Sunday, July 31, 2011

# 178 For there's no other way...

"Trust and Obey" is one of my favorite hymns.  I love hymns.  I love to sing.  I've heard that I have a beautiful voice.  To be fair, I heard that when I said it out loud the other day to Parker.  She ignored me and went into the kitchen.  Ok, so I don't have a great voice.  Not my problem.  I still love to sing.  And I love singing hymns-- it reminds me of going to church with my grandparents when I was younger-- he preached in small, country churches and they did lots of singing and lots of eating.  Good singing and good eating. 

Today, we sang that song to end the service at FBC, Cleveland.  That's where I've been going, when I'm in town, now that I'm a Delta girl.  Check out their website here.  Its a great church and I'm really enjoying going there and meeting some of the people, especially my Sunday School class! 

We did the Lord's Supper early in the service and then the pastor, Dr. Park Neff, had a fantastic sermon on the angel who saved Peter from prison.  It was really good and I thought he did a great job.  I learned a lot and I really enjoyed worshiping God today!
However, I have a problem.  I didn't know it was a problem until today.  It distracted me to the point of frustration and I had to pray for this to stop bothering me, and luckily for me, the deacon on the first row, shifted in his seat at that time and I was no longer faced with it.

It was this:

The little gold platters that hold the pieces of bread and that hold the little juice cups.  Every church has them and I've participated in the Lord's Supper many, many times.  Its never bothered me before, but I can guarantee you that I will always notice this from now on...

Apparently, FBC Cleveland has only invested in 9 gold platters to hold the drink for the Lord's Supper.  They have an even number of platters for the bread, but an odd number for the little cups of juice.  And they put these, like most churches, in two stacks while the preacher is speaking about the Lord's Supper and what it means to the church.  But 9 platters doesn't divide equally into 2 stacks!!!!  They are uneven!  I sat there, looking at them, staring at them, really, really, really wanting to go up to the front and divide these into three stacks of three!  Its so stressful!  I'm a tiny bit OCD!!!

My siblings are also OCD.  Nicholas is the worst-- he's obsessed with having everything in order and straight.  He'd get so angry if anything on his desk or in his room was messed up, and he had to have everything in a group-- for example, when he would get, say little collectible helmets for all the MLB teams, he had to have ALL of them-- if even one was missing, it was unacceptable.  He also obsessively collects things like magazines and notebook paper.  Betsy's not quite as bad but for many, many years, she would obsessively divide words-- she would take whatever word you said and, in her mind, divide it up to make it "even"-- like if you were talking and mentioned the world "banana", that would divide into "ban" and "ana", and those were both even, so it was ok.  But if you said "apple", that didn't divide out as easily.  Sometimes she would add two words together or take away a contraction to make it be even.  I don't know if she still does this, but she was ridiculously fast at figuring out the words and the syllables and it was still very weird. 

I also would type things in my head (and, sometimes, with my right hand) and go over and over how exactly you would type this on a keyboard and see how fast I could do it in my head.  My cousin Em's got some serious OCD tendencies so it totally runs in the family.  I'm not sure why-- none of our parents exhibit any of these type behaviors.  That I know of. 

But, as much as I already love FBC Cleveland, I know that I'm going to have to be more careful.  From now on, days when we do the Lord's Supper, I will need to sit closer to the back so I cannot see how the plates are divided on the table.  Its too upsetting. 

# 177 Finally the Fourth of July...

I'm finally getting around to getting my pictures downloaded from the past few weeks.  From at least one of my cameras.  Unfortunately for those who've been with me here recently, my good camera is no longer working.  Its a blank, white screen.  I'm re-charging the battery and attempting some troubleshooting, but I'm fearing for the worst here. 

July Fourth weekend I headed east to Pickwick Lake and hung out with my friends, Katherine and David Collier, Courtney Chailland, and Mindy Aust, and we stayed with our friend, Rebecca Henley at her family's lakehouse.  Its super, super nice and I've been once before, and loved it.  That year, I got a bit "boat" sick, although, to be specific, it was "large inner-tube sick because my friends drove the boat like maniacs and laughed as I was bounced around like a penny sickness", not really boat-sick.  Despite all that, I took extra precautions this year by getting some Bonine sickness medicine.  Or whatever its called-- I don't remember the name, but its basically damamine without the drowsiness.  It totally worked.  No problems with the boat sickness. 

However, I did have some other problems.  As avid readers of this blog, surely you remember the pain in my back a few weeks ago.  No, not Nicholas.  He's a pain in the neck, not the back.  I'd gone to the doctor the day before my trip to the lake and the doctor had given me lots of medicine and a steroid shot.  The steroid shot did a great job and I felt fine on Friday.  But by Saturday, between the heat and the boat sickness medicine and the back pain medicine, I wasn't feeling anything.  Good or bad.  I basically spent the entire couple days alternating between being passed out, or almost passed out, and not really remembering the rest. 

So, here are some pictures I did take while we were on the boat.  This is prior to me passing out, in the middle of the day, on the boat.  While my friends were kind enough to take care of me all weekend and not laugh at me too much, and they put sunscreen on me to protect me, they were also mean enough to take some pictures of me  as well.  Those pictures will NOT be published on this blog.  They are cruel and hateful and, most importantly, terribly unflattering. 

But here are some, more flattering, pictures of that weekend!  Love these five people!!!

From left to right: David, Rebecca, Courtney, and Katie

Isn't it so pretty?  I'm so lucky to get to go there and enjoy this beautiful earth!

 This is where we saw... the snake.  A nearby boat warned us, and we hightailed it back into the boat, and watched as it came close, closer, and then underneath the boat where it hid out for a while.  It was hilarious!  Fearless as he is, David chased the thing down the shore and we eventually went back out into the water.  But not for long!!

Isn't my friend Courtney so pretty?  Love that girl.  Also?  We are totally bringing back stripes.  You heard it here first, people, stripes are super in style.  Especially stripes on stripes, in my case.  

Rebecca, Mindy and Katie.  My dear, dear friends.  These girls and the one above are some of the greatest people I know.  I'm super blessed to have them in my life and I hope they know how lucky I am because of them.  I will steal a line from Katie-- I believe one of my greatest achievements in this life has been my friends.  They make me laugh, they make me cry, they support me, and love me, despite my flaws and stupid decisions and love of science fiction.  I've been incredibly blessed to have some fantastic friends, and these aren't the only ones.  These are just the only ones who went to Pickwick Lake with me that weekend!  But I love them dearly and I wish words would be enough to express how much I love them and need them in my life!!! 

This is one of my favorite couples (along with Zack and Kelly and Anne and Gilbert)-- Katie and David Collier.  In some minds, David would be a super lucky guy-- he gets to hang out with lots of fantastic girls all the time-- me, Courtney, Mindy and Rebecca, and he has a totally fantastic wife, Katie.  I know its hard to believe, though, but getting to hang out with us all the time isn't always rainbows and sunshine.  Shocking, I know.  We are, every once in a while, high maintenance.  And loud.  And probably a bit obnoxious and annoying.  But David is super kind and super nice-- he always wants everyone to have a good time and he's very aware of everything that's going on.   He's probably heard us fuss about our ex's more time than he'd ever want to remember, and he's patiently waited on us to get ready for longer than we'd like to remember, and he's gotten us food and drink and been a great friend to all of us, especially me.  He's a good guy-- my Katie did a good job, didn't she??! 

After all the fun in the sun, we were tired girls.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

# 176 They Grow Up So Fast...

I'm not even going to address the time between now and my previous blog post.

I will, however, say thank you for all the positive, uplifting words that were said about the blog post last week regarding Parker and her "grandmother".  She's had a tough time these last few weeks and we really appreciate all the love you've sent her way.  And we appreciate those of you who have voted in the poll on the first page.  Parker's anxious to find out what she'll be calling her gammy and we will close the voting soon and find out.

Obviously, that post hit a nerve with a lot of you readers-- perhaps there are some unresolved mother issues out there?   Seriously, people, that's something you need to discuss with your therapists.  My therapist has her hands full already.  But, it was really fun to get all the fun feedback from your comments and texts and facebook messages.  I love it when that happens!

Unfortunately, today's blog post isn't nearly as fun.  Its also not nearly as kind to Parker.  This weekend, Parker and I headed east (sidenote: I literally had to point out north-south-west-east with my hands just now to figure out which direction I was going!) to Franklin Tennessee to visit Aunt Betsy and "Grandmother" Deb for the weekend.  I'm not happy with myself in that I totally forgot my camera.  Which I have just realized was actually in my trunk the entire weekend.  Oh well, you live, you learn.

Since I now have every other Monday off, Parker and I didn't come back until yesterday evening-- we rolled into Cleveland about 8 p.m., and it was slightly sprinkling as we unloaded.  Our new neighbor was across the street with his dog, Boston (a Boston Terrier.  Clever.)  and we went over to meet and sniff them.  Of course, Parker met them and I sniffed them.

Then, I take Parker inside and this is when the fun begins.  I walk back outside and start to unload the backseat, and I look up, across the vehicle and I see Parker, strolling across the yard, stopping to literally smell the flowers.  I throw all my stuff down and try to get her to stop.  She doesn't.  This won't come as a surprise to anyone who has met Parker.  Or me.  I'm not what you might call a "strict disciplinarian" with her.  I'm not really what you would even call a "disciplinarian."  I prefer to be her friend instead.

I continue to call after her, and she continues to ignore me.  I begin walking faster down the sidewalk, in the increasingly harder rain, in my flip flops (seriously, it is impossible to run in wet flip flops.  Just impossible.).  Parker continues to ignore me, and lets me get right close to her and then she runs off.  My new neighbors is across the street, still with Boston the Boston Terrier, and I'm pretty sure he's now doubled over laughing.  Luckily for everyone, I'm able to grab Parker a few yards down, in mid-business.  It wasn't pretty.

I hold onto her and head back to the house, all the while realizing that now we both stink really badly-- one wet, sweaty human and one wet, sweaty dog.  Plus, Parker has mud all over her entire legs, thanks to my neighbors being quite lenient in the grass-cutting department.  I pick up the rest of my stuff, which is sprawled all over the driveway where I threw it when I saw Parker, and I have Parker under one arm, about to drop her.  I head inside, muttering under my breath,  fussing at her, taking a break to smile and wave at my new neighbor, who officially thinks I'm nuts.

I drop Parker off inside, and fuss at her and then head back outside to get the rest of the stuff from the car.  I come back inside and Parker is nowhere to be found.  I look everywhere.  In all her favorite places.  Behind the pink chair.  In the bathtub.  Under m bedside table.  I'm not making this up, people.

She's nowhere.  I panic.  I'm calling her, offering treats, offering to take her outside.  I'm doing everything I can think of and she's nowhere.  I begin to worry that perhaps she's snuck outside when I went back out the last time.  I open the door, go outside, look around.  Come back inside, start begging for her to come out.

Finally, after about 5 full minutes of this, she walks out.  From under my bed.  Without a care in the world.  Chewing on the top of my most favorite chapstick that I had just dropped on the floor earlier and is now nowhere to be found, either.

I'm furious.  What a brat.  We get into a huge fight.  I tell her she's lazy, that she never helps around the house.  She says I embarrass her in public and she doesn't want to invite her friends over.   I scream that I carried her around for 9 days when she was sick that one time and my body's never been the same.  She retorts that I'm ruining her life and she hates me.   I tell her she's more than welcome to go live with her "grandmother" or the Mayor and not to get an attitude with me.  She screams something about me not understanding her and threatens to get a nose ring.  I tell her to go to her room.  She points out that she doesn't have a room, and that I obviously don't love her or want to her to be happy.  Blah Blah Blah.

It ends with her, trying to calm down in the bedroom while I silently fume (and watch Next Food Network Star) in the living room.  At bedtime, I head to the bedroom, and I see her, laying in the exact middle of the bed.  I climb in bed, arrange myself around her, so as not to disturb her.  I start reading.

She immediately jumps down to the floor.  Where she stays all night long.

This picture pretty much sums it all up.  It wasn't taken last night, but it certainly is an accurate representation of her behavior:

Chick's Crazy.

I think we've kinda made up now, although I did threaten to take her toys away earlier if they weren't cleaned up and she rolled her eyes.  I'm sure that someday, she will realized how much I love her and how much I've sacrificed for her.  And if not, I'll just send her to live with Dutter.  Or Bapchi.

(Blogger's Note:  It is interesting to note that this lashing out of bratty behavior started after a weekend spend with Aunt Betsy and "grandmother".  Someone suggested that it might be that she was mad at me for making her stay up there with them.  Actually, I was the one who suggested that.  But it might be true.  Coincidence?)

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

# 175 Straw Polls

Readers-- GET TO VOTING in the poll.  Its to the left.  To the left, to the left. 

I need some input.  Also?  Vote early and often, ok?  This is a big deal-- this will be the name that my mom will be called for the rest of her life.  Cause if you think I'm ever going to let her live this down, you don't know me at all.  That hurts. 

# 174 My Pet Peeves the Poltergeist...

I have a few pet peeves.  Most of the time, I'm sugar and rainbows and unicorns and kindness all the time, but occasionally, I get a bit peeved at certain things.  Today has been one of those days.  Not a great day, but since I have this outlet, instead of seething inwardly, I get to rant and rave to my blog and you can all just ignore this post.

Here are some of my more minor pet peeves:

When someone on Toddlers and Tiaras says "She's going to be the next Miss America," or some variation thereof.  No, she's not going to be the NEXT Miss America.  She might be a Miss America (although, really?) but she will not be the NEXT Miss America unless Miss America 2012 is going to be a 4-year old toddler in stead of an 18-24 year old state pageant winner.

Paris Hilton-- famous for absolutely nothing.

The song "It's Five O'clock Somewhere".  The lyrics clearly state "its only half past twelve, but I don't care.  Its five o'clock somewhere."  Its NOT five o'clock anywhere if its half past twelve.  Its half past four somewhere and its half past five somewhere, but its NOT five o'clock anywhere.  That's the rules of time, Alan.  Get it together.  You could have just as easily have sang "its only right at twelve, but I don't care.... its five o'clock somewhere."  And you'd be right!

People who annoy me when I don't blog as often as they'd like.  Enough said.

Annoying reality show cliches-- "I'm not here to make friends" is the worst.  I take a shot of Diet Coke everytime I hear that. 

Now, we come to my two biggest pet peeves.

1.  Taking an awful idea, sentiment, or feeling, and using that to express how you feel.  I'm guilty of this, we are all guilty of this.  Exaggeration is in our blood.  We are imperfect beings by nature and we tend to be selfish and believe the world revolves around us.  So don't compare your problems to those of people in a war-torn country, or people who live in extreme poverty or who have survived awful situations in their lives.

Today I received a letter of "complaint" (that's how it was titled) at work.  It wasn't really about me, per se, but more about the court system in general.  Yeah, join the club buddy.  The legal system isn't perfect and you complaining about little things make the bigger issues that much more unreachable.  This particular man took offense to the fact that our child support court was held in "open court" rather than in a judge's chambers.  First of all, have any of you ever been to child support court?  We aren't the red-headed stepchildren of the legal system.  We are the crazy cousin Grizelda who drinks out of a flask when she thinks no one else is watching, with two, mismatching left shoes on, and some green fuzz permanently attached to the skin above her lip.  You deal with her when you have to (in my case, twice a month) by not making any sudden moves and sticking her in the back room, hoping none of your friends happen by and see her.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not complaining.  I love quirky cousins (though none of mine are that weird.  Except Em.) and I love my child support court job.  I do.  I really love court.  I get lots done, no ones bothering me, and the best part?  I rarely have to deal with attorneys!!!

But we, like most courts, do our business in open court.  Meaning, everyone is in the room while you are having your case heard.  This is NOT unusual.  I've practiced all over this great state and I've rarely ever been in the judge's chambers, unless we specifically ask to see them in chambers.  I have noticed, however, that in Coahoma County, before the Chancery Court Judges, a LOT of business is done in chambers.  Its strange to me, but there are a couple other counties who do that-- must be a Delta thing.  But, this is child support court and we don't have a Chancellor, but a Family Master (someone appointed to hear only child support matters) and where you hear a case is a judge's preference, and our FM lets everything be done in open court.

Personally, I think that's the smart thing to do-- no allegations of impropriety or anything-- its all in the open.  I'm sure our Founding Father's wanted it like that.  Back to the story-- this guy had court recently and his case was heard in the small courtroom in front of several other people who were, in all honestly, not paying a lick of attention.  This isn't interesting stuff.  They can barely hear and they are more worried about playing on their phones than listening to a case.

But this guy took serious offense to it, and in the letter, he expressed his great displeasure at having all of his "personal business" being done in open court.  Yeah, buddy, that's called reality.  Most court cases are open to the public and anyone can come in or out.  Now, I don't mind the complaint letter, I really don't.  Something like that would have bothered me a lot in my previous life, but here and now, its water under the bridge.  I did nothing wrong or out of the ordinary, and he wasn't really complaining about me, but about the system in general.  Its not like I typically take cases in chambers but wanted to hear his in the open courtroom just cause I'm a mean person.

But what really angered me about this letter is this sentence-- "having my private and personal business be heard by every single person in the courtroom made me feel as though I was being raped."  Yeah.  That sentence.  Where he compares his child support case to rape.  Uh-uh.  Not acceptable.  I'm not sure those two things are even close to each other.  Nor would child abuse, genocide, murder or assault be like that, either.  I don't take that lightly at all.  And I'm sure the many victims of abuse and other atrocities would feel the same way.  The rest of the letter made me laugh.  This part made me angry.  I'm no women's libber or anything, but comparing rape to being in a large courtroom and having an attorney and a judge ask you questions like "where do you work" and "what is your monthly income" and "where does the child live?" isn't a good idea.   Let me be clear-- I have not been a victim of any of these awful things, so don't freak out and think I've gone all nuts-- I am blessed to have not had to deal with these things-- Thank you, Lord-- but that doesn't mean I don't understand the horrific nature of them and don't think that people should take these things very seriously. 

My second major pet peeve (and this one might offend some people, and if it does, I'm really sorry.  Also, I apologize for the salty language to come):

Telling someone to "go to hell".  Yep, I said it!  I know there are all sorts of cuss words and you could very well argue that one cuss word is the same as any other ones and they all mean the same thing, with the same intent behind the language and there is some sort of law school activist/four corners of the document/traditional intent parallel going on here that no one but my law school friends would understand or appreciate, but that's not the point.  The point is this:  I believe in hell and I believe it is a pretty awful place.  And I believe that many people, not myself, but many people, will be going there when they die.  And I don't think its a place that I would tell anyone, even my worst enemy (you know who you are, PC) to go.  I just don't think, if you believe there is a hell, that you should be telling people to go there, even in jest. 

Also- I'm looking at you too, GTHOMers.  I don't like it, and when you say it, you are saying it to ME.  I am an Ole Miss fan and that is being said directly to me and all the other Ole Miss fans.    And I don't take that lightly.  Just ask the people I've deleted off facebook in the last year for saying it over and over.  Oh, you can't, since I deleted them.

Don't fuss at me, its my opinion and it might not be your opinion.  That's fine.  You can share it on your blog and I promise to read it (No, seriously, everyone should start a blog-- its fun!) I get that it's your little acronym and you might like it.  But I don't think its funny.  I don't think its clever.  And  I don't like it when the Ole Miss fans say it to the LSU people, so I'm not entirely biased against MSU fans.  There are other schools who say it all the time.  And other people who have nothing to do with college teams that say it.  This applies equally.  And I might be making some people angry who don't think its a big deal.  That's fine--there are plenty of other blogs you can read.  Though, none probably as fun as mine.  Just kidding!  I have many MSU-rooting friends.  To be fair, most of them now come to Ole Miss games and hang out in the Grove, so they are obviously smart, fun, good people who know a good thing when they see it.  But I don't think they've ever said it, and I KNOW they've never written GTHOM all over facebook.  That's not how they roll.  They are more into taking obnoxious pictures of their sick friends who have taken too much medicine and have passed out on a boat (yeah, those pictures better never see the light of day, girlies.  Not flattering.)

Anyway, if anyone is still reading my ranting, then you will be glad to know I am finished.  I will wrap this up and

Monday, July 18, 2011

# 173 Make it Work, Andre...

Blog Update Alert!  Tonight I received some fantastic advice from a fellow blogger about how to make my blog even cooler.  I know what you are thinking-- make it cooler?  Seriously?  How in the world could this blog GET any cooler?  Have Ryan Gosling guest blog?  Give away a brand-new car to the most-frequent reader?  Post more pictures of Parker?  Surely you jest about it getting better.  (Don't call me Shirley.) 

It HAS gotten better!  My new friend and new neighbor, Jennifer, came over tonight and the topic of conversation turned from icing and cake pops (pictures to come...) to blogging templates and Pinterest (join it!).  She gave me some fantastic and free advice to make my blog much cooler-- astute readers will notice some differences already and more will be coming in the future.  Giving you readers something to look forward to since I know you already sit around each day, waiting on me to post! Ha!

Please note the new poll feature in the top left-- this will be updated periodically and I really want you input.  I will keep it open for a certain period of time and it will change at my whims.  So go vote now on what we should call Ursula (Parker's grandmother).  Give me some ideas!

Also, check out Jennifer's blog-- there is a link to it at the bottom as well.  Its super good and fun and interesting and professional.  All things I want mine to be (someday!). 

And finally, not to beg or anything, but perhaps you should think about "following" me.  You can now get my blogs via email, and I think it will be a huge boost to my self-confidence.  You know, so when those new black pants are bit too tight, at least I can hang my hat on the fact that 7 people follow my blog!!

That's all for now!  Good night, dear readers!  But before you go to bed, sign up to get my blog posts via email! 

Friday, July 15, 2011

# 172 Forget Not Your Enemies...

Remember this?

Readers, let this be a lesson learned-- you should never let your guard down.  If someone was once a public enemy, they will always be a public enemy and you should guard yourself around them, always being wary.  I'm sure that's in the Bible somewhere. 

I want you all to learn from my mistakes.  Its why I have this blog.  I knew this person was trouble.  I knew she was out to get me.  But I let her "let me buy you dinner, Jess" and "I want to come visit cause I miss you and Parker, doll" and "you're my favorite child" words fool me.  Those were empty, nonsense words, much like "balanced budget", "Paris Hilton" and "law school loans".  I've learned the hard way.  It hurts, but sometimes you have to come out of a dark place to find out who your friends are. 

She's baaaccck. 

It started this morning-- I'm taking sweet, innocent, precious Parker to the vet so she can get an allergy shot and a bath for her big weekend in Oxford.  All week long, we've been talking about going to visit Uncle Nick in Oxford.  She's been so excited.  Well, I've been talking about it-- Parker mostly lays there looking at me, and occassionally gets up and turns in a circle and lays a different way.  But I know that means she's excited.  She was also excited about getting to see her grandmother, my mother, the aforementioned Deb.  On the way to work this morning, I call mom, you know, just to tell her how much I love her and how great of a mother she is (I do this every morning), and mom answers the phone and says:

Deb:  I just read your stupid little blog and I think its awful and I am NOT Parker's Grandmother.

Me:  What?  Mom?  Hold on, I've just stoppped on the side of the road to move a turtle out of the way of traffic.  Ok, now, what?

Deb:  I'm NOT Parker's grandmother and you better not call me that ever again.

ME:  Mom?  What?  That's hurtful.  Parker loves you so much and she is a part of this family, and you are her grandmother.

Miss Hannigan:  No, I'm not.

Me:  Just a second-- I'm on-line paying for my "End World Hunger/Help a Kid Eat for a Month/Buy a kid a blanket" subscription.  Ok, Mom, you are her grandmother.  You are my mother.  She is my child.  Ergo, you are her grandmother.

Cruella:  No.  I'm not.  I don't want to be called that little brats grandmother.  Or any part of her family.

Me:  Then what are you to her?

Voldemort:  I don't care.  I don't want to even think of her or you.  You are both chuckleheads.  But I guess I could be her "friend".  That's all. 

Me:  Ouch, that hurts mom.  We love you so much.  Did you get our "We love you just because its Tuesday" card in the mail?

Joan Crawford:  Yeah, I threw it at a little old lady who was taking too long to cross the street with her walker.  I'm don't have any grandbabies-- thank goodness.  Parker is not related to me in anyway.  

Me: Oh, ok, well, that's really sad, Mom.  I'm really sorry I bothered you at work.  I know you are busy.  And I have to go help underprivileged children get money from their dead-beat dads.  I love you. 

Wicked Witch:  Whatever.  I don't care.  You or your little dog. 

As you can see, readers, its been a rough morning.  Parker's going to be in therapy for a long time-- being kicked out of the family for no reason.  I don't care-- she's MY dog, my baby, and therefore, she's part of this family.  So, since Mom won't allow herself to be called "grandma", I've thought of a few other names we could call her.  All of these names are used by someone to denote their "grandmother".  Since I value my reader's opinions, let me know which one of these Parker should call my mom from now on. 

Babchi (prounounced Bop-chee)

Thursday, July 14, 2011

# 171 Road Trip... RO-AD... RO-ad... RO-ad...

Tomorrow is a big day for little Parker-- she's going on a trip this weekend! 

First, she is heading to Clarksdale where she is going to meet Dr. Grant and (hopefully) get an allergy shot!  She'll also be having a spa day and getting a bath.  She will look so very pretty. 

Once her day trip to Clarksdale is over, she is heading east to visit her Uncle Nick.  She'll be staying with him all weekend while me and her grandmother go to the Ole Miss Ladies Football Forum.  Check it out here.  My mom has gone several times but this year me and a couple of my friends, Karen and Karin, will going as well.  We are all really nervous and excited since we've heard a lot about the hazing they do to rookies.  We are optimistic that my mom, as an upperclassman, will protect us.  I will be taking pictures and hopefully it will be a great weekend! 
Parker's super excited about her weekend getaway but she got a little down on herself earlier.  As we were packing up, she realized that she doesn't have a very cute bag to keep all her stuff in.  A lot of her new friends at the Delta Dog House bring their stuff in personalized bags and she feels a little bit embarrassed when we show up with a canvas Oxford tote.  I tried to make her feel better by explaining that its not fun to be like everyone else, that its better to be unique and individual and her Oxford tote shows how much she travels and Oxford's a cool place.  But you know how kids are these days--- they want to fit in.  Hopefully one day soon we can get her a cute bag.  Like one of these:

 LOVE LOVE LOVE the one above.
 Maybe something more classic?

Also-- Big Shout Out to Avid Reader Lanelle for the tip on a better way to give Parker her allergy medicine.  Now, I won't look like such a druggie to the uninformed viewer, and I won't feel like quite such a bad mother for drugging my kid.  Thanks Lanelle!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

# 171 Doctor, doctor, give me the news...

All regular blog readers should know (and if you don't, shame on you) about my recent back problems.  Obviously I'm getting older.  And wiser.  And more beautiful.  But those are topics for another day.  Today's topic is the good side of going to the doctor-- INSURANCE!!!  I love having insurance.  Its great.  Its been WAY too long since I've had insurance and its a great feeling!  Yay for state jobs!  The bad part of insurance?  Those pesky deductibles! 

Two weeks ago, when my back was hurting so badly, I woke up on a Friday morning (July 1) and messaged my friend (and loyal blog reader,  Ann Marie) about a local doctor.  I headed out, hopeful and desperate at the same time.  I went to the clinic, and told them that I needed to see this particular doctor, but I'm a new patient as I've just moved to town.  I then went to get something out of my car, and when I got back, after waiting a few minutes, I was told that this doctor doesn't see new clients on Fridays. 

Um, okay?  So I asked if there was another doctor they could recommend that DID see new patients on Fridays.  She asked three different people who worked AT A DOCTOR'S OFFICE.  Nope.  Sorry.  I could try the free clinic in Ruleville.  Huh?  Sick people who are new to Cleveland cannot see doctor's on Fridays?  That's discrimination!  Where is the ACLU when they could actually help out a situation?  This is an outrage!  New people have to go to doctors only on Monday-Thursday?  This is all sorts of wrong. 

So I call Ann Marie back (she's my go-to girl for all things Delta-related) and she directed me towards her mother-in-law, who worked across the street in a pharmacy near the hospital.  She was nice enough to make a few calls and get me an appointment with another doctor, close to her pharmacy.  So, lucky for my back, I have enough connections to get in front of a doctor here in Cleveland ON A FRIDAY.  That's how I roll people, knocking down unfair policies and procedures everywhere I go. 

This doctor was super nice and I was able to get some medicine which, unfortunately, didn't really help a whole lot, but I was just glad to have any medicine at this point.  I later learned that July 1 was the beginning of the new "fiscal" year for insurance companies, and most offices were reluctant to start a new patient and have to fill out all the new paperwork or meet the new requirements.  Something like that.  I'm just glad I have friends in high places! 

Last week, since the medicine wasn't helping, I went to another doctor-- this time, one recommended from my family doctor in Laurel.  Mid-morning Wednesday I called to get an appointment, and discrimination reared its ugly head again.  They only accept new patients for appointments at 1:30 p.m. and 8:30 a.m.  And they were closed that afternoon, so I'd have to wait till the next morning.  Its hard to be a new person in this town.  I held my head high and politely accepted the 8:30 a.m. appointment, vowing to someday fight against this very injustice.  This blog is my first step...

Also, I took this picture of the poster in the room where I had my blood drawn.  It just made me happy.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

# 170 Admitting is the first step...

Yesterday I took a big step when I admitted to grounding up benadryl and drugging my sweet Parker for her allergy issues.  I know it LOOKED like I was crushing up some other illegal substance but I promise it wasn't anything illegal or even illicit. 

And today, it might have LOOKED like I'd spilled more illegal substances on my desk just a few minutes ago.  But I promise that it was *only* Crystal Light Lemonade from a little packet. 

And it might have LOOKED like something worse than that when the client walked in my office at that *exact* time as I was trying to clean it up by sweeping it into a little pile. 

And it might have LOOKED like I was doing something wrong when I then started giggling and laughing till my face was red while said client looked at me funny. 

And it might have LOOKED like I was doing somethign wrong when I then started trying to explain and clean up the mess and then I knocked my water over, spilling it on my desk. 

But I promise, its just a coincidence that both of these shady-looking things happened within a 24 hour period.  I'm not a druddie, I promise!!!  It just, apparently, really looks that way!!!!

Monday, July 11, 2011

# 169 Something funny...

Today's been a weird day-- it was my first Monday off from work, now that I'm doing the "compressed schedule".  I will have every other Monday off, and in turn, I will work an extra hour or so each day (stay 30 minutes later and take a 30 minute shorter lunch).  Its going to be really fun, and I'm excited for when I want to take a long weekend and go do something super cool.  But today, in concert with missing so much work last week, and the after effects of all the medicine, it was sort of a letdown.  I woke up early with a bad headache, and the best thing I could think of (this week-- er, last week-- I'm behind!--  in my Frazzled Female Bible Study, the topic was being positive about everyday stresses, being joyful in everyday situations, etc.) was that at least a bad headache hit on a day when I could sleep late!  And sleep late I did, and I've basically done nothing of great substance all day except cook some food so I could freeze it and eat it another day when I didn't feel like cooking.

Parker's been super itchy lately (allergies, poor thing...) and, vet's orders were to give her a bit of a benadryl.  So, if you were looking in my kitchen window earlier today (and, if you were, weird!!), and you saw me grinding up some white powder on a pink paper plate, don't think I was doing anything illegal.  I do all my illegal drug organizing in my guest room, anyway.  Nope, I was drugging my sweet dog.  I'm not sure it worked.  She's been a bit out of it all day-- we went outside for a long time and then she stayed out in the backyard for over an hour, panting and sweating like crazy.  I had to pick her up and bring her inside and then I couldn't get her to drink any water, but instead, she followed me everywhere I went all day long.  She's scratched on the doors all day, trying to get me to let her back outside (she never does this!).  And then she's laid in unusual places and not eaten anything.  I guess its the drugs.  Poor thing.  At least she's not itching!  She's currently lying on the couch beside me, taking up a lot of room.  She's so sweet!

Anyway, I'd really have much rather been at work today, catching up after last week, or do something productive, but I didn't get a whole lot done, except the aforementioned cooking, some DVR clearing, and one craft project (pictures to come when its finished).  I'm glad for a slow day, but I'll be glad tomorrow when I can get back to work.  If there is anything I've learned this last year, its that an idle mind wreaks havoc on me.  Not a good thing. 

So, to end the day on a positive note, a little funny I got off pinterest.  Love it!!!

This isn't the letter we're looking for. 

Friday, July 8, 2011

# 168 Honesty is the best policy...

Readers, I once made a vow never to lie to you.  Well, it wasn't so much a vow as a promise.  It really wasn't a promise but a thought.  Actually, it never occurred to me, before now, to lie to you or not to lie to you.  But, now that the thought has occurred to me, I've decided to take the road less traveled and NOT lie to you.  Not even omit something from you. 

I have a problem.  I pretty big problem.  I'm down on my back, literally, and I've been given a whole lot of different medication to help with me pain.  Most of it has not helped.  I alluded to the medicinal effects in my previous posts about going to Pickwick.  But, its gotten worse.  I spent all day in one of Cleveland's finest doctor's offices' yesterday and I went home with a lighter wallet, a bag full of medicine and a pain in my back.  Literally. 

This is when the night took a dark, dark turn.  I didn't eat dinner, but instead ate a big ole helping of Ben and Jerry's Americone Dream ice cream (totally the best.  Don't bother arguing.)  I watched a couple episodes of my new favorite show, Eureka (totally funny.  Don't bother making fun of me.  If you are reading this blog, you know my penchant for random sci-fi tv shows and you obviously still love me, so you are wasting your breath!).  I took my medicine.  Then things went from normal, to, well... ugly.  I'm not going to lie.  I'm going to keep this blog as an open, honest channel of communication, so I will tell you exactly what happened. 

Earlier that evening I had been text messaging my friend Katie (about her blog).  Actually, it will be easier to type, word-for-word, what happened. 

ME:  Ok next time I come over for anyreaspnsi I eill be.  Bringning sal ny meds$
ME:  It so fun cause I'm rerally high.  I wabt everyone to getinvolved with my legal drugs-  I don't know wjat I'm talking about. 

KATIE:  I am laughing at you right now! (Blogger's note-- she's just saying that, Katie would NEVER laugh at me.)

ME: Everythung is growing around me and its hard to explain, its all my drugs theyv e given me.

KATIE:  Are you okay???  (Blogger's Note:  See, even in friendship, concern comes before comedy!)

ME:  Yes I think I am fine- I think the many meds I have been on thiw week have finally caust up with me I feel loosy goosy.  Need to go to sleep!

KATIE:  Okay.  Nighty night. 

ME:  Ok! When I get off meds I will be normal again (Blogger's Note: "normal" being a relative term)!  Great weekend thoigh woth you girls!

KATIE:  Yes indeed!

Dear readers, this wasn't my finest moment.  Not even close.  It wasn't even in the top half of my finest moments.  Unfortunately for me, it also wasn't my most loser-ish moment either.  Another story for another day...

Fortunately for you all, the fun didn't stop there.  No, I was just getting warmed up.  Right before I dozed off to sleep, I had this conversation with my sweet sister, Betsy.  We had been just discussing how awesome of a sister I was, and how lucky she was to have me (at least, that's my recollection). 

Betsy:  Love u.  How do u feel, druggy? (Blogger's Side Note:  to be clear, I have a legal doctor's prescription for all the medicines I've taken!)

ME:  I feel drugg s

Bets:  Hahaha.  Ur crazy.

ME:  I feel high$o I don't knoe wheere u ansuppopsgtbe

Bets:  omggggg.

ME:  This medicine is making things uoiz"l

Bets: You are so funny.

ME:  I should stop messaging to others till I quit taking ambient.

Bets:  Yes yes

ME:  I a not able to see straiught$ I think I'm in a big college room with everyone including u.  But then I have to leave and find peipele who don't have frirnds$$

ME:  Did someone steal my bbm [blackberry messenger].  It makes no sense.  I don't know if I wrorte it on there or nor.  Love u betsy!  Its the meds!

Bets:  Omg!!
Bets:  You're sooo funny.  Please don't take any while u drive.  I love u sissy.

Me:  I won't!  Its only nighttime.  I cannot beieve I am likle this way-- everything is werid!!!

Oh wow, readers, I've literally made myself cry reading these as I've typed.  I hope you are happy.  I'd like to point out a few things. 

First, it makes me happy that both Katherine and Betsy were concerned for my well-being while at the same time laughing at me.  That's the way it should be-- make sure I'm ok, then laugh cause its hilarious!  I also appreciate that Betsy warned me not to drive!

Second, I'm a terrible typist.  Or am I?  Perhaps that is exactly what I meant?  Maybe I meant "werid", as some sort of existential new-age grammatical change to show the meaning of the world "weird"-- after all, its "weird" that I cannot spell "weird", right?  Wow, I amaze myself sometimes. 

Third, I am a really nice person.  Even in the middle of my medical high, I was worried about all those people in the big college room that didn't have friends and I wanted to go make friends with them.  I mean, really, how many people can say they are so super nice, even in their medicinally-caused hallucinations??!! 

Next, I'm just glad that I didn't text anyone else.  When I woke up this morning, and the medicine had worn off, I reread the messages and nearly made myself sick laughing.  There couldn't be two better people to have sent these too!  Betsy and Katie love me, high or not!!  And they were both very nice this morning when I apologized for my messages (after they finished laughing and wiping the tears from their eyes). 

And finally, I will just say this-- its a very good thing that I didn't drink any DC's before bedtime-- we all know how those affect me-- diet cokes + Ambien?  Not a good thing!!

Now, I must get off this computer.  Its time to take my medicine, and I've got a few calls to make...

Thursday, July 7, 2011

# 167 Courage is not the absense of fear...

Lately, I've been confronted with one of my biggest fears.  Roaches.  Specifically, FR's (flying roaches).  I've seen three in my house in the last week and I've had to kill them all.  It wasn't pretty-- fly swatters, magazines, roach spray, shoes flying every which way, screams from me, silent disapproval from Parker, fear emanating from all around me.  But I did it.  I killed them.  And I sprayed every single inch of this house with as much bug spray as I could stand.  Thinking about these FR's made me think of other fears I have.  Mostly irrational ones.  Here are the two biggest ones I have.  I think about these a lot.

Driving down the road in my car, and the car in front of me throws out a cigarette, and as I run over it, it gets lodged in the underside of my vehicle and ignites, starting a fire.  I am terrified of this happening.  Has this ever happened to anyone?  Or did I make this up?  Regardless, its a thought every single time I see someone throw out a cigarette, which is often.   Those smokers have less regard for the beauty of our roadways than they do for their own well-being!  I'm positive I read about this somewhere.

Ok, I just googled this and apparently, I am not the only one with this concern.  Fortunately, it seems that the Mythbuster guys have proven this one wrong.  Unfortunately, it does seem that another possibility is a lit cigarette coming through your sunroof and catching something in your car on fire.  Great, I've traded one concern for another. 

My second concern-- hitting my head on a nail, screw or something pointy.  For example, whenever there is a nail sticking out of the wall, or a pointy piece of furniture, I think, all the time, about losing my balance and hitting my forehead on this, it puncturing my head and causing me to die.  I have a chest of drawers in my room, and its edges are pointy, and everytime I walk past it, or am getting dressed near or, or anything, this occurs to me.  Its a scary way to die.  Especially living alone.  Without one of those Med Alert bracelets.  I think about this everytime I spot an old nail or screw in the wall-- what if I tripped, and lost my balance and hit my forehead?  Would I die?  Would it poke through my forehead?  Or just leave a red mark?  Is my forehead strong enough to withstand this type pressure?  Its very scary. 

So these are my two biggest, hopefully irrational fears.  What about you guys?  Any suggestions on ways to avoid these things?  Any fears of your own?  Any jokes at my expense? 

# 166 Sharing my inspiration...

After seeing my awesome art masterpiece in the previous blog, I'm getting the feeling that many of you are wondering where I get my talent from, where I get my inspiration, how can I be so talented? Its a curse, really.

But I will share with you my most recent amazing internet obsession-- where I get lots of inspiration.

Pinterest is a new site, like an on-line pinboard-- for you to "pin" your favorites on-line. You open an account, and it becomes a virtual bulletin board. You drag this little "pin it" icon to your internet browser dashboard thingy, and then, next time you are surfing the web, and you see a recipe you want to try or a pair of shoes you want to buy when you get paid, you click "pin it" and you can pin the link and the picture to your board. Then, you go back to Pinterest and its all there, in one place, so you won't forget where you read about that cool DIY project you wanted to try. You can label your different "boards" to be more organized, and you can "follow" other people's boards and see what inspires them or what they like. You can even "re-pin" something someone else pinned. Whenever you log onto the home page, it shows all the things other people have just pinned. Its really cool to get to look at different projects or recipes or whatever that other people have found on-line-- things you might never have seen on-line.

For example, my boards are "What's for Dinner" (recipes), "Get Crafty" (projects I want to do), "My Style" (cute outfits to think about), "Words to Live By" (great quotes), "Books Make My Heart Happy", "Hotty Toddy Tailgating" (for cute things to bring to the Grove), "Things not to get lost in my bookmarks" (websites or good ideas that I want to remember), "On the Road Again" (travel stuff-- places to go, things to do, etc.) and a few more.

Today, while being at home, under the influence, I got on-line and checked out some of my favorite websites and blogs that I don't get to check out very often. I found this really cool recipe for a "sushi roll in a bowl"-- and I pinned it to my "What's For Dinner" board, so that whenever I have the time and the money to make this, I can just log on and get the recipe. I don't have to try to remember which site that was on, and scroll through weeks of posting to find one thing. Its all at my fingertips.

I love cutting things out of magazines-- clothes to buy, looks to try, recipes to make, decorations to get, etc. I have entire notebooks and boxes full of things I've printed off the internet or town out of a magazine. I love putting up pictures of things I love and people I love in my house-- I have about a million pictures just stuck everywhere in my house. And I love this because its the same thing-- an inspiration board on-line. I'm following a few people-- a couple people I know personally and a couple bloggers whose blogs I adore. Its so interesting to see what people find inspiring. One girl has a board all about "colors" and she has all sorts of beautiful pictures of random things that have one thing in common-- they are colorful and gorgeous. One girl I follow has lots of ideas for babies-- gifts, birthday ideas, baby food recipes, how to make baby clothes, ideas of baby pictures, etc. She has a small child and now she has all these cute ideas that she can refer back to when it comes time for the kid's birthday party or one-year pictures.

So, everyone should quit reading my blog, and head over to Pinterest, and start your account. Be sure to follow me!!!

# 165 Art knows no limits...

"One should either wear a work of art or be a work of art."
--- Oscar Wilde

By now, you've all seen the 80s party pictures. And, I'm sure, are sufficiently impressed at the creativity of my friends. As you should be. The coolest thing about getting dressed up was that each person dressed exactly as their personality-- Katie was preppy, Pretty in Pink princess, Courtney was edgy flash-dance cool, Mindy was punky, spunky, relaxed and perfect. And I, well, I was crazy Punky Brewster-DIY, neon colored, crazy, nutty, out there. Also a bit eclectic. Eclectic is a nice word for spastic.

While I think that each of the girls looked fabulous and did a great job with their outfits, I'd like to point out that, with the exception of Mindy's Phi Mu sorority swap authentic leg warmers, no one went to as much realistic, and artistic effort as I did. A lot of people were seriously impressed with my outfit. I don't know any of those people, but obviously, they have dead-on taste.

Now, most artists don't like to share their secrets with the world-- their influences, their techniques, their inspirations. Lucky for you, this blog is all about openness and honestly and today I'm going to share with you how an artist, namely, myself, makes a masterpiece, namely, my shirt. That's right, my shirt. What's that? The sound of gasping out loud when you read that last sentence? Yes, it is hard to believe, but I did MAKE my shirt. I did not buy it like that. I know its hard to believe, but I wouldn't lie to you, would I?

Growing up as a child in the 80s, I loved to be creative and do all sorts of things. I get this from my mom. She made those paper machie earrings and ribbon hairbows and cross-stiched things and all. And one of the most fun things we did was puff paint t-shirts. We did this all the time. My favorite was a soft green colored one-- I wore it all the time with my white leggings and my buckle tying the shirt up on one side. I was super cute.

Also, in the 80s, I spent a lot of time at my friend Laura's house. We did a lot together and I would literally spend weeks at her house, if I could, only coming home to get clothes when necessary. I loved Laura. But mostly I loved her house. See, she had an OLDER brother. Not a younger sister and brother like I had. And her OLDER brother, Greg, was much cooler than either of my siblings, combined. And he didn't bother us. Which is way more than I can say for Betsy (and Nick, when he was born in 1990). So I spent tons of time at Laura's house over on Wansley and one thing I remember doing was puff painting t-shirts in her laundry room. We both had an extensive collection and we liked to paint shirts that looked similar, so that everyone would know we were BFFs. We were cool like that.

Flashforward to 2011 and I'm thinking about my 80s costume and I just knew it had to involved puff paint. Unfortunately I didn't have the time before I left for Corinth to get the shirt finished, so I brought all my supplies with me.

First, a huge, obnoxious yellow t-shirt-- all the better for cutting off the neck and tying in a knot on my hip. Someone, I think Katherine, had the genius idea of putting it over an old bulletin board so I could stand it up while I painted.

My awesome media.

A work-in-progress. Don't get me wrong, I adore my friends. But they don't really "get" me as an artist. There were a lot of snarky comments made from the peanut gallery while I was working on my masterpiece. And yes, I believe there was a LOT of jealously in the room.

My hostess, Courtney, was nice enough to bring me a plate of bacon and eggs and toast and some oj, so I wouldn't have to disrupt my creative juices. In the meantime, Katie and Mindy sat in the living room, heckling me and my art. Some people just don't "understand" art. Its sad for them, really.

Someone likened it to not bothering William Faulkner while he was in the middle of writing "Intruder in the Dust". That person may or may not have been me, but the sentiment is clear. Masterpeices like these don't just "happen" by accident. They are made.

The final product:

And in case you cannot read all that shirt, it says things like "I pity the fool" and "That's my name, don't wear it out..." and "Frankie Says Relax" and "Simply Irresistible". Also? We had a hard time spelling "Irresistible".

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

# 164 I Guess a Change, a Change, Would Do You Good...

One year ago today, a lot in my life changed. Technically, it all really changed one year ago yesterday but I didn't get the memo until one year ago today, July 6th. Regardless, life as I know it changed. I'm not going to go into the gory, boring details, but many of you know most of the details. My family has always been the closest thing in the world to me-- I love them. They drive me crazy, but I love them. They get me. Thank goodness someone does! And last year, at this time, someone in my family made a life-changing decision which affected everyone I care about. This started off a domino-effect in my life, until everything that once was, is now different. Pretty much everything in my life is entirely different than one year ago.

Anyway, last year, on July 4th, I had a great time with my entire family, or at least most of my entire family. Right after this, a lot changed. Its kinda amazing when I think back to one year ago. Lots of things have changed in the last year.

-- My sister has moved to Franklin, TN and has a brand new job.

-- I've gotten to know Peter, my sister's better half, a whole lot better and I adore him!

-- I've finally admitted to myself and to the world that I really disliked being a solo attorney. This was something I knew for a long time, but never said out loud!

-- I've found a new job which I really, really like.

-- I've left my homes in Laurel and Newton and Parker and I moved several hours away to the Mississippi Delta.

-- I've decided I LOVE the Delta and all its elements.

-- My brother moved into a house in Oxford, and is all grown up and mature and all.

-- I've gotten health insurance, and dental and optical insurance-- I can totally get sick now!!!

-- I've found the world's most amazing piece of art on television-- My Big Fat Gypsy Wedding.

-- I've lost a good friend, someone who was a part of my family, and watched as his decisions hurt my entire family.

-- I've quit the LRMA Guild and Laurel Junior Auxiliary, both organizations I loved.

-- I've left FBC, Laurel, and all my sweet GA girls, whom I love dearly and miss incredibly.

-- I've made some new friends, and have lost a few older ones.

-- I went to the happiest place on Earth-- Disneyworld!

-- I've made myself stick to a budget (sorta stick to one, anyway!)

-- I've realized how incredibly loved I am. My friends have gone above and beyond all expectations of friendships.

-- I've gotten out of a really negative relationship.

-- I was able to go back to Gatlinburg with my family for Christmas.

-- I've learned so much about myself-- both good and bad. (I know, its surprising that there is anything bad about me, but its true. Not many bad things, but some!!)

-- I've battled depression and won. Mostly.

-- I've tried to blog everyday.

-- I've not blogged everyday.

-- I've watched as a lot of things changed in my families' lives-- both good and bad.

I'm not the same as I was a year ago. I'm sure none of you readers are, but it seems to me that this last year has brought more changes to my life than any other one-year period before. Generally, I hate change. I hate it. I like things to stay the same way, no matter what. I've resisted change in jobs, family, friendships, life, etc., as hard as I could and yet this year, there was nothing I could do to stop these changes! Someone once said that she hates change and she "waits and waits to make a change until its under the worst possible circumstances." She was entirely right. I made a lot of these changes in the last year only because I had to-- I was literally at the bottom and changes had to be made or else I'd never get back up.

This blog is a mix of reminiscing and nostalgia, plus some pain medicine, I'm sure. Regardless, one year ago, a lot changed, and it was some pretty painful changes. But, looking back, I know this is exactly where God wanted me to be this year. God has taught me more this year than ever before, and I am REALLY excited to see where I will be one year from today. I can only imagine. Perhaps it will be anyone of these things:

-- My parents will get a new dog and Parker will get an aunt or an uncle.

-- I will get my couch recovered in green velvet.

-- I will get a huge raise.

-- I will be able to pay off all my debt.

-- I will adopt a Korean baby girl.

-- I will go to Disneyworld.

-- I will have enough money to rent my own cabin for Gatlinburg so my family can stay somewhere else.

-- I will learn more about the Blues!

-- I will do really good at my new job.

-- My blog will become super huge and I will be able to quit my day job!

So readers, thanks for sticking with me this year. I'm excited to see what new things this next year brings.

# 163 80's Party Part Two...

You've all seen the pictures from the 80s party, but I took even more pictures of all the accessories and 80s "things" we had. After all, you cannot have a fabulous look without at least a few accessories on.

Food, silly string, and glow in the dark jewelry. The silly string was a bad idea, as Courtney found out when I sprayed her. Sorry about that Courtney Jane!

Glow in the dark neon jewelry-- so much fun!

Jelly bracelets and friendship bracelets my friends made me at camp. HA!

Slap bracelets

Wild nails!

Pop rocks-- no one was brave enough to try these and drink a coke too. Wimps.

The 80s were a great time for a lot of things. Fashion, maybe not one of those things. Regardless, we had a great time and we looked really, really good. It takes a lot of accessories to get into the mood!

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

# 162 Take me out to the ballgame...

Let me start this post by saying this: I am still on meds. I went to work today because I had court and by lunchtime, I was all wacky. Like, halfway in pain and halfway not feeling anything because I was so loopy. It was interesting-- I'm sure that in a few days, when I'm feeling better, I will look back on my work done in court today and will be finding a lot of mistakes. Great!

But, no matter what, the blog must go on. Rain, snow, sleet, shine, lortab, muscle relaxer, etc. So I've pulled myself up off the couch (really, I've pulled myself up to where I am SITTING on the couch, not lying) and am bring you this blog.

A couple weeks ago, Cleveland and I got a special treat-- a visit from one of our favorite people, Uncle Bobby-- Bobby Glaze. For all you not in the know (aww, how sad for you), Uncle Bobby is not actually my uncle-- he is my dad's BFF (!) and I've grown up calling him Uncle Bobby and I still do. I think its such a good way to portray a person who isn't technically family, but might as well be. I always like it when my friends kids call me "Aunt Jess" for the same reason.

My dad grew up in Newton in the 1950s and 60s, and things were a lot different than they are now. He had a group of friends who he was very close to, and they still spend a lot of time together even now. For years, they always got together, with their wives and/or families on New Years Eve or around that time. Its about 5 or 6 men and their wives, and when we were younger, that was really the only time they got together because everyone was so busy and so spread out, but the last few years, they've been trying to get together once every month or two and go eat dinner, catch up, etc. Each year at the party, they have a white elephant gift exchange-- lots of the presents have been passed around through the years, and each year I love helping mom figure out what to bring. The best gifts are the ones that involved pictures of the guys from the 70s-- complete with long hair and hippie glasses. Or from the 80s with even bigger glasses, short athletic shorts and white knee socks.

Several of these men live in or around Newton, and they'd see each other occasionally, but I think it was really nice for them to make a point of meeting up at least once each year-- I'd love to do this with my friends-- so in many years, it will be a tradition. I think its so cool that they do this.

Anyway, this group, as my dad would say are a bunch of "chuckleheads". They really are. They grew up together and have all sorts of hilarious stories about things they did growing up, in high school, and even in college. Heck, some of their silliest stories took place well after college when they had real jobs and real responsibilities!

Betsy, Nick and I grew up hearing these tales as bedtime stories all our lives. And I'd like to think our lives were all the more enriched for that. Like the time when they pantsed a local eye doctor after dinner in Meridian. Or the time the cops were called on NYE because of all the fireworks they were blasting in the middle of town. Or when they convinced their college professor (sister-in-law to one of the group) that her clock was wrong and she let them out of class 45 minutes early.

Those stories were the heart of my childhood-- I love it that my dad has such good friends that he is still close to. And I love that they are crazy enough to do all these silly things. And I love, even more, the fact that these crazy guys did a bunch of crazy things but there was never anything illegal or inappropriate involved. Just a bunch of crazy guys and the crazy things they did.

So, a couple weeks ago, I found out that Uncle Bobby was headed to Cleveland for a baseball tournament with his son Jonathan. He tried to convince my dad to come, but the Mayor had to be at a rodeo in Newton (you know how he never misses a local rodeo!). Saturday morning, I headed over to the Delta State baseball field (which is very nice), and watched Jon's summer league team (ironically, they were playing a team from Hattiesburg. So, the Laurel area team and the Hattiesburg area team drove to Cleveland to play each other!).

Here's Jon Jon playing-- he did a great job and had several amazing defensive plays. See, I know a little something about sports!!

I love watching any kind of sports, so I was excited to get to go to the game! It was super hot, and I got a hilarious tan line on my arms, but it was a fun day! Uncle Bobby had a cooler full of ice cold DC's, so you know that hit the spot. It was really nice to get to see him and talk to him and get the gossip about people we know in common. Uncle Bobby lives in Ellisville and used to coach baseball at JCJC, so we know a lot of people in common. I also got to see Jon and catch up with Mariana and Christopher, his other two child, and his wife, Mrs. Linda. I love Mrs. Linda- she's so pretty and so sweet! Uncle Bobby really lucked up on that one!

It was a nice, laid back day and it was really nice to get to see someone from home and just enjoy being there. Uncle Bobby has been in my life as long as I can remember (he had two adorable flower girls in his wedding-- his niece Jamanda, a friend of mine in high school, and yours truly!). I think he is even an occasional blog reader! We talked about the good old days and all the crazy things they used to do-- like when they canceled Sunday night church, or when they'd play jokes on Uncle Bobby's baseball players, or when Uncle Bobby, this big, tough guy, would start crying in the middle of class when he dropped a book. Just to freak everyone out!!!

Sometime soon I will get out some of the old pictures of Dad's gang and post them on here so you all can laugh, er, look at them. They are hilarious. I love hearing those stories and I loved seeing Uncle Bobby in Cleveland. Perhaps next time Dad will come with him-- they are a lot of fun together!!!

Monday, July 4, 2011

# 161 Its runs in the family...

One of my favorite things in life is when my mom, Sweet Deb, takes medicine. Pretty much any type of medicine. When she's "under the influence", she is hilarious. Can barely form sentences or never makes any sense. Whenever she has to go to the dentist, I make sure to call her to check up on her several times. Partly because I care and partly because I want to laugh at her. With her. Whichever.

This weekend I got a taste of my own medicine. Quite literally. I've been having some back problems, mostly minor, for a week or so, but Thursday things took a turn for the worst, and this old grandma headed to the doctor first thing Friday morning. Seems I've got a pulled muscle spasm or something or other. Basically, my back hurts and the doctor gave me some pain meds. It didn't help that I basically didn't sleep at all Thursday night.

I went on to Pickwick Lake with some friends and tried to have a good time. I did have a good time. Just not as good a time as they had with me. Laughing at me. Pointing at me. Taking pictures of me passed out on the boat in the middle of the day. To their credit, they did make sure I had sunscreen on me and put a towel over me as a blanket (actually, this was mostly David-- I'm pretty sure my other friends were too busy laughing at me). Unfortunately, after they did those things, then they took obnoxious pictures of me with their hands on my face and my mouth open, drooling. I didn't see the pictures till today and I promise, you will never see those pictures on this blog! I looked like Bernie on vacation.

The whole weekend was lots of fun but it all seemed to go by very quickly and I don't really remember much of Saturday evening or Sunday. That was when the cortizone shot wore off and I took more of my muscle relaxers to compensate. I didn't get to go see the Rose family or Dr. Adam in Muscle Shoals like I'd planned, but I felt it was a lot safer for me to stay off the road as much as possible. I've refrained from taking medicine today since I was driving and I'm about to hit the pill bottles and head to bed. Its not even 7 p.m.!

I'm home now and I'm braving muscle spasms to bring you this blog. Here's the main lesson you should get out of this story-- don't mix pills and fingernail polish. Or you get this:

I only vaguely remember painting my nails one night. I'm pretty sure this was Katherine's idea. She's sneaky like that. At least they are sorta funky and patriotic!

Friday, July 1, 2011

# 160 Halfway down the line...

Its exactly halfway through the year- 182.5 days down, 182.5 to go. As you can see, I'm not doing so great on my "post everyday" pledge. But since I only made that pledge to myself and not in writing anyway, its not like its really legally binding. But I'm trying- really I am- but it seems that when I post short blogs without pics and witty comments, I get lots of negative feedback. Mostly from my family. They are really hard on me- always saying how disappointed they were that I didn't go to pharmacy school. Also? They like to push little old ladies down and kick kittens.

Anyway, the point is that this year is halfway over. And I'm glad. Its been a tough year. Technically my 25th year (read- 31st) year was the toughest year thus far. Except for kindergarten- I never caught on to the whole "shapes and finger-painting thing". Just kidding!

But right around my 25th birthday ( read 32nd) back in March, lots of things changed- I moved, I changed jobs, I rid my life of lots of toxic influences, stopped watching Real Housewives of Anything, blah blah blah, etc. But seriously, lots of changes. Lots of good changes. I'm adoring my job, my new home, my new town, my nre life. Today I really miss my homes in both Laurel and Newton- a lot, for some reason. So on a day when this year is halfway over, its kinda nice to reflect on the changes and Gods influence in my life and where he's brought me from. A couple days ago, I referred to it as a "rebuilding" year- kinda like Ole Miss lately. But its a very apropo phrase- I'm rebuilding a lot of what I let get broken over the past couple years! This is probably all boring to most of you, but its my blog and I'm sticking to it. Thanks to all of you who read and comment and compliment me and my blog. This has been one of the best things this year- blogging. Its helped me "find myself". Apparently I as lost somewhere around Oprah Winfrey Drive and Obnoxious-cliche Highway. But I found myself. And then both of myselves went to grab lunch, cause, you know, all this blogging makes lost girls hungry!

Hope you all have a happy half year day and that the rest of the year is even better that the first half! I have a good feeling that it will be!
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