Saturday, March 12, 2011


When people see me, I think they may see me as a bit intimidating.  And it’s not just because of my height (5’10”) or my girth (elephantus) but mostly due to the fact that I’m probably not smiling.  How can they possibly know what a wonderfully clever, sweet, funny, intelligent creature I am ---oh, wait…that’s my alter ego...  How can they possibly know that I don’t really want to chew them a new one their heads off when I am, most likely, sporting a stern look?  What I am usually doing is delving into some deep, world changing, mind blowing thoughts (like what I’m going to put in the cart since I am in the grocery store without the list I spent hours making.  Again.).  Now this scowl stern look works both to my advantage and disadvantage.  Most people don’t bother me when I look this way.  And that’s great because…I don’t like to be bothered.  Especially by sales persons.  I really hate that.  If I need suggestions or their help, I shall seek THEM out.  [When you go to Tanger Outlet Mall?  The employees in almost every store in there stalk every single customer like they’re going to rob the store blind.  Unfortunately, I have yet to hold my tongue in these situations.  It’s not pretty.] On the other hand, I might miss out on having a conversation with a very nice person or meeting someone who is related to a famous person that I have been dying to meet- I can’t really think of any famous people I want to meet but you never know.  To be honest, it would probably be best if I just was not permitted to be out in public.  

People never have a hard time hearing me because my voice tends to project.  I should have been on stage-except for the fact that all I have is the voice that projects.  No acting talent or stage presence whatsoever.  The advantage is obvious.  People can hear me when I have important, life changing topics to discuss like why my garden didn’t do as well as I’d hoped or how men cannot drive or what freaking color should I paint the bedroom.  The disadvantage to being loud?  People can hear me.  Like when I say, “What the hell lady you’re NOT the only person in the store move your freaking buggy.” they hear me.  Or when I park WAY out in the far end of the parking lot so no one will park near me and I come out of the store and someone is RIGHT BESIDE ME even though there are thousands of empty spaces and I say, “What the Hell?  I park way the hell out here so nobody will park next to my car and some idiot parks right next to me!” just as the idiot lady walks from beside her car and hears me.  Of course, there are times when I WANT people to hear me.  Like the guy who let the heavy department store door go on an elderly couple and I might have said, “What the hell is wrong with you!  Are you a moron?  You don’t let the door go on top of people!”  Yeah, this is probably not my best feature.  

I believe that most people would agree that I feel soft.  Because fat IS soft and I have a lot of FAT.  However, I am working towards changing that particular identifying word to hard because muscle is hard.  Of course this is a slow process.  Not just because of my age or my exercise choices---no.  Rather it’s the lack of exercise choices.  The strength training that I am very slack about performing.  And the fact that I have been known to eat some chocolate (or a lot of it BUT, in my defense, they HAVE put out the Easter candy in the stores and it’s just SITTING RIGHT THERE in front of my face.  I don’t WANT to put it in the cart, but I have no control over my arm that reaches out and my hand that grabs the candy and drops it in the buggy) and that I am not preparing foods like I should all combined with the fact that night time snacking has reentered my routine MIGHT have SOMETHING to do with the slowing down of the process of no longer being soft.   

Hopefully, most people I come into contact with think that I smell clean.  Never per-fumy or all foo-foo or anything like that.   I am a very down to earth gal who is not into makeup and perfumes and all that.  Admittedly, part of this is due to my extreme allergies when it comes to smells and make-up.  It’s just like what happens when I smell smoke- if I smell perfume, I can immediately taste it and am nearly overcome by a terrible headache.  And make-up?  It make my eyes water uncontrollably.  I used to be into some of that back in my college days but not every day even then.  I just go the natural route…the earth mother look…the Idon’thavethetimeorthepatienceforthiscrap look…the whybotherI’mjustgoingtosweatitoffinallthislowcountryheat look.  Plus, I know people who put way too much stock in having the perfect hair and make-up, the shoes and purses that match the outfits and go around judging others (and believing others judge them) based on their appearance and I really don't ever want to be categorized with this group.  Of course, I also know those who are into all that prissy-girly-stuff just because they like it.  And that’s GREAT!  But it isn't me.  Our two oldest daughters are like that.  The younger two are more like me.  And we’re one big happy family despite it all!  Of course, the two younger girls are more athletically inclined as I was.  Oh, there are times when we all get dressed up- like if there’s a wedding to attend (but I still don’t put on make-up) and we enjoy it.  But most of the time my earth mother look rules.  Hubs doesn’t like all the make-up either so it has really worked out well there too.  Oh, but the shaving of the legs and under the arms?  Yes indeed.  I haven’t been able to go quite that earth mothery. 

I’d like to think of myself as having a robust taste for life.  That I go at it with the old damnthetorpedoesfullsteamahead attitude.  That I meet obstacles at full speed without hesitation or doubt.  That I endure through trials and tribulations to the victorious end.  That even though I may come across as rough and tough, boisterous and even rude at times, what I really am exhibiting is strength and confidence.   And there are times throughout my life that I can honestly say I have shown clearly that I have a robust taste for this life.  But it’s not that way all the time.  Let’s face it.  There are times of self doubt and fear.  There are times when the obstacles seem so incredibly large that I am almost certain they will defeat me.  There are times when the trials and tribulations do not end victoriously or, when they do, they do so without joy.  And there are times when I am simply being rough or tough, boisterous or rude.  So I find that my taste for this life is robust with a hint of sour and a dash of harsh from time to time.   

This is day 12 of the NaBloPoMo for March.  The theme this month is: in a word.  This is Thursday's prompt, which was:  Describe yourself using different five words, one for each of the senses (taste, touch, etc.). 

Friday, March 11, 2011


This is day 11 of NaBloPoMo for the month of March.  Our theme this month is:  in a word.  The prompt for today is not SILENCE but I have chosen it for Japan.  I keep thinking about all those parents who are separated from their children due to the devastation.  Imagine how awful it must be to not know how your child(ren) or other family members fared through this disaster.  At the very least, I can offer a moment of silence on their behalf.  

I am linking this with Java's Follow Friday 40 and Over at Never Growing Old.

Thursday, March 10, 2011


I have noticed, while watching the morning news, that the weather dudes have a catch phrase that they repeat- over and over and over to the point of hilarity (or annoyance)- every day.  It might be "by the time you go out this morning" over and over and over again in 60 seconds.  Or something like "more than likely" over and over and over again in 60 seconds.  Or "could possibly be" over and over and over 60 seconds.  That very thing happened to me today while reading blog posts.  My catch phrase was a catch word, INSPIRATIONAL.  There were so many inspirational posts in the last couple of days and they are worth mentioning.

Chele at Discoveries shared her refusal to seek solace in a self-inflicted isolation but to, instead, get out there and live her life.  INSPIRATIONAL.  Julie at The Going to be New Me and Engine 3-The Life of Riley has been going through the weight loss process and has not given up one single time.  She has also decided that instead of giving up something for Lent she will give 10 minutes every day to prayerful meditation in an effort to "Be still and know that I am God."  INSPIRATIONAL.   Barb at This and That (As I Bounce Thru Life) is going through as tough a time as I have seen in quite a while and yet, she continues to reach out to others and show us how to be determined and to find the humor in the midst of confusion and despair.  INSPIRATIONAL.  The wonderfully funny Aunt Becky at Mommy Wants Vodka has shared her issue of anxiety with us and, instead of hiding away, has shown us that reaching out for help is the best way to go all the while, keeping us laughing.  INSPIRATIONAL.  Michele at Bodacious Boomer has been in a business sort of chaos that hasn't been as great as she had hoped and yet, she continues to get out there and do her best while uplifting our spirits with laughter.  INSPIRATIONAL.  Shawn at The Becker's (Shawn and Bill) not only has "live well, love much, laugh often" written on her header, she lives the example of just that and it comes shining forth through her posts.  INSPIRATIONAL.  Betty at A glimpse into midlife shared that she is questioning many things right now and wonders if anyone else is experiencing this- a woman who puts it out there in hopes of not only finding answers from other women but to also let us know we are not alone.  INSPIRATIONAL.  Eva at Wrestling with Retirement and Carol at Facing 50 with Humor who are always thinking of others and make sure that we are uplifted through humor because laughter IS the best medicine.  INSPIRATIONAL. Judy at Cranberry Morning always has something going on that will inspire you to create or to dream of travel or just bring a smile to your face.  INSPIRATIONAL.  And Patrice at Everyday Ruralty who reaches out to other farmers' wives in an effort to spread awareness about such a vital community, and who cares enough about women's issues of weight that she devotes a weekly HOP just for support.  INSPIRATIONAL

I know that I have only covered a few of these inspirational women.  And that doesn't mean that others are not worth mentioning.  These are just the ones that in the last 48 hours or so have really made the INSPIRATIONAL flag fly high. 

Whose INSPIRATIONAL flags have you seen flying around?

Today is the 10th day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March.  Our theme for the month is: in a word.  I am using the word 'INSPIRATIONAL' today because I am inspired by others to do so. 

Wednesday, March 9, 2011


Wednesday Words of Weight Loss- the HOP

Patrice, at Everyday Ruralty, hosts Wednesday Words of Weight Loss every Wednesday!  It's a fun HOP that offers encouragement and company on the issue of weight.  Come on, this is your week to join in the FUN!

1. Do you ever buy clothes in the size you hope to wear after weight loss?  No.  I know myself well enough to realize that I will see this as sabotage and definitely NOT lose any more weight.  What I mean is, I don't fall for incentives like that.  

2. Is there a color of clothing that makes you feel good when you wear it? What is it? I wear a lot of black.  And I did when I was thin as well so it's not just thinking that black makes me appear thinner.  I just prefer black.  Once in a while I might wear a white shirt or one with color but mostly, I just wear black.  I feel comfortable in black and I feel that it makes me more of the background than the forefront.  That's where I like to be--in the background....observing as opposed to being observed. 

3. Do you keep up your fluid intake? I drink green tea all day long.  I go through one half gallon to one gallon every day.  I sweeten it with Splenda and drink it on ice with lemon.  OMG it's DEEEE-LICIOUS!  

4. Have you tried Stevia? Would you like to? (If you answered yes to wanting to try it, I will give you 1 entry into my NuNaturals giveaway that ends Friday. To get more entries click here.I don't remember if it's one of the ones I tried but didn't like or if it's the one I haven't tried yet.  But, yes, I'm willing to try it and I did enter the giveaway.  

5. Can you do something this week that will make you make you smile, relax, or feel pampered?  This week my dad and step-mom are coming down to celebrate his birthday so we are giving him the last oyster roast until December rolls around.  Plus, my brother, T, is going to be here and he's just the absolute greatest brother in the whole entire world!  (No offense to the other two brothers).  Anyway, this will definitely make me smile and feel relaxed!

That's my dad in blue, at the last Oyster roast.

Today is the 9th day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March.  Our theme for the month is: in a word.  I am using the word 'weight' today so that I can participate in Patrice's HOP!

Tuesday, March 8, 2011


I thought that the things that caused fear to stir up panic in me had changed over the years and some of them have.  Others?  Not so much.  I can remember, vividly, the first time I saw THE WIZZARD OF OZ.  I was three years old and that darn witch was SCARY!  I had to go to the bathroom but, in order to get there, I had to walk halfway down our long hallway.  In the dark.  I was so scared by the time I reached the bathroom, I forgot to pull down my pajama bottoms before I sat down!  I often wonder if the Wicked Witch of the West was the reason for my recurring dream of a witch.  In my dream the witch lived in the house next to my grandmother and granddaddy’s house.  She would seem so sweet and invite me in for a snack and I went.  Every. Single. Time.  Inside, there would be this HUGE pot simmering on her stove and I knew she was planning on cooking up some little kid for dinner.  ME!  (A little Hansel and Gretel influence here?).  I would try to get out but she would start tickling me (I really hated to be tickled when I was a kid…actually, I still hate it) and I would become very weak from laughter.  That’s when I woke up.  Every.  Single.  Time.  I’m not really afraid of witches now.  Not really.  Although, I am certain that the witches in HOCUS POCUS would have scared me silly when I was a kid!  My fear of witches followed me throughout my childhood but not really into adulthood.  I almost certain of it.

Engine Number 12 still running.
My fear of trains has followed me from yet another childhood experience.  This fear first reared its ugly head at Tweetsie Railroad.  Tweetsie is a Wild West theme park in Blowing Rock, NC.  When I was a kid my hero was Fred Kirby.  Fred was a rootin’ tootin’ singin’ cowboy whom I ADORED.  Looking back, I have no idea why except that he was such a gentle soul who loved kids.  He hosted a television show on Sundays on which he sang, joked around with Uncle Jim, and showed episodes of THE LITTLE RASCALS.  I tolerated the showing of THE LITTLE RASCALS only because I knew Fred Kirby would be back on when it was over.  But best of all---his hang out was Tweetsie Railroad.  And we were going.  And HE was there.  O!M!G!  Our first outing to Tweetsie was relatively uneventful.  Except for when my parents realized that I was MIA.  I had spotted Fred Kirby and gone straight over to where he was just as fast as my three-year-old legs could carry me.  Somehow, this part of the memory fails me (maybe it was my cowgirl boots and outfit), I ended up on Fred Kirby’s shoulders just as happy as I could possibly be.  This is how my parents spotted me.   My next memory of going to Tweetsie (and my absolute last until I was an adult with children) was quite eventful to me.  This time, we were going to ride the train.  Very EXCITING!  My dad, NeighborBeth, her dad and I got on board.  Now, the train at Tweetsie is an old steam engine and it’s rather LOUD so the sound alone made for a bit of nervousness.  Just a bit.  Unbeknownst to me and NeighborBeth, somewhere along the train route, a group of Indians  and train robbers were going to rob the train.  That’s right.  Rob the train.  We heard some loud pops and looked all around because the train was slowing way down.  Then it stopped.  WTH?!  When those Indians and robbers boarded the train in all their Wild West attire wildly waving their guns and tomahawks around in the air, NeighborBeth and I grabbed our dads around their necks and nothingnobodynohownoway could tear our death grips from around them.  (You must realize here that the only Wild West experience I had had prior to the trauma was purely Hollywood portrayals.).  The dads couldn’t even pry us loose because they were so weak from laughing so hard.  Attention:  THIS WAS NOT FUNNY-justsoyaknow.  We didn’t loosen our grips until we got off that train and I have NEVER ridden on that damn thing again.  EVER.  Not even with our kids who totally enjoyed themselves when they were there- go figure (of course they were older than I was when I was taken to that place and they also possessed more knowledge of Native Americans than what Hollywood had to offer--although even Hollywood had changed their portrayals by then.).  To add insult to injury, we stopped to eat at a seafood place on the way home from Tweetsie that day.  My parents heard that it was a fun place for kids with a huge play area and the front looked like a huge Pirate ship. NeighborBeth and I were somewhat calmed down from our train trauma and were sitting at our table waiting to order.  Now, what character do you think they had at this seafood place, that was so much fun for kids, who walked around visiting tables?  A Pirate you say?  Why yes indeed.  And he walked right up to our table and proceeded to speak his Pirate speak and reach out to cut off our pony tails.  Oh yes.  Insult to injury.  

These pictures are on the Tweetsie website...just click the pictures if you want to see more. 

Only three fears remain- snakes, heights and closed in spaces-and I really can’t trace them back to any specific event.  With the possible exception of the time that girl chased me with a green snake all over the pool locker rooms.  Oh yeah, that was fun.  And by fun I mean HELLNOITWASNOTFUN (just in case the sarcasm wasn’t obvious).   I still remember that day vividly as well.  All I’m really left with are these memories, the fears and the hope that KARMA stepped in and did her job on these people.  Why, yes, (in case you're wondering) I AM most definitely including my parents in this.  Especially the one who was laughing at Tweetsie

Today is the 8th day of NaBloPoMo (National Blog Posting Month) for the month of March.  Our theme for the month is: in a word.  I am using the word FEAR today even though it was inspired by yesterday’s prompt:  What's one thing that scares you right now, and why should you make a real effort to face that fear and do it anyway?  Although, it could be somewhat related to today’s prompt:  Do you have a good memory for some things and not others?    Oh and I won’t be facing those fears.  I’m just fine staying away from trains, heights, closed spaces and snakes.  And I’m NOT scared of witches anymore.  Really.  I’m not.

Monday, March 7, 2011

Meet Me On Monday

Looking for a way to make Monday more enjoyable?  Hop on over to Java's Meet Me On Monday at Never Growing Old and join in some much needed Monday fun!


1.  What is your favorite way to eat potatoes?  I love french fried potatoes.  My absolute favorite of all- the waffle fries at Chick-fil-A!  I could eat them and eat them and eat them and then, eat them some more!  Which is why I avoid that place.  However, on the rare occasions that we do find ourselves at Chick-fil-A (seriously like twice a year at the most) all I get are the waffle fries!  Did I mention that I LOVE them?! 

2.  What was the last package that was delivered to your house?  Birdie had books delivered here.  It's always books, movies, or running shoes with that one! 

3.  What is your favorite scent that you love to smell?  The air.  Sounds funny I guess but we live less than five minutes from the beach and the ocean air is just heavenly!  That's what gets in your blood after you've lived near the ocean for a while- now, I'm not sure I could live without it!

4.  Do you smoke?  Nope!  And I cannot stand the smell of cigarette smoke.  Sometimes Hubs has that smell on his clothes because he works with smokers or has been around his siblings or his BFF (and I hate this because I believe second hand smoke is bad news) and, as soon as I smell it I can also taste it and then it goes straight into a headache.  Weird.  But I love to smell cigars and pipes!  (Also weird)

5.  Are your parents married or divorced? They are divorced.  They have been divorced for 32 years and I still hate it.  Although, I really love my step-mother.  She's great!  My mother has been holding this grudge forever and it is NOT pleasant being around that attitude.  It's one major reason I hate holding grudges.  It has made our lives very difficult when it comes to graduations, weddings, other family events.  No one else has a problem, just her.  And she makes it known-one way or the other. Let it go!

This is Day 7 of NaBloPoMo for the month of March.  The theme for the month is "In a word."  The prompt for today is: What's one thing that scares you right now, and why should you make a real effort to face that fear and do it anyway?  I can't think of a thing that scares me (other than when I watch Criminal Minds alone but I don't think that was the point of the prompt...LOL) so my word for today is:  MEET.   

Sunday, March 6, 2011


Happiness is a warm puppy.  ~Charles M. Schulz

The very first time we saw Tucker- Mother's Day 2008

Tucky's first day home.

My little dog - a heartbeat at my feet.  ~Edith Wharton

Scratch a dog and you'll find a permanent job.  ~Franklin P. Jones

My goal in life is to be as good of a person my dog already thinks I am.  ~Author Unknown

Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole.  ~Roger Caras

The most affectionate creature in the world is a wet dog.  ~Ambrose Bierce

If you think dogs can't count, try putting three dog biscuits in your pocket and then giving Fido only two of them.  ~Phil Pastoret

A re-post from 8/14/2010

Step One:  Get a Puppy

In preparation for the impending doom the coming of our empty nest, I spent the year of 2007 considering the idea of a puppy. Surely a puppy would fill the empty hours of the long, dull days that loomed ahead of me. I thought long and hard about the time and effort involved in the training of a puppy and whether or not I was up for the challenge. In early 2008, I decided that I was indeed up for it--after all, what else was I going to be doing?--and began my search. I thought a small dog would be best since, admittedly, I was going to take the pup everywhere with me. You know, in a Vera Bradley dog carrier (which, by the way, sits empty because he will have NO part of that whatsoever). Yes, I was going to be one of THOSE dog owners. The search was on and, in no time at all, I found just the type of dog for me- a Yorkie Poo. I chose this breed not only because of their size and extreme level of cuteness, but also because they do not shed, and found a breeder in Spartanburg, SC (the website is and she is a wonderful person and breeder).

Hubby, Birdie, DoodleBug and I went upstate to look at a puppy on Mother's Day and it was love at first sight for us all. After a grueling wait, we finally picked him up on June 10, 2008. I am not sure that I've ever seen a more spoiled dog in my life! I am often tempted to tell people who ask what kind of dog he is that he is a 'stinky poo' because of how spoiled he is. And, the thing is, hubby cannot put all the blame on me for the spoiling of the dog. After a few days of mulling it over, I settled on naming him Tucker. Of course he now responds to Tucky poo, Tucker Bug, puppy-wuppy woowoowoo, and the like. He will maul you when you come in the door and, by maul I mean climb all over you and lick you all over your face; he will high five you; when you say, "Tell me" he barks; when you point your finger at him and say, "bang, bang!" he rolls over and plays dead; he will dance for you and give you smoogees (kisses). But, when you say, "Come Tucker" he looks at you like you have lost your mind--after he sits down, of course. No matter. He is loyal and sweet and we just love him.

Tucker and I enjoy combination bike rides/walks every single day of the week (because, once you start something like this with a dog, he WILL NOT let you skip a day EVER). He has a basket on the front of my bike that he sits in like royalty, enjoying the bike rides while I pedal and sweat. After we bike a few miles we walk a mile or two so that Tucker can enjoy marking every single bush and tree we pass.

Now, I realize that a dog is not a replacement for a child. But this dog has really filled our hearts- including our daughters' hearts. And the empty nest is not quite as empty as it would have been without him.

This is Day 6 of NaBloPoMo for the month of March.  The theme this month is:  "In a Word."  No prompt or word given today so my word choice is, Tucker.  

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