This is my journey to travel.











{August 27, 2012}   Lessons Miss Connie taught me

Yesterday was CC’s funeral and I didn’t break down until I was already back home in the shower. I will miss that wise ole bird’s company as she had missed mine when I quit working there. Our souls were connected, these 29 and 85 year old. It’s like we would tap into each other’s brain and one would call the other every time. I was never her student growing up but I was her student as an adult. I never took a minute of dance class, but she was my hero once she was in my care.

She taught me so much about life and how to see oneself in a light that would shine on ones crowning moments as well as dimmer moments. She taught me to take it all in stride and face it head on wearing ballet shoes, Chanel No. 5, and a big smile! She was a headstrong, warm, caring, open, yet private person. She taught me that just b/c a woman is all of the above qualities does not mean she is not a lady. “A true lady doesn’t back down. A true lady will get what she wants, by any means necessary, and come out smelling like Chanel.” (Everything was about Chanel No. 5)

She taught me to never deny my mistakes or shortcomings. She made numerous mistakes, as we all do, but I don’t think she was ever scandalized by those mistakes. She kept her head held high, admitted them, and moved on with dignity and grace. She would say to admit and then move past it. She said to truly move past things and to not bring them up again unless you’re teaching someone or explaining how the lesson changed you for the better.

She taught me that sometimes marriage is a mistake. She was married twice when she was younger. She would talk about how both of her ex husbands were wonderful men, and that she loved them both dearly, but that she was just not marriage material. She was too independent to play the role of wife for too long. All she ever wanted in life was to dance and to teach others to dance. She danced all over the country as well as overseas and marriage wouldn’t allow that as “no self respecting man should have to follow his wife all over watching her fulfill her dreams while squashing his”. I understand and respect that fact. She took care of her mother, aunt, and her career. She gave so much to so many people that a husband was more of a bother or nuisance than a partner. CC told me she was on good terms with both of her ex husbands when they divorced and remained close friends with them until they each passed away. To me, that’s real love. Having someone who is your best friend, with whom you can share your intermost feelings, wants, wishes, and desires, whether you can make a marriage work with them or not, is true love. This is one of the most valuable lessons Miss Connie taught me.

I’m so thankful I got to see her one more time and that she saw me truly happy. I know it bothered her when I was hurt or concerned about my future, though she never really let it show. She would always tell me “Chin up girlie. You’re going to do fine. You and that baby will be fine.” Some days I believed her, others not so much. I knew she was correct though b/c CC never made life blunders. (I smile as I’m typing this because I know no written word will every do CC justice.) Good ole CC. I will love you more than I could ever describe and miss you more than you know. Farewell CC. May you forever be dancing amonst the stars, tapping and twirling your way through eternity.

Love always, Your Babyheart!

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I’m going back to college. The semester starts on Wednesday. I’m right at 30 and I’ll be going back to school. WTF am I thinking? I dislike school and have since the 4th grade. I will do it this time. I have a family to help support so I must do this and do it well….even though it involves 3 math classes…intermediate algebra, college algebra, and math for teachers. I do not do math. I will do it though, and completely conquer!

I work part time as well. At least, I think I do. I am a CNA in a nursing home. I love my job but I don’t feel as though it’s what drives me. Growing up, I dreamed of becoming a nurse and taking care of sick patients. I wanted to work at St. Jude before I decided that I can’t deal with sick and dying children. It hurts my heart too much.  I love taking care of the elderly, but there is just too much red tape for me to be comfortable pursuing a nursing degree.  Basically, knowing someone’s life will depend on whether I’m having a good day or not, if I slept well the night before, etc. is not something I want resting on my shoulders. No, thank you!

My boss was infuriated when I told her I’m going back to school. We’re talking make me feel like crap for “abandoning your God given “talents” in the health care field to pursue a lesser career that brings no satisfaction, respect, or appreciation and you’re better than that! You know you’re supposed to go into nursing school and become a nurse!”, type of infuriated! I told her this breaking “Hey I’m going back to school this fall” news in mid July. That gave her PLENTY of time to make out the schedule for August and adjust accordingly. I told her that I could work the normal hours I have been until August 15. For the rest of the month, I needed to be on only a prn basis. (Prn meaning “as needed”) Once I got my class schedule I’d be able to tell her which days I could work for the rest of the semester. She said this would be fine. Two days later I get asked what I’m going to school for as she assumed I was going into the LPN or RN programs. When I told her it was for high school education, she flipped the script big time. The August schedule had me down for 2, I repeat, 2 days!!! WTF?! I ask and get told “Oh, I must have misunderstood you” as I’m given the most sarcastic smirk I’ve ever received. UGH BITCH!!! I did go in and give her my class schedule. We agreed on Monday, Wednesday, and Saturday (because, as I was told, “We just don’t have employment for someone who cannot work any on a weekend) and prn the other days.

We will see if she “misunderstands” our agreement when the September schedules come out. If she does, I can always go to the unemployment office and get part time unemployment. I don’t want to have to do that though. I don’t like handouts and, hopefully, never will. I don’t know about other states but in Arkansas it seems as if our state government rewards people who just sit on their asses and do nothing yet punishes those who want to work and become successful. If you’re working part time and going back to school, you’re pretty much guaranteed to not get help in any form unless you go to the offices and act stupid on them. It’s just annoying.

I’ve just realized my coffee mug is empty, so I must get off of here and start the day. Have fun all. Remember to keep looking up!



{August 7, 2012}   Grocery shopping and Grandma

I hate grocery shopping, plain and simple. Yesterday, though, I was shopping with my husband and daughter and I run into my grandmother. No biggie, right? WRONG!! She is a nurse and a health fanatic. Not saying all nurses are health nuts b/c they’re not, but my g’ma is definitely one of the few. She felt the need to scrutinize everything I bought. I was petrified to see her. She stared into my cart of smoked sausage, animal crackers, mac & cheese, chicken patties, and nuggets with disdain. I instantly felt the need to explain why these types of items were in my cart. “LB (my daughter) loves animal crackers. Sausage is 10 for $10, mac and cheese is a quick side dish that all kids love, and the processed chicken products are quick and easy for hubby to make when I’m at work”. She nodded her beautiful Southern belle, black and silver-haired head and said “Bless your heart. I know times are hard. I love you baby.” UGH!!! G’ma Stop doing that to me! Anyone who lives in the south knows that’s equivalent to saying “You pitiful poor person, I raised you better. It’s no wonder you’re fat buying all that junk but I love you anyway.” We check out and go straight to the super center. Grandma does too.

I’m feeling like a terrible blob as I put my child in the cart at the super center, but I press on, getting what other groceries are needed. G’ma and my paths cross again at the yogurt isle. I put the package of Go-gurt in the cart for LB as G’ma comes around the corner. Damn, here we go again! “I prefer plain yogurt baby.” “Well, G’ma, I don’t like plain yogurt. I like flavored. I’m doing better though. Look, Greek yogurt. It’s healthy, right?” “Not really, with all the extra calories and sugars, but it’s better than the other stuff.” *Self esteem dropped another 10 pts.* “That canned chili isn’t healthy at all baby. Neither is that fruit juice-lots of sugar in those”. Meanwhile, hubby is seemingly oblivious to the fact a conversation is even taking place. “Honey, fresh produce is a lot healthier than canned”. *Be thankful I’m buying veggies Lady!* “Velveeta is cheese PRODUCT, honey, not real cheese. It’s loaded with cholesterol. *But it’s so good and comforting melted with a can of Rotel and this bag of tortilla chips woman!*

I’ve been taught to respect this dear old woman, but I’ve had my feel. I desperately scan her cart to see what unhealthy goodies I can use against her. HA! NOTHING! Plain greek yogurt (healthy), bag of carrots, apples, watermelon, oranges, fresh asparagus bundles, broccoli, cauliflower, evoo, two packages of boneless, skinless chicken breasts…DAMN! This woman is a walking, talking, model of purity food! Ah, what’s that, a jar of peanuts!!!! “Well, g’ma, peanuts are high in fat!” “Honey, that’s true, but the peanut oils are good for your heart. I only eat 10 a day.”, she says smiling sweetly. I’ve never wanted to punch an old person in the throat so hard in my life!!!

By this time, hubby has become aware that there is a nutrition lesson here and interjects. “Well, B, we have to get LB home and get her some dinner cooked. Nice seeing you. Take care”. “Bye Grandma. I love you” “I love y’all too, honey. Come see an old lady sometime. Oh, and honey…” “Yes, G’ma?” “Try to eat healthier…That little one doesn’t need you having a stroke, heart attack, or getting cancer or diabetes.” “Ok, grandma. I’m working on that. Besides, if you come look in my fridge, you’ll see bottled water, leeks, cauliflower, celery, parsnips, pineapple, real butter (because apparently margarine is the devil’s soul food), and 2% milk (Milk comes from COWS! NOT PLANTS!!!).” “I believe you sweetheart”, says grandma, smiling her too sweet for words, yet silently condescending smile that lets me know she thinks I just said a big fat lie to appease her. “I love you and will see you soon…Promise.” I walked away wanting to cry my eyes out, eat a gallon of coffee bean ice cream and watch Steel Magnolias.

My husband, knowing G’ma just politely and, with all the love in the world, made me feel like the fattest, most unhealthiest, terrible mommy in all civilization, directed me to the nail polish stands. I immediately forget previous conversations and am enthralled in the word of pretty nail colors! Seeing 6 different polish colors, including a purple magnetic polish, in my cart among all my “terribly unhealthy” junk, I am happy as a lark once again as we all head to the check out counter.

I see Grandma at the front of a line, giving an overweight cashier a lecture about how fresh produce, chicken, and soy milk will change her life for the better and help her lose all that weight. I just smiled and shook my head as I went to another line.

I love my Grandma and wouldn’t change her for the world. She’s doing what she thinks she should to make this world a healthier place to live. She’s always been health obsessed. That’s awesome of her. It’s why she is 80 and people swear she’s 60. They swear she’s my mom. It’s cool. I get it. I know I should eat better, but dammit, junk food is cheap and times are tough. I’d love to eat salad, fresh produce and chicken all day but it’s too damn expensive and I don’t have the $!!!! Granted, I’d never go to the left on my G’ma and tell her all this in those exact terms, but I’d love to. Wait. No I wouldn’t, b/c it would make her cry and that is one of the very few things that I just cannot handle. I can’t stand to see a soldier, my G’ma, my kids, or my daddy cry. It kills me. I do my best to make sure I’m never the one making that happen.

But I digress. Point is, as long as it costs more to make a good salad than it does to make a hamburger or hamburger helper, the majority of the people are going to be overweight. I am a part of that majority. ~B



{August 3, 2012}   Wave bye-bye to being crafty

I’m not crafty. I don’t like this fact. I used to be. I would like to be again but it’s just not happening. I used to be very crafty and resourceful. I got it from my mom. I swear, she can take anything and turn it into a masterpiece. It’s quite annoying for me. I’m hoping my daughter possesses this trait b/c it will definitely come in hand for her as she ages.

I used to be like mom though. I could make a cute skirt out of neck ties I got from a garage sale. Give me empty shoe boxes and I’d have mini shadow box before lunch. I could see, and execute perfectly, the trash to treasures. Now, I can see the possibilities, but the execution just ain’t comin!

It all started when I had a car wreck in late 2004 which resulted a cracked skull brain swelling and bleeding, and many other damaged organs, broken bones, etc. After what was considered a total rehabilitation, I learned I am no longer a crafty person. I cannot make cutsie little skirts, hair bows, wall ornaments, decorations, ect. anymore. I didn’t really notice I had lost my abilities until recently when I decided to make a craft box for my 3 1/2 year old. Mommy couldn’t even remember how to use a loom…That’s a problem for me!!!

I also have learned that my cooking on the fly, which was awesome, has eluded me as well. I have to actually sit down and concentrate on what I want to make. I am currently writing a list of substitutions that I will have to place on the inside of a cabinet b/c I just can’t remember them anymore. Things that used to come naturally to me just…*poof* gone! I don’t remember what half of the ingredients are in most things I used to cook on a regular basis. This generally leads to my extreme frustration resulting in meals that originated from a box with a glove on the outside. Now that I’m somewhat domesticated with this whole marriage, cooking is something I’m doing more and more of. With my first marriage, we ate out all the time. “Why dirty up a perfectly good kitchen when you can just go to the restaurant and not have to clean?”,  was our motto. I don’t have the money to be doing that now.

I will get better at this though. I don’t want to have lost everything I used to be good at. I am cooking more, even if it is from cookbooks and recipe cards. I am on pinterest all the time printing out how-to instructions for different things. So, maybe, I will be crafty again….It will happen, dammit!!

 



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