Category Archives: miscellaneous

I was told “You Are My Angel”. I cried.

Last night I received a phone call from a friend from back home.  She is going through a difficult time right now, she lost her dad suddenly just over a month ago.  Her and I are friends on facebook of course and her status updates crush my heart at times because I know exactly what she is going through from her head to her heart.  She contacted me through facebook saying she knew I would know what she is going through and if I had any advice for her.  I was touched.  I told her to call me or the message would be a novel.  She did.  We talked for over an hour about her struggles, her emotions, her anger, her heart.  I told her it would get better.  When you lose someone like a parent that is the last thing you want to hear.  I know this from experience.  Someone would tell me that I wanted to punch them in the face.  I told her I know how it makes you feel when you hear this but to know it is the truth.  It won’t be better tomorrow, it won’t be better next month, it might not even be better in a year but eventually it does.  It took me 2 years after my mom passed for it “to be better”.  I reassured her that I did not want to scare her with this information because her time will be different than mine, but it will happen.  You must be strong but you must let yourself grieve…deeply.  That is why it took me so long because although I did grieve I didn’t let myself grieve deeply for almost 2 years.  I was too busy being strong for everyone else, being a mother and wife to look into myself and deal with the pain.  I look back and the 2 years that I was a walking robot, numb and just going through the motions and it is a blur.  A complete blur.  That is not healthy.  You must dig deep within yourself and let it out, let it go.  Not let go of the person, the memories, and the love but let go of the anger, the hurt, the pain of your loss.  That is what gets in you and eats you up inside, it’s what makes you numb.  Everyone has their own timeline when dealing with a loss, for some it’s easy to get through and for some it crushes them down to where they can’t function.  You have to find a balance.  You have to take care of yourself, you have to deal with what is inside of you to move on.

She has been struggling with the fact that no one knows what she is going through.  They say they can assume but really, unless you have been through it yourself, you don’t know.  What makes her and I’s stories unique is that we lost our parents when they were still young and very suddenly.  It’s not that our grandmas passed away after a full life of 80 years.  No, our parents were in their 50’s with grandbabies, with their own kids that still needed them.  People don’t understand the hole that is created in your heart when this happens.

Through the entire phone call I could relate to every single word she said.  I had been there, I had felt the pain, I had felt the anger.  I have been through wanting to shut the world out because you don’t want to hear what they have to say from it’s going to get better to everyday comments in a conversation about other people’s parents who are still with them.  You can become very bitter towards people.  It’s a hard thing to do at the time but you have to learn how to turn a cheek and smile and nod.  It’s easier said than done when you are grieving but you have to learn how to do it.

As we were getting off the phone I told her to call me anytime, whether it was to just talk about everyday life, to vent, to cry  or to scream, my phone was always on.  I told her to take care of herself, to make sure to let herself grieve. I reassured her that it is ok to cry, it’s ok to scream and hate the world but just not to let the hate consume her.  I told her that still after 6 years I still cry on random days, I still cry on her birthday, on certain holidays.  It’s ok to do that and not to ever let herself think differently.

She said to me “I’m putting your number in my phone as ‘My Angel’ because you truly are my angel”.

I got goose bumps and cried.

In Your Honor – Always Say I Love You.

This past Sunday, the 29th of May it had been 6 years since I had lost my mom.  I remembered her on Sunday not with tears and sadness but with memories and smiles.  This is the story of how I lost my mom.  I want to share this with you not to make you sad but to let you see how quickly our loved ones can be taken away from us.
This was written Wednesday, December 6, 2006

You must always say I love you. Life is too short not to. You never know when someone will be leaving your life. I have a story for you and I hope it will open your eyes to two things. On May 26, 2005 I got a phone call from my step father. He told me that my mom was not feeling well. She had been having severe headaches for awhile now and she had been to the doctor to get a couple of lumps under the skin removed. She told my sister and I that it was “nothing”. He told me that he had called an ambulance to take mom to the hospital. My sister and I live in Nashville Tennessee and my mom lives in Aurora Indiana. I hung up the phone not knowing what to think. My husband told me to pack my bags and my sister also and head up home because it could be nothing and then again it could be something big. As my sister was walking down the driveway with my 3 year old son I was shaking. She came in and I told her what was going on. We packed up and the kids too ( a 3 year old and a 5 week old) and headed for Indiana. We pulled up out front of my mom’s house around 4 am and my stepdad was waiting for us he had not been asleep. They took her to the local hospital and had ran a CT scan and found 4 spots on her brain. While trying to take this news in I took the kids upstairs and put them to bed and tried to get some sleep myself. In the morning (Friday) I took the kids to my sister-n-law’s house and my sister and I headed to Cincinnati. By this time they had sent her to Good Sam in Cincinnati for further tests. We get to the hospital and she is in the ICU. My sister and I are pretty much freaking out to say the least. My mom god love her says what on earth are you two doing here and where are the kids? I love my mom always worried about my kids. They ran some tests in the morning and before lunch we got news that my mom had 7 brain tumors. This was a total shock because before yesterday there was nothing (that we knew of) wrong with my mom except for the headaches which she covered up nicely. The doctor said that they were NON life threatening and they could be taken care of with surgery and radiation. My sister and I left for lunch feeling a little relieved thinking in the long run she was going to be ok. We got back from lunch and they were wheeling her out for her first radiation treatment and they told us to go along. The three of us went down with her. When we got there the radiologist took my step dad back to talk to him and we stayed out with mom. She was even joking about her tan going away. My step dad came out and told us to come back with him. My heart dropped. The three of us sat down with the doctor and he proceeded to tell us that our mother was covered with cancer from head to toe. She had melanoma. Every organ in her body was ate up. He told us that we had a decision to make. We could go ahead with the treatments but the end result was all the same. Mom could stay with us for two days or with a miracle two months. But it didn’t look good. We made the decision to not do the treatments and put her through any unnecessary pain. We would only be keeping her around for our selfish reasons. That was the hardest decision I have ever made in my life, my mother’s fate was put in our hands pretty much. We made the decision to get her home as soon as we could so she could spend her last days in her own home with her own things. I can’t explain to you what was going on in my head. I became numb and stayed that way for about a month. We went home that night to try to get some rest and was called back to the hospital around 12:15 in the morning. The nurse said her pupils weren’t responding and that is one of the first signs that they are going. We all had just got to bed and hopped right back up and I took the keys to drive us up. It was the weirdest drive I have ever made. It was barely raining but there was a very eery silent calm in the air. In the distance I saw lightning and all I could think was that was mom fighting for us. We got there and she wouldn’t even respond to us. No movement but she was still there. We slept on the floor all around her that night. I got up about 8 in the morning and walked in her room from the restroom and she opened those eyes and like nothing happened said what on earth are you doing here this early. She didn’t skip a beat. The nurses said they can’t explain how this happened. They’ve never seen someone start to slip away the way she did and come back like nothing happened. That Saturday was one of the best days. Mom sat up in her bed she ate all day she laughed and cut up with us like nothing in the last two days happened. She just kept saying she wants to go home and that she is so happy that Lindsey (my sister) and I have each other. We had made arrangements for her to come home at 12:30 the next day, Sunday. We had hospice coming to the house to set everything up. Mom was coming home. We left her that night eating her Mentos and watching HGTV her favorite channel. That woman would watch it 24/7 if she could. We told her that we loved her and she was coming home in the morning. We got up Sunday morning and headed up early. When we got there mom was in pain, bad pain. Her head was hurting so bad. We sat there with her for a couple of hours and the nurse gave her some pain medicine and mom wanted to take a nap. We left her at 10:30 to come home and meet with the hospice people. We told her we would see her in a couple of hours. I held her hand and told her that I loved her and she said it back to me and she squeezed my hand. We were at home when we got a phone call at 11:30 saying mom’s vitals weren’t good. Five minutes later they called back and said her breathing was slowing. My sister and stepdad headed up to the hospital and I stayed behind waiting for my grandma and my husband. I called back up to the hospital at 11:46 and she had already passed away at 11:45. The nurses were all in there with her so she wasn’t alone. We were too late. She never made it home.

You never know how much time you have. Always say I love you, even if you are just running to the store and will be back in 10 minutes even if you fighting say it. You never know when its the last time.

Please do not be sad from my story. Just remember…Always say I love you.

Thank you for taking the time to read it.

My mom loved the sun.  She always had a tan.  We were always outside during the summer growing up whether we were on the boat for the weekend or at the pool. Hell, we grew up with a tanning bed in our home.  My mom has psoriasis and the tanning bed helped with that.  With summer upon us and the outdoors being our favorite place to be I ask of you this, please wear your sunscreen, wear your sunhat, protect yours skin.  I suggest against tanning beds now but if you feel you must please do it in moderation.  Melanoma is a deadly cancer when undetected it can consume you, it’s one of the quickest spreading cancers.  I still love the sun but I am smart about it now.  I hope you will be too.  If you see a mole that is suspicious don’t hesitate to get it looked at.  Get your skin checked once a year to be safe.  Melanoma is nothing to be messed around with or ignored.

Just my kids and I and a new sleep number.

I have been babysitting Jman off and on for 2 years and as of yesterday I am no longer babysitting after school.  Yay!  I am not excited because I was miserable babysitting, I love that kid like he is one of my own but it’s so nice to just have my two at home with me after school now.  My quality time with the kids is back.  We can take off and do things after school and we can just be together.  Yesterday after they got home we sat down and did some christmas crafts, nothing spectacular, we made a count down ring for the tree and they made a couple of ornaments for the tree.  And somehow I got roped in to making an owl for my daughter’s teacher out of construction paper.  That was a sight!  I didn’t really think she would take it to school to give to her, I honestly thought she would forget about it.  Oh no she packed it in her backpack this morning.  Mrs. Powell is going to think a child made it!  haha!  But what made yesterday so special was my daughter looked at me this morning and said “yesterday was a blast!”  I asked her what made yesterday so special and she says “because we made ornaments and the owl”.  Ahhh, that child knows how to get to me.  She too enjoyed our time.  A usual day after school is the 3 of them walking through the door, throwing their backpacks down where ever they please, the boys running to the pantry to eat me out of house and home and then the bickering begins.  If I had a dollar for every time I heard “MOM, will you get Emily out of my room”, or “MOM can you tell Emily to leave us alone”  I would be a millionair billionaire.  And it’s just not my son yelling those things it was Jman too (minus the mom part).  That makes it tough, poor Em just wants to play Pokemon too.  Oh and the 8 year olds attitude, sarcasm and what they think is ‘cool’, the “dudes”…goodness!  I am happy to have just one 8-year-old attitude to listen to now.  I have to say that my two, as much as they bicker and pick at each other, when it’s just the two of them 95% of the time they get along and play well together.  It’s so nice and makes me a happy mom.

For the past couple of months my husband has been complaining of not being able to sleep and blaming it on the mattress.  I thought he was full of it for the most part and told him he needs to go tot he doctor and get a sleep aid.  The man will not go to the doctor unless he is in some major pain and that is usually only when his collarbone is killing him.  Anyway, the night before last he asked me to trade him sides on the bed to see if my side he could get sleep on, I agreed.  Holy Crap!  The man wasn’t lying.  His side of the bed is awful, I slept like doo doo if you can even call it sleep.  I tossed and turned and was awake half the night, and every time I was awake all I could think about was a new mattress.  Yesterday I was on a mission to find a new mattress and surprise him with it.  He likes a firmer bed while I like it softer.  There is only one mattress compromise…A Sleep Number Bed.  I looked them upon the internet and was shocked that the price wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be.  I then headed to the store.  The sales guy was fantastic there and spent over an hour with me, answering every question, not being pushy and being completely honest with me.  You don’t find that with sales people very much.  I decided to bring Billy up to speed with what I was doing since this was going to be an investment and if he was going to spend this amount of money I would want in the loop.  He was all for it.  I went back to the store and Mr. Randy, my new best friend aka sales guy, informed me that he would not sell me the bed today because there is a sale starting tomorrow.  Awesomeness.  Plus this gave Billy and I more time to talk about it and decide on the right one.  I came home with 3 different quotes because god forbid I narrow it down by myself, the joy of gemini-ism.  I finally got his undivided attention and we tackled the decision.  The queen P5 will be our new sleep number bed.  If you have not laid down on a sleep number bed let me just tell you…it is heaven.  I found out that my sleep number is 30, I know you all will sleep so much better knowing that about me  😉  At the store they have you lay down on a display bed that  is hooked up to a computer and it shows you all the pressure points in color and as they lower the number you can see the pressure disappearing.  I was sold.  I could have slept in that store for hours on the beds.  So needless to say I will be headed back to the Sleep Number Store today to purchase our new bed get up.  Merry Christmas to us!

A Wonderful Weekend.

Friday night my husband and I got an invite to go out with some friends.  When crunch time came and it was time to decide so I could shower and get ready if we were going to go, I looked at my husband for an answer.  He looked at me and said I know you want to go and I don’t but I don’t want you to be bummed if I say no.  My answer, well if you don’t want to go you don’t want to go..and the pouting began.  I am a good pouter, and I can be a bit of a weenie when I do pout.  He called me out for being short with him and not stirring up too much conversation.  I defended myself with “well I’m BORED”.  It’s Friday night, we have no kids and I feel like we should be doing something.  He looked at me and said..”I’m bored too and I don’t get the chance to just be bored, I like being bored every now and again”.  I stopped in my tracks and thought about that.  He was exactly right.  He doesn’t get to be bored very often, he doesn’t get to just stay in his pj’s all day.  He always has something to do whether it be work on something around the house, cave to the begging “will you play a game with me” from the kids, his darn phone ringing with work constantly, there is always something.  I immediately stopped my pouting and enjoyed the boredom with him.  He was happy that he didn’t get dressed, his phone wasn’t ringing, the kids weren’t here needing him, he didn’t have to do something.  I felt bad that I reacted in such a childish selfish way with my pouting so I apologized and enjoyed the rest of the evening with him.  Our highlight of Friday night was a trip to Taco Bell’s drivethu in our pj’s, a marathon of Pinks All Out and we ended the night with a battle on the Xbox Kinect.  It ended up being a great boring night and for him it was just what the doctor ordered and exactly what he needed.  I wouldn’t have wanted anything else.

The rest of the weekend was nice, the kids were home, we put up the Christmas Tree and decorated the house.  The greatest time was putting the ornaments on the tree with the kids.  I am so ridiculously anal with my tree and I used to find myself rearranging ornaments after the kids put them on or telling them where to put them so it was all even and nice.  I am becoming better with that.  Even though it took me forever to get to the ornament hanging due to trying to do the tree different this year, getting into a fight with the ribbon (at one point it looked like the ribbon monster threw up in my living room, there were about 5 different kinds of ribbon everywhere) putting it on and taking it off 4 different times and not having any creativity there for a bit it was finally time.  I have to give it to my kids, they were so patient with me and my tree trials this year.  They waited patiently for their time.  I am still anal with a few ornaments that are very special to me and those have specific places on the tree but beside those it was anything goes for the kids.  My daughter sang christmas carols while she hung her ornaments, which was the cutest thing ever,  and my son (who has a little bit of myself in him) wanted to show me every ornament he hung to make sure it was in the right place.  I would just look at him and tell him it was perfect, if he wanted it there then so did I.  It is a beautiful tree and I am proud of it and so are the kiddos.  It’s perfect.

Don't mind the bottom..the dog has already gotten into it..dumb dog!


The Grand Opening of SpokenStill PhotoArt on Etsy!

Yes it’s true!  It’s the Grand Opening of SpokenStill PhotoArt!!  I am so excited!  What is SpokenStill PhotoArt you ask?  It is my Etsy Shop where I am selling my photography!  You will find a collection of photos and art as I see them through my eyes and camera.  I am always learning my eye for photography and with every snap of the shutter button a new lesson is learned.  I have always had a passion for photography but never took the leap.  With the kids in school full time I now have rekindled my love and have the time to make this happen.  You will find one of a kind shots by yours truly.  I have landscape prints, black and whites, prints of jelly fish and butterflies and many more random beautiful shots.  I love them all and I hope everyone that stops by will too.

I offer prints in many sizes, so even though the listing states it as an 8×10 doesn’t mean you can’t get it in any size you would like, from 5×7 and up.  Prices, of course will vary depending on the size of print you would like.

I can change the color of the print for you as well if you choose.  If you see a black and white and would rather have color..done, if you see color and want black and white or an antique lay, or sepia..double done.  My biggest goal is for everyone to fall in love with their purchase and be extremely satisfied.  My photos are either printed on Lustre or Metallic paper.  The Metallic is absolutely gorgeous giving the print a shiny sleek almost chrome look.  The colors are vibrant and pop with all their glory.  Other printing options are:  Textured Linen Prints and Canvas.  Are you looking for a gift?  Find a print and send it in a beautiful boutique packaging.  Prints are wrapped in tissue paper and packaged in a beautiful chocolate colored box and then topped off with a toffee colored silk bow.  Dazzle your recipient with their gift!

So stop by the shop and take a look around!  I hope you find something that you like.  And ALWAYS check back and see what is new!  I am always out and about snapping photos and will be updating my shop often!  Stay tuned for new products that will be available like greeting cards!

I hope to see you in the shop!

You feel dirty? You feel violated? Give me a break. Pat me down.

X-ray machines and metal detectors are used to...

Image via Wikipedia

So many are complaining about the new security pat downs and screenings.  You feel violated?  You feel dirty?  Huh?  Are you kidding?  The Today show reported on it and talked about a security worker who wrote about how he/she has cried after work because they are being called perverts, molesters etc.  That is saddening and just down right mean, they are doing their job and what they are supposed to be doing.  They are not patting you down because they want to touch you and feel you up..NO..they are simply doing their job, protecting us and trying to ensure our safety.  People want to protest the security screening/pat downs on Wednesday.  How are you going to feel after you do your protest and then a plane blows up or something else happens?  What kind of guilt are you going to feel if someone else gets hurt because you are being selfish and might feel a little violated.  What if the person behind you is protesting along with you and packing a knife or something and doesn’t get the pat down or the full body screening and gets on the plane with you and hijacks it or goes ballistic and hurts someone?  Think about all that can happen if the patting/screening doesn’t happen.  I don’t want some stranger patting me down but I also want to ensure my safety when I travel.  If the protest does happen there will be lines miles long for the security points, there will be absurd hub bub and much more stress caused by this than not.  If you are traveling on Wednesday and planning on protesting the screening think about all the others that are waiting on you to get over yourself because all they want is to get home to their families and have a great holiday.

If you want to be sure you are safe when you travel you can’t have your cake and eat it too.  There are certain procedures that need to be done to make sure we are not on a plane with a concealed weapon.  Yes some are invasive, a little awkward, weird or what have you but they are put in place to secure our safety.  9/11 was an extreme tragedy and I think we should all keep that in the back of our minds when we step up to the security point.  I don’t want to relive that day and I am sure you don’t either.  It’s not only 9/11, its the guy that had the bomb in his shoe and all the other episodes that have been in the news.  Maybe every night on the nightly news they should report on how many concealed weapons are confiscated on a daily basis, show a tally of how many questionable people would have been on a plane with innocent bystanders if the screening didn’t take place.  Yes we want everyone to be an honest human and not carry something dangerous, we want everyone to love one another and not want to hurt another being, I am so sorry to report that is never going to happen.  We as a society must take off the blinders and look around at the world it is today.  It isn’t pretty all the time.  There are plenty of lunatics and just down right mean people that have nothing but evil intentions traveling with us on a daily basis.  I would rather not travel with them personally, I would rather them, along with me, be patted down and searched if something is suspicious.  It’s such a small percentage of people that are getting patted down when you consider how many millions of people travel on a daily basis and it makes me wonder how many of the ones that are complaining have been patted down themselves or is it that they just have the fear of another human touching them.

What are your thoughts on airport security?  Will you complain or feel violated if you get pulled for a pat down or full body screen?  Do you want Jo Shmoe on a plane with you with a knife?

Keep it Classy.

The best thing that I heard yesterday was from a good friend..She said to “keep it classy”.  Amen sister.  With Class you either have it or you don’t.  When you claim or think you have class and then pull disgusting stunts it is then apparent that you don’t, never have, never will.  Some try to act like they do, play this part of who they think they, a fake persona.  Last evening I witnessed disgusting behavior by another adult towards me.  I think the attempt to be subtle failed miserably and in all reality made this person look like an ass.  If it was an attempt to make her look better she failed epicly.  It was, for one, disrespectful to the host of the evening and all that was there, two it was completely disgusting and childish.  You my friend looked like an ass and showed true colors which frankly are not pretty.  You can claim to have class and try to act the part but in all reality you have none when you take it there and act in that manner.  I kept it classy last night, I kept my smile.  I did have a moment of low class on fb after last night’s shenanigans but that was out of anger and a half a bottle of wine and since has been deleted because I refuse to stoop to that level.

We are all grown adults at this point of our lives and there should be a protocol known by all on how to handle certain situations.  It was shown quite obviously last night that one chose not to be an adult instead showed how immature she really is and frankly that she is a coward.  If two adults don’t see eye to eye and knowingly will be at the same events the correct and adult thing to do is put on a smile and act civilly, which is exactly what I did.  I wish I could say that for the other party involved.  Sadly she took the route of wanting to whisper throughout the evening and then started with snide comments, it was gross and cowardly.  Are we 12 now?  Are we back in school when we didn’t have the social skills that we have today?  There is a time and place to act like that and last night she chose horribly wrong.  What she did was one showed her ass, two made other people uncomfortable, and 3 was completely disrespectful to everyone around.  Zero class.  Now I am not one to be prim and proper 24/7, oh no.  I can run with the guys, I don’t get offended by much, I can be completely disgusting and inappropriate and I have a mouth of a sailor but I also know when to show some class.  I absolutely refuse to play this game..the game of trying to turn friends against each other, the game of poor me..every one feel sorry for me, I will not put on a show for pity, I will not make comments and act like a child.  I am who I am take it or leave it.  I refuse to be someone I’m not, to put on a persona to fit.  No. What sucks is I left without saying goodbye to everyone last night because it had came to a point of words were going to be exchanged.  I had kept my cool all night long and the more gin and tonics that were downed by one the more the comments flew.  I refused to stoop to that level and give her the satisfaction of an argument in front of everyone.  If you got beef you pull me aside or give a phone call.  I will not do this in front of people.  After I left I received calls and text saying “I am so sorry she acted like that she was wrong”.  Yes, yes she was.  I didn’t leave to go have a pity party for myself I left because I have self respect and respect of the host and her home and her family that was there.  I didn’t want to see it escalate into this big hoopla that this one obviously wanted it to be.  She wanted the pity of it, the poor me, the I am so mistreated bullshit.  No I am not giving that to you.  You bring all this on yourself.  You need to take a good look in the mirror and re-evalute the person you are and the person you trying to be.  I am who I am…I am real and I keep it real.

A Field Trip to a Local Dairy Farm

Welcome to Hatcher Dairy Farm!

Yesterday was the field trip with my son’s 2nd grade class to Hatcher Dairy Farm, a local dairy farm that has bee in existence since 1831 and still today the Hatcher family maintains it.  It was the best field trip to date I have been on with my kids.  I am convinced that a field trip with kids should be renamed “controlled chaos trip”, I don’t know how teachers do it.  Kudos to them.  The people of the dairy farm were wonderful and great with the kids.  They really took the time to teach the kids about the farm and what they do, not just here are some cows and this is where your milk comes from.  I was highly impressed.  Our trip started off by all the kids gathered around the owners to get the history of the farm.  It has been in the Hatcher family since 1831 and now the 5th generation is running it with the 6th generation in training.

They do everything themselves on the farm from raising the cows, breeding, milking and all the way to processing and bottling their product.  We were off to meet the moo cows.  The kids were absolutely amazed to be this up close and personal with the cows.  It absolutely blows my mind that some kids have never been around farm animals and this is all new to them.  I have realized how fortunate I was as a child to be raised in a small town that was surrounded by nature and had the opportunity to be around horses and farms.

Peek a Boo

Next we were taken down to the barn to meet the babies and Emma,the oldest cow on the farm.  The kids just loved seeing all the animals and the babies.  They showed them how the bottle feed the babies.  They brought out Emma so the kids could pet her and learn more about milking a cow.  The kids were completely grossed out when guy showed them the old style of milking.  Emma I have to say is a trooper.  She stood there unphased by all the surrounding kids hooting and hollering and petting her.  An average milking cow lives between 5-8 years and the average life span for the Hatcher cows is 10 years.  Emma being 13 is in outstanding health and is pregnant with her 9th calf.  Yes I said 9th!  Their cows live so long because they live in excellent conditions!


Meet Emma..

Isn’t she just adorable!  She looks straight out of a Disney movie!  The guy you see there was our guide and he was awesome.  Thank god the kids were only 8 and some of the stuff he talked about went straight over their heads because we got a sex ed course for cows while we were there and it was hilarious.  Next we were taking into the milking room where the kids were shown the modern way of milking.  The kids couldn’t stand the smell and I found that funny.  Being on this farm brought back many childhood memories for me and I personally loved the smell because of that..not that I enjoy smelling cow poop.  My great grandfather, who is amazingly still alive today because he has got to be pushing 100, had a dairy farm and I spent many weekends there helping him bring in the cows, feed and milk them.  He too had the what was then, modern milking equipment.  It was such a cool experience and I have many great memories there.

The trough you see is where the cows poop while they are being milked and a couple of the kids kept wanting to touch it or lean on it.  GROSS.  So I told them if any of them touch it I am entitled to call them poopy heads the rest of the day.  I am a super chaperone.  😉   But they stopped touching it.  So whatever works.


The milking equipment.

Next stop processing and bottling.

We headed back up to the front of the farm for fresh butter and milk tasting.  Did you know that the greener the grass is the more yellow the butter?  I know I am plethora of information today!


Fresh Butter! It was so good!

The farm like I said before has been around since 1831 and it was so full of charm and personality.  Everything was old and worn.


The Mac Daddy bull of the farm..He was Huge!

We had a blast and I could have spent hours there taking pictures.  I would love to go back another day and take more..I think I might have to make that happen.

My brain was bubbling caldron of goo.

I am pretty sure I did pull a muscle in my brain!

A quick rambling update.

Yesterday I spent hours…literally all day, staring at this computer working on my etsy shop.  The majority of the time was spent staring at the registration screen on etsy trying to decide on a name for my shop since once you pick it there is no changing it.  The pressure!!!!  By the time I picked one I had 4 sheets of paper in front of me all scratched with words, phrases, and letters.  Billy shot down all my favorites by pointing out some that would fit a certain geographic, other names included the words socks and his reply is your not selling socks..touche Dear Husband, and others he just didn’t like.  That made my mind a bubbling caldron of goo that couldn’t make a damn decision and when I would text him to bounce ideas off of him he simply replied too busy to volley texts.  CRAP!  I need to bounce them off somebody!  I finally decided on one…SpokenStill PhotoArt.  And there you have it after hours of thinking, writing and my head about to pop off I finally decided.

After that decision it was on to start creating my shop.  I have never done this before so I went to shop after shop after shop looking, reading and taking notes on other’s ‘policies’, bio, shipping, returns, cancellations etc.  Holy cow bubbling brain again.  Then it was on to make a banner for my page.  Easy right?  That’s what they want you to think.  I consider myself pretty damn computer savvy but yesterday made me question my computer wisdom and I almost through my computer out the flipp’n window.  I watched tutorials that conveyed the sense “oh it’s so easy, with one click of a button” well f you ms. youtube video tutorial maker, you suck and your instructions are not clear.  I finally figured it out after using a couple of different programs by myself.  And viola I had a banner.  It’s not exactly what I want but for right now it will do.  Now I am waiting for my evaluation prints to get here, which will hopefully be today, so I can see if I am going to use this photo lab for my printing.  Hopefully they will be great!  My next step is to get all my pictures ready to be listed.  This is going to take forever since I have so many to get ready.  After this initial prepping it will be smooth sailing since I will know what to do with my pictures after uploading them off my camera.  I have to organize, write descriptions, prep etc.  I am so excited to do this!  You can go to someone’s shop and see what they have sold, this was a huge confidence booster!  There were some prints that were sold that made me think ‘really? someone actually bought that?’  This gives me hope!

Today I have off to chaperone my son’s class field trip to a local dairy farm.  I am excited and looking forward to it.  I love chaperoning!  My mom was always able to go with me so I am so happy I get to do it with my kids.  I hope to get some cool shots there too.  Shhh…don’t tell.


Happy Birthday Mom, I Love you. I hope you are still dancing.

Dear Mom,

I wish you a very Happy Birthday, you would be 56 today.  I want so badly to wish you a Happy Birthday again, to give you a hug, to say I love you just one more time.  6 years ago today was the last time I was able to do that.  I think about your last birthday we spent together every year, Lindsey and I drove up to surprise you and the smile on your face when we walked around the corner of the house was so beautiful.  Your babies were home to celebrate you and your babies still celebrate you every year…every day.  We miss you today just as much as the day you were taken away from us.  There has not been one day that has gone by that I don’t think of you or wish you were still here.  I wish to only hear Hello the way you say it when you answer the phone, to hear Jamie Dawn or Lindsey Sue one more time or just to hear I love you.  You were and still are an amazing woman who I look up to, you are my hero.  We miss you so very much.  I know you look after us from where ever you are, I can feel you watching over my family and that it is you that keep us all safe.  I can feel you give me strength when times are rough, when I am feeling down and out.  Still to this day I smile when I think of you.  I watch Billy dance with the kids and it reminds me of Will dancing with you with his “dancing shoes” on.  I love those memories.  The memories of us dancing to Neon Moon blaring in the living room is a memory that I think about often and it always makes me smile.  Lindsey and I dance together the way you did with us and we smile and laugh and we remember.  It makes us feel like you are here again with us.  We will always honor you and love you.  You were the best mom in the world and the best grandmother for the short time you were here with my kids.  I remind them of you and tell stories of you all the time.  Will remembers you and talks about you.  He asks many questions about you, why you got so sick, why you were taken away.  Mom you would be amazed at my kids, they are so smart and loving and beautiful.  Will is just amazing.  He understands how I feel, he just gets it, he is so in tune with my feelings without me saying a word.  He knows when I am missing you and where my tears come from.  He doesn’t need to be told, he just knows.  I was upset one day and he came over to me and put his arm around me and says “you miss your mom don’t you?”.  It’s like he has a 6th sense, he can feel my sorrow and pain.  He loves you so much and misses you too.  He still talks about you by name, Mamaw Sue, and he talks about Peanut.  I make sure to tell Emily all our stories and she asks about you too.  Even though she only got to spend one week with you she will know you and keep you in her heart.  She will know your love and how much you loved her.  I get so mad that you only got to spend one week with her.  She is so beautiful Mom and loving.  I show them pictures all the time and tell them stories, I want them to know you, I want them to know that you loved them more than anything in this world.  I try so hard mom, I do but it’s so hard without you here.  I have so many questions that only you can answer.  I feel so alone at times.  No one can replace you, no one has the answers I need.  I try so hard to be strong for Lindsey and I.  I give Lindsey as much motherly love as I can and try guide her the right way.  She misses you so much, she doesn’t say it too often but you know how she is, she doesn’t talk about how she is feeling all that much.  I know she hurts, I can see it in her eyes at times.  She has really stepped it up and has been here for me and the kids.  She is an amazing woman and I don’t know what I would do with out her here with me.  You would be so proud of her and the woman she has become.  We both have came together closer than any other sisters I have known.  I am thankful everyday for her, I am thankful that you gave us each other.  We are each others strength we make it through together.   Billy misses you too.  I didn’t realize until after you were gone how much he loves you.  You showed him true unconditional love, you welcomed him into our family and he became your son.  He misses you everyday and talks about you to the kids.  He gets it, he gets me, he understands the pain and the empty feeling because he has it too.  I try so hard to understand it all, why it had to happen, why you were taken away from us when we still needed you.  Those are questions that will never get answered so all I can do now is remember.  The memories I have of my 28 years with you will forever be fresh in my heart and mind.  The way we would sing, dance, laugh and just talk.  When I feel that void in my heart tugging at me I remember and fill it with all of our memories and your love.  I could tell you anything and whether or not you agreed with me, at that moment in time you would because that is what I needed right then, you are the only one that would do that for me.  I can only hope to be the mom you were, to show my kids true love, to love life, to love each other, and of course to always dance.  There are still times when I find myself reaching for the phone to call you to tell you about my day or where I am going.  You were there for me more than any parent should be, you always had my back.  You were my best friend, the best mom a girl could ever ask for.  You will always be with me in my heart. I will always remember, smile and dance.

So where ever you are now I wish you a very Happy Birthday with all of my love.  I miss you so much.

Always Dance Like no One is Watching…