Sunday, June 29, 2008

WRONG - On So Many Levels!

As I was drinking my cup of coffee and reading the Sunday paper (online of course), I came upon this story on the News Sentinel's website: "Back in 'mama's arms': 2-year-old boy found in cornfield".

Ya know, I have several problems with this story. The first being, why wasn't Little Cody's grandmother watching him a little closer? I know when Kaylea was 2 years old we wouldn't even let her play in her room unless one of us was in there with her. I don't understand how the grandmother could have had any kind of level of comfort in not watching him constantly. Especially considering the fact that their family's home is surrounded by a 50-acre cornfield which is surrounded by ponds. Oh yeah, I would be totally comfortable with Kaylea running around out there - NOT!!!!

Something else that just hits me as wrong is that the grandmother called to report Cody missing at 9:44 PM (yes, PM) and he had been missing for about 30 minutes at that time. Let me reiterate - the child is TWO! Why on earth is a two year old playing (1) alone (2) alone outside (3) alone outside at 9:15 PM?

Finally, I have to ask, why didn't the local or surrounding police/sheriff departments/TBI use helicopters to look for this child. We hear about authorities using helicopters to find marijuana fields and moonshine stills, but could they not bring them out to look for a missing child? This blows my mind. For some reason someone, somewhere thought that a 200 person search team was a better idea. Well, that better idea resulted in the child spending the night alone, wet, hungry and scared to death in a cornfield.

I guess we all need to be thankful that Cody had a guardian angel with him that night. He was found unharmed and was very happy to be reunited with his "mama". I can only imagine the relief his mom and grandmother must have felt when the officials emerged from that cornfield with Cody in their arms. I'm sure it was a relief to the officials, as well.

Now, I just have one final question to ask everyone involved in this story (Grandmother, Mom, Officials). Did you learn anything from this????????????

Strong Country Women

That is what my family is made of. The Doctors removed Auntie H's breathing tube yesterday at 2:10 pm. As of now, she is still breathing on her own. This is something that the Doctors were sure she could not do. She, also, has pneumonia and a temp, but she is still hanging in there.

We have joked that Auntie H is going to die in the same manner she lived her life - ON HER OWN TERMS! No one is going to pull a plug and tell her when she will die; only she, and her Maker, can make that decision.

God bless those strong country women! Hopefully, I was blessed with just a smidgen of their strength and will.

Saturday, June 28, 2008

Good-Bye, For Now

Auntie H,

Thank you for being such a great Aunt;
You have given me many happy memories that I will cherish.
A star in my life has burned out;
My skies will no longer be as bright.
I will not mourn for you, though;
I will mourn for myself instead.
You have reached your destination;
Your Heavenly Life will now begin.
I will not say good-bye, forever;
I will merely say good-bye, for now.

I love you,

Prayers, Again

We received a phone call Thursday afternoon from our Mom telling us that her sister, Auntie H, had collapsed of a heart attack. Since then, we have been waiting by the phone for instructions on when to leave to travel north. My Aunt has a bad heart and has had several surgeries in the past. This time it doesn't appear that a surgery is going to fix things, though. When she collapsed Thursday, CPR was started immediately then the Paramedics hit her with the paddles three times before transporting her to the hospital. She is currently attached to a breathing machine and it non-responsive to all of the brain wave tests. My Uncle and cousins were to meet with the Doctor this morning for him to advise them on how to proceed. Auntie H. has a living will; however, there is a MI state law that requires the family to wait for a certain amount of time before disconnecting life support. At this point, we do not know when the life support will be disconnected or how long Auntie H will survive without it. So, we are just waiting.

This is all too scary for me. Auntie H isn't that much older than my mom or Bub's parents. I try real hard not to think about the reality that they won't be with us forever. The logical part of me knows that all of us will pass on and we have no control over when this will happen. But the non-logical part of me hopes we can stay together on this earth forever.

I am feeling comforted right now by knowing that Auntie H will soon be in a better place, if she isn't already. She will be filled with love and happiness and all of her pain will go away. I should not wish for her to stay here with me; that is selfish. I need to find joy in the fact that she is going to be reunited with all of her loved ones that have passed before her. She will be able to hug Papaw, Mamaw, Uncle John, Aunt Bonnie, Granny, Pop, Carol, Frank and all the other people that meant so much to her throughout her life.

I guess the prayer that I would ask all of you to make, would be one for strength and comfort for Uncle C, Thom and Beth, Bindy and Bob, Dawn and Scott, Will and Casey, Dylan and Laura, Mom and Aunt Shash, and the rest of us that love Auntie H.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Hi-Ho, Hi-Ho, It's Off To Camp We Go!

I can't wait. We are heading to the mountains this weekend to relax and commune with nature. Now this is a totally different kind of camping than what Kaylea and I were doing with my Mom and JimBob a few weeks back. There will be no campers with air conditioning or TVs with cable on this trip - OH HELL NO!!!!. We are going to Elkmont. For those of you that aren't local, Elkmont is a campground in the National Park and there is NO electric or running water on the sites. As a matter of fact, they don't even have bath houses to get all of your unmentionables, mentionable again.

So these kinds of camping trips require a lot of planning. The list making and shoping begins well in advance. So far, ThiThi and I have made one Wally run, but there will be at least one more - heck maybe two more - before Friday.

Now, here are just a few of the things that we bring along for a weekend in the woods.

  • Ceiling fan for the tent - Hey, it's gonna be hot AND I can't sleep if I'm hot AND I get grumpy(er) when I can't sleep AND if I get grumpy, a good time will be had by none. That's why Bub didn't blink at the well invested $20 for a ceiling fan for the tent.
  • Extra batteries - For the ceiling fan, of course.
  • Broom Handle - aka Bear Whackin' Stick. This is a story in itself. Read here.
  • Kaylea's Bike - so she can entertain herself and won't drive all of us crazy.
  • Margerator - I guess if I run out of batteries for my ceiling fan, I will just drink enough Margaritas to help me sleep. Ha Ha and you thought we were roughing it.
  • Feminine Cleansing Cloths - I don't think I really need to explain this one; especially since I have already told you there are no bath houses, hhhhhmmmmmmmmmm. And besides, Wet Ones really stink!
  • Baby Powder - I am going to try out RimaRama's trick.
  • Baseball Caps - In case RimaRama's trick doesn't work.
  • Our NEW lawn chairs - For kicking back and relaxing. Oh, and here's a shoutout to the ass holes that stole our old lawn chairs off the front porch. Heck, I would have let you borrow them; because I'm nice and all that. But now, you have just ticked me off. Stealing lawn chairs?????? I'm confused, could you not do any better?????? Ya know we had a garden hose out front, too????? (Sorry, I needed to get that off my chest.)

So, if anyone wants to come on up and join us for Margaritas and S'mores on Saturday night, just come on. If you pass out, I ain't sharing my ceiling fan, though.

Camp Fire

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Tales From The Dressing Room

Yes, my friends, after going to Splash Country the other day I actually got inspired to go swimsuit shopping. It's kinda funny how spending a day looking at other women with unfortunate bodies, such as myself, could inspire me to do the one thing I hate most in this world. I don't really get it either; but, for some reason I thought it was a good idea to go skirtini shopping.

So yesterday ThiThi, Kaylea and I hit the Mall and began the torture. Well, I was being tortured; I believe ThiThi and Kaylea went along for the amusement of it all.

Here are just a few of the incidents and comments that came from inside our dressing room:

  • After trying on a loser of a suit I was removing the bottoms and realized the hygienic liner was stuck to my - uh - upper inner thigh (if you get the picture). I tried to gently peel it off but found, though it wouldn't stick to the crotch of the bathing suit any longer, it had appeared to have permanently affixed itself to me. What was I to do but to give it one quick pull and presto, I gave myself a wax job, also. (I always knew there was a reason I hadn't gone to see the little Vietnamese ladies about a "wass job."

  • ThiThi critiquing one suit, "So what flavor of muffin is that?"

  • Me, while looking at my ass in a skirtini in a 3-way mirror, "There must be something wrong with this suit. The back is shorter than the front!" (Wouldn't have anything to do with the hump and bump giving the skirt a little lift on the backside, ya think?)

  • ThiThi to the sales associate that asked if we had a preference on dressing rooms, "We just need a big one. There will be a lot of wrastling going on in there."

  • Me, while browsing the Miracle Suits, "For some reason I just don't think that one will be quite 'Miraculous' enough for me."

  • Me, "Those draws ain't quite deep enough. You know I like me some deep'ins!"

  • ThiThi to me after a full day of fun, "You know this is the worst time of the month for you to be doing this, don't you?"

And finally, the award for Funniest Comment of the Day goes to................................KAYLEA! She, so innocently said, "Ya know, Aunt Missy, I think that tag that says, 'Look 10 lbs slimmer in 10 seconds' is just a lie." Out of the mouths of babes. What can I say?

Oh, and for those of you wondering if I walked away from the Mall with a suit. Well, yes, I did. Here is the one I got. Unfortunately, I have a little more fluff than the invisi-model the company used for the picture. But, overall, it covered what needed to be covered and wasn't too appauling.

So, see all you gals and Splash Country this summer!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

Splash Country - The Best Ego Boost In The South

Ya know, if you look over to the right side of my little Blog page you will find The Ever Growing List of Random Things I Hate. Well, about two-thirds of the way down the list I have mentioned my distaste for "Big Women in Bikinis." After spending a day a Splash Country yesterday, I do believe that I need to revise this dislike AND give it a little higher billing on my list. How about I change the dislike to, "Women Who Wear Bikinis And SHOULDN'T."

Now, let me start out by saying that I am NO frail flower. I have a little extra meat on my bones and could benefit by going back to Weight Watchers for, oh say, a year or two. It is because of my cottage cheese thighs and muffin top that I absolutely hate the idea of going out in public in a swimsuit. If I could find a fashionable Berka, that would be the beach/pool clothing of choice for me. However, since the Taliban has yet to get into the swimsuit business, I continue to settle for my girdlish Carol Wior suits that keep the bulging stuff, stuffed in, and the sagging stuff, lifted up. You see, I am brutally honest with myself and I use these things called MIRRORS when I try on a bathing suit. And yes, I have even looked in the ----- THREE-WAY MIRROR ----- in the fitting room before making my final bathing suit selection. Yes, I know that is a scary thought for some women out there. Looking in that mean ole three-way mirror that lets us get the view of everything comin' and goin', but as scary as the sight is, I always choose to take a look. The way I figure it is, I would rather have a private dressing room viewing of how bad things look so that I can opt out of the tankini that makes my trunk look a little to junky; as oppose to, oh say, several thousand people having a public viewing at a water theme park.

Now, back to Splash Country yesterday. I am convinced that the majority of the females that were there either (a) looked at themselves in a carnival mirror before leaving home, or (b) not only didn't own a mirror - they hadn't even heard of one, or (c) had way too much self confidence for their own good.

Now, I must say, it isn't just the big women/girls that I am referring to. Yes, there was a fair share of large women in all sorts of disastrous swimwear. Like, the very large woman in a bikini whose belly hung soooooo low that her bottoms (swimsuit, that is) were barely visible (oh, her other "bottoms" were VERY visible and, yes, she appeared to have more than one!) And then, there were the many young girls that had the unfortunate "dunlap" disease. And then there were the women that had WAY too much confidence in the strength of those little plastic bathing suit closures. We were one wrong stretch away from some major wardrobe malfunctions.

All you skinny ladies weren't immune to the unfortunate swimwear choices, either. Like the grandma in her bikini wearing a suit that really needed a good ironing (no, not a "bathing" suit that needed ironing. The "body/birthday" suit of the skin colored variety that she had on under the bathing suit). Then there was the pretty young soccer mom, with three kids in tow. She was wearing the skimpy little tiny weeny bikini and had stretch marks on her belly that resembled a road map of NYC.

In summary, I guess I learned a few important things yesterday.

  1. Everyone should own a full length mirror. Believe it or not, they are good, very good; mirrors are my friend. Keep them around - and lots of them; they will save me from unnecessary humiliation
  2. Just because you are a size 4 and you CAN wear a bikini, it doesn't necessarily mean you SHOULD wear a bikini.
  3. I don't look as bad as I could.
  4. And finally, whenever I start beating myself up about my weight, I will just pick myself up by my bathing suit straps and head on over to Splash Country. This will give me a new found confidence and I will leave the park feelin' pretty darned svelte!

Friday, June 20, 2008

Just A Little Redecorating

Yes, I got tired of the layout on this Blog, as well. So, I decided to get out the wallpaper hanging supplies and spruce things up around here. Everything is still here, it just got the ole spit-shine. I hope you like it. Don't fret though; I am sure I will get tired of this design eventually and it will change, too.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Prayers, Blessings and Gratefulness

This morning started like all others have this summer. Kaylea and I slept in and once awake, I meandered to the computer to fire it up and check the e-mail. Little did I know that I was about to read something that would be heart breaking and scary for both Kaylea and me.

You see, Sunday evening one of Kaylea's friends from Girl Scouts was involved in a head-on collision here in town. She and her mother were transported to UT Hospital where they are still recovering. Kaylea's friend received a broken wrist, a broken pelvis, a lacerated liver and a laceration across her abdomen that required 20 stitches. This little girl is only 9, the same age as my little girl.

The mother has undergone 2 surgeries since being admitted, one for her broken ankle/heel/leg and the other to put a metal plate in her broken arm. Oh, and she has a broken pelvis, also.

When I told Kaylea about the accident she immediately asked if we could go to the hospital to visit her friend. Kaylea was very concerned for her friend and asked many questions about her injuries. I emphasized that the little girl was recovering, but Kaylea was so concerned that while I was in the shower, she got on the computer to look at the e-mail herself. Afterwards she copied the web address for our local newspaper, which was included in the e-mail we received, and went to that web page to read more about the accident. I guess she was afraid I might be trying to "sugar-coat" the details for her.

We went to the hospital this afternoon and took her friend a balloon, magazines and a book. I don't think either of us were prepared for what we saw when we entered the room. The little girl was laying there hooked up to a lot of machines with a feeding tube in her nose. She was whimpering and moaning from the pain she was enduring. As she breathed, a rattle was coming from her chest, due to the fluids that were collecting. Her father was at her bedside holding her hand and trying his best to comfort her.

My heart broke at that moment. You see, not only is she Kaylea's friend, but she is probably one of the sweetest girls I have ever had in one of my classes at school. She always has a smile on her face and a bounce in her step. A truly kind hearted little angel that would do anything for anyone. Today, though, she was not herself, naturally.

Kaylea was very quiet while we were in the hospital room. Her friend did ask her to hold her hand though. I think Kaylea was very apprehensive because she was afraid of causing her any more pain. The little girl's father repeatedly thanked us for coming to see his daughter. He looked very tired and I could see the worry in his face. I can't imagine what he is going through. His wife undergoing 2 surgeries and his little girl in critical condition. I'm quite sure he hasn't slept much, if at all, since Sunday.

I couldn't help but think about this family's tragedy and realize that it could have just as easily been my family. Me going through the 2 surgeries; Kaylea in critical condition; and Barry trying to keep things together. I travel the same road where the accident happened. Kaylea and I are always together in the car, and normally Barry is not with us. It is hard to believe how our life could be changed in mere seconds. I think everyone likes to believe that they are invincible and nothing bad will ever happen to them. Accidents such as this really slap you back into reality.

Kaylea and I have both been a little quiet today, which is definitely not normal for us. There has, also been a whole lot more cuddling and one-on-one time. We cooked dinner together and played cards while things were finishing up. The TV wasn't on and we really got to enjoy each others' company. Then when we sat down for dinner, Kaylea said our normal blessing and then added a little prayer for her friend and her parents.

Please say a prayer for this family. They are hurting in so many ways right now and they need all the support they can get. Also, please take a moment to thank God for your happy, healthy and safe children. I know I have and will continue to do so.

******Since this has affected Kaylea and me in such a profound way, this post will be placed on both our blogs, My Crazy Little Mixed Up World and Curiously Kaylea. Sorry for the duplication, but I felt it was worthy of repeating.******

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Love Is More Than A Hallmark Card

Today we had a Father's Day feast at our house and invited many of the Fathers in our life over to partake. The menu was grilled pork tenderloin, baked beans, corn, slaw, and three different kinds of dessert. We had fun visiting with and celebrating the awesome Daddy's in our presence. There was one person missing, though. A very important person - my Daddy! And yes, I know I am 40 years old and I just referred to my father as "Daddy". Well, that's what he has always been and what I have called him all 40 years of my life. So why change things now?

Though I was in a good mood and happy to have Bub, Pappy, Mr. Jimmy and Mr. Bob over for the afternoon, I couldn't help but be a little sad, also. You see, I have always made a big deal about Father's Day for Bub. Kaylea and I have gone shopping for his cards and gifts. Then there has always been some sort of special meal prepared in his honor. I guess I was a little sad because I don't remember ever doing those things for my Daddy when I was younger. I know we were always with him on Father's Day because it falls in the middle of June and we were always at his house for the summer by then. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure Nana took us out to buy him a card, but other than that (and maybe some homemade ice cream) I don't think much of a whoop-di-doo was made. And that is sad, for me.

I am hopeful that Daddy wasn't too disappointed with the celebrations - or lack there of - from the past. And I hope that he knows that just because I only gave him a card, it didn't mean I loved him any less than those kids that gave their father's the nice expensive gifts.

Daddy, I love you and I will always be your little girl!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Happy Birthday To You! Happy Birthday To You!

Happy Birthday to ThiThi, Happy Birthday to you!!!!!!!

Yes, 44 years ago today this world was graced with the presence of my sister Missy. Of course I was nothing more than a twinkle in my Daddy's eye when she was born, but I'm sure the day was one of celebration for the family.

I have been very lucky to have her as a sister, though I would have argued with you had you told me that when I was a child. You see, our relationship hasn't always been what it is today. With each year that has passed, our relationship has grown and matured with us.

When I was born, I don't think Missy liked me too much. This is more than natural, since she had been an only child and an only grandchild for the almost 4 whole years of her existence. She was the center of attention and wasn't going to relinquish the spotlight without a fight. Rumor has it that she tried to snatch the little bow from my bald little head after Mom and Dad brought me home from the hospital. From that point forward (for many years anyways) the gloves were off.

Don't get me wrong, we didn't fight all of the time. Afterall, we did have to sleep ya know. But our house was always filled with its fair share of, "Mom, make her stop!" "Mom, she's bugging me!" "I'm telling!" and "You just wait until Mom gets home."

I know I was a pesty little sister (and probably still am) but I always wanted to do what Missy did. I begged her to play baby dolls and Barbies with me. When she got a 10-speed bike, I wanted one. When she got a skateboard, I had to have one. When she cut off her jeans and rolled them REALLY short, I had to wear mine the same way. When she started wearing make-up, I would watch her put it on and then paint my face the same way.

As teenagers and young adults, a distance was put between us. This distance was caused by us having different priorities and taking different paths in our life. Though we weren't living with each other any longer and we were living totally different lives, we still had that bond of sisterhood that could not be broken.

Once Missy and I both were married, our paths rejoined and our relationship entered a different phase. We shared everything, from weddings to the birth of Kaylea. Yes, Missy was one of my labor coaches during Kaylea's delivery. She has been a part of all of the most important days of my life: my birth, my marriage, and the birth of my daughter. She is truly the best friend I have in this world.

So sis, here's to you on your day. Today is a day for us to celebrate you and all the wonderful things that you are. I love you and will never forget all of the things you have done for me throughout my life.

Your sister and friend,

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Summertime, Summertime, Summ Summ Summertime

Every year Kaylea's and my summer begin the same way. This year was a little different because we had the week at the beach (which you can read all about on Kaylea's blog at ), but now we are right back to the same ole same ole.

You see, my mom's family reunion is always the second Sunday in June and all of the family that comes in from out of state camps in Townsend. Mom and Jim-Bob normally stay through Father's Day, so we get a nice long visit with them. Kaylea and I always go over to Townsend and spend several nights with them while they are here. It is nice being able to sit by the river and watch the tubers ride by. Plus, we get to swim and play cards and RELAX! The relaxation is always welcome after the craziness of the end of the school year.

Though summer started off a little different this year, things are now back to normal now. We are chillin' in Townsend and catching up with some family members we haven't seen in a year. It's amazing to see the children each year. They always look so much more mature and it really makes me realize how fast they are growing up. Of course I can't avoid the realization that Kaylea looks a lot older to them, as well. And she is growing up, too. I know the year will come that she will not be interested in continuing our summer tradition. I can hear her now, "Mom, I don't want to go over there. It is boring." I guess I will have to decide at that time whether to make her come because "This is what we always do!" I just think it would neat if we continued this until she had children of her own; so she could bring our grandkids to camp with Bub and me. I know that I am looking way too far into the future, but I am just like that. I am always thinking about creating happy memories and traditions for our family. I want Kaylea to be able to tell stories to her kids that begin with, "I remember every ___________ we would go/do __________________."

For now, we are all comfortable with our traditional start to summer and I will am happy with that. I hope all of you have fun making your own traditions, as well.

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Just Checking In

We are at the beach. I don't know how many posts I will be putting on my Blog this week; however, if you want to see what is going on with us on vacation just watch Kaylea's blog. I will be posting photos and giving updates over there.