Saturday, December 21, 2013

Christmas Thoughts...

It's that time of year again.  Usually, I like to write a silly thought or observation about the holiday season.  This year, however, I just can't find it in my heart to do so.  I read the headlines and see the arguments on Facebook and it is just too difficult to make light of any of it.  So I won't.

I found myself caught up in the "Duck Dynasty" scandal and getting all in a tither over it.  I mean it has everything...freedom of speech, freedom of religion, gay rights...  It is an absolute gold mine for debate. It has made me think and I have learned so much from it, but, I'm not going to write about that.

I read the headlines and they are covered with child abuse, rape, violence, murder, drugs.  I read them and wonder to myself if the entire moral fiber of mankind has completely disappeared.  It all haunts and disturbs me.  I'm not going to write about that either.

Christmas is four days away.  We are stressed, we are angry, we are fed up.  In June 1994, I lost a very dear friend of mine suddenly.  His death left me heartbroken.  I remember that following Christmas being in the mall doing my Christmas shopping when a carol came over the speaker that touched me deeply.  I had to leave the store to find a quiet place to weep.  The song reminded me of how I longed for a simpler time.  A time when my worries and fears and sadness were not in the forefront of my mind.  That song is what I want to share with you...

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Let your heart be light.
From now on,
Our troubles will be out of sight.

Have yourself a merry little Christmas,
Make the yule-tide gay.
From now on,
Our troubles will be miles away.

Here we are as in olden days,
Happy golden days of yore.
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more.

Through the years we all will be together,
If the fates allow.
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough.
And have yourself, a merry little Christmas now.

I wish you Peace, I wish you Love, and of course, I wish you a merry little Christmas.

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Why So Mad Bro?

Have you ever noticed how people tend to get infuriated over the silliest things?  It seems like the slightest occurrence can throw us into a tantrum that would make even the brattiest 2 year old look like an angel.  But then on the flip side, the things that should make us livid; we take with a grain of salt.  How did we get so confused?  People all around us are going hungry, living in poverty, addicted to drugs and we seem to just blow it off.  We say, "Isn't that sad..." or "How pathetic..." and go about our day as if nothing happened.  We read about a game where teenagers will run up to you on the street and hit you as hard as they can, knocking you unconscious and we just read on and say, "What is this world coming too?"  But if you get a game request on your social network...oh my.  "I WILL END OUR FRIENDSHIP IF YOU SEND ME ONE MORE GAME REQUEST!  I SWEAR TO GOD I WILL!!!"  Really?  Is it that much of an inconvenience to you?  I get them all of the time and guess what I do...ignore them.  It's really easy.  Just glance and move on.  Just like that.  I wouldn't lie to you.  Then there is the Merry Christmas debate.  Is this actually a problem?  I mean, isn't the holiday actually called Christmas?  Just because you are an atheist, do you not still celebrate in a secular way the holiday of Christmas?  But we are worrying ourselves silly about how to wish someone a happy holiday by the use of the actual name of the holiday??  We say "Happy Halloween," "Happy Thanksgiving,"  "Happy Easter," but when we get to Christmas we go, "Uhhhhhhh..."  Personally, I think this is a problem that is fed by the media.  I have always said Merry Christmas and everyone I have said it to has always said, "Merry Christmas to you."  Is it because they are Christian?  Not necessarily.  Is it because they are making a political statement?  No.  It is because that is the name of the holiday.  Christmas is not called Holiday, it's Christmas.  The whole argument is just silly and everyone seems very up in arms about it.  Yet I wonder, how many people have actually said, "I find that offensive. Do not say that to me."  I doubt many.  My response to that reaction?  "Oh.  Then I un-Merry your Christmas and Happy New Year."  Or should that be Happy Year Change?  Hmmmmmm...

There are things in this world worthy of getting angry over.  Sometimes I think if we put the same passion into the real injustices of the world that we put into the things that do not matter, maybe just maybe, the world would be a better place.  What if instead we took a stand against (in no order of importance) prejudice, sexual abuse, drug trafficking, poor education system, degradation of women, human trafficking, child abuse, elderly abuse, hunger, goodness sakes I could go on and on.  If we stood up for these things with the zeal of rejecting game requests...wouldn't this world be a better place in which to live?  Oh yeah I think so...

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Thanksgiving Memories...

The holiday season is upon us yet again.  In a few days we will be sitting with our families devouring turkey, dressing, and pumpkin pie until we pass out.  I absolutely love this time of year!  I love the fall season and the coming weeks following Thanksgiving full of Christmas decorations and music.  It always makes me think of holidays past and memories of family gatherings.  None are Norman Rockwell worthy, however, (unless Rockwell had a comic strip I didn't know about) but beautiful just the same. 

I saw a cartoon once that read, "Thanksgiving, bringing out the best in family dysfunction since 1863."  Ha!!  That is perfect!  Does that mean I have bad memories of Thanksgiving past?  Absolutely not!  I have wonderful memories, wonderful, hilarious memories.  Growing up, Dad would always go hunting early that morning while Mom prepared dinner.  My brother and I would watch the Macy's Thanksgiving parade and stay out of the way.  That was our job.  My Dad would return around lunchtime with my grandparents and uncle to have dinner.  This was always exciting because that was the only time they came to our house.  My uncle would usually have had a little to drink before arriving so he was just a bit tipsy.  We didn't mind though because these were the times he would get on the floor with us and play and laugh at all of our never ending stories.  I thought I was hilarious when I talked with him.  Sober or not he was always kind, but when he was drinking, I became a comedian.  We would sit down to dinner and Dad would say grace, then the devouring began.  Papaw could not hear a thing which drove Mamaw insane!  "What was that?"  "HE SAID IT'S SUPPOSED TO SNOW THIS WEEKEND! He can't hear himself fart,"  she would say annoyed.  My brother and I would giggle at them because it was certainly giggle-worthy.  My uncle would giggle too which made us laugh even more.  Mamaw would continue without notice and observe my Papaw again, "Wipe your mouth."  "What?"  "WIPE YOUR MOUTH!  Good lord you are deaf."  By this time my uncle is giggling again and we are snorting cranberry sauce out of our noses.  It may sound odd to everyone else but to me, it was great.  I still laugh when I think of it.  After dinner, we would sit around and listen to the adults talk and hear the latest gossip from "back home," as my parents called it.  I never knew who was who and how they were related to me but the stories were still interesting nonetheless.  I loved to listen to Mamaw tell a tale and then laugh her big, infectious laugh.  It was a beautiful laugh that I can still hear in my mind.  Oh how I miss that lovely laugh.  Those were the days.

Time passed and so did family.  My uncle and grandparents have passed on and now it is my brother and I driving to see Granny and Papaw with our families.  The kids steal the show with their antics and funny sayings.  My brother listens to his niece and nephew's endless stories with the same interest that my uncle listened to ours (wishing he had a little to drink too I'm guessing).  I do miss the antics of my grandparent's yearly tiffs.  All couples relate differently, they had their ways that some may find strange.  Strange or not it was certainly entertaining.  Occasionally, my brother and I will share a memory at the table and begin laughing hysterically and once again snort cranberry sauce out our noses.  Mom and Dad just look at us like aliens and wonder how they brought such strange people into this world and at least there is still hope with the grandchildren.  Oh how I love Thanksgiving!

So what will I be thankful for as I sit around the family table this Thanksgiving?  Wow there is so much it is hard to list everything... But one thing is for sure, I will be thankful for family and for the beautiful dysfunction that carved such wonderful memories that are still as clear in my mind today as they were 30 years ago.  Happy Thanksgiving!  Enjoy the beautiful dysfunction!   

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Pets, pets, PETS!!

We have so many pets.  So, so many...  Don't get me wrong, I do like them and in some cases I love them.  I am not, however, Jack Hanna.  I do not find the same joy in pet ownership as some do.  When I started this excursion, I had 1 dog, 1 cat, 1 guinea pig; it was like a version of Noah's Ark, a representation of every species.  But then my daughter developed into an animal lover and then I married an animal lover, so now we have expanded.  Over the years, we have had 3 dogs, 2 cats, 2 guinea pigs, 2 rabbits, 1 fish, and 1 ferret.  Whew!  That is a lot of poop.  We now have 2 dogs, Rex and Daisy, 2 cats, Pip and Tiger, 1 guinea pig, Coco, and 1 ferret, Gypsy.  Still a lot of poop.  My job has fallen on poop patrol.  This may be why I am less excited about the growth of our furry family.  My daughter and husband feed them so they are both the favorites of all the animals.  Me?  I am guessing that as they watch me scoop, wipe, and clean up their fecal gifts, they are thinking to themselves, "Look at that weirdo messing with our poop, how strange."  I am so under-appreciated.

I do enjoy all of their funny personalities.  Tiger the cat is the owner.  I say that because that is the attitude he emits, "All of you 4 legged members?  I own you.  All of you 2 legged members?  I own you too."  Tiger perches atop the back of the couch and surveys his domain.  It's good to be king.  Daisy the dog is always happy, and I mean ALWAYS.  She greets everyone as though she has not seen them for ages, even if it is just for a couple of minutes, "You're home!  Oh thank God you are home!  I missed you!  I thought you were gone forever!  I love you!  Love me!  I need to lick your face!  I missed you!"  She is one of those dogs that actually smiles.  I love it when a dog smiles, makes them almost human.  Adorable!  Dogs love so unconditionally.  As my husband likes to say, "Lock your wife and your dog in the trunk of a car for two hours and then open it up and see who is happy to see you."  Yeah, it would be the dog, but I don't suggest he test that. 

I find it amazing how pet ownership has changed since when I was growing up.  When I was a kid, if you decided to get the family a dog it was a simple process.  Pick out dog.  Build doghouse.  Buy food and bowls.  Take to vet once a year.  Love.  Pretty simple, don't you think?  Not anymore!  Now we are no longer pet owners but pet parents.  Need a toy or food bowl for Fido?  There are now whole department stores for that.  You can take your pet for a day of pampering at the spa.  Really?  I want to go for a day of pampering at the spa...all I get is poop duty.  You no longer just go and pick out a collar by color, this is now serious business.  Your posh puppy deserves more than just that nylon boredom from Wal-Mart.  What kind of pet parent are you??  I have to be real here folks.  I have yet to see a dog throwing a temper tantrum because the collar given to them was not a Coach.  Let me give you a little insight here...DOGS...DON'T...CARE!!  They love you!!  Period.  They do not love you more because you take them to the spa, or give them designer collars, or dress them in the latest fashion.  They love you because that is what they do.  Take them for walks, feed them well, let them sit on your lap and rub their furry little bellies and they will love you.  And no matter how much money you spend; you will never, ever, be able to out-love them.  Never.

Maybe I led a sheltered life, I'm not sure.  I have seen a huge increase in dog breeds.  I have always been partial to the "mutt" myself and highly recommend your local shelter for your next pet.  Some, however, love that pure breed.  It used to be, when my Chihuahua mated with your Yorkshire Terrier, there was going to be a neighborly feud because I have now "ruined" your precious Fifi.  These days, you now have a Chorkie!  My favorite is the Dachshund/Yorkshire Terrier combination...the Dorkie!  I am waiting for the day that the Dorkie is allowed in the Westminster Dog Show.  What a glorious day!  Can you imagine? "We will now be seeing the toy breeds.  Here you see Mr. Pickles a registered Dorkie.  My what a fine specimen of Dork he is!"  I promise I will have a party that day...pretzels, cake, Chex mix...mark it on your calendars.  One type of breed that I just cannot wrap my head around are the hairless breeds.  Shiver!  My daughter wants one of those Chinese Crested hairless dogs.  I just do not understand.  One of the great things about having a dog is snuggling up to that soft, warm fur.  If I wanted to snuggle up to something bald and bristly, I would snuggle up to my husband's butt!  And have you seen those bald cats??  They look like that creepy little guy from "Lord of the Rings" remember him, "My precioussssssssss."  Yikes!!  It is an ever-changing world folks.  Indeed.

I have to admit that these pets do add to our lives: companionship, unconditional love, a constant friend.  There is never a dull moment around here, that is for sure.  And maybe, just maybe, I love them a little more than I let on.  I mean really, I spend every day cleaning their poop.  I wouldn't do that for just ANYBODY...

Saturday, April 6, 2013

March Madness or Madly in Love...

There's a lot of things that can go wrong in a marriage...adultery, financial stress, irreconcilable differences.  Every day we wake up and choose to love our mate one more day.  Some couples manage to make this look easy, but what about those who married "outside the box."  Those who said, "I don't care what my friends say!  I don't care what my family says!  I don't care about what society thinks!  I love you dammit!"  Those are the ones who should be held up in admiration...those are the ones who should write books and lead seminars.  Living on the fringe of society...I know this challenge.  I understand what lies ahead.  I, a Kentucky Wildcat fan, have chosen with a clear mind and open heart, to love a Louisville Cardinal fan.  I choose every morning as I roll over and see his Cardinal-loving love this man.  Every time I open my closet and see the endless red shirts with that stupid ass bird on them...I choose to love him.  Every Final Four I prepare for the yelling match that will ensue if our teams meet on the court...but...I still choose love.  And even now, as the Big Blue Nation sits back and waits for a better year next year; even now, as my husband watches his Louisville team on television as they play in the Final Four; even now, as I sit in the kitchen flipping him off through the wall because he is yelling at said television...I choose to love this man.  Marriage is tough.  March Madness is tougher... 

Sunday, March 31, 2013

Don't Make Me Style Your Hair!

I have to admit, I am a hot-tempered little lass.  I can spew anger and hatefulness like a fountain flowing freely from my mouth.  This leads people to believe that I have been in my share of hair pulling brawls...nah.  I have never been in a fight, in fact, I'm quite the chicken in some ways.  I make sure all of the doors are locked at night.  I lock the doors of my car...just in case.  When walking thru a dark parking lot, my finger is always on my alarm button.  If Mike works an overnight, my trusty pistol lies lovingly on my nightstand.  My moment of greatest vulnerability, however, is taking a shower when I am home alone.  Anthony Perkins in the movie "Psycho" will forever be ingrained in my memory.  *shiver* I always make sure the bathroom door is locked and I have to admit I occasionally peek out of the shower curtain, just to make sure an ax murderer did not sneak in while I was soaping up my hair.  A girl can never be too careful...

The other morning I was home alone and showering, behind locked doors of course, when I heard three loud thumps; it sounded like someone tripping and catching themselves on the wall.  I froze.  What do I do?  I'm in the bathroom!  The pistol is in the bedroom!!!!  I turned the water off and jumped out dripping wet. There's no time to dry off, I gotta go kill a guy.  I grab my robe.  Have you ever put on a fleece robe soaking wet?  I jerked and tugged and wrestled with it until I think I dislocated my shoulder.  Then...I select my weapon.  I got it!  Hairspray.  Will I bop him over the head with it, knocking my assailant unconscious.  No.  I shall spray him in his eyes till he is blind, grab his gun with silencer (I'm sure he knows better than to come at me with less) and pistol whip that boob until he cries for his mother.  That or I will style his hair like no other.  I open the door quickly so as to catch him off guard, hairspray in hand.  Dripping wet, shoulder aching, hairspray can rusting beneath my sweaty grip, I find the culprit.  Stupid cat.  I put away the hairspray and finish my shower.  Note to self...purchase terry robe...

Saturday, February 2, 2013

For Better or Worse, In Sickness and In Health...

Finally!  Today is the first day in the last four I have felt at least a little like myself.  The fog is lifting from four days of sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head fever, good Lord I wish I could rest funk!  It was miserable, but I have to say, my husband Mike took very good care of me.  He took care of things while I was down, prepared food for the kids, ran the errands, overall a regular Fred Nightingale.  I am quite positive, that when he repeated his vows, he did not truly grasp the "for better or sickness and in health" part.  I'm not sure any of us really think about that when we get married, we are just in luuuuuuuuv.  Now obviously, sickness carries far deeper implications than my last four days of SnotFest 2013.  But the fact of the matter is, after what Mike witnessed over the last week, he will eventually have to have sex with me again.  I had a consistent stream of disgusting liquids coming out of most of my facial orifices, surrounded by used white chunks of toilet paper...otherwise referred to as redneck tissues.  I sat with my mouth gaped open (since I can't breathe through my nose) and my eyes half closed.  The bags underneath my eyes drooped down to my boobs and my skin was the color of blech.  I bathed, well once...and brushed my teeth...I think.  My nose, lips, and surrounding skin were so chapped that I slathered my face in Vaseline petroleum jelly...shiny!  I have been coughing continuously soooooooooo, yep...peed my pants...a LOT!  Last night I drug my shiny faced, greasy headed, nasty breath, b.o. smellin sick self to bed coated in Vick's Vapor Rub.  Wrapped up like a menthol lyptus mummy, I snored like an old man...but Mike still loves me.  Eventually the last few days images will fade away and he will find me desirable again because that's the promise we made to each other.  As gross as you may be, I will still have sex with you... The institute of marriage is a beautiful thing!

Monday, January 21, 2013

Inauguration Day, History in the Making...

Once again we are observing another inauguration, the 44th president of the United States has been sworn in with a public inauguration on Martin Luther King Day.  Wow.  How symbolic is THAT??  I never thought in my lifetime I would see an African American President be sworn in once, much less for a second term...then on top of that to be sworn in on MLK Day.  Amazing!  I can only imagine what Dr. King would have thought of all of this.  He believed that this would happen within 40 years.  He BELIEVED that??  He was right!!  What a historic moment! 

President Barack Obama will use two bibles, one belonging to Abraham Lincoln and one belonging to Martin Luther King Jr.  As symbolic as this is, I find it interesting that the use of a bible is not a requirement but merely a tradition.  Two presidents chose not to use the bible in their inauguration... John Quincy Adams and Theodore Roosevelt.  It is uncertain why Roosevelt chose not to, however Adams made it clear as to why he chose differently.  President John Quincy Adams, a religious man, chose to use instead a U.S. book of laws.  He said that he, "wanted to demonstrate that he recognized a barrier between church and state and that his loyalty was to our nation's laws above all else." (  I LOVE this!!!  I am a huge supporter in the separation of church and state.  Many of my church friends will not agree, but I feel that you cannot run a country based on the beliefs of ONE religion, Christianity.  The Christian faith may be my faith of choice, however, it is divided in several denominations with different views and ideas.  Which faith would lead a nation?  That is a question you have to ask.  Romney was Mormon.  Would a Mormon lead the country the same as a Baptist?  I think not.  Not that one is right and one is wrong, they are just different.  The founding fathers were mostly Unitarian or Deists.  They were not the old southern Baptists that many would like to picture.  The church also forgets one important point, everything is a two way street.  If the church can be meshed in government, then government can be meshed in the church.  That is how it works.  So be careful what you wish for...just sayin...

With that little soapbox moment behind me, I look toward the next four years with hope.  Hope that we can come together as a nation to deal with the issues of our time.  Hope for a less violent environment.  Hope for a better economy where the average man can actually save a little as opposed to just getting by.  Hope for a president with much on his shoulders.  Hope.