Welcome to my blog. Thanks for coming! One day I hope my little piece of internet real estate will be home to lots of family photos, pictures of my scrapbook and card art, with some random thoughts and memories posted on a somewhat regular basis. Mostly my world is very predictable, but occasionally some excitement will find me, so visit often. Who knows what useful (or useless) information you may find here.


Monday, December 31, 2012

Fresh Paint

Several weeks ago, my church choir presented their annual Christmas program.  It was a beautiful night, filled with twinkling lights and festive attire, and the air was filled with happy voices exchanging holiday greetings.  I had been looking forward to attending the program, while dreading it at the same time.  Still a bit emotionally fragile, I was feeling a little battered by the holiday hoopla, and pretty much just ready to get it all over with.  Just another one of those “firsts” to get through on the way to finding myself again.  Wouldn’t you know – the very first solo was a song about a woman hanging her stocking on Christmas Eve all alone… without her husband… and I kinda sorta just lost it right there in my pew, and spent the rest of the evening wiping my eyes and my nose on my sleeve. As good Baptists are prone to do, we topped off the night with “refreshments in the fellowship hall”, and it all ended on a good note.  Until a phone call from the ex an hour or so later left me feeling somewhat sad and angry again. 

Over the next few days, there were three very special people who whipped up on me with some Serious Tough Love.  It wasn’t pretty. (But thank you, DJ, Mac, and Ricky!)  The week would prove to be very enlightening, and very liberating.  As a result, I feel more like *me* than I have felt in quite some time.

I won’t go so far as to say that I am 100% over it.  (Perhaps 98%, though, if I must quantify.) There’s still a hole in my heart – the place where my dreams of the future lived.  But like any wound, it is becoming smaller with every passing day.  I’m forever changed by what happened, but the important thing is that I am better.  And I’m healing from the inside out.  It is no good for skin to grow and close over a wound with poison still inside.  If the poison doesn’t come out, the wound will never completely heal – on the contrary, the poison will simmer and grow, and someday explode into a hot mess. And the scarring will be even worse.  Sometimes, a wound must be debrided, or “cleaned up”.  The theory of “it gets worse before it gets better”.  From time to time, I’ve felt the debridement, and though painful, it has indeed helped the healing process.

I’m confident I’ve survived the worst, and now I’m rockin’  the “better”.  I’m done with giving in to the emotionally-charged conversations and e-mails.  I’m just done.  Sad? Disappointed?  Of course.  It wouldn’t say very much for my love and commitment if I could just pretend it never happened.  But I will not be debilitated by it any longer.  I’ve been sad and disappointed before, and I’m sure I will be again.  It’s part of who we are as humans.

Christmas is a time to celebrate the greatest gift we could ever receive.  It’s about sharing love and thoughts of Peace On Earth, Good Will To Men.  We exchange gifts with family and friends.  Sometimes we even splurge and do something special for ourselves.

This Christmas I gave myself a gift.  Permission to let go.  Knowledge is power, and after learning, acknowledging, and embracing some things about myself and about my ex, I have finally let go of the grief that has debilitated me and rendered me emotionally dysfunctional for these past few months.
This is a recent post I put on FB: Letting go: For some people, it's a one-time thing. For others, it's a daily struggle. Sometimes the line between remembering the sweet and forgetting the bitter is drawn with a knife - right through the middle of the heart. This anonymous quote says it well: "It's a constant battle. A war between remembering and forgetting." Prayers today for all who struggle with letting go.

I won’t ever forget the events of 2012- the good or the bad.  It definitely ranks as one of the worst years I’ve experienced.  But I no longer struggle with letting go.  My prayer now is that I won't reach for it again and try to take it back.  Each day that passes seems to lessen that possibility, so I'm focusing on looking ahead, and refuse to look over my shoulder to revisit the past. 

Because now is most definitely the time to look forward.  There’s a new, empty canvas in front of me, and a fresh palette of paint.  Tonight I will ceremoniously remove the 2012 calendar from my clipboard.  The 2013 calendar is printed and ready to replace the old one.  The New Year is before me, and I can’t wait to see what it will bring!   

Happy, Healthy New Year, everyone!!

Sunday, December 9, 2012

After A While

Today I borrow the words of poet, Veronica Shofstall.  


“After a While” Veronica A Shoffstall

Thursday, November 22, 2012

On Being Thankful

Shortly after I started blogging, I wrote a post that addressed holiday emotions: HolidayCheer, Holiday Blues (which would later become my first published article!) At the time I wrote it, I was at a good place in life, happily single, surrounded by fabulous friends and family, and had “adopted” a group of elderly widow ladies at church.  I’ve always had a heart for people who seem lonely, and it blessed me so much to bring a tiny little ray of sunshine into the lives of these ladies simply by reminding them how special they are.  We all have friends who have lost loved ones, or who are separated by work or military obligations, etc.  The holidays, while filled with magic and wonder for many, are often difficult times of sadness for those who are lonely.  My article encouraged the reader to remember those who might be hurting or sad, and to be a blessing to someone in need.

Four years later, I find myself on the other end of the spectrum – one of those people facing an empty chair at my dinner table, a lonely spot on my sofa, and one pillow on my bed instead of two. 

Is it possible to remain thankful through heartbreak and disappointment?

Each November, lots of folks on Facebook will post every day of the month something for which they are thankful. I love reading these posts! Some are lighthearted and comical, but most are heartfelt and meaningful.  I didn’t participate this year.  Instead, I just added a silent “amen” or sometimes clicked the “like” button to the posts of others.  I read each and every one, and was surprised at how many folks sometimes commented that “nobody probably reads these”.  Yes, people read them, and perhaps like me, were reminded to be thankful for those things we often take for granted. 

Being thankful seems to comes natural to me.  I suppose it probably originated from my early years, when learning to talk to God during prayer.  I was taught to thank God for my blessings.  And to thank Him for my trials, even though I may not understand the reason for them.  (No doubt, the blessings are way easier to be thankful for than the trials.  Bleh.)

The dark days of trials are tough, and I sometimes have trouble thanking God for the bad stuff.  Even so, I can usually manage to find something for which to be thankful. Sometimes it's just being thankful to have made it through the day without a meltdown, or without stabbing someone with a fork.  I have learned (and continue to learn) many things while navigating the stormy waters of this trial.  Things about myself, things about others.  About what matters most.  And who matters most.  I don’t like the place where I am emotionally, but I am thankful that every day, another tiny, microscopic sliver of light dispels another tiny, microscopic sliver of darkness.  Today is better than 126 days ago when my world was forever changed.  For that I am thankful.  I am stronger than I ever thought I could be – and for that I am thankful - but only because I have traveled through a place where I was weaker than I ever could have imagined.   Am I a better person for the journey?  Some days I would say yes.  Some days not so much.  I still sometimes feel the need to pitch a hissy fit, and some days I can’t help throwing flaming arrows and prickly barbs at the one who hurt me.  Those are not my finest moments.  It usually doesn’t take me long to come back to earth and face the very simple reality.  It Is What It Is.  For the trip back to reality, I am thankful. 

Everybody hurts.  Everybody cries, sometimes.  (Thank you, REM, for a great song!!) I'm not alone. 

I don’t understand it.  I doubt that I ever will.   If you know me well, you know I’ve got some control freak DNA goin’ on, and there is the need to at least understand it, since I had no control over it. But I don't understand. I really hate that part!! The assault on my heart and my emotions has been devastating – but the collateral damage has been extensive as well.  My family has rallied around me in such a manner that makes me think of a mama bear protecting her cub.  I have seen their tears and sadness in my behalf, and I have listened to their words of encouragement. Family matters.  And for them I am thankful. 

Going through this experience has also reminded of a foolish decision I made long ago that inflicted the same kind of damage to another family that I love, and I am humbled by, and very thankful for, their forgiveness. 

There’s an anonymous quote that I’ve always loved:  “I believe that friends are quiet angels who sit on our shoulders and lift our wings when we forget how to fly."  When the days are dark, and the nights are lonely, sometimes it’s just not worth the effort to raise my wings, and I simply don’t care, or even try to catch the breeze any more.  I don’t know for sure if guardian angels really exist.  Regardless of whether or not they do, every day I pray and ask Jesus to send them to surround and protect my grandbabies.  I believe they do exist, and it comforts me.  One thing I know for absolute certainty.  I have my own guardian angel.  She is not an unseen heavenly being with supernatural powers to protect me from evil and harm.  She doesn’t wear a halo or wings, and she doesn’t float around on a cloud singing, or playing a harp.  She lives 5 doors down from me, and she has been my source of sanity, encouragement, and the voice of reason and hope for the past 20 years, and especially the past few months. I love my daughter, my mama, my aunts, my cousins, my girlfriends, and my awesome co-workers, and all those girls have been there for me in girl ways I can’t even begin to explain!  But there is absolutely no earthly way I would have survived this without my own guardian angel, DJ.  Sometimes, she’s right there beside me, throwing flaming arrows and prickly barbs.  Sometimes she throws gasoline on the flames....  and sometimes she douses them with water when I get a little out of hand.  But she doesn’t judge me. For that I am thankful.  She tells me when I’m wrong, and she helps me see through eyes that are not blinded by tears or self pity.  She forces me to breathe when I don’t want to, or when I forget how.  She makes me laugh.  She lets me cry.  She kicks my butt when I need it.  She hugs me close when I need it.  When I first moved back here she brought me food because she knew I wasn’t eating right.  She does her best to protect me from hurtful things – sometimes including my own self, because of  my thoughts and attitude.  She helps me see that, while the situation that brought me back to The 409 is a sad waste of a beautiful thing, now that I am here, there are good things for which to be thankful.  While I never wanted to come back alone, it is good to be back in my home. It is good to be back among my family of neighbors.  It is good to be almost within hollerin’ distance of my aging parents.  It is good that I am here to take the kids to school every day since the new drop-off schedule would mean extra child-care expense for Whitney and Dustin.  (The extra bonus to that is that I get to see the children for a few minutes every day!)  It is good that I can take an extended lunch break and go to their class functions and parties, when their mom and dad aren’t able to go because of work. Or pick them up when they are sick, or transport them to appointments.  It is good that I can have coffee time at The Huth House on Saturday mornings – something I didn’t do while living in Winterville, though I had vowed I would continue doing it. 

Never in a million years would I have traded my  husband for these things. But since my husband decided to shake things up and end our marriage, I am thankful for the blessings that were waiting for me back home at The 409.

There’s no denying that this has been one of the worst years in the history of my entire life.  Every day is a struggle through the mud and quicksand.  I am reminded of an earthquake that destroys the landscape.  The rocks and trees will someday settle back into place, the rubble will be cleared and the buildings replaced. Years down the road the untrained eye might never know of the deep chasms that once ripped open the face of the earth.  But the contour of the land is forever changed, and the scars will be deep.  Years from now, one may never know of this awful journey I’ve taken.  Life will go on, and there will be brighter, happier times.  But the scars will run deep, and the shape of my life has forever changed.  I am a different person.  Better or worse… that remains to be seen.  I hope and pray I will be a better person, a kinder person, and a more thoughtful and compassionate person.  In the meantime, the landscape is still pretty much a wreck, and there are broken boulders strewn all about – but with time and patience, God’s grace and mercy, and a little help from my guardian angel… I’ll be just fine. And I will choose to be thankful for everything I have learned.  

While it has been a crappy year, and I've pretty much made it All About Me, I do indeed have a Thankful List that has nothing to do with my personal drama.  Like most everyone else, my Thankful List includes my faith, family and friends, to live in a free nation, God's grace and forgiveness, my home, my job, those who serve and protect, etc.  With a list like that, how can I complain?

Yes, it is possible to remain thankful during heartbreak and disappointment.  Not only is it possible, it is a key element in the healing process.  I am thankful for my blessings, and I am thankful that in my trials, I am never alone. 

But above and beyond the scope of all the above things listed, for this Thanksgiving Day 2012, I am most thankful for my guardian angel… my dearest, and one of my oldest friends since even before elementary school…. Debbie Jo.  My wings flutter a little stronger every day, and soon I’ll be able to fly on my own again… because of her.  I am so blessed.

Monday, November 5, 2012

Ready For The Fat Lady To Sing

Here we are - the eve of what seems to be the most important election we will see in our lifetime. In a few hours it will be over.  No more campaign ads, no more debates.

But wait – I predict we will simply swing from one mode to another, as the country continues to be so divided.  The winner will claim complete and total victory, while the defeated will cry "unfair".  I'm afraid Hurricane Sandy has thrown a monkey wrench into the equation, and a Romney win would  make the cries of "unfair" even louder.   Why?  Check your color charts for the answer.  The areas affected most by Sandy are blue states.  Obama states. Heavily populated Obama states.  It goes without saying that nothing will be normal in the northeast for many, many months.  Yet, the election will proceed as planned tomorrow.  Will everyone affected by Sandy be able to vote?  I wish I could say it would suit me fine if they didn't, because  that would be fewer votes for the incumbent… but even I, a bona fide Obama NON-supporter, feel strongly that every American has the right, and the responsibility to vote. That said, I am hoping and praying that every person without power, without food, water, and gasoline, will somehow still be able to cast their vote, even if it is for President Obama.  Because if Romney should happen to pull it off and win the race, the cries of "unfair" will make the memories of "hanging chads" and "pregnant chads" pale in comparison.  It is a little concerning, however, with voter fraud so prevalent even in the most desirable of voting conditions, that somehow all the mayhem and confusion in the aftermath of the storm could facilitate even more opportunities for fraud.  Therefore an Obama win will likely result in a Republican outcry of voter fraud.  I am concerned for the integrity of the voting process tomorrow.  So much is at stake, and the numbers so close, that the slightest glitch, whether truly accidental or orchestrated, could sway the results.

I shamefully admit that I cheated my way through my high school Economics class.  I only took Sociology (first half of the year) and Economics (the second half) because I had a crush on Mr. Summerour.  I didn't take the classes seriously, and memorized only what I needed for the weekly test on Friday, and copied the homework of others the rest of the week.  The rest of the time I just sat in class like a silly teenage girl, waiting for him to grace us with a pretty smile that showed his dimples.  It was worth listening to all the boring talk about GNP, supply and demand, etc., just to look at him.  Well, okay, maybe it wasn't that bad (or silly), but I really didn't give a hoot about sociology or economics. 

And while I still don't understand the teachings of Keynes or Hayek, the decision we face when choosing our new president doesn't seem much like rocket science to me.

Right or wrong – to my way of thinking, it boils down to one thing.  Jobs.  The working people and property owners in this nation fund the government.  Can we agree on that?  (Well, except for the part where we borrow gazillions of dollars from other countries.) Folks who don't work or own property pay some taxes when they spend money, but negligible in comparison.  If they don't work, how do they have money to spend?  From the money that they get from the government.  Where does government get the money to give them?  From those who work and/or own property.  Of course – ALL of our tax dollars don't go to subsidize those who don't work.The infrastructure of the country, the salaries of millions of government workers, medical research, a myriad of entitlement programs, etc, all are funded with taxpayer money.   But I'll bet it's safe to say that all the money that subsidizes those who don't work comes from working folks and/or property owners.   

The fewer people who work, or own property, the more they will be required to pay.  The money's gotta come from somewhere.  There have been a few news stories this past week about employers telling their workers that a vote for President Obama puts them in jeopardy of losing their jobs.  Understandably, those who support Obama are infuriated by this.  While I don't think anyone has the right to tell another person how to vote, I do think most of the sheeple (I mean people) have little understanding of the "trickle-down" effects of the plan that our president has proposed.  

But this I do understand.  If a business is taxed to the extent that it can't afford to keep its doors open, then people will lose jobs.  Even if they don't have to close their doors, they may have to lay off people.  Or not hire people.  Consider the trickle-down effect of THAT.  Joe America, a wage-earning, tax-paying, property-owning citizen, loses his job.  Loses his home.  Loses his savings.  Loses his insurance. Maybe Joe America's contribution to the government coffers was $10,000.00 or even less for the year. If you multiply that by the millions who no longer have an income to tax, or property to tax, that's a fairly significant chunk of change.  The trickle-down effect of businesses closing affects the entire community, not just individual families. 

There are those who support President Obama because of his stance on gay marriage and abortion.  I respect your feelings and your rights. But allow me to observe that same-sex marriage and the right to use abortion as birth control might not seem as important when our nation falls to a third-world country status, which seems the direction we are headed.  That statement will arouse emotions in some, no doubt – but do some homework for yourself.  Look at the people President Obama idolizes, has used for mentors, and who he has surrounded himself with for at least the past 20 years. We know about Rev Wright, and have seen the videos.  Even the videos where President Obama  lauds him as his pastor, friend, and mentor.  Google the name Frank Marshall Davis.  A mentor to "Barry" since the age of 10.  Who are the people he chose to surround himself with?  Bill Ayers. Van Green.  The list goes on.  

Let's focus on JOBS and the experience of a successful businessman to get the country back on its feet economically.  The social issues will still be there when we recover.  There will still be time to fight for what we believe in.  If you think your rights are being violated now, and we are a repressed people, just wait and see what happens when our administration is run by a bunch of card-carrying communists.  (Dodging rotten fruit and insults on that one… ha!)

And since I'm probably pissin' off my Democrat friends anyhow, let me add something else that has been nagging at me.  The whole Benghazi thing is yet another smear on the face of integrity of  our nation's leaders.  Imagine if that had happened under the Bush administration!!! Fortunately for the President, with the world's attention focused on death and destruction post Sandy, this tragic event will take the focus off another shameful failure in foreign policy.  Maybe we'll learn what really happened in Libya…. after the election.

And on the subject of storms.  I have asked myself how one explains the difference between Sandy and Katrina.  While I take nothing away from the devastation of either storm, I would have to say the biggest difference lies in the people in their paths.  It doesn't appear to me that FEMA is as Johnny-On-The-Spot as everyone expected them to be after the dismal performance following Katrina.  No doubt, there was a massive failure in the post-Katrina disaster relief efforts.  My heart still goes out to those people who, even after these years have passed, still have not recovered.  The biggest difference that I see between the two storms is that the folks up north, while understandably frustrated and impatient, are helping themselves.  They are helping their neighbors.  They are pulling together and getting something done.  Whereas people in LA (at least the ones the news media focused on) sat on rooftops and sidewalks screaming for the government to come save them.  They pillaged and plundered, raped and murdered their neighbors in the Superdome, and they pointed their fingers at President Bush and blamed him for their plight.  President Obama, on the other hand, is lauded as a Savior – while the folks up north, and people from neighboring states, work hand in hand to try to restore just the basic necessities.  Recovery from such mammoth disasters requires the people to help themselves.  Perhaps government agencies  could do a better job, but thankfully we don't get that much practice.

Perhaps there is unflattering behavior going on up north.  Who could blame the people?  As a mom and grandmother, I'd be doing everything in my power, even stealing food and blankets, if it meant keeping my babies fed and warm.  Maybe there are scenes of humanity at its worst like we saw on the news with Katrina.  But if there are, we're not gonna see that.  Because some might say it reflects badly on our government for not being able to take care of our own people.  No, we won't see any kind of reporting that makes President Obama look badly in the wake of this storm.  It is far too convenient a distraction from his abysmal handling of Benghazi.  Let's not focus on anything except his exemplary behavior after the winds and water have cleared.  Shoot. If they could get away with it, they'd probably blame Hurricane Sandy on George Bush, too. 

We'll watch with bated breath as the results trickle in.  It may be days before we have the final numbers.  I think I speak for many when I say that I'll be glad when it's over.  So we can get busy with the challenges we face ahead.  Because, don't kid yourself, regardless of which candidate wins, we still have some tough times ahead, and a long way to go before we can be healed. 

If you haven't already, please go vote tomottow.  Even if you're going to cancel out my vote - (but that also means I'm cancelling yours!  Haha!) Just do it.  Let the fat lady sing, and let's get on with it.  

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Did President Obama Win The Debate?

The answer to this should be a firm yes.  Whoa – my liberal friends – no, I have not crossed the aisle.  Never fear, my conservative friends – my tent is still set firmly in your camp.

Here’s something I’ve been thinking about, though.  If an incumbent candidate is not able to absolutely mop the floor with a challenger, then… does he really deserve a second term?  Think about it.  (For the sake of simplicity, I’m using *male* as the gender.) It’s not like we’re comparing apples to apples here.  Here is a man, who for the past four years, has been allowed into the innermost circle of classified information, has experienced the daily grind of the job, and has been privy to the experiences and information handed down from the previous administration.  Shouldn’t he be able to swat the challenger like an annoying fly, and slam dunk him at the outset with all the ammunition he possesses? 

The debates of 2008 were a bit more evenly matched.  I’d say McCain probably even had an edge on Obama, because of his years in the military and in the senate.  He just didn’t *show* very well, and didn’t have the stage presence of Obama. The fact that he was FAR more qualified for the job didn't carry much weight in light of the smooth-talking, half-black, handsome man who mesmerized America with his talk of Hope and Change.

I’ve watched all three Presidential Debates as well as the VP Debates.  Here’s my take.  I know very little about foreign policy, how the economic system works, government spending, and even less about the mechanics of how our government operates.  That is a shameful thing to admit.  But, I probably fall into the majority.  I’d bet a good many of the Average Joe Americans know about as much (or little) as me.  So how do we know who is telling the truth?  We don’t.  So, then, on what do we base our decision on who "won" the debates?  Stage presence, charisma, class, and who appears the most “presidential”.  Shallow?  Perhaps.  Somewhat impressive, I'd say, is the ability to answer questions, and go head-to-head with the opponent. The ability for the non-incumbent candidate to know the vast amount of stuff he has to know in order to duke it out with the Commander In Chief, the Leader Of The Free World. Impressive. At least it is to me. 

It’s no secret that I do not care for President Obama.  About the only good thing that I can or will say about him is that he has charisma, a great stage presence, and he knows how to give a speech.  I believe he could sell a cup of water to a drowning man.  That being said – if you know me, or have read other posts related to politics, you will also know that I’m fair.  As best I know how to be.  I listen to both sides.  I want to hear what the liberals say as much as I want to hear what the conservatives say.  I don’t care about race, sexual orientation, or gender.  However, I do care about integrity, both real and perceived.

And I detest arrogance.  In my opinion, President Obama is one of the most arrogant men to walk the planet.  In reality, maybe he’s not. Perhaps I am wrong. I’ve not had the occasion to meet him personally or hang out with him on the weekends.  However – the way he conducts himself exudes arrogance.  I had to refrain myself from slapping my television set during the first debate.  There was a man who was so confident in his position and his assumption that his reelection is a done deal, that he had little regard for what the opposing candidate had to say.  He looked bored, condescending, and appeared as though scooping up his dog’s poop while on an afternoon walk would be more stimulating to him. Don’t believe me?  Go back and watch it again, with the volume turned down.  The words that were spoken said far less (to me) than the demeanor of the men talking. 

Athletics has never been a strong point for me.  I can dribble a basketball, and I can walk or run.  I cannot to both at the same time.  That fact was enough to keep me off the basketball team when I was in (today’s equivalent of) middle school.  But give me some pom-poms and I could rock-n-roll with the best cheerleaders in the county.  At the beginning of my 8th grade year, at the annual cheerleading tryouts, I was dealt a hard blow of reality.  I very distinctly remember the basketball coach and one of my 8th grade teachers, Sammy Wood, greeting me as I walked into the classroom that afternoon after tryouts.  He had an odd look on his face, and I asked him what was wrong.  It was like he was mad at me, or something.  I’ll never forget what he said.  “Cathy, you are so SURE you made the cut.  You need to understand that just because you were a cheerleader in 6th and 7th grade, and just because you think you are so great, does NOT guarantee you a place on the squad this year.”

Wow.  Sounds pretty harsh. You’d never hear a teacher say anything like that nowadays.  Angry parents would have them fired over such a derogatory remark to little Johnny or Suzie.  This was a different time, though, when teachers were allowed to be teachers, and the authority figures that they should be.  We loved and respected our teachers.  What Mr. Wood said to me not only scared the crap out of me, but it broke my heart that he felt that way about me.  It also broke my heart to realize that I had behaved in such a manner.  I vaguely even remember walking off the court thinking “I got this.”  Mr. Wood saw my attitude, and cared enough about me to bring me down a notch.  He followed it up with “I hope you do make it, but you just need not assume you will make it.”  I had not only assumed I would make it, I was absolutely certain of it.  I spent a worried few hours, and was prepared to be humiliated if I didn’t make the cut.

Thankfully – I did make the cheerleading squad that year, and lived to rock the pom-poms one more season, but that encounter with Mr. Wood taught me a valuable lesson that I hope I never forget. 

It seems that President Obama has an “I got this” attitude.  I am afraid that he probably will end up back in the Oval Office again.  But he need not be so cocky.  It doesn’t look good on him.  I'm hoping that he is wrong, and that he will be vacating the White House come January.

And then there’s VP Biden.  His performance during the debate was laughable.  (Pun intended.)  What a joke.  Five minutes into the debate, I posted on FB something to the effect that "Joe’s got his gigglebox turned over."  Even Average Joe Americans like me could see that he viewed Paul Ryan as a gnat in his lemonade on a hot afternoon.  Simply something to be shooed away, and laughed over.  What an arrogant ass.  While I readily admit that there’s more that I don’t understand than I do – does he really think we are that stupid?  He wants to laugh at concerns over Iran’s ability to generate nuclear weapons.  Oh.. sure, they’ve got the stuff to make the bombs, but don't  worry about it!  They don’t have anything to load or carry them on.  Really, Mr. VP?  The fact that they are able to procure the materials needed to build a bomb doesn’t alert you to the fact that they can get their grubby little hands on a missile?  Oh, but let’s just laugh about such a silly concern.  Like he laughed about everything else.  Honestly, Paul Ryan deserves an award for being able to continue the debate without punching that smile right off of VP Biden’s face.  I seriously wanted to punch him my ownself. How the liberal media declared him the “winner” of that debate is beyond my grasp of comprehension. 

But back to my original point. President Obama and VP Biden should have been able to absolutely slaughter Gov Romney and Senator Ryan, considering their positions.   The fact that they didn’t, IMO, would make Romney and Ryan the winners, by default – regardless of whether they won or not on their own merit (which I still think they did!)

I am ready for a president who thinks we are more important, and our nation’s recovery is more important than bowing in deference to a middle-eastern king, or apologizing to Muslim nations because we have been “insensitive”, or “dictatorial”.  That’s a crock.  And a president who knows that we indeed still have lots and lots of bayonets, and that it does matter who has the most battleships in the ocean. 

I am well aware that this election is probably the most hotly-discussed and emotional election in many years - certainly since I have been of voting age.  I hope that YOU have made up YOUR mind which candidate you will support.  This rant of mine is not intended to sway you or change your mind.  (Likewise, don’t bother to try and change mine… you will not succeed.)  I have many friends who feel as strongly supportive of President Obama as I strongly oppose him.  That’s fine.  I love you anyway.  Vote for whomever you please. Just please vote.  But don’t be saying The Democrats won the debate.  Because they didn’t.  They should have blown them out of the water, but they didn’t.   I am Hoping for Change.  I already voted my choice.  Make sure you vote yours!!  

Monday, October 22, 2012

And Miles To Go Before I Sleep

Wow.  What a busy start to a busy week.  Grandparents' Breakfast with Leyland and Corey at school today, then a visit to the book fair.  (Well planned, SES... haha!)  My grandchildren are such braniacs - their book choices were Justin Bieber and Batman.  Oh well.  As long as they will "read" them, I'm fine with their selections.  At least I was able to convince Corey he really didn't want the book on zombies and werewolves.  Superheroes trump zombies any day for this Greemaw.  Mary's class has Grandparents' Breakfast and book fair on Wednesday.  Wonder what book she will choose?

Then off to Winder with a long list of places to go and people to see.  First stop was State Farm to report my recent vehicle change (a month ago, I think?) and get coverage changed to the Sportage.  I didn't get the thingy from the car dealership until Thursday to take to the tag office (since my tag expired yesterday - a Sunday).  Thankfully, there was a reminder that I needed proof of insurance to do the tag thing.  Ooops!!  I had forgotten all about making that phone call.  With a limited amount of time this morning, it was crucial to plan my route carefully.  For such a small town, Winder has some big traffic issues, and it can be nightmarish trying to navigate the fair streets of the city.  Next stop was the ATM at the bank in case I needed cash for my next stop -  the courthouse.  That was a good move.  I did need cash for copies.  Good thing I remembered to do the ATM thing, because my own personal superhero, Richard Russell, was not in the courthouse today to spot me some cash, like he did the last time I was there.  Thank you Vicky, for once again, knowing exactly what I needed and getting it for me quickly.  And your kind words are always appreciated.  Then, with proof-of-insurance in hand, it's off to the Tag Office at the annex building, which is also on the way to the Social Security Office, my next planned stop.  I noticed an Early Voting Today sign on the lawn at the annex, so I decided I'd go ahead and get that out of the way while I was out.  I can never remember my name on the voter registration card (Cathy, Catherine, Linda ... ) so I was a bit worried that voting out of my normal voting place would be problematic.  Especially since my current Driver's License has a totally different name and address.  No problems, though, and a wait time of less than ten minutes.  So, it's official!  I've cast my vote!!

In order to change my driver's license, I need my Social Security card, which has been stored in A Safe Place.... (Translation - I will never see it again).  Thinking maybe I had put it back in the safety deposit box, I decided a trip back to the bank could possibly eliminate a trip to the SSA office.  Besides, I've been meaning to surrender the safety deposit box anyway, since last year at a Black Friday sale I bought one of those handy dandy fireproof personal safe  things.  As of today, I've retrieved everything from the SD box, and surrendered my key.  So, there's another task I can mark as complete on my to-do list!! But, alas, the SS card was not inside.  Just a collection of bond certificates, various and sundry divorce papers, a note from my grandmother, and a proof set of coins from the year Whitney was born.

Shoot. That meant I would have to go by the SSA office.  Bleh.  I spent 45 minutes waiting in a room full of all varieties of people.  And there was this one lady who just insisted on getting in my *space* and breathing on me.  I don't even like people I know and love breathing in my face, much less a croupy, raspy-sounding stranger.  Trying not to appear rude or snobbish, I discretely paced the room for a moment and then found a different seat.  To my surprise and delight, the person behind the counter who finally called my number was none other than a childhood friend and classmate, so I retracted my horns and hid my pitchfork, and enjoyed a few minutes of catching up with her. (Trying to be mindful of the other folks waiting with their own horns and pitchforks, and not "visit" too long.) On the way home, just one more quick stop in the Pharmacy to pick up some medication, and now I can check off all the places I needed to go today.  Yes, I really did have a list.  If not, I'd get back home without going everywhere I needed to go.

And now I think I am finally ready to start my work day, which won't end until 11:00 p.m. tonight.  I'm a tad bit upset that someone scheduled a Presidential debate on a Monday night.  Don't these people know that I work Monday nights? (So I can send them some tax dollars!!)  I wonder if it's too late to petition them to change it to Tuesday night.  Hmph. The nerve.

At any rate, it was a busy morning, but I got tons of stuff done.  Even though my impatience was beginning to show a little at the SSA office, it really was a productive few hours.  Now I need to keep the momentum going, get lots of work done *at work*, and then it will be bedtime again.  Though I've already been miles and miles today already, there are still miles to go before I sleep.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Personal Ads

It is simply amazing the things you can find on the internet.  Someone posted a link to this personal ad the other day, and it cracked me up.  

One Bedroom Apartment Plus Boyfriend

I have a sunny bedroom in Noe Valley.  I also have really cute legs.  This will make sense in a second.  I decided this place was feeling just too big, so I thought I would look for a roommate, and then I remembered that I was looking for a girlfriend too, so why don’t I just throw all my eggs in one basket and go for the whole Shibang.  Kittenkaboodle.  Ball of wax.  Whatever.  This might sound nuts, but I bet there is some lovely woman out there saying to herself, “GOD, I wish I could find a good man … with a full size refrigerator and new tile in the bathroom.”  So here is the deal:  You have a great smile and a heart of gold.  And you also have curtain rods and hopefully a good floor lamp.  I am 35, physically fit, have a good job, and the apartment has a living room and a good sized kitchen.  I have an unusually high IQ, interesting sense of humor, and there is plenty of cabinet space in the pantry and good water pressure in the shower head.  I am looking for someone who is sweet and honest and earnest (like me) and who likes to have presents made for her and have her pillow fluffed, and also would not mind making me a ham sandwich now and again.  NOT because she HAS TO, but because she LOVES me.  Like I love her.  Which is why I would sit there and hold her hand while she cried for an hour about something that made absolutely no sense.  And then I would get up and make HER a ham sandwich.  And some soup.  Then I would fix the water heater.  Because I love her.  Anyway, the apartment is close to shops.  My best qualities are my exuberance for life, one-of-a-kind personality and kindness and compassion for others.  I retain a certain cheerfulness and hopeful disposition, and I am even romantic like people were back in the days before the sexes weren't afraid to interact with each other – like when they would actually smile and say hi to each other – like in the 50s.  Upon completion of a successful interview, please be prepared to provide a nominal deposit.  You also have to sleep with me.  Utilities included.  Did I mention I like animals?


Haha!  Sounds like a REAL CATCH, huh?

I've been Single Again for almost a week now.  Five days. Well, in all the ways that count, for 89 days, and living alone for 73 days. But who's counting? It's about time to find myself a new man.  Doncha think?  After all, I'm a girl.  I need a man to look out for me, right?  Somebody to move the furniture so I can vacuum behind the sofa.  (Oh wait, I can do that myself.)  Someone to clean out my gutters.  (Nah, I paid someone to do that.)   Somebody to do my yard work.  (Nope, I got that covered too.)  Someone to keep my car in good running order.  (No - I have a car with a 5/10 year warranty now.)  Somebody to get my Christmas tree out of the attic.  (I always did that myself anyhow.)  Somebody to      fill in the blank/whatever    .  Oh wait.  I can probably do that myself too, call my daddy or my neighbors, or if all else fails, hire it done.

But then there's the part that I can't manage myself, or call on my daddy or the neighbors to do, or hire someone to do.  (Arguably, I suppose I could hire it done, but I'm talking real stuff here, not the kind for hire.)  There's the Emotional Stuff.  The Companionship.  The "Belonging".  The Intimacy.  The Love.  

No matter how independent I am, or am learning again to be, there's nothing that quite takes the place of belonging with someone, and all that It entails. I do truly miss That.  Quite frankly, it pisses me off that I no longer have It.  I didn't even know I was missing It, or that I wanted It, until I found It again at fifty-something years old.  And now I don't have It.  And most likely won't ever have It again.   

I wasn't in the market for a companion before he came along.  Then like the kiss of Prince Charming that awakened Snow White, everything changed, and I realized I did want It. And now that The Prince bailed on me, and having It with him is no longer possible, yeah, I'm just pretty much pissed about it all.  

I've tried this marriage thing three times now.  Is there an unwritten law somewhere that says three strikes and you're out?  No more wedded bliss? Well, no, I don't guess so.  But I already felt kind of weird about being married a third time... much less DIVORCED a third time!  So, while there's no written law that I can't be married a fourth time, for my own personal self, it just seems a ludicrous concept that I will not allow myself to even remotely entertain.  

All that being said, it would appear that I have limited my options to just getting myself a boyfriend.  A funny book I once read said that there are five kinds of men that every woman needs and wants.  Finding all these qualities in one man is pretty rare.  But you can't blame a girl for trying.  Here's our dream man:

1. A man who can fix things
2. A man who can pay for things
3. A man you can dance with
4. A man you can talk to
5. (My blog is rated G, so I won't quote her directly on this last one, but you can probably figure it out on your own.)

Trouble is, there's slim pickins out there these days, and I'm not so sure there's one guy who has even two or three of these qualities, much less all five. At my age, I've added a 6th:  Breathing.

I suppose I'll just wait for the invention of The Perfect, Programmable Boyfriend. The Clap-On / Clap-Off version would be even better. 

But in the meantime, maybe I need to check out the guy who posted the ad.  A tad young for me, but I do love a good ham sandwich!!

(Disclaimer for my mama:  Seriously just kidding about the boyfriend thing!!!!)

Monday, October 15, 2012

Birthday Calories Don't Count. Right??!??

Well, that's my story, and I'm stickin' to it..  If they do, then they shouldn't.  Birthdays are for celebrating, and though it was a low-key weekend, I did my share of celebrating calorie-wise.  My mom took me to Outback for lunch on Saturday, and best I can calculate (which explains WHY I am insisting that the calories don't count) just my lunch and sharing a dessert with my mom came in at a whopping 1478 calories.  YIKES!!  Since I was pretty stuffed, I opted for a lighter fare for dinner.  A few tortilla chips and salsa was plenty enough to tide me over.  I didn't even bother to count those few silly calories.  

My friend Jeremy and I are of the opinion that birthday celebrations aren't limited to just one day.  We milk it for all it's worth.  (He had so many celebrations, he's on a first-name basis with the Bakery Lady at Publix!00) With that in mind, I gladly accepted the invitation to dine with the Huths on Sunday night.  I think someone forgot to tell them that it was still October, and not Thanksgiving!  Wow, what a spread!!  Ham, beans, homemade potato salad, broccoli casserole, garlic/cheese biscuits, and sweet potatoes!!  Oh my.  I am surprised my britches didn't just bust a seam right there at the table..  I got up from my chair to go inside for a refill of tea, then said "who am I kidding", and grabbed my plate for a refill as well. Much smaller portions, this time, of course.  That was a seriously delicious meal.  Not even counting dessert, I probably consumed several thousand creamy, syrupy, crunchy, delicious and nutritious calories.  I consumed so much food that little calorie birds, moons, suns, stars, and tiny little calorie leprechauns were oozing from my pores and seeping from my ears.  I was in serious overload.  Heaven.

And I enjoyed every calorie-laden, heavenly moment. 

The Berniuses usually dine with the Huths on Sunday evenings, and now that I no longer work Sundays, I will occasionally join in the family tradition.  This was a GREAT Sunday to go!  Jeremy made a birthday card for me with Cooper's picture on the front (so sweet).  After dinner we had a lively discussion on politics and religion, two of my very favorite subjects to discuss!!  (Such a great discussion that I was almost late getting home in time to watch Revenge!)  

At some point during the conversation, the candles were lit, the birthday song was sung, and I blew out the candles. Only three candles, though.  After all that eating, I wouldn't have had the breath to extinguish 54 of them.  Cake.  Glorious Cake With Chocolate Icing.  Yum.  And the calories just kept piling on.  

As if that wasn't enough, there were doggie bags involved!  I can hardly wait for dinner tonight to do it all over again.  My take-home portions are quite a bit smaller than last night's feast, so the caloric intake will be significantly less.  I guess I need to be a little conscious of that, since my birthday weekend has come and gone.   

But I'm hanging on to the theory that Birthday Calories Don't Count.  

Saturday, October 13, 2012

A Tale Of Two Cities

Literature.  A word that strikes fear in the hearts of many.  I personally happened to enjoy my lit classes in high school.  I remember my teachers:  Ms. Reynolds, Ms. Fragopoulos, and Ms. Anderson.  Some authors were more intriguing than others.  Dickens was kind of on the fence for me.  Didn't love him, didn't hate him. One of the most classic lines of his that I remember was "It was the best of times, it was the worst of times."

If asked to summarize the 53rd year of my life, that quotation pretty much covers it.  It was a great year.  I was married to my best friend, and we shared an amazing life and love story.  My sweet grandchildren brought me great joy.  My family and friends surrounded me with love and good times.  Life was great!  It Was The Best Of Times.

Until it wasn't.  My husband chose the Road Not Taken (and surely 'it did all the difference make'!),  and left my life feeling much like an off-balanced washing machine with a heavy wet rug trying to go through the spin cycle. It Was The Worst Of Times. We didn't survive it, and I spent my 54th birthday without my husband, fresh out of an impersonal courtroom where marriages are dissolved by strangers in black robes.

It was a great year.  It was a crappy year.

For those who have walked with me down the happy paths as well the sad, lonely, and dark paths - thank you.  I couldn't have survived The Worst Of Times without you.

Today begins a new (birthday anniversary) year of my life.  I don't know what the year will bring.  Hopefully it will be a healthy mix of joy, challenges, growth, and change.  I'd like to avoid as much of the icky stuff as possible, but then so would we all.

I'm looking forward to a year of The Best Of Times.  So... Where shall we begin?

Monday, October 8, 2012

Dr. Ross, I Presume?

When I was in Tech School, one of our resources was a book titled On Death and Dying by Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, MD.  The blurb for the book reads:  “One of the most important psychological studies of the late twentieth century, On Death and Dying grew out of Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross's famous interdisciplinary seminar on death, life, and transition. In this remarkable book, Dr. Kübler-Ross first explored the now-famous five stages of death: denial and isolation, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. Through sample interviews and conversations, she gives the reader a better understanding of how imminent death affects the patient, the professionals who serve that patient, and the patient's family, bringing hope to all who are involved.

This book was written, and has for years been required reading for nursing students. Everyone experiences loss.  Every day, somewhere, people are saying goodbye to someone they love.  As healthcare providers, we not only have to go through our own personal losses, but we must deal with patients who are dying, and their families.  Granted – my career path has removed me from direct patient care, and thankfully, from the aspect of caring for the dying or bereaved.  I have always admired hospice workers, and Hem/Onc physicians and nurses.  I know my strengths – and they definitely do not lie there.

There are other losses that we suffer in life as well.  The loss of dreams, the loss of friends or family because of disagreements, the loss of jobs, homes, and tangible things.  These can be equally as devastating. 

And then there’s divorce.  Often the loss through divorce ranks with death. Sometimes maybe even worse.  Folks don’t usually choose to die, but in divorce, someone makes a choice. 

If my husband had died, there would have been flowers, fried chicken and chocolate cake, friends surrounding me for two or three days, a casket and a funeral.  And I would be without my husband.

As it is, there is no funeral food, no flowers, no BeBomb, and no preacher to read the 23rd Psalm.  Yet I am without my husband. Don’t get me wrong.  I don’t want my husband to be dead.  It’s just hard, because with a divorce, there is no closure.  No grave. The person is still “out there”.   Instead of a eulogy and reading of the 23rd Psalm, the final sound of my marriage will be that of a gavel echoing from the cold walls of a courtroom. 

When someone dies, the spouse is given a wide berth for grief, with no expectations of how long is “proper” to embrace the grief.  We tell them “time heals all pain”… even though it really doesn’t.  It just lessens it a little bit, and the person simply learns to live without the person they loved.  Weeks, months, and years will pass, and at times grief will fall on them like a ton of bricks, and the pain is as raw as it ever was.  And that’s okay.  We allow them that.

When someone is divorced, it is at times awkward to know the right words to say.  I have been blessed with the most awesome friends and family – and I do feel the love.  Yet, when someone is divorced, the hurting spouse isn’t necessarily granted the same “privileges” to grieve.  People expect you to get over it right away.  Especially if the offending party “did you wrong”, or behaved in a despicable manner.  “You’re better off without him.”  That’s something I hear often. And while I don’t disagree with the statement, it makes it no less painful to deal with the loss.  

Even so - I don’t want him back - regardless of how often he would tell me it was a mistake, and that he still loved me. Even a child understands that actions speak louder than words.  I’m better off alone than with someone who has such little regard for me and the heart that I so freely entrusted to him.  So, no, I don’t want him back.  I won't be a side dish for him, either.  He chose a different path, and regardless of how badly he wanted it to, it doesn't include me.  I think he finally understands that. 

But that doesn’t mean that I don’t miss the good times.  And there were good times.  I read something once that said “Just because the flower has died, doesn’t mean it didn’t smell sweet while it bloomed.”  Yes – that sums it up nicely.

And now that I’m feeling better emotionally, I find that I miss the physical presence – the companionship.  I had been single for 19 years, and was perfectly fine being the odd man out at couples parties, going to the movies or out to eat alone, etc.  I like my company (ha) and I was good with that.  Then along came my prince charming, and rocked my world – and I LOVED IT!  I loved the feeling of belonging with someone (note- not TO someone, but WITH someone) - the feeling of shared hopes, dreams, and secrets – someone to scratch my back at night and tell me funny stories and sing silly songs-  I LOVED IT!!  And I realized what I had been missing for 19 years. 

I had to kiss a lot of frogs over the years to find my prince.  I just didn’t know the spell worked in reverse, and that my prince could turn into a toad. 

Yet still I grieve.  And I need for people to allow me to grieve.  The moments of deep despair are mostly gone.  But my heart still bleeds.  Not for the loss of the toad.  I don't want that man. I’m done with frogs.  But the loss of my prince along with the hopes and dreams for our future, the tattered shreds of my heart, and the loss of my best friend, still cuts deep, and the wounds are slow to heal. 

Dr. Ross got it right in her book.  There are stages of grief.  I do feel like I have reached the final stage – acceptance – but just because you make it to that stage, it doesn’t mean you close the door on it and the pain goes away.  Ask anyone who has lost someone they love. 

For those closest to me, I know it is difficult to watch.  I try to be strong.  And I truly am getting stronger.  Death is part of life.  Unfortunately, in our society, divorce becomes a reality in many marriages.  And you grieve when it’s over.  There’s nothing anyone can do to take the pain away from me. You can walk the road with me, but you can’t walk it for me.  Walking it with me makes it easier, but don’t try to rush me.  I do see the light, and all is not dark like it was at first.  That is progress. Times will be better.  Of this, I am absolutely certain.  

Just remember – when your friend or family member goes through the painful breakup of a marriage, give them room.. and plenty of time to grieve.  Sometimes it’s okay to say “you’re better off without them”, but that doesn’t bring much comfort to the one suffering. Even if he/she knows it to be the truth.  The absolute best thing you can do for your hurting friend is listen.  Even if they say the same thing over and over again.  A thousand times.  Just listen.  If they don’t want to talk about it, then talk about something else.  Lots of times, that’s the last thing they want to discuss.  But then again, sometimes it’s all they can talk about.  DJ has listened to me so much I can’t believe her ears don't start bleeding at the sight of me. 

Writing about it is huge.  Matter of fact, by the time you read this, I’ll be feeling much better.  So don’t be freaking out thinking I’m about to jump off a cliff or something.  No. I’m just venting. The past few days have left me feeling a little shaky, and I just needed to work it out in my mind and my heart - and putting it on *paper* is how I do that.  Lucky you - if you choose to read, then I'm the patient, you’re the psychologist.  The only difference is, I’m not lying on a couch talking to you, and you’re not charging me $125.00 per session.  Are you?

If you made it this far, just say a little prayer for me and try to remember some of the things I’ve said that might help you when someone you care about goes through it.  Because chances are, either someone already is, or will be soon.
Death sucks.  Divorce sucks.  Bleh.  

Sunday, October 7, 2012


A good devotional book is a treasure.  I pray often throughout my day.  I read and often recite from memory the Scriptures I have learned as well.  But I love the focus of a devotional book.  I have an old one called "Daily Light", a compilation of Bible verses by Anne Graham Lotz.  There is no commentary, just a hodge-podge of verses that kind of interrelate with each other.  Nothing wrong with it - and it contains some of my favorite verses - but I rather like the devotionals that are written to inspire me to think, and encourage me for the day at hand.  

My friend, Cathy Sells, often puts excerpts of her daily devotional reading on her FB wall, and I've enjoyed reading those.  They're from a book called Jesus Calling.  After my granddaughter Mary got saved, I was looking for a kid-appropriate devotional book, and was delighted to find that Jesus Calling has a kid-friendly version, and got that for her.  She loved it - and hopefully is still reading from it.

The last few days have found me feeling a little weird about some things, and a couple of coincidental things have happened.  The little cloud that sometimes hovers over me has blown my way a few times over the past couple of days, and I've felt a little weak at times.  Though for the most part I have been feeling stronger, and encouraged, I also know that I'm not out of the woods yet.  You just don't get over something like this in two  or three months.  When your world is flung from its axis, hurdling through time and space, crashing into things, it takes a while to harness it again, and secure order.  For the most part, things are settling in and the surface waters have calmed.  Every now and then, though, a volcano will erupt, lightning will strike, or an earthquake threatens to tip the balance of the universe.  The cursed black cloud is never completely out of sight... and relentlessly pursues me. Thankfully, with my umbrella of faith and friends, it hovers over me less and less often.  

Recently, though, one such lightning bolt struck on the first day of September when I opened my book of daily devotions to find that the theme for the month was The Joy Of Marriage.  Seriously?  What a sad irony.  I decided it was time to find a new book of devotions.  Until such time as I found one, I revisited my old Daily Light book.  

Today I was out running some errands, minding my own business - and the faint rumble I had been noticing kept creeping closer and growing louder, until I recognized it for what it was - thunder - and that relentless black cloud engulfed me again.  When these moments arise, there's nothing to do but face them head on, and pray they pass quickly.  Deep breathing, prayers, and thoughts of affirmation help me get through.  Once the moment passed, though I was a bit shaken, I continued my errands, determined to complete my tasks.  

As often seems to happen, a really great song came on the radio - right at the moment I needed to hear it.  I'm sure I had heard it before, but this time it spoke to me: 

"Our God" by Chris Tomlin

Our God is greater, our God is stronger
God You are higher than any other
Our God is Healer, awesome and power
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us
And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?

The song spoke to me as a reminder that God is Strong, and a Healer, Awesome in Power, and This Black Cloud (et al), while it may follow me for years, and rain on me often, will not defeat me.  As I was sitting in the parking lot listening to the song, I thought of Cathy's book, and decided I'd see if Wal Mart carried it.  I headed straight for the Books section..  Lo and behold, there on the top shelf, partially obscured by other books, I saw it.  Only one copy.  A very nicely bound book - so nicely bound, in fact, that it was priced a little more than I had expected to pay.  It fit perfectly in my hands, though, and the soft leather felt just right.  I thumbed through the book to find today's reading.  What I read spoke far louder than the rumble of thunder that had been nipping at me all day, and I knew this was the perfect book for me.  

Today - October 7th 
In order to hear My voice, you must release all your worries into My care.  Entrust to Me everything that concerns you.  This clears the way for you to seek My face unhindered.  Let Me free you from fear that is hiding deep inside you.  Sit quietly in My presence, allowing My light to soak into you and drive out any darkness lodged within you.

Accept each day just as it comes to you, remembering that I am sovereign over your life.  Rejoice in this day that I have made, trusting that I am abundantly present in it.  Instead of regretting or resenting the way things are, thank Me in all circumstances.  Trust Me, and don't be fearful; thank Me and rest in My sovereignty.  

Oh. My.  

I bought the book.  

Thank you, God, for being more greater, and more powerful than the storm.   I pray for deliverance from the rumbling of the volcanoes, earthquakes, and storms - but until such time that I am delivered from them, I know that I don't have to face them alone.  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

One Year Closer

My Kid Brother

An angel from heaven came down one night

And made a big sister of me.
And though Mommy said it would happen some day,
It's not all that I thought it would be.
The baby smelt funny and cried all the time,
And Mommy, she always was tired
This baby was simply no fun at all!
If I was his boss he'd be fired!
But as he got older, he got kinda cute,
And one day he smiled up at me!
And when he was able to sit up and play,
It was then I was able to see,
That someday he might be a very good friend,
A brother I really could love,
And I could thank God for sending to me
This wonderful gift from above.

Through years of friendship, laughter, and tears, from playing in the sandpile to seeing who could flick boogers the farthest, from fussing and fighting to sharing secrets, from sharing cokes and popcorn at the movies to fighting over mom's fried okra:  This little boy has grown into the most amazing man, and I am so honored to call him brother and friend.  The problems of the world would be greatly diminished and perhaps even resolved if more men exhibited the qualities of kindness, wisdom, and integrity that are seen in my brother.  Even though he lived to embarrass me in front of my boyfriends, and annoyed the crap out of we girls when I had sleepovers, I can't imagine another person on earth with whom I would want to share my DNA. 

Michael - I love you with all my heart.  I admire who you are, what you have become, and what you are doing every day to make this world a better place.  I appreciate what you do for your family, and how you never fail to champion your big sister.   

You are my hero. 

Love, Cat 

Newborn baby
Gorgeous eyes!
Sibling worship
Cherokee Bound!
We hated these poses... lol
Don't turn your back on that penguin!
Daddy Bill's truck
One of my favorite pictures of the little guy.
Uncle Ricky got this cute little sailor suit for him.
Graduation day!

All grown up
I cried when I saw these Army pictures...
Because he looked so mean.
But he wasn't mean at all
Same old Michael - loving his family!
Riding bikes with Baby Ryan in Germany
Sweet Tori and Daddy
What a great father
Beautiful family
Wedding day
My first Departure show
Rocking Wild Bill's
Granddaddy Heaven with Baby Lucy
Departure at Wild Bill's

Sibling Love. 

One year closer to the big five-oh!!

Happy Birthday, Michael!  I love you!