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Friday, December 31, 2010

A Welcome Smile for 2011

New Year's Eve. Truly a time of reflection. Last year I walked the snow covered streets after everyone went to bed. The light of the Blue Moon cast a blue reflection upon the snow. I had no idea that the blue light that was cast upon the snow was in direct contrast to how dark 2010 would be.  Unlike others who merrily skip along the road of life in gaiety.... I didn't do much skipping this last year and at times I thought there would never be another joyful moment in my life. The key here is "at times". For the first several months of 2010 I felt as if I was treading water, just trying to keep my head above the waves and gasped for every breath I could get.... That was the first several months. As I've said before, regardless of how much you try to pretend something isn't happening, that does not negate the fact that yes it is indeed happening. That goes for every part of life, an injury or any other crisis we go through at different periods of our lives.  The last few months have been much more comfortable physically as the dizziness is completely gone. My headaches seem to linger but I do have days without them, the crickets are just as bad as they were from the beginning, but if that's the least of my problems, than I'm good. No, the second half of the year wasn't riddled with physical, it was riddled with the emotional aftermath of a good year gone very bad. The anguish reached the point where I had to seek help. I went to a therapist who has experience in head trauma and I am so glad I did. There was much relief in just knowing that everything I was going through, was very normal for head trauma patients. That's not to say there isn't some hormonal "crap" going on also since "I'm around that age" (I seriously want to punch people who bring that up), but for the most part the anxiety, the social withdrawal, and the emotional disconnect is very typical with a head trauma. If you want to add to that the difficulty in bracing myself for the empty nest (for some reason it's really hit me hard this year), and the hormonal changes that happen around this time of life, the decline of your parents physical and mental health, and the sheer joy of being an emotional woman, than you have what I would call all of the ingredients for the perfect storm. I was talking to my daughter the other day when I was terribly upset about a situation. I sobbed for DAYS! One night she called in the middle my sobfest and made a very good point. For months I had little to no emotion at all. Well I had sudden fits of crying for no reason, but as far as having feeling I really didn't.  The fact that I was indeed emotionally upset over a relationship to her seemed like a good sign. Sure my emotions were over the top, but at least I was genuinely feeling something.... and no, trust me I wasn't faking it and she knew I wasn't.  It's been a lot like when I had a c-section with my second child. As the muscles in my abdomen begin to heal, months after the surgery I would move just right and have a sudden searing burning beneath the incision. I could literally feel things fusing back together. Over the last several months I have had that same feeling except in my head and in my emotions. I thought I'd never say this but, I'd rather be cut open any time rather than go through this again. Aside from that, I got to travel to San Diego with good friends to welcome my daughter back from deployment. It was a moving opportunity and we had a great time in beautiful San Diego. I was thrilled when my oldest son went on a mission trip to Africa and enjoy hearing all about his adventures. Another milestone was passed when my baby boy turned 16..... Ah, it's sad to know that he is preening his wings to fly the coup when his time comes. I'm preparing myself for more than an almost empty nest.  My husband and I celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary, it's an accomplishment that few couples enjoy now days and it was a joyous event for us. So even though the year wasn't exactly as I would have liked for it to be, it wasn't all bad. Even the accident shed light on things that needed a new perspective.  I'm looking forward to 2011, it's like turning over a new leaf, it's the beginning of all things new, a fresh start, dawning of a new day, a time when all things are possible. I'm very thankful that throughout 2010 I have been held in a loving Father's arms. I've been surrounded by the love and support of my family and friends.... That in itself is a blessing and one I don't take lightly. So here's a toast to 2010 and a welcome smile for 2011.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Twas The Day After Christmas

Twas the day after Christmas when all through the house
The children were warping from a post sugar bout
Mother was holding her head in her hands
Cause she'd just tried to cook using Daddy's new pans
The cat lay asleeping ignoring the crew
This was really quiet nice after the night he'd been through
The living room stood in shambles galore
There were Barbies and army men that scattered the floor
The stereo blasted with Bonnie Raitt's new tunes
As I quietly crept off to sleep in my room
With a nice cozy blanket and Valium in hand
I had a little more cheer than a body could stand
All I wanted now was some nice pleasant dreams
Far away from the kitchen and my children's wild screams
When I finally awakened Christmas had passed
And all that was left was a credit card mess
It would take me at least until November next year
To pay all the bill acquired by my holiday cheer
And to think that it wasn't really over with yet
Cause the store will be having a huge sale I bet

Monday, December 27, 2010


When a niggle of doubt tries to wiggle in my mind, of all I've lost, I've left behind. I wonder if I'll ever see, the old, the familiar, the long lost me. My twinkle,  my spirit, my smile, my ease, the things that truly made me me. Will time smooth out the ragged edge, will it repair the damaged ledge, I now so gently walk along, without my joy, without my song? Will those I love so dear retreat, and turn from walking next to me? Will time bring closure, a journeys end, to how the year first began? The doubt can rise like clouds of gloom, leaving my heart for barely room, a prayer to breath, a hand to raise, remembering in your hand I stay. You did not leave me lying there, you will not leave me in despair. I must find strength in who you are, and trust you'll mend, remove the scar. For all I can do is trust in you and know my  faith will see me through. 

Share My Couch Share My Life

Our den is pretty small and because of the layout of our house, we can't get a couch in the room so we have two love seats. My Mastiff (Sailor) has claimed one of the love seats as her own. I rarely sit in the den but when I do, I sit on Sailor's love seat. She may weigh close to 200 lbs, but she has no idea she is that big. When I sit on her couch she thinks she should sit on my lap... The end result is always a few bruises.  There have been a couple of times when she has actually stepped on my belly causing me to cry out in pain. Both times she instantly stopped moving and laid her head on my chest as if to tell me she was sorry. She kept her head on my chest until she knew I was ok and then she adjusted herself a little more gently and quietly settled in (it was kind of like a child tiptoeing through a room).  If I wanted to, I could just put her in her kennel or make her go outside while I watch TV but I like sharing the couch with her. She has no clue that with a tiny nudge she could send me off the couch and onto the floor with a big thud. When that happens(and it does)I know it's not
intentional. She just doesn't understand how much
weight she carries and she doesn't understand that one push from her can send me in a direction she never intended. I know the risk and it's my choice to go ahead and share the couch.I knew she would grow into a giant when I got her, but I like her size. She sheds terribly, but I still like having her in the house. It's my decision, it's my choice that I will put up with the negative because her positives outweigh the negatives by a mile.Sharing the couch with Sailor is a little like friendship. Most often the wounds, bumps and bruises we have don't come from strangers, they come from those we have decided we'd share our lives with... Our friends and family. The bumps and bruises aren't intentional,it's just part of sharing life. The ones who have the most influence on us tend to leave the biggest bruises, but also bring the biggest blessings. It's a choice, it's all a choice. Do you want to sit comfortably without being
disturbed, or would you rather share the couch with a great big cuddle bug, with sad droopy eyes? Me? Well, I'm taking the couch and the bruises that go with it.

Friday, December 24, 2010

The Most Precious Memory of All

I don't think I ever believed in Santa Claus.... At least not until I had kids. I remember when I was little we spent the night at my Aunt's house once on Christmas Eve. She had 4 kids and Christmas morning at her house was very different than what I was used to. I remember waking up and watching her kids plow into their stockings which were filled beyond belief with candy and little carnival like toys. I sat there with my eyes as big a saucers. I had never seen so much candy and crap in my life. I was so impressed that I vowed I would make Christmas morning a big deal when I had kids of my own. My husband has never understood the point, but we always had our gifts, which were wrapped, and Santa's gifts which were not wrapped. After much debate when we first got married, we opened our gifts on Christmas Eve. His family had always opened them on Christmas morning and I swear you would have thought  it was a crime against nature when I begged to do it differently. To this day I'd almost bet that he repents on Christmas Eve after committing such a sin. After the kids were tucked in bed, which was a HUGE ordeal, we would lay out the Santa gifts along with the stockings. My favorite time of Christmas happened about 4 in the morning when my oldest son would wake up and run downstairs. There would be a slight pause, often a gasp and then he would run  back upstairs as quietly as possible into his sister's room. Waking her was not only a challenge, but also a very risky decision. She would often wake up in a rage with flying fists so extreme caution was a top priority. Together they would wake baby brother and all three of them would run back downstairs. I could hear them showing each other their gifts with excited whispers. It was a magical gift in itself to lay in bed and hear them enjoy the surprises of the season. My two oldest are adults now and to be honest my youngest never has really bought into the whole Santa thing which is a real drag for me. He is content to wake up at noon then saunter downstairs with little to no expression of excitement (hmm, wonder where he gets that from?). I'm still trying to get used to not having little ones around for the holidays. The awe of the season is such a joy to watch through little eyes..... And the pitter patter of little feet  (in pajamas with the feet in them) is the most precious memory of all.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

It's Not Easy

When I had my accident the first thing people said is "Oh you look great!" For some reason everyone expected black eyes, swollen cheeks, bloodied head. Although underneath my clothes there were bumps, bruises and scraps, they were not visible to just anyone. The doctor told me that in some ways it would be easier if there were outward evidence as to what happened, but my injuries are tucked way beneath the surface where no eyes can see.... In the brain. 11 months and three weeks to the date of the fall I still struggle with the unseen injuries. The thing that scares me the most is that my personality will never return to the old me. That doesn't just scare me, it terrifies me.Trust me, no one wants the old me back more than I do. Getting to know a new you is not fun, it's not comforting, there is nothing warm and fuzzy about it. You have no idea how difficult it is to see your husband look at you with concern and worry, yet not recognize the person you are now. It's not easy to feel disconnected from your emotions even with those you love the most. It's not easy to wonder if you'll have to make new friends because your old friends don't know the new you.It's not easy to hear words come out of your mouth and you have no idea where they came from. If you break your leg they can put a cast on it, give you crutches healing is simple and obvious. The brain is a little more complex, less understood and takes longer to heal. I can fake being fine all I want but that doesn't make me whole. They say the only thing that helps is time... But waiting on time isn't easy.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Celebrating In Style

This weekend found me not only
celebrating my 29th anniversary,
but also catching up with a friend
from school and her husband.My husband
took me back to my home town of Tulsa
Oklahoma. We spent some time going down
memory lane as well as several other
roads that we didn't recognize from so
long ago (it's amazing where one wrong turn will take you). Being a man after my heart he took me to my favorite hometown high society eating establishment.... Coney I-Lander. I can't explain it and he really doesn't get it but that place just reminds me so much of my youth. I would also like the add that this being my favorite restaurant pretty much puts to rest the whole debate as to whether I'm "a High Maintenance woman or a low Maintenance Woman." Of course he would argue that all it does is prove that I'm worse than being either... I'm high maintenance but think that I'm low maintenance... He may have a point there. We wrapped up Saturday evening with a high school friend and her husband. We had several good laughs at her sharp memory and my lack thereof. Sunday we took in the Nutcracker at the Performing Arts Center and then headed home. The weekend sped by way too fast but it was a good trip.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

The Hands That Holds My Heart

To love is to willingly place your heart in the hands of another. To love is to risk all happiness, all joy, all pain and all failure. To love is to understand that love may not be returned... Yet you love without regard. To love is to know the greatest joy on earth and to feel the greatest pain possible often at the same time. The greatest gift in life is to love until it hurts.....  29 years ago today, I placed my heart in the hands of a man that would love me forever and in return he placed his heart in my hands.There is no doubt that we complete
each other. We are two halves that make a whole.I can't tell you how much these 29 years have meant to me... The world. I know that the next 29 years will be just as great as long as our hearts are in each others hands. There is no safer place for our hearts to be... Together Forever

Friday, December 17, 2010

The Jerk - are you awake - You've Made Me Very Happy

I love this clip from the Jerk!!! The 19th of this month I will have been married (to the same man) for 29 great years.... But it seems more like 33 years and 7 months....  In a good way. A sense of humor is a key ingredient in a good marriage.... At least if you're married to me it is! I'm pretty sure this last year has probably seemed like 7 years and 4 months to him... Not in a good way. I know he's probably aged more this year than any other. LOL! He's a trooper and I can honestly say I'd do it all again.... "If that's okay, then just don't say anything...... You've made me very happy."

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Sugarland - Stuck Like Glue

The Dawning of a New Day

This has been a long and sad week for me. Last night I told my husband that I felt like someone had placed an I.V. in my arm and had sucked all of the blood out of my system. But then I can be a tad dramatic at times. Still that's how I feel. When I got up this morning for that 5 a.m. workout, it was cold outside and the wind was whizzing down the plains like it so often does. I sucked in the bitter cold and stood still while the wind dried my sweat. There was hope!! Just because the last few days have been difficult doesn't mean today will be.... Today a new day was dawning and with it the hope that I would be given a portion of grace that would carry me through regardless of what may lay ahead.  

Lam. 3:22-24..... Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; Great is your faithfulness. "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!"

If I let it, life would steal my hope. But I vow I will grip tightly in my hands the hope that comes with the dawn of each new day.I have hope that today will be brighter than yesterday. I have hope that I will be given an extra measure of wisdom today.
I believe in the faithfulness of my LORD, who is my hope and my salvation. Where there is hope, there is always a tomorrow.   

Saturday, December 11, 2010

When I Needed It Most

God can mend a broken heart but you have to give him all the pieces

I had to say goodbye to someone special this week. Someone who helped me sort through the shattered pieces of who I was. Together we sorted through the mess of the head injury as I tried desperately to make the pieces all fit into the old frame of a picture I had in my mind. It's been a process, it's been a journey.... a very lonely journey, but they made it seem possible. It's funny how you think the ones who will accompany you on a journey, aren't the ones that do. A door opens, and someone you never imagined walks through to hold your hand, comfort you, as they whisper the words..... "It's going to be ok." It's a special person who can say those words and actually make me believe it, but then I suppose that's why God sends them at the time he does. Just when I needed it most.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Grandpa's Stash

My Grandma may have been famous for her cooking, but Grandpa was famous for his hiding.  He loved See's candy and my Aunt would send him some every Christmas.... A big assorted box. When he got the treasure he would quickly stow it away where prying eyes could not see and chubby fingers could not touch. My Cousin and I would first try the sneaky route. We would look in his room and look in the pantry. When we both came up short we'd be left with flat out asking him if Aunt G had sent candy. He would always either smirk, or chuckle and he always delayed the answer. Finally after much skirting the issue he would tell us the secret place and we would scramble to select the one piece we were allowed. I always like "The Furry" ones. Reluctantly we would put the candy back simply to play the game again next year. Grandpa was a man of few words, at least to me. Grandma and Grandpa had a Zillion grandchildren which meant it was impossible for them to buy for everyone. It never bothered me that we didn't usually get gifts from them because just having them around was gift enough. But one memory does stand out and sits protectively on a self in my living room. Grandma seemed very feeble. I remember as a child, being suddenly alert if the phone rang during the middle of the night. Most often it was news telling us Grandma had been rushed to the hospital. Once when this happen I remember waiting in the lobby of the hospital for eternity, just me and my cousins. I was really young and bored, but I was being very well behaved as I sat on the stairs next to the gift shop and peered in the window. There were all kinds of little nic knacks that sparkled and glowed inside. There were toys and jewelry... all kinds of stuff. I remember Grandpa came down the stairs and asked if I'd like to go inside the gift shop with him to find me something. This was the one and only time I ever remember being singled out by him. He took me in the gift shop and said  "Why don't you pick yourself out something." I couldn't believe my ears!!!!  Looking back he was probably suggesting that I pick a candy bar, but no!! I saw my chance to hit pay dirt so Sister I was gonna make it count. I just looked up at him and he nodded toward the shelves.... "Go ahead, what would you like?" I looked behind the cash register and sitting on the shelf was a piggy bank. The bank was painted a white iridescent so it captured the colors around it. It had hand carved roses and hand painted eyes, nose and mouth. It was a smiley pretty piggy. I pointed to the pig, he had the lady get it down, wrap it up and he paid for it. To this day I treasure that little pig, not because of it's value, but because the memory of being singled out of many to be personally loved by one. I can guarantee you that many who grow up around their Grandparents may have more memories, but they could never have a more tender memory.  That one little gester made me feel like a  million dollars and let me know that Grandpa actually knew me by name. I suppose that's how I feel about God sometimes, I'm just one in a million, nothing special and then he'll call out to me by name and I know..... I know that I belong to him and he belongs to me. Even when I feel lost in the crowd he knows me by name.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

That Time of Year

Tis that time of year
When I fear for my thighs
With all of the pecan
And coconut pies
All of the sausage
That's brought in on trays
And all of the cheese
That's been aged for all days
Popcorn and candy canes
Brought by the slews 
By salesmen with children
Who have no new shoes
Rum cake and pretzels 
Covered in goo
My mouth is exhausted 
From all that I've chewed
Twill be weeks maybe months
 For my jeans fit just right
I'm stuffed in the middle
They're a tiny tad tight
But after the holiday festivities are done
I'll hop on that tread mill and
Run Forest run
So summer will find me
trim once again
No jiggle no jangle
From my double fat chin

Monday, December 6, 2010


The feeling closes in on me
Like icy threaded veins
Slowly it engulfs me
The pulsing sudden ache
Efforts to push it downward
Are futile failed attempts
I cannot just ignore it
Once I'm in it's grip
And though I know it's passing
Still the pain I dread
I concentrate on hope
The hope that lies ahead
Still I struggle daily
To Keep my head above
The waves that over take me
The grief I suffer from
Knowing all is better
laying all aside
The grief will one day fade
Leaving nothing but memories behind

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Grandma's House

We slept in this morning and it felt pretty good. As I lay in bed refusing to admit that I was awake, my stomach began to growl. Suddenly breakfast sounded really good. I slipped out of bed, threw on some clothes and ran to the grocery store. I came home with all the makings for a breakfast like Grandma used to make.... Bacon, eggs, biscuits and of course Chocolate Gravy which was my favorite of all. Momma used to make  Chocolate Gravy sometimes, and my aunt used to make it, but no one made it like Grandma. Things just taste better when Grandma makes it. I don't have a recipe for the concoction but I remember my cousin deciphering the code and sharing it with me. As I stood over the stove and watched the gravy start to bubble, my mind drifted back to Grandma's house. I was always a little jealous that I was just one of many to my Grandma, but I loved going to her house. She was short, with silver hair wrapped in a bun on the top of her head. After giving birth to 9 children she always looked 9 months pregnant and 90 years old. I have no idea how old she really was but that's how she looked. Sometimes when we spent the night with her she would let her silver hair down and I would brush it so it flowed down her back. I don't remember any particular conversations I ever had with her. I just remember her sitting in front of her dresser brushing her hair and the smell of breakfast in her kitchen. As I walked down memory lane my gravy started to get lumpy so I quickly removed it from the stove, added some water and stirred until the lumps disappeared. Chocolate gravy, like life tends to get lumpy when not tended to properly. With lumps all gone and biscuits golden brown I sat down to enjoy something from my past.

Friday, December 3, 2010

In The Heart of Man

We come to a place
 A crossroad in time
Where a direction we choose
A path we must find
Some paths may be covered
Hard to detect
Some paths have evidence
 Of obvious neglect

The choice seldom easy 

Which direction to go
                                                      Follow your heart?
                                                      Follow your soul? 
                                                      Drown out voices heard in the wind                       
Listen instead to the small voice within
Each path has a promise            
New direction to take
What are the risk?
How large the stake?
Why do we struggle?
Why do we fight?
When the truth we have sought
The wrong from the right
It's a matter of choice
We're made with a plan
The decision still lies                   
                                     In the heart of man   

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

A Little Bit More.... One of My Favorite Songs

The Christmas Tree Snob

She did a great job! I approve

It's so true that the apple doesn't fall far from the tree. At least that's the case with me and my daughter. Ever since I've been married, a Christmas tree is a big honkin ordeal for me. I like my gifts to be wrapped in coordinating colors, no tacky Santa Clause paper. I insist on white lights only and have a tendency to mutter unkind things under my breath when I see multi-colored lights that twinkle (see I can already tell you are judging me). So, your probably thinking that when I had children I totally turned my tree into a memorial to them..... WRONG! And here is just another reason (out of many) for why I will never be awarded a National Mother of the Year Award. There was a tiny streak in me that wanted to put the reindeer made out of pantyhose on the tree and the little ornaments made out of play dough on it, but when it actually came time to do it, I just couldn't bring myself to. I know!!! How twisted is that? I'm just very territorial about the tree. Now you probably think I'm the worst Mom in the world but I'm not...(there is that refrigerator Mom).I'm not a bad Mom! I may be a Christmas tree snob but I'm not a terrible Mother. I bought my kids their own 3 ft trees and allowed them to decorate them any way they wanted. One year my son hung GI Joe's all over his. It was kind of sadistic though because he tied fishing line around their necks then looped it over the limb so it looked a little like he was literally hanging GI Joe. My daughter is grown and has an apartment of her own which means she has her very own adult Christmas tree. When she was home a few weeks ago she bought ornaments for the tree and was excited for Thanksgiving to be over so her and her boyfriend could put the tree up. She called me the other night and said they had gotten the tree up and he had helped her get the lights on and then (gasp) proceeded to begin decorating it. She said "I told him, oh no,no, no! All I needed you to do was to help me get the lights on. I'll do the rest all by myself." I think he was a little hurt that he didn't get to help with the rest of it, but she explained how she was never allowed to decorate the tree as a child and now she was going to do it in her own very OCD way. I laughed and laughed when she told me. I knew all this time that my Christmas tree fetish would one day end with my kids laying on the couch of a therapist. But like I've always told them, just file this in your book so when you have to go to therapy when your 30 you'll have enough Momma burned the bisque stories.... Cause if you don't, they will certainly think you are crazy.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Spinning Plates/Breaking Glass

A year ago I made a commitment to organize a fairly large event. I've always thought it would be kind of neat to be an event planner..... I could probably get a lot of joy from spending other peoples money. Recently my husband told me how much he dreaded me doing this event. He thought that considering all of my problems this year it would be a little more stress than I really needed. Plus, the idea of Lucille Ball planning a large event (or large for her) has all kinds of implications he'd just rather not think about.
This is the possibilities
He has been waiting for the realization that the event is now here to hit me and for me to have a complete meltdown. So far so good. It's been a busy few months, and this week is going to really be busy as I make sure all of my i's are dotted and my t's are crossed. I have this "Zone" of my own (which, I guess I'm always kinda in a zone of my own) that I go to when I am decorating a room or planning an event. Typically I don't like to have any help, unless it's a silent partner. Not necessarily because I'm a control freak but because I have this whole process I go through mentally which is hard to put into words. So, instead of having helpers standing around yelling.... "What do I need to do, what do I need to do?" (all with the best intentions) I prefer to have someone who is very quiet who just does what I need them to do when I ask them to. I prefer calm, quiet efficient help or either no help at all. Maybe that's my way of keeping myself calm.  I don't know, that's just the way I am.  I tend to be a pretty verbal person, but when I'm decorating or organizing something like a shower or party I totally go to this quiet zone, which even I don't understand (and to be honest I find it hard to explain)..... It's just the way I am. When I'm decorating, I do a lot of doing and undoing until it feels right and I need silence in order to think... So maybe that's what it is, maybe I just need silence to think.  I know that was a bit of a rabbit trail there but I'm thinking as I write and all I can say is "Welcome to my world!" This goes on in my head all the time!!! So this week I have a MILLION things to do. It's end of the month, which means I have some deadlines. It's tax time, which means.... IT'S TAX TIME! Plus I have a few other things on my desk in addition to "The Event". Today as I was working on the event, I would sneak a few daily jobs in  between and it dawned on me that I was way more content with having a MILLION things to do, as opposed to having the same old things to do. I felt like one of those guys that has plates spinning on sticks as he juggles them in the air. I really like that feeling. Maybe I need a certain amount of stress to keep me from getting bored or distracted. I worked for a doctor for 9 years as the office manager, it was a single practice office so I ran the front by myself and 2 nurses ran the back. In the mornings when I got to work I felt like I was strapping myself into a roller coaster that would zig and zag for 8 straight hours before I could unstrap. I really did love my job but after a while it started to take it's toll on me. To be honest with you I have a much more difficult time mono-tasking than I do multi-tasking. So this week I'm spinning plates and if you happen to hear the sound of breaking glass Friday night you will know that maybe I should just stick to my mono-tasking and leave the multi-tasking to multi-talented people. Trust me.... I'll let you know how it all turns out. I'm strapped in and ready to roll.

Monday, November 29, 2010

A Slightly Different Version of Happily Ever After

I had the unique experience of meeting with an old High School friend this week for dinner. She had sent me  Facebook msg telling me she would be in the City on the 26th and would love to have dinner with me. Although we kept in touch for a while after school, eventually we lost touch.  She dated and then married one of my best friends from High School. The relationship wasn't pretty and after 4 children together,  they divorced. Later she found a wonderful man whom she has been married to for 20 years. He seems like a great guy and I couldn't be happier for them. We had not seen each other in well over 20 years, yet we started right where we left off.... Catching up. I swear she remembers things about me that even I had forgotten. The conversation came around to how I wasn't allowed to watch movies, go to ball games, that kind of stuff. I explained what type of church I was raised in and she kind of rolled her eyes and said..... "Oh, so that's why you told your Mom that Raiders of the Lost Ark was a church movie." Honest I just had to stare at her... "I actually said that? I actually told her that?" She laughed and said yeah you did, you said.... "But Mom it's a church movie."  At first it disturbed me that I would lie to my Mom, but after running the movie through my head for a second I realized that it was based on the Ark of the Covenant and there were several mentions to the wrath of God during the movie..... So yeah, it may have been stretching the truth but it wasn't exactly a lie. For 2 1/2 hours we sat and caught up. It was so good to see her and so good to see that as she said, her happily ever after may have turned out different than she envisioned it would at 17, but still it's a good version. It looked to me that she's living her version in typical fairytale fashion.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

I Have Everything Under Control!!! Yeah, Right!

She looks so harmless
Oh heaven help me!!! This afternoon I brought the dogs outside to sit on the front porch with me. Sitting on the front porch with my pups is on my list a favorite things to do. I usually sit and read while waiting for my husband to get home from work.... I figure it makes him feel loved to know that the three of us are anxiously awaiting his arrival. Anywho.... He drove up just as we were sitting down so I hadn't actually gotten myself settled. My oldest Son and I were on the steps as my husband ambled up to the house. I usually make the dogs stay on the porch with me, but with so many people on the porch they headed down the steps as I was saying hello to my husband. They were down the street lickity split before I knew what was happening. Then I saw a little girl with her little Corgi, when she saw my Bulldog and massive Mastiff running toward her she dropped her dogs leash. I usually try to stay calm, but seeing a tiny girl and tiny dog kind of freaked me out. I immediately called to Riley (Bulldog) who luckily was just sniffing away. I started toward the dogs, calling their names (everything is in slow m-o-t-i-o-n at this point. I herd Sailor up to the front porch where my husband ushers her into the house and then I start on Riley. Riley is my little Star Wars Bulldog.... Meaning she can turn to the dark side in a New York second. When she was a puppy I realized I needed to get a handle on her because her play could become rough.... Really rough. That's when I started watching and reading the Dog Whisperer. He really is amazing and I in no way think I'm nearly as talented as him, but when I started approaching Riley with a different attitude, she took a much calmer turn. So.... go with me here. I'm trying to grab Riley, the little girl has no clue she and her dog could turn into lunch at any second and my lovely men are both watching Lucille Ball stumble around the front yard trying to protect the universe. I finally get Riley going in the right direction, all they while trying to answer the little girl's endless questions like.... "Which one are you calling Riley?"..... "That should be easy for me to remember because that's my name?".... I put my best "I'm a real kid kind of person" smile on and answer all of little girl Riley's questions while Bulldog Riley and Corgi dog run circles around my feet. When Bulldog Riley heads for the house, little girl Riley calls her dog to come back to her. Finally I turn around and ask little girl Riley to please just leave your dog alone until I get my big dog (that could eat both of you for lunch) put up. I grab for Bulldog Riley around the belly and try, try, try, with all of my might to carry her to the house, but she is like trying to mud wrestle a greased pig!! There are just no wrinkles or extra skin to hang onto.... no handles at all and she just slips right out of my hands. For the few seconds I held her the little Corgi dog got to sniff her butt which really pissed her off and over to the dark side we both go. As she slips between my fingers I fall on my knees and frantically try to put all my weight on her so she can't get away. My Son runs over to me and says "Do you want me to pick her up for you?" Oh My Freakin Gosh!!!! You think? I guess he saw my eyeballs starting to bulge the way they do when I too have crossed over to the dark side and he says as he picks Bulldog Riley up "What's wrong Mom?" Through clinched teeth I say "Because I'm out here wrestling the dogs while you and your Dad watch from the porch!!!!!""" Everybody lived through the whole ordeal and little girl Riley headed for home with her Corgi intact. I immediately come in the house and start cleaning because that's what I do when I'm really pissed off. After I had simmered down my husband came up to give me a little hug (completely clueless!) I ask him..... "At exactly what point in the whole dog rampage ordeal where you going to get off of the porch and help me out?" Just curious how far he would have allowed it to go.... I mean, was he waiting for blood, maybe some guts? He just grinned the sweetest (clueless) grin and said, " You looked really good out there."...... "What?" "Well it looked like you had everything under control in your calm, assertive way you like to do things." to which I informed him "There was nothing calm or assertive about that!" Well it looked to me like you had everything under control." He just hugged me and patted me, till I laughed! Seriously I'm sprawled out on the sidewalk, a little girl is peppering me with questions, a Corgi wants to play sniff Riley's butt, and Riley is going ape, I scrapped my knee and had wrestled until I couldn't get a full breath and that's his idea of control????? Needless to say, he had no intention of being my knight in shining armor.... He would just rather sit on the porch and watch the show.... In living color! Even though I'm pretty sure I looked ridiculous out there, he thought I looked good so I guess I shall allow him to live another day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

To Be Loved By You - Wynonna Judd

Love that's worth fighting for
That's what this is
And how,how I could I want more
Then the warmth of your kiss?
No matter how many miles and dreams
Come between us now
In each step I take with each prayer I make
This love will live somehow

Let the mountains rise I will climb them all
When my body's weak I will not fall
Baby,come what may an I'll find a way to get through
There's nothing that I won't do to loved by you

There will be lonely nights when you'll whisper my name
Know on those lonely nights
I'll be doing the same
Should every star in the sky go out
Just keep your faith alive
We were meant to be this is destiny
It cannot be denied

Let the mountain rise I will climb them all
When my body's weak I will not fall
Baby,come what may and I'll find a way to get through
There's nothing that I won't do to be loved by you

And even when we're worlds apart
Just keep this promise in your heart

Let the mountain rise I will climb them all
When my body 's weak I will not fall
Baby,come what may and I'll find a way to get through
There's nothing that I won't do (Nothing that I won't do)
There's nothing that I won't do (Nothing that I won't do)
There's nothing that I won't do to be loved by you

Outta the Rabbit Hole and Into the Light

"I forget what is behind me and reach out to what is ahead of me.
 Like a man running a race, I try hard to reach the line so that I will receive the prize. Because we belong to Christ Jesus, God is calling us to receive this prize that he has for us in heaven."

And so it begins....
     I have a hard time letting things go. I am an emotional person! Not only do I feel each and every emotion, I feel them with an intensity that quiet frankly should be outlawed. Oh how I wish for a numbness to sweep over me so that emotions are just vague and understated. For the last 10 months and 26 days my emotions have been in hyper drive mode (in addition to my normal hyper drive personality). The doctors tell me it is normal but I assure you it does not feel normal. Today I have determined to not let my emotions rule me any longer. Yes, I may still be in healing mode and yes, there may be times when I can feel the fabric of my mind fusing together with hot iron intensity, but it is getting better and better it will be today!!!! Somewhere deep inside is the old me and I am determined to find her and bring her back. Some say it is out of my control but they dont' know how determined I am to feel like myself again. Who knew that a rabbit hole would cause so much inward pain while leaving the outside unscathed (typed as tears run down my cheeks)? I've tried hiding, it doesn't work. I've tried pretending (I'm really no good at it), I've tried medicating (take two pills and call me in the morning), the morning always comes (lather, rinse, repeat). So my new strategy (or is it strategery, LOL) is to forget (I've been really good at that the last few months), and reach out. Run the race like it's nobody's business, and make like a rabbit and jump out of the hole instead of crawling farther into the hole. Outta the rabbit hole and into the light.... Let's see how Alice does with that.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Renewed, Refreshed and Restored... Hope for Tomorrow

Of course I took a picture of the only dog there!

I sit here at the City Rescue Mission waiting for my Son to tie up loose ends. My feet ache, my back hurts and my head is pounding... I feel great!!! We just finished serving and cleaning up after feeding roughly 700 people, most of whom are homeless. This is the second year that we have volunteered at the Mission and these last two years have been the best Thanksgivings I can remember. Life has a way of pulling you into your own world which is full of your own problems. When you come to a place like this, that  world suddenly shrinks to a tiny speck in the universe. Your own problems seem like a blip on the radar screen as you see others who truly have problems, needs and sadly very little hope. Step inside a homeless shelter and it doesn't take long to realize it's not all about you. A banner hangs over the entrance that says "God is close to the broken hearted and he rescues those whose spirit is crushed". Those words don't speak just to the homeless and addicted, they speak to everyone of us who
have ever felt brokenhearted or whose spirit has ever been crushed. I am blessed beyond measure, but I'll admit to having felt broken and crushed quiet often this last year. I'm may not be homeless, but I have felt tossed aside and undesired. When I look at these people I realize that I am not broken (at least not completely) and regardless of how I may feel at times, I have not been completely crushed. As far as being tossed aside and undesired, maybe by others, but never by my Lord. We were thanked before the dinner by the director of the Mission for giving up our comfortable Thanksgiving to serve others. He said the sight of so many willing to do so, gave the people who came something they had very little of..... Hope.  Having spent the day in such humble surroundings, I felt renewed, refreshed and yes..... Restored. It's
My Son the Volunteer Coordinator is a
much better person that I will ever be.

my prayer that those I came in contact with today will also feel renewed, refreshed,  and restored. But most of all I pray that they will see a glimmer of hope, that they will see the broken pieces of their hearts put back together again and their spirits will be lifted to new heights. I  firmly believe that many I served today will stand beside me next year to serve others instead of being served. They will see God restore to them their dignity and hope just like he has done for so many of us.

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

A Pink Gloved Burly Streak.... The Fighter in Me

Fight Night Club

Typically I'm a pretty mellow (well somewhat mellow) person. I love pretty things, love to shop, have occasionally been known to fish, been hunting a time or two (totally mind boggling experience). I love romantic comedies, get a kick out of playing in the ocean (might even be a tad higher on the list than shoe shopping), could sit by a mountain stream for hours on end and never get bored. I'm a girlie girl who loves being a woman but I've recently found I have a dark side. A friend of mine invited us over to watch UFC. My first response was that I really didn't like fighting, it made me nervous, but she assured me that I would really enjoy this. So I decided what the heck, join the fun, get in there and do something different, so we went. It didn't take me long to realize that I was mesmerized by it and became totally entranced during the fight. In fact I've been known to, hmm kind of act out a little during the fight. I'm not sure why, but when the fight starts everything else fades to the background and it's just me and those burly men in the octagon together..... fighting for that belt. Seriously, it's just us!!!! I've also discovered that it's best when I wear my pink boxing gloves because that keeps me from chewing my nails off. I have come to love fight nights, but there is just one problem.... No one wants to sit next to me during the fight. I have had people get up and move (in fact I think my husband has done that). If they don't move, then they crouch in the corner of the couch like they are being attacked by a rabid bear. Why? Because when the fighters punch, I punch.... It's just a natural reaction and according to my husband I grunt and make other manly noises as if I were the one actually fighting. I do know that when the fights are over, I'm exhausted and am ready for bed! I guess I'm a little like a diamond, LOL! I have a lot of different facets and apparently one of them is has a bit of a burly streak.... A pink gloved burly streak.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Good to the Last Drop

This morning at 4 a.m. I said goodbye to my two oldest kids. After an early Thanksgiving weekend, they were headed back to their individual lives. My Daughter back to San Diego to her military life, my son back to OKC where he will be a busy little bee the next few days organizing the Thanksgiving dinner for the homeless at the City Rescue Mission. We had a wonderful weekend together as a family. We visited

with friends, they caught up with old friends, we posed for family photos, played board games, put puzzles together and feasted on fried turkey and sweet potato pie. It just doesn't get much better than that. It was ointment to a Mom's sore heart to see her three kids laughing and playing together. There is such an age gap between the two oldest and the youngest that he has pretty much been an only child. Mom and Dad aren't nearly as funny and Sissy and Bubba and it's good to see
him actually come out of his shell a little and laugh and giggle. My Daughter misses our pets terribly. She got plenty of puppy lovin while she was home and even the dogs thought the weekend was good to the last drop!!!!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

GPS and Wings

I love my boys!!! They make me laugh, they make me smile and they understand the whole importance of "Fight Night"..... They just make me happy. But I'm just going to be honest and put this out there, I don't think they would enjoy going to get a pedicure with me, or shoot the breeze in a beauty shop for a couple of hours. I've missed having my girl around to do girl things with. I've missed her swiping my shoes, missed sharing our beauty tools and missed our girl talks.She is home for a few days and today we girled it up at with pedicures, hair-dos and browsing through shops. She may not understand Fight Night, but she understands being a woman and all that goes with it. It's good to have all of my chicks back in the nest (at least till Tuesday). All feels right with the world and the gaping hole that's been in my heart since they left will be filled.... at least for a few days. I really am happy they have wings because that gets them back home at least once in a while, plus that GPS I sewed into their hearts when they were young keeps them on the right path.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Sudden Sadness

I have moments in the day, when if I could I would tuck away, and shed some tears just because, for all that is and all that was. Shadows long tender gone, their memory now linger on. The tears can wash the dreams away, for all I wish but cannot say and cleanse the ashes that cloud my eyes and keep the promise crowned with pride. Just seconds when my heart does ache and sadness sweeps my mind away with things of precious few untold the seconds I'll forever hold. There is no place for which to hide where eyes
of sadness then are dried, and yet for that which lingers still in darkened corners not revealed. So hide the tears and shed them not for things I mourn and cannot stop and look again to brighter days when clear the eyes of tear stained haze. 


Surround my heart with stone of three
Forever entwined in memory
Forever recounted in dreams and songs
A space in time where I belonged
As the moon shines full on nights so sweet
When the road curves tight with endless heat
When passion flares and stars burn bright
The mystery unfolds before your eyes
The wonder of visions long forgot
The one you have, the one you have not
Rewind the time, retell the told
When the captive one then sold her soul

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I Did Not Break That Plane!!!!

For years I have joked that I've  seen my ship come in just over the horizon, only to see it sink before it got to port. So close, yet just out of reach. I have to tell you that skydiving proved to be no different. After much anticipation we arrive at the airport, ready and willing to get it done. We had a chance to see
some people land and after all of the waivers were signed, fees were paid and prayers were said we were up, up, and away.... But not far away. We took off in the little bitty plane, 6 of us packed in like sardines with yours truly right next to the door. As we begin to ascend and circle the airport, the plane made apparently a funny noise (I was busy giggling) and my instructor turned around and said..... "We're going down!" First of all, that is not the words you ever want to hear when you are in a plane, second of all it's never comforting when you see someone who does this every day, several times a day, cock their head and ask "What's that noise?" as the plane trembles and shakes. It's also not comforting to suddenly smell smoke as soon as you hear
the words "We're going down." Thirdly (and certainly just as important) he was the one with the parachute, not me and we hadn't been hooked up yet. Luckily his statement wasn't "We're going down" as in "We're going to crash", but rather, we're going to have to land, there is something wrong. That makes ALL the difference in the world. The first thing I thought was "Crap! They are going to think I chickened out when they see us land." The second thing I thought is.... "I am so going to get blamed for breaking this plane!" Hey, it's happened before. So they landed the broken plane and tell us to go to lunch and come back in 45 minutes to see if it had been fixed. We did.... They didn't, so after waiting around for a while we got a refund and headed back home (2.5 hr drive). We plan to reschedule sooner
rather than later, but still, the disappointment was huge. The good news is no paramedics were needed, just mechanics and my toes (and limbs) are still in good condition. I mentioned before that anything could happen and usually does where I'm concerned, but I'm not necessarily looking at that as a bad thing, just a normal thing

Freedom of Fear?

It's 2:20 a.m., suddenly 10,000 feet in the air seems like a long ways to jump from a plane. Most of my life has been lived within the confines of very rigid boundaries.  One step outside those boundaries and you would certainly pay. Why, after 47 years I have the overwhelming desire to spread my wings and fly, when it has always been discouraged by two of the most influential people in my life. The threat of facing certain death and destruction if I didn't remain within the bounds, still to this day echo in the back of my brain.... Well and quiet honest in the forefront as well, "Don't go there, you'll have a wreck and kill them all." haunting words from my Mother. "Seriously Mom, I'm just driving across town for a perm?"..... "Well", she says, "If the two of you get killed her family will sue us for everything we have." .... Those kinds of conversations don't exactly boost a child self esteem to the highest levels. Just last year when leaving for a ski trip these parting words were whispered in my ear "You be careful, I don't feel good about you going o this trip and your Dad feels the same way. People get killed skiing." Those words alone were probably the reason that I am known as the slowest, most terrified skier on the slopes. I have always believed that Mom had a direct line to God and sometimes I thought that maybe he showed himself to her in the flesh, her predictions were so horrifying. So even though my husband tries, words of encouragement from him in the present aren't exactly the words I hear in the late night when every one's asleep. So I'm going to finish my Popsicles dipped in sugar (don't even ask), going to read a minute, then try drift back to sleep so that I will feel refreshed when I step to the edge of that plane tomorrow..... Hopefully without the words "You'll kill them all" somewhere far far away and hopefully the only thing I'll hear is massive amounts of giggling coming from my belly as I take a jump for freedom of fear!!!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Always Be Prepared!!!

I wish my feet were this cute!

This time tomorrow (hopefully), I'll have a nice pretty check mark next to skydiving on my bucket list. Personally, I think the odds that I will actually do it are pretty good, considering the fact that I'm extremely experienced at free falling for several feet without a parachute, any training, or intentionally doing so. Therefore, it just goes to reason that I should be even better at falling intentionally from a plane with a parachute. Right? Granted, there are doubters out there who think that I'll make like a big fat chicken and back track all the way home, but I'm pretty determined not to give them that satisfaction. The most hurtful thing is that they are judging my skydiving ability off of my snow skiing ability and that's just..... Well that's just wrong. The fact that someone would laugh so hard at just the thought, that they actually had to sit down.... Well, that's just wrong too. I know anything can happen (and usually does with me), but I'm expecting this to be a positive experience. Even with my ubber positive outlook, I've decided to go ahead and prepare for the worst but hope for the best. I plan on NOT wearing my favorite pair of jeans, or any other items of clothing that I don't want cut off of me (been there, done that).Most importantly, I spent my lunch hour lounging in the spa chair at the local pedicure place. I got my toes painted a pretty pink because nothing would be more embarrassing than ending up in the hospital with a broken leg and toes that haven't been properly maintained. Yes, I believe in the whole boy scout motto.... Be prepared, so sister I am!!!!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Salute To All of the American Hero's

It was a hot summer day in Oklahoma!!! My daughter and I sat in the front yard under a shade tree praying for a cool breeze. My lawn was filled with clothes, stuffed animals, odds and ends of a young single woman's life. In a few weeks my daughter would be leaving home... again. After 2 years of college, and one year of grappling with with what she wanted to do with her life, she had made a decision. Late one night as we chatted in the living room she asked.... "What would you think about me joining the Navy?" The question hit me in the gut like a pile of bricks, but I never blinked an eye. My little blond haired, blue-eyed, girlie girl wanted to join the Navy. When she moved out of her apartment she hauled all of her belongings home and began sorting what would be kept and what would be sold. Nearly everything she owned was put in the yard sale and a few precious childhood mementos were tucked into totes and stored in the basement. It all seemed so final... Because it was. A few days after she left for boot camp my husband arrived home to a package addressed to us. Inside the box we found all of the clothes she had worn when she left, her wallet, everything. She was officially owned, lock, stock and barrel by the US Military. Looking into that box was like looking into a casket. The person she once was, would be forever buried beneath obligations, duties, discipline, and a love for her country. Not a bad thing, but simply a difficult thing for a parent to grasp. She has been in the Navy now for over 6 years.I have watched as she struggled to develop close friendships only to see those friends move away. I've listened to the fatigue in her voice from getting little to no sleep at all. I've sat at home and prayed when I knew she was sailing in dangerous waters, during dangerous times. Time and again I've thought of the day we sat out front as one by one all of her earthy possessions were sold.She has seen things and done things that she never dreamed she would see and do. She has been fortunate not to have been in the heat of the battles going on around the world, but ever present, is the awareness that at any second of any day that could change. We take so much for granted here in the US. If we really had a clue how fortunate we are, we would live our lives in a completely different way. This spring when she returned to the US from deployment we were able to spend some time with her. One afternoon while in San Diego, we visited a veterans memorial. While looking at the pictures and reading the stories she said something I will never forget....

"You know Mom I've always wondered what would drive a person to the point that they would be willing to lay down their life for their country; It's something I never understood. After being to all of the different places I've been, and seeing all of the things I've seen, I can say that I totally get it now. We live in the greatest nation on earth and it's absolutely worth laying down your life for."

In that moment I knew for a fact that my daughter had was no longer the person she used to be... She was officially an American Hero! Today while your going about your daily business, getting your latte, sorting your mail... Take a minute to say a prayer for those who make it possible for you to go about your business. Say a prayer for those who have sacrificed their lives of comfort and ease to keep us safe. Say a prayer of thanks for those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for your freedom. We are a nation with freedoms, but those freedoms DO NOT come free!!!
Yes, Hero's do ride elephants!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Giving Credit Where Credit is Due

As a woman, I like to joke around about my husband. Men are funny, the way they look at things, the clues they funny. It's humorous watching my man try to figure me out. After 29 years in December he still hasn't given up. I'd like to think I make it easy for him since I'm a pretty verbal person. I don't keep things to myself when maybe I should. I'm ready and willing to express my feelings and thoughts at any given moment (not in a bad way) and if you need any clarification I'll be happy to provide that too. I like to 
think that I'm an open book. The fact is my book tends to read like and Edgar Allan Poe novel.... A tad of unraveling still to do and not something just everyone enjoys reading. I feel like I have him figured out, but I'm sure I'm missing a few clues as well. But seriously he is the sweetest guy a girl could have and here are just a couple of reasons why. He has Mondays off, so he is home alone all day. Monday he emailed me and wanted to know how to clean the oven. No kidding!!! Out of the blue he wants to know how to clean the oven. Now that is sweet! Last night he knew my back was killing me and so he emailed me to tell me he thought I should go home and take a hot bubble bath, then sit in the massage chair while he got dinner. I thought I had died and gone to heaven. I don't give him nearly the amount of credit he deserves.... Especially given how he has cared for me and worried 
over me the last 11 months. So here's to you honey... Just giving credit where credit is due. I love you and I appreciate the great guy you are.