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Wednesday, December 31, 2014

My Strong Arm

My boss walked in this afternoon and told us we could go home. That is something you don't have to tell me twice. On the way home I thought about the evening ahead..... What did I want to do?  The one thing that kept coming back to me was... I just wanted to cuddle up close to my man on the couch and enjoy his presence.  I mentioned this morning what a rough year I've had.... It has NOT been fun.  That being said, the one thing that has remained steady, is the constant support I received from the love of my life for 33 years.  Have I taken him for granted???  Oh, you bet!! Am I a rascal???? Oh, he definately has his hands full and then some (if you know me at all you will say AMEN!). But in all the years that we have been together, he has remained my strong arm. He hasn't always made me happy (who could, I'm a woman?), I haven't always been gracious (note the rascal comment above), but in spite of my hormonal mood swings and rollercoaster  emotions, he has remained a constant strong arm of unwavering love and support. I don't live on the crumbs of his affection, I bask in it every day and I am ashamed to say... Yeah, I've taken it for granted... And then came 2010-2014. During those 4 years, not only did he handle me and my TBI with kid gloves and a bussel of patience (I was not an emotionally stable person), but when I told him I was moving in with Mom and Dad to help with Mom's illness, he didn't just wish me well, he moved in right beside me. Not a lot of spouses who would do that. I did not suffer and grieve over my mom's illness alone, he was with me every step of the way.... That my friends is true love and a strong arm. His love hasn't been predicated on my behavior or emotions.... It has been predicated by pure unconditional love and completely in spite of my actions! Sometimes it takes the brutal reality of life to make you see just how good you really have it. He is my strong arm and in those strong arms are exactly where I want to end what has been a VERY difficult year. My wishes for you this year is.... A strong arm.  Be loved!

The Other Side

It's 4 a.m. on New Year's Eve. Today would have been my mom's 78th birthday. Typically I would go to The Ginger Jar to pick up a gift for her during their annual sale. That isn't on my list of things to do today. Recapping 2014 is not pretty. It was marked by grief piled on top of grief. I lost several significant friends this year. Each one had an enormous impact on my life in one way or another. I saw people I truly care about lose loved ones as well. I saw their tears, I felt their pain and not a day goes by that my heart doesn't hurt with them and for them. After attending funeral after funeral, July hit with devastating news that my employer was selling. The news was like another funeral of sorts, but one that never seemed to end. As one door was beginning to close, God did what only God can do. Change is so scary, but for reasons I will never fully understand, he opened a door which I walked right through and miracles of miracles I stepped into a place that felt like home from day one.  A friend came in the office the other day and asked me how the transition was going. I could only answer from my side of the desk and told him the transition had been completely seamless. I can't speak for my co-workers, but I feel like I've been there forever.... In a good way.  I guess you could say that my faith has been restored. It's not that I had lost faith in God, just that I had lost the impenetrable security of knowing I was on his radar screen. I feel like I've been drifting about on an abysmal ocean completely discombobulated as to what purpose, if any, God has for me. Knowing I am still on his radar gives me hope that I can still be of use. That may not make sense to anyone else, but for me, it's huge. I'm not the only one who found themselves on God's radar screen this year. After 9 years in the Navy, my sailor transitioned from a life of constant change to the life of a civilian. If you think changing jobs is scary, imagine having little or no control over your life (because you belong to the government), to being handed the keys to a life in you haven't driven in years. God did his God thing again and my Sailor made a seamless transition into life as a civilian. Sounds simple, but it's not. The highlight to what began as a dark and lonely 2014, was the birth of Mr. Levi Atlas Patterson, my first grandchild. Having a grandbaby is one of those things that is indescribable, even to a wordsmith. There simply are no words to express the hope and joy holding that little bundle of love has brought me. So I sit here in the dark hours of early morning listening to a bitter cold wind blowing outside. I am a little sad, but tremendously blessed. I can feel in my bones that 2015 will hold its share of loss, grief and change, yet I'm confident it will also hold magical moments of joy. And really isn't that all we can ask for?  As long as I know I'm on God's radar, I can weather any storm and come out on the other side. So come on 2015.... let's do this thing.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

The Love Story

A Good Man
He wrapped his arms around her as she rested her head on his shoulder, for the first time in hours she was at total peace.  She reached up with a tender finger and traced the outline of his jaw, his eyes never left hers. He stared at her as if staring into her soul as she began to melt. She felt completely at home and safe in his arms, a place she never wanted to leave. She could feel his strength and it made her feel delicate, like something to be cherished. He brushed her cheek with his fingertips and pushed back a strand of hair that had fallen across her eyes, then he took a small cloth and wiped a bead of sweat that had formed on her brow. She caught her breath for just a moment and he reached down and rubbed the small of her back until she began to relax again... It was going to be a long night. They sat in silence and she was completely comfortable with that because they needed no words. Truly there really were no words to express the emotions that grew in either of their hearts; so silence was good. She had pondered many things over the last few months, but how this man had come to be hers was one of the more prevalent of all her pondering. She had always believed that God would provide and that he would make a way where there seemed to be no way, but with this one.... well it seemed to be too good to be true. In spite of the comfort she felt in his arms the pain became more than she thought she could bear. It came in waves that shook the core of her being and she began to wonder if any good could thing come from such agony. Wave after wave of pain riped through her.  He began to nuzzle her and whispered words of encouragement into her ear. She wept and he wept with her as she struggled to bring light into a very dark world. He felt so helpless, so unprepared for the task at hand and she seemed so young and fragile, but she had no doubts. She knew every thing God had spoken to her was true, unbelievable but true. If she ever had a doubt it was quickly chased away when Joseph refused to send her away. God had worked many miracles in her life, but the most stunning of all was the man he had selected to accompany her on this journey of journeys.... Yes, God had given her a good man.

Not a Typical King

The wings of the angles spread out touching tip to tip creating a barrier around the young couple. They had been given strict instructions about the amount of comfort they could give. Their presence provided cover from the evil forces that searched throughout the area looking to interfere with the Father's plans. The head angel had been the one chosen to deliver the message to the young girl in the beginning. He remembered how young and innocent she looked as he relayed the message of the coming events. For just a second he wondered if he had misinterpreted his instructions and was giving the news to the wrong girl. Surely this could not be the one the Father had selected to bring the Savior into the world. A quickening in the heaven's got his attention and he continued to recite the news to the girl who stood mesmerized by his words. Tonight she looked totally different than she had the day he first saw her. It seemed she had aged 10 years. No longer did she look like a child, tonight she looked like a woman in the travail of giving birth. Being selected by the Father doesn't mean the journey will be easy, that's why such care is taken in those he chooses. Tonight the Father's instructions were very pointed. They were sent to provide protection, strength and encouragement. They were prevented however, from relieving the couple from any pain or trouble experienced in a typical earthly childbirth. It was difficult to stand back and not intervene. The best they could do is prompt Joseph with encouraging words to offer Mary and to give them both strength that had been sent with them from above. Still it looked to be a very agonizing process, this birth. The angels staunchly held their ground and trusted that the Father knew best when it came to the process of saving the world. This wasn't what they imagined when they were given the assignment of protecting the couple as they delivered the King of Kings.... This was much more humble and these people more common than they expected . No, this couple was not the typical royal family most would be looking for, and their son would prove in every possible way that he would not be.... a typical King.
No Ordinary Night

The night was as still as they had seen it in a while. Not a breeze could be felt as they lay around the camp. The older of the shepherds had already drifted into their nightly slumber. Since they had seniority they got the first hours of watch, the one in the early evening hours. They left the early morning hours to the young shepherds. The older shepherds had seen all of the strange early morning happenings, heard all of the alarming noises that accompanied the darkness. As far as they were concerned the young ones needed the experience in determining the difference between real danger and imagined danger. It was funny the tricks your mind could play on you when all you had was the moon and the sound of the earth to keep you awake. Besides, watching the young ones get used to the dark hours amused the old ones immensely. The young ones would not wake the old ones unless they knew there was a real threat. They were tired of their over reactions being the topic of every village meal once they returned home. After a while it just wasn't funny anymore, at least not to them. The shepherds like the rest of the world had been lulled into somewhat of a spiritual slumber. Stories of the coming Messiah was part of their heritage, something they grew up hearing about all their lives. The 400 years of silence had brought some Jews to cease the anticipation of the long awaited Messiah. Many had gone about their daily lives as if a Savior would never come. Among the shepherds in the field that night, many of the young ones had never given it much thought.... That was until the sky began to lighten as if covered by a white mist. At first they stared in total shock, there was no way they would wake the old ones because the sky was turning a hazy white. Then as they continued to look the outline of the angels began to materialize before their very eyes. Ever so gradually angel after angel appeared, transfixed between heaven and earth. Although the stillness never ceased, an atmosphere of anticipation began to sweep over the country side awakening the older shepherds. Their eyes popped open like wild prey was standing over them. Immediately their eyes turned upward to see the appearing of what looked like angels... If this was a dream it was no ordinary dream and if this wasn't a dream then this was no ordinary night.
Heaven Meets Earth

By the hundreds they gathered over the field, a whole host of angels. They could see the shepherds thoughtlessly going through their duties, the way earthly bound beings thoughtlessly went about everything. Some of the more cynical angels seemed a little disappointed that the proclamation they were prepared to give would be done in such a mundane setting, but those thoughts were fleeting. This was the night that all of heaven had been preparing for thousands of years. This would be the night that changed all of humanity for eternity. The angels could not help but wonder if the earthly bound beings would grasp the meaning of it all. They were so limited by their insight and knowledge of all things spiritual. Yet, that was not their concern. Their mission had been carefully planned, the announcement would be made as soon as the signal was given. That was another thing. Although the mission carefully planned, the announcement meticulously written the actual signal itself had not been described. They were simply told that they would recognize the signal when it was given. The angels had no trouble accepting this as fact and eagerly awaited the moment. The earthly bound beings may not know what was going on this gentle evening, but without a doubt the earth herself knew that all things would soon change. The shepherds had began to notice the ever changing sky and they stood like statues staring in awe at the sight that unfolded before them. The angels, the shepherds and even the sheep stood in anticipation, waiting for the moment when heaven and earth would meet in the form of a crying child.

She gasped for air, she prayed for strength and she thought the pain would never end. For hours her body had been torn apart by wave after wave of pain. Sweat poured from her brow, her lips were parched from her rapid breathing and she didn't know how much longer she would be able to endure. The arms that had cradled her so gently earlier were now like a noose around her neck. She didn't want to be touched, she didn't want to be left alone, she just wanted it to end and end quickly. Joseph paced back and forth, wringing his hands in worry. Each time he saw her relax for a second or two he would kneel beside her, offer her a drink, wipe her brow then quickly step aside before the next wave of pain started. How much longer he wondered. Suddenly she sat up and took a deep breath. When she exhaled a moan escaped her lips that was so deep and so barbaric that it caught him by surprise. Her face became white as ash and her head dropped till her chin touched her chest. At that moment he heard the release of water and blood pour from her womb. In an instant the earth was caught in a large vacuum like all of the oxygen had been sucked from the air and then immediately a rushing wind swept through the manger, then silence. Nothing but silence. She reached down and picked up the pasty infant that lay between her legs. With her touch he let out a wail. His arms waved wildly in the night air, his fingers and toes were spread apart like he had just been dropped in ice cold water. He shook all over as he cried and quickly, so quickly his skin turned red. The softest of sighs came from her chest as she brought him to her cheek. The babe turned his head to meet her cheek as if to give her a kiss. For the first time in history, heaven met humanity and without a doubt it was love at first sight.

Extraordinary Examples of Praise
The heavenly host could feel the signal they had been waiting for all night. The shepherds stumbled below being caught off guard by the sudden stillness then a gust of wind that seemed to come from nowhere. Even those who slept in town were suddenly awakened by what they thought was a nightmare that could not be recalled. What really had happened was heaven had just breathed life into heaven on earth and the long awaited Messiah had taken his first breath. At precisely the second The Messiah let out his first cry the angelic choir began their refrain. Thousands upon thousands of voices joined in harmony to proclaim the birth of the child. The sound was like a fragrant incense that hovered over the earth than rose to the heavens leaving a scent of worship and adoration that had never been seen or heard before. Those that were chosen to receive the message fell to their knees and began to spontaneously worship from the core of their being. They heard the message, they knew in their hearts all that was spoken was true. There was only one thing left to do... They must see for themselves... They must see The Messiah. Some unseen force pulled them in the direction of the manger. They didn't know where they were going, when they would get there, or what they would find, yet they went. They found themselves outside a nondescript manger. Sensing their presence a man came out to usher them in. He looked like he hadn't slept in days, yet there was something about him, an energy. He seemed eager to direct them inside where a young woman lay cradling a sleeping infant in her arms. She looked up at the strangers and with gentle smile she nodded for them to come forward as if she had been expecting them for hours. There was nothing breathtaking about her beauty, yet she was breathtaking. Perhaps it was the air of absolute peace that seemed to cover her from head to toe. The shepherds once again found themselves unable to remain standing and fell to their knees. In unison they began to worship, not just the shepherds, but the woman and man as well. Here in this common manger there were no words, for words could not truly express all that was stirring in their hearts. Here in this common manger, common people began to worship an uncommon King as he turned their ordinary lives into extraordinary examples of praise.

The birth of our Savior. He was sent without being called, he was given without being deserved, he lived without sin, and he loved without hesitation. May this gift of gifts be found in the manger of your heart this Christmas. May it breathe the breath of life into your soul and be the beginning of a beautiful love story between you and your Savior.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Not so Silent Night Beyond the Veil

Each year when we go Christmas caroling with friends, we sing, among other songs (I Wanna Hippopotamus for Christmas... My all-time favorite and a real crowd pleaser), the standard Silent Night. Tonight during my quiet time the song came to mind. It renders images of a serene couple, rolling with the punches at what is to be a very stressful time. Imagine traveling afar with a wife who was admittedly, according to scriptures is... "great with child." That phrase alone should dispel all images of a sweet young couple with no worries about being far from home, great with child AND basically... homeless. If you have ever traveled with a pregnant woman who is "great with child", I'm sure you'll agree that not being able to find a clean restroom can send raging pregnancy hormones into... Well a rage. I think we have Mary type cast as a meek and mild virgin who was so holy we rarely view her as human. Although Mary was absolutely chosen for her spiritual qualities, she was still very much human. When the couple couldn't find a room in the inn, I'm sure her mothering instincts which were probably already in high gear, turned into a manic urge to nest. Realistically, she was probably terrified at the predicament they found themselves in. She was away from her family during the most monumental time of her life, with a husband, she was still getting to know. I imagine the two, huddled in the hay. I imagine Joseph being white as a ghost in spite of his olive skin. I imagine beads of sweat on the holy mother's brow as cries of anguish slipped from her cracked lips in pain. I imagine him gently soothing her and whispering words of encouragement as he fervently prayed for divine intervention. What he couldn't see was the spiritual war erupting in high places. The roaring lion we read about in 1 Peter 4:8, was very much on the prowl during the birth of our Savior, and he wasn't alone.

I believe the heavenly host of angels did much more than proclaim tidings of great joy. I believe they surrounded Bethlehem as a heavenly shield. I imagine angels standing wing tip to wing tip around the couple as Mary "travailed in birth" .  In my mind, mighty warring angels patrolled heaven and hell making sure hell's minions were viciously kept at bay while God's promise was fullfilled. I believe that holy night was anything but silent as swords clashed in a bloody spiritual conflict that left Satan gnashing his gnarly teeth at his impotence against the waring angels of God, and his inability at preventing prophecy from being fulfilled... Again! Was there peace? Oh absolutely, because God specializes in the kind of peace that passes our human understanding, but that in no way implies things were meek and mild, calm and collected, and it certainly doesn't mean things were silent.  There was a lot going on in the little town of Bethlehem... If you look beyond the veil.

Monday, December 22, 2014

Just Do It

John 13:34-35 says.....

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”

It doesn't say....
"When one another are loveable."
"When it's convenient."
"When they love you back."
"When you understand them."
"When they are easy to get along with."
"When it suits you."
"When you feel like it."

Nope, it just says do it, so that's what I'm going to do. It may not be easy, but it is absolutely what is required.

Friday, December 19, 2014

Cagey Competition

Something fishy
Oh the Poinsettia wars are brutal this year.  I sent an email to the girls asking for "Proof of Life", since it had been a full week since we got them. I got back the pictures and there was something fishy about one.  The one I usually run neck n neck with on who makes it to the wall of shame first... something seemed kind of hinkie. Her message said... "See the big one? In the middle? I found some Poinsettia
This is legit
stimulant drops."  It was fishy, very fishy. I asked where she found the drops and she claimed she couldn't tell since it was a competition. My mind went back to last year. After we were given our Poinsettias, I looked out my office window and saw a flower shop delivering a Poinsettia the size of Pluto.  At first I thought our boss (oh he, the great giver) was getting a healthy dose of Karma. Instead I walked down the hall to find my co-worker standing in stunned silence staring
Same person taking care of these
at the monstrosity. I completely lost it in a fit of unrestrained laughter. When I finally caught my breath, I asked her.... "OMG! Who did this to you?!" She just shook her head in complete dismay and said her husband had sent it because it was their wedding anniversary (oddly, we share the same wedding anniversary).... "I guess he hasn't listened to a word I've said about my luck with Poinsettia!" OMG the look on her face was PRICELESS! I texted her back and said... "Your husband got them again this year for your wedding
This is typical me, maybe above average

anniversary didn't he?" Again she reiterated that it was a competition and she could not disclose such information, but she knew she had been busted and finally sent me a picture of the real Poinsettia that hadn't been prepped for competition with doping. I think next year we'll have to have stricter guidelines. The other co-worker had been roped into Poinsettia sitting since the owner was out until the 1st of the year.... "considering her two choices of co-workers.... she made the logical choice" I told her.  So, the competition has been a little cagey this year which only goes to show you how desperate we are to bring some joy into a workplace where most of the joy has packed up and left or been completely sucked out. I do my part to liven things up even if it's from afar. I may not be with them physically, but I'm with them spiritually and am wishing them, more than anything, peace of mind in the coming new year. I love you guys and thanks for letting me play along with you in the reindeer games.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Spoken Perhaps a Tad too Soon

You know how you know certain things about yourself.... Things that are grounded and sure? All women have certain steadfast qualities they know will never change. At one time I had the steadfast knowledge that I wouldn't be caught dead in a pair of crocks. Then a couple of years ago I stumbled upon some sandals that were so comfortable and cute, I just had to have them. When I turned them over... They were crocks! They were different than the crocks I still wouldn't be caught dead in, but crocks nonetheless.  On my first full week of my new job, a co-worker walked past my desk and paused. I had my standard heels on and some typical Jackie outfit. The dress code at work is casual, but I don't do causal well. If I can find any excuse whatsoever to dress up, that's what I'm going to do. This history goes all the way back to my elementary school years. It's a trait I absolutely got from my mother who wouldn't leave the house without being dressed to the nines. I remember when she would come to my daughter's softball games dressed to kill, because she didn't do causal. One reason I don't like to wear anything but heels because I walk like a duck in flats... it isn't attractive. So, she paused at my desk and said... "I give you two weeks and you'll be coming to work with your hair in a ponytail and no makeup."  I didn't even let that sink in for a second because this I know about Jackie-isms...She doesn't do causal... ESPECIALLY ponytails and no make up. My ponytail phobia began with my first prom. I thought proms required an up do which I did. When I opened the door to my handsome date, his face fell like a stack of pancakes. When we were in the car headed to the prom he said... "I was really hoping you would wear your hair down... I like it down." The disappointment on his sad face turned up do's pretty high on my list of do nots. The one exception being last year the day my mother died. I had sat up with her all night long so dad could get some sleep. I listened to every breath she took. The next day, I made it into work for a few hours with my hair in a ponytail topped off with a ball cap. It was a low point for me on many fronts because I was too exhausted to function... BUT I still had my makeup on, because a natural beauty I am not. I can appreciate my co-workers statement, because she is a natural beauty and has youth on her side... must be nice (insert frowny face here).  This weekend I went Christmas shopping and came across some really cute house shoes all blinged out with sequins. I was so exhausted Monday morning, for a split second, yoga pants and house shoes sounded like a trendy thing to try... Then I drank a cup of coffee and came to my senses. I will admit though, that she wasn't completely wrong. I actually did wear a pair of  yogo pants last Friday. One of my co-workers I knew prior to taking the job stopped in her tracks when I walked in. She said to the others.... "Do you know this is the first time I have ever seen her wear pants." I guess she wasn't there the day my mom died. My reply was I was wearing them because I'm allergic to my job... it's causing my butt to break out in fat and the fact that I'm too exhausted to exercise hasn't helped, nor has the fact that we have enough food and snacks to munch on In the kitchen, it looks like we're a bunch of preppers instead of accountants.  I've been there a month and I am full throttle busy every day.  The full throttle is causing me to re-think my quick reply. I may have spoken just a tad too soon about the ponytail sans makeup thing. In fact, I bought another pair of yoga pants this weekend (a girl can't have too many pairs of yoga pants). It is totally  possible I could show up for work on Friday in yoga pants, crocks and blinged out slippers posing as shoes... But in reality it's more probable that monkeys will fly out my butt. Never say never, that's what mom used to say... And yes, I still love my job and think my co-worker's are awesome with or without makeup and ponytail.

Sunday, December 14, 2014

One Christmas at a Time Minus One

The Christmas season is here.  I was just thinking about how difficult this year has been... Not just for me, but for countless people I love. I am facing my first Christmas without my mom. My dad is facing the first Christmas without his wife of 57 years. A dear friend of mine is facing the holidays without his wife who was also a dear friend. A former co-worker dreaded the first Christmas without her daughter. The thought of putting up the standard tree embellished with the ornaments she collected over the years was too painful, so she bought a hot pink tree and new ornaments to which she had no connection symbolizing Christmas past. The list goes on and on. My prayers and thoughts go out to each family who will be sitting down to Christmas dinner this year minus one. Christmas will never be the same,. Although it seems like it shouldn't, life goes on.... one Christmas at a time.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

A New Low

I got the final picture with the following notation....

"He didn't want the loss to be so traumatic for me this year, so... he set the bar low."

Well, that changes everything.  The two of us usually run neck -n- neck for who can kill theirs the fastest.  Last year we actually discussed buying a stash of replacement Poinsettias to switch out so we wouldn't be the first on to appear on "The Wall of Shame".

Gone But Not Forgotten - Poinsettia Hell Games

I think it's already looking droopy :-(
I am so excited I can hardly stand it.  Since I started my new job before the holiday season officially began.... Marked by the delivery of lovely and coveted Poinsettias, I thought I would miss out on the Poinsettia hell games and my standing on the Poinsettia "Wall of Shame".  Much to my surprise, I looked up this morning to find ex-boss #2 standing at my desk with dreaded Poinsettia in hand.  Yes!!! I still get to participate in the games.  I promptly took a picture of my Poinsettia to verify its condition upon taking ownership and emailed the others to take pictures and forward them to me so we could make every thing official. I'm so happy that although I may be gone... I am not forgotten.  Love you guys and gals to the moon and back :-)
Dinah actually put her poinsettia in poinsettia daycare last year when she left for vaca
Tiff's, she usually wins


Monday, December 8, 2014

Tiny Doses

I greeted my boss this morning with a.... "How bout them Cowboys"  I did not get a response, but his body language said all that needed to be said... So noted.  I went by my old stomping grounds to stir the Bedlam pot. If a Bedlam win doesn't call for some shenanigans, then nothing does. I started the shenanigans at church by posting a "OSU Fan" sign on my former bosses truck. I later received a picture showing me that he had edited my wording. After work today I gifted Choo Choo something that will be given to him tomorrow morning. I'm sure he will be tickled pink (or orange) at my thoughtfulness and generosity. I told my partner in crime that
I had learned that my new co-workers do not respond well to losing Bedlam and having it mentioned to them first thing in the morning. He grinned at me and said... "That didn't slow you down did it?" Oh he knows me so well....  "Well, actually it kinda did." He cocked his head in dismay. He has never known me to back down from a prank or a good jab.  "Well" I explained... "I am pretty new, and they're not quite sure how to take me yet. I hate to go full throttle Jackie on them and totally overwhelm their systems... So yeah, I shut it down. " He nodded and said... "Yeah, better to introduce them to small doses so they can build up some tolerance." EXACTLY! A full dose of Jackie-ism can take a while to get used to... this I know. Look how long it took me to liven up the group of "PPP" (pocket protector people... it's code for Engineer). I've gotten a lot of emails telling me things aren't the same since I left. I imagine they are hinting that the fun factor has taken a nose dive, but they could be saying that things have become nice and quiet but, oh so dull. I'll mind my p's and q's with the new group, and will keep fun Jackie under wraps with tiny
doses of fun thrown in. In time maybe I can dial the fun factor up a notch or two with no harm, no foul. I can do reserved Jackie for a while (I have trouble maintaining her for long).  It may take a while before they meet Jackie unplugged.... From the look I got this morning, it may be a VERY long time. Life is too short to take football so serious and a healthy dose of laughter should be a part of everyone's daily diet.... Plus a good belly laugh burns belly calories (I'm pretty sure that scientific fact is somewhere on the internet so it has to be true). Tis the season to bring joy and cheer to those around you and nothing does the heart good like a genuine smile. Go out there and spread the joy!!!  At least I can say I tried.
Lil Cecil Johnson present and accounted for and working harder than a Choo Choo Train

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

With a Thankful Heart

As I sit here on the eve of Thanksgiving,  my mind recalls the difficulty of the year that is almost gone. One year ago tonight, I knew there would be challenges in store. We had just discovered Mom had a mass, but we didn't know what that would mean. I knew in my heart, this would be the last Thanksgiving I shared with her, but I could not predict the difficulties and losses that lay ahead. Over the next several months, I lost not only my Mom, but several good friends. I saw others around me suffer unimaginable losses. I was certainly not alone in my struggles. In addition to the loss of loved ones, it was announced the company I worked for was selling, with all indications pointing to yet another loss... that of my job. The first 6 months of 2014 was marked with numerous funerals and constant uncertainty, and watching the heartbreaking grief my Father endured on a daily bases from the loss of the woman who had been the love of his life for 57 years. During those months, I felt like I had completely dropped off God's radar. Did he see my tears, did he know my pain? Event after event undermined my confidence and caused me to doubt myself in many ways. I felt alone, misunderstood, and faced hurtful criticism from unlikely sources.  I believed my failures, on so many levels, far outweighed my worth. In the middle of my struggle, positive things began to happen and the cloud began to lift. The last couple of months, many of the clouds have parted. Tonight I look back on the last year with a heart overflowing with thankfulness. I've seen the light come back into my Daddy's eyes, I've been blessed with a precious grandson, and God has provided me with a new job that I absolutely love. Sure, I still have stuff that threatens my peace, and wounds that need to heal, but nothing will keep me from celebrating the good in my life with a thankful heart. May forgiveness and mercy penetrate the wounds that remain and cover our hearts with unfathomable love.

Thursday, November 20, 2014

I... Am... Whole...

"And finally".... She said as our session came to a close "How are things related to your TBI?" I paused for a beat as I quickly assessed myself. I did a quick inventory of the stress, the loss, and the changes I've faced over the last year. "I feel... I... I am... I am whole." I finally proclaimed. "I am, I am whole." She smiled and nodded. Gosh it felt so good to not only say those words, but to mean them with every fiber of who I am.  It's been a long journey, but I am there... I am me again. I know this person who lives in my skin and not only to I know her, but I like her. I couldn't ask for more than that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Twice the Fun

When I showed up at my new job to pick up the new hire packet, I noticed all of the women had two computer monitors on their desks. I went home to my husband and said... "That can't be a good sign."  Oh my goodness, how was my ADHD brain going to function being torn between two monitors. The first day I felt like my brain was on fire, which sounds like a movie Denzel Washington should star in. Last night during one of my insomnia fits that nothing could tame, I worried and fretted that the day had gone too well. Obviously I had missed (or messed) something. In my mind, I dissected the spreadsheets I had worked on that afternoon from 3 a.m. on. Insomnia is so much fun. But after being on the job for a week now, I can say without hesitation that it's much like working at the doctor's office. I strap myself in and take an 8 hour roller coaster ride. I multi-task much better than I mono-task,so this is the perfect job for me. There is no room for daydreaming or time to get bored. Simply said, I love my new job, which isn't saying anything negative about my old job. I would rather have several irons in the fire (not literally in the fire, that's just an expression). My ADHD brain is happier when it can scurry around several different rabbit trails at the same time.  I sent some of my friends an email today that said... "I have two computer monitors on my desk so I can do twice the work.... they don't know me at all."  I know they are listening for sirens signalling I've attempted to make mac and cheese for lunch and have burned the place down. I'm confident this will not happen, because I no longer eat mac and cheese for lunch :-) Another co-worker replied that having two monitors just gave me more to blow up...  But truthfully, I never actually blew anything up and technically the building wasn't actually on fire.... technically.  The fact that they implemented fire drills after the Mac and cheese incident was a mere coincidence. I've come clean with the I.T. guy at my new job about being called the terminator. I still stand by the reasoning that things went awry because most of our stuff came over on the Mayflower. And... Today I proved without a shadow of a doubt that I was having twice the fun with or without two monitors. I thought I would tackle the mountain of invoices that had piled up on my desk to be filed. As I got to the bottom of the pile, I was so excited because I could see the corner of my pretty little desk (I'm telling you it doesn't take much to keep me amused)... That is until I realized, as I was just finishing up, that I had filed them all in the wrong cabinets (insert dramatic sigh here). I un-filed them and placed them back on the corner of my pretty little desk and declared it break time. My supervisor laughed hysterically, without compassion or shame, at my filing and un-filing plight. Tomorrow morning when I'm perky and fresh I'll have twice the fun filing them in the right place. AND hopefully I will sleep tonight and not play Excel ALL. NIGHT. LONG. Just keeping it real and keeping it fun = keeping it real fun.

Sunday, November 16, 2014

I'm a Hoarder

Last Sunday I went to Ada for a friend's recital. When she got up to sing, I was teary eyed. I worked with her when we were helping the youth praise team. I've watched her chase her dream and hurtle every obstacle Satan put in her way. She has overcome so much and preserved through it all. I couldn't be more proud of her than if she were my own. Today "The Girlfriends" had a wedding shower for another one of our boys who has stepped out on the marriage cliff and took the dive. I sat watching our boys catch up with each other as we held our grandbabies. Gosh it seems like only yesterday that they were neck deep in teenage mischief. The time has truly flown by. So many precious memories
threaded together.... We have been so very blessed. It was my first chance to show off lil Levi Atlas Patterson. He went from the arms of one girlfriend to the next until he ended back in my arms. I realized I am a hoarder when I had been as patient as I could be and told them they had to give him back... Lolli needed her loving. No, i'm not ashamed of myself. I've waited a lifetime for this pleasure.  They all agreed with me that he is perfect... absolutely perfect.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Going A Way Shenanigans

I put the cart before the horse in posting my new job blog before my going away blog.  The crew did not let me leave without a farewell send-off.  The day started with an email telling me I had a treasure chest of goodies headed my way. Soon Choo Choo's sidekick appeared in my office with a thoroughly duct taped box.  Actually there were several thoroughly duct taped boxes nestled inside each other along with a million Styrofoam peanuts and tiny insignificant, yet entertaining tidbits that gave me a peek into the minds of nothing short of genius (well, maybe on some planets it would be considered genius... Planets way the hech out there in LaLa land).  The treasures included buy not limited to a 2 cent injector (a syringe with 2 pennies glued on) so I could inject my 2 cents wherever needed.  Also a dime-on pin (a cancer awareness pen with a dime gluedf on).  Get it?  Dime-on pin?  Genius, I tell ya, pure genius.  We went to lunch where we were joined by some of the field guys and I kid you not when I say... They brought more awesome gifts.  How on earth did I merit such generosity?  The lunch gift was a waste paper basket labeled "A cowgirls lunch pail).  Inside I found a "whine bottle", bubble bath (which was a can of pinto beans), sardines, crackers and... Wait for it, wait for it...Deviled Ham.  Genius tell ya.  This is just a small part of the shenanigans I've been up against the last few years.  You have to "dig deep" in the shenanigans dog pile to out-do these guys. I'm a mere rookie by shenanigans standards... I stand in awestruck wonder at their "present".  Choo Choo chose pinto beans for lunch so I told him it looked like I wouldn't be the only one enjoying a "bubble bath".  I suggested we film our bubble baths and post them to face... "I'll sing Santa Baby and you can be tootin your own horn (like usual)"  He backed away from that challenge in a big hurry.  Later in the afternoon I walked into a co-worker's office to hand over more files to her.  She looked up from the computer and saw my arm full of folders and said... "GO A WAY".  I just smiled and assured her that was what I was planning on doing.  At break the girls tried to kill me with death by chocolate.  It did not work, I am still alive (my teeth are black, but I'm still breathing).  I left the office with my favorite work memory playing in the background over the intercom.... That's right.... SANTA BABY!!!  One day I will blog that story.  I will have to change the names to protect the tormented, but I will do it.  It was a great Go Away Day.  Love you guys to the moon and back.... To infinity and beyond.

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

Back to School... Kind of

I've got the first day of my new job in my rear view mirror. I completed it sans smoke detectors or fire alarms (that's always a plus). Also noteworthy is I didn't crash the entire company system (which I have been known to do), and to my knowledge all office equipment was still in working order when I left (another good sign). Amazingly, my desk (as well as the rest of the office furniture), did not look like it had come over on the Mayflower :-) In fact, the whole place is (dare I say), pretty. I like pretty. I work better in pretty. Maybe I'm easily amused, but pretty matters. I was a little afraid I would have sensory overload, but I only caught myself nodding yes and answering no a couple of times when asked if things made sense. But that is normal operating procedure for me.  Things need to simmer before they completely sink in. I did learn my high heels sound like there is a Clydesdale (a very graceful Clydesdale) traipsing through the office on their tile floors. That is a great excuse to buy new shoes (as if I need an excuse).  On another note, I made it to noon before I pulled out my loaded Blackberry to show off lil Levi Atlas Patterson in pure Lolli form. They made the appropriate oohs and awes one should make when viewing such awesomeness.. To  to sum it up.... I did not burn down the office, trash the equipment AND (this is a biggie), they asked me if I was coming back tomorrow with a hopeful tone.... Not an "OMG, you're not coming back are you?" Panic kind of tone. I got this.... I can do this thing, and all the thanks goes to the one who hung the stars...... Apparently I'm still on his radar... Who knew?

Friday, November 7, 2014

I Will Miss You

I was all alone as I wondered from room to room.  It was my last walk through of the house we had poured our heart and soul into.  When we bought it, it was a non-descript house on the corner.  After 13 years, it looked like a gingerbread cottage, a doll house.  I walked into the laundry room and looked out the window into the backyard at the pool we had spent many  a summer in.  "I WILL MISS YOU" was written on the window seal in black magic marker and childish chunky letters.  I recognized the handwriting of my oldest son.  He cried so hard the night before, we spent another night in the only place he had known as home.  He had roots in that house and we were ripping him away.... Roots and all. We had brought all three of our babies home to this house.  When I saw the note message on the seal, my heart felt like it had been ripped from my chest leaving a gapping wound. I felt like I was  leaving a chunk of myself behind.  We had worked endless weekends, laughed a million times, cried a river of tears, and became a family in that house.  He wasn't moving by choice,  he was moving due to a decision made by his father and I.  We love old houses and were taking a bit of a challenge by purchasing "The Castle House" we had admired for years.  Although the move was upsetting the children, I was confident they would put down roots in the new old house, and we had the rest of our lives to fill it with memories of growing up and moving on....   That was my hope.
Today I boxed up my pink, blingy stapler, my stiletto tape dispense and my pink flowered pencil holder.  I start a new job next week.  The feeling I have in my gut is exactly the feeling I had when I looked down and saw the sad message on the window seal.  I've been here for over 7 years.  When I first came, I was a tiny fish in a new pond... Slowly that began to change and I formed relationships with a whole group of wonderful people.  Now I am leaving and it's not by choice.  I feel like my heart has been ripped out of my chest leaving me with a gapping open wound.  I keep telling myself that I will put down new roots at my new job....  I keep telling myself that I will form new relationships with a group of wonderful people.... Yes, that is what I'm telling myself, but all my heart is saying is.... "I WILL MISS YOU".

Friday, October 31, 2014

Open Carry

Warning!  I believe in "Open Carry" laws.  I was a little hesitant about it, until a personal experience showed me without a doubt…. I believe.  I ran by Stage the other day (different Stage than the jean debacle), hoping a pair of slacks would jump off the racks making me look 15 lbs slimmer and 10 years younger.  Yeah, I walked out with notta, but as I walked out, I spotted a friend who used to live across the street from us when the kids were small.  Our kids ran through the neighborhood, terrorizing…. Well, the neighbors.  One winter day when the kids were out of school, I got a phone call from my her…. "Uh Jackie, Did you know your son was out playing in the snow barefooted?"  Hey, don't judge me!!!  Anyway, she waved and I waved and then it hit me…. Suddenly I morphed into "that woman"…. "Hi, guess what, I have a Grandbaby!"  I reached in my purse and came out with a loaded Blackberry…. "Look, he is perfect…."  I held out the Blackberry and began to scroll through cuter than a bug little Levi Atlas Patterson's pictures as I rattled off the whole, 36 hours of labor, 3 hours of pushing, mom's the size of a 6th grader, they had it natural in their apartment in a kiddie pool with a midwife, he is a huge baby, 8 ½ lbs, 19 inches long, I'm Lolli, Mike is Pops, making us none other than Lollipops, with hand motions and the facial expressions of a Broadway star.  She graciously looked and listened, because really, what else was she going to do considering a maniac Lolli accosted her in public with a loaded Blackberry?  When I got into my car I thought to myself….. "Oh my gosh!!!  You just accosted her. You accosted her in public with your Lolli story and pictures.  Bad Jackie. Bad, bad Jackie. Get a hold of yourself woman, get a grip, you are better then this."  But, I'm not, I'm not better than that.  He is just perfect, simply perfect. I've been freakin humble all my life, terribly sensitive to not  wanting to brag, boast, or to be arrogant about anything (I hate arrogance) until sometimes I wonder if I even have any self esteem and then this beautiful creature arrives so completely perfect in every way and by gosh, it's totally socially acceptable to be completely obnoxious about your grandchildren,  everyone says that's what grandparents do… So I am just being normal really.  Still, I need to get a grip. No more accosting people with my Blackberry.  I'll work on being more subtle… The new will wear off.   We stopped by and introduce Levi to his Great Grand pops yesterday.  I was, of course , armed with my Blackberry.  My son smiled at me as I posted a picture and said…. "You know mom, you don't have to post all of the pictures to Facebook.  It's okay to keep some just for you."  I just looked at him with a smile and said…. "Yeah, I know." 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

The Circle of Life

9 months ago today, my mother made the journey to her heavenly home.  With broken hearts we both mourned and celebrated her homecoming in relation to our loss. Today I sit at my desk and stare at a picture of our newest family member. He arrived safe and sound Sunday afternoon.  He has captured our hearts with unfathomed love.  I stand amazed at the tread that weaves in, out, and between each breath we take to become the tapestry of the circle of life.  

Friday, October 17, 2014

Breakfast for The Bossy Britches

Yesterday was National Bosses Day... Aka Bossy Britches Day (say that really fast ten times and see how it comes out).  Today we're celebrating The Bossy Britches by fixing breakfast for them.   It is so sexist but we came up with the idea and they seem to like it so there. For the record.... We have the best Bossy Britches ever!!!!  Here's why our Bossy Britches are the best.

    A. They don't take their bad moods out on us.... Well, if they even have bad moods, who knows because they are the same every single day.  Not everyone can say that about their Bossy Britches (speaking from personal experience).
    B.  They tolerate my shenanigans quite well.  If only my teachers had tolerated my shenanigans as well as The Bossy Britches do, I wouldn't have been so familiar with the corner of the classroom.
    C. They are great at breaking things down for me like I'm a 3rd grader without making me feel dumb...  Because not everyone speaks engineereze (sigh of relief).
    D. Even though things have been really crummy lately at the office, and even though we feel like we are working in the dark, we know they would change things if they could. Just knowing that they know it sucks helps the suckiness not be as sucky.  I don't know why, it just does.
    E. They have oodles of compassion.  We KNOW they actually care about us and our families.  This is HUGE and should probably be moved up to A, but I don't want to have to re-letter everything so it's staying here.  If everyone had the compassion they have, things wouldn't be so sucky right now... Just sayin
     F . On National Administrative Assistant Day, they give us flowers, take us to eat at the super-duper, fancy-smancy golf club, and give us a card.  Don't think that goes un-noticed by the unfortunate souls who don't have the pleasure of working for our Bossy Britches. It's been mentioned how well our Bossy Britches treat us.  We know we are blessed.
     G . They trust us to do our job and stay the heck out of our way so we can do it.  Sounds simple, it's not.

So there you have it.  Like I told one of The Bossy Britches yesterday, I hope like heck we're celebrating Bossy Britches Day together next year, but in case we're not..... YOU GUYS ARE THE BEST BOSSY BRITCHES EVER!!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

You've Completely Ripped Up the Woods

My Favorite Scene
I am the queen of demolition.  If you don't believe me, ask Fred our IT guy.  I can crash a system quicker than you can say Jack Sprat. Put a reciprocating saw in my hands and it's instant replay of Aliens when Sigourney Weaver blasted the queen mother alien and all her alien eggs with a flame thrower.  Sometimes I just want to get my hands on something and tear it up.  I've had a lot of those times lately.  Did I mention that everyone is stressed at work?  We were joking last week that by the time everything is said and done, we would all look like we had done a round of chemo because everyone's hair is falling out in clumps.  It's really not funny... Some of the guys are completely bald :-) Since the ticks have moved from the woods to where ever ticks go, I'm back in the woods walking my stress away.  The other night I rounded a corner and found that someone had completely ripped up the woods.  Remember that scene on Money Pit where Tom Hanks comes home to his house the contractors had demolished???  "You've completely ripped up my house!" he said as he stood on a pile of rubble.  The contractor replies.... "They sure as hell did. Those guys are work animals I tell ya."  I love that scene... I've actually lived that scene (I digress).  So blocking the path of the trail lay giant red cedars.  I told my companion (Hooch).... "they've completely ripped up the woods."  He just looked up at me so I had to finish the dialoge myself.  All along the way huge cedars were toppled.  It was just so sad.  I heard a loud chugging sound and saw a bulldozer thingamagig coming toward me.  It was the lumberjack man ripping down the trees.  Hey!!! I hollered at him.  He opened his windshield so he could hear me.... "You're making a mess." I told him.  It was a pretty cool thingamagig he was driving. It had a blade that cut the trees down.  He asked me if I wanted to try it..... "I sure as heck do!"  Tearing stuff up and knocking stuff down was just what I needed after a gruling day of waiting for the axe to drop.  So I hopped in the cab and started pushing buttons and moving levers, which he stopped me from doing.... That's what I do when I want do something really bad.... Who needs instructions, just start pushing buttons and see what happens.  He made me sit still until he explained all the buttons and levers (so boring, just get to the good stuff).  Then we lined the machine up and I flicked on the blade and in nothing flat a big ole cedar tumpled over.... "I want to do it again!" So I lined it up on another tree, one that was very dead, and tore that one up too.  It was so cool.  I felt powerful and dangerous.  It was getting dark so I had to give the machine back.  I was so zipped up from toppling trees, I couldn't wait to tell my husband... He knows exactly how dangerous I am.  I finished my walk and went home to try to quiet my soul with a little yoga.  Operating a big machine wasn't on my bucket list, so I put it on there and then checked it off.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Welcome October, I Thought You Would Never Get Here

I turned the page on my calendar today and saw the beautiful word….
In February, not long after mom died, I found out I was going to be a Lolli and Mike was going to be a Pops making the two of us none other than LolliPops.  I thought the time would drag by and certainly the next three weeks will, but soon and very soon my beautiful baby boy PitterPatter will be here for me to hold in my arms and to wrap my heart around (like I haven’t already).  This has been a particularly difficult year with the illness and death of my mom in such an up close and personal kind of way.  Losing your mom is difficult under any circumstances, but caring for her during the most excruciating part of the illness was bittersweet, yet harsh.  I can picture her holding her first grandchild during the last 9 months and getting to know him.  I’m sure she handed out much wisdom and advice while they waited for his passage into this world.  I’m so excited for his arrival, but I know he is in good company until the time arrives.  Welcome, welcome, welcome October!  I thought you would never get here.

Monday, September 29, 2014

A Gross Understatement

My son returns home every weekend to hang with friends, thereby invading my girl cave.  When he moved out, I transformed his room into my dressing room.  He kept his room nice and tidy at all times.  Everything had a place and everything was in its place.  Now, it looks like an outlet mall/cosmetic store exploded after Christmas rush frenzy.  If I cared, it would be embarrassing, but since I don’t, it isn’t.  Saturday I went to Ada to help my cousin move my aunt.  I grabbed the only pair of jeans I had in our bedroom.  They were my favorite jeans but I hadn’t worn them in a long time.  I zipped them up and wiggled my butt to see if they fit or it they were too snug.  With the stress of the last 9 months, I haven’t been diligent about my workouts and I’ve been stress eating.  Surprisingly they fit in a not too tight, but just right kind of way. 

It is amazing how much stuff one can cram in a tiny assisted living apartment.  We were moving my aunt into a smaller apartment.  I thought to myself the day would be a breeze.  We were only moving a few doors down and the rooms are small, so how bad could it be… Oh how wrong I was.  We had eight people moving and it still took ALL-DAY-LONG.  In spite of the air conditioning, all the women were having hot flashes (an important part of the story) and I was thanking God I had put my hair up in a ponytail.  When we finally finished, her room was cute as a button with her walls decorated, family pictures up, and TV in place.  We went to my cousins to clean up and planned to meet the other worker bees for a celebratory dinner.

Disclaimer: this is where the story takes a comical turn that will seem exaggerated, but I have multiple witness who will testify that it is embarrassingly accurate, if not drastically understated, because even I am at a loss as to how to accurately describe it in a way that will bring it to life so you  feel like you were there to also be a witness. Yes, my grammar check had a conniption about the previous sentence telling me it was too long. Well, too bad!

I lay on the couch candy crushing (with no success) while my cousin took a shower and cleaned up.  I was a sweaty, yucky mess. I didn’t think to bring a change of clothes with me so the best I could do is tuck the hair that had escaped my ponytail, back in place. When we started to leave for the restaurant, I sat in the car and heard a barely audible rip.  I sucked in a large breath and muttered CRAP!!  My cousin looked over at me with confusion on her face and said… “What?”  Slowly I got out of the car.  As soon as I stood, she gasped (GASPED!) then ERUPTED in a fit of laughter.  I mean like she was having to hold onto the steering wheel so she didn’t fall out of the car kind of laughing.  Her husband stood at his truck looking back at us trying to figure out what was so funny (to her, not me…. I wasn’t laughing).  Her daughter-in-law came out of the house and we called her over to the car.  She took one look at my hiney and total shock took over her face.  Meanwhile, my cousin is STILL laughing hysterically and finally says…. “Oh my gosh Jac…. What are you going to do?”  I looked at her and said…. “You are going to go into a store and buy me a pair of jeans and try, just try to show a little compassion here!”  We got in the car and as she continues to laugh, I try to come up with a reasonable plan and a plausible explanation as to why the ENTIRE seat of my jeans ripped and not in a "shabby chic" kind of way.  “What detergent are you using?”  she asked me.  “It’s not the detergent!” I spat…. “Obviously, it’s all of the sweat and hard work I did helping you today!  It caused the denim to just…. Just disintegrate!  That’s what happened, that’s got to be what happened.”  On the way to the store she suggested I take my shirt off (I had a tank top under it), and wrap it around my waist which she thought would cover the entire. Well, mess… (for lack of a better word that doesn’t start with A).  So, I took my shirt off, wrapped it around my waist and instructed her to stick to my back like glue!!!  We chose to go into Stage since it’s small store and usually not crowed. We went straight to the jeans section and I snapped up a couple of pair and we headed to the dressing room.  The second pair I tried on fit fine… I wasn’t crazy about them, but I wasn’t exactly in the mood to shop either.  “I’m not taking these off” I told her… “They’ll just have to scan them with me in them.” She held up my old pair and I told her just to leave them in the floor…. “I’m not taking them.  Just leave them here.”  She wadded them up what was left of them and threw them in the corner.  She didn’t even have the decency to stifle the snickering.  We went to the sales counter where a sweet girl stood to check us out.  I approached the counter and said…. “Here’s the deal…. There are a pair of jeans in the dressing room that has no seat in them…. They are my pants and the ones that I’m wearing belong to the store. I’m going to buy them but I’m not taking them off so you’ll just have to scan them with me wearing them.” Her eyes flitted from me to my cousin and back again. I could almost see the gears in her head thinking maybe this was a secret shopper prank or a reality show trying to punk her. “I just have one question” she said… “Why don’t they have a seat in them?” This caused my cousin who was trying to get a grip, to lose what little she had…. “Well, that is a good question and I would like to answer it by saying apparently they don’t make jeans like they used to.”  She held her hands up in a stop motion and took a step away like I had Ebola….. “You’re going to have to do it… You’ll have to lay on the counter, unzip the pants, turn the waist inside out and press the alarm tag onto this metal thing right here to get the alarm to come off.”  Again, my cousin took enough of a breath to give her laughter more momentum and mentioned something about filming this.  Without hesitation I hopped my big butt upon the counter, unzipped the jeans, turned the waist inside out and leaned over attempting to match the alarm with the metal button on the counter.  The button was situated precariously close to the cash register causing me to have to lift my arm over my head in a pin-up model kind of pose (without the beauty of such), in order to scooch close enough to match the alarm to the button, which also caused me to bang my head on the register.  As I was doing this as quickly as possible I heard the clerk say…. “I’m just looking for my manager.”  Quick as lightening I shot up saying…. “Oh, no, no, no… Please don’t do that…. I’ll go take the pants off and have her come pay for them.”  About that time the clerk looked down and noticed that I had been successful in removing the alarm, all that was left was the needle part poking me in the hip.  She scanned the pants as my cousin stood behind me taking the stickers and tags off.  As we left to get me aunt (with my cousin STILL laughing hysterically), I remembered something about my old jeans.  They had bling around the hips and on the pockets.  The brads would sometimes poke me so I had taken hot pink zebra duct tape and taped around the inside to cushion the brads…. “When they find those jeans, they’re going to think I duct taped them together!” I shouted.  The car swerved as another fit hit my cousin. “Jac, do you realize that EVERY time we’re together, something like this always happen and I laugh harder than I ever have???  I haven’t laughed this hard since you came down for Mom’s 90th birthday… What is it with you?”  What can I say?? I live to entertain, things just happen.  There is a very good reason why my husband calls me Lucille Ball.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Multi-hues of Fall

I’m Baa-ack, but not in a creepy Poltergeist kind of way.  Ticks took over the outdoors this summer driving me into the gym where I wanted to stab my eyes out after 15 minutes on the treadmill.  I ventured out last night and returned home tick free!!!  This makes me a happy little walker.  There is nothing I love better than watching the green of summer change to the multi-hues of fall. 




Monday, September 22, 2014

My Bewitched Moment Lesson

This morning I realized how much modern technology has changed my life.  I LOVE to read and I LOVE my Kindle.  I tend to tear through a book quicker than necessary.  When I was young I would read the last few pages first because I  couldn’t stand the suspense of how it would end.  I don’t do that any more (just like I quit opening my Christmas presents and rewrapping them before Christmas).... I've grown up.... Some.  But I do breeze through a good read.  This morning I was reading a new Bible study which was in the old fashion book format…. You remember the old books… With pages you have to manually turn.  When I got to the end of the page, I automatically tapped the side of the page like I do on my Kindle.  For a second, I guess I thought I was Samantha on Bewitched and could just twerk my nose.... NO, NO!.... That. Is. Not. Right!   There was no nose twerking in the Bewitched days!  I thought  I could Twitch.... (I Googled it), Samantha (according to Wikipedia) twitched her nose to get things done.  So, like I was saying, I guess for a second I thought I could twitch my nose to turn the page on my book.  Talk about feeling like a doofus!  I've officially become used to having instant information at my finger tips which can be a double edged sword.  Knowledge can lead to pride and arrogance.  It can cause me to rely more on my "knowledge" than my faith. I must be careful to remember that knowledge is not the same as wisdom. Instead of seeking spiritual guidance (through prayer and reading the Bible), I can just Google any question I have, spiritual or otherwise.  When my mind went off on this rabbit trail (all because I tried to tap my book page), it reminded me of the story in Genesis of "The Tower of Babel".  I don't want to become "self-sufficient" in what I think I know, regardless of how much information I have available.  I've been humbled by God before, and it is not a pleasant experience.  "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall" Prov. 16:18.  And goodness knows I don't want to be haughty, just that word sounds disgusting. So I guess God took me on this rabbit trail to keep me humble today and being the kind-hearted soul I am, I thought I would share my Bewitched moment with you to keep you from getting all haughty too.