Throwback Thursday or #TBT


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I love that whole throw back Thursday  #TBT thing.

It does amuse me. It’s like that whole memories thing that Facebook added to remind you of what you posted so that you can recall those memories from however many years ago it was not only when you posted them, but of what they are of.

I enjoy pulling from my own collection is fun too. Remembering when the photograph was taken and what was happening in my world during that time.

I thought that I would share a few with my Fabulous Graceless friends and give you all a good laugh!

The one at the top is when I was around 4 or 5. I have always loved to read and  apparently my family found it entertaining to take a photo of me doing so!

I didn’t change anything from the original photo, not in any of them, so you could enjoy the actual photos as they are.

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The other is of me when I was nearing 17. During what I now consider the beat up your body stages! Who knew that all the gymnastics, from age 5, to cheering, tennis and other sports into my 20’s would create such havoc on my body now! Ahhhhh youth and good joints!

I hope you all have a fabulous ThrowBackThursday!

Keep Hope Alive!

welcome to fabulous graceless repeat


Welcome to Fabulous Gracelessness!

*from the about me section and an oldie I will find the rest of the poem one day! It’s one of the side effects of writing for so many years and keeping it all stored in notebooks, a few published I can’t find either – makes me kind of crazy as I know they are in boxes in my house somewhere!

 Come right on in, you must find the time

Experience the chaos inside of my mind

Feel the joy, taste the fear

Timeless tales play here all year

No walls in front, no walls surround

Let yourself go and let your mind break down.

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*artwork by Rev. Joe Attaway – “Fallen from Grace”

Keep Hope Alive!

A blue bunny kind of Thursday


So my jeep has been in the shop for a while now. I am worried that the “Blue Bunny” may not be suitable for me any longer and I dearly love that vehicle!

It is far from a luxury car, but it is mine, bought and paid for. It seems, however, that it’s days of carting me and mine around are limited.

I purchased that jeep when it was just me and my big love dog, Jethro. It has a manual transmission, aka manny tranny, and lots of quirks but I was in love from the test drive.

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I started receiving recall notices, little things like windows, buttons, etc. after the boy was born and took it in the first time when the passenger rear window got stuck in the down position. At first the dealership tried to claim my kid had worn it out, but seeing as how I had him in a carrier and he had limited head control, much less the ability to repeatedly push the button to roll down the window they conceded it was probably due to the defect of the system. Ya think?!

Then, about a year and a half after the first time I had the window repaired, the same thing happened. It got stuck on the passenger side in the down position. It was winter and cold, like 23 degrees outside cold. I took it back to the dealership and told them of the problem.

Let’s just say things did not go well for either of us, and I had to pay for a new part for the window they “repaired” with the recalled parts they were given to “replace the bad ones”. Whatever. My kid is still in a car seat and can’t reach the button for the window. *Ahem.

Of course I had to do the usual maintenance, fluid changes, tires (several times as I drive a lot and yeah, I think I am an Andretti descendant at times), even a new windshield, which I lived with for quite a while before I dropped the cash to fix that.

Moving along I came to the decision to move back to the motherland with the boy and dog. I figured it would be easier to do the majority of it myself to save funds.

Logical right?

So I started packing and planning and realized I needed a hitch on my jeep as I figured I would at some point need a trailer for my move.

I take it to the local U-Haul and schedule a time for the hitch to be installed. Since it was during the week and I worked, I had a co-worker take me up there so I could have them install the hitch while I am at work, go back to work and come back when they finished as it was less than 5 minutes away.

I get to the U-Haul, walk in and tell all these “young” guys why I am there. The cockiest one walks up, snags my keys and smirks, “I got this.”

I just smiled at his other 2 co-workers and said, “He’s kind of confident. That’s going to be a good thing to have in life.”

As they looked at me oddly, he returned via the back entrance with a sheepish look on his face. His co-workers quickly inquired as to if he was ok and if the vehicle was ok. Of course the vehicle was fine. The problem? He couldn’t drive a manual transmission, stick shift or anything like it. If it wasn’t “automatic” he couldn’t drive it!

It turns out only one of them had ever even attempted driving a vehicle that wasn’t an automatic. All of the trucks they rented were automatic.

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Wow, just wow!

There was only one that had attempted to drive a stick, and yes, I let him attempt it again but he couldn’t do it. He had the true humor to tell me he was temporarily turning in his man card because he now knew he needed to know how to drive one.

The other two pretty much hid from me more or less.

I had to back my own vehicle up the ramp so they could install the hitch. Their manager was coming over from another store to get it down and they would call to let me know when to pick it back up.

I had to say I laughed long and hard about that one as did several of my co-workers and friends! I still do. I mean, really, you take your vehicle to get something done to it and all of the employees working that shift could not drive it because it is not an automatic?! I cannot make this up!

I’ve had so many great adventures and good memories in my “blue bunny” so named for its color and general happy feel!

My boy had one of those walkers that had the jeep look on it and that was done randomly and not because of my jeep. I have a photo somewhere of him in his walker behind my actual parked jeep. See below.

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I have lived in 2 states and driven through 7 in the bunny.

I know her quirks and oddities like I know my own.

Of course I paid it off last year so it’s just Murphy and his laws again messing with me telling me it’s time to move on. But this one is hard for me.

I have so many great memories.

My dog, Jethro, who is no longer on the planet with me, rode all over the southeast in that jeep.

My dad got a kick out of it and we talked about how I always wanted a jeep when I was younger, but he was worried then that I would flip it with my driving skills at the time. My dad is no longer here either.

I got the Blue Bunny and 14 months later had my boy so I carried both boy and dog in the jeep back and forth from the park to the house and to visit family.

I know that sometime soon I am going to have to make a decision on what to do about her.

I’ve been blessed to have a “loaner” minivan that is quite cool. Words I never thought I could ever put into a sentence and mean! It’s “loaded” as they say and my boy likes it better than the jeep. I mean ALL of the windows roll up and down, there’s a sun roof, space, good on gas and oh yeah it has DVD players in it.

We took it on our trip to PA and even with 6 humans and all of our crap we had space. We even discussed, other than hitting laundry mats and grocery stores, we could just keep driving and take a trip around the country. It is that comfy and cool.

But still, I will miss the Blue Bunny once she goes.

For now, I can still keep hope alive that I can squeeze a bit more time out of her.

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For nostalgia’s sake if nothing else.

Memories last forever.

Have a fabulous graceless day!

 

 

 

 

 

Courting Nostalgia


Currently I am courting nostalgia of only 2 short years ago.

I had dropped an email into the wrong file and I clicked onto another file, still not the right one but this was much, much better.

I tumbled into my memories from where I was and what was happening in my life.

I stepped back into a world where my loved ones had not departed this plane and my big love dog was loping around the house to dance party time. The boy was yet to be potty trained and I was on the wild ride of life.

I was learning how to be a single parent.

I was employed and one of my best friends and I had reunited for another go as roomies.

I was preparing to head north for our yearly trek for the annual pig roast at my sister’s home.

I was driving back and forth from Tennessee to Alabama to spend time with my family, my parents, and my daddy.

So much of my life felt like it was on hold or in a holding pattern due to circumstances beyond my control.

Two years doesn’t seem like long but now seems like a lifetime.

I dig deeper into my memories.

I remember laughing hysterically with my roomie, my boy, big dog and the kitties.

She taught the boy goofy games and silly things to do and how to eat with clothespins.

I remember going to the lake with my family and watching my son and my daddy “fish” together. The boat ride we went on and how I knew that time was precious and I took none of it for granted.

I remember the trip to Pennsylvania with 3 adults and a kid in diapers and how we laughed so hard we cried and even had to pull over, a flawlessly executed maneuver in major traffic, so my girl could get sick and then felt better. Our trip was sorely needed and I got to see my sister, brother in law, niece and nephew along with the rest of my Yankee family.

No I did not take this for granted. Not one minute of the time.

The movies in my mind of this time of my life seem almost like old black and whites now.

I allow them all to wash over me and assault me for I will never forget them.

I hold them close to my heart, these precious memories.

For you see, my wonderful roomie passed away peacefully, but unexpectedly in her sleep one night. I still miss my sister and the woman who was tiny yet impossibly strong and would give you the clothes off her back and help anyone who needed it.

My strong daddy, my rock, finally lost his brave battle to the insidious cancer that ravaged his body in the end. I miss him daily and sometimes so much that it pains me physically.

Big Love aka Jethro aka our fur bebe doggy passed because it was just his time.

My career path has changed along with my state of residence.

My son is now well potty trained along with growing up to no longer be considered by son as my “little” boy.

One of my happy constants is our annual pilgrimage to PA for the pig roast with my sister and the Yankees.

But as I dip my toes into the memories of my past I remember the happiness, the conversations, and the love.

I pull from my family and friends, old and new, and new again.

I harness the love, hope and prayers and I make it through another day.

I watch my boy grow into a young man, slowly but it’s happening far faster than I would like.

So I slide back into this warm pool of my past.

I close my eyes and hear the laughter, the advice, feel the love and happiness, taste the worry but always I keep hope alive.

The bridge from then to now is my hope.

Have a fabulous Sunday!

 

Happy Birthday to My Sister from another mister!


Sometimes in this life we get lucky.

We meet a friend who is so rare that we become friends with them as children and are able to carry that friendship through the years.

We make it through puberty, marriage, kids, moves, divorce, family craziness, friends together with others and even deaths.

If we are very, very fortunate that person becomes family to us.

Today I celebrate my sister from another mister!

Since I change all names to protect the innocent and insane alike I just have to say that one is hard because I want the world to know how my sister has literally saved my life in the over 35 years we have known each other.

I will call her Peevley because yes, there is an inside joke to that, but it makes me laugh every time I type it!

Some of you may can remember the song “Our house in the middle of our street”, well those words anyway. If you can’t then just go with it!

Our houses were right across the street from each other.

We literally could and would meet in the street and go to each other’s homes.

She is two years older than me but we are both about 20 in our minds so it all works out!

We tell people we share a memory and it’s actually true.

Parts of her childhood were not pleasant, so when she took protective measures to move on with her life, she blocked out more than just the bad parts.

So she has big Swiss cheese size holes in parts of her memory and I supply the information back to her.

It can really suck having such a good memory at times, especially when you have seen things you wish you could un-see but it’s there because that “steel trap” metaphor is for real in my world.

And yes, sometimes I make up stuff to “remind” her and usually get called on it. Most of the time!

Her “biological” parents and brother are no longer in our lives.

We just say we are twins and my family claims her.

Though we look Nothing alike, we do tell folks we are twins and amazingly many people believe us.

We are about the same height, no matter what she says about being taller, but that would be where the similarities end on the looks.

I have dark hair and olive skin and she has red hair and glowy white see through skin.

You see why I question those who think we’re twins?!

Not to mention our body parts are different sizes, her waist is smaller while I will never know the joy of the junk in the trunk comments she gets!

I tan and she burns turning red with green freckles.

We know when the other one is mad or upset sometimes by just a feeling.

Example, one of us feels strange and calls the other.

First question is “What is it?” Then the other proceeds to go on rant or explain what is getting to them.

No questions of “how did you know” we just know.

I know twins who have this and close sisters but we aren’t blood related.

She isn’t the only one I am this way with.

For the most part, we have a lot of the same friends.

However, we both have friends we will ask, “Please explain again why we like that person?” but will respect each other’s choices and reasons.

We don’t need nor do we “seek approval” we merely ask for advice and automatically accept each other for who we are.

We don’t have to like the decisions, actions or words of the other but we always accept and love each other no matter what.

I can’t imagine my life without her.

She lives nearly 13 hours away now and we still talk weekly and see each other at least once a year.

She was blessed to find her happily ever after when we were young, ok I know I am younger but she still wasn’t able to legally drink when she married “the boss”!

We are a part of each other and our families are so intertwined you need an index, compass and subscriptions to Psycho Weekly and National Geographic just to keep up!

We raised her kids and now mine.

It’s freaky really that my son could be her grandchild!

Her son is the eldest of our kids at like 27. If he is any older my mind can’t think of that right now as I remember when she was pregnant with him!

Our only girl is 25ish and of course the youngest boy turns 5 this year.

See what I mean by he could be the age of a grandchild if she had one?!

And she knows I am just messing with her by writing that!

Seriously, we have talked each other down off the proverbial cliff, listened, held hands, wiped tears and puke for each other.

I truly would give her a kidney if needed.

One of our “sharable” stories from the years was when we were teens, about 15 & 17, we snuck out of her house and met her boyfriend, also my good friend, and rode around until we could meet my boyfriend.

We met back up later, snuck back into her house and thought we were so cool and had gotten away with it.

Except we grew up in a neighborhood where everyone knew everyone and everyone watched each other’s kids.

We were so busy sneaking out and then back in that we failed to note our neighbors, who had been at midnight mass, in their driveway with a direct view to the window we climbed out of.

Of course they told our parents.

They all met at the local Burger King to plot our death over coffee!

Both her and my parents had been taping our phone calls.

BUSTED.

We both got a whopping and severely grounded for several months.

We were not “allowed” to “play together” for that summer, however, when school started back up I was allowed to ride with her to school and we had to come straight home and check in!

Never once did it cross our minds to “no longer be friends”.

If anything it was one of the many things that brought us closer.

Fast forward about 20 years and her husband was deployed to a warzone as he was in the Army Reserves.

This was his second deployment and their kids were now teens.

I thought nothing of driving up to be with her and the kids over the winter break.

Just as I would have it no other way to go back 6 months later when he returned and we held a celebration for his safe return.

Being so far apart makes life so challenging when you can just drive over, sit down with your friend and share time talking face to face.

But Peevley and I can just pick up the phone and we are right where we need to be.

I have made and collected so many friends in my life, but I was lucky to find and keep my Peevley this long.

We both make the effort to keep in touch and talk whether phone, text or emails. And, of course, the occasional SnapChat!

If we go more than a week without talking, which happens due to schedules, families and living in different time zones, we get weirded out and have to call just to “hear you irritatingly lovely voice” as we like to say.

Really it’s a sanity check for us both.

Without her I know I would be lost.

So to my sister, Thank You.

Thank you for always being there for me, for believing in me and staying with me even when it was hard, and I know it was at times!

You are the Best Sister, Friend, co-conspirator and woman I am privileged to share my life with!

Happy Birthday Peevley!

I love you!

From birth to earth my steel magnolia sister!

Have a Fabulously Graceless Wednesday!

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