Sunday, May 31, 2009

Demolition D left today with the Senior High Choir from Church on their way to New York.

This trip that the leaders scheduled is amazing. And youth trips sure have changed since I was in highschool! Not only are the trips bigger, this one is being Twittered! I am having fun already following him along this fabulous adventure.

Today their tour began with singing with our own Chancel Choir.

Loaded up on the bus and headed to Savannah.

Their first concert was this evening at Trinity United Methodist in Savannah Georgia.

After an "open" rehearsal, the group headed to the Amtrak station, where the next new phase of the trip will begin, the first time, I would daresay, for all the youth on a train. Departure time: 8:00 p.m.

Next phase: arriving in New York City around 11:00 a.m. tomorrow. As for big cities, Demolition D has been some in Atlanta,the Washington DC vacation, but NOT New York City (imagine the cowboys in the Pace Picanti commercial saying New York City, yes, just like that).

I may not be on the trip, but I am ecstatic for this group to be able to go! The first Church they sing in in New York City is large enough to hold the Statue of Liberty (sideways)! To quote Gomer Pyle Gawwwwllieeeeee. That is big!
Now, for the next Twitter update, not until tomorrow. Until then . . .


In the spirit of getting back into the swing of things, I heart the bloggy world!
Janine at Sniffles and Smiles recently, so sweetly, so kindly, proved she was the hostess with the mostest as she awarded many at her Sniffles and Smiles award day event.
And, thank you, thank you very much, I am a proud recipient of one of her awards. If you have not met Janine, do so. She is wonderful writer with intriquing posts of her life. She has the sweetest spirit and the kindest of words.
Thank you Janine!!

. . . by Tracie at Tale of Many Cities

8 things I am looking forward to:

reading a good book
Demolition D returning from Choir Trip with stories of fun
selling all my equipment at the shop
Demolition D driving
Figuring out what to do for work next
a trip somewhere, the beach, wherever
the first trip in the Airstream (ongoing, 2 year project)
The Man starting 8th grade

8 things I did yesterday:

Worked, finished some orders for meals for Tuesday pickups
Sat outside in the sun for awhile
Watched a movie with the kids
Dropped off/picked up Demolition D from a job
Urged, only like a mom can do when annoyed at procrastination, D to pack his carry on for
the Church Choir Trip
Enjoyed a burger from Burger King
Did some laundry
8 thing I wish I could do:

win the lottery and pay off all debt and play santa clause to others
paint like an artist
go to Costa Rico
dance (not like the chic on Seinfeld)
not find anything or anyone irritating
spend the summer at the beach
Scrapbook all my pictures
figure out what Ocho was just up too, hmmmm

8 Shows I watch:

It is summer so this is the fall/winter list
My Name is Earl
Biggest Loser
Today Show
Whatever show the male species has on - they dominate the TV

8 favorite fruits:

8 places I'd like to travel:
just about anywhere

8 places I've lived:
So sad, not 8 :)
Denver, Colo
Albany, Ga
Baconton, Ga
Now for the tagging, if you are reading this and would like to play along . . . Tag, you are it!
Let me know that you played, so I can check your list out too!
Thanks Tracie for the tag, I have been a little out of the loop lately and am trying to work myself back into bloggyland fun!!
Smiles to all!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009


I started this post a couple weeks ago, and since then there are even more feelings and thoughts.

I like feel good post. But I am at a juncture in my life that is not completely feel good. I have faith that after I pass through this spot, I will look back and see all the good. I have debated whether or not to share, but isn’t that what blogging is about? Maybe by sharing this adventure it will help someone else, if nothing other than misery loves company.

As the year began, there was a trend to pick a word for the year. The word I chose was discernment. I knew decisions were going to need to be made this year. I knew there were changes in the routine of our home coming. I knew I would be needing discernment to make it through.

Discernment has come. Much clearer than anticipated, and I think I have handled it well, despite the kicking and screaming to not make this turn. Actually, the kicking and screaming was just to make sure no stone was left unturned.

But the writing is on the wall. And with tears a decision is made.

The end of June I will close the shop.

I think there should be a second word this year – anticipation.

I did not anticipate how difficult this decision would be. The facts are the facts, but the heart wants to hold on.

I did not anticipate how draining, mentally and emotionally, coming to work to try to make it through the day would be. Usually, if a job is not working out, you search for a new one and when you get one you leave. Not with the closing of a business. It is like being a captain of a ship, it is sinking and you feel as if you, too, are going under.

I did not anticipate how perplexing it would be to not know what to do next.

As I searched alternative ways to continue, but without a store front, I did not anticipate how quickly “no’s” could be delivered. As I anticipated approaching the zoning commission with my spill down to less than 30 seconds, I did not anticipate how they would have a “no” in less than 15 seconds.

I did not anticipate if it this business did not work out, that I would feel as if I have chased my tail. Feeling as if I am back to where I started. Nothing gained.

I did not anticipate how painstaking it would be to keep a smile and fake optimism when encountering customers that offer unsolicited positive feedback, and yet have not been back.I get stopped in a store and am told how much they enjoyed the meals, ending with I might come in over the summer, but definitely in the fall.

Good luck with that.

In the meantime bills need to be paid, can’t do that without revenue.

So another local business, locks the doors, hands the keys back over to the landlord.

A business that failed.

Or . . .

Another person that journeyed down a road of faith, that learned something, albeit lost in the moment. Another person off on another trek, as soon as that door is opened.

Another person, me, anticipating what opportunity lies beyond that corner that I just can’t see around.

What footprints did this business leave on the community? Did it touch people?

I was perusing Facebook a week or so ago. It is supposedly a way to connect with others, but really how deeply do we connect through “social networking” as such?

I have wondered how many are hurting with pains and disappointments that others are not aware of. Or have not thought of. There are instances that are obvious, those fighting a chronic illness, or dealing with cancer in a loved one, or a loss of a loved one, but what about those who are dealing with job loss, or impending life changes? Loneliness? Parenting opportunities with teenagers?

Trying to reach out, even to say hello, when you yourself is sluggish can be quite draining, but I can’t help but think, we are all caught up in our worlds and lives that we might not notice when someone needs something as simple as a “wanted to say hello” or “glad to see you” or “thinking of you”

I read Tuesdays with Morrie years ago. I don’t know why I remember this particular line so well, but at one point he was asked about dealing with his impending death, something like, didn’t he get upset . . . whatever the question may have been, the answer was, (paraphrased) sometimes you just need to feel it. Feel it and move on. I wonder if that is where I am. Maybe I need to stop thinking, stop doing, and quiet the busyness around me for just a little while. Feel it, not fight it. And then move on.

You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy, Psalms 30:11

Monday, May 25, 2009

Monday Memories - Memories and Memorial

I came across these pictures in a box from Betsy's. The picture above and the picture below, (l-r) is Betsy, Cindy, Ann. These are Will's sisters. I love these photos!

I had to include one with the four of them . . .

And I could not exclude the wedding shot she had . . .

(I wonder, in hindsight, if there could be do over, would those flowers on those
dresses be so big? hehe)

Betsy, Nephew C, and Cindy - early 2006

This year Memorial Day seems to bring more to mind the Memorial Day weekend three years ago. I honestly could not tell you the date, I just know it was the morning of the Saturday of Memorial Day weekend, 2006 when we received the call that Betsy was no longer with us.

So today, for Memory Monday's with Gayle, I am remembering siblings, Will, Betsy, Ann, and Cindy. There are actually some great stories they share, but the stories just aren't flowing today. BUT, for another time, another memory day, I will share some of them then. For now, I am glad that they have fun memories.

It saddens me for them that no new memories with Betsy are being made, that there is that void. But maybe days, moments like these should be the reminder of how precious those interactions are with each other. How pleasant, loving times feed us emotionally for longer than that one moment. So smile and go make a memory today . . . laugh :)

And before any thoughts can arise that I might be leaving others out, I am not. . .

A great big thank you!!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Monday Memories

Playing along with Planet M's Monday Memories has been fun. Life has been a little too busy, over the past several years, to actually scrapbook or organize memories. This has been a great way to visit past fun times and go ahead and get something written about it.

March 2006, as we were researching to start this business venture, we did take a break for spring break and went camping with friends.

Are you shocked? Another post about camping? What can I say, we really have a good time going. This was probably the last time we have made it camping with our friends.

About an hour and a half south of us is Marianna Florida. We weren't sure about the campground, but we figured it would be fine for a couple of nights. Also in this area are the Florida Caverns.

So on this trip, no bear caves were dug, but trails were hiked . . .

Cavern's explored...

Dead fish heads were found by kids, brought back to be played with by bigger kids . . .

Sparkler's lit the night . . . .

Fireside breakfasts were enjoyed . . .

Canoeing . . .

But most of all, fun with friends and family . . .

I think we need to go camping again soon!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

...And The Beat Goes On

Life is settling back into a somewhat normal rhythm.

Of course in our world normal is never for long. I am not sure if there is a sticky note on our backs that says "drama!! give us drama," but if there is, would someone please remove it? We prefer peace and easy going. But until then . . .

The visitation for Pat was Wednesday evening and the funeral on Thursday, his birthday.

There were many tears and a some laughter too. From one of his previous marriages, he has a daughter. She is in her 20's and has down syndrome and is the sweetest, sharpest, spit fire. Her mom had decided not tell her about her father's death until the day of visitation. Her half- brother and his wife had just delivered their first born and she was so excited and having so much fun with that new joy, that her mom did not wish to dampen the elation before she had too. She also tends to get so fixated on something, her mother thought it might be best to wait. It was gut wrenching to say the least. That raw emotion was overwhelming. But Thursday she was somewhat better. He had written a "just in case he didn't make it" letter that was read at the funeral. He mentioned her in it and her name was mentioned a few times during the funeral which put the biggest smile on her face.

Pat was a walking tall tale in someways. He always had the best stories and at times you really weren't sure where the truths ended and the embellishments began.

Displayed at the visitation was a plaque he received while working in Afghanastan/Irag. While traveling from one location to another, the group was ambushed. As the soldiers tried to leave the vehicles to gather the wounded soldiers, Pat grabbed a weapon (sorry, I don't remember what kind of gun) and opened fire on the enemy to cover for them. Now that would have been one of those stories one might have wondered about, but there it was, in all honesty in an award presented to him from the unit.

Fun stories were shared, but funnier was when we looked around and noticed some of us in attendance. As I shared the other day, Will remained friends with his brother-in-law Bobby (Pat's brother) as well as Pat and their mother. Their motto in the divorce was a sibling might get a divorce, but that does not mean the family divorces them too. Let by gones be by gones, and that was so apparent

As we looked around, we sorta counted. Pat's wife was there, naturally, and so were two of his ex wives. His sister J, had in attendance her current husband and an ex husband. N, Will's ex wife, had in attendance her current husband, Will, and another ex. Don't get me wrong, marriage is important and Will and I truly believe in the importance of a sound marriage, but it was rather entertaining seeing all the exs!

A relative, from another state, mentioned, at the dinner after the funeral, how weird that all the "out"laws still get along with the family and are so welcome.

It might not be entirely normal, and it might seem somewhat weird because it is so unusual, but it makes me smile to see the forgiveness and warmth and love that continued among the family. Divorce issues removed and down to the basic character of us all, aren't we suppose to do that in life? Love one another? Have compassion for those around us? The variables a little untraditional, but the love and friendship was heartfelt.

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Wordless Wednesday(sorta) - Night Views

The Hosch Theatre at Brenau University. On our trips to Brenau, over the last four years, I have enjoyed the stain glass front of this theatre. With graduation behind us, trips this particular spot most likely will not happen, but it was always a pleasant piece of art to view.
And the opposite view on the night of graduation . . .

Monday, May 11, 2009

Marathon Weekend

Do you ever just feel tired?

I have been just plain tired.

My mom would tell me “well, if that is what you claim then you will be tired.” This is bigger than that, I move, I try to skip a little, walk. I think endorphins will align and I will feel a boost of energy. A shot of adrenaline. I push I set goals, and then I have to sit for a minute or two.

I do believe it is stress. But I will share about that at another time.

It did get pushed aside a little the end of last week.

Thursday I scrambled to finish what I could not leave undone at work, so we could head to Traveler's graduation on Friday. For those that are newer, Traveler is my step-daughter, and I have a step-son, I call Ocho.

Traveler had been to the beach and returned Thursday, with plans of heading up for graduation the next morning.

Will and I got home from the shop a little after 7:00p.m. Demolition D had, thankfully, started dinner. Ocho was working, The Man and Traveler were doing their thing on their computers.

As dinner was finishing, the phone rang. It was Will's ex-wife (Traveler and Ocho's mom). She was crying and she shared with Will that Pat, her brother, was not expected to make it through the night.

Pat had arrived at Emory a week earlier to have opened heart surgery. A year earlier he had been airlifted out of Afghanistan (he worked for a contractor) with an infection. In Germany they found a problem with his heart. His wife, Stacey, flew to Germany and got him back home. We attended the same church, and sat behind us with Pat brother Bobby and his wife. He always had a smile and hug and kiss on the cheeck for all. Will has maintained a friendship with his "inlaws." They are friends and family.

The open heart surgery went great. The doctors said all went well and the recovery of the heart was better than expected. But he developed pneumonia a couple days after surgery. He was on the ventilator. Thursday they performed surgery to drain his lungs. Early evening, his kidneys began to fail.

In the call, she said they were on the way to get their mom and were heading to Emory. We ate first before sharing with Amanda, so she would have a meal in her. Ocho was still at work.

Such a hard thing to take in. The sadness and shock of losing a loved one, but at such an important time in a young ones life too.

She really wanted to go to Emory to be with the rest of the family. Will told her he would drive her up there, but they needed to wait so Ocho could go too if that was his decision. Which turned out to be wise.

On top of the bad news, Traveler then shared she still needed to buy a dress and shoes for graduation.

Will and the kids left about 10:15 p.m. for Emory. The plan was for me to bring up my SIL and MIL on Friday. I busied myself around the house trying to get the rest of work related items finished.

A little after 11:00, Traveler called. Her sorority had a reception planned after graduation and they needed pictures to set out of the graduate, so she needed me to go through and find pictures of her with family and receiving awards and from her pageant. So I scrambled. There were a few that were only on the computer, so those could not be included.

I finally laid down close to 1:00 a.m.

Up the next morning, got the boys to school, finished up bank runs for the shop and got ready to load up family and head to Brenau. I had checked my email first, figuring Will would have sent me an email. He had, he had sent it at 4:00 a.m. saying they had made it to the hotel. That was all that was said, Pat must still be hanging on.

As we headed out the door, the phone rang, I didn't make it back to it before it stopped ringing and did not recognize the number. So I headed to my MIL to get her. She was on the phone when we arrived. She had just received the call, Pat had passed away during the night.

I hate it. Too young. 57 years old.

I did not call Will because I hoped he was still asleep and did not want to wake him. He called about 20 minutes later. He sounded so bad.

They made it to Emory, about 30-45 minutes after Pat had died. But there was no family there. Stacey, his wife had just left headed back home to tell his mom and siblings. It turned out they DID NOT, go to Emory after all. So heartbroken and exhausted, they headed on over to Gainesville where we had rooms reserved for the next evening. The Garden Hilton Inn, got them into a room and were very kind!

Heavy burdened, Will and the kids got moving, headed to Traveler's sorority house to pack what she had left. Oh wow! It was a lot more than had be relayed. But they got it finished, room emptied!

They got in the truck to grab some lunch, with the truck full, Traveler tossed her tassles (for graduation) into the truck and they landed in Will's coffee!! So now the white strand was being coffee stained. They get back to the hotel the same time we arrived, Will rinses the tassles, hoping to wash the coffee out and hoping they will dry in time for graduation- it was 3:00p.m. then and we had to be at the center at 5:00p.m.

Traveler had wanted the family to eat together at a Chinese restaurant she had found that she loved. The goal was to eat at 3:00 but that did not exactly happen. We did not realize the restaurant was 21 miles away at the Mall of Georgia! We quickly changed for graduation since there would not be time afterwards. Traveler and Ocho were off before us so she could buy a dress and shoes (Will had had her grab a dress from her room when packing, but she put it in a bag with an open bottle of perfume - then could not wear it).

We arrive at the Mall of Georgia and the directions Traveler gave us were not really clear. So after a hike, we find the restaurant and plop down at the table. Orders are not taken until 4:00p.m. (remember, we have to be back at graduation at 5:00). Food is delivered scarfed down, Will and the kids head out before the rest of us hoping they will make it at least within a few minutes of the time expected.

We did not see Traveler's robe when we left, so they had to go by the hotel for that and for Traveler to put on the new dress. Well we had the shawl thing and tassels with us!

Gainesville Georgia might not be big, but they still have 5:00 traffic! At least enough to slow you down when you are late! Parking was a nightmare. I dropped off those with me and went in search of where to park.

We made it. Traveler graduated.

(MIL, Traveler's Mom, Traveler, Will)
Those are the tassles, and they were still damp

BUT, she did not receive her diploma yet! When she opened the diploma, in place of the diploma, was a notice of library fees due! LOL! She had actually paid it, but apparently not in time for the business office to get the information to the department handling the diplomas. But she is a graduate!

We attended the reception. And headed back to the hotel close to 10:00p.m.

Traveler headed to a friend's house to stay the night before heading to another friend's wedding the next morning. The fatique and the emotions hit late Friday night and she notified the bride that she would not be able to sing with all that had happened. We are so glad that decision was made and the bride was so understanding.

Traveler set out to attend the wedding, though, but she ran into a problem. She was headed to the wedding using a GPS. When she stopped for gas, it reset and she did not know it until it delivered her to the wrong church!!
She reset the GPS and headed home instead.

Meanwhile, we were up earlier and headed back to Atlanta for Ocho to attend an open house at the Atlanta Art Institute. We made it, no hitches. Will and Ocho attended the program, it was fast, only an hour and a half - and we were on our way to lunch and then home. Lunch: bison burgers, very yummy!!

The marathon was over when we arrived safely at home around 5:00 p.m.

I would like to say the hurdles were all due to the loss of Pat, but this is our life! Traveler marches to the beat of her own drum, and unfortunately, it at times takes the rest of us on a roller coaster ride! But the adrenaline pushed the fatique aside for a little bit of time. And we all got to see her through this milestone in her life journey.

We attended church yesterday morning, and to our surpise, Stacey was there. She had decided she needed to be out, and not at home alone. She decided she needed to go ahead and try to go to church to get past that first time. She did well! Stacey decided to have his funeral on his birthday, which won't be until Thursday.

Pat told his mom, before going up for the surgery, that if things did not turn out and he died, that would be fine. He had no regrets in his life. Anything he ever wanted to do, he had done. His wife, Stacey even joked after church about having had a bumper sticker that Pat's brother had printed "honk if you have been married to Pat." See, Pat loved life, and loved women and had been married more than 5 times, but he was bigger than life.
The peace he expressed in that statement to his mom, is also evident in those that he left behind.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Memory Monday - Those We Meet Along The Way

Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin

Memory Monday, and what might bacon wrapped tenderloin have to do with that? Well, I made this wonderful dish last week, we ate, and we ate the leftovers. And now it is a memory, that needs to be repeated - and you should try it.
It was delicious!! Demolition D commented a couple times on how much he liked the flavor . . .

. . . February 2006, I noticed a link, in a magazine, to a great website for a meal assembly business. A meal replacement concept. A way to have dinners and variety with all the mental work of making list, time in the grocery store, mess in the kitchen, etc. removed.

It excited me ever so much. I could not get it off mind. A few months earlier, in a conversation with a co-worker, he had said "do what excites you."

This excited me. This nagged at me. I prayed about it. We prayed about. And we took the first step towards opening a business. We researched. We visited a similar store to the concept I had read about, in another state. It was great. Real food. Real meats. More research.

As I looked up independent stores across the country, one in particular caught my eye. I decided to cold call that store in Illinois.

That is when I met Mary. We have never met face to face, but have spoken on the phone and through emails. She helped me with the steps needed to move forward. She sent me information to help me through the process from inventory to food suppliers. So much kindness.

Doors opened, everything flowed so well. We opened the doors to In A Pinch Of Thyme easy meal assembly on July 12, 2006.

I have so enjoyed the work over the last couple years! The work and so many folks I have met has been amazing. I have loved preparing meals for people, meals they shared with family, friends, those sick, those celebrating, those who may have lost a love one or welcoming a new baby to the world.

Thinking of Mary and her willingness to help, reminds me of how we never know the impact we might have on another's life.

Something so simple can create long lasting opportunities. One day, Mary sent me a link to blog. I really did not know much about blogs, but I went and visited and fell in love with the stories and pictures of the Pioneer Woman. I was slow. I noticed the neat names in the comments and that some were highlighted.

Thus began my journey through bloggyland. Clicking and reading and moving onto the next one.

One day last fall, I thought, why not? And I stepped into, to me, this new land. It has been a great land with wonderful people and new friends. A great way to record memories, find support and plenty of laughter. You are all so great!!

So meeting Mary is my memory this Memory Monday and that circles back to the Bacon Wrapped Tenderloin.

Mary has set out on her own blogadventure. In doing so, I see she has ventured to many places beyond this land and is kindly sharing her discovered delectable treats.
So for the recipe, check out her and her friends at Food 'o del mundo try a dish or two, or just say hello, welcome her to the blogging . . . (this week I am going to try to get to making the carmelized chicken). Check out her photos! She is a great photographer too!
And for more memories, Gayle is the happy host at Planet M Files.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

My World This Tuesday

No pictures today, just thoughts...

I truly believe our area is running amuck!

Everyday another "home invasion" makes the news. One the other day was actually made up by the 12 year old reporting it. He had broken his parents laptop, so devised the story to cover up. He had reported fending off a would be intruder, months ago, with a baseball bat.

That is a kid with a major need of intervention by someone! Whether it is a home life issue or one of a mental issue surfacing - he needs help. It disturbs me that he so boldly moved forward with this story, but another interesting point in this particular story is that the news has repeatedly stated his name on the air. I thought minors were protected? The 15 year old caught shooting pellet guns at people and cars, his name was not released?

Today one happened at 11:30 a.m. and there is a

"A manhunt is underway right now in central Albany for a burglar who broke in on an
elderly woman and assaulted her."

I think following the local news on facebook was a mistake . . .

Next topic, as the swine flu stories are finally easing (on our news at least), it is only to leave room for the next problem: Mosquitoes

A Health Emergency has been declared in 13 more counties because of mosquitoes. Baker, Calhoun, Colquitt, Decatur, Dougherty, Early, Grady, Lee, Miller, Mitchell, Seminole, Thomas and Worth counties will now get additional support fighting mosquitoes.
What exactly does a declaration of a "health emergency" mean? That is all they say! Even on the news, they say some areas have had an 8,000% increase in the mosquito population. But, besides the obvious, what does the declaration DO? My thought is if you can't figure out there is a mosquito problem as soon as you walk out the door, a declaration isn't going to help either. I hope that is just a step they have to take to get the equipment or financial support needed to fend off the blood suckers. I say import as many bats as possible . . . which leads to the next plaque
FROGS . . .
There's a rapidly growing population of frogs in parts of . . .though a lot of those frogs are getting wiped out by drivers.
Monday afternoon we found an army of little hoppers trying to cross busy . . . Road. Some didn't make it.
They're coming from a low-lying pecan orchard still full of water from last month's heavy rain and flooding. It's not the only place where the amphibians seem to be taking over.
Neighbors in . . . called in a pest control agency but the exterminators say the frogs help get rid of pests and shouldn't be wiped out.
Ok, that cracked me up! I really feel Old Testamenty . . . Can the river be changed to wine next?
We might need it in due time...

Friday, May 1, 2009

Busy, Busy, Busy

The Man leaves on the Mid High today - watch out Gulf Coast!

We have given in to the notion of having a yard sale, ugh!

So today will also be filled with pricing our junk in hopes that someone else will find it a treasure.
How great it will be to get rid of all that stuff!
Traveler comes home today, for the night, then off to the beach, resting up for College Graduation next Friday.
And on that note, Will is ready to frame the screen shot of his last transfer of funds to his first college graduate!
Happy Day!