Blue Screen of Death

I just want to let you guys know that I haven’t forgotten about any of you and I’m trying to catch up with all of you!  The blue screen of death has visited me several times.  I’ve had several posts interrupted and wiped out.  Comments have been lost.  We’ve done everything we know to do and it’s looking like maybe we need to get another laptop.  Yuk.  Luckily, I was able to save the million or so pictures and back them up last night.  I’ve been reading that some of you are having the same problems?  It’s not showing up as a virus on my laptop so I wonder what it is?  Shaun, my computer expert friend, any ideas?

Anyway, Just didn’t want you all to think I didn’t love you anymore 😉  Oh and be sure and remember to back up all your important stuff cause this can happen to anyone no matter how new your computer is.  Mine isn’t a little bit old.

Coming to you LIVE from St. Francois County Missouri…


BFF and I didn’t know we’d end up being amateur reporters today!  We only wanted to see PRETTY things!

Have you ever just wanted to get away from everything so that you can regroup or decompress your busy brain?  Yesterday was one of those days for me!  My bff, Beth or “Flashychick”, as you will come to know her on her new blog, decided to go for a Sunday drive and just take the day to look at the beauty that surrounds us.  We were noticing that this year, the Spring colors seem to be brighter than they’ve been in more recent years.  Why not take my fancy schmancy new camera out and learn to use it!  lol  We also wanted to unclutter our minds because we’ve been discombobulated with all this badness that’s going on in the world.

Well… where ever we are and no matter what good intentions we have, we seem to always find trouble.  In yesterday’s case, we found tragedy before we found beauty.


I’ve never seen a house on fire in REAL life.  Not like this, anyway.  On our way to “somewhere”, we saw this tragic sight, directly on the highway!  Leave it to me to pull over and run through the field to get some shots, right?  I was like the Pied Piper because after I pulled over, other ambulance chasers (people like me) pulled over and before long, we had a whole slew of amateur reporters getting their cell phones out to take pictures.  I could tell that people WANTED to pull over but they only got the courage to actually DO it once they saw me running through the field.  lol  When I got home last night, I saw that MANY of my Facebook “friends” had seen the same thing and posted their pictures of this fire.  It’s strange to me how whenever I see something that gets my adrenaline pumping, I lose all sense of “self preservation”.  I got pretty dang close to this and now that I’m looking at the pictures, I’m realizing that there COULD have been an explosion from propane and I COULD have been blown up with the house.

Before you judge me for talking about myself…  There was nobody in the house, THANK GOD, and I did send quite a few prayers up to heaven for the owners of this house.  This truly was a sight that made me so sad.  I couldn’t help but notice the little kids playground and tree house in the back yard.  By the time the Fire Department got there, even the playground burned.  I wouldn’t be surprised if the neighbors houses caught on fire too because the houses were so close together and this fire was MASSIVE.  I’m still shocked at how long it took for the fire department to get there.


Can you see the little swing set?  Also notice how close together the houses are.  See THIS is why I want to live far away from other houses!  I never did like the idea of a subdivision and this is why.


Finally, the fire department showed up.  You can see the little white fire truck to the left of the RV.  They had to call for back up from neighboring towns because this little fire truck couldn’t get control of this angry fire.  On our way back through, we noticed that the other houses didn’t burn.  Again, Thank God.

It amazes me how when I begin to think I have it so bad, I’m always reminded that it could be worse.  Count your blessings, friends!  We really have SO much to be thankful for.  Knock on wood or fingers crossed, I’ve never experienced a house fire.  I couldn’t imagine losing all my memories.  Forever gone.


And to conclude our Sunday devastation report… we bring you more flood damage!  This is the main road, in and out of, Lake Timberline – where my brother and Dad live.  The road complete washed away.  It SHOULDN’T have happened.  The “Board of Trustee’s” won’t upkeep the roads.  They keep raising assessments (money residents have to pay in order to have the “privilege” of living here) but they won’t fix the roads!  They take the money they collect from the residents and apply it to their own special interests.  Like dams for the lakes.  It seems to me that basic road upkeep is a necessity and not a “want”.  If the residents can’t get into their homes, safely, without fear of their vehicle being eaten by a huge hole in the road or without fear of the road literally washing away, I wouldn’t think it matters much about beautifying the beaches or the dams.  The board of Trustee’s say they’re going to fix this though… just as soon as they raise the assessments again.  ARGH!  And this is why I would never live inside Lake Timberline!


But HEY!  The “Timberline Falls” are nice, right?  lol  It’s always good to end bad reporting with a pretty picture 🙂

A MAJOR rant and a happy ending :-)

What a CRAZY weekend and week, for that matter!  I’m getting TOO freaking old for this, really.  lol  Today, I talked to somebody about my brother, who is a Leo.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with the personality traits of a Leo, they’re just a tad self centered.  They’re STRONG and funny, but yes, the world as they see it, should ALWAYS revolve around them.  My brother came from the womb this way and he received many an a$$ kicking from me when he was little.  I should be ashamed, but I’m not.

This weekend, my brother suggested we have a birthday dinner for me.  He planned this with my husband.  I have to give little brother credit for even caring at all because I can’t remember a single birthday where he actually did anything for me.  Not that I mind… my birthday’s were something I’d like to forget, mostly because the brother that I shared every birthday with is gone.  I just wish they would come and go quietly, really.  Anyway, little brother planned a dinner.  You’d think it would be at HIS house right?  Nope.  He wanted to have the dinner at MY house so that my hubby can grill.  Little brother was going to provide the meat to be grilled but we had to do the sides.  He DID offer to HELP Hubby grill.

First of all, you know what having company means, right?  I have to clean.  The burden of cleaning and getting the house ready for company fell on me and my daughter.  I’m sure Hubby would have done it if I’d asked but he’s not good about details.  SO, I cleaned AND I made part of the dinner.  Once little brother arrived, he was “too sick” to help with anything. Hubby did it all while Little Brother went and laid down in my bed.  He had a headache and he was SURE that nobody in the world ever suffered from a headache such as he had.  Seriously.  I told him I understand headaches because I suffer from migraines but he told me that he knew I wouldn’t be able to LIVE with the kind of pain he suffered from.  Hmmm… how quickly he forgets that I have MANY a scar since I’ve been cut from my neck down to my belly button.  THAT’S nowhere near the pain Little Brother was having though.  So, I left Little Pumpkin to sleep in my bed while we got the food ready.

You might be interested to know what my birthday present was?  Okay, I’ll tell you.  My brother allowed me to take care of his baby daughters overnight and all the next day.  Thank GOD Hubby, Daughter and her friend helped me with this because I, myself, felt like complete crap.  Although, I’m sure my pain couldn’t compare to Little Brother’s.  I love my nieces, you all know I do.  I love them like they’re my own kids and why shouldn’t I?  They spend more than 2/3 of their life with me!  lol  It’s just that I’m tired.  And one of my nieces is possessed by the devil.  No joke.  I love her but she’s got some serious problems!  Far be it from ME to mention that to Little Brother because his progeny are perfect, just like him.  Oh and he really feels that if he tells me enough how I’m privileged to be able to watch them (because he won’t allow anyone else to take care of the little angels), I’ll look at it as my most honored privilege.  Only it’s my BIRTHDAY… so can’t I get a pass at least for this week?  Nope, I can not.

Little brother and his wife wanted/needed some time alone Saturday night so my family took care of my nieces.  3 of them.  Granted, the oldest one is a PLEASURE and no trouble at all.  The baby is also an angel, but you know how much time babies take, right?  Even the BEST baby is a handful!  lol  I could have said no, but I recognized that they don’t have time together (brother and wife).  They’re in their 40’s, like me and they get tired too.  So, just like he knew I would, I felt sorry for them and tried to FIX things.  So how did Little Brother and his wife spend their night together?  Little Brother was too sick to pay attention to his wife so he moaned and groaned and complained while she quietly read a book.  Wow.  What a waste.  Can’t he just fake it and TRY to act like he wasn’t the center of the universe?  It took SO much for my sister in law to rearrange her schedule just to be ABLE to spend an evening with her husband.  This was an evening he said he desperately needed with her.  I guess it was all good for him because she got the opportunity to dote on him and be concerned with his sicknesses.  She must be a saint.  I’d have killed him.

Yesterday, Sunday, the little angels were supposed to go home by noon.  They did NOT.  After noon, little brother called to tell me that his wife would be tied up at their oldest daughter’s tournaments until 5:00 p.m.  Did I want him to come and pick the kids up?  HELL YES, I wanted him to come right then!  Did he?  Nope.  He called his wife and asked her to leave the tournament, over an hour away, and come pick her kids up.  She couldn’t leave so the kids stayed here until after 5:00.  Little Brother had to go to the dump to empty trash and he actually said that he was going to be “stuck” with his kids for this entire week so he couldn’t come get them.  He’s a SAHD.  He doesn’t much like his role as Mr. Mom.  REALLY?  His poor wife works over 12 hours a day and still has to take care of the house and her kids when she gets home.  She NEVER has a break but my precious little brother needs a break.  Seriously, the kids are with me more than half the week, most weeks.  I guess I just thought that I would be exempt from having to watch the little darlings on my birthday.

Done with rant… kind of.  We made the best of the weekend, still.  I DO enjoy my nieces (when I’m feeling good).  I do NOT enjoy the devil that resides inside my 4 year old niece.  Luckily, Hubby was at home to restrain her from hurting herself this weekend.  She went into a RAGE, growling at us and slobbering because Hubby made her put a shirt on to go outside.  She feels like she should be naked all the time.  That would be fine with me if not for the fact that at 4, she’s getting a little too old and I don’t want some pervert driving by to look at her “business”.  lol  Hubby doesn’t “lose” it often, he’s got the patience of a saint.  However, even though he doesn’t believe in spankings, he had to administer one yesterday.  AND hold her so that she didn’t bang her head (on purpose) on the furniture.  I really can’t even describe her tantrums because I’ve never seen anything like them before.

Things DID settle down after the restraining incident and Precious Jr. became my Hubby’s best friend!  lol  Here they are cleaning up the playhouse.


(this old playhouse was one we built for my 28 year old daughter when she was 4!  My youngest daughter and her friend ghettofied it with paint a few years ago.  Ignore the paint. Besides Hubby and Esme’ are going to paint it white and also make a sign that says “Esme’s Playhouse 🙂 )


Here’s my teenage munchkin and her bff helping to keep the baby occupied so that I could do my birthday dishes.  lol  These kids were a LIFE saver!  Eventually, my daughter’s bff took off because she couldn’t take it anymore.  lmao

Once the babies left, we all got the heck out of Dodge and went to Dairy Queen!  There’s not much that ice cream doesn’t fix, right?  We ended the day with lots of laughs and fun and yumminess 🙂  All is good again at my house!


(Hubby contemplating the Oreo Blizzard that will be coming his way soon)


Hannah the bff, enjoying her ice cream, maybe a little TOO much!  lmao  BTW… she’d KILL me if she knew I posted this pic 😉  You can see that my daughter didn’t have much time this weekend to take care of her own very special hair needs?  hehehe


Life is good again and everything’s fixed, all because of a little ice cream 🙂


Hmmm…. maybe I should pay attention to my OWN hair and grooming needs?  Naw.  I didn’t give two $hi*$ about who was looking at me.  Sometimes, you just have to NOT care and enjoy your ice cream 🙂

Hope you all had a spectacular weekend?

You Think I’m Crazy Now? Just wait….

Here’s my courtesy call (warning) to the universe…  I will be without hormones in TWO days!  Do you know what that means?  I pity the world.  I will be racked with hot flashes and a willingness to kill or devastate anyone who has the audacity to get in my path.  For REAL.

Menopause is something that shouldn’t be happening to me already.  However, due to a softball sized tumor on my ovary and some extensive damage to my uterus (9 miscarriages and 9 D & C’s plus 1 C section), it was necessary to have a hysterectomy a few years back.  My OBGYN is a man who “forgot” to mention to me the horrors of early menopause so for 2 years, I stayed somewhere between suicidal to somewhat COMPLETELY crazy.  I said and did things that where not normal for even me!  lol  I shudder to hear some of the stories that my family tells me.  Finally, one day, I thought to call my doctor who asked me if he’d put me on hormones.  “Why NO, you didn’t mention hormones, Doc”.  “Oh no, MY bad”, he says.  WTF???  I could have killed myself or someone else and he says “My bad”?  That’s it?

So he immediately put me on hormones that just barely worked but I thought it was normal.  I was a little LESS suicidal and had a few less hot flashes.  This went on for a year before I called the pharmacy who makes the hormones asking if it was normal to feel this way.  They checked the formulation that my doctor recommended and they quickly told me that this formulation couldn’t work on a MAN!  It was so weak and they should have caught it before now.  Once again, my doctor was negligent and the pharmacy had to tell him what the normal formulation should be.  Wow.

Everything seems to be okay with this prescription BUT…  Now the time is up and the pharmacy had to call the doctor to get an okay.  The good doctor won’t refill my little lifesavers.  He wants to see me in his office.  However, he didn’t call ME to tell me this, he called my HUSBAND.  Who, by the way, didn’t bother telling me until after hours and he just barely remembered to tell me THEN!

Now, you’d think the man would KNOW that his life as he knows it is over, right?  NO.  He’s completely clueless.  I asked him “what about CRAZY don’t you understand?”.  It’s going to take me 2 weeks to get in to this damn doctor and then it’s gong to take another week for the pharmacy to MAKE the prescription and get it down to the actual pharmacy that I use.  It’s a special formulation.  The BEST case scenario would be that I have my hormones in 3 weeks!!!!  Even my young 14 year old daughter AND her friends are making arrangements to vacate the primises!  What I’m trying to say is that MAYBE my husband should have reacted with a little more urgency than to even wait a day to tell me to make an appointment with my idiot doctor.

What are my hopes and dreams for these next few weeks?  First, I hope my husband has enjoyed his life, up until now.  I hope my child finds a safe place to hide.  AND my #1 wish is that by the time I see my OBGYN, I will be completely whacked out and he reaps the benefits from his decision to NOT refill my prescription!

So there’s my courtesy warning and I just want to say also that it’s been wonderful having you all for friends…  I feel the love NOW, mostly because I still have 2 little hormone pills left.  Moral of the story?  If you have a medication that life as you know it DEPENDS on, maybe you should notice when it’s going to expire and take action LONG before it becomes critical.  Once again, my oblivion and procrastination did NOT pay off.  lol

The Fairy Pools and Religious Hatred…

The Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scottland

Shaun, this is the place I told you about.  Where is it in relationship to where you are?

I have a Pinterest board entitled “places I want to go one day”.  It’s kind of a “bucket list” destination or dream board.  I LOVE to travel.  It’s probably my favorite thing to do and I’ve always dreamed of going places abroad but have never been out of my country!  Well, besides Mexico.

Yesterday, I Skyped with a friend in Scotland.  It was amazing to me to be sitting on my back deck in the middle of America, listening to my birds and knowing that I was able to bring Scotland SO close to me.  My girls were laughing because of Shaun’s accent, they thought he spoke a different language!  lol  It’s strange to me that we both speak English, the King’s language, yet the dialect makes it so hard to understand.  It didn’t take me long to understand him though.  I was also impressed with how different the UK is from the USA.  The differences in religion and the extreme hatred that goes on in Western Scotland and I’m guessing in Ireland between the Catholic’s and the Protestants.  They actually KILL each other over there in the name of Religion.  THEY say in the name of God but I’m QUITE certain that God’s going to “smite” them down for killing each other in His name! For shame.  I’m Catholic, by birth, and I’m ASHAMED of the Catholic’s who would kill a Protestant in the name of our religion.

Over here, in the USA, one of the our constitutional rights is “Freedom of Religion”.  For the most part, we respect each other. Oh there’s a lot of talking behind each other’s backs.  That’s about it though.  The worst I’ve ever experienced is when I went to my husband’s family’s church in Texas.  I went to Sunday School and I was alone.  It’s a Southern Baptist Church.  The Sunday School teacher began talking about the Pope and how he’s going to go to hell and how ALL Catholic’s are probably going to go to hell.  WTF???  Don’t they know that this is the EXACT reason that people aren’t attracted to Christians?  Out of respect for my husband’s family, I didn’t create the scene I’d wanted to create.  I sat there and seethed.  Later, my husband’s family heard ALL about it.  You can trust and believe that.  Not that I was blaming them, just that I wanted them to know how wrong I felt it was for their leader to say something like he did… not to mention the “Amen’s” I heard from the rest of the Sunday school class.  “Amen’s” coming from some people I truly loved and respected.  My family told me I should have pulled the Sunday School teacher aside and tell him that I’m Catholic and didn’t appreciate what he was saying.  I SHOULD have but I knew me, and I knew that I probably would have NOT been eloquent in my speech.  I would have ripped him up, chewed him up and spit him out.  THAT wouldn’t have honored my husband’s family.  So I let it go and forgave.  Something that was difficult.

My point being that we ALL live in this world.  We’re all united in that we’re HUMAN.  It doesn’t matter what color of skin we have, if we’re male or female, it doesn’t matter what religion we are.  God made us all.  Not ONE of us is better than the other.

Now, can’t we all just get along?  Much love to all of you and have a VERY Happy Friday!

Sad and Disrespectful.

Last week, our family was bombarded with funerals.  One of the funerals took place at Jefferson Barrack’s National Cemetery.  Now, I know that attending a funeral isn’t on the “fun” list for anyone, but for me, attending a military funeral can be moving.  One of the highlights occurs after the preacher finishes his eulogy and “Taps” is performed by an ex or retired military bugler. Even if I don’t know the person being buried well, I ALWAYS, without fail, get teary eyed.  That’s okay though because when I look around, everyone else is shedding a tear or two also.  I don’t know anyone who’s so hardhearted that the sad bugler can’t evoke a tear or two.



If you’ve ever attended a military funeral or visit a National Cemetery, you know that the final resting place for a military man is lonely and a little boring in it’s “sameness”.  You won’t find different shaped tombstones or anything written on the tombstone that will give you a hint into what that person might have been like.  Actually, I used to hate visiting these cemeteries.  Now that I’m older, I can find the beauty in the “sameness” and understand what an honor it is to be buried here.

On any given day at Jefferson Barrack’s Cemetery, there may be upwards near 20 funerals.  During each and every funeral, there will be a old soldier paying respect to another soldier being laid to rest.  It cost the cemetery $25 to pay this soldier to bugle “taps”.  Apparently, it’s not cost effective to pay these men any longer. It was just publicized that now, during each and every funeral, “Taps” will be played over the loud speakers.  No more soldiers dressed in their uniforms.  No more respect for the soldier being laid to rest.  Personally, I think this is HORRIBLE and disrespectful.  Loud speakers?  Don’t bother.  For my relatives who will be laid to rest at Jefferson Barrack’s, I’ll be happy to pay, out of my own pocket, an ex military man or woman to bugle “Taps”, just the way it SHOULD be played, with respect and in person.  To be fair, the cemetery is going to allow us to purchase our own buglers through the funeral home.  Wow.  I know there will be soldiers who volunteer their services for these fallen men and women.  I just don’t think they should HAVE to volunteer.  I feel like this should be a service provided by our country to show respect for the time served.  I know I’m not alone in the way I think.

Here’s the link to the story that aired this morning.  Shame on them.

Birthday boy and other stuff :-)

What a week!  Can I just tell you that I’ve realized, this week, that I’m INDESTRUCTIBLE?  If this week didn’t kill me, NOTHING can.  Can I also share with you that one thing I’ve FINALLY gotten through my head is that I should NEVER EVER EVER get too complacent or self assured especially when it comes to my kids?  If there’s ANYTHING you’ve ever learned from me, this should be it.  I want you to know that when you FINALLY feel like you’re doing something right and that you have at least ONE kid who seems to be rolling right along on the right track,  you should probably dig a little deeper.  Or maybe you shouldn’t.  Maybe it’s a VERY good thing to live in denial.  I wish I still lived there! I’ll have to tell you about my little angel later.

Right now, I want to share with you some other fine points of my week 🙂  My husband took the week off so we’ve been bonding.  It was his birthday on Tuesday and he likes to take some of his vacation time to chill out and regroup.  He COULDN’T have known all hell would break out during this week.  *snicker*  It all actually worked out very well that he was here though, because he kept me from killing the teenage munchkin.  See, I’ve told you all before that there ARE no accidents!  It wasn’t a coincident that he took off on the week that I find out about all her shenangins.  I think that was a GOD thing.  lol  Thank you God for saving my lil precious “angel’s” life…  I wouldn’t have been able to live with myself had I REALLY wrung her neck the way I wanted to!  lol


Here’s how we celebrate birthday’s around here.  We do whatever the birthday boy wants to do. Ben LOVES his guns and he’s wanted to get me at the shooting range for a while now.  We shot his 9mm, his 357 magnum and the one I personally love shooting, the little bitty BB type gun… a 22.


I can’t say I’m really a fan of guns.  I’ve had some pretty nightmarish experiences when I was young.  I was the victim so I have PTSD when it comes to hearing gun shots.  The only way to sweeten the pot and GET me to the range was to tell me that I could learn to protect myself from those zombies that I’m positive I’ll have to learn to kill during the zombie apocalypse!  lmao  I’m a HUGE Walking Dead fan:-)


Here’s the mess of guns we used to kill those zombies!


Here’s the 357 magnum that kept jamming up.  We would have been up a creek if the zombies got too close and we had to depend on THIS thing working.  Time to find a gunsmith 😉


I’m actually a really good shot (most of the time).  I’m not sure how smart my husband is for wanting to teach me to love guns.  Wise people have told him that this could be dangerous for HIS life.  I have to agree.  My temper and a gun?  Maybe NOT the smartest idea he’s had.


He had to eat this cake all by himself because he’s the ONLY one who likes coconut.  Coconut is one of the only foods that will make me gag.  Oh and fish.  I can’t even bear the smell of fish.  But it turned out pretty, huh?  It’s a 3 layer, made from scratch coconut cake.

I also made a killer filet mignon and homemade herb butter!  OMG!  It was SO good 🙂

Happy birthday Honey!  Here’s hoping for another 45 years!

On being a strong woman…

Happy March the 8th! International Women’s Day!.

I became aware of International Women’s Day only this morning, on Evelina’s blog.

I’ve got to admit, at least at MY house, every day is Women’s day!  lol  We’ve always joked that my husband is a “king” in our “Queendom”.  Of COURSE I’m the Queen and we’ve had 4 little princesses.  Most of them grew up to be queens in their own “dom’s” .  Seriously, can you imagine 1 man floating in a sea of estrogen?  As women, we understand that when females live in close confines with other females, we all start “cycling” together.  NOT fun at all.  Lots of tears, lots of rage, lots of EMOTION.  I’m really not sure how any of us are still living!  lol  You’d think at least ONE of us should be dead.  I was probably the worst but not by much.  My girls were BAD little bags of hormones too.  You know the saying, right?  “The apple doesn’t fall too far from the tree”.  Nope.  It sure does not.  lol

Evelina’s blog got me thinking.  I’ve always been sort of a feminist.  I was born the only girl with 2 brothers and an EXTREMELY Chauvinistic father.  My mother despised feminists.  She believed a woman’s place was in the home and behind her man.  Even as a small girl, I walked around my house angry that I didn’t have the rights that my brothers or my dad did.

I remember one time, when my brother broke his leg, my dad AND mom told me that I had to wash his feet.  You know how your toes hang out of the cast?  They get really nasty and grimy.  My brother was EXACTLY, to the day and hour, 1 year younger than me and was perfectly capable of figuring out how to wash his own nasty feet.  Of course I protested but I was told that I’m a girl and I needed to learn to take care of a man!  Okay, I’m fuming even now, as I type this.  I loved my brother.  He was my best friend.  BUT….  because I was forced to do this for him, and because he laughed all the way through me trying to wash his nasty feet, AND because he was kind of immobile, I took one of his toes and bent it backwards until he begged mom and dad not to ever make me do it again.  lmbo  GOOD times, good times!  Okay, now I’m showing my twisted and warped mind.  If that was the ONLY incident, it wouldn’t have been so bad but every day was a day my mother and I would serve the men in our house.  My dad’s meals had to be put on the table when he walked through the door (and he NEVER walked through the door at the same time ANY day).  My dad’s meals were steak dinners while my mother and I ate economical meals.  My brothers also ate steak because they were “growing boys” and needed to develop muscle.  My dad tells me now that it was my mother’s idea to feed us differently and that he felt we should ALL eat steak.  If my dad was thirsty and his glass was out of reach, he’d call me or my mom in from another room to bring him his glass because he was too lazy to get out of his recliner.  When he’d get home from work, many times I’d have to rub his feet or scratch his back.  I’d also have to rub my brothers feet (both brothers) and make their beds and do their laundry.  I was taught to do all the chores around the house (mop the floors NOT with a mop but on my knees, do the dishes and we didn’t have a dish washer, empty the trash, rake the yard, vacuum, dust all rooms and clean all 3 bathrooms) but my brothers were not because they would one day grow up to marry women who would be responsible for those chores.  My dad had been a military man and he learned to expect his clothes pressed, even his underwear and handkerchiefs.  I had to do this.  He demanded that when he got out of bed, his bed would be made and it wasn’t done right unless he could “bounce a dime”  off the bed covering.  He learned this in the navy and he expected the women to do this for him.  Ummm….  I’m pretty sure the military doesn’t have women coming in to do these things for their male soldiers???  Anyway, you get the picture.  I was a bitter, bitter child.  You see, I was my father’s daughter.  VERY strong and as opinionated as he was about the role of a woman, I was JUST as opinionated about the role I would NOT play once I got out of that house.

I did what I could do to protest my family’s twisted beliefs about women.  I absolutely knew that I’d grow up and change the way I allowed men to treat me.  As a child of the 80’s, I believed women could have it all.  I could have children and I didn’t need a man.  I didn’t believe marriage was important and neither were father’s.  I had my girls and I believed that as long as they had ME, that was all they needed.  I’ve always been tough and demanded that I be respected by a man, but didn’t necessarily GIVE respect.  Okay, almost never did I give respect.  In other words, I took it to the extreme in my attempt to right the wrong of the way I was raised.

What I have learned in the nearly half century that I’ve walked on this earth?  I’ve learned that I was just as wrong as my parents were.  My daughters DID need their fathers.  As good as I was, I would never be able to play BOTH roles, mother and father.  I learned that women CAN’T really have it all and if I have to work all the time to support my daughter’s, who would be actually RAISING and guiding them?  I’ve learned that women who choose to stay home and raise their children are the one’s who deserve respect.  I worked out of necessity because SOMEONE had to support my children and their fathers were NOT.  Back then, I felt like I deserved kudos because I was able to do that.  As a result of me working all the time, my oldest daughter was forced to take care of her younger sisters after school and during the summer months when there was no school.  She was 9 years older than my middle daughter and 14 years older than my youngest so I felt she was old enough.  Other babysitters raised my children as well.  When I talked to my girls, I always told them “you are NOT statistics”.  I felt I needed to drill this into their heads because 2 of them were illegitimate the one who WASN’T illegitimate, was a child of divorce.  They ALL have different fathers.  Most kids born the way they were born are children who are welfare recipients.  WE were not.  As long as I was able to work and provide, we would NEVER be on government assistance.  My girls had material possessions, nice clothes, a TV in their rooms, music, nice bikes, etc…  They had nicer things than many children did who HAD fathers.  I thought this was important.

What was important, in reality, was that they had a family.  A mother AND father.  If I had to go back and do it over again, I would have stayed married.  I wouldn’t have gone out of my way to have those kids out of wedlock just to prove something to society.  I always told my girls that they weren’t accidents.  They really weren’t.  Aside from my oldest daughter, who really wasn’t planned, I took NO precautions to prevent any of them and neither did their fathers.  I always told them that God had a reason for each and every one of them to be on this earth.  I still believe that, however, NOW I know that God will make good out of our bad decisions and he never intended us to be irresponsible with another little life.

I’m not so much of a feminist now.  I know that respect goes both ways and women play MANY roles.  Men should too and I’ll never change my views on that.  I believe that women have HAD to play many roles because so much of the time, men don’t step up to the plate and do what THEY’RE supposed to do.  Thankfully though, my girls haven’t taken things to the extreme the way I did and they try to treat the men in their lives with respect.  I guess they learned from my mistakes and they were able to recognize that what I did wasn’t what THEY should do.  NONE of them have had illegitimate children and equally important, none of them have felt the need to be married at a young age.  They’re independent women who know that there’s a time and a place for marriage and children.  They’re not in a hurry to start a family.  For THAT, I’m so thankful.  My stepdaughter is married and she’s only 21.  She’s lived with me full time since she was 9 years old.  I believe her ideals were formed before she came to me.  Ahhh well…  so far, and I hope forever, she and her husband are happy.

What are your thoughts on feminism and the role that you feel a woman should play?  Just curious.  There are really no right and wrong opinions and answers 🙂

Battling my “Old Veteran”, my dad…

Good Morning!  How was your weekend?  Hopefully bright and sunshiny!  I had a strange weekend with Dad.  He made it through surgery and they were able to stretch his “severely” constricted aortic valve.  It took two tries but once they got it, they REALLY got it.  From what the heart surgeons explained, the aortic valve, once constricted usually goes from severely bad to a smaller degree of severely bad (after they stretch it).  Dad’s went from severely bad to just bad.  Doesn’t sound promising but according to the surgeons, it is.  The outcome was far better than they’d hoped for.  This should hold him for anywhere from 2 weeks to a year.  They’re hoping for it to hold until May, when they have his valve replacement scheduled.

Dad won’t follow orders.  They have him on a heart healthy diet and he laughs and calls it “dog food”.  He screams at them saying they’re trying to poison him with their salad and refried beans.  He’s used to steaks and potatoes with all the salt his taste buds can handle. He’s also ordered to take a specific type of medicine which will keep the blood flowing through his valve and new stents.  He won’t take that either because it makes him feel like he can’t breathe.  They explained to him that he runs the risk of stroke or a heart attack and death and he tells them that if they’re so worried about it, THEY should take the medicine.  As crazy as it sounds, he was a mess the day he left and it was as if they had him so sedated, he couldn’t even walk on is own.  I had to wheel his 350 lb body out of that hospital and that’s just not Dad.  He’s lazy, yes, but he can usually walk.  I told them that I think he’s right about the medicine because every time they’ve put him on something like this, he’s impossible.  Calling me all hours of the night saying he can’t breathe and is in and out of sleep all through the day.  They’re not much interested in what I have to say though.

Soooo, I sat Dad down and told him that it’s HIS choice whether or not he takes this medicine.  He just needed to reassure me that he understood what may very well happen to him.  We talked about what he wanted us to do in the case of his having a stroke.  NOT a conversation I wanted to have with my Dad.  However, I believe that quality of life is FAR more important than quantity of life.  If he’s going to have to live life in a fog and not really coherent, that’s NOT living.  I agree that he shouldn’t take the medicine if he feels his quality of life is being jeopardized.  I had the pharmacist tell me about the side affects and she said that studies have shown that 30% of all patients who take this medicine complain of not breathing and being in a drugged stupor.

Aside from the fights about the food and the medicine, Dad cursed the nurses all night long.  I had to slap his hand and tell him (with clinched teeth) to “Knock his mouth off” or I’d leave and let the nurses abuse him.  He was tied down anyway.  lol  You’d have to know him to know how ironic this is.  He’s someone used to ALWAYS being in control and he’s not a respecter of women and has always been racist.  No, I’m not proud of this and it’s shaming. But I laugh because, now, he has a nurse from Nigeria who barely speaks English.  I DID end up leaving him alone all night with only his Nigerian nurse to take care of him.  I hope she let him have it!  She was so kind though, I’m sure she took care of him professionally.  I don’t know how these nurses do it.  I really don’t.  They tell me he cursed her all night (of COURSE using racial slurs) and shouted like a mad man because she wouldn’t untie him like he wanted to be.  They HAD to tie him down though because of the recent incision in his artery.  If this artery starts bleeding, he could have bled to death.  It seemed like I spent the better part of the weekend apologizing for his behavior.  The Nigerian nurse was kind to everybody but seemed to give me the cold shoulder.  She asked me if anyone ever told me how much I looked like my dad.  I wonder if this is why she didn’t warm up to me?  Or maybe I’m paranoid because I’ve heard this all my life from my mom.  Mom’s told me more times than I can count, how she can’t look at me because I remind her of my father.  I’d love to believe that I’m not guilty by association but even nurses are human and she’d probably had ENOUGH of my dad but couldn’t do anything about it because she’s a professional.

Ah well, he’s home now and all the praying we did worked for now.  Despite his meanness, sometimes, he’s a likable guy.  Everyone who knows him would LOVE to hate him because he’s rude and he’s mean and he’s SO SO SO self centered.  BUT, then the generous, funny and loving side comes shining through right when we think we’re done with him.  I know I’ll never really be done with him.  Like I said, he’s my dad and he’s the only parent that’s ever shown me love.  While he was at the WORST part of his stay, in the most pain, he grabbed me by the hand and pulled me down to hear what he had to say.  He could barely whisper but I heard him say “I sure do appreciate you Michelle.  You’re my baby girl and you’ve always been my favorite”.  How could I not love that big lug of a man?  Ashamed of his behavior, yes.  The good news is that when he’s not in pain and incapacitated, he’s not AS rude to people.

The bright side of the weekend was seeing so many people come into my dad’s room to hug him or shake his hand and thank him for his service to our country.  The surgery was performed at the Harry Truman Veteran’s Hospital in Columbia MO.  Nothing about it screams “state of the art” and at first I was afraid for him to be there.  I changed my mind once I saw how much respect and love all the workers had for these old veterans.  I left with a sense of pride and thankfulness for this man, my dad, who gave his time to protect our great country.  BTW…  he learned to be so mean while he was serving in the navy on that aircraft carrier.  I guess you had to fight or die, from the way he tells the story.  Thank all of you for saying a prayer for my dad.  Remember to thank a veteran if you appreciate your freedom 😉  They never get tired of hearing that they’re appreciated and Lord knows they deserve our acknowledgement.  God Bless!

Music Tuesday! Me and my piano :-)

By now, all of my friends know that Tuesdays are my piano lessons with my Russian Piano Nazi.  I’ve written enough about her and I think most people can forgive me all my political INcorectness!   In my defense, she really IS Russian and I COULD be right about the whole Nazi thing.  lol  In reality,  I actually really am starting to like this girl.  My main problem was that she’s 20 and I’m 46.  While I’m VERY willing to give credit where credit is due, even to someone who’s younger than most of my wardrobe, I have a hard time explaining to her that my fingers don’t work like they used to work. She just doesn’t get it.  It’s okay.  I’m going to break her if it’s the last thing I do!  Maybe she’ll learn to love my excuses?  That’s what I’m hoping.

I’ve complained before that I’m just not FEELING the music that she chooses for me.  I realize I need to learn theory and there’s a variety of pieces that can help me achieve this.  I can’t complain if I don’t want to put the work into it, right?  THIS week, I put the work into it! YAY me!  Here’s how it’s been going;  She’ll pick out a couple of pieces and a whole lot of theory and finger strengthening exercises and I’ll learn them and more.  This week was no exception.  She’s been telling me that I’ve “nailed” it and that I can skip FAR ahead.  This week, I learned all my pieces in both books AND a couple of pieces she didn’t assign.


new music came today and not a second too soon!


Now THIS, my piano instructor will be SO excited about!  She’s been making me do exercises where I spend a half hour each day clapping and stomping out the time because I didn’t use a metronome.  lol  I felt like I knew how the song should sound (at least in my OWN head) so why did I need one of these?  I’m a little scared of this thing….

I’m just getting bored with the music.  FINALLY, my Amazon order came in with my new sheet music!  AND my metronome.  I’m SO very excited and can’t wait to start learning.  They look a little too easy though.  We’ll see.

I’m off here to go start having some fun 😉