Friday, July 24, 2009

There Was A Time...

When I was just about the cutest thing around. And round I was (WAS?) yes, now I'm more oblong. Apparently I was pretty poor back in the day. No clothes or shoes and a paper sack for a hat. But I looked happy. But my big brother loved me. Guess he didn't have any clothes either.But I had bling! And plenty of food I think. Looks like when I finally became more mobile on my own, I must have needed shoes. And since Kevin loved me so much, he loaned me some of his. And his shirt too. What a good brother. Funny, I still seem to put that foot in my mouth quite regularly .

Here I was trying out for the part in Little Orphan Annie. They said I was too well rounded for the part.
So I tried proving my versatility.I was sad, so very sad. So mom started dressing me better. She made me lots and lots of spin spin spin dresses. With lots of fluff and laces and ribbons. I was sure I was hit the big time, after all, who in the world could resist a cutie pie like me? After all, I had talent! I could dance! In flip flops even!
I'm very flexible.
I could help build the sets.
I knew my way around a photo shoot, and was a pro at making that camera love me.
And could swing with the best of them. Back when it was a good thing. I can even supply my own props.I assured them that I was was the ultimate professional.
Always arriving at the set on time. Having my own driver of course.
I even had a backup driver if needed.
Or being the modern woman I am, I could just drive myself! Then I saw it! My name up in lights! SHIRLEY TEMPLE!Damn it...dreaming again.

Friday, July 10, 2009

The Dream...(sister alert!)

I know that dreams can be really unpredictable, but mine are just totally out there sometimes. I wake up wondering where in the HELL did that come from??? What could possibly make me dream such weird things? I don't eat spicy things. I rarely drink too much of the wrong things. I'm not worrying about or dwelling on any one thing too much. Not that I realize anyway.

But the other night I have to say, whatever it was that brought this one on, I wish I could bottle it and use it nightly! I needed this dream more than anything I can think of needing or wanting. It was way better than the anti depressants I'm taking. Way better than a bottle of margaritas. Or a vacation to get away from it all. Way better than anything I can think of happening.

When Nannie died, about 23 years ago now, I use to pray nightly that I would dream about her. I missed her so much it was a almost a physical pain. And I just wanted to see her. It took a very long time, like several years, but I finally started seeing her on a pretty regular basis. At first, I was the only one in my dreams that could see her. We were always at her house of course, usually in either the kitchen or dining room. She never spoke, but I was happy just the same. All I needed was to see her, to feel her there. Eventually she started talking to me and finally the others could see her and hear her too. It was like she wasn't gone at all. Just another big gathering at Nannies house all ready and waiting to eat as always. I still love those dreams. And its still almost monthly that I get to visit with her.

And its been the same way with Sally. I've spent hours and hours begging, pleading and bargaining with God to let me dream about her. It never worked. In all these years, I have maybe dreamed of her 5 or 6 times. And the other night it finally happened...she finally talked to me. Not just a little in passing, but long conversations. I could have stayed in that dream forever. I haven't known that kind of calm and peace in a very long time.

Of course I have no remembrance of how it all started. I do remember not being surprised at seeing her. I was very happy of course, but I felt almost like I knew she was finally coming to see me. She said she only had 2 weeks to spend with me and that we should make the most of it. She wanted to take me places and show me things that I needed to see.

At one point we were sitting cross legged in a beautiful meadow just looking at the green trees and flowers and animals go on for miles. It was quiet and serene and peaceful. And as we sat there the scenery would change, like we were sitting on a turntable. And as it slowly turned we would see a new vision of something to beautiful to imagine. The meadow would turn into mountains, first green then snow covered. Then it turns to a beautiful night sky with a huge brightly lit city on the horizon. We saw the grand canyon again together. We saw the ocean, clear and blue. Always changing. It seemed like we were there forever.

I don't know what we talked about, but we talked constantly as we always did. We talked about everything and everyone. I know she told me that she was happy and that she was exactly where she always knew that she would be. And that it was beyond perfect in every way. And she couldn't wait to show it all to me one day.

I vividly remember conversations we had when we were in Arizona and Wyoming together on vacations. While standing at the edge of the grand canyon, we held hands and she prayed. She thanked God for his creations of such beauty and especially for allowing us to share them together. And in Wyoming as we stood at the shore of a frozen Lake Superior, she prayed the same thing. Then as we drove out onto that frozen a van...on ice...for 3 miles...on ice...with ice cold water beneath it...did I say on ice? She suddenly reaches for my hand and says, "If the ice broke and we went under, we would both meet Jesus together! Wouldn't that be exciting!" And as I felt her soft warm hand, and I looked at her beautiful soft smile and saw the sparkle of love for God that was always in her eyes, all I could say was "Hell NO! Are you fucking nuts?!!" I really thought she was going to pee her pants laughing. And we were both deadly serious! She went on to tell me that night as we sat in a sweet little bed and breakfast, freezing our butts off, just what she envisioned heaven to be.

The path that the angels will lead you on is stark white and smoky. And they will sing all the way. There is a beautiful golden arch with gates wide open. Through the gates the path turns to pure gold, very bright and shiny. You can hear the singing and praises to God. As you move forward you begin to see the ones you love. Everyone is there waiting for you with open arms, so very glad to see you. You know everyone and everyone knows you. And there is nothing but love and happiness. You never have to see sadness, hurt or anger ever again. There is no time for that in heaven. She assured me that all of her time would be spent singing praises to God. She knew this without even the most tiny sliver of doubt. She knew this because it was Gods promise to her. That she would have the desires of her heart. And that was the most important desire she had. She assured me more times than one, that, "One day, I will go to sleep. And when I wake I will be face to face with Jesus! And it will be the most glorious day of my life!"

And I know that without even the most tiny sliver of doubt, Sally got the desires of her heart. She told me so.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Jonathan...Mommys Got A New Project!!!

I am sure he cringes every time he hears those words!

I have wanted an incubator for EVER! And always thought they cost hundreds of dollars. And some do. But then I started reading my favorite chicken forum and found out that you could make one out of junk! I read and researched and read and researched some more. Printing out dozens of different ways to do it.

So when I got ready and made my decision, I call on my little me, Jonathan. He loves to build stuff almost as much as I do. And yes, he always has his own ideas why it should be done his way and not mine. Because he's a man and that's just what men do. But guess what, when its my project...he almost always looses.

Most homemade incubators are made from an old ice chest. I am guessing for the insulation. Didn't have one, so I used an old tote and lined it with 1 inch insulation, taped together with duck tape. Gotta love that stuff! And it's Jonathans favorite toys, with some card board, duck tape and a knife, he could build a city! Even made the lid of insulation and cut a hole to lay a piece of Plexiglas on top for my viewing pleasure.

We used 2x4's to frame the bottom and covered it with screen door wire. In the bottom is also the lights for heat. I used a string of C9 Christmas lights, unscrewing all but 5 of the bulbs. After letting it set for 24 hours, the temp was 110 degrees. So I unscrewed another bulb and it went down to 100. Perfect. Didn't realize what kind of heat those little bulbs can put off.

There is a plastic jar cut off and filled with water in the bottom also for the humidity. It is staying between 45 and 50.

He took a little fan out of his old computer to use to keep the air circulating inside and to keep the temperature constant. It is held in place by wooden shishkabob sticks stuck into the insulation. He used a 12v plug that went to an old cell phone, wired it to the fan and plugged it in. Worked like majic!

John picked me up a thermometer/humidity checker thingy at Home Depot for about $8.00. I taped it to the Plexiglas so it is easy to read.

There is also a wooden dowel that holds the egg cartons in the center of the box. They are taped to the dowel so that the eggs can be turned several times daily. They rotate side to side only about 5 or 6 inches or so. This is so the eggs will develope right inside the egg. If you have ever watched a mama hen, she is always moving the eggs around, that's why. And the dowel sticks out the side of the box so I don't have to open it to turn them and loose heat and humidity. Well, that's about it. And for 8 bucks, here's what I came home to yesterday. See him in the corner?
See why I am so obsessed with this? He is the sweetest little thing ever! Of course until the next one is hatched. But for now, he's my love!
He is so very fluffy, more so than the rest have been. I'm pretty sure he is silky all the way. He is very silver with little white tips on his wings and white under his chin. He has a white tummy and the totally cutest little white fluffy butt ever!
Oh, and 4 toes on one foot and 5 on the other. Well, nobody's perfect!
He is already hopping all over the place and singing like he's got a song you just gotta hear!
And just like me, he already loves to have his belly rubbed.
Ya'll gonna come see me? Bring food!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Meet Sigfried & Sarafina SaSquash

FINE! Then tell me what YOU would have done with deformed squash!

So Meet Sigfried and Sarafina SaSquash. Dressed in their red carpet finery they enjoyed a night out in Austin on Friday night attending the premier of The Hangover. Starring Zack Greg's brother and Gia's brother in law Galifianakis! They had the times of their short lives. The red carpet treatment all the way!
Arriving at the Alamo Draft House Cinema early to be sure to see any stars as they arrived, Sarafina insisted on wearing her tiger skin wrap with the matching pillbox hat, and carrying her silver and pearl clutch. Sigfried nixed the black tie attire for a more casual and comfortable wear. His best Texas bolo and his big rodeo belt buckle of course.
Everyone screamed as Zack was tazzzzzered! Totally cool man!
The excited and happy Zack's brother and sister in law had the best time of all! Look at the beaming on Greg's face! Is he proud or what!!!
No, we cant stay for The Terminator.
Sarafina was totally star struck with Greg. She is in love.
They talked all the way home about what a wonderful party that Gia threw for all their family and friends. And how much fun it was to crash their party. Oh, and how beautiful she is because she looks so much like her oldest sister.
Picture hording is a new hobby for the SaSquashes.
And here is Georgia's other beautiful sister Gina and...
OH MY GOD!!! I KNOW THAT MAN! HE WILL EAT ANYTHING!!!!! Look how he is looking at us! Is that drool? Evil I say, EVIL!
How sweet and innocent youth is. Gullible enough to hold two squash people and smile in public.
Well folks. Thanks for joining us for The SaSquashes Big Adventure. They have plans to travel the states before rotting...uh...retirement. So look for them in a state near you. I am thinking they will be making a trip to Florida via first class mail very soon! Look out Jayne!

My First Real Garden!

I have wanted a "real" garden forever. I have played at it many times and never came up with much but the occasional tomato or radish, which I hate. So after all the daily inspiration from my Chickens In The Road friends and their beautiful gardens, I just had to give it a real try. Not to mention, it was grow food or starve.
I made my plans, begged, borrowed and stole till I got the lumber I wanted and had John construct my boxes. Of course I drew the plans differently that the outcome I received. But they will grow a bountiful harvest none the less. Or at least some beautiful weeds in some really nice and expensive raised beds.
And a short few weeks later...A "real" garden! I am so proud I just don't know what to say.
I have zucchini, yellow squash, tomatoes, cucumbers, brussel sprouts (for Gina), turnips (for Gina), egg plants, bell peppers, jalapenos, tabasco peppers, parsley, cinnamon basil, marigolds and giant sunflowers for the chickens.
And here's my first squash.
I just don't know what to say about that. I have heard of the two headed fish that come out of the lake near the Alcoa plant. I'm thinking maybe I should call Erin Brockosomething.
What the hell???

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Sisters Are SOOOO Much Better Than Calgon!

Is there anything more perfect than picking up the phone and saying, "I want to go to the coast May 27th through the 29th" and hearing "Ok, let's go!" I really don't think there is. And I barely gave them a weeks notice. In Gina's case, all I really have to say is wake up, we're going somewhere, and she stumbles to the car. Gia takes a day or two to rearrange her busy schedule. I need a schedule.

So Gia picked me up Wednesday morning and we zoomed over to get Gina and headed south. It pretty much rained on us the entire way there. I kept thinking we would drive out of it. But it was even raining on the coast. We got there around 4, unloaded our stuff at our home for the next 3 days and headed to the beer joint on the beach. After all, that's what we were there for! We ate a bite and had a few beers...and found out that Gina doesn't like water in her beer. Go figure. The rain stopped and cleared off while we sat in the bar with the locals. So we headed back to the pool and the huge bottle of margaritas that Gia brought. Gina had more beer, Gia had a margarita and I think I had the rest.

The next morning I woke up as Gia was going out the door. There was nothing in the room to tell me what time it was so I got up and dressed and headed to the beach. And left this one enjoying what she loves best about a vacation. Don't we all?

It was still cloudy. I didn't realize until I got to the beach that the sun was just coming up. So I spread my towel and had a seat to enjoy the show. And it was beautiful. The wind was high making the waves high too.

The birds put on a show too. This ones a butt poker. Hes a lot bigger than the gulls.

Later in the day someone told us about the wildlife preserve/bird sanctuary that was there in Port Aransas. As many times as we have been there, we didn't know about it. And Gia does love the wildlife so we HAD to go see.
It can kind of make you take a step back when this sign is the first thing you see. Supposedly there is only one. We didn't see him so I will just take their word for it.

We watched the crabs dance around and mate.

Watched the turtle sunbathing and defending her spot.

Watched the birds pole sit. No dancing involved.

Made the sun beauties pose.

After seeing all the critters we could stand, we headed back to the pool. They were out there for hours, as in long enough to get crispy. Me, I laid in the room for a while then did some local art shop browsing. Came in to hungry girls. Of course I was named to fix supper. No problem. I got the meat out and put it in a skillet and got butted out. That little six foot kitchen isn't room enough for our three butts, so mine found a chair to supervise from.

Later on we headed for a short sit at the beach. And watched Gia in the running of the gulls. I refuse to take her to Spain. Gulls is all she gets.

And of course on Thursday morning, on our way out of town...
The Three G's On The Beach!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

And Yet I Still Wake Up Every Day...

Its been 5 years.

5 of her birthdays that I have missed with her.

5 of everything that I have missed with her.

This really sucks.

Everything about it really sucks.

Right now, today, at this particular minute...

I can not tell you one single good thing that has come from her dying.

Not one.

Not even a fracture of one.

I know there is something.

Ive made the list before.

Ive told everyone before.

Ive told myself before.

But right now... I cant think of anything.

All I know is it hurts like it just happened today.

5 years, it shouldn't still hurt like this.

I shouldn't have to be going through this.

She is the one that told me to "Do what ever the doctors say. Take care of yourself. I cant live in this world without you in it".

And it sucks to remember that conversation.

Why wasn't it me?

Why do I have to live in this world without her?

She was SO MUCH MORE than me.

She was so much better than me.

More loving.

More giving.

More patient.

More wise.

More everything.

Nothing can make this better.

Will it ever get better?

Happy Birthday Sally

I miss you more than words could ever say.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Girlfriends 2009 - Another One For The Books!

Well, we did it again. Another wonderfully successful party. I am humbled, once again, at every ones generosity. I always feel like I never say enough thank yous to everyone. I even had a speech planned this year, with a list attached and everything. So I wouldn't miss anyone this year. The speech never got made.

The whole night is such a whirlwind that I am not even sure that I breath during it. I swear if it wasn't for appointed drill Sargent Gia, I wouldn't even remember to put my drawers on! Oh, what a party that would be!

And what everyone wants to know first...Ellen from Taylor won the beautiful quilt. So sorry it wasn't you. But I couldn't have asked for a more excited scream when I called out her name. Its so much more fun when the winner is present. Just look at that happy smile. I know, you would have smiled too. But get over it, you didn't win. Maybe next year you will buy more tickets.
And Zeta got to visit with her best friend Wanda who came all the way from Bremond.
Just look at them line up for the margaritas. I spent the night looking for mine, as usual. I always set it down to hug cause its not nice to pour it down the back of a new girlfriend. Then I cant find it again. I swear someone was hiding it from me.
And what is a party without pole dancing? Very boring, that's what. And if its something we do not have is a boring party. I'm not going to tell you her dancer name.
But the "who came the farthest" award goes to my best girlfriend Sharon. All the way from St Louis MO. Just for me. I love her!
Of course the best dressed award goes to (drum roll here) Tike! Looking especially beautiful in her teal and hot pink summer frock. She does love to party.
Just look at how stuffed that tumbler was!!! That means bucks folks!
And the bucks are for the scholarship winner Jessie (on the right). She is very grateful for any help at all. Working full time and taking a full course load and being mom to Bailey. Congratulations and the very best of wishes to you Jessie!We did manage to keep Zeta sober most of the night. I actually don't think she even knows what a beer tastes like. But this picture was fun to pull off. Here mom, hold this for a minute...Click!
And the star of the night...Mary Charlotte Young. Totally awesome! Everyone loved her.
And they partied into the night.
And I have to thank you all once again. For your love, prayers and support. For your unwavering friendship. For your lifting me up and holding me up when I sink. For your constant encouragement.
Mom thank you for instilling in me the goodness to want to do this and help others. For quilting your little fingers to the bone. For all you do.
Gina and Gia...thank you for everything. Without the both of you, this would never happen. You are always there for me, no matter what kind of crazy thing I come up with next. You are always right there in the middle of it all. Cheering and pushing me on. Making it all happen. My dreams, and YOU make it happen. Thank you...I love you.