Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sorry folks

I now have strep. I can't swallow anything but iced tea without excrutiating pain.
Even ice cream hurts. Isnt that ridiculous! I certainly think so!
Hopefully I will be able to string words together that do not involve illness and bodily functions soon.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

What shall I blog about today?

Seriously, I got nothin!
I was supposed to meet with my weight loss buddy today but we both forgot. She is doing much much better than I am! She is working out everyday, or almost everyday. I sort of do but apparently not enough to move the needle on the scale. I have got to step it up! My standard excuse is that I don't have time. The truth is I do have time, I just don't use it wisely.
I am going to attempt to start using coupons. I like the idea of coupons, I just never remember that I have them. Also, a lot of the coupons I have seen are for prepackaged foods and we don't normally eat a lot of prepackaged foods. My husband and I both enjoy cooking however life has been so busy lately that prepacked might be helpful. Not to mention cheaper and probably healthier than fast food.
ok thats all that is all that is going on in my little brain today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


Yes you are finally getting a real blog.
I have been thinking a lot about grandparents lately. I happen to have the best grandparents in the world. I am not bragging or being boastful I am just speaking truth. I have such fond memories of time spent with both sets of grandparents.
Each Memorial Day weekend would kick off the summer of camping and fishing with my maternal grandparents. It was Grandma and Grandpa Chase, Aunt Ellen and Uncle Robert and their kids, Lisa, Lee Ann and Eric and our family, Mom, Dad,Katie, Roy and I.
Us four girl cousins usually slept in a tent pitched on the back of a flat bed truck. We performed our own version of "Annie" which was really just us singing "Tomorrow" and "It's A Hard Knock Life" over and over again until I am sure the adults were ready to pull their hair out. We fell asleep to the sounds of Reds baseball on the radio. And of course the Indy 500!
We girls soon figured out that Grandpa Chase was a pushover. All we had to do is say we liked something and he would buy it for us. Grandma stopped letting Grandpa carry money.
My maternal grandparents owned and operated a farm. They had dairy cows and raised tobacco and corn and a huge garden. Some of our cousins lived just down the road from Grandma and Grandpa Richards. There was a swing in the shady backyard that Grandma would almost always stop what she was doing to push us if we asked. She could always push us high enough to touch the high branches with our feet. Grandpa Richards was gruffer than Grandpa Chase but in his own way he was a pushover. For instance, one summer Kate and I and our cousins Beth and Belinda were staying at for a few days. Grandpa took the racks from his truck and put them in the backyard with a tarp over it so we could have a playhouse.
One of us noticed a small hole in the tarp. We decided a skylight would be a wonderful addition to our playhouse. Grandpa was coming in from the field for dinner. He saw the hole and asked what happened. Then he walked into the house without a word. I am sure Grandma heard all about it but we never heard a word of reproach.
Another time our family was helping with the hay. Grandma was driving the tractor, Dad was stacking the bales on the wagon and Grandpa, Mom, Katie, Roy and I were throwing the bales on the wagon. It was hot and bales of hay are not the lightest things in the world. After a couple of rows my face was bright red. Just then Grandpa happened to look at me. He was sure I was about to faint from heat exhaustion. He told me to go sit down. So I did. Mom did not hear him and told me to get back up and start helping. So I did. And then Grandpa told me to sit down. Then Mom told me... well you get the picture. Finally, Mom and Grandpa squared off. Grandpa insisted I was getting too hot. Mom insisted I was there to help and I was going to help. That's the day I learned to drive a tractor.
We had big family celebrations for Christmas and Easter and Thanksgiving. At both grandparents we played games and ate huge meals and talked for hours.
As I mentioned in one of my earlier posts, I am a grandmother to two beautiful and brilliant grandsons. I am sure I am not biased in that opinion. Every stranger and old school mate I show their pictures too in Wal-Mart agree.
I always dreamed of being the kind of grandparent that I have always had but I fear that it will never be. I  have come to realize that I was very fortunate. My parents were married until I was 20. So we only had 2 sets of grandparents to visit with.
Because my husband and I have both been married before and our parents are divorced, our children have no less than four sets of grandparents.Then you have to add in the in laws, who are also divorced.
Grandpa Chase was medically retired from the Navy so he was always available even though Grandma worked in a factory. Grandma and Grandpa Richards were available because they worked where they lived. My husband and I are not as available as our grandparents were because we have to provide a living for our children still living at home as well as chauffeuring them to their activities. Our children also have to provide for their families.
I always told my children that it was my job to work myself out of a job by making them productive, responsible members of society. I am finding however that I must have done a really good job. I have not adjusted well to not being needed as much. In fact I have made it downright difficult for them at times. As I my son recently, God does not turn the switch for wanting to spend time with your children off when they turn 18. The feelings seem to intensify for grandchildren.
Although  I may never be the kind of grandparent I was blessed with I pray that I will be able to make memories with my grandchildren that are just as special.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Really I blogged yesterday....

I just lost it when I posted it. I am doing yet another cheater blog because I am cooking supper for my kids and we have severe weather on the way.
This time it is a collection of poetry. It is sappy, sentimental , emotional and probably bad.

By Tina Leas

I remember them,
Small and smooth,
Held both completely,
In my one hand.

One little hand,
Wrapped around my finger,
One little hand,
Patting my face

Before I knew what happened,
They were larger,
Now only one,
Held in my hand.

Those small hands,
Tugging on my grandfather’s hands,
Gnarled, scarred and rough,
To the swings at the park.

Sunday, from the back of the church,
I saw them,
Large, rough hands,
Held high in praise.

Suddenly I knew them,
No longer small,
No longer smooth,
No longer held.

By Tina Leas

I watch the leaves
As they form,
Starting tiny and green.

Slowly they grow,
Their colors
Become brilliant.

Seeing the leaves change I reach
Trying to catch them
As they fly away

They loosen themselves
From their woodland home
But I am not ready to let them go


Seeing the leaves I reach
Trying to catch them
As they fly away

They loosen themselves
From their woodland home
But I am not ready to let them go

By Tina Leas

I draw my pictures with words.
See them dance across the page.
A splash of color here,
A bit of shadowing there,
Bold highlights,
Subtle lowlights.

Can you see the reality?
Or is it all just blobs of color
having meaning
To me alone.

By Tina Leas

Happy, cheerful words
Spilling forth, never stopping
Not for breath
Or anyone else to speak.

Rushing on in loud
High pitched tones.
We know it can’t all be true, but
 Oh, you want us to believe!

You are the happiest girl in the world,
He is the most wonderful guy,
His family is great,
The fun never ends.

You sleep too much.
You spent too much.
You weigh too much.

By Tina Leas
     Fine delicate threads,
stronger than steel,
coil in a widening circle,
skipping from one straight line to the next.
The circle appears to have nothing
to do with the lines.
Without the lines the circle would fall,
without the circle the lines would fall.
Together they hold life
Even when death comes in to tear them apart.

Mother of the Year

Looking for mother of the year?
Stop looking,
You won’t find her here.
I’m not in the PTA,
I don’t volunteer.
It’s not that I don’t love my kids.
I’m just trying to keep them fed.
I always wanted to be the mom,
Baking cookies, cleaning house.
But being just a mom doesn’t pay
Enough to cover the rent.
My friends said education
Was the way out of this hole,
But it keeps getting deeper.
I can’t even see the sun.
They say it will be worth it.
But I can’t help feeling
I’m trying to make a silk purse,
And I have never been good at sewing.

Ky’s Poem

I am
Hidden under weeds.

But someone thinks
I am a treasure.
His eyes feast upon me.
He loves old broken things.
He loves me.
Even hidden under weeds.

A poem for Sam

I am proud of the man you are becoming
Even as I mourn the little boy you were.
In my mind I still see you clinging to my legs
As I look up to see your face.

Remember dancing in our seats while
Jimmy Buffet blared on the stereo?
I still dance in my seat but you play it cool.
I see the smile at the corner of your mouth.

The little boy is still around,
I see him now and then.
At night he sleeps in your bed,
Long, dark lashes on his cheeks.

I saw him at the hospital,
After your surgery,
After everyone had left.

He needed his mom
Next to his bed
So he could sleep.

My mind is like my house

My mind is like my house,
Dirty, cluttered, crowded,
So full of unimportant things
That the important things are lost.
When they are finally found
They are crumpled, dusty, worn,
Almost unrecognizable.
Sometimes I think it would be better
If it would all blow up.
But then I would lose the
Important things too.

The Girls

My oldest and youngest daughters,
On a warm sunny April day,
Run down the boat ramp together,
Holding hands, towards
The water rippling in the breeze.
The oldest 18,
Her “Dark Fairy” outfit,
Black flowing skirt,
Black t-shirt and flip flops.
Willowy and graceful,
long dark straight hair.
The youngest 12,
Everything her sister is not,
Standard tomboy attire, faded jeans,
Bright t-shirt, tennis shoes.
Blonde curly hair and curvy figure
Belie her chosen style.
This is my favorite picture
Of the girls.
It was taken before
The oldest decided
She had no life with us.
Before she left a note on the table,
On her brother’s birthday.
The morning after she left
I looked at the picture again.
Then I noticed
She was already pulling away.
The youngest seemed to be holding
The oldest back.

Monday, April 25, 2011

Adventures in Wax

As I was lying in bed last night I realized I hadn't blogged. So I will do two today. This mornings entry is a little piece I wrote a few years ago.
Adventures in Wax
I once heard someone say that as we get older, not as much hair grows on our legs. This, she said, was so that we can better care for our mustaches. I was in my early thirties and sure that this would never happen to me.
That lasted until my stepson interrupted conversation I was having with a friend at church. "Hey," He said, coming up close to my face, "Did you know you have a mustache?" I think my not killing him qualifies me for sainthood.
I have used the “Nair” type hair remover which is fairly effective except for a few large stubborn hairs. These hairs are dark and thick and seem to be rooted in my toes. Despite leaving the so called "pleasant smelling" goo on my face 10 minutes longer than the instructions call for but those three hairs refuse to budge.
While browsing through the hair removal products at Wal-Mart I decided to try the wax. I mean, really, how hard could it be? But which one? Wax with linen strips or without, cold or hot, regular or with maple sugar, the kind that comes with its own little electric warming pot or the kind you heat up in the microwave. This was harder than picking names for my children. Finally I decided on the small pot of microwaveable hot wax with maple sugar.
It took a week or so after I bought it before I had time to try it. I opened the bottle and looked at the sickly green color wondering if that was what it was supposed to look like. Shouldn’t something with maple sugar in it be more of a warm brown? The directions said to put it in the microwave on medium for 30 seconds to start, then 15 seconds intervals until the wax looked "creamy" but not to exceed 60 seconds total. At 60 seconds the wax the consistency of cold "Bit O'Honey" candy. 45 seconds later the wax looked kinda creamy. 
I quickly slapped some on the one side of mouth. After the instructed 15 seconds I struggled to grasp the wax. It reminded me of the time I accidentally put my best Tupperware strainer on the still turned on burner of the stove.  Finally I was able to get a grip on it and rip it off my face.
Tears immediately poured down my face but I hurried to get some on the other side before the wax hardened so I wouldn't be lopsided. I again ripped it off thinking, "Woohoo! Finally I will be free of the mustache!"
Then I looked in the mirror. There, just where I left them, were those three big ugly hairs! I am requesting a purple mustache comb for my birthday.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cheater Blog

I am sure that none of you want to read my adventures in "Sickville" so I am posting the prologue of a story. Some of you already read it.Some of you haven't.

The Grave- A Prologue

The 4 of us stand next to the fresh grave, still and silent. I am 5, Katie is 4. A metal marker sticks out of the ground. It reads “Ross Allan Richards, Aug 5, 1973.” Mom stand with her head bowed while Dad supports her with an arm around her waist. I can’t take the silence anymore.
“Mom, why did Ross die? Is Roy going to die too?”
Mom starts to cry. Mom never cries in front of us.
“Girls, go to the car!” my dad exclaims.
Katie and I scramble into the back seat, scared and crying. I just want to know what is going on.
 While she was on complete bed rest in the hospital an hour away, Katie and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Chase. After the boys were born Mom was kept in the hospital specifically to keep her from attending the funeral. When she was released she stayed in and near the neonatal intensive care unit with Roy.
 Grandma, however, told us that the doctor had made a mistake. There had never been, she said, two babies, just one.
When Mom heard this she was furious. She insisted that Dad take her to us. If he wouldn’t take her she would find a way. I don’t remember her telling us the truth about our brothers but surely she had.
Mom comes back to the car and gathers us in her arms.
”Its okay,” she said “I am just sad. You didn’t do anything wrong. Everything will be okay.”
I don’t remember going to the grave with my mother again during my childhood. I went by myself sometimes as a teenager. I wondered what this unknown brother would have looked and acted like. But I never asked my mom.
Twenty years later we stand at the same grave, freshly opened, to admit another child. As the other mourners leave my husband, Troy’s stepfather, escorts me to our car. Mom can see that I am barely holding on and sends Dad to help. I collapse into their arms. My mother comes to me and puts her hands on my cheeks.
“Be strong” she said “You have to take care of Sam. Everything will be okay.”
And for awhile it is, at least as long as I follow everybody else’s rules for grieving.  
Troy is buried in a grave he shares with my little brother in my hometown. We live four hours away in base housing at Ft. Campbell Kentucky, home of the 101st Airborne division.
We come to visit as often as we can that summer. If Frank can’t go I take Sam and go by myself. I need to be near Troy. After we receive orders for Germany, my need becomes more desperate. I feel as if I am deserting him.
When I leave the house my grandmother always asks if I am going to the cemetery. She says I need to stay away from there. I am dwelling on Troy’s death too much.
 She did not understand that I was not dwelling on Troy’s death. Not specifically anyway. I thought more about his life, and my life and life in general.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Post for the day

Feeling very yucky. Hubby brought my antibiotic home when he came home from work. We stocked up on broth,juice and and popcicles. And I have strict orders to lie on the couch,relax and rest. 
Boy,did I pick a crazy time to start a blog.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

insert creative title here

I am not quite feeling it today. I suffer with a digestive system disorder and I have been dealing with a flare up for the last few weeks. It is rather bad at the moment. I have been avoiding calling the dr because he typically hospitalizes me for about a week. I am trying to avoid that. Thankfully he agreed to call in some antibiotics oral antibiotics. I am also trying to follow the treatment i would have in the hospital. Hopefully it will be enough and I won't have to have iv antibiotics.
Now don't you feel like we have bonded now?
I still have the eternal question to answer, don't I? As I said, I am a wife, mother and grandmother. I am a college graduate with a degree in English-Creative Writing and a minor in religous studies.
I am the oldest child in my family of origin, as my sociology liked to put it.
I am sure you have all heard that firstborns are supposed to be take charge, successful, ambitious, kind of people.They have a plan, they know what they want and they work for it. While in some situations(ok a lot of situations) I tend to take charge, especially if no one else seems to know what they are doing. And maybe some people would call me ambitious. not so sure about that one. But the whole birth order thing seems a little mixed up with my sister and I. Maybe its because we are only 11 months apart. Cate is much more disciplined and smarter than I am and knows what she wants. I think it also because she is a scientific type person. She is going to be a geologist when she grows up.
We also have brothers. They were premature. Roy survived but Ross didn't. I would say Roy is your typical youngest child.
As you may have noticed, I am a bit of a rambling storyteller. I attribute it to my ADHD. It is even worse in person. I go down so many rabbit trails that it takes me a few minutes to find the main trail again!
I will pick up the trail again tomorrow folks!

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

so who am I anyway?

I am hoping to figure that out soon!
A few things I know for sure:
I have been married to my amazing husband for 14 years.
I gave birth to three children and am the stepmother of three children.
I am a grandmother to 2 amazing little boys.
I am a freak when it comes to spending time with my family-I never get enough.
A lot of things I thought I was a little bit good at-turns out I stink.
and I am afraid,dear reader, that due to being awake through most of the night because of silly tornado warning and thunderstorms and howling dogs, that is all for tonight.
Just remember, I said I would blog daily, I did not promise that it would be long or even good. :)

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

My journey was nearly by water today.

My plan for today was to go to my friends house to babysit her youngest son. During naptime I planned to jot a few notes on why I started this blog and a little about me. You know the line from the book, right? The one that goes "The best laid plans..."
We had thunderstorms overnight and through the morning. I was driving through horrible rain. The water was coming out of the ditches and across the road in some places.
When I got to my friends house the picturesque creek that runs about 30 foot from her house was raging about 10 foot from it. In about 10 minutes it was up even further. She called her husband to come get her and their boys because the car that is there is not in very good shape. I offered to drive them all to my house because I there but he was already on the way. I did agree to take the dog,her cage and some pictures with me. She insisted I go ahead and leave, her husband would be there soon. She was afraid my car would get stuck. So I went.
Going home was much worse than getting there. In fact, I couldn't go my normal route because it was completely covered in swiftly running water. I called my husband to ask him for directions to an alternate route. I also asked him to call my friend to make sure they didn't try to go that way.
Sophie-the dog-did well for most of the trip. Except for trying to climb in my lap when I patted her head and told her she was a good dog. Most of the trip I was saying "Why did I take the dog and not the people!?!"
When I finally made it home I had to change every stitch of clothes I was wearing. Because neither of us could reach our friends and we hadn't heard from them, Gregg called the sheriffs dept to let them know about the situation and about the roads being flooded.
Finally she got to our house. Then she posted pictures. After I left the creek had gotten to the house and under the part that is on stilts. What had taken them so long was that both cars had gotten stuck.
Tonight we are supposed to get more storms, possibly severe ones. We are praying that their possesions are safe.
The whole thing wore me out. So this is the blog for now.

Monday, April 18, 2011

I've gone and done it now.

I wonder how many blogs were created because of the movie Julie and Julia. Lets add one more to the pile. I wanted to see the movie when it first came out. But my life got in the way and I just around to it last night. I was inspired and depressed.
Julie was turning 30 the year of her experiment. I will be 43 in a little over a month. Like Julie, I start many things but rarely finish them. My house is cluttered with creative ventures I have started and never finished. For instance, I started crocheting a blanket for my first grandson when my step-daughter was about 5 months pregnant. Austin is now a year old and he could use the blanket for a scarf. Well for a few more months anyway.
When my son announced I had a second grandchild on the way, I decided I would make a quilt. I drug out our daughters sewing machine, had my mom help me get it ready, collected fabric and thread and bobbins. Connor is 2 months old today and I have yet to sew a single stitch. I decided I was going to walk the Kentucky Derby mini marathon along with the 3 races leading up to it. Didn't get signed up in time for the mini and for one reason or another, didn't run the other three races either. I want this pattern of not finishing things to change.
I have an extensive collection of cookbooks. I will not be cooking through any of them for this blog. My goal is simply to post a blog every single day for the next year. I am hoping that the fact that I woke up at 4:00 am composing my first real entry is a good sign. Although I would have liked more sleep.
Another goal for this blog is to figure out why in the world God put me on this planet. People tell me I have talents in many areas but it seems to me that talent should pan out with some sort of success in at least one of them.  At this moment, what I know for sure is that I have lots of dreams and things I wish I could do but I don't seem to have the ummm whatever it takes to do them be it time, money, health, or confidence.
So why should you read this blog? I have absolutely no idea. But tomorrow I will tell you a little more about myself. It is now 5:09 and I am going to try to sleep for another half an hour or so.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

blogity blog

Since I created this tonight I decided I needed to at least post a sentence or two.
I think this is it for tonight.