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Stuff Dad Said

Father’s Day is right around the corner literally and I actual went to visit my Dad yesterday. We live very close to each other, but I guess I just am busy with my life and he with his, so we don’t get to visit with each other much. Anyway, while on this trip to see Mom and Dad, I started thinking about things he use to say to my brother and I when we were young.

He has a great sense of humor and loves to laugh, although he isn’t the best at joke telling himself. He has a very outgoing personality and at times my mother has hidden from everyone in embarrassment at his very open and comfortable presence. (Check out this video to see how impulsively fun he is in public.) I love that about him though!!

Dad never was one much for profanity. He is a baby boomer born in 1945. He had a few different careers early in life even though he only had a 4th grade education, was drafted to Vietnam, married my mother when he returned home, became an entrepreneur, was and still is a talented musician, writer, vocal artist, and adopted my brother and I in the 70’s. In 1991 he dove into pastoring the church and has served the ministry since full-time. Rarely did a curse word ever leave his lips, but he did incorporate some slang into his vocabulary from time to time. He would also throw in a few words he thought were “hip” or “cool” from time to time.

Dad, although I know you are not on the internet and will probably never be – here is a tribute to you and the nutty stuff you use to say (and still do).

Got cotton in your ears? That wind’ll fool ya!

There’s a fine line between faith and foolishness sister…and we’re on the line here!

Know what I’m say’n? Do ya dig me?

Sis, stop that! You’re a girl!

Trust me, it’ll taste good…

Fetch your brother for me.

This here’s a little trick I learnt in ‘Nam.

Flip!!!!!! (This word would follow his hammer hitting his thumb.)

Don’t let your left hand know what your right hand is doin’.

I get the gist of it.

Would you like for me to help you clean your plate? (said with a big hopeful grin)

Now, put this in your spirit… (Insert Advice Here)

Chris, do you ever get tired of talking?

Are you gonna eat that?

Truth in the house! (Always said in church instead of Amen.)

Come to church sometime (said to everyone he ever ran into…ever)

I’m pick’n… (this was followed by an awkward pause until you say “And I’m a grin’n”)

Always keep your foot on the rock and your mind made up (This was code for I hid some money for you under a rock that your mom doesn’t know about.)

Got everything covered? (Code for do you need any money.)

Now get this, …(Insert random comment)

Are you reading me?

If you ever hit your sister, you’ll have to deal with me.

Jesus never asked someone to take a shower or put on deodorant before he saved ’em.

Your mom said go to bed on time, so could you be quiet enough that she thinks you’re asleep?

I did it, it was me. (Proudly proclaimed every time mom found something us kids broke, to save us from the wrath of mom.)

You gotta love people where they’re at.

Maybe my dad was 1 in a million? I think so and I thank God for sending me and my  brother to him. I know his life changed after we entered the picture and I appreciate the sacrifices he and mom made for us.

Happy Father’s Day Daddy. I love you!!

Mom & Dad - Before Kids

Mom & Dad – Before Kids

Bored to Crafty

I apologize that I haven’t published in almost a week. I actually have written an article or two, but could not bring myself to publish them. It’s not the right time for those just yet.

Here is a small project that requires little to no skill that I’ve wanted to share with you though. Through the embarrassment, I’ll detail what worked and what didn’t if you want to try this little DIY craft also.

I like to up-cycle and re-purpose things that still have life in them instead of just throwing them away to be recycled. It saves money sometimes and always gives me something creative to do when I’m bored 🙂 For this craft, I decided to use some of the many old coffee cans we had saved to make flower pots. Coffee cans of today are made of plastic unlike their ancestors – the forever recyclable aluminum ones.  So, here’s what I did:

Step 1

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A hammer & nail

empty coffee container

empty coffee container

Gather supplies I thought I needed

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a pole

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Spray paint

I’ll be honest with you…I didn’t exactly think this all the way through before I started! I thought it a good idea to use the pole so I could spray paint the containers without having them on the ground to get grass stuck in the new paint on them.

Step 2

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After spraying one container I realized that the paint would splatter everything around the container too. So my next step was to wrap the pole in some paper to keep the paint off the pole. This should have been added during the prep step – oops 😦

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Step 3

I removed the container from the pole and sat it aside to allow it to dry. After spraying about 6 or 7 containers, I thought I could start adding my soil and planting. I realized that none of the containers had any seepage holes for water drainage 😦  Like I said…I did not think this through.  Truth be told in hindsight – putting holes in the containers should have been step 1, before any painting. Did I mention I was sleep deprived when I did this?

Anyway, to add drainage, I used a hammer and a nail. I gently hammered the sharp nail through the bottom of the container in 4 sections.

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Needless to say, I changed the order of my DIY mess after realizing that I was knocking paint off with every strike of hammer to nail. Did I mention crafts on little sleep is not advisable?

Step 4

Revise all Steps and plans!

While making holes in the containers, I realized I had forgotten yet another step! In my preparation, I should have worn gloves!!!! Much to my surprise – when using spray paint, it colored my finger nails 😦 Part of my initial supply list should have been a pair of gloves!wpid-IMAG0961.jpg

Step 5

Plant in containers
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Step 6

Realize that I should have painted the inside rim of each container!

Step 7

Stop doing DIY crafty projects when I’m bored silly and sleep deprived!

Step 8

Learn from all mistakes and do it right next time – if there ever is a next time 🙂

What Are You Looking At?

Yesterday, after school, we attended a football parent meeting. It was a mandatory meeting for all players in all grades of the High School and was very informative. Since we have 3 boys attending (1 played last year & 2 will play in the Fall) we never thought a thing about attending.

It was a good meeting – very informative. I’m new to this whole kid playing sports thing because X & Z never played any sports in the past, but Y who came to live with us a year ago has played sports his whole life. All I knew of sports from last season was the endless shuttling of kids from one place to the next, sitting in the stands and washing uniforms. Y moved in with us in the spring and just joined right in with the existing football team, so we missed any and all parental information meetings last season. Shoot, we never received any communications from the coaches or anyone else except Y. This year is different.

Anyway, after the meeting was a “cook out” which consisted of hot dogs wrapped in aluminum foil, tiny bags of chips, water, and cookies. There was no seating, so we all just stood around and ate off paper plates and looked around at the other people, kids, coaches, etc. interacting or just standing around like we were.

I noticed several “clicks” or grouping of people who must have known each other from the previous years. My husband hasn’t lived here long, so knew no one really, but I have lived here my whole life. I went to this school. I saw a few people who I knew. And surprisingly something happened.

Memories!

Since hitting my head a while back and losing a ton of memories, I get super happy when some return! They were pretty happy memories too. I remembered the wings/halls of the school (which classes were where) and began to remember some happy, funny, or eventful events that occurred 🙂

I guess I was kind of zoning out after a few minutes because I suddenly realized my husband was talking to me. Listening intently, I tried to catch up on his conversation when I noticed over his shoulder that a group of women standing behind him were staring at us. There were 4 women in this group. The one in the front was covering her mouth and she spoke to the other ladies as she cut her eyes toward us. At several times our eyes met and locked on each other as she continued to talk to the other ladies. She would slant her eyes our way, nod in our direction and point with her elbow. Basically, she did everything except point a finger at us.

I looked back at my husband who thought I was upset about something and was refusing to look at him as he spoke to me. He walked away from me for a minute. I looked him over to see if he had toilet paper stuck to the bottom of his shoe or his fly was open. Nope. Nothing there to see. I found no reason they’d be staring at him, so I examined myself. I’m always dressed modestly, so I had no body parts playing peek-a-boo, no spilled ketchup running down my shirt, nothing on my face, and my hair wasn’t sticking up in an odd Something About Mary way.

My husband came back to where I stood and we spoke for a little longer. I glanced over his should a few more times and then it hit me! Bad memories…Not my memories though. I thought about the horrible stories about kids making fun of other kids, bullying and such 😦 I’ll admit that when I was in school I had my fair share of insecurities, but I was never bullied at this school over them. In fact, at this school, every kid is just…a kid. There were a few small “clicks”, but not very many and even the people in those groups were nice to the other kids. It really is a great school as far as that goes. Everyone is accepted.

I tried to tell myself that I was inventing something that wasn’t there. But…I just couldn’t shake the feeling that there truly was 😦

It was at that time that I lost my temper and knew that I needed to exit the facility in order not to embarrass my children. Afterall, X is going into his senior year and I don’t want to ruin that for him. You see, when I lose my temper (which is an extremely very rare occasion), people part from me like the parting of the Red Sea. I am not very pretty when I blow up which is why I have managed my anger very well through behavior modification. I pray and leave the situation quickly.

After much prayer last night, I found peace. I’ve decided that I will be seeing these women on a regular basis now and that I need to at least find out their names. As the school year goes along, I will also find out why they were staring at us also. I’m just blunt like that 🙂

Our pets?

Many people enjoy the company of their loving & loyal pets. The term pet is also loosely used to describe just about any type of life form we hold captive. Ex: cat, dog, fish, turtle, lizard, bird, & many other lifeforms.

In our home, we have a community loyal, not owner loyal dog who loves our neighbors the same as she loves us. She requires no feeding because she will not eat dog food under any circumstance. She is a hunter and feeds herself off the land. She requires very little maintenance because she merely wants to be recognized about once a day by someone calling to her. She’ll wag her tail and then off she goes…into the neighborhood to scavenge.

We have a loyal (as long as he gets his way) cat that requires a great deal more than just once a day maintenance. He requires his litter box to be cleaned more than once a day or he will attack your legs, multiple treat snacks in a day, and recognition by anyone entering a room he is in.

There are also several dozen territorial loyal crawdads that live in our back yard. I’ve decided to claim these crawdads as pets because they have lived here longer than I have & no matter what we do to them, they won’t leave our back yard. I’ve read a few articles online describing people keeping them as pets. The way I see it, we’ll call them pets, but they’ll require no upkeep or cost (like the dog). They don’t want to be petted, only come out at night & require no maintenance. Oh what perfect pets they seem to be 🙂

So here’s our pet collection:

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Second attempt – Arrowhead wonders

Over the weekend, my husband and I thought we would go out and look for a tilled up field to look through for arrow heads. Thinking we would try north, we drove around field spotting for a few hours. We found a lot of field, but none had been turned. We discovered that practically no one will is home on a Sunday afternoon anyway to give permission to walk their field.

Lesson learned. It was actually a good trip. We shared time together and checked out the landscape that we didn’t otherwise know.

After a couple of fields, Nick said “I just know we’ll find arrowheads or artifacts here!  Just look at what I found!” ….
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After a good laugh, we were on to the next field 🙂

The only thing we actually did find was a shaft straightener,
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a few tiny pieces of flint, and several farm properties that are for sale.

I’ve always liked just leisurely driving around though, so I loved it!
It was a good day 🙂

Below are some we found on other days.

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I swear, we are not inbred!

Well, it appears as though my grand baby has been playing on my phone and possibly erased the largest part of this post. Excuse me a moment while I re-type it…

I swear, we are not inbred. Don’t listen to that kid!

Yesterday for Easter, the boys & I went to visit family. My oldest son wanted to introduce his girlfriend to his sisters, so we took her along with us. On the long trip, I heard him explaining to her several of the people she’d meet. This is how we became inbred in one very short conversation, hosted by a 15 yr old boy!

Just to set the genealogy straight, the boys have 4 sisters. 2 of which they are very close to & 2 that they do not see very much. On Easter we went to visit the 2 youngest girls (Audrey and Ashley) at their mom’s house (Vick – but the boys call her Bebe). Bebe has another daughter (Sheri – called She-she).

Sister Audrey’s Family: Audrey, Justin (boy friend) , Eli, Anikan, Mara

Sister Ashley’s Family: Ashley, Emmie, and Miles

Loving Friend Sheri’s Family: Sheri, Justin (boy friend), Triston

Dad’s Ex-wife Vicki’s Family: Vicki, David, Audrey, Ashley, Sheri

Loving Friend Deb (who is Vicki’s sister) Family: Deb and Allie

Now that this is laid out about as simple as I can, here is what my 15 yr old son told his girl friend. I placed a star next to the incorrect statements:

You’re gonna meet all 3 of my sisters. There’s Audrey, Ashley, and *She-she. Audrey lives with my *brother in law* Justin and they have a lot of kids. They have Eli, Mara, and Anny. Then there’s Ashley. She has Miles and Emmie. My other sister, *She-she is married to *my cousin Justin and *their kid is Triston. Their mom is my *aunt Bebe and she is married to my cousin David. Then there’s my *aunt Deb and her daughter Allie, *my cousin. Oh yeah, we are *part black, so if you’re racist, that’s not good.

And you don’t want to mess with me cause they all love me and would be very mad at you.

No one will see the humor in this that our family did, I am sure. But we laughed and laughed over this dissertation of our genealogy.

Memories of Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea

My Nikki Lea cute & pregnant in 2010

Even though I whacked my head hard enough to remove several thousand brain cells back in July (see previous posts about PCS), I have regained most of my memories of Nikki Lea. I think these memories came back to me vividly because she and I have stayed in contact with each other and she was such a cute little kid!

When she was just a baby, not more than 15 months, my parents began keeping her regularly on the weekends at first. Then they progressed to keeping her through the week. My parents had raised Nikki Lea’s mother also. (Just to give a bit of back ground info: my parents adopted the brother I grew up with when he was 6 months old, then adopted me when I was 2 1/2 months old. They could not have children of their own, so they adopted us and were always raising someone’s children from time to time.)

Back to little miss priss…Nikki Lea was the cutest baby in the world. She had the deepest and most beautiful dimples in her cheeks and a smile that would make a person’s heart melt. She spoke well and properly (speaking proper was all my mother would tolerate), and she was a little princess. She didn’t watch TV, instead she always wanted to play…in MY room :-\

Sometimes I would get aggravated with her always following me around, but most of the time I loved her to pieces. I dressed her up in odd outfits and punked out her hair in the proper 80’s fashion (she was like 2 yrs old at that point). I applied make-up to her cute little doll face and pretty much treated her like a doll. I never had a Barbie, but I had a Nikki Lea 🙂

One day, I had been outside playing with the neighborhood boys and came in for a drink and a rest. Mom was supposed to be watching Nikki Lea, but I found her in my room…eating my Estee Lauder lipstick!! I didn’t wear make-up myself, but my mom gave that lipstick to me because I begged her for it. It was the only thing I could have from her cosmetics, so I cherished it as a child. It  must have tasted as good as it looked on a pair of lips, cause she ate the entire tube! I was devastated 😐  My poor-pitiful-me devastation lasted about 5 minutes…then I didn’t care any more. Afterall I was anxious to go back outside and play, I had M80s to use on some hot wheel cars with the guys.

This little girl stole so many hearts as a child. My dad was her “Poppy” and she called my mom “Mummy”. I was Chissy and my brother was Cot when she spoke.

Every Saturday evening, Nikki Lea slept in my room with me. When we woke up on Sunday morning, I got to dress her for church. I picked frilly little dresses with crinoline underneath, ruffled undies, and tights. By the time that poor child was dressed, I’m surprised she could walk!!! I put her in high heels once. That didn’t work out so well. She fell and bumped her elbow.

When she was older, maybe 6 yrs old, I gave her a helium balloon and told her to suck the air out of it. She sounded like her baby voice all over again. Of course, my parents were not very happy about that, so I was grounded for a week 😦  Come on! Who hasn’t sucked helium out of a balloon as a child?

Nikki Lea went back to stay with her mom around 5-6 yrs old. Her mom finished nursing school and had a great job. She was a strong woman! She raised 3 girls alone, worked full-time, and put herself through nursing school. So, it would be a while before I connected with little miss dimples again.

Then, on Jan 20th, 1996 when Nick and I took our wedding vows and became husband and wife…Nikki Lea was my little ring bearer. She was so precious! Her hair was curled in Shirley Temple like curls and she had on one of those frilly little dresses again 🙂 She would come and stay with Nick and I, on and off, from time to time after we were married…and then she grew up. She didn’t come stay with us again until 2002. She was a full-blown teenager at that point…15 or so and ruled the world. Okay, not really. She actually always had a very level head on her shoulders and was much wiser than other kids her age. She matured fast because of her environment.

After 2003, it would be a while before I saw Nikki Lea again. But I think that time we spent together and apart was good for us. I know it certainly made me appreciate her much more when I did see her! We connected when she was working at a local university and had a few discussions when she was deciding on going into the military. I was stoked!!  I tried to encourage her as much as possible to do the bravest thing – serve our country. I would have if 3 branches of the military hadn’t turned me away when I was much younger. She did it!! She made it through Cadet school (or what ever it’s called) and she has been in the service several years now.

I got to travel to Virginia to see her in September 2010 when she gave birth to her baby boy. And now, she is ready to pop open once more. This time she’ll be delivering a girl though. Nikki Lea is a wonderful mother, wife, sister, woman, and friend.

Nikki Lea… I am so proud of you little mechanic Naval momma!!

Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy

Today’s memories are brought to you by Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy. It was Oct of 1995, my boyfriend (soon to be husband and future father of my boys), his friend Larry and I made a trip to visit one of their friends living in Arkansas, Patsy.  Larry was home (KY) from the Army on leave, and the trip to Arkansas had been planned for a long time before Nick & I ever met. I got to tag along – cause I was the one with the car to drive. And hey, I’d never been out of the state for fun. First I got to meet Larry. We met in Middlesboro at Dunkin Doughnuts over coffee. Nick and Larry caught up on old times and I guess that’s when I got my introduction as well. From what I can remember, I was pretty ditsy 🙂
Nick told me Larry was always changing his look and declared that he had moved into the “Marlboro Man” phase.  He sported a cowboy hat, boots, and blue jeans. (This must have been a private joke, I thought. But after knowing Larry a bit more, I see what Nick meant by Larry’s changing appearances. I like them, they keep life fresh and his wife now seems to love him this way!!)

So, back to the story, as non responsible adults, we had all neglected to check the weather before the trip.  There had been tornado warnings issued for west Tennessee, Arkansas, and other areas that we were oblivious to. On the long drive across Tennessee, we encountered high winds, heavy rains, and a great number of semi trucks driving very slowly. After hours of driving, we finally crossed the Mississippi river.
The bridge was huge, long, and just plain awesome. I asked what body of water we were crossing and Nick replied, “The Mississippi, of course.” I was so excited! Larry was asleep in the back seat of my tiny Nissan Pulsar (that roared loudly with the muffler missing).  I’d never seen the Mississippi and just had to say hello to it! I rolled my window down, stuck my head out the window, and yelled as loud as I could, “HELLO MISSISSIPPI!” Rain water poured into the small car, pelting Nick, who was driving, in the face.  He laughed at first because I also drenched Larry sleeping in the back seat. Larry was startled awake by his sudden shower. LOL 🙂  Sorry Larry 🙂

After that little impulsive incident, my window was rolled up and locked from the drivers side 😦
Several miles later, I said I wanted to drive. Nick took the next exit and before I knew it, I was driving in Arkansas! Whoo Hoo!!  …then…a state trooper pulled me over. He asked for my paperwork and then asked where I was from. I pointed down the road from whence we came and said, “From back ‘air. Have you ever heared of a place called Knoxville? Well, if you go straight through downtown, the continue down Broadway and then Fountain City…”. The officer raised his hand to stop my chatter and said, “Okay, where are you going in this tornado?”  At this point the officer thought I was mentally challenged and asked Nick to drive.

We made it to Jonesboro, AR in one piece with a police escort and the town was flooded. The low riding Nissan we were in amazingly plowed through water that came up to the door handle. I remember lifting my feet off the floorboard of the car – as if it would help, LOL!

We made it to Patsy’s house safely, but that ride was totally amazing along the way!

Maybe I’ll tell you about Beale Street and Graceland in the next edition of Adventurous Memories of a Nick, Larry, & Patsy 🙂

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