Time flies…… a good day for a wedding!


Way back when I was just a little girl, time was slow, really slow and steady. The thirty plus days between Thanksgiving  until Christmas were more like thirty months  and if the school year was any longer and summer break was any shorter then we would be in school full time! This is from the perspective of a child which I have found is the exact opposite when you become….middle aged. That being said, when the children that you watch be born and grow up, that are not your own seem to leap to adulthood in like a week, it makes one painfully aware that time does not stand still…it do fly!

This weekend we are a part of a wedding back in East Tennessee, the preacherman will unite in marriage a grown man and  a little girl who was just a little runt a few years back! How did this happen! I blinked. She is also a twin….a twin that although I have known them from birth…I still call…twins, as in not their real names…..because lets be real, they are twins and for the life of me I could never tell you which was which…ever…..! I mean put name tags on them, dress them differently it did not matter, I never really knew. This is not for lack of trying I was around them all the time. Their Dad is my husbands best friend and his wife is my best friend, we have a history yet I was lost. I did try, my kids knew which was which but not me.

They were always the twins, scary little mystery girls that I was never sure about what they were up to. Twins are a special secret club, they have a language…a underlying knowing that is a little creepy. I never felt like I could ever get the upper hand, even me an adult, I felt as if those two heads put together would always out smart me….and I was right! I have spent a lot of time with them in many situations and they were equipped with this sly grin that reminded me to be on my guard. My own sweet little daughter was one of their dear little friends…she always knew which was which….and she always came home a little wiser, sitting under the tutelage of these two masterminds. They have  extra jolt of energy and mischief than other kids, always up for fun and anything that is exciting.

They are for sure a rare breed and as time does fly, they are all grown up. One of them, Amber has already been in the Army and served our Country (thank you for your service Amber!) and now finished school and knocking it out of the park with a great career! The other one, Aubrey is  walking down the aisle tomorrow, she also has finished school and began her own successful career, raising a beautiful little boy and has found her one true love. This little girl has before our very eyes…grown up, along with her twin and her oldest sister, Ariel and her little brother, Lee. The original Ellis brood. There is a baby brother, thrown in for good measure, the extra blessing, Jeremy. I think they had to “one-up” us, WE…. Praise the Lord stopped with four kids!

These “kids” are making lives for themselves, I am proud of them and the job their Dad and Cheryl did with them…..they say it takes a village to raise kids these days, I would like to think that I had a tiny piece of influence…maybe. If nothing else I hope they see Gods grace and commitment to Him which is the only way to survive the flying of Time and the ups and downs of marriage especially. Congratulations Sweet Aubrey on the day of your marriage ceremony and I pray for many years of love and laughter. They are equal parts that are needed….but that is how you were raised so I’m not worried. Best wishes on your special day, Aubs….or is it Amber?

Much love from all of Us “indoor people”who love you!

 

 

Hands extended


My Mom looks at her hands constantly….she touches them, rubs and worries over them, she will even comment that her hands look so bad. I beg to differ with her…I consider them the strong symbols for a life lived, proof of her endurance.

wpid-photo-2.jpgYet she, seems surprised by the look of them….I know why, it is a daily reminder of the days lived, her age can’t  be hidden from her hands. All the beauty products in the world can’t conceal the well worn years, lipstick and blush can paint in our youth but, our hands reveal our true self.

Now that she has been overcome by the perils of Alzheimer’s, her life has shifted, she no longer is …”I am woman, hear me roar!”, a pseudo strength that propelled her to raise kids and work after divorce when not everyone was so understanding of her independence…she is although, still somewhat the master of her domain even within the realm of her small world now, it is baffling and yet touching to see these hardworking hands lend comfort to her new friends.

She extends kind words and a soft touch, holding the hands of those precious souls who have her same disease, maybe a little farther gone but, still in need of a friend. I witness hands that once cooked great food and that held my hands across my life, now helpful in the lives of others. She is showing kindness and love and actually ministering there in this home where she lives. I asked her once about her relationship with God, she quickly set me straight….”……..how do you think I ever got through my life without trusting in God!!!!!!!!” Special emphasis on the exclamation marks….she set me in my place! I will forever have hope that was her testimony and now her hands are His hands extended there in her world.

Although she frets the aged-ness revealed in her hands, I enjoy the touch of her gentle hands, the mother’s love that I long for, for which i felt I didn’t always get as much as I wanted, I am blessed to receive now. I find myself noticing my hands more, a few age spots….dang Sun worship.…now I know why Southern Belles wore those cute white gloves….should have thought that one out…oops. I am learning how important it is to connect with people, be present at the moment, especially now when the few moments I get to sit with her are running low.

Life is a gift…..our parents are gifts…..our children and grandchildren are our joy…..Life goes full circle. (I feel like I am about to break out singing The Lion King …….and no one wants that to happen!!!!)
But, I will say one line from an old song…..”put your hand in the hand of man that stilled the water…” and in the hand of someone who needs it. Thanks Mom for holding mine….still.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Put_Your_Hand_in_the_Hand

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AGING, Alzheimer’ s and Angels


There is a major truth about life and that is, we all die. That being said, the process can be a painful especially when faced with a debilitating disease. This process is a reality to many people and a real life come to Jesus for those of us who are the ones forgotten. Well maybe not forgotten just….not remembered.

Everyday begins a repetitive exercise in futility…..not for the precious soul we have lost but for the caregivers. The chronic disease of Alzheimer s is the dark curse of the aged. It is an overwhelmingly diligent disease that never ceases, but only gains strength as the days pass. Those left to cope are nearly as lost, not knowing how to deal with the new person in front of them.

Aging is a part of life. This is played out before us all in nature as an example. A tree starts out a small sapling and grows into a mighty Oak with high branches and long roots. Trees can survive the passing of time unless lightening strikes or a hurricane wind causes destruction. We marvel at the results from the spectacle of ….…“an act of God!” But what about a disease, there is nothing to marvel at there.

The cruelest of diseases is the slow moving root rot or disease that moves in, undetected for a while. Not until a hollow trunk reveals the bitter truth. All is lost, time to cut down. This is the story of Alzheimer s. It is a sly, sneaky bitter disease that is hard to realize at first, but comes on like gangbusters when it’s revealed. The hollow shell of a person is the real result of this dark curse. This “rabbit hole” is not what it’s cracked up to be.

Why does this happen…..how could it be prevented….what did we do wrong? No answer will suffice. There are no answers….only questions. It is like a  depletion of morrow from the bones and not only the precious soul who has the disease but also for the caregivers. It is one of the hardest days on earth to hug your Mother and her politely smile and say “Welcome!”…as if you are a stranger….because you are.

The hollow eyes of our elderly parent are a somber realization of the frailty of life. It is a first person, in your face ……{dramatic pause}…who’s next? When confronted with that question it becomes more real than any of us want to know. This person who birthed me, raised me, has fought the good fight only to be left clueless. Sometimes I think she is the lucky one, not knowing, selfishly knowing is unsettling…..but this is life and aging.

imageMy Mom was never a overly sweet person. She was kind and pleasant and with a big beautiful smile, very personable, but not sugary sweet. That was ok, she was tough, she had to be. Most people liked her, she worked in the public her whole life, she was beautiful and a force. Since her disease has changed her, she is precious, sweet and kind with a bigger personality than before, but she still has a wit, one-liners that always crack me up. As we have watched her downward spiral into this hollowness I see her more like a Angel. Her hair is a beautiful white now, her eyes are weak but seem to stare straight into my soul.

Not being a big fan of the big Angel pseudo worship world, not loving all the figurines and paraphernalia, I still can’t help but see her in this light, a childlike innocence that enjoys every visit, every hug, every holding of her hand. She wasn’t overtly affectionate either, but now she is. I hug her every chance I get….I hug her and breathe in…. her soul into mine.

I wish she knew me, I wish I could lay my head in her lap and feel comforted, but this AGING process is just that, a process. She has aged, she has Alzheimer’ s and she is a Angel to be with. This road has been long and painful, my prayers are for mercy for her and to be honest for us, her three girls, who look after her now, with the help of a great group of caregivers at a beautiful home, where we are comforted she is getting the best care possible. This is not done without help and no one has sacrificed more than my sister she had lived with for eleven years. We all would have done the same for her, but she will and has been blessed for the time spent caring for this woman who impacted us all so much.

Sweet Marie has three young girls(as she calls us now), and  just today she told me she misses and  loves “them”, then she said “I know they love me!” It was music to my ears and joy for my heart. It is sweet to hear her talk about us in such a way, keeping back the tears is the hard part. She had warm and fuzzy feelings for us back in the day, I know that now, a gift to me, a blessing for this youngest daughter. The answer to a question I have asked God many times, such a sweet gift for which I am thankful.cropped-408838_3013208655831_1430990521_33175807_236533728_n.jpg

Who will be next, will it be me? I don’t know and with my memory I seem to be a good bet, but if it is me, I pray my soft side…..(I really do have one y’all! ….Really!!!) shows up and allows me to age with the dignity of this strong southern woman.

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Macklemore….what?


Over the past few months I have been entertained by an artist that would not be my usual choice. Let me preference this by saying I also have a seventeen year old so this was my avenue of introductiImageon to Sir Macklemore.

Beside the fact his music, along with Ryan Lewis, is some of the most catchy of tunes and to remember my Dick Clark Band Stand Days(ugh, I am soooo old) I would say it is easy to dance to also. That is if I could….ugh again! Back to the point, this music is very fun and easy to smile to. Mind you, I hear the radio versions usually which are minus the “expletives” thank you very much, not so much wincing! That being said, I had discerned there is more to this man, and I was right.

English: Publicity photo of Dick Clark from hi...
English: Publicity photo of Dick Clark from his ABC radio show. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

His independent thinking and hard work is evident in his over the top yet mind stirring lyrics and his inate charisma. The moral of the story, so to speak, is what draws me in. The next thing that got me was while at my local Kroger, I spied a copy of Rolling Stone Magazine for which our young artist was the cover. On further skimming of article my heart sank. I felt his

Kroger logo
Kroger logo (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

pain and it is a familiar story. This mom could relate.

mack cover

This kid has been there…in the real world…..he has earned his stripes and quick to acknowledge his need for help along the way. He is independent and amazingly crisp in his view of the world he lives but he also is only one wrong step way from destruction and knows it. I find this makes me love him even more, in the son way I mean, as the mother of four I know the life on the mean streets is tempting and always ready to welcome a lost soul.

When I read about a person who has and is overcoming their destructive “bents” I am encouraged, even enamored by his grit. I know how hard it is and I do not know if his strength is God Centered or not. I assume there had been some influence since he was raised Catholic, maybe a inner peace that God is there to help. I don’t know nor is it my place to judge. He was raised with a lot of diversity in his life and in saying this I am reminded of songs by one of my favorite “Christian artistsDC Talk (Toby Mack)….. for which my kids loved way back when, as well as I did too. They were standing for God and equality and diversity and every one of us allowing people to find their way. God is working on me and everyone else, none of us are at the same place at the same time….until we get to heaven!

My admiration for this young man may seem silly, I am not his demographic but I am the mother of his peers and I am impressed with his rise and fall and rise again, with his weaknesses as well as his strengths and most of all with his decisions to go forward, clean, free from the things that pull him away from his calling……. Speaking truth to a generation who so badly yearns for it. I respect his love for people, same or otherwise and his confidence that we are all in this together and we might as well get along.

Kudos, Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, at least for giving us/we/the thrift store shoppers clout! Love it!!

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…”how do you solve a problem like….”


One of my husbands, (yes, I am ratting him out!)… all time favorite movies is The Sound of Music!

The Sound of Music (film)
The Sound of Music (film) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For all the years I have known him, he has rallied all the kids around to watch it …ONCE AGAIN! at Easter time, only to be compared to the ritual of watching The Ten Commandments, (“…so let it be written, so let it be done!”). You have to be impressed with his loyalty and dedication! But, in the Sound of Music there are many, many songs to sing with (for which we(HE! DOES MOSTLY)do and lately without the whole family only  because the kids have gotten older and they choose not to endure our festivities….spoil sports!

Movie poster of The Ten Commandments.
Movie poster of The Ten Commandments. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of my favorite songs is…..How do you solve a problem like Maria…lalala! This brings me to my point in writing today…(ya knew I would get there eventually, right?) And it is a stretch so hang in there….but….this song is one that reminds me of my beautiful Bethany. Tomorrow is her birthday and because I enjoy writing about my kids if only to completely humiliate them…..(paybacks rule!) here I am once again attempting to let her know how important she is to me.

Back to the song…it is about this NUN who is just a little too human for the rest of the NUNS which makes her perfect for God….. if you ask me. She is always getting into a pickle and causing a ruckus….full of opinions and speaking her peace! So goes part of the song…….

…..When I’m with her I’m confused
Out of focus and bemused
And I never know exactly where I am
Unpredictable as weather
She’s as flighty as a feather
She’s a darling! She’s a demon! She’s a lamb!

She’d outpester any pest
Drive a hornet from its nest
She could throw a whirling dervish out of whirl
She is gentle! She is wild!
She’s a riddle! She’s a child!
She’s a headache! She’s an angel!
She’s a girl!

Yep, that about explains it all! My Bethany is all that and more…I prayed earnestly for her, picked her out and described her to GOD. HE picks this one time to answer my prayer…exactly! He is cute like that…..and awesome and she is my only girl and for that she had to be something special!

Her birthdays come every year, like clock work, like us all and she would sell her soul for a white cake and white icing-STORE BOUGHT CAKE….for which is the worst ….I say…wedding cake kind is her fav! I have attempted to make my kids their cakes ,but the love is lost on this girlie….so I will give in and succumb to my loss of tradition…..she is just that worth it! No matter what goofiness or literal pain in the heart she can be, I adore this kid.

And so I have to respond with these lines from the song:

……Many a thing you know you’d like to tell her
Many a thing she ought to understand
But how do you make her stay
And listen to all you say
How do you keep a wave upon the sand

Oh, how do you solve a problem like Maria?(BETHANY)
How do you hold a moonbeam in your hand?

She is the heart of my heart and so much like me I feel sorry for her…..she has grown to side with her daddy WAY TOO MUCH which is disturbing when I am odd man out but never a day goes by that I don’t praise the Lord for her and her spirit. She keeps me praying and I know that her future is HUGE with all kinds of exciting twists and turns.

20120228-193313.jpg
….then (my favorite pic!)
307549_10151190120057592_1745377602_n
…now! (what a doll!)

Happy Birthday my sweet Bethany Rose!….a problem I will never solve because like Maria, even if those strict NUNS acted like they were mad…they loved her and like Maria, my Bethany  is a joy. You are never a problem and without you I would be lost….

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This is LIFE!


Romantic Heart form Love Seeds
Romantic Heart form Love Seeds (Photo credit: epSos.de)

 

In honor of the…(because February is boring so lets make up a holiday), …..special day called Valentines Day, I must take a minute to say, the heart is a fragile yet quizzical thing. A very needed organ for the body, no doubt but, within all the blood flow and reason we breath in and out, there is a mystery.

 

In our lives there are millions of decisions we make…many little choices which change the future of our paths. We make split second decisions all of which create our lives as a whole but, also bring about good and bad. Why is all this left up to us?

 

Is there really a master plan or even a Master who is directing the orchestra of lives, or are we blowing willie-nillie out here without any sense of whats to happen next? Lately I have been confronted with these questions. I had thought I had it all figured out. What a shock to see I have really blown it.

 

Pix Pix Pick Up Sticks & Pixie Pic Up Stixs
Pix Pix Pick Up Sticks & Pixie Pic Up Stixs (Photo credit: Tinker*Tailor loves Lalka

 

It reminds me  of the pixie sticks that I played daily as a kid. No matter how hard I try to gently drop them down so they will not fall all mangled up….they still do. Then one by one…slowly and gently I begin to pick each one up hoping against hope I will not disturb the others.

 

And so life goes….all mangled up. As hard as I try those sticks just get all twisted up in each other…this is life. No matter how we try to stay clear of trouble, free from all the turmoil from all the other sticks, that red one just will not stay off the blue one…some days are just that way.

 

A thousand little choices we make that can change the outcome of our lives and the lives of others. I wish I could see the future, or maybe not. This continual struggle is more than one heart can endure most days. But endure we must….this sick joke called life.

 

The Bible reads….in Mark 9:24…”I believe help my unbelief” says the father with the boy who had been sick his whole life. Now that is a story I can relate to. Maybe not an “official” sickness but, a life of torment all the same….Jesus had compassion on this child and as every mother and father through the years has prayed for their own kids…we all believe with I am sure an element of unbelief.

 

When a heart is broken it is hard to rebuild…..but even so…Lord, I believe, help my unbelief!

 

What causes this deficit? What choice was made way back before all this? Or did anything….choices, free will….AUGH!!! My mind swirls even trying to understand it all.

 

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Life Dates


In my life of canvases and paint I usually really mess up a few and it can not be seen even by my family….as is this day…and in my need to cover up a horrible sight I ended up painting in a new direction for me…a collage of sorts with paint.

I love collages, especially word ones…I make a few from time to time…but I ended up painting one this time…for which as a painter, doing lettering is a bit dicey! But, here it is…all my family life dates, our marriage and birth dates and names…..ENJOY!!!!DSCN0664DSCN0663

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