Saturday, October 13, 2007

Fabulous Isn't a Big Enough Word to Describe YOU, My Blogging Friends.

Not too long ago, during the "semi-hiatus" I took during my sister's visit, I was given a wonderful award by two very kind and dear people (Karolee and Annie). While I'm pretty sure I'm not what you could call "Fabulous" on an everyday basis (lol), I have discovered that several of YOU are! I recently asked all who read my blog to please go to this site and leave good thoughts for my cousin, Joey, who has been severely injured and is currently in the intensive care unit of USA Medical Center in Mobile, Alabama. Many of you responded to this request and I can't tell you how much this means, especially to Joey's wife, Karen, and their children. I believe that Karen is going to pull Joey through this with sheer determination! She refuses to think any negative thoughts whatsoever and is inspiring everyone around her to be positive regarding Joey's recovery. I don't think I've ever witnessed anything quite like it before and it has left me in awe of her. For those of you who left messages (Heather, Sophie, Mary, Tammy, Sharon, Julie, Stacy, Brenda, Susie Q, Annie and Terri, to name a few!) thank you so much. You are FABULOUS. To those of you who have sent e-mails to Karen and who have sent prayers to God (Kat, Pam and Karolee!), you are also FABULOUS. For anyone else whose kindness I have neglected to mention, please know that you are FABULOUS, too, and I thank all of you from the bottom of my heart. I know that normally, these awards that go around Blogland are basically a fun way to say thanks and hello to our fellow bloggers, but this award just happened to come around at a time when telling you that you are FABULOUS actually means more than "hey - I like reading your blog". It means "Thank you for joining together and helping my cousin and his family get through one of the hardest things they'll ever have to endure". All of you deserve this award and, while I just don't have enough energy to add the links to your blogs, I think most of you know each other at this point anyway. You are a wonderful bunch of friends and I treasure you.

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Friday, October 12, 2007

Prayers for Joey

As some of you know, my cousin, Joey Andrus, is in critical condition at USA Medical Center in Mobile, Alabama following a tragic work-related accident. USA Medical Center has given patients' families the ability to set up a website to receive good thoughts and prayers during this very stressful time. If any of you are able, please stop by this site and sign the guestbook with a message of hope. I know it's asking a bit of you to go through the hassle of setting up "an account" in order to leave a message, but I think it would help Joey and his wife so much.
Thank you in advance for those who are able to do this.

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Pumpkins Galore

These were some pretty pumpkins we saw at Central Market during my sister's visit. I love that bright orange color. Let me assure you that Central Market is pretty darn proud of their pumpkins and charge accordingly. In other words, we didn't buy any from them... mainly because I didn't feel like filling out all that pesky paperwork for a second mortgage on our home and I'm afraid that would have been necessary in order for me to afford them.... Check out these pumpkins. I couldn't decide if these were teenager pumpkins or menopausal ones. They looked like they were suffering from some severe skin issues so you can understand where my confusion came in, can't you?
And these are my new favorite (although, come to think of it, I'm not sure there's really an old favorite). Not that it matters, I suppose. At any rate, these beauties pictured here are called "Cotton Candy" pumpkins. Love that name! Just wish they weren't filled with gold (I'm assuming they were because that might explain what made them cost so freakin' much!).
And here's a lovely little topiary that I thought I might make. I even had all the (faux) pumpkins gathered when we went to Garden Ridge, but Garden Ridge sometimes has trouble marking their items with prices. And if it ain't marked, they can't help you (apparently). As is my norm when I experience bad customer service, such as employees who have absolutely no clue as to how they can obtain a price on an item they are selling, I put my items down and stomped out of the store. I've really got to stop doing that. The amazing thing is, bad customer service is a frequent occurrence at Garden Ridge and yet, I keep going back! I need therapy. I really, really do.
And this is something I did end up buying, although not at Garden Ridge, of course. I got the pumpkin at Wal-Mart, but I got the pumpkin's "Turkey" outfit in Granbury. How cute is this? I love how it looks - and I sure wish I could explain why. I just think he's funny with his feet kicked up like that! lol
Tomorrow I hope to post a couple of pictures of the pumpkins my boys are carving. I think Kaleb is carving a ghost and Jacob, because he likes to freak out his mama, is carving a spider. Cute kid, huh?

I want to thank everyone who has sent good wishes and prayers for my cousin, Joey, and his wife, Karen. Your thoughts are so very much appreciated.

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Thursday, October 11, 2007

We are the Shattered Pieces of a Family

See this picture? I believe this is my grandmother's family, taken back when she was a little girl. My purpose in showing it is to illustrate how families used to get together, to live, to laugh, to love and yeah, to even get their picture made together. I can remember going to my grandma and grandpa's house sometimes for family get togethers. My two aunts and their families would be there, my two uncles and their families would make it whenever they could. (My Uncle Wally - some of ya'll might know him better as Aunt Sandi's husband - was in the Navy so sometimes he was stationed too far afield to come for these visits and I really have no idea what my Uncle Mac was doing during those times. Sometimes we saw him, sometimes we didn't.) Anyway, the point is, these were wonderful times for me. All these relatives running around, all these cousins, all that laughter and fun...gosh, I miss that. I can remember when someone was ill, everybody who was able to would get involved. When my aunt had surgery, my mom traveled to Mobile, Alabama from Del City, Oklahoma to be with her. When Uncle Wally and Aunt Sandi came home to Selma, Alabama for a visit before they shipped off to England, we all converged on Selma to say good-bye to them. When my grandpa was baptized sometime in the '70's, everyone in the family who could come to witness it, did. We were a close family. And it was something special, at least from the viewpoint of a child (namely me and my sister). But then, in late 1979, the family started to fracture. My parents got divorced. Having been married for 18 years, it was hard for the rest of the family to "divorce" my dad, though. My aunts still thought of him as their "brother", my grandparents still thought of him as their "son". Dad and Uncle Wally had been buddies way back in the day, too, so I know it was hard for either of them to accept the end of a relationship. I look back now and wonder if that may have been the beginning of the end for all of us as a family. It's not that my parents' divorce was the first our family had experienced. And maybe I just perceive that event as having more of an impact on our family as a whole than it actually did. After all, it was my parents who split from one another, therefore maybe I'm giving it more "weight" than it really had as far as how it affected everyone else. But, regardless...the '80's brought even more turmoil to our family. Another aunt divorced her husband and it was quite similar to my parents situation in that she and her husband had been married for something like 20 years. He was as much my uncle as she was my aunt because they had been married for as long as I could remember, basically. But their divorce was much, much uglier than my parents' divorce. It pitted relative against relative, sister against sister, son against father, etc., etc., etc. It was ugly. Period. I don't think we (the family) ever really recovered from that. My heart aches at the sadness of it all. So many harsh words were said by so many of us. And, when the dust seemed to settle (much, much later) nobody really wanted to go over the wounds we had inflicted on one another. Nobody seemed to want to talk about it at all. It was like everyone just sort of swept all the pain and bitterness under the rug and tried to move on. Of course, everytime something bad would come up afterwards, somebody would "shake that rug out" and all those harsh feelings would come flying out again. And since nothing was ever discussed productively, the bad stuff never really left. It's still there. To this day. It comes out in so many little ways and now, it's come out in an even bigger way. One of our family has suffered a grievous physical injury. My cousin, Joey, was hurt at work a few days ago. He was life-flighted from Monroeville down to USA Medical Center in Mobile, Alabama where he is currently listed in critical condition. And here's where the shame of our family comes in. Not only were some of our family not notified through the family grapevine of this tragedy, but those that were and live relatively nearby, haven't even gone to the hospital. I know that there's nothing anyone in the family can actually do for Joey right now. He's in a medically induced coma and is in ICU. But why isn't any of our family there to help support his wife and his children during this time? Isn't that what we're supposed to do? I don't want to judge anyone, really I don't. But if we don't pull together during a time like this, then why do we even bother calling ourselves "family"? I spoke with Joey's wife, Karen, yesterday and, while she sounded strong and seemed to be holding it together, I couldn't help but hurt for her because of what she's going through, seeing her husband hooked up to all those machines and not knowing if he's going to make it or not. Surely a little help from us, Joeys' relatives, would allow her at least a moment or two to, I don't know, just...breathe, maybe. What the heck happened to us? How did we get this way? Aunt Sandi and I were talking yesterday and we both decided that maybe Grandma was the glue that held us together and once she passed over, some of us just forgot to hold on to each other. I truly (and literally) weep at the state of my extended family. So much has happened over the years that it's hard to know just who is to bless and who is to blame. Some of us just seem to hold onto the bad, like a shield of righteousness, and I believe that all that bitterness and anger has eaten away at our humanity. God knows I can feel how it's affected me. Why can't we see our way clear to change that, though? Does no one care about being a family anymore? I guess what I'm asking is, how do you stop loving your sister, your brother, your aunt, your uncle, your niece, your nephew, your cousin,......your family? I am as guilty as anyone else in the family. Believe me when I say that. I got angry at my mother and sister and didn't speak with them for over a year! And that situation, which happened fairly recently, had nothing to do with all that previously occurred in my family, except that maybe it's where I learned how to cut a family member out of my life. Not trying to blame anyone else for my actions, I'm just saying that it's not something I hadn't seen up close and personal before I actually did it myself. I'm ashamed of the way I handled what happened with my mom and my sister. I shouldn't have stopped talking to them. I should have screamed, stomped and hollered instead. At least we would have still been connected, you know what I mean? The road back is hard and bumpy and not at all what I thought it would be. But the three of us are trying. I wish the rest of our family could or would try, too. But maybe there's been just too much water under the bridge. Maybe love really wasn't meant to last forever. Maybe years of neglect can erase it as if it had never been. It sure feels that way to me sometimes.

This picture above was taken back in 1979 at my Grandma and Grandpa's house in Selma, Alabama. That little dark eyed kid in the foreground is Joey. The second row is my sister Sherri, my cousin Tammy (Joey's sister), and me. The back row is Uncle Wally and Aunt Sandi's boys, Wallace and Michael. Just a few of us cousins, sitting for a picture back when our family acted

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Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Sight Seeing

Here's a few pictures taken here, there and everywhere during my sister's visit. As I mentioned before, we shopped. A lot. I mean a WHOLE lot. Yeah - it was a sacrifice I was willing to make in order to keep my peeps entertained. The things I do for family....shocking, really.Randey insisted on having his picture made with this strange little scarecrow in Granbury. He also insisted that Kaleb join him for the picture. As you can probably tell by Kaleb's expression, he was somewhat less than thrilled at being forced to pose with this freaky looking guy (I refer to the scarecrow, of course, not Randey). Check out Kaleb's shirt, though. Gotta love that! Unless you're a Texas fan, of course. (GO OU!)
Would you just look at this wonderful dishware collection? I love it. I'm not sure why, though. As I've mentioned over and over and over is not my thing. But these dishes were just so pretty. They were hard to resist.
And so were these. If the black and white wasn't your thing, look what else they had to offer. Bright, beautiful, fall colored dishes. I loved these, too. Luckily, I regained my senses and didn't purchase any of either collection. Talk about a waste of money! There's no point in having these particular pretties unless I can afford a daily chef to fill them. Which I can't so I decided to stick with the same old plates we've used for years and years. Boring, but practical.
This is a picture I took from upstairs at one of my favorite Granbury stores. That's my dad in the blue shirt and my sister in the orange. (My step-mother is in green at the top left of the picture.) Dad got a little aggravated with me once he figured out it was me causing that annoying flashing light he kept seeing. Hey, if you can't still aggravate your father - no matter what age you are - then what's the point, right?
Here's a little spiderweb and spider display one of the stores had set up along the sidewalk. Freaks. (And I'm referring to both the store owners and the spiders.)
And I saw this book in a fabric store and immediately thought of my dear friend Sophie. She's a Cath Kidston fanatic. That's a pretty accurate description, isn't it Sophie? lol I wish they weren't asking an arm and a leg for that book because I would have loved to have sent it to you. But what can I say? I'm cheap. :o)
These old dresses reminded me of Sophie, too. I know how she loves vintage clothing, etc. and when I saw these, I had to snap the picture so I could show her. The gold lame' is very chic, no? Wish I could fit more than my left thigh into it. I have a vision of my gaunt, skinny self laid back on a chaise lounge chair, wearing that silky gold dress and being fanned by a skimpily dressed Adonis who is gazing at me with adoration in his eyes. Okay. So I didn't really have that vision until I typed it. Now, however...well now is a different story. Must go think this over. Be back later. Maybe much later....

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Introducing....PABLO RODRIGUEZ

AKA The Six Million Peso Man! Sorry it took so long to post the correct answer on this. We had quite a visit with my sister and her husband. It was absolutely wonderful and I've been exhausted from it! lol Anywho, Jacob dressed as The Six Million Peso Man for Super Hero day and for those of you who are unfamiliar with this particular "hero", he's featured on a funky little show called Robot Chicken. Teenage boys loooooovvvvvveeeee this show for some reason. As do older boys, I suppose. Now for the disturbing part...three of YOU guessed correctly who Jake was dressed as. That means THREE of you watch Robot Chicken and I must say, I am stunned. Who are the three, you ask? Well, you won't believe this, but it's Pea over at Pea's Corner, Sandi from Whistlestop Cooking and Sue at Rabbit Run Cottage. Okay, so maybe you will believe that of Sue. I mean, come's Sue. She's goofy anyway! lol But Pea and Sandi? I never saw that coming..... And now that I've outed those three as knowing of Robot Chicken and The Six Million Peso Man, let me ask them this: Guys, have you ever seen the Star Wars spoof on Robot Chicken where Vader has to call the Emperor to tell him that the first Death Star has been blown up and Palpatine has to take another call to order take-out food and then he goes back to talking to Vader and makes Vader cry when he brings up Padme? And then has to tell him "I love you, too" before he hangs up? Now that was just funny stuff. I had that TiVo'd for the longest time. Great tv, really. And yeah, I'm admitting...I've watched Robot Chicken occasionally. Too bad I missed that Six Million Peso Man episode, though. I think I went down a notch or two on the Cool Meter as far as the boys are concerned. Ah well...I'm getting old, I'm out of touch and I can't be expected to know everything. Right?
Now look what the wonderful sweet Jayme from Scrapper Mama sent me. Isn't this the cutest little Halloween card you've ever seen? She's so talented....she even used her sewing machine in the making of this. I was thrilled when I opened it up the other day and, while I'm ashamed I didn't jump on here right away to brag on her cardmaking, I've shown it to anybody and everybody who has gotten within a 2 block radius of my house. Thanks, Jayme. I love the card and I love that you thought enough of me to send it! You know you've made my Christmas card list, don't you? lol
For those of you who have been reading my blog for any amount of time (that's probably just you, Aunt Sandi! lol) you'll know that, naturally, when family comes to visit, we take them to Granbury. It's not that I wanted to go there, of course, but it's my duty so I suffered through it. (lol, lol, lol - I'm laughing hysterically at that ginormous white lie!!). But looky here at what I came home with. See this sweet little potted flower? My son, Kaleb, bought that for me while we were in Granbury. He saw me looking at it and, after I'd put it down, he snuck it down to the cash register and bought it. Is that not the sweetest thing? That kid has a heart of gold and he touches my heart with gestures like that. I have some pretty wonderful offspring, that's for sure.
And I also have some pretty wonderful friends. My gosh, when I said that my last birthday had become a birthday season instead of a birthday, I wasn't kidding. My friend, Susan, who still lives in Florida, had told me that she was mailing my birthday present but that I wouldn't get it until the first week in October. I couldn't think why any package would take so long to ship and she wouldn't clue me in. Her gift finally arrived the other day. (Nice wrapping, huh? - you gotta love those people at And now I get it why it took so long! It was Criminal Minds, Season Two. It didn't come out until October 3rd and Susan knows how much I love that show. In fact, she bought me Season One for Christmas last year. Isn't it great to have a friend who just knows you so well? Murder and mayhem...she so gets me. lol
And check out this purse. My sister brought this to me (she also knows me so well - a little animal print always brings out the animal in me). lol
And speaking of animals, my sister gave me these ducks to wear on my feet. I love them, of course. They just quack me up. What? You're surprised that I made such a cheesy joke? Come on had to have seen that coming! But let's not dwell on the sad state of my sense of humor. Just say "ha, ha" out loud a few times and move on.

I've got more pictures to post later. (Pictures of the visit, not so much the duck houseshoes.) But first, I must do my checkbook so that I can get that mini-depression from the financial ruin I've put us in over the last week shopping like a madwoman over with. Wish me luck and I'll write more as soon as I've recovered.

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