Monday, December 10, 2012

The Bug

I am waiting.
Waiting on this thing to get me too.
The Bug took Michael down last night..from 11:30 p.m.-9 a.m. It struck every two hours....
Tonight, it hit Addison.
After I had spent the evening de-Bugging the upstairs, washing all the sheets and comforters and bleaching everything, I had to change ALL of Addison's bedding. Again.
I am hoping that since she is little, the Bug will effect her less.
In the meantime, I wait. For it to pounce. On me.
The only part of this that I have enjoyed is hearing my mother's voice coming out of my mouth as I comfort my child the way my mother comforted me when I was sick. The reassurance that it's all going to be OK and the promise of some coca-cola to get that awful taste out of her mouth. Some things are worth passing on.
Unlike the BUG.

Friday, December 7, 2012

It's Christmas time

This is our yard this year. The photograph doesn't do it justice. Even though it's as tacky as they come, I just can't feel like it's Christmas without some gaudy display of holiday lights. Addison has adopted them all as her pets, to the point that she must go pet the dear and give Rudolph a kiss each and every day. I've had to answer the question of when we can "push the button" to make the yard come to life. I love her amazement. I do this for her mostly.
We've also adopted "Jingles" the elf this year. She's a mischievous little thing that one morning was caught with a pair of scissors and a napkins trying to make "snow". Addison scolds her like a little mother when she catches her in a precarious situation. To my amazement, she still hasn't tried to touch her lest her magic go away.
Why can't we keep that magical Christmas view? I envy her little mind and all of it's wonder. My mind is usually more focused on whether or not we've got room on the credit cards for Christmas gifts.
I guess adults do Christmas up big for our kids to ensure that, for that short period of time in their lives, they just believe and wish and dream. That their imaginations run so wild that the wondrous stories spill out of their little mouths, and that there is a place that is solely filled with happiness and love.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

What's in a day?

This year I am cooking my very first Thanksgiving turkey. I might be daunted by the cooking part if I could only get the thawing part complete. That bird sat in my sink all day long today and was just as frozen when I got home as it was when I left. Since then I have unwrapped it and bathed it and stuck it in fridge in hopes that in 8 hours it will indeed be thawed enough to cook. That's my worries for tomorrow...trying not to burn the turkey and making sure there's enough toilet paper in the bathroom for the guests.

I know others, however, for whom tomorrow is just another day. Nothing special. It may be because you're Canadian and well, you don't celebrate Thanksgiving. Maybe you've had surgery and can't get out and go anywhere. It could be that you are estranged from your family and have no one to go see. You may be in a halfway house...halfway to freedom, but not enough that you can visit family for a holiday. It could be that there's just no one left to have Thanksgiving with...or a recent loss of a loved one makes it all seem pointless.

Thanksgiving has become a springboard for Christmas in the retail world. It's an excuse to gorge ourselves in our personal world. It's a break from work and productivity in the financial world. But to's just another day.

My heart is heavy thinking about those who won't be gathered with 20 other family members or the ones who's turkey dinner consists of turkey lunch meat on bread. Not that the day is anything extremely wonderful, but that it's what it represents - the thankfulness for our blessings and the people we are blessed with.

So to those of you who are having a hard time finding your blessings tomorrow...for whatever reason, remember that life is always changing. Thanksgiving is just one day. And you will experience your blessing another day.


Tuesday, November 20, 2012

A Trip to the Dentist

We may have been a little late on the dental visit, but I wanted to wait until Addison had an understanding of what was happening in hopes she would be less traumatized.
After talking about it for weeks, she excitedly went to the dentist today to get "pink sparkles" on her teeth.
I went first so she could see what was happening. I laughed as much as possible with instruments and suction and my mouth wide open while she peered so closely into the depths of my molars that the hygienist was uncomfortable.
This was before. The during was a little rough. I had to help the hygienist by holding her down in the chair and holding her mouth open. It sounds worse than it was, but she gets that way; goes all the way up stairs to the slide only to shimmy back down after she chickens out. In the end, she did well and her teeth looked amazing. She also was given a Belle toothbrush and was able to pick a toy out of the treasure chest.
I didn't realize until tonight that with all the excitement, the dentist forgot to give ME a new toothbrush.

Friday, November 16, 2012

Fortuitous Four

My very big girl...literally. She's 42inches tall, and about 43lbs, in the 97 percentile. Yes, she just turned 4. I have to share these few things so I don't lose these precious memories in this chasm I call a brain.
I learned a new verb last week.
"Mommy, prince me." I look at her puzzled. "Prince me!"
"Can you show me how to prince you?"
She then takes my hands and proceeds to dance in circles like Cinderella or Belle.
Ohhhh. Ok. I get it.
We also were invited to a Thanksgiving lunch at her school this week. There she and her classmates performed 4 Thanksgiving songs. So cute. She was not extremely interested in singing. She was too intrigued by the amount of grown-ups staring at her to sing all the words. We've got to work on that.
At the gathering I found out from another mother that her child was having anxiety concerning Addison. I had to laugh out loud when I found out why. Apparently during their time on the playground, Addison chases all the boys.
Not sure why, but I got a taste of how.
While trying to leave the lunch program, I found Addison literally skulking around a table. There, hunched underneath, a boy. She circled it like a lion hunting prey, and he was not moving. She on the other hand found great joy in this and when he made a move, she'd growl at him. Michael says she gets that all from my side of the family. We do have our aggressive tendencies. LOL
This isn't exactly a problem I though I'd be having with a girl.....but hey. Those boys will really appreciate being chased in a few more years.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

The Fair!

 Me and Mom
She was fearless. 
 My daddy.

 Addison's very first pony ride. She cried because she didn't want to leave.
Fake horsies would do as well

San Francisco 2012

We travelled every major mode of transportation. Us on the boat to Alcatraz - Addison was the photographer.
On the plane. Addison LOOOOVED flying.
My sexy hubby.
Bay Bridge, San Francisco
Cutie Patooty dressed up for the 50's themed birthday party. You'll see this one again for Halloween.

 Down at Fisherman's Wharf eating seafood!

 Here we are on the subway/trolley.

 Addison taking pictures again. You can always tell it's her from that low perspective.

 View from the bay.

 We had an audio tour of Alcatraz. Even Addison joined in. She was very well behaved because we told her that if she was bad, we'd leave her there.
 Me and my girl with our headphones on.
 Me with bad boat hair, but sitting next to my handsome man.
It was a fantastic trip. Addison was so well behaved. We really enjoyed being a family.

Voting Day

I am never one to take a public stand on politics. I'm not sure if it's because I don't care or if I don't think that little old me matters. I couldn't tell you who's in the president's cabinet or even who our state senator was until I saw him on the ballot today. However, I know plenty of people who do care. And so in the temps struggling to reach 50 degrees today, I held a sign for a friend. The irony of it all was that after talking to the other sign holders, we were the only ones silly enough to stand out there in the cold and eventual rain and NOT get paid. Yep, they were paid help. I pondered this as I felt my lips chapping in the wind, but that thought was soon interrupted by a van full of mentally handicapped people turning into the drive. As they were banging their heads against the seats or blankly staring out the window, I failed to see how they could make any kind of informed decision, much less vote. Wow. The audacity of some politicians to heard in the mentally ill. I feel like it's just another indication of the profession.
I've heard some describe today as "epic". Conservative America is trying to take back the country. To some, we are led by Obama..the anti-Christ himself. The polls are still out. The outcome is yet to be seen. We wait, glued to our televisions as the U.S. map fills up with blue and red. I should have kept Addison up late. We could have done a political art project with our crayons and a map!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Little Roo

I jokingly told a friend the other day that if I had 4 more hours in a day, I could probably manage to exercises. Seems like ever since then, I've been waking up at 5 and 6 a.m. I meant 4 EXTRA hours God. Oh well. At least I can blog early.

As turning four quickly approaches, I get tickled at Addison's excitement for her party. When asked when her birthday is, she answers, "Oc-TO-ber, it's the twenty-third."
So cute. Then ensues the sentence that never ends, "And Cheyenne is coming to my party and Ms. April and Carter and they love me all the much and we're going to the park and we're gonna eat cupcakes and we will be so happy."
Did I mention she's a chatterbox?
I opted for the simple birthday; at the park, minimal clean up and maximum space...just in case all the kids we invited actually come. There will be face painting, balloon animals and possibly a snow cone machine. Addison picked out plates with Rapunzel from Tangled on them. Mickey Mouse is scheduled to show up too. It's a hodge podge of things Addison likes and that's all that matters.

I do have to share her latest development: character play. Here's the conversation.
"Mom, I'm little Roo"
"O.k., Hi little Roo."
"And you're big Roo. Big Roo, would you like to come watch a movie with me?"
"Sounds good little Roo. Which movie?"
"Big Roo, let's watch Shrek."
And the conversation went on like that for a while. The sweetest thing is how polite and kind little Roo is. She has manners and asks permission and seems to really enjoy being with big Roo.
I love developmental milestones.
Well, my alarm just went off.............time to get up. :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

October is here

It's October 9th. It finally cooled off as of yesterday. My poor mums may now survive without the 90 degree sun beating down on them daily. It's hard to celebrate fall when it's so hot. October has always been my favorite month. There are festivals and fairs; tons to do and see and buy. It's also represented by my favorite precious stone; the opal. Most importantly, it is the month my daughter was born...the most perfect month; the most perfect day; my most perfect child.
Well, of course I don't mean she's "perfect" per se, but she keeps me in constant awe and amazement as she charts her path through this new and exciting life.
A lot has changed between 3 and 4...thank you GOD. There were times when I didn't know if we'd make it this far between the tantrums and the obstinance and the dramatic performances that I should have sold tickets to. Happily, we've crossed a threshold of reason and understanding. I can now talk to her and have a somewhat intelligent conversation. I can ask her opinion of things and she has an opinion to give. It's a huge sigh of relief and a win for our family communication. The most wonderful part of it all, however, is the comedy that ensues when that little mind gets to going. She's big on telling me I hurt her feelings whenever I scold her for not doing something she's been told to do. It's funnier though when she tells on me to her dad and points at her cheek to tell him, "Mommy hurt my feelings, right here." She has this laugh that could literally power my house all year if we lived in Monster Inc. the movie. A beautiful, wonderful laugh that makes my day brighten instantly. With the upcoming Halloween festivities, I've learned that she has a real fear of bugs...especially spiders. But that doesn't stop her from wanting her daddy to chase her through the  house with the big hairy decoration as she squeals and giggles. You know that she loves it because after she's cornered and he retreats, there always the "Chase me again, daddy."
We're in 3 Pre-K this year. So far she's learning the alphabet and had some really great field trips to the pumpkin patch and to the fire station. Little Ms. Chatterbox wouldn't stop about the fire truck's ladder that went up, up, up to the clouds. She was obviously impressed, even though she told me that she would not shake the fireman's hand.
Another achievement this year; we've moved into a big girl bed....and fallen off of it at least 3 times. We can now ride our tricycle without any help. We've retired the car seat and bought a new stylish booster seat with blue flames. We've also started eating things like salads and Korean food; burritos and tacos. It's still a pretty strict diet of PB&J most of the time, but that is always dealer's choice. We are fully potty trained and have mastered our fear of the pool. So much growing has taken place that I'm sure I'm forgetting a lot of it. Each age we reach I have liked more than the last...except for 3. So becoming 4 brings with it a sense of relief and peace and a promise that we're gonna do this thing and do it well.
As a nearly 4-year-old, Addison has experienced a fair amount of travel last month during our trip to Vegas and California. After 6 flights, 700 miles in the car, cable cars, train rides, boat rides and the subway, she is a professional transportation expert. Do you remember the first time you flew? I was old, 20 or so, and it was still magical. From a tot's perspective it's even better. She'll notice things I never would or question what she sees and describe it in a way I'd have never thought to say.
Think of my sweet on October 23rd (which she can recite as her birth date for the first time). I know the best is yet to come.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

4:30 a.m.

Why do televangelists always look so shady? This early in the morning, they are so much more comforting than the 20 other channels of Insanity Workout, Total Gym and Fluidity. If you're not into workouts in your sleep-deprived state, how about updating your kitchen collection with the Ninja blender, Keurig or the New Wave oven. There are some semi-relevant infomercials for this time of the day like Triverex, but I'm still amused that the set-up looks like a valid news programs. Not the best fit, in my opinion, for a male enhancement pill. I personally think I'm going to get the Tummy Tuck Belt! I mean, a big rubber band that magically burns your fat off....and it only takes 10 minutes a day? Jeez! Why isn't this in my closet already?!
I caught myself staring in pain at the screen when I came across a show featuring people that I'm sure are from Georgia...sadly, as they tried to make money off of catfish in a mud bog. At least I think that's what they were talking about. Drunken southerners are hard to understand. I don't even know how Animal Planet found these people. I know they exist. I've seen them. But how they made it on national television is so beyond me that I cannot fathom the TV executive that actually approved spending the money. With a cast that makes Honey Boo Boo's family look like royalty, I am at a complete and total loss.
With points notably taken from my IQ, I continue my search for something that will soothe me. Proactive, Meaningful Beauty and My Pillow aren't doing it either.
I settle on something entertaining and animated. Phineas and Ferb. This show has more clever wit than anything else in the 100 channels I've surfed through TWICE in the last hour. It's humor is sometimes brilliant and way over my 3-year-old's head...although she loves it too. Thank God someone made a show that everyone can enjoy. I'm done with TV...on to the web. Good Morning.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012


My first blanket

Now that I've given this gift to my beautiful cousin Emily, I can share it!
I made this blanket, my first, using Addison's receiving blankets. I embroidered each panel with precious little pictures I spent hours looking for. I even had to go online to learn how to do the silky binding around the edge. I think it turned out beautifully. Not perfect mind you, but beautiful. Who wants perfect presents anyways?
Thanks to my kin in Columbia who inspired this blanket because they made one for Addison when she was born and it has always been a treasure to me.

Sheer joy

I adore this photo.
My child is in love with dogs and the look on her face is sheer and utter joy at holding this puppy.
It's not a cheesy smile. It's genuine.
I think is shows her soul. The same little soul who after pitching a fit, walks over to me to say, "I'm sorry for being mad, mommy." And gives me a hug.
This little face....on my almost 4 year-old, is the joy in my life.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Will you be the one?

Churches are scattered like birdseed throughout the south. On a recent trip to Milledgeville, GA I passed no less than 46 churches in a 2 hour drive. 46!!! They were named things like, Unity Missionary, AME, Church of the Nazarene, New hope, Cool Water, Primitive, Church of Christ and Pathfinders Christian. So many little clicks for one general religion. It's apparently very important to have your own little sectioned off area of beliefs and to build a building so that others will come and share those beliefs with you. Maybe it's worship style or basic biblical principle that divides them all. Maybe it's the modern day version of the Tower of Babel so that we do not build a spaceship to heaven now that our resources are expanded and our knowledge vast.
It just struck me as amazing to see so many, yet so different a church in such a short period of time.

What if church had no building? What if church happened every day with the way we related to the hundreds of people we come into contact with each week? What if the members of all those churches I passed formed a chain, hand in hand. How long would their reach stretch? How much ground would be covered?
On another trip this past weekend to North Carolina, I was driving on I-26 and came upon a very bad accident. Two cars and a van were involved and none of them facing the correct direction anymore. All of them had their fronts torn off or were meshed with the center cable barriers. The police had not arrived yet and vehicles were still smoking, telling me that this just happened. On the ground people were sitting, covered in blood with t-shirts for bandages wrapped around their injured parts. All of this I saw in the 5 seconds it took just drive on by. I was on a schedule of course and what could I do? I came up with a slew of excuses as to why I did not stop. But sometimes, we don't know what we can do until we actually get into a situation. We have to first be available.
I think we keep ourselves so busy with our churches and our buildings and our programs, that we totally miss people in need as we speed on by staying on schedule, headed for our next church event. Jesus didn't have a building...he met the people where there was need. It would do us and our communities so much good if we kept this concept in our heads and became unafraid to help others. There is a song I used to sing in church called, "Will you be the one?"
I think of those lyrics while pondering these situations:
In a world full of broken dreams
Where the truth is hard to find
For every promise that is kept
There are many left behind
Though it seems that nobody cares
It still matters what you do
Cause there's a difference you can make
But the choice is up to you

Will you be the one
To answer to His call
Will you stand
When those around you fall
Will you be the one
To take His light
Into a darkened world
Tell me will you be the one

Oh sometimes it's hard to know
Who is right and what is wrong
And where are you supposed to stand
When the battle lines are drawn
There's a voice that is calling out
For someone who's not afraid
To be a beacon in the night
To a world that's lost it's way


The chatterbox stage is proving to be both annoying and amusing. I still wish that some days I could change my name after the 100th time of Addison calling me...for no particular reason. I guess she just likes to know I'm there? Three has brought about a sense of her being older than she is. She's resorted to calling me "Mom" and Michael, "Dad." Now if I remember correctly, I was well into my tween years before I  called my mom and dad exactly that. However, my child has skipped all those years and thrown out the baby version for the teen version. Time marches on.
On the flip side, some of the sayings that come out of her mouth are hilarious and immediately send me into a state of laughing with my head thrown back and my mouth wide open.
Addison is in dance camp this week. Each day, we try and find out what she did that day. Yesterday she had a special treat when Grandma came to pick her up. When asked where she slept at Grandma's house for her nap, she answered that she was laying down.  Well yes, I guess that is an appropriate concern for a toddler..LOL. She also told us that at camp, she was a star and immediately did a full circle spin. But the funniest for me, was when I asked her what they ate that day. "We had pizza! It was delicious!"
She's picking up words all the time and throwing them in sentences that send me to the floor. Along with her growing skill at the dramatic, I am sure that I'm in for some doozies when it comes to conversations with Addison.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Nothing is ever free

It's 1994. A recent high school graduate, I was destined for greatness as I started a new adventure, a new chapter in life. I stood on the campus of Berry College ready to embrace whatever life had to throw at me..ready to become something great. During our orientation week there was a word that the leaders played back over and over: TNSTAAFL. They would pronounce it, tin-staff-el and it was an acronym for "There's no such thing as a free lunch". Of course the message: If you're gonna come here and go to school, you've got to work for it.
That was the first time I'd ever heard it put like that. I'd been taught growing up that hard work and determination was the only way to accomplish anything. We had not been given much in life, so my parents were very hard workers and passed that on. Ironically, we never really wanted for anything either.
Many times, that word has resounded in my head at times when I encounter people who have never been taught this concept. There is such a selfish mentality in this country. An attitude of "I'm gonna get mine." That of course is not referring to them working to get theirs, but rather they be given their fair share. Our government is fostering this mentality through bailouts and health care bills. To some, these opportunities look like shiny new quarters on the sidewalk, just calling out to be picked up. But one thing they don't think about is TNSTAAFL. Nothing is ever free.
We walk around this country, dressed how we want, speaking however we feel. We can express our opinions without persecution, we can be what we want to be without fear and we can reach whatever heights our determination will let us. We can worship God or buddha or allah or the sun or the devil. It's what we refer to as a "free" country. But remember, nothing is free.
Today is July 4, 2012. Today we celebrate our nation's birthday. In 1776, a group of people executed what was the culmination of many people's hard work. The foundation, the structure that has lasted 236 years and formed the basis that has continued to make this country great. It is sacrifice of our soldiers that protects that freedom and ensures that no terrorist or other world faction will take away those freedoms...because as the saying goes, even freedom, isn't free.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

What a big girl

At 40lbs, Addison is not little anymore. She repeatedly tells me that she is "too heavy." I wholeheartedly agree. She is master of the potty these days and the queen of chitter chatter. She is a constant stream of thought that spews from her lips whenever she gets excited. Sometimes, it's hard to keep up. Her new loves include painting her fingernails and toenails, swimming in the small pool Grandma bought her and visiting the horses on Jackson Road when she's a "good girl." With her ever growing body, I've decided to put her in a dance camp for a week this summer to see if it's something she enjoys with those long lanky legs she's getting. I can't wait. I say this next sentence with great caution...I think she's getting out of those terrible 3's.  It may be a bit early to declare that, but I'm gonna claim it! LOL She is a chasm of love that constanly spills out onto us. It's definitely due to the fact that she has been the most loved child EVER for the last 3 1/2 years. Still the worst bed buddy, she is a professional snuggler which her daddy soaks up every chance he can. Tonight, I rocked her to sleep....because I wanted to. She was game and that made me happy. I smelled her as I rocked her and sang a version of a lullaby that I made up as I went. It was a beautiful song, although I'll never remember all the verses I sang. Too big to carry, but small enough to rock. Although, I imagine if she's fifteen and I can fit her in the recliner with me, I'll rock her then too.

My Beautiful Child

Thursday, May 31, 2012

The Power of a Blind Man

I've told a story before about my tenant Mr. White who is blind. I have more.
Mr. White has a small crush on me. I'm sure it has a lot to do with the fact that I'm one of the few people he "sees" on a regular basis. It also might be attributed to the time I had to fetch him from the ER when he cut his hand on a kitchen knife and could find a taxi there...but not one to return home. He lives a literal mile from the hospital, but he was stuck there..waiting. He took me out to lunch last week and vowed to do it once a month. He's a sweet soul. It never ceases to amaze me the comments he will throw out like, "My your looking good today," as he looks me up and down. He hasn't looked at anything in years. My heart goes out to him in his dark world where the talking books are his friends and his entertainment. His routine is the same. His talking clock keeps him on schedule. Every day I hear the squeak, squeak of his exercise machine. He can't just take off on a walk. And quite often, he asks me to cook something for him. Those that know me may find that funny because it's not something I do often, but for him, I make exceptions. His latest request is for a homemade peach cobbler. I bought the peaches yesterday. Everyone needs someone who gives a damn about them...even a little. In his small ways, he helps me as well. After having a particularly bad Friday last week, I plopped down on his sofa to say hello. It may have been the way I plopped or the sigh I let out, but he knew immediately that something was wrong with me. It is not lie that the blind have heightened senses like hearing and smell..I've see his work, like a superpower. That same day, I returned to the office to find a card. It was from Mr. White and it was for my birthday. There was a fuzzy looking heart that danced when you opened it...quite amusing. You see, he loves a card that does something. He also can't understand why his friends and family send him regular cards at Christmas. To's just paper. Off to his apartment I went to thank him, but to remind him that my birthday was over a week away. His response, " I know, but you needed it today." I guess it was those superpowers kicking in.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

This is sacrifice

I have lived in Augusta for the better part of 35 years. All throughout my childhood my mother warned me about "those soldiers." You see, we have a large Army base in Augusta; Fort Gordon. It was mother's constant decree that we should never fall for one of those army boys. I know that her warnings were built out of fear that she would lose her daughter in a barrage of moves around the country and that she would never see her grandchildren. She could have been right. I'll never know, because I heeded her words and stayed far away. This constant drone of negativity surrounding the military helped me form a less than positive view of practically all military folk.
Years and years have passed. I have now witnessed what the military has done for some wayward and lost boys and girls. I've seen them be transformed into responsible, respectful and contributing members of society.
 However, it wasn't until this year, last month even, that I understood what the military life really consists of and how much sacrifice goes into leading it every day. Have you ever seen a dad say goodbye to his wife, baby and 7 year old girl? Have you witnessed the agony in that child's eyes because she knows she will not see her daddy again for a long time? I have. It broke my heart. I had never been privy to a goodbye of that magnitude nor with such young victims. The scene was almost too much to watch. And yet for the family, it just is. They tell me that you get used to it. I'm pretty sure it takes the will of Job to shut off that pain and continue on...but they do it.
It wasn't until later that I learned of a deployed soldier's life. The monotonous day after day routine that lasts an average of 12 hours a day....every day....with no days off. I found this out after talking with a friend who is stationed in Afghanistan. Where the highlight of his week is Sunday's steak and waffles. His life revolves around every moment that he can get to Skype with his wife and children....his lifeline to home.
I never knew they worked so tirelessly...without end. It never dawned on me that in Afghanistan, there isn't a civilized city to explore and buy souvenirs. They cannot leave the base unless on a mission. They are trapped in their little metal bunkers or wooden boxes....some with air conditioning, but some without.
It was the revelation of these facts that led me to ask....why? Why would someone go through all of this self torture?
And then I was told about the sheepdog. An inspiring article written by Retired LTC David Grossman stated it plainly: If you have no capacity for violence then you are a healthy productive citizen, a sheep. If you have a capacity for violence and no empathy for your fellow citizens, then you have defined an aggressive sociopath, a wolf. But what if you have a capacity for violence, and a deep love for your fellow citizens? What do you have then? A sheepdog, a warrior, someone who is walking the hero's path. Someone who can walk into the heart of darkness, into the universal human phobia, and walk out unscathed. (

Simply put, these warriors, these protectors of our country....they're born that way. They have a special something inside of them that surpasses common man in that they are willing to gamble their life to save ours. That is huge. It's unfathomable. And yet hundreds of thousands of people have lived their lives that way for centuries.
To me, it's humbling. I think back to years of growing up with the looming presence of Fort Gordon and all the soldiers there that I had to steer clear of. Today, I can only imagine how many brave souls passed through those gates. Those were/are people I'd now love to know.

This Memorial Day weekend has taken on a new meaning for me because of what  I've recently learned. This weekend of cooking out and going to the lake...days off from work to hit the big sale at the mall... they are a slap in the face to the true intent of this day.
I have an older tenant who served in Vietnam. He sent out an email today expressing how heavy his heart was in remembering his fallen comrades and those still dying today from toxins they were exposed to there. There is a time for gathering and celebration...but it is not this weekend. This weekend is meant to honor the sheepdogs, the protectors, the people who risk everything and who put their family through similar risk just so that you and I can live free.

I am humbled and so thankful for amazing people like these. Theirs is a journey that many would never be able to make. So as little as it minuscule is the sentiment compared to the sacrifice it embodies....Thank you.
This sheep recognizes the price you pay every day.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012


There is such and ebb and flow to life itself that you don't recognize until you're older. A baby is born, someone passes away. It's traumatic and yet it's completely normal. It's the way things work.
It's the people in the middle of the process that just get me. It boggles my brain. There is a woman in Doctor's Hospital in Augusta who is literally being eaten to death by a flesh eating virus. She is young and educated...did all the right things and now she sits in a hospital in a condition I cannot imagine where she is losing her leg and both her hands and maybe more. How is it ok for her to die slowly and painfully while the convicts sitting in jail who have committed many atrocities are allowed to live? How is it right?
They tought something Sunday at church concerning the human brain. Although mechanically, we use 100% of our brain, our thought processes, functions and mental capacity only accesses up to 10%. It was explained best in an article I read as the volume on the stereo being turned to 2 instead of 8 or 10. The potential is's just not utilized. We also talked about how, when God made us, we had 100% use of our brains. We understood everything God did. However, the introduction of sin into those brains made it so we were capable of such a level of evil it would be detrimental to our own kind. Thus, we only access a small portion of what we have the potential for.
Not being a neuroscientist or truly understanding how the brain functions at all, it's hard to "wrap my brain" around the brain in general.
I do know that there are days when answers seem just out of reach. When I realize that situations can look very different depending on perspectives and that there is a big picture of which I do not always care about.
In the end, when we reach heaven and we again have the knowledge of God, when our brains are at 100% capacity and the big picture is revealed, I hope I understand why there was so much injustice in a world where I'm told there is a just God.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A happy ending

I have the utmost respect for the Vietnamese people. If you've ever been to get a pedicure, you do as well. God bless anyone who will spend an hour scrubbing, scraping and exfoliating people's feet for a living. A friend and I treated ourselves to such a pedicure yesterday afternoon. It was a place that I haven't been to in a long while. They are all pretty standard with their massage chairs that have the little foot tubs beneath them. You just climb in the chair and relax and let those amazing people do their work. I quickly found, however, that this chair had a special feature I'd never experienced before. Just as I settled in, a large object protruded up through the massage by bum. Shocking to say the least, I arched my back to get away from the "thing" intruding on my personal space. I immediately thought of the many oriental massage places I've heard of before that provided a "happy ending" and ultimately the demise of their business. Between that and the extremely sensitive tickle spots on my feet, I laughed a lot providing more stress relief than the $30 I paid for.

Monday, April 30, 2012

The Beach with the Dukes

Beach Weekend With the Dukes

 Don't turn around too long or Addison starts making it a "nude" beach.
At least she had a towel!

 Cadi, Rose, Michael and Addison

 Cutest little surfer dude

 Cadi is a talented hula-hooper!