Monday, December 29, 2014

Rest In Peace Jo

My grandmother died yesterday.  She was gone as I was writing Tigger's birthday post.

She was 90 years old.

Everyone keeps asking if I am okay. Yes, I am a fine.  Really, I am not sad. She is right where she wanted to be. Back with my Grandaddy.  And a host of friends. I can just imagine the reunion going on right now in Heaven. And that makes me smile.

I was on a lunch date when I got the call. I didn't know how to react. And I didn't tell my date until lunch was over.

My relationship with my grandmother has always been strained.  I was the only girl, until Julz was born. I was the oldest.  If she was ever proud of me, she never told me. She always found some way to critize me, or cut me down, or make fun of me. 

But I know where a lot of my own personality was shaped. I always say I know where my "Drama Queen Gene" comes from.  She was the one who taught me that anything that still had use left in it was not trash. 

She could cook and bake and make candy. I wish I had learned how to make her divinity.
Julz did, buying her a new mixer for the task.

She could sew and embroider, making me all kinds of clothing from play clothes to prom gowns.
I have a shelf full of Raggedy Ann's. She could also knit and crochet. I never had the patience to learn.

I'm sure it will hit me later.

Sunday, December 28, 2014

Happy 21st Birthday Tigger

Happy Birthday Tigger

Today, you are 21. You are as old as I was when I had Julz. You are old enough to be out on your own. You are old enough to drink, though I know that you don't care for that.  You are a man, and I am very proud of you.

 I pray for you daily. I pray that you are being loved and encouraged. I pray that your talents are appreciated. I pray that you are safe, healthy and happy.

I miss you more than words can express.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

Happy Anniversary To Me!!

Today is my one year anniversary.

A year ago my life changed forever, The family that I had grown to love and support was suddenly ripped from my life, without warning, without any consultation or consideration. All because my husband wasn't satisfied being faithful.  He broke his very first promise to me, and he had lied to me for our entire relationship.

In this year I have learned quite a bit about the man I had married and the person that he became. The ways that he betrayed my trust,betrayed my love.  The lies he developed and cultivated to help cover his tracks. Lies he told his friends, our family, out children.  The women, some of them my "friends" who he duped into sleeping with him with his stories about me. The fights he picked, the arguments that he started so that I would not mind when he left. The stories he told to gain sympathy, meanwhile draining my bank account.  The drinking and the gambling.  The methods he would use to alienate our friends until they were out of our lives.  The lies he would tell so I wouldn't want to speak to them again. The lies he told the children so they would want to turn against me, the only mother they ever really knew. The things he did when he was cheating on my, like deleting his Facebook, suddenly starting the gym, being called away on "projects," watching football games with guys he had not spoken to in months. I learned that very little of what he told me over the years was actually the truth.

I learned a lot about myself. I came out the other side stronger and smarter.  I learned that  I only need to buy food that I like to eat and for that I am much thinner and healthier. I learned that there is a difference between being lonely and being alone. I learned that I like being alone. I learned that I have some very good friends who care about me. I learned that the children still love me because I cared enough to raise them properly.  I learned to have fun again. And probably most important, I learned that I make enough money to make it on my own.

I learned that I can do things for myself: I learned to cook. I learned to cut my own grass  I learned that I can travel by myself and be okay. I learned to do without television, channeling my energies into more productive pursuits.  I learned to do things by myself, like eating out,  or going to the movies. I learned that I do not have to settle for anything.  I learned to see the charlatans early on. I learned that their slick talk and sweet words were just a ploy to reign me in, just as D/H had done all those years ago. I see them coming now and learn to decipher their lies quickly.  I ask questions. They appreciate me, or I see that they walk.  I won't be a sucker again.

I relished the things that I thought I had lost, like friends that have bailed over the years because they couldn't handle D/H's bullshit.  I have lost things that once I had relished, like my beloved Zipper.

Most of all, I found the Lord again. I found a faith-family that welcomed me in and I am learning God's Word again.  I am back on the path to learning what He has in store for me.

Happy Anniversary Baby
Oh yeah, that's me.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

In The Spirit of Christmas

Last night I had to go to the funeral home to say goodbye to a man I had grown up with. Actually, I had grown up with his younger brother and younger sister. He had been one of those unattainable schoolgirl crushes. For the sake of the story, I will call him "John."

His younger sister had died young, after a raging infection set up in her diabetic body.  And now his mother was burying another child.

I may have made mention of the neighborhood that I grew up in. The close knit group of friends who's ages spanned nearly 10 full years.  The family that shared our circle had three children, a girl my age, whom I will call "Pam", a younger sister, and a brother who was 2 years older than me.  He was a popular jock, and other popular jocks often congregated at their home. He had are large iron weight set with a base worthy of any gym around. Afternoons were often spent hanging out on the perifery of this group of young men, trying not to get in the way but still being close enough to be notice.  John was one of those boys.

I had been 12 when I moved into this neighborhood and I don't really remember much happening until the summer I turned 13. Every day our culdesac was filled with cars, boys all new to driving, and the collection of cars were as diverse as they were.  Pam and I were the envy of our friends, a giggly group of pre-teens who would have given their eye-teeth to hang out in the driveway and observe.

As I crossed the threshold of the funeral home, I was suddenly 13 again. The boys are long since grown, with families of their own. All welcomed me with open arms, like a band of big brothers welcoming a little sister back into the fold. The first to greet me was an old band mate, a drummer. The last time he had seen me, I was well over 60 pounds overweight, and he complimented my weight loss. He told me he had heard what Darling Hubby had done, but that I was "better off" and obviously thriving. In my high heeled boots,  I towered over the two Italian boys I had such crushes, on back in the day. The oldest commented not remembering me being so tall.  The younger was every bit as handsome as I remembered, with his thick black hair and chocolate eyes. An unexpected hug from one I did not immediatly recognize caught me off guard, but I soon realized that he was the son of one of my mother's friends. His wife is obviously a very good cook. The boy from my neighborhood, who had told me that one day I  would break the hearts of men, greated me with a hug and a kiss on the cheek. Then his wife, who had never met me, did just the same.

They all congregated at the space between the door and the casket and swapped stories about John.  And they all had one. Funny ones, som that had to be shared in whispered tones, so as not to offend. His mischevious side, his wild streak, his compassionate nature.

I wonder if John ever knew what he meant to his friends.

So with that in mind, I challenge you, dear reader, in the true spirit of CHRISTmas to set aside your differences with those who have slighted you, bury the hatchet with those who have wronged you.  Tell those whom are special to you, that you love them, and then love without limits. Forget the hurt, anger, bitterness, resentment. Forgive the shortcomings. Be willing to meet that old enemy halfway. Be the bigger person. Make the first move.  CHOSE to live the rest of your days in peace, positivity and happiness.

Life is too short.
Go out with no regrets.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

PEACE begins with YOU

I had to share this video.

This incident happened just a few miles from my office.

 It features two people. One black, one white.  One is also, by definition, a thief and the other is a police officer.

This story did not stop here.

Read More HERE

Not every incident has to end like Ferguson Missouri.

Let there be PEACE on Earth and Let it Begin With Me (and You)


Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Share His Love

We believe the Christmas story because it is part of our Christian history. We are looking at it from the BIBLICAL view, but few Christians ever stop to consider the WORLDLY view too, which is what Mary was actually dealing with at the time.

When people are down on a young girl who makes a mistake and finds herself pregnant and decides to have the baby, I remind them of Mary's situation. In reality, she was an unwed teenage mother.

When someone talks about how it is sad for the baby, I remind them of the potential that baby may one day have (though not quite as great at Jesus...LOL) Many have heard me say "This baby may cure cancer!" I mean that.

When someone talks against men/women dating someone or marrying someone who already has children, I remind them of Joseph, who could have easily left and chosen someone else, but chose to stay and raise "someone else's" child.

So Christian, before you pass judgment on someone, remember the very same "scandals" that are part of our own history. Jesus himself said "...the greatest among these is LOVE"

Show His LOVE to all and leave judgment to Him.

Deep thoughts as we approach Christmas

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Not Quite a Jet Setter

I had a really "international" weekend

Friday night on the way home, I stopped a the local Chinese restaurant for a quick dinner.  It wasn't too long before I got a urgent text message from my partner in crime that she was having "an ugly sweater emergency."  I will get to that later.

Saturday night, I had Greek food from The Fish Market. I went with my mother, The Chief,  amd my mother's family, who I have not seen in ages. It was so much fun! I had cioppino, which is a seafood stew. It was on the gluten free menu, but was served with a large piece of gluten-loaded bread. Go figure.

Sunday, I met a friend for lunch at this little Italian place nearby (aren't they always  "little Italian places," think about it). He made some reference to Breaking Bad, a show I didn't watch, that I did not get. I didn't think that I was suffering not watching cable, now maybe I AM missing some things.
I had a grilled chicken salad, but he had a beautiful baked lasagna dish, which he apologized repeatedly for eating in front of me. I told him that the lasagna wasn't bothering me but the heaping bread basket, filled to the brim with large peices of homemade garlic bread (with dipping oil!) was presenting a challenge for me.  Yes, I dream of bread, and it was very hard to resist.

Sunday night, as I sat down for Mexican, the chile rellano ,one of only three dishes I will eat at this restaurant. They do not batter their rellanos before they cook them, but they do smother them with cheese. They are so fatty and delicious, I can only get one maybe once a month.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Powerful Thought To Start The Weekend

Enough Said...

EnJOY your weekend

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Chinese Fortune For The Day

Last night I met a friend at a local Chinese buffet for dinner.

I love this Chinese buffet.  They have an awesome selection to pick from and there are more than enough to satisfy my taste for the exotic without glutenating myself.

We discussed the stresses of the day and how, starting this Friday, I have at least one someone off everyday until the end of the year. Couple that will being in our "season" and potential for disaster is high.

The waitress brought out check and our fortune cookies. Now I do not place a whole lot of store in fortunes any more, but do find the coincidence of them all amusing.

This one read


As I stuggle to find meaning and a positive application of this sentiment, I pray that you have a good day today as well.


Wednesday, December 3, 2014

Oops I Did It Again....

Sorry y'all. Hate to keep letting down my readers (of which I have surprisingly many now!)  Things have been super busy here at work.

What did I do this week? 

Thursday, Thanksgiving was quiet. I did temporarily lose my mind and go to Cracker Barrel for take out around noon. OMG was it crowded! The line snaked all through the store part of the building. I had never seen it so crowded. I could have gone with my mother to my aunt's but I just wasn't up to it. It wasn't so bad. They called the server out, who was obviously overwhelmed by the crowd, and kept coming back to check my order. Otherwise I could have been in and out in ten minutes. It took 30, but it was well worth the wait.  I had been invited to go to the annual Midnite Madness Black Friday Shopping Excursion with my crazy cousins,  but the temps dipped well into the freezing zone. No Thank You.  I also understand, from many recent articles, that the savings are not really that big.

Friday, I woke with a start at 7:00 a.m. because I thought, in those misty morning moments, that I had overslept for work.  When I finally got calmed down, I went to Cyn's and we hung out. Still not going near a store.

Saturday, I went to Wallyworld to pick up one of my prescriptions. LOL. They had not had time to clean up from the Black Friday craziness.  I happened upon a promotional movie rack and scored the first five seasons of The Big Bang Theory on DVD for far less than they were selling them in the electronics department. I also picked up several movies for just two bucks.  I spent the rest of the day watching them.

Sunday,  I got up just in time to make church. And I am glad that I did. The message is always timely.  This time it was on "A Life of JOY."  I am always a sucker for a good reference with my name. (Admitedly, I am a huge Almond Joy fan...sometimes you feel like a nut....LOL)  The important elements that stuck with me were that JOY is internal, JOY occurs by choice, and JOY is based in Christ and that one cultivates a Life of JOY through Praise, Prayer and Practice.  Yep. Got that on lock. I pray everyday for family, friends, and enemies alike.

Monday, it was, as we like to say in the coffee business, back to the grind.  We were extremely busy and there was hardly time to breathe.

Yesterday, I was supposed to go to the Sara Evans concert, but something last minute came up and I had to change my plans. I wasn't really feeling "country" anyway.  I sold my tickets (for much less than I paid) to my God-daughter and her friend instead. Late last night she called to tell me what an awesome time that she had (and what an awesome Godmother I was) and that she had gotten to go to the meet-and-greet afterwards. So she got to meet Sara Evans. She was thrilled beyond belief and was still talking in a pitch so high, I am sure dogs all around my neighborhood could hear.

And that brings me to today, where I have laid it all out for you, my readers.
Hope everyone has a great day.