My People

My People
My matched set of grandchildren - Oliver and Cosette

Sunday, June 30, 2013

My Brit-wit Condition Explained

I'm a Brit-wit: fascinated with all things British especially all things royal. My genealogy research today has unearthed a few reasons why I have this unhealthy obsession (like, I took the whole day off of work for William and Kate's wedding). It's more than just never growing out of my "princess" stage... It's in my blood, y'all. Those Royals are my peeps! Here are a list of some of my ancestors who have worn a crown - and I don't just mean those paper ones they give you at Burger King.

John " Lackland" King of England Plantagenet

Birth 24 Dec 1167 in Beaumont Palace, Oxfordshire, England
Death 19 Oct 1216 in Newark Castle, Newark-on-Trent, Nottinghamshire, England

JOHN 1199 -1216 
John Lackland was the fourth child of Henry II. Short and fat, he was jealous of his dashing brother Richard I whom he succeeded. He was cruel, self-indulgent, selfish and avaricious, and the raising of punitive taxes united all the elements of society, clerical and lay, against him. The Pope excommunicated him. On 15th June 1215 at Runnymede the barons compelled John to sign Magna Carta, the Great Charter, which reinstated the rights of all his subjects. John died - from over-eating - a fugitive from all his enemies. He has been termed "the worst English king".

Henry III King of England Plantagenet

Your 23rd great grandfather

Birth 10 Oct 1206 in Winchester, Hampshire, , England
Death 16 Jun 1272 in Westminster, Middlesex, , England

HENRY III 1216 -1272 
Henry was 9 years old when he became king. Brought up by priests he became devoted to church, art and learning. He was a weak man, dominated by churchmen and easily influenced by his wife's French relations. In 1264 Henry was captured during the rebellion of barons led by Simon de Montfort and was forced to set up a 'Parlement' at Westminster, the start of the House of Commons. Henry was the greatest of all patrons of medieval architecture and ordered the rebuilding of Westminster Abbey in the Gothic style.

Edward I Longshanks PLANTAGENET

Birth 17 Jul 1239 in Westminster, London, England
Death 7 Jul 1307 in Northumberland, England

EDWARD I 1272 - 1307 
Edward Longshanks was a statesman, lawyer and soldier. He formed the Model Parliament in 1295, bringing the knights, clergy and nobility, as well as the Lords and Commons together for the first time. Aiming at a united Britain, he defeated the Welsh chieftains and created his eldest son Prince of Wales. He was known as the 'Hammer of the Scots' for his victories in Scotland and brought the famous coronation stone from Scone to Westminster. When his first wife Eleanor died, he escorted her body from Grantham to Westminster, setting up Eleanor Crosses at every resting place. He died on the way to fight Robert Bruce.

Edward (II King of England) Plantagenet

Birth 25 Apr 1284 in  Caernarvonshire, Wales
Death 21 Sep 1327 in Berkeley, Gloucestershire, England

EDWARD II 1307 - deposed 1327 
Edward was a weak and incompetent king. He had many 'favourites', Piers Gaveston being the most notorious. He was beaten by the Scots at the Battle of Bannockburn in 1314. Edward was deposed and held captive in Berkeley Castle in Gloucestershire. His wife joined her lover Mortimer in deposing him: by their orders he was murdered in Berkley Castle - as legend has it, by having a red-hot poker thrust up his anus! His beautiful tomb in Gloucester Cathedral was erected by his son, Edward III.

Edward III King of England

Birth 20 Nov 1312 in Windsor Castle, Berks, England
Death 21 Jun 1377 in Richmond, Surrey, England

EDWARD III 1327 - 1377 
Son of Edward II, he reigned for 50 years. His ambition to conquer Scotland and France plunged England into the Hundred Years War, beginning in 1338. The two great victories at Crecy and Poitiersmade Edward and his son, the Black Prince, the most renowned warriors in Europe, however the war was very expensive. The outbreak of bubonic plague, the 'Black Death' in 1348-1350 killed half the population of England.

John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster

Birth 14 Mar 1340 in Abbaye De St Bavon, Ghent, Flandre Orientale, Belgium
Death 3 Feb 1399 in Leicester, Leicestershire, England

Edward IV King of England Plantagenet

Birth 28 Apr 1442 in Rouen, Normandy, France
Death 9 Apr 1483 in Palace, Westminster, Middlesex, England

EDWARD IV 1461- 1483 
He was the son of Richard Duke of York and Cicely Neville, and not a popular king. His morals were poor (he had many mistresses and had at least one illegitimate son) and even his contemporaries disapproved of him. Edward had his rebellious brother George, Duke of Clarendon, murdered in 1478 on a charge of treason. During his reign the first printing press was established in Westminster by William Caxton. Edward died suddenly in 1483 leaving two sons aged 12 and 9, and five daughters.

John " Lackland" King of England Plantagenet (1167 - 1216)
is your 24th great grandfather
son of John " Lackland" King of England Plantagenet
son of Henry III King of England Plantagenet
son of Edward I Longshanks PLANTAGENET
son of Edward (II King of England) Plantagenet
son of Edward III King of England
daughter of John of Gaunt Duke of Lancaster
daughter of Joan DeBeaufort
son of Cecily Neville
daughter of Edward IV King of England Plantagenet
son of Margaret Watson Plantagenet
son of Edward Sloughton
son of Francis Sloughton/Stoughton
daughter of Thomas Sloughton/Stoughton
son of Christian Sloughton
daughter of Henry Chamberlain
daughter of Faith Chamberlain
daughter of Faith Patterson
daughter of Sarah Worth
son of Sarah Lawrence
daughter of Elisha Johnson
daughter of Rebecca Johnson
son of Deborah Ann Clayton
son of Elias M Gant
son of Theodore Stogden Gant
son of Bruce Bronson Gant Sr
daughter of James Edward Gant Sr

So... just a few of my Royal British ancestors. I never studied British History so I need to do a little more research but... as we're heading into the month in which a new Heir to the Throne will be born... and I will be obsessed with it all... and this here, my "Grandpa Kings" have to explain it. 

More later!
Love and hugs! 
Information about the kings taken from the following:

Saturday, June 29, 2013

My Saturday

I hear that it's hot outside. I haven't gone out to find out for myself, unless you count the sixty seconds or so that I worked on cleaning the impossible to clean sliding glass door. I decided it was a chore beyond my skill set so I came back inside and snapped a photo of the view from the Whine Cellar. I'm sure there are places in the world that are lovelier but none of them are home to me like this view is... and none of them have a nice cozy nest for me to hang out in on a hot Summer day. I'll take this view for now, thank you very much!

I'm nesting right here. I know it looks sorta tacky with the furniture all covered up. We have lots of fur shedding creatures around here and a one still very messy still a teenager living here and it's just easier to cover it than to try to undo their damage. It's so delightfully cool here in the basement! It was only five Summers ago that I was dying in the ungodly Jacksonville, Florida heat on the third floor with the a/c out for a week or so. For that matter, I grew up without air conditioning although I had much less insulation then and we had one of those massive attic fans that sucks everything for a ten mile radius up...  And for that matter... I worked Summers at a laundrymat. We took in napkins and tray liners for the different airlines and had to wash, dry and then press them on these huge open ironing machines in a building with no air conditioning. The money was good and it was walking distance (and you could safely walk in Riverdale then) from home and, again, much less insulation. But now? Give me air conditioning or give me death! I don't sweat pretty any more.

Today my cousin's son got married. It's my mom's oldest sibling's youngest child's oldest child, my first cousin once removed. We are distant enough that it wasn't something we would have been invited to (or gone, you know how I am about going ANYWHERE) but close enough that I'm happy for them and can't wait to see some photos posted on Facebook. Congrats to Mac and Hannah!

Tomorrow my Aunt Ginger and Uncle Carl are bringing Mama a boat. Yes. A boat. It belonged to my Granddaddy (I think) and when he passed it went to my Aunt Linda's house and in the midst of cleaning things up following her husband's death (two weeks ago tomorrow, already) the boat is one of the things that is being redistributed. I'm not entirely sure how I feel about boating because although the lake is lovely to look at from my cool and comfy nest... it's not critter free... and I'm not entirely sure that I would be confident of not capsizing and ending up in that water. With the critters. I guess from a fishing standpoint it will be nice to have although I doubt Oscar the Fishing Dachshund should be in a boat. One day when it's not hot outside (maybe next November) I'll walk down to the dock and take pictures of Oscar fishing. He's INTENSE! He loves fishing so much that you can't say the word "fish" around him without him spazzing out.

I changed a few things on my blah-g, it was getting sort of stale looking. I also wanted to link to a few of the blogs I read. There are approximately 500 on my list but of course not all of them update daily and even the ones that do, I don't always get around to reading even though I'm in cyberspace just about every waking moment. I picked the ones I like the best and if you're looking to expand your blog library, you might check a few of them out. I seem to be drawn to blogs of young Catholic mothers or women battling infertility which, I know is odd. I did so very much love being a new mommy (and am so glad that I am now an old mommy) and I always loved birth stories. Catholic mommies have lots of birth stories. 'Jes sayin'. And the infertility blogs are fascinating because I cannot imagine NOT having had babies and it breaks my heart that some women have to work so hard to achieve that blessing. For me it just took a lustful glance. Had I not had my tubes tied at age 26 I would have a dozen kids, no doubt. I also love historical stuff and families with multiples. Basically, I just like knowing how people live and if the blog is well written or has a lot of pictures or an interesting storyline... I'm there. It's a great way to pass time.

Anyways... so this has been a really lovely, restful day. Muscle spasms are the pain of the day and I have been resisting the urge to o.d. on muscle relaxers. Laying down vs. sitting in a recliner helps that a bit. It's ok. It's not the worst pain I've ever had and it just bugs me only slightly so I will survive.

In the nest.
Looking out at the lake.
In the air conditioning.
Happy Saturday, y'all.

Friday, June 28, 2013

My Not-So-Quick Takes

I'm trying something new (because my blah-g feels stale lately) and linking up with some of the ladies who keep me entertained daily. It's seven quick takes... here's what I have:

1. Out of respect to the single working mom of three boys that I spent more than a decade of my life being, I never, ever, ever will say that I am bored. Pinky swear. I will, however, admit that this peaceful existence here at the mountain house does, occasionally, lack excitement. We're in such a routine....

  • 8am - I wake up, watch Good Morning America
  • 9am - shower and get dressed, watch the first part of Kelly and Michael and switch to Zimmerman trial. Eat something so I can take first meds of the day. Make coffee. Mom wakes up sometime in the 9 o'clock hour. Crank up the old laptop and connect with the outside world. 
  • Noon - change to Atlanta News briefly. Do something in the way of eating lunch. More meds on bad days if the pain is hanging around. 
  • 1pm - Watch either How I Met Your Mother or more of the Zimmerman trial.
  • 2pm - Watch two hours of Grey's Anatomy and eat a bowl of ice cream.
  • 4pm - back to the Atlanta News / Zimmerman trial. Austin wakes up and wanders upstairs. (I'm not kidding).
  • 5pm - Watch The Five - it makes me happy. I adore all the folks that are on this show. 
  • 6pm - Dinner? Maybe? We generally eat light. I do a lot of salad-y things like tabbouleh or pasta salad - things that we can eat at different times. Or frozen pizza. We live on frozen pizza here since we're not anywhere near a delivery zone so we can't just call Dominos. We watch Toddlers and Tiaras and... yeah, we live it up. 
  • 7pm - I watch the Big Bang Theory, get in my sleeping clothes, take my evening drugs and/or head down to the Whine Cellar for my alone time where I read blogs, read whatever's on my Nook. play sudoku and just enjoy my happy place. 

I fall asleep anywhere between 9pm and tomorrow. You just never know. It's not boring but it is predictable.

2. Did you notice that my routine is mostly tv and internet? Yeah. I need to work on that. My mom is much more well-rounded. She works in the garden or does yard work or goes fishing. We both get up a gajillion times a day to feed dogs/cats, give dogs/cats water, let dogs out to the Poop Pen. The furry creatures are a lot of work but we love them. I figure you can't go from "giver of life" and "nurturer" to a phone call once a week or so without having some living being who still needs you. For us, it's the fur babies. For me, mostly, it's my Trouble Kitty. The odd thing is that if I'm upstairs in the main level where all the animals are, he doesn't cuddle with me. If we're in the Whine Cellar he is my Siamese twin. (Another reason I love my Whine Cellar)

3. Does everybody get what I mean by "Whine Cellar" or is that a private joke that I only share with myself?
The mountain house has three levels... the main level has the master bedroom, kitchen, living room and a bath and a half. The top level has two huge bedrooms and a full bath (that I co-opted for my private dressing room). The bottom level is a finished basement with a huge living room space, two bedrooms and a bath. Since it's sort of mine and Austin's territory, and since I am a notorious whiner, I refer to it as the "Whine Cellar". Eventually I want to have a kitchenette put in the Whine Cellar but that will have to come after the disability is approved (which is hopefully before the end of this calendar year and/or the end of my little nest egg).

4. More on the post about being an anti-social extrovert: I love being in my 40's because I think it is a time of life when you start to live without apologies and realize that you are who you are. That's not to say that we never have room for improvement because we do. I do. I also can't avoid the fact that a lot of people have disappointed me in the past decade. A lot. I've suffered a lot of battle wounds and there is some measure of me that just doesn't want to bother with human interaction in order to avoid any more scars. I've also grown oh-so-very-weary of trying to explain/excuse what it's like to live life in pain. I don't go for the dramatic moaning and groaning. Most of the time I don't even want to draw attention to myself - I just want to quietly slip away. Or just not be there at all, which is what happens most of the time. Eventually if you never go anywhere people stop expecting to see you so you don't have to explain why you weren't there.

5. From a spiritual standpoint a lot of Godly people have done things (or not done things) that made me NOT want to be a part of the Christian lifestyle. If/when your life takes some seriously unplanned paths you can't help but think "if there's a God, He really must not like me" but I am also quick to say that I am so incredibly blessed. This is not the life I would have picked for myself but I just can't help but see those metaphoric footprints in the sand. If you're not interacting with people hardly ever it becomes very easy to not interact with God either. And for me... my Christian walk was centered on preparing myself for the day by praying my way to work everyday. Lord knows that some of the employment/life situations I've been in over the past decade required an enormous amount of prayerful preparation. It doesn't take a lot of prayer to prepare for a day of channel and web surfing. You could say that I need God more than ever because of the pain and because of the uncertainty of this whole disability process - but there is so little that I absolutely have to do in the course of a day - that I don't have that absolute terror that "only God can get me through this day" and lean on Him like I used to.  This kind of goes back to that post I did two days ago about my inheritance - just because you don't NEED your family any more doesn't mean that you no longer interact with them. And you shouldn't only interact with people because of what they can do for you. I'm working on being present in relationships with people and with God not because of what those relationships can do for me but because people I love - and people who love me- DESERVE my attention. (Was that a long walk for a short drink of water or did that make sense?)

6. Obviously I am no good at quick takes. It's raining and the satellite went out. Mom, Pop and Oscar are at Lowe's. Austin is downstairs. It's super quiet here right now and I have actually had a few minutes of uninterrupted thought which is a catalyst for long-winded blogging for me, apparently.

7. It's the weekend and I have no plans. What are y'all doing this weekend? Any fabulous plans for the 4th of July?

Hope you have a happy, happy weekend and don't suffer from the extreme Summer weather. Love and hugs, y'all.

Thursday, June 27, 2013

My Addiction

There was a time when I was a social butterfly. Really. I kid you not. I was a cheerleader. I was in all the church plays. I sang in every choir that would have me. I signed up for every parental obligation from room mother to dugout mother to scorekeeper to Sunday school teacher. There are people who read my blog now who knew me then and who will have a really hard time hearing the next sentence:

I want to be left alone.

I mean, not always. I dutifully and cheerfully get up every morning here at the mountain house and 50.2% of the time I make coffee for my mom and let the dogs out and settle my happy little lappy in Pop's recliner in front of the mega-tv and that's where I spend my day. There are occasional errands to be run and sometimes I draw the short straw and have to run them. Austin inevitably always needs something or other. I feed the other inhabitants of the house - real food or kibble - depending on their placement on the evolutionary chart (I don't believe in evolution). I make an effort every day to put on clothes that were not the same clothes I slept in (although most of my clothes can transition from day wear to evening wear quite handily) I either braid or ponytail my Roseanne-Roseanna-Danna hair into something that won't frighten small children or make my niece Tiffany say, "Girl... you need a relaxer on that hair!". About every other day I put on makeup. Not drag queen like - just a little bit of magic to keep from looking like I've completely given up.

I hang out on the main level of the house with mom and the three dogs and three cats for the bulk of the day. She suffers through whatever court drama I'm watching (George Zimmerman trial) and tolerates The Five although she doesn't quite appreciate their humor yet. She's learning. We watch Toddlers and Tiaras and pick the girl who is the least brat to win. And then, unless there's something particularly interesting on tv, I go back downstairs to my little den/bedroom in the Whine Cellar and look at the lake until it gets dark. And after it gets dark I hold little kitty over my shoulder like a baby being burped and we watch the lightning bugs. Just when he's tracked one down - FLASH - another one grabs his attention. It's our bonding time. We start our day looking outside together and we end our day looking outside together and I cherish those moments in the way that only a crazy cat lady truly can.

My mom was one of seven kids. She had five kids and never managed to get completely empty nested because as the youngest kid moved out, the oldest grandchild moved in. She likes company. She likes to read the internet to you. She shares her commentary on whatever program we're watching and asks lots of questions so that she understands what's going on. It's absolutely precious bonding time that few mothers and daughters really get to have on a consistent basis. My pain has led me to the past of least resistance and that path ends up here at the mountain house spending the Summer of 2013 with my mama. These are, without a doubt, the happiest times I have had in a very long time.

But the hard truth is that I'm an anti-social extrovert. I'm good at being around people. I'm not afraid to talk to people. It has been said that I have a tendency to draw people to me. Only. I don't want to. Darby damaged me to the extent that I don't let myself form close bonds or any dependence on others. I'm most comfortable when I'm self-sufficient and the next best thing to being self-sufficient is being with mama and daddy. And that's about as big as I want my world to be right now. Even with my own children, I don't call them because I don't want to intrude in their life. I wait for them to reach to me. And even with the good times we're having... my mama and me... I reach a point every evening when I just want to be alone. In my Whine Cellar. With my Trouble Kitty. Watching the lightning bugs or the butterflies or the birds. Just this tight little circle that includes me and my cat.

That is my reward for a day of coming out of my anti-social cloud long enough for my mom to not feel lonely: I get to go be alone. I love my Whine Cellar. I love my little den. I love the gorgeous view of the lake and how cool this lowest level is. I love the peace and quiet. I love my space. When Pop was here this past weekend I spent more time down here because mom had Pop to keep her company. And then, of course, Pop thought I was avoiding him. I wasn't. I was just letting him have a turn and indulging myself in a little solitude.

Ultimately, if I were to be truly analytical about things, I would say that I'm probably damaged from my time with Darby and the couple of rejections that happened before and after him. I'm probably just a few steps on the path that old maids and bitter brokenhearted women find themselves on... the road to having a house full of cats and a hoard of newspapers. I would worry about this great desire to be alone if I didn't just so very much enjoy being alone. It's not like I'm on crack or anything. My addiction is solitude. Peace. Quiet. Me and the cat and a thousand of my closest internet friends. I love times with friends and I'm ok when those times are over and I can post the photos and reminisce. I like being alone with my thoughts.

So what do you think? Do I have a problem? Do I need psychological intervention? Or am I just a girl who really loves her space? Happy Friday-eve, y'all. Love and hugs!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

My Inheritance

So there is this family... I've heard about... allegedly... who just lost their patriarch/husband/father/grandfather figure in the last few weeks... and in the midst of this time of grief and adjustment... there has risen up one family member who has become preoccupied with his inheritance. Typically, one would think, that with a surviving spouse at an age where she still has potentially many good years ahead of her, that any disbursement of the estate would be handled at the time she deceases. You would think that but there is one family member is insisting that the estate be liquidated and his portion be paid out and ... basically to hell with the surviving spouse being able to stay in the home where she raised her children... instead of taking into consideration the grieving widow... she's having to fight for her right to what is hers because it is, until she deceases, hers. And truly it's none of my business, other than to consider it odd that a child would be so greedy as to expect their portion in advance of when it should become theirs. And this particular person, allegedly, wasn't an active participant in the family for many years and has resurfaced only at the time in which he assumed there was an inheritance to be gathered.

And as I pondered this situation today I started thinking about being a member of the family of God and my rightful inheritance of salvation. I've basically avoided anything and everything that could cause pain over the past two and half years, and have only attempted a very few church services. It quite simply became something embarrassing to have to continually admit that I am unable, uncomfortable and unwilling to suffer. Which, in the face of a religion that's held up by a patriarch who literally (in my belief) allowed himself to be nailed with big old ugly spikes to a rough and hideous cross in order to pay out the inheritance that I would one day be able to collect. And I thought about all the times I ask him to intercede on my behalf based on who I am - because of him. I won't go and visit you, Abba Father because it hurts too bad... and I won't make an effort to spend time with you in prayer because I'm embarrassed to ask you for anything when I'm not doing anything for you, even visiting you from my cozy nest.

In either case it's a family member not being concerned about the needs of other family members and still expecting their full portion. I want it all and I want it now. I want His favor and His protection and His blessings and I can't even wait until the time comes for the estate to be divided to claim my inheritance. I want it now. And in both cases GRACE has been extended and the opportunity exists/existed right up to the final second for there to be a change in attitude. In both cases, what the father wanted was to know the son/daughter, to have a real time of communication and communion with them. I can tell you for a fact that my earthly daddy treasures time with me more than he treasures my treasures.

And so. I'm going to start earning my inheritance again. I'm going to spend time with Him, my heavenly father, because he deserves the best I have to offer because he has truly given me his best. Some of it is only collected at the end of my time here on earth but so much more of it is handed out every single day in his mercies that are new every morning.

And that is my heart this Wednesday. Love and hugs to you all.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Give Peace A Chance

Last night I didn't go to sleep until 4am plus. Austin can verify this for me because he periodically would wander through the Whine Cellar and say, "are you still up?" and I would shrug or roll my eyes or somehow confirm that yes, indeed I was still up. I was prepared to sleep until noon, if necessary to catch up on sleep and instead was up with the sun. Or 8:39am, which counts because there's sun then.

Sweet Little Trouble Kitty... when I get up in the morning I go to the potty and then he is always waiting for me by the sliding glass door. I pick him up and hold him over my shoulder (like burping a baby) and we look out on the lake. I ask him "do you see the gooses?" Yes. I know. It's geese. He's only two, though, so he would say gooses if he could talk. I ask, "do you hear the birds? and the squirrels? and the fish?" That last one is a trick question. You don't really hear fish but maybe in the animal kingdom there's some method of communication between cats and fish. I mean, there's a lot we don't know. He purrs like it's his job and swishes his tail and it's a really sweet way to start my day, even if I only got a few hours of sleep and I'm sure he must like it too because there's not much a cat will tolerate if he doesn't want to.

The great thing about not working is that it doesn't really matter if you don't get a lot of sleep. You're not going to mess up somebody's insurance or anything. You won't snap at a mean client. You might doze during the two hours of Grey's Anatomy in the afternoon. You might want to start cooking dinner at 4pm. You might take your night meds early and head down to the whine cellar early and you might hope for an early bedtime. Guilty on all counts today.  But in the grand scheme of things, a night is just a night.

My pain doctor has reinforced the importance of getting a good night's sleep. There's some muscle repair function that goes on in your body while you're sleeping and if you miss too many nights then your pain level increases and so I'm always careful to make sure I don't have two bad nights in a row if I can help it. In a way, it feels good to really pamper myself and be able to legitimately tuck myself in early for medical reasons.

On the other hand.... my mom slept until past noon today and Austin slept until 4pm. It's a crazy, lazy, mixed up schedule around here. The big dogs slept while mom slept and Oscar kept up guard duty - barking every time the wind blew. I know my mom was in a really deep sleep because at one point the phone rang and she got up and answered it... I could tell it was for me because she said, "hold on" and I asked... from the same room where she was... "is it for me?" and she headed downstairs with the phone calling my name. "Mom... I'm up here. Right where you were." It was social security wanting to make sure I got the envelope that they sent me.

I mentioned the Paula Deen thing the other day about not wanting to really get into it and I still don't because it's a really raw spot with me. I read over the transcript from the deposition where she admitted to - at some time in the past - using the "N" word - but not lately. Listen. I know it's hard to hear and it's hard for me to say but the truth is that the South is only really a generation or two from segregation. I know that the church I was baptized in stopped running a bus ministry because there were too many black children getting on those buses. I can tell you that I was grown and a mom before I knew that the term "colored people" was offensive. I didn't hear Martin Luther King's name until I was in high school.

It was different. Yes, different wrong, not different good or right or anything I'm proud of. My family had "help" and they had their own bathroom but not because anyone thought they would catch anything but because it was more convenient for them. I know that, as my grandmother so sweetly puts it, "we took good care of our people". I can overlook the possessiveness of that statement because I know the genuine love and care that existed both ways. And that my ancestors gave their "help" a home and kept them fed and buried them when the time came and I don't mean in a plantation sense, I mean in the sense of we needed help, they needed a place to live and there was an interdependence and that's how it was in the South in that time. And that's the context in which Paula Deen admitted - under oath - at a time, way back in her past - using that type of language. And I've got to tell you that I'm disgusted by the lynch mob mentality that is punishing a good woman in a way that I don't believe she deserves. All of us has said something in the way of a racial slur against someone or somebody at some point in our lives, out of meanness or ignorance or hate or whatever but past is past.

By the grace of God we are living in a time that is more evolved and sensitive to things that are hurtful and there's nothing that Paula Deen has done or said that justifies ruining her life. It makes me sick to my stomach. I'm so mad at the Food Network and Smithfield Hams and they're both on *ignore* from me right now.

And then this whole George Zimmerman thing. I've been trying to watch the trial but his attorneys are lame. The whole thing is lame. Yes, he was profiling. He had no reason to get out of his car and he never should have engaged that young man and if GZ had done what he was told that young man would probably still be alive. I've just spent the past year living in a part of town where you have to be cautious of your surroundings and I'm sorry, it's an ugly fact of life that we have to look for things like low slung pants and hoodies and things to warn us of potential danger. When they show news reports of crimes they aren't showing Mormon missionaries. They just aren't. That's not a world I created. But I also don't go out after dark or put myself into unsafe situations and GZ was trolling for trouble. Neighborhood WATCH... that's all he was supposed to do was watch. It makes me ill.

Anyways. I'm tucked in the Whine Cellar, preparing for early bedtime, hoping to go out tomorrow in search of home grown tomatoes and fresh figs and maybe a cup of boiled peanuts. I'm going to embrace this world, this life, this home... and pray that we all learn how to get along. Love and hugs, y'all.

Monday, June 24, 2013

Our Exciting Monday (not really)

Things that have happened around here over the past twenty four hours:

Austin brought home a sub sandwich from Ingles that was so good that I stole half of it. He really volunteered it. It was a toasted roast beef with chipotle gouda. My kid has such an evolved palate!

For breakfast this morning I had black grapes (my favorites) and pound cake. Ok. Not balanced but yum.

For lunch today I had tabbouleh and chocolate ice cream.

Later Austin made chicken rice in the rice cooker and I ate that too.

Yes, I have a carb/sugar problem. Sugar is bad for people with pain, however, at least I haven't resorted to booze or hard drugs.

My brother came over to try to fix the lawnmower last night. My niece Jamie visited me in the Whine Cellar and helped me unpack some boxes of books. She asked if we could put up a Christmas tree (my purple one) and I said, "sure, why not?" because... really, why not? There's a ton of space in the basement and ... anyways... but her dad reminded her that it wasn't a good idea to be where cats had been (she's so badly allergic) and we had to abandon the decorating in progress. Now there is an undecorated tree in my basement because, again, why not?

I woke up at some point and saw the super moon but wasn't impressed enough to walk upstairs to get my camera.

This living on three different levels is tricky. I am constantly dragging my chapstick and cup of ice water with me.

This new fridge has the ice maker in the door thing that makes crushed ice. Other than my time with Darby, we've never had that sort of new fangled luxury. I like it very much and drink either ice water or orange juice over crushed ice constantly.

Austin is explaining the difference to me between his "working in the yard flipflops" and his "dress flipflops". While wearing a striped polo shirt with patterned pajama pants. He looks like a homeless man.

It's really bizarre how well his room works. Even with him and Logan up  playing games all night, I never heard them, even though I was on the same level. These walls are thick.

UPS came today. It's the first time they've been here so that was interesting. He parked at the top of the driveway and walked down. It's not that far but it's fairly steep. He walked to the back door which we have barricaded so the cats can't get out of the screened porch. The front porch is fenced off so the dogs can go potty without running off. Where was I going with this? Oh yeah. UPS came today.

The dishwasher became unhinged this morning while I was emptying it. Just for the record, it's not a good idea for me to hold a dishwasher up. Seems like everyday there is some new insult or injury to my back. Yesterday it was unpacking books with Jamie, today the dishwasher. You would think that not working would spare me but just in the course of daily life stuff happens.

A few pictures to illustrate our lazy little Monday:

 This cat sleeps anywhere and everywhere... curled up on a kitchen chair...
 My mom's shoes. She wears them out to garden or fish and takes them off at the door before she comes in. There is a collection of shoes at every door. Austin, as previously mentioned, just has the "dress flipflops" and the "work flipflops". Myself... I'm pretty much an indoor girl. I have my mary jane sketchers that I wear to town and my old navy flip flops that I wear... to town... and that's about it. I do have a pair of black keds in the trunk of the car for what reason I don't know. I have more shoes than that, of course, but those are the only ones in circulation up here at the mountain house.
When my mom goes out to fish she usually goes down to the Whine Cellar and out the door there. Lady is scared of the steps so she waits at the top of the stairs for Mawmaw to come back up. So pitiful.
 Mom rearranged the living room because the couch was blocking the air vent and it got right stuffy in here every afternoon. It's not very feng sui, it sort of makes the room feel choppy but it's cooler and in the Summer in the South, that's what matters.
 Aerial view of new living room arrangement.
 The newest participant in the Feline Relocation Project, Eddie the Ginger Cat is settling into his new home. He also will not attempt the stairs so out of six animals - three cats and three dogs - only two will use the stairs, Oscar the dachshund and Little Trouble Kitty. The other four animals are confined to the main level and the screen porch. And the Poop Pen out front.
 My mom caught a fish and realized that her pliers weren't at the dock so she brought it up for Austin to get off the hook. Oscar thinks that every fish belongs to him so he bounced up and down the whole way up from the dock trying to get his fish. I couldn't get a picture of it... he was too fast.
 Austin holding the fish... mom and Logan trying to get Oscar... Lily taking her chance to escape. Never a dull moment here!

Happy Monday, y'all!