Saturday, November 29, 2008
Thursday, November 27, 2008
Congratulations to Super B's Mom and Will Blog for Shoes!
For all of you who entered the drawing, if you mention "HIGHTECHREDNECK" in your notes to seller, you can receive 25% off your order for a custom card design from my etsy shop.
Thank you all.
Wednesday, November 26, 2008
Earlier today, The Mighty Hunter talked to the bankruptcy attorney. A deputy had tried to find him to serve him papers on a lawsuit (or 2 or 6, we don't know exactly how many yet.) He wanted to know how stupid it might be to meet the deputy somewhere away from our home and accept the papers willingly. It wasn't a horrible idea, interestingly, so he will take care of it Friday.
It was strange to handle it so calmly and without the stomach cramps, belching and irritable bowel symptoms.
We discussed the business and his work now. He admitted that he is happier now that the business is closed. He agreed that even if we had not closed August 15, we would not have survived the current economic problems that everyone is facing. He is ok with it all.
I asked a favor of him. Will you please let up on yourself about it all? You should not be "punished" for it.
He promised to try to let go of the guilt. Not that he actually, you know, SAID those words. But that was the point that I made and he heard it. So, good enough, right?
Then I kissed him and told him I love him and squeezed him and jumped up and wrapped my legs around him and was an obnoxious pest while he said, "quit. I don't feel like getting loved right now!!" Luckily for me, Lucky and Sissy came and pitched in on the forced love.
When he is gone those 10 days straight for work, he stays alone in a hotel room. He eats dinner alone, unless a friend from the Insurance Company is in the same area. We talk on the phone several times each day. He misses us, and we miss him.
I am guaranteed kisses from the babies at any time of the day. He has to try to remember them.
I may not get a back rub, but I can rub the back of our babies anytime I want.
I may not get those yummy, sexy kisses that only The Mighty Hunter gives, but I can get sloppy, baby ones or sweet, little girl ones several times a day.
I may not get to find his foot under the covers in my sleep, but Lucky's feet find my face, my belly, my back.
I may not have a minute to myself, but he has more alone time than even he wants.
He may get to eat at most any restaurant he chooses, but I get the (mostly) home-cooked meals he prefers.
I may have laundry baskets of underwear and towels and socks that needed to folded and put away, but he only has to make sure the cleaners use extra starch in his shirts and not his shorts.
Accepting these trade-offs is not easy. But we're making it work. And, eventhough, we don't like some things about his new job, we're thankful for it.
We realize that we are still in God's hands, and we're still thankful for it. It's an amazing feeling to know that, though the world around us spins out of control, we will be fine, because God has his hand on our lives.
Liberating. That's how it feels.
The following is copied from an email I sent to The Mighty Hunter's mentor in the business...
If we hadn’t closed Aug 15, it would have happened in September or October or another day very soon. And had we not closed Aug 15, we would have borrowed Father-in-Law’s money and lost it. And had we not closed Aug 15, Bobbie wouldn’t be in college right now and doing very well at it.
And if those things aren’t reason enough to thank God for intervening, then I need to reevaluate my perspective and faith.
We are learning every day exactly who our REAL friends are – and who isn’t. We are living in dependence on the Lord in a way that we had forgotten. We are not enjoying being away from The Mighty Hunter, but we are SO very thankful that he was able to find good work as quickly as he did. We are praying for everyone associated with C&J, including those who are clearly not our real friends. Because God sent them to C&J, He will provide for them and bless them after C&J. We value the FAMILY that we gained there too - you, Bobbie, Misty – these are relationships that are priceless and we’ll never forget.
So, this Thanksgiving week, we are thankful.
Thankful we are no longer small business owners.
Thankful we are no longer partnered with Napoleon.
Thankful we are dependent on a Major Insurance Company for payroll and benefits and expenses.
Thankful we know we love each other.
Thankful we don't have to worry about what the other is doing 10 days out of 14.
Thankful we know the Lord and are swimming in his blessings.
Thankful we have received good advice and representation during these (legally) trying times.
Thankful we have the support of our family and friends.
Thankful that they tell us everyday.
Thankful that, today, Bobbie spoke to her son serving in Iraq.
Thankful that we can pay our bills and have a little left over.
Thankful that we can help others with what we have left over.
Thankful that we can see the big picture enough to be thankful.
Personally, I'm thankful for this and this. And warm blankets while napping on the couch. And little boy hands that like to touch your neck while he snuggles. And Christmas music. And casseroles with extra cheesse and Ritz crackers.
I'm also thankful for each of you who have stayed with me and my blog and its growth and evolution. I began this as a journal of things about Sissy that I was afraid I'd forget. Now it's entirely too random and self-centered to fit that description. Yet, here I am. 439 posts and counting.
(If you were to subtract the posts that were stupid and a total waste of my time and yours, you'd be left with a whopping total of approximately 1.)
I hope anyone who takes time out of their Thanksgiving day and/or week to read this has the best Thanksgiving EVER. You deserve it simply because you were not completely repulsed by me and my silly words.
Thank you. God bless. Go eat too much. Watch too much football. And nap too long.
Do Thanksgiving Right.
Monday, November 24, 2008
The Mighty Hunter's maternal grandfather died last night at 1am. Technically, that makes it so that he died this morning, but whatever. In my world, 1am is night-time. And my world includes this blog. So, there.
I am struggling with writing this post with any attitude that would normally be appropriate for mentioning the death of a family member. So, instead of telling you of the wonderful blessing this man was, I'll tell you the truth.
His nickname was Slick, and he preferred it. He was not a very likeable man. The times I was ever in the same room or building sum less than 20. The times I heard him speak to me directly without asking me to do some menial task that he was too dang lazy to do himself are less than 5. The single time he asked about anyone in my family in any manner amazed me to no end. The times friends and family discussed his salvation are endless. The time he came anywhere close to professing said salvation was said in a way that you say things like "I can drive a stick shift just as well as anyone."
Recently, The Mighty Hunter and I were discussing Slick and his life. And, as I so often do, I revealed an Incredible Truth that the entire world had missed seeing, because I have such superior insight into Life and Love and Truth and Chocolate.
"He is, and always has been, his own god."
He is his own god. That may be the saddest thing one can say about another.
A little more than a year ago, an series of events, henceforth called the Hay Dispute, occurred. As a result of the Hay Dispute, The Mighty Hunter and I chose to never see, or speak to, Slick again. He never again saw our children. The "disowning" was not our action or our choice. Slick was responsible for forcing us to take such severe actions. It was not a decision we took lightly and was one that was unfortunate.
He was an abusive man. He neglected his daughters - one of which was The Mighty Hunter's mom, whose funeral he didn't attend. The other was his youngest child, who is mentally disabled. His wife was his slave, taking the abuse that he dished out with a dignity that amazed and bewildered all of us. He killed her spirit and vitality with his words and probably his fists.
He gave our children a box of apples one year. Before the Hay Dispute, he held Lucky and, for just a moment, was almost a loving great-grandfather.
Yet I never heard him say an affectionate word to anyone.
He raised his 5 children and possibly fathered others, but we don't know with any certainty. We do know he supported another woman financially and made no secret about it. But I can't tell you that his 5 children knew he loved them.
If each of us truly have love languages, and if his language of expressing his love was with financial gifts, then maybe he did love them with his meager financial resources. But his love was not equal, as he gave his entire estate to his eldest son and nothing to any other children. His youngest daughter, who will never support herself financially or live alone or find a mate, was not even a passing consideration for him.
We are sad but not for the normal funeral time reasons. We are sad that we do not know where he is now and forever. We are sad that the relationships we had with him were what they were. We are sad that he was not the man he could have been, should have been. We are sad that Carl and his sisters didn't have the father they deserved and needed. We are sad that there is no love lost in our lives today. We are sad that we are not missing a loved one.
And that is very sad indeed.
It is not sad, however, that Grandmother and Carl's sister will not have to serve that mean old creature another day and will never be abused like that again.
And, on a completely different topic, don't forget to enter my giveaway!
And, tell your friends!
For each referral type comment that your friends leave, I'll give you another entry! How's that for sweetening the deal?
Deadline is this Wednesday at Midnight!
Sunday, November 23, 2008
Sissy is 7. Her 8th birthday is in January 2009. I thought we had made it past the time where we were at risk for this kind of thing.
If I believed in karma, I'd say that's what it was.
I was smug.
I have been returned to my proper place of humility and am happy there.
Friday evening, Sissy was sent upstairs to get ready for bed. "Vitamins, brush your teeth, pajamas, potty."
And like many other times, she lingered. And, like those other times, I didn't worry.
She returns to the kitchen, where I'm warming milk for Lucky. She looks me straight in the eye. She is not afraid, embarassed, worried, concerned, upset, sad, mad. She's simply filing a report with me that, somehow, for some reason, she had used my little eyebrow brush and some off her eyebrows had come out.
Of both eyebrows.
Pictures, later. I promise.
(She now has new, very strict rules about mommy's makeup, cosmetic tools, etc. "NEVER EVER TOUCH THEM!!!")
Since YOUR kids didn't gap their eyebrows, why not snap a picture of them and let me pop it into a custom Christmas card?
Or better yet. Why not leave a comment here and maybe WIN one of two free designs?!?!
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
This was my solution to keeping Lucky away from the Christmas tree from last year.
This year, though, he could easily pick up any of those chairs and toss them out of his way as he stalks the pretty lights and very attractive and breakable. (no, they are not child-proof. sue me.)
He will also have no problem in grabbing a strand of lights and yanking them, and the entire tree, over on top of himself. Which will naturally cause those breakable non-child-proof ornaments to shatter and slice open his carotid artery and, more importantly, scratch his pretty face.
So, what do I do?
How do I keep the cutest little Christmas boy out of the Christmas tree, now that he can go anywhere and do anything and climb and pull and yank and tug and grab and shriek and ooh! and aah! and wow! and woooo-hoooo! and get into Much Big Trouble and Danger?
Help me, oh wise and experienced internet expert blogger friends, heroes and Yoda.
p.s. I did not use my wonderful new toy to draw on the photo of the tree fort. I was in the recliner, covered with a fuzzy blanket and my new BFF was waaaaay across the room, feeling completely ignored and useless. Sometimes a girl has to have her priorities. Warm feet are it tonight.
p.p.s. Don't forget to enter my giveaway!
Tuesday, November 18, 2008
You pick. Which is the worse thing that I did tonight?
A. I told a very sweet, but sassy, 7 year-old that she had a pissy attitude.
B. I explained to said 7 year-old what piss is and how one's attitude could be pissy.
I'll leave you with just those two choices. Anymore and you'll call the Lock Mommy Up/Give Mommy A Break Police.
Monday, November 17, 2008
Thursday, November 13, 2008
Y'all. I'm totally in the mood. (And The Mighty Hunter has nothing to do with it! Poor guy!)
Harry Connick, Jr. and Elvis are playing in my iTunes.
Sissy is begging to go ahead and put up the tree, but I will not be influenced to put it up a minute! before the week of Thanksgiving!
I've got my Early List made and am looking for just the right gifts, so I can check-mark everyone's name off.
Hot chocolate has been sipped.
Gooey, underbaked chocolate chip cookies have been made and eaten, and cold milk has accompanied. (No. That's nothing exclusive to Christmas in our house, but I thought I'd reassure you that we are still neck-deep in that yummy addiction.)
I've begun telling Santa what that I'd love to see this under my tree.
I downloaded this today.
This is my ringtone.
After consulting with my favorite bossaholic, I've decided to add this to my camera bag. But I won't object if Santa upgrades me to this one, instead.
The other night, Sissy and I read this, to get in the mood.
But, WHAT WILL I BE SENDING AS OUR CHRISTMAS CARD?!?! Well, when I have my design complete, I'll be sure to share it here first.
To prevent you from being so pre-occupied with what I'm sending, I'll grant a Christmas wish to two of you, my loverly, faithful readers (and anyone who stops by here from a link)...
I will give away one custom card design to TWO readers who leave a comment before midnight, Wednesday, November 26.
Go here to browse my "work".
(One entry per person. Winner will be chosen by some random drawing type method.)
No, get back to your lives and get your merry on!
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
Saturday, November 08, 2008
Note the lower case-ness of the title. And could I find two more melodramatic words to title a post?
Yesterday, we finished the greatest portion of the bankruptcy paperwork. The attorney was doing his best to get it filed before the end of the day.
It was not an easy day for me. The attorney people were calling every 20
seconds minutues - it seemed, anyway. "Can you clarify this? Can you find this particular page of this report and fax it to me again? Yes, I realize you already provided that to us, but it would be so much easier if you'd just send it again and save me the paper cuts and actual EFFORT of doing it myself. Why, yes, our offices DO seem organized don't they? Was that a joke?"*
And I was sneezing my chocolate-loving head off. And I had taken my claritinD. And it didn't seem to be helping. And all I wanted to do was cry and sleep.
So, after fetching Sissy from school, I instructed her to keep an eye on Lucky, who was taking a late afternoon nap, so that I could shower. And it was so nice to not have to rush through my shower.
And in the shower, it all came out. I wept like a little girl, like someone had died. There was a sob stuck in my throat that I was honestly afraid to let out. Afraid, primarily, that Sissy would think I was dying or a moose was trapped in the bathroom with me. And with that trapped sob was an ache that I've don't remember ever feeling.
To relieve the ache and quiet the sob, I did the only thing I knew to do. I prayed for God to take it. But it wasn't that easy. The aching sob was not something He could just take away. It was something I had to give to Him.
I had to repent. I had to ask Him to forgive my pride and arrogance and independence and just-plain-walking-away-from-Him.
And, there in my shower, I realized that The Mighty Hunter and I had failed. We (particularly I) had begun to take the credit for the business's success. We (particularly I) had stopped acknowledging His provision through it. We (particularly I) had failed to keep Him first in our lives.
And I promised to do better.
And the aching sob left me.
And the hole in my heart was filled, once again, with His love and joy and hope.
And I'm able to go on again.**
*Not an exact quote. Some of it may have been imagined, but nonetheless true.
**Well, I'd be able to go on again if it weren't for the truckload of snot in my head and the raw throat that is sucking the life out of me.
Friday, November 07, 2008
It's not a great day in my sad, little world.
I thought it would be different. I thought that the filing of The Mighty Hunter's bankruptcy would bring a catharsis. "New start." "Blank slate." "Fresh beginnings."
Well, it would, I suppose, if it weren't for the rainy-day, dear-Lord-why-is-this-happening?, I-just-want-to-sleep-and-cry-and-eat-macaroni-and-cheese, also-chocolate-chip-cookies, deep depression that is lingering in my heart.
And, were it not for the wonderful kids that follow me around all day,
begging for scraps of food and my attention reminding me there are things to do and to get my head out of the sand, I'd probably still be in bed, sleeping and/or crying.
But, instead, I was sitting on the couch crying. Bemoaning the whole situation to my very patient, saintly friend, Beverly. Admitting the depth of my depression and despondency over the bankruptcy and loss made my cry even more. But Beverly was able to point out the incredible blessings I have that no bankruptcy can take away.
And that's when Lucky, the stingiest kisser in the world, climbed up on top of me and gave me 6 big, sloppy, wet kisses.
And a few hugs too.
And jabbered some
nonsense profound knowledge to me.
And then he kissed the couch.
Wednesday, November 05, 2008
**just a note. I have never figured out why blogger adds all these extra spaces in some of my posts. If after I click Publish, you have to scroll through a bunch of blankness to get to my profound words of wisdom and insight, please accept my apologies and blame it on blogger. cause I've deleted them out more than once!!!**
One last thing. You should really read this post. (I followed BooMama's instructions and clicked over. We should all do what BooMama says.) The opening 6 paragraphs pretty much summed up my feelings and how I explained it to Sissy, who was terribly disappointed in the election results.
There may be a time when it might be fun to be able to say "I told you so" to those who elected Obama, wishing for failures and troubles and struggles. But to wish those things would be wrong for our country. To harbor those feelings in our hearts would be toxic to our lives. To say those words would be fatal to our testimonies.
Go on now and be salt and light.
And these two...
And these two...
You might expect me to gripe, whine and complain today. And, in a few more hours, when Lucky gets tired and whiny and I'm tired and whiny, I probably will let loose with some pent-up frustrations.
But this morning, I am, surprisingly, at peace with the whole election thing.
No, my preferred candidate didn't win.
But I cast my vote, and, disregarding of the electoral college, my vote was equal to the vote of any New Yorker or Californian or Ohio-an. There just weren't as many people who agreed with me.
I will not rehash my views. I've forced that on you enough already. But I will share this...
I really admired McCain's concession speech. He was class and honor personified. Just like the military person he is, he shouldered the failure of his campaign himself. I disagree with him. He was fighting against a shift in America that one man could not prevent - and maybe none of us should prevent. I do not believe that the US should move toward a more socialistic state. And that is exactly what sharing the wealth will do. But, the election of a president that is not "white" is huge and the US is ready for it.
And, for that, I'm proud. I'm thankful that we, as a nation, were color-blind and finally afforded someone of a racial minority the opportunity to lead our country.
If it were really that simple. As a member of the racial majority, I am not simple-minded or foolish enough to think that racism is dead. The realities of American life tells otherwise. And being part of the racial majority, I often have to have incidences of racism pointed out to me, as they don't affect me negatively. My favorite example of this ignorance on my part (and isn't this blog just a trip through my ignorance?) is a story about Sissy and her pediatrician and the little stickers the kids get after a doctor's visit...
Sissy attends public school and was in daycare/preschool with white, black, Hispanic and Asian kids. She would tell stories about her day's events, describing the kids by the color hair they had or if they had curly hair or not. Not by their skin color. (After all, the skin color in our house ranges from pasty, pale white year-round, me, to gingerbread brown in the summer, everyone else!) I just accepted this as Sissy's way and didn't put much value to it. But after a particular visit to our tiny Filipino pediatrician, Sissy went to select her sticker. There were some very exciting Barbie stickers that day, and she chose a black Barbie. Yanking off the paper backing, she put that pretty Barbie sticker on her shirt, patted it hard to make sure it was stuck real good-like.
Dr. D tapped me on the arm, smiling very big, she said, "she didn't choose a white Barbie. That's amazing."
Still the clueless buffoon, I nodded, truly not thinking anything of it. That's just Sissy.
Dr. D stopped me again, "she's a special kid. She doesn't care about skin color."
I began to realize what she was trying to tell me. "yes, she is a special kid. And that's just the way she is."
I hope that she never loses that. I hope she remembers that God loves us all the same. That He chose a different skin color for all of us and whatever meaning and value we assign to skin color is wrong.
So, when Sissy turns 8, she will celebrate the inauguration of a president who is a member of a racial minority. And, that is just plain cool.
I still pray for our country. I still pray for our leaders. But I do not FEAR. I believe.
I believe in the Messiah, Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, November 04, 2008
So, I voted.
Allow me the pleasure of introducing to you the wondrous, glorious, happy benefits to living in the boonies.
I went to the Pine Ridge Community Center (which is merely a cement block building that has a gas heater in it and is used now only for elections, but once hosted local boy scout troops and family reunions and the like) and noticed that the parking lot was nearly full with all of 7 cars. I knew that 4 of those cars probably belonged to the poll workers, so I wasn’t worried.
I walked in and was greeted, and shamed, by the wife of one our deacons for not coming to church in EVER. I signed the list and showed my drivers license. They handed me a ballot and a pen. The voting machines we used 2 years ago were gone. They were pretty old technology and probably not worth maintaining.
There were 2 other people filling in the circles by their choices at large, folding tables. The 2 cardboard dividers were being ignored. No one cared what the other was marking. I sat at a table, alone, because Fox News and all the damn ACORN nuts have made me paranoid. I colored in my circles. I guess, if I wanted to be completely accurate, they were not circles at all. They were really ovals. So, I colored in my ovals. I left empty the ovals next to races for which I lack an opinion – in spite of my intention of writing in names on those. I think it would be fun to see how many votes Harry Connick Jr would get for Alabama Supreme Court Justice or some office that hasn’t been interesting enough to me to research.
I turned over the ballot and read the amendments. Most of them were meaningless to me. What do I care what Blount County does? There were 2 things about my county. I marked them with my preference.
I walked to the men sitting beside the gray machine that eats the ballots and asked him which way to feed it to the monster. Interestingly, the gray voting monster didn’t say yummm or smack its lips when it ate my ballot. I took my “I Voted” sticker and left. But, I stopped at the door and shouted my thanks to the poll workers, who gave up their beautiful, Fall day in Alabama to make sure that I could vote for a man I don’t think will win anyway. But I voted.
Time lapse: 8 minutes, not counting the guilt trip.
I officially have the right to complain. And complain, I will.
Earlier today, while talking with Bev about all the random Important Things we discuss, every day, for what seems hours, i complained that my parents had not sealed their absentee ballot envelopes.
At this point, we discussed the whole urban legend about how roaches like envelope glue. A hunting buddy of The Mighty Hunter's and Carl's owns a print shop and confirms the high population of nasty bugs in the storage room with their envelopes.
Anyway, we discussed how we seal envelopes without actually putting our tongues to the nasty-tasting, bug-loving glue.
Bev's technique involves licking a fingertip and wiping the glue with a different finger until it is wet enough to seal.
I was currently using the wet paper towel wipe method.
But when I'm away from a sink and a paper towel, I am still very unwilling to lick it myself. I had never thought of licking my fingertips. Instead, I always have Sissy lick them!
There will be a spot on your election ballots today for "Mother of the Year", I hope you will write in my name.
Sunday, November 02, 2008
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny sincerely exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It would be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end for they do so with the approval of their own conscience."
- C. S. Lewis
I've recently discovered a blogger who not only writes interesting stuff - he takes GREAT pictures! AND! he is in my beloved Auburn! AND! he does some interesting and inspiring ministry work!
His birthday is this month - actually it falls on the same day as the Auburn vs alabama game. (And the whole War Eagle Nation says a fervent prayer. Amen.) But on Scott's birthday, he is giving away his old computer.
And I want to win it.
Which is the point of this silly little post.
To win the computer.
Also, you should go look at his blog.
(btw, Scott. I'm posting this for my brother, who does not blog. I know! An American who does NOT blog! The HORROR! Just know that he, his wife and 4 kids will have a lot of good times with your old Dell!)