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It’s a zoo up in here…

It’s a zoo up in here…

And that’s no joke. The last few weeks I feel like hours have flown past my head like a meteor. Maybe that’s why when I discovered the live feed of April the giraffe ‘ABOUT TO GIVE BIRTH’ I found it so utterly soothing. And I seriously do. I cannot look away. I’ve had to. Because you know. Life.

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But when I’m feeling overwhelmed and anxious I’ll check in on April. I’m always thinking this is it! And the screen comes up and she is just slowly strolling around. Chewing on some cud. A big ole giraffe baby rolling around in her tummy. I swear I’ve seen contractions. Like she stopped, dead in her tracks, and something was going on. I saw a mouse run across the floor of her pen the other night. Pen. Birthing suite. Whichever. Yes. I’ve watched a lot.

So here’s what I know for those of you who are NOT committed to this process. And just so you know we don’t need any ‘Johnny come latelys’ falling up in here like they’ve been on this journey with us all along. No. NOT TODAY. Giraffes can be pregnant anywhere from thirteen to fifteen months and in labor for up to five hundred hours. The average baby giraffe can be as much as six feet tall and weigh one hundred and fifty pounds. Now. Get off April’s back! Home girl is doing the best she can! Ain’t we all?

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Yesterday was baby shower day at our house. We had a blast. Long lost cousins showing up and making me laugh so hard I’m pretty sure I pulled something, is truly the best thing ever. Watching sweet little pregnant girls taking pictures down by the lake and then trying to climb their way back up the hill. Lots of nice strangers who enjoyed the food and were so gracious. Beautiful presents for a special baby boy who already has his grandmother completely wrapped and he’s not even here yet.

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The weather was perfect. It was warm and breezy. I felt like the trees bloomed just for our little mother to be. We had sweet tea. And meatballs. Her favorite. Beautiful skewers of fresh fruit. And pasta salad that was so good I had it for dinner. We finished the day up with some golf cart rides around the ‘hood and squeals of laughter. Or fear. Coulda went either way. I was driving.

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Today we will keep it simple and low key. Throw some hot dogs on the grill and move as little as possible. That’s the plan Stan. I just checked on April. Not a baby hoof in sight. That’s okay. Take your time girl. We’ll be here.

It’s another beautiful day we are blessed to see so enjoy pretty people.

Enjoy every second…

One Flu Over The Cuckoo’s Nest…

One Flu Over The Cuckoo’s Nest…

Picture if you will, a nice couple, mid to late 50’s. I’m mid. He’s late. Having a quiet little dinner at home last Tuesday night after a long day. Feeling rather exhausted. And halfway through said meal, BAM. And not the good kind of BAM like you get from Emeril. The kind of bam where you are literally flung face down in your bed and you only move when you are forced to crawl on your hands and knees, ok that was an exaggeration. You only move when you are forced to make your way to the bathroom. Praying that this demon that has somehow entered your body will find its way out.

While you rest your weary head on the cold bathroom floor tiles, phone in hand, you google exorcist in your area. There are none. But there’s Chinese food five seconds away. Only you can’t say or think about Chinese food or any kind of food for that matter without heaving.

Welcome to our weekend.

My fever broke first. Probably because I’m the meanest and I’m good with that. The hubs is currently at Urgent Care as I type this, because he can’t shake his. He also has a cough that sounds like it comes from the depths of a horror movie. I’m not kidding. He also coughed in his sleep so much I covered my face with the sheet.

No one will come near our house. People have offered to bring food to the end of the driveway. One brave soul even offered to venture all the way to the porch. But sadly if you brought us food we couldn’t eat it. I don’t even want to smell it. Someone cooked a frozen pizza yesterday and I had to leave the room for an hour.

You know the best place for bland food is the hospital. If I could have checked in there just for some of that flavorless broth they bring you in a cup I would have. I had low salt Saltines and they still tasted too salty. I opened a few cans of soup and I couldn’t do it. The sound of the can. The smell. No. Couldn’t do it.

I existed on a minuscule layer of peanut butter between two pieces of bread for three days. Well that and my body fat. I’m pretty sure I could win Survivor if there were no challenges involved. By yesterday I thought surely I’ve lost at least forty two pounds and am now in petite sizes as well. I’d pass the bathroom mirror and think ‘oh wow, I’ve finally lost that baby bloat’. It’s sad the things you tell yourself when you’ve been delirious with fever and cooped up in the house for days.

Saturday at lunch I hit a wall with the peanut butter sandwich diet. It repelled me. As did a dry toasted bagel. As did a plain (and I do mean PLAIN) turkey sandwich. I even attempted to eat a Cheeto. Alas even the Cheeto, my native food, couldn’t get past the influenza police. Never before have I been so betrayed by my stomach. Except maybe that one time in 1981 when I had two bottles of red wine at a fancy dinner. There was nothing fancy about what happened later people.  And I haven’t had a drop of red wine since.

I will now share with you what quelled the nausea and finally made me feel full enough to actually doze off and rest. A packet (NO CAN) of Lipton noodle soup.  Just noodles. Real chicken broth. No chicken! It’s as bland as the day is long. I cooked it. Had a few Saltines. And my tummy became so quiet and still. I may have almost skipped down the hall. Ok I didn’t skip. But whatever. It was magical. Lipton kicked Campbell’s ass.

Today we will stay home in our coven of cooties and rest. There will be no special Super Bowl foods around here. I hope you all enjoy game day and that you’re pulling for the Falcon’s. Because if you like Tom Brady we’re gonna have to break up. Also, if he cries even once or makes that whiny baby face or has his wife whine on his behalf OR uses a deflated ball, someone better revoke his man card. Enough already.

RISE UP…

 

Hypocrisy…

Hypocrisy…

: a feigning to be what one is not or to believe what one does not: behavior that contradicts what one claims to believe or feel

especially: the false assumption of an appearance of virtue or religion

I loathe hypocrisy like my body loathes a diet. If there is anything that will put me on my soapbox it’s a hypocrite. So please, don’t be one. I have more respect for that batshit crazy chick on twitter who’s shouting at the top of her lungs beliefs that I don’t agree with than someone I know being a hypocrite. At least the batshit crazy chick is consistent. She doesn’t waiver. She sticks to her batshit crazy guns.

Okay enough of that. I refuse to let people who do not affect my life rob me of a fabulous weekend. And it was a fabulous weekend. Nothing happened. No big trip. No fancy meal. Just a fabulous weekend.

Yesterday our son was on call so we were asked to come and watch the little gbaby in case he had to leave. And leave he did. Before we pulled in the driveway he was out on a case. Hard job for a family man but they manage it so well.

I sat and watched little gbaby on the monitor and she was having no part of nap time. She was restless and her nose was stopped up and she couldn’t get comfortable and I wanted to just run upstairs and crawl in there with her but I remained seated and waited to see if she would go back to sleep. It didn’t happen. We caved.

Now I have to tell y’all, this one is a handful. She’s feisty and stubborn and wants what she wants when she wants it and I happen to admire that in a child. Because with it comes these grand gestures of running and jumping into your arms. Mouth wide open kisses where you feel her little teeth in your top lip.

She got up, sat in my lap, and was promptly rewarded for not finishing her nap, with a cookie. That’s right. That’s us. We’re THOSE grandparents. She only ate half. We had to sweep the entire kitchen floor.  And I think the only reason she didn’t finish it was because I wouldn’t let her carry it around. I said those oh so dreaded words. “NO ma’am”. The side eye she gave me sent chills down my spine. She’s THAT good.

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We had a blast. I chased her, she screamed. She pulled out every single toy she had. I had to do diaper duty. My co-pilot assisted me with the wipes from about two feet away. Lightweight. And then her mommy came home. I’m talking exactly five seconds after I had that diaper changed. I may or may not have accused her of circling the block a few times.

We picked up a chair I had ordered a few weeks ago. In order to prepare for this, the hubs asked for the chair dimensions three times. Three. He then measured the opening in the back of my car. The conclusion was he was unsure if it was going to fit. People, I have put not one but TWO wingchairs in the back of a Ford Edge (not exactly a full size SUV) with three passengers still in the car. It’s ALL about placement. We backed up to the store and by the time he opened the back out walked this young girl carrying my chair and she popped it in the back and that was it. See that? That’s a tight squeeze my friends.

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Dinner was some nice takeout we enjoyed at home. And glancing up I saw my deer family were back! It’s been weeks and weeks since I’ve seen them. I had a little coffee later in my new chair. And as I perused the room I realized that I need a larger picture on one wall.

Get out that measuring tape scooter.

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Happy Sunday to you all!

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Politics as usual…

Politics as usual…

Ok maybe not.

Amidst the occasional cries of ‘we have to come together now’ I have read and heard enough negativity to last me a lifetime. Women tearing down other women.  Friends no longer speaking because of political differences. Or if they do speak it’s only for one to judge the other. People having conversations where someone just HAS to be right. And then there are those who are rather haughtily placing themselves above the fray by just saying ‘my guy won’, ‘I’m so happy’, ‘Life is wonderful NOW’.

In all fairness if someone becoming President just made your life wonderful it was more than likely already wonderful and you have nothing to lose in these upcoming years. If this years election did scare you because you’re gay, a single mother who works and yet relies on food stamps, if you have a pre-existing illness and may lose your insurance, by all means, feel what you need to feel. I would never call you a special snowflake. Unless you happen to love snowflakes and I do.

When in fresh hell did a snowflake become a bad name?

I deleted my Facebook account about two weeks ago. That may be the best move I make in 2017. Yes a lot of people read the blog through that account. But you can also find it through a google search or sign up to follow it by email or not read it at all. Your choice. There will not be a quiz later. However if you thought I blocked you on the book of face, no I didn’t.  Funny how many people have thought that and not a single one asked me.  Don’t assume things my friends. Now go back and read the first three letters of assume. Got it? Good.

So yesterday there was a Women’s March on Washington and all over our amazing country. For me the march was about equality (if you think you’re being paid the same as some of our men folk you would be wrong), the right to love who you want, and to ensure that ALL our young girls have the chance to live the best life they can. If you question why this event even took place then none of those issues affect you. So good for you. Not all women are that lucky. One man wrote that it was the March that made a bunch of fat women get out and walk. Another said it was just a lot of chicks with no jobs who are afraid they’re about to lose all their benefits. I read that sentiment from both men and women. And the hate goes on. Are you surprised? I’m not. Of course I read those comments on twitter where anything goes and hate runs rampant. I read comments worse than those. Then I just stopped reading anything.

Just remember this. When a young man in college can rape an unconscious young lady in an alley and only spend three months in jail, we are a LONG ways from equal. I would have marched just for her. And that’s all I’ve got to say about that.

Now I must share with you a phone call I received this week. My sweet cousin Tonya called me and she said guess why I’m calling you! I’m like I have no idea, why? She said “I fried chicken naked” AND “I burned my stomach”! My immediate response was SEE!!!!! I told you to never do that! She then explained, while I tried to stop laughing hysterically, that she had on a new shirt and didn’t want to get grease on it so she just stripped down right there in the kitchen and commenced to frying some chicken. We laughed and laughed and ended up talking on the phone for over an hour I’m sure. I completely lost track of time and she made my week. Thanks for the laughs Tonya! And put some clothes on the next time there’s hot oil and chicken involved. Ok?

For the record I think everyone who reads my blog is a good person with a beautiful heart who cares about their country. In the end we all want the same thing. Or at least I sincerely hope we do. Every human being to be treated equally. I don’t think it’s too much to ask. Let’s start there and we’ll work the rest out as we go along.

I wish only the best for all of you.

J

 

 

 

 

The pen is mightier than the sword…

The pen is mightier than the sword…

Or is the keyboard mightier than the sword?

These days I’d have to say it’s the keyboard. But let’s not get into that dark space on a glorious morning.

Speaking of pens I’ve been out of decent ink pens since like forever. People there is nothing I love more than fresh stationery and a really good pen. Preferably felt tipped. My bff knows this about me and every year without fail gets me boxes of the best note cards. If they’re monogrammed I love them even more.

Note writing is a lost art. And the art of writing a thank you note even more so among a certain age group. At Christmas we decided to hop on our golf cart and deliver poinsettias to all of our neighbors. Ok there’s only seven. So don’t get all excited. But it was so much fun. It was chilly and we were zipping down little winding driveways. A few houses we had never seen because they sit back quite a ways. But every single neighbor wrote me a thank you card. Take note (see what I did there?) young people.

My newest gift of note cards are heavy paper and have the Eiffel Tower sketched on the top. So when I sat down to write some notes with my cheap (and I’m talking probably seven cents a piece) company pens that we have all over this house, I didn’t write a thing. I refuse to use those ink skipping plastic things on my good paper. Cut to two days later, the hubs had heard my wails, and in he walks with a plethora of new pens! All for me! I know, I know. It’s so dorky. But I’m telling you I am as happy as a clam in a good office supply store.

Who doesn’t love a fresh new legal pad to take notes with? The ONLY reason I enjoy going to the accountants office is because he always offers me one. And even though I’m usually not listening because I’m too busy texting I will use it to doodle. I still sit and write my name trying to improve my cursive. I think if I ever write a book I’ll do so on legal pads. At least that way you can’t accidentally hit backspace or alt delete or page forward or any of those other buttons created by the devil to torture me.

When I was a little girl and even before that my mother and my grandmother couldn’t afford to call each other long distance so they wrote each other weekly. I have found their letters on occasion stuffed in with old boxes of pictures. They both have the most beautiful cursive handwriting. And it’s also how I found out that I did in fact have the chicken pox when I was little. They wrote all of their letters on steno pad paper. Front and back. And sometimes with little side notes in the margin. I love reading those letters.

The only other person who ever wrote me on a regular basis was my husbands grandmother. She too had beautiful penmanship and even though she could have called me she chose to write. I was always thrilled to see those envelopes in my mail. Some times she would just write to say how much she enjoyed spending time with us and tell me about where she worked and how busy they were. Since she’s no longer with us I treasure every single scrap of paper with her handwriting on it.

Ok fine people I’m off to write some notes. Maybe you should too. Surely there’s someone you need to thank or just say hi to. And don’t email them! That’s cheating. And it’s boring. Not to mention impersonal.

Let’s have some manners about us, shall we?

J

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The Perfect Day…

The Perfect Day…

In the South when you wake up to snow it’s a pretty significant event. Yes, yes, all of you northerners and the whole world makes fun of us with our bread and milk runs, our horrible driving, etc. Guess what? WE DON’T CARE! You know why? We are shutting it down. We are sledding and cooking soup and riding four wheelers and using our four wheel drive to venture out and check the roads, if someone is stuck we stop and help them out. We are sometimes just sitting and looking out the window at the most beautiful white blanket of loveliness that one could imagine.

Waking up to that stillness and the only sound you hear is the snow still falling is just magical. I’ve been trying to imagine what snow here at this house would be like since we moved in. And I gotta tell ya people, it did not disappoint. I don’t have many pics because I was too busy enjoying the day. But here’s a peek out of my den window yesterday afternoon.

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See? Magic.

We went to see the grandbabies and I was nervous. I won’t lie. I actually cried before we even left our street. It was a lot of snow out there. And it was really cold. The hubs offered to turn around and take me back home but I knew I would just worry and I really wanted to go. So I did. We had a great time and scored a gbaby to bring home with us. She was bored with her parents already. You know how that goes. Besides she thinks we live WAY out in the country anyway so she was on an adventure.

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The only blip in my otherwise perfect day was when I went to make dinner. I had bought the most beautiful salmon filets to cook in this maple syrup, soy sauce, and garlic glaze. Since its early and my tummy is a tad sensitive this time of day I’ll just say this. Bad salmon is perhaps the worst smell in the free world.  I kid you not. I mean it leveled me right there in the kitchen. I was screaming for a scented garbage bag. Into the bag it went. Tied up tight and threw into the garage. People I just couldn’t carry it any further. Besides, I knew once I told him it was in there with his beloved car he would take care of its disposal toot sweet. And he did.

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I threw together some pasta and a little red sauce and dinner was taken care of. Dessert was provided by the snow. Now we all know the rules. You’re not supposed to make snow cream out of the first snow of the year. Well I contend that this was the second snow. It started snowing on Friday night. I’m pretty sure it stopped for a second maybe. So therefore Saturday’s snow was the second. I haven’t had snow cream since I was little. I don’t ever remember Brenda having to google how to make it either but I did. It tasted like homemade vanilla ice cream. Which I’m actually not a huge fan of (I know, kick me out of the South now) but the snow was perfect. Fluffy with a little crunch. The boo had hers with chocolate syrup. The hubs could be seen, and heard, furiously stirring his to get that soupy texture from his childhood. The smile on his face said it all.

So go ahead. Make fun of us all you want. Because the jokes on you. We’re heeding the call to slow it down. Take a breath. Eat a sandwich with that bread we had to run get. Stare out the window. Nap. Whatever hanks your crank as my daddy used to say.

Now THAT my friends, is a perfect day…

A funeral for a friend…

A funeral for a friend…

Ok, I have a confession. I don’t attend funerals.  I mean unless Brenda drags me kicking and screaming, I just don’t. I went to a funeral in high school for a classmate and I felt traumatized for life. I’ve been to funerals since then but mostly I will just attend visitation at the funeral home. And I have to say even that gives me anxiety. I feel so awful for the family having to stand there and talk to all of these people when I’m sure they just want to sit on a couch and cry.

But as we all know, funerals are for the living. In the South it’s how we show our respect and love for the deceased and their family. We make food. Order flowers. Always have the perfect black modest dress. And I failed miserably in pretty much every category this past week. I did not make food. I forgot to order flowers. And my closet was devoid of the perfect black dress.

Personally I take Dolly’s stance on church and funeral attire. “Honey God don’t care which church you go to just as long as you show up”. The same for clothes. As long as you’re respectfully covered, come on in. But being raised Baptist it was extremely hard for me to feel comfortable in church in pants. Yes, yes, I know, women have been wearing pants to church for years. I have not. Until now. I had no choice. My long black ‘go-to’ maxi dress has tiny little straps. Which meant I would have to throw on a cardigan to be dressed appropriately. (These are the rules in MY head only people. Just so you know.) It was a hundred degrees outside so I wore the black pants and a loose silk top and sandals. And the earth did not fall off its axis.

Wendy, I know you are chuckling at all of the silly thought I put into this. I also know you had to be pleased with the laughter in the church that day. I’ve been asked by several people, how was the service? My answer? It was perfect. I laughed. I cried. I said amen. There was praying and music. And your son spoke. He was funny and sweet and I just wanted to hug him. I wanted to hug your whole family. They’re feeling a little broken without you honey. Please forgive us. It’s hard to let you go so soon. But they’ll be okay. I promise.

Wendy’s preacher has what I call a ‘booming Baptist voice’. The kind that comes in handy when you’re at a revival or when there’s no mic. The kind that when he gets to the good stuff, his tone shifts so quickly it almost makes you jump in your seat. If you’ve never heard a preacher do that you’re missing out. I grew up in small baptist churches where that sound was frequent. So hearing it again took me back. I listened to every single word he said, sort of mesmerized. And then when he spoke softly of Wendy. Because he knew her. He really knew her. He knew her heart. It was so special.

To the Barham and Webster families, I hope you have felt all the love our community has for you. And for Wendy. You are in our thoughts and our prayers. And you are in our hearts. Always.

Have a beautiful Sunday my friends.

And if you see any of Wendy’s family out and about, be sure and give ’em a hug.

Esoecially her brother, Dean. He just loves that.

 

One last thing. I need to offer my sincere thanks to every single person who has donated to the gofundme that was set up two years ago. Trust me, you have made a difference in someone’s life. I am SO grateful to you all. And on behalf of Wendy and her family, again, I thank you.

https://www.gofundme.com/dkfbf4

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