Saturday, January 23, 2010

Crime Doesn't Pay

We live in the best little neighborhood. There are 9 houses on our little street with a cul-de-sac. We are all pretty friendly and we get together on occasion for pot luck suppers and cookouts in the summer. We watch each other's house when we are away and feed each other's dogs. We take food when someone is sick and I even keep popsicles in my fridge in the garage for the neighborhood kids. They just come by when I'm outside and ask for one. We are all so very different, though. Some have kids at home, some don't have kids at all, and some, like us, have grown kids. There are a couple nurses, two engineers, a military recruiter of some kind, a business woman, a city employee, a home inspector, a househusband, and then there's the infamous plumber and his wonderful school teacher wife. (Better known as Bonnie ad Clyde)

Well, today I broke proper neighborhood etiquette. I stole a Papa John's cup from a neighborhood yard. I really tried to justify the crime by reminding hubby that the house was a vacant house and not technically in our neighborhood. I still feel bad, sort of. But he is an accessory to the crime. He drove the getaway car. I made him ride around the neighborhood on our way to eat with Miss Priss until I found one I could easily get. They were all over the place. Apparently they had only been delivered a short time ago. I found the perfect stop for my deed. Hubby stopped the get-away-car/truck and I jumped out and retrieved the object. Thief!!!!

Then came the worst part of the whole incident. Miss Priss asks me, "Gamma, what's in that bag?" My response? "Trash". LIAR!!! I had just lied to my precious granddaughter. What kind of role model have I become? I don't lie to other people, why would I lie to the most precious little girl in the world? Do I want her to grow up in a world where we steal stuff and then lie about it? Do I want to be the one responsible when she can't trust anyone because they lie? How horrible I have become. So after giving it some serious thought and realizing I did not want to introduce my precious baby to a world of crime, I then changed my response to, "Oh this? It's a cup," and immediately changed the subject.

Crime does not pay. After the big heist, things were down hill from then on. Our evening meal sucked. Miss Priss was a terror (probably because her gamma is a thief or because she is a two year old who hadn't had a nap and was hungry because no one had cared to feed her since breakfast). Dear God, I hope Liz doesn't read this. We'll never see her again. She will probably put her in the witness protection program and move her to Siberia or someplace. Anyway, after dinner, Clyde and I decided we had to stop at Walmart to pick up a gift for a birthday party I was taking Miss Priss to. Let me just say that Walmart will never be the same. Miss Priss was certain that a one year old boy needed a bicycle and bracelets for his birthday. I thought I'd never convince her to get the little truck. Clyde finally distracted her with a new toy of her own (that she desperately needed) while I picked out the present. Miss Priss was adamant that she ride in the back of the buggy with my eggs, bread, and other grocery items. Not a good idea. For the eggs anyway. The ride home was no picnic either.. Miss Priss would usually have fallen asleep by this time but with new toy in hand and broken egg gunk on her foot, she was not a happy camper.

So you see???? Crime does not pay. Karma. That's what is. I promise to never steal another Papa John's cup and I promise to eat there sometime in the near future and I promise never to lie to Miss Priss again. I Love You, Papa John's......

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

My Mother

I am sooooo turning into my mother. I think it is something all us girls do or will eventually do. Fortunately, I have a great mom and would consider it an honor to turn into her. However, there are some things I do or have done that mom would ever do. No. 1, my mom would never go to bed with her kitchen dirty. No. two, my mom would never throw a biscuit across the back yard that was hard enough to knock out a yellow finch and my mother would never drop an entire cheese cake down the side of her cabinet and perfectly onto the floor. Never happen...
My mom would never go to the grocery store braless, my mom would never leave her bed unmade for an entire day, my mom would never tell my dad to pick up his dirty socks, and my mom would never, ever, ever sleep past 8:00.

But according to my children, I even sound like my mother these days. Oh, I've noticed it too. I'll say something and then think, 'Gosh, I heard my mom say that', or I'll do something just like my mother would do. Anyway, beware girlfriends, it will happen to you too.

No, I didn't walk today or yesterday. I know, the two most beautiful days of the year and I didn't walk. Yesterday I had Miss Priss all day and today I worked 1/2 a day and hit the couch the other half and it is almost humanly impossible to walk while on the sofa. Hubby and I then decided to go to the yellow stores and shoe shop. Now, I have decided on two definite things: 1) for every pair of shoes we buy from now until Thanksgiving, we will do a shoe box for Samaritan's Purse, and 2) A normal person only needs 4, yes 4, pairs of shoes. One great pair of running shoes, one pair for dressing up, and 2 pair for work, one brown and one black. That's it....4 pair. OK, 5, a pair of Rainbows. But that's more.

Why do we need shoes that match every outfit we own? Face it people, we don't. My mom tells the story about cutting out cardboard at night to put in the bottom of her worn shoes and they would last and last. I'm trying desperately to convince myself that shoes are not that important. I have been searching for the perfect two pairs of work shoes since November to no avail. I have shopped everywhere and just can't put my hand (or foot) on them. Tonight was no different. Oh, hubby did manage to find a pair of Timberland's on sale but me??? No luck. Ok confession, I did find a pair of cowboy boot looking clogs by accident. They were on the bottom of the clearance rack at some shoe store and I just slipped my foot into them and fell in love with the comfort. Yes, I got them even though they are not really appropriate for work, definitely not dress-up and nope, I can't run in them. I know, I know, not one of the 5 essentials. I guess I'll follow mom's lead and keep using my black permanent marker on my favorite work shoes to cover the scuffs and keep going....

Anyway, weather permitting, I will hit the pavement tomorrow and do better about my commitment. I must......

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Wednesday - 4 to 6

I just found out today that someone very dear to me is very sick. His heart is so damaged that it cannot be repaired. He is not a candidate for a transplant and the doctors told him today they he could possibly live 4 to 6 months. I was there....I heard him say it.

That statement has resonated in my mind since I heard it. I thought about it all the way home from the hospital in Spartanburg and still can't get it out of my head. 4 to 6 months. That's May to July!!! Summer time. The time of awakenings and prosperity and life and fun and living. Not dying.

He is only 65 years old. ONLY 65!!! We hang out a lot. We eat together at least twice a month and just enjoy each other. He and hubby are hilarious together. They can tell some amazing stories that would have you in stitches. Never a dull moment together. But today I saw him cry. A first.

The doctors say his heart is just worn out. He has never smoked, never been a drinker and never chased wild women (that he will admit). He had a heart attack about 3 years ago and just did not do what the doctors told him to do. Hine sight is 20/20.. Whatever. Would any of us have followed doctor's orders? Maybe, maybe not. Would the outcome of today's exploration have been any different if he had? Who knows?

4 to 6 months. What would I do if it had been me in that bed today? It very well could have been me. What if it had been me in Haiti this week? Why was it not me? What makes me so fortunate? I guess the one true and final answer is God. He is in control. He makes the decisions. He rules.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Week 3 - Sunday

Today is supposed to be a rest day.. Good thing 'cause I feel like crap. I'm going to try to stay in all day. I need a Wii and that way I can stay inside a do stuff. I have lost some weight, thank goodness, and my thighs are smaller. I didn't really pay that much attention to it until my daughter crashed at our house last week and made some crude comment about my hiney and thighs. And, I have gone down two pants sizes. I found two pairs of my favorite pants hanging in the back of my closet after Christmas that I had put back there a couple years ago when I out grew them, hoping I'd be able to wear them again because I do love them. I tried them on and they fit. Yippee......Then, I had a pair of them on when Catherine was coloring my hair and got hair dye on much for that. I can still wear them if I wear something long over them. My luck....

One thing fun about this time of year, when it's cold and you can't do anything but sit around and wish for warmer weather and springtime, is that we start planning our summer vacation. Last year, like most every year, we went on a family vacation to Myrtle Beach. We camp at Pirateland Campground. We have been doing this for 20 years and have wonderful memories. The past couple years we have taken both our campers so there would be plenty of room for our growing group..Mom and dad came year before last and we had a blast. This past year was horrible. I always make final reservations in February. I got a commitment from the kids and their significant others, and made reservations for the week after we got out of school. Lane and I were to go on Tuesday and the others would be filtering in on Wednesday and Thursday evening. Our self contained camper is perfect for me, hubby and Tobi. That's why we bought it. Our pop-up will sleep about 50 and has plenty of room for the others. We felt certain Miss Priss would be sleeping with us, and that is fine. We can really sleep more in our camper, but are selfish and greedy and want it all to ourselves. We did let mom and dad sleep with us and Ryan and Liz stayed with us once when she was pregnant (A whole different story. Heard of the Exorcist??) Anyway, it turned out that Miss Priss went with us on Tuesday, fine with me, youngest daughter and boyfriend decided to stay in his little vw station wagon and not bring pop-up. (Remember, back in February I had paid for two sites for five nights.) Son-in-law couldn't get off work (forget about that commitment back in February) and Liz decided not to come until Friday and only stayed one night with us in our camper.

We had fun but things just didn't work out the way I had planned. I really thought things would be different. I thought the four kids would all stay, harmoniously, in the pop-up and Tobi would stay nicely in his kennel and not scream and bark and chew up everything he could get his teeth on when we left him alone. WRONG...

I had, back in the planning stages, decided to get doggy valium for Tobi. He is a nervous little creature when riding and when at a different place. He hates everybody. Including Miss Priss and she just loves him. Poor thing. He likes to be at home on his couch or in his/our bed. If I stayed in bed for a week sick, he would stay in there with me. He'd probably never go to the bathroom...Catherine and I had to sneak to drug him because hubby was afraid he would get addicted. He was afraid he'd come home from work one day and there'd be Tobi, sitting up on the couch, drinking a beer, smoking a cigarette and watching MTV with a bandanna wrapped around his head. So we'd give him a whole pill and lie and tell hubby we had only given him the recommended 1/4 of the pill. He was fine, just kinda laid back. It didn't really work, though. He managed to chew up a blanket, a rug and a bath towel by reaching them through the kennel and we could hear him baking on our way back from the beach. We had to go out to eat in shifts so someone could dog sit. But, I do love that dog.....

Sooooo, this year hubby and I have decided, to heck with all of them. Oh, we are still going to the beach and if they want to come, they can. We'll probably take Miss Priss but the rest of them can make their own plans and we are only staying maybe 4 nights and only one site. There!!!! But the fun trip we are planning is to Massachusetts. We are still in the initial stages of planning but we're working on it and will make our final reservations next month. Good thing I didn't make any reservations yet, I was looking at things on the internet last night and realized that the week we had sort of decided on is "Gay Pride Week" in Boston. Hubby is not really in to that and I do want to go to Boston. I want to see the Old North Church and the Charlestowne River and Robert Frost lived there once. Cape Cod and Martha's Vineyard are on our list too. Anybody know any good places to eat there? Oh, and who wants to keep my dog????

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Week 3 - Wednesday

Well, compared to yesterday, walking today was like taking a stroll in the tropics.. sort of. It was still cold and windy but not like yesterday..I added a few blocks to my treck today..Why??? Not sure.. I was even able to walk most of the way without my hood and therefore able to make the following observation. CHRISTMAS IS OVER PEOPLE!!!!!! Even the twelve days of Christmas are over. Take your decorations down. At the very minimum there is no reason to still have a wreath on your front door. You walk by it every day so you can grab it and at least throw it over in the corner. And those wire deer with the lights on them?? Put them in the garage.

Now the following statements will probably get me a little flack but I think it needs to be said. There are some decorations that need to be permanently stored or better yet, taken to the Margrace trash dump. Aluminum wreaths.. In any color. Gota go.....Icicle lights, so 90s.

After making these few observations in my neighborhood, I headed on up the next road. I must have hit it just right for heavy traffic time. I guess the high school kids were a little late leaving or were on their way to their part time jobs or something, because they sure were in a hurry. Do they know how to slow down? Do their parents know they drive like this? When you see old people walking, you a) slow down or b) at least move over a little. There is only so far the walker can get over without being on the front porch of some stranger. And most people really don't want walkers in their yard. I know I don't.

I'm really a very nice person. Seriously, I am kind, considerate, understanding, patient, compassionate (dang, I sound good.) but there are a few things of my you just don't mess with. My family, my money and my things....My things include my front yard and my grass that we have spent a fortune on trying to get just right. One day I came home from work and there was this big truck parked in front of my yard and the men were cutting down a tree across the road. Now, the truck parked on my side was a little annoying in itself but the worst part was the idiot changing the oil in the chainsaw in my yard!!!! That's right, in the grass in my front yard. Who the heck did he think he was? I immediately came in the house and called hubby. He couldn't come help me so I was on my own. I very sweetly walked down to the man and kindly asked him to get the heck out of my yard with his nasty chainsaw work. He just laughed at me. I turned around and went back in the house, as my blood pressure began to slowly rise. 10 minutes later he was still there and I repeated my request. Finally, I saw the name of the company on the side of his truck and called the company. The man I talked must have though I was some kind of idiot because he had the nerve to tell me that the state had so much right a way to my yard..I then asked him that if that was the case, did that mean I could come over to his house and have a picnic in his front yard.? He hung up on me and the man left my yard.

Anyway, my walk was good and I did manage to get a little running in. That is one sure way to warm up your legs, run.......

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Week 3 - Tuesday

OK..... I battled the elements and walked my three miles today..And let me tell you mister, it was COLD.. My head still hasn't thawed out.....

I have decided that you can always tell when someone is going to run over you from the rear by the sound of the engine being gunned. No, I didn't get run over today, but I certainly decided to be very much aware of the noise from the rear. I was so bundled up that I couldn't turn quickly to watch from the rear so my sense of hearing had to step up a notch. And, it's a good thing I didn't fall or anything because I don't think I could have gotten myself up. When you are bundled as I was, you are not very aware of your surroundings. I felt tlike that kid, Randy, from "A Christmas Story". In the beginning, I was walking with my head covered tightly with my scarf and my hoodie and just keeping my eyes on the curbing as my guide. That is until I walked right in the path of the high school driver's ed car. OOOPS!!! Sorry!!! Well, I guess I was contributing to the driver education of some poor 15 year old. Now he knows how to slam on breaks to keep from hitting one of his former teachers. I'm not sure who the driver was but I did recognize the poor terrified kid in the back seat. As a matter of fact, I can recall that same expression of horror from enduring some of my lessons. Oh well. Live and learn.

I knew it was going to be cold and I had planned how to dress for the event. Never mind if my turtle neck didn't match my pants, or that my hoodie didn't match my turtle neck, or my scarf didn't match my hoodie, or my gloves didn't match my scarf....BUT I did have my lipstick on, by gosh...

My mom was to meet me at my house at 4:00 this afternoon..WIMP...she decided it was too windy for her..You'd never catch my mom in a hoodie that didn't match her sweatpants. Oh wait, you wouldn't catch my mom in sweat pants either. I guess when you get to be 71 years old you can walk or not and not answer to anybody. So I walked alone at a very, very fast pace. I did run some of the way home. Simply to stay alive...

Until next time.....

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Vol. 2 - Week 2 - Saturday

I feel like such a failure...haven't walked the past two days. Too cold. Maybe it will warm up this week and I can get back out there. It's hard to believe that the holiday break is coming to a close. Back to work on Monday...I guess I'm ready to return to the routine of work and home..I might as well be ready..

Over the past couple days I have been thinking about all the goodbyes that have crossed my mind and lips. Of course there are the obvious goodbyes...2009, Christmas and it's decor, holiday food. But it's the other goodbyes that have had an effect on my psyche. Daughter and son-in-law have moved to Charlotte and I have had to say goodbye to that cute little house on Dilling Street Oh, we still own it, but others are moving in soon. I won't be able to just drop in and walk around the old yard and of course, they will be gone. After a visit to my aunt and uncle in the nurshing home yesterday, I had to say goodbye. They don't ever want anyone to leave. It is very hard to say goodbye to them, almost tearful....

Saying goodbye to Addie after her week-end visit is always hard, but now that they have moved, it's even harder. My sister and her family left for a week cruise today...Goodbye..

Had to say goodbye to my favorite sleep shirt today.....and I managed to somehow crack one of my favorite casserole dishes in the oven yesterday..goodbye. My most comfortable shoes had isues on the toes...goodbye..Goodbye to friends who came to visit from out of town..Goodbye to lazy days home alone.....Goodbye to sleeping in in the middle of the week...Goodbye to Christmas music on the radio...Goodbye to Christmas hymns at church....Delicious pumpkin spiced latte..goodbye...Christmas shows on t.v...bye..


Friday, January 1, 2010

Vol. 2 - Friday - Week 2

Welcome to the new year!!! Am I the only one who has trouble believing it is 2010...Imagine, Two Thousand and Ten.. I can remember so well when it was going to be 1974. I have a very strange reason for remembering 1974. I was 12 and there was a game show on t.v called "Match Game 1973", and I remember thinking how weird it would be for that show at the beginning of the new year and what would happen to the show title. Well, on January 1st, 1974, they changed the name to "Match Game 1974". Problem solved..

That was the same year I started at the Kings Mountain Junior High, the same school I now teach at. How weird....I would never have believed that I would be teaching, period, let alone at that school. The school that I do not recall with very fond memories. Oh well, our life can turn out to be very different from our plans as a child. I never really wanted to teach school. I wanted to do some type creative work, like designing clothes for my Barbies or coloring for a living or making chocolate cakes in my Easy-Bake oven for all the world...

So now it's 2010 and here I am with a job that I really do like, a fabulous hubby, two remarkable daughters, a half!@# son-in-law, a precious granddaughter, another baby on the way, making chocolate chip pancakes in the shape of Mickey Mouse and watching Wonder Pets, coloring a picture of Olivia the pig, and hemming a pair of pajamas. Who would have thought......
Hey wait a minute, isn't that all I ever dreamed of??? cooking, coloring, sewing?????

Walking today may be a challenge...Rainy (never stopped me before), cold (done that too) and baby here..Stop making excuses, I know.....ok..I'll get out there and go..I love walking. About half way up the hill, I get my second wind and feel like I could walk forever...Then I start thinking of all the things I need to do a t home. I really need to get over that and focus on the present.. Who cares if my house is not as immaculate as some, who cares if dinner is 20 minutes later than planned, who cares if hubby has no clean panties (well, hubby cares) and who cares if I don't get to everything on my list????

Anyway, Happy New Year to all. May God continue to bless and keep you in his tender care....