Crazygrandmasmind’s Weblog

January 1, 2008

New Year’s Resolutions

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 8:03 am

Happy New Year! 

I am still up at 2:30 am unable to go back to sleep.  As I laid awake in my bed with too many thoughts about the past year and the new one upcoming, I decided to write some of my resolutions down.

Today started like a normal day with the exception that I had to take a shower and get ready to go out in the afternoon.  Why was I getting ready to go out for New Year’s in the afternoon you might ask?  Well, my dears, it is official.  I have reached “early bird” status.  An early bird is one who gets ready, goes out to dinner by 5:45 and is home safely tucked into one’s bed by 10:00.  You know?  The grey hairs….the old farts….of the world.  Those that you only see as you are going into the restaurant as they are coming out.  The ones that have no party left in them.

I did not start out the day like an early bird.  Nor were we your typical early birds.  What we actually are is better titled, “cheap skates”.  We have a favorite restaurant that we go to on special occasions.  The restaurant offers an 8 course gourmet dinner and it is fantastic!  Well when we checked out the menu and dinner costs we found out that the exact same dinner could be had for $40 less if we got there and were seated before 6.  We promptly made reservations for 5:45.  The restaurant is an hour away from our home so we had to be ready by 4:30.

As you would expect, we were some of the youngest persons at dinner, but who cares when you are dining on the finest gourmet food in 3 counties and it costs less?  Not us.

However, following the 2 1/2 hour dinner we were all dressed up but had no where to go.  Too dressed for a simple bar….a walk on the beach and my feet hurt from the dressy shoes so we could not even go down and walk around Ybor City and mingle with the festivities there.  So we did the only sensible thing to do- we went home.  And went to bed.  To sleep.  Boy that sangria I drank was excellent but carried a powerful punch and by the time we got home my head was thumping.

At exactly 12 my youngest daughter called and wished me happy New Year (she spent it with her dad and his extended family) (in Ybor City).  After that call I could not go back to sleep so here I am.

So what will my New Year resolutions be this time?  Oh sure, loose weight, get more exercise, get more rest, blah, blah, blah.

No really, after careful thought here is what I come up with.  I will strive to not make any resolutions.  I will aim to make and have time for more fun in my life.  I will go back to line dancing once a week with my good buddies.  I will laugh even harder and more frequently than I already do.  I will enjoy my family more (esp my 2 grandbabies).  I will do everything in my power to not be an old fuddy duddy.  Whatever it takes.  I will continue to enjoy my massages and getting my nails done. 

In other words, I will live life to the fullest.  I will not put something off for later cause if it comes up it should be acted upon……….

Today, I might have been an “early bird”  but not tomorrow…. just call me sassy, saucy and mischievous.  Cause those qualities make you live a whole lot longer than being tired and mundane.

Happy New Year and I wish everyone the best!

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December 4, 2007

Just Call Me Loretta Lynn!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 2:02 am

Imagine me….1959…..8 years old…..my sister (who was 11 month’s younger than me but my mom thought we were twins)…….dressed alike in the most fashionable gingham dresses…..ones that my mom had made……matching shoes……and somebody forgot to tell us (mostly me) to not use more than one crinoline………I think I used about three. I thought the more crinoline the cuter I looked so I kept adding them so I’d look real real cute! Must be some of my West Virginian, hillbilly blood or else I had Loretta Lynn fever. Florida girl who thought she was “all that”! Well anyway, we had just come from town where we had paid relatives and friends a visit and I thought I was so cute…..queen of the prom…..I swished and swayed all over Spencer, just like some kind of dress up doll……..guess that is where AC gets all her stuff from and she continues through my granddaughter……..Also that might explain why CC hates stiff, scratchey fabrics!

This my grandfather, Brent. He built that farm for my grandmother, Aida when they were married before 1900…..Many people have asked me about the boots he is wearing and I believe that he wore them for several reasons. He had to shovel coal with them- which is not the case here cause it was summer. So I guess he had just come back from fishing in the pond. Or perhaps he used them for tending the garden.

The swingset you see in the background was one he had put together just for our visit. We would play outside all day…..in the garden……chasing those poor dogs in and out of the house, or sitting on the porch reading when it rained. When it rained, big gullies would for like small streams in the deep grass. We would swim in them until they dried up. Sometimes we would go berry pickin’ with my mom and aunt and come back with blue lips and stained cheeks. We would eat corn and raw tomatoes every night. I can still taste the delicious taste that only comes from fresh cooked vegetables. We would walk up the holler to friends houses- not my friends but my mom’s and aunt’s where we would eat some more. I got my first taste of salmon cakes and rhubarb pie at the neighbor’s homes. My aunt had a friend Beulah who was a hard crusted mountain woman who lived alone. She knew all about everything or else she put on a good show for an 8 year old. My mom’s friend was more civilized. We called her Momma Marie and she lived in the fine city of Spencer where she owned her own beauty shop. She was tons of fun and had a great time with us! I remember that she always cooked her dinners in her crock pot. Year’s later, when we went back and I was married she taught me how to cook a whole chicken in that crock pot! Thank goodness she let me stay at her house when I got too scared to stay out at the farm. I wonder if I would be scared to stay there at my age now?

At night when we came inside, there was no electricity so we had oil lamps. While my mom and aunt talked about old times my sister and I would play dominoes. My grandfather just sat and listened to the radio play blue grass music. We would go outside and try to catch fireflys and listen to the whip-or-wills….some kind of evening bird.

I wish I could go back there so I could truly appreciate that place in time………..hear the sounds, smell the aromas….taste the tastes…………appreciate the music, quiet and beauty of my surroundings. Now I only have it in pictures. Kind of bittersweet isn’t it?

Pics for "Down in the Holler"

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 1:49 am

Here is a shot of the brand new Grand Am that made the trip to West Virginia in 1973. It is parked infront of my family’s farmhouse- at the end of the “hollow”.

This is what I saw driving up that two tire mark hollow!

As you can see- the house is at the end of the hollow.
No back door neighbors- just 160 acres of woods!

Here is the actual road ‘er hollow. Imagine what I was thinking when my mom told me- “drive up that-a-way”!!!

November 29, 2007

Down in the Holler’

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 10:44 pm

My oldest daughter posted this pic in her blog. She said it reminded her of her childhood.

Well, when I looked at that picture I had to look twice! It reminded ME of MY childhood. Kinda.
I was born in Spencer, West Virginia. Where is that you ask? Well technically it is a real small town (at least it was 20 years ago- now? who knows?) about 50 miles or so from the state capital , Charleston. Spencer also is quite famous for being the host to the state’s mental hospital (or “nut house” according to my mother). Anyway, when I was 5 my family moved to Florida so I really do not remember much about the town.
We returned for a visit when I was 8. I have faded childhood memories of an old wood farmhouse with a big front porch with a swing made from the back seat of an old car! I remember two dogs…big ones. Ruby and Perry. Ruby was very friendly and happy and loved to play. Perry, on the other hand, would sit and pee if you called his name. Guess which dog I would tease unmercilessly? I know, shame on me but it was soooo funny to see such a big dog act so scared-de-cat! I also can visualize my grandfather’s huge garden, with corn plants taller than me when I was 8. My sister and I would run through them playing hide and seek. We would walk more than a mile to my family’s pond. I do not remember fishing at the pond but I do vividly remember being shocked when I grabbed hold of the wire electrical fence used to keep out intruders. We had no running water so we trekked to the out house about 200 yards away. I wondered why it was so far away until I had to sit there a while…………….ew, ew, ew! At night before we went to sleep we all creep outside in the back yard and squatted since it was too dark to go to the outhouse!
I also do not remember electricity and at night we had an oil lamp to play dominoes by! Now, let me remind you that I am not 100 years old. All this happened when I was 8 years old which would have made the year, 1959. Makes me half of 100 plus a few! Now for the road. We walked up and down a road similar to this one, past all the neighbor’s homes. Past the fields….gardens….cows, horses, barns and cemetery. Read on for the rest of the story.
Now fast forward to the year 1974. I had been married for four years and my mom wanted to go to her family farm to help her sister get it ready to sell. My grandfather had been long dead and my aunt wanted to move in with us in Florida. She had the farm sold so we needed to go pack up, clean up and throw away. I drove my husband’s new car (first Grand Am out). We drove all the way there. Lovely 6 lane interstates til you got to West Virginia. Then we got on state roads that were 4 lanes. When we got to Spencer the roads dwindled to 2 lanes- one coming and one going. We drove straight through Spencer and out into the country. After a while the road grew narrower and narrower until it was just one lane. When you met an oncoming vehicle you pulled over to the side depending on who was there first. Finally we turned off of the paved onto a dirt one lane road…..eventually we turned off of this dirt road onto what is called a “holler” aka, hollow. This is country talk for “very small road going to the end of the earth”. That poor car….so new and to expose the tires and springs to that bouncing on the road! Also take a look at the pic above cause this holler was just like it- two tire ruts! So we kept on driving (a whole lot slower)……past all the neighbor’s homes. Past the fields….gardens….cows, horses, barns and cemetery to the very, very last house at the end! Yep, my family’s old home…..at the end of the world! At this time it did have electricity (thank God) and did have a toilet……but you had to pour water in the tank before you could flush it!
That first night of what was to be a 6 night stay was all I could endure! I was 23 years old and just as scared as that poor old dog so many years ago! I was awake all night hearing every single sound and imagining that there were burglars and rapists running around outside. Here we were at the end of the world and who knows who would find us or when after the bad guys got us!!! I became nauseated and threw up several times. For the next week mom’s best friend, who lives in the huge town of Spencer, let me sleep at her home and I drove out to the farm to help in the day.
The funny thing about this picture is my daughter thinks it reminds her of her childhood….We never lived on a road like that BUT it turns out that all that throwing up I did while visiting my family’s farm was because I was pregnant with her and just did not know it at the time! Maybe that is why the road looks soooo familiar to her!

November 22, 2007

Things I am most thankful for!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 5:11 pm

As I sit here at my computer on Thanksgiving, my mind is so full of thankfulness. So this is the feeling my mother spoke of so many years ago when she said she was so so thankful for so many things……..at the time I thought yea right. I am thankful I have nice clothes, good girlfriends, a TV in my room and this upcoming weekend I have dates and will not be sitting home. Looking back I now see how shallow young people are- not a bad thing – it is just the nature of being young and not truly realizing how precious life is all around you. That, unfortunately, comes with getting older.

I am my mother! (please do not tell me I just admitted that!) But it is true. I have come to the realization that all around me is a miracle and life is soooo precious.

Let me document my truly precious things.

First would be my two most beautiful daughters. Both are pure joys (most of the time). They have many personality traits that are alike. I love the way they both stand up for what they believe in and for what is fair. They both speak out when they feel the need and although sometimes I feel as if they are a pain in my butt, I can understand why they feel this way. Both are very loving and passionate girls. Both are real real bullheaded as well. But all in all when the chips are down I appreciate the fact that they are both on my side. They won’t let “no one hurt their momma”! They are different in as many ways. AC will sell (garage sale) anything she does not need- no matter what it might be. CC is my antique girl. She loves family heirlooms. She will be the one I give her dads potty chair to! AC loves her friends and is very lonely without her best bud and is trying hard to make a new one in Florida. CC has a good buddy but can take or leave her friends at any point if their outlook in life does not jive with hers. I love my girls and would never change anything about either of them.

I am truly blessed ( I hate saying blessed -it is such an overused cliche’ but it works here) with my two precious grandbabies. I am blessed that their dad and mom moved back to Florida from Phoenix. They were both born in Phoenix and over the past 5 years I have seen them perhaps 6 times. (I hate to fly) Now I see them at least once a week. And we are having many firsts- first Halloween, first time actually seeing them on their birthday, etc. They are so funny and cute and make me want to just eat them up. They give me an insight into their playfulness and make me feel like a kid again. Seeing my daughters play with them is a hoot as well.

I am also very very thankful for the love of my man. He is a dream come true. He possesses the power to pick me up when I am down, to calm my nerves when I am scared, to make me laugh at life and myself and to make me feel as if I am 30 years old with a fantastic body! His look, his smiles, his touches all serve to make me whole. Although we have only been together for the past 6 years it seems like we have known one another for a lifetime. We will certainly enjoy our senior years and retirement together!

Lastly, I am thankful for my job. It is not just a job-work but a fantastic experience every week. I have worked in the elementary schools for 28 years but this one is different. It is so special. The people I work with are my friends…..we all enjoy our time at school and in social situations. We laugh, whine, talk, and cry together on a daily basis. Our boss is the best (many of us followed her to this school in August when it opened). The kids are special as well. All of them come from low socionomic families. They came from a school where suspensions were the order of the day. Innercity school. We got a small portion of the kids (300) and at first they were untamed! With the love and consistency from the staff they have come 360 degrees! Each day is cause for rejoicing as we see them grow academically and emotionally. We are doing things that the other school said don’t bother to do cause they can’t. Guess what? They can if you believe in them!

Not one thing I am thankful for is material……….funny about that? As you grow older you develop a true appreciation for life and the special things and times it sends you……………….yes, this thanksgiving I have many, many blessings to count!

October 23, 2007

No thank you sir!

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 11:51 pm

Sorry for the lack of posting but quite a bit has been happening in my and my family’s life. My oldest and her family bought a new home and have been working like crazy to get it ready to move into- it looks great- including MD picket fence made out of slats from the blinds!

My job is just the greatest! New school very needy kids and lots of fun! These kids appreciate everything and soak up any ideas presented to them. Beginning this Saturday, I will teach on Saturdays until 12………………………..

But along witht the good comes the bad….or worst. I am being sued. I won’t go into detail but I am not at fault and someone is trying to make a fast buck. My lawyers tell me it will be ok but you try to tell my stomach that each and everytime a letter arrives or when the phone rings and you do not know the number. Add to the overwhelming desire to puke add the irritible bowel syndrome that has plagued me since I was a small kid.

But the biggest disappointment has come in the way of someone who up until now has been someone on my side……..even for someone I divorced. I am playing with numbers and trying to figure out a logical way to protect myself (and daughters and grandkids) financially. While I understand that people do not always agree with my thoughts as to what might be best (and even understand that the idea might not be the best for others) what breaks my spirit is to be taken advantage of when I am obviously down. If you don’t like my idea, just say it is not good for you. Do not make an offer that is clearly an insult to me…….one that if presented by someone who walks off the street might make; one that people make to those they care nothing about. In others words……I do not like being treated unfairly especially when I have limited options.

No thank you sir……….do what you feel………I have lost a tremendous amount of respect for you…..don’t bother…..I shall overcome this mess all by myself!

September 8, 2007

My favorite thing………..

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 9:57 am

This is my most prized possesson. It is long faded and somewhat scratched. The white on the top that drips down over the purple color has thinned out over the years but this Christmas ornament still pleases me and brings tears to my eyes the same way as it draws forth millions of memories of my past.

You see, this ornament belonged to my mother. From my earliest memories as a very young child I remember hanging this ornament very, very carefully on our Christmas tree each year. I remember, waiting with excitement for the moment I could do so. I do not remember my sister ever begging for the opportunity to hang it but vividly remember my beseaching my mother to do so. This ornament was my mother’s most favorite one. I am not sure if it at one time belonged to a set (like we purchase nowadays) or if it was purchased singley – carefully selected due to its beauty. I do not even know it maybe it had been my grandmother’s ornament and given to my mother just as she gave it to me. It has always “just been there”. No discussion about it’s origins but solely adored for its beauty. What I do know is that it was hung on the tree last and when I was old enough, I was the one who insisted on hanging it. It was my favorite ornament and my mother let me hang it and we would all somehow as it was hung, stop to note where and give it silent applause. It was the “queen” of all the tree ornaments.

When I got married I asked for this ornament and my mother let me take it. For several years I also hung it in the same manner as I did as a child. It was placed last and in a prominent location on my tree. At some point, I decided it was too fragile for the tree and I bought the hanger you see it displayed on. It was NEVER put away after Christmas but left on permanent display year-long in my dining room china cabinet.
(see picture below)

I vaguely remember my mother saying that she got the ornament (bought??? given to her??? I will sadly never know) when she got married in 1943. Maybe my grandmother gave her this ornament when my mother got married……. maybe my parents bought it as young newlyweds for their first tree……

Regardless of the origin of the ornament, I love it! I love the beautiful purple color….. I love the top white part that is meant to be snow dripping down over it…… I love all the warm fuzzy, bittersweet memories it draws forth when Christmas arrives……

I believe this delicate ornament is a family heirloom, one that I hope my daughters will treasure as I have. They have neither one requested its presence in their homes but one day it will finds its way there. When it does I hope and pray they will find young childhood memories rushing back to them as I do everytime I pass my china cabinet and catch a glimpse of my ornament!

August 19, 2007

I really hate…………………

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 11:55 pm

Do you know what I really hate? Normally I am very tolerant of most things that come my way, but what gets to me every time is when people are treated in an unfair manner.

Let me define what I think is an unfair manner. When I am in line and the clerk waits on someone who came up after me……….. When I am in a line and the clerk opens up a new line and all the last of the line runs over there not even thinking about those of us who have been waiting longer……………..when coworkers have a beef with something you have done and instead of discussing it with you they go to the boss…………when I have made my thoughts known and people continue to do the activity that really bothers me……………when I state how I expect some things to be done and it gets ignored…………. the list could go on for a while.

But recently what I really hate ( defining hate means a crappy feeling inside of me) is my s. o. son (remember the “bull”?) going behind my back and crybabying to his dad about something I have done. Why doesn’t he just address his concerns directly with me? My s.o. says that his son and girlfriend are “afraid” of me! This can’t be too true cause if they were they would be following all the rules and stuff I can’t tolerate would not be done. I was scared of my alcoholic dad and I followed his rules and more!

If you have a problem with something do or do not do………….if I don’t do something to suit you………if I just plain piss you off………..come to me. Going to someone behind someone else’s back does not do anything to help an already sticky situation……in fact it only causes hard feelings………I am glad I am old enough and adult enough to get over this.

I hate backdoor tactics……….. December will not come soon enough!

August 18, 2007

Walking…………..walking……….walking

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 9:49 am

I am so tired and achey. Every muscle below my waist hurts as well as various ones above my waist. My left big toe has some sort of issue with a blister on its side from my tennis shoe. I have gone to bed as close to 9:00pm every evening for the last week and that is after a nap from 5-6:30 every evening.
Am I sick? I am I suffering from some wild illness or serious old age? Nope. I am suffering from “Ichangeschoolswithlotsofstuffitis”! While I knew changing schools would be a challenge, I have totally forgot all the lugging, packing, pulling, unpacking and finding a spot for stuff that goes on with such a move.
I am in good company. The entire staff and school is new. So everyone is in the same boat. While the facility is not new the school that will be housed in the building is. But of course, the school system is not happy with the facility so they have sent workers out to do major repairs. So trying to move in has been difficult. Some teachers have not even started their rooms as of today (Saturday) and school will start on Monday (yep- in 2 more days). So here we are on a Saturday morning (when I should be going to garage sales) going back to work at school as if it were a week day.
Insult to injury this facility is not your typical one. It is the original site of the largest science museum in the state. That is great until you start walking around lugging all your stuff from your car to your room. This is a wonderfully unique facility- one with ramps, big tubes, open air walkways and several floors. See pic above.
After the first day I knew I was doing major walking. So yesterday I wore a pedometer. I know I did not walk as much yesterday as I have been but at 3:00 it registered 5321 steps! I will be wearing this thing on a daily basis cause I know it will register high. There is no easy way to get from my car to my office without many steps. The first grade and kindergarten classes are on the first floor as is the lunchroom and the adult restrooms. The main office is on the second floor as is my office but they are at opposite ends of the longest hall I have ever travelled down. My job entails my visit to the office a lot and my body entails lots of visits to the restroom so I know the little pedometer will register high.
This will be great for exercise but my poor tired achey body will take longer to adjust. I am definetely feeling my age……………….

August 8, 2007

Flying By the Seat of my Pants

Filed under: Uncategorized — by crazygrandmasmind @ 9:29 am

I am a kind of flying by the seat of my pants kind of girl. There I have said it- I admit to being very scattered. That has always been my approach to life. Just to do it. Live by the moment.

With that said I will say that every day when I wake up I have some sort of idea as to what the day will hold for me. I have internal plans………….sort of ……most of the time.

I do not make lists. When I have tried to get organized and make a list of “to dos” I generally want to do, I get stumped. I start to write but somehow to write down what I need to do gets me boggled down. Takes up way too much time. So I don’t. I make a mental idea and go from there.

Do I ever forget things? Yeah but so what? I can do it tomorrow. Now before you go and start preaching about the wonders and benefits of list making and tsk-tsking me for forgetting stuff, let just say this- usually I get what I need to accomplish accomplished.

I have list makers all around me. I marvel at their lists……it does look so cool to carry around a list (whether it be on a notepad, spiral book or a simple sheet of paper). And especially cool when you see it checked off or crossed off……….. What an orderly way to run your life.

Not me. It is my nature to be spontaneaous. To flit here or there and I have fun doing it that way. At the end of most days I feel as satisfied about what I have done as most list makers.

I get up each day, go about my business. As I drive down the street, if I see I need gas- I get gas. Sometimes when I take clothes to the dry cleaners, I pick them up a week later. I clean house eratically. Start one room or task and them go to something else before I finish. But the house does get cleaned, clothes get picked up and I have never run out of gas. I just do not put it down on a list- I just do it!

My oldest daughter and significant other are habitual list makers. I look at their lists and am in awe. But sometimes I wonder if they are slaves to these lists. How disordered they must feel if at the end of a day they still have stuff they did not cross off. I think that very reason is why I do not or can not keep a list. I like to feel satisfied with my day. I do not think I could sleep well knowing I still had stuff to do!

I really had never met a serial list keeper until I met my s.o. He keeps a grocery list on the fridge and when he decided to head out to the grocery store for his weekly session, he only got what was on his list. (I am sure from time to time he waiver since he can’t pass a bakery without getting something). After we started dating and got serious he could not understand my way of shopping. No list….just going up and down every aisle and analyizing what seemed important for me to get. If indeed I had some items I really needed (list in my mind of course) I always ended up with way more than I actually needed….well I thought these items were needed! He could be in and out of the store in half an hour. Me? Going to the store was more a release…a social event….a discovery session. I actually found it relaxing. Looking at new products and things that sometime in the future would be a good thing to use in a recipe. Didn’t matter if I bought it right then or not. Sometimes I would buy it then and try out a new recipe that week.

Well I have gotten better with grocery lists. He hates going to the store and since I like it, we (he) writes stuff down on a nice little magnet held list on the fridge door. Each week I rip it off and head to the store and as I get items on the list I get the items on my mind’s list. And yes I cross the items off the list as I get them. Then when I am finished I crumble the list up. I read about a man who has written a book (published and is making $$) with grocery lists he started collecting as he found the on the ground and from grocery carts! This man needs to get a life!

The real kicker came last week when I was with my oldest daughter. We were waiting on our lunch to be deliverd at Applebees when she pulled out a kind of book that people journal in. It was pretty so I asked her what it was. It was her to do listsssssssssss! Pages and pages of lists….pages and pages of crossed off stuff….words written sideways as in an afterthough! When I asked her about it she said she had begun making these lists about 5 or so years ago. (about the time she moved far far away to Phoenix) She had several books full of this kind of thing. She told me she writes every thing down and goes back to refer to stuff she has done! She even has a pic in her blog (see above pic). She said she would be devastated if she ever lost this book-it was her life!

I do envy list makers……I do wish I could be that organized……but then again, wouldn’t that take away from my charm and grace of flying by the seat of my pants? That works for me!

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