Thursday, September 20, 2012

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Sometime in the past two years, a shadow crept between me and the light that brightened and warmed my world. As someone who considers herself an optimist, this was a new experience. I called it many things...reality, fatigue, stress, illness, etc, and while I was busy being led by all these distractions, a more insidious problem was developing.

Depression is confusing, because unlike physical disorders, you don't always recognize it when you see it. Your muddled mind can't sort out your symptoms on it's own sometimes, and as a result you may follow as it leads you miles down a dark and lonely road. When you finally look around and realize you recognize none of your surroundings, you tell yourself it's no're too lost, too vulnerable to find your way out. You begin to grow comfortable with this lesser way of living.

So this is where I find myself now. Like a recovering addict, my approach is now to make the NEXT best decision. Instead of floating aimlessly through my day I'm taking a more proactive approach. I may do it imperfectly, but I believe each positive step taken clears the path a little bit more. If you're dealing with similar issues, you may want to check out this blog. It's been an encouragement to me.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

I love the woods, and while I like being there with other people, there's something about wandering through the trees alone that feels like a luxury. I had the opportunity to go on a short hike by myself last weekend, which is not something I ordinarily do, but I've been dating one of the park rangers at this particular park and since he wasn't worried I wasn't worried.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


I haven't been posting much because I've been going through kind of a rough time...not a crisis but just discontent with where my life is at right now. I had hoped to be further along in my education and career by now.Lydia is reaching a more independent age where I no longer strictly define myself as a mother.

I take this discontentedness as a good that simply means it's time for a change in my thinking or environment or maybe both. It doesn't make for good blogging though.

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Lydia is grounded this week and it almost seems she likes it. She never gets in trouble so I think it makes her feel more normal. Without her computer, phone, tv etc she's trying to come up with things to do and keep her attitude positive. She made this today.
Study geometry? Spray for bugs?
Have you ever seen anything cuter? Yes, that's a baby fox.
 Follow the Longest Acres blog for more adorableness.

Sunday, May 27, 2012

Hiking Today

It was hotter than hot today with no breeze but it was still a good day for the woods.
As much as it pains me to admit, Lydia hates hiking. She was really great at not complaining...verbally...for about 5 minutes. Sighing...yes. Dramatically swatting at bugs...yes. Glancing worriedly into the trees looking for bigfoot (my fault for making her watch that show about bigfoot hunters)...yes. It wasn't until the very end that she out and out told me she hated it with a passion. It's ok. Next time I have to take her to F21 I'll remind her of this day.

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Lydia and I visited our favorite hideout on the Ocoee River yesterday. Thanks to some problems with our room we were "upgraded" to a suite on the water.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

Lydia graduated from 8th grade last week...we survived middle school!

If You Give a Pig a Pancake

If you give a pig a pancake (or some dog food and cherry tomatoes), he will come right inside and make himself at home, even if you've never seen him before.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lydia has a formal dance coming up this weekend and we snagged this dress on sale last night.

Sunday, May 6, 2012


I've been batting around the idea of making a dastric location change in the near future. Lydia and I don't have much that ties us to Tennessee, and with my CNA license I can work pretty much anywhere in the country. I've spent several hours looking around the web for a town that catches my eye...somewhere that looks as if it was made for Lydia and I. In reality I don't know if we'll really move, but having the possibility is exciting. We could go on any kind of adventure we wanted to. Where would you start over if YOU could go anywhere?

Maybe Colorado?

Forks, Washington?

San Francisco?


Thursday, May 3, 2012

Best of Craigslist

This is my favorite "best of" craigslist ad. I read it years ago and still find it hilarious.

To the Minotaur that lives above me.

Date: 2008-06-26, 10:36AM CDT

First off, I must say that I admire your courage. It must be hard living in the world today as a lady-beast. Society judges, oh lord do they ever.

With that said, let's get down to business. Over the past year, we've had a funny sort of relationship, you and I. When I first moved into the place, it was rather peaceful. It was an exciting time in my life, as it was the first time I would be living by myself. Then came the day that I first heard it. What did I hear you ask? It was sound of your hooves galloping across the hardwood floors of your living room. At the time I thought, No big deal, surely it can't always be like this. Oh was I wrong. It turned out that every time I was at home, you would be up there, stomping around, like the wild lady-beast that you are.

After a few weeks, I determined through a process of elimination, that you are in fact, a Minotaur. It only makes sense.

FACT. Minotaurs have hooves, and that's sure as hell what it sounds like is hitting the floor when you gallop around.

FACT. A Minotaur posses great strength, the kind of strength that can be felt by a guy laying on his couch, trying to get into a good book. The kind of strength that shakes the dishes in his cupboards. The kind of strength that can wake a guy out of a dead sleep, EVERY FRICKIN MORNING. I didn't even need to set an alarm clock to wake up in the morning. Instead I wake up to THUMP THUMP THUMP. THUMP THUMP THUMP THUMP. THUMP THUMP THUMP. I'm not a light sleeper by any means; I sleep right through the viscously loud police, fire truck, and ambulance sirens every night. I was lying there one morning, frustrated, counting the trips you took between your bedroom and your bathroom. 17. 17 god forsaken trips between the bedroom and the bathroom. Really? Are you kidding me? What could you possibly be doing?

FACT. Minotaurs are half bull. Bulls are aggressive when taunted. Apparently, the time I went upstairs, politely introduced myself, and asked you rather nicely to please quit stomping around, was a taunt. That's when you got aggressive. You called the landlord and told him that I was complaining about your noise. When he told me about this, he said his response to your complaint was, Quit making so much noise then. Brilliant. Go Mr. Landlord! I tried keeping him out of this, but you felt it important to drag him into it.

After a few more weeks of you recklessly stomping around, I made another attempt at a civil confrontation. It failed. It failed because you stomped your way to the door, and you didn't open it when you saw who was standing there. I know this because I heard your hooves clippity-clop their way to the door. Way to avoid confrontation.

To my surprise, the stomping ceased the next day, and I awoke to peace. Amazing, I thought, It must be a midsummer miracle!! A few days passed, and I ran into my landlord in the entry way. He mentioned that he received another angry phone call from you. Said that you felt threatened by my confrontations, said I scared you. Strange, since not once did I ever raise my voice or try to be anything but civil. He then mentioned that he told you to buy some slippers to wear around your apartment. Genius! It freakin worked!! Hell yea, Mr Landlord! High five!

Fast forward 11 months. The stomping has returned. No doubt in my mind the hooves have worn through the delicate fabrics of the slippers and are now, once again, banging against your hardwood floors.

Please, for the love of sweet baby jesus, run down to the local Target and purchase yourself another pair of hoof mufflers. I know you can run with those strong legs of yours, probably real fast like! Target downtown is all of 10 blocks away. Go Minotaur, go! Overcome the odds, society is watching! (and judging)

Friday, April 27, 2012

Last year at this time we were getting out of town...leaving for Knoxville where we felt safer from the storms that were coming. In a few hours there would be 70 plus people dead in our region. The following people were lost in the vicinity of our house.

1.  Jo Ann Darnell, 77, 4607 Clonts Road
2. Adam Carroll, 17, 4607 Clonts Road
3. Joshua Poe, 31, 4607 Clonts Road
4. Brenda Prescott, 56, 4607 Clonts Road
5. Mary Raper, 60, 11720 Bates Road
6. Bobby Raper, 63, 11720 Bates Road
7. Donald Christian, 70, 11704 Bates Road
8. Dorothy Christian, 62, 11704 Bates Road
9. Chelsea Black, 16; Cherokee Valley Road
10. Cody Black, 21; Cherokee Valley Road
12. Pamela Black, 46; Cherokee Valley Road
13. Christopher Black, 47; Cherokee Valley Road
14.  Holly Readus, 26; CherokeeValley Road
15. Robert Jones, 47; Cherokee Valley Road
16. Jack Estep, 61; Cherokee Valley Road
17. Rhea McClannahan, 86; Cherokee Valley Road

Monday, April 23, 2012

April 27 is the one year anniversary of the tornado. I received a postcard in the mail saying that one of my neighbors, Bill Hullender, is holding a weekend of celebration and rememberance at his farm. Friday night is a memorial service in one of his barns, where a memorial for those who died will be unveiled, and Saturday is the celebration with free food, music, etc for all the neighbors, first responders, and volunteers. I CAN'T WAIT! Something tells me this is going to be something special and meaningful for the community and I'm so glad he's taken the lead on this. I mean, it's in a barn. What more do you need to hear?

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Today I'm thankful that the "good" kids at school always seem to gravitate towards each other. Note Miss Lydia with the flower in her hair, who made the high school dance team for next year :)

Thursday, April 12, 2012

I received some pretty fabrics from my friend Dayna as a graduation present today. they fit my windows perfectly.
Lydia and Daisy Picture Love

This probably deserves it's own post, but I think it's awesome how I was laid off a year and a half ago and somehow, without planning it this way, I am starting a job on the very last day I am eligible for unemployment. For the past year and a half I have earned credits towards my AA degree I will have this summer,  and the nursing program which is the ultimate goal, while being able to spend so much more time with Lydia. To have the CNA program wrap up right as my unemployment was ending, then to land a job immediately (really close to home) was something I couldn't have arranged on my own.

My Life is Sooooo Glamorous

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

The Easter Truth

You saw my pretty Easter pictures right? Looks like we had a great day by all accounts, and it WAS good in the long run. It just didn't start that way. First, on a day when people who don't normally go to church, go to church....Lydia and I (who usually go to church) did NOT go to church. You got that? We did watch it online though. In an effort to do something special I suggested a picnic, but we jumped the gun and were at the park with footlongs by 10:30. I was so anxious to get out of my filthy house that we fled without looking at the time. We sat in the wet grass by the river and swatted nats and smooshed ants and force fed ourselves meat sandwiches. I complained that Lydia got too dressed up. She complained that I complained. Finally I gave up, so the first part of the day was the lost portion of our Easter.

warm mayo and onions. mmm mmm mmm!!!

I should've heeded this warning...just didn't realize it was metaphorical.

So I headed aimlessly downtown, where Lydia spotted that the fountains were running, thus beginning the redemption of our day.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Cutting Back

I don't like to make sacrifices financially. Of course, I can't have everything I want because it's not monetarily possible, but I have to admit that even when I'm facing rough financial times I very rarely cut back on things like eating out, buying beauty products, or reducing the amount of electricity we use. Lately though, the stress of being less than fiscally responsible is taking it's toll. I think I've finally gotten to the point where I'd rather do without something and instead be able to pay my electric bill without heavy negotiations with the power company. This has led me to some serious considerations about what needs to go for awhile.

1.) Coffee. I can drink cheap coffee and forgo those Keurig K-Cups I love so much.  I've convinced myself that travel mugs make my coffee taste like plastic or metal, but in reality this is probably just rationalization for that cup of Dunkin' Doughnuts on my way to school.

2.) Contrary to what I've told myself, turning off lights and fans before leaving the house is not really that much of a buzz kill.

3.) Generic beauty products are ok even for Lydia (gasp).

4.) It's ok to just have basic, local cable channels.

5.) I can't continue to eat out. It's ridiculous and probably drains most of my money.

6.) I may not like the clothes I have now, but I don't need more especially when half my life is spent in scrubs.

So now that I've told you these things, I fully expect you to call me on it if you see a Starbucks cup in any of my photos.

Monday, April 9, 2012

Congratulations Graduate

Graduate...That would be me :)

Lydia deserves this certificate as much as I do. She was patient and never complained about her mom being gone to classes in the evening.

My graduation present from Lydia


I TOLD Lydia not to make faces in these pictures, but she couldn't resist.

Could anything be MORE stereotypically Tennesseean?