Friday, May 29, 2009


ABC’s (taken from Curvy's Blog-Thanks Girl!!!)

• Are you available?
What do you mean by available…..available for what?? Dinner? I am always available for a good meal! Anything else, just ask and we shall see.

• What is your age?
46 as of 3:30AM this morning

• What annoys you?
Slow people that want to just stop in the middle of an aisle in the store and talk to their friends and family. Don’t bring your whole family to the grocery store. Get your ass in there and get out or just get out of my way.

• Do you know anyone named Billy?
Yep, several in fact.

• When is your birthday?

• Who is your best friend?
I have several. My mom, my daughter, Janet, Maria, Gwen, Kathy!!

• What's your favorite candy?
Maple Goodies

• Crush?
Ummm, yeah but I’m not telling.

• When was the last time you cried?
This morning

• Do you daydream?

• What's your favorite kind of dog?
Golden Retriever

• What day of the week is it?

• How do you like your eggs?
Sunny side up, yolks runny

• Have you ever been in the emergency room?

• Ever pet an elephant?

• Do you use fly swatters?
Yes, when I can find one. I can’t find mine right now and as soon as I buy a new one I will find the old one

• Have you ever used a foghorn?

• Is there a fan in your room?
Yes, a ceiling fan

• Do you chew gum?
Rarely, I tend to swallow it.

• Do you like gummy candies?

• Do you like gory movies?
Not gory but scary is definitely something that I like, I guess you could say suspenseful

• How are you?
OK, wish I was off today but oh well

• What's your height?

• What color is your hair?
Natural or dyed? Natural is kind of a mousy brown, right now it’s kind of a reddish brown. Next week? Who knows, I always let my hairdresser do whatever she wants with it.

• What's your favorite ice cream?

• Have you ever ice skated?

• Ever been in an igloo?

• What's your favorite Jelly Bean?
I don't *like* jelly beans

• Have you ever heard a really hilarious joke?
Um, yeah. Who hasn't?

• Do you wear jewelry?
Earrings, rings, necklace.

• Who do you want to kill?
It’s according to who has pissed me off at the moment

• Have you ever flown a kite?
As a child

• Do you think kangaroos are cute?

• Are you laid back?
Sometimes……It’s all according to the day and the situation

• Lions or Tigers?

• Do you like black licorice?
Yuck!! My mom does though and Butch did too.

• Favorite movie as a kid?
Rodgers and Hammerstein’s Cinderella with Lesley Ann Warren that was broadcast on TV in 1967.

• Ever shopped at Moosejaw?
What? Who? Now I need to go google that

• Favorite store at the mall?
New York and Company

• Do you have a nickname?
Baby Bear when I was little. I used to think my mom, dad and I were really the three bears that turned into humans. Yes, I had an active imagination as a child.

• What’s your favorite number?

• Do you prefer night or day?

• What's your one wish?
To get my degree one day

• Are you an only child?

• Do you like the color orange?
It’s ok. I like it better now though than I used to.

• What are you most paranoid about?
Having to take care of Butch at home again. It’s been a year now and I still can’t go see him alone. There are times that he still scares me.

• Piercings?
Ears x 3 but I only wear one pair anymore. I have a secret wish to have my nose pierced with a small diamond in but I think I’m a little too old now.

• Do you know anyone named Penelope?

• Are you quick to judge people?
At times but I try to keep an open mind. I have certainly been wrong and yes, people can change to some degree

• Do you like Quaker Oats?

• Know anyone that makes quilts?
Yes, my niece Sarah’s mom, Sharon. She made a beautiful one for Butch and my wedding present.

• Do you think you're always right?

• Do you watch reality TV?
Some, I did watch The Biggest Loser this last season and Survivor. It’s been kind of hit and miss with both.

• Reason to cry?
I cry everyday probably over something. My dad once told me that I cried until I was eight years old.

• Do you prefer sun or rain?

• Do you like snow?
Once a year, that’s quite enough

• What's your favorite season?
Fall, warm days and crisp evenings

• time is it?
10:31 am

• What time did you wake up?
7:00 am

• Can you ride a unicycle?
Never tried but my next door neighbor growing up had 5 sons and one of them did. I always thought it was cool.

• Do you know anyone with a unibrow?
Not that I can think of

• Uncles do you have?
One. My dad was an only child and my mom has one brother that is eleven years older than her.

• What’s the worst vegetable?
I love vegetables but I hate a raw tomato. Blew!!!! Yuck!!!

• Did you ever watch Veggie Tales?
No. Jessica was a Barney nut.

• Ever considered being vegan?
No but I can understand why people do though and I quite admire them for it.

• What's your worst habit?

• Do you like water rides?
Love them

• Ever been inside a windmill?

• Have you ever had an x-ray?

• Ever used a Xerox machine?

• Do you like the color yellow?

• What year were you born in?

• Do you yell when you're angry?
Oh yeah!! And when I get angry it’s usually over something different than what I am yelling about. I have a bad habit of holding things in until some small thing will piss me off and then I let loose. I’m trying to do better though

• Do you believe in the zodiac?

• What's your zodiac sign?

• When was the last time you went to the zoo?
Gosh, sometimes when Jessica was little. Probably 15 years ago or more.

Just as a side note my mom sent me a joke with the following quote which I absolutely loved!!!

"I have never hated a man enough to give his diamonds back."
- Zsa Zsa Gabor
That one is too good!!!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Yes, we are still here!!!

My gosh!! I didn't realize that better than a week had went by without posting. I left and went to the mountains last Wednesday night and got back Monday afternoon. It was wonderful and quite relaxing. I did nothing but sleep, read, do sudoku and relax. Never cut on a TV, although the radio was playing in the background, didn't look at a computer(I did have internet if I had wanted it), just did NOTHING!!! I think sometimes nothing is a good thing. We all need time to get away and recharge. I need to do this more often. I need to make it a priority, no matter what. I think as mothers, we tend to put everyone else first and next thing you know you are feeling frustrated, used, and under appreciated. I know I get that attitude way more than I should and the main reason I do is because I have the bad habit of saying yes when asked to do something and then it causes resentment, which festers like a sore and when things get too much, I tend to blow my cool over something very trivial and insignificant. Then I look like a crazed monster. Note to self: say no and quit feeling guilty when you do. You can't do it all.

Ah, what else is new? Well, my dad is a new father to five baby turkeys! Yes, my brother, Scott, and I have siblings that are non-human. We have our brother, Brownie the Burro, .but now there are five newly hatched baby turkeys, all with the name of Peeper. A local woodcutter knows that my dad is animal crazed and was cutting down some trees and found a turkey nest. The mother left because of all the noise and falling trees, and the woodcutter hated to see the eggs just get abandoned so he brought my dad the dozen turkey eggs and Clyde(my dad) broke out the incubator in the living room and last Friday five of the eggs hatched. Now, if he peeps while he is in the kitchen, they raise their little heads and peep back. Yes, they are in the living room and probably will be for another week or at least until he can add on to the existing turkey pen so it will be safe for his "babies". It looks like "The Number One Turkey Hunter" is now "The Number One Turkey Dad"!! Shhhhh!! Don't tell anybody, I wouldn't want to spoil his reputation. BTW, Brownie may look like a donkey, but if you say that you get your birthday money yanked by my dad, so humour us please and use his spanish name which is burro. Brownie and my dad also send out Christmas cards with their photo inside. Funny, I never remember him taking Scott or myself to go see Santa and have our pictures taken but he sure does Christmas pictures for Brownie. Our cards are even signed "Love Clyde and Brownie". Go figure.....

I was thinking about my last post and Jessicaisms and a few more popped into my head while Jessica and I were discussing one of her friends toddlers who broke out with the Chicken Pox. Jessica was 16 months old when she contracted a horrific case of them. She was covered everywhere and I had to let her run around naked because her poor little body couldn't stand to have clothes touch the spots. She was so funny and she called them "pops" and she would tell everyone that she had "Chicken Pops". Of course, that was once she got past the stage where they were catching, she still looked pitiful though. I need to dig up a pic of her with them. I remember while she had them we went on vacation to Duck, NC down at the Outer Banks and being out in the sun at the beach really helped them clear up. Some other Jessicaisms was "hairpoo" for shampoo as in "Please don't put hairpoo in my hair right now" and "Can I please have some lipchap" instead of chapstik. She also called pumpkins "pogos" for some reason. She was excited during the Halloween of 1991 to go to the "pogo patch". Gosh, and while typing this I realized that it will be 20 years ago tomorrow that I found out that I was pregnant with Jessica. I think that was the best birthday present that I ever recieved!

Thursday, May 14, 2009


I was thinking the other day about some of the sweet and silly things that Jessica said and did when she was little. Kind of like when I posted about how I used to think that my family was really "The Three Bears". So, in honor of my darling baby, I will now embarrass her on the world wide web by posting Jessicaisms, IOW, cute things that she has said or done in the past.

The first one that I will post about is my favorite. When she was about six, Jessica had questioned me about babies. I always remembered my mother telling me to always answer those types of questions truthfully but to only answer the question, not go into too much detail. Well, Jessica had asked something about babies and I responded to her as simply as I possibly could explaining that mommies had eggs in their tummies and the eggs became babies. Easy, peasy right???? She didn't ask any more questions, seemed satisfied and off she went.

Well a few days later I'm in the kitchen cooking dinner and she comes in complaining of her tummy hurting. Butch was standing there getting a glass of tea or something and I turned to Jessica and asked her where her stomach was hurting and was she hungry or did she maybe have to go to the bathroom. Standard mom questions. Well, she turned around and grabbed her stomach and leaned over and pronounced "NO!!! I'm not hungry and I don't have to use the bathroom, I think my eggs are crackin'!!!" Needless to say, Butch about spit his tea across the room and I laughed so hard tears were streaming down my cheeks. She just stood there kind of looking at me like she was mad because we were laughing at her. I couldn't help it.

Needless to say, she has never lived that one down and it is a certainly a favorite Jessicaism. Even now, when she complains about a tummy ache, I will ask "Are your eggs crackin'?".

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Deans List, Exercise and more about the HBO Documentary

I am so proud of Jessica!!!!!!! She got her final grades for her first college semester and she made two "A"'s and three "B"'s which puts her on the Deans List. Personally, I think that is pretty darned good considering she is working full time and going to school full time. She had two legal classes of which one she wasn't even supposed to take until sometimes in her second year but she ended up coming through with flying colors. Of course, there has been many tears and teeth gnashing and she has stressed to the max(she got this trait from my mother)but the semester is now over and she gets the summer to take a well deserved break. She has pretty much picked out all of her classes for the next semester and she even got the good news from the law firm that she works for that they will be reimbursing her for the two legal classes that she took. YIPEE!!! She can use that money to pay back part of the student loan that she had to take for this semester. Hopefully, between that and then the Education Credit we will get on my 09 tax return we can knock out a big chunk of the loan.

Now for the exercise portion in the title of this post. Yours truly here got the bright idea that Jessica and I needed to exercise and while I was blog stalking another blog I got the idea of Jillian Michaels, Thirty Day Shred. I must have been smoking some illegal substance though when this thought occurred (now I am kidding about the illegal substance) because for those that don't know Jillian, she's the tough trainer on "Biggest Loser". I didn't want to call her a b*tch, cuz that's just not nice, but when Jessica and I did the 20 minute deal on the beginner Level One the other night, we thought someone was torturing us!!! Jessica kept saying "Damn I hate Jillian!!!!". We are still sore today, especially on the tops of our legs and down our arms. We are going to try to tough it out for 30 days and see what our results are at the end. This blog will perhaps keep us honest. Jessica has lost 60 lbs since last July. I tell you, she really has some willpower and she sure doesn't get it from me. She is looking so good. I was looking at some pictures of her on her friends camera the other night and I didn't even recognize her in some of them. She has a cheat day once every three months and for that day alone she will eat (within reason) whatever she wants to. She usually goes for mexican and then finishes it up with Coldstone Ice Cream. Personally, if I was gonna cheat I would be eating a big, fresh loaf of hot, white bread slathered in butter!! Y-U-M-M-Y!!! but to each his own. Just send good thoughts that we don't keel over in the meantime though!

I finished up watching the HBO Documentary on Alzheimers last night in between watching the finale of "The Biggest Loser" (I"m still bummed that Tara didn't win the title, she had really worked hard). Overall, I think the series was really good but I wish there has been more about the early onset but I understand why there isn't since only 3% of the population has the early onset type. I know I was shocked when they were going over the risk factors and Butch had every one of them!!

·High blood pressure (the most closely associated risk factor)-diagnosed at 17
·Cardiovascular disease - Heart attack at 48
·Hardening of blood vessels (atherosclerosis and lipohyalinosis)-high cholestrol diagnosed at age 38
·Diabetes-diagnosed in his 40's, insulin dependent by 52
·Smoking- he started smoking at age 12
·Hypercoagulable states (ie, hyperhomocysteinemia, hyperfibrinogenemia)-diagnosed in 1992 after continuing to have strokes. This is a genetic type of disorder although we have had MD's tell us different things. I think they really even aren't sure. We do know that the clotting disorder that he has, has some kind of tie in with Rheumatoid Arthritis. I think it is genetic for the simple fact of looking at the family history on his fathers side. All were diagnosed with early onset hypertension (high blood pressure, usually in their teens) and all of his fathers sibling had strokes starting in their 40's. Same for Butch's two younger brothers.

Butch was never the type to take care of himself. He always relied on a pill to take care of things. Even when he was diagnosed with diabetes, he was in denial until he was put on insulin. I know that I tried to help him by cooking healthy, not buying junk food and sweets, things like that, but he was famous for going to the store and coming back with ice cream or candy bars or honeybuns. He loved his sweets!!! I would clean his room and find candy wrappers stuffed around. Unfortunately, it all caught up with him. I don't know, maybe this would have all happened anyways. Who knows? It's too late now, but I know this much, it's not too late for Jessica. She is young and when I was watching the statistics of her possibly having this one day, it just scares the hell out of me. I guess that's what makes me so passionate about it now. The research won't help Butch, but it may help my child and I would do anything to keep Jessica from going through this herself.

You know it's been a slow day....

when the daily conversation that you have with your brother is about peeing in the pool.

In our defense though it was preceded by my question of if they had opened their pool up yet. It went downhill from there......

When you are a kid the thought never occurs to you, but as an adult when you see a public place to swim or a water park, it just can't help popping into my demented mind. How many people out there are screwing up the water? How many little kids with diapers full of ....never mind. I need to stop before I totally gross myself out.

Obviously, I won't be doing much swimming this year unless it's in Scott's pool. I think that one is safe.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Happy Belated Mother's Day

This is a Happy Belated Mother's Day post because my butt is slack and I did nothing yesterday even though I wanted to do this post. It was a nice day and absolutely beautiful outside and I spent most of the afternoon sitting in the sunshine on the porch. Lewis and I started the day at Lowes buying fencing for the backyard. I had told him on Saturday that I wanted to get that done and since he is the "man" of the house, he got up early on Sunday and went pricing fencing and the supplies at both Lowes and Home Depot. We ended up going ahead and buying everything that we needed and after walking out the door several hundred dollars poorer, things are now moving forward. He did get the holes for the posts dug out and he got the end posts set in concrete. Lewis, his brother JR, and his friend Kyle will be doing the work. It may take awhile but that's ok. It's just nice having the guys around to do it. I may have started off taking care of Lewis but now it's the other way around. I don't know what I would have done without him these past 18 months. He is such a good son.

Jessica and I went to see Butch on Saturday. It had been three weeks since we had been down and unfortunately he is not doing well. He looked good but looks can be deceiving. He was having a lot of trouble walking and I could hardly understand him. We did our usual Wal-Mart, go out to eat, take a little ride, ice cream, and then back to the facility routine and each time I had to physically pull him up and out of the car. He was having a lot of weakness on his right side. I don't know if maybe he has suffered another little stroke or what exactly is going on. We always have him use the wheelchair in Wal-Mart now and as far as walking, it's just pulling up to the restaurant and to the door, but he can hardly walk that far these days. I made the mistake of asking him when we went to get ice cream whether he wanted a cone or cup and of course he wanted a cone which, I don't know why, but I ordered for him. I should have known better but I just wasn't thinking. Luckily, Jessica finished her scoop in the cup quickly and we dumped his cone in there and helped him with it. Sometimes it's just so easy to forget that even the simplest things can be hard.

Today, I watched the first in the HBO Documentary "The Alzheimer's Project". I also watched the third episode entitled "Caregivers". Talk about hard. I now have a headache and a swollen face from crying so much. If you don't have HBO, you can go to their website and watch the series online. Please do. It doesn't show all of the ups and downs, but it sure shows a lot. I think the hardest part was watching the first episode with seven different stories which while watching, I realized was showing the seven levels of Alzheimer's/Dementia. Butch is somewhere between a five and a six most of the time. I never knew until living with this that sufferers can bounce between stages at any given time. It's one of those things that I guess the Drs. don't think to tell you. Really, for me the hardest part was watching the gentlemen that they showed at the seventh and last stage. He was hospitalized and the Dr. came in and told his wife that when they get to the point that they can't swallow then the end is near. As most that read this blog know, Butch is now having swallowing issues in that he has to have all of his liquids thickened so that he doesn't aspirate them. It was just kind of a smack in the face when I heard that. Sometimes it feels that this will go on forever, like a nightmare that you can't awaken from but on the other hand when it ends, it will leave Jessica without a father. As many issues as Butch and I have had together, I hate to think of the day when Jessica loses him. That is her dad, and I know without a shadow of a doubt that she is his everything. Jessica and I were just talking this week about how hard it was when he was being so combative. I don't know who he was uglier toward, myself or her. His focus was on me and he would lash out at her when he thought she was taking my attention away from him. It was all so strange at the time, but now I know that this is the norm if there is any normal to this disease.

Enough of this for right now. I need to be posting about Mothers Day. I thought for Mothers Day I would post things about my mom and one of my favorite pictures of her. This picture was taken in 1991. Jessica was about 15 months old and it was her first snowfall. Mom stopped by my house on her way to work just to take Jessica out in the snow. I love this picture of the two of them together.

Now, for some favorite things about my mom.

1. My mom still will let me climb up on her lap and love me. Yes, it sounds crazy and usually I will just kind of lean up against her, but I know that I am never too big to be rocked and loved on. That knowledge alone is enough.
2. She made me a lime birthday cake when I was seven. It was lopsided and usually I don't like cake, but my favorite ice cream then was lime sherbet and I requested a lime birthday cake. She made it, it was not beautiful, but I will never forget it because she made it for me. For those that don't know, my mom normally does not bake. She always laughs and says that my dad didn't marry her for her cooking. She does do some killer fried pork chops and great stuffing on Thanksgiving.
3. I learned my detective skills from her. I will never forget the time she was trying to be nosy about someone and she took me and a friend to the store, sent us in to buy candy bars and then had us go up to the house that she was being nosy about under the guise of selling the candy bars for school. She knows the rest of the story and I won't embarrass her by continuing it here but I always thought that that little episode was pretty ingenious.
4. She would go to the ends of the earth to see that we made good grades. If you don't believe me, read my post in April entitled "You might be a redneck if..."
5. She is a good writer and wonderful artist. I don't have an artistic bone in my body but I remember my mom writing poems and such when I was growing up. She also always ended up helping me when it came to anything artistic because that just isn't me. It was her suggestion when I was in fifth grade that my BFF, Janet, and I go dressed up on Halloween as a pair of dice using boxes as our costume. I think that was my favorite Halloween. Jessica however, did get that ability. I'm so glad that she did.
6. She is a wonderful friend. My mom is my best friend. I love her so much. Even when we are fussing between each other, I still know she loves me and would do anything to make my life easier. When I disappoint her I know she still loves me. I know she will love me no matter what.
7. She is smart. To think she was in nursing school in her thirties blows my mind. As I have said before, she went to school from 8AM-3PM, caught a little sleep and then worked from 11PM-7AM. She did this for 18 months and graduated number one in her nursing class. She was just telling Jessica last week about how she would study, study, and restudy and it would upset her when she got a grade any less than an "A". She doesn't want Jessica to stress the way that she used to, although Jessica still does.
8. She messes up her words and expects me to understand what she is talking about. Like saying pink pelican when she meant pink flamingo amongst other things. After almost forty six years I know the look when she spouts one thing but means another.
9. She is a HUGE Rod Stewart fan and has seen him three times in concert. She has worn out who knows how many tapes and CD's of his music. How fitting that the day my brother was born, the Rod Stewart song Maggie May was number one!!!
10. Because of my mom, Jessica has been able to say she has had a lot of pets. Let's see, there has been gerbils, a hermit crab, and last but not least, a dog, knowing that I was terribly afraid of dogs. What was I going to do when she shows Jessica this sweet little picture of miniature dachshund puppies and says that her and grandaddy want to get her one? Now, of course, Kasey is my little buddy, but almost six years ago I was not a happy camper. I'm glad my mom doesn't always listen to me.

There we go. Just ten random things about my mom. I love you Mom!!!!!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

For Everything, There is a Season

I was watching TV on a recent Sunday afternoon and my favorite episode of "Sex and the City" came on. Now, I know some people don't like this show, but personally I find it very realistic of the way that women think and what they want. I always enjoyed Carrie's musings at the end of each episode. The particular episode that I am referring to is the episode that was aired after 9/11 called I Heart NY. At the end of the show the character says the following "Seasons change, so do cities. People come into your life and people go, but it’s comforting to know: the ones you love are always in your heart and if you’re very lucky, a plane ride away."

That quote hit home for me one day last week when I got a call from my neighbor when I was growing up. Joe is just a little older than I am, I do his and his wife's taxes every year. Joe's parents and mine lived next door to each other. His mom, Vera lost her husband, Cecil in 1987. I had always loved Cecil and he had a filled a fatherly type of role in my life at times. After Cecil's passing, I knew that Vera was quite lonely and I kind of made it my mission to find someone for her. That's how she came to meet and marry her current husband, Gene.

I knew Gene from when I worked at the shipyard. Gene was a crane operator and I worked around him quite a bit when I needed riggers to get equipment on the ship for me. It was December of 1988 and I had went into the trailer where the crane operators were to arrange to get some equipment on board the USS Saratoga, which was the aircraft carrier that we were both working on. We were all making some small talk and for some reason I asked Gene what he was going to do for the upcoming Christmas holidays. He responded nothing. Then I asked if he had any family nearby and he said no. Of course then that piqued my interest so I asked if he was married and when he replied no, of course my matchmaking instincts went into overdrive.

I promptly started questioning him about different things and when I found out that he came from Alabama, I knew I had hit a home run as Vera was from Alabama too. I immediately asked him if he minded if I fixed him up with a neighbor and for some reason he said sure. Why not! As soon as I walked out the door, I promptly called Vera and told her that I had found her match. She was a little skeptical, but I had them exchange phone numbers and she asked him over the very next morning to have a cup of coffee.

I saw him pull up to her house the next day and was quite impatient to find out how things went. Lo and behold, as soon as Gene left, Vera came out the back door and told my mom and I that she was smitten and was from the first moment that Gene stepped out of his truck. She made the shocking remark "I'm going to marry that man!" and sure enough, three months later in March, they were married. I am happy to say that I ended up being Vera's maid of honor and Gene's brother was the best man at their wedding.

A few months later Butch and I made the decision to get married on September 2, 1989. However, I had somewhat of a dilemma. I had asked my dad to please come to my wedding to walk me down the aisle but my dad has some big issues with people and crowds. I think the biggest issue he had was as he quoted "I am not giving my daughter away. I am not coming to the wedding." He had not even met Butch, refused to come to our house or anything even remotely to meeting him. My dad can just be strange like that. I didn't beg because I knew it wouldn't do any good, so I just kind of resigned myself that this was the way it was going to be.

I thought about asking my brother to do the honor of giving me away but since he was only 17 I kind of shelved that idea too. Then one day when I was mulling things over I realized that Gene would be the perfect person to ask. Vera and another one of my mom's friends, Sharon, were doing my flowers, Sharon's husband Norman was our photographer, who better to ask than Gene to do the honor of walking me down that aisle? I asked him and he promptly said yes. The rest is history as they say. Of course as you can see from the picture below, I was pretty nervous that day as I was holding onto his hand for all I was worth.

A few years later, Gene and Vera moved back to Alabama after Gene retired but they missed our area and came back and settled on the North Carolina coast right over the Virginia line. I last saw Gene about a year ago at a surprise birthday party that Joe and his wife, Ann held for Gene. He was the same Gene as always. Happy, smiling, laughing and just having a good time. Time had passed but Gene had not changed a bit.

I got the call from Joe telling me that Gene recently had been diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer and that it had spread to the brain. He told me that Vera and Gene had decided to go the hospice route and that time was getting short. He said that Gene was bedridden and was not always lucid. I told Joe to please tell Gene that I loved him and to thank him yet again for being there for me on that very special day in every woman's life. I just could not bring myself to go see him in pain that way. I wanted to remember him the way that I always knew him, vibrant, alive......damn, this is so hard.

I have been working on this post for over a week. I got the call yesterday. Gene died at 12:20PM at home. Yes, for everything there is a season. We are born, we live and one day we die. As the quote in the beginning paragraph said "People come into your life and people go, but it’s comforting to know: the ones you love are always in your heart". Gene, you will always be in my heart. Thank you for everything. I love you. As long as I have my memories, you will live on.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Ramblings of a Tired Mind....

Wonders never cease! Two blog posts in one day. I guess that's where insomnia can come in handy. After a while everything just shuts down but my brain continues to race around even when I am feeling like a zombie in "Night of the Living Dead", original version remakes for this girl! Just a side tidbit here for later posterity, that movie scared the hell out of my mom when it first came out back in the sixties. I remember her telling me about it. When I finally got to see it, it was kind of like, what was all of her fuss about????? Thinking back though, I remember holding the covers of my bed up to my chin so that Dracula couldn't get me when I was about eight and used to scare myself watching Creature Feature every Saturday night in the early seventies. It was a local program that came on that had all the oldies but goodies in the horror genre, Bela Lugosi, Lon Chaney and all the rest.

I don't actually know why I'm doing another post as I have one on a holding pattern that I have been working on for a week. I'm such a bad blogger. Today I will just ramble and see where it takes me.

First off music, I'm currently listening to the Clash "Rock the Casbah". Per the internet it supposedly came out in 1982 but personally I remember dancing to it the summer of 1983. There were certain years in my book that was banner years for music. 1971 was the best as far as I am concerned. I spent that summer around the pool at the apartment we lived in in Norfolk Virgina that my parents moved to when we left Dillwyn and moved to the Tidewater area. I was eight years old and Rod Stewart, The Stones, Aretha Franklin and so many others were so popular. If I close my eyes I can still smell the chlorine of the pool and feel the hot concrete under my feet. My mom was pregnant with my brother, Scott, and everyday she took me to the pool, music piping out of the speakers. My parents were happy, I finally was going to have a sibling as I had wished for a little sister, of course he turned out to be my little brother and will always be my little brother even though we are now 45 and 37. Life was good. I love Scott so much. We talk everyday and I can tell him anything as I think he can me. We are very much wired brain-wise alike. We both battle many of the same issues, depression probably being the major one. I can always call him and say something totally off the wall and he will understand and relate. We used to be pretty opposite in a lot of ways, but now we are on the same page. It's funny how life is that way. I have always admired my brother, he is so smart and very articulate. I know Butch used to get mad because Scott and I would talk at least once a day but he never was close like that with any of his siblings so I don't think he could understand.

The second best year for music in my opinion(and remember this is MY blog so my opinion counts but I love comments) was 1983. Ahhh, the year Michael Jackson released the Thriller album and every song was a hit. I was dating someone that I was totally enamored with and looking back I can honestly say he was really the first guy that I really, really loved in an adult way. He drove a red convertible Corvette, he was eight years older than me and every weekend we went out somewhere and went dancing or to some party. Again it was summer and the smells of the beach, the wind blowing on a Saturday night, cruising the Virginia Beach strip in his vette with the top down, I think it was the perfect summer for a young lady of 20 and everything in life completely ahead of her. Now for the fall from grace. That October we broke up and he broke my heart. Listen up girls, fairy tales are just that, fairy tales.

That's what I say to Katybug when she walks around the house talking about Tinkerbell, and fairies and Princesses. I don't necessarily like when we spoon feed our daughters the same old crap about the Prince and happily ever after. There really is no such thing. As you can tell, from last nights post and todays I have kind of an issue with the male population at times. I think I was taught in the old school ways of moms stay home, dads work, la-la-la-la-la. That's not what actually happens though. Ask my mom and look at me. My mom had to go to nursing school while I was in high school. As I have posted before, she went to school days and worked the 11PM-7AM shift and still found time to study. I don't know how she did it. She was first in her class with an "A" average. I remember sitting and calling questions to her night after night after night. She did this because my dad couldn't keep his butt at home where it belonged. Don't get me wrong, I love my dad, but there have been many times that he was a complete ass and he knows it. At least now he has changed and has been an awesome grandfather to Jessica and I'm happy that she gets to experience the good that I always knew was under his gruff exterior. There are times though that I wish he could have been there for me like at my graduation or even coming to my wedding. My mom though was always the rock and I will always love her for that. I love both of my parents for coming together in the last several years. They have lived apart since I was pregnant with Jessica but have never divorced. I know that they still love each other even though they don't always get along.

Oh well, enough ramblings for now. My tired mind needs to do a little housework as my sheets need to go in the dryer and my bed must be made before I finally fall into it this evening. Hopefully sleep will not elude me the way that it did last night. Otherwise another post may be forthcoming.

Good News, Insomnia, and Musings of a Two Year Old

I got some really good news today. I had applied for student aid through our local community college and today(or yesterday really, since it is now 2:36AM) I received the response telling me that I qualified for $6000 in student grants and aid for the upcoming 2009-2010 school year. I still can't believe it and maybe that's why I can't sleep.

I know that it is an opportunity that I have wanted for almost forever but at the same time it scares me because now I really have to make some decisions about my future. There are several programs that I am interested in, two of which are the Registered Nursing program and the Registered Health Information Technologist program. I have considered nursing ever since my mother went to nursing school while I was in high school. Instead, at that time I applied and was accepted into an apprenticeship program at Norfolk Naval Shipyard. I completed the four year program which also included a Certificate in Electrical Engineering Technology but honestly I hated working there and after I had Jessica, I promptly quit. I did last ten years in a field that I never dreamed of being in, which was as an shipboard electrician. I never liked it and never felt like I fit in. I guess part of it was that when I went into the apprenticeship women had only been accepted into the program for four years. I was like a three headed monkey in a cage. Women caught hell there because prior to 1976, only men were allowed to apply and enter. Women were still a novelty. Now there are women on board all of the Navy ships working both in the civilian and military aspect. Then, it was so few of us. I guess being a girly-girl it just made things doubly hard. I always felt like I had to prove myself because I was a female.

I think this mindset has always been there through out my other jobs in my life as I always felt like men just tolerated women and that we were there to do the "womens work" and all of the true decisions fell to the men. Even now, I hate it when clients come into the office and I can tell them the answer to their question but they still want to talk to my boss, as if he is going to tell them what they want to hear. It makes me want to slap someone silly sometimes. Why is it when a man gives you an answer it's golden but if a woman does it should be checked and double checked? Maybe I'm just in one of those moods tonight. I don't think men actually see it that way, but it's the way I see it and since this is my blog, I can voice my feelings and if someone doesn't like it, well it's just too damn bad.

Back to the subject at hand though, I guess I will figure out what I need to go for and I do have about three months to think and ponder. I hope I don't ponder too long though because I would like to get some sleep. One does need sleep to function in this world. I need to keep in mind that whatever I choose it's going to have to be something that I can support myself with for the rest of my life. My husband will not live forever and I cannot count on any insurance proceeds since I have signed them over to the state to help pay for my husbands care in the nursing home. That is something else that is rankling (I don't know if this is a good word but it's the one that I'm using tonight) me is that I have to keep my income under a certain level so that I can qualify for Medicaid so that he can continue to have the care that I can no longer provide. It leaves me in a Catch-22, I can barely make ends meet as it is and I am always one step away from disaster. If my car breaks down, or some household catastrophe happens, how in the hell am I going to pay for it? Really and truly, this is the best time in the world for me to go to school as our lack of income helped me get this financial aid but in all honesty I also hate being in this position. Oh well, enough of that. I'm gonna pull a Scarlett O'Hara again and think of it another day. It will be there, nothing will magically change as far as that is concerned. The point is that I can now go to school and that is all that matters right this minute.

On a lighter note, our dear little Katybug informed me this last week that she was "evicting me from my room". Those are her words and yes she used them correctly in a sentence as in "Auntee, I'm evicting you from your bedroom so that it can be turned into my Tinkerbell room." Shoot, evicted by a two and half year old!! She double-whammied me Saturday morning when she crawled into bed with me and I told her that "See, there is plenty of room in here for both of us" and her response was and I quote "there will be even more room in here when I kick you out". How can such an angelic face come up with such? Is she two or twenty-two?

I don't care if your kids are nineteen and twenty or two, they still say the darnedest things.