Friday, December 31, 2010

Sometimes It's Hard to Explain

Panic attacks..........I hate em............
It will all be ok though.  I have to start taking my meds.  I hate meds too!! ;-) 
Will be an interesting day and night....having panic attacks this morning has drained me.
Doing Christmas - opening gifts, etc. with grandkids and family tonight.  Feels weird having Christmas on New Years Eve.  But not half as weird as panic attacks.  BLAH BLAH.

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Ugly Weather, Beautiful Grandchildren

I'm looking for the snow to turn really ugly during the next few days.  Rain on it's way....or so the weatherman says!  The really good thing about the ugly, rain weather coming is - MY BEAUTIFUL GRANDBABIES are coming to my house today.  They will be staying until Sunday.  It won't matter what the weather looks like, as long as they are HERE!

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Christmas with Angels grandbabies will be here Thursday.  Christmas all over again!!  Can't wait to see my two little angels.  Now if I could just step down on my right foot!  I have no clue what is wrong with my foot but neither do the doctors I've been to.  MY doctor is gone on vacation to timbucktoo or somewhere.  Go Figure!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

90 Minutes In Heaven

Ok, I just read the book "90 Minutes In Heaven" - Couldn't put it down so I finished it in just a few hours.  If you haven't read it - DO!

I should have saved the book for this morning - 3:30a.m. - can't sleep - something terribly wrong with my foot.  I guess it's ok to cry at my age.  Doesn't matter...have been anyway!  I may just have to cut my foot off to make it stop hurting.  Mike says we won't have to go to such drastic measures just yet!  I dunno...OUCH!

The dog is also wondering around in the COLD DARK SNOW.  I won't be going searching for him but if you listen real close - you'll hear me screaming all over Preston - "P E A N U T"

Monday, December 27, 2010

Today's Thoughts....Not Memories

I'm looking at gifts under my Christmas Tree. Today is Dec. 27th.......I'm almost to the point of tears.  Those gifts belong to my grandkids.  I don't get to spend Christmas Eve or Christmas Day with them.  I understand my daughter's thinking though.  She wants to be at her own home, when Santa arrives.  I miss THOSE MORNINGS of watching my daughter open "Santa gifts."  I will get to see my daughter and my grandbabies this week though.  Thinking about that, helps.  I better stop writing now - before this page GETS WET :(

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Inside My Heart

Inside My Heart
It may or may not be Valentines Day while you're reading this. Either way, I'm giving you a heart. My Heart!
When I was growing up I always tried to act "tough." Very few people saw me cry. Especially the boys! Many "boys" broke my heart. Instead of letting them see me cry, I usually just screamed a few "obscenities" at them. That felt really good! The tears that came later didn't feel as good.
I have made some really big mistakes in my life. I've hurt a few people's hearts as well. I didn't do it intentionally. I was just stupid. I feel really remorseful. Deep down, inside my heart, you will find a kind, compassionate and giving soul. I cry at the "drop of a hat" now. I'm guessing some of this is due to "Middle Age." Some of my "crying spells" come from the thoughts of those people I've wronged. My husband and my preacher both tell me let it go. My preacher says to "Let Go and Let God." I want to let go. I just can't seem to. It's kind of like trying to stop smoking. I want to want to stop. I just can't seem to want to.
When I was a young girl I didn't worry as much as I do now. I was happy go lucky, most of the time. Or, so everyone thought! I'm guessing if you'd ask people to describe me when I was a teenager they might use the words "footloose and fancy free." That's where the quote "You can't judge a book by it's cover" comes from. No one really knew what was in my heart. I kept most things "bottled up" inside me. I definitely put up many walls. Pride! Sometimes "pride" can cause you to miss out on some things. Pride can certainly make you DO some stupid things. I guess it's ok though - I still had my pride.
I remember fighting with my sister. I would tell her I hated her and that I hoped she would die. Goodness Sakes!!! She said that to me as well. I've heard other siblings tell each other that very same thing. I loved my sister, even during the fights, but I wasn't going to tell her that. I still love her but we just don't say it to each other. My family are not the kind of people that say "I love you" and we never hug each other. We just know we love each other anyway!
My grandchildren are my pride and joy. Before they came along, I didn't think I had anymore love left in my heart. Wow, I did! This love is a totally different kind of love. Unless you are a grandparent, you'll never understand it. It's the best love of all! I tell my grandchildren I love them and I always hug them. They don't always reciprocate those hugs and kisses. My grandson quickly wipes away those kisses. I think most two year olds do that. Especially boys! My granddaughter lets me hug and kiss on her. She's only 6 years old so I'm not sure how much longer she's going to let me do that.
I may look strong and I may act as if nothing really bothers me. Inside my heart - I'm a "worrier." I'm not as strong as everyone thinks I am or as "uncaring" as people thought I was, way back when. So from here on out, I'm going to just be "me." To heck with pride! I easily get my feelings hurt and I wear my heart on my sleeve. I once loved the song "Old enough to know better, but still too young to care." I don't like it anymore. Now I'm old enough to just say "I DO CARE." I always did. I just didn't want anyone to know! I kept it hidden, deep inside my heart.
Valentines day or not, give someone your heart. I plan on letting people see INSIDE MY HEART. It won't mean I'm losing my pride. It'll just show I'm not as stupid as I used to be. Oh, and get your shoulder ready - I might just need it to cry on!

Country Gal's Thoughts: My True Love Gave To Me

Country Gal's Thoughts: My True Love Gave To Me: "My True Love Gave To MeYou probably think this is something about diamonds or something romantic, huh? Well, wrong! Just recently my daught..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: Jack of all Trades MEETS Jill of all Skills

Country Gal's Thoughts: Jack of all Trades MEETS Jill of all Skills: "Jack of all Trades MEETS Jill of all SkillsMy husband is very intelligent. He says he just carries around a whole bunch of useless informat..."

Jack of all Trades MEETS Jill of all Skills

Jack of all Trades MEETS Jill of all Skills
My husband is very intelligent. He says he just carries around a whole bunch of useless information. I beg to differ. He's just NOT VAIN. He doesn't want people to think he's as smart as he really is. He is a Jack of all Trades!
When I was sixteen, I thought I knew everything I would ever need to know. Well, everything I'd need to know in THIS lifetime. I knew reading, writing and arithmetic. What did I need to know fractions, algebra or calculus for? I knew how to get to all the surrounding counties within a 60 mile radius. I could drive a car, a truck, a tractor and of course I was good at driving my mother crazy by thinking I knew everything. Heck, I even knew how to smoke a cigarette. I learned that while learning to drive. I thought that was ONE COOL THING to do - holding a cigarette in the same hand I was steering with. Ok, so I didn't know exactly how to smoke a cigarette. I choked, coughed and thought I'd throw up on several occasions. But I got the hang of it. Now, see how smart I was?
When I turned 21, I thought for sure I knew it all by then. I was a mother. Actually, I was a pretty good mother. I used to do a lot of babysitting so I had some experience under my belt. Being a mother was going to be easy!! I knew all about it. My baby had nights of crying, dirty diapers, earaches, scrapes and bruises, and many visits to the emergency room. I didn't know as much as I thought I did about being a mother. I learned that you learn as you go.
Turning 30 was a turning point for me. I cried. I figured by then, for sure, I knew everything. I had this "being married" thing down! Money was tight. Bills had to be paid. Food had to be on the table. And, I had to be a wife along with being a mother. After thirteen years of marriage, I found out I wasn't very good at being a wife either. I'll be nice and not say anything else about divorces!
Looking back, I'm trying to figure out just when I did start to know everything. A couple years ago I told my husband that the measurement I needed for my recipe WAS NOT on the measuring cup. So I didn't learn fractions in high school! I needed 1/5 of something. It wasn't on the cup. My husband just shook his head and smiled when I told him to show me where it was. I can't measure with a ruler either. I'll soon be fifty years old. The big 5 0! I'm starting to mature. Yep, I've finally figured it all out. I don't know much of ANYTHING, much less Everything. It could be too late for me to start learning. I'm thinking I'll just let my Jack of all Trades do it for me because I found out I'm really just a Jill of VERY FEW SKILLS. My husband still shakes his head when I ask him things I should already know. He swears I'm just pretending to NOT KNOW so that he will have to do it. I don't know if he's right or wrong. I just know that JACK loves this JILL, regardless!

My True Love Gave To Me

My True Love Gave To Me
You probably think this is something about diamonds or something romantic, huh? Well, wrong! Just recently my daughter had to give her dog away because her "city folk" neighbors were complaining about him barking. See, that's not romantic. That's pretty sad. There's one advantage to living out in the country. Your dogs can bark all they want. And that they do! I hear people's dogs howling all night long. Sometimes I want to complain, but I don't.
My daughter is one of my main "loves." She gave me two wonderful grandbabies. She has been the best mother in the world to them. Having grandchildren has given me the opportunity to make up for not being a perfect mother. I never realized there was any "love" left in my heart until I became a Nana. And I can tell you - there's just no love like it! Thank you Candice! Now I can use all that "new" love on Abigail and Preston. They are my angels, my grandchildren.
I just received a Christmas gift from Candice. Well, I call her Candi. Guess what it was? Yep, her dog. I like the dog ok. I'm just not so sure I love it. While pondering this gift, my brain stumbled upon the song "The Twelve Days of Christmas." I'll soon be turning the big FIVE 0. I'm beginning to feel some aches and pains so I decided to scribble my own version of The Twelve Days of Christmas. Here we go! Make sure you SING the words as you're reading this. And sing it to the tune of that song! Let's start with the twelfth day. GO!
On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me
12 Muscles Cracking
11 Bones A Popping
10 Wrinkled Fingers
9 Cups of Coffee
8 Pairs of glasses
7 Hershey Kisses
6 Bourbon Balls
4 A Calling Doctors
3 Crazy Cats
2 Grand KIDS

I decided to keep my new "gift" in my house. I just didn't have the heart to put him out in the cold. Especially since I already have one dog in the house. My husband told me a few years ago that we would not be getting anymore dogs. He's already taught the dog to sit, give him his paw and lay! So much for him not wanting another dog. I really didn't want another dog either. Just so you know Ms. CANDI - I'm not so much in love with YOU or THAT DOG right at the moment. The gift you gave me REALLY DID pee on the Christmas Tree. I guess it's a good thing my tree is artificial! I'm thinking I'll ask Candi to buy me a NEW TREE next Christmas!

Country Gal's Thoughts: Pot Pies, Moon Pies and Mud Pies

Country Gal's Thoughts: Pot Pies, Moon Pies and Mud Pies: "We didn't have much money when we were growing up in the country but we never lacked for food. As a matter of fact, we raised pigs at one t..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: First Kisses.....First Loves

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Country Gal's Thoughts: Rudolph IS NOT a boy's Name

Country Gal's Thoughts: Rudolph IS NOT a boy's Name: "When I was a teenager my parents would sometimes go on a one day adventure. One December, on a Sunday afternoon, we took a drive to Sky B..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: What's That Smell?

Country Gal's Thoughts: What's That Smell?: "I am sure that everyone reading this can come up with an answer fairly quickly If I ask you what your favorite smell is. Thanksgiving is ..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: Pop A Fix It

Country Gal's Thoughts: Pop A Fix It: "My husband is not the 'blood' pop of my grandkids but you wouldn't know it. They don't know it either. They think he hung the moon! My gr..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: It's Christmas Time In The Country

Country Gal's Thoughts: It's Christmas Time In The Country: "My dad always cut our Christmas tree from the woods behind our house in the valley. When I was a little girl I loved going to cut down tha..."

Country Gal's Thoughts: Knight In Shining Armour

Country Gal's Thoughts: Knight In Shining Armour: " I love Cinderella and all the other princesses that had a prince to come rescue them. Can y..."

Knight In Shining Armour

        I love Cinderella and all the other princesses that had a prince to come rescue them.  Can you imagine what it must feel like, being swept into the arms of a prince, riding a white horse?  That must be where "someone" came up with the phrase "swept off your feet."  Well, that's what it reminds ME of.
        Watching movies that end with someone being "carried off," into paradise, are my favorite ones.  Chick flicks, I guess.  Those movies are the ones that moisten your eyes and wet your cheeks.  Sometimes that "salty liquid" falls to your lips.  I know it's salty because I've tasted it many times.
         While I was going through my second divorce I was also going through some mixed emotions.  I wasn't ready to jump into a serious relationship but, for some strange reason, my mind kept telling me I didn't want to die alone.  I have no clue why I was thinking about death.
         In that vision, I was in a hospital bed, looking around the room and seeing - well - NOBODY.  I couldn't even see my family.  I was looking around that hospital room for a man!  A man that loved me unconditionally and one that was supposed to be right there by my bedside.  I also wanted him to be holding my hand, telling me he loved me and that he would see me in heaven.
        Wow, what was I thinking?  Heck, my divorce wasn't even final. I was staying with my parents until I could find a place of my own.  My parents were thrilled their 43 year old daughter had come back home.  Oh, that could be a fib!  I'm sure they weren't jumping for joy but they let me stay anyway.
         One of those nights, while staying with my parents, my mom told me to put on some make-up and to fix my hair.  She said my friends, Muff and Nancy, had called to invite me to a cookout.  I told my mom I didn't want to go to the cookout, much less "put on my face" and wash my hair.  She then said, "Mike is going to be there."  My reply - "Mike who?"  Mom then gave me his last name.  I had known Mike for twenty some years or more.  We weren't close friends but I had been to his house, way back when.  My reply back to my mom - "So What, I don't want to see Mike."  She finally talked me in to going to the cookout.  I went but without make-up and without fixing my hair.
         I remember that night well.  I had on bibbed overalls and a tank top.  I walked to the back of the house where everyone was.  At first I saw my sister and her husband.  Muff was at the grill.  There was also some "strange" lady sitting in one of the chairs.  I didn't know her but I sit down next to her and introduced myself.  I then heard the kitchen door open.  I looked up to see Mike walking out.  He took a chair across from where I was sitting.  We greeted each other with "hello" and "long time, no see."  He had been divorced 3 years.  He had the hang of it!
        The hamburgers were ready so I stepped inside the house to get something to drink.  Nancy told me she was playing "cupid."  She had the strange lady there to meet Mike.  I was happy for him.  Really!  From what I knew of him, he deserved a good woman.  I didn't know if that strange lady was a good woman or not.  Quite frankly, I didn't care that much.  I liked Mike but I had never been attracted to him  We all ate and talked about old times.  Except for the strange lady.  She didn't have the "memories" with the rest of us.  She didn't look like she was having much fun but I wasn't having the greatest time myself.  I was ready to go back to my mom's and sleep!
       Before I left, I glanced up to say something to Mike.  The glow was just above his head.  With that glow came a flutter in my heart.  He looked like a totally different person to me at that very moment.  I was gazing into his eyes with a whole new perspective of what he looked like.  It was really weird!  The attraction hit me square between my eyes and in my heart.  Something, or someone, turned on a light for me to see him.  I swear the glow I saw above his head was a bright light.  Honest!
       Before the "cookout incident," my mom had been giving me some advice.  She told me not to "jump into" any new relationships, stop going to bars, and to just wait for someone to come and find me.  Find me in Preston?  I laughed and laughed at that one.  I certainly couldn't imagine anyone coming to Preston, much less coming to find ME.  Who was going to come out in the "bookdocks" to look for this country girl?
       I love being a princess.  Now I know how Cinderella must have felt.  I didn't get to ride off in a horse drawn carriage. Mike wasn't wearing armour either.  He did, however, drive me off in his shiny, red blazer.  We've been together 6 years now.  He makes me feel like a princess every day!  I'm glad I decided to go to the cookout that night.
       My heart still has a little flutter when I think about that light I saw above Mike's head.  Of course, those thoughts bring back the "salty liquid" to my lips.  They are not thoughts of sadness.  That liquid contains tears of joy!  Dreams CAN and DO come true.  Not only for me, but also for YOU.  Sometimes your "prince" is standing right under your nose.  Mine was!

It's Christmas Time In The Country

My dad always cut our Christmas tree from the woods behind our house in the valley. When I was a little girl I loved going to cut down that tree. I sure hope the "tree huggers" don't come after us now! There were several years that we didn't have lights to go on our tree. We did, however, have some kind of contraption that made light effects on the tree. It was an electrical wheel that was shaped like a disc. As it turned, different colors of triangles would shine on the tree, making it look like the tree had different colors flashing on it. Oh, this reminds me of when we didn't have a colored television either. Mom put another "contraption" on the television. It was a paper-thin, colored plastic thing. She would place it on the T.V. screen, making it look like a colored television set. Well, it really didn't but we thought it did at the time.
The "spruce" smell from our Christmas tree would fill the air for weeks in our house. The needles from the tree would fill the bottoms of our feet for MONTHS! Sometimes we had cedar trees and pine trees as well. It just doesn't seem like Christmas without the smell of a "real" Christmas tree.
My mom used to take us Christmas shopping at Hobbs, Newberry's, Oldham's, Maloney's and Belk's. If you know these stores, you know my age.....and I know your's! They don't make stores like that anymore. If you remember Newberry's you'll remember the first thing that caught your attention when you walked in the door. Those roasted cashews! I can smell and taste them now. Those stores had a layaway department, giving my mom plenty of time to pay for our gifts. I don't think stores have a layaway department anymore. That's a shame because this helps struggling parents have enough time to get things for their children while making payments on those items. We didn't have as much as some kids but we had the best Christmases I can imagine. Probably due to the layaway plan.
My sister and I were never "materialistic." We're still not! Besides the things Santa brought me I remember a big stuffed, pink bear, most of all. I loved stuffed animals. They don't make those like they used to either. I can also remember baby dolls and Barbie dolls. We always had those under the Christmas tree. My sister and I would play with them for hours. My mom recently gave us our "most memorable" dolls. She saved them all those years. My doll's name is "Giggles." She would tilt her head from side to side and her eyes would roll around as she giggled. My granddaughter played with my doll the last time she came to visit. She put hair gel in it's hair. Giggles looks a little scary now!
When I turned 13 I wanted a BB gun for Christmas. Yep, a BB GUN! My mom wasn't about to get me a BB gun. I had one under the tree that Christmas morning. I'm guessing Santa read my letter because he brought me one. He even had bb's in my stocking. You won't believe this but my dad still has that VERY BB GUN that Santa brought me all those years ago.
I thought I had struck gold when I turned 14. A ten speed bicycle was under the tree! It did look funny - a "boys" ten speed bike with a "basket" on the handlebars. Just what I asked for! I'm not sure why I wanted a boys bicycle because it was much easier riding the girl's bike that my sister got. I think I wanted to be tough, like a boy!
Thanks to my mother, my sister and I had some wonderful Christmas mornings. She made sure of it! After opening our gifts, we would hurry to the kitchen for a big breakfast. My mom knew I loved peanut butter and syrup, heated up, and poured over hot biscuits. She always had that for me on Christmas morning. Not to mention that big piece of country ham on the plate as well!
We never had the most expensive things during those Christmases when we were growing up but we sure had the best! I'm thinking my daughter WILL NOT let me buy my granddaughter a BB gun when she turns 13 but maybe Santa will bring her one! May all your days be merry and bright- Just like my Country Christmas Tree was, way back when, before there were no lights!

Pop A Fix It

My husband is not the "blood" pop of my grandkids but you wouldn't know it. They don't know it either. They think he hung the moon! My granddaughter is 6 years old now but when she was 2 years old she learned quickly to NOT bring "stuff" to Nana to put together ,or fix if it was broken. I am not good at putting things together or fixing things. It usually ends up in the trash or thrown across the room after my 2 minutes of effort. I have no patience. Therefore, when my granddaughter would bring me things and ask me to fix them I would tell her "Pop A Fix It."
For those of you not familiar with "country talk," - we usually leave out some letters or vowels in our words and sentences. Sometimes we use a completely different word, such as "A" for "will." That explains my title, "Pop A Fix It" instead of Pop WILL Fix It.
My grandson is now 2 years old and has quickly learned from his sister to take anything that needs "fixin" to Pop. I don't think my grandson has ever brought anything to me and asked me to fix it. Maybe it's a "male" thing and they just have the intuition of knowing some women can't fix things. Secretly, I CAN fix some things. I just don't want to, due to my patience level. By the way, my granddaughter does bring me her Barbie dolls to help get their clothes on them. Pop can't do that!
Truth be told, Pop really can't fix everything but I don't want my grandchildren to know that. When they get older and find out he's not their "blood" Pop, they won't care . They will continue to say "Pop A Fix It." And so will I, regardless if he can or not!

What's That Smell?

I am sure that everyone reading this can come up with an answer fairly quickly If I ask you what your favorite smell is. Thanksgiving is quickly approaching us so that is why I can name one of my favorite smells right off the bat. Turkey Dressing! When I was a little girl, the aromas of celery and onions cooking would slowly roam through the air, touch my nose and awaken me from a deep sleep. When I awoke, I knew immediately it was Thanksgiving. My mom boils her celery and onions before adding them to whatever else is in her turkey dressing. I don't like cooked celery or onions but they taste delicious in her dressing. She makes the very best. I love that smell!
Another smell that comes to my mind is honeysuckle. I loved that smell when I was a little girl. I still do. My sister and I used to slowly pull the little ends off of each bloom and suck the juice from the ends. It would probably take a million blooms to get one teaspoon but we continued to at least wet our tongues. I'm teaching my grandkids how to do that now. My daughter's not real thrilled with this idea. I do it anyway. As a matter of fact, my granddaughter was visiting me back in the summer and I drove her to the bottom of our hill. I stopped the car, rolled down the window and said to her "What's That Smell?" She immediately said, "Honeysuckle." Kids learn quickly. We got out to taste the honeysuckle.
Do you think anyone would ever choose "dust" as their favorite smell? No? I do. Not the dust in your home but the dust from the gravel in those driveways in the country. When I was 8 years old I use to sit for hours in the gravel driveway and smell the dust from those pebbles. Once, while smelling the dust, I scooped up a handful of the gravel to smell the dust and one of the pebbles went up my nose. The harder I tried to get that rock out of my nose, the farther up it went. It was stuck. My sister saw me do this and she started running toward the house to tell mom. I was begging her not to. After several attempts of mom trying to get the rock out of my nose, we made a trip to the doctor's office. The doctor explained to us that he would have to put me out and surgically remove the rock. Just before the procedure to put me to sleep, I sneezed. The rock came out and hit the wall. They all laughed. I cried. Do I still love the smell of gravel dust? Yes, but I don't put those rocks so close to my nose now.
Musty Cellars. A cellar, to country folk, is like an unfinished basement under a home. Except a cellar is under a smokehouse. You'll have to figure out on your own what a smokehouse is, if you don't already know. When I was younger, we use to have to go to the cellar during bad storms. I loved hearing there was a storm warning because I knew I'd get to go to the cellar. I can't explain exactly what a cellar smells like but if I close my eyes right now and take a deep breath through my nose, I can still smell it. I love that smell.
I doubt the smells I have chosen entered your mind when you read the first sentence and started your "thinking." But that's the beauty of it all. We're all different and so are our "smellers." I love that.

Rudolph IS NOT a boy's Name

When I was a teenager my parents would sometimes go on a one day adventure. One December, on a Sunday afternoon, we took a drive to Sky Bridge. My sister and I were at those teenage years and had lost interest in those trips. Our interests were on boys!
We used to have several guys over to our house almost every night. Most of those guys were just our friends, not boyfriends. We would all gather in our den and watch television. The guys we had over usually felt comfortable enough to flop down on our couch and just lie there for hours. We only had one couch in the den so those not on the couch would round up whatever chairs we had in our house and they would prop their feet on anything that would make an ottoman. There were always some big pairs of "feet" on top of something in that house. Those big feet, with big tennis shoes, were the first thing you'd see when you walked into the room. My sister and I loved having all those guys over. My dad didn't always love it! I can't imagine why. Did he think he needed a chair to flop in to as well?
My dad was happy to get away the day we went to Sky Bridge. My sister and I cried. We did a lot of crying when we were growing up. We used to take trips and continually ask “Are we there yet, and How much farther?” This time we kept asking ”Can we leave yet, and Is it time to go home yet?” I’m surprised my parents ever took us anywhere the way we carried on.
Most of our guy friends had nick names such as Hooter, Rooster, Huey, Dewey and Louie. Ok, maybe not those exact names, but close. My dad could never remember all their names - he just knew some of them had some “weird” names.
After a day full of “crying and whining” at Sky Bridge, we stopped to eat supper. My sister and I usually loved to eat but not this time. My sister kept yelling “We have to get home to see Rudolph.” I chimed in as well. My dad said “What are you two crying about?” Again, my sister screamed “Will we be home in time to see Rudolph?” My dad’s face turned red and he slammed his glass down on the table. He then raised his voice and said, “ I AM SICK of hearing about those BOYS and I’ve seen enough of those big feet propped up on every table and chair in the house.” “Can’t you two go just ONE DAY without seeing those BOYS?” he asked.
I can’t remember my mom, my sister and myself ever laughing so hard. On our way home we explained who Rudolph was. We always loved cartoons. I still do. Rudolph was actually Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer, the cartoon. We watched it every December and we definitely didn’t want to miss it that night.
My dad finally figured out who Rudolph really was. He smiled too. That little trip to Sky Bridge ended up being a fun trip after all, due to us not being able to stop laughing. We still laugh about it to this day.
The moral to this story may be: Don’t assume Rudolph is a boy’s name. It just might be a reindeer. Oh, in case you’re wondering - we did get home just in time! Hooter, Rooster, Huey, Dewey and Louie still continued to prop their feet up on our furniture, but not Rudolph!

First Kisses.....First Loves

One of the rules in my house was "no dating" until we turned sixteen. But, my mom gave in during my freshman year of high school. There was one condition to that though - I had to double date with my sister. I was going to get to go to the prom, so I didn't care if I had to go on a "TRIPLE DATE". So off to the prom we went. Back then, during the 70's, going to dances was a much bigger deal than it is now. We used to have a homecoming dance, snowball dance, valentines dance, prom and some others in between. Our prom was held in Morehead and we had Live Bands. That was a very big deal. Well, it was to this country gal that hadn't been out of the country much.
To tell you the truth, I can't remember much about my first prom except the guy's name I went with and that "first kiss" he gave me. I had always imagined my first kiss would be something like fireworks but i guess that firecracker was a dud. I don't know if he was a bad kisser or if it was me but it was "slobbery" and "GROSS." Don't kids still use that word? Anyway, I was totally disappointed with my first kiss. We "went out" a couple times after that and then he graduated from high school. He got a job driving a truck and was "truckin" while I was trying to find a way to break up with him. He called one weekend saying he was on his way to my house. My stomach started to churn and I thought I might throw up. I told my mom and sister that I was going to walk in the woods and they would have to tell him I didn't want to see him anymore. I didn't cry but my mom and sister did. I just ran as fast as I could to the woods. When I returned a couple hours later, I could see tears in my mom and sister's eyes. I knew it didn't go well but I wasn't about to open my mouth. I just headed to my bedroom, before I got sent there. Oh, don't worry, "Karma" found me many times over the next, ummm, 30 years, and then some! I had my share of tears with boyfriends and husbands. Yep, "husbands" is plural.
Things were starting to look up during my sophomore year and all was forgotten from the first incident. Back in the 70's, most people I knew just went out with different guys every weekend. There were a few that went "steady" but most of us were just trying to find ourselves and find out who we liked. My sister was one of those that went "steady." If you look in my mom's old photo albums you will see all of her "dance pictures" with the same guy for 4 years. In my "dance pictures" you will see me with a different guy in every picture for 4 years, except for two. I went to two different dances with one guy once! Which leads me to my "first love." It was the school year of 76/77 and I somehow got with a so called "bad guy." Well, some people said that. I didn't. My first kiss with him was more than fireworks. I think I skyrocketed to the moon and back every time I kissed him. I can remember both of those dances and exactly what we were wearing. Kissing him took over everything else in school, which is why mom got a couple telephone calls from some teachers telling her I was kissing in the hallways. I don't think she said much to me about it though. Probably because she kissed in the hallways when she was in high school. I don't know.
This guy was my first love. I'm not sure why I fell in love with him. Could've been because he was much smarter than me, more talented than me and he sure could KISS. Or, it could of been those yellow roses he sent me. Yellow roses are still my favorite to this day. I was pretty dang jealous back then but I wasn't about to let it show. I knew he liked me but I was never sure he felt the same way about me as I did him. We dated for over a year and someone told me he was cheating on me so my friend and I took off to do some detective work. We parked our car about half a mile from the Old Slate Furnace because we heard he was going to be there at a party. We continued our spying adventure by crawling that half mile on our hands and knees in weeds, sticks and who knows what else was in that field we were crawling in. When we got to where we could see, after we caught our breaths again, there he was. I didn't actually see him with another girl but boy was I mad. That lead to me calling him later that night and telling him it was over. The next day, he was angry because I broke up with him. I remember sitting in my car, well - my parents car (we didn't have our own car) and he jumped into the driver's side while I was out getting a drink from one of those old pop machines. I got in the passenger side and he sped away to somewhere in Stepstone, next to the creek. He said if I didn't get back together with him "we were going in." So, I said "no," and IN WE WENT. I could see the water seeping under the doors and into the floorboards.
I'm not sure how we got out of that creek but I remember what happened the next morning. I woke up to screams that I seldom heard. It sounded like a male voice. I was use to "female" voices screaming but this was MY DAD. I knew he had found the water in the car and I was in a heap of trouble. I hurried to tell my mom the truth and begged her to lie for me. She did. I think that was the first and last time she lied for me. But, I knew another "condition" was coming up - She said, "on one condition, I forbid you to see that guy again." So, it was over. He never knew it but I think I cried off and on for years after that.
First Loves.....I don't think you ever love anyone again like you do your "first love." Sure, you love again and probably again and again. But it's never the same. There's nothing like that first "good kiss" or your first "love." So to all you girls that are out there with your "first love" or you've just had that first KISS - you might not have a kiss that will send you to the moon like mine did, but hey, kisses that send you to Jupiter can be just as good. Just not the "gross" ones though. By the way, the angel God sent me - my husband now - can kiss pretty DARN good too.
Karma, yep, it came back to me many times over the years - probably from that first break-up and that first "gross kiss" when I was a freshman. So, to all those I've hurt in the past - I'm sorry. To all those I've hurt in the present - I'm sorry. And to all those I might hurt in the future - I'm sorry. It never was and never will be intentional! Maybe I just didn't know how to kiss!

Pot Pies, Moon Pies and Mud Pies

We didn't have much money when we were growing up in the country but we never lacked for food. As a matter of fact, we raised pigs at one time. I didn't know I was actually eating those little pigs I use to play with or I probably wouldn't love country ham and bacon so much today. Another thing I used to love to eat was those little "pot pies" that you put in a real oven, not a microwave. I'd always eat the crust from around that little aluminum pan first, then I'd dig into the middle. You had to be careful or you'd burn your tongue off. I would usually have a little pile of carrots to the side of my plate because I'd dig around inside of it to get the carrots out. I didn't like cooked carrots. The last "pot pie" I ate, about a year ago, came from a microwave. I should of dug around in the middle of it to get the carrots out , like I used to, so it would cool down some. Instead, I flopped myself down on the couch with my "pot pie" sitting on top my belly, half lying down and watching TV. My focus should of been on that pot pie because I forgot about the middle being so hot. I popped a spoonful into my mouth and it immediately stuck to my tongue and lips. What I did get spit out landed on my chest. I still have a scar from that dang "pot pie." I don't eat pot pies anymore.
I never was a fan of "Moon Pies." Actually, I'd rather eat cat food. But to hear some of my dad's stories, EVERYONE LOVED MOON PIES when he was growing up. My husband even liked moon pies when he was young, as long as he had an RC Cola to go with it. I've never tried to find out exactly what those things are made of but I'm sure "cardboard" is the first ingredient. Must be an acquired taste!
Now "Mud Pies" have a whole different taste than moon pies. Those are the kind of pies my sister and I used to make. We'd play "kitchen" for hours. We didn't have those "real" play kitchens so we made our own. We'd pile up cut grass then spread it out in little straight lines and in to square blocks, kind of like a checker board but with less squares. Each square was a room in our "play" house. We made our mud pies in the kitchen, of course. We used the aluminum pie pans from the garden to mix our mud in for our delicious mud pies that we made from....Oh My Gosh.....I'm hoping we didn't use the mud from the pig pen! Even if we did, we really ate those mud pies. Of course we spit them out as fast as I spit out that pot pie. But at least we didn't get burnt.
If it ever comes down to me having to choose one of these pies in the future, I'll go with the "cardboard." At least it won't taste like pig slop and it sure won't burn me! Maybe I'll never have to choose between a pot pie, a moon pie or a mud pie!!! I'm hoping not!

An Original Country Store

I spent most of my years growing up in a little country store. My parents bought the store when I was 8 years old. The store is now eighty two - Yes, 82 years old. My parents have owned and operated it for 42 years. When I say original, I really mean ORIGINAL. There's no running water, no restrooms, no electric or gas heat and no air conditioning. You "warm up" next to the old coal stove and you “cool down” next to the window fans. When I was little I used to hop upon the freezer so I could reach the window fan. I would sing my heart out into that fan! Singing into a fan makes you sound like you can actually sing. It also puts an extra "vibe" in your voice. If you've never sang into a fan - Try it! That is so cool!
Now to get warm, or hot, all we had to do was stand next to the coal stove. That's the "warmest" heat in the world. You just have to be very, very careful if you back up next to it. I've watched many people " back up" next to that stove and burn a hole in their coats. They burnt other places on their bodies as well. Yes, I've burnt my coat and my "bottom" too! Even now, driving by the store on a cold day , you will see the smoke making it's way out of the chimney and dancing into the sky. The smoke doesn't smell so good but it's a sight to see the shapes it makes as it's coming out. With a little imagination, you can see animals in that dancing smoke, just like you can with clouds. There's not many of those old coal stoves in use anymore. I'm guessing our little store will always have one.
My sister and I were thrilled when we finally reached the age when my parents thought we were old enough to really "work" in the store. Something to do besides just eat junk all day. We had all the pop and candy any kid would ever want. We had that everyday! Back then, we had two gas pumps in front of the store. Regular and High Test. High test is premium, or unleaded gas. I loved "pumping gas." Well, several years I loved it. Customers would pull up in front of the store and toot their horn. If we didn't make it out to their car quickly enough to please them, they would "lay on their horn." I'd run quickly then! "Regular or High Test?" I'd ask. Sometimes I'd "go over" the amount they would ask for. My dad would never let me charge them if I accidentally went over the amount they wanted. I got the hang of it pretty quickly though. I never "went over" more than fifty times or so. I definitely never went under! Dad would have never allowed that! I'm sure the customers wouldn't have either. When I was a little older, I didn't like pumping gas so much anymore. Especially when customers would "lay on their horn." I'm sure I used some colorful language then!
In our area we have a tradition known as “Court Days.” This tradition began many years ago when farmers would bring their goods to town on the first day of the court session, to sell and trade their items. People would come to trade dogs and knives one weekend a year. Over time, the gun and dog trading found it‘s way to Preston. Now, thousands of people attend each October. You can find anything from antiques, new purses, shoes, clothing, funnel cakes, live chickens, rabbits, guns, knives and yes, dogs! Or even a bologna sandwich. This sandwich comes from our store. It’s cut fresh using the old “meat slicer.” I wasn’t allowed to operate the “meat slicer” until I turned 16. I love slicing that bologna, or “Preston Steak” is what we call it. This past court day I cut my finger on that meat slicer for the very first time. Thirty three years of slicing meat and only one cut. That's pretty dang good! The “little store” is packed like a can of sardines during court days. I used to love working in the store during this event. Not so much anymore. My daughter has taken my place now. She loves it. Well, I do help out until she gets here. She don’t live here anymore. That’s probably why she still enjoys it! I do, however, enjoy catching up with old friends that have been coming to court days for many years.
We’ve had a few famous and not so famous people visit the store over the past 42 years. They come to see the one “ORIGINAL” store that is left in the United States. They love watching the “whittlers,” warming up next to the coal stove and watching smokers pitch their cigarettes into the floor and stomping them out. The “butts” stay on the floor until “sweeping time.” Roni Stoneman, from the show Hee Haw, got married in our little store a few years ago. There were thousands of people in attendance. My daughter was 6 years old at that time and she got to be the flower girl. That was a fun weekend. Several famous governors, doctors, comedians, authors and “infamous” politicians have visited our store. One person I’ll never forget is our own “Plum Lick” author, David Dick. He was a hoot! I have most of his books. I enjoyed meeting his wife, Lalie and his son, Sam Dick as well. David and Lalie quickly became friends with my family. David recently passed away. I miss seeing him sitting next to the store, selling his books and autographing every one of them.
My parents have really big hearts. One reminder of their big hearts is that big box under the counter. It contains about fifty “little charge books.” Some of those “charge books” have been in there for 40 years and haven’t been paid. I’m guessing, at this point, they never will be. My parents have given to many people over the years. They’ve kept many families fed. They’ll NEVER ask the people to pay those charge accounts!
My mother is the postmistress in Preston. Yes, we have our own zip code. Population around 200! The post office is located inside our store. My mom is the kind of postmistress that fills out your money orders for you, addresses your envelopes and opens the post office ,after it’s closed, for those that didn’t make it in time to get their mail. My dad is the same way with the store. I remember many times, when we had those gas pumps, people would come to our house in the middle of the night. Those loud knocks on the door would wake everybody up. My dad would go to the door and of course, someone had ran out of gas. He’d get dressed and open the store for them. He didn’t mind at all.
Things haven’t changed much in the store over the past decades. Those gas pumps are now gone. Several of the old whittlers have passed as well. My parents don’t carry as many grocery items as they used to. It’s mostly a “hobby” for my dad, and a daily hang out for the “loafers.” The “little charge books” are still in the same exact spot. I’m thinking, If I ever have to start operating the store myself, I’m going to get all that money that is owed to my parents. On second thought, I won’t either. I have a big heart just like my mom and dad. So, the next time you’re out and about, stop by Blevins Grocery. I just might be there. Maybe I can’t fill your tank with gas anymore but I can for sure slice you a “Preston Steak Sandwich.” Oh, and don’t forget to get a cold Ale 8.

Welcome to my blog

"A Country Gal's Thoughts" - that's "ME" - was first published in the Bath County Bulletin on November 12. 2010.
The "Bulletin" is my hometown newspaper. The editor allowed me to publish some of my thoughts and even gave me my own column.
I don't live inside the main city where the newspaper is published. I live out in the country.
The "boondocks," some might say. Growing up in the "country" brought forth a recollection of thoughts and memories for this Nana. My "book writing adventures" exhumed as well.

I can't recall getting to see any "written" memories of my grandparents, much less reading their "thoughts."
When I'm dead and buried under the old oak tree out in the country, I want my grandchildren to have this book. They will not only have the opportunity to "touch" something I've written myself but they will be able to hear my voice in every single word.
My title comes from just what it is. Scrambled! My memories go all over the place. They jump from my pre-teen years, my adult life, my teenage years, my old boyfriends and husband(s) and back to my pre-teen years again. I might not be "your" Nana but I'm guessing you'll laugh at my stories anyway. Your own grandparents will probably identify with some of my stories as well. Heck, I'm thinking EVERYBODY in your family might just love reading these stories.
Pull up a chair, have a cup of homemade hot cocoa (if you don't have a piece of fried squirrel) and ENJOY.