Monday, April 27, 2009

You might be a redneck if........

you have a weasel in your refrigerator????????

Yup, you got it!! A weasel, or better yet and to be more specific, a least weasle. My brother, Scott, called me Thursday afternoon and asked had I gotten his pictures yet of the weasel that he discovered Wednesday evening in his fridge. Apparently, his barn cat got a hold of this weasel somewhere around the chicken coop and had done her barn cat job by killing the weasel. Scott's wife, Felicia discovered Miss Patsy's job well done and since my father was there to inform her that not only was it a weasel, but a least weasle, and "I haven't seen one of those in 40 years" she decided to take him to the taxidermist and have his hide tanned. Scott, unbeknowing to all this, thought that he would enjoy a glass of milk when he got home from work that evening and went to reach into the refrigerator for the milk when he got a surprise and this is what he found. Scott told me, in all confidentiality, that had he known that she was going to put a weasle in their fridge one day(Scott and Felicia just celebrated 16 years of marriage on April 17) that Felicia's chances for matrimony would have went waaayyy down!!!

Just some other info though regarding least weasles and that is they are the smallest of the weasle family and that in classical and medieval European mythology, it is sometimes said that the only thing which can kill a basilisk is a weasel, though it would be killed in the conflict as well. So, for all of you Harry Potter fans out there(and BTW, the latest movie is opening two days earlier!!!!!! jumping up and down here)this is a nice to know tidbit of random, useless information.

My mom came over on Friday evening and of course I had to tell her about the least weasel and the pictures that Scott had sent me which led to our discussion on what I was going to title this post. Personally, I liked "what's in your refrigerator" just like the Capital One ad "what's in your wallet" but once we got to reminising about other things that were redneck related I agreed with my mother and decided on "you might be a redneck if....". Now, without further ado I will give you a few more reasons to discern if you might come from redneck stock.

1. Obviously, if you open your fridge or freezer door and find some dead animal carcass or parts of the dead animal staring back at you you might be a redneck. In my lifetime it was normal to find either a dead turkey or deer head staring up at you when you opened the deep freeze. This was of course so that the deer head(or some other part) could go to the taxidermist to be stuffed and mounted. Not only was the heads of deer mounted but my dad also had a gunrack made of deer feet turned up to hold his guns. My, what a beautiful addition that would make in your home decor.(I'm saying this quite facetiously) Personally, the best use for them was to be able to hang your clothes that you couldn't put in the dryer from the horns. On a clothes hanger of course.

2. Anything is edible as long as you have gravy and fried onions with it. Deer, turkey, rabbit, squirrel and goodness knows what else is fair game. As my mother said on Friday night there was even an occasional groundhog served. Her father's personal fave was squirrel for Sunday breakfast and that he enjoyed the brains as well. Now, I'm one that likes liver, but even I think eating the brains of anything is going to far. I know, don't knock it until you have tried it.

3. Roadkill can be fair game as long as you don't eat it. Now let me explain this one. In seventh grade I had a teacher who loved science projects. Mr. Godfrey assigned the class to get 20 animal prints in plaster of paris. Twenty would earn you an "A", fifteen a "B" and so on. Now my mother would not settle for me having anything less than an "A" and when you are trying to come up with twenty animal footprints it is pretty daunting. My brother even got his feet in plaster of paris. (he was only four at the time, and a human is an animal) My mother decided we were going to my maternal grandmothers house to get some other prints as she had ducks, geese and other small farm animals. On the way there we passed a opossum that had obviously been hit but not too bad. What does my mother do? Well, what any good country girl would. We pulled the car off to the side and got that opossums prints in plaster of paris. Same thing when we passed a raccoon. I do want to say, I was the only one in class to make an "A". Thank you mom!!!! BTW, the raccoon was skinned and I tanned his hide and got extra credit for that. I bet Mr. Godfrey still remembers me.

4. Never, and I mean never run away from home and take the new black and tan hound puppies with you!!!!!! It will result in a tail whupping. I was six and decided I was going to run away from home. My parents watched while I packed my suitcase and didn't say a word when I walked out the door with every intention of "leaving home". Miss Brave decided she really wasn't as brave as she felt and decided she would be safe if she had a hunting dog with her on her journey. I went to the pen and let out the newest hounddog additions so that they could run away with me. They were probably about six months old at the time. Anyways, off we go to the main road which was probably about a quarter of a mile away from our house, if that. When my father discovered what I had done, I was promptly picked up with the puppies and I got my tail beat. Not for running away, but for showing the puppies where the road was. Now we know where I ranked on his list.

5. Even at three, you know how to play poker and shoot craps for money and you win!! I think my fathers side of the family thought they were gonna get some easy money and let a small child play poker. What they didn't count on was I was good and I usually ended up being the only sober one at the table, therefore it was easy pickens in my book. My mother said she was also mortified the day she pulled up from work and found me sitting on the hood of my fathers car in pink gingham, no less, shooting craps with my dad and his cousins. When you hang out with the big boys, you play the big boy games.

Now, what's in your fridge......

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I Can't Believe My Babys Driving and other thoughts...

Well, a major milestone has been reached in my daughters life. She is now officially a licensed driver. She says I made her go to the DMV on Friday, I actually thought that she had suggested it. That's exactly why I want this blog because I obviously can't even correctly remember the conversation that took place that led up to Jessica getting her license.

This morning though hammered it all home. I was sitting at my desk at work when I got her call.

"Mom?" she said.....

"Yes, baby" I replied.....

"I drove to work by myself" Jessica responded....

I swallowed hard hoping she didn't hear me.

"That's wonderful!!!!" is what I said back.....what I was really thinking, with tears in my eyes was that she is now grown.

No. More. Baby.

It's final. It makes me cry just sitting here typing. She is now independent, which as parents is what we all strive for when raising our children. I am happy, yet there is a part of me that is very sad and scared and I'm feeling rather strange.

Did my mom feel that too when I drove off for the first time? I, however, unlike Jessica was standing at the DMV the day I turned 16.

Anxious.....wanting freedom and independence...wanting something that I am not sure that I have ever found. Maybe that is why I always liked to just ride around. My first car that was all my own was a 1980 Pontiac Firebird. Pearl white with gold pinstripes and tan interior. I was 17 when I bought it. I lied about my age as you could easily do back then before computers. I had a full time job, had graduated high school, no one ever questioned when I applied for that first loan. Who would have thought that I was only 17?

I drove 55,000 miles in the first two years that I owned it. I always had a change of clothes in the trunk as I never knew where I would go. Sometimes it was the Outer Banks, sometimes just cruising the strip at Virginia Beach, once or twice I went to Maryland to pick up a girlfriend for a trip back to Virginia. So many miles so long many memories.

Why is it different when it is my own child? Jessica has never been one to seem brave, yet inside is a core of steel. I found that out this last year when her father was so sick. She was the one with the voice of reason, to be strong and tell me, her mother, that he had to be placed. That I could not continue to shoulder the burden. She was the brave one when it came to taking on his side of the family, that fought us with everything they had, insisting he was well, and could still be at home. She said words to them that were ugly but they were ugly to her. She did not start it. She was the strong one. I could not stand up for myself. She did it for me.

My baby hasn't been a baby for a very long time and I didn't even realize that until I was writing this post.

She is an adult. A good, responsible, caring adult at that.

I can't take all the credit though. There was a lot of other people in her life that has helped shape her. Butch, my mom, my dad, Butch's mom, my brother, and even some of her teachers. The bottom line though is that she has always been that person deep within herself.

I am proud she is my daughter.

I love you Jessica. I can't ever imagine my life without you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Two year olds, talking, and duct tape!

In my family I am the queen of remembering useless pieces of information. I can remember the telephone number of my grandparents when I was a little girl, I remember everyones birthday, dates of death, different peoples social security numbers, just random anything. Last night though, my mother had a memory that I didn't remember.

Let me set the stage. In the car was my mom and myself in the front seat and Jessica and Kaitlyn in the back. We were riding out to Smithfield(about 20 miles from my house) to pick up almost two dozen homemade Easter eggs from my niece Sarah, who by the way is one of my three blog followers. Sarah makes yummy desserts and last year made the chocolate covered Easter eggs with everyones names on it. Needless to say, I had to order them again for this year(ok, Sarah, here's your hint, this will now be an annual order). So we are riding and we've probably been in the car for about ten minutes and during that time Kaitlyn NEVER stops talking. If anyone has or has been around a two year old girl then you know exactly what I mean. The chattering will go on forever.

About this time, there is a stop on the interstate and we are sitting at a standstill. The chattering continues with questions that are typical such as "Why are we stopping", "Where are we going", "I want.....", "don't touch me Jessica" and other random things. My mother looks at me and says during this "Was it you or your brother that I duct taped your mouth shut?" I'm sure my expression said it all! A tilt of the head, and a questioning look, made me remark "Well, I never remember you taping Scott's mouth shut and he didn't talk that much, so it must have been me." With that she said yes, it was you. In fact she went on to elaborate how shocked my expression was and how I whimpered when trying to pull off the tape. She then proceeded to laugh and say that she would be locked up now if she had done something like that.

Now, I never remember my mom spanking me except for once or twice. She was a wonderful mom and I couldn't have asked for any better, but you should have seen the almost absolute glee in her expression when she was telling me about this story. She couldn't believe that I didn't remember it. Of course, by the time we got to Smithfield, picked up the eggs, and were almost home, I certainly can understand the excitement that she exhibited because if I had had some duct tape in the car, Kaitlyn would have definitely experienced what I had experienced many years ago. Now I know why you should have children in your twenties and not in your forties. Your patience just can't a handle it anymore. I must admit though we all participated in a rousing renendition of the monkey song on the way home. You know the one "Five little monkeys jumping on the bed, one fell off and bumped his head, took him to the doctor and the doctor said "No more monkeys jumping on the bed"!!!

Oh, the joys of having a two year old around!!!

Friday, April 10, 2009

A Friday Funny

My cousins wife, Linda, from El Paso, TX sends me jokes all the time. She sent this one today and for some reason it just struck me as too funny. Perhaps it is because there are times in my life that I would have liked to have been holding those hedge clippers, especially when someone talks down to me. Sorry, I just have this evil streak that lurks inside of me. Enjoy!!

A little old lady is walking down the street dragging two large plastic garbage bags behind her. One of the bags rips, and every once in a while a $20 bill falls out onto the sidewalk.

Noticing this, a policeman stops her, and says, 'Ma'am, there are $20 bills falling out of your bag.'

'Oh, really? Darn!' says the little old lady. 'I'd better go back, and see if I can find them. Thanks for telling me.' 'Well, now, not so fast,' says the cop. 'How did you get all that money? You didn't steal it, did you?'

'Oh, no,' says the little old lady. 'You see, my back yard is right next to the football stadium parking lot. On game days a lot of fans come and pee through the fence into my flower garden. So, I stand behind the fence with my hedge clippers. Each time some guy sticks his pecker through the fence, I say, '$20 or off it comes.''

'Well, that seems only fair.' laughs the cop. 'OK. Good luck! Oh, by the way, what's in the other bag?' 'Well, you know,' says the little old lady, 'not everybody pays.'

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Maybe if I post something helpful, I will cheer up.

I don't know why, but here is another Thursday and I'm feeling rather blah. Maybe Thursdays are just my depressed day so that I can seem really super happy on Fridays. Think that could be it?

I always want to blog but can't always seem to find the right words to do so. Anyways, I was thinking since I wanted to do a post, but didn't want to just gripe, as that seems to be the theme of things around here lately. So, something that always makes me feel good is doing something for someone else, I thought I would post a link to a great website that was forwarded to me this week in a Yahoo group that I belong to for people with family members with dementia and alzheimers. Then, any of the readers here can pass it along as well in the hopes that this information will get out to more people.

The link is Once you get to the home page, you will click on the link to the left that says "The A&A Program". Here is the quote from the website about what the A&A program is about. "The Aid and Attendance (A&A) Special Pension provides benefits for veterans and surviving spouses who require the regular attendance of another person to assist in eating, bathing, dressing and undressing or taking care of the needs of nature. It also includes individuals who are blind or a patient in a nursing home because of mental or physical incapacity. Assisted care in an assisting living facility also qualifies.

The A&A Pension can provide up to $1,632 per month to a veteran, $1,055 per month to a surviving spouse, or $1,949 per month to a couple*."

Bottom line is if you know of a military veteran (doesn't have to have served 20 or retired, just military service) or their spouse that needs care and can't afford it this is the program for them to look into. Right now only about 150,000 veterans and their spouse are recieving this benefit because no one seems to know about it. That is just a drop in the bucket compared to the military veterans that qualify and need it.

Please help me in doing your good deed for the day by letting others know about this benefit. To find your nearby office, call the Department of Veterans Affairs at
1-800-827-1000 or visit They will be glad to assist.

Just think, right now there are 5.3 MILLION people in the United States alone with dementia and alzheimers and 10 MILLION caregivers spending 8.5 BILLION unpaid hours caring for a family member. This is not counting in the billions of hours that are paid.

Alzheimers (and the other dementias) are now the sixth leading cause of mortality in the US. The cost of these diseases are NINE times the average patient costs of care. The number of alzheimers/dementia deaths rose by more than 47% between 2000 and 2006 alone. Direct and indirect costs are more than $148 BILLION dollars per year in the US. These are the latest findings that the Alzheimers Association announced just last month.

Jessica, Lewis and I had a team of six last October that participated in the annual Memory Walk for Alzheimers. Our team was called "Team Hope" after Jessica's middle name of Hope and the hope that we have to help others with this horrible disease including Butch. Butch has the early onset type of this disease, that makes Jessica much more likely to inherit the genes from her dad for having this one day as well. We walk to not only help Butch but for the future generations to come. Consider also joining your local Memory Walk or sponsoring us when the October walk gets closer in addition to passing the Aid and Attendance link on.

Remember,tell someone you know about the facts that you learned on this post today. See!!! I already feel 100% improved!!!

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Seven days and counting!

One week!! Yes, that's all that's left to the current, crazy tax season. Of course, I will still be doing tax returns after April 15th, but the current crazy rush will be history come 5:00PM next Wednesday. It's a good thing too, because if not I will explode and bust like a balloon as everyone in my office(there's only three of us)will explode from snacking if it doesn't end.

Last Friday I stopped by the dollar store and picked up snacks, as did my boss. We got Cheetos, Fritos, cashews, cookies, and then a very sweet client brought us a one pound box of Whitman's Sampler, which by the way, we finished polishing off today. Yesterday, a client brought each of us a dozen handmade peanut butter miniature easter eggs. I have only ate two of those, but it's what else that I ate in between!!

Monday morning I went by Chick-Fil-A and polished off a chicken, egg, and cheese bagel, with hash browns, then by lunch I had a blackend tuna sandwich with mozzarella cheese and french fries with cajun seasoning dipped in ranch dressing. At dinner, I had a tax return to do for some friends and they had me over to dinner which was a bacon cheeseburger and another helping of spicy fries. Blah!!! By then end of dinner I was ready to blow up!!

I had lost almost fifty pounds since last year when things went so crazy with Butch, but if I don't watch out I'm going to be back up the scale. My pants are already feeling tight around the waist. I know what I need to do and that is to move, move, move! That is one of the bad things about sitting at a desk all day is that I want to snack and graze. I'm not hungry and I'm sure not bored, but in between returns it's just so easy to have that desk drawer opened with a little something in there.

Onto to other news in our lives this week. At work, there is a momma duck that has taken up residence again by our back door. She came last year late in the season and built a nest and had her babies. It was so sweet to watch. This year she came back early and set up residence back in her nest. She's been on it full time this last week. I promise to take a pic this week of Miss Guard Duck, as we so fondly refer to her. I can't wait for those little, yellow balls of down to hatch out. From what I figure we have about 3 weeks left.

We also have a new member of our household. Kaitlyn is back with us through the week(her paternal grandmother will have her on weekends). Kaitlyn is Lewis' niece and she is almost two and half. Kaitlyn and her mom lived with us from the time that Kaitlyn was one month until she was 15 months old. Unfortunately, her mom has some addiction issues and for the best interest of Katybug she will be with us for the time being. I guess that means I can't keep putting off cleaning out that bedroom that I have refused to enter because I'm giving up my room for Kaitlyn. She is so cute and Jessica and Lewis have really stepped up to help care for her. I'm so proud of them for doing the right thing and putting Kaitlyn's needs first. Addiction is a horrible thing, whether it is alcohol or drugs and I just don't understand how some continue to go down the same road over and over. I hate how much it has hurts Lewis. He tries to have a relationship with his sister and things look good for a while, but then the same old habits come back out. It's like I told both Jessica and Lewis, you can't control another person, all you can do is be there when they need you but I know that you always keep your guard up where they are concerned. The important thing is Kaitlyn and to keep their focus on her.

I went with my mother to see Butch on Saturday. He was doing well and we had a nice outing with him. My mom had not seen him since last June and I think all in all the visit was good. After his phone call on Thursday night, I had had my doubts on how the visit would go. He was really fussing to be able to come home, which as I told him, I cannot care for him anymore. His medical needs are certainly more than I am able to provide. As is the norm for patients with dementia/Alzheimer's, he is having swallowing issues. He chokes easily and when he swallows liquids, the liquids go into his lungs and causes him to keep fluid in his lungs. All of his liquids are supposed to be thickened to keep this from happening. No matter how much this is explained to him, he does not understand. The nurses really have to watch him to keep him away from the water fountain. This disease is so horrible to watch, sometimes I think it will be easier when he doesn't know us anymore. There must have been something in the air though, as I spoke with Butch's niece Sarah last night and her grandmother is also in a facility due to Alzheimer's and Sarah said that her grandmother was fussing with her mother about coming home last Thursday as well. Her grandmother has not walked in quite a while and Sarah said that she was actually trying to get out of her chair as she kept telling Sarah's mom that she wanted to go home. Even the nurses at the facility where Butch is, always comments on how on the days things are bad, it's like all of the patients are bad that day. My mother(who is a nurse) swears by the moon. She says it's like the pull of the moon has an effect on patients.

Anyways, that's enough for tonight. Jessica needs for me to check over an English paper that she needs to turn in for one of her classes. That cracks me up as English is not my strong suit.

Also, here is a shout out to my new Blog Follower, Katy from Utah. I have been stalking her and her mom's blog for a while now. She has a darling little girl of her own and I love reading about her sweet family. Congratulations Katy on your upcoming college graduation!!!! Hopefully, one day I too will be in your shoes and will finally get a degree. I'm going to get older anyways, so I may as well get my nose to the grindstone and carry my butt back to school. I have applied for student aid so we will see. I also promise to work on a Memory Post this week. I have had one that I want to do as my parent's 47th wedding anniversary was March 31st and I want to tell their story. Wish me luck for this last week!

Monday, April 6, 2009

My Easter Shoot with Kaitlyn

Since it was so nice outside Sunday I decided to take Kaitlyn to the park so I could FINALLY do her Easter photos. Here's just a few of what I took, I ended up taking over 145!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

The Closed Door

Sorry for not blogging for a while but as expected the end of tax season is nearing and now that I am at Day 13 and counting, my stress level is starting to go upward. It is the same every year. By now, I am even dreaming about tax returns and am just ready for this year to be over and done with. For me, this is year 22. Yes, twenty-two years of tax seasons. Wouldn't you be half way to crazy by now too?

I have also been sick or half way sick with an Upper Respiratory Infection diagnosed 3 weeks ago tomorrow. Went to the local Urgent Care, got an antibiotic and even now still feeling rather punked. I should be better and honestly I am for the most part. I think it is a little bit of everything rolled into one. Tax season, allergies, the URI, and of course as always, a little bit of home stress.

The reason for the above title "The Closed Door"? Well I am getting to that but let me start it all at the beginning. Got a call from Lewis this morning that I needed a new dryer vent in the laundry room as a bird had decided to climb in and attempt to make a nest resulting in the vent coming loose, resulting in the bird flying into my laundry room, resulting in said bird flying up into the attic. When he called he was still attempting to get the suicidal bird out back into the laundry room and then outside. He didn't call me with the results so I guess I will have to update later on whether or not the bird was rescued. Anyways, that got me thinking about all that I need to do around the house but yet I can't seem to get motivated to do.

Sometimes I wonder why I feel the need to keep the house. For every item that I seem to get repaired or fixed there is another five things that in turn seem to need to be attended to. I get very tired of looking out at the lawn and needing to cut the grass or wash the siding or have my hardwood floors sanded and refinished or another coat of paint in yet another room. We had our kitchen and bathroom remodeled and updated in 2007 and I love, love, love both of those rooms but the lack of money and lack of time make moving into the other rooms very daunting.

Now, onto the title of this post. The closed door that I am referring to is the closed door into Butch's room. When he was hospitalized last May, right before he was placed in the nursing home, I closed the door to his room and unless I needed to put something away or retrieve clothes for him, I have not been back in that room except for a few brief hours when I tried to clean up and redo. Those few hours were very hard as I found that I was harboring some resentment. Resentment about the way that things turned out, resentment for all that I had lived through in the past few months with Butch, resentment for having to care for someone that was so very difficult to care for.

I have realized tonight that not only have I closed the door to that room, but I have also got a closed door into my heart and mind. There is a part of me that wants this to all be over with. I am tired of dealing with the nursing home. Tired of fighting with physicians over his care and medications. Tired of making the biweekly visits to see him. Tired of the phone calls. Tired of the holidays when his family runs down to see him but doesn't go to see him unless it is a holiday. Sometimes I just feel that there is no end in sight. This could drag on for years and years. I don't think it will, but really and truly I can't see the future. The not knowing makes things worse.

Yes, things are thousands of times better for me than one year ago. I only deal with it for a few minutes now weekly and the few hour visits which again are so difficult. The only way that I can describe it is having a wound that is healing and then every so often having the scab ripped away and starting all over again. I feel so many emotions when dealing with him. Emotions that I don't necessarily like feeling. Guilt, hatred, pity, and sometimes even apathy. I would like to deal with this the way that I have dealt with his bedroom, and that is to close the door and never have to open it up again, but just like that room, I cannot do that. One day I will have to open that door and go in there and finish things up. I had thought the other day that that would be one of my projects for after April 15th. Today, just the thought of opening that door makes me nauseous. I'm just expressing myself here. I'm so much improved than even a few months ago. The bad days are fewer and farther between. The tightness in my whole being has subsided, I usually rest better and most days I'm so much more at peace. Sometimes though, and today is one of those days, I feel the weight of everything upon my shoulders and I feel like I cannot take one more step in this unknown journey.

I'm sure that the upcoming Easter holiday has a lot to do with this. I had a really bad time around Christmas. Thanksgiving was the same. Butch wanted to come home but the facility advised against it because of the unpredictability in his moods and actions. I know that he still has outbursts and issues. I'm not there all the time, but I get the calls when they happen. Not only does his safety depend on him being there but also my safety and Jessica's as well. It is just so hard. That is why I'm typing this out, I have found that once it is out, I can take a deep breath and go forward. Hopefully one day this deep wound upon my psyche will heal and I will be able to look back without so much pain.