Monday, March 28, 2016

Rachel...The First Woman Cade Fell In Love With....

A few weeks ago, I asked for blog topics.   Someone said "I would like to know more about the people in your life that you love.  Tell us about some of your friends.  Why are they important to you?  Why do they love you?  You seem to attract fascinating, interesting people-so write about them."

I do have an amazing,  eclectic, normal,  bizarre group of friends whom I love very much.  I carry pieces of each of them with me. Some I have met....some I have not.   It seemed only natural to begin with one that you are probably already familiar with.   Rachel was my first friend in Plainview.  She was the one that taught me how to set up an email account.  Because of her, I blogged.   I got one comment.....yep, it was Rach.  She blogs HERE.  She is the one that told me to get a debit card and to pay my bills online.   Cade fell in love with her at the age of 3. She was tall and wore ties and he would have gone home with her in a heartbeat....but she could not of fed him. She has gone to the kid's school events and supported them even though she is allergic to small children.   Rachel taught me that it was perfectly alright and expected to think outside of the box.  She STILL gets me to think outside of the box.  She has had the biggest impact on me in developing into who I am today. (that is a good thing)  I will forever be grateful.  I have MAYBE hugged her less than 5 times in my whole life.  Despite that, she knows how I feel about her and I know how she feels about me.  She has thrown things at me.  She has seen me at my worst.    I have sat across the table from her more times than I remember.  I have traveled with her.....I have no problem slogging though a cemetery with her and she has no problems schleping  though a craft store with me.  We click.   Rachel is someone that I could live in a commune with.  Ya know, if we had our own rooms and no one was allowed to touch other people's stuff or talk before 8am and they fed us.

This, is my Rachel......

1. What is your first memory of me?   It was your hair.  Our tight little group at work knew you were there for an interview.  Somebody managed a glimpse of you.  They reported back that you had a tail.  Obviously that made you a partier.   We were all bummed.  We didn’t need that kind of a person!  You’d never fit in!  We wouldn’t like you.  And we sure hoped there were some other, more suitable candidates still to come.  Book covers never lie, right?  

Me:  OMG!  I did not know that!  The same thing happened to me when I moved to Clarendon my freshman year and was in basketball.  They all thought I was their competition.  They got over that about 3 minutes into the first practice.  

My first memory of you is me wondering around out in the big middle and you looking at me and pointing to something above my head.  The bathroom sign.  lol  You knew what I needed and we did not even have to speak.  That holds true today.

2. Tell me all about your job and why you love/hate it?   I’ve been a probation officer since the day after college graduation.  I’ve never considered a change because the job provides some of the most honest, gritty, and hilarious experiences anyone could possibly ask for.  I can’t imagine anything that could be better for someone who just plain loves humanity in all its permutations.  Now I’m the boss of my own self, which is great.  I have tons of freedom.  But the administrative side of things is not my strong suit.  I’m much more interested in the people, rather than the paperwork.  

Me:  Remember when everything was done by hand?!?!?   I did not even have a computer on my desk when I started.  It's a shame that the general public will not know about chlamydia of the knee, peace treaties and why women cannot have convulsions.  
3. Who is your hero and why?   Ohhhhhhh, hell.  So hard to choose.  Lots and lots of heroes.  Most of them fictional, I think.  Today my hero is Dorothy Parker.  I love her attitude and her smart mouth.  And I cannot tell you how badly I’m craving time spent at an Algonquin round table of my own, full of my mouthy friends. And of COURSE you are right there next to me at the table.  Because we are effin’ AWESOME together at that sort of thing.  

Me:  I had to look up Algonquin.  My mouthiness I partially attribute to you.  We are great together like that.  Like Martin and Lewis or Bert and Ernie.  That is why I wanted us to do the amazing race together.  Seriously, you and I are good at knowing what our own strengths and the other's strengths are and acting accordingly.  That is why I wanted us to try out for the amazing race together.  That and I knew you would not trade me off to another team or leave me behind.  But, you had to stay home and take care of cancer boy.  aahheemm  look who is still here.

4. Which is your favorite tat and why?  I don’t have a particular favorite, which is why I don’t have one.  But I love classic tattoo art.  I toyed with the idea of becoming a tattoo artist.  But then I realized that I’d have to, you know, touch people.  Eew.  No.  But I still love the art!

Me:   I would love to be a massage therapist but I would be really really picky. I could not massage someone that was really hairy.    I would also be great at cleaning people's homes and organizing but I would not clean their bathrooms.  Not sure how that applies to this question but I felt sure that you wanted to know those things.   

5. If you could host a dinner party and invite 5 women, (alive, dead or fictional) who would you invite?   I have good friends in different compartments of my life.  I’d like to gather them all together around a table so you could all get to see and hear each other.  You’re all so different, and you bring out different things in me.  But you’ve all got a lot in common.  I’d like the planets to align, so to speak, and see how everyone would fit with each other.  

Me:  That would be so cool.  You have a wide variety of friends from all walks.  I love that about you.  It is not an outside packaging thing for you.  You add to everyone you let close.  

6. Your worst habit?  Not finishing stu...
Me:  ~snorts~  so you....

7. What do you collect?  Gargoyles.  Skulls.  Maybe yard art.  
Me:  Maybe yard art?  How does one maybe collect yard art?   One of the big things that I miss about you is your office.  Your people had to be terrified/perplexed/clueless about your office.  I loved it.  

8. Favorite saying and why?  I/you/they took a button and sewed a vest to it.  I learned that saying from Perry Mason books way back when.  It pretty much describes what I do.  I love to pick up a tidbit, a small detail and weave an entire story around it.  So much fun.  
Me:  I had never heard that saying before you.  I love it but never ever remember to use it.  lol

9. Scrambled eggs or over easy? What do you eat on them?  Both.  Usually scrambled because it’s harder to get good over easy eggs.  I like my over-easies to have those crispy buttery edges that are juuuuuust starting to brown.  I don’t eat eggs without some sort of red paint on them, preferably good salsa.  Barring that, tabasco.  In a pinch, ketchup.  I don’t like eggs by themselves.  They need meat and red paint.  Then I love them.

Me:  LOL red paint.  I am a ketchup girl.  

10. If you could put a tat on me, what would it be and why? Where?   A single star, placed where you could easily see it.  To remind you that you are enough all by yourself.  You are bright and shiny and perfect all on your own.  Combined with other stars, you can light up the universe.  But with or without them, you will shine on and no amount of darkness could smother your light.

Me:  Well hell, my eyes got sweaty.  I love that so much.  I love that and it just might be my next tattoo. Maybe on my right wrist.   I hate you so much.  ;) 

All pics courtesy of Rachel herself.   Which is a nice was to say I stole them.  

Sunday, March 27, 2016

Easter 2016

Holidays have been less than joyful since Daddy passed away.  We all get together and have a good time but, it is different.  Mom has the hardest time.  She has the hardest time all the time.  She had obsessed about this get together.   There was new people coming to this Easter and it sent her panic into over drive.  Especially when she was told that Andy, Camille's new *friend* would be putting a light in for her.  Mom needs more light to see better and Andy is an electrician.  WIN WIN Camille and I thought.

*Andy could be sent by Satan* is what my mom thought and voiced.


So, we descended upon Clarendon.  Old and new.  Three boys that we did not even know several years ago.  A princess that we thought we would never see again.   A bonus daughter. New people that have come into our lives within the last year.  

And it was very good.  We ate.  We laughed.  We hid eggs.  The kids hunted eggs. We talked.  The light got hung. My mom asked me to take off the ears.  I didn't.  We had a tea party.  We colored.   We moved forward just a little bit.  

I talked to mom this morning.  She loved yesterday.  She told me that it was a really good day for her and one of the first holidays that she was not miserable wishing that my daddy was there.  Not that she did not miss him....but the house was full and she allowed herself  to be in the moment and enjoy herself.   Yesterday at Easter was the first time that, instead of missing him....she felt him there with us.  Me too.

Spring.  Easter.  New hopes, love and beginnings.  We have come a long way.   I am looking forward to so much more.  

........the bunny did not leave me one danged egg.  

Wednesday, March 16, 2016

I'm Really Not Supposed To Be Here......

After the second divorce from the ex (~points to herself~  remember me?  the slow learner??), I moved back to Clarendon.   Clarendon was some place that I ran from but always ran back to.  It really has been good to me.   Between the two marriages, I had worked at Simmons Insurance.  My boss there was big on going to college.  He talked me into taking classes on my lunch hour.  He even allowed me to move my lunch hour around.  I hated that job.  I am not a numbers person and insurance is all about the numbers.  Plus, no one is ever HAPPY with the insurance people.  You are either filing a claim or paying premiums.  It ain't like delivering flowers.
                                         This is me and Camille when I returned to Clarendon the first time.
I am grateful to him to this day for insisting that I go to college.  He set me on a path a long time before I even realized it was my path.  

Funny thing about working there, I found that people who did NOT have much money always came in on the days that they got there checks and paid.  People who had A LOT of money had to be hunted up and hounded to pay.   

Anyway, after moving back, I was able to go to college for one year at Clarendon College and get my associates degree.  That was easy because I just took basic classes.  I was totally out of my league. They were all talking about keg parties and rodeos....I was into pampers and coupons.  I sold a bed to pay for my books to take a history class that summer.   Right around that time, I talked to a probation officer at the Court house and 15 minutes  and thought.....hhhhmmmm.....I can do that.  Trust me....I did not have a clue.....
                              LOL Glamour shots happened to be in  town the same day as graduation so I was all                                                                                                            fancied up for the event,  ;)

Two years after that, I graduated from  West Texas A&M University.   May 13th 1996 to be exact.   Thirteen has always been my lucky number.  

Let me tell you about those three years.  We were poor.  Oh.My.Gosh.....we were so poor.    We were on food stamps and HUD housing. There was no wiggle room financially or time wise for extras.  My parent's helped with things that we needed.   That is how poor we were.  

We mowed lawns, sold giant homemade cookies on the square during the forth of July, I painted t-shirts for the school.  We even picked up cans one year so that Camille could go to Girl Scout Camp.

But we were so very happy.  So very happy.

Camille met life long friends in Clarendon.  People that she is still friends with to this day.  There she was able to go to Girl Scout camp every year.  She got to travel with the Girl Scouts.  She and daddy would go to coffee together.  At one time, she aspired to be a waitress. She loved going in and rolling silverware in napkins.   She went to college with me during the summer and learned that you just don't go to school until the 12th grade.  

Cade was 3 months old when we moved back there.  My daddy came over every night, even if was working, to give him his bath.  My daddy thought that it was an important daddy thing to do.  Cade learned the sound of daddy's old pickup and could hear it before we could.  He would start crawling as fast as he could to the door and pulled himself up on the screen and start looking around....sure enough my daddy would come around the corner around that time.  Cade also was a coffee shop regular.  

 Graduation happened and I believed that I would start work in Amarillo or Pampa as soon as a job came open.  Jobs like mine have budgets that run from September to September.  Since I had graduated in May, I thought that it would be September before I was hired somewhere.  I was not worried.  I happened to see an ad for a probation officer opening for Plainview Texas in the Amarillo paper on a Sunday.  I called the next day to see about the job.  

In my brilliant mind, I thought....I will apply there and go through the interview process so that, when my REAL job in Amarillo or Pampa came along, I would just blow them away with my interview skills.  I just knew that I would be in one of those two towns because I had friends and knew people in both places.  I would be COMFORTABLE in Amarillo or Pampa.

The secretary told me that the applications were closing that day.  She faxed me an application.  I filled it out and faxed it right back.  I got called in for an interview.  I'm sure several people got called back.  I went to Plainview to interview. I had only been to Plainview a few times and that was as a child.  I can remember my parents would meet up with my grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins at the park there and have a picnic.  Plainview was about halfway between Post and Clarendon.

There were no fiberglass cows back in the day but one of my cousin's did fall off the top of a big metal slide and landed on her elbow at the bottom.  Thank goodness it was muddy.  That same slide is still there but it is not nearly as tall.  

Anywho, I was not worried about the interview.  I mean, I really did not have to impress those people because Plainview was not where my REAL JOB was. 

Then I went and filled out an application in Amarillo.   

A few days later, I was driving away from Plainview with a job offer.  I was stunned.  I kept praying that the door would be shut if I was not supposed to go through it.  I mean...I did not know ANYONE in Plainview!  This was not THE PLAN!  I accepted the job.  I drove back and forth for a few weeks until I could find a house for the three of us.  The day I started to work in Plainview, Amarillo adult probation called me with a job offer.  I wondered if I had made a huge mistake.

Instead, here I am, almost 20 years later in a job that I was never *supposed* to have based on a 15 minute conversation in a court house hallway.   This has been one of the biggest leaps of faith (see what I did there???) I have ever made.  For something that was never supposed to happen, it's been a pretty damn good ride.  

I would not have changed it for anything in the world.
                                              Camille and Cade the day they started school in Plainview.

For someone who is not supposed to here here, I sure have a lot of stuff on the walls. ;) 

Tuesday, March 01, 2016

Waves Bye Bye To February

February was a good month.  Some days we had temps in the 80's and other days we had snow.

Texas weather....ya just gotta love it.

The innards of the craft room are still in my living room.  I cleaned the wooden floor and stenciled a design onto it.  I will get the baseboards painted and the floor varnished and then move everything back in.  The cats are enjoying the *jungle gym* in the living room.

Continued to work out.  I did miss several sessions due to being sick and my mom's eye doctor appointments but STILL doing it.  Still cannot wear those danged work out tops that are hanging in my closet.  gggrrrr

Walked a little over 3 miles once.  LOL That is not a big deal.  I am in a group that is working on walking a 5K a day in March.  I am going to work on that.  I won't be walking on the days that I work out or teach but I plan on getting more than 3 miles done.

On the very last day of the month I managed to do mountain climbers, jumping jacks and spiders ON THE FLOOR like they are supposed to be done instead of on the wall like I have been doing them. They were not pretty but I did them!  

Blogged 4 times.  I missed my weekly mark but still managed to get 4 blogs in.  I have now blogged more in 2016 than I did the entire year of 2015.  I have enjoyed writing again even though it has been hard to come up with subjects.  I tend to think I am really boring.  Is there anything at all you would like to know?

Resigned as President of the board and volunteer at Paws.  My heart kind of broke that day.

Went to the eye doctor twice with my mom.  That is 4,298 hours that we will never get back again.  I love her doctor so much and I am grateful that I have the time and can go with her.  The waiting, however, sucketh.

Went to one of the grand's birthday party.

I went to a tattoo convention.  Did not get a tat.  Saw people I knew!  Met a new friend!    
Katie did get her belly button pierced!  I also got to hang out with my cousin and his girlfriend.
Was sick with that coughing stuff for a while.  Here is a thought, if you are sick and contagious...stay the hell home why don't you?

Sent out LOTS of cards and packages.  I managed to do lots more than one a week with Valentines.

Rearranged one of my kitchen walls.

Took umpteen loads to the thrift store.  More will be making their way there.

Complete the Valentine card swap.

Deleted over 50 people from facebook that I swear that I did not know.  Why did I add them? Why did they add me?   I also deleted a lot of pages that just clutter up my feed.  It felt good.  

Had a tiny little break down.  Or maybe that was just the lingering breakdown from January.  Who knows.  I am much better now.

Saw my oncologist.  Still doing good!  I will see him again in 6 months.  LOL you can tell by my eyes that I was already not feeling good.  Dang people and their germs.  YAY oncologist that give you a Z pack so that you don't have to go to another doctor.

One of my children got a year older.  OMG I cannot have a child  that old.

Found out that both of my kids really do listen to me (sometimes) when an opportunity came up and they both reminded me what my word this year is.  

I made it to a little over 40 days on the Whole30.  I have had a few things that are not allowed on the eating plan but have slipped back into eating healthy again. It has seriously not been hard to eat this way.  I just have to stay prepared.   I did find out that I have a reaction to peanut butter.  Not something that I wanted  to know!  I do so love crunchy peanut butter.

Early voted.  BLAM!

I managed to pack my breakfast and lunch each and every day for work.  You poor people have had to look at those pics on facebook and instagram.

I did not reward myself weekly this month even though I am still working out and losing.  The big reward came at the end of February when I got a sweet new pair of workout kicks.

Tried cauliflower crumbles and LIKED them!