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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Papaw Junior

I am fortunate enough at 36 years old, to still have 3 out of my 4 grandparents with me. The only one that has passed, is my paternal grandfather that we all called "Big Daddy". Big Daddy aquired his name for a reason. He was a big man- a really big man. That was a part of why his health failed him so miserably. He passed away 15 years ago, in his sixties.

My paternal grandmother is in the nursing home. She is in fairly good health, although she calls my mother every night with a new ailment. My mom pretty much just listens to the latest problem and sympathizes- only to listen to a new condition the next night. My dad, although it is his mother, isn't near as patient with her.

My other set of grandparents, my mom's parents, live only about 3 miles from me. I run by often and help with errands. I go to the bank and pay their water bill for them each month. Sometimes I run medicine by; or a loaf of bread. I see them fairly often because I live so close by. I don't see my maternal grandmother near enough. Although I know the excuse is poor, it is still the truth- I can't stand going to the nursing home. It is depressing to me and I constantly worry that my kids will get sick from going with me. On top of everything else, I honestly just have a hard time fitting it into a typical day. I tried to go by during my lunch break before but unfortunately, it was Nannie's lunch time too- as she soon reminded me. "Why don't you come back after lunch.." that was Nannie's position on me interrupting her banana pudding solitude.

A few years back, we all started noticing a difference in my Papaw. The little man with a fascination with keeping everything and pinching every penny, all of a sudden was forgetting things. He was doing some "off the wall" things that just didn't make since. After insisting on a trip to the doctor (against his will), we come to find out Papaw would only get worse- he was succumbing to Dementia.

Now, as time has gone on, he has progressively gotten worse. He is just a fraction of the Papaw that I grew up with. He is still in the small framed package God wrapped him in but he only shows portions of the grandpaw that used to let my sisters and I pump gas with him at his filling station.

Yesterday, Papaw fell down. He fell fairly hard, to hear my Mamaw tell it. After Mamaw and Papaw's nurse, Sandy, insisted that he needed to be checked over at the hospital, he was taken to the local emergency room. All the while, my sweet little Papaw never even knew he was hurt. It turns out the leg he kept rubbing after the fall was indeed a broken hip.

I am ashamed to admit that I can't remember for sure how old Papaw is. I believe he is 82 years old. It is either 81 or 82. It doesn't really matter. Papaw couldn't tell you how old he is either.

Tonight, he lays in a hospital bed at a far away hospital following his hip surgery. He is in ICU. He was told to press the button for pain medication as he needs it. Papaw will never remember to do that. He will just moan when he is in pain and I will say a prayer that the nurse listens to his sounds and presses the button for him.

While Papaw is resting after his surgery, I am remembering. I remember when Papaw bought us the scooter to ride up and down their street when we came to visit. I remember Papaw letting us "work" at the station and paying us a few dollars to go spend at the gameroom. I remember Papaw and Mamaw lugging my sisters and I around the fair in ninety degree weather.

I know Papaw's hip will heal. His mind is what I worry about. That's okay though... I know God fills Papaw's heart. As far as his memory... I can remember enough for the both of us.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Never let your teens babysit...even for an hour

What a crazy week. I have missed a couple of nights writing but honestly- I have a good excuse. Thursday was opening day for my new paper- The Towns Tribune. It went fantastic! I couldn't be prouder of how opening day went. We had subscribers coming through all day long and such much needed display ads were contracted.

Following the big day at the office- I covered my very first event for the Tribune. It was a meeting at 5:30 that same day. I was crowded with people asking about the new paper (including the competition- LOL). Like a proud mommy, I was telling everyone about our new plans.

Friday was slower- primarily due to weather. We had yet another snow and of course with that- the kids got out of school at noon. I kept the office open as long as I could but when 3:00 rolled around and the white stuff was sticking- I decided to call it a day and head home. I am not one of those grand drivers that insist they can drive in the stuff. I know I can't, at least not well.

So last night, two of my daughters had friends over. My 15 year old, Whitley, had her long time friend Lauren over and my youngest daughter, Madison had a friend over. This was the first time that Lea had spent the night with us, although she and Madison have been friends for about a year. Well, I know her mom well, we are friends, so I was not concerned with the "It's a new friend" rule- you know, the one where everyone has to be on their best behavior so the new guest isn't scared off. I knew Lea would stick. Evidentally I should have told the other kids that the rule did apply because they were not well mannered at all.

John and I had to go get a small amount of firewood and the girls were insisting on Slushies from the nearby convenience store. Since we only had one of our four wheel drive trucks available, we couldn't seat everyone in it so we told the older girls to watch the younger ones for about an hour while we dug our way through the snow and went on the much needed Slushie run.

Imagine my horror when we pulled in forty five minutes later to find the younger girls seated in the middle of the living room floor, back to back, with snow hats pulled over each of their heads and tied up with the horses' lead ropes. To beat it all- the little Yorkie dog (that looks like an angel but acts like the devil) had the ball on top of Madison's hat tight in her mouth and was pulling with all her might.

At first I just stood in the doorway with my mouth hanging wide open. I thought, "What in the world have those girls done!" Just as I screamed "WWWHHHIITTLLEEYYYY" at the top of my lungs, the younger girls died laughing. I knew then I had been pranked. The older girls appeared from the dining room dying laughing and pointing at my pathetic attempt to grin at their joke. The girls wiggled free and giggled about their conspiracy to trick me all night.

It seems the new guest fit right in- she was just as warped as the rest of them. Gotta love them!

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Five, four, three, two, one.... blast off!

So, today was yet another snow day. Good grief; I am beginning to feel like we are caught up between the two movies, "Ground Hog Day" and "Snow Day". Needless to say, we got a dusting, so the kids were out of school.

The biggie about today was, this was my last day to 'get things done', whatever that means. Anyway, tomorrow is my opening day at the paper. I am so excited, yet nervous. You just never know what to expect. A thousand thoughts are running through my mind- "Where did I put the subscription forms?", "Did we network the computers right?", "Who will stay out front when I have to go pee (or worse)?" - yep, I am having all sorts of thoughts.

Today, my youngest daughter and I went out there and hung pictures, unwrapped brand new pens and paper and put staples in the staplers. We both made our lists of things to do and got cracking on them. The thing is, I know I had two or so more things on my list that wasn't crossed off- and now, I have lost it. Somewhere between going to the store and then All Star practice, it disappeared. Lord bless whoever reads it. They will think they have gotten a hold of some nut's to do list right before they were sent off somewhere.

Tomorrow, I will step forward and do my best. (I might even wear something other than a hoodie). I probably won't sleep much tonight but I have a feeling that I will spend a lot of that awake time talking things over with God. He always makes me feel better.

Tonight, I am going to make another list but on it will be only one item- succeed. I think I can handle that.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Dividing so we can Multiply (Eventually)

I happen to be one of those people that has to have certain things in multiples. For example- When I go to the grocery store to get milk, I get two gallons. When one of them runs out and we have to break into the second, I already start feeling like we are out of milk. I am pretty much that way about everything. If we have a dozen eggs, when it gets down to 6- I mark on my list that we are out of eggs. I am also that way about our finances.

It has been more than stressful over the past few weeks of managing two separate accounts. One of them our personal and the second, our business. When we went to Wal-Mart a few nights ago, we bought things for both home and the office so I naturally divided the order and paid for the home half with our debit card and the business part with the business account money. There has been so much to buy for the office that it can be overwhelming; especially while at the same time, I am trying to pay the bills at home on time and not forget any. (I said trying... not necessarily succeeding at all times.)

Anyway, we can now say that the Lord has provided... the lights are still on at home and nearly everything to open the doors at the paper is purchased. There are still a few odd and end items left to go but nothing substantial. I am so thankful.

Although I am thankful, I have this worry as I watch the amounts in both accounts slowly dwindle away. I realize that is what the money was put there for; to open the doors to the Towns Tribune. Still, it is scary to watch most of it fade away. In it's place sits- two computers, desks, a fax machine, copier and the list goes on and on.

Getting back to the "Can't stand it if there is only half a dozen eggs me", I start feel queasy at the thought of all the money that is gone. Even though there is still enough in place for the odds and ends and such, I like multiples and it seems as if instead of multiplying, I have spent the past month dividing.

Tomorrow, I am going to spend half my day at home. Over the past few, I have spent most of my day on the road talking to prospective clients and putting more and more items into the office. I have to take tomorrow to do laundry, clean the floors and get milk. We are down to one and only 2 eggs. How did I ever let that happen? I must be slipping. : )

Saturday, February 6, 2010 was your day?

Sometimes I will ponder for hours over what to write about, especially since I am doing this blog daily and I used to do my column for the paper only once a week.

My husband tells me to just write about my day- my life. I sit back and think, "what is so interesting about that?" and I realize, nothing- or just maybe- everything.

See, when I first started writing my column, it was an open place to talk about life in general. That is what makes it what it is. I mean, we all go through the emotions- happiness, sadness, guilt, love and confusion. My life- heck, my days- are filled with all of those, as I know yours are too.

Tonight I am going to do just that- write about my day...

My 15 year old daughter, Whitley, had two friends spend the night last night. One of them, Lauren, has spent the night here a lot since they became friends in about the fifth grade- she is a whole lot like another member of the family. With her here, we just go on as normal- the kids fight, the dogs bark, I get the picture. It is a little different when a fairly new friend is over. We have to be a little better mannered. (That does not come easy for some of us). Anyway, all went well except for the dogs. We have one that is a barker. That doesn't mix well with a teen girl that is afraid of dogs. Every time he headed her way with his loud, obnoxious bark, she hit the bedroom. We tried to put him outside but he would scratch at the storm door so loud that we would let him back in, to only bark again.

Toward the end of the morning though, they had gotten used to one another. She realized that he didn't bite and I think he realized that she didn't either. : )

After one of the friends left, we hit Hiawassee wide open to pick up more equipment and furniture. All this in a mixture of rain, sleet and on and off snow flurries all day. I don't know which was worse, my husband and I carrying in a heavy as heck desk by ourselves, or the freezing sleet that insisted on biting us in the face while we pulled and tugged until it was indoors. Now, with only a fax machine and a couple of pieces of small furniture to go, we are pretty much set up at the office. Even the trash cans and thumb tacks are in place. Tomorrow- we must hang a ten foot sign so I pray for warmer, drier weather or my poor husband will not be happy climbing up on the roof of that building.

Other than the above, I managed the grocery store, helping my fifth grader decorate her poster on "Horse Care", cooking supper and even two loads of laundry.

Now, I sit back and long for a hot bath and just a minute of peace and quiet. I hardly ever feel 36 years old. I keep this fixture of my days in high school and beating around town in my little Toyota Tercel in the back of my mind. It takes me back to what I affectionately call my B.C. (Before children)

Tonight, I realize why the calendar states that I am indeed 36. My arms and legs feel like jello and my mind feels as though I can't handle another detail. (That's why I make lots of lists)

Tomorrow, I look forward to church, seeing my mom and dad and hopefully sunny skies. For now, I am heading for that hot bath and bed, all the while, thanking God for giving me the chance to achieve all I can with each and every day.

Friday, February 5, 2010

Friday night= eating out+Wal Mart (Man, I'm getting old)

This getting a new business together is just about to kick my behind. I am tired. Very tired.

Tonight, my husband, children and I, headed out to dinner and then to Wal Mart to pick up some last pieces of needed equipment for the office.

Dinner was fun. So many times, we go out to eat and it seems the entire restaurant gets served before we even get menus. Who knows. Anyway, tonight went well. It wasn't the mannerly, calm type of well- but the playful, "we don't care who is watching" kind of well. My son and youngest daughter managed a couple of spit balls across the table, my oldest daughter gave her brother a 'wet willy' and my son said the word 'gas' at least three times but hey- at least nothing was spilled. After our meal, my husband and I are paying the bill while my son went on out to the truck and low and behold as we walk out the door- we see him standing at the edge of the parking lot waving at all the cars driving by on the road below the restaurant. Ggeesss- you would think that it would be okay to let a fourteen year old head to the parking lot alone. Not my son. Nope. He will do just about anything if it will land him a laugh. I am ashamed to admit that we laughed. I couldn't help it. It was the funniest thing to see. Nothing embarrasses him. I guess that is why he is always the 'fun' one to hang out with. It must not be genetic. I prefer to actually sit in the truck and wait- with the heat on high.

Next, off to Wal-Mart we go.

Living in a small town, Wal-Mart tends to be the Friday night outing spot for a lot of families. If someone would have told me when I was seventeen that I would find it entertaining one day to go to a store and load up on toilet paper and dog food, I would have laughed my rear off. Oh well, we grow up and learn to appreciate any sort of break from the hustle and bustle of home and work, I suppose.

We load up on our necessities and a few pieces of office equipment for the Towns Tribune opening. As usual, my daughter and I make a bee-line to the one register that only has one other customer in line and as usual- off the light goes just as we get to the register. Again, we pursue our hunt for another register that has less than a dozen people in line. It never ceases to amaze me why sixteen registers aline the front of the store but never are there more than three at a time open. Just as I am about to give up and leave the entire buggy....Madison spots a short line. Again, we take off like a heavy, middle-aged man, after the last swim suit calendar available.

Finally, we are out in the parking lot. I am literally jogging for the truck through the wind and rain, carrying bagfuls of receipt books and glitter paint, while my husband pulls our daughter through the parking lot with her 'Heely' shoes on, to keep her rolling along and laughing.

Now, we are back home.. the fire is crackling angrily in the fireplace while we are all snuggled nicely in our flannel jammies. It seems like home is the place to be after least until the loud ones come in at curfew. Along about 11:30 p.m., the long lines at Wal-Mart will probably look good to me. Funny how a home can be so peaceful one minute and then full of nagging and fighting the next. I guess that is just another one of the wonderful perks of parenthood, huh?

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Explaining for the adults

It's a tough out there. We all know it. Figure in being a middle or high school student and being asked to sell at least 5 cheesecakes at $20 per pop to a town full of broke people. My kids did it. My kids plus a friend, sold their minimum, a combined 15 cheesecakes and I will tell you, it wasn't easy.

Raising money through fundraisers has been a long standing event with school age children. I am well aware of that but during my own fund raising days, we sold candy bars, not $20 cheesecakes.

My son and daughter are both in chorus at their school. They were asked to sell their minimum of these desserts, in order to be able to participate in an upcoming field trip. My daughter took her order form to my mom's job and got her orders there. That left my son. My son and one of my daughter's friends, that is also in the class, hit our neighborhood. They went door to door, where many of the people that lived in those homes are struggling to make ends meet week to week, and sold their remaining amounts.

The estimated delivery date printed at the top of the order form was the first week in February. Guess what. We are there but the cheesecakes aren't. The kids were told yesterday that the orders were delayed for a week and would be in the beginning of next week. Today, it was moved back another week.

Out of respect, my kids rode around to all their customers and told them their orders were delayed (although we are not sure why they are). They were all very nice about it. I was embarassed. I didn't want all those people that were nice enough to help out, to think that my kids were going door to door and scamming them out of their hard earned money when they didn't get their orders when told.

It is very unfortunate that kids that are out raising funds for a particular program are put in a position of explaining for the adults. (Reminds me of my old job) Anyway, we will hold our breath and wait for the next couple of weeks to pass and hope there are no more changes. And guess kids don't even get to go on the field trip. Yep, what they did not know was the class that sold the most got the trip. The rest were omitted. Evidentally, there was a class that didn't stop at their 5 required orders. For us, 5 was 5 too many.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Climb aboard, sit back and hold on

The past couple of days have been so full of leases, hook-ups and set-ups that I am already exhausted just thinking about tomorrow. Although exhausted, I am excited. I am so thrilled to actually be given this opportunity to step forward and open my own business. It is a dream that so many think about but never get to do. I am almost scared to open my eyes some mornings for a deep rooted fear that something will still go wrong and prevent it.

This entire process from deciding to take a step forward and believe in myself enough to think I can do it, to announcing my decision and wondering who will and won't support my choice, has been mentally exhausting. The one thing I have learned this far is to have faith.

I am honestly a woman of great faith. I believe wholeheartedly that if we do all we can for ourselves, and do it honestly and steadfast, that God will help us out. I know there is so much in my life that has only been achieved through my deep rooted belief in God and all his blessings. Every time I look at my children, my modest yet comfortable home, my parents, my sisters, my friends and my husband; I am reminded of all that is good in my life.

My friends. I don't even know how to start saying thank you to them. I have had people believe in me even when I didn't quite believe in myself. My husband often jokes with me (I think he is joking...hhmmm) about how "modest" I am. This could be due to the fact that he will pick at me and I will proceed to remind him of just how lucky he was to find me. (I think it is a lot funnier than he does)

Up until recently, I felt like my two sisters, Sherry and Lisa, were the only real friends that I knew through thick and thin, that I could count on. So many of my buddies have made me forever change my mind. Sherry and Lisa are of course still on my list but the list itself has gotten much longer.

I will more than likely wake up in the morning and have a stroke of panic hit me, worried about what problems may arise unexpectedly for the day. I will then remember that I have my faith, my family and my friends to fall back on and help me through it. I don't believe for a second that all will be smooth sailing from here on out but I do believe that I can steer the boat until the waters calm down.