Saturday, June 26, 2010

100 Year Celebration

The Buchanan branch of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is 100 years old. It is a church filled with so much history and sentimentality that when I learned they were celebrating today, I wanted to go. It was a very small celebration, after all,... the branch has always been sort of like that Amish Friendship Bread: you make the starter dough, then you divide it and give it to those you love so they have it as well,...but by doing so, your starter never becomes a loaf of bread to be eaten. It just continues to break off parts to become someone else's starter dough or a wonderful loaf of sweet tasting bread. Wasn't that a great analogy? I thought that one up by myself!

Ok, so today we drove out there. I felt like I should have been sitting in seats designated for "old timers" because even though I'm not a member, I attended there LONG before some of them ever heard of the place. It was a pioneer style theme and some of them even dressed the part. They decorated the parking lot with stations of interest and it was really interesting for me. The kids played games and there was music and of course,.... FOOD! Now I have to insert this note: Buchanan branch has never held ANY function without food, and I don't many just snacks, I mean MEALS! and you do NOT go home hungry! There is oftentimes more food at that branch for their activities than my WARD even considers assigning people to bring! By the way, my ward is one of those loaves of bread that came from the starter dough :)

So we got there and walked right into a sack race beginning. Morgan wanted in, so these wonderful amazing REAL Mormons handed my son a sack....even though he was a total stranger to them. Check him out:

And then race #2 appealed so much to Jared that he had to get into it....WITH his Morgan of course!

You'll never guess what happened next,....Manti couldn't resist!

So then we move along and come to where they are making ice cream in ziploc bags. I've heard of making butter in a ziplock bag, but NOT ice cream! Crazy! But it works! You mix the ingredients in a bag, zip it up, place that bag into a bag of salted ice and shake yourself silly. This was a kid activity, but look who ended up doing the shaking...

And there other cute things to see as well.

One of my Daddy's cousin read some of the history of the church, and as it turns out, she compiled eye witness accounts of the history from the time it started, and the sources are ALL my relatives except for one, and maybe Vera Kimball IS my relative, I don't know! But the other 3 definitely are (Lana, Aunt Maurice, and Thomasene for those of you who know those names).

We ate, like I told you we would, but the heat was so hard that I think I was heading towards heat exhaustion. Mesa was worried. She said my face was super red, and my entire head was throbbing, not like a headache, but like it was bobbing on top of my shoulders. It was HOT! But shortly after, they started playing music for us to enjoy. I sat down on a hay bale to listen, and look who ended up on the stage!!! This is Patriarch Bristol! WOW! I was surprised! No, he's not a resident of Buchanan. He's in Powder Springs!

So we had an enjoyable day. One of the things that made it nice was seeing the memorial that is placed in front of the building. The building is new, not the original one with all the history. It's sad that the old building is gone, but there are those who still remember and as long as ONE person remembers, it is not "dead and gone" and neither are those people who made it happen.

My grandparents came to this branch in 1939. My father is listed as one of the first missionaries sent from this branch. My family attended this branch for a period of time before we were divided and some of us sent to Carrollton, where I still attend. So this was a good day for me, and made me yearn for some of those days gone by. I wish Grandmaw and Paw could have been there,....and I hope they were allowed to watch and smile at the days events.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Follow-up: for Mama

Didn't mean to leave anybody hanging,...

Manti came home safely of course. The Durango seems fine. I don't know if Tommy "fixed" it or if he "patched" it,...but I'm just not sure I want to know either.

I didn't have a nervous breakdown, but I think the only reason is because I had a couple hours of WONDERFUL the day before and that gave me some measure of rest before the big junk hit.

Sounds like "all is well", right? Well not quite.

Sunday was Father's Day. We almost always go to Terry's house for Sunday evening visiting, and we went last Sunday too. I had planned to call my daddy around that time as well, but when we got to Terry's house, his air conditioning was acting up so badly that something needed to be done. Terry's health won't allow him to get under the house, but he tried. Tommy and Manti ended up going under his house and getting repairs made. It took them 2 days though! We didn't get home till 10:30pm that night,...too late to call my daddy. :(

Monday night they finished at Terry's house and I finished helping Sheryl with some work she had for me to help with, and we came home. Tuesday and Wednesday I had to work. Wednesday, Tommy tells me how I'm not going to like coming home from work. What does that mean? It means OUR air conditioning unit has gone out and needs engine work done (or replacement) and we are now forced to rearrange the living room furniture (which I'm not interested in doing) and using a window unit a/c! It is 81 degrees in my livingroom (the one with the air conditioner) and its 96 on my porch. None of us slept well last night because it was so hot in the house. The outside cooled off quickly last night,...the inside held the heat. We must have better insulation than I thought!

Today, we're all just lounging around, dreading having to do anything. I've got some of the livingroom rearrangement done but just don't feel like doing the rest. I'm still in my pajamas too!

Tonight is venturing scouts night, so not much going to get done about the a/c right now either. Gonna be a long week I'm afraid. Thank goodness I can pay bills online and not have to get out to do them!

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday Gripes

Friday was just too pleasant. I was out in the canoe with Tommy and Manti, in full sun on water, and I didn't get a sunburn or hurt feelings. It was just too good a day and Kitty's Cosmic Thumb would not be disregarded.

Manti had planned to go to the Nashville Temple with the young single adult group from our stake. He had to be in Powder Springs at 10am to ride with the group. I had to be at work at 9am, so that meant Tommy had to take him in order for us to keep both cars and not have Manti driving home on the interstate at midnight. (Yeah, they were making it a one-day trip.) So sounds do-able, right?

We get up at 7am, Manti had already gotten up and I didn't have to wake him! Nice start! I get a shower and when I get out, Tommy has gotten up and gotten dressed. Awesome! This is looking great,...right? And that's about when the forces of darkness struck. Suddenly Tommy raced past me making weird "almost burp" noises. He nearly takes down the bathroom door making the turn into the bathroom and when he reaches the toilet, he heaves harder than the earth does when it quakes! Poor man, that had to hurt! So before the "last supper" finished coming up, I was on the phone with my boss,...messing up her day by asking her to leave the company she had at her house and open the shop so I could take Manti to Powder Springs. I promised to be back to the shop by noon, so she reluctantly agreed. I got Manti to leave a little earlier to help me deal with the stress I was feeling and we took off to I-20.

When we got to Carrollton, I had to get a little gas.
We get the majority of our monthly income at the end of the month, which makes the week before that date a tough one. We were a little short, since bills are a little larger right now. I put $20 into my gas tank and got back on the road. That would last until my small paycheck on Monday. So I headed to the stake center and we arrived about 10 minutes early. He got out of the car and joined the group that had started forming in the parking lot, so I went ahead and left him, worrying something was going to go wrong. I just had a feeling it would. I called Manti a couple times checking to see if rides had gotten there and making sure he didn't need any money. I just didn't feel secure about the day. He answered that all was well everytime I talked to him, so I guess it was and I just headed on towards home. I made excellent time too, and got back to Carrollton at 11am! An hour early! YAY! So I had $10 left in my purse. I decided to stop at Wendy's and get a burger for my lunch. I spent $5 on my lunch and was proud of myself for not pigging out. I went back out to my car, got in, cranked it and wondered why it sounded funny. I backed up and cut my wheel so I would be in the driving lane,... and the car sputtered and died. I tried to crank it back up, and nothing! My heart stopped. I put the car in neutral and tried again. The engine turned over.....and over.....and over.....but wouldn't start. The car parked next to me watched but didn't offer anything. So I turned on my flashes because I was crossways of the driving lane and nobody would get around me without getting into the drive-thru lane. He saw me put on my flasher, and backed up to me anyway. Then the #$%&! had the nerve to honk his horn at me. I just sat there in my seat, flashers flashing, and stared back at him. He apparently got the message and pulled forward and out of there. Now why did he insist on another inch if he was clear in front? Yeah that's what I think too.... dumb###!

Instead of crying right away, I got out of the car and hoped I wasn't seeing smoke come out from under the hood. I went inside and pulled my phone out of my pocket to call Tommy. He was no longer allowed to be sick. I was stranded, and that trumps sick! Then I called my boss, Linda and apologized and told her what was wrong. At least it was Wendy's, not even a full 5 minutes from the shop, and the shop is just 15 minutes from home. When I hung up the phone, I stood at the window staring at my gut feeling turned reality. I could just picture somebody flying around the corner of that building and hitting my pretty red Dodge STUPID DEAD DURANGO THAT WAS NOT MAKING MY DAY PLEASANT! I turned around and looked to see who all was in the store and noticed a man in a striped shirt. I didn't even let myself think about it, I just walked up to him and asked if he would be kind enough to help me roll my car out of the driving lane and back into a parking space. He laid everything in his hands onto a table and went out with me. I was dumbfounded at how quickly and completely he was willing to help me! Then I noticed on his shirt that he had a patch on it with his name (whatever that was) and that he was an oil lubrication specialist or something. That meant he knew a little about cars! WHEW!

So me and Mr. Oil Lube got out to the car, I put it in neutral and steered and pushed a little (like a girl) while he put more muscle into the back end and together we rolled it over into a parking place. He asked me to open the hood and I popped it for him. He pointed out the radiator hose in the front and told me that it is supposed to be in one piece, and if Tommy gets one from the parts house, this is most likely to happen again. To avoid this split, he needs to get one from the Dodge dealership----that place that "loves" to see US coming!

The man left and I sat back in the car, windows down so I wouldn't suffocate while I cried my eyes out for not making Manti stay home instead. I ate my lunch while I sat...wouldn't you know it, they drowned my burger in mustard :(

Tommy picked me up and took me to the shop. Then I cashed a check (thank goodness its Saturday and Linda won't be depositing that until Monday about noon...and she pays me Monday about 10! Guess where I'll be Monday morning!) and handed Tommy some money. He went to the parts place and got a clamp to sort of "bandage" the hose. Then he brought the Durango to the shop and Linda came back to pick Tommy up and took him back over to Wendy's to get the Camry. Tommy stayed the rest of the day with me.

And then it rained,....pretty hard, with thunder and stuff. That was ok, it didn't bother me a lot,....until Tommy's phone rang. Mesa was locked out of the house. The 2 little boys were inside, and both were asleep since it was naptime! She had gone outside to get the laundry off the clothesline before the rain got it, and accidentally locked herself out. The rain and thunder were plentiful and she couldn't get in! Glad our porch has a roof! She finally got the boys awake and they let her in so I could stop worrying.

Closing time came, we left and went home. Time to watch the clock tick the hours by till Manti gets back. Can't believe we still have to drive an hour and half away to get him! About 7pm Manti tells me he could make it easier by spending the night with one of the other guys and us pick him up tomorrow. After about 30 minutes, we finally worked it out to pick him up in Douglasville tomorrow afternoon, which means we don't have to go to Powder Springs at midnight. Thank goodness for that!

Manti's Day

Manti loves the outdoors. He has intimate knowledge of how plants live and grow and how the animals interact,... he's just that well acquainted with nature. So of course, his 20th birthday needed to be something fitting for him and a party just isn't quite his style. I really felt the need to do something special with him because,... he's my first baby, and my gut tells me this is my last birthday with him being my "little boy". He'll be moving on soon,...I just feel it coming. I SO dread it too, so I don't want to lose any last moments I may have where he feels like my "little boy". Tommy and I are struggling hard right now too. Everything is going against us and that'll be my next blog so watch for it. That meant we had to be frugal as possible,...but we're talking about the nature boy, so frugal works.

We own a canoe, its old and not especially pretty, but its ours and it holds 3 of us (even though I hear it silently wishing ONE of us would lose weight). For his birthday Friday, we loaded the canoe onto the top of my Durango and headed south. The famous Chattahoochee River is just a few miles away, and we did everything we could think of to put that boat in any other water,...and ended up in Brush Creek, which actually feeds into the Hooch. It isn't quite as nasty,...but it isn't what I would call clean either. I'll show you....

Nasty, right?
This shows you we STILL haven't really recuperated from the floods of last September. This trash came from somewhere way upstream. I was shocked at how many basketballs we saw in trees! But the trash was just everywhere. So nasty.
It was everywhere that water could shove it, especially inlets and mini-coves.
As you can see, there were places the water barely moved at all.

So we traveled down the river and across the river and around islands .... and we saw lots of beautiful things in spite of the trash.

Isn't this THE COOLEST tree?

That's an island on each side. Neeeeat!

Look how pretty some of the islands were!

This picture is awesome. We watched a deer jump in the water from an island (to the left and not in the picture) and he swam across in front of us (at a distance of course) to the land on the right side. You can't see him too well in this picture since I reduced the size, but you can see something is there and the stream of water behind him. He was really moving fast!
So it was a success. The guys had fun, Manti loved it,...
Tommy loved it... (hey, do he and Manti have the exact same pose and facial expression on?)

And I admit it,...I had fun too.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

How Dreamy....

Tommy called me while I was work. He told me he wanted me to do my best to come home as close to "on time" as possible. He said it was important, but not urgent, and he wouldn't say more. Of course, that meant that I was more curious than ever and even texting the kids to find out what he was up to didn't prove fruitful. So I had the shop closed up tight right at 5:30 and I scrambled out the door 5 minutes after that. It takes 15 minutes to get home, but this time it only took about 12. I guess the cops were across town!)

When I pulled into the driveway, Tommy came out to the car and met me there. He handed me a small bag and told me I could open it if I got out of the drivers seat and went to sit in the passenger seat. So I did, because you canNOT hand me something and not let me look inside! When I got in the car, he had gotten into the drivers seat and started the engine back up. I looked at him funny, but was more interested in that bag! So he starts backing out and I'm fishing through the bag and opening up a little box to find a pretty necklace inside. It was a silver chain with a small charm on it, a heart, and engraved with his initial and mine combined as if they were one letter. *How sweet!* So I put it on and immediately start interrogating him as to where we're going and did the kids know and were they getting supper ready. He told me to just enjoy the ride and he turned on the radio,....not to his usual "old fogey" music or talk radio, and not to my country music,...but some easy-listening style songs that reminded me of being a teenager in love. I admit, I was impressed.

A little further down the road, he tells me not to get out of the car when he stops. So I said ok and just sat there when he pulled into the Japanese restaurant parking lot. He got out and walked around to my door and opened it. He held out his hand to guide me out of the door, as if I were a lady (which we all know doesn't sound like me anymore)! I was all smiles, no doubt!

In we go and he tells the person at the door his name and its just the two of us. The girl walks us back to a table .... and we're the only ones there! Normally they seat people at the table till they can't fit anymore people at it! Our order was taken immediately and they started bringing it out before I could finish wiping my hands off with the warm cloth they offered me. WOW!

We ate a delicious meal (and of course I got to get the lobster dinner,...WOOHOO!) and then went out to the car. When we go there, Tommy opened my door for me, and there lying in my seat was a long stem white rose and a long stem red rose. On the seat beside them was a little simple card the size of a business card and it said "My passionate love for you is eternal." Ok, I admit it,...I got teary-eyed. How sweet of him! He stood there while I got in the car, and bent down on one knee and held out a little tiny box to me. He opened it up and inside of it was a silver ring that matched my necklace. It was engraved inside and said "Always and Forever". He held it out to me and asked me if I would remain his sweetheart....Always and Forever. I started to babble and reached around his neck as if he'd just proposed to me.

And then he got in the car beside me and started driving. He took me to a motel instead of going home. I was seriously confused now, because the kids were still at home! He reminded me that Manti is almost 20 years old, Mesa is almost 18 and we're only about 15 minutes away. They know what's going on, and they have cell phones. Then he comes around to my door, opens it, and walks me around to the room he had already reserved for us and told me we were going to have a quiet getaway, just the two of us,...and I could call it a second honeymoon if I wanted to.....

....and then I woke up, still at work and it's just 5:10pm. Man, wouldn't it be nice he called and told me he hoped I could get out of the shop as close to 5:30 as possible? *sigh*

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Tooth Despair & Agony-ony

No insurance on me anymore,...means limited visits to the dentist. Bad childhood experiences at the dentists office....means limited desire to visit any more dentists! The end result: I don't see a dentist as often as my teeth need for me to. I can't help that, I do the best I can.

That leaves me open for problems sometimes, and recently I had just such a problem- a broken tooth. I needed it fixed, but didn't have resources available for a good long while. So time went on and sadly, another tooth got affected by the problem.

This past Monday, I was fortunate enough to get some help (thanks Mom!) in getting those 2 teeth taken care of. They had to be pulled, so I tried my best to put my big girl panties on and get it done. I was so nervous Monday that I spent more time in the bathroom than I did anywhere else that morning! I got in the room and the nurse person asked how I was doing. NERVOUS! So she gave me that gas. I guess its nitrous oxide? I don't know,... its that stuff they call "laughing gas", and they don't call it that because YOU laugh while on it,...its because THEY laugh at YOU while you are on it. I've had it once before, and when I told the nurse back then about the hair growing from the ceiling, she reduced the gas level and took all the pleasure out of that experience.

So I'm laying in the chair with my nose covered up with a mask and hoses. I could hardly keep my eyes open, and since it seemed like the florescent lights overhead were changing colors, I went ahead and closed my eyes and wished to fall asleep. Then in comes the nurse and dentist. He put gadgets in my mouth, and at one point I felt a needle in my cheek. A moment later, I felt him shove another one into the roof of my mouth. THAT HURT! I only felt the 2 needles, but I learned later that he put 4 in. That's good! I missed 2 of them :) So then it was time to sit and go numb.

At one point, I started to spin in my chair. I got so dizzy I had to open my eyes. That stopped the spinning, but my eyes were so heavy I had to close them again. I thought I was shaking, so I held my hands over my face to see if I was. I couldn't open my eyes to see them though. Oh well!
I figured I should just relax and let the stuff "take me away", so let my hands rest beside me. But I had nothing to lay my hands on, so when they rested at my sides, they actually fell to the floor and went limp. I'm sure I looked dead laying there in that chair.

Sometime later, they came back, gave me one more shot I didn't feel and started to pull one of my teeth. The dentist used a tool that felt like pliers and he tugged,....and tugged....and tugged,.... and twisted and pulled and yanked.... That tooth wasn't budging! He finally got some tool that sounded like a drill and started cutting that tooth apart. He got down into the gums and cut the root into pieces. Then he pulled out the bits and hoped there weren't any bone shards left behind!

When all that drama was over with, the nurse person switched my gas to oxygen. She said it would only take about 5 minutes to get me back to normal. Oh how wrong was she!? I could hardly get the muscles in my legs to work! They were shaking the whole time I walked, and Mama walked me out as if I were a little old lady bad hips. Because they cut the one tooth out, they gave me some pain pills. We went to a pharmacy to pick that up, and I still didn't have strength in my legs to walk through that store. I stayed in the car while Mama got it! During that time, my legs seemed to just "wake up" and I felt more normal again,...except for the wadding in my mouth keeping me from talking and just barely absorbing all that spit I kept making and not swallowing. What a day!

And the dentist was right about the pain. Today its pretty bad! he gave me a refill on the pain meds, but its a controlled substance, so pharmacies don't refill those. Doctors have to write new scripts for them. Guess what? The dentist is in Tennessee and I'm in Georgia, I don't get the refill (darn!) which means I'm trying to go easy on them so they last me a little longer.

The thing is, I'm 39 years old. Aren't I a little old to be such a big baby? Or did I have too much fun at the dentist office? I don't know which!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

head, SHOULDERS, KNEES, & toes

Stress is a bad thing. I'm telling you, it's a BAD THING! Stress disrupts your immune system. It throws your hormones out of balance. It interferes with the birthing process for pregnant women (and animals, actually). It constricts blood flood and can cause heart attacks. Seriously, stress is bad!

I think stress is a member of my household, because it's never out of my sight. It haunts me at work sometimes. It stands in rude disapproval of me in my kitchen. It rolls its eyes at me in my laundry room. It taps it feet at me quite regularly with my church callings and obligations. I'm pretty sure it lurks in every shadow and I'm positive it has staked a claim in my bank account.

Some days you just have to find an escape from it, right? Mesa felt the need to just exactly that recently, so she asked if she could go visit my sister for a little while. We found a time it would work for her to do that and started planning a trip to Tennessee. In an effort to keep even THAT from becoming too terribly stressful, we planned to stay a couple days to recover from the long drive as well as to take a brief trip down one of the rivers there. Things weren't smooth, but they were going along close enough.

Then Friday came. That's the day Tommy, Manti and I had planned to take our little canoe trip down the Duck River. Mama and Daddy were going to entertain the little boys that day, Mesa was already at Kitty's house,.... we got up that morning and went to the canoe rental place. We paid $30 less than we expected (what a nice stress reducer!) and hopped in his van to head upriver a little ways. We opted for the short trip because there was the threat of rain and we weren't anxious to be caught in it, so that meant 5 miles to paddle. We got in the water with Manti in the back (steering position), Tommy in front (guiding position) and me in the middle (relaxing position). The river was shaded by trees,... no threat of sunburn! There was nobody else around that we saw,.... awesome!

Down the river we go and we see more shells than we ever thought a single river could produce! I'm not sure if they are fresh water clams or mussels, but either way they came in all shapes and sizes and colors! We enjoyed the birds singing and the fish jumping. I think we commented on every single turtle we saw. This was sheer bliss!

We pulled off to the bank a few times and let Manti explore a little. He was loving every minute of it. When we could all get out, we took turns changing places so that we all paddled at some point. I have to admit, I much prefer to paddle than to ride in the middle section. There is no seat, no cushion for your back, and you sit right on the floor where all the water goes! At times, the water is shallow enough that you can feel rocks bump the boat,...and thus it bumps YOU too. My rump was not enthused by that, so I stayed in a paddle position for as long as I could. After a while though, Tommy's back couldn't sit in the middle and Manti didn't want to. That meant Mama got the yucky spot for the last part of the trip. It wasn't all that bad. Tommy sat behind me and was able to paddle WITHOUT splattering water all over my head, and Manti sat up front where he could make sure we didn't miss any of the beautiful sights. I decided "let them work, I can relax", and so I sat on one life jacket and leaned back on another for some cushioning and let them paddle the boat while I let my hands glide through the water on either side of me.

You know how I am, right? I can't keep my mouth shut ever. I had to open it this time too and say things like "I need grapes boys,.... where's the fan? I need fanning." This part of the trip wasn't very long, but it was all in afternoon sun. I think Mother Nature heard my sass and got even by sunburning my inside of my arms, namely my shoulders, and also the inner part of my legs, particularly at my knees.

It's been almost a week now, and the blessed peace of those 4 hours on the river has long been over. The sunburn has taken a lot of oils and tender herbal care, so I'm not in pain anymore,....but one thing DOES remain,.....

Now I itch!
I have never been able to sing Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes and do those actions so well and thoroughly!