Unconditional Love

I love my son’s friends.  In his 18 years of life, he’s only had one “temporary” friend whom I did not like; because he was nothing but trouble.  His mother, unfortunately, encouraged it and I put an end to it.

I digress.

Yesterday, my son & 2 friends went to DQ with me.  We all sat together and talked for an hour about all they were going through as Seniors this year.  College essays, applications, dreams, goals and how to achieve them.  The one friend has completed all her applications and is in “wait” mode.  My son filled out two applications to his school of choice and the third friend is in the process of applying to several places.  She is stressed to the max.  Her mom is riding her butt to get it done.

As we sat and spoke of all these things, I couldn’t help but think back on all the times the four of us have gone to movies, to eat, did projects together and enjoyed each others company.  So many conversations between the four of us; but not just that.  They’ve been to my home, they’ve asked me for advice, they tell me they love me and they genuinely care about me as well as Ian.

I’m on all of their phones and have told them I would come get them, no matter the time or place, if they call.  No questions asked at that time; but we would discuss it later.  Hasn’t happened (yet) but they have the option.  I’ve always thought kids should have a “safe” place or person to talk with and try to be that person.

I’ve had kids tell me they wished I was their mom.  I’ve given hugs to those who needed it.  Been the shoulder to cry on when their heart is broken.  I’ve cheered them on and never let them feel that they weren’t the best and greatest person I’ve ever met.

I’ve celebrated victories with these friends of my sons.  I’ve celebrated birthdays with them.  I’ve offered encouragement, advice, love and correction.  I never lie to them, even if it hurts.   I’ve teased them, laughed at them and with them and my reward is more than I have ever thought possible, their love and affection.

When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a mom.  I wanted little people I could love.  At 16, I was told it was impossible.  For the next 14 years, I believed it.  Two miscarriages due to blocked fallopian tubes and only one intact after the 2nd fetus ruptured one, I never thought I’d see the day.  Then, God blessed me with my miracle and I have loved and cherished that child ever since.

Now, all these years later, I have more kids than I can count and am happier for it.  I get hugs.  I get love.  I get to watch them grow and learn and thrive.

Yesterday also marked an interesting text from a young man who is a friend’s son.  The poor kid is sick.  He’s graduated, has a job; but no insurance and was desperate to purchase his medication to get better.  He’s not allowed to go to work for the next 5 days and asked me for help.  I purchased the scripts and told him not to worry about it, just focus on getting better.  He couldn’t thank me enough.  For me, it was a no brainer.  I didn’t need to ask him about his parents involvement, doesn’t matter.  I asked him nothing, except who to call to pay the bill.  For whatever reason, I was the go to person and since I already consider this young man a son, I only needed to meet the need, not grill him.  He is an honest, smart, kind and sweet young man of integrity.  That was all I needed to know.

Last night also brought a fall.  My son’s dog, Tippy, is 12 years old.  He’s not long for this world.  He has lost bladder control and is shaky.  He has fatty tumors, a bad eye and grumpy on a lot of days due to pain of old age.  Last night, I slipped in a puddle.  I landed hard on my left hip and elbow.  My elbow has a knot on it and is bruised and scraped.  Yes, I was covered in pee.  (GROSS) and immediately took a shower.  Was not happy since I’d just done so and was wearing fresh, clean clothes for the night; but he can’t help it.  I’m debating if I need to take him to the vet for our last good–byes; but I’m not there yet and he is not suffering.  Just keep praying for him.

You see, I’ve got this problem.  I love unconditionally these kids and this dog.  I don’t see their flaws, only their potential.  I think if we had more people who encouraged and loved, despite who they are, what they are or how they look, we’d have less ugly in this world.  I pray for them and sometimes with them.  I just hope when I’m old and they are no longer in my life, that they’ll remember me for this.

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Every Little Thing

Yesterday was my sons last Marching  Band Competition in Lake Worth, FL.  We took a charter bus there and for 3 1/2 hours, we were not allowed to eat, drink or use the bathroom.  WTH!!!!!  By hour 2, I had to pee so bad and I was over the limit by the time we arrived.  I tell you, THAT was my 1st priority when we got there.

Oh and one of the girls in the band, while we were still at the high school, walked past where I was sitting and accidently hit me in the head with her Mellophonium case. I’ve got a lump and it hurts; but like I said, it was an accident.  I teased her the rest of the day about it.  Now, I’ve teased every kid in that band at one time or another.  They all know me; but for some reason, she has no sense of humor and got upset.  I told her that I was teasing and I had to apologize to her for having fun with it.

I love these kids.  I’ve told them on plenty of occasions that I do.  I’ve hugged more than half of them on more than one occasion, too.  I’ve tied shoes, I’ve zipped and unzipped jackets (in the back), helped them put in plumes and take them out.  I’ve bought snacks when no one else thought of it.  I’ve taken more than a few out, had them in my home for parties and meals and enjoyed being their biggest fan and cheerleader.

The competition was a lot of fun for all of us and the kids came in 2nd place in their division.  So happy.  Mom & Dad came up from Florida City to watch and stayed until 6 pm.  It all ended around 10:30 pm.   Worst part of the trip?  Stinky footed ride home. UGH!

Auditions for Indoor Drumline are on Thursday.   There show this year is called, “Breathe” and the kids voted between this and another one last Wednesday.  They are looking forward to starting the next “season” with this show.  I’m not sure when rehearsals start; but I do know that they’ll have the same 2 day rehearsal schedule.  My son has already memorized the audition piece and was playing it yesterday while waiting for the others to finish setting up so they could start warm-ups.  His teacher was impressed since they’d just gotten it the night before, after their last game of the season.

I drop off two band kids before we headed home at a bit after 1 am (2 am) LOL!  On the radio, while stopped at a traffic light is the new country song, “Every Little Thing” by Carly Pearce.  I’ve loved the song since I first heard it.  However, this time, it hit me hard.  Memories I didn’t want to remember came flooding back and tears stung my eyes.

“Every little thing
I remember every little thing
The high, the hurt, the shine, the sting
Of every little thing”

Even though I have left it all behind me, the mind still does random memory checks that flash before you like an unwanted movie, forcing you to see what you’d rather not.  I often wish I could just remove them from my mind so that I never have to review them again; but alas, it doesn’t work that way.  <sigh>

It’s a wonder my blog title is “Mind of a Mad Woman” because these memories are definitely what has made me as mad as a hatter can be.  LOL!  There is one thing I can say and that is the ride these last 49 years has been anything; but boring.

A friend asked me if I’d participate in his November Patriot Recognition.  I told him sure and that I’d get back to him.  I have to gather my thoughts and see what to reveal and what not to reveal. Ha, ha!

My birthday week, last week, was awesome.  Birthday Tuesday with dinner and cake.  Wednesday morning breakfast with my girlfriends in God.  Thursday lunch with one who could not make it to breakfast and Friday, spur of the moment Mexican dinner with same friend and another friend.  Great, great week!  So far, 49 is a great age. 😀

OH, and my son, he is not liking that he is now 18 and an adult. LOL!  He still wants to be a kid.  Speaking of which, he uploaded his auditions for his college application and submitted it for early admissions.  I told him I’ve prayed on it and believe it for a fact that he will get in.  Now, we wait to hear.  Not sweating it or stressing it; because there is no reason to, God’s got this.

Spent the morning cleaning house.  When I get to wanting to clean, I whip through my house like a tornado and everyone just backs away as I do what I have to do.  I was so busy doing other things this week, that it got away from me; but now that we’re back on the clean side of life, I’m happier. 😀

Life is good.

 

World Gone Mad

From the NFL taking a knee, the current hatred of the President and everyone offended by any and everybody that doesn’t agree with them, this world has fallen into sheer madness.  I never thought I’d see the day when it was okay to report news that is half truths, personal attacks and complete dishonesty.  SMH!

If you are not happy with someone or want to hurt someone, whip out your phone, record them and send it viral.  There is no such thing as privacy anymore and you never know when even the most innocent actions are recorded and sent viral.

She’s too fat.  He’s too skinny.  Look at all those tattoos!  What a monster!!  Body shaming, sexual disorientation and GMO’s turning food into crap, it’s a wonder we’re all still alive.  Add to that the fact that when someone cries out for help, they turn the victim into a predator who asked for it and we wonder why our children are confused, inconsiderate brats.

Good is bad, bad is good and even the most innocent of gestures are turned into civil rights violations, we’re heading straight to hell.

I posted on Facebook about my unhappiness with the NFL’s protest to take a knee in the workplace.  I am a retired US Marine and I am offended by the way “million dollar babies” are taking a knee on the field and not doing anything about the problem when they’re off the field.  A friend was quick to point out that a veteran was the one who gave the suggestion to Colin in the first place.  I DON’T CARE!  It was wrong no matter who suggested it and that it continues is just going to kill their franchise in the end.

Am I supposed to feel shamed that a vet was the one who made the suggestion?  Hell no!  Is my opinion less valuable than yours?  Hell no!  Wrong is wrong.  If I am making money off of you, for entertainment purposes, I will entertain.  My opinion has no baring.  Further, if I was working at McDonalds and you ordered a hamburger and I’m a vegan, do I have the right to tell you that I will not serve you?  Hell no!  My job is to provide a service, not lecture you on how offended I am that you eat meat.

In the same spirit, once I clock out, I can protest up the street in the meat packing district about how killing animals for food is bad.  I am no longer on the job, getting paid; but out in the world, sharing my dislike.

We’re the laughing stock of the world.  Our country has always been known as the land of opportunity; but what opportunity do you have when everything is considered offensive?  We were founded on freedom.  You want to worship God, go ahead.  You want to worship satan?  Go ahead.  You want to voice an opinion?  Go for it.  You want to own a gun?  You can.

The problem we face today, however; is that people want us to conform to where they come from, their traditions or religion.   Or people want us to surrender our weapons.  Your opinion is invalid if it doesn’t match that of the minor elite.

My cousin loves to voice her opinion on everything.  Lord help the person who makes a negative comment on her comment, she’ll go postal on them.  She’s a staunch believer that her voice counts.  She faces bullies on the internet with regularity.  (I think she may even thrive on it, LOL!)

I am sadden by this country and this world.  We’re quick to judge, unforgiving and want our cake and to eat it, too.  I fear we’re on a crash course to implosion and all I can do is pray that God blesses and saves us from ourselves.

I fear for the fate of this nation and world.  Kiddie porn, rape, abuse, sex slaves and more are on the rise and we’re powerless to do a thing about it.  Offensive behavior is the norm and destruction is everywhere.  We don’t build up, we tear down.  Makes me want to become a mountain hermit.

Only God can help us now.

Happy Mother’s Day

I hope your day is spent in beauty and love.

My wish is to always be the best Mother I can be to my son.  The Sarah Connor Meme was what he posted on my FB wall for Mother’s Day.  I guess that speaks for itself. LOL!  Oh how I love that boy of mine. ❤

Friday evening was the Band Awards Night.  My parents came and my son received his Junior year award, his Jazz, Percussion and Marching pins and was named Most Outstanding Musician for this past year.  So proud of him and his accomplishments. Afterwards, I took him, my parents and one of his friends out for dinner at Ruby Tuesdays. Delicious food, great company and lots of laughs.  Gave my mom her gifts for Mother’s Day and we all had a great time.  So blessed to have these great times together.

I know I have a year until my son graduates and we’re making the most of our time together.   The first two weeks after school gets out, we’re going to Virginia to spend time with friends.  Not sure if the whole time will be there; but we shall see.  Also have an open invite from my Uncle in NC to stop by, so I may spend a few days with them as well.

I am so looking forward to our trip.  It’s about a 17 hour drive; but I know the two days it takes to get there will be tedious, however, well worth the hassle.  Seeing a friend I haven’t seen in over 20 years.  So blessed to be able to do so.  He’s just had both knees replaced and I just can’t let any more time go between us.  I have to see him.  I can hardly wait to meet his wife.  She’s sweet and kind and has tamed this man a lot from our youth.  I adore them.

This year has gone by quickly; but the last week has seemed to crawl by slowly.  I guess knowing that it is only a few weeks until I get to vacation must be what is making it seem this way.  Of course, the time we’re away will fly by for sure. LOL!

Last week, my cousin laid to rest her boyfriend of 17 years.  It was unexpected.  He had a brain tumor that he didn’t know about, caused him to lapse into a coma and become brain dead within two days.  Devastating her, his family and their friends.  What is strange is that in September, shortly after my own loss, we had gotten together and had discussed what would happen to her if something happened to him.  I had been explaining to her all the things I needed to go through with the power of attorney, lawyer, cremation, etc.   She expressed her concerns about her situation with me and I listened and shared what I knew from my own personal experience.  I hope it led to a talk with him about it.  She hasn’t been up to talking to anyone, so I am not sure.  I feel so bad about the situation.  She loved him so much.

Actively working on my patience.  On my second Max Lucado bible study book.  Did a short one on patience that I’d gotten from another source.  It was only on patience and about 60 pages, but very intense.  I certainly needed that.  Still waiting on God’s perfect timing.  ❤

Fat Tuesday

I remember the first time I ever went to Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  I was a young Marine and had gone with 9 male Marines as back up.  We had a blast.  Nothing says fun like hanging in a strip club with your buddies. LOL!  Of course, being young and dumb, I was also intoxicated and took my shirt off to show the stripper how much better my breasts were than hers.  Needless to say, I was quickly escorted out of the club by my friends so we wouldn’t get arrested. LOL!

Many a Mardi Gras celebration was had when I lived in the Florida panhandle.  Yearly parades, jazz music and parties abounded.  King cakes and plastic babies, moonpies and  beads, masks and Beignets, Jambalaya and gumbo; the list goes on.  Of course, Hurricanes make the day even sweeter.  Fat Tuesday is the last day of decadence until Easter.

Tomorrow, Lent begins.  For the next 40 days, we await Holy week, in remembrance of the death, burial and resurrection of our Lord & Savior, Jesus Christ.  We usually give something up for Lent.  A vice that we probably shouldn’t have in the first place is a great thing to give up.

As for me and my house, we will serve you, Lord.  Each & Every DAY!

Christmas Celebrations

We started off our Christmas with church service last night at 6 pm.  Our Pastor read Luke 2:12-20 about the shepherds, who were the first to hear the good news of the birth of our Savior.  He reminded us of how the shepherds of the day were the lowest class of citizens in that time and how it is strange that God would tell the “least” instead of the “best” of the day.  I believe he did this; because he loves us all equally and does not judge us by class.  Whatever the reasoning, it is God who made it and one we will never truly know why.

After coming home, we opened our stockings.  My son got me a miniature “Newt Scamander” from Fantastic Beasts Pop figure.  So love it!  I got him 2 tie clips and two boxes of candy.

At midnight, he insisted on us opening our gifts and handed me mine.  It was a Retron 2 system for NES/SNES games.  My original SNES game, which I received for Christmas in 1995, died a week and a half ago and this was the PERFECT replacement gift.  He’s a great kid.

I, of course, got him several ties, along with new drum heads, a new kick pedal and a cymbal.  He was thrilled with his haul.  Two of his ties were music themed, which he loved and I was happy he loved his things.  I don’t mind getting him things he needs when I can.

For dinner, I made London Broil on the grill, mashed potatoes, sweet potato, green beans and gravy.  Oh and I had some shrimp on the side.  He ate more than half the meat on his own.  No fear he’ll be a vegetarian. Ha, ha.

A great Christmas miracle came when the Steelers won against the Ravens.  I screamed, I yelled, I acted like a lunatic and they pulled it off in the last minute and a half.  WTG Pittsburgh.  My son thinks I am insane and laughed at me several times when I was screaming at the TV.  Hey, I’ve been like this since my USMC days when I first became a fan of theirs. LOL!

I sent several texts to my mother wondering what she was up to but received no response until a few minutes ago.  Merry Christmas received, “Sorry, I was busy.”  I have to stop expecting so much more than I ever receive. <sigh>

Watching the Librarians on TNT now and wondering how I’ll be spending the next two weeks with the kid off from school.

I hope everyone had an enjoyable day, either celebrating Christmas or Chanukah.

Good Friends

Yesterday I met my friend Deb for lunch at Ruby Tuesdays.  We got there at 12ish and stayed until 5 pm just talking.  LOL!  We be crazy.  We laughed, we cried, we shared and we ate.  Due to the circumstances of the past year, we hadn’t had a chance to get together for a while; but she’s the type of friend that even if 5 years had passed, we’d pick up right where we left off.

Since life is now different for both of us, we’re going to see each other more often.  We’re going to start walking in the evenings together. I’m looking forward to it.  Life has really gotten simpler and I am just floating along on this lazy river of life.

All presents are wrapped and under the tree.  Grab bag gifts for my son’s party are ready and I just have to make the food.  Should be a fun time for those who attend.  I really like his friends, even the difficult ones.  Great group of young people who share some common interests.

Donated a bunch of things to locale Toys For Tots.  Took a big box of stuff to them this afternoon.  They needed “teens & tweens” stuff and we provided well for them.  I like to donate; because you never know when you might be in the same position.

Making “Spaghetti Grilled Cheese” tonight for dinner.  Saw a video on them and since we both LOVE spaghetti sandwiches, why not with gooey melted cheese, too!  Can’t wait to try’em.

Book is coming along nicely.  I’m burning up the keyboard with tales of sin.  I can hardly wait to share it.

Church tonight and next week’s service will be a joint service with our host church for Christmas Eve.  Our bible study on Wednesday was our last of the year and we begin again on January 11th.  I don’t know if I mentioned it previously; but our study is the book of Job.  It has been quite the journey.  Even knowing the outcome of his situation and the reason behind it, the struggle could be relatable to today.  I remind myself that I have to praise my Lord in the bad times as well as the good because HIS plan is so much more than what I have planned.

I am so over this year and the “bad” things that have happened that I look forward to putting it behind me so that God can deliver me to the next thing he has planned for my life.  Patience is easier said than done for me; but I am waiting as patiently as I can.

This week is full of 1/2 days and exams for the boy.  No school Friday and two full weeks off of school.  One of his friends is taking him out to Christmas shop this week.  He’s looking forward to that.  His Christmas Concert was Thursday night and he was great.  Mom & Dad came up to see it.  We then went out to dinner and closed the place.  Ha, ha.

We went to the comic book store yesterday and he got a new game and I got some comics.  They moved from a tiny little store front to a much larger one and it is so much nicer.  Had a video chat with my friend and saw how much her son loved the gift I sent to him.  She also shared a video of him “reading” their good night story and how he was singing “row, row, row your boat”.  So cute.  I love that little boy.  He’s 18 months old and I so much miss when my baby was that small.  ❤

I’ve gotta run…….

What’s in it?

Since April 23rd, I’ve changed my lifestyle for the better.  In January, I went in for standard blood work and food out my A1C was at 11.5.  WAY out of the normal range.  My doctor wanted to put me on insulin right away.  I wanted a chance to do it with a change in diet.  I struggled.  I couldn’t do it alone.  I was a mess.  I feared I’d have to go on insulin at the age of only 45 and I was not happy.  I lived in dread. 

My friends and I met up at the local Panera Bread for an end of school year (even though we had 6 weeks left of school to go) Bible Study celebration.  We’d been working on it since August last year, once a week, we’d meet up and share in the word of God.  It was great.  Well, one friend walked in with a copy of “The Daniel Plan” by Pastor Rick Warren.  I said, “Hey, I’m on the waiting list for that at the library.” Hers was borrowed, too and she told me she loved it and wanted to try it out.  So, we decided that for the next 6 weeks, we’d continue to meet and give it a try!

Week 4 I had my next quarterly A1C test and it was 7.5.  YUP, that’s right!  I brought it down.  Now, 7 weeks later, they’ve cut my medications in 1/2.  I’m doing TERRIFIC and it is all because of the Daniel Plan.

The Daniel Plan is a 40 day jump start program to a new and improved lifestyle.  It is based on Romans 8 and uses five basic principals to a new you.  Faith, Food, Fitness, Friends and Focus.

Faith is based on using your own personal faith in God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit to work in your life to create a temple for the Holy Spirit in your body that is pleasing to God.  My life is dependent of God’s plan and I am dedicated to being the best person I can be for Him.

Food is all about what we put in our bodies.  I learned to read the labels on foods, look for chemical additives that are bad for a person’s health and to change my unhealthy eating habits for better ones.  I learned that if it comes from a growing plant, it is good for you; but if it is manufactured in a plant, it is not.  No High Fructose Corn Syrup, No MSG, No Trans fats!  I learned to pick out the multitude of names that companies use in order to disguise unhealthy ingredients into food products.  I’ve cut out gluten based starches cause inflammation in our bodies and I feel better.

Fitness was a hard one for me; because I was feeling to badly to begin with; but I pushed myself.  I’ve been riding my bike for the past 8 weeks and am pushing myself further and harder than before.  I’m moving easier with a lot less inflammation than before.  I’m not a 100%; but I’m making headway.

Friends have been so important.  When I have felt stressed and wanted to eat, I instead contacted a friend.  If I felt a set back in some way, I could talk to my group of friends, who are also on the plan, and feel better.  With friends who hold you accountable, I am more likely to keep to the program and I do.

Focus has helped me to keep it all on God.  Scripture, prayer, devotion and love for God keep me focused on a better lifestyle for a happier, healthier me. 

Pastor Rick Warren worked with Dr. Hyman and Dr. Amen and consulted with Dr. Oz to help people get healthy.  They have the program, a cook book, a journal, and interactive DVD study that keep you on track.  At our last weekday meeting, we shared a few recipes for healthy alternatives.  It was great.  So great, in fact, that I began a second 40 day Bible Study with another group of friends to get them healthy, too.  It is wonderful.  My excitement about feeling better, getting stronger and staying faithful to God is now helping others to do the same. 

I love God for how he is helping me to be a new ME!  He is good all the time and I just love Him.

Stupid Pot hole!

I can’t believe it!  This morning I went out for milk in a rainstorm and a brand new pot hole in the street tore up my tire!  I was so mad!  I couldn’t believe it.  I had just drove down that street the night before and no pot hole.  Today?  HUGE POT HOLE!  WOW!  So, I have to get a new tire.  It was so crazy.

Then, a few hours later, the hole is filled.  I have to hand it to the road crew, that hole was HUGE and the city fixed it fast!  BRAVO!

So, now I have to spend $150 to replace the tire.  OH and get an alignment.  I’m not a happy camper.

On a brighter note, I made a delicious homemade chicken soup with fresh dumplings.  It was so delicious and the boys loved it. 🙂  I also *think* I’ve got the right recipe for a favorite of mine from a great hot dog stand up north for their bread.  YUMMY!  How cool is that?

I also made the boys a banana cake with peanut butter chips in it that they devoured.  I love it when they eat up my cooking.  My son and his best friend are so great to cook for.

Thanks to TS Debby, the weather has been wet for the last four days and the next five don’t look any better.  UGH!  My dogs and I went for a walk this morning and they were smart enough to venture no further than the eaves of the house to stay dry and get relief.  It was a quick one!

I feel so blessed.  I FINALLY finished an “Angel” wing album I started before I was assaulted in June 2009 last night.  I just couldn’t get myself together enough to complete it until now (3 years later).  It looks great.  I feel it is so much better than it could’ve been before.  I’ve grown and changed since its start and it is such a show of my spiritual growth.

I am so blessed.  Each day I am alive I feel deeper and deeper God’s love for me and how much I am thankful for His love and devotion.  Even though I struggle daily with my pain and suffering, I know that God has a plan for me and I am not nearly as wise as He is.

God Bless…..