Posts from the ‘Friends’ Category

And It’s ON!

A few months back my Shishter (not to be confused with my S-I-S-T-E-R) and I were discussing her budding relationship with this handsome feller who had wandered into her life.

My Shishter is 34, never married, quite beautiful, and has always sort of pooh poohed the idea of love. She could’ve probably been married as many times as Tammy Wynette by now, had she wanted to.  She’s always been very picky and would write somebody off if they didn’t possess a quality she wanted in a man or if there was something she didn’t quite like, never looking back or second guessing her decision to dump or compromising her standards.

I’ve always admired her un-clingyness to men and that she wouldn’t go out with one because she “needed” one. She’s very independent, self-sufficient and totally comfortable with herself to not need a guy in her world.

She had met The Fireman, who had been married previously and has three children, two of whom are young adults who still live at home and another one that’s about 5. 

She was telling me of a situation where plans had changed, with the Fireman,  at the last moment, as things have a tendency to do when one is a parent. She wasn’t much crazy about it at all and said something like she didn’t know if she wanted to do this because she liked her “nice, quiet, no drama” sort of life. 

Being the wise old grandmother I am, I said to her “Shishter…you have been pretty fortunate in your life to not have anything really rock your world. You do realize that tomorrow your world could be turned upside down by something totally out of your control, don’t you? You could go home and find your house totally burned to the ground with every possession you own gone or you could get a frightening, life-changing diagnosis.”  I went on and on with my sermon,  because after all, I’ve been through the illnesses and deaths of both of my parents, lived through my 16-year-old daughter telling me she was pregnant, a divorce, blah, blah….I was beginning to sound like the Charlie Brown schoolteacher to myself even.

There was NO way I would’ve guessed that within a couple of months, what I told her was going to, like, really happen.  I was talking hypothetical. Totally. My Shishter has had it pretty good.

Last Wednesday, my dear best friend found out that she has breast cancer and probably next week will undergo a double mastectomy to be followed by chemotherapy and probably radiation. She is 34 years old with no family history. She is totally, completely in love for the first time in her life.  This is not supposed to be.  It’s not a bad dream that I’m hoping to wake up from. It’s real. And it all came down so quick.

She found her lump a week ago Wednesday. She always did regular self checks. This came up out of nowhere.

I have no doubt that my Shishter has the cojones to kick this cancer square in the arse and make it sorry it ever messed with her. She is a tenacious and stubborn girl. I have vowed to fight it right along with her, doing whatever I need or have to do. I’ve told her I will shave my head right along with her. Not that that would fix the problem but if it  makes her feel not quite so alone to deal with the loss of her hair, by golly, I can lose mine too.

Cancer, I hate you. You took my parents, my stepfather, two of my aunts, two uncles, dear friends, but you will NOT take my Shishter from me.

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Getting Used To Life Not Being Fair

I was walking through the Kroger yesterday after work and beings it’s Holiday Time, there was a voice on the speaker trying to get people to donate to Second Harvest.
Second Harvest seems to do really good work in feeding the people of Nashville when times are hard. I’ve participated in their various food drives through the years and am always glad to support them and would encourage anybody to help them out.

I could not help but giggle though when I heard the thing on the speaker about giving to Second Harvest. The voice said “Do you know 1 in 8 Tennesseans are at risk for hunger?”

Really? How does that jive with the news earlier this year that Tennessee jumped from 4th place to 2nd place in the nation as the Fatty State?

I am not a statistician nor am I good with numbers but somebody please explain who is right here??? Who is at risk for “hunger?” Define hunger”. Usually, the people I see whipping out the foodstamps at the grocery store do not look like they’ve missed any meals.

The whole thing just made me laugh.

When it comes to matters of a weighty sort, it irritates me to no end because now, I’m at a point where FINALLY, I do not obsess over how I am not as good as this person or that one because I’m not thin. I have birthed 3 children and although I’m not what I think to be big as a house, the weight charts say I am.

I now can boast having some high blood pressure to contend with. Everytime I’m at the doctor, they point out I need to lose weight. I especially love when the doctor’s nurse (who is about one and a half of me put together) calls and says, in regards to my blood pressure management to “Reduce your weight.” Right on, Honey. I’m so encouraged by you since you are so slim and trim yourself. It’s just effed up.

For years, I beat myself up and always felt as though I were inferior to others. The day I married in 1989, my dress was a size 8. AN 8! Yet, in my head, I thought I was as big as a house.

It might’ve been because several months before that, the first time I went out to eat with my future in laws, we were walking through Rivergate Mall. My then future and former sister in law, who is Japanese and weighed all of 100 lbs, and the rest of them, stopped to get a cookie at the cookie shop.

I did not desire a cookie at the moment. At that point, I was not big on sweets. My then future, now former mother in law asked me if I wanted a cookie. I said no. She said to me, with a sort of “Bless Your Heart” tone…”Yeah, I guess you have to really watch what you eat.”

WTF? That was June of 1989. I weighed 130 lbs and fluctuated between a size 6 and 8. I was also 20 years old and I wanted her to approve of me. I was convinced I was a lard ass.

She further convinced me of my heftiness a year after I married her son.

I ran into her one morning right before Christmas, again at the mall. She said “I want to get you some clothes. But not jeans. You don’t look good in jeans.”

Ahh…the Good Ol’ Days….nothing says “love” and “acceptance” quite like your mother in law reminding you you aren’t Twiggy.

I know I need to exercise regularly. I know this. I know I need to eat smarter. I know I have to think about my health, especially now that I’m over 40 and I don’t want to be 75 -80 years old and being one of those that say “If I’d have known I was going to live this long, I’d have taken better care of myself.” 

It especially hits home because the last few days, my thoughts have been with a wonderful family I’ve known since I was a small child who are, at this writing, sitting by the bedside of their 44 year old son and brother in a hospice in Ft. Smith, Arkansas,  waiting for him to die as a result of a brain stem stroke he suffered last week.

John was a good school chum of my sister. We went to church with them when we were really young. I was in Sunday School with his brother and later in the Franklin band with him and his future wife. As an adult, their father was my upline boss. They are such great folks and I’m so heartbroken for them with what they are going through. He was not what I’d call huge but he did enjoy food, wine and life in general. Probably too much.

In your 20’s and 30’s, you eat, drink, smoke all you want and it doesn’t seem to have a lot of effect on your body, at the time. Somehow, though, you cross that 40 Line, and you suddenly have to, like, THINK about all that.

These are things in my brain today…

Word…

What’s new?

  1. 2 has become a Pogo Stick King.  Something about seeing a kid pogo sticking brings joy to my heart.  Ah, to be able to aimlessly jump up and down, not a care in the world. 

Over dinner with my kids this evening, this conversation was heard…(Do note that names have been changed to protect the Guilty)

  1. 2 says: “Did Potential-Hoodlum-That-You-Two-Sometimes-Hang-Out-With have to go back to jail?”

Both the Manchild and the Manchild’s Sister looked at him much like Marcia Brady used to do Cindy when she tattled.  “Nice going.”

You know what my favorite part about the kids going through this Stay-With-Dad phase is?  Secrets!  “Let’s not tell Mom this because she will be pissed.” 

Ok, let’s pick this apart, shall we? 

Why would Mom be opposed to my Darlings being friendly with Butthead-Down-The-Street-Who-REALLY-Likes-The-Feel-Of-Handcuffs-Round-His-Wrists?   Hmmm….maybe it has something to do with that time I caught him destroying my neighbors Christmas decorations?  Or the time I caught him destroying an election sign in my yard?  And any number of other times I’ve caught this kid in the act of THINKING about doing something he isn’t supposed to?

He has asked my kids “Why doesn’t your Mom like me?”  Ummmmm…..let me count the ways.

I can always count on #2 to fill in the blanks.  I think stuff like this is the reason they like to stay at Dad’s more than Mom’s.  Oh Lord Jesus, rock my babies…

Oh, how I wish I could elaborate on some funny things I hear at my workplace.  Oh heavenly day…everyday I learn something new and it don’t have to do a THING with work. Next time you see me, axscht me.

And on another un-related note…I got to visit a tad with my oldest/newest close friend, Eric the Brilliant Singer/Songwriter/Film-maker  a week or so ago.  (This is him with our other school chum, the most wonderful and amazing John.  (I still have a hard time calling him “John” for he was “Johnny” to me from First Grade on.  ericjohn

Y’all know my Old School Chums are people I’m quite sentimental and mushy about.  Guys like these are dear to me in a way I can’t quite explain and being able to re-connect with the likes of them has been a huge gift.  Something about knowing people pre-puberty and to be able to sit down with them and remember the Good Ol’ Days at 40 is just plain wonderful. 

ANYHOO, I say all that to lead into telling you how you too can own your very own copy of Eric’s amazing movie “Everyone But You” that I have watched now probably 20 times.  Listen to me people…it is THAT good.  Go get you one.  You will thank me profusely for the suggestion of adding this to your dvd collection.  

Eric is one of the nicer guys around and you will absolutely fall in love with him, his songs and his cool metal house out in the middle of  Wherethehayellisthat, Colorado?  I’m not gonna shut up about how much I love this movie and how these songs of his are what the Nashville Hacks Cats SHOULD be singing.  If the mainstream public could have a chance to hear this stuff…

Dot Connecting

I guess I could actually blog some words, huh?

Blogging has indeed been light of late.  It’s not that I don’t have anything to say (I usually have something) but life has been in the way. 

I started working.  Do I like it?  Not really.  I  know I should be grateful and I am but the paycheck that came was frighteningly squattage and it sent me into a tailspin of the Blues. 

Back when that “dream” job appeared out of thin air, I took it because I thought I would be stupid not to.  If you have just joined us, the Dream Job lasted 6 weeks.  Not only did I lose my job, but, a number of others there did.  I’m really glad to not be there any longer, but, at the same time, I am starting to feel punished for giving up my State job to take a higher paying  job because now….I’m making less than I made at the State.  AND having to work a lot harder. 

Call me “spoiled”….but it sucks.   I do feel like I’m being punished for taking a chance and my mother’s lifelong warnings of not doing such have come true. 

A friend said something to me yesterday about all this though, that has made me think.  It was so profound, I can’t quite wrap my head around it, but, I know it was one of those things I’ll look back on and remember as a key point in this whole journey. 

I was talking to this person about how there is something I would LOVE to attempt but because of circumstances, individuals who are no longer in my general circumference because of annoying things like death and divorce… I feel like I have no access to explore  this particular area.  This friend  said to me that the answer lies within people and circumstances that present now, not things that are no longer available.

He also said this to me: 

“likewise i have a feeling that the possibilities of your taking that passion of yours and turning it into a blessing for yourself and others will come from attributes that are already present within you and opportunities that are within your reach right now”

This line of thought can apply to anybody and anything.  I’m so glad I had that little chat with my pal .  I was in terrible need of a fresh perspective and a vision.  He said something about having the “intellect to connect the dots” and I said that was the hard part and he said…

“If  it was easy it would be boring  and not worth near as much”

Just kinda blew me away…I needed it badly. 

 

More From Weekend…

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More stuff from the Weekend Festivities of Celebratin’, Viztin and What Not…

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Cherry liked my mask that Lisa gave me.  I think Bryan kinda dug it, too!

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This is my sister and Yers Truly with Stacy.  Stacy lived next door to us when we were kids and was kinda like a little sister to us.  I felt it was my duty, since Stacy is an only child and since I was the youngest child, to be the Older Sister She Never Had (Or Wanted).    I haven’t seen her in a long time and it was good to see her. 

Stacy brought me a present…..I so love this:

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Scott and Jeremy …

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Lisa and Susan came all the way from Clarksville whilst Sandra came all the way from Knoxville…

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Kathy and Jim from Hendersonville…

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Murrey and Melissa from Naishful….

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Cuzzin Barbara dropped by and dang, she looks good!

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Sunday was fun having dinner and viztin with Bill and Tam.  We’ve known Bill since…gosh…I’m not sure how long.  I told Bill what I most remembered about him was him at our house, lip synching to “Convoy” and that woulda been about 1976, or whenever that thing was current.  Eric (dude in the suit) really does have a top of his head.  I just wanted to make it look like he didn’t to make it look “artsy.” Or something.

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Went by to see Gee and Geega.  Gee looked so good!  I swear…that man right there. Is one of the funniest people I know.  My stomach was hurting from laughing so hard.

Banged

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Fun, fun, fun… Here we have Tina, Scott, Jeremy, Juliana and Ron.  I love these peoples.  And I love the Big Bang.  And I love that I’m almost 40. And I love Long Island Teas.  I actually have not had one of those things since about 1999.  Remind me to have one of those every so often.  I was feeling right good and I enjoyed myself muchly. 

Will put more pictures and stuff up tomorrow.

Glory Days

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It’s pretty geeky if you take a picture of a tv screen, but, when its one of those screens that’s like a movie theater and you just happen to catch the opening of the Halftime show of the Super Bowl and it’s Bruce and Clarence and you get it looking like this, I don’t think it’s THAT geeky.  Maybe just a little.

I was like Ellie Mae about that dang home theater. 

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A life-size Little Steven though….yikes!  Bruce needs to share some of his Stay Young secrets with his buddy there.

I’m not one who worships at the Church of Bruce but I most definitely appreciate his icon-ness and was diggin’ the moment quite a bit.

Funny thing about this gathering I was at…it was at the home of my friend Martha that I went to junior high and high school with. (Yet another Facebook reunion although I did see her at our 20th reunion in 07) I went to Brentwood High School my Freshman and Sophomore years.   It was kinda surreal when Bruce was singing “Glory Days” cause that song always reminds me of BHS .  Another girl I went to those schools with, Tracy, was there and I looked over and she was all up in the whole Bruce thing…

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It was just kinda cool to be there and hearing Bruce do that song that was so popular back when I was at BHS and they played the radio in the cafeteria…and here some of us were all these years later..all growed up.  Not just grown up but 40 years old!  Just one of those moments that makes you go “hmmmm”.

Then, in the midst of my trot down Memory Lane, Jene’ who was one of best pals in 7th grade comes into the theater room, singing “Go To Yates” on the chorus….I had TOTALLY forgot about that…(Yates was the vocational school and of course, for students of Brentwood High School back in those days, the mere thought of going to Yates….HA)

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Jene’ was killing me…then again, she always did.  Gosh, in 7th grade, just picture me and her…we were so silly. 

I had totally lost track of Jene’ after 10th grade until our Reunion.  A few weeks ago, she sent me the sweetest note on Facebook, talking about my Dad.  I had forgotten she was on our softball team the year he coached us.  There I pat myself on the back for my “amazing” memory, but, theres lots of things I forget about…like that.

Good times…good memories.

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