Monday, December 21, 2015


So...Saturday morning I woke up in a great amount of pain.  I won't elaborate too much, because when it comes to pain, elaboration isn't altogether necessary. Let's just say that it was somewhere in between "Wow, this is kind of bad" and "This is appendicitis and I need to go to the hospital."

I thought I could tough it out, honestly, because what are the chances that I'd wake up with appendicitis out of nowhere, really?  I figured that the pain would stop and I'd go about my day.  Only, it didn't stop.  It got a bit more bearable, but it didn't go away.  I think I've mentioned that I'm not the kind of person who goes to the emergency room for just anything (and the fact that I went to a walk-in clinic for what I thought was a heart attack should be proof enough) but this time I decided that I should probably go and get checked out.  I couldn't stand up straight and it felt like I was slowly being stabbed in my right side.  Granted, as the pain had lessened a bit, I knew I wasn't in immediate danger or anything, but if something inside of me is getting ready to explode, I thought it might be best to see about getting ahead of any unpleasantness.  I was determined to take a shower and put on clean clothes before going, so I (quickly) did that and we drove to the hospital.

We were taken back to a room impressively quickly, and I was immediately given an IV and had blood drawn.  Then I was given pain meds and everything got so shiny and bright.  They x-rayed me, gave me a CT scan, and then the doctor came in to talk to me.  The pain had quietened down a bit, so I wasn't in agony, but when the starting pressing down on my side, I felt like a water balloon on the brink of popping.  It was a weird feeling, but it wasn't terrible.  The doctor left us to wait until they could run tests and see what was going on, and that is how we were for several hours.  I kept thinking how embarrassed I was that I was at the hospital and wasn't hurting anymore, but Steve kept reminding me that I'd been given pain meds, so I shouldn't be hurting.

I have this fear, or if not a fear, a concern, that I'm going to end up being the kind of person who goes to the emergency room for absolutely no reason and waste everyone's time.  That is the main reason I always usually go to the walk-in clinic when something's wrong.  I know a lot of nurses, so I don't want to be an unnecessary burden on them in case someone who needs them more comes in.  I kept apologizing on the off chance that there was nothing wrong with me.  I'm sure they were annoyed, but they all assured me that it was better that I came in, just in case.  I just don't want to bother people.  That's pretty much the crux of the matter.

I'll be honest, though, I was expecting to be operated on that day.  Steve and I discussed all of the things that we might need to discuss in the event I needed surgery, my DNR preference, the go ahead to take out anything that needed to be taken out, and if I died, donate everything salvageable.  You know, the normal stuff.  I even gave him the info on how to implement my zombie apocalypse plan in case it happened while I was unconscious (I should have never watched the first episode of The Walking Dead. Also, pain meds are fun.)  We waited and waited, but no one came in to tell us anything.  We noticed that the ER doc who had seen me was Dr. Jones (unfortunately, his first name was not Indiana) and Steve started cracking Indiana Jones jokes that made me laugh, which didn't feel good, but it was good to laugh.  I'm not sure how long we were there, but the nurse came back in to tell me all of my tests were OK and I could leave.  They didn't explain the angry wolverine that had been trying to claw itself out of my abdomen earlier that day, which was disappointing.  I would have liked to know why that was happening.  They gave me  prescriptions for pain and anti-nausea medicine, I apologized again for any inconvenience, and we left.  So, I have no idea what happened to me Saturday morning, but I was pretty much OK by noon. I didn't hurt, but it felt like a balloon slowly inflating inside of me getting bigger and bigger. 

We went to Target to get the medicine, just in case, and I was still kind of high from the pain medicine they'd given me at the hospital. That was fun.  It wasn't too bad, because I think it had mostly worn off, but I know I texted a bit and maybe didn't make a lot of sense. I don't know, really.  Maybe no one else noticed!  I went home and slept a lot.  I didn't take a pain pill because I wasn't hurting, but I took one of the other ones.  Then I ate, which was a big mistake.  I spent the rest of the evening really, very unpleasantly.  I think it could have been a reaction to the medicine I'd taken, but I have no idea.

Sunday I woke up feeling like death on a stick, but I had to go to church and run the sound for the choir's Christmas cantata.  I was the only one who knew how to adjust the music, so I did that.  It wasn't terrible.  I wasn't in the same kind of pain I'd been in the day before, but mainly the "balloon" was still in there.  I decided that I wouldn't go to lunch with Steve and his dad, and instead went home where I slept for several more hours.  I'd even decided I wouldn't go back to church that night, because of the way I was feeling.  The balloon had been replaced by a feeling like I had been punched in the side and was having a pencil driven into me quite slowly, so I decided to take a pain pill.  I don't know what the pills are, but I know they aren't the really powerful ones.  I don't know what they are, but they WORK.  By the time Steve came home, I was not feeling any pain at all.  I also wasn't blinking, and with a bit of persuasion, I probably would have been convinced that I could have flown to church if I'd flapped my arms hard enough.  Apparently, I'm sensitive to this kind of stuff.  I told Steve that I was going to be fine, so he took me to church.

I don't think I have to tell you that I was only in the initial stages of feeling the effects of that pill when we got there.  I was cheerful, and not hurting, but I still wasn't blinking and the lights were so pretty.  I got steadily more "involved" with whatever I had taken as church went on.  I was running the sound and video system, which went OK at first, but the computer decided to switch off in the middle of things, and I slumped to the ground and scrabbled around with wires until I could make it work again. I had no idea what I was doing.  I also decided upgrading the computer to Windows 10 in the middle of service seemed like a great idea, even though I had no idea if our software was compatible.  By the time preaching got started, I was full on stoned.  I don't know how else to explain it.  All I could do is stare at the lights, and I had no idea what the pastor was talking about. I couldn't follow the music and I STILL wasn't blinking.  I got to the point where, had this been tequila instead of pain medicine, I would have had my top off and been sending rude Snapchats to everyone I knew.  I'm not kidding, I actually started thinking about doing just that, but thank the Lord and whatever pharmaceutical company that made my pills, it didn't disable my Jiminy Cricket voice.  That voice kept telling me "No, no, let's not do that, OK? This is neither the time nor the place."  I listened to that voice.


Today the balloon is back and it feels like I swallowed some staples, but I can't take anything until I get home because I have to drive.  I hope that I don't have to go back to the hospital.  Maybe not!  So that was my weekend!  Hope yours was as much fun! :)

Tuesday, December 15, 2015


1) Last Saturday, a couple had a wedding at our church.  Well, technically, it was a vow renewal, but because they'd never had a church wedding, just a Justice of the Peace deal, they wanted to have something their friends and family could come to. Actually, it turned out to be a double vow renewal ceremony because the bride's son and his wife had also gotten married by a JotP and wanted to do it again in front of family and friends. Only no one they invited came.  Not one person.  Granted, it wasn't supposed to be a big, lavish deal or anything, but still.  I felt so bad.  I was their only wedding guest, and to be fair, I wasn't really a guest as much as I was a worker.  It was still a beautiful ceremony, though. The church is decorated for Christmas, the brides were beautiful, the grooms were handsome, and everything went well.  It was a very sweet wedding.

I don't mean to sound braggy by telling you this, but I actually did a lot for this wedding, and it's kind of funny when I look back on it.  I made the decorations for the reception, made the unity candles, played the music, controlled the lights, took the photos, laid out the food for the reception, served the drinks, caught the bouquet, ate with the two couples, cleaned up afterwards, and saw them off from the church!  Apparently, all of our dry goods from the pantry had been given out, so we didn't have any rice to throw, but I did find a jar of dried beans for soup, so I threw those at them instead. Hey, it was all we had and I couldn't let them leave without something!  If I'd had a couple of weeks warning, I could have probably gone to the courthouse and gotten a temporary county license to perform the ceremony since I was ordained online a while back!  I'm a one woman wedding chapel, y'all!  If you ever need a wedding in a hurry, just let me know.  I can hook you up!  I will also throw beans at you, but that's just a bonus. :)

2) Sadly, our pastor's mother passed away on Friday.  I never got to meet her, but he'd told me stories about her and she seemed like a really hip lady.  She'd been bedridden for years after a botched back surgery almost killed her.  I feel so bad for the pastor but he seems to be holding up well.  He reminds me a lot of my dad after my own grandmother passed away.  I hope he'll take some time to rest and recoup over the next couple of weeks.  Sorrow is exhausting, and he isn't the kind of person to sit still and rest, but I hope he will at least try.  Trying to tell someone like that to take some time off is pretty much an exercise in futility, but I did anyway.  Got to keep everyone sane around here, you know.

Steve and I went to her viewing last night and there were a lot of people there.  It was very confusing!  Instead of the whole family standing in a receiving line, they were just in little groups in the chapel, and every time we would walk over to talk to the people we knew, someone would slide in front of us and start a long conversation with the family member.  It was borderline rude, although I know they didn't mean to be that way.  I also got the stink eye from some of those denim-skirted-bun-head ladies while we were there.  I guess because I was wearing slacks and makeup, I don't know.  Personally, I don't think Jesus cares what I wear as long as I'm decent, and I certainly made sure to be!  Had I known I'd get snurled at, though, I would have gone with the first thing I tried on, which was a dress I hadn't worn in years that turned out to be so low cut in the front that it went past indecent and all the way to hilarious!  I refuse to be shamed for my clothes by anyone wearing a denim skirt. Don't test me.

3) This lady at my church is a fantastic cook and she's always bringing me food.  I can say I'm not hungry, and no thank you, and regardless I'll have a plate of something in my hand in less than 15 minutes. If I was stronger, I could just not eat it, but you guys, that woman can COOK.  Everything she makes is delicious and I am helpless.  I'd already had breakfast when she came in for the ladies prayer meeting this morning, and she asked if I wanted anything. I told her no. She did not accept that answer. I have just finished a slice of quiche and some kind of barbecued sausage and I think I'm so full I might die. I regret nothing, and everything.  I'd do it again.  Help me.

4) You know, I've always had this ability to kind of read people.  It kind of freaks people out, because some folks think it's supernatural or something, but really, it's just about paying attention. Anyone can do it if they are interested enough to try.  Honestly, I wish I was much better at it, but as it is, I do alright. At least I used to do alright. Anyway, being able to read people is useful, because if you can do that, you aren't surprised very often by what they do.  That is comforting in a way.  But lately I've come to realize that there are some people who I should be completely in tune with, that never, ever do what I think they will anymore.  I don't know if it's time or distance, or if I just don't spend enough time actually with the person, or if my brain is broken somehow, but it's really frustrating!  I'll be the first to admit that it's an inexact science, this reading people, and that sometimes it's more of wishful thinking situation where you think "Oh, if they answer this question *this way* that would be a perfect response." However, I've been right more often than not in the past, but now...even Steve is surprising me lately, and with a few glaring exceptions, I'm pretty sure I had him pegged.  It's weird and frustrating and I need to get my vibe fixed soon before all you wonderful, crazy people drive me insane.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


I took that last post down.  It bothered me more than I realized and now I'm not happy I wrote it.

HOWEVER...I've thought about it and since it was such a long time ago, I'm not going to let the muggles get me down.

Instead, I'm going to post a picture of a bunch of puppies.

It's not even otter worthy!  

Everything about me is, and has always been, perfectly adequate. 
 I'm sure the puppies would agree. 

Monday, November 23, 2015


1) I'm not sure how much I actually want to write about stuff, or how much I want to procrastinate doing my job.  I have a feeling that it's mostly about procrastinating.  It's always about that, really. :)

2) This past Saturday, Steve and I went with the church's youth group to play paintball!  It was so much fun!  I'd never played before, but Steve had gone with them for the past couple of years and told me how much he enjoyed it.  So, for once, I offered to attend a youth event without either being tricked, or guilted, into it.  Aren't you proud of me?  Hahahaha!  Don't be. Like I was going to give up a chance to shoot kids with non-lethal projectiles.  Please. 

Steve and I drove out to Athens to meet everyone at the paintball range.  There were 11 kids, and 5 "adults" there that day.  Our first course was out in the woods, and I didn't realize our teams had to split up and start from one point, so I was hiding in the trees for a while before someone found me.  I didn't last long in that first scenario.  I got pegged in the thigh by one of the kids.  By the way, getting shot by paint balls HURTS.  I'm not sure how close I was to the person who got me out, but I now have the weirdest red bruise on my leg.  It is a perfect circle of regular skin surrounded by a splat mark of red.  I didn't find it until I got home, but it has been two days and it hasn't faded completely yet.  I kind of hope it stays.  It's a really interesting bruise!  I'd take a picture, but I only share pictures of my thighs with very, very important people, sorry.  So few people have ever seen them that there are rumors that I don't even have them.  True Story.  Ha!

We moved to the "Town" and spent the rest of our time there.  The town is a post-apocalyptic looking area of shacks, an old van, and stuff you can hide behind.  I did much better on this range, but in the first game, I got shot in the head.  Oh, dear Lord in heaven, that was unpleasant. It wasn't that it hurt, although it did, but that it hit at just the perfect angle on my mask that the paint squirted into my hair, and into my eye at the same time. My eye didn't even have time to close, so I saw through a haze of yellow goo, and when I raised my mask to wipe my face, I got reprimanded by our referee.  I had to wait until we were back in the safe zone before I could get the goop out of my eye, and my hair stayed greasy until I could take a bath. Gross.  I did much better during the rest of our games, and I even managed to shoot the only person in our group who plays with any regularity, twice.  I made him bleed by accident.  I don't know how, because paint balls aren't supposed to do that, but he showed me his arm and there was a big splotch of dried blood where I got him.  Oops.

We picked up 4 stray people to join our group, and they all were very good and had their own equipment.  They got most of the people out, I think.  Anyway, it was fun and I want to go again! 

When I got home, my eye had started to hurt, so I took out my contact lens to clean it.  It was stained yellow and I couldn't get the goop off of it and I had to open a new pack.  Boo.  My eye still isn't right, but at least everything isn't tinted anymore.

3)  I had the weirdest dream this weekend.  I dreamed I was an elementary school teacher and our entire school was taken hostage.  I don't think anyone was killed, but they wouldn't let us leave.  I think the point was that they were going to brainwash the children into converting to whatever religion or group these people were with (I'm assuming ISIS guys, but who knows?  Just bad guys is all I remember.) and they made the teachers stay with them, threatening that if we left or escaped, they'd start killing children.  It was a bad, bad dream.  I don't remember a lot of what happened, but I know that another teacher and I tried to sabotage the bad guys, but what we did was ineffective.  That took the heart out of me, and I just gave up and complied with whatever they told me to do.  That was the worst part, that sense of defeat and not being able to do anything to fight back.  In the weird way that dreams have, I was aware that days were passing and I couldn't get away from it and I was losing hope. 

I actually woke up during that part.  I didn't wake up in a panic, like you'd think, but I woke up feeling awful and sad and depressed.  I kept having to remind myself that it was just a dream.  I stayed awake for about 30 minutes before I fell asleep again, and I was dumped right back into the same dream!  If I'd been woken from an awesome dream, that would have never happened!  At any rate, once I was back in the dream, I was ready to fight my way out!  My problem was that I was very bad at escaping.  I don't remember exactly what I did, but in the dream, I was killed.  Instead of waking up again, the dream reset like a video game!  I kept waking up back where I started, and it was so freaking frustrating!  I tried to escape 4 different times, and all four times I got "killed" in the dream.  I finally woke up again when my alarm went off, but I have to say, that was one of the weirdest dreams I've ever had, and that is saying something.  I guess I need to put my Zombie Apocalypse plan on hold and brush up on my terrorist escape plans. 

Now I just have to learn to fly a helicopter.

Thursday, November 19, 2015


1) Yeah, I don't know why I'm writing so much these days.  Let's just accept it for now and it will probably sort itself out.  Don't judge, I'm alone a lot!  I have to talk to someone! God help you all if I ever try Podcasting.

2) I finally had to get rid of my red hair.  I loved it while it was still red, but the pinker it became, the weirder it looked.  If I was going for pink hair, that would have been fine, but it had started to look like I'd sprayed on Halloween color spray when I was underneath certain kinds of light.  I should probably say that I tried to get rid of my red hair, but even though I chose a color as close to my natural color as I could find, it didn't completely cover the red, which is weird because the red dye wasn't supposed to be permanent, but the brown dye was.  Oh well, it's darker, at least, and it's'll do what it wants to do in time.  My only real issue with it is that now all of my pretty white hairs are gone.

Next time I have a bad day, I'll just go get a tattoo.  I don't think it will last as long as the dye!

3) in 2013 I attended a self defense class.  I wrote about it, but if you haven't read it and would like to, you can do so here.

Not long after that class was over, I saw an ad where I could order a new, not yet released, product which was marketed as "Smart Jewelry."   It was supposed to be a fitness tracker, like a Fitbit, but with a personal safety element to it.  So, let's say I was alone, running (stop laughing) down a trail or something and someone jumped out at me and tried to grab me.  If I were wearing this thing I could press its button for three seconds and it would send an alarm to a person I designated as my safety contact.  That person would have downloaded and app on their phone that would send an alert that said I was in trouble.  It would show my location (with a GPS locator) and ask if they needed to call 911. The tracker could also be placed in different pieces of jewelry sold by the company, so, for example,  if you were on a date and things got hinky in a way that put you in danger, you could press the button and alert someone without being really obvious about what you were doing.  I joked to a friend that I go on so many out of town dates these days that I needed one of these just for that reason alone! Haha! (I'm sure Steve would not run to my rescue for that.)

Anyway, fresh off of that self defense course, I was all in for ordering the thing.  I work in a place where I don't always feel safe, and unfortunately, sometimes just going places alone isn't safe for me because I'm a woman.  Granted, I'm a woman who will do everything in her power to rip out your spine if you try to hurt me, but that doesn't mean I wouldn't appreciate back up if needed.  I also wanted the fitness tracker, since my other one had to be returned.  I actually wanted the fitness tracker more than the alarm, but the combo appealed to me. So I ordered it, with the promise that I'd receive the kit by the next spring when it was released.  Unfortunately, the company that was making it couldn't get their act together.  Either the programming wasn't getting completed, or the jewelry things weren't getting produced.  It was frustrating.  At any rate, I could have canceled my order, but I chose to stick it out and wait. 

Well, I finally got it last week, much, much later than promised.  However, I was informed that the programming was never completed for the fitness tracker, but it could still function as a security alert.  FINE, I GUESS.  UGH!  One other function that the thing (I'm not using it's name, because I don't want other people to buy it and I don't want anyone to come to my page in a Google search) does is alert you if you get a call or text from people you designate on a list.  So if I'm in a situation where answering my phone would be inappropriate or rude, if any of those people called it would vibrate and I'd know to excuse myself and call them back.  So I download the app and set about setting up my preferences on my phone.  I only had two people I wanted to designate as safety contacts (my mom and Steve, who are probably the two who'd care the most if I was being murdered...and maybe not even Steve, but he'd already agreed to do it) because not every friend you have wants to be responsible for your life and/or well being.  However, I did want to populate my list of approved callers so I'd be alerted if THEY called.  Only when I started adding names to that list, the dumb app sent out text messages asking people to download the app - and for all I knew was telling them that I was in danger. I also managed to accidentally set off the safety alarm, which scared my mom.  So I had to contact people and let them know they didn't have to download anything and that I wasn't currently being assaulted or murdered.  Now I'm too afraid to actually wear the device in case I accidentally set it off and have a SWAT team called to my destination.  At this point, I think it would be less stressful to carry a gun. 

4) There was something else I was going to talk about, but it took me about two hours to type that last part out in between doing work and getting sidetracked. I'm tired of thinking about myself. Whoever you are reading this, you just go on and have yourself a nice day. Thanks for stopping by! :)

Wednesday, November 18, 2015


For the past several days I have had a very weird feeling.  It worries me.

There are many of you who have little patience with my "weird feelings" and think they're silly, but you don't have to believe they are real. I know they are. I don't know what it's about and I don't know who it's about, but I feel like something has happened to someone important to me and I can't do anything about it.  That probably doesn't make much sense, I know.

The closest example I can come up with is this, and it might not be universal enough to make anyone else understand:  If you've ever had anyone close to you pass away, there is a point when you are trying to wrap your head around what happened and you want to fix it, but know you can't.  It's incredibly frustrating, because you know the situation is completely out of your hands, but you keep trying to think of ways it could have been avoided, or reasons it happened, or ways you can change it, but you know that there is nothing you can do. You realize that everything in your life has changed somehow and it wasn't a change you wanted.  It's a bad feeling, but one that eventually fades because your rational mind takes over and helps you to work through it.

Only in this case I do not know what is happening or to whom it is happening to, and the feeling isn't going away!  I do know how crazy this whole thing sounds, because I have no reasons to think anything is seriously wrong with anyone important to me. Everyone seems fine, or acting as if they are. That doesn't mean stuff isn't going on that I don't know about, of course, but I'd like to think anyone felt they could talk to me if they were having a problem. I'd also normally worry that maybe I'd done something to someone that hurt them or made them mad, but I know that isn't the case.

Maybe it's all the craziness going on in the world and I just want to keep everyone close and make sure they are safe and happy. Who knows?  I just want everyone to be OK, and if you aren't, I can try to help or maybe point you in the direction of someone who can.

I know I can be annoyingly huggy, and sometimes I can be a bit judgy (but I promise once that's out of the way I can be full-on sympathetic) but if you are out there reading this and something has happened, or even if you've done something stupid and think you are beyond sympathy/help, it'll be OK.  Even if you think it won't be.  You can talk to me, or if you don't want to do that, please talk to someone at least. or not, I hope everyone is OK, and if you aren't, I hope you will be.

Of course, if everyone is fine and no one is having any problems, the feeling may be caused by the bad Red Rope licorice I ate on Monday.  Either way...

Tuesday, November 17, 2015


1) So, sort of good news from the pulmonologist!  He said nothing has changed with my CT scans, so my next one won't be until next year!  Woo-Hoo! He told me that if the next scans show either no change or improvements (obviously) then he'll know the nodules are benign.  Yay!  The only bad thing about my scan was that he said it showed I had possible pneumonia activity in my left lung, but that with my "history of coughing" he didn't think it was anything important.  I honestly don't know what he means by history of coughing, because I haven't been coughing, nor have I had a chronic or even persistant cough in years and years.  Who knows?  It does hurt to breathe on that side of my chest, but I don't have any other signs of pneumonia, so no worries until there are worries to be had.  Woot! 

2) Someone shot our church!  No one was in it at the time, thank goodness. When I got to work yesterday, I saw a weird mark on one of the columns on the porch.  When I went out to see what it was, it was bullet damage. Well, that's what I thought when I looked at it and I am a world renowned forensic tech, after all.  Haha!  I showed the spot to the pastor and he agreed that it was a bullet hole.  We had to file a police report, (and the cop also agreed it was a bullet hole, so obviously my talents are wasted as a secretary) because it could tie to a crime down the line.  It's a crappy thing to happen, to be sure, but on the bright side, now our broken window has a friend! :)  Silver linings!

I named it Steve McQueen! 

3) Steve has informed me that his company is having a Christmas party.  I'm already starting to worry about the things I'm going to knock over. It won't be in anyone's home this time, and hopefully whatever I manage to destroy will be covered by some kind of damage deposit.  Also, the invitation says that it is "Festive Attire."  WTF does that mean?  Do I dress like an elf?  People think I'm kidding when I say I don't know how to dress myself, but I'm not.  I don't have a local girlfriend to tell me if I am appropriate, and Steve wouldn't care if I walked out of the house in a fitted sheet as long as all of my personal bits were covered.  

Sigh.  I'll Google it.

At any rate, I am determined about one thing: I will go to, and leave, this party without awkwardly hugging a caterer this time.

4) Speaking of awkward...  I was talking to someone the other day and made a kind of off color joke at my own expense.  I do that a lot, and I don't know why. It's just how I do. Anyway, right after I made said joke, we got interrupted and our conversation ended before I got to explain that I was only joking.  I'd like to believe that the person would know realize I was only joking, but I can't be completely sure.  The only way I'll know is if I bring it up and explain, but I'd rather not, because I'm afraid they'd think it was a case of protesting too much or something.  I need to stop talking to people who don't know my humor.

5) It's been almost a year since Butler died and I'm still not quite adjusted.  People keep asking if we are going to get another dog soon, but I don't think I could stand it yet.  Well, we have other important reasons not to want to get a dog right now, but a lot of it has to do with fact that I still miss my other dogs too much it would feel like we were getting rebound dogs. That is stupid, I know.  I don't like to feel things.  It makes everything too complicated.  If I could turn off feelings, lots of things would be easier.

6) Last week Steve had his concert at the Host of Christmas Past in Fayetteville, TN. The band did great and we had a lot of fun, but the thing that stuck out for me was seeing a volunteer fireman almost melt his own face off!  I was sitting near the line of food booths while Steve's bad was playing and I heard a BOOM.  When I looked over, I saw a man brushing at his face with some other guys standing around looking concerned.  The sleeve was almost blown off of his shirt, and he had a flash burn across his forehead.  He had been trying to light a propane heater underneath a tank of chicken stew and I don't know what happened, but it caused a fireball to hit him in the upper body.  Luckily he seemed to be ok, except for maybe losing an eyebrow.  It could have been a lot worse!

Monday, November 16, 2015

I'm so very, very tired of all the bad that is going on in the world.  It's not like it's a new thing, obviously, because evil has been around since the beginning of time, but it just seems like the yuck is getting bigger and uglier and more violent every day.  Maybe it only looks that way because we're on a 24 news cycle and every time you turn on the television, or open the internet, or turn on the radio all of the bad stuff is just staring you in the face (or the ear...because radio.)  I don't see how journalists can deal with the onslaught of it all, since they are the ones immersed in it until they can move on to other things.  They are much stronger people than I will ever be, I guess.

And it isn't going to stop.  Not ever.  It might not be as big or bad as it is right now, but it will always be there, running like an infection underneath the skin of life as we know it.  There will always be people who have ideals that they are willing to die for, and to kill other people for.  We can pretend that world peace is achievable, but that isn't how mankind is hardwired.  There will always be someone who MUST BE RIGHT at all costs and they will stop at nothing to grab hold of whatever power they think comes along with that rightness.

I don't know which scares me the most at this point: the fact that we are faced with the possibility of someone blowing us up or shooting us every time we go into a crowded, public area, or that a lot of people are just resigned to the fact that this is normal life, now.  It's disheartening.

Last night, after the day was over and I was lying in bed thinking of all of the things going on in the world, all I wanted was to be able to sit next to someone, hold their hand, not talk, and just feel safe for a while. I think maybe everyone could use that.  If you get that chance, you should.

Sunday, November 15, 2015


I've been thinking about the last entry that I wrote and decided I'm not embarrassed anymore.  In fact, as I thought, it didn't take long before I thought the whole thing was hilarious.

So here's what I'm going to do!

I'm going to order the filthiest thing I can afford from this messed up Tupperware party. 

I know she'll see the order, because she has to make sure the order is fulfilled to get credit for it.

Then, when she sees me at church, she will be the one who is uncomfortable!


Of course, then I'll have to figure out what to do with whatever it is I order.  I don't know what that will be at this time. I guess I'll have to find someone to give it to! 

Christmas is about to get weird, y'all.

Thursday, November 12, 2015


I just got a Facebook invite from a woman I go to church with for one of those online selling-things parties.

You've probably gotten an invitation for one of them before, for nail polish, or monogrammed bags or some such thing.  I don't usually participate in these things, mainly because I don't have the money to throw down on overpriced junk jewelry or iffy weight loss products.

But the invitation I just got wasn't for any of those things.  This lady invited me to a, uh...toy party.  An adult oriented toy party.

A lady from my church just invited me to an online sex toy party! Whaaaaaaa?!

OK, I'm not a prude and I don't have problems with people either having these parties nor buying things from these kinds of parties.  I'm not offended or anything like that.

But a lady from my church inviting me to something like this is weird...isn't it?  It's not just me?  Please tell me it isn't just me that finds that odd.

OK, let's say I "attend" this party (it's only online, so I wouldn't actually have to get face to face with a group of Southern Baptist ladies all discussing the merits of different sexy time stuff, thank God) and bought fuzzy handcuffs, sexy lingerie, or any of the plethora of things that vibrate, restrain or is described as "life-like?"*  I know how these online parties work!  You have to put in your name and address, and the person hosting this party would see the order!  She would know what I bought, and then she'd know too much!  She'd see me at church and know!

 I will let this cat demonstrate my initial reaction.

Look, I don't care what people do as long as it's consensual and enjoyed by both parties, but I'm not sure I'd be comfortable with anyone in my church family knowing what I kept in my personal "toy box." 

I'm sure that in about half an hour I'll find this hilarious.

* Yes, I know all of those things are available because I looked at the website.  I couldn't really believe that was what the invitation was for so I checked for myself.  I was wrong.

Tuesday, November 10, 2015


1) I've been learning stuff!  It isn't important stuff, but it is interesting.

Did you know that Nabisco, the snack company, used to be known as the National Biscuit Company and the name Nabisco is just a short version of that?  I feel that that is probably common knowledge, but I didn't know and it is strangely interesting.

Did you know that the slogan "Don't Mess With Texas" was originally an anti-littering slogan?  I had no idea.

Ah, trivia. :)

2) I had a massive and completely unexpected anxiety attack last week.  It was terrible, and honestly, it hit me without warning while I was at home by myself.  I don't have them like that very often, thank goodness, but the ones when I'm alone are the worst because there is no one there to tell me I'm being dumb. I began questioning everything I'd done since I'd gotten home, which was stupid, because I hadn't done anything particularly out of the ordinary, but everything I'd done seemed really wrong. I finally emailed someone for help, and they told me I was being dumb. That helped. The anxiety attack passed, thank goodness. 

I really, really hate those things, and I know other people hate having to deal with me when I have them.  It's incredibly embarrassing.

3) Our 15th anniversary is tomorrow!  That's amazing to me for lots of reasons.  We were going to go on a trip, but that got cancelled.  In fact, I won't even get to see Steve for more than a couple of hours, if I'm even awake when he leaves and comes home. He's working and taking an evening class, so I guess I'll do something fun by myself! Maybe. I really have no idea. It actually seems kind of pathetic now that I've written it out loud. (Wait, is that a thing?) Maybe I'll just do laundry. I'm always doing laundry.

4) Why is it that I always want to do the absolute worst things for me?  I swear, I make terrible decisions!  I don't mean to be self destructive, but I can't seem to help it!  I always forget I'm supposed to be eating better, so I'll catch myself with a cupcake in my face before I think "Oh, this is not a good idea!"  I'll keep putting off going to the gym for one reason or another, even though I know I should go, and I'm constantly doing stuff that makes me feel like I'm a 7 year old in a grown up person's body.  I think the little Jiminy Cricket voice in my head has died or something.

Oh, well, at least I'm not a danger to others! :)

5) Do you remember the scene in Home Alone, when Kevin orders a pizza while using clips from the movie (You know, the "Keep the change, ya filthy animal" movie) so he'd sound like an adult?  He scared the pizza guy off by playing the scene with the gunfire.  Why did that pizza guy not call the police?! This has been bothering me.  If a person delivering a pizza is shot at, or thinks he is, why wouldn't he tell someone!  Kevin would have been found a lot sooner, and the whole thing with the burglars wouldn't have happened.  Of course, the movie would have been 20 minutes long.  I've overthought this.  I know, I know...

6)  There was more, but I don't remember.

Thursday, November 05, 2015


Last night I had a dream that I was hanging out with a friend of mine from high school that I haven't seen in years.  Well, actually, I dreamed we were on a furniture dolly being pulled behind a car, but we were able to talk and everything.  Shut up, dreams are weird.

Anyway, after we got to where we were going (and I don't remember where that was) he handed me a piece of paper with a list of the nicest compliments about me on it.  I can not for the life of me remember what any of those compliments were, but I remember that they made me very happy.  I don't think this particular friend would ever say anything quite that nice about me in real life unless I died and he was feeling nostalgic or something. Who knows?

While I was thinking about that dream this morning, I remembered that when I was a teenager, our youth group minister gathered us together one night for some event and gave everyone a piece of paper with our name at the top of it.  We passed it to everyone else in the group, and each of us anonymously wrote one thing we liked about that person on the paper.  Once it circulated around, we got our own pages back so that we could read what everyone wrote.  I kept that piece of paper in my wallet from that night until I'd been married almost 10 years, and I only put it away because my new wallet didn't have a place I could safely keep it.  I suppose it sounds really narcissistic (oooh, spelled that right on the first try!) to keep a list of compliments about yourself within easy reach, but I didn't keep it for that reason.

As I got older, I  sometimes felt (and still feel, at times) like there was nothing good or admirable about me. I didn't really do any of the things I thought I'd do, for one reason or another. Not that life has been bad, but I sometimes felt like I didn't take as much advantage of it as I should have. Especially now with social media, we get to see how awesome everyone is and everything they accomplish on a daily basis.  I know that we can't compare ourselves to those people realistically, because for every degree they earn, or every promotion they get, or every trip to some exotic or amazing place they post online, there are just as many disappointments or lost opportunities that they don't tell us all about.  Sometimes it's hard to remember that we are seeing only what people want us to see, and it's difficult not to judge ourselves against that. Well, it's difficult for me. I don't know about you.

So really, I kept that piece of paper because I wanted to remind myself that there were people out there who liked me and thought well of me, even if they never said it out loud.  Even though I'd lost touch with those people a while ago, at one time, even at my teenagery worst, there were people who could see good things in me, even when I couldn't.  I think maybe I had that dream to remind myself that it's still true.  Even if I'm not particularly successful, or doing really awesome things that I can post onto Facebook or whatever, there are people out there who can still see the good things in me even when I can't see them myself.

In case your interested, this is what my paper had listed on it.  I will spell everything correctly, though!  Haha!

-She's Nice
-She's good looking  (-Oy Vey)
-She's a good friend
-She's sweet
-Sweet disposition
-She's got a good sense of humor
-Bestest Friend
-She's always perky!
-She's sincere
-Kind person

You know, now that I read that list again, I'm not altogether certain they were talking about me after all!  ; )

Tuesday, October 27, 2015


I meant to add this yesterday, but I forgot.

I think I mentioned that I got some pretty weird advice on how to take care of my sunburn while driving back from Florida. I was told to get sour cream to put on it and it was supposed to help.  Sour cream. That part is important.

I waited a couple of days before I got a chance to go to Target, but I didn't check the email I was sent before I went there to make sure I had all of the details.  I ended up buying whipped cream, not sour cream.

Do you know what whipped cream does to a sunburn?  It makes it sticky.

Silver lining...whipped cream is delicious!  

Monday, October 26, 2015


1) Well, at least one mystery is solved!  In one of my last entries from Florida, I told you about spraying my face with someone's sunblock and getting a horrible, horrible rash.  Remember?  Well, it has recently come to my attention that what I sprayed all over my face was not sunscreen.  I grabbed one of the many cans sitting on the edge of the counter while on my way out the door.  All I remembered was that the bottle was labeled "Cutter" and it was a green container.  As it turns out, it wasn't sunscreen at all. It was some kind of powerful bug repellent.  I sprayed bug repellent all over my face and rubbed it into my skin.  I guess I'm lucky that I wasn't poisoned or something.

I am a genius.

2) I have to go back to the doctor on Tuesday for a check up, and the hateful nurse is going to be there.  I'm already getting nervous thinking about it.  I hate that this woman makes me feel like a 10 year old.  I can already hear her in my head and it's making me cringy.  :(

Oh, and speaking of doctors, I went for what should have been my last CT scan last week!  Woo-Hoo!  I also have to go see the pulmonologist this week, but if everything has stayed the same (or gotten better, which I have no reason to believe it hasn't) I shouldn't have to go back again until next year, if even that!  Yay!

3) An update on my hair, because I'm sure you're fascinated.  Everyone (except Steve) seemed to really like it!  Eh, he's just jealous that I have hair to dye! HA! It has faded quite a bit, which has made it look bright pink under florescent lights, kind of peachy-red in indirect sunlight, and in one unfortunate (and now deleted) photograph it looked bright purple - which made me look like a clown. At any rate, I still like it, but it is starting to look a bit odd. It's fading out in stripes instead of uniformly fading all over. I'm a pinky-red-brown tiger now, I guess.  RAWR!

4) I've finally gotten around to sorting my sea shells. Once they were all laid out, it seemed like there weren't as many as I thought I had collected.  Don't get me wrong, there are tons of them, but still.

Some of my shells!

One thing that always surprises me about seashells is how they are never as pretty once you bring them home.  They are still beautiful and everything, but they just don't look the same as they do when I pick them up. I happened to mention that to Aunt Brenda, and she said that there was a poem about that exact thing.  It's called "Each and All" by Ralph Waldo Emerson.  The part she was talking about says:

The delicate shells lay on the shore;
The bubbles of the latest wave
Fresh pearls to their enamel gave;
And the bellowing of the savage sea
Greeted their safe escape to me.
I wiped away the weeds and foam,
I fetched my sea-born treasures home;
But the poor, unsightly, noisome things
Had left their beauty on the shore,
With the sun, and the sand, and the wild uproar. 

So...thanks for harshing my mellow, Emerson.  No, I think I understand what he means.  The entire experience of something can lend a beauty to certain things that will disappear when you try to separate the elements of that experience.  Or something. I'm not good at poetry. 

If you read on in that poem, he says something kind of rude about his wife, too.  Emo turd.

Anyway, I've got to clean the shells and put them away.  I'm going to make some stuff with a few of them of them, but the rest will go into a new jar so I can look at the unsightly, noisome things.

5) Steve and I went to Rocket City Nerdcon this weekend.  It is sort of a tiny, tiny sci-fi/manga/gamer/comic convention that started last year and is held in our city's public library.  I didn't even know it was going on until Saturday morning, so on kind of a whim, we stopped by and walked through.  It was very modest, but still more crowded than I expected.  We didn't stop and listen to any of the panels.  Mainly, we just wandered around the vendor area and people watched.  There were some very impressive costumes!  We saw our friend Anthony over there, too!  He works for the library and was doing AV stuff for some of the panels.  I think I kind of scared him when I jumped on him with a violent hug from behind. (Pomegranate Banzai, Hug Ninja!)  I'm glad he isn't trained in martial arts.  He might have killed me.  We didn't stay long, but we had a great time!  

Tuesday, October 13, 2015


You guys know how bad I am about getting songs stuck in my head, right? 

Well, songs are not the only thing that get stuck in there.

Lately, I've had this memory that keeps popping up and  playing on a loop in my brain and I have no idea why.  I literally hadn't thought about this particular thing in years and years, and I certainly haven't held a grudge, so I'm not sure why I've been thinking about it.  Maybe if I tell other people about it, it'll go away.  It's worth a shot!

When I was in the 4th grade, I had just moved to a new school and I didn't have many friends. My sister and I rode the bus to school, and there was a girl from my class on our bus route.  She never talked to me, at all.  I'm sure I thought it was because she was a snob. I honestly don't remember.  Anyway, one day she got on the bus and sat next to me and started talking as if we were besties.  I was thrilled, of course, because I was 9 and lonely, and who doesn't want friends, right?  When we walked into school, it was raining, so we shared my umbrella and I thought I'd made a new friend!

The next day, when she got on the bus, she sat somewhere else, so I moved up and sat down with her.  She didn't say anything, but she got up and moved to another seat.  Since I was then, like I am now, apparently slow to get a hint, I moved over and sat down next to her again.  She moved again.  I didn't move again, but it slowly dawned on me that she had only been nice to me the day before because it was raining and she wanted to share my umbrella!  That heifer!

That was the day I learned that people will use you for whatever they want, and when you no longer serve that purpose, they'll just drop you.

Yeah, a sucky memory, but I don't know why it keeps popping into my head.  Is it a subconscious reminder that people can suck?  I have no idea!  Maybe I'm supposed to warn myself (or maybe you, I don't know how this works) not to use people and then ignore them! Or maybe it's a reminder to us all about umbrellas.

So, don't be a sucky person and always carry an umbrella!

Monday, October 12, 2015


1) Ugh.  This sucks.  Less than a week ago, one of my friends* posted to Facebook that his daughter, who is only 19 months old, has Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia.

You know, hearing something like that is just a punch right in your gut.  There is literally nothing you can do that will make it better for them.  I mean, there are things you can DO, of course, like donate money, pray and etc. and I'm willing to do those things, but they don't feel like enough.  There is nothing that you can do to take away their fear and sadness, or to make their daughter less sick.  It's a very helpless, awful feeling, and I know it isn't even a fraction of what they're going through.  To my knowledge, this is the first time I've personally ever known someone going through this with one of their kids.

From all reports, the little girl is doing well with her treatments, and her doctors say that there is very little chance she will need a bone marrow transplant, which is amazing news.  She's just so tiny and she's going through such a hard thing.  It breaks my heart for them.  So, if you have an extra prayer lying around, please send it up for this little girl and her family.

Now, if you will pardon my language: Fuck Cancer.

*I say this guy is my friend, but I guess I consider him more like part of my family.  He and I dated for a long time when we were in high school, and his father was my agribusiness teacher.  I always felt very close to the whole family, even after he and I broke up.  I've never met his wife or kids, but since they are an extension of his family, I care about them too.

2) Of course, if you if you'd like to do something, not just for this family, but for any family that might be going through something like this, you can register to become a bone marrow donor here: Delete Blood Cancer.  You can order your kit and I swear, all you have to do is swab your inner cheek with a q-tip thing and mail them back.  Also, in case you are a big weenie like I am, I checked, and if you get a call to donate your bone marrow, they say it's not so bad.  Of course, you might be saving someone's life, so it could be worth a little pain, right?

3) OK, enough about sad stuff.  Now I'm going to tell you something weird that I discovered while on vacation that I forgot to write about in my other entries.  Seriously, it's a little weird.  Don't judge me.

At the very edge of the surf, just under the surface of the sand, there are thousands of these little bivalves called coquina, although some people call them diggers.

You would usually just see the shells on the beach, sometimes just one half of the thing, but if the shells are still attached, they look like butterflies.  That's not really important, just interesting!

If you dig in the wet sand after a wave has just receded, you can uncover literally hundreds of live coquina at a time.  If you watch them, they will all turn on their edge and begin digging their way back underneath the surface until they disappear.  It's actually really interesting to watch, if you've never seen it before.  One day while I was walking on the beach, I stopped to stand in the waves, and I started digging my feet down beneath the sand.  I didn't realize so many of the little things were down there at the time, so I was surprised when I uncovered them and saw them moving.  I was kind of fascinated when I realized they were digging back underneath the sand, so I stood still and watched them go.  My feet were still buried in the sand, and when they dug down far enough to reach them (my feet,) I felt them trying to dig through me.  For all the world, it felt like a million little tongues licking my feet.  It was gross and funny all at the same time.  Of course, I made everyone else do it too.  I'm not a big fan of anything bothering my feet, but if you ever get a chance to do this, please do! 

4)  I had a bad day on Tuesday.  Not a truly terrible day, as I have had much, much worse, but it was a bad day all the same.  By the time work was over, I was feeling so uptight that I needed to do something, anything, that wasn't a part of my usual routine so that I could reboot.  That might not make much sense to some of you, but I think it'll make perfect sense to others.  I had to go to Target and pick up a prescription, so on my way there I saw a Sally's Beauty supply store and went in.  I decided I'd just dye my hair.  I went straight towards the Manic Panic section, because I didn't want to be sensible.  I really, honestly, almost bought turquoise dye, dress code rules at my job be damned, but I didn't. I was having a bad day, not a midlife crisis.  I figured that I'd just buy red and see how that went, so I grabbed Infra Red.  I figured it was dark enough that it wouldn't be too obvious, but it was unnatural enough to satisfy whatever weirdness I was feeling at that moment.  Plus, it wasn't permanent, so if I regretted it, I wouldn't have to regret it for months!

Boy, I don't sound very rebellious when I lay it all out like that, but I don't care.  I just wanted to make myself a little different!

You're supposed to bleach your hair almost white before putting this stuff in, but I wasn't going to do that. I knew I'd probably burn all my hair off if I did, plus, I'd look terrible as a pinky-blonde once the dye came out!  So I did my other errands and came home to do this thing.

The dye was the consistency and color of coagulated blood, and you are supposed to try to keep it off of your skin and scalp, because it will stain you.  I put some Vaseline around my hairline and ears, but it was impossible to keep it off of my scalp, and my arms, and my face and my bathroom.  It got everywhere!  I probably didn't need to put the entire container on my head, but I did.  I didn't even use the brush I bought to do it with!  Then I had to wrap my head in plastic and leave it for a couple of hours.  I was very attractive. I had a Piggly Wiggly bag wrapped around my hair and then had to wrap my whole head with Saran Wrap.  When the time was up, I went in to wash it out.

By the time I was done, my bathroom looked like an abattoir.  If the dye looked like coagulated blood in the container, it looked like fresh blood as I washed it out.  I need to reiterate: It. Got. Everywhere.  I kept rinsing my hair, and it kept coming out!  I ruined two perfectly good towels!  It stained the tub a little, too.  However, once I got it out and dried my hair, I loved it!  You can't really tell much of a difference unless you see me in bright light, but it's a dark cherry color. They also weren't kidding about it being temporary!  Every time I wash my hair, it looks like weak Kool-Aid washing down the drain, my current pillowcase will never be the same, and when I went to the gym, the color started melting onto the white gym towel!  Oops.  :)

Anyway, I felt much better after I saw my hair, and the day was over.  It'll eventually fade out, so no harm, no foul.  The only thing that will stick around will probably be my gray hair that got dyed.  Right now, all of them are a bright Ronald McDonald red!  That will probably look weird when the rest of my hair is brown again.

Next time, maybe I'll do the turquoise.  It'll depend on how bad my day is! :)

Thursday, October 08, 2015


September 26, 2015 - I didn't get to go out and say goodbye to the beach today. :(

We spent most of the morning cleaning and packing things away, just to make sure that we wouldn't get charged for leaving anything behind.  Apparently, you get charged, like, $100 for leaving anything in the refrigerator.  I don't know. At any rate, we got all of our stuff out and got packed up in short order!  I got to sit out on the back porch with Uncle Garry one last time and stare at the water before we had to leave, which was nice. I really am going to miss this place.

After saying our goodbyes and heading on our way, Steve and I decided to drive to Panama City to have a little adventure.  We didn't really go anyplace together during the week, so we thought we'd see what there was to see out that way.  We saw that we were next to not just one, but two Air Force bases!  Two bases, and I never saw one cute soldier!  I think someone called ahead and warned them about me.

Once we got past the bases, things got kind of cluttered and seedy.  I'm not 100% sure where all we drove through, but we got to Panama City after about an hour or so.  I've been to Panama City a few times, but this was the first time that I have noticed how gross and tourist-trappy it really is.  The hotels kind of loom over you, and everyone is walking in the street, and there are cheesy shops every three feet or so, it seemed.  Don't get me wrong, I remember enjoying my trips to PCB a great deal, but after the week in a fairly quiet and, residential I guess you'd call it, beach town, it was all too much for me.  I had the distinct feeling that bad judgement happens there a lot. 

I told you I was spoiled now! 

We stopped and ate lunch at Sharky's.  We'd eaten there before, on a trip we took there in  2002, and have a framed picture of us sitting outside under one of the umbrellas.  It would have been nice to have had another picture made to compare it to, but we ate inside. We were the only people sitting inside, actually,  but as sunburned as we were, we couldn't stand the thought of eating outdoors. Too much sunshine, thanks! 

I managed to send a few emails as we headed out of town, and I got some really weird advice on how to take care of a sunburn. Oh, well, I'm willing to try anything at this point.  As we drove out of town, I spotted a World Market, which I made Steve stop at (of course.)  We shopped there for a few minutes before heading home.

I was kind of dozing off and on while we headed out of town, so I don't know how we got back into Alabama, exactly.  Steve wanted to kind of stair-step our way through the panhandle to get to 65, and so we drove through some really small, and sometimes a little creepy, towns.  I did find a place I'd like to see again.  It was called Florala, which I'd never heard of before.  It was very cute and had the same "stopped in time" vibe about it that Port St. Joe had.  I'll go back one of these days and visit the state park there, if I can.  If nothing else, I'd like to take pictures! 

We finally (seriously, finally) got to 65 and headed north, and I noticed that the closer to home we got, the more stuffy my nose got.  If anyone knows what grows north of Birmingham that doesn't grow below Birmingham, I'd love to find out because that has to be whatever I'm allergic to outside.  I'm guessing it's some kind of mutant pine trees or something.  Oy.  We made it home at around 7:00, give or take, and even though I'm going to miss being able to walk on the beach whenever I like, I am glad to be home. 

Back to reality.

Wednesday, October 07, 2015


September 25, 2015 - Guess what I did this morning?  If you guessed that I woke up before daylight to go see the sunrise again, you win a cookie! Yay!  Since this would be our last full day in Cape San Blas, Aunt Brenda, Amy and I decided to go out one last time.  I'm glad we did!  The horizon wasn't nearly as cloudy as it had been, so we got to see a proper sunrise, like the one I saw on my own that first day.  Again, we walked way too far, but we had a good time.  Aunt Brenda always brings a big zip-lock bag with us so we can collect shells, or whatever we find, and we came back with a lot this time! One thing we've been finding on this beach are whole quahog shells, which aren't that pretty, but it's neat to see them all in one piece.  There are also HUGE ark shells, but none of them are whole.  Aunt Brenda wanted some big shells to put out on her porch (I think) so we've been grabbing the biggest ones we can find, whole or not.  It doesn't really matter if they're whole, I don't think.  Seashells are a reminder that you can find beauty even in the broken things. 

Once we got back and had breakfast, I only had a little bit of time to myself before we had to go into complete clean-up mode on the house.  Technically, the house is someone's home, or at least it will be once they retire. I guess it's like Air B&B?  I dunno, but we didn't want to leave it looking like it had been inhabited by animals for a week. I decided to spend my last little bit of time walking on the beach again.  I swear, I've walked miles and miles this week, and I've enjoyed it!  On my way back out, I grabbed a can of sunblock (not mine, unfortunately) and sprayed my face really well, since I got so sunburned on Wednesday and didn't want it to get worse. This time the bitey flies were back on the beach and I couldn't enjoy my walk because they were after me! I think they literally followed me the whole time I was out there, so I didn't get stay out for very long. Stupid flies.

I came back inside to take a shower, and noticed that the sunblock I used on my face caused an ugly allergic reaction.  I mean, U-G-L-Y I don't have no alibi kind of reaction.  Every inch of my face was covered in a bright red, bumpy, gross rash. It looked like I'd had a puberty redo.  Oy.  Because a lot of that stuff had been cleared away by the time I'd come back inside, I couldn't even find the bottle I'd used to see what could be causing the rash.  BOO.  : ( 

The rest of the day was spent clearing out the fridge, washing clothes, cleaning up the house, and watching old TV shows and, weirdly, the marathon of Friday the 13th movies.  I also played ping pong with Steve, and it served as a reminder of how bad I actually am at ping pong.  I still might be better than Steve, though! 

It wasn't as relaxing or fun as the beginning of the week, but we still had fun being together.

I'm sad that we'll be leaving tomorrow. I really will miss this place.  I like it here.

Tuesday, October 06, 2015


September 24, 2015 - Believe it or not, I did not wake up to watch the sunrise this morning!  Since everyone else wanted to sleep in, I slept in too.  It was glorious!

I actually didn't sleep in too late, because all the ladies were going shopping today.  You know, because bitches be shoppin' and everything, right?  Heehee!  I was kind of glad to get out of the house and look around a bit, so we loaded up in Kristin's mom-mobile and headed over to Apalachicola.  I'd heard about Apalachicola, but I'd never been there.  There was a lot of absolutely nothing in between Port St. Joe and Apalachicola, but really, they are only about 25 miles apart.  I think. I don't know for certain, because I kind of zoned out during the drive.

The town itself was a lot smaller than I thought it would be, but it was cute.  We drove around a bit to see if there were any shops that caught our eyes.  We stopped outside of a place called Oyster Bones, which was a shop that specialized in pet stuff.  I had to reassure everyone that I wouldn't burst into tears by going inside and seeing dog stuff, and luckily, I didn't!   We walked next door to another, more normal souvenir shop and looked around a bit, but we ended up leaving Apalachicola (that name is torture to type out when you aren't familiar with it, BTW) so that we could drive into Port St. Joe and see if they had any souvenir's with the name of the town on them.  Port St. Joe doesn't look at all like a touristy town, which I'm fairly certain I've mentioned before.  It's more like going to any small town that hasn't been upgraded since 1945 and walking around their courthouse square.  Please, don't take that as an insult to the place because I actually really liked the whole small-town vibe of it.  A lot of the stores were closed for whatever reason, and a lot of them were dedicated to selling things that people would use to decorate beach houses/rentals instead of souvenirs.  I never even found a snow-globe!  There was this amazing, old movie theater that looked as if it had been abandoned for 70 years.  I got a picture of the sign, but not of the interior.  The inside was pulled apart and all of the old seats and film equipment were scattered around.  It would have been fun to explore, but I'm pretty sure you'd get tetanus just walking around inside. We ended our exploration by stopping by the local book shop/coffee place.  I found a regional cookbook (albeit from 2011) and a book of regional ghost stories to add to my collection.  Then we headed back to the house, because we all had to get ready to go dinner together again that night before having our group picture taken. 

We were told to wear black and khaki, because that would look best against the sand of the beach.  I wore my comfy black dress and hoped my legs would look khaki enough to suffice for the rest, so I didn't exactly follow orders, but no one seemed to mind.  Aunt Brenda had been wracking her brain all day to try and pick a restaurant to go to dinner in (It was her treat, so it was her choice!) and we ended up going to Triple Tails, which isn't a strip club even though it sounds like one!  It had great food and a very nice, and patient, wait staff.  You should go there, if you're ever in the neighborhood!

By the time we'd all finished eating, the sun was going down and it was starting to rain, so going all the way back to the beach by the house wasn't going to work, so we drove down to the marina at Port St. Joe and took our pictures out there.  We were all so cute in our matching outfits. The sunset was really beautiful, and our pictures turned out very well! At least, they looked good on the screen of the camera, so I'm going to assume they'll also look good when they're bigger. (I'll post some pictures when I get my hands on them. I'll also post pictures from my phone once I get home and can upload everything. Not having reliable internet kind of sucks!) 

Steve and I made a run to the local CVS for something to put on our fly bites.  They hurt when they bite, but they also start to itch like fire after a few days.  I hate bitey flies!  I HATE THEM SO MUCH!  I also bought a bottle of Drano while we were in there, because I'm tired of our tub not draining for an hour. I hope it doesn't screw up their pipes or sewer system or whatever they have out here, but other than that, I don't care a bit.  

Once we got back to the house, we sat around a talked for a while until bedtime.  It was a nice day. 

My sunburn hurts and itches.  It itches more than it hurts, but it hurts to scratch!  Woe woe woe.  :)

Monday, October 05, 2015


September 23, 2015 – I woke up, again, early in the morning to catch the sunrise.  It turned out that Amy had wanted to go with us yesterday morning, but no one had woken her up!  Oops!  We decided to go again this morning so she could see it.  She, Aunt Brenda, and I walked out to the beach and started walking, talking, and picking up shells.  We had a really good time!  Again, we lost track of time, and wound up walking way, way down the beach. The sunrise was cloudy, but still very beautiful!  This beach is very dog friendly, and almost every day we have seen someone walking a dog.  Today we saw an adorable English Bulldog carrying his very special stick.  I wanted to pet him, but his human looked very grumpy, so we just said hello to him (the dog, not the human) and walked on.  We finally had to turn around and go back when we realized we couldn’t even see where our house was anymore!
When we got back, we had breakfast and I decided to change into my swimsuit.  I know, I know, but there are different rules about swimsuits when I’m at the beach!  I decided to do more beach combing (shut up) but I also wanted to sit and chill out for a while if I wanted to, so this time I took a chair.

I actually never sat in the chair, to be honest. I walked for a while, and then I got into the water with everyone else!  The waves were bigger today than they’d been so far because there had been a storm the night before, so we had a lot of fun jumping around in the gulf.  Steve carried me out into the deeper water and held on to me because I was too short to touch the bottom, which was funny.  I’m way to heavy for him to carry on land, but he could just stick me under his arm and carry me out whenever the tide pushed us towards the shore!  We don’t normally touch each other very much in public, so it felt a little weird to be carried around, but I enjoyed it!  Everyone was out at the beach at the same time this time, and we had no plans to go anywhere, so we stayed out there for several hours.  Unfortunately, because we stayed out so long, I got very sunburned.  I was, of course, lily white from not going outside into the heat and humidity of the North Alabama summer any more than necessary, so before going out to the beach, I promise I put on sunblock.  I do not relish the idea of looking like a leather handbag when I’m in my 40’s nor do I want to get skin cancer.  I even got out of the water to reapply the sunblock, but I think I must have been standing in the wrong place when I applied the spray and the wind blew it away from my skin instead of letting it get on it.  I don’t know, but I do know I am burned.  Ouchie.  Taking a shower after going back inside suuuuuuucked. We have a great deal of water pressure. 

I had put a Boston Butt in the crock-pot earlier in the day, and by the time Steve and I got back inside it was ready to eat, so we had lunch.  It was good, if I do say so myself, but it largely went to waste. I only found that out later. Apparently my skills as a chef are well known, but I promise, you can’t really go wrong making most things in a crock-pot.  Oh well, what can you do?    Everyone else stayed out at the beach a lot longer than we did, so Steve and I watched TV, read and took naps.  That is one of the most wonderful things about going on vacation.  Being able to take a nap or just hang out whenever you like. 

By the time everyone came back inside, it was getting late, Steve and I thought of something we needed from “The Pig” (or maybe it was just an excuse to get out of the house for a bit. Little bit of column a, little bit of column b) and so we drove back to Port St. Joe to run that errand.  Things close early around here, but we managed to get what we needed before they locked us inside!

When we got back, Greg and his two older kids were there, so we sat around and talked for a while.  After my very long day of swimming and sunburning, I was exhausted, so I got ready for bed while everyone else was still up.   

Y’all, I’m so burned. 

Saturday, October 03, 2015


September 22, 2015 – I woke up at the butt crack of morning again to make sure I didn’t miss the sunrise. Aunt Brenda, Jon and I had plans to go see it and I promised I’d be awake this time. I was surprised Jon wanted to come along, because I didn’t think he was a sunrise kind of guy! Aunt Brenda and I were up first, and because my timing was way off on what time the sunrise would be (I’m telling you, we must literally be on the time zone line in this house) we sat outside and looked at the stars. It’s amazing how clear they are around here. This is the first time I’ve ever stayed at the beach when there weren’t a million hotels crowded around, and I love it. There are nothing but houses and cottages on Cape San Blas, at least as far as I can see. I might be completely spoiled for beach vacations from now on. The sky was clear, so I could see the milky way, and I also saw satellites moving around. It was really awesome. Jon came downstairs closer to the time of the sunrise, and we made our way to the beach. It was cloudy, so we couldn’t see the sunrise the same way I did the first day, but it was still beautiful! We actually walked a different direction than I had the other day. Not very far away was a wooden gate that blocked off a section of beach that didn’t have any houses on it. Turns out, we were right next door to an Air Force base! That explained the “Not Thunder” we heard the day before. It also explained the jets flying over. Woo-Hoo! Fly Boys! The beach beyond – which led to the sticky-out-bit of land I was obsessed with, was a wildlife preserve, and the gate would open at 9:00, so I knew it wasn’t restricted space. Yay! We didn’t stay out long, because Jon is getting over an illness and has a tiny bit of trouble walking long distances. We hadn’t been back for very long before I decided that I was just going to walk down that stretch of beach to the sticky-out-bit that I wanted to see. It didn’t seem that far away, and I knew the lack of people walking on it would mean that the shells wouldn’t have been picked over just yet, so when 9:00 had come and gone, I grabbed my bucket and left. I promise you, I told people where I was going, but apparently no one listened. 

I set off and walked for a long-ass time. I walked slowly, to be sure, only because I was looking for shells, but I think that every time I looked up to see how close I was to the jetty, it looked just as far away as it had when I started out. I did find some amazing, and very fragile, shells that I’ve never seen outside of a shell shop (they weren’t whole, but I still got them) and I came across a crane that was almost as tall as I was, and had feet every bit the same size as my own (not that that is saying much, but still, giant for bird feet!) but the jetty still never got any closer! I was very tired, and I didn’t want to keep walking, but by this point, I was on a mission. I knew everyone would laugh if I didn’t at least get to the end of the thing, so I kept on going. Trucks passed me on the way to the end, and it turns out that the people I saw walking around out there were shore fishermen. I kept on walking, and I swear to you, I was only about 200 yards away from my goal, and my lungs locked up on me. It wasn’t the worst asthma attack I’ve ever had, but because I was far away from where I kept my inhaler, it was bad enough. Of course, not being able to breathe is the perfect reason for me to panic, so I never made it to the point. So close to my goal, and I couldn’t make it. Story of my life, I guess. I wound up almost passing out somewhere about halfway back. I couldn’t breathe and I was dehydrated from the heat and long walk, but I wouldn’t let myself go down. When I’d get dizzy, I’d just walk into the surf and the cold water on my feet kept me awake. I had no idea how long I was gone, because my watch was in the bedroom, still drying off from its swim, but it had to have been at least a couple of hours. I kept expecting to see someone I knew coming to look for me to make sure I was OK. No one came, though. I made it back, hot, sweaty, sandy, weighted down by my bucket of shells and exhausted. I didn’t think anyone was home, but it turned out at least a couple of people were there. No one had even realized I’d gone out towards the sticky-out-bit of land! I could have died out there and been eaten by fish and giant birds and no one would have even realized it! Oh well.

I cleaned up and re-hydrated, and spent the afternoon resting. I still have no idea how long I was gone, but it was a long, long time.

We’d all decided to go to dinner together tonight at a place called Dockside (Come to the Dockside…we have scallops.) It was a very casual place, right on the cape in Port St. Joe. The fishing boats pull up right outside, so the seafood was very fresh. It got a little chaotic with our party inside, because there were 13 of us, and the wait staff had just been pared down to off-season size, so I felt a little sorry for our waitress. She did well, though. I actually ordered scallops, which I’d never had before. They were pretty good! We sat and talked for a while, but the kids were getting restless and a little wild, so we left.

When we got back to the house, we sat on the screened in porch and talked for a while, but I got sleepy and headed to bed. I really love it here. I think I’d be a very different person if I lived out here. Different could be better. If nothing else, I’d be in better shape and go outside more. Outside is great, when it isn’t as hot and humid as it is at home.

It’s only Tuesday, but I already know I’ll miss the beach when I have to go home.

Friday, October 02, 2015


September 20, 2015 – I sneaked out of the house this morning. Literally. I woke up at an ungodly hour and couldn’t go back to sleep, so I grabbed my shoes and tried to figure out how to get to the beach. I say “tried to figure it out” because I didn’t know where the exit to our boardwalk was.  I did not get it right on the first try!  The house where we are staying is set kind of far back from the beach, and there is a long, private boardwalk through the dunes before you reach sand.  I got to the beach just as the sun was rising!  It was really beautiful!  I actually walked around for quite a while, picking up shells, and I saw dolphins!  I wasn’t expecting that!  I just jumped up and down and said “OOOOOH! DOLPHINS, DOLPHINS, DOLPHINS! ” I’m sure the other people on the beach thought it was nice that someone would bring the mentally challenged lady on such a nice trip. 
I stayed out there until I started getting bitten by these mean, black flies, then I headed back to the
Most people were up when I got back, so we had breakfast and sat around for a while, talking. We haven’t made a schedule for anything while we are here, so we’re just sort of flying by the seat of our pants for a while.  I’m ok with it!  I have a feeling my main occupation will be beach-combing anyway, because I am obsessed with the shells and stuff I keep finding.   
I went to the beach for a while with Aunt Brenda and Amy, but it was so hot and still that we didn’t stay long.  Once we came back, we got cleaned up, and Steve and I made a grocery run for Aunt Brenda and to help stock the cabinets/fridge.  There is only one grocery store close by, and that is a Piggly Wiggly.  Brenda has just taken to calling it “The Pig.”  It’s all very fancy, haha!  I even got myself a green bucket so I can carry my shells from the beach like a civilized person, and not have to carry a solo cup.   
After delivering the groceries, Steve and I went back out to Port St. Joe to get lunch.  We found a place that was so small and cramped that we weren’t sure it was actually a restaurant, but it was and we had some pretty good food!  I can’t for the life of me remember what the name of the place was, but it had the name Shipyard in it.  Port St. Joe doesn't seem like a beach town, but I like it.  It's very small, and it isn't really touristy at all, which I'm digging more than I thought I would.
I accompanied Aunt Brenda and Uncle Garry back down to the beach when Steve and I got back to the house, and we stayed down there until almost sundown. The flies seemed to be gone, which was a relief.  Those little hastareds hurt when they bite!  Greg and his kids came down while we were there and I got to talk to him a bit, which was nice.  He's good people.  I got in the pool with Steve when I came back to the house.  Unfortunately, I accidentally jumped in with my watch on!  Oops. I liked that watch. :( Steve thought it was great fun to squirt me in the face with a giant water gun, which I did not enjoy.  We didn't swim for long, however, because the setting sun made the water so cold. 

We ended our day sitting around talking and eating cake.  It was a great day!

Thursday, October 01, 2015


SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 19, 2015 – Today we set off for Port St. Joe, Florida to stay for a week with Steve’s Aunt, Uncle, cousins and their younglings.  This was a vacation that all of them had wanted to take for years, but knowing how way leads on to way, it had never happened.  Finally, Amy took the initiative to actually make a plan, and it all finally came together!  We didn’t all get to stay together like we’d hoped, though.  We rented a big house (this one if you’re interested) and are staying here with Aunt Brenda, Uncle Garry, Amy, John, and their kids Kate and Sean.  Greg and his family weren’t sure they’d be able to go until after we’d already made the reservation, but they managed to get a cottage about two or three miles away, but they are supposed to be hanging out with us most of the time that we’re here!
Today was a travel day, and it was the travelingest day I’ve had in a long time.  We started out at 6:00 this morning, and I requested that we not stop for breakfast right away.  That turned out to be a dumb thing to do, but more on that later.  Steve told me he was going to be making a couple of stops, one of which was a surprise!  I like surprises!  He just told me not to ask any questions.  We drove, and drove and drove, and drove. Once we got into Georgia, he told me not to get too excited about the surprise, because it was no big deal. In fact, he said it wasn’t really even a surprise, but he still didn’t tell me where we were going.  Were we not married, I probably might have begun to fear for my safety!  I’m not even sure where we were, but I knew we were somewhere around Atlanta, and I suddenly realized where we were going.  Steve’s grandparents had lived somewhere outside Atlanta, and since they died a long time ago, I realized he wanted to visit their grave.  I don’t know why he wouldn’t just tell me, because I was glad to go with him to do that, but maybe he thought I would try and talk him out of it.  I have no idea.
We arrived at the cemetery, and since he hadn’t been there since he was a little boy, we had to follow his memory of where the grave was.  We couldn’t find it.  We looked around for a while before we saw the funeral home on the edge of the property and we decided to go in and ask.  Unfortunately, we were there at the same time that a funeral was getting ready to start, so I rolled up into that place wearing a bright yellow shirt with a picture of Chewbacca on it and a pair of jeans.  Steve was in shorts.  I felt so gauche!  The worker there was able to find the grave and led us out to it.  We’d actually passed right by it!  So, we visited.  I introduced myself. It was nice. 
Once we left there, we had to stop and get some provisions for the trip. We were hungry by then and were going to run through a drive through on the way out, but everything was so crowded that we thought we’d just find an exit down the road and go there.  The problem was, wherever we were, there was nothing.  NOTHING.  We were getting hangry, so we just took a random exit and hoped to find something.  We did find a gas station which had a really creepy vibe to it.  It was the only thing around, and there were a bunch of people parked around it with kids running around.  That doesn’t sound creepy, but you’d have to have been there.  It felt like one of those places you’d see in a movie where travelers get stopped in a place, get chased through the woods and wind up getting eaten by the townspeople.  We were inside for just a couple of minutes before the rest of the people poured inside all at once.  We just left without buying anything.  It was weird.
We did find out that Columbus, Georgia was probably the closest place to where we would be that would have a place with a drive through, so we headed there! It took a while, but we finally found the exit.  I don’t usually eat at McDonald’s, but it was manna from heaven today. Thank you, Columbus! I’m sure you have many wonderful qualities, but today I’m most impressed by your fast food restaurants!
After that we drove some more.  It felt like we’d been on the road for 12 days.  It was only supposed to take us about 7 1/2 hours to get to our destination, but time just seemed to stretch on and on.  Our GPS told us to take an alternate route though some towns I’d never heard of.  In fact, not only had we never heard of them, but neither had my phone.  I tried to keep up with locations with the phone, but except for just a few places, location designations just stayed blank.  We went down two lane roads through cow fields, but the GPS continued to insist that we were on the fastest route.   I think we actually may have driven through Canada at some point, but we finally (FINALLY) made it to the house. We were so tired!  Thankfully, there were no plans for that night, so we just visited until it was time for bed.  The house is great, and we have a whole week to have adventures!  This should be fun!