered an issue with her thyroid, and as they began treating that and trying to take care of her, she just decided she'd had enough and stopped eating, was barely drinking, and was beginning to refuse her medication.  She was also talking some really weird shit - paranoid delusional stuff that according to the doctors is consistent and to be expected with dementia.

She was discharged from the hospital and sent to Westbury Rehabilitation & Nursing Home on Friday, May 23, for physical therapy and care.  At first while she was there, she was refusing to eat, drink or take medication, and was having some hella hallucinations due to extreme dehydration.  The doctors recommended calling in hospice but she was not moved to hospice care.  After 2 weeks, she was sent to the hospital for some chronic kidney issues that were flaring up, and it was absolutely amazing to see the difference in her from May 24 until 2 weeks later, the first weekend in June, when she was in the hospital.  I mean - she was a completely different woman!  She still had some of her crazy talk, but she was actually eating and drinking and talking mostly sensible and back to her old ornery self!

After being in the hospital about a week, she went back to Westbury for more physical therapy, and she was released to go home around July 22.  I spent a Saturday night with her shortly after her return home, and she was back to her old self, other than still a little weak and tiring very easily.

Now, her being home is not to say that she's 100% - the dementia has become more obvious since this all started on May 12.  The signs were there before, but it hit her like a freight train after the brain injury.  She's even more ornery than she was before!  She tires very easily, has the shakes a lot, walks like a drunk at times, and is painfully thin.  She has gained 9 lbs since she hit her lowest weight in the hospital, and she eats like you wouldn't believe.  We're thinking the thyroid issue is making it very difficult for her to put on any weight at this point, and yes, the doctors are aware of everything going on with her.

I'm just so amazed that she was able to make the trip out to see the house today, and that she enjoyed herself so much.  She ate some of everything we had today - pork chops, potato salad, deviled eggs, collards, butterbeans, fried okra, sweet wheat rolls, grilled stuffed jalapenos, and she also had a small slice of chocolate pie and a scoop of banana pudding.  Yesterday she requested that we make her some pickled jalapenos, so Clydie made some half-pints of pickled peppers today and she took some of those home and a jar of salsa we had made earlier this summer. 

Meme missed so much this year in just a few months - Steven's baccalaureate & graduation services, honors night, and other opportunities to visit here and elsewhere.  I'm just so glad she's gotten better to the point of being able to get out and about.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014


I had to rescue a hummingbird from the back porch this afternoon.  Little sucker flew in through the open door and kept knocking into the screens, and couldn't figure out how to fly back out from where he came.  We had to do this last week, as one got caught in there (the one today looked hauntingly familiar), so I did what Brian did before - got a pillowcase and caught him up in it and released him outside the porch.  He cheeped and fussed the whole time I was holding him, but he hauled ass over the roof towards the woods once he was free.

There's a new baby horse on the horse farm on Bowdon Junction Road - we love love love to see the various baby animals on that road, it seems there's always a new baby cow, or donkey, and now there's a new baby horse (and some not so new baby chickens).  He's a chestnut brown, with 4 white socks and a white splotch down the front of his face.  I first saw him when he was probably only a day or 2 old - he looked shell-shocked, almost like a WTF is going on and why am I out here instead of inside my mommy?!?

Dominion is snoozing on the couch - he is waiting for me to let him in our bedroom so he can hop on the bed and doze off for the night.  For some reason he was up last night - first it was Gabriel.  He was restless, and I heard his tummy making noises, and he practically laid up on top of me, and this all usually  means he has a sick stomach and is either going to barf or he needs to go outside and have a diarrhea explosion, but he settled down and went to sleep.  About the time Gabriel settled down, Dominion hopped out of bed and walked from Brian's side to my side - repeatedly - with those toenails clicking on the Pergo.  He finally settled back down, and everyone slept until my alarm went off. 

My mom is back in the states for a bit.  I wish she was back for good!