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