My People

My People
My People - Cosette, Austin, Oliver, Cody, me & Ryan. Just think, had I not lived, these people wouldn't be on the planet. They are my whole heart!

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

an mri machine is the ultimate dutch oven and other observations

An MRI is the ultimate dutch oven. If you don't know what a dutch oven is... google "dutch oven slang". And then groan. I had Taco Bell yesterday.

My MRI was not too painful other than having to hold my mouth open for five minutes without moving or swallowing. Try it. Wait, shove yourself into a small tube and hold your mouth open for five minutes without moving or swallowing. while hearing a jet take off in the tube with you. Wearing a hospital gown.

I have de-darbied myself for the most part but I did flinch when the mri tech suggested that I step down off the table before she gave me back my backless keds. I could literally see the germs. She sensed my hesitation and slipped the shoes over to me.

I still love Kate Gosselin. I know she's gone from being humble mom next door to being celebritized but I still love her. She's left handed. This last season of Jon and Kate Plus 8 reminds me of that last season of Rosanne after they won the lottery.

I had all that time in the space capsule to think and pray and meditate and then I ended up behind a camper with the prestige tag "Old Fart" going twenty miles under the speed limit on a two lane country road. I had lots of good thinking time today!

Work was stressful again/still. Duane gave me some good news but he also sorta pissed me off. I've been working Saturdays voluntarily. He has fully supported my working on Saturdays and been excited enough that he bragged to his boss about it. Usually the time is mostly offset by the time I leave early on Wednesdays for church. This pay period I ended up with two hours of overtime. Two. He gave me a lecture about how he has to treat us all the same and how he prefers that I just adjust my time to end up with 40 hours. He invited me to change his mind if I disagreed. I didn't. I decided to pray about it before responding.

My instinctive response would be... I'm making a special effort above and beyond what anyone else who works for you cares to do... so what if you pay two stinking hours of overtime on one stinking pay period? I'm drastically underpaid for my knowledge and experience. I could pack up and head to civilization and command another $5 an hour. I know. I was offered this last week.

That's why I didn't respond immediately. That... and I genuinely like the guy and he sincerely wants me to speak my mind. And he so sweetly motioned to me as I was leaving this afternoon that he would be praying for me... made the little kids hands folded in prayer gesture. Just... awww.

And. The sad fact is that the extra $5 an hour would be in a place where rent was at least twice as much and I would have none of the same community.

Tomorrow is the three year anniversary of my first date with Michael. Yes. Our first date was on April Fool's Day. It's surreal to me to realize how much my life has changed in those three years... the places I've been... the places I've lived!... the people I've met and the people I've lost and regained communication with.

My favorite things about Michael... his blue eyes... the way he dressed... watching Jeopardy with him... the way he smelled... traveling with him... his family... grilling at Tim's house... his 80 polo shirts all hung facing the same way in the closet...

My least favorite things... I'm not thinking about those any more. I'm free of that. God is good.

My most favorite thing is the fact that our journey led me here. To Hooterville. Where I don't make nearly as much money and don't have time to do everything I want but I'm happy. Even without Chickfila, Publix and Starbucks.

On my long drive home from the MRI this afternoon I rounded the curve and the splendor of the mountains stretched out before me and I cried. In the world's eyes I've lost so much but in God's eyes I've gained. I don't want to gain the whole world and lose my soul. (and Michelle, thank you, every time I hear that song now I think about your son singing it and it makes it so special!)

I also heard the Casting Crowns song that I identify with so strongly... she is running a hundred miles an hour in the wrong direction... she is trying but the canyon's ever widening in the depths of her cold heart... she sets out on another misadventure just to find... she's another two years older and she's three more steps behind... sometimes I really like being in the car and just listening to the radio. It was a good drive home, even if it took WAY longer than it should have.

My sweet friend Misti and her husband finalized their adoption of their baby today. Misti lost both of her fallopian tubes to ectopic pregnancies and she was heartbroken... and then they found out that a young girl they knew had gotten pregnant. Despite all odds against them... they were able to adopt this sweet baby boy. They're having a little celebratory dinner on Friday night.

Time for me to do something about dinner... and check my email... and catch up on facebook...
love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, March 30, 2009

boring Monday

Mondays have been horrible lately. I wake up exhausted... have to be at work early... work is crazy... it's been like that for several Mondays in a row... this morning Ginger left work sick at 9am and I had to absorb her work into my day. It was ... well, it was a Monday.

Of course, there are always bright spots in the day. A lady came in to talk about her homeowners insurance and figured out that I'm "Jim's sister" and went on for about twenty minutes about how wonderful my brother is. I know... I know... and Angie... and the girls... I had new pictures of the girls so I shared those. I still love living in a small town.

I still miss Publix and Starbucks and Chickfila.

Twice in the past week I've been accused of being a city girl. So??? City folks would call me a country girl. I think I'm sorta of a Suburb Sally who just adapts to her environment.

My brother Bryan and his gf Candice leave for Paris on Thursday! I'm living vicariously through them.

Austin came home from school with a black eye. He bumped heads with someone in P.E. which is now called Personal Fitness instead of Physical Education... I freaked out when I saw it. Obviously whatever adult was responsible for the class was less than responsible. PE is his last class of the day... they just stuck him on a school bus with a potential head injury without a word to anyone. I'll be chatting with the school in the morning.

Tomorrow I have an MRI scheduled. It's not a big deal but its one of those things that makes me feel like a sad single girl. There should be a handsome man in the waiting room wringing his hands with worry. That whole fairy tale didn't exactly play out like I thought it would in my last relationship... so maybe that's not what really happens. Of course, we don't find anything out tomorrow. They do the MRI and then send the results to my doctor and he'll be out of town next week so I don't even see him until the 14th.

I seriously need to hang up my clean laundry. I've got a mess going on... and no motivation to correct it.

No Jon and Kate Plus 8 tonight... I think I'm going to read and go to bed early.

Ryan heads back to Pennsylvania today. Bye Boo Boo!

The bride and groom from this weekend are 24 and 23. He will be 24 next month. Yes, they are young but I was a lot younger when I married my kids' dad. I was not quite 18.

The wedding venue was an antebellum home. It was nice and scenic but I didn't get the same "old house vibes" that I usually get. I think because they had made several modifications to make it usable.

Purple Michael messaged me last night about needing a bed&breakfast weekend... we soooo need a vacation together! I'll say it again... Chicago is SOOOO lucky!

My phone is ringing and I am totally unmotivated to answer.

Love and hugs, y'all!


Sunday, March 29, 2009

wedding pictures!






























































































































































































































































my weekend

Blink. There went another weekend!

I knew this was going to be a tiring weekend before it even started. The thing about living in Georgia again and living in the far northern corner of Georgia is that when things happen in the Atlanta area, it's a day trip... although it can sometimes be a "very long day" day trip.

From the beginning of time... ok, not really... from the beginning of when my kids started dance.... they have been friends with Josh. And as long as the boys have been friends with Josh, he's been spending the weekends with my boys. He was just a regular. He spent the night with us at the trailer. When we moved to Woodstock he would come and spend the night with us there. When my boys moved in with my parents, he would spend the night there. He even has a key to my parents' house! I don't even have a key to my parents' house! Josh was with us in Jacksonville last 4th of July for what I referred to as "boomapalooza". He spent the night at my parents' house Friday night, the night before his wedding. He's just a member of the family.

Josh and Megan have been dating for about as long as we have known Josh. They've had a very mature relationship in that they have always managed to have a healthy balance. They spend quality time together but they also maintained friendships and spent quality time apart. That's probably the smartest thing to do in a relationship: maintain your own identity. I'm not saying that people in love shouldn't spend time together. I'm saying that people in love don't have to constantly be together to know that they are loved.

So yesterday Josh and Megan got married! They are a sweet couple... both smart and ambitious and gregarious. I'm going to post pictures in a separate entry but I wanted to give that background so you know that this wedding was precious to me because Josh is (yet another) of the awesome men in my life. It was yet another reminder to me of how many male lives I have had the opportunity to share... as a sister / mom / friend. And I'm realizing that I do a good job at this role. I think it hit home for me a bit more yesterday while I was hanging out with the groomsmen in the little groom's cottage before the wedding. I'm always with the guys. How does that happen?

The wedding was in Newnan, which is about two hours south of us. On the way down there we had to make a few stops (I mean, if you're driving through civilization, you have to make the most of it!). It poured rain on us. Atlanta highways are stressful in good weather. In the rain they are pure white knuckle driving. We made it... we made it early enough for me to hang out with the guys and take some pictures. We were able to sit on the second row in the ceremony so I got more good pictures! The rain held off during the ceremony and reception so I was able to take advantage of more photo ops.

After the wedding I had dinner with my friend A.T. It wasn't a great day for her but we've been friends for a LOOONG time. We've seen each other through a lot of bad days. She was the one who came and packed me up and helped get me out of Jacksonville. We went out for pizza and girl talk.

Then I drove to my parents to pick up Austin... drove the two hours home... got on the phone with my buddy and talked until I finally fell asleep ON THE PHONE with him. I got up late this morning and missed Sunday school... but I did go to worship service and it was great! My girls had surprises for ME today... pictures of them... and I had surprises for them - bubbles that I saved from the wedding.

Since church I have been sorta nesting this afternoon. I napped. I watched an old movie that I love on TCM... I can't even remember the name... Sunday Afternoon in New York or something like that. It stars Jane Fonda. Also, I FINALLY watched the Sex and the City movie. I had put off watching it because it was *yet another* thing that reminded me of Michael. He bought me the whole series of Sex and the City on dvd on our first Christmas. We had a crappy time together that year and I stayed in bed watching almost the whole series over my Christmas vacation. He was mad at me for something (I don't even know what now) and spent an entire day in the closet in the dark. At the time it really stressed me out but it really just reminds me now that I was not the only one with issues in that relationship... so while he pouted in the closet, I watched Sex and the City, the whole series. And when the movie came out... as much as I loved the show... I just couldn't watch it. When it came out on dvd, I couldn't bring myself to watch it... but today... it was ok. Things get easier over time.

Now... pictures to post... I posted all of these in Facebook, I'll just post the highlights here...

Friday, March 27, 2009

the truth will set you free

Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free. John 8:32

In some ways I've had a hard time articulating lately. It's like... I've been in such a place of deep introspection that unless you were with me and had it all in context, it just wouldn't make sense to you. Some days it's more like I just absorb things rather than think them. I have been in a place of true peace. Peace that passes all understanding.

And the peace of God which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Phillipians 4:7

Getting the divorce papers gave me a sense of closure. I haven't mailed them back yet. I have to do that very soon. Of course, if I don't mail them back, then it just happens. I either have to dispute or agree or do nothing. There is a form I have to get off the internet and include with the papers and I just haven't done it yet.

Getting the divorce papers also brought me to a place of peace. I no longer have to convince Michael of anything. I no longer have to battle him. I no longer have to carry the burden of worrying where we will live and whether he'll take this job or that job or whether or not he's coming home at night. There was so much instability in my relationship with him, which is ironic, as I was seeking stability when I moved in with him.

The truth that set me free was knowing that all of the things that I was looking for in Michael, I already had in myself. It's in knowing that all of the things that I think I need from a relationship, I already have. I'm really ok all by myself. After my first divorce I worked so hard at having someone in my life. Anyone. Under any conditions. It was as if I was afraid of what people would think about me if I wasn't "coupled". That I would be pitied. That there would be assumptions of why I was alone. That I was a caricature of a lonely fat girl with a bunch of gay men around her. I tried to validate myself through relationships. And in that search for validation, found one unstable relationship after another.

There is an enormous amount of freedom in knowing that there is only one opinion that matters: God's. If I am where He wants me to be, I will be stable and safe and happy. Even when things go wrong, I am happy. Even when the sands are shifting and my balance is off and I feel like I'm falling, I am stable. The days of my life are already numbered and He knows how long I have. He knows how I will die and when I will die and there is nothing that can pluck me from His hand.

Nothing. Not even myself.

I don't have to be alone. There are a couple of guys in my life who want to be a bigger part of my life and I have said no. I have chosen to be where I am, to be who I am, to be how I am. I decided that I can't trust myself to give my heart to anyone with any sense of security that my heart will be safe. I can't risk the kind of devastation and hurt I felt with Michael. I can't risk feeling that desperate ever again. So my deal with God is that my heart is His and He can choose who to give it to. Until He does, if He ever does, I will be satisfied that what I have is what I'm supposed to have.

There is someone special in my life. Someone that I really dig. Someone who understands me spiritually and accepts the craziness of my recent life and the drama that has surrounded me. He is honest with me and he cares enough about me to say, "girl, you are NOT ready". He encourages me to heal and to not rush. He is kind and funny and caring. He calls me in the middle of the day and makes me laugh - no matter what kind of mood I'm in. He's the one person who understood on the day that I found out Michael had filed for divorce that I was sad because I loved Michael. He asks nothing of me. He sends me bible verses. We discuss theology. Michael was smart - the smartest man I've ever known. This man is wise. He puts God first. He prioritizes his family. He is honest and open and disciplined. I've spent a lot of time talking to him and I will tell you honestly, that I hoped that he was "the one". But it has become clear to me that he isn't.

It would seem that would be discouraging... but not really. Some of the most precious people in my life have come into my life through platonic situations. Purple Michael - I love him. He always makes me laugh. I know he's there for me... but he will never fall in love with me. I can't imagine life without him. Attorney Matt - my little brother in Christ - wise and talented and adorable and precious - but he is a brother and I knew right away that he would always be a brother to me. My friend Scott - Scooter - who has been around so long that I have pictures of him changing Ryan's diapers! - he's an amazing man of God and good lookin' - but I know who he is meant to be in my life and I'm so glad to call him friend. Robert Drake - who really *gets* romance and knows how to say and do the right things and who sends me great postcards and leaves incredible comments on my blog. He is a friend. And I have brothers and sons and stepsons and cousins... can you see how blessed I am?

The truth is that God brought another treasure into my life right at the time He knew I would need a friend who could speak the truth in love to me. God knew I needed someone who understood me even when I didn't understand myself and who would earn my respect to such a degree that he could hold a mirror in front of me and force me to take an honest look. I am so grateful. I am even more grateful to not have the pressure of romance. He's right. I'm not ready. I'm not healed. I'm not "over it". I'm at peace. I'm no longer bitter. I am at a place that I never thought I'd be as far as forgiveness is concerned. Truth has set me free.

Ok. Enough of the serious stuff. Today I broke out in hives and I have never done that before. I'm not sure what caused it. I'm taking the same meds that I've been taking for awhile. I haven't added anything new. I had my standard yogurt for breakfast, kashi meal for lunch. I had the fruit and walnut salad from McDonalds today - which wasn't soft but it was healthy and sooo good! I was emailing with Whitney at the time and she said, "quick, get some benadryl". But I can't take it with the other stuff I'm on. I had an appointment coming in and I just did what Duane calls, "fake it until you make it". I did. I'm still feeling a bit tingly and weird but... it hasn't spread.

The local Kiwanis talent show was tonight and I wanted to go but also wanted some good nest time. Tomorrow is Joshy's wedding... it's going to be a long, wet day. It's supposed to be an outdoor wedding but they have plans "b and c" if necessary. I have wardrobe plans a, b and c as well. I'm going early so I can take pictures and I'll share them. Josh is gorgeous and his bride is gorgeous and I'm gonna be a soppy, sappy mess but I'm so happy for him!

Time to hit save... this laptop still isn't repaired and the odd position I'm having to sit in is making me ache. Love y'all!

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

really quick stuff

Seriously. This cat is driving me nuts. Why must he lick my toes?

Earaches are 8 on a scale of 1-10 today.

Church tonight.

Pick Austin up from tutoring in about twenty minutes. Hope he got some stuff accomplished.

Emailed with Purple Michael today. I told him we needed to make some new babies because all our babies are grown up now...

He said his mother just cried out with joy at the thought. She always wanted us to have a baby together. She asked me to have his children in the middle of worship service at church on Easter Sunday of 2003. She wasn't deterred by the news that I couldn't have kids and he wasn't interested in doing what was necessary to make babies.

Ryan is home. Haven't seen him yet.

I don't wish Bad Kat bad karma. I just want her to understand that she doesn't understand. Being "right" in this situation was almost a tragedy. Sometimes people don't know what they're talking about.

No, Jen, you never said, "I told you so". Nobody could have possibly predicted the things that happened.

Would you believe me if I told you I'm over it? I just don't have the bitter, angry feelings any more. It happened. I put myself in his path. God knows (and MJD readily admits) that he wasn't a good husband to me. It can't be changed now and I can't spend the rest of my life as "the woman scorned". I've got too much living to do.

I talked to Joshy today... he's getting married on Saturday... my son's best friend for years... I'm so excited for him. He and Megan have been together forever... they've been engaged FOREVER! They waited until she finished school. Once they get married he will go back to school. They've been smart about things. Patient. They've had a healthy balance.

I've got to head out the door. Love and hugs, y'all!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

a bunch of stuff

I had a lot of things on my mind to blog about today but then I saw this comment...

kat has left a new comment on your post "i need a vacay!": Glad to see you left Michael and came to your senses. I was the one you got mad and wrote a journal entry about me because I told you to kick him to the curb a few years ago. Feels good to say Told you so.

and THAT stopped me cold in my tracks. Does it feel good for my life to have fallen apart? How satisfying is it to be able to say "I told you so"? Do you have any idea what it cost me? Makes me wonder why I blog.... so that strangers can feel some sick sense of validation at my personal pain? Get a life, girl. Anyone who reads my blog to be able to take pleasure in my pain, please click the big red x in the corner. I certainly don't need your nasty comments.

Now... here's what I had intended to blog about...

Ryan is going to be in Atlanta tonight. I can't wait to see him! My Booboo!

Cody has finally gotten the corrected title so we can get his car tagged so I can stop hearing the "have you heard anything?" comments. What an amazing gift he has been given... so the paperwork took a little while to get in order... it's better than anything he would have had otherwise.

Cody had big news for me today. I haven't asked if I can share it so I'll sit on it for a few more days.

Austin has been a major slacker at school recently. He doesn't know it yet but he's staying after until 5:30 tomorrow to make up work... he usually stays until 4:30 on
wednesdays but we're not having dinner at church tomorrow night.

My friend Hana's husband is being inaugurated as president of Truett McConnell college. This is a major big deal. Emir is the first former muslim to be president of a southern baptist college. They're cool people and I'm honored to know them. Our church is hosting a dinner in Emir's honor tomorrow night for all the dignitaries in town for the event.

Everything is in bloom here and it's beautiful. We have rain coming in tonight and it's supposed to be curly weather through the weekend. Goodbye drought! I hope.

I got a fabulous postcard from Robert Drake today! If I haven't mentioned it lately, I LOVE Robert Drake! Every girl should have a friend like him.

Every girl should also have a Cory. I haven't talked about him a lot because I didn't quite know what to say. I spent a lot of years being a "fag hag". Now I'm finding myself as a "straight mate". He and I have a connection that goes beyong the intimacy I ever had with Michael...Super guy... no romantic interaction... just a great friend/another brother... He's been through a lot of the same stuff I've been through and we just "get" each other. There is zero pressure to impress or be girlie or cute with him... he's just a buddy... he's only going to be a buddy for me... Cory and I have spent hours on the phone in the past few weeks and he has become quite special to me. He's - as Whitney would say - the New Jam.

Speaking of Whitney... she's having an amazingly successful year selling life insurance. I'm so proud of my girl! We email back and forth almost every day. She was definitely the best thing that happened to me in Jax.

I talked to a State Farm agent today that I interviewed with back in the week or so that I was trying to decide whether or not to stay in Atlanta or move to Jax. He wanted to hire me... I decided to go to Jacksonville. I needed an agent to witness a signature in Dunwoody two miles from his office. He found out I was back in Georgia and said he was still hiring if I was interested. I'm not. I can't imagine ever leaving here!

That's something else I don't really articulate well because I don't know how to say it. I love my job here. It's stressful and hectic and there are some issues that need to be sorted through but Duane is the best boss I've ever had. I can tell him anything. We cut up a lot but I have a healthy respect for him. I loved Tommy to pieces... he was good to me. Kathy and I never quite clicked. Duane and I are a lot alike and have a similar spirituality which is so helpful. He places a lot of faith in me... which still surprises me... that anyone would find me capable of anything! But he does. I love it here... and I love my job... and I'll stay put as long as the Lord will let me.

You have to check out Kathy's website. There is this little mini Kathy that pops up on the screen and talks to you. www.kathyscottinsurance.com Several of the agents are doing this now. There is one out of Wisconsin that pops up in her robe and curlers with a laundry basket... it's cutie patootie... can't remember the link.

So... the whole ear/jaw pain ... once I finished the meds... the pain came back. I'm still on a relatively soft diet (although I'm planning on Longhorn's tomorrow! woohoo!) and I'm still doing the retainer/splint deal. It's basically like when knee cartilage wears out... only it's in my face... if you can imagine having an overuse injury to your jaw. Ha! So I talked to the oral surgeon yesterday and he's ordered an mri to see how extensive things are and if there's any improvements with the meds. I can't stay on prescription strength motrin and flexeril forever. Nor can I afford to be out of work for surgery. Not sure what to do... but I'll go see him...

Ok... time to cook some dinner.... peace, love, hugs y'all!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

i need a vacay!

Where did my weekend go? Between working yesterday morning and shopping all afternoon (not fun shopping - stressful "have to" shopping)... and then church this morning.... a few hours in between and then Austin's bible drill competition in one short hour... we have just been going nonstop.

I did manage to clean out my closet last night and that felt awesome! My clothes are all neatly arranged and separated. I also cleaned out some relics from my time with Michael that I don't want to throw away but don't want to look at every day. I still had all of our paperwork from our Vegas wedding trip in my lingerie "drawer" -which like everything else around here is really in a rubbermaid container... because I'm stuck in "first apartment" decor still... yet still so glad that it's my place. All mine.

This morning in Sunday school we talked about marriage... ironic, huh? The week I get my divorce papers. I'm in a really diverse group of ladies on Sunday mornings. Some have been married for 50 years... some newleyweds... and me. We talked about how sometimes Christians are justified to leave marriages. My pastor's wife teaches the class... she was very specific that abuse is an acceptible reason to leave a marriage... and she was specific that verbal and emotional abuse is harmful. I have been very careful about how I tell my story at church. I just spoke up long enough to say that there is hope... that God doesn't expect us to stay in destructive situations... and I believe this. Truly God has blessed my separation from Michael.

I have some crazy allergy stuff going on. Everything is in bloom! It's beautiful! I need to take pictures but I have (of course) not had time. My nose is running and my eyes are running and my head hurts.... which is probably part of the reason I feel so overwhelmed. I just want to get all my stuff in order and I also really want to get some rest. Next week is another marathon week. I think Austin and I will be heading home after bible drill. I love my church but I just can't be there for everything. If I did the whole kit & kaboodle today it would mean spending seven hours in church today... I just can't. Some times I just have to be realistic about the fact that I am a single working mother... working six days a week most weeks... I just don't believe that God intends for me to be in church for seven hours on the one day I'm off. I just don't.

It probably was not a great weekend for us to have Devin spend the night (in retrospect). Devin and Austin have a great time together but they're also a two man wrecking crew. I have expended a great amount of energy just getting the house back to "frat house"... it was "post cat five hurricane" when I got home from work yesterday. Austin has done most of the work but he doesn't work independently. It requires constant supervision!

Church was awesome this morning, though. It's always good to be there. I just have to have some balance in my life. Leaving work early on Wednesday to be at church means working on Saturday to make up the time. It's just a lot on me.

I need a wife. Or a handy man. I sent my friend Cory a honey-do list. He's two hours away but he's the handiest of the men I know... he can change the blinds that Austin broke... unstop the toilet that Austin stopped up... reattach the drivers side mirror that got knocked off.... all that sort of guy stuff. With Ryan and Cody around, they could repair the stuff Austin broke. Now that it's just me and Austin... and I'm the least mechanically inclined left-handed person you have EVER met... the to-do list just keeps growing.

Ok... this is just a big old whiny post and I really need to get dressed for bible drill. Love and hugs, y'all. And yes... it's ok to post responses in facebook instead of in here. Love and hugs.

Saturday, March 21, 2009

pictures from today... life is good!





































Friday, March 20, 2009

my rockin' friday...

This post will not be in chronological order. I apologize.

Devin is here. Devin is my cousin Kevin's little boy. Ok... little boy who will be 17 in May. He is also Austin's lifelong best friend. Austin has had so much going on at church lately that he hasn't had time to hang with Devin. I thought Devin was coming tomorrow night but when I got home tonight, his parents were in the driveway. They (wisely) opted not to leave Beavis and Butthead alone together.

TMZ is on. I still have a crush on the blonde guy. He's a guilty pleasure for me. I don't crush much or often. I'm sorta past all that. But the TMZ guy is purty.

I got home later than usual because I took Sarabeth to a spend the night party. I'm not sure we're ready for Sarabeth to be old enough for spend the night parties but ... her friend Jessalyn was having a sleepover with a dozen squealing little girls and SB was invited. Jamie gets really upset when they drop sister off and she doesn't get to stay so Angie brought SB to me at the office and I took her to the party. It was on my way home. Jessalyn is the daughter of Austin's science teacher (because there is only a degree and a half of separation around here). Her dad went to the same church I did when I was a kid -and the whole family, of course, goes to our church now. His mother (Jessalyn's grandma) was one of my bible study teachers. Yes, it's a small world after all. Jessalyn embarassed her mother by asking Sarabeth, "did you remember to bring a present?" Her mom turned red. I said, "it's ok... you know my child is missing a filter between his brain and mouth". She agreed.

God bless Sarabeth's friend Jorjanne (daughter of my friend Natalie)... she was very sweetly introducing Sarabeth to the little girls she didn't know. Sarabeth lives in Habersham county and the other little girls live in White county. What maturity for a child to think to introduce people!

I stayed up half the night last night talking on the phone... like I'm 15 or something. I thought it would be rough today, but it was actually ok. We were ridiculously busy - the insurance business is booming. I'm not selling commissionable products but I'm selling. I still love my job. Since Angie brought Sarabeth to me at the office the girls got to see where I work... and meet Duane.

I bought a new purse at lunch today. Retail therapy. It's naugahide... it was on clearance for $7. It's cute. It's replacing my fauxch purse... which I love but it was just too small. Maybe one day I'll have a grown up purse.

My battery is being stupidly positional and the laptop yoga isn't working for me tonight. Love and hugs, y'all.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

feelin' the love!

Whichever one of you is praying for me to be filled with joy today! God Bless you! I have been exceedingly glad. I don't know how else to say it... TIGGER, bouncing off the walls, happy... which is really significant because it was exactly six months ago today that I was in the deepest, darkest place of my life. God is amazing! I wish I could bottle and sell what I'm feeling because everyone should know this kind of joy!

My childhood friends - Teresa, Debbie and Angela (they're sisters) - their mom had open heart surgery on Monday and is doing so well she will be released from the hospital tomorrow! I'm so glad to see the continuing power of prayer in their lives and pray for mom to continue to recover. They lost their dad a few years ago.

I heard a great story today for my "life in a small town" file...
This old timer slowed down to turn into his driveway and was struck from behind. The police were called (the one who told me said, "poh-leece" if that helps you hear the story better!). As they investigated the accident it became apparent that Old timer had not signaled before turning. He explained it to the poh-leece-mun this way, "Well, Bill... you know I've been living in that same house for fifty years. I figgered everybody in these parts knew I'd be turning into my driveway". He didn't get a ticket. This is a true story.

Kelly - I'm thinking that if you come to my neck of the woods, I can surely find you a place to stay! Give me the dates... I'm all a-tingle just thinking about it! I'd be willing to bet that we could get Mary to come over from Alabama for a visit at the same time... we might even be able to wage a full-scale Blogger Babe attack if we're careful! I bet I could even get the fabulous Dr. Drake to make an appearance if we give him a few months notice so he can work us into his incredibly busy schedule. The Bear is too much of a Snuffalupagus for a command performance but I think I could plan a full day of Corset fun for you and yours.

Speaking of the fabulous Dr. Drake... am I a Joan Rivers or a Tina Turner? Hmmm... I think in some ways I'm a bit more of a Tina, regrettably. I've almost decided I want to keep the name, mostly out of laziness. I figure... at some point in the future I'll marry again and it's already such a huge pain to document Gant to Sauls to Darby. I can't imagine the headache of documenting Gant to Sauls to Darby to Gant to ... whatever. And in some ways, remembering the Darby is healthy for me. It's a measurement for me of just how far I've come.

As I was telling Austin last night when he asked for the thirty-third time since Monday if I could maybe just please possibly consider going back to Sauls... I love the Darbys. Some of 'em might not think I'm exactly a gem right now but I have an enormous amount of respect for them. I love my (soon to be ex) mother-in-law. I think she's such a strong, intelligent woman. I adored my (STBE) sister-in-law, ditto for her. and Tim was always a great source of entertainment and usually had my back (at least to my face) and prayed for me, which means so much to me, especially now! I love the Darby kids. I will always see Stephen as my step-son. I will always worry after Bobby. I will always remember Elijah screaming "I love you, Curious George" during our visit to the library and Christopher greeting me with an excited "Aunt Heather's here!" I'll always remember Charity getting on Uncle Mike's case when he took the bread away from me at her 21st birthday dinner...

What I'm saying... obviously, bad stuff happened during that time period in my life but it wasn't all bad stuff. There are lots of great memories and I'm grateful. I was proud to be Michael's wife, up until that last month or so. My heart breaks at the thought that he didn't know how to accept or return my love. I mean... you guys all know that I'm a loving person! Some of you know just from what you read here! So imagine living with me... having me wear myself out to show you love and respect and you still being unable to feel loved. There was the potential for greatness.

The thing is... I have more spiritual and emotional intimacy with you guys than I ever had with my husband. I never knew what he was doing or where he was going or what his plans were. I wasn't included in any important decisions or allowed to even go shopping with him unless it just happened to be on the way we were already going and even then I had very little say in what was bought. Bobby had more spending power than me! I say this not out of bitterness but because the key to me in not grieving is realizing that I didn't lose much more than frustration and hurt. How I wish there could have been more! How I longed to know his secrets and to be his confidant and to spend time with him and to share those little inside jokes and to grow to be each other's best friend. I make a great friend. My heart grieves not for my own loss, but for his, in what he had without knowing... my heart will go on, not to be sappy, but the truth is that I AM a great girl and I have an enormous amount of love to give and there will be some lucky man to benefit from Michael's loss.

My yiddish is a bit weak, Robert, so you may have to translate schmegeggie for me! I don't know much more of them-there Jewish terms than what I learned doing Crossing Delancey. But the truth is that we lived in a house of cards and they all came tumbling down. There's nothing to gain from him. It's not a matter of not having anything to lose, there's just nothing to gain. Fighting back - in the sense of contesting the divorce - means the cost of retaining an attorney, traveling to Jacksonville - probably more than once - time, emotional energy and money that I just don't have. I may regret it some day, just as I regret much of my relationship with him, but I am not in a position to fight. It's not a matter of choice for me. Poor people have to just trust God to fight for them, like it says in Exodus 14:14 - "the Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still".

In this, I need to be still. Jeanne, I'll scan the papers in today and try to email them to you. It's really just a form that says, "it didn't work" and "we ain't got nuttin'". It's not sinister. There's nothing hidden... there's nothing to it. Mary, ditto, I'll let you see if you find any hint of danger.

Well. Typing this has taken my whole lunch hour, what with interruptions and trying to scarf down a smart ones calzone and some cheese and crackers. I still have a yogurt parfait to go... maybe later...

Loved ones, know that you are all so precious to me... I pray that God returns to you ten-fold the blessing that you have been for me. Six months later and... life is good!
love and hugs, y'all!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

life is too funny

This made me laugh and I couldn't wait until I get home to comment on it:

Yes, I can understand wanting to paint half your face blue, toss on the Catholic School Girl Skirt, run to the mountain side and scream "FREEDOM!" (BTW, if you do this, please video tape)

Ok... I have to do this just because I made me laugh so hard to think about it! Today I'm dressed more like lost member of the Duggar family with a skirt down to my ankles and my hair hanging long like it's a religious statement of sorts. But the school girl skirt... yes, that would make for some good video... blue face or not.

I'm already planning my post-divorce tattoo. More on that later. Work is busy. love and hugs!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

a drive by

Just a quickie... who knows how long this battery will last? *laugh* I might one day get this repaired... right now it's helping me be disciplined and not spend as much time online!

Picked up the divorce papers. They're just generic... just a form that says, "we don't like each other any more... we don't have kids together... we have no marital property".... that's all true. Nothing to dispute there. I can contest. I don't know that it's worth the effort or money. I mean, what do I want from him, other than to not be married to him? I can counter sue in Georgia and file on grounds of adultery... but what does that gain for me other than for it to be in the public record?

I know y'all want me to be protected but there are no children. No court in the country is going to give me anything more than what he's already given me. It's just spinning our wheels. I will need legal help to complete the stupid form, unfortunately.

And to prove my bi-polarity, I love the new Old Navy commercial... the one with the mannequins... the girl's name is Heather and her finger breaks off. I laugh every time I see it.

I stopped by the Cottage House restaurant for chicken tenders and broccoli casserole to soothe my hurt feelings on the way home... and I think all it did was grow my butt... but, whatever... it will all be ok.

From the life in a small town file: while waiting at the White County Law Enforcement building the nice big ole sheriff asked if I had been fishin' yet today. "Now that's a crime, not fishin' in this weather". I said, "honey, I'm a city girl, I'd have to have somebody along to bait my hook". He said, "well, I'd let you off so long as you'd sit on the riverbank and soak up the sun". "Deal". Seriously.

I'm not sure why they couldn't serve the papers to me. I asked the sheriff if it was because they were filed with my address listed as "Wanda St" instead of "Wanda Dr". He laughed and said, "we all know there's only one road named Wanda around here"... I was trying to think of some Fish Named Wanda / Road Named Wanda connection but I've got nothing.

I wonder why they didn't try to serve me at Wednesday night bible study... I mean, there are no secrets in this town. The girl down at the Rite Aid knows what size panty hose I wear... the girl at the Cottage House Restaurant knows I want a dinner roll instead of cornbread.... the only question would be if my brother Jim that's the pastor at First Baptist church is the tall Jim or the Jim that golfs.

Wow. This turned out to be longer than I expected.

Better hit save before my luck runs out. Love and hugs, y'all!




Monday, March 16, 2009

well...

I don't know how to title this entry and I don't have much battery therefore I don't have much time to write this!

I got a call from the White County sheriff's office today. Apparently they have been trying to serve me with "civil suit" (divorce) papers since February 23rd. I *apparently* work too much to be served. I don't know. I haven't seen any notices that they had been by... but whatever... the lady who called said, "well, your husband called to see why we hadn't served you and we told him we thought you were avoiding service". She said that he told her he was sure I wasn't. I'm not. I'm relieved. One less thing for me to pay for.

She told me I could stop by any time to pick them up. I planned to do it tomorrow but I'm a little nervous about my reaction. I'm relieved, trust me. It's inevitable. I'm in a FAR better place regarding this divorce than I was six months ago! I just don't know if I can make it through the next nine hours at the office after reading them. It may be an after work thing. As long as it's in progress.

It's almost over.

I sent out a mass text. Barry was the first to write back... asking if I was ok. I think I am. I need to have a good cry. Now seems like a good time. I'm gonna be ok. I really did love him and I really believe he loved me. But I know that God has a beautiful life planned for me.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

it aint fixed but it's working...

My crazy, temperamental laptop has been working this afternoon. I will have to get Austin to take a picture of the insane yoga contortionist pose I have to be in to push the power cord against my leg at just the perfect angle to allow the durn thing to work... but I've had about two hours online this afternoon... more than I've had in the whole last week put together!

No word from Barry over the past week... the more things change, the more they stay the same! Ha! This is exactly how things were with us three years ago when he said, "You should date other people..." And I did... and married MJD... and had my life turned topsy turvy... full of drama while Barry's essentially stayed the same. So he came and spent a great day with me and then... nothing. But, you know, I'm fine with it. It is what it is... we've had a very stable relationship with very little drama but the underlying reason is probably because he never changes, know what I mean? I have enjoyed his company over the years, I know that if I ever need him, he's a great big solid muscular shoulder *hubba hubba* to lean on... and I know that the beauty of our relationship is in the fact that he is who he is.

I guess the secret to happiness is accepting the people in your life for who they are, right? And not being surprised when people do exactly what they've always done... Michael used to have this saying about a scorpion being a scorpion... based on the story below...

The story is about a scorpion asking a frog to carry him across a river. The frog is afraid of being stung, but the scorpion reassures him that if it stung the frog, the frog would sink and the scorpion would drown as well. The frog then agrees; nevertheless, in mid-river, the scorpion stings him, dooming the two of them. When asked why, the scorpion explains, "I'm a scorpion; it's my nature."

Which actually... was fairly prophetic for me, wasn't it?

I've been in sort of a place of quiet introspection with my lack of internet access. In a way, I've been lonely...no, that's not true... I've been purposely spending some time alone but I haven't been lonely. I've been talking with a friend quite a bit... I haven't talked to Dean in a week or so. I know he thinks I'm a horrible BFF... I just have needed a break from the intensity of the situation. My life is just not about Michael any more. Not at all. I pray for him daily. I wish him well. I hope that he will file for divorce soon as I really can't afford to (ok, replace my laptop or get a divorce...hmmmm? which would you choose?) I just needed a little time to not have to think about what Michael or Andrea are or are not doing. There was something about being with Barry last weekend that gave me closure... I mean, closure has come in increments along the pathway... there are lots of little red letter moments for me... but seeing Barry... curling up beside him in a way that I haven't done since the day I met Michael... literally, the last time Barry and I were together was the Tuesday before my first date with Michael on Saturday... it was like a time warp... almost like being married to Michael never happened.

And yet I will say that if all of that had to happen for my life to be what it is now, it was worth it. Worth every bit of it.

I brought the girls some bubble gum for their surprise today. I give them lots of surprises but they're usually only little dollar store treats. Jamie asked for gum last night when I picked Austin up from church so I stopped this morning on the way to church and bought gum... and when I saw Jamie after church she said, "do you have gum?" I told her I did... she said, "do you have some for my sister too?" Awwww... such sweet sisters!

I spent yesterday being totally lazy and watching movies. I watched Knocked Up Friday night and yesterday I watched From Here to Eternity. I had never seen either. I read a few magazines. I napped. It was heaven! My kitchen floor didn't get mopped and the laundry didn't get folded and you know what? The world did not come to an end!

Time to get ready for church... Austin needs to be there in twenty minutes... leave me comments, I can access the blog from work even though I can't get on facebook from there... miss y'all! Love and hugs!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

spring time in the mountains!

Spring has come to the mountains. I'll post pictures whenever I can....

On Sunday the trees were bare and on Monday everything was in full bloom. It's like one of those movies where you note the passing of time by the trees… golden and orange and fiery red when I first arrived… then the cold bare branches in the winter… and now everything in beautiful pale pinks and purples and white…

It's like life is starting again. Especially mine.

I met Michael in the spring. Our first date was on April Fools Day (that'll teach me, right?). Our first month together was a kaleidescope of places… walking on the nature trail… Stone Mountain… the baseball fields where our kids played… Boston… all in the beautiful fresh spring air. Everything is fresh and new viewed through eyes that are falling in love.
I left Michael at the end of a long hot summer. Fall had not yet even thought about coming to Jacksonville when I left. Fall was just beginning when I arrived here Helen. My first weeks here were cloaked in the kind of fall scenery you can only enjoy in the mountains. It was as if God was saying, "I'm giving you beauty for ashes". The dust of that old pain for the splendor of new hope. Even as the leaves died and fell off the trees, the beauty of the mountains spoke to my heart… reminding me that God is powerful. Eternal. Able to set mountains in place and able to carry me over mountains, even those of my own making.

I'm missing having my usual access to cyberspace but I'm also breaking some bad habits by not spending every evening tethered to it. It's good to spend time with the three dimensional people. It's good to read. To actually talk to my son. To talk on the phone.

Sunday was the first day that my computer usage was really hampered and I spent half the day in church and half the day with Barry. Barry and I did what we always used to do - watched tv. It's a cheap date but it was comforting to have some of that old normal back in my life. He was a great comfort to me. In some ways he was hurt that I started dating Michael at all. Not that he had any claims on me… he certainly wasn't making a move toward permanence. It hurt him that I didn't really contact him while I was with Michael. It just seemed inappropriate. But underneath it all, he was my friend and he missed our friendship. So did I. I missed a lot of people. I've been blessed to be able to reconnect with a lot of friends and have made a lot of new friends in the process. Life is good.

Today I had lunch at a little chain mexican restaurant, El Jinete, up here in Hooterville. There was another El Jinete near our house in Woodstock. Michael took us out to dinner there the night that he showed me the house he intended for us to move into. It was such an exciting time… of course, the kids were fighting like cats and dogs throughout the whole process… I just remember rushing through that big empty house and being in complete awe that it was going to be where I lived. It was a beautiful home… but somehow the beauty of the structure couldn't undo the ugliness of the hurts that happened there. Same for the beach in Jacksonville. Where the mountains have helped and healed me, the beach felt like a hot, messy, scattered wasteland. The ocean reminded me of the huge barrier between myself and God. Between myself and the people I love. Between myself and happiness. Ultimately, though, beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Being here has made me grateful for the simple things… like curling up with an old friend to watch tv.

I think I have someone who can repair my laptop, hopefully inexpensively. It's a friend of my brother's.

Tonight I'm having dinner with my friend Natalie. She's the one I talked about back in January - her husband committed suicide three years ago. I post a lot of pictures of her daughter, Jorjanne, as she is Sarabeth's best friend. I don't think Natalie and I have ever had the chance to speak two sentences in a row. We're always at church or at birthday parties or somewhere where there are a lot of people and EVERYbody wants to talk to Natalie. I'm excited to have her all to myself for a whole meal! Jorjanne will be at gymnastics and Austin will be home.

Tomorrow the teenagers at our church are starting a fast for world hunger and Austin is participating. They're fasting for 30 hours… I'm not quite sure how well austin will do with that… but they'll be involved in a lot of activities to keep them occupied. We'll have a worship service Friday night at 7pm and Saturday morning at 9am. I'm planning to go to both. It can't hurt, right? I told Sarabeth she could sit with me in worship service and we'd color with my sharpie markers. She said, "Does that mean I can't eat either?" I said… "Oh no, honey… you and Aunt Heather are gonna eat!".

Even though we're not missing meals… spending the weekend in church three times (counting Sunday morning) and away from the computer for the most part… should be good cleansing for me. I've been working on avoiding bitterness and bad memories over the past two weeks… really focusing on forgiveness, not just for others but also for myself. I've been enjoying the life that I have here without regret. Did I mention that life is good?

There's someone new in my life - not a "boyfriend" or even a dating interest… just a new friend who has struggled himself and has found his way. He's a great source of encouragement for me and we've spent many, many hours on the phone in the past week or two. It's good stuff….
So that's the haps for now… once the laptop is working or replaced I'll be more consistent with reading and writing blogs but for now… just know that it's all good. Love and hugs, y'all!

Monday, March 9, 2009

out of pocket

Well. My friend the laptop is not doing well. Just as the little salesman said at the Frye's Electronics two weeks ago... the problem is not with the power cords, it's with the pin inside my plug inside the laptop. It's stopped working again. I'm going to try to find someone who can fix it for a reasonable amount of money... but in the meantime... I'm offline. I can read my blog from work but I can't access aol email or facebook. You KNOW I'm grieving the loss of facebook!

I sort of look at this as a season for me to climb out of the nest, look around, see what is out there in my 3D world.... work on my home more, work on my relationship with the Lord more, be present for Austin more. I got a great texting plan on my little po-phone so I can text for next to nothing... if you need my cell number, leave a comment with either your email address or phone number so I can text the number to you.

I spent yesterday with Barry. *smile* Wouldn't YOU LIKE to know?

We actually had a really nice and really normal time together. It was as if those three years in between hadn't existed... except for the part where I cried in his arms for half an hour... out of pure joy and relief to be there... *sigh*... we went out for mexican, took Austin to bible drill, came home and curled up together to watch tv. It was nice. And lest the trolls rear their ugly head in my absence, I remain faithful to my marriage vows.

Time to get busy here. I miss you guys!
love and hugs!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

sing along Saturday

This entry brought to you courtesy of Magic 102 out of Clarkesville, Georgia. Bet you can't read the lyrics without singing the song in your head!

So put me on a highway, show me a sign and take it to the limit one more time…

Every time you go away… you take a piece of me with you

Every time I look into your loving eyes… I see a love that money just can't buy…
Anything you want… you got it… anything you need… you got it…

If I was the king of the world… I tell you what I'd do…

She can ask for the truth but she'll never believe.

If we couldn't laugh we just would go insane.

I gave all my money and my time. I know it's a shame, but I'm giving you back your name.

Guess I'll be on my way. I won't be back to stay.

What's love got to do, got to do with it? What's love but a second hand emotion? I've been thinking of my own protection. It scares me to feel this way.

Do a little dance… make a little love… get down tonight.

We built this city on rock'n'roll...

And the secrets that we shared… and the mountains that we moved… And I remember what she said to me, how she swore that it never would end… I remember how she held me oh so tight… wish I didn't know now what I didn't know then

In bed, with the covers on your head, pretend like you are dead, I know… the rhythm is gonna get you…

I tell ya once more before I get on the floor… don't bring me down…

They just don't write 'em like that any more

Takin' care of business - it's alright, takin' care of business and workin' overtime...

Yesterday was the Memorial Service for my grandma's sweetie. God love her… she's just the sweetest lady… my Steel Magnolia… she has survived one heartbreaking divorce, single motherhood, the death of a spouse, and now her companion has passed away at 93. And she still managed to have her lipstick on and hair fixed just right yesterday. Jerry had lost his quality of life but it's still sad. Jerry was Catholic so we attended his funeral mass. It surprised me the things that I remember from the *few* times that I attended Mass with Michael. (don't look directly at the holy water when he's flinging it! that stuff BURNS when it gets in your eyes!) I still regret that Michael and I were unable to connect on a spiritual level. Jerry was also career military so they did the whole military honors complete with taps and six gun salute. Oddly… I saw the guns… and knew what they were for… but still about came out of my skin when they fired!

Angie had a mushy moment during the inurnment (sp?) (they placed the urn with his cremated remains into the ground) and I was being the big sister and comforting her... and she said, "this is the third one she's lost"... and I said, "Yeah. Usually I get rid of mine before they die". *chirp, chirp* Ok. So it's not that funny but it made her laugh.

Funerals are sad… of course… but they also seem to serve as a bit of a family reunion. I was surprised to find the son and grandson of grandma's second husband, Harry, at the service. Son came from… I don't remember where he lives… Pennsylvania, maybe? And grandson came from Indiana with his lovely wife and little boy. I had a great time hanging with grandson when our grandparents married in… 1985, I guess it was? I don't remember much of him from his grandfather's funeral. I rode "over the mountain" with Jim and Angie so we got some bonding time.

Mama and daddy had gifts for me… a bible cover and a scarf. Mama crocheted the scarf - pink. It's cute. Daddy had wanted to buy me a new bible but I love my old bible with 20 years of sermon notes and underlined verses and such… I asked him just to get me some duct tape to hold the old one together. Instead he bought me a really nice bible cover! It's like having a brand new bible with all the good stuff still in it.

So… sad occasion… not unpleasant… God is good. I missed almost the whole day of work... so I went in to work today and made up four hours. I wrote most of this blog entry at the office (I type fast... I didn't really waste THAT much time!)

"Dr. Drake" (copyright Jen - she can't understand half of what he says so she says he must be a doctor - no dear, he's just a democrat! *teehee*) Dr Drake lured me out of the nest for a little while last night to work with Laughing Matters (check out their website here: www.laughingmatters.com) as they performed a murder mystery at the Taste of White county event.

Ok… You know I love my little neck of the woods… but having a black tie event here is GOOOD people watching. What I loved was that some of the local yokels were more ostentatious than the characters in the murder mystery! It totally cracked me up that the Taste of White County included representatives from the Huddle House. Word.

I had a great time with young Lainey the Pirate Wench (copyright Dr Drake) (not sure I had that whole moniker correct) who also happens to be the young spawn of my landlord. She's a lovely young lady and totally gets my White County sarcasm. Here you either get the jokes or you are the joke. I have such a tender heart for this place and these people and without a doubt, this place is healing… but there is some real quaintness… like the older gentleman who was complete in Colonel Sanders tails and string tie last night, God love him.

Dr. Drake - as usual - came bearing gifts from civilization- a newspaper and some of those fabulous cinnamon twists that you can get at the Publix bakery. *sigh* Publix… how I miss Publix…

Got a phone call that mama has been taken to the hospital. Angie will update me … or call the po-phone to let me know if we need to head south. Bear called. Said if I ended up going down that way he'll take me to dinner… or he'll come up tomorrow after church to hang out with me. (not holding my breath but it's a fun little game we play - pretending that he's coming up some time. He's my favorite imaginary date EVER!). I asked him to come up here and go to church with me but he's hesitant to integrate… which is crap… my friend Tiiara already integrated us! Ha! But he's uncomfortable with it… I mean… it is WHITE County! Asked where we could go to eat?… Huddle House… what we could do?… enjoy the mountains… I'm never bored here. I was FAR more bored in Jacksonville! Here there is always something going on. Like… today for instance… I'll be taking the trash out of my bathroom… bleaching some whites… changing my sheets… I mean, the fun never ends.

Austin walked down to the hair place near my office while I was working and got his hair cut so we were able to check that off the to-do list. (I called first and said, "hey... this is Heather up at Duane's office... I'm sending a shaggy headed kid down there....") We ran by Walmart after work to get his clothes for Josh's wedding... another item checked off. Angie and Jamie were at Walmart so we checked out with them and Austin was able to load Angie's purchases in her car for her. One of her students was working there and called out to "Dr. Gant" which always cracks me up. I mean, she's had her doctorate for awhile, but it still sounds weird.

Kentucky and Florida are playing this afternoon so I'm in my nest with basketball on TV. This is the LIFE!

Austin and I stopped by this BBQ place on our way home... got some brunswick stew and chopped bbq chicken for me. Mush. Mush. Mush. While we were there we saw a girl from church. Austin went up and hugged her... I thought that was pretty sweet. He's adapted to life here... run into folks you know everywhere you go and hug 'em when you see 'em.

My former boss, Kathy, is getting married today. *sigh* And they lived happily ever after... why can't I?

Having this retainer has shown me how much I do clench my teeth. Unintentionally, of course. The durn thing is getting on my nerves. Plus... I have to take it out every time I take a bite of anything - which makes me realize how often I take a bit of something...

Ok... time to go back to Facebook and read a few blogs... love and hugs, y'all!

Friday, March 6, 2009

I'm alive, Part 2

I've been a bad blogger lately, sorry!
Really, it's good news. I know that in the past when you wouldn't hear from me, it was because I was depressed or because I was on "restriction" from internet or my computer. It's not any of those things.
I've just been busy.
I feel like all I've done this week is work and sleep.
I've squeezed a few phone calls in between but I've ignored more calls than I've answered.
I'm feeling like I'm on a hamster wheel and can't get off.
So many things to do that are just not getting done. There isn't enough of me to go around.
Now... this is not a complaint. My life is full. Happy full. But sometimes I miss working part time! Sometimes I miss having someone else pay the bills. Sometimes I miss having a little help with Austin. Sometimes I miss having Cody and Ryan around to help me deal with things.
Here's my to-do list that is growing and looming like a big hairy monster over me:
get a new battery for my laptop
get my haircut
get Austin's haircut
do my taxes
turn in unreimbursed medical expenses for last year
pay bills (the money is there, haven't written checks)
give this house a good, deep cleaning
get new tires
clean out my closet
put away the last few Christmas decorations
go to the grocery store
get coffee (I've been out for a week!)
fix my leaning tower of Pisa bookshelf
get Cody added to the health insurance
get Austin something to wear for Josh's wedding
get Josh the money for Cody's tux for his wedding
get the oil changed in my car

I haven't read other blogs in two weeks. At least. I need to visit my grandma more. I need to find out what Austin has done with all of his socks. I need to find a shelf sturdy enough for my big tv in my bedroom (which has been sitting on the floor ever since I moved in). And so on and so on.

Today I'm going to try to get in a few hours at work... then go to my grandmother's sweetie's funeral... maybe back to work for a few hours... then work with Robert Drake tonight... work a few hours tomorrow to make up for hours missed... and then try to knock some stuff off that to do list above... then church most of the day Sunday and.... my head is spinning! AND WE'RE LOSING AN HOUR THIS WEEKEND!

The thing is... I feel so guilty about the things that aren't getting done but yet I'm doing all I can. I'm just putting out fires... I feel like I'm not devoting the energy and attention to work that I should... I feel like I'm not parenting the way I should... I feel like I'm shortchanging my friends and family... I feel like I'm missing lots of opportunities around here to be engaged in my community. Natalie invited me to go contradancing again tonight... no time!

So this whole blog entry is just one big whine and I haven't had time to say half of what I want to say! Have to glam and dash... be well!

Monday, March 2, 2009

I'm alive!

Ok... I just got one of those "where are you woman?" emails, so I figure I should make a blog entry. Seriously... I think I have three hundred lurkers out there... you should rise up and be counted! If I go more than 24 hours without an update y'all think I've been abducted by aliens.

Here's the deal: I'm bitter. Everyone else in Georgia got snow but this ONE little tiny town that I'm in GOT NOTHING! It's soooo unfair! I didn't get snow last year because I was living on the equator. Ok. Maybe not the equator but it was still too warm to snow. I know you people in snow land think, "what's the big deal?" but you have to understand... for a Georgia girl, snow is awesome. I only want a day of it... and I don't want to lose power or go through any weather related atrocities... but I wanted some dang snow pictures.

I finally sold a life policy today. The bad thing is that someone talked to these folks about life insurance last fall... nothing doing... I had talked to them several times over the last month and we even set a few appointments - they cancelled three times in a row and the last time their baby was in the hospital. I called on Friday to reschedule and didn't hear anything from them and then when I checked our schedules this morning they had an appointment with Duane! I was like... dang it! I worked too hard for this sale to just let it slip by. It's not the commission (ok, it's a little bit about the commission)... but it's also the fact that I spent a good bit of time explaining life insurance to the wife and helping her decide what they need. However... Duane had done the same thing with the husband. What sorta hacked me off was that the lady gave Duane the impression that she had called to schedule an appointment with him and I had intercepted the call and made it my appointment... which I would never do. Duane's a good guy, though, he had me sit in on the appointment (which was really helpful for me, he's a good salesman) and the lady *remembered* that I had called her about a problem with her car insurance and pivoted to offering life insurance. We thought we'd get two policies out of it but it turned out the lady was ineligible for the time being due to some health issues.

At any rate... I left work late after getting to work early this morning and I was just wiped out on the way home from work. I stopped at the little "meat and three" place where CnM and I went on our Friday the 13th date... and found out they have a DRIVE THRU! Hello! Drive thru! In my neck of the woods, that's golden! Their portions are so big that I ordered one meal to split between Austin and I and it was plenty.

I'm reading the book "Redeeming Love" by Francine Rivers and if you have not read it... buy it now, read it as soon as you can. You will not believe how powerful this work of fiction is... it totally demonstrates how a beautiful, Christlike romance is supposed to be. I'm not ashamed to admit that I have been reading it wistfully, thinking of the promise and hope I had when I met Michael... and the disappointment that relationship turned out to be.

I'm way behind on reading blogs... love y'all, sorry... I've been downright anti-social on blogger because I'm busy with facebook! Sorry, I go where the love is, know what I mean? I love interacting with folks...

There's probably a dozen other things I could tell you... maybe tomorrow... I want to finish my book!
Love and hugs, y'all!

Sunday, March 1, 2009

updates

Since we are mostly in agreement that the whole blogger dashboard thing pales in comparison to the AOL Journal blogger updates we are used to receiving... is there anyone who would like an email notification of when I update this blog? Comment or email me. A few of my friends :waves to Jeanne and Jen: are doing this and I think it's a good way to keep people in the loop. Now... having said that... I sometimes blog four times a day... so you may want to just check in every day or so as time permits.

Also, my friend Amanda's church was struck by lightening and burned to the ground yesterday. Please keep Twin Oaks Baptist church in your prayers!

Love and hugs, y'all!

rainy Sunday with my Jamie girl...

Our Jamie-gurl has the flu. Mom was at the Doc-in-the-box with her for a good while last night. I went over around 5:30 and had dinner at the Sautee Trail Cafe with Jim and Sarabeth... Angie went ahead to the doctor with Jamester. Jim left to go to the Discipleship Now conference... and Sarabeth and I spent the night listening to CD's and dancing to things like "The Hokie Pokie" and "On Top of Spaghetti"... we had a buuuhlast! There are worst ways to spend a Saturday night than dancing like a crazy person to the Hokie Pokie!

Then we curled up to watch the Sound of Music. Sarabeth had so many questions... we ended up in this deep theological discussion about what nuns are... what does it mean to be Catholic.... what are we? (Baptist, for the most part)... how do they make the words on top of the picture in the opening credits... how did the film the picture from on top of the mountains?... what is film?... what was it like to live back in Austria in the time of the Sound of Music?... what happened to Maria?... did she go to Heaven when she died?.... (I think she died... let me fact check that...yes, she died in 1987)... are any of the children still alive?... (looks like all but one)... why did Liesl get excited that Rolph brought a telegram... and so on and so forth... it's funny, I don't remember being that inquisitive as a child... I just loved the music and the story... I think I'm still the same way... I don't ask a lot of questions, I just enjoy the ride.

Last night Angie got home exhausted. She spent the first part of the week at Callaway Gardens at a conference for work... then came home and immediately was thrust into moving back into their house, cleaning all the sheetrock dust (which covered EVERYTHING, even in the cabinets!) there was painting to be done, furniture to be moved back, all their belongings that they had at their temporary location to be put back, there were kids who came to clean that needed supervision... and then a trip to the doctor (45 minutes away). She was about to drop when she got home...

I headed home and was backing up the driveway in the dark (always a scary proposition for me!) and all of a sudden there was a girl standing beside my car. It freaked me out quite a bit... Jim and Angie live way back off the main road... about a half mile up a windy one lane dirt road... there is a rental cabin about five hundred yards away from them, totally secluded by trees.... so to see ANYONE... in the dark and rain at that time of night up close to their house... well, it would have freaked anyone out. She had a baby in a backpack... (which made me feel a bit safer) so I rolled down my window to see what she needed. She said they were staying at the rental cabin next door... she was hiking with her husband and some friends and they got lost. She followed what she thought was the way back to the cabin (she was right) but they went a different way and had not made it home. At this point it's about 9pm and very dark and raining. She was soaked, the baby was soaked. She was obviously scared. She asked if I had a cellphone ... I told her it didn't get good reception (the truth is that my little po-phone is just too expensive to use except when there are no other options!) and told her to follow me to the house.

Ok... here's the thing... yes, she could have been an axe murderer and I was leading her right into my brother's home. But... I think God gives us a spirit of discernment to know what is a risk and what wasn't. She had a baby (maybe a year old) in the rain and the cold. I wasn't able to just leave her out there. I explained to her as we went up the porch that it was my brother's house and I didn't have a key but that my sister in law had a phone she could use. She was young... maybe 21 or 22... Angie gave her a phone to use and she called her husband. He didn't answer immediately... we talked about what needed to happen and where he might have gone... and then he called back. She was able to guide him back by telling him what way she went, giving him landmarks. He made it back safely. She was very grateful for our help... and I was grateful she wasn't an axe murderer.

Again, man plans and God laughs. I had been looking forward to a very different day yesterday.... but I believe that God weaves all of our actions and choices together for His will and purpose (if we let Him). Not to take too much credit... but I can't help but wonder what might have happened if this young girl had not had access to a phone and had not been able to lead her husband back to the cabin? He had the keys... she couldn't get in... couldn't get to a phone... it's a long walk to the little country store down the way.... on a cold, dark, rainy night. What would have happened if Angie hadn't decided to take Jamie to the doctor and I hadn't come to babysit Sarabeth? The girl would have come walking up after dark and scared Angie to death! Certainly, you don't have many people wander up on foot around here... God is good. That's for certain.

Since Jamie has the flu she couldn't go to church. Angie plays the drums in our worship services and Jim sings and leads the youth group... and they just had this weekend Discipleship Now conference... he needed to be there to make sure everyone got back to their parents and so forth. It made more sense for Aunt Heather to babysit. Helen First Baptist can do without me a lot easier than it can do without Jim and Angie... so when Angie called on the way home from the doctor last night and said that she had already called our music director to let him know she wouldn't be at church in the morning... and she jokingly said, "You can't play the drums can you?" I said, "no... but I can babysit a sick little girl..." Angie apologized for about ten minutes and said she didn't mean to insinuate that I should offer and didn't want to make me feel like I had to offer and so on and so forth but really... I love to feel useful. I can't lead worship services but I can make sure they can. What a blessing it is for me to be close enough to pinch hit when needed! And what a blessing to be needed! I always had a backup parent with my mom and so why shouldn't Jim and Angie have a backup available for them?

I just hope I don't get the flu! Yikes! But by the time we knew what she had, I had already spent hours playing with her... too late to wory about it... I am letting her lay in her mama and daddy's bed and I'm hanging out in the living room. Close enough to hear every sneeze, but not close enough to be sneezed on... and we're practicing good handwashing techniques!

Jamie is playing with a calculator and calling it her computer. Bless her heart... she feels horrible. She started to cry when her mommy and daddy left for church... I had to hold her for a bit to make her feel better. And as soon as I reminded her that she gets to stay home today and watch Noggin... she was ALL better! My ear is bothering me a lot today... I would have been uncomfortable at church. I'm cozy and comfy all tucked in here... hoping the bad weather holds off until they get back from church and Austin and I get home safely.

Jamie needs me.... Hope you all have a great Sunday!