My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Thursday, May 31, 2012

thankful Thursday -zipp-iti-doodah

I've got my peaceful easy feeling going on... you know, the lovely ambien/atenolol/prevasat/amlodipine/steroid/flexiril/neurontin/phenergan/codeine cough syup and whatever else is on board at the moment feeling of ease.

The cough is a thousand percent better. I'm breathing better. The wheeze sounds like a small kitten instead of an old front porch swing. I'm not having that gurgling sound in the base of my throat any more. I'm not gasping for air. I'm feeling the ugliness of the pharmaceutical stew that I'm brewing in right now... for realz... I'm Cheech and Chong numb. But I have great hopes that this thing will be over in a matter of days instead of weeks. I have hope!

And Austin is home and fairly copacetic and has forgiven me for blogging about his indiscretions last week.
And Ryan posted the sweetest video of Sara swinging while her great big ball of fluff standard poodle chases her.
And I've almost convinced myself that I can drive a u-haul truck between here and the storage place. I'm big on doing things myself. (although I will not turn away any able bodied folks who want to help).
I'm not as convinced about driving the u-haul truck through Atlanta to take down the few big items that need to go there/to make it all in one trip/to take anything mama wants to stick into storage to declutter their castle.
A former State Farm team member has announced that she is opening her own agency and I'm so very proud of her! She'll be awesome.
I'm praying that there will be no ugliness involved in transferring my sales agreement, assuming I have an agency to transfer it to. My friend Amy had a real struggle with this and... I'm praying that Gods promise to me will hold true, that no weapon formed against me will prosper... but right now, I feel like we're on the right track even though the scenery hasn't changed much, yet.

There are still good times to be had! I'm counting on my southside friends to welcome me with open arms and to help me celebrate my independent adulthood appropriately. I'm counting on finding Austin a job that he will be excited about. I'm excited about seeing my Cody and Quee more than once every couple of months and I'm banking on an invite to Sunday dinner with her grandmother. I'm hoping to see Bear. It's been two years.

What I want is my little cabin in the woods and a job that will allow me the right salary that will allow me to work the kind of hours that my back can sustain and ... well, that's not gonna happen... so I'm just thankful for the right kind of job (lord willing) with the right number of hours... with the right amount of responsibility that will allow me to be around people I love, have the respect that comes from gainful employment but not PAINful employment.

Nothing but sunshine comin' my way... zippedeedoodah! Nothing but sunshine and a very fluffy cat running circles around my keyboard. Nite y'all!

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Whiny Wednesday... I'm sick, for real!

After another dramatic night of wondering if I needed to call 9-1-1... I got up this morning and called the doctor. I have bronchitis. My left lung (the one with the scar tissue) is crackly but she doesn't think it's pneumonia yet. She treated aggressively because of my history of chronic bronchitis and pneumonia (technically I have a COPD diagnosis but it sounds so much worse than it really is for me) and went ahead and gave me a rocephin (sp?) shot and a shot of steroids. I'll do a week of steroids, the *good stuff* - cough meds with codeine, phenergan (because codeine makes me throw up) and... go back in a week to make sure my lungs are clear. My instructions are to cough as much as I can stand it to bring as much junk out of my lungs as I can. It hurts like the dickens but I'm doing it.

Whatever got into my lungs is apparently aggressive and extremely contagious because all of my babies have it: Ryan, Cody, Austin, Marquee and Sara. My mom started with the sore throat portion of it today (and if anyone was exposed it was my mom because she was drinking out of my drink at the graduation - we didn't have any concessions down on the field and it was too far for either of us to walk so we shared.) I worried that Jamie would get it because she's got the greatest disposition to this type of thing but so far, so good.

So I picked up a few groceries, picked up my meds from the pharmacy, put some gas in the car and came home to settle into the nest for the next few days. The reason I always ask for an antibiotic shot is because you feel really gross for about a day but you get well much quicker. I'm glad I went to the doctor. I debated. What finally convinced me was the crackle at the base of my throat... I sound like Darth Vader... there's a deep hum regardless of whether I'm breathing or talking. There's also a whining sound on the right side of the base of my throat...and while these may make really great party tricks, it's a little unsettling when your body makes noises that you aren't used to.... kinda like when your car makes weird sounds.

Anyways... so my "get into gear post graduation" plan has hit a bit of a road block. We won't try to go to Nashville this weekend. Austin has a dentist appointment to have the second half of his cavities filled on the 6th, I'm visiting probably employer on the 7th and we may try to do Nashville after that. I mean... I only have to pack up our whole apartment, what's to worry about, right? We'll get it done. I may have to pay movers. I may have to pay someone to clean the apartment after we move out. But... fortunately... the fire last summer meant that all of our stuff was sorted and packed by professionals and we've really only unpacked the stuff that we use. I mean... I'll have to pack books... sort through clothes... pack up the kitchen... I will probably separate clothes by season and only keep one season at my parents and the other season in storage to save space. But really... most of the big stuff is going into storage. SOOOo... I will rest and not feel pressed or stressed. I've conquered much bigger tasks with far fewer resources in much less time.

I allowed the married friend to come over last night. He got into the car and Austin said, "____ is scared of you, mom" and I said, "he should be... spiders, snakes, Austin's mom... these are all healthy fears". This is such a great joke because young people are never, ever, ever scared of me... I mean, I have more adopted nieces and stray kids who have taken up with us... I'm a very easy mom to be around. I am not bossy. My rules are extremely lax. I just believe that people ought to do the right thing. He broached the subject of his wife and baby that is due in six weeks. He talked about giving her a list of things she had to change in order for him to be in her life...I cut him short. (like seriously... this is the person who contributed to the delinquency of my child a few short days ago)

I took the rare opportunity of a captive audience to school him on my parenting perspective. All personal issues go out the window when there is a baby involved. You put up with a lot of things that you don't care for in order to successfully co-parent. Austin volunteered a few examples of how I had dealt with his father - like when his father had lived with us for a while when he was homeless. He also lived with my parents for awhile. Having two healthy, safe, whole parents doing their best to create a peaceful environment for their child is the most important thing. It kind of reminded me of my former stepson's brother who had two kids and didn't work or pay child support. I couldn't stand him. I barely concealed my dislike for him. To me... there is no lower form of human being than a parent who doesn't provide for their child. I'm glad I had the opportunity to share my perspective of life with him, whether it sinks in or not.

I can't really take credit for it... but I do feel really good about the way that Logan and Hillary have cared for baby Dessa. They are great parents, they both work hard and concentrate on putting Dessa first. They've both had to live places they weren't comfortable. They've both had to put up with a lot. But they've stuck with it and I, well, I do feel like the conversations I had with them in the beginning contributed some. I would very much like to work in a crisis pregnancy center because I think I'm really good at guiding people through that stage of life.

Anyways... there's no real point to my blog today. I went to the doctor. I'm fur realz sick. I'm highly medicated and will be well soon, Lord willing. Hope you have a Wonderful Wednesday!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

The birdie is back in the nest

My Doodle Bug is back home in the nest and although he's sick... apparently I'm sicker because he keeps asking if there's anything I need. Ack. I actually feel better, I just don't sound better. Poor Boo-Boo and Sara having to drive back to PA today with the ickies. I gave them a box of tissues. God love 'em. They are such a sweet, sweet couple. I hope she's a keeper.

Austin had a great time with his brothers this weekend. His dad and dad's new girlfriend (who is an old friend of mine from way back) had them over for dinner Saturday night. I asked, "what did you eat?" "chicken something" "was it chicken and pasta?" "no. it's hard to explain". I'm eager to find out what the mysterious winner, winner chicken dinner was. It's awkward for the boys (and me) because we all loved dad's prior girlfriend and they were together for years... she was always good to my kids. New girlfriend was not only a childhood friend of mine but her dad and my dad have been good friends for thirty years... and my brother actually performed the wedding ceremony for her second wedding (my brother's first that he preached). So there is a lot of family history. My perspective has always been: treat my kids good and we'll get along just fine.   Old girlfriend came to graduation which was sweet (to us) and aggravating (to their dad). New girlfriend is a sweetheart and I'm perfectly content with her being in my boys' lives.

Sunday afternoon Marquee's family invited Ryan, Sara and Austin to their weekly extended family dinner. Austin loved it, loved the food and really liked "the beans"... "how were they cooked?" "I don't know. beans." And there was jello cake too, which he really loved and he said Quee's mom made sure he ate some. I love how my daughter in laws family has embraced all of my boys. It's sort of like the relationship I've been fortunate enough to have with my sister-in-law's family - they're family to me.

Isn't it true that we tend to form our judgment of people based on how they treat your kids? My kids aren't always angels but they're reasonably entertaining fellows and I can certainly see why people would want to enjoy their company! And anyone who doesn't enjoy their company doesn't know good when they see it, right?

Austin also got to spend time over the weekend with the "fourth brother" - Joshy. He came over Saturday night (and gave Austin a rather generous graduation gift which made Austin giggle when he told me about it).And at some point over the weekend they went to the nature preserve where I used to walk on lunch every day (back when I could walk more than a few steps at a time) and fed the ducks. Austin was amused with the mother goose's reaction when they got too close to her babies. I know how she feels. And I love the thought of my three grown boys going to feed the ducks.

Anyways. We're heading into town to get some prescriptions filled and buy a few groceries. I didn't try to get a doctors appointment today but if this cough is still this bad tomorrow I'm going to go in and ask them to put me out of my misery. I can't stand it. I had a few episodes last night where I contemplated the whole 9-1-1 perspective. How out of breath should I be before I call? I'm less worried since Austin's home.

So that's the news for today! Hope you're having a great Tuesday!

Monday, May 28, 2012

Reasons to love a miserable Monday

I almost let a Monday slip by without giving you any reasons to love it! And truth be told... it's been a crummy Monday, a crummy past few days with the cough and pneumo-broncho-black lung of death. I swear... I've come THISCLOSE to calling 9-1-1 about a half dozen times because I just can't breathe. I've had this granulomatic lung issue with the scar tissue and all that nonsense for some time now... I've had bronchitis and pneumonia more times than I deserved in the past few years and I've never had such a hard time breathing. Really unpleasant.

But... if we've gotta find reasons to love Monday... and that's always my goal... then I would say if I've gotta be sick like this, I'm so grateful that it's happened in a "season" of life where I'm not missing out on any work or making anyone else sick or letting anyone down or that sort of thing. I didn't have to wake anyone up for school *tear* and nobody is here but me and the cats so I'm not bugging anybody or having to do anything for anyone and I can just sort of be miserable all by myself. Poor Ryan and Sara and Austin have the same junk and they're unable to travel back to Pennsylvania today like they planned because of it. I'm telling you... this is no normal chest cold. It's truly the black lung of death.

So there's that. Misery may love company but for me, I'm glad to be miserable by myself. I had creamed corn for dinner last night and nobody complained. Nobody complained when I had rice for breakfast today either. Or when I had rice for lunch. Have I mentioned that this pneumo-bronchial-tuberculitis has robbed my appetite? I'm just eating enough to give the nyquil and mucinex a little company in my tummy. Maybe I'll drop a few pounds and get back down to morbidly obese instead of grossly incredibly morbidly obese (or whatever category I'm currently in).

I've run out of three of the five blood pressure meds and I don't have the strength to go to the pharmacy to get them refilled. Nor have I been able to sober up from the nyquil long enough to drive... although tomorrow, Lord willing, I'll meet Ryan and Sara in Commerce so they can drop off Austin. Maybe I should phrase that "I'm meeting Austin in Commerce"... but, you get the point.

Right now the plan is for me and my mom to go to Nashville this weekend to see my new great-nephew but we will definitely have to be much, much better by that point, especially since I know this stuff is contagious. After Nashville... next week... I'm meeting Mr. Prospective Employer and discussing the possibility of going to work part time, moving our stuff into storage and moving into mom and dad's house. I'll be THAT person, you know, the one who lives in their parents' basement. Only, my parents don't have a basement, just a converted garage which will be just fine. I have high asperations of accumulating a decent amount of savings, paying off my ever growing medical bills and being in a much better financial situation in a short period of time. I've got to build enough savings so that when I'm not able to work at all, that I'll be able to sustain my expenses until disability is approved.

Have we talked about this before? Probably. It's the nyquil high. Eventually my parents will retire to the mountains and sell the two houses in Riverdale and I can find a nice little cheap place until I'm ready to throw in the towel. I would very much like to be able to work another ten years and I think if I can work part-time, I should be able to. Eventually I believe I'll end up back up here in the mountains, one way or another, either in my own little cabin in the woods or in the basement of my parents' little cabin in the woods. Being sick this weekend has reinforced my reluctance to live alone. I have this fear of something happening to me and nobody knowing about it until I become "that thing you smell". I'm just not crazy about the idea of living by myself.

Austin has been gone since graduation so I don't really know how his perspective has changed since the drama with married friend's mama the other day. I just remember having this real sense of panic myself at the time that school was ending (remember, I graduated a quarter early) and feeling like I had to establish a family because I thought that I was no longer able to be a part of my family. Not that I did it intentionally (and not because my parents were kicking me out) but I was more confident about having a baby and getting married than I would have ever been about going away to college. I mean, I didn't even know how to drive. And I'm sure that Austin has some of that same sense of panic, especially with his reluctance to accept change, especially since his mom is one big ball of uncertainty at the moment, not intentionally, of course, but the truth is I'm not exactly giving him a sense of stability. If nothing else I want him to understand that he has a soft place to land and that wherever I am, he can be too, if he wants. I don't feel like I've given him the life skills he needs yet to navigate this big, bad world on his own.

By the way, if you catch this chest crud, a nice warm damp compress helps a lot. I just keep heating a damp towel in the microwave and putting it on my chest. That, plus half a jar of vaporub. I stink to high heaven and I look a mess but it helps. Wet tshirt contest - not in a good way, trust me. Trouble likes the smell of vaporub but Stubby hates it so much that he sits back like Buddha and uses his front paws to try to knock the jar out of my hand. Cracks me up! Cat bonding continues...

Anyways... it's almost time for The Five. I don't know if I've come up with many reasons to love Monday... but I tried. Hope you found a few... love and hugs, y'all!

Saturday, May 26, 2012

We did it!

Yes, we survived! It was a little touch and go for awhile... I mean... preterm labor at 25 weeks, born at 38 weeks, being the third of three boys....

 with a mostly single mom... discovering his differences, learning how to help him learn "his way"... lots of moves, most of them during times of emotional distress... going from being the minority in school - to looking like everyone else in his class but still being very, very different... 
 finding his way in a very different world, with kids who have known each other in a small town, all of their lives... staying loyal with friends who faced challenges, making friends with friends who maybe weren't the best role models... and grieving friends who died too soon. (flowers placed in memory of Kegan)

 Austin, Jamie (who was very, very proud of her cousin!) and Cody

 Class of 2023

 Austin is the best cousin because he doesn't mind being attacked by silly girls... 

 (even though he was still not feeling great... he threw up all the way until right before they came out on the field and it was hot and muggy)

Sarabeth tries it on... 

 Class of 2021

 In the chaos... Ryan, Austin and me with Sarabeth and Jamie in the foreground

 me with my boys (plus little girls)

 me with my girls: Ryan's girlfriend Sara and Cody's wife Marquee (both of whom, if I can add, were prepared with water)

 Still in the chaos... but the girls look great

 Ryan, Austin and their dad (not sure why Jamie looks so shocked here... maybe because she hasn't seen Austin's dad before?) 

 And she's not giving him up easily!

 We did a poor job of assembling group photos... this is me, my dad, Cody, Sara and Marquee (with her back turned - how cute is her bag?) 

 More random group lurking and frolicking and sweating...

 my boys with their dad

 with the love of family, the support of a great faith community, and a few people in his life who were determined not to let him fail... it was a rough road from the beginning... and it was a rough road that last day... but... despite every obstacle in his way... 

 We did it!

Friday, May 25, 2012

The reason I look this way

I try to avoid being the martyr mom, I really do. I just want you to know, if you see me today, why I look the way I do...

I went to the doctor on Wednesday and said, "I think I have bronchitis" and he listened for half a second and said, "your lungs are clear"... even though I was coughing. "must be drainage... probably allergies"... and he pretty much sent me on my way.

Last night I was up most of the night coughing. I'm only NOT coughing when there is a cough drop in my mouth. I'm sick of cough drops. Subsequently... I feel pretty rotten, you know, tired, back aching from the coughing, eyes weak, sick to my stomach.

Austin spent the night with his married friend last night - more on that later - and so this morning, before the washing machine repair man came - I had to change the litter box. Changing the litter box and the subsequent sweeping of the floor - give me the worst muscle spasms in the world.

Oh... but in order to change the litter box... I had to go to the store and get cat litter... which I had to get down off the top shelf... put it in my cart...put up on the checkout line... put in my cart... put in my car... carry in the house... so I was already having muscle spasms before I actually changed the litter box.

So. Back to Austin's spend the night party. Austin asked if I would "let him have a party for graduation"... and I told him no... that there was no way I was sponsoring anything illegal, there was no way I was spending money on that type of party... there was no way I was allowing that in my house.

I gave him a money card yesterday for graduation. It was meant to be his emergency money for when I'm not around. That was my first mistake. My second mistake was taking him to his friend's house yesterday afternoon.

The agreement was that I would pick him up between noon and two today. I started texting him at noon. I started calling at one. I went to his friend's house at two.

Friend's mom... you know, the mom who had her son arrested for domestic violence about this time last year, which was why married friend wasn't a problem last summer - he was in jail... she met me in the driveway. Apparently she thought - because Austin told her - that it was OK with ME for him to have a "party" for graduation. Last night. The day before graduation. Despite the fact that Austin is 18.

And apparently... what she bought for this underage "adult" was so potent that he got stinking drunk... you know, falling down, pooping himself, throwing up all over the place drunk... to the extent that he ruined carpet, mattresses, etc in her house.

And apparently... it was to such an extent that he is no longer welcome there (thank God for that)... and in addition... she is kicking her own kid out as soon as he sobers up.

So if you see me today... or if you see pictures of me... and my hair is frizzy... it's because I stood out in the heat and humidity waiting for my kid to drag his hungover self out of her house.

And if my legs are swollen and red... it's because I had ants crawling all over me while I stood in her backyard screaming at my "kid" to get up and get himself together.

And if I'm hoarse... it's because I had to raise my voice for reasons other than to cheer my child's accomplishment today.

And if it seems like I have a headache... it's name is Austin.

And if I have about three times as much grey hair as I had the last time you saw me... that's why.

And if my lips are chapped and my tongue has teeth marks... it's because I nearly bit my tongue in two to keep from telling this lunatic what I thought of her.

Because at that moment... my one objective was to get my kid and his belongings out of her house. And when I got him home... my one objective was to get that nasty smell off of him. And for the rest of the afternoon, instead of celebrating his accomplishment... I'm going to be sick to my stomach knowing that THIS is what he does when he gets a couple of miles away from me, much less a few hours away.

Soooo, if you would, cut me a little slack today. I'm sorry if this is too much information but you know... I've always kept it real here.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Mommy Commencement Speech

*cue Pomp and Circumstance*
Ladies and Gentlemen, Parents, Family, Friends and most especially, graduates of the Class of 2012, the future is before you. As you set forth upon your journey toward higher education, the work force, or to just take up space in your parents' basement, I would like to share with you the wisdom that life has bestowed upon me. My perspective was not matriculated in a classroom (online or otherwise). It was earned through sweat, hard work, stretch marks and about 2 million loads of laundry. I am honored, on this momentous occasion, to be able to share this wisdom with you, free of charge (but we will take up a love offering following the commencement services for those who would like to donate to my cause). I give these to you in no specific order.

First, get a job. Yes, a degree is important and I would never discourage you from the pursuit of knowledge, however, that degree is not free. Get a job, even if you hate it, to help pay for a degree so that you can one day be qualified to perform a job you don't hate. Having a job that you hate will serve as encouragement to continue your pursuit of higher education.

Be a Reacher, not a Settler. Surround yourself with people who are more highly educated, better looking, thinner, richer, funnier, kinder and more ambitious. This will encourage you to work harder in all areas of your life. Of course, this will require you to surround yourself with Settlers. Every now and then have compassion on a few other Reachers so that they, too, will attain greatness.

Never lend anything you can't afford to lose. Whether it's a car, or money, or your favorite CD... loaning  things changes the perspective of the relationship by both the lender and the borrower. If you have something that your friend wants or needs, give it to them. If they give it back, you'll both be happier for it. If they don't, you will still be a better person for your generosity.

The best friends are the ones who are like a fun house mirror: they give you a reflection of yourself but it's fun, sometimes distorted, and diffuses the harshness of reality. There will be plenty of people willing to give you a reality check, it's ok to have a few people in your life who can soften the truth.

Balance your checkbook every month. Pay your bills as soon as they come. Don't spend more than you earn. This is all very basic but I promise, it will change your life. Having a newer/better item that you can't afford will not make you happy. In fact, it will probably make you less happy.

"Please" and "thank you" are two phrases that never go out of style. If you're too cool to say "thank you" then you don't deserve what you got that deserved a "thank you". Nobody owes you anything. Ask politely. Respond with gratitude. It's very simple.

Meet people in whatever medium is most comfortable for them. If your great-grandmother isn't online, send her snail mail. If your mother doesn't know how to text, call her instead. Speak the language of others to the extent of your ability, including Love Languages. If you never read any other book to prepare for the future, read "The Five Love Languages". It will change every relationship in your life.

Some things can wait and some can't. It's ok to wash the dishes the next day but it's not ok to put the laundry in the dryer the next day. If you're unsure if the milk is still good, don't drink it. Better to waste a little milk than to get sick from spoiled milk.

Vote every chance you get. Whether it's for PTA President or Class President or the President of the United States, every vote counts. Not that long ago huge segments of our society were not able to vote. In many countries of the world people are still denied the right to vote. Make sure that you know what you're voting for and why. Any opinion that can't be adequately articulated is less valid.

Freedom equals responsibility. It's great to be able to stay up as late as you want but the truth is that by the time you have the freedom to stay up as late as you want, you'll have too much to do in the morning to stay up late. Life is like that. Youth is wasted on the young.

Be sure that your words are not bitter because one day you may have to eat them. Don't assume you know everything. In fact, you'll find that the more you know, the more you'll realize how little you know. If you have an issue with someone, practice what you're going to say before you say it. Write it out, reword it, make sure that it's serious enough to risk damaging your relationship with that person. You catch more flies with honey than you do with vinegar.

Life is about change. Your ability to embrace and accept change will determine your level of satisfaction with life.

It's not always about you.

Don't bite your fingernails.

Don't eat dessert at every meal.

Always wear clean underwear.

Respect authority.

Never stop learning.

Pray every day.

Never forget your roots.

The most important thing I can share with you is that no matter how bad things seem, you can recover from anything except death.

Go forth and conquer!

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

just the facts....

I dropped Austin off for his last day of high school this morning. (we hope). The English grade is still in question. He was up until 2am finishing a worksheet. Seems fitting that our last day would go like the rest of the past thirteen years have gone: with Austin behind on his school work.

Vocational Rehab through the Department of Labor takes him over from this point. I'm trying to schedule a meeting with them next week. There is educational assistance available but he is throwing up roadblocks at the idea of going to North Georgia Tech, as they suggested. I just want him to learn a skill so that he can be gainfully employed. I'm hoping that we can work out a transitional plan that Austin is comfortable with.

I have an appointment for a washing machine repairman to come out on Friday morning. I'm hoping that our landlord will allow us to leave the washer and dryer in exchange for part or all of the rent for June. Having those items in certified, good working order will help.

I have a very good job prospect lined up and will meet with them in two weeks. It would mean a move but it will allow me to work part time. My plans at this point are to live with the parents (if they'll let me) and work as long as I can so that I can pay off the various medical bills that have accumulated, accumulate some savings and be better prepared for whenever the time comes that I'm not able to work at all. I feel very confident that I can work part-time.

It will break my heart to leave the mountains. Y'all just don't know how much peace I feel here. However, I can't work part-time and afford to live independently. I can't work full-time and have any quality of life. Something has to give and... this seems like a really good opportunity for me to catch my breath, recover from 12 years as a single mom and prepare for a happy, stress free retirement, eventually.

My plans are to store my household goods in a storage place up here. Things are cheaper here (I paid $100 a month for storage in Jacksonville, the same size storage unit was $40 a month here) and it will be much, much easier to move things a short distance than it would be to move them two hours away. My hope is that eventually I will be able to move back up here, when the time comes for me to stop working. This is my happily ever after place.

At any rate... Austin and I will start moving things into the storage unit this weekend, you know, the kind of things that we don't use on a daily basis like books and bric a brac. We will need to take a load to the dump at some point. There's a lot of work ahead of us and by us, I probably mean ME, which is not good for my back but it has to be done. If I can spread the process out over the next couple of weeks, it will be easier.

My Stallings cousins have been chosen to be on Family Feud. I think I mentioned they did an audition a few months ago and they just found out that they were picked! As long as they do well in rehearsal, they will be on the Feud! Their matriarch is my Great-Aunt Bette, my grandmother's sister, the other Steel Magnolia. I know she's tickled!

I have a doctors appointment at 9:15.
Austin is in school for only half a day UNLESS he has more work to do in English. They will keep him until he passes.
I'm putting beans and ham in the crockpot for dinner.
One of the cats pooped on one of my dresses which really aggravates me, especially since I can't wash it until after the repairman comes on Friday.
We have absolutely no plans for graduation. It doesn't start until 8 and they roll up the sidewalks here at dark so it's not like we can go out for dinner afterwards.

For so many days I was stuck on pause and now... life is speeding up again. That's not really a complaint, just an observation.
Life is still good.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Newsday Tuesday! Life is good.

Here we are at the start of day #67 of my Unintentional Sabbatical! Here in the nest, life is good.

The washing machine still won't drain.
The cats seem to be tossing their litter out of the box intentionally and it feels like a hot poker in my spine when I bend over to clean up their indiscretions. 
The toilet in my bathroom is still leaking.
I can't remember the last time I actually had ALL of my clothes folded and hung and properly put away.
I'm facing a huge lifestyle change (to officially empty nester) and life is good.

I have been avoiding checking my blood pressure since my last doctor visit because I felt like *knowing* it was high was stressing me out and therefore making it higher. I took it last night and it was 157/93.
I think I've finally figured it out: my blood pressure goes up when my pain level goes up. They need to stop adding blood pressure pills and give me something that will actually stop the pain, (expletive!).
This morning I'm in considerably less pain than yesterday (which was probably the worst day ever, so far) and my bp is 133/90. Still too high for someone on five blood pressure pills a day but better.
I'm still coughing up a lung. 
I go back to the doctor tomorrow and I hard core, totally dread it. I need my mom to pull a "shirley mclaine in Terms of Endearment" and go back there and scream at them to give me something for pain. I just go, roll my eyes at the empty platitudes and leave with the impression that modern medicine has failed me. 
And still, I will tell you that life is good.

Life isn't good because I'm pretending.
Life isn't good because I'm delusional or delirious.
Life isn't good because I'm out of touch with reality. 
Life isn't good JUST in comparison to other poor suffering souls.
Life.... is good.... because it really is good.

Happiness isn't a set of circumstances or lack of circumstances - happiness is a choice.
Happiness isn't a destination, an accomplishment, a certain amount of stability or capability - happiness is the journey to all of these things.
Happiness is realizing that even in the midst of chaos and turmoil and disappointment and despair that YOU are you, regardless of what happens around you.
Happiness is your core. It's the truth about you. It's the unwavering, unconditional belief that the things that define you aren't things. It's not tangible, temporary or transient.
It's understanding that wherever you go, there you are. You can't escape you. No one can steal your happiness, you have to knowingly give it to them. Nor can anyone MAKE you happy. They can share in your joy but they cannot give it to you.

There was one time that Purple Michael and I were at a funeral for the baby of a friend of his who had been born too soon and didn't survive. It was the heaviest, saddest of sad times. Afterwards we were invited to join the family for a meal and we sat with the mommy of the deceased and the three of us laughed so hard I thought my sides would split! It wasn't in disrespect. It was a matter of being in the presence of people who have chosen joy, above all things, and who have chosen to let that joy rise up at any time, despite circumstances to the contrary.

My boys and I went to the funeral of a young friend of theirs who had died tragically. Austin was too young and squirmy to go with us so we left him at my parents' house. It was near Halloween, maybe, or maybe it wasn't but for whatever reason, when we pulled into my parents' driveway, completely oppressed by grief, out comes little Auggie dressed in his grim reaper Halloween costume. We CRACKED up!

I could give you many more examples of times that MOST people would have been devastated but me and my friends and family have found a way to laugh, appropriate or not.
I think it takes a lot more courage to laugh when other people would cry.
I think, to quote the movie, Steel Magnolias, that laughter through tears is the best emotion.
I have had many, many occasions for sadness over the course of my life, way too many in the past year. Life has not taken the path I thought it would. I never would have imagined being single at this stage of life. 
My point is that it doesn't take a Prince Charming for you to live happily ever after. 

Relationships can end - by death or change. Children grow. Husband's cheat. (not all, but some). People die. If your happiness is held hostage with only one person, you can be sure that at some point, it will fade or completely disappear.

Financial security is great (from what I've heard - never had any myself) but it is not guaranteed. History is full of examples of great financial reversals for all kinds of reasons. Stuff can be stolen. Homes can burn. Investments can take a downturn. 

Nobody ever died of good health. No matter how healthy you are, it can change in a breath... a car accident, a sudden illness. There is a young, very healthy mother who is a good friend of my sister-in-law who has just been diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer. Out of the blue. We can do things to improve our chances but ultimately, eventually, health will leave you. 

At the end of the day, all you really have is who you are. Be someone who is enough, regardless of whatever else is happening. 
Choose joy.
Life is good, y'all. 
That's all. 
Have a great day!

Monday, May 21, 2012

Reasons to Love Monday - digging deep this week

Robin Gibb is dead and I don't feel so good myself.
The washing machine cut off in the middle of a load this morning.
I accidentally washed all my "normal every day clothes" in hot water.
I normally wash everything except for whites in cold water.
I anticipate some fading.
I feel really rotten today, due to the "f word" (fibromyalgia).
There are a couple of nasty components to the "f word" that really bug me: interstitial cystitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
I'm going to make a huge leap and assume you won't need much in the way of explanation on those symptoms.
Both are bugging me today. I've been doubled over all morning.
I'm also itching from head to toe.
Coughing like a life-long smoker (no offense to the life long smokers in my life).
Dragging tail. Feeling miserable. Exhausted. Battling muscle spasms in my back. Running a fever.
I fell asleep crazy early last night, was fairly comatose for about three hours, woke up thinking it was morning and then dozed on and off for the rest of the night.
Got the washing machine started back up and it cut off after about sixty seconds.
Great. Not exactly sure what to do with a load of drenched clothing. I surely can't lift wet laundry out.
I better check the calendar. Apparently it's Wednesday already.
I mean... I could get a really serious cry going if I tried.
I have to take Austin to school around 10:30-11. He's sleeping until then.
I'm tempted to wake him up to ask for his input on the washing machine but... he's really grumpy when he first wakes up and I'm really grumpy when things aren't working right so ... I think this will have to wait.
I would love to just go back to bed today and I might after I take Austin to school.
I have two prospective employers to talk to this week in two very different places.
Austin thinks that he's breaking camp and heading to the married friend's house immediately after graduation.
I have been trying to help him keep things in order: graduate, find a job, get your room packed up, be at the house while mom and mawmaw go to Nashville... you know, logical, responsible order.
Hard sometimes to reconcile his perception of how things should be with the reality of how they actually are.
I understand. I struggle sometimes myself with keeping life in order.
Especially when I have days like today that are really more about surviving than checking anything off my to-do list.
I should have realistically prepared for feeling bad today after having two days of higher than normal activity.
With the end of the school year comes the end of a season of life for me and there will be a definite change in my daily activities.
No matter how you slice, no matter where it is or how much it is, I will be returning to work, at least part time, in the next month.
The respite has helped. I needed a break. It didn't heal me, of course, because the bottom line is that although I can alleviate symptoms from time to time, I will never be "normal" again.
I have a new normal. And some days, like today, it really stinks.
And now... since I've gotten all of that out of my system... it's time for my Reasons to Love Monday!

  • It's Austin's last Monday in public school. Ever.
  • It's May 21st and other than about thirty minutes a week ago, I haven't had to use the a/c yet this year.
  • I got out of the nest a bit over the past weekend and got to see some people who are very dear to me.
  • At church yesterday there were many mentions of "I read your blog" and that really warms my heart!
  • My mom survived another year working in the Clayton County School system without getting shot.
  • I've had a good break. It hasn't always been stress free but it's been good.
  • Somehow, someway, I'm gonna figure out what is wrong with the washing machine. 
  • Austin changed the litter box yesterday. 
  • I don't HAVE to do anything today. 
  • We aren't broke yet and in fact, after two months of nothing, we got a little child support yesterday. (I just have to convince Austin that we need to use that money toward necessities for him, not to buy a new phone).
  • Trouble loves to play with straws and he is busy dragging one through the house now. It's cheap entertainment. You can see the thought bubble over his head wishing he had thumbs.
  • There will be a nap in my schedule today.
  • Life. goes. on. 

Hope you have a great Monday!

Sunday, May 20, 2012

The Weekend in Pictures

Y'all. I am wiped out. I should probably have something really profound and insightful to say but I'm too tired for real, organized thoughts. So this is my weekend in pictures... although these first two pictures happened last weekend at Truett McConnell College's graduation. I think my sister-in-law, the esteemed Dr. Angie Gant, always looks really cool AND smart AND like she's right out of the Middle Ages in her Doctorate Professor-y Robes...

And then our sweet Jessie (not Jessica) who has been such a huge part of our lives, receiving her diploma from the (also esteemed) Dr. Emir Caner, makes me super proud. She may be the most highly educated cashier at the Cornelia Wal-Mart but soon, people, she will conquer the world!

Today at church we had our Graduation Appreciation/Recognition stuff. We had breakfast at church. I was off my rocker and roused Austin up and out at 7:15am. The breakfast was at 8:30. I - for reasons I can't begin to explain - thought it was an hour later than it was. So we went back home, he went back to sleep and I spent an hour thinking that the stress of the past week/month/year had finally REALLY caught up with me! Mercy! However, when we did finally arrive at church, I got to spend some quality time with my dear friend Alisa who understands me in a way that only another "only girl out of five kids" can understand. We had breakfast and then went to Sunday School and then they had a little recognition service during the Worship Service. This is Jamie high fiving her Cousin Auggie. 

There is much love! And does anybody else think she looks like Scout in the To Kill A Mockingbird movie, the one with Gregory Peck?

And this sleepy eyed angel is my little Sarabeth, a little tired from spending the night with some friends last night. They braided her hair so she had the cool little crimps in her hair today. And she sat by me in church, which makes her my hero.

It's really hard to get good photos with my little digi-cam in church because my flash doesn't reach far... but you can tell that this adorable boy in saggy jeans and flipflops is my Austin, being recognized by his Youth Pastor, Jamie Smith, with Jamie's lovely wife, Laura and daughter Emily assisting with the dispersement of gifts. 

And you can sorta, almost, right behind Emily's head, see my brother Jim up in the choir loft. He preached today and did a fine job and didn't once call down hellfire and brimstone on his wayward sister.

They showed a little slideshow of the graduates before this part and I completely LOST IT! I sobbed big ole hiccuppy sobs... and Sarabeth was kind enough not to stare at me or get scared and move away. Just watching the progression from cute little kid with chocolate all over his face to grown person... wow. 

Right to the left of Austin in the green dress is my friend Cyndi's daughter Jazminne, who I adore.
And beside Jaz is JoLee who shares my love for musical theatre.

On the other side of Austin is Haili, my friend Alisa's daughter. 
Haili shares that same wit that her mother has (from being the only girl with four brothers, just like me) (although Haili only has one brother) and so I can pick on Haili the same way I pick on Alisa and vice versa.

So that was a great, emotional experience. Also, some time this morning, during the mistaken 1st run to the church, when I was coming back into the house our storm door scraped up the back of my heel and so I'm crazy sore from that, in addition to the unbelievable pain from sitting for three + hours this morning (although it was so very, very worth it).

Yesterday was Stasha's wedding. I thought the wedding was at 6pm. For some reason, about 1:30, I looked at the invitation and realized the wedding was ACTUALLY at 2pm. On the other side of Helen, at Unicoi Lodge. On a weekend when the auto show was in town. AND... I had not showered. But we dressed and dashed and the ceremony had not started when we arrived, very breathless, about ten minutes late. We were able to grab a quick picture with the bride....

And with the flower girls....

AND in time to grab at seat with Jim and Angie at the back of the ballroom.

This picture is of the girls- lined up and ready to go - with Miss Cassie (our neighbor) and her sweet son Josiah, who was the ring bearer

I love that they look so confident. This was their seventh wedding as flower girls.

And Josiah was also very confident!

The ceremony was super brief (which my back appreciated). Here is the post game recap.

And... two really gorgeous Gant Girls....

Make that THREE really gorgeous Gant Girls!

And an Aunt who needed more time in hair and makeup....

I can never get enough pictures of Jamie. She is our little cartoon girl... so animated and adorable!

notice how delicately she handles her punch cup?

Angie and the bride....

Natalie and Josiah dancing at the reception. Josiah was quite the little dancer... 

Austin adds "accessories" to my picture with Sarabeth...

Now for the week ahead... Austin has two half days at school, one day of exams, a day of graduation rehearsal and ... graduation. 
Lord, give me strength!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Thankful Thursday - Life Goes On

Donna Summer is dead and I don't feel so good myself.
My unemployment claim was denied. I have another appeal and I'll use it but it's a big, fat, hairy bummer.
I've got a wicked phlegmy cough that has graduated from annoying to miserable.
I'm wheezing like crazy.
Coughing makes my back hurt. It's weird... I can't remember having a bout of bronchitis or pneumonia last year (since the back pain started) but I probably did.
I'm having a bad hair day.
I'm fat. So, so fat. I hate it. It's out of control.

BUT... It's Thankful Thursday and I am and will be grateful for my life.
I have two awesome parents who are proud of me despite what a big ole' mess I can be at times.
I have three awesome boys that I am so, so very proud of, especially my Austin who I didn't think would make it this far in school.
I have such adorable nieces and nephews, especially baby Adrian .

I have two rotten cats who don't mind my singing.
I had a really awesome day yesterday, driving into Gainesville to exchange Austin's pants for graduation (for a larger size)... the temperature was perfect, the sun was bright... I drove with the windows down singing at the top of my lungs.
I'm having so much fun with that I can hardly stand it.
I'm so glad that this bout of respiratory misery isn't causing me to miss work. Teehee.
I'm so glad that the school year is almost over in Clayton County so that my mom won't be out there dealing with the recent craziness.
I am glad that Facebook has kept me connected with the outside world during this time of uncertainty and that I have so many really awesome people who encourage me, pray for me and make me realize I'm not alone in this world.
I'm glad that I am able to take inventory of my circumstances and know that there is nothing happening in my life that is beyond the control of my Higher Power.
And she lived happily ever after...

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Whiny Wednesday - Survey Says:

Borrowed from my friend Lyn at Brit's Blog ... thought this might be fun to do today. If you do it, put a link in my comments section to your blog OR if you want, you can pick a few questions to answer in comments. Happy Wednesday

. What time did you get up this morning? 6:30. Woke up to the alarm which NEVER happens. I took neurontin last night which makes me sleep harder.

2. How do you like your steak?  Medium Well

3. What was the last film you saw at the cinema?  "The Blind Side" (how sad is that? It's been two years.)

4. What is your favorite TV show? How I Met Your Mother, The Five, Finding Your Roots, Who Do You Think You Are

5. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be?  Here in Helen - but I would have my own little cabin in the woods

6. What did you have for breakfast? Nothing yet

7. What is your favorite cuisine?  Thai food

8. What foods do you dislike? Liver, brains, chittlins - any kind of odd and random animal part

9. Favorite Place to Eat?  La Parilla

10. Favorite dressing?  Vinegar and olive oil

11.What kind of vehicle do you drive?  Sissy, my 2004 Nissan Sentra

12. What are your favorite clothes?  Comfy, sort of classic stuff like "twin sets" (cardigans with matching shirts underneath), long flowy skirts, yoga pants, pretty much anything from Old Navy

13. Where would you visit, this weekend, if you had the chance? New York City

14. Cup 1/2 empty or 1/2 full? 1/2 FULL, most of the time.

15. Where would you want to retire? Here, in a little cabin in the woods

16. Favorite time of day? First light of morning when the sun starts peeking through the trees

17. Where were you born? Decatur, Georgia

18. What is your favorite sport to watch?  College Football

19. How many siblings? Four brothers, I'm #2 of five kids

20. Favorite pastime/hobby?  genealogy research

21. Who are you most curious about their responses to this? People who may read my blog that I don't know in real life

22. Bird watcher?  More of a bird listener... the cats go nuts when they see a bird and we have a lot of them since we're sort of in the woods (which you can tell if you see my car)

23. Are you a morning person or a night person? morning

24. Do you have any pets? Yes, two cats: Stubby the Three Legged Wondercat and Trouble aka Lex aka Yittle (little) Kitty. If I call "Trouble" he doesn't respond but if I say, "Yittle kitty..." he comes to me.

25. Any new and exciting news you'd like to share?  I just checked the bank account and I will be able to stay here through June, regardless of whether or not the unemployment issue goes in my favor. After that... I'll either have to have a job or I'll be homeless.

26. What did you want to be when you were little? a mommy

27. What is your best childhood memory? My childhood bestie's parents owned a lake house on Lake Lanier and a condo in Panama City Beach. I did a lot of traveling with them and those are some of the best memories of my childhood.

28. Are you a cat or dog person?  totally a cat person. Crazy cat lady.

29. Are you married? No.

30. Always wear your seat belt?  always. I won't even drive from our mailbox to our house without it and it's only about two hundred yards down a dirt road with a speed bump so my chances of a collision are slim to none

31. Been in a car accident? I think I've been in three. None serious. One was painful and may have contributed to my spinal demise

32. Any pet peeves?  Stripper high heels, hair color that couldn't occur in nature (like African American women with blonde hair, 90 year old women with jet black hair, etc)

33. Favorite Pizza Toppings?  pepperoni and mushroom

34. Favorite Flower?  tulips

35. Favorite ice cream?  right now it's crunchy caramel with pretzels

36. Favorite fast food restaurant?  ChickFila

37. How many times did you fail your driver's test? None, by the grace of God, but I didn't get my drivers license until I was 21 and I didn't really start driving until I was closer to 30.

38. From whom did you get your last email?  My daddy's morning devotional, a CaringBridge alert for a little boy who is facing a kidney transplant (cousin of my friend Mary), and an email from Uncle Bill asking me to try to track down a branch of the family tree that has eluded him throughout all his research.

39. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card?  I don't have one but if I did - Old Navy

40. Do anything spontaneous lately? I showered and did my makeup before I got on the computer this morning. That was rare and random.

41. Like your job? Wish I had one

42. Broccoli?  steamed with a little lemon

43. What was your favorite vacation? Boston for my birthday in 2006

44. Last person you went out to dinner with?  Cody, Marquee and Austin - we went to the new Western Sizzlin in March. Austin and I hardly EVER go to a sit down restaurant. He doesn't have the patience to sit and make small talk, it hurts my back to sit on hard surfaces.

45. What are you listening to right now?  Fox and Friends

46. What is your favorite color?  to wear - pink and black, for my home - earth tones

47. How many tattoos do you have?  one - three little hearts for my three "little" boys

48. How many people will fill this out?  I hope at least SOMEBODY will

49. What time did you finish this quiz? 8:23 am

50. Coffee Drinker?  Yes!!

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Will of Thomas Maddux

My dad is James Gant Sr aka Pop
His mother is Leta Ward Gant Harris
Her mother was Sarah Jane Bullock(Bulloch) Ward
and oddly, this is the only great-grandparent I have any memory of - and as I've mentioned my memory of her is more anecdotal than anything else. She died when I was seven. However, despite this being the only great-grandparent I had much contact with, and despite the fact that her daughter (my Steel Magnolia) is my only surviving grandparent, I know very little about her. For my research project today, I took what I knew for certain, her last known address, and I searched Census records to find out what I could about her family. 
I found the 1900 census record  listing Great-Grandma Ward as a 16 year old girl. She is listed in a household with E. M. Bulloch as the head of household. E. M. Bulloch is listed as a widow, born in 1849. Also listed in the household is S. E. Maddux, mother, born in 1826. Therefore, I concluded that E. M. Bulloch's maiden name was Maddux. From there I sort of connected the dots.
**sidenote** I'd like to go back to these census workers who listed people's initials instead of first names and snatch them baldheaded. It's hard enough to read the crazy flowery cursive writing without having to search all over the place to figure out what those initials stood for.
This 1900 Census was from Buena Vista, Georgia, where I know that my great-grandmother was born.  I haven't checked with my dad to see if these names are familiar to him and if I connected the wrong dots then this is just a great example of life in the South before the Civil War. Tragically and sadly (to me) these ancestors were landowners and, as typical to the Antebellum South, they were also slave owners. Even in the 1900 Census there is a 9 year old black boy whose relationship to the head of household is listed as "servant". To imagine a child of Sarabeth's age as a servant - it's inconceivable to me. Anyways...
So my great-grandmother, Sarah Jane Bulloch Ward's mother was Estell Maddux
Estell's father was David Neal Maddux (listed in the 1860 census as "High Sheriff" of Marion County, Georgia)
His father was Thomas Maddux (my great-great-great-great grandfather) and this is his Last Will and Testament.
WILL: Will of Thomas Maddux; Warren Co GA Will Bk;1829-1852;p. 185

The Last Will & Testament of Thos. Maddux
State of Georgia Warren County.
In the name of God Amen. 

I Thomas Maddux of the County and State aforesaid being in good health and of sound and disposing mind and memory, knowing the uncertainty of life and the certainty of death and wishing to dispose of the goods and chattles with which it has pleased God to bless me do make ordain constitute and appoint this my last Will and Testament in manner and form following to wit. 

1st I resign my soul to God who gave it and my body to the Earth in decent burial

2nd I give to my wife Mary Maddux four negroes to wit Isaac a man, George a boy, Louisa and her child Mariah also the land lying on the North side of the long branch commencing at Patrick N. Maddux line on the Shoal Road and running with the said Road to the long branch thence down said Branch to Rocky Comfort Creek thence up said Creek to Patrick N. Maddux corner thence along his line to the beginning except the lot or parcel of ground with the Improvements lately put up on said lot or parcel of ground lately mention or willed to my wife lying on the Shoals Road commencing at the gate on said Road. and running with said Road one hundred and fifty six feet south thence East two hundred and eighty feet thence North one hundred and fifty six feet thence West two hundred and Eighty feet to the beginning which said lot of ground and improvements I wish to be occupied jointly by my said wife and my daughter Joicy Wooding and at the death of my wife to be the property of Joicy Wooding as herein after mentioned, also two Cows and Calves one horse and Barough, one choice sow and pigs one plough stock and two spontoons one plough stock and two shovel plow hoes all in qood order also one years provisions for her family and stock, and all my household and Kitchen furniture all the above named property which I have will to my wife during her life Except the lot and Improvements above discribed containing about one acre more or less and whereon I Now live, I wish equally dividid Amongst my following named children to wit Patrick N. Maddux, Chapman F. Maddux, Lavinia Butt, David N. Maddux and Lucious W. Maddux, Except the household and Kitchen furniture which will be disposed of below.

3rd I Give to my daughter Joicy Wooding the following property during her life, not subject to any of her Contracts or debts to wit all my land lying on the west side of the Shoals Road commencing at Patrick N. Maddux line on said Road and running along said Road to Thomas Neals line thence along said Neals line to Patrick N. Maddux corner thence along Patrick N. Maddux line to the beginning containing one hundred and fifty acres more or less also one negro man named Abram and his wife dilsey and their two youngest children they may have living at my Death
one horse worth sixty or seventy dollars two plough stocks two shovels and two spontoons on set plough geer two cows and Calves one sow and pigs Eight head of Geese, and one years provisions for her family and stock, such as they- are accostomed to; to wit- Corn fodder and meat, one hundred pounds Sugar, Fifty pounds Coffee, two barrels flour, ten bushels seed Oats and five bushels seed wheat and one yoke of oxen and Cart also that lot or parcel of ground whereon I now live containing one acre more or less with all the improvements thereon after the death of my wife, I give also to daughter Joicy Wooding all the household and Kitchen furniture which she has onhand, all the above named property- given to Joicy Wooding at her death I do hereby give in equal distribution to the following named chilren, to wit,Thomas Wooding, Susan Margaret Wooding, Sarah A. Wooding, Martha Wooding, E1miria B. Wooding & Lucretia Edward Wooding.

4th All the balance of my- Estate which I may die possesed of consisting of either of land, Negroes, Horses, Cattle, Hogs, sheep, money, notes, & after my just debts are paid I wish equally- share and share alike between the following named children, To wit, after each one shall account for what they shall have received of me which will be found charged in a book kept by me, Patrick N. Maddux, Chapman F. Maddux, Lavinia Butt, David N. Maddux and Lucious W, Maddux.

5th It is my Will and desire that the property which Lavinia Butt may draw from or be entitled to from my Estate shall be divided one half to her Lavinia and the other half to be equally divided amongst her Children namely Edgar M. Butt, Victoria Butt, Phetitia Butt, Mary Butt, Martha Butt, William H. Butt, Thomas Butt.

6th There is some lands which I own and which I mention least my Executors might overlook or not know of to wit, One tract in Gwinnett County, one in Early County drawn by John Nash and one in Early County Drawn by Joicy Neal.
Seventh I nominate and appoint Patrick N. Maddux and Chapman F. Maddux Executors to this my last Will and Testament.
Signed sealed and published before us this the Eleventh day of December l84l.
Thomas Maddux (Seal)
Augustus Beall
Columbus C. Cody
Jesse M. Roberts JJC
Georgia Warren County, you Augustus Beall and Jesse M. Roberts do swear that you saw the ‘within named Thomas Maddux, sign, seal, publish and
declare this instrument of ‘writing to be and contain his last Will and Testament and at the time thereof he was in your opinion and belief of sound and disposing mind and memory and that he did it freely and without compulsion, and you do further swear that Columbus C. Cody whose name is signed to this will was a subscribing witness to the same with yourselves and that you all became subscribing witnesses to said will in the presence of said Testator & at his request and in the presence of each other to the best of your Knowledge, So help you God

Additional information on Thomas Maddux, taken from a personal history entered on
(Ca. 1775—18)48)
And some of his descendants
The birth year of our Thomas Maddux is an estimate, based on the average age of grooms at marriage. His birthplace, as listed by a son in the 1880 census, is Georgia. The author does not consider this to be conclusive proof . Family tradition has it that Thomas Maddux Came on horseback from Virginia, and was probably a son of one Thomas Maddux of Fauquier County, Virginia, home of many Maddux families. Thomas first appears in Warren County, Georgia when he is deeded 100 acres of land from Richard Beasley on 14 October 1799. This deed was witnessed by D.Neal and James McCormick. Thomas Maddux married Mary- (Polly) Neal on 10 February 1800 in Warren County.-
Mary Neal was born on 3 November 1782, probably in South Carolina. She was the oldest child of David Neal, Sr. and Joice McCormick. Her Paternal grandparents were Thomas Neal, Sr.and Susanna Harrell. Maternal grandparents were James McCormick and Mary Ann Fletcher. These were prominent citizens of the area.
Apparently, Thomas Maddux was a responsible man of some means, held in high esteem and trust by his in—laws. This is evidenced by the following legal actions.
In 1804, Jehu Neal, 13 year old orphan of Samuel Neal was bound to Thomas Maddux. This Jehu was Mary(Neal) Maddux’s double first cousin.
In December 1811 Thomas was appointed as an administrator of the estate of his father—in—law, David Neal, Sr., jointly with James Neal, oldest son of David. As administrator, Thomas Maddux paid for the coffin of David Neal Sr. in 1812. The estate was quite extensive, consisting of considerable acreage, pine lands, sawmills, grist mills, etc.
In June 1814, Thomas was appointed as an administrator of the estate of Jehu Neal, now deceased at the approximate age of 23. In November of the same year, Thomas was appointed as guardian of Stith and Thomas Hardaway,orphans of John Hardaway. The relationship of Thomas Maddux to Hardaway is undetermined.
In 1816 Thomas Maddux was appointed guardian to Samuel Neal, minor orphan of John Neal. This John is believed to be a younger brother of David Neal, Sr.  The extent of Thomas Maddux’s land holdings is revealed when he is taxed in Capt. Neals District, one poll, 13 slaves, and 400 acres in Warren County, on Rocky Comfort Greek, adjoining Neal, 1818.
Thomas Maddux made his will on 11 December 1841. It was proved on 4 Sep. l848. In this will he describes his home place as commencing at the gate on the Shoals road. The following children are named in this will, along with grandchildren:
Patrick N, Maddux, believed to be the oldest child, and already owning property bordering his father, No reference is made to Patrick having a family.
Chapman F. Maddux, b. about 1804, described later in this text, with no mention of a family in the will,
Joicy Maddux, who married Edward Wooding on 24 Sep 1829 in Columbia Co. Ga. Their children, as listed in the will: Thomas M. Wooding, Susan Margaret Wooding, Sarah A Wooding, Martha Wooding, Elmira B. Wooding and Lucretia Edward Wooding. Further information on this line is unknown,
Lavinia (Maddux) Butt, husband not named, and children, Edgar M., Victoria, Phetitia, Mary,Martha, William H. & Thomas Butt.
David Neal Maddux, b. 5 Feb. 1813, who, at the time of the writing of the will was unmarried, His line is covered later in this text,
Lucious W. Maddux, born about 1818, apparently the youngest living child. Another child, Lucretia, birth date unknown, who married Stokes Ivy, and moved to Marion Co, Georgia, is not mentioned in the will.
Mary (Neal) Maddux probably moved to Marion County, Georgia sometime following the death of her husband in 1848. She was not living in the household of either of her sons, Chapman, David, or Lucious, all of which are found in the 1850 census of Marion County, Georgia.

Mary  Neal Maddux is buried in the Methodist cemetery in Buena Vista, Georgia, date of death, 13 Nov. 1854. Next to her is buried Mary W. Butt, born  Warrenton, Ga. 31 Jan 1840, died 28 Jan. l854.  This Mary was the grandaughter named in Thomas Maddux’s will.  The grave of Thomas Maddux has not been located at this writing. More research is needed in Warren County.
I found Patrick N. Maddux, M. E. Clergyman, age 49, in the 1850 census of Warren County, Georgia, with wife Martha, and 9 children. Living next door is his mother, Mary, apparently widowed, and head of the household. Living with her is a daughter, Joice Wooding and her 6 children. I found him in the 1860 census of Pike County, Georgia, with wife, and seven children, listed as “M. E” and also as a farmer. He owned about 16 slaves.  He died near Zebulon, Georgia in 1870, and a son, Emory, Administrator of his estate, returned to Mississippi. Mrs. Estelle (Maddux) Trawick, a daughter of Emory Maddux, is said to have in her possession, the original last Will and testament of Thomas Maddux, her Great Grandfather.

Chapman F. Maddux is mentioned in the history of Marion County Georgia, as one of the veterans of the Creek Indian War that settled in Marion County after l836 (p 36) I tend to believe that he settled there after 1840, because he Is listed as a head of household in Warren County 1840 census. He is listed as a delegate to the gubernatorial convention in l849(from Tazewell District). In 1851 he was appointed as justice of the Inferior court.The 1850 census of Marion County lists House No. 516 , Chapman F. Maddux, 46, $3000 in real property, wife, Mary, 41, Children, Frances,17, John T, 15, Mary Ann, 12, Louisa A., 7, Elmira C., 3, and a female child, unnamed, age 6 months..
Chapman Maddux sells 8 lots in Buena Vista Georgia between January and July  . 1851. Was he preparing to leave? Then, in 4 Non 1894, a Chapman F. Maddux deeds  a lot in the 4th district. Chapman would have been about 90 years old at the time.
Yet, he is not listed in the l86O 1880 census of Marion Couny. His son, John T.Maddux is living with Lucious W. Maddux in l86O John T. Maddux 2/Lt. 15 Apr 1861, CSA, Capt. 28 Apr. 1862, Resigned 8 Oct. 1863.  I have not researched this line any further. Apparently, this family and their descendants moved away from Marion County, as they are not kmown to the descendants of David Neal Maddux.
(1813 – 1894)
David Neal Maddux was born on Feb. 1813 in Warren County Georgia. A son of
Thomas Maddux and Mary(Po]ly) Neal, he was named for his maternalgrandfather,
David Neal, Sr. It is believed that he removed from Warren County to Marion
County Georgia about 1845, along with a younger brother,.Lucious. Lots number  76 and 77 in Buena Vista, Georgia are deeded to David N. Maddux and Lucious W.
Maddux from Morris Fussell on 5 Dec 1845. Deed signed by C.F.Maddux, JJC,  who was an older brother. This deed is believed to be the original homestead of David Maddux.   David N. Maddiix married Sarah Glaze in Marion County Georgia on 25 Oct. 1846.  She was born 3 Aug. 1826 in Marion County Georgia, a daughter of John M. Glaze, Sr.
and Mary Ann Campbell. Sarah Elizabeth Glaze’s maternal grandparents were Archibald Campbell and Frances Askew who had come from Louisville, Jefferson County Georgia.

David N. Maddux was listed as a farmer with $3000 in real estate In the 1850 census, but in 1860 he is listed as “High Sherriff”, a position he held during and after the Civil War. .Family tradition says that David served as a Confederate Soldier, also, but I have not obtained a service record on him.  Following are the children of David N. and Sarah Maddux:

Mary Neal, b. 1847, Buena Vista, Ga., line untraced.
Estel]. M. , b. 1849,Buena Vista, GA  m. George Bullock
Georgia M. b. 1858  Buena Vista, GA  m. Ellis Ike Phelps
* Thomas Archibald Campbell, b. 17 Feb 1860, m. Margaret Roan Davis
R. Lee b. 1864, Buena Vista, GA ,  m. Bill Watts
William David b. 1865, Buena Vista, GA m. Hattie Bryant

David N. Maddux died in Buena Vista Georgia on 24 Oct. 1894 . His wife, Sarah, died on  4 Sep. 1905. They are buried in the Methodist Cemetery at Buena Vista.
An interesting action taken soon after David Maddux’s death sets one to wondering. Chapman F. Maddux deeded Lot 157, 4th Disrict to a John Benson on 4  Nov. 1894. In the 1860 census of Marion County a John Benson, age 22, is listed in the household of David N. Maddux, as an overseer. It is pure conjecture, but perhaps this deed was made in part of the settlement of David Maddux’s estate, by his brother, Chapman.

Lucious is believed to be the youngest of Thomas Maddux’s children. He was born about 1818 in Warren County. He first appears in Marion County in December l845  when he was listed as a grantee on a deed, jointly with his brother, David. They probably came to Marion County about the same time. Lucious is listed at house 708 in the l850 Marion County census, age 32, farmer, with $2000 in real estate, wife Mary, age 20, and son Patrick, age months. I can find no marriage record on Lucious Maddux in Marion County.The 1860 census lists : House #49l, L.W. Maddux,  Clerk, $500. real estate, $2000. personal property. Wife, Mary C., 31, Children: Patrick F., 10,Emma F., 9, Lucias C., 2 and Mary W, 6 months. Also, in this household are Edgar M. Butt, a nephew, listed as Lawyer, John T. Maddux, another nephew,listed as clerk. (Note: This was the oldest son of Chapman F. Maddux). Also listed was Alumon Hurtz, 18, Clerk, born in Germany. His relationship to the Maddux family, if any, is unknown. I have searched the 1870 census, but have not found Lucious W. Maddux . I found him in the 1880 census of Johnson Co, Texas, in another household, and listed as a widower.The last deed I find is from L.W. & Mary C. MaIdux to Davenporb in 3 Nov 1891. Descendants of this Maddux line are not known to our Maddux descendants.  Letter from Art Anderson states that Lucious Maddux married Maryann Comfort Brooks.
(1860 — 1910)
He was the fourth child born to David N. Maddux and Sarah E. Glaze, born in Marion County, Ga. 17 Feb. 1860. His maternal grandparents were John M. Glaze, Sr. and Mary Ann Campbell. His Great Grandfather was Archibald Campbell, for whom he was named.  Thomas A. C. Madduxmarried Margaret Roan Davis in October 1888 in Marion County, Ga.  Margaret was the second child of Johnathan Delephate Davis and Mary Jane Pearson. She was born 18 Nov. 1868 in Marion County, Georgia.  T.A.C. Maddux was a mail carrier in Buena Vista, Georgia. He died quite suddenly on 25 Apr. 1910, of a lung hemmorage, believed to have been caused by pneumonia.  Margaret Roan Maddux died 31 Mar. 1948,  at Richland, Georgia.

Davis Neal, b. 11 Aug 1890 m. O1ie Doster 1911, He d. May 1965.
Robert Lee, b. 18 Feb. 1892 in. Georgia Seigler . Deceased.

Thomas Clarence, b. 12 Sep. 1895 m. (l)Addie Heiner (2) Willie Mae Folsom. Living in Eufala, Ala. 1973.

Mary Elizabeth, b. 20 Sep. 1897 m. Chester A. Highnote 1 Dec. 1913.
Dorothy Estelle., b. 23 Nov 1899 in. Ed. F. Raiford 3 May 1969.

* Margaret, b. I. Oct 1903, m. Charles Sidney Jones, Sr. 8 Dec. 1923. Living in Sylvester, Ga. l93.

Billie Grace, b. 23 Oct. 1907 in. (1)Marion P. Clarke (2) Deforest A. Ratliff. Living in Atlanta, Ga.