Sunday, March 29, 2009

Another Picture for Stellan

It has now been almost a week since Stellan has been in the hospital with SVT. My mother and I will continue to pray for Stellan and MckMama as well as the rest of her family.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Stellan's Name Gallery

As you may have read in our previous post, MckMama's youngest son Stellan is very sick in the hospital. Back when MckMama was pregnant and the doctor's told her he would not live, everyone came together and made signs with Stellan's name and sent them to MckMama. Well we're doing it again. If you'd like to do it as well visit

Under Construction

I know the page looks a little funky right now but I'm in the process of changing the layout.


Monday, March 23, 2009

Your Prayers Are Needed

I know that Monday posts are usually reserved for Not Me Monday's but today in honor of MckMamma we will not be posting, we will be praying.

My mother Janice and I have been following a blog called My Charming Kids for some time now. It's ran by MckMamma and talks about her everyday life and her beautiful Many Small Children (MSC). Although we have never met MckMamma or even spoken to her, just reading her blog you get the feeling that you know her. Her youngest son, Stellan aka MckMuffin, was diagnosed with SVT (supraventricular tachycardia) in the womb and was not expected to live. A few short months later Stellan was born and was healed and healthy. This morning while checking MckMamma's blog we were devistated to find out that poor little Stellan is back in the hospital with heart rates close to 300. Now like I said before, we don't personally know MckMamma but just reading that baby Stellan is sick and in the hospital made me cry. So now we need your help. Please, if you read this, I am begging that you pray for little Stellan. Pray that God will help Stellan again as he did while he was in the womb. Pray that Stellan will take a turn for the better before the doctors are forced to put Stellan on a ventilator. Also, please pray for MckMamma and Prince Charming, as well as her other MSC. Please pray that their family does not have to loose baby Stellan.


Sunday, March 22, 2009

Memory Post

I'm a little behind here but my Memory Post today is for my paternal grandmother, Mary Lucille Jamerson Chidester but she went by "Lucille". She was born March 16, 1926 in Dillwyn, Virginia. I have delayed posting about her because I kept trying to come up with some happy memories but sadly there are very few of them. Looking back, I don't believe that my grandmother was a very happy person. There really is no one left alive to tell me anything regarding her childhood, her young life and essentially what made her do some of the things that she did. I guess there is no way to sugarcoat things but my grandmother was an alcoholic and she lived and died that way. Her life revolved around drinking and getting her next drink. Sadly she only lived to be 50 and she died a very horrible death of cirrhosis of the liver. The picture here was of her and my dad taken around 1945, she would have been about 19 years old.

I don't want to be entirely negative because even though I never remember her telling me she loved me, or holding me or any of those grandmotherly things I do know deep within my being that she loved me from some of the things that she would do for me. One of my first memories of her was when we lived with her and my grandfather while my parents were building their home. My mother was working at that time and I stayed with her during the day. I remember getting up in the morning and sitting at the kitchen table with her and my grandfather before he left for work.
The radio would be playing on WFLO, the local Farmville radio station. I distinctly remember one morning she grabbed my hand and we danced around the kitchen to "Proud Mary" by Ike and Tina Turner. That song came out in 1968 so that would have put me at 5 years old. Sometimes when it was raining, she would yell out "C'mon Sunshine" and I would always respond back with "C,mon Rain" just to stubborn, but she liked that because she was EXTREMELY stubborn herself. As my father quoted to me on Friday when I asked him if he ever remembered her being demonstrative "She always ran the show" and no, he never remembered her telling him she loved him or hugging him but he knew she loved him and that she loved my brother and I.

She had two best friends in her life, one was her younger sister, Isabelle and the other was her cousin, Florence. Florence only lived a few miles from us and I remember going over there at least several times a week. We would also spend time with her parents, my great-grandparents almost everyday. In the summers we would go fishing with them, sometimes canning fruits and vegetables, playing cards (that's how I learned to play poker and they would take my pennies, I finally got wise even at that age and could usually win more than I would lose)and of course I remember them sitting out at the picnic table drinking. In the winter it was usually quilting or in the afternoons, watching the "stories" as my grandmother would say. One of her favorites was "The Edge of Night" which would come on at 3:30PM and usually by the time it was over she was asleep. Really, she had passed out is what it was, but I was little and didn't realize it then. She would stretch out on the couch and I would sit on the floor at the end of the couch closest to the TV and watch with her. In fact, one time my mother took me to a babysitter, as she was afraid to keep leaving me with my grandmother due to her drinking, and when the babysitter tried to get me to take a nap, I refused and threw a fit so that would let me sit up with her and watch the soaps. The babysitter told my mother that I was fine as long as she let me do that so while the other children slept, I watched the stories.

My grandmother was diagnosed with cirrhosis in 1972 and yet she would not quit drinking. It was a horrible thing to watch the next four years. She lost weight and probably weighed about 100-110lbs and she was 5'6" so she was extremely emancipated but with a huge stomach as if she was pregnant. I have her last drivers license and in the picture she looked as if she was 80 instead of 50. It was really pitiful and even more so that she would not give up the alcohol. One of her last weekends at home was my 13th birthday. I had my BFF, Janet with me that weekend and she called the local hotel and had the owner fill up the swimming pool so that Janet and I could go swimming as that was my birthday wish. Yes, she could bully anybody into doing just about anything. Of course Dillwyn was, and is such a small town, everyone knew everyone else so having a pool filled up wasn't that big of a deal but still when I look back I am amazed that she would expect someone to do something like that. After that weekend she was hospitalized until her death in September of 1976 except for a few brief hours that my Grandfather Clyde had her brought home one day as she wanted to come home one last time. He loved her so much, yet not once can anyone remember her saying I love you back to him or her showing any kind of affection.

I don't want to portray her entirely negative. I do know that when she talked about my father (her only child) there was a light in her eyes that was there no other time. She would call him "Son" or "Baby Clyde" and just the way she said it one would just know that she thought the sun rose and set on my dad. I can hear her right now say "When son gets here" or see the way she looked when he would walk in the door, I know she loved him. In fact, she loved him so much she could never see anything wrong in anything that my father ever did. I know she loved me because of the things she did for me or if I wanted something she would try to see that I got it. She would always order pies, one lemon meringue and one chocolate meringue from an old black lady that baked pastries that lived near her. I remember riding with her there to pick them up. That was a good memory. I told my brother, Scott, how she called him Jamie as she didn't like his name "Jeriahme Scott" and when she would send him cards, they were addressed "Master Jamie Chidester" as she was kind of proper like that. One time she got on me for calling her "Grandma" instead of "Grandmother" as she said grandmother sounded so much more dignified and she was to young to be a grandma.

One of the funniest memories of her was when my brother was about a year old and we were in Rose's Department store on Main St. in Farmville and my brother wanted this pink, stuffed kitten with a soft furry face. I thought she was going to die on the spot because it was a pink kitten and not the black kitten. She kept trying to get him to want the black one, because pink was for girls. My mother finally stepped in and stood up to her and he got the pink kitten. I have that kitten now and need to give it back to Scott. Jessica loved on that kitten when she a baby too. Scott was quite sick with asthma as a child and I think that kitten went with him every time he was ever sick and in the hospital.

I also just recalled the emerald ring(my birthstone) that she gave me for my 12th birthday. It was probably one of my first pieces of real jewelry. The ring came from Martin's Jeweler's, again on Main St. in Farmville and she got it for me because I so admired her aquamarine birthstone ring that she always wore. It was a lovely princess cut and yes, I still have it though I haven't wore it in years. Also, a red Christmas dress that she had made for me the last Christmas that she was alive. My mother still has that dress hanging in her closet.

My grandmother was a very strong-willed, opinionated, stubborn person and I know that I have some of her qualities, that when in a small amount is not an entirely bad thing. I know that when an attitude comes out in me my mother will say "OK, Lucille" and I know that I need to back off or calm down. Of course, she will also say I have my "Clyde" moments (my dad) but again, that is the Lucille coming out. As with all of my grandparents, I wish I had one day back to see them again. I think with her, it would have to be the day that she grabbed my hand and danced with me in the sun dappled kitchen. That is the day that I remember the most.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Photo(s) Of the Week

In case you guys didn't know...I'm gonna be an aunt again! Aydon Riley Hubbard is scheduled to debut on August 12, 2009. My sister in law Lacey just recently found out she was having a little boy. And the most wonderful thing about it is she goes back for another ultra sound on March 30th and guess what? I get to go with her. I haven't even met this little boy yet and he's already stolen my heart. Oh and don't worry, there will be even better pictures after the next ultra sound.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Not Me Monday!!!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Another week of Not Me's, my oh my, what shall we say!

Jessica does NOT have an appointment on Saturday evening for a tattoo, much to the chagrin of her mother. I'm a little on the fence here, part of me understands, but part of me says "NO, don't be like all the others!" Under my liberal facade there is still a little old fashioned mom that screams "you will regret this one day". She is going to put it on the back part of her hip so at least everyone won't see it, and what she wants is tasteful and it is something that she has had picked out for about a year, which is what I requested she do when she first started talking about one.

I did NOT finally get up the courage to fly again. This time it is to Orlando, Florida in June. The only two times I have flown, the area that I flew to was devastated approximately six weeks later. The first time that I flew was for business and I went to New York City in July of 2001. I remember standing at the bottom of the World Trade Center with my mouth hanging open like the typical tourist. Of course six weeks later 9/11 happened. The second time was to visit my cousin in Pass Christian, MS over July 4th of 2005. Six weeks later Katrina hit. Need I say more? If Orlando gets hit by something around the first of August I promise to NEVER fly again.

I was not the worlds meanest mom on Friday calling Jessica and fussing at her about everything that had upset me that morning (see b*tch post under this one)amongst other things that I had no towels left in the towel closet because some certain teenagers can't manage to get their dirty clothes in the bathroom hamper for me to wash them. I don't think that is asking too much, do you? If they are in the hamper, the clothes get washed and folded and then put in their room. How much more do they want? When they go around naked, maybe they will learn their lesson, but I know Lewis too well. When he runs out of clean socks he will wear other peoples even though their foot is much smaller than his and has a pink "Hanes Her Way" stamped on the bottom. Hope he doesn't start to wear my panties, then I guess we will really have issues. Nah, he wouldn't do that, he would probably go commando first.

I think that's enough for this week. Look for a memory post in the next day or so.

Friday, March 13, 2009

B*tch Post

Well, it was bound to happen sooner or later and today is the day. My first bitch post.

I must admit it started the moment my feet hit the floor this morning, or more accurately the moment that my mind started swimming up from the abyss to awaken. First off, even though it is Friday, it is not the end of the week for me, as I have to work tomorrow. Joy, Joy, Fun, Fun (NOT!!!). Only 33 more days and tax season will be officially over. The only problem is that I suspect some poor bastard is going to die before it is if I have my way. I have been at this for 22 years this year and every year my friends and family hear the same fussing out of me. It is the same issues every year but unfortunately my patience is wearing EXTREMELY thin.

With that, I am going to give everyone out there some advice when it comes to taking your information to a tax professional so that you won’t make the mistake of pissing them off.

1. Bring all of your W-2’s, 1099’s, 1098’s, K-1’s or anything that you think might have an impact. Bring the ORIGINALS!!! I have clients that will make a list and not bring the original. Sometimes there are things that I need the originals for. Example: Today I open a file and the client has listed all of the dividends and interest on a single sheet of paper. The problem was that he lumped all of his and his wife’s together so I had to call him and get a breakdown between his and hers. I knew he had his and hers accounts from prior years copies. This wasted my time and his. Mine making the call and his writing up a list that I didn’t need if I had the original information.
2. Look at your information before you bring it in. Make sure it is in your name and for the proper year. You may not understand everything but that is why we are here and why you pay us. Example: I had a client bring in some K-1’s that they received from an estate. The K-1’s were for 05 and 06. Not too big of a deal, we will have to amend their 05 and 06 return, but I call and tell them not once, not twice but three times that they need to find out if they are going to get a K-1 for 08. What happens this morning? The husband comes in and says “Wife says you have all the info including K-1’s” I pull out the file, show him the K-1’s which are dated for 05 & 06 and explain to him that we need to know if there will be a K-1 for 08 (and also 07 for that matter) as we can file an extension for their 08 return if the 08 K-1 is coming. Of course, then he calls wife who acts confused and we are back to where we were 6 weeks ago, which is trying to find out if an 08 K-1 will be issued. These are not ignorant people, they are professionals and I expect a little bit more out of those with initials behind their name. (ie: PhD, MD, DDS etc)
3. If you owe money, don’t blame me!!! This is a BIG one. Every year we have certain clients that owe a balance due on their return and every year they question why. We patiently explain why and either tell them to increase their withholdings through their paychecks, retirement, etc or make quarterly estimated payments. Every year they don’t and we go through this over and over. You are paying for your tax professionals advice. USE IT!!!!!!!!!!
4. Don’t sit across from me and play the poor card when your income is $145,000 a year. I don’t want to hear it, and frankly I could give a rat’s ass less. You are not poor, in fact my YEARLY gross income is a little less than two months of your income, so my heart does NOT bleed for you! SUCK IT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yes, I had someone do this to me on Tuesday. By the time they left I wanted to throw up.
5. Don’t call me and complain about your bookkeeper (if you have a business) when we both know you don’t give her your receipts or information like you should. No one is a mind reader including me. If I was, I would have my own Psychic Hotline making a lot more money than I am now. I also don’t appreciate having to pull information out of you when you know damn well you have reportable income and you are hoping if I don’t ask you about it, you won’t report the income and won’t pay taxes on it. Look buster, I’m a damned good detective and when I’m working on your rental properties, I have learned that you are a sleazy, little bastard so I go to the cities websites and check to see if you still own all of your properties or if you have sold something and oh so “conveniently” forgot to tell me.

Yes, all of this has happened to me in the space of three days. Can you now understand my frustrations? On the other hand, I care enough about our clients that I always try to go the extra mile searching for deductions. I also try to advise our elderly and disabled clients of the real estate tax relief programs in their cities or counties. I try to patiently listen as some of you talk to me about the loss of your job, house, business etc. I am right there with you and can understand. I will pick up and deliver tax returns to our non-driving clients (yes, they are out there) because I hope that one day someone will be as kind to me if I need it. I also adore our clients that treat us like family and will bring us milk and cookies, and call and tease us and take the time to ask about our families, children, and sometimes even pets. I even had a client give me a $10 tip last week and told me to go to lunch on him. It’s not about the money or the goodies, it’s about how you treat me and I so appreciate those that are nice and kind. But…………for those that are a pain in my a double s (as one of my grandmothers would say) watch out………I am on the warpath and someone (whistling and looking very innocent) may get pushed into traffic on the way out their door onto the Boulevard.

In all honesty though, after writing this and putting it all down, I feel so much better. Obviously blogging is good therapy so watch out, more b*tch posts are likely.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Photo of the Week

No this photo was not taken by me but my mom said I HAD to post it. If your wondering why I'm making that face, it's because my friend Samantha (on the right) spilled half a jager bomb down my shirt.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Not Me Monday onTuesday!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Ahhh, what have we been up to this week????

Well, for one I did not come home on Sunday evening to find that Jessica had MY bra on and had the nerve to actually brag about it!!! I only have two that half way fit anymore and I can't afford to lose 50% of my undergarment wardrobe. Then she had the nerve to go to Victoria's Secret and actually balk about buying her own. If she thinks I'm going to buy one for her she's got another thought coming. I love you kid, but I'm not at the age to go around braless.

Jessica did not lose her band-aid in the sliced cheese at our local supermarket and leave it there. Yes, we were buying MORE cheese. Someone is going to be so grossed out!!

I did not have nothing better to do on a Friday night so I spent the evening hanging out with Lewis and Kyle in Lewis' bedroom. How many 20 year old guys would let there psuedo-mom hang out with them? I goofed around on the internet while they watched some show on TV. Jessica and Kyle's girlfriend, Nicki(who is Jessica's best friend) were at a Fun Party. I think I got the better deal. Although, they did get the better food.

I did not watch some stupid cell phone commercial on TV tonight which showed a family searching for spare change under the roller coaster. The mom held up a retainer and told her son "Here's a retainer for you". It reminded me of the time after I got my braces off and accidentally threw my retainer away after lunch. I called my orthodontist and found out a new one was $250 in 1983 and my coworker and I spent the next two hours going through the dumpster out back looking for it. Yes, we finally found it and yes, after soaking it in bleach I did continue to use it. I was 18 years old before I got my braces and I had paid for them myself, so I wasn't going to just throw away that kind of money.

I am not totally hooked on Bojangles seasoned fries and have had them at least every other day for the last week. The girls at the drive through window are starting to know me by my order. I think I need to cut back cause I'm starting to have a serious obsession with them.

I think that's enough for this week. I'm sure there will be plenty more in the coming week. There always is.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

About Butch

I am going to try to finally tackle the subject that I just haven't yet been able to put into words. It's honestly part of the reason for this blog and that is my relationship with my husband and Jessica's father, Butch.

As I have posted previously Butch lives in a nursing home. We have been married almost twenty years. We lived together for two years prior to our marriage and actually we met a little over twenty-seven years ago. Gosh, that's over half of my life!!! It seems like it was just yesterday though.

First a little understanding as to why Butch lives in the nursing home. Butch has been having health problems since January 1990, about three weeks before Jessica's birth. He had his first two strokes then and has continued having strokes since, due to a blood clotting disorder. He also was diagnosed with hypertension (high blood pressure), diabetes, two bulging discs in his back, heart disease and finally a form of vascular dementia called Binswanger's Disease in the ensuing years.

What is Binswangers Disease (aka BD)? Binswanger's disease or Subcortical Leukoencephalopathy is a rare form of multi-infarct dementia (multi-infarct meaning multiple strokes) caused by damage to white brain matter. It is characterized by loss of memory and intellectual function and by changes in mood. (credit goes to Wikipedia for this). Binswanger's disease is a slowly progressive condition for which there is no cure. The disorder is often marked by strokes and partial recovery. The most characteristic feature of BD is psychomotor slowness - an increase in the length of time it takes, for example, for the fingers to turn the thought of a letter into the shape of a letter on a piece of paper. Other symptoms include forgetfulness, changes in speech, an unsteady gait, clumsiness or frequent falls, and changes in personality or mood (most likely in the form of apathy, irritability, and depression). (from NINDS Binswanger's Disease Information Page).

After several months of dealing with massive personality changes, violent outbursts, and psychotic episodes, Butch was placed in a nursing care facility about sixty miles from where we lived in May 2008. This was the only place that had a bed for him at the time and looking back I don't think I could have found a nicer place for him to be. It is a small facility in a rural area. Jessica and I go to see him about every two weeks. The staff there is just wonderful. Words cannot describe how kind they have been to not only Butch, but also to Jessica and myself. At Christmas, they had purchased gifts for Butch to give to us. Valentines was the same way. If Butch hasn't been eating well (a recent problem) a staff member will go get him something he might want so that he will eat. (McDonald's Double Cheeseburger was the most recent request) Every so often a few staff members will even take him out to lunch if things have been going well, so that he can get out.

I am not going to lie and say that this is a sad love story, and that other than these diseases that we were the perfect couple, because we weren't. There have been great times, good times, and downright crappy times. When you are in the middle of it, it is very hard to be objectionable. We have both been at fault for causing problems. We did what we could, when we could, with the information that we had. We also both had a mutual love of our child and I think for the most part we put her first, which is always the best thing to do when you have a child together. No matter what, we will always, on some level, love each other because of Jessica. I think she got the best of both of us.

In the future, I will be telling our story in some of my memory posts. I want to be as honest as possible without hurting anyone. I want Jessica to understand a little more about her mom and dad. That we are people, and that we made some mistakes in the past and we will continue to make mistakes even now, for that is part of life and learning.

This is hard. I won't lie. Looking back at pictures brings back so many memories, but it also brings me the realization that although things have at times turned very dark, there were also times that were very happy. Until I posted the picture on last weeks memory post of the day that Jessica was born, I had almost forgotten the love and great joy that he had the day our only child was born. I have looked at that picture many times this week and I know deep in my heart that if nothing else, I gave him the daughter that he always wanted. For all of the pain, that alone is worth it.

Photo of the Week

Our snowman from the little bit of snow we got on Monday!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Not Me Monday!!!

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

Here's our not me's for this last week.

Jessica has not stayed in her pajamas for the past 2 days especially since we did get a light dusting of snow here, although not as much as I wished for in my blog post Friday night. At least we got a little something! My dear brother though, got 12 inches of snow and now they have no power due to a power pole snapping in three places. Glad I'm not in Buckingham County!!!

Lewis and myself did not have to go outside to scrape my windows on my car of snow and ice as I have NOT been driving around all winter with NO working heat in my car. A car that runs is better than no car at all, even with no heat.

I did not consider mutilating my boss at work on Friday because he got his panties in a wad because the other person that works with me was not in the office on Friday to hold his hand. Another reason to never get remarried, men never change, they always want someone to hold their hand whenever they are doing something and then afterwards we are supposed to jump up and down and congratulate them on what a wonderful job they do. Yeah, whatever. Can you tell I'm over it?

I did not get a steak from Applebees on Friday night and never ate it until dinner tonight. That's a damn shame that I eat so slow. Hey, it least it was good tonight.

I did not buy a pair of running shoes three weeks ago that I have yet to put on my feet. Isn't there a saying about the longest journey begins with the first step, well for me it might begin once I put my foot in that shoe, maybe that's what I'm afraid of?

Oh!! I also did not buy a cute workout outfit that is in 3 totally different sizes, the pants are a large, the jacket a medium and the undershirt is a small. It's a shame that my butt stays a large and my boobs go to a small when I lose weight. Life is just not fair, but hey, my boobs sure won't bounce while I'm out there running!!

Lewis says he hasn't done anything and I guess for right now, he is in the clear after the prior Not Me Mondays. We still have an hour and a half left baby!!! Anything can happen!

Have a great week everyone!