Monday, January 30, 2012

Family Lunch Bunch

Mondays are one of my days with Mom and Dad.
Last week they wanted to eat lunch out.
We decided on a truck stop/cafe
called the Rosebud
that they like to haunt.
I suggested we call some relatives and make it a party.
We did and it was.
Since that was successful,
I suggested it be a weekly ritual,
weather permitting.
So today we met up again.
I brought my trusty camera.
My trend of leaving it at home... squelched.
Some of the original posse came and some could not.
Some were added and we hope many more 
will join us on this weekly jaunt.
Dad is one of 14 kids.
12 are still living.
Dad is # 4 at 92 y/o.
One of Dad's younger brothers...Uncle Roy
Uncle Roy is the #7 out of the 14 kids.

He and his wife Genevieve

I swear they were not as scared as they look.
Also in attendance was
Dad's youngest sister and her husband...
Aunt Betty and Uncle Jim

Yes, she is as fun and happy as she looks.
She is #14 in the sibling line-up. 
She was born when Grandma was 47!!
Mom and Dad were married when she was born.
They didn't know Grandma was pregnant.
Dad came home and said "Mama had a baby today!"

Mom and Dad.
Yeah, Dad gets all gangsta 
when it comes to lunching.

I have mad photography skillz, no?

My cousin Art... his mom was #2 in the sibling count.
My brother-in-law David (Linda's husband) on the left
and my Uncle Jimmy, # 12 in the count.
and then finally, my sister Linda and I
in all our beauty.

Eat your hearts out Kardashian sisters.
 It was a good day.
Lunch, then home for Bingo.
Dad's new medicine has helped 
with his aggression problem.
His confusion remains but things are much better.
For now we are grateful for the good days we have.
Oh, and guess who are the poster children
for the assisted living home in all the local papers...
Toots and Howard.

They may/may not be the rockstars 
of Holly Brook.
We like to say they are.
I mean you have seen their daughters, right?
So family...
next Monday 11:30 at the Rosebud.
Be there or be square.
(Autographs will be available.)

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Friends In Toe Places

Most weekends,
Jackie comes to visit the folks on Saturday.
She dates me and Stuart in the evening
and then spends the night.
This week we changed it up to
a girls night Friday night.
There is nothing like a fest with friends 
to make the day seem brighter.
 Jackie and I met up with
for an evening of 
"hoof beautery" and food.
We started with the pedicures
and waited to fill our gullets
with the thinking being that
the pedi place wouldn't be open late.
We weren't fazed 
when only 1 woman was working
at the nail joint.
She said "sign in and someone would be right with us."
I think she said that.
They had no idea what she said.
The interpreter that I am,
 understood the gibberish as being that.
She filled the chair foot tubs with tepid water 
and seated us in the frigid room
2 and 2 across from each other.
We rolled up our jeans.
I looked like Snow White
with the Three Amigos in tow.
Yeah, pun intended.
You're welcome.
One lone man emerged from the back.
Only one.
He started on Suellen.
The rest of us soaked and raised eyebrows.
Eventually the woman joined us.
She was the painter person
and he was the masseuse part of the team.
She said she was tired from manicures
and couldn't do the massage justice.
She said all the workers went home 
to Vietnam for the Chinese New Year.
They were short on help.
Thank you Mrs. Obvious.
Well, I think that is what she said.
She may have said 
"Oh, 4 more suckers."
Eventually, I had my turn
while she painted the toes of the other sisters.
Before he started, he re-started the sound system.
He motioned to me so that I understood
he was speaking about the music.
He asked me if I liked "E uh".
me: Who?
him: E uh
me: Umm, I don't know who that is.
him(incredulous): really?
me: yeah, no I don't know who that is.
He went on to comment how small my toenails were 
with the exception of the pinkie toe.
I think he said "ooh little" and 
while pointing to the pinkie toe "then this".
Nice, and why thank you sir.
He said I looked like Jackie.
I told him, we are twins.
I don't think he knew that term.
He moved to Jackie
while the woman painted my toes.
By now, Suelllen and Karyn have dried their toenails
and went into hypothermia.
He starts on Jackie.
He commented "ooh little toenails."
Um, yeah we get it.
Our father is Fred Flintstone.
I am now in hysterics but trying to hide it
while I take pictures with my phone.
Being an idiot like she is,
she remembers we are going for pedicures
and decides to "dry" shave her leg.
She didn't know better,
she has only been shaving her legs
for 40 years.
She had some full blown razor burn going on.
 Her toenails he noticed but the red, swollen skin...nope.
He is unaware of it 
and is scrubbing her shin with a true vigor.
I think she may have cried.
I cried with laughter.
He is blabbing to her.
She has no clue what he is saying.
I am pretty sure he said
"me love you long time".
We were all dry with our shoes on by the time 
the woman has made it to Jackie.
She was doing manicures
in between painting our toes
and in no hurry to get us finished.
Jackie got a bit of a oil on her toes
and a quick dry spray and then 
shoved her feet into 
the furry lining of her boots.
I was pretty sure
she would have fur stuck to her nails
when we got home.
1 1/2 hours later
we departed and got some dinner.
It was a blast.
I laughed so hard at her agony
during the pedicure
my endorphins are still raging.
Following dinner,
the girls dropped us off at my vehicle
and we headed to my house.
We pulled off our boots
and were pretty happy with the results.

Even if they would have been smeared it was
totally worth the cost, just for the laughter.
Gosh, I love that idiot Jackie.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

What I Know For Sure 19th Edition

1. I fear I may have started talking like a Debbie Downer on my blog. The truth is I am a open book. I am not sad 24/7 but when I am, I talk about it. I think I worry some of you. Calm down Nellies.

2. I took an online depression test today. I had only one of the ten symptoms...not sleeping well. This has been an issue for me since I was perimenopausal. So I guess I will start a melatonin regimen again. No sugar in my diet helps me too. I have a tough time with that one when I get stressed. Or watch TV. Or read. Or breathe.

3. I need a pedicure desperately. Picture Shrek.

4. I love that Caroline says "Dat not a good idea" or "dat's a great idea" all the time.

5. I think I may do a once weekly update on the folks. Is dat not a good idea? or is dat a great idea?

6. I need a crown... for my tooth, not my head. But after consideration, I'd prefer the latter. 

7. I cannot remember the rules for comma usage? I could google it but I can't, care, enough, to, do, that.

8. I am helping my good friend do a labor intensive  kitchen re-do. I have yet to take my camera.

9. I had Christmas with my best friend last night. I didn't take a camera. I detect a trend.

10. I did remember her Christmas gift so that's 10 extra points for me.

11. Dad started a new anxiety medicine that is supposed to help with his aggression. We are praying it works.

12. Stuart got a pair of XXL union suit style long underwear for Christmas. He doesn't wear them but I do. I could fit another person in with me. They are ginormous and uber comfy. Maggie saw me and asked if I was wearing "Forever Lazy". I had never heard of them but now I want them. Forever Lazy and Pajama Jeans...good thing I rock a cool purse.

13. I would love some face time with a pizza. Tomorrow night....whole wheat crust and healthy ingredients are on the menu.

14. I don't tweet on Twitter but have become a sheeple and now use hashtags on facebook. I like it. #hatersgonnahate

15. Although I am not an Oprah fan, I really enjoy her new network. I love Oprah's Master Class and the Oprah's Next Chapter interviews. Jane Fonda. Goldie Hawn. Morgan Freeman. Steven Tyler...he may look like an old lady but I loved his interview. #bestillmyheart

16. I love American Idol but don't watch until the auditions are over.

17. I prefer The Voice over Idol. I think I called it right her last year when I said "The Voice is American Idol's much prettier sister" or something to that effect.

18. I like Liz Lemon but I adore Leslie Knope.

19. I wore my shirt to my friend's house with the wrong side out.

20. Nothing makes me prouder than when one of my daughters witnesses to others about her love for Jesus.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Where Hope Is Found

I have said it before on this very blog...
some days I feel happy, some days sad
and most days I feel both.
I go back and forth, and back and forth
like a total wackadoo.
It is weird how in a 12 hour span,
oh heck... a one hour span... I am spilling sad tears
and then crying with laughter.
I feel mentally crazed.
I feel like a woman...
someone cue Shania.
I swear I am tired of my own dang self.
Today while driving,
I heard two songs back to back.
The first was Laura Story's Blessings
with the lyrics...
"When darkness seems to win
We know that pain reminds this heart
That this is not our home"
and then immediately after
I was singing along to the next
that had the same message...
"All I know is I'm not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong
I know no dosage of Midol,
no amount of chocolate 
will calm my fears.
The truth is in His words.
My hope is in Him.
When it feels like life is falling apart,
I will cling to the truth that He keeps His word.
In Heaven, I will not grieve nor be discouraged.
All suffering will be gone.
I trust God will deliver me from my tough times
or help me through them for His glory.

Let us hold unswervingly to the hope we profess, for he who promised is faithful.
Hebrews 10:23

Thank you for all your prayers and kind emails.
It means so much. 

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Bag Facts

I have an addiction to accessories.
Jewelery, shoes, and purses.
If you have ever shopped
in a "chubby" state of mind...
you will understand this.
They always fit.
Plus the fact is they are fantastic.
Coco Chanel said
" A girl should be two things:
classy and fabulous."
She was also quoted saying
"before you leave the house, 
look in the mirror and take one thing off."
To which I say "Bull Hockey."
I concur in the respect that
I do not want to look like a gypsy
but I like my blings.
No, I love my blings.
 However, my purses 
are probably my worst obsession.
They are usually big and shiny.
At present it is big and furry.

 I change my bag frequently
because admittedly, I am a  purse tramp.
I am fickle and quick to desert one
for the next awesome purse
that comes my way. 
I have learned I need a big bag.
I have to carry everything I think
I might need or want.
Or you may need or want.
I am a giver like that.
This leads me to the contents my purse.
First an organizer filled clean up.
I like my bag neat and tidy.
Next, a small makeup case.
The makeup rarely gets used,
but you never know when you may need
a touch up.
This works well since usually
I  never know
I needed a touch up until
I arrive home 
and realize I ignored the necessity
 and have walked around
in the state of hideous for hours.
A magnifying mirror, a Tide pen,
concealer, mascara, blush, moisturizer
and powder.
Various tubes of gloss, lipsticks and lipstains...
Mentos gum, a gel pen, a nail file, a comb,
and the sunglasses I am addicted to.
Tylenol, hand sanitizer, hand lotions,
and eye drops are also in tow.
My brag book filled with pictures
of all my loves...

A small notebook and a travel bible...
and a glorious glitter wallet.
  In addition,
I always have 
an old school handkerchief in tow.
Seems like I constantly have a teary moment
and I cannot abide a tissue.
They make me sneezy/snooty.
So that's the gist of it. 
It may be excessive
but it's  how I roll.
So what do you have over your shoulder?
Please don't tell me you 
don't carry a purse
or worse yet
you only carry a fanny pack.
 I may faint straight away.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dogs vs. Cats

Although I have owned cats in my life,
I am a dog person.
I believe dogs are superior
and to support my opinion I give you these 
facts about dogs:

1. They leave gifts in the yard that are handy for stepping in.
Litter boxes are not convenient for feet.

2. They alert you to danger when a stranger knocks at the door,
a car pulls in your drive, a bird lands on a wire a mile away, or a mouse farts somewhere in the world.

3. They leap up onto your lap in an instant and lick the inside of your mouth. They are way faster than it takes to work up a spit.

4. They keep your reflexes sharp by darting under your feet whilst you carry a full laundry basket. Cats might try this, but most don't have the girth to genuinely test your balance skills.

5. They aid you in your quest for 10,000 steps a day by whining at the door to go out and relieve themselves, only to return to the door in 49 seconds just after you have just seated yourself.

6. They will eat anything you drop on the floor. Lint is no exception. Show me a cat who will take up residence under a highchair and I'll eat your lint.

7. They will chase a car even after being ran over three times in the past.

8. They have no concept of time. They will throw a party when you enter the house even if you just went to the mailbox.

9. They need their anal glands attended to on a regular basis thus creating bonding times for you and your vet.

10. A cat thinks it is God and a dog thinks you are God.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Here We Go Again

I have been harboring a secret
and it has been killing me.
Killing. me!
On Christmas, we learned
we are getting another grand baby!
 Zac and Abbie are having their first baby
somewhere around August 30th.
Grand baby number 6! 
That will be six littles at the ages of six and under.
I think it is going to be loud around these parts.
And we couldn't be happier!
Click over to 
to see the pictures of our reactions
and watch the video
of Abbie telling Zac.
We are so blessed.
God is so good.
Prayers for mommy
and baby are much appreciated.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

A new day

I just have to tell you all
how great it is that
a girl can show her crazy
and have her posse rally.
I reckon the truth is we all have 
a little crazy in us.
We can be happy and blessed 
and still find a reason to cry.
And the reverse is true...
even when life is bad, it is good.
Your comments reaffirmed
just how great you readers are.
You pick a girl up,
dust her off, and 
set her right.
I felt the love.
I had a good day.
Two little girls in the house didn't hurt.
I am guessing chocolate milk 
and Beauty and the Beast on the tube
could cheer up even a hardened criminal.
So, I just wanted to say thanks.
You guys are the berries with chocolate milk,
and a side of Beauty and the Beast.

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

A Stronghold in Times of Trouble

I read a blog tonight by Shannan.
She writes like I want to when I grow up.
She said some things that spoke to me.
I put on a brave face, a lot.
I fake it until I make it.
The truth is I am sad inside 
even when I am happy inside.
I know I sound crazy, but it is true.
 I miss my Dad's true personality.
I am selfish.
I miss my free time.
I miss time to do whatever I want
and not worry about what they are doing.
But they are my folks
and I am so blessed to have them.
I refuse to let the bad things 
that are happening
leave bad/sad memories.
 Instead I am committing to
storing up and treasuring all the good.
But when it is dark and the world is asleep,
the enemy lies to me.
He whispers things I don't want to believe
but sometimes do.
I wander the floors in my old house
and I ponder the what ifs.
Many nights I read inspirational blogs.
I watch TV, clean, do laundry, and sometimes cry.
But if I go to His word...
there I always find comfort.
I wish I could say that is my first choice of action
but many times I plod through the wee hours
spinning my wheels
before I finally seek Him.
The truth is hardships and distress
are the very essence of this decaying world.
I am not alone in troubles.
I don't want to be a whiner.
But I am sad
and I don't like it.
I want a quick fix and there isn't one.
I want to get over myself but I can't...
not on my own.
But when I sit in His presence,
He shines peace into my troubled heart.
He lifts me up from my circumstances
and He gives me hope.
He gives me perspective.
He gives me rest.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Tag You're It

I don't usually participate in these tag things 
but two blog pals 
Tiffani from House of Belonging 
and Mary from Life In A Small Town 
tagged me
and  I thought 
what the heck...I'll play.

Since they both tagged me 
I will have more answers than 
the people that I tag.
This will be incredibly long
although, quite fascinating I am sure!
The rules are:

1. post the rules.
2.  post eleven fun facts about yourself
3.  answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post, and then create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged.
4.  tag eleven people and link them on your post
5. let them know you’ve tagged them
Here goes:
Eleven Fun Facts About Me:
1. I have a twin sister, Jackie. I had twin sons. My oldest sister's daughter has twins. My middle sister's daughter has twins.
I have first cousins that are twins. My first cousin, Patty has twins.  My first cousin, Annie's son had twins. We drink special water  ;)
2. I went to a country grade school where 2 grades were together.
There were 9 kids in my class.
3. My oldest daughter Annie married my grade school boyfriend's nephew.
4. My youngest Maggie had a 4-wheeler wreck when she was 9 that required two ambulance drives, and an emergency surgery. She is fine. They fixed her spleen and liver. They didn't remove her ornery.
5. My favorite show is still The Waltons but their hiatus period is ridiculously long.
6. I grew up riding ponies and going barefoot.
7.  I have trouble sitting still for a movie.
8. My middle name is Lou. I hated it growing up. I like it better now.
9. I used to hate the word mama because I thought it sounded fat. Then Abbie started calling me Mama Johns and Caroline called me Mama Janie. Now I love it. Although Johns sounds kinda fat, doesn't it?
10. I am a computer idiot.
11. I named all my dolls Michelle Renee. My best friend from college is named Michelle.  She collects doll heads. Coincidence?

Questions for  me from Mary:

1. Who is your favorite singer/music group?
I can't pick one... Jason Mraz, Casting Crowns, Natalie Grant, Dean Martin...
2.  Do you have a favorite game to play on the computer/tablet/iPad/iPod?  If so, what is it?
No, I cannot abide electronic games...they make me anxious.
I did play a mean Foosball in my day.

3. What is your favorite movie?
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. John Candy and Steve Martin...perfection. I laugh and I cry. I adore it.

4.  How long did you know your spouse when you got married?  If you're not married, what is the longest  you have seen someone?
We dated 2 years HS and all of college so...2+4= 6 years.

5.  Were you involved in music in high school/college?
I played clarinet because my older sister had that instrument. My twin sis, Jackie got a new saxophone. ( I swear I am over it)
I was in band until my Jr. year of High school.
I may or may not be referred to as the original Kenny G.
6.  What special group were you involved in during high school/college?
Cheerleading and French Club. 
I was the President of the French Club. Le President, for those of you that don't speak French, that means The President.

7.  When you're all alone, what do you like to eat for dinner?
total crap... I scrounge for whatever looks good. I never cook for myself.

8.  Left or right handed?
9.  How tall are you?
66 inches. 
10.  What is your favorite pair of shoes?
Ugg boots. I have 2 pairs. Super comfy. I wish I had more. I have a "want" problem.

11. How long hav
e you lived in your house/apartment/condo?
31 years. I moved here from the honeymoon trip.
 Questions from Tiffani:
1. favorite color
pink and pink.

2. dream vacation
Disney World with my family. We went Thanksgiving 2010 and I hope to go in 2012. I have been to Paris, Venice, and other top spots. Disney, to me is Heaven on Earth. 

3. are you a hugger or not
You betcha.

4. what do you want to be when you grow up
A dancer on The Carol Burnett Show.
It was my dream as a child and I would still love it.
If you are too young to know who Carol Burnett is I can't care.

5. when you eat out do you usually order dessert
Never. Someone might think I am a hog. I will eat my dessert in secret, in the dark, like any stable woman would. 

6. what is your favorite indoor/outdoor activity
JUNKING!  Sorry to yell but I am passionate about junking.

7. what is your favorite day of the week
Sunday, because Stuart is home. Church, lunch out, and my man by my side.

8. what was your favorite food as a child?
Chocolate cake with chocolate icing. It still haunts me.

9. what is something you learned this last week
Well since it is Monday I will go with last week... Figs hate me.

10. if you could change your first name what would you change it to
Something fancy that never got misspelled... like Lady Number Two. or To or Too. Hmm, I may need to rethink that. 

11. do you have a nickname
Yup, my brother-in-law Butch gave me it when I was a kid.
(My oldest sis is 12 years older)
It is Hoopie Lou. I love it. Hardly anyone calls me it anymore.

 Will the madness never end?
Oh no, it continues.
Now my questions for the ones I tagged.

1. Favorite chipmunk...Alvin, Simon, or Theodore?

2. Plastic tubs or cardboard boxes?

3.  What's your best suggestion for a gag gift?

4. Who is your favorite author?

5. Do you have a lucky number/letter?

6. What would your brother/sister say is your best quality?

7. Do you paint your toenails in the winter?

8. How old were you when you had your first date?

9. If you were in the Miss USA contest what would be your talent?

10. Are a you a lover or a fighter?

11. Kardashians...friend or foe?

And finally I tag:

2. Denise at Keep Calm and Carry On  (yup there are two)
3. Sandie from Chatty Crone
4.  Leslie from Farm Fresh Fun 
5. Brandee from  Smooth Stones
6. Amber from The JabberBox
7. Suzette from The Frat Pack + Me 
8. Cheryl from WHOSYERGURL 
9. Rebecca from Life & Godliness 
10. Judy at Anybody Home
11. Gena at The House On Lavendar Hill

Trailer Park Tale

This story needs a bit of a preface.
I have shared with a few of you
that Stuart and I own a trailer park in town.
We rent lots and have some rentals too.
Most of the rental homes have been 
taken over by our girls.
I don't cotton to being a landlady very well.
You would think after 20+ years
I would have adjusted.
I have a hard time being a gripe.
I always want to believe the excuses/reasons
whatever you want to call them
why someone can't/won't pay.
I had a hard time reconciling it with my faith.
Then a wise friend said to me...
Is this your ministry or your business?
Ok, she was right.
It helped support my family.
I am kind but when I have to be firm,
now I am without guilt.
The night we were out crime fighting
in all our finery...
We had been at Abbie's trailer
(yes, she lives in the park)
and as we were leaving I see an evicted renter
sitting in his car.
I had been unable to reach him 
and he was to have moved 
several days earlier.
I made my comrades stop.
I got out and let him have it.
All while looking like this...
I look serious as a heart attack, huh?
Anyway we have our chat,
and I was revved up.
A few days later he calls me.
We talk about him finally, really getting out.
I give him a few more days to clean it up 
and get all his belongings out.
He needs to finish painting a room 
he started and didn't finish.
I agree because
I didn't want to have to deal with his stuff.
Then, I witness to him.
I tell him all about Jesus.
I want him to know
there is a better life for him.
I tell him that with Jesus
there is no condemnation,
only forgiveness and love.
I stress that his life is not going well.
Maybe he needs to search his heart.
I say ...salvation is easy... 
just say a prayer to Him
that asks Jesus into your heart.
Tell him you believe he died to save you 
and you accept him as your savior.
Confess that you are a sinner.
We all are.
Simple deal there.
Then, you start walking with Him.
He will lead you if you follow.
He tells me he will consider it.
He tells me he loves my blog.
That floored me. 
Well, he moved.
He didn't paint.
He didn't clean up.
He didn't pay.
The home is a huge mess.
There are soft spots in all the floors. 
Trash from the front to the back of the place.
Maggie's sis/brother-in-law lived there previously
and it was fine.
 Now it is trashed.
I don't know when we will get to the repairs.
My husband is super busy
building a house and a barn.
But hey, J, if you are still reading my blog...
I am still praying for you.
I want you to find Jesus waaaay more
than I want your rent money.
If you need a partner to help you
say that prayer,
give you a ride to worship,
or just talk...
you know my number/email.
I forgive you 
and Jesus will too.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

You are Loved

My favorite children's book is Nancy Tillman's
Wherever You Are, My Love Will Find You.
I think you can guess why.

I wanted you more than you ever will know,
so I sent love to follow you wherever you go.
It's as high as you wish it. It's quick as an elf.
You'll never outgrow stretches itself!

   So climb any mountain...
climb up to the sky!
My love will find you.
My love can fly!
 Make a big splash! Go out on a limb!
My love will find you. My love can swim!
 It never gets lost, never fades, never ends...
if you're working...
or playing...
or sitting with friends.
 You can dance 'til you're dizzy...
paint 'til you're blue...
There's no place, not one,
that my love can't find you.
  And if someday you're lonely,
or someday you're sad,
or you strike out at baseball,
or think you've been bad...
 just lift up your face,
feel the wind in your hair,
That's me, my sweet baby, my love is right there.
 In the green of the grass...
in the smell of the sea...
in the clouds floating by...
at the top of the tree...
in the sound crickets make at the end of the day...
"You are loved. You are loved. You are loved.," they all say.
 My love is so high, 
and so wide and so deep,
it's always right there,
even when you're asleep.
  So hold your head high
and don't be afraid
to march to the front 
of your own parade.
 If you're still my small babe
or you're all the way grown,
my promise to you 
is you're never alone.
 You are my angel, my darling,
my star...
and my love will find you,
wherever you are.