Thursday, April 29, 2010

HEY "NAKEY" LADY...bathing suit bottoms are NOT optional.

i want to begin this story by saying thank you, God, for not allowing us to see into the future! because it we could, then yesterday would have never happened. if i had even had an inkling of what was in store for me yesterday afternoon, i can assure you i would have never gotten out of bed.

the morning started out okay. i got up, dressed and swung by to pick up mama and daddy for our weekly Bible study that we go to on Wednesdays. just before we got there my sister, paula, called and asked me if i wanted to go shopping with her after lunch. now, if you know me personally, then you know that i am NOT a big fan of malls! i am claustrophobic and can not stand to be in crowds of people. especially when we are in an enclosed space. so usually, if i have to go to one, i will park outside of the store i want to go in, grab what i need/want and then hightail it back to my car. and then, if i need/want something else, i drive to the next store and do the same thing. it's a pain, i know, which is why i rarely do malls. but anyway, i said yes. i needed a few things. for summer. for the beach. so, after a nice lunch at Fiddlers with mama and daddy, i picked paula up and we headed to the mall. when we got to the store i asked her what she wanted to look at first...and my stomach started turning at that moment when the dreaded words spilled out of her mouth. (thank you again, God, for giving me the sense to have just a few small bites of a chef salad for lunch.) she wanted to go to the AAAIIIIIEEEEEEE...bathing suit department! NOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!! my good day was going to take a nosedive into depression. i absolutely DETEST shopping for a bathing suit. why, you ask? well, if you are a woman reading this, no explanation is needed. if, however, you are a man....well, i will try and explain.

i was practically raised at Ft. Myers Beach, FL. my parents have owned a condo there for many, many years. and before that, we stayed in a cottage on the beach, usually for several weeks in the summer. now, my parents go there for several months in the summer and the last two years i went with them. because they need someone with them. and that someone would be me. and my sister, terri. i remember a couple of years ago, when i was there with the middle aged man who would later leave me for greener pastures, and my two grandkids. we were taking a walk down to the point and letting them look for shells. we passed this couple, probably in their late 30's, laying out in their chairs, just 15-20 feet from the edge of the water.. she was was a rather large woman. i would say about 350 lbs. of large. and she had on a two piece bathing suit. and i was thinking to myself, "oooookkkkkk....she is very confident in her skin. she is telling the world that it's ok to be big and still put on a bathing suit. and walk down the beach. she wasn't concerned about what other people thought of her. good for her. and we continued to walk. on our way back the kids were walking just a little ahead of us. suddenly they turned around and started running back to us really excited about something. we thought they had found a "treasure" in the sand. but as they got closer they said, "grandmama, that lady up there is "nakey!" she don't have no bottoms on! WHAT???!!!!" we kept walking and we came up on the same rather large woman as she was coming out of the water and walking back to her chair. and she really didn't have on a bottom! because when she was out there swimming, the bottom of that two piece bathing suit had crept up and disappeared into her nether regions...and she had not bothered to try and find it. she just walked back to her chair and layed back down...ON HER STOMACH! naked as a jaybird on her backside. and this was a public beach. now, don't get me wrong. i applaud her for being brave. or confident. or whatever she was being. but exposing herself to other people who were just there for a nice stroll down the beach was just wrong folks! i didn't want my grandkids seeing her in all her glory! I didn't want to see her in all her glory! so, women need to be very selective when picking out a bathing suit.

first of all you must make the really big decision...which department do i head to? do i want to fantasize that i am still a 16 yr. old and head over to the JUNIORS section and pick out a really, really cute two piece that was designed for stick people and convince yourself that well, you still FEEL 16, and make stupid remarks to the salesgirl like "my daughter is about this small (making a circle with your hands) so what size do you think she would be? knowing all the while that SHE KNOWS you probably don't even have a daughter and that you are a 50 yr. old woman who wants to dress like she's still a teenager. and that she's looking at your 50 yr. old body and thinking to herself..."lady, there is no way on God's green earth that you are going to fit THAT into THIS! PUH-LEEEEEEEZ.

or, do you totally avoid THAT particular humiliation and head over to the MISSES section. where you fantasize that you are still a 21-35 yr. old and pick out a really, really cute "tankini." that was designed for stick people and ask stupid questions like "my daughter-in-law wears a size 6 in these suits run small?" knowing all the while that she is wanting to say, "get real are 50 yrs. old. you probably have grandkids. your daughter-in-law would NOT be having her MOTHER-IN-LAW in here picking out HER bathing suit! who are you trying to kid? go on over to the WOMENS section, where you belong. grow up. you had your heyday...a loooooong time ago. face reality. your prime passed you about 15 - 20 years ago."

or, do you just accept the fact that you ARE, indeed, a woman. with curves. in all the wrong places. and head on over to the WOMENS section. where you can now browse the limited number of "bathing skirts" or "bathing dresses" or, as my sisters and i like to call them, "parachutes." where every suit you see was designed for a stick people person, who is pregnant. or very, very small breasted and requires 3 inches of padding in the cups to make you look like the WOMAN that society thinks you are supposed to be. i am totally bewildered in this section. i don't wear dresses to church! why on earth would i want to wear a dress in a SWIMMING POOL? where when you get in the water the bottom of the "dress" floats up around your neck...and all the little kids in the pool jump in with their googles on so they can go underwater and see the "humpback whale...with a dress on!"

so, yesterday i considered my options. (and it was a rude awakening.) i finally admitted to myself that i will never ever again, in this lifetime, be a JUNIOR size. i decided to avoid the JUNIORS department altogether. the MISSES and the WOMENS sections were combined in this particular store, so i was able to look at both, while still feeling slightly incognito. i grabbed a few suits and made a bee line for the dressing rooms. and it was there, behind door #3 that i sunk into the deep, dark abyss of mortification.


first of all, the few times i have gone with my boys into a mens dressing room, i found them to be nothing at all like the womens. they have one mirror in a closet sized space. and one hook to hang your clothes on. because men usually take in one thing, try it on, take it off and buy it. they don't really care how big those jeans make their butt look. they don't seem to mind if their pants are dragging on the ground when they walk, or worse, have the crotch hanging down to their knees. they put on a shirt, button it and voila' it fits! to the cash register they go. their shopping is finished. they go home and watch the ball game and eat ice cream and popcorn. and double quarter pounders with cheese. super-sized. and spend the rest of the day flipping the remote back and forth and back and forth understand what i'm saying.
 behind door #3 was a good size room. with a chair. to put your purse on i was guessing. and 3 hooks. and THREE mirrors. so you can see yourself from every angle at the same time. now THAT alone is pretty alarming.) the lighting is bright. harsh white light. i don't like to try clothes on in a store. because i have always heard on these undercover stories they do on dateline and 20/20 that some stores have security officers watching you, behind two way mirrors. or  they video you trying on clothes, to make sure you don't steal anything. (right...i think somebody is either a) a pervert. b) likes to watch women make fools of themselves or c) have been forced to watch by their employer, who is twisted.but, in this case, i decided to try the clothes on because i did not want to have to come back to the mall. to return them. i wanted this horror to be over in one day.

so i loaded one hook with shirts, one with bathing suits and one with pants and shorts. i tried the pants on first. mmmmm...ok, they fit. but i really didn't want to wear long pants all summer. because i get really, really hot. not just outside in the sun, but inside in the air conditioning. so, i grabbed a pair of shorts. they were looooong. somewhere in the middle of shorts and capris. nope. not for me. i tried on a shorter pair. cute, but i was pretty sure you would be able to see part of my cheeks when i walked. not pretty on a 50 yr. old woman. another pair, too big (wow on that,) another pair, too tight. i had one pair left. a really cute pair of jean shorts. they were just the kind that i like. but when i picked up the ones in my size i thought, good grief, these things must run really big! they looked ginormous. so i grabbed the next size down, thinking they would be a better fit. WRONG. i managed to get them up, and over my badonkadonk...but as far as the two sides meeting in the middle where the zipper was....ummm...NO! it wasn't going to happen. no matter how much i sucked in. or tugged...they were not going to cooperate. and now, you are probably thinking the exact same thing that popped into my head. OH MY GOODNESS...that means my butt must be even more ginormous than i thought. that means that ginormous pair i had picked up earlier in my size, WAS MY SIZE!!! the depression crept in. forget the shorts. i'll just get some cute shirts and wear them with what i already have.
i put on the first one. a really, really cute tank top that i just loved. bright, cheery colors. GASP! it fit so tight that it looked like it was painted on. you could see the freckles on my stomach if you looked close enough. and everything else...if you catch my drift. off it went. it was getting warm behind door #3. i was beginning to perspire a little bit. i tried on the next one. a gauzy white, button down the front, which would look good either buttoned, or open, with a tank underneath. you know, the layering kind of look that's so popular nowadays. it fit. i could wear a tank under it. but if i wanted to wear it buttoned, with a pair of pants or capris, WAS NOT GOING TO HAPPEN. because while it DID button, there were gaps in between each button. large gaps. because these kind of shirts were obviously designed for those same stick people. who have no "girls" to speak of. the ones that need the bathing suits with the three inches of padding. not for women who have more than their fair share of "girls." not for women like me...who have more than enough natural padding of their own. back on the hanger it went.

i had a few left. the next three fit and i decided they were keepers. YAY.

then i was down to the last one. and it was the one i liked the best. it was a really unusual, funky type of shirt, but it looked so summery and light and i was really hoping it was going home with me. it had all these little cut out thingys on the shoulder and the back. you could dress it up or dress it down with jeans. it went on over my head and i had just the teeniest bit of trouble getting it down over my "girls." but i managed and once in place it actually looked really cute. i was a happy camper. i was feeling the depression lift just a little. i was going to go home with at least four new shirts! and then...everything went downhill. quickly. as i began to take the shirt off i began to realize that i had put one of the shoulder straps on wrong. i tried pulling the shirt up, back over the "girls," but it wasn't going back up. what is that saying...what goes up, must come down?. well, there is no saying, that i know of, that says once it is down, it must go back up. and this shirt knew that too. I couldn't get it off. and i started sweating. not just a little perspiration. BIG, HUGE drops of sweat. i started breathing hard. and i could feel the panic crawling up towards my throat. which i knew, being claustrophobic, would turn into a full fledged scream when it got there. i began tugging and pulling on that shirt and i started hearing little sounds come bubbling up out of my mouth. and at that point i didn't care if i ripped that fabric in two pieces...i was getting that thing off of me come hell or high water! i gave it a final tug and it gave up. i now understood what the chair was in there for. not to lay your purse on. it was there for people who were hyperventilating because they couldn't get free of their clothes! i collapsed on that chair and tried to breathe. and i found some kleenex in my purse and dried the sweat off of me. and i rested. all that was left was the bathing suits. and there was not a chance that i was trying those on in that room behind door #3. i could just envision the person who was stuck on security duty...watching the show that i had just put on. i feel the need to apologize to them for having to watch such...such... a freak show. and i also need to apologize to the lady who was behind door #2. i can't even begin to imagine what she must have thought was going on in the room next door. all the heavy breathing and the little noises that erupted from somewhere deep inside me. i was just mortified. and the depression had not only crept in. it decided it was going to stay awhile.

i paid for the things that i wanted to keep. and i told paula i was ready to go home. i was worn out.

after a long, cold shower and an hour of bed rest, i decided to try on those two bathing suits i had brought home. looks like i have to go back to the mall. to return them. and i came to a conclusion that i'm not happy about at all.

 it is going to be a very hot summer for me this year. because i'm going to the beach ...IN JEANS.

Sunday, April 25, 2010

once you've seen a BIG HEADED WOMAN...well...

when i was growing up in clewiston, fl,

one of those small, three traffic light towns, we lived in one of the only two houses out on the sugar refinery property about 4-5 miles outside of town. across the road was a piece of property that looked to someone passing by, like a big clump of woods. there were little dirt roads on either side, so the woods kind of sat in the open part of a V. on one side was sugar cane fields and on the other was a railroad track. we called it "ghost town." when it was daytime and it wasn't so scary to walk back there, you would find the remnants of an old community that had been destroyed by a hurricane in 1926.

there were maybe 8-10 tiny wood houses back there, all leaning and falling apart. there were even some old headstones in a small cemetery that were broken and scattered.

when we were in our teens and our friends would come over to the house (which in my case, wasn't all that often, because i spent the majority of my teen years...grounded. for life. my parents thought i was "wild.") we always liked to walk over there and scope things out and find "treasures." sometimes there were huge piles of trash and furniture, like someone had just emptied all the contents of their houses out on the side of the road. occassionly me, or my older brother or sister would have a party at night, in our garage, (always with my parents there, just in case you were thinking this was done when they were away from home. wild girl that they thought i was) and we would gather up our nerve and act all brave when one of the boys would suggest walking over to ghost town. but, we never got that far. somebody would inevitably scare a girl and we would all scream and go running back to the house. i think the boys did that because secretly, they were too scared to go back there themselves at night time. they eventually tore it all down after we moved to ga.

we moved to savannah in 1996. and soon after arriving, we began hearing all the stories that savannah is so famous for. they have alot of haunted tours in the downtown area, and ghost walks that take you down to the old historic cemeteries at night. by candlelight.

one of the tours is even done in an old, decked out hearse.

if you're downtown at night on riverstreet, there is sometimes this guy, all dressed in black, from head to toe that jumps out at you and scares the heebie jeebies out of unsuspecting tourists. all in an effort to get you to sign up for the hearse ride. it's really, really popular at halloween, as you can imagine. and downtown savannah, while beautiful in the daytime, can be downright eerie at night, with all the moss hanging off of every tree and all the old houses that look like they are centuries old. the cobblestone streets and all the town squares add to the spookiness. and the historic cemeteries...i can't even tell you. they have some of the most elaborate headstones known to man, and i cannot even imagine how scary it would be to walk through one of them at night time, especially by candlelight.

once, when my brother, ray and his wife, pat, came up to visit, we all gathered our nerve and decided we would go on one of those walking ghost tours. we all had our tickets and we met at the designated place..our guide had on this black, gauzy outfit and was holding a candle, and we were psyched. we were ready to see some ghosts. and wouldn't you know it, it began raining. hard. so instead they let us go on a tour of one of the famous "haunted mansions."

we were touring the downstairs parlor, when we decided we would sit down and wait for the rest of the group to come in. mama and someone else sat down on this antique couch and one of the legs broke completely off. and the front corner of the couch was now sitting on the floor. my brother was trying to prop it back up on the leg, discreetly, so the guide wouldn't see that we had broken it and make us pay for it. no telling how much money they could have charged us for an antique couch. we were dying laughing and to this day, we think it was a set-up. we walked up this huge staircase as the guide began telling us that sometimes, late in the night, you could hear marbles rolling down each of the steps, as a child played at the top of the landing. they said that lights would inexplicably go on and off, all by themselves and one thing after another, which of course, none of us witnessed. we began going through each of the bedrooms, looking at old clothes that were supposedly the original owners, (yeah, still laid out right where they left them over a century ago) and suddenly we noticed that all of the menfolk in our group had disappeared. we didn't see them leave. we didn't hear them talking. had a "ghost" gotten them? was this another set-up? we went down the hall to another bedroom, which faced a street that was lined with "row houses" and there we found all the men standing at the two windows, jostling each other to get a better view at something across the street. pat and i managed to squeeze in until we could see what had them so interested, and there, across the street, in the upstairs bedroom of one of those row houses, was a woman. an almost naked woman. who was soon going to be very naked! she lay down on the bed and she stretched and then got up and began bending over and removing every stitch of clothing she had on. and pretending that she didn't know that people were watching her. she got completely naked, like it was just the most natural thing to do, in front of an open window, at night, in downtown savannah, and then she walked over and closed her curtains and turned out the lights. we had just paid $15 a piece to see a stripper ...strip. and i have a hunch it was all planned that way. and us girls...we were ticked off. and our menfolk? they were scared... because they knew they were in trouble when they got home!

we heard about another story that had been brewing around savannah for many, many years. the legend of TIGER RIDGE. the stories had it that this was a community, about an hours drive from savannah, out in the boonies of effingham county. a community of big-headed people. two-headed people. people with twelve fingers and as many toes. people that would as soon shoot you, as look at you. a community of inbreds. you know. people that cohabitate with other family members. incesteous relationships and deformed dwarfs. people with extra eyes and other body parts. scary, scary people. people always said to stay away from TIGER RIDGE, if you knew what was good for you. the stories made it sound like there was a community of some kind of other worldly freaks living just outside the city limits. characters you would see in the freak show part of a county fair. where you pay $1.00 to see the "half man, half-woman." or "the head of a man on the body of a pig." don't go out there alone," they would say. or "make sure you have a gun with you, cuz those people don't like strangers coming into their community."

there was an article that came out in the savannah news about TIGER RIDGE.

it told about all the rumors and it debunked alot of them. and confirmed some too. it told about how the people that lived out there had decided to allow people into the community for the first time, i think to dispel alot of the rumors, by putting on a fantastic light display for Christmas. they were taking donations of old christmas lights and they would repair them and string them up and they just went nuts with all the decorations they started collecting. they claimed to have 10,000 or so lights up and were inviting people to come out and take a look and leave a small donation, or better yet, any old Christmas decorations or broken light strings. for the next year. this went on for several years and the display got larger and larger. people started coming from all over the country to see it. (or so the paper reported.) the paper made it sound like a spectacular light display that you shouldn't miss seeing at least once in your lifetime.

so, a few years ago, we started getting the itch to go. and see the big headed people. to see if it was really true what people said about them.

instead of waiting until Christmas and going in the dark, my mother and i decided one day, that since we were close to that area for other reasons, we would ride down there and check out the community. in the bright light of day. we vaguely knew the directions and we ended up on this really long road. in the middle of the woods. we kept going further and further, thinking that this was all just a hoax or that we were on the wrong road, when all of a sudden we came upon this old, ramshackle house. there were a bunch of old cars, all rusted and broken down, with car parts scattered from one end of the yard to the other. and there was a large group of men standing around one of them. the front door was propped open and there, sitting in a chair, right in the front doorway, was a BIG HEADED WOMAN!!!. we looked at the men. and they looked at us. and they started walking. towards us. and i accelerated. we were scared half to death. and praying that there was a road we could turn off on and get the heck out of dodge! as we got further down the road we both noticed at the same time that there seemed to be a "pall," a misty fog, like a curtain hanging right over the road and we were driving right into the middle of it. now i know you're thinking that it was just our imagination. but you would be wrong. it was like being in the twilight zone. and as we came out of the fog, we realized that we had come to a dead end. it struck us, then and there, that we were going to have to turn that car around and go back past those men and that BIG HEADED WOMAN!! there was no other way out. and we remembered the stories about them shooting people who ventured into their community to gawk. and we had definately come to gawk. and they knew it. as we got closer to that old house i told mama to "hang on" i might have to take that car sideways, but we were going to get out of there alive. we were not going to meet our Maker at the hands of these TIGER RIDGE big headed, multi-toed people. i floored that accelerator and flew right past them. and they were gawking. at us. at the two idiot women with terror written all over their faces, who were flying by them about to pee in their pants! I'm pretty sure that to them, WE were the freak show. it was totally ridiculous, but when you get caught up in "legends"...well, you start to take them as truth.

that same year, at Christmas time, my two older boys had come home for the holidays, and we decided that we would take the ride out there and look at the lights display. if the paper was reporting that it was ok to go out there, then surely we would come to no harm, right? i mean, people from all over the world were coming. it was me, the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures, micajah and christian. i wasn't quite as scared this time since i had men with me, so we loaded up into the truck, this time with a "glock" underneath the drivers seat and our cell phones fully charged. we didn't tell anyone where we were going. we drove over and just before we got there, it began storming. i mean, like cats and dogs coming down. this time there wasn't a "pall." you just couldn't see two feet in front of you. we drove down that long, dark road and we finally came to a hand made sign that said turn here for the lights display. so we turned there. and we drove some more. and finally we came to the TIGER RIDGE CHRISTMAS LIGHTS DISPLAY. it was several old trailers on a cul de sac. out in the middle of the boonies. and there were more lights and gawdy displays than one human could fathom. it was pretty pitiful.

none of the big headed people were out taking donations that night. in fact, there was no one else out there in those parts at all. just us. so i got a notion to call mama and tell her where we were. when she answered the phone i said, "you won't believe where we are right now...TIGER RIDGE!" and right at that moment lightening struck and we all started screaming and my cell phone went dead. and back at mama's house i was pretty sure that mama was probably dying at that moment. not knowing what in the world had happened to us that would cause us all to start screaming out in the middle of TIGER RIDGE. a few minutes later when we got back on the main road i got service again and called her and she was still alive. breathing harder. but alive. she thought that maybe one of the big headed people had gotten us. but no, it was just lightening. we made it out alive and the glock never left its hiding place underneath the seat.

i started seriously wondering what all the hype was about. i mean, the Bible says, "judge not, lest you be judged." and we, like everyone else, were judging these people. without having ever even met one of them. is it possible that these were actually good people, just like you and i, and just misunderstood? i googled TIGER RIDGE to see what i could find out about the community. and it turns out that some of the rumors are true. just as many are not. the community actually started out many years ago, with one man intermarrying with a woman from his own family. they had children and some had deformities. over the years, they began staying within their own little community, to avoid people, who gawked, like we did. there certainly was alot of inbreeding and is to this day. but most people who have actually met some of them say that for the most part, they just like to be left alone. that they are really nice people, just a little different from most of us. and they wanted to put on a light display to show that to the rest of the world. they would spend hours and hours replacing burnt out light bulbs in thousands of strings of lights. they would paint large pieces of plywood with the words Happy Birthday Jesus on them. and it would take them several months to prepare for their spectacular light display. on nights when the weather was good, unlike the night we went, they all sit outside in lawn chairs and talk to the people that venture out to their little neck of the woods. they even have a guestbook for you to sign, saying where you came from.

it's a shame that we live in a world where anyone who is not like "us" is a freak, or is someone to avoid at all costs. that we get caught up in stories like the legend of TIGER RIDGE. Jesus loves those people, just as much as He loves us. if it sounds like i'm pointing fingers, i am. at myself. i'm guilty. but thank God he forgives my stupidity, when i ask Him to.

i've been to TIGER RIDGE. twice. i never did see multi-toed people or deformed dwarfs or anyone with extra body parts...just some lights, strung from one end of the community to the next. was scary. that part of the stories is true. and well, once you've seen one BIG HEADED WOMAN...truthfully, twice was enough for me.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

RUN....NO, WAIT...come back

hey there everybody! i've been absent for a little while...but...I'M BAAAAAACK! i know this just gave you a little thrill, didn't it?'s okay to admit it. you've missed me, haven't you? i've had alot of things going on these last couple of months...and truthfully, my humor has taken a backseat to everything else. i've missed writing, i've missed laughing...shoot, i've even missed peeing my pants...a little bit.

hang in here with me...i've got some stories coming! after all, my life is like a three ring circus...always something going on...and i'm more often than not, the CLOWN in the middle of it all.

thank you to those who "follow" me...i will try very hard not to lead you i did my friend in...just kidding. i was always the one led astray. BWAHAHAHA!!!!

stay tuned...

Saturday, February 20, 2010

a tale of two Valentines Day THIEVES

i have always loved valentines day. ever since i was a little girl and we would decorate our "mailboxes" at school with markers and little heart stickers, and lay them on our desk where everyone would go around and put their valentines in each others boxes. i couldn't wait to get home and dig through the pile, looking for that "special one" from that "special boy." then i got older and started dating and instead of the little mailboxes i started getting big red heart boxes filled with chocolates and then it was a dozen roses.

when "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures" and i were trying to decide what day we would get married we settled on february 15. i had owned a flower shop at the time and of course, valentines day was the busiest day of the year. so we thought that since i was ordering so many flowers it would be a good time to just add my wedding flowers to the same order and get married the day after. and so we did. and that always made it a little more special because i got to celebrate two holidays in two days. and that usually meant two presents. and i liked that part. about the two presents. after we had been married a few years he started just combining the two and getting me one gift. i didn't like that part so much. but hey...i didn't complain, because one gift is better than NO gift...right? i love the whole idea of romance. sappy love stories, men who cry, unexpected love and chocolates. and hearts.

this last week mama and daddy got an unwelcomed visitor at their house. MR. STOMACH VIRUS. i packed a few things that i NEEDED, like my own pillow and my laptop and headed over to their house to stay with them while it ran its course. and play nurse. then my nephew, ryan, got it. and then my sister, paula, got it. i avoided it because my uniform of choice was this

i wore these for eight days. because that's how long it stuck around. and i am the only one who escaped that evil man's clutches!

valentines day fell in the middle of this week. and i realized when i woke up that this was the first year EVER, that i did not have anyone that would be sending me a valentine. and deep down inside, and a little bit on the surface, i was mad. at "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures." not because HE had a NEW valentine, but because i DIDN'T! he had ruined this holiday for me. all i had was virtual valentines from a few of my facebook friends. (don't get me wrong, i loved them,) but i was not going to hear the florist delivery van drive up the driveway so he could deliver me roses and i wasn't going to get a card in the mail. and worse...i was not going to be getting any CHOCOLATE!!!! and on top of that, i wasn't going to get an anniversary present the next day either. that stunk! this was the second holiday he ruined for me. (mothers day was the first, but that's a whole nother story.) at this rate, i wasn't going to be celebrating anything anymore...and trust me when i say this...i gave him a tongue lashing like you wouldn't believe!!! only he wasn't around to hear it. dadgum it!

my second oldest son, christian, sent me a valentine's message on facebook. and my oldest son, landon, called me that night to tell me happy valentines day. but i didn't hear anything from micajah, except when he called me to see if i was coming home that night. he was staying at our house to take care of all the animals. i told him no, that i needed to stay one more night. he told me what he had gotten his girlfriend and i waited to see if he was going to say Happy Valentines Day Mom! i love you! but he didn't. and i whined about he never thinks of me, except when he needs something, and how all he cares about are his friends. i whined about it alot. he called me the next day to see if i was still coming home that night, but by then daddy was getting sick again so i told him no, it would have to be the next day. i wondered why he was wanting me at home. he doesn't talk to me a whole lot when i AM there, so i figured he needed some money or some laundry done. he speaks to me alot when he needs MONEY .yesterday afternoon i returned home like the prodigal mother, draggin my pillow and my laptop behind me. i walked into my bedroom and there on my other pillow was a card that said MOM. it was a valentine from my baby boy. and what he wrote inside just melted my heart. "i love you whether you think i do or not. micajah" i had tears in my eyes. and i went in the bathroom to get a kleenex and there in the trash can was a single yellow rose in cellophane. i went to his room to thank him for the card and asked him what a rose was doing in the trash can. i thought maybe he had gotten it for his girl and then decided not to give it to her. but he said, "i got it for you but you didn't come home in time and it died. and i didn't want to give you a dead rose." awwwww...tears welling up. sigh. sooooo sweet. my baby boy loves me. and i realized right then that valentines day is not just for the romantic kind of love. it's just about love. plain and simple.

a few years ago when micajah was in the sixth grade, he had his eye on a girl in his class. valentines day was approaching and i kept asking him if he wanted to go to the store and get her something. but he kept saying no, he didn't think he was going to give her anything. i thought that was a little odd, because at his school the kids would all exchange things with their sweetie and come walking out the door at the end of the day with flowers and balloons and teddy bears. i couldn't figure out why he wasn't giving her anything. a couple of days later, it was a sunday, and i had just gotten home from church, when i walked into my bedroom and noticed immediately that something was a little off kilter. i'm one of those people that can tell instantly if someone "strange" has been in my house. or if something has been moved. and i was noticing then that something had been moved. i kept my jewelry box on top of the dresser and in front of it i had two little wicker baskets and a little doll of some sort. and they had been moved. just a little to the right. and one of the drawers on the jewelry box was slightly open. i asked "the middle-aged man who left me for greener pastures" if he had been looking for something, but he said no. so, i asked micajah, the only other person who lived there and he too said no. SOMEBODY WAS LYING. so i pulled the jewelry box down and began to go through it and noticed right away that one of my rings was missing. and i knew it because i know where everything should be because i have ocd, remember? i'm organized. everything has it's own little place in the world. i thought, well who in the world would come in my house and just take ONE ring? hmmmm. doesn't make sense to you either, does it?

and then it dawned on me. i knew who would do something like that. an eighth grade boy with a girlfriend. whom he would want to impress on valentines day! i called micajah in the room and asked him point blank if he had given my ring to this girl. and after a few futile attempts to lie about it, he confessed. so...i did what any normal mother would do. i thought of the "worst punishment for him" and i told him that he had to call the girl and tell her she had to give the ring back because it belonged to his mother. and that if he didn't do it, and in front of me, that i would be calling her mother myself. he did it. and he was humiliated beyond belief. and i felt sorry for him...but i wasn't about to let him off the hook after giving away my jewelry to a girl he would be breaking up with in a matter of days! he told me i was a mean mama. (he steals my jewelry and lies about it and i'm a mean mama!) but he lived through it. and i got my ring back the next day. and he dumped the girl two days later.

i decided this year that since i won't be celebrating an anniversary anymore that i would come up with something NEW to celebrate on that day. so...i'm thinking on that. and i'm thinking that it needs to involve me eating an absurd amount of chocolate. sounds like a plan is forming.....

Monday, February 1, 2010

the "reconstruction of ME"

ok. is DAY ONE of my "reconstruction of me" project. a project that will involve sifting through the rubble that my life has become and digging deep, to see if i can find any gems that are worth salvaging. (you know...bits and pieces of self-esteem, self-worth, good qualities, etc.) these things have been sorely lacking in my life for the past year. well, actually, more like the last 18 years. and now that i am "going through the big D, and don't mean dallas" thing, i thought that i would re-invent myself. undergo a major reconstruction job both on the inside and outside. "fix" some things that need to be fixed. sort of like plastic surgery. nip a little here and there. cut some things out. add a little bit of this and that. but first, i wanted to do a little self examination and see if i could find anything about me that might be worth keeping or if i need to just start over from scratch. (after a few hours of looking at myself under a microscope i'm thinking i better go with the start over from scratch idea.) God is going to be with me throughout this process, so i know i'm in good hands.

as a lover of all things scrapbook related, i am jumping on the bandwagon and beginning the Project 365. this is where you take a picture a day, all year long, of things that encompass your daily life. people you love, people you love that don't love you back, friends, pets, places you shop, places you go, things you eat, things that will eat you. you get the idea. little things in life that add up to the big things. i will be posting the pictures here in an album entitled "Project 365 minus the first 31 days of 2010." because i got started late. but better late than never, right? so, if you are at all interested in bits and pieces of "me" check out the pics. if you're not...well then...don't. HA!

last week my family and i got into a big discussion on OCD. for those of you that don't know what that stands for Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. and i have it. but personally speaking, i feel that people who DON'T have it are the ones with a disorder! i tend to believe that it GIVES me order. anyway, i do not suffer in this alone. many others in my family also tend to "lean that way." with varying degrees of the disorder. i think that my own degree is slight, however, there are those who would tend to disagree with me. i have always known that this a part of me, though i wasn't always aware there was a name for it. i have always liked to think that i am very discreet about it. if you don't know me well, or if you weren't reading this, you would probably never know that i can be freakish about some...things. and if you're wondering right about now why i'm talking about OCD, it's because after our big discussion about it i have determined that this is one of the areas of my life that needs to be reconstructed! makes perfect sense now, huh?

one symptom of OCD is when a person has a compulsive desire to do something. maybe a certain number of times, or a certain way. and there is usually a reason WHY you need to do it, although you might not always KNOW what that reason is. for instance, i have to do certain things in even increments. not everything. but certain things. and i can't tell you what those things are, because they can change on a daily basis at any given time. i can tell you that i have to do them an even number of times. and this can drive a sane person, well, insane. like turning a light switch on and off. and then on and off again. or scratching my head. and then scratching it again. or having to have everything in the food pantry organized. by fruit, soup, breakfast foods, baking items,etc. and then within the food group itself. and labels facing out. and all in a perfect row. my sister, terri, and i used to own a gourmet gift basket business. we stocked alot of boxed candies and nuts and fruits. we also had alot of different gift lines. every day before i went home i would go around and line up all the little boxes. in perfect rows. but at an angle. and when i would come in the next morning, all the little boxes would be in perfect rows still. but lined up one in front of the other. i would "fix" them again and the next day...same thing. this went on for awhile. one day i mentioned it to mama (who worked with us) and terri, and told them how it drove me nuts that someone was always "undoing" the order of things. and terri admitted that it was HER! see, she has this same disorder. but where i like things at an angle, she likes them perfectly straight. so...most people would just do some sort of compromise...or let it go altogether. but not us. not TWO people with OCD. we just continued on with what we were doing. i would "fix" things and she would "mess them up." drove mama up the wall.

terri also has the "even" thing. but she is waaaaay more conspicuous about it than i am. one thing she does...when we are in the car and she is driving, if anyone is sitting in the backseat and says something to her...she has to flip her head around like you would do if you were looking for oncoming traffic before merging into a lane. and she does it twice. and if you happen to be going on a long trip with this going on...let me just say that by the time you reach your intended destination you have a car full of unhappy campers and a driver with whiplash. it even drives a fellow OCDer batty!

there is a show on tv called HOARDERS. these people suffer with a form of OCD. i watch the show...but i don't suffer anywhere near this degree. i don't hoard junk. or trash. or food. or animal feces. i went to mama and daddy's house the other day. when i walked into daddy's office there was mama sitting on the couch surrounded by empty boxes and...stuff. i asked her what she was doing. she said that alot of things they had gotten for Christmas had been left down there and she was taking it all out of the boxes so she could put it where it belonged. so i jumped right in and began tearing down the boxes. you know. to put in the trash. and then mama had a little "OCD issue."

"what are you doing...i want those boxes!!!"

"for what?"

"because they are "good" boxes. just put them in the closet over there."

"ummmmmm...for what?"

"because when i need to mail a gift and i need a box i'll know where they are. you can never have too many boxes."

"but you don't even shop anymore. so you don't mail gifts. so you don't need boxes. and if you ever DO need one...i will go to the store and get you one...if you don't already get one free with whatever it was you bought."

"but i hate to just throw away "good" boxes." (said as i am madly tearing them down still.)

" do not need boxes. you are wanting to get rid of "stuff" not collect more "stuff." the boxes GO!"

"fine!! but at least give me that big shoe box. i need that to put my tax stuff in." so i let her have the shoebox. (and today she told me she lost it.) go figure.

two of my sisters, paula and terri, AND both mama and daddy have a thing for boxes. and empty bottles. and styrofoam ice chests that daddy's insulin comes in every month. so i have to keep them all in check because i don't share this trait, and i throw them away when nobody's looking.

to top all of this crazy behavior off...i was a decorator. and for any of you fellow decorators or know what it's like. certain things have to be in groups of 3 or 5. what kind of chaos do you think THAT rule does to an "even numbered" OCDer like me? YES! you do understand don't you? you can spend literally hours working on a page and everyone will ooooh and aaaah over it (you caught that i had to do 4 o's on each word, didn't  you?) and tell you how pretty it is and how talented you are. but YOU KNOW that something just isn't right. it's missing that one little thing. and you can't be happy with it or done with it, until you find that ONE little thing. then...and only everything right in your little corner of the world. thank you! i knew there were people out there that can relate to me!

in my very first picture of my Project 365 minus the first 31 days of 2010 album, you may notice in the background a large pile of clothes. on hangers. but not hanging in the closet. yep...this was taken in micajah's room. i wash the clothes. i hang up the clothes...on plastic hangers...because i CAN NOT have wire hangers in my closets! and he lays them on the bed. why? because he is 17 yrs. old. and his job is to drive his mother looney. which he does mighty well. MIGHTY WELL INDEED!!!

all of this to say...this problem needs some attention. some "fixing." i drive myself nuts sometimes. i tell myself over and over again that NOTHING IS GOING TO HAPPEN IF I DON''T TAP THE TABLE FOUR TIMES. OR FLIP MY PILLOW TWICE BEFORE I GO TO BED. OR BRUSH MY TEETH TWO TIMES BECAUSE I CAN'T REMEMBER IF I REALLY DID BRUSH THEM OR IF I JUST THOUGHT I BRUSHED THEM. but, i have a hard time listening to myself. therein lies the problem.

so this will be a work in progress. this is just the beginning. hang on if you're going on this ride with me. it might get a little ummmmmmm out of sorts!.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


I was driving over to mama and daddy's house the other day to take them this for lunch.

a huge crockpot that was filled to the brim with beef stroganoff. not from a box, i might add. ten hours of home cooked goodness. i had it sitting on the floorboard of the passenger seat and during the 20 minute ride i had to kind of bend over and hold the lid on, so as to keep this goodness from spilling out onto my floormats. see, i had cooked this very same meal about a month or so ago, and on the ride there i didn't notice that it was making a puddle. that's because i was having a moment of road rage, i'm sure. and when that happens i don't notice much of anything except the person who is making my blood boil with their obvious lack of driving skills. so, when i finally made it to mama's house and went to get it out of the car, i saw that half the contents were no longer IN the crockpot, and therefore, someone would be getting a much smaller portion on their plate. unless they wanted to go scrape it off my floor mats. then they could have a little dirt with their stroganoff, and call it pepper. HA!

anyways...this time i didn't want to have to tell anyone that might be riding in my car anytime during the next week, that the fragrance they were smelling was "Eau de la stroganoff," so i bent over and made sure the lid stayed on.

it's hard to keep your car in between the lines when you are hunched over, holding the lid on a crockpot while driving 45 mph in traffic. it is even harder to do when you bend down and see movement on your windshield out of the corner of your eye. which is exactly what i saw. movement. and that movement was attached to something BIG and HAIRY. and it had 8 legs! and i am not the least bit ashamed to say that there was some high pitched screaming going on in my car.  because when i was able to stop at a light and focus...THIS is what i saw.

what? you don't see it? let me give you a couple of other views.


are you seeing this ginormous thing now? well, i saw it...and let's just say i was freaking out a little bit. okay, more than a little bit. i like watching spiders build their webs. i think they are fascinating creatures. but i don't want to give one a ride on my car. because i just knew that when i opened the door, that BIG HAIRY THING would be IN my car. with me. and that i can tell you would not end well.

so, i did what most anyone would do...i accelerated, hoping that the wind would be strong enough to blow him away. my hopes were dashed. that BIG HAIRY THING wrapped those 8 legs around the windshield wiper and hung on for dear life. i'm sure that people riding beside me thought i was having some kind of a stroke or something. there i was, bent over to the right, holding on to that lid, driving with my left hand on the wheel, screaming at the top of my lungs, like a banshee (i'm sure i was in violation of the "loud noises coming from your car law") and weaving in and out of my lane. but no one cared enough to call the police, or an ambulance to check on me and see if i needed any help. (nice, people.) i made it to mama's house and before i could figure out just how i was going to get out of my car and walk around to the passenger side to open the door and get my beef stroganoff out, without this BIG HAIRY THING attacking me and jumping inside my car, my nephew, Ryan, drove up. i was saved! here was a 19 yr. old macho man. i would get HIM to remove the BIG HAIRY THING. and then i could go on. with lunch. with life.

i called out to him. "hey, Ryan, you aren't afraid of spiders, are you?"

"ummmmmm. no. not really. well, it depends. on what kind of spider it is."

"well, i don't know what kind it is, except it is a BIG HAIRY one, and it is on my windshield. and if you want to eat lunch, then you have to come and get him off."

and Ryan strolls over to the car, very nonchalantly, (after all, he's a macho man) with a McDonald's drink in one hand, and he's expecting to see something the size of a dime. he's sorta thinking that i'm exaggerating and he's going to have to be the big  man and come take care of this little nuisance for his BIG BABY AUNT.

and then he walks to the front of the car and sees it.

"Holy Cow...that is the biggest spider i've ever seen! what am i going to get him with? Oh man...that thing is huge!"

so i say, "just get a stick and knock him off." and i proceed to find one. but, when i went to hand it to him, he had walked off towards the garage and when he came back...THIS is what he had found to get the spider off my windshield.

a machete.

"NO, i screamed. you can't get him with that. you'll bust my windshield."

"well, i'm not using that little stick. i'll just try to brush him off with this."

and when he touched the BIG HAIRY THING it started uncurling those 8 legs and Ryan started backing away. and IT started walking towards us. and i was still screaming like a banshee.

yeah. you thought i was exaggerating too, didn't you?

not hardly.

THE BIG HAIRY THING ran down the side of my car and Ryan finally poked at it enough to make it jump to the ground and what happened next...well, i can't post a picture of it. it was too gruesome.

Ryan chopped that BIG HAIRY THING into a million little pieces. it was like he went into a frenzy. like something on a horror movie, where the guy has an axe and a victim and he just hacks and hacks and hacks. it was overkill, to put it mildly.

i said, "Ryan, i didn't want you to kill it. i just didn't want to have to give it a ride back to my house."

and he said, "well, i don't want it to get inside OUR house. that thing is HUGE."

aaaaah...big macho men. you gotta love em.

 (but Ryan should have never let me know that he's afraid of spiders. i see some practical jokes in his future!)