Saturday, August 12, 2017

Time Flies When Your Flyin.....

For years when I was growing-up I would hear older folks talk about it getting away from them. About it being here one day and gone the next. About it slipping through their fingers and sometimes, sadly, even sleeping from their minds.

I can remember thinking to myself – what world do these people live in? They couldn’t possibly be existing in mine, because it seems I counted every hour of every day at times, to no avail, waiting for it to pass, to move on, or to magically change my life as if it really held that kind of power.

And now, I see it all, good land do I see it all. I’m here one day and then all of a sudden, it’s three months later and I am left trying to unboggle my mind as to where it all went and what happened to it.

Time just marches on, doesn’t it? And the higher on the ladder of age that you climb, the more frighteningly out of control, the speed at which it moves, seems to get. Just this morning I told my husband that I couldn’t believe it was already August! In less than 3 ½ months from now, I’ll be putting up Christmas decorations! As a matter of fact, last week while I was having the bushes in my yard professionally trimmed, my main process of thinking while trying to schedule the next appointment, was to make sure the last trim would occur in early November so I wouldn’t be hanging lights on out-of-control untrimmed bushes!

I haven’t personally been to Hobby Lobby yet, but I know the fall and Halloween decorations are already on display, as I am seeing people posting their recently purchased goodies on Face Book. How in the world is that happening when people in my neighborhood are STILL popping off fireworks!

But to get back to my original point about the differences in time; about a week or so ago my youngest son and a group of his friends flew to Argentina for a week of dove hunting. He got back a week or so ago and came by the house last night to tell us all about his trip.

To him, I’m sure that trip and his time there flew by like a speeding bullet; but for me, that was the longest 9 days I’ve experienced in a long, long time.

His flight was delayed on the trip to Argentina, so of course that seemed like an absolute lifetime to me. The days in between his arrival and departure, he was on land and enjoying himself as was obvious from the photo’s being taken, so I was pretty calm. Then the drama of his flight home, started the vicious cycle of time never moving again, waiting on him to be home, safe and sound once again.

I guess it all depends which side of the clock you’re standing, when you’re trying to account for the speed in which those two hands move; and of course, your place on the ladder of time.





Saturday, August 5, 2017

Small Town Survival

I moved to Quincy in 1998 and people still left their doors unlocked. People still left their vehicles unlocked, and crazily enough, many of those vehicles still had the keys in the ignition.

With the exception of the two major chain drugstores, we don’t have any more new businesses here now than we did in 1998. Matter of fact, several major corporations/buildings, that housed hundreds of people/employees – are also gone.

Now I grant you that the economy and recessions of past had a lot to do with some of these events happening; but these are new day’s, yet we are still living in the past.

We manage to maintain the same handful of eateries, but the newer ones, well, they come and they go. Sandwich shops that everyone raves over for a few months and down-home-buffet diner’s that seem to keep their tables full – until they don’t anymore.

Every now and again we hear some wild rumor that something fantastic and different is Coming Soon! But it never does. We have four places to eat fried chicken here, four plus places to get a  hamburger and fries, at least three barbecue spots, and a couple of places that serve “fish”, and I use that word loosely.

And now, as the news spread city-wide as soon as the sign posted into the ground, we are about to get yet another place that serves chicken in most any form that you’d like.

I have heard for years that this town doesn’t grow because we, or the powers that be, don’t allow it to grow. They don’t want a raised crime rate, they prefer to keep this town small, localized and safe.

The thing is folks, we’re still plenty small alright, but are we really so safe anymore? Every six months or so we have what they call on the local news, a rash of burglaries, in what used to be some of the safest neighborhoods in Quincy.

Vehicles are being broken into, stripped and robbed. More and more people are acquiring home security systems, and I don’t know anyone who keeps any door to their homes unlocked anymore.

I guess all of this pondering I’m doing now is about this: why are we not getting bigger, better and stronger? Why do small businesses not survive here? Why do small businesses open with such high publicity and panache, only to fold like an accordion months later when the community does not continue to support it with their patronage?  

Maybe we’re just meant to be what we are – a small town seemingly frozen in time. A town that has succumbed to the failure of large businesses which once helped it to thrive and a community that doesn’t know how to pull together to help it survive.


To be clear, I love this little town, and I love living here. But I want it to grow and I want it to survive and succeed for our children and grandchildren. So the challenge is: what can we ALL do together, to ensure that it happens? 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Miracles with Make-up

I had been looking forward to this event for weeks now. I love getting together with other ladies, who are sometimes, but not necessarily in my normal circle of folk, but most are whom I feel like I already know for one reason or another. It’s a small town – Quincy is – and somehow it just seems you know most everybody at any given time.

After I left work one night last week, I raced home and showered so I would be refreshed and I cleansed my face of all make-up. That’s right – you heard me correctly – I took all my make-up OFF my face to attend this event.  Crazy, right?! Because everybody knows that I don’t go much of ANYWHERE without my make-up on – especially not anywhere I expect to see people I know. 

Occasionally on the weekend I’ll slap the minimal amount on to do a duck-and-run through CVS or the local grocery store, but anywhere else calls for a full-face application.

So, as I am preparing to head-out my husband is looking at me side-ways, which is what he does when I’m not acting “normal” (whatever that is), as I begin to apply my lipstick. He said “I thought you had to wear no make-up to this deal” and I said, “Well we’re not, but I’m not driving down the street without my lips on!”

Funny side story here: I had my make-up bag in tow as we were asked to do, bringing the products with us that we normally use, and I also had my lipstick bag as well. However, my lipstick bag has THREE TIMES the amount in it that my make-up bag has – priorities girls – priorities.

I had the best time at the Make-Up by Spenser event! I have been putting on make-up since I was allowed to do so, which was about the age of fourteen. But back then I was told I couldn’t wear it until I plucked my bushy eyebrows into a nice thinned curve – while now at fifty-three – I am sketching the blank spots/grey spots in, and praying I have a full matching set when I’m done.

I learned all about sponge applicators versus brush applicators – which believe it or not makes a huge difference. But the BEST thing I learned about was “contouring” - you know that thing you do across your cheekbones. Well first off, I have no cheekbones now as they have been taken over by too many meals of pasta and bread. But it seems you can create the illusion of them, and it can take up to 10 pounds off of your face. I am now looking for that product in a 55 gallon drum, because I am going to need to contour my entire body if it works that kind of miracle!

But ladies - besides tutorial classes, Spenser Morris, a local talent in Quincy, also does individual events like weddings, prom’s etc., and her contact information is: Spenserlmorris@gmail.comI can honestly say we all thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and learned a lot of new tricks! 





Saturday, July 22, 2017

Change is Good

I spent the first part of my life learning how to be a good person. Listening to endless discussions/lectures on how to be responsible, but most importantly, a humble and respectable person. And above all, I was taught to take care of myself, to be strong, to follow my instincts and to learn to create my own diversions when the wrong paths were calling my name.

The second part of my life was spent teaching my children these same values. And I have to tell you, if you thought the listening part was hard, irritating and even boring; geez Louise, the teaching it / preaching it part is so much worse. You have the behind-your-back eye-rolling, the wondering if it’s really sinking in, and of course, the part where they won’t speak to you for a week; or until they really need something or they’re hungry, whichever comes first.

But every so often in your lifetime you will also be faced with the job of being not only the teacher, but the student. You will find yourself having some serious Come to Jesus conversations that no one is participating in but yourself and hopefully the mightiest guiding light that exists.  You will fight within, you will weigh-out the pro’s and con’s and you will slowly and carefully come to a conclusion that will hopefully be a better one for you and what makes life work right for you.

And at some point you will probably have to make some changes. Now I don’t know about you, but I tend to find my comfy spot and I let myself get rooted there and I’m not real fond of changing that. 
But I go back to my raising's and I remember what my Daddy tried to teach me for years and years, and paraphrasing, that was basically this: ‘only you can be the change, only you have the strength to make it happen, we are solely responsible for our destiny’s, try to make the best choice the first time’.

And that’s how I am coming to you today as you read this – I decided to make a change. I love talking to Gadsden County folk about my life here, my family, my thoughts, the things that make me happy and the things that disappoint me from time to time. I like knowing that something I have to say can make someone not feel so alone or isolated in their thoughts or their struggles.

Life is hard folks, it just really is and all we can do is the best we can, from one day to the next, to make it as easy on ourselves and the ones that we love, the best that way we know how. Make the best choices in the moments we are given, stand strong in our beliefs, and steadfast in our hearts and souls. I truly appreciate the opportunity to introduce myself and I’ll see you all next week!






Friday, July 14, 2017

Still Going Strong

By the time ya’ll are reading this, my husband and I will have celebrated our 11th year of marriage and our 19th year as a couple. It’s of course, not the first marriage for either of us, but we both promise it’s the last.

There’s a lot of lesson-learning that goes on in a 19 year span; I cannot even accurately express just how many lessons have really been learned. We have both expanded our level of patience, him probably quite a bit more than me, and we’ve both learned that neither one of us is always right, me probably more than him.

I came in riding a wave of a red hot temper, combined with a head as hard as stone. He came to me with a habit of driving off when things got tough, and pretty much being only concerned with what worked in his favor/his way, because that’s the way he was used to living.

With both of us being Type A personalities, we learned pretty quickly, that neither one of us was going to put up with the foolishness of the other. It was figuring out how to make everything else work along with our own special brands of behavior that would be the real job at hand.

But we did, and we’re still here, stronger than ever. He helped me grow as a person and I like to think I did the same for him. He helped me raise my two children who are now both intelligent, and very successful adults.

We’ve come a long way from our first date, our first fight, and our first break-up. We’ve crammed a lot of real life into those 19 years. We made it through a cancer scare with my husband – barely two years into our marriage. He’s been cancer-free for 7 years now and we count our blessings every day.

We were both a part of a somewhat traumatic job transformation just about 4 years ago this month of July. We were 20+ year employees for a company that closed down. To have to find yourself all over again at 50 and 61 years of age respectively, well, I can’t begin to tell you what a life transformation that was for us both.

But we both found our footing, got back on the horse, and we’ve continued to move in a positive forward motion, because that’s just what you do in life when you get knocked down. You get back-up and figure it out.

I find myself thanking all the stars above that I found such a strong man to finish out the second part of my life with; a kind and gentle soul to walk beside me on the rest of my journey here on earth. We know one another inside and out; there are few surprises and even fewer disappointments.


We still say I love you before we hang-up the phone and every night before we go to sleep, and that’s exactly how it’s supposed to be. 

Sunday, July 2, 2017

And The Rain Came Down......

And so the disagreement begins with - the dreaded water bill. The water bill reflects a doubled number and of course, so does the septic. Because what comes out of that hose, most go down somewhere. But honestly, that’s something I’ve never understood. The sink in my home, yes. The toilet in my home, yes. But not the water hose in my yard that disperses water OUTSIDE, not down a drain.

But I digress, the water bill comes in with our electric bill since we are within the city limits. I can always tell what day that bills arrives, because upon entering my house from work, on whatever afternoon that happens to be, I can see my husband slouched down in his recliner, the color in his face drawn and pale, and he looks like his last friend as left him.

But then he sees me and suddenly he comes to life. It’s like a bolt of lightning has entered his body as he approaches me clutching that wretched sheet of paper that portrays LIES, LIES I TELL YOU, about how MUCH I have been running that outside water. We stand nose to nose, he tells me the amount, I deny, deny, deny, and the circle of stories that begins then is for someone smarter than me to untangle.

But the bottom line for me is always this: we bought all these pretty flowers, plants and bushes to make our outward home as attractive as the inside and I refuse to let it all die, just because we are currently in the middle of a drought.  So YES BY GOLLY, I’m going to run that water hose as much as it takes to keep it all alive; and then I feel defeated and promise to cut-back to every other day.

However, this promise is made with my fingers crossed behind my back – because the first time he goes out of town, you know that water house is going to be set on high until he returns! I have to get in all the “extra” I can while he’s gone because I’ll be back on water-distribution-restriction when he gets back!

But FINALLY, we find ourselves right smack in the middle of a recreation of 40 days and 40 nights. Well, not literally, but it feels like it. Everyone’s moods have shifted and we are all about to believe the sun will never shine again. But you can bet your sweet bippy our lawns and gardens are as green as they have been in months!

Now if it will just hold off another few days for the Fourth of July! The local kids have potato sack races to win, watermelon-eating contests to fill-up on, pies to cram in their mouths, and bike races around the square.


Come nightfall, everyone will stand with their hands over their hearts and sing loud and clear, the song that unites us all and we’ll watch a beautiful display of colors bursting into the sky, representing the best of what it feels like to be a proud American.

Sunday, June 25, 2017

Dreamwork = Teamwork

I swear to Suwannee, when I get something stuck in my craw, I’m like a dog with a bone ( I know that’s like a double metaphor), I can’t let it go until the problem, the contemplation, or the idea/plan has come to fruition.  And sometimes, it’s not just a matter of days or weeks before everything gets decided and comes to a head, sometimes it can be a year or so. And that my friends is where the misperception can come in – that is where other folks (like my husband) can get confused and act like they don’t really understand what is happening when it all comes slamming down to the final moment of action.

I guess I tend to think that if I’m still thinking about it, planning it, etc., then everybody else is just going to be on board when it gets time to get down to it – whatever IT is. Well let me tell you my sister planner’s – everybody is NOT always on board. Not at first anyway.

For quite some time I’ve had in my mind to expand my Canna Lily bed. And by expanding it I mean, making the bed quite a bit bigger and finding the right color/fit of bulb to blend with the bulb colors that I have now.

Now I know perfectly well that all of my “ideas” are going to require muscle/help. I’m not able to operate a tiller anymore, and hole diggers and shovels don’t like my lower back very much either. So I also have to put into my configuration of plans, “leading” my sweet husband down the same idea-path as myself. Explaining to him with heightened enthusiasm and imaginative/descriptive words just how beautiful it’s all going to look once “we” have it done. 

So Operation Canna Lily Bed Expansion started last weekend with a Face Book post asking if  any of my friends wouldn’t mind sharing canna bulbs with me – and let me say this – what a success that was! I was pleasantly surprised with the number of people who were willing to help me out, but unfortunately only one or two had the strain/color I was looking for. But after some back and forth, it was agreed they would send them to me and the idea was now moving along at full speed.

Last weekend we cleared/cleaned out the expansion of the bed, tilled up all the grass, and there it sat waiting on the bulb shipments to arrive. The shipments arrived toward the end of last week, and today, my husband and I put them in the ground and finally saw the project to the finish line.


The outside of the bed is flanked with Liriope grass to pull the finished-look altogether and while the bulbs/plants themselves look a little pitiful and droopy right now, I’ll give them plenty of TLC for the next couple of weeks. Then when the soil/bulb acclimation takes place, they’ll grab ahold on their own and all that will be left is to wait for the beautiful blooms to blossom. Dreams really do come true.