Childhood Memories

Childhood memories can be good and bad. I have several memories from when I was 4 and 5 that really stand out to me still today. I don’t know if it was due to the fun the memory provided or the trauma that ensued that keeps these fresh in my mind, or if it’s the pictures that I have of these memories that I can look at and remember the good ole’ days.

When I was five years old, I remember getting my first puppy. It was a red short-haired dachshund that we named Duchess. I remember her being so tiny when we first got her. This would be what started my love for this remarkable little breed. At some point in her life, my parents bred her, but she only had 1 puppy. It was a boy and we named him Duke. When I left home at 19 my parents still had them both. Duchess passed first. She was around 18 years old when she passed away. She had arthritis and couldn’t move fast and unfortunately got under the car one day and was run over. The veterinarian said due to her age and health my parents should let her go, so they did. She was buried in a handmade box close to the house. Within a couple years, Duke met the same fate by the same person, who will go unnamed, but I will say it was not my parents that run over them. He was buried in a handmade box as well.

My first puppy, Duchess.

Momma and son, Duchess and Duke

Another memory I have from when I was around 5 was feeding the calves with a bottle. When one of the mommas would quit feeding or couldn’t produce enough milk, we would have to feed the baby with a bottle. I always thought that was the coolest thing to feed them with this big bottle and nipple. I always had to help everybody else out because I didn’t think they knew what they were doing.

Me trying to help feed the baby.

At Christmas, my parents give all three of us kids a go-cart. Only problem was I was not quite 5 years old. The boys were 9 and 11 so they were much better drivers than I was. By the end of the day I had crashed it into the side of the house which was made of brick. Needless to say, it damaged the front so bad that dad had to take it to a friend to get some welding done on it to fix the problem. It wouldn’t be long before it was back at the house. I don’t know how many years we had that thing, but the best part was riding it through the pecan orchard which also served as the cow field and try to avoid hitting the cow paddies.  To my recollection I never hit a tree, only the house.

Christmas morning getting my first ride.

Another day enjoying the ride after it was repaired.


My next memory is when I had a knife pulled through my hand that ended up almost cutting 3 fingers off at the tips (no pictures of that). Mom and Dad had left to go to the store and in our house the rule was you didn’t use the phone unless you had Dad’s permission, but if Dad wasn’t there you couldn’t ask him so that meant you couldn’t use the phone. My brothers were supposed to clean the kitchen up as they were older than me. The younger of the two was playing with a knife trying to cut the top off a salt box, but didn’t finish the job so me being me, I picked up the knife and tried to finish it. While doing so he asked for the knife and when I said, NO! He proceeded to snatch it out of my hand by the handle while pulling the 10-11-inch blade through my hand. The three fingers from middle to pinky were cut, pinky almost to the bone. I was bleeding everywhere. The oldest brother grabbed a kitchen towel and wrapped it around my hand. After it got full of blood, he wrapped another one. Nobody could use the phone to call for help, so I just sat there until my parents got home.

We had a couch in our kitchen, which is where I was sitting when my parents finally came back from the store. They immediately saw the blood and asked what happened. They were not happy. They looked at my hand and called my aunt who was a nurse to ask what they should do. She had them bring me to her house so she could look at it and then bandage it enough to get me to the hospital. I ended up having 5 stitches in each finger. The doctor said if he had pulled the knife just a little harder, he would have severed my pinky right off. I still remember the stories my parents told of the horror in the hospital. I screamed so loud my mom couldn’t get far enough down the hallway to not hear me. My dad had to help the nurses hold me down while the doctor sewed me up. I don’t know how many times I have told this story over the years, but it still makes me laugh when I do. I can still see the scars on each finger.

I have other wonderful childhood memories as well, but I’ll save those for another day. Feel free to share one of your favorite childhood memories in the comments below.

Duke in the forefront and Duchess is hiding behind him.

Duchess begging to come inside.

Does Grief Ever Go Away

Twelve years ago today was one of the worse days of my life. I had been going on adrenaline for several days as on the 30th of January we brought my husband home to live out his final days near the family. It would be several hours before I was able to get rest as rest was something I didn’t want to do as I didn’t want to leave him alone for one minute. Family came in and out over the next couple of days and on the evening of the 1st I dosed off between 10 and 12 pm. When I woke up startled that I had even fallen asleep I looked over at the man I loved more than anything and saw a tear stained face looking back at me. I felt like the worse wife in the world as he had to take his last breath alone as I sat there sleeping instead of being by his side. The next 36 – 48 hours would be the toughest hours of my life.

Although he had planned for this day way before this moment, I was still not prepared for what I would be facing. The past six weeks had been nothing but hospitals and lots of prayers hoping for a miracle that we never got. Instead I had the most terrifying ride of my life when he was driven from Gainesville to Tallahassee in an ambulance that I insisted on riding in so I would be with him if he did not survive the trip.

The day he died was on a Saturday and since it was so early in the morning when everything happened and because we had done a lot of pre-planning, I was able to finalize everything rather quickly and had his funeral scheduled for the 4th. Because my daughter’s wedding was on the 16th, I was not able to grieve until much later as I wanted her day to be special regardless of what we had all just been through. A few days after the wedding I went back to work, which I had not been at in eight weeks and after a couple days I walked out of my job to figure life out.

It was at this point that the grief really hit me and depression set in that lasted for several months. Hell, if I was being honest, it lasted for years and there’s still times when it rules its ugly head.

After 12 years I’m still grieving, even though I have remarried it still hits me like a tone of bricks come February and I hate to see this month come around each year. To be honest I don’t know that I will ever stop missing him and wishing he were still here. Our memories are forever in my heart.

I love you Brian! You will never be forgotten.

I wanted to share some of his favorite memories. 

In August 2001 we took the two younger kids on their first trip to Disney World, which was his favorite place to visit.

Another pic from that 2001 trip.

In December 2001, him and I went on a trip to the smokey mountains. This was a pic along the drive up the mountain towards Cades Cove.

This was his favorite pic during his real estate days. He looked so handsome.

This is from his sons wedding on September 17, 2005. He was so proud of his son and would do anything and everything for him.

In February 2006, he welcomed his first granddaughter into the world. This pic was taken in June of that year.

Come August of the year 2007 another grandson was born into the family.

He was so proud of all his grandchildren, but these two had a special place in his heart.

In October 2007 we had this family picture taken, which would be the last family pic of the whole gang together.

In November 2007 we were sealed in the church.

A Special Ornament

Back in the early 2000’s my husband and I had started a painting business and that year for Christmas one of his sisters found an ornament that was perfect for the occasion. I have no idea where she found it, but it was perfect. It had the ladder, paint brushes, paint and rolls that looked like wallpaper. I always thought it was funny that she bought that for him when I was the one who done more of the painting than him. Since his death in 2008 I think I have continued the painting “tradition” as it seems every house I move into I have to add my “touch” by painting at least one wall.

In keeping with the “tradition”, each year that ornament gets put on the tree for me to admire, reminisce and reflect on all the homes that I have painted and the joy that some of them brought me as I transformed a house into a home, or a room into a sanctuary. Sometimes it’s the little things that mean so much.

Trip to Florida for a birthday

Took a couple days off to make a trip to Florida to see my grandbabies. We were all coming together to celebrate Madison’s sixth birthday. I can’t believe how fast these kids are growing up. The trip was uneventful for the most part.

We decided to stay in a cabin on the lake in a campground that we stayed in when we lived in Tallahassee a couple years ago because my husband wanted to take the boat so he could do some fishing while I was visiting with the kids. I think he took the boat out of the slip one time and that was it. The weather was hot and humid. The cabin had the worse bed I have ever slept on and was only a full-size and we are used to sleeping on a king. There was not enough room for one of us much less all four (the dogs sleep with us). He slept on the couch one night and his chair the next and I slept on the bed one night and the couch the next. After that we decided we had had enough and left a day earlier than we had planned.

The trip wasn’t a total bust as I got to see four grandbabies and my daughters, plus my Mom. I can’t believe Madi is getting so big. Courtney had rented a bouncy house and water slide combo thing and the kids loved it. It was the perfect way to keep them cool. We played corn hole for the first time. She had a pinata filled with candy that the kids loved. She got way more stuff than she needed, but don’t most kids? The kids had treat bags, food, cake and so much fun which made everything else small in comparison.


All in all, it was a great trip and I enjoyed my time seeing everybody. Not sure when I will make it back to Florida as the next trip needs to be to Louisiana. Speaking of Louisiana, Jackson’s birthday was going to be the next month, so I took his presents with me and let him have an early birthday. That’s one thing about kids, they don’t care when they open presents as long as they get them.

Happy Birthday Mom

Today is my Mother’s birthday. She is 76 years old. I feel so blessed to still have my Mom in my life. She has been my rock and my strength through everything in my life. Her love for me is beyond measure. I never know what to get her for her birthday and this year I wanted to do something a little more special. I wanted to create something that would show her how much she means to me and express how I feel about her.

Several years ago, for Mother’s Day, one of my daughters give me a framed poem that I have held onto for many years. I wanted to use that quote on a gift for my Mom, so I used my Cricut to create the poem and then created paper flowers that were cut from cardstock and then rolled to look like roses. I chose two different shades of green as green is her favorite color. I bought a shadow box to put the roses in and applied the poem to the inside, so little hands couldn’t peel off all my hard work.

The poem reads:

Mom

You raised me, you praised me.

When I was at my worst

you forgave me.

You guided me with honesty,

you taught me faith and charity,

but most of all,

at least to me, you gave

your love unconditionally.

To me this poem sums up everything about my Mom. She is more special than she realizes and not only a rock to me, but a rock to my children and grandchildren. She exemplifies what a mother should be and sets an example for others on how to be one of the most loving, forgiving and supportive Mom’s you could be.

Happy Birthday, Mom!!!

Happy Birthday to ME

Another birthday!!!

Today I am celebrating turning 51 and I’m really starting to feel my age. I’m grateful for another year to see my grandkids and spend with my family. I just wish my family would make a bigger deal out of my birthday’s, instead the day comes and goes as if it’s not that big of a deal. 

PRESENTS

My lovely husband started the day with donuts from Krispy Kreme. It was raining cats and dogs when we got up, but he didn’t hesitate to go get what I had asked for the night before. They were still soft and warm as the red light was on when he got there so they were fresh. Last weekend we went to a home show and he ended up buying me new pots and pans. I can’t remember the last time I had brand new pots. Hell it’s probably been close to 15 years or more.

DINNER and DESSERT

We’ll finish my day with going out to dinner at one of my favorite restaurants, Red Lobster. I love their lobster pizza and will probably end up with crab legs and shrimp as well. We’ll probably skip dessert unless I get something to bring home to eat later.

Overall it will end up being another birthday pretty much like all the previous ones, just another day that comes and goes and when it’s over everybody goes on to whatever the next holiday, birthday, or anniversary that comes along.