Sunday, December 25, 2016

Christmas Day

We celebrated our Christmas on Christmas Eve, as Steven planned to spend his Christmas Day with his love.  I remember when I was growing up, we'd celebrate on Christmas Eve, so that everyone could go spend Christmas Day with their in-laws.  Made it much easier on everyone to not have to shuttle back and forth on the same day to try to see everyone. 

Mom and Marion are in West Virginia, Daddy is in Arkansas, so we kept our butts planted right here in Carrollton.  :-)  Buddy and Pam came over, and Jessie joined us too, so we had us a nice little afternoon/early evening time.  Buddy said Meme warned him that he needed to "leave the mountains before dark".  I don't know where she gets the idea that I live in the mountains!  But seriously, there are a few mountains around here, but I don't live in the mountains. 

The pups were quite funny with their toy pigs - that's how we began the gift giving - all 3 dogs came to me, knowing that I had something special for them.  I gave Dominion his first, I tried to give Gabriel his, but Kita stole it and went absolutely wild with it, and Gabriel got his and sat down at our feet for a moment.  Until the squealing and grunting of the pigs started, then he ran in terror out of the living room, pacing back and forth between the living room, hallway, and kitchen area.  Kita and Dominion were very enthusiastic with their playing with their pigs, Kita more so than Dominion.  All you could hear were squeals and grunts and oinks while Steven was distributing the gifts. 

After the gifts were opened, Steven found Gabriel in the kitchen, trying to get the ham off the counter!  He's never gotten anything off the counter to our knowledge, but the poor boy is so hungry because of his diet, he tried his best to get the ham but was stopped before he got anything.  He came and sat at my feet for a while, with his pig, and I was watching Dominion try to play with Steven with his pig, and Kita was still tearing hers up in the floor.  Steven threw Dominion's pig towards the hallway, but it bounced back towards the table, unbeknownst to Dominion, who continued running down the hallway - Kita realized what had happened, so she ran to steal Dominion's pig, leaving hers unattended, handing the perfect opportunity to Gabriel to steal her pig so now he has 2 pigs. Even though he wasn't interested in making them squeal or oink or grunt!  We did take one away from him and give it to Dominion, so that everyone had a pig.  Best $15 spent at Christmas, EVER.

I went to bed with a sick headache around 9pm.  My sinuses are really acting up this weekend, and I suffered horribly last night.  By 2am, I was in tears and popped a Percocet.  Those of you that know me well, know that it's serious when I'm in tears and taking narcotics - I hate taking pain meds, and I typically have a fairly high pain tolerance.  I was hoping that the Percocet would at least take the edge off the pain, because if not, I was seriously contemplating going to the ED for relief.  Thankfully, I fell asleep after a while, and woke up headache free this morning.  (fingers crossed it stays that way)

Today it's just the 3 of us at home - Brian, Clydie and I - I'll be cleaning up the living room of gifts and stuff, and doing laundry as well.  No rest for the wicked!

Merry Christmas everyone!

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Kids Toys at Christmas

Yep, it would have been nice to have these labels when I was buying toys for Steven when he was young.  Of course I think most are marked with how many and what kind of batteries are required, so at least that is helpful.

I remember one Christmas, we went to my family's to celebrate after the kids got their Santa Claus.  My mom asked what Santa brought Steven, and I told her.  I also shared that Santa made sure to only bring quiet toys, and I will NEVER forget the pure evil, shit-eating grin my mother gave me!  They gave Steven a fire truck, complete with an extremely LOUD siren that Steven loved to have going all the damn time.  His sperm donor ended up taking the batteries out of it so that it would stop!  (and honestly I can't say I blame him this time)

Sunday, December 18, 2016

A Christmas List

How many of you could do all of these? Granted, not everything on here would apply to everyone, I mean not everyone has an enemy, some people don't hold grudges, or maybe you do all those other things on a regular basis.

As for me:
  • I don't have any current quarrels to mend, that I'm aware of.
  • Unfortunately I do have a lot of "forgotten" friends - I'm horribly bad at keeping in touch and communicating with those I consider friends, shit I'm bad at keeping in touch with family and close friends!
  • I've dismissed suspicion and replaced it with trust in the past and been burned.  Fortunately I don't have suspicions in my life now so no worries there.
  • I'm not one for writing letters, I'd rather send an email.  Although there's one I've written that I really, really need to send to the intended recipient.
  • Soft answers are my norm. :-)
  • Youth = Shenanigans in my household!
  • I am loyal to a fault, and I think most that truly know me, know this.
  • I always try to keep my promises, if at all possible.
  • Forgoing a grudge and forgiving an enemy currently go hand and hand for me at the moment - I'm not going to do it any time soon.  I don't want to go into details with who or what this involves, but generally speaking - if you think someone did something inappropriate, isn't it your responsibility to let that person know that they acted or spoke inappropriately?  How is the person who behaved/spoke inappropriately supposed to know they did wrong, if you don't tell them?  I'm not forgoing or forgiving anything, if the accusers cannot even broach the topic with me.  (ok, I know this attitude regarding forgiveness totally goes against the spirit of Christmas, but I don't care, I have my reasons.  When you have to find out through the grapevine about alleged inappropriateness - 2 YEARS after the behavior and/or words supposedly occurred - I call bullshit.  I really have to stop now, this is ruining my Christmas post).
  • Apologize - I've done plenty of that, even when I shouldn't have.  Tried to be the bigger person.  Makes me mad sometimes to do that.  lol
  • I do try to understand, and see things from both sides.  Although sometimes one side refuses to accept that, and is a crazy, psycho person, and deletes and blocks you on Facebook.  But whatever.  LOL  That's what I get for trying to understand.
  • I try not to demand things of others.  I also try not to expect much from others, that way I'm not disappointed when my expectations aren't met.  (this is not directed at my family members!)
  • I think of others when making big decisions, and sometimes even when making small decisions.  If my decisions will affect more than just me, I have to think of others.
  • I'm kind (usually, unless someone pisses me off!)
  • I'm gentle (unless someone tickles me - someone is getting hurt in that case!)
  • I laugh way too much sometimes (and especially at inappropriate things)
  • I try to express my gratitude to others.  I don't always think to do it, but I am very thankful for my family and friends.
  • I don't welcome strangers into my home - unfortunately with the way things are these days, it's just not safe.  But sometimes they may be a stranger to me, but my husband or my son or Clydie knows them, and then they're not really a stranger.
  • I'm not around small children very often, but if I was, I would try to gladden their heart in some way.
  • There is so much beauty in the earth, sometimes it's the simplicity of clouds in the sky, and sometimes it's the beautiful fire colors of the trees changing in the fall.
  • I need to work on that last one, I'm not very good at telling those I love that I love them.
So, that list didn't turn out quite how I expected as far as how it applies to me.  I've got a lot of negativity there, which I'm quite aware of, and probably should work on (but not on the forgoing and forgiving part, I just cannot see myself doing that any time soon). 

Anywho, I hope some of this made you laugh or smile, or at least think about things in your own life. 

If I don't blog again before Christmas - I hope you all have a very Merry Christmas, and that he fat man in red brings you what you want!

Saturday, December 10, 2016

A Little Bit of This, A Little Bit of That, and Lots of Pictures!

My autumn, leading into winter, has consisted of hunting, celebrating my son's 21st birthday, and just life in general.  I've thought of so many blog posts that I should write, but just don't make myself sit down and compose my thoughts well enough to put out in the cyber world. 

I've had a lot of negativity over the last month or 2, with a ridiculous family member that I won't name.  (don't worry Mom, it's no one in my household!)  I'm not going to waste any more energy on this person, and they have burned through their second chances with me.    So to this family member, if you happen upon my blog and read this (although since you've deleted and blocked me on Facebook I doubt you will) - I just have one thing to say - WTF EVER!

Steven celebrated his 21st birthday on November 21st.  I took the day off from work to spend some time with him during the day, take him to his first liquor store run, and get ready for the cookout.  Here are some photos:

                                  first liquor purchase at Cheers!

                                                   Kita was ready to party down!

               Got the birthday banner at the Dollar Tree again this year - and this time they spelled it         right!

                        Oreo Blizzard cake from DQ


                                         Brian & Hope hiding Steven's eyes, they didn't want him to see the cake yet

                                  I love the look Brian is giving him, with his hands clasped like he's
                                          up to something sinister

                                           I think he's just realizing it's an ice cream cake

                                  the obligatory smile :-)

                    the moment he realized it was a DAIRY QUEEN Oreo Blizzard ice cream cake!
                      (yes he tried to pick it up and run off to his room with it!)

            the next morning - Steven's under the black blanket, Hope's on the couch, and James is in the recliner.  Oh and Dominion is on the love seat, watching over his birthday boy.

I think the "kids" had a good time at the party, and they were safe in our home.  I know we had a great time participating in this momentous birthday, and I hope that it was everything that Steven wanted.

Here are some pictures of our hunting escapades this season

                                          in the blind in Crawfordville

                                        beautiful sunshine from the blind

                                       in Dublin, GA

                                 never seen what a beaver can do to some trees?  well here ya go!

   kinda hard to see, but this is where the beaver were dragging their trees once cut

       watching the sun come up slowly through the pines in Dublin

 Jessie & I got out of the golf cart to go to the waterfront to see where the beavers were (we'd been joyriding on the golf cart while the menfolk were in town, and decided to explore the road less traveled)

Clydie takes such wonderful photographs. Look at my hat, all cockeyed on my head.  No, it doesn't have a thing to do with that being my 2nd Jack & Coke!

We had a blast in Dublin with Jessie and her friend, Bobby.  Went once without Clydie, and took her along the second time because the accommodations are very nice!

Poor Gabriel - I've had to put him on a diet because he's up to 77lbs.  He stays ravenously hungry because he was used to free feeding, but we've had to take up the food bowls for all 3 pups and feed them twice a day.  It doesn't affect Dominion so much because he gets a special meal for breakfast anyway, but poor Kita just doesn't know what to do with herself now that she doesn't have a food bowl to guard!  His daily intake has probably been cut in half or more (we worked him down to that, we didn't feel it was right to drastically cut him suddenly because we tried that and he was really becoming a pain at meal times and on the occasion he was allowed a treat, he'd try to take your hand with the treat).  He's still a chunk but we are seeing a very slight different in his outline from above. 

And Gabriel won't sleep inside the house at night anymore - he's been sleeping on the porch since it started cooling off, and I really didn't want him outside the last few nights because the morning lows are in the 20's.  I know he's a Siberian Husky, and those dogs are supposed to be able to handle the cold, but he's a fat, lazy house dog and I worry about his well being.  The first night we tried to keep him inside from the cold, he wanted to go out every 90 minutes, and you had to practically drag him back in the house, so I left him out.  Now before people freak out - the porch is a screened in porch so he's sheltered to an extent, the door to the yard is open so he has free access to potty, and we keep water available (which froze last night :-/ ).  There are some seat cushions on the floor which he's been laying on, and Clydie put a blanket out there for him which he sleeps on.  (and which he gives up to Kita when she's out there lol). 

photo of Gabriel with his blankie
Yes, Clydie covered him up with it, and he'll stay under it for about half an hour then he's had enough and will get on top of it. 

Is everyone ready for the fat man in the red suit to visit in a few weeks?  I have a few more things to get, then I'll be ready.  Thank you very much to Clydie for doing the majority of the decorating - I was down in my back pretty bad for a few days and managed to fluff the tree and put the lights on it, and that was the extent to my participation.  She put all the doo-dads out on the mantle and bookcase, she and Steven put the d├ęcor on the tree, and she put the garland on the handrails on the stairs.

This is the longest blog post I've written in a while that wasn't a copy and paste of something else, so I'm about worded out now.  If I don't blog again before Christmas, I hope that everyone has a very  Merry Christmas!

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thankful for the Thorns

I've posted this many times before (received via email from someone years ago), and it bears repeating:

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

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Dreams, and More

After Brian left for work this morning, I laid back down to catch some more zzzz's before getting up for work (yes, I fell off the treadmill bandwagon a while back, more on that later).  I had this horrific dream that a giant stag beetle ---------------------
                                                                         \ | /

was on the wall in my bedroom.  Now, bugs usually don't freak me out too bad, as long as they aren't close to me, moving towards me, or aren't giants.  In my dream, this thing's body was about 10" long, not counting those pincers, and it had very long, spider-like legs.  I was on the bed, and it was on the wall above my closet.  I screamed, calling for Brian and Steven to save me.  Dominion came and grabbed it, and I was freaking out because I was worried it was poisonous or would hurt him, and he dropped it in the hallway.  Well FML, the thing started running towards me as I was running out of the bedroom, and it went between my feet.  I was hopping around like the floor was on fire, and screaming, finally stopping in the hallway.  I couldn't find the damn thing, and began freaking out again.  Steven came up behind me and was like "umm....Mom.....I don't know how to tell you...." and I looked down and saw the damn thing on the back of my leg!!!!  I was hopping around again, screaming and just losing it, and Steven told me to stand by the bed and he would remove it.  He donned some latex gloves and I just stood there while he was pulling it away from my skin, and I was just trying not to throw up.  I was so damn glad when the alarm went off and woke me up from that nightmare!!!!

We've been hunting a couple times, and I managed to spook a doe Sunday morning so I didn't get a shot at her.  Dammit!  Here are some photos from opening weekend:

View from my tree stand 

View from the blind

I've found that I prefer the ground blind, not because I don't like climbing the ladder stand, but because it's warmer when it's cold outside.  ;-)  Oh and I'm much closer to the action whenever critters cross my path!  We're going back to camp this weekend, and maybe this weekend, I will FINALLY get my first deer!

More on the treadmill bandwagon - about a month ago or so ago, the sickness went around the house.  I felt horrible with allergies and sinus, and had a very hard time breathing and not coughing.  I laid off the treadmill while I was symptomatic, which turned into 2 weeks of no exercise.  Then I wasn't going to bed early enough because of one reason or another, and then we had company over, and here it is November 8 and I haven't been on it in forever.  I felt better when I was walking 5 days a week, and will start back with it tomorrow.

I cannot wait for this election bullshit to be done.  ALL of the candidates SUCK, and everyone has their opinion on who the better candidate is.  They're just opinions.  I've seen so many people get so bent out of shape over politics, and friendships ruined because of difference of opinion.  I don't like to put my political opinions out there, as I know how it is for some folks, to not use that info to judge others.  And this election has truly turned into a picking of the lesser evil, and there's just no good option for the country.  May the good lord protect our country and guide whomever wins tonight, if they haven't already sold their soul to the devil.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Ten Years Already?

I stopped by Wal-Mart this afternoon and ran into a couple folks that go to the church I used to attend when I previously lived in Carrollton.  They thought I wouldn't remember them, but after all this time I do.  We chatted for a few minutes, they asked me how I was doing, if I was still living out here (told them I had left for a while but came back), and I mentioned buying lunch stuff for my husband so he'd have something to eat when he went to work.  They never asked if I was still married to the monster, or even anything about Steven or CJ.  I was a little surprised that they didn't ask me if I was back in church somewhere, or invite me to come back to their church.  (Please go back to this blog to read my issue with their church.)

I've run into the preacher for that church once at the hospital (I saw him once previous to that, but he either didn't see me, or didn't recognize me as we passed by each other).  I imagine being that I work at the hospital, and preachers tend to visit the sick folks, I'll run into him again.  I haven't mentioned to him my issue with the church, as it was a brief run-in and I just don't know that I want to bring it up under those circumstances.  I've actually fantasized about going to the church one Sunday morning, and asking to speak to the congregation, to let them know how I feel about the fact that it's been 10 years now and no one has reached out to me.  Perhaps my mere presence at the church would make most who knew me realize what they've not done?  Alas it's only a fantasy, I don't see myself ever stepping foot back in that church.

As I was leaving Wal-Mart and thinking about my conversation with these 2 folks, it made me realize that I have been woot woot divorced from the monster for 10 years this month!!! 

I never imagined my life would be this peaceful and happy, as it is now.  Sure, Brian and I have our ups and downs like any normal couple, but the vast majority of our ups and downs are not related to each other or our relationship, but to outside forces weighing on us.  And fortunately, whenever something is putting pressure on one of us, or our relationship, we discuss it and work through it.

Very happily married to the love of my life for 5 years and counting!!!!!

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Time for Some Random Goodness

Yep, gonna bounce from one topic to another, but now that I think about it, I do that on most blogs these days, don't I?

The other day, Gabriel was laying on the floor and I thought I saw a GIANT dingleberry hanging off his butt, like the size of a large grape.  Scared me half to death but thankfully I was just seeing things.  He's a messy boy, but OMG I was glad he wasn't that messy.

So last weekend, Brian was trying out a new medication (his doctor thinks he has high blood pressure, but we're only seeing normal readings in the mornings and evenings, so I think it's one of his other meds that's elevating it during the day).  Anywho, Steven was at work, and Clydie and I left Brian asleep on the couch while we went to the store.  Gabriel was on the back porch, and Dominion and Kita were inside.  We get back home, and the back door is WIDE open (Gabriel knows how to open it if it's not locked), Kita miraculously had not run away with the open access to the backyard, and there was a bird flying around in my bedroom!  Brian's blood pressure was 90/60 when we checked it later that night, and he slept all day long, so he's no longer taking that medicine!

My beloved pickles have once again done me wrong.  I got some pickle spears and slices at the hospital cafeteria to go with my burger and fries one day last week, and I overdid it.  They really did a number on my tummy.  :'(

We're having a yard sale this weekend.  Some of our things, and some stuff from my mom's.  We really have our work cut out for us the next few nights, getting everything ready.  Hopefully we'll sell most everything and it will clear some much needed room in the garage.  (There's hardly any walking room in there at the moment)

Clydie made some awesomely delicious ghost pepper chocolate chip cookies last week.  The heat from the pepper powder cuts some of the sweet. If you want the recipe, let me know.

So you know the insurance commercial with the couple, and they're talking about their perfect driving records until someone hit a food truck?  Well that was us, not with a food truck but with an SUV.  Perfect!  We went to court recently because it's required when there's an accident involved, and what a time we had!  Did you know that in Georgia, if you have an accident and want to plead Nolo Contendere, you have to have a letter from your insurance company that states they are accepting the liability for damages to the other vehicles involved in the accident?  (pleading Nolo saves you from 3 points on your license) We called the insurance company and got the letter, and while we were waiting for it to come through, the fire alarm went off.  We had to stand outside in the hot sun, across the street from the courthouse, for about half an hour.  In all, we spent about 5 hours at the court house for something that once you're in front of a judge, takes less than 5 minutes. :-/

Got my flu shot today.  I hate getting shots, especially in the arm.  It stung for a bit, too.  And started stinging again after I got home.  I imagine my arm will be sore tomorrow and I'll be whiny.  At least it didn't give me a headache and make me feel sick like last year!

I've fallen off the treadmill wagon - it's been about 2 weeks since I've been on it, due to being very sick, and then just not getting enough sleep.  I'm hoping to get to bed early enough tonight so that I can get on the treadmill in the morning!  I feel so much better when I walk daily, it's really worth it.

Thursday, October 6, 2016

It's Been a Year Already?????

I cannot believe it's been a year since Steven had his accident.  Here's a link to the post I wrote right after it happened:  You See What Had Happened Was......

I see those photos in my phone sometimes (yes I keep them there as a reminder), and I still sometimes think "what if".  I don't dwell on that, though. I think Steven learned an important lesson that day, about how very quick and easy it is to have a devastating accident, and how very lucky, fortunate, and blessed he was to have survived it with just a few bumps and bruises.

So to all my friends and family - please pay attention to your driving.  Always wear your seatbelt (thank goodness Steven was!), pay attention to the speed limits, and don't freak out and overcorrect if you drift a tiny bit to one side of the road, as it's too easy to lose control, even when you're not speeding.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Five Years Ago Today......

I was seeing my husband off for his deployment to Kosovo.  It was a beautiful, bright sunshiny day, very cool , very early morning.  And devastatingly sad at the time.  Here are some photos from the day:

It was a tough year, full of many trials and tribulations for us as individuals, a couple and as a family, but we came through it stronger than ever.  His mother beat cancer while he was gone, and moved in with us.  I got to deal with a busted water heater, a leaky aquarium, and some other stuff that seem like really distant memories but were big deals to me, having to take care of by myself.  He injured his shoulder at the gym over there and came back to have surgery a few months after his return. 

Brian came home the next year, on September 29, 2012, and as of July 31, 2016, is now retired.  I don't ever have to worry about sending him off on a deployment again.  I get to keep my husband at home, and for that I am forever thankful.

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Just a Ramblin'

Lots of things on my mind, many random topics.  Where do I begin?

Kita is still an escape artist, however she doesn't seem to stay gone as long each time (she ran off 3 times in about 3 days recently).  She is chipped, and has a name tag with my phone # on it, so if someone gets her, we can be found.  I finally gave up and bought a runner to attach to the back steps, so when she goes in the back yard she can't get near the fence to dig out.  Of course, that makes her want to just lay there, all sad because she can't go sniffing and peeing on everything like the boys do, and then escape when we aren't looking.  I just worry that she will eat someone's kitten or puppy, and there are a LOT of those in our neighborhood these days.

The household is fighting "the crud" this week - Brian had it first, then I got it, and now Clydie is fighting it.  So far, Steven's been the lucky one and has avoided getting sick.  I hope it stays that way, for his and his girlfriend's sake!  This shit is no joke - I really don't think this is any garden-variety cold.  I was miserable all weekend, and just started pulling out from this yesterday.  Today I had a horrid sore throat, it hurt so bad to swallow this morning but the more coffee I drank the better it felt.  Hmmm coffee......  The hot tea I drank at work helped, too.

I'm sick to death of all the political bullshit going on.  I'm tired of the news about it, I'm tired of seeing all the garbage posted on Facebook, tired of seeing people that I know rabidly attacking one candidate or another, and attacking or being attacked by those that disagree with them.  It's fine to dislike one or more of the candidates.  Hell, I don't like ANY of them - Trump, Clinton, or Johnson (and I don't count that kooky Green party candidate, whatever her name is) - for one reason or another.  It's a crying shame that this election will be about voting against someone, rather than voting for someone, and trying to pick the lesser evil.  But I just don't understand why people have to be so damn hateful to each other. 

I try to keep my political beliefs to myself, and rarely put my support out there for anyone in particular (I think my family and my closest friends likely would know my political leanings).  I just don't want to get into long, drawn out conversations with people about it, and I avoid conflict like the plague, Lord knows I had enough conflict in my past that I do my best to avoid it if I can now. I've shared memes that have made fun of both Hillary and Trump, and will likely to continue doing so.  I do know that regardless of who "wins" the election in November, our country is in for a world of hurt and hard times.

Well damn, I got on a soapbox there for a minute, didn't I? 

Anyways, bow hunting season is upon us, and Brian got his first deer with his crossbow on opening weekend, a doe.  I went with him the following weekend, to be the Camp Wench (I don't have a bow or a crossbow), and cooked dinner and fixed sandwiches.  I was supposed to cook Sunday morning breakfast but they ended up only wanting more sandwiches, so that's what they got.  I managed to read an entire Stephen King book - "Mr. Mercedes" - and can't wait to read the next 2 in that series.  I can't wait til rifle season starts!

I've been thinking a lot about my grandmother, Meme, lately, and how much she has changed over the past few years.  In early summer, she was moved into the nursing home side of the care home that she's been in since late December 2015.  I'd been told her reality was definitely not the real reality, but I just don't think anyone can truly prepare you for what you will witness with someone who has such an active imagination/memory/alternate reality.  On September 2, Meme fell out of her wheelchair and had to have stitches.  As my uncle was out of town on business, and my mother was at her home in West Virginia, I went to check on Meme the next morning.  She had a nasty wound on her forehead, that appeared to have been closed with liquid bandage, and she had black eyes and the bridge of her nose was bruised.  (we were told she received 4 stitches - they must have been on the inside, because there were no external stitches)

The visit was brief, and pleasant.  Meme's face lit up when she saw me and Clydie, and she seemed genuinely happy to see us.  She said "well hey there it's so good to see you - but y'all will have to come back this afternoon, I'm waiting on the bus and can't get out of line".  She pointed out everyone in the communal living room area, and said they were all waiting on the bus, too.  I played along and asked her where she was going - "to the tournament in Bainbridge I suppose" was the response I got.  She kept telling us we'd have to come back later, but that she was so glad we'd come by. 

To show you how much she's changed in just under 2 years - here's a photo of Meme from Christmas Day, 2014:

And here she is on September 3, 2016:

We've also had a death in the family recently - last month, on August 23, my husband's niece, Clydie's granddaughter, Rheanna, passed away.  That one was a tough one, for a number of reasons.  I'm not going to go into details, as it's not my story to tell.  Love each other folks, and make sure your loved ones know that you love them.  No one is promised tomorrow.

Sunday, August 7, 2016

Hurry Up and Wait!

That's what I've been experiencing all day today - hurry up and wait!  I've been a canning fool, all the damn day long.  We went by the farmer's market yesterday and picked up a bushel of corn, a bushel of crowder peas, a bushel of butterbeans, a bushel of snap beans, and 5lbs of jalapenos.  We got the butterbeans and some of the peas canned last night, and today I've been working on the peas and snap beans.  I've got the last 7 quarts of snap beans in the pressure canner right now.  It's almost 10pm!

And I've had to do laundry today, and my nails, and cook dinner, and didn't get anything finished.  Well, the canning I planned for today is done (well it will be soon), and my nails and dinner got done, but the laundry is not finished - I still have sheets and towels to wash, but those will wait til another day. 

Brian and I are starting a new earlier bedtime - 10pm - but that's not going to happen for me tonight, seeing as I'm still waiting on those beans in the canner.  Once the timer goes off, I'll take them off the stove, let the pressure dissipate while I shower, then come take the jars out to finish cooling.  Then it will be bedtime for me!

Clydie's gonna work on the corn tomorrow while I'm at work, and we'll get the vacuum sealer out after dinner and put that stuff away in the freezer.  It seems that it's just a little less work to freeze it than it is to can it, and it's a little less time consuming, so the freezer it is.  She's also going to work on making some candied jalapenos tomorrow.  I never tried any of the ones that she made last year, so I'm going to have to try some of this year's batch. 

If you're wondering why we had to buy 5lbs of jalapenos instead of using the ones we are growing - the ones we are growing are not hot.  AT ALL.  It's rather disappointing, to bit into a jalapeno and expect a nice little zip of heat, and you get nothing.  Nada.  Zip.  Zero.  So, so disappointing.  But on the other hand, the ghost, habanero, and reapers are quite hot.  I've only tried the habanero this year, and those are really good.  We've made 2 batches of salsa with the ghost peppers, and while it's extremely hot, it's quite tasty.  I haven't gotten the nerve up to try this year's reapers - Brian said they are much hotter than last years.

I had a "surprise" party for Brian last weekend to celebrate his retirement after serving in the Army for 25 years.  It was supposed to be a surprise, but he busted me making burgers that morning.  Yes, I know it wasn't real smart to do things the way that we did, because it greatly increased the chances of him catching us prepping for the party, but it worked out the way it was supposed to. He knew about the party ahead of time, so it gave him the chance to clean the mancave and garage, and he was prepared for company.  A good time was had by all.

Well I hope you all had a productive or relaxing weekend, whatever works for you.  It's been a busy one for me.  Have a great week!

Thursday, July 21, 2016

The Great News, and the Bad News

I want to start this off with some positive news - my mother-in-law found out Tuesday morning that she is now 5 years cancer free!  In 2011, Clydie was diagnosed with a type of lung cancer, at Stage 3, that only has a 15-20% 5-year survival rate.  Well, she has kicked that cancer's ass, and is now down to once a year screenings.  It's been a tough road for her, but she has done it, and I am so damn happy for her!

Now, for the bad news.  We found out Tuesday afternoon that Clydie's youngest son, Jimmy, passed away the night before from a heart attack - he was 46.  Clydie and Brian found out while I was on the way home from work, and I walked into a house full of utter sadness and grief.  I'm not going to go into details, but I have to say, everyone in our household was devastated by the loss, for one reason or another.

There are a couple of messages I want to share in reference to this loss:
  • I'm listing the most important message of all first - always tell those that you love that you love them.  Don't hold back, as we are not promised tomorrow.   Even if you're mad at them, even if you're not speaking to them, find a way to express your feelings to them that you do in fact love them.  Make sure that they know you love them in spite of your differences.  Guilt can eat you up if something happens and you don't get the chance to tell them you love them.
  • Do what you can to mend fences with those that you care about.  Some things are really hard to get over and forgive, but you do it for YOU, not the person you are forgiving.  Death can take someone suddenly and if you don't have a chance to make peace, it can be hard on those left behind.
  • Take your health seriously.  If a physician tells you to make lifestyle changes (eating habits, exercise, smoking cessation, etc.) - please follow their advice!  I know sometimes things are just meant to be and it's "in the genes", but if you can do anything that will improve your health, please do it.  It could mean the difference between a long life or an early death.  (I don't mean to sound insensitive with this last one, please I hope no one thinks that)
So if you're the praying type, please pray for Clydie and Brian and the rest of the family.  Or send positive vibes, thoughts, mo-jo, ju-ju, whatever it is that is positive and healthy and light.  Thanks!

Sunday, July 17, 2016

Busy Busy Busy!

I'm a canning fool today!  I canned 10 pints of dill pickles (2 with habanero peppers in them for someone at work), Clydie canned 6 cars of pickled squash, and I tried out my new pressure canner to can 4 pints of pink eye peas, and 4 pints of butterpeas.

Clydie bought the canner from, and we picked it up last Sunday.  We had already picked some peas and beans and shelled or snapped them, and she and I both have picked some more over the last week and yesterday.  We figure we didn't have enough to make 8 pints of any one particular item, but we could do a couple pints of this, a couple pints of that, to make the 8 to be able to run the canner once. 

Today, I finally get the canner out of the box and start reading the instructions.  I have never used a pressure canner before, and honestly, the thought of using one scares the hell outta me.  I imagine horrific things happening, such as getting burned by steam, or having it blow up because it was too pressurized, or whatever.  Anywho, I read through the warnings and directions, and then I read over processing times and realized that we can't process the peas with the pole beans, as they have 2 different processing times.  :-(

But that was okay, being that we had 4 pints of pink eyes, and 4 pints of butterpeas.  I decided we'd have a vegetable plate tonight for dinner with some fried cornbread, so the pole beans are getting cooked, as well as the lima beans and field peas. 

Once I started processing everything, I just kept my instruction manual with me, and it was actually quite easy to use the canner.  40 minutes of processing time, and we're good to go:

                                     Here's my peas from the pressure canner

Here's everything we've processed today, minus 2 jars of pickled squash that are headed to my mom's right now

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Blessings and Being Thankful

This weekend is my husband's last weekend of drill.  EVER.  He is retiring, officially at the end of the month, but this weekend is his last scheduled time to actually report for duty.  Twenty-five years of service and dedication to his country.  He will miss his fellow soldiers, but not the bullshit that comes with serving our country.  It's a great honor to serve, and the people that chose to serve whether for 2 years or 25 years, deserve our thanks and gratitude, and you deal with bullshit at just about any place that you work, so please don't think I'm being negative about the military.

His retirement is truly a blessing, and I personally am very thankful for his retirement. 

Never again will I have to wake him up on a weekend at some ungodly hour so that he can drive to the armory and spend his weekend away from his family.  We will be able to sleep in every weekend we choose to (well, as late as Dominion and Gabriel will permit of course), and only wake up before the asscrack of dawn to go hunting.  :-)

Never again will I have to worry about sending him off to some foreign country to serve his country, to worry that he will get injured, maimed, or worse. 

I'm thankful that we did not become members of the Gold Star families.  They deserve much respect and gratitude, but it's not a "club" anyone wants to be a part of.

Never will I have to worry that he will be activated to deal with some domestic issue, whether it's maintaining order after a natural disaster, or dealing with protestors who get out of hand.  We're unfortunately just starting to see a lot of the latter starting to happen, and I'm extremely grateful that I won't have to worry about seeing him off to deal with those things.

I will miss seeing him in his uniform, whether it's his regular drill duty uniform, or his dress blues.  The Stetson was my favorite part of the uniform, but there'd been a recent change from Cavalry to Infantry, so my favorite hat was no longer a part of his uniform anymore.  :-(

I will miss the fun we would have at the military balls (lol I said balls!), but not the stress of finding the perfect dress to wear and being ready on time and driving into Atlanta to go to some fancy-smancy hotel, to spend time with a bunch of people that for the most part, I don't know.  The balls were honestly a lot of fun to attend (hee hee I said balls again!), and seeing the honor and traditions on display was something I was glad to have been able to experience.

In the short 10 years that we've been together, and 5 that we've been married, I consider myself fortunate to have only dealt with 1 deployment, and not a whole lot of other stuff outside the ordinary "1 weekend a month, 2 weeks a year" commitment that my husband made.  He's made trips to Scotland, Ft. Benning, Ft. Stewart, and many others for AT and various schools he's attended.  There's a lot of bureaucracy and red tape stuff you have to deal with for various things but overall it has been a good experience.

                                                 Military Ball 2011

      Kosovo, 2011-2012

Military Ball 2014

Thank you for your service my beloved husband!  Happy Retirement!  I've got the honey-do lists ready!  LOL

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Oh Boy What a Night!

Ever have one of those times where you go to sleep and when you wake up, you think it's much later than it is?  I had one of those moments tonight - I fell asleep on the couch shortly after dinner.  I woke up and felt pretty rested, looked at my phone and saw 8:41 (I didn't notice it was PM, not AM), saw it was still daylight outside, and immediately jumped up, freaking out that it was Friday morning!  In my panicking mind, I was thinking "I can't believe Brian let me sleep on the couch all night!" and "I can't believe Clydie didn't wake me up when she came to get coffee", and even thought by some chance that perhaps it was Saturday morning.  I ran back to start getting ready for work in a panic, and stopped by Clydie's room, exclaiming that it was Friday morning and OMG I was going to be really late to work and she said "wake up Deanna, it's Thursday night!"  I was so confused for several minutes, then I had a really good laugh.

So now it's almost 11pm, and I realize that it's been really quiet and peaceful in the house, meaning the dogs weren't inside.  I let them in, and Kita was really wound up.  Everyone wanted to go outside in the front yard, and I told them they could wait until bedtime (in the not too distant future), and sat back on the couch.  Of course Dominion was standing in the living room, looking at me like WTF, and then I hear an excited bark - that would be Kita.  She's our only barker.  The boys can bark, but only do it in very specific circumstances.  I knew someone had pushed Clydie's door open, so I walk back to check and Gabriel is laying on the bed with her, no Kita.  I walk to my room, it's dark (and I could have sworn that I'd turned the lamp on earlier), and as I walk in to turn on the light, Kita scares the hell out of me because her ass is sitting on the bed and she lunges at me and takes off running to jump wildly on Clydie's bed, doing that wild, hyper, run in circles shit ON TOP OF CLYDIE'S BED with Clydie and Gabriel both laying up there and getting trampled.  It was kinda funny, but Kita's so heavy and rough I was afraid for Clydie and didn't want her to get hurt.  I take them all back out the back, and Kita runs all over my bare feet with her big, fat feet.  How I managed to not get totally mauled, I don't know.  Lucky, I guess.

Had an interesting event on my phone this week - I was entering a physician's name into my contact information, his first name being Bryan.  My phone offered "Cranston" as the last name!  I thought that was kinda funny, suggesting that I enter Bryan Cranston as a contact.  LOL

We've already started harvesting cucumbers, squash, and zucchini from our garden, and they are yummy!  We've picked so many this week I've had to take some to work and Brian gave some to the neighbor, because we didn't want them to go bad before we could either freeze, can, or eat them.  I imagine in another week or 2, we'll be able to harvest enough cucumbers to make a batch of pickles, and I just don't know of a method to freeze or can the squash or zucchini.  I like those grilled, or in a squash casserole, and I don't think they are conducive to freezing or canning and maintaining their texture for those.  We've shredded zucchini and frozen it, and it worked out ok for zucchini bread and fried squash patties, so I'll just have to do a little more research to see if there's another way to do things.

Tomorrow's Friday, and I'm so glad!  I hope everyone has a fabulous weekend!

Monday, June 6, 2016

The Garden, and Other Fun Stuff

I am constantly amazed at how fast our garden is growing, and how bushy everything looks.  This photo was made 5/31/16 from the landing on the back steps:

Believe it or not, there's even more green out there now, only 6 days later!

We picked our first veggies Saturday - 4 squash and 1 jumbo jalapeno:

Clydie found a squash casserole recipe, and those squash got cooked yesterday.  Click here for the recipe.  We didn't use "soft" breadcrumbs, we used the kind you buy in the store that are almost like crushed crackers.  I also didn't use fresh parsley, I just put in about a tablespoon of dried parsley when I mixed everything together.  For future fixing of this recipe, I personally would add more cheese to the squash mixture, a little less breadcrumbs in the topping, and more cheese in the topping.  But it was still yummy!

The jumbo jalapeno was a little disappointing - it was not hot at all.  Well, to me and Brian it wasn't.  Clydie said the bite she got had a little heat to it, but honestly, the bites I took were as mild as a bell pepper.  Nice flavor to it, too.

Here's a small zucchini, next to my index finger:

And here are some cucumbers on the vine:

We picked the fat one, as I figured it would be too seedy.  I offered it to Gabriel to sniff, and he tried to take it from me!  Then I offered it to Dominion, and he tried to lick it.  (see last year, the cucumbers grew on the fence that separated the garden from the yard, and both dogs got caught picking and eating small cucumbers!)  As I was walking through the yard to go check out the bell peppers and tomatoes, Gabriel followed me, and jumped up on me to try to get the cucumber (I had to hold it way up over my head to keep him from snatching it out of my hand!).

I washed the cucumber, and started slicing it up to eat,
and of course I shared it with the pups.  I almost lost fingers when Gabriel took his first slice!  (he's normally very gentle but he really, REALLY wanted this cucumber).  Dominion loved getting some slices, and Kita acted all excited but I found chewed up pieces of cucumber on the living room rug, and she mashed up her second slice.  And I was right - it was pretty seedy when I got to the thicker part of it.  But what I ate of it (with vinegar and salt of course) was delish!  And what a fresh, strong cucumber smell!  After seeing what was out in the garden, I predict we'll have at least a half dozen cucumbers ready to pick by Thursday this week!

I really enjoy the garden, knowing that we're growing food to put on our table and in our freezer.  I'm glad we increased the size this year, to grow more than we did last year.  We have double the # of cucumber plants, and our squash and zucchini are in great shape (we ended up with 2 zucchini plants last year that produced a small amount, and our yellow squash plants just never panned out).  Oh and the peppers and peas and beans and tomatoes!  So much more than last year - we are gonna be canning fools in another month or so!

I'm sorry if I bore you all with my garden photos and stories, but it's something I take great pleasure in these days!  I hope you all have a great week!

Saturday, May 28, 2016

Woot Woot It's An Awesome Day!

Today is an AWESOME day - it's my 5th wedding anniversary!  I am so blessed, lucky, fortunate, whatever you want to call it, to have found Brian.  He is truly "the one" for me - he has been so good to me, and to Steven, over the years, and for that I am eternally grateful.  We don't have anything special planned today, but hell, every day that we have together is special in my eyes.  Besides, I'm getting the absolute BEST present I think I could get today - my mother and her husband are coming back from England today - FOREVER.  Their plane lands this afternoon, and I'm so excited that they are going to be home.

Here are some photos from our wedding and honeymoon:
Yep, this is the epitome of our relationship - we always joke around and laugh, and have a fun time.  The wedding was no exception!

Here we are with Meme.  She'll be 92 on Tuesday, May 31.  NINETY-FREAKING-TWO!!!!!

At my uncle's lake house in the pool, on our honeymoon.  

Our 5 years together as a married couple have been fun for the most part.  Nothing's perfect, but we're perfect for each other and just roll with whatever life brings us.  I'm the happiest I think I've ever been in my adult life!

So here's some fun an excitement from last night - I'm sitting in a camp chair in the garage, while Brian is grilling a venison tenderloin.  We're shooting the breeze, talking nonsense, when I look up at the truck and see something "pouring" out from under the truck across the driveway.  My heart sinks, thinking that something burst in the truck and either water or oil was leaking out quickly, when I realized that it was a SNAKE!!!  Here's a couple photos:

I realize that the snake is rather small, but still.  It's a freaking snake!  It was about a foot & a half long, one of those rat or king snakes, so while not poisonous, it's just not something I want to see in my damn driveway.  Brian picked it up with some BBQ tongs and dropped it once on the gravel next to the driveway, before tossing it in the woods.  Dominion walked up next to me on the gravel while I was watching Brian, and I must have caused the gravel to shift because as Dominion was sniffing where the snake had been dropped, all 4 of his feet left the ground at the same time like something got him!  It was so funny, I wish I'd been videoing him.

The excitement of the snake dies down a bit, I sit back in my chair, Brian goes back to grilling, and I'm looking at the pepper patch (it's next to the garage and at the side of the steps leading into the front door), and then I see another damn snake on the side of the steps to the house, trying to get in between a crack in the rocks.  I hollered at Brian, and he grabbed it and threw it down in the pepper patch so he could grab it with the tongs.  This one was a little smaller, maybe a foot long plus an inch or 2, and he kept dropping it.  He finally threw it out in the woods, but everywhere it fell on the ground, the pups were sniffing intensely.  Dominion proceeds to start sniffing where the first snake went in the grass, and the grass must have tickled his nose and made him think something got him, and he jumped almost as high as he did the first time.

No more snakes!

We're just hanging out at the house this weekend, planning to go to my mom's on Monday to cook out and celebrate Meme's birthday a day early.  But folks - remember the reason for the holiday on Monday - it's Memorial Day, a day to remember our fallen heroes of the military.  We wouldn't have the freedoms in life that we have if it weren't for those that gave their all.

Have a great weekend everyone!

Sunday, May 8, 2016

Happy Mothers Day! (and more)

My Mothers' Day gifts this year - a beautiful orchid from my mother-in-law, Clydie, and a gift card to Hobby Lobby from Steven.  :-) 


The last week of April was Administrative Professionals week. I'm an Administrative Specialist at the hospital, and received a beautiful red rose floral arrangement from the CMO and my executive team, and a very pretty hanging basket from one of my directors:


I cannot believe how quickly our garden is growing - we literally had sprouts with leaves on them in just 6 days!  We planted 2 weeks ago today, and I am just amazed at how much is coming up.  These photos were taken a few days ago, so maybe 10 days after planting:

Here the 2 double rows to the left are Kentucky pole beans, followed by 2 single rows of Dixie speckled butter peas, then a single row and a double row of purple hull pink eye peas.

 This is one of the ghost peppers up in the front yard pepper patch, already getting blooms:

This is a little tiny pepper starting up, thinking it's perhaps a jalapeno (it's not labeled, and Brian's not 100% certain):

 One of the squash plants getting ready to bloom:

I've been having weird dreams lately, yesterday it was a dream (more like a nightmare) that I was working again at my last job.  It was kind of weird, things were different, and I woke up feeling off.  Last night, I dreamed that my son got engaged and I found out on Facebook!  I would be so freaking pissed if that's how I found out!

I hope you all had a great weekend!