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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

What's in a Name?

Do you have a nickname?  Do you use them for other people?  I love nicknames and endearments.

When I was young, I was tall and skinny.  Thus my nickname in our family was "Legs".  I was also called "Pumpkin", which I hated.  Nothing much made me madder.  I had a cousin I spent a lot of time with and we usually got along, but when we didn't--watch out!  She called me "Little Orphan Annie", due to my living with my aunt and uncle.  But she stopped when I'd call her "Two Ton Annie"--she always carried a little extra weight.

While I don't mind shortened versions of most names, I have never liked being called "Bev".  Only a handful of people have gotten away with it.  I won't always correct those who use it, but enough people know now that they will correct the culprits who try.  Sometimes, I will say "erly" when they just say "Bev".  They'll look at me funny and ask "what?"  I'll say "my name is Beverly".  Is that rude?  Oh, well.  My daughter Holly now calls me "early" and for a while I thought maybe her kids would pick it up.  But they call me Beeba.  Her oldest son couldn't say "grandma" and somehow it came out Beeba.  I like it.

I've called my children by several nicknames.  Don't know where most of them came from.  Like "fart blossom".  We called Shana "butter"--short for butterball.  I call most of the grandkids "Doo" or "Doo Bug"--short for doodlebug.  Clayton was "tank" when he was little because of the way he was built.  Sugar Bear, Shortcake, Lollipop, Buddy, Holly Molly Mechelle, Shana Banana, Claybee, Lissy Loo, Miss Ma'am.  The list goes on and on.

A couple of my adult children still call me mommy.  I love that.  To me, it signifies a closer relationship.

Darrell's mom calls him George for some reason, so I've picked that up.  Once I called him that at church and a new friend said "I thought your husband's name was Darrell".  If I'd been quick enough, I would have said "oops, did I call him George again?  That was my first husband's name!"  I also call him by his middle name a lot, which led Shana to call him Bruce Daddy when she was about 2.  That got us some interesting looks.  There's only been one thing I've called him that he didn't like and he let me know it real quick.  I thought it was cute, but he evidently didn't!

Darrell calls me by several endearments--I joke that it's because he doesn't always remember my name and calls me honey to keep out of trouble.  He still calls me baby and I hope he never gets too old to do that.  If I'm being a little anal about something, he'll call me by a relative's name that lets me know I'm getting a little carried away (because that person is very OCD).

So, what little names are you known by?  Or use?  Inquiring minds want to know.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

I Remember....

For some reason, I've been thinking a lot lately about the early years of my marriage.  Remembering some of the little things--funny things--stuff I did that I never dreamed I'd do.  Not anything wild--get your minds out of the gutter.  Just things you don't think of when you're a young girl imagining your grown up life.

When Darrell and I first got married, he was in the army and stationed at Ft. Knox.  I was a senior in high school.  During the week, he was in Kentucky and I lived at home with my parents.  I slept in my old room and rode the bus to school.  On the weekends, Darrell would come home and we'd live at his folks.  We slept on a fold-out couch in their living room.  Newlyweds--sleeping on a sofa bed--in a room with no doors that locked.  Yeah, good times.

A couple of months after we married, Uncle Sam sent us to Italy for three years.  We lived in a hotel for six weeks, until we could get government housing.  Newlyweds in a hotel room--twin beds--communal bathroom down the hall.  Every night we moved the nightstand and pushed the beds together.  Every morning the maid pushed the beds apart and replaced the nightstand.  We did have a bidet (which can double as a toilet in the middle of the night--but only for #1), a sink, and a small balcony.  To save money, we bought a cooler and kept sandwich stuff and milk.  We'd eat cereal for breakfast and sandwiches for dinner.  Lunch was eaten on post.  We had a small radio and would sit out on our little balcony reading or doing needle punch, listening to Paul Harvey.  We were about three miles from post and would usually walk there.  Or ride the bikes we eventually bought.  Before long, we got a little Fiat--can't remember the price, but I think it was either $75 or $150.  I'm sure it was no more than $150.

Our first apartment was above an attached garage in a villa downtown.  I called it "the afterthought".  I really think it was originally an attic or storage.  The stairs leading up to it were so narrow, the army wouldn't give us a sofa.  They couldn't get it up there.  The fridge barely fit and caused a lot of grief, but was a necessity.  For about six months, we lived with two living room chairs and a bean bag chair we'd brought with us.  We had no tub, only a shower--and no shower curtain.  The whole bathroom got wet whenever one of us took a shower.  That was quickly remedied with a suspension rod!  We were finally able to get into an army owned apartment building.  Marble floors, a yard, and a laundry room.  It was heaven at the time.

this picture was taken the summer of 1977
you can see our apartment on the left--that's the french door off the kitchen

The movie theater on post showed a movie at 7 and 9.  On Friday and Saturday nights, they'd show a different movie at 11.  Many times we'd go to the 7pm show, go eat dinner, then come back for the 11pm movie.

Darrell's mother came to visit us and the two of them were able to take a train to Rome--about 8 hrs away.  I couldn't get off work and I couldn't drive our stick shift car.  So I took on the philosophy of "when in Rome..."  Little old ladies ride their bikes everywhere, wearing dresses no less.  And holding umbrellas when it rains.  That takes some coordination, of which I apparently have none.  While Darrell was gone, I rode my bike to work.  It was raining, so I grabbed my umbrella.  I'm here to tell you--riding a bike while holding an umbrella is no easy feat.  I arrived at my job looking like a drowned rat.  And I had to stay like that all day.  From then on, I carry all my makeup with me all the time.  Cuz you never know!

When we visited Italy in April, we went back to Vicenza and the army post.  A friend of ours is stationed there and was able to get us on post.  And we found where we used to live--it's no longer government owned.  Driving those streets brought back so many memories.  Of course, it's changed a lot, but it was where I feel like I truly became a wife and an adult.  I can't help but smile whenever I think of that beautiful place.
this was taken on our trip last April
our apartment is the one with the awning--that's the same door as in the other picture

Monday, July 26, 2010

Do You Dollar Tree?

It's probably already known, but just in case there's one person out there who doesn't know yet--I love a bargain.  I love thrifting and yard saleing and flea marketing.  I love clearance racks and BOGOs.  I love the thrill of the hunt.   Apparently, I don't have the gene that allows me to pay full retail price.  It just kills me!

Unless it's the Dollar Tree.  That place is brimming with possibilities!  Sure, a lot of it is junk.  But if you have an imagination and an ounce of creativity, the sky's the limit.  Have you visited Dollar Store Crafts?  Do it.  Do it now.  Well, after you finish up here--and leave me a comment. ;-)

I have found some awesome books at Dollar Tree.  The one I'm reading now is intriguingly called "1000 Ways to Be a Slightly Better Woman".  I love it!  It's full of lists of easy--and maybe not so easy--things you can do today.  Over the next few weeks, I'll be sharing some of them with you, so be sure to check back.  Here's the first:

9 Habits Worth Forming:
1.  Flossing
2.  Getting to the gym on a regular schedule.
3.  Scheduling your next teeth cleaning, Pap smear, and mammogram as soon as you complete your last one.
4.  Clearing the kitchen counters before you go to bed.
5.  Making up before you go to sleep.
6.  Eating only one cookie.
7.  Taking the stairs in stead of the elevator.
8.  Saying thank you.
9.  Writing all your dates on one calendar.

Let me know how you do on #6, because that's one I don't think I'll ever be able to accomplish!

And I have to admit that at first glance I thought #5 meant to put on make up before bed. ;-)

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Thrifty Finds

Not a lot to show for yesterday's thrifting, but what I got was worth the trip!

First up are the goodies I got at a new thrift store.  Sorry for the poor quality pics--I was too excited to move everything for better lighting.

these purty green shoes--made in Italy no less--$4.99

these darling beaded sandals w/ kitten heel--also $4.99

two skirts--$2.99 & 75% off--that's 75 cents, folks!
the polka dotted one is Pierre Cardin

cute little dish at $1.99--about the size of a saucer

Hubby and I went yard saleing (saling?--how DO you spell that anyway!?) in the morning.  Only hit a few, but lucked out at a couple.  He got a nice step ladder and seed spreader and the lady threw in these 3 pizza paddles for free.  New, still in packaging.

but the piece de resistance (insert French accent here) is this:

I've been wanting a new Total Gym for some time and finally my patience (of which I have little) was paid off!  This thing has hardly been used and was actually in the box at the sale--with a price tag of $200.  I really didn't want to pay that much and at Darrell's insistence offered $100--figuring she'd dicker.  Nope.  She said sure and I had that money out in a flash and the box in the back of the truck before she woke up and changed her mind!  There are 3 DVDs included--and 2 of them had never been opened!  Talk about a deal of the century.  I did a search after we got home and couldn't find it for less than $975!  Haven't stopped smiling since!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Because You Asked

Well, my friend Sweet Tea did, anyway.  She always comments and she usually makes me think.  My last post was no exception.  This time she wanted to know what my relationship is with the aunt who raised me.  I've written this post several times in my head and this is the second attempt at actually getting my thoughts from brain to blog.

My aunt--I'll call her Jane--was 42 when she took me in.  I was just past my second birthday.  She had married her second husband the year before.  Jane's youngest child was 15.  She had four grandchildren.  Finally, after years of hard work and a first marriage to an alcoholic, she had a nice home and a good job.  She agreed to take in her younger sister's child.  It was supposed to be a temporary situation.

Jane lived in Tennessee.  I was born in Ohio.  I'm pretty sure we had never met.  Picture a child dropped off (and I've heard the story--that's what happened) in a strange place among strangers.  I was and still am a person who needs lots of hugs and warm fuzzies.  Jane is not such a person.  She's uncomfortable when people show emotion.  I don't remember sitting on her lap, being read to, or played with.  I don't remember her telling me she loved me until after I was married and I was moving away.  

You've probably deduced by now that our relationship is strained.  While I appreciate all she did for me by raising me and providing a home, I didn't get the emotional support I desperately needed.  The aunt and uncle who took my brother adopted him and I've always felt I would be a different person if I had been adopted.  I never felt part of any family and felt that I could be "sent back" if I messed up or they got tired of me.  Guess I just never felt secure.

Can I end this with a bit of advice?  One of my favorite sayings is "fake it till you make it".  Meaning act a certain way until it becomes second nature.  If you're not a touchy feely type person and don't hug your loved ones much, try to step outside your comfort zone and give them a big hug at least once a day.  Show them your love by your actions, not just your words.  And don't think they "already know" so you shouldn't have to say anything.  I know without a doubt my husband loves me, but I still want to hear him say it--often.  These small gestures just may make the difference in someone's day--or life.  (okay, stepping off soapbox now.)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The Way I Understand It

Once upon a time, there was a young woman.  Aged 28, married to her second husband.  Pregnant with her fourth child.  She wasn't in love with her husband--maybe she never had been.

Twenty-eight.  28.  Looks younger when it's numbers, doesn't it?  Married to a man she didn't love.  Mother to 4 young children.  Money was tight.  Days were hard.  Was this what she had dreamed of when she was a girl?  Was this how the rest of her life would be?  Wasn't there something--ANYTHING--she could do?  Maybe....

Her solution--while not one you or I might choose--was to leave.  Dole out a couple of the children to relatives.  Leave the youngest two with her husband.  Get away!  Just get out!

She eventually married again.  A man who might not have been a knight in shining armor, but they had 47 years together.  And now--almost six years after his death--she still mourns him and misses him every day.  She had four more children.  Money was tight.  Days were hard.

That fourth child?  The one she gave birth to at age 28?  That was me.  By the time I was six months old, my mother was gone.  My father struggled to care for me and my half-brother, but it was too much for him.  After about a year and a half, my brother went to live with one aunt--I went to live with another.  For a time, he and I lived next door to each other.  I saw my mother occasionally when she would visit.  To her credit, she never tried to be my mother.  Either she didn't want to confuse me or she realized that ship had sailed.  I called her by her first name.

When I came home from my first day or two of first grade, I was telling my aunt all about a new friend I'd made.  I distinctly remember stopping mid-sentence and asking her why all my friends had a mother and I didn't.  She replied that I could call her mama if I wanted to.  So from that day forth, she became my mama.

However.  I never got over the longing for my--and I hesitate to use this term, but in this case it truly applies--real mother.  Why didn't she keep me?  Why didn't she stay?  What could a baby have done that would make her leave--and leave me behind?  Why didn't she want me?

I grew up.  I got married.  I had children of my own.  Four in five years.  Money was tight.  Days were hard.

I still wanted my mother.  The one who had given me life.  The one people told me I looked just like.  The one I didn't see for over 20 years.  The one who didn't call or write or contact me in any way.

Then my daughter died.  When we walked into the funeral home, the first flower arrangement I saw was from her.  The hard shell I had built around my heart to protect it from her rejection cracked a little.

Two months later, she came to visit my aunt.  I went to see her.  It seemed time for healing on both our parts.  I got out of the car.  She stood up.  We walked toward each other.  She gathered me in her arms and gave me a mother's hug.  One I'm not sure I'd ever experienced before.  That crack in my shell grew wider.

In the ensuing four years, we've visited, phoned, and written.  So much healing has taken place.  I know now that leaving was not easy for her.  Staying away from her children was not easy, but what she felt she needed to do--for us.  If she could change things, she would.  She loves me.  I know she does.  And I love her.  My resentment and hurt are gone.  She didn't reject me.  Not once.  She did what she thought she needed to do--for me.  What was best for me was the worst thing for her.  But she did it.  Because that's what mothers do when they love their children.

Today she turns 81.  I want to wish her a very happy birthday and give her what I hope will be a welcome gift.  Later, I will phone her and when she answers, I will simply say "Happy birthday, Mom".

Linking to Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chatting at the Sky

Monday, July 19, 2010

The Good, The Bad, and The ????

The Good:
One of my favorite things is to find a wonderful surprise in the mail--and last week I hit the jackpot!  I wasn't expecting anything but maybe bills and those political postcards that generally get tossed in the trash with hardly a glance--but that's a post for another day.  My sweet bloggy friend Connie at Shady Creek Lane makes the purtiest stuff--things with vinyl lettering, makeovers of Goodwill finds, blocks, frames, and canvases.  Her ingenuity constantly amazes me.  Anyway, lately she's added something new.  Washer necklaces.  When I saw one with leopard print and a crown charm, I knew it must be mine.  Guess I bugged her enough about purchasing it, that she mailed it to me!  I love it!  Thank you so much, Connie!  It did come with a little string attached and I'll take care of that before long.  Here's a little pic so you can envy me....
Don't ya love it?!

Lauren and her kids went home Friday a week ago (if you know when that is, you might have a little Southern blood running through your veins).  Then two days later, our other daughter Holly came to visit with her youngest Alexander.  Here's his cute face, just because I can never get enough of it....

The Bad:
From my teens, I have suffered from depression.  Thursday, I started feeling myself beginning that downward spiral into the dark well that is all too familiar.  I could feel it happening--and sometimes I can do things to try and stop it--but this time I just sank into it.  Different things bring on these feelings of failure and worthlessness.  This episode was of my own making.  I asked an honest and open friend a question I really wanted an answer to (or so I thought).  Her honesty made me look long and hard at myself and as usual I came up short.  And in this instance, it's too late to do anything about what I did or didn't do in the past. 

Before you say, that's in the past, leave it there.  Or you can't do anything about the past--only the present and the future.  Or forget yourself and serve others.   Know that my head knows these things, and in lucid moments, they make sense.  But when I'm falling into the well, that advice is beyond me.  Just getting out of bed takes all my energy.  And the thing I asked my friend about was weighing so very heavily on my heart and is so important to me, that I couldn't focus on anything else.  I wanted to post about how I was feeling, but just couldn't put it into words without sounding completely pathetic. 

Let me just ask this---when growing up, did you ever say 'when I'm an adult/wife/mother I want to accomplish this one goal' or 'I want this one thing to happen when I'm grown'?  And one day you realize that you didn't meet that goal and now it's too late and it's more than likely never going to happen. 

I'm doing better today.  Yesterday was a good day at church--I'll try to share some of that later in the week. 

The ????:
Do you dream?  Do you remember your dreams?  Do you give your dreams credence?  I answer yes to all 3 questions.

The other night, I dreamed I was in a bed in what appeared to be a hospital ward.  Long, narrow room with beds lining both walls.  There was a nice woman in the bed to my right and we struck up a conversation.  She seemed rather nervous, especially when someone would walk down the aisle between the rows of beds.  I finally asked her why she was so frightened and she answered that she was afraid of Death.

About that time, a figure in a long dark cape and hood came walking toward us.  The woman next to me stiffened until the figure looked at us.  It was a beautiful blond woman, who smiled and went on.  We were so intent on her that we missed the figure behind her--another dark cape and hood.  This figure stopped between our beds and spoke quietly to the woman beside me.  I realized this was Death and she (yes, I felt it was a female) was taking my new friend.  I bid her goodbye and told her how nice it had been getting to know her.  As they were leaving, Death looked back at me and said "I've come for you, too, sweetie".  Without fear, I just answered "oh, okay" and got up to join them.

Then I woke up.  What's your interpretation?

Sunday, July 11, 2010

What a Week!

A little recap of the past week, for those of you who need some boring reading to help you sleep...

Friday, the 2nd, Darrell and I stopped by my favorite store--Lowe's.  Don't remember what we went in for or if we even purchased that item.  What I do remember is that we made a detour by the appliances where they were having a 20% off sale.  We needed a new fridge, so made the mistake decision to see what they had.  We found a Whirlpool side by side with the freezer on the bottom that we really liked.  Original price was around $1800.  It was on sale and with the additional 20% off, came to about $1000.  Sold!  It was delivered on Sunday.  While we measured to make sure it would fit in the kitchen, we didn't measure to be sure it'd fit through the door!  Poor guys had to take off the fridge doors to get it in!  A good blogger would have pics of all this.  Unfortunately for you, I am not a good blogger.  Trust me when I say there was lots of sweating, grunting, and under-breath muttering. 

Lauren's little family arrived early Saturday morning.  We hadn't seen them since Christmas, so this was a special treat!  Darrell, Cam, Cassidy, and Grant went out on the boat Saturday while Lauren and I played.  Nathaniel was such a cutie.  He's crawling now and pulling up.  He took several days to get used to us, but they'll be back in August and hopefully he won't be so standoffish.

Saturday night we went to Lauren's inlaws for pot luck and fireworks.  They live on a family farm with 4 of the 6 children having homes there.  A river runs through part of the back of the farm and this is where we were celebrating the 4th.  The water at this time of year is fairly shallow, though there are some hidden drop offs, and the current can be fast.  Nate started getting fussy and was ready for bed, so Darrell, Nate, Lauren, and I decided to skip the fireworks and head home.  As we were in the truck and about to leave, I spotted Cassidy struggling in the water.  She had lost her footing and couldn't get back up.  The current was quickly carrying her out.  Luckily, Cam's Uncle Eddie saw her and shouted to Cam, who ran out and grabbed her.  Poor girl was so frightened she couldn't speak for a time.  When she did, she told her dad she was never going in the river again.  She did go fishing with Cam and his dad on Monday, but I don't think she got in the water.  A friend posted an article on Facebook regarding drowning.  Couldn't have been more timely.  I'm sharing it here in the hopes it will make more people aware:  Drowning Doesn't Look Like Drowning.

Somewhere along the way, Cassidy broke my camera.  It was laying on the kitchen counter and I saw it earlier in the day and a little voice told me to put it away.  I didn't.  Later, Cassidy saw the camera and thought it would be fun to twirl it by the strap.  Of course, you know what happened next.  Splat.  The camera is in one piece, but apparently has internal injuries.  I posted about it and the only picture I could find was of a dissected camera.  Thankfully, that was not a picture of my Olympus.  I'm going to try a couple of ideas to see if it can be fixed, but I don't hold out much hope. 

We made several trips to HobLob for yarn.  A trip to Chuck E Cheese, which actually wasn't too bad.  We got there early and the place was practically deserted.  I won 50 tickets on Deal or No Deal!  Now if I could just get on the show and win that million!  I "borrowed" Darrell's camera to take these pics at CEC.

Tried out The Sweetest Batch Cupcakery which sells huge cupcakes with names like Steel Magnolia, Baby Love, and Tiffany.  On a scale of 1-10, I'd give the shop a 9--it was decorated really cute.  The cupcakes I'd only give about a 4--they were dry and cost almost $4 each!  Do you know how many cupcakes you can make at home for $4?

Then we found out about the cupcake bus!  A new cupcake place is opening soon--lots more convenient and closer to me (haven't decided if that's a good thing or not).  Until they open the store, they drive a small school bus from Nashville and park in the parking lot of where the shop will be.  They have flavors like key lime, coconut, sweet potato (the best!), strawberry lemonade, and lots more.  Theirs are regular sized and only cost $1.50.  Good stuff!  I predict The Cupcake Collection runs the other place out of business.

Lauren and her kids left Friday morning.  I spent the rest of the day getting the house back in order, then vegged out yesterday.  I didn't go to any yard sales, which was sad, but did make a quick trip into Goodwill where I got a couple of things.  That satisfied my thrifting withdrawals.

This little tureen--soup? gravy?  Regardless, I love it! 

Heart shaped plate--I have one already and thought this was a duplicate.
Unfortunately, all they have in common is the shape.  Oh, well.
Only $2.99

Shelf for $5.99
It's actually upside down in this picture, but this is how I plan to use it.
I've been wanting something to use for a bed crown and this should fit the bill perfectly!

Holly and Alexander arrived this afternoon and will be here till Thursday.  So I'm getting off here and going to play with my favorite 3-year-old!  Hope your week was just as wonderful and full of fun and surprises!

Saturday Shout Outs--on Sunday

Debt Free is Beautiful

What IS Flattering?

Investing in Friendship -- something I definitely need to do more of

10 Little Ideas for Summer Bliss

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


What do you get when you mix this....

with this?


Anybody know a good repairman?
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