Sunday, July 29, 2007

100 Years Ago Today

On July 29, 1907 my Granny was born.

My mother worked when I was a young girl and Granny took care of me. She also took care of my sister and brother. We were all very close to her. I guess in keeping with tradition, I have been blessed with having my mother take care of my children, and I in turn hope to be able to repay both of them by caring for my grandchildren one day.

Granny was a great influence in our lives. Her house was a haven for me. Daddy was drinking bad after my sister and brother were on their own. I am nine years younger than brother and thirteen years younger than sister. I went to Granny and Popaw's house every day when Mama worked. I told Granny everything and I have let my children know that it is okay to tell their Granny anything that is on their mind. Because, a Granny is a great person to have.

She knew everything about what was going on in my life. She taught me to stand on my own two feet. She taught me to trust in God to get me through it. She taught me to pray and to sing praises to God. She taught me that church was important. She taught me my first hymn, "Wonderful Words of Life." She loved to hear me sing. She would get out the song book, open the windows and say sing to me. I would sing hymns to her and she would sit and listen.

She liked it that I am tall. She would measure me every month or so and would say you are 5'6" and 3/4". Don't forget that 3/4".

I confided everything in Granny -- about boys, about school, about friends, about my brother and sister, and my cousin. EVERYTHING. She would cook and I would sit beside the refrigerator on a stool and talk. Mostly she would just listen, but every now and then she would offer advice. I remember talking about boys when I was a teenager and she told me -- "Honey, don't get too worried about one boy, because you haven't even met the ONE yet."

Popaw told me she was beautiful. He first saw her when she was twelve years old, walking a rail fence. She had long black pigtails, and coal black eyes. He said he looked at the feller with him and said, "That's the gal I'm gonna marry one day." They married in 1924 and were married until she passed on June 8, 1989. They had four children of whom Granny could tell you the day, date, hour, minute of their birth BUT she would fuss that she didn't get to name any of her children, Popaw named them all.

This picture was taken when their oldest was away in WWII. Their younger son was in the service and went over seas too. Their daughters (Mama is the younger one here) married and all in all they had 11 grandchildren. Two by marriage, but they loved them as much as those born by blood.

Popaw said he got drunk once and Granny told him, you ever do this again and Me and the kids will be gone. He never drank again. He never understood the hold that the alcohol had over my father, but he loved my Daddy. Granny said, I pray for B** he's had a hard life. Never once did my Granny say a harsh word about my Daddy, and she wouldn't let me disrespect him either.

Granny called us every day. If they went to the store, she'd call and tell us where they were going. She was at church every time the door was open, but I laugh because on Wednesday nights she'd always fuss (she liked to fuss a little) that it just came too fast after Sunday. She kept these little notes beside the back door and whenever they left, she'd slip them into the screen and they would say "Gone to the store, be right back." "Gone to town." "Gone to church." She reused them. They were usually written on the back of an old envelope. My sister still has one of them.

Granny grew up in the depression. When she died we cleaned out the kitchen cabinets and found a drawer full of bread bags, bread ties, reused aluminum foil, etc. She was conservative. She used everything.

Popaw said to me one day when we visited her grave site that they NEVER had a fight. They NEVER went to bed angry at each other. I betcha Granny would disagree. She'd get so aggravated at him. She worried about what people would think -- he'd whistle through the grocery store and she'd say, "listen to him, people are gonna think he's crazy." When he quit farming he'd sit on a tobacco sack and pull weeds from his lawn, "look at him, the neighbors are gonna think he's crazy."

He chewed tobacco, but not in the house, and not around Granny. He'd take me on walks to town so he could chew his tobacco. One day we came home from a walk and had been having a big time. The stove sat in the middle of the floor, so you could walk around it. We both grabbed a pan and a spoon and began marching around the stove chanting..."Beans, Beans, the Musical Fruit, the more you eat the more you poot, the more you poot the better you feel, Beans, Beans, at every meal." Granny came stomping out of the bedroom with the phone receiver in her hand, the mouthpiece covered. You two be quiet, I'm on the phone with someone from church, Sister so and so is going to think ya'll are awful. Popaw and I spent the rest of the day on the back porch.

Granny taught me to embroider, crochet, quilt, make rugs, sew, cook, sign language, write, and read. Granny and I walked to town (about 1 1/2 miles) carrying a shoebox full of change and opened my first bank account with $66.00. Granny would get out the family Bible and show me the history, and we would go through old pictures over and over and she'd tell me about everyone of them. Granny had a sixth grade education.

Granny and Popaw moved to town when I was six or seven but I remember living on the farm. I remember walking through the fields to the neighbors house and seeing a snake, Granny said leave it alone, be still, it is one of God's creatures, let it be. I remember killing chickens, I remember, the garden, I remember the sweat peas growing up the side of the porch. I remember the cellar with all of the canned goods. I don't remember her story of saving my life when she was canning but she said I was a little over two and she thought, I'd better take her in the other room, that pressure cooker has been acting up. She took me out of the room and went back to canning, the pressure cooker exploded. I remember the back porch and her telling me about keeping my brother from being bored by giving him a fly swatter and telling him she'd give him a penny for every fly he killed. I remember oat meal cream pies, orange sherbert, I remember the layout of the old house.

I remember her teaching me to write on the walls of the stripping room (tobacco). I remember her teaching me to strip tobacco and letting me tie the tobacco up. I remember gathering turnips in the fall. It is amazing what all I remember from those young days.

I hate to say it so bluntly, but Granny raised me. Mama was busy dealing with other things. I was a child of the 60's and 70's raised by a woman of the twenties. I wouldn't have my life any other way.

I could go on for pages and pages about my Granny. But I will sum up that she was dearly loved by us all. When she was in the hospital these roses were in bloom in her back yard. Popaw would pick them every day and take them to her.

At her funeral people came from miles around to see this quiet unassuming woman. I heard the funeral director say that her funeral processional was one of the longest he had seen in our home town.

She was a good woman, she was strong, she was MY Granny. I miss her. I think she would be proud of me today. I know she would be proud of my babies. I try to remember the things that she taught me. Especially to pray and to always sing.

My brother and I both named our first daughter after Granny.

Friday, July 27, 2007

What's Up?

I have really been out of it here lately. Just kind of letting things slip by -- guess I'm taking a mental break from it all. Everything has just come to an apex of business, stressfulness, costliness, that I just let it all happen.

Nothing bad -- just life.

Such as...

School starts back August 9 -- so there's the getting everything ready for that. I really don't recall my mom having to buy all of this crap for me to take to 1st and 2nd grade. Kleenex, Hand Sanitizer, Baby Wipes, scissors, glue. Crayons, pencils and paper -- yes. But the other stuff. Oh well. I still haven't gotten F tennis shoes. That is something I need to put on my priority list.

Working -- I have been trying to be a good employee. I took a little mental inventory and said, ya know if you don't work hard and work good then it is the same thing as stealing. So I'm trying to be productive and I actually worked an entire week last week. I know -- it's going to snow or hell is going to freeze over.

Father-in-law -- The father-in-law is still staying at our house. He got a job and is getting his pension. Having him here hasn't been bad at all. Just puts a crimp in the marital relations part. If you know what I mean. However, it seems that all of my leave time at work is used taking care of him, J or one of the kids. I need a day to myself.

Weight Watchers -- I can't afford it. But am still losing weight. J has been attending his DUI classes like he is supposed too. This is a good thing. But -- (always a but) -- it is costing us a lot of money.

Debt Snowball -- With having to have a new motor in our van to the tune of $2k that I am having to pay my mom/dad back on, I have had to put the snowball on hold for a bit. We think we can make it to the end of the year -- with Christmas, paying off parents, emergency fund, and two children's birthday, to be able to get back on the Snowball in January. Plus one of the creditors that I was kind of ignoring (I know shame on me) finally reared its ugly head. So that is back on the docket. HOWEVER -- WE WILL NOT USE CREDIT FOR ANYTHING ELSE.

Project -- The family went "junking" last weekend as the kids would call it and hit a lot of yardsales. We got 12 peachtree windows and one very nice entry door for $120.00. So our new project will be to enclose our back porch and make a sunroom, florida room, three seasons room, whatever that is called. It's going to be sooooo cool. The back porch already has a concrete floor, electricity, and a roof. We just need to frame it in, add windows, insulation, vinyl, and drywall and voila. One inexpensive room. I am searching Craigslist, more yardsales, and job sites for the other inexpensive materials.

Good Samaritan -- I have been trying to do, not necessarily random acts of kindness, but have at least been trying to brighten the days of folks that I know need a pick me up. I bought a lot of blank cards to send to people I know who are sick, sad, or have even had an accomplishment just to make them feel better or acknowledge them. I let the kids draw pictures in them and take a picture of us all doing something fun, print it out, and then put an easel on the back. They have these easels at the Dollar Tree that are really cool, ya just stick them on the back of the picture. The kids learn about helping others this way and it makes me smile to think that maybe someone else is smiling when they receive them.

On the Wagon -- So far so good. J has been staying on the wagon. He got a promotion at work and went from a Grade three to a Grade four. Yay!! more money. My raise should take effect on August 1. Whoo Hooo -- just enough to cover the increase in insurance premiums.

My niece -- I've been talking with her on the phone a lot lately and she's coming back into my life. I've always thought of her like a child of my own and definitely a good friend. I hate it that when things are bad, we tend to back away from our family, the one's that we should turn too. We do this out of a desire not to disappoint. But I could never be disappointed in her. Growing pains hurt -- even if you are an adult and everyone does stupid at one time or another. I'm proud of her progress.

My sister -- She has so much on her plate right now, new job, daughter and grandkids home with her. I miss her.

That's all for now. I promise I will get back into the regimen of self discovery and start talking about my religious beliefs and how they have affected me personally, socially, and intimately. About my hangups and all of that good stuff.


Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Monday, July 16, 2007

Last Week

I know I haven't blogged for a while. Things have been hectic and I feel right now like I've always got someone watching over my shoulder.

I love my father-in-law, but he is lost right now and is interested in the "cool" things I do on the computer. Work has also been really hectic -- so, I'm taking the last few minutes of my lunch hour today to update the going's on in this never-ending drama.

Sound like my sister -- "Drama Queen anonymous" We should start a recovery group.

Father-in-law rented a UHaul and moved all of his stuff out of his apartment last week (Wednesday). Well, they didn't have a licensed driver, so I got to drive a 26 foot standard shift diesel UHaul. Yeah -- I'm bad!

Hubby decided to get a "friend" from work to help -- another non licensed drunk who brought his own supply of Bud Dry. Hubby decided hey -- its okay -- I'll embibe in some too. Dumbass. Well, a few made him grumpy, he was hot, tired from no sleep and he yelled at us all day -- hurry up, I need to work tonight. I need to get to bed. I, I, I, I, grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.

Yep, he yelled at his dad for taking 20 minutes to register for the storage building, but it took him 1 1/2 hours to get back from "friends" apartment. Yeah -- he was REALLY worried about getting home and getting to bed.

Can you read the dripping sarcasm between the lines?

So he slept it off and tried to go to work -- when he got there he reeked of alcohol and his supervisor sent him home "off the record." He didn't come home. He went to the pool room in the neighboring town, from there to the bar, where he met up with three hoodlums. Ended up in Louisville which is over an hour away at a "titty" bar where they would not admit him because he was too intoxicated and not dressed appropriately for their fine establishment.

Somehow he ended back home the next morning after I got to work. He had been beaten up and had lost his lunch pack containing identification information and other important "stuff." He was with the rumored to be town junkie. He, town junkie, and our dog (why, I don't know) took off walking and the next I heard from him was when I got a call from my mother.

Mother said he pulled into the drive in an old blue pickup truck with the dog. He had on no shoes and was DRUNK.

I leave work to pick up my van which was done at the repair shop and to receive the intoxicated spouse. I take spouse and dog home. Spouse has a black eye, a cut over eye, and is soaking wet from swimming the Kentucky River. I know, don't ask.

Now I have to figure out who this truck belongs too, is it stolen, where does it go, etc... I find out that truck belongs to junkie -- I track down where he lives and attempt to return the truck... BUT, it runs out of gas. I leave it parked in a lot in town. Take his keys and place them in his mailbox with a scathing note to simply stay away from my husband and my family.

Hubby doesn't go into work again on Thursday night. He is on probation at work.

Hubby is now charming, perfect, church going, great dad, king of all that is perfect and pure in this world. I'm still pissed.

So -- what about it...

He spent about 60 bucks on his excursion, lost his lunch box, lost his glasses (found by his sister), lost his shoes (retrieved from dock at the river), lost his shirt and hat (found at my parents), lost his id for work (10 bucks to get a new one), lost my parents respect for his accomplishments in recent months, will be placed back on probation, lost his vacation time for family reunion, lost my trust.

I hope it was worth it.

Okay so the river ordeal. Yep, sis, he went to see your ex-husband. Nuff said.

Monday, July 09, 2007


J picture with a Photoshop Filter
This is J.
This is J in withdrawals.
This is J when he is worried.
This is J when he is irritated.
This is J when he has no patience.
I prefer J's sober and happy face.
J is an alcoholic -- I don't like him when he drinks.
I love J all of the time.
J is trying hard to stay sober but has only been dry.
J's likes Bud Light.

J has been prescribed Buspar.
Buspar makes J grouchy.
J has lots of issues that need to be dealt with...
J yells too much.
J looks sexy when he is in the swimming pool.

J stands for Joy, which he has given me.
J also stands for Jerk, which he is when he wakes up.
J stands for Jealous -- which he tends to be.
J loves me.

J is a caregiver and I am independent.
J's dad is living with us now.
J wants to take care of his dad.
J's dad is a dry alcoholic.
J has harbored bad feelings about his dad.
J and I are under a LOT of stress.
J is a worrier.
J needs to let go and have faith.
J stands for Jesus -- Who is someone he needs in his life.
J needs prayer.

J works really hard.
J is on probation at work -- more stress.
J is NOT a communicator.
J is a loner.
J is too proud to ask for help.
J needs real friends.
J needs to join AA.

J is loved.
J is a father, husband, brother, and a son.
J is worried about by those who love him.
J has a good mother.
J loves his kids a lot and is a pretty darn good dad.
J's children love him.
J is my husband and the father of our three children.
J is 30 years old.
I am actually very proud of J.

J is very charming.
J saved me and taught me how to LIVE life.
Gentle should start with J.
Animals love J.
J gets a lot of "flack" from folks.
J needs positive reinforcement.

J has a stubborn, independent, pushy wife on antidepressants.
J is growing up.
J's wife is 10 years his senior.
J is starting to be more responsible.
J is taking his DUI classes like he should.
J and his wife are bad with money.
J and his wife are on a budget.
J gives really great hugs.

J is my husband.
J and I are ONE.
J is my partner.
J is going to make it.
J has the potential.
J is intelligent.
J is J and I wouldn't have him any other way.

I love you J.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Topsy Turvy

I think I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown on Wednesday of last week. My stomach was tearing me up so I called into work sick for that day. I finally last night finished a two-week plus period and things were just out of control. Oh yeah!!! J**** had been drunk earlier that week and well -- I'll tell you about that one later.

J**** came home from work Thursday and I was sitting on the back porch smoking a cigarette and shaking. I emailed work and asked to go ahead and take my vacation until the holiday was over. My boss said "Go for it." So I did.

So -- here is what I did on my summer vacation -- literally it sucked!!

Wednesday -- Nutty day!!! Sick, sick, sick to stomach. Layed on couch all day.

Thursday -- I called in and said to myself -- rejuvenate, accomplish, organize, and love my children who need some attention until the Fifth of July. So -- J**** immediately says, we have to go to Frankfort and take Dad to court. Huh? Me? I'm off for ME. Heavy sigh -- away we go. I go to grocery while they are in court, they get done and go over to a court appointed DUI program and sign up (progress, yay!) We go to the Dad's house -- NO FOOD, NO NOTHING. He comes home with us. Yep -- I guess he's here to stay. He is helping to clean the house.

Friday -- We clean house, J**** sleeps, my friend M***** is opening a new BBQ restaurant and we are invited to the premier night. We all go and take Dad. We are second in line at her restaurant and Dad has a seizure. He has been good and hasn't drank since Sunday. He also hasn't been to bed in almost 48 hours. I'd say a combination of the two and that he is prone to have seizures (we counted about seven in the last few years). We got our food to go and spent the evening in the E.R. The kids were standing beside him when he had the seizure. 2 year old kept saying all night long "Papaw Fall." Almost 6 year old cried and a good friend of mine from work and his wife took her to the side and prayed with her. Thank goodness for M&D they took care of my babies during the crisis. My 7 year old had to ask a million questions. I think it scared them pretty bad. We went to the hospital and the kids and I had a picnic in the back of the van while J**** tended to his father in the E.R. The kids wanted to see Papaw so J**** later took them back one at a time to see him. While we were having our picnic we got to see the Emergency helicopter take off. The kids thought that was neat. J**** came out and told us it would be another hour -- so we ran over to Wal-Mart and F**** got to use her birthday gift card and buy her a new dress. G***** got one too, and D***** got some big boy undies.

Saturday -- House cleaning. J**** sleeping after he gets home from work. J**** is a major grump. Papaw is a good help with cleaning, but I know that he is not feeling well. We grill out, J**** just keeps yelling at kids, there are comments about their whining and not listening. My GOD they just saw their Papaw have a seizure the night before, things are a little topsy turvy. J**** is triggered. Before I put the kids to bed, he says that he is going to the store to get a soda. I knew better so stayed in bed. He got drunk -- I slept. He was real sick the next day -- serves him right.

Sunday -- Church in the morning. My Daddy needed a new table saw and had been griping to go get one for a couple of days. I get home from church and call Daddy to tell him I'd take him to get it (he is 70). He's a mouthy old grump. We go to Sears and get him a table saw -- we actually had a nice time. I was shocked. I was dreading going with him, but it worked out. He talked a lot about missing his old friends that have passed on and especially missing his big brother. Bless his heart. We went to church in the evening and they had singing -- at the end, they asked for people who need help to "come forward." I raised my hand, since Ms. G***** was asleep in my lap and asked for everyone's prayers since J**** had started drinking again. Everyone wanted to know how to help. I said pray and take him under your wings.

Monday -- J**** has to work first shift. I'm home with kids and Dad. I finally get the upstairs clean -- our bedrooms have floors. WOW. If you had seen it before this you would understand what a major accomplishment this is. We take the kids to the library program and they have a blast. While in the library we run a few errands. Papaw applies for a few jobs, we get prescriptions filled -- I ask him if he has his prescription for Depakote so I can fill it for him. He didn't bring it -- I was going to pay for it. He's stubborn. J**** comes home from work and tells me (not ask me) that his dad wants to be moved out of his apartment by Wednesday. Now I'm pissed -- ummmm when were you going to tell me. I knew it was inevitable, but you should have told me sooner, or discussed with me, or something. My goodness. The rest of the night wasn't too bad, but I did retreat to my room upstairs to sulk. I explain to 7 year old that he has come to stay and she cried and said that now he is the boss. I say NO -- Daddy & Mommy are the bosses, he lives by our rules -- you only mind him when he is correcting you for doing something, but he is NOT the boss.

Tuesday -- that is today, it is a new day. J**** and his Dad have both renewed their vow to stay alcohol free. I've got my great niece staying the night tonight.

--I'll give my feelings, updates, etc... in a later post. No privacy right now. I need to scrub the toilets. Anyway -- this vacation has sucked.

Thank you Charming!!! I think he's going to take you up on that.

Stay tuned for the next exciting episode...