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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My kingdom for a cracker!


It has been twenty four hours…..only twenty four hours, since my death sentence or should I say, fear of death sentence and gee I am pathetic…..YES, I WOULD TURN STATES EVIDENCE FOR A CRACKER!
If only I had any evidence of anything, what a time to be without “the goods” on anyone.

 

Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola (Photo credit: DeusXFlorida (3,602,616 views) – thanks guys!)

 

I am trying to decide if this headache is a no carb headache, I drink caffeine filled unsweetened tea, I have conquered that battle long ago. Being a southern girl I have gone against my raising…but, it wasn’t so bad and NO “co_colas” (the real name in case there is any question) for a long while also! I think I just have a headache…and I am hungry..again!

 

It feels as if I am eating all the time….but I am not, although I am feeling my hunger zone(Gwen Shamblin would be so proud) and I think that my body is weak and sad or maybe I am just hearing the yelps that couldn’t get through the barrier of starches built up; a forcefield of flour that sticks like baby powder all over the bathroom.

 

This may become the most ridiculous post if I don’t stop……but everything within me struggles with the introduction of meat and cheese and a lot of it….well more than usual for me and the lack of crackers/bread etc. filling me up is weird. But I will forge ahead, dragging my headache head along, looking forward to FREEDOM!

 

In case I do get any “goods” on anyone…someone have the white bread at the ready!

 

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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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Tradition


This year my family traveled to visit our family for Thanksgiving in East Tennessee. This is never my first choice, to travel I mean, I am a home body as a rule and especially on a big holiday. I like to be the one doing the cooking. This year though, it worked out for us to go so we did.

My side of the family had a reunion a couple of weeks ago instead of the usual Thanksgiving celebration. We were blessed to have our precious Uncle Leon and Aunt Ornella as well as cousins John and Susan, which is always a special treat for us all. They have always lived far away so when they come home it is always a joy. My Aunt and Uncle are getting up in years and I have to catch myself when I hug them to not hug too hard because the thought always crosses my mind that this may be the last time. Morbid I know. Just trying to be prepared and enjoy them as long as I can.

It is not my intent, but I rarely get to see them and I just can’t bear the thought…..I as well feel this way about a lot of people in my life. We never know when this may be the last hug or laugh or words. Since my Mom has spent the last few years becoming less and less capable of knowing all of us, I am ever mindful of just how short life is.

Energizer Bunny

This became even more relevant to me yesterday during our visit to my mother in laws home. I don’t see here as often now and when I do, it is always shocking at the amount of “slowing down” she has done. If you had asked me if it ever would have happened I would have never believed it, she was the Energizer Bunny before the bunny was….she never knew how to rest, take it easy…..always doing something. Even at a time of relaxation, she would be embroidering.

I learned how to cook for the most part from her. When I married the preacherman and moved to his hometown and was thrust amongst all the good cookin’ church ladies and I was enlightened to the world of casseroles and some of the best in Southern cooking. I mastered the Thanksgiving Dinner from my mother in law, this was the first food of hers I had ever eaten….on a trip there with my room-mate(pre-marriage) to see University of Tennessee vs Vanderbilt. Reason number twenty-eight on why I went…got to see boyfriend and check out his hometown. Mission accomplished and some great food for us hungry college kids!

It was evident this week that she is slowing down, she was more frail and smaller…..just like my own Mom, although my Moms mind is failing her, my Mom in law is still pretty sharp. It is just her body that is tuckering out. But I swear if she still wont hardly let me help her….frustrating. What is it about the

English: at 955 Airport Boulevard, near , in .
English: at 955 Airport Boulevard, near , in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

elderly that makes them not stop or rather allow us to help. I hope I will be different, I hope I allow my kids to do all they can……or maybe that is how I feel now, sorry kids!

We had our lunch at a local, very popular restaurant, The Cracker Barrel. I was amazed at the amount of people who ate out for their Traditional Thanksgiving meal.  Do people not cook anymore? The over whelming part also was the amount of elderly people. I know this restaurant is a favorite of

the elderly as well as the Hardee’s breakfast, but it seemed there was mostly older folks. It actually made me sad and wonder…..where are all the children that go with these people. Did they choose to not be there with the Moms and Dads or maybe just like us went to the other side of the families dinner. I don’t know, it just seemed like of all the people there, ninety percent of them were older.

Maybe they have just “been there done that”, cooked the big meals, had the big house destroying family get together’s, broke the bank on all the pretty foods and accessories……maybe they are happy going out to eat and just driving home, in peace and quiet. I just don’t know. I think I was the only one who even cared, probably because two of my brood were not with us, I missed them and I missed not cooking for them all. My romantic view of life tends to get the best of me when I miss my kids.

On a side note: …..I also do not even want to obsess over the amount of people who play with those little wooden games with the golf tees that are on every table; the ones that have been scattered on the floor a zillion times and put back on the table and never disinfected. Then, while I watched people over and over touch those germ laced games and then pick up their fresh hot biscuits and jelly and eat them with the same dirty fingers……ugh, STOP!   STOP I would think, yelling in my head…..then I notice my own people doing the same thing….just as I had also done before…..ewe, wish I had not remembered that part…….I must have been tired, obsessing about all that. Some days it just doesn’t help to think so much!

So in the end, I chose pork chops for my special holiday meal….seemed to be a good choice, it had to be made fresh and it was good… unlike the big piles of turkey and vats of gravy and pans of mashed potatoes that have been made for hours …there I go obsessing again! I also knew I had a great home cooked meal waiting for me in a few hours when we traveled back home at my own Mom and sisters house. Happy to report is was awesome!

Thanksgiving deems to be getting squished out with all the shopping deals….I have never shopped on this day, truthfully, I have never had a large supply of money to do shopping with and I am also pretty protective of sleep and I have large crows issues…someone always gets trampled…..it ain’t gonna be me, sista! I have great Thanksgiving memories….a day for slowing down, a long weekend, throwing a football. Watching the parades and dreaming of living in New York……oh to be a kid again, the truth is my days are numbered and I know it. Soon I too will be enjoying my meals where everyone knows my name…..not CHEERS!…but my local Cracker Barrel!

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Summer lovin’


Tennessee state welcome sign
Tennessee state welcome sign (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Anyone who has heard me in the more recent years, whether in ear shot or taken the time to read my written words, has heard me say how much I hate snow…cold weather…all things winter. So I may be the only one in the state of Tennessee that isn’t bewildered by the delicious heat wave we are now experiencing.

I am pretty sure that it is because I have slipped into the old age syndrome of enjoying hot weather more. I can remember when I was a little girl and my grandmother would have us out in the yard “rendering lard” on a hot summer day. Or maybe it was a fall day that was still like summer….sadly another sign of my agedness…memory loss of what time of the year we did this gross chore. Any way, I can remember how she would be so hot stirring the pot and I would think….can’t we go play?..it is soooooo hot sitting here watching her stir!” At least when running we could catch a breeze. My granny though would just endure it…not complaining. I suppose it wouldn’t have done any good…that is the way life was for her on the farm.

I am not in any way saying that a temperature of 104 is nice…yes it is awful…my sweat is sweating (sexy huh!) but I still say it is better than the cold. I even get cold inside our house…my feet are cold, I have to put on socks for which I hate….then I sit wrapped up in a quilt (not a snuggy, how moronic!). I think I must have tired blood.Or maybe I have the rickets…when was the last time I ate an orange, maybe that is scurvy I am thinking about? Could be I am becoming less of a complainer….? Nahhh not me, can’t be that one.

Maybe I am in the process of becoming skinny somehow(it could happen!) …seems like skinny women are always cold, with their brittle little fingers and tiny arms all shivery. And I am the world worse to complain when the car is hot or I feel smooshed in a hot room…panic attack begins to hit…no ventilation…no fan! Yet I am as happy as a clam in our sweltering heat. Go figure!

The only thing I can find wrong is that fall is soon to come…darkness is early and the gloomy winter isn’t far behind. But until then I will revel in the HOT days of summer. I still have all of July and August, maybe they will be slooowwww and breezy. Another thing,  I have gotten in the habit of wanting a huge amount of ice in my drink…which scares me to death…my mother-in-law does that and I also have been carrying around a plastic glass with a lid and straw a lot lately….oh Lord, say it ain’t so! I feel those smirks from my husband…and my daughter….curses!

Oh well it could be worse I guess. At least we stay hydrated!

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Is this what is has come to?


In my effort to be a good daughter, which by the way, I fail most days…..I went over to my Mom’s this afternoon for a visit. To my joy my sister was there, also and they were in one of their usual Scrabble games. My joy was big because it is easier to be there when she is there too. It is painfully hard to visit with my Mom and it is shameful that I even say this thing. This thing that she would...”jerk a knot in me!” for even saying. My Momma, of before  Alzheimer’s,would have scolded me for such an attitude…but now she is a mere shade of her old self.

It isn’t only the Alzheimer’s to contend with but he is…. hard-a-hearin’ too, as the old folks used to call it. If I am not close by and looking at her straight on she is clueless to what I am saying. This brings up another frustrating subject. About the time my Mom started showing signs of the Alzheimer’s, my sister took her and paid for her a set of hearing aids. Sweetest thing in this world BUT….as I had guessed would happen (because I am younger and smarter!) my Mom would not even wear them! Ugh!

This of course has been a lesson in patience for my dear sister who was doing her best to love our Mom through this act of kindness. But to no avai….l she may have worn them once and no more….the cost was not cheap and at this point down the drain or still in the box, as it were. So during this visit it was me speaking, as loud as I could (and I have a big loud mouth…no comments please!) only to hear HUH????....augh!!!Jesus take the wheel!

The only good part was that every time…I would crack my sister up while saying something funny or smarmy under my breath as to not let my Mom hear me(because somehow she hears that stuff)….my sis would bust up laughing and so would I and our poor Mom siting there saying ……HUH! Bless her heart….in my sick mind it has become a sort of drinking game (without the alcohol!) for me to see how many times I can make my sister laugh after our mom says…HUH!

I am sure there is a special layer of Hell for people like me….and this will come back to haunt me when  I am eighty-three.  The conversation could not get more depressing though…(Mom)…”I have a knot on my head,…(sister) might be a mole?…..(ME)…I can call you Knot-head!…(Mom)……you would have to call me knot-face it’s on my face! Oh geez…the next time she brought it up (ten minutes later) the knot was on the other side of her head/face! Is this what it has come too? Sitting around talking about all the aches and pains we have and to top it off….. also she informed us we need to do sit ups as to lose the weight around our middles and then showed us how!….. for which my response was….”I think sit-ups are out of style now!”

I can honestly say that if what goes around comes around and I know it does (I am living proof) then good luck kids…all four of you can flip a coin to see who is stuck coming to see me on Sunday afternoon! Please know that I don’t blame you a bit….I know how you feel. What is the big deal about getting old? The big deal is we want things to stay the same…some things like our Momma’s. I want chicken and dumplins’ and chocolate pie like she can only make. That I will never get again…..bummer!I want to be able to tell her all my woes and her listen.

So to my crew….I will be with you in my heart…even if you don’t realize it and I have to say I know my Mom would be the first to gripe if this was her Mom…..actually I think she did, less than me of course because I am way more sarcastic than her….like I said, special layer of Hell waiting on me…..ouch!

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