Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Santa's Wish for 2009

I found this poem in a weekly email I receive from Monty Roberts (who is awesome by the way), I highly recommend visiting his website and subscribing to his e-newsletter. If you need a good book, I also recommend Horse Sense for People, by Monty Roberts. It is about a little of everthing, corporate morale, how to treat others, raising children, dogs, horses, and very inspirational, if only everyone would a take a little piece of this book and put it to use. I have read this book once and am about to read it again.

...anyway, got a little off topic. Here is the poem, it's long, but it's cute. Read at your leisure.

Santa's Wish for 2009

One Christmas Eve, a young boy with light in his eyes looked deep into Santa's, to Santa's surprise and he said as he sat on Santa's broad knee, "I want your secret. Please tell it to me." He leaned up and whispered in Santa's good ear"How do you do it, year after year?" "I want to know how, as you travel about, giving gifts everywhere, you never run out.How is it, Dear Santa, that in your pack of toys you have plenty for all of the world's girls and boys?Your sack never empties as you make your way from rooftop to rooftop, to homes large and small,from nation to nation, reaching them all?" Santa smiled kindly. He said to the boy, "Don't ask me hard questions. Don't you want a toy?" But the child shook his head, and Santa could see that he needed the answer. "Now listen to me," He told the small boy with the light in his eyes: "My secret will make you sadder and wise." The truth is that my sack is magic. Inside there are millions of gifts for my Christmas Eve ride.Although I do visit each girl and each boy I do not leave each one a gaily wrapped toy. Some homes are hungry. Some homes are sad.Some homes are desperate. Some homes are bad. Some homes are broken and children there grieve.Those homes I visit, but what should I leave? My sleigh is filled with the happiest stuff. But, for homes where despair lives toys aren't enough. So I tiptoe in and kiss each girl and each boy, and I pray for them that they'll be given the joyof the spirit of Christmas, the spirit that lives in the heart of each dear child who gets not, but gives. If only God hears me and answers my prayer, when I visit next year, what will I find there? Homes filled with peace, and with giving and love and boys and girls gifted with light from above? It's a very hard task, my smart little brother to give toys to one and give prayers to another. The prayers are the best gifts, the best gifts indeed, for God has a way of meeting each need. That's part of the answer. The rest my dear youth, is that my sack is magic, and that is the truth. In my sack I carry on each Christmas Eve day more love than a Santa could e'er give away. The sack never empties of love, nor of joys cause inside it are prayers and hopes - not just toys. The more that I give, the fuller it seems, because giving is my way of fulfilling dreams. And do you know something? You've got a sack, too. It is as magic as mine, and it's inside of you. It never gets empty. It is full from the start. It's the center of light and love. It is your heart!If on this Christmas you want to help me, don't be concerned with the gifts 'neath your tree. Open the sack that's your heart and share your joy, your friendship, your love and your care." The light in the small boy's eyes was glowing. "Thanks for your secret. I've got to be going."Wait, little one," said Santa, "Don't go. Will you share? Will you help? - Use what you know?" Just for a moment the small boy stood still. He touched his hand to his heart, and he whispered: "I will!"


Sunday, December 21, 2008

O' Holy Night

Hey guys! I haven't posted much lately, just links and videos and such. I haven't had much time to really blog, but I figured i'd make time to share this delightful video with you all. It is my Christmas favorite. I love this version, and this singer, and it is a "must-hear".

Just close your eyes, think of Mary and Joseph and their little donkey chugging around in the dark, cold night trying to find a place to have their baby boy- push play, and enjoy.

Gives me chills everytime...


Tuesday, December 9, 2008

You made every star...

...and you taught it out to shine.

Just listening to my blog playlist tonight while cruising around on the internet, and I felt inclined to post this video- well mainly just this song, because the video is just the lyrics to the song, but it always speaks to my heart when I play it and just wanted to share it with you guys.

my favorite (really there are a lot of favorite verses) verse is:

"you knew my name before there was time, all this was just part of your glorious design, hallelujah!"




Sunday, December 7, 2008

My little black cloud

This week has been a roller coaster ride. I have been very relieved with Tuff because he has been doing fabulous with his pasture turnout and his leg not getting swollen. He's been going out religiously during the day all day and is brought in at night to eat and rest. Uriah has been carrying the load of barn duties since my surgery so even though he's been working hard, I have gotten a 'break' from being the barn mom. It is a nice treat, but I want Uriah home when I'm home and for someone else to do all the barn chores (that is another post entirely). ....So yesterday Uriah asks me to go to the barn with him which I happily obliged- my husband and a horse + snow what else could a girl ask for?

What was I thinking? Shame on me for finally thinking that everything was smooth sailing...Picture this. Uriah cleaning the stalls, me getting ready to treat my horse with some alfalfa cubes after he just got his yucky de-wormer, and I twirl around to see a short little appaloosa gelding who thinks he must have the balls of the incredible hulk, come running up to the catch area where Tuff was just minding his own business. The next thing I know, Tuff turns around to defend himself, tries to bite the short little arsehole and ends up slipping on the melted snow, falling INTO the fence, and falling 2 feet down into a very deep vat of mud, landing partially on that STUPID horse. At this point I think I see him limp, but then he is chased out into the VERY large pasture and gets into a fight with the gelding. I am screaming and saying some not so pretty words that I am not so proud that I said while Uriah comes out from the stall because he heard me screaming and if it wasn't for him I have no idea what I would have done.

So, after it was all said and done, and we corralled the horses into their appropriate places, Tuff ending up breaking all 3 slats of the fence, knocking the top one out of the rungs it was in, and completely shattering the bottom two. I thought all was clear until Uriah sees a 4'' gash on the side of his neck, directly adjacent to his jugular vein, glistening with oozy stuff in his winter fur. Luckily it only went through his layers of skin, and stopped right before his muscle could be cut.

Thank God for barn buddies and a pair of fabulous ladies who have given me medical guidance and emotional guidance during all of the ups and downs of Tuff's leg. If it weren't for them I'd have been shipped to the loony bin. I know they don't read my blog, but thank you for getting up out of your pajamas into the barn clothes at night, in the freezing cold to take care of someone elses horse. Two angels I tell ya. Angels.

So tonight, leaving the barn, Tuff has a winter blanket, a neck wrap, and a leg wrap, all of them hunter green looking spiffy against his chestnut hair. Nobody said that you can't look stylish while you are sick. The poor guy had to stay in today because he could have possibly injured his good leg while he was busy falling and fighting and getting stuck in the not so shallow mud. Pray that he still has one good leg to stand on. Maybe the 21 degree cold and wind chill of 12 degrees will help the heat that is emanating from his ankle. Ugh.

The worst thing about all of this is I saw it coming, and it was like someone put me on pause because I was too slow to stop it, it was one of those things when you know you need to move fast, but you're too shocked to move because you know how bad it could be. That and trying to stop 2 horses, 1 being 1200 pounds and the other maxing out at barely 1000 makes you feel pretty helpless and all you can do is yell NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO really loud and stay out of the way of firing hooves. I am mad at myself for being so panicky when it comes time to my red haired-4-legged son. It seems like I forget all my work experience and what I know when it comes to animal medical things and I turn into some scare-dy-cat-worry-wart-paranoid mother.

I guess it was too much to ask for this weekend to be worry free since I am leaving town to visit my greatly missed family this weekend in NC. Gotta have something to worry about right?

So, even though i'm whining over this now, I am always thankful that it wasn't worse, and that I still have so many other things to be thankful for.

I just need prayers that I will find a better barn for us. It's time to move Tuff again. I need someone that is THERE, and will give me CARE without me having to argue (literally) when I ask nicely for something that I need. The ideal barn would have owners that have a mass of horse knowledge (not just hired hands that have a 9-5 job and very minimal horse knowledge) and live on the premises and can address any emergency issues if i'm not there. It would be awesome if I could get some fresh water, hay, feed, and a stall cleaned automatically just because thats what they do. These are all considered 'full care' boarding which is what I supposedly have now, but isn't the case. There are tons of barns with these options, I just need to find the one that is right for me and my Tuffy. sigh. On that note. Goodnight.

Time for bed.

Have a good Monday!


Thursday, November 27, 2008


Boy if you ever want to read about a powerful, REAL, raw, humorous, Jesus loving woman and her experiences and trials, please head on down toAngie's blog.

She has definately outdone herself with today's posting.

It has brought me to a place that I do not want to go, but did, (a little) today and it has got me thinking...

I encourage you to read it.

What are you thankful for?


Monday, November 24, 2008

Like a baby

I feel a little like a baby-all babies do is eat, sleep, cry for help (or just cry) and do their stuff in a diaper. The only difference with me is well...I use the toilet. But I just eat, sleep, and 'cry' for help. I really don't's more like a call. On the phone. To anyone that can hear me or will answer.

My mama is the best. She is helping me with everything. I don't want her to go. She is taking care of everyone, even the dog, and most importantly me :) Kidding. Uriah is very thankful she is here also otherwise he'd never get a break i'm sure. The poor thing has been sleeping on the couch since Friday night because this chick can't take any accidental swings in the head should he decide to elbow me in the middle of the night. I do feel guilty for him sleeping on the couch, but he's being a trooper. I miss sleepovers with my best friend :(

Tuff is doing great. I have 2 barn buddies that are keeping an eye out for anything wrong with his leg, and they said he is doing wonderful.

Nothing new and exciting going on here, sorry for the boring update, just sleeping, eating and sleeping some more...

I feel a little better, no more nausea, my ear doesn't hurt as bad all the time, it just comes and goes, usually when I forget to take my pain medicine. Sleeping is still a little awkward, but comes alot easier, except for the yapping annoying dog that lives next door that barks for 3 hours straight. I might let him try my 'special' meatball. PEOPLE: when your dog barks for THREE HOURS STRAIGHT, how do you live with it in your house? I know I am hearing challenged and have no problem hearing it clear as a bell, but seriously, do you have nerves of steel, no care in the world for your neighbors that have no choice but to sit and listen to it for that long. I think i'm going to lose my mind if it happens one more time. What do you think of leaving a little note on the person's door saying that their dog drives me nuts and to keep it quiet or I kidnap and hold a ransom? That's polite right? There are no other options right?

And i'm done. Time for a nap.


Sunday, November 16, 2008

For Missy :)

I'm back!

Sorry it has been so long. I haven't even done Not Me! Monday's. Shame on me. But, I have been busy... you know, the usual, work, school, horse. I have seriously neglected getting things done for myself and blogging has been on the bottom of my 'to-do' list although I enjoy it, by the time I get time to sit down and blog, i'm crossed-eyed tired. I promise that is a condition. I've been in it.

This is my FAVORITE time of the year. The leaves falling, the cold weather, the holidays. I love to decorate for Christmas. As soon as Christmas trees are sold, i'm one of the first people to purchase one, this year I plan on doing it the day of Thanksgiving if I can find a good Christmas tree!

If you don't remember I will be having my surgery this Thursday, November 20th. Time is unknown right now, but i'm actually not nervous about it. My only concern is who the heck is gonna take care of my horse? My mama will be in town for a week so that will help out immensely. This will be my 5th surgery on this year (or 4th, I can't remember) The doctor said that his is my last option as far as hearing improvements go and that the next step would be hearing aids. I will try the external hearing aids for as long as I can if this surgery doesn't help, and then move on to the Baha should I need to when I get older. But for now, I am praying that this will be the best surgery yet, and that I will finally achieve 'normal' hearing. I am taking 2 weeks off work, won't be able to lift anything over 10 pounds for a month or three and won't be able to ride Tuff for atleast a month. No sneezing from my nose, no drinking from straws, no water in the ear, no activities that will injure my head. There goes that boxing match I was hoping to enter next week. ....I am praying for a great surgery with no side effects, fast healing time, and no nausea because I usually lose my dinner from the night before when I get home from the hospital. Also pray for the surgeon to have some steady hands! This was actually the first thing I looked at when I met him was his hands and they were steady as a rock. Also help me pray that this will be the LAST surgery. No more!

Tuff is doing better, last week was rough, but now he's better. His leg flared up a little last week due to some 'neglect' i guess you could say by one of the caretakers at the barn, not intentional of course, but his 'boots' were left on him for almost 36 hours when their max wear time is 6 hours...then that same week I left him out all night to see if he can handle normal turnout...well-he couldn't obviously, so in the stall he lived for 2 days with wraps on his leg, and lots of cold hosing and linament. He's doing good now, but 1 step forward and 2 steps back is becoming a familiar slogan with his progress. Now we're on a good path. He has become the alpha horse in his little 'herd' of boys, and he bosses them all around. I have no idea why he has suddenly become the bully, but it's very obnoxious to watch. Horses will be horses and there is nothing I can do aside from keep him locked in his stall, but it makes me extremely nervous to watch because afterall, this IS how he was injured in the first place, fighting over rank in his herd. Some days I just say a prayer outloud for the Lord to keep him safe in his pasture so I won't have to deal with this again. Thankfully there are great ladies at the barn that know their stuff about lameness/healing injuries and they have offered me their opinions and have helped me thus far with his recovery. Thanks ladies!

I have worked the last 4 weekends in a row so I haven't had time to post info about a fabulous weekend Uriah and I had in October...Kelby and Averie came down (my sister-in-law and neice) and we went to the DC zoo and to the barn to visit Tuff where Averie fell in love with horses. Giving people the 'horse bug'-hey it's what I do. Here are some very cute pictures of their visit.

*updated...i never got to finish this post, but had hoped to get it done before my surgery. I had my surgery yesterday and now i'm feeling a little under the weather to continue posting pictures from their visit.
My surgery didn't go as expected...first I didn't even have surgery until 330 yesterday afternoon, yeah, so no food/liquids since midnight the night before. I wake up with some pain and since i'm allergic to hydrocodeine makes me all kinds of nauseas...the nice people in recovery gave me a LOT of morhphine....too much actually so I could barely wake up and they decided to admit me last night, I just got home from the hospital around 10am this morning while it snowed the whole way home....i've just been sleeping alot, and trying to stay comfy which is difficult since I fall asleep naturally on my left side and that is pretty much a no go these days.
So the surgery.....the plan was to take out the prosthetic bone that slipped and repair it....unfortunately it was nothing like this and the actual diagnosis was an unplanned one, the doctor nor I had talked about what to do if this happened and so he just simply did a few things in the ear and closed up without doing much to repair my hearing...

When the Dr. went in he found that the prosthetic bone hadn't really slipped that much, but had actually punctured my eardrum and there was alot of inflammation...on top of that the prosthetic ear bone is attached to a 'foot plate' that is the 'last door' to my inner ear...well this footplate is fused and non helpful in the pathway for vibrations ...the option would be to drill a hole through this footplate and stick the stapes *my prosthetic inside this hole with the tip of it 'poking' through my footplate into my inner ear, thus achieving better hearing. This is of course risky and there is a 1 percent chance I coul lose my hearing altogether, a 7 percent chance that it wouldn't work at all, and a 92 percent chance that it would be helpful...the other 2 options are external hearing aids, or the baha. if you aren't sure what the baha is, see the previous post describing this...i personally feel like surgeries aren't for me at this point...but I am of course miserable from this one, so ask me in about a month whether or not i want to do another external regular hearing aid is sounding pretty good right now. I also have otosclerosis...i was going to provide a link for you guys to read about it, but googling it just now the first one that popped up seemed easy enough to find and read.
i will come back sometime and go into more detail when i'm not so drugged and uncomfortable.
have a good night

Monday, October 27, 2008

A goodie

Psalm 29:11: "The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace."

...something that I read today, that made me feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

I know I haven't posted in awhile, I promise there is more to come.

....I'll just think about that tomorrow.

For now, it is time to sleep.



Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Why am I bummed on day I should be happy?

3 years ago today my husband and I got married. This should make me so happy today. Why am I so bummed?

If you're a family member reading this blog, I suggest you get a kleenex, toilet paper, paper towel, sleeve, something to wipe the tears and or snot that might possibly follow reading this blog today.

To make it clear, I am NOT bummed about my marraige. I am only bummed about certain experiences lately, or lack thereof.

Maybe if I dealt with it sooner rather than later, or not at all as seems to be the case for me, but I feel like Eeyore on Winnie the Pooh. Sad and dreary. This is of course from my papaw's death on August 18th, 2008. I took a week off to go and be with my family. As soon as I got home (back to Maryland) though I hit the ground running and never looked back until I was forced by a certain song, memory, experience, sighting that reminded me of my papaw. Then it was bucket o' tears, then kleenex to dry it up, then I forced it away to focus on some of the pressing things that I had had to deal with (work, Tuff, work, Tuff, work, Tuff, Tuff) not to mention the regular things that you get caught up with on a typical day.

So needless to say, there is a possibility that I never grieved totally. That I didn't let it fully sink in. That I didn't want to believe it.

Sad thing is, that occasionally I think, I need to write a letter to papaw, it's been awhile. He liked letters. Then I realize why I haven't written that letter. He's not going to get it. I always wrote Meme and papaw a letter at the same time. I secretly feel like i'll have a meltdown if I write their letter. Only 1 letter this time. Instead of 2.

Then I get news from my mama yesterday that their selling his house. Already. The church next door is buying it and is going to use it as a home for under priveledged families for a couple of years, then they're going to demolish it (ouch) and build their sanctuary. I am glad that it will be used for a purpose such as this, but the thing is this: After Friday none of us will be able to go in it anymore. That hurts. It is in North Carolina. I am in Maryland. I can't see it anymore. I wanted to do one last walk through and see things as they used to be. My grandmother still sits in the kitchen watching black and white movies on AMC on her 13'' television eating peanut butter crackers while papaw sits in the den watching M*A*S*H playing solitaire with a deck of cards that beg to be replaced with a brand new deck. I just have so many memories in that house, and I guess I always thought that if I walked through it, I will always be able to see things that reminded me of them, things that I can picture in my mind that used to be there, then it wouldn't hurt so bad because I would feel closer to them. Knowing that the yard my grandmother and papaw, and the last 7 years just papaw worked so faithfully on will no longer be part of our family. The beautiful peonies, the garden that grew the worlds best tomatoes and fresh corn, the 2 fish ponds that grandmother loved, all the pretty flowers, the apple trees, the pecan trees, the swings. No longer ours. No longer kept up. What will happen to all of it?

Christmas and Thanksgiving won't ever be the same either.

The other day I was driving down the road and saw a sunburst through the clouds on a sunny day. Every time I see one of these, it reminds me of grandmother because the morning after she died, through my tears, on the way to a 8am biology lab freshman year, on 3 hours of sleep, I saw this, and thought to myself, that is grandmother being welcomed to heaven, and it made me happy. So everytime I see one of these, I always tell her hello. The other day I said hello to papaw and grandmother and that saddened me. Not that they were in heaven, that makes me happy because they are together again, but because now I am missing both of them. Then (I can't remember if this was minutes later, or on another day completely, but for story telling purposes lets say it was minutes later) I heard a song on the radio that was played at papaws funeral that almost made me cry, then the very next song, was a song that always reminded me of grandmother, that I listened to, that made me cry every time, and sure enough, it came on directly after the song for papaw, then it was waterworks in my car driving to the barn. Double whammy.

These are all the thoughts going through my head today on my 3 year anniversary with Uriah. This is why i'm sad. I wanted today to be special. To celebrate. To get away, spend special un-interrupted time with my husband. These past few weeks have been so hectic. I wanted to celebrate today. Instead of celebrating it feels like any other day, only sadder. He's at work, i'll have to go to the barn, and now i'm faced with these depressing thoughts.

To top it all off, as you all know, I will need to have surgery again, for the 4th time (maybe the 5th, I can't remember) on my left ear. I had to see the doctor today, and I thought I would have a date scheduled at this point, but they are going to call me to schedule it instead. So now I have to wait 5 days for someone to call me to schedule it. I always was told that there is a risk that I could lose my hearing totally, that the procedure could be ineffective, or the facial nerve that was involved with my surgery last time could be affected this time, worst thing would be facial parlysis. These are all risks that I face during each and every surgery i've had. But dang, it felt extra IN MY FACE this time. Maybe it's because i'm older now, and worry more? The doctor said that if he goes in and sees that the prosthetic ear bone is involved with the facial nerve too much he will just close me right back up so as to not cause MORE damage. Can I just get a break? Some good news? I know, I know, there are WAY more worse things that could happen to someone, and don't get me wrong, I am SOOOO thankful for everything that I have that God has given me, but I just feel so bummed right now. The only place that I lose myself, and everything is right with the world is on Tuff. Seeing the world through the ears of my red headed horse just does me proud everytime. He by the way is doing fabulous. He's out in the pasture with his two buddies right now as I type this. This I know, makes him happy, which makes me happy...Happy for him, and happy that I no longer have to spend HOURS upon HOURS a day grazing him, and giving his mind something to do other than stand in a stall watching other horses do what he wants to do so badly. Now he's doing it! :)

I know this has been a long post, but after crying virtually the whole way through it I feel a little bit better now. Tomorrow will be a good day surely, as Uriah and I are going to go see Robin Williams stand up comedy in Baltimore tomorrow night after work.

But first, i'd like to share these pictures for my papaw. And my grandmother. I miss you deeply every day.

Above: Pictures taken with papaw on my wedding day.
Below: A picture of papaw and grandmother on THEIR wedding day in 1949.

Last Christmas.

Thanks for reading this far.



Tuesday, October 14, 2008


That is my thought of the day. Just Blah. It seems to describe my mood...

There are reasons, but without disclosing them, I think I should tell you how stupid I felt today at work.

I was running pre-anesthetic profiles for our 2 surgeries. I did one of them without any help from any human because the dog was a sweet heart (Go golden retrievers!!) anywho, here I am buzzing along, faster than my normal pace trying my hardest to get everything done before the second person arrived for the day. I was doing well until me and the blood machine had a little communication problem.

I thought I ran the blood for the kitty, and was done, all it needed to do was print out. The machine told me to 'remove probe' So I tried, except there was no probe to remove I found out. I find a doooflatchy thingy to help me get it out since it was stuck but it didn't do a durn thing to fix my problem, only made it slightly worse since I think part of it broke inside the machine....i'll just get one of the guys to 'fix' it when they come in. So off I go to some other part of the hospital.

Next thing I know, it's appointment time, the Dr. is asking for the bloodwork results on the kitty and I tell him that everything is done, but that the machine won't print it because I have to remove the probe and follow the steps to get the results printed. I go into this whole elaborate explanation and swear up and down that i'm right, they're wrong.

Ah em.

Turns out, in my stupor that morning, I hadn't run any bloodwork, and there was no probe to remove. Yeah, don't ask me how I got myself into that one.

Humble pie anyone? Crow perhaps?


The rest of the day I just felt like I could plop down on the tile floor and just have a nice nap.

I had plans to go riding today too with a girl from the barn. We made these plans last Wednesday. I just couldn't muster up any strength to go today. I just gave Tuff a bath, grazed him a bit, turned him out in his little pasture and waited for him to dry off a little, then regretfully put him back in his stall. Every time I lock his door and turn to leave I feel so guilty. I can't wait til he is 'normal' again. I hate seeing him in prison. He's been such a patient patient.

Speaking of patients. Where did that name come from. Everytime I go to the doctor, I am NOT patient. Especially after waiting for 2 1/2 hours in the waiting room. Random thought, I know, sorry.

On another random note about patient. I will be a 'patient' on October 22nd at 2:30pm at my ear doctors office for my follow-up visit before my 6th (I lost count) ear surgery to repair my stapes (the stirrup-middle ear) bone. Hopefully everything will go as planned. I am an old pro at ear surgeries when it comes to what to expect, so hopefully I can anticipate everything and there won't be any surprises this time. Last time my cholesteatoma had grown around my facial nerve. I'm not in the least nervous. Just know that I will be annoyed because I will have to sleep on my back for a couple of weeks. I am a side sleeper ya'll. I'll also have to wash my hair seperately from showering because I can't have ANY water in my ear for a while. Every had a blood clot in your ear canal? Yeah, ANNOYING!!!!! The result will be (hopefully) normal, or very close to normal hearing in my left ear since now I am down to 60% hearing loss. I am excited! I just always thought i'd be deaf in that left ear, it's nice to know now that I have several options. I even had a hearing aid evaluation 2 weeks ago that was different but cool. I am going to wait on that though because chances are, I won't even need to have one after surgery is complete and healing is over.

My sister-in-law and neice is coming over this Thursday and staying through the weekend! I am super excited. Everytime I see Averie she is always so much bigger than the last. We are going to visit a pumpkin patch, carve pumpkins, see the Washington monument and tour a couple museums. Fun times are ahead!

Now...I hear my bed and a good book calling my name from upstairs.

Goodnight ya'll!


And don't ask why, but I feel the need to brag about this picture Uriah took while visiting Alaska...It is the very opposite of 'blah'. An orphaned/injured Bald Eagle at the Anchorage zoo. I just love this:) Enjoy!

Monday, October 13, 2008

Not Me! Monday!

I did not fold the LOADS of laundry that has been sitting clean on my floor for the past 3 weeks just last night only because I needed the hamper that the clean clothes were overflowing out of for my dirty pile that was stashed neatly in the corner. What kind of person would do that? Not me.

I did not start my diet last week and fall off the wagon (then eat the wagon) 2 days after I started it.

I did not go to McDonald's last night; see that they were closed due to construction, consider it as a sign I should go home and eat something healthy, (naaaaaaah) then go directly across the street to Wendy's to get some junk food that I was craving. I did not get a Chocolate Fudge Frosty Shake.

I have not pushed off plans to see a movie twice this week with my husband to go trail riding with the girls at the barn instead. *(I guess good thing for him it was a chick flick and he prefer not to go anyway. (it was my turn to pick a movie!)* I really want to see Nights in Rodanthe!

I think thats all I got for now, too bad i'm too tired to think of more.

Gotta go let Tuff out with his friends for the day while I work.

Oh, one more...

I am NOT the least bit bitter that my husband has the day off for Columbus Day and I do not.

I am not bitter that he gets to sit at home in the comfort of his pajamas if he decides to while I have to slave away at work until 7pm.

It's not fair that not everyone gets the same holidays off. I think the next president should make all paid holidays uniform for everyone just so there will not be jealousy or bitterness towards each other.

Vote for me this election year.

Have a good Monday!

*(You can find more Not Me! Monday posts at MckMama's website)* Her link is on the right side of my page. She is the lady behind the Not Me! Mondays.
It's liberating, you should try it! :)

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Tuff's First Day outside.

So sorry you had to miss out on my Not Me! Monday post last week. I was so distracted and busy with other things that I didn't have time to do it. Although, there were plenty of Not Me's!

Not really much going on. I did let Tuff out in the pasture FINALLY on Friday. I had to give him a little happy pill so he wouldn't run his little legs to a nub and hurt himself. He was out from 11 am to 3:30pm. Good times were had by all. He got along great with his pasture mates, a 30 year old horse that came with the farm 15 years ago, (Timmy) and a Thoroughbred gelding that is 11 years old with cancer. He and Tuff have been visiting over the fence for the past month or so and they seem to get along fine with each other, so it was finally time to take the plunge! It went well.

I won't lie that I felt like a very over protected mom dropping their kid off at Kindergarden for their very first day. Maybe I should've taken the happy pill.

Here are a few pictures of the day: (Tuff is the red one)

This last picture is of a Mama Fresian, she is pregnant and is still nursing a baby. If you look closely you can see the baby taking a nap beside her feet. He's a cutie. They are in the pasture adjacent to Tuff's.

I plan on going on a trail ride tomorrow, and the weather has been perfect here lately. Sunny, and in the 70's. The barn i'm at has a LOT of trails and I am going to try not to get lost on them again!

I'll post more tomorrow.


Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Me! Monday 2nd edition!

I did NOT eat spinach-artichoke dip and chips with potato salad and a diet pepsi for dinner. I do not feel sick right now.

I did NOT neglect Tuff all weekend by not visiting him for only 30 minutes a day. That would be so mean of me and I would never do that.

I did not eat breakfast on Sunday morning at 9 am, and I did not go back to bed at 11 and I did not wake up at 1pm.

I do not love Sunday Naps.

I do not love naps in general, in fact i've never taken a nap before.

I did not go to a former neighbors house yesterday, hold their 3 week old baby, and I did not get bit by the baby bug. I sure did not!

I do not have clean clothes in my laundry hamper that have not been sitting in the clean hamper for the last 3 weeks waiting to be folded. I am not hoping that I can just pick the clothes for the day out of said hamper until it is empty and I don't need to fold them anymore.

I think i've done enough damage with my Monday confessions...

Head on down to MckMama's blog for some more Not Me Monday confessions!


Have a good week ya'll.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Today was it.

So i'm sure all of you know by now the accident back in March that has taken up much of my life by spending my free time with Tuff is finally allowing things to get back to 'normal'. Wait. That was confusing. I guess I should just say that we've been riding again.

We started riding about 2 weeks ago and so far things are going well. If you want to call trying to buck me off 'well'. Anywho, I hang on, and try to wait out all the 'ohmygoshimfinallybeingriddenandoutofthestall' acts, and he usually settles down nicely into a walk or if I ask him to, a nice rack (4 beat even gait, looks like a very fast peppy walk for all you non horsey people-your butt doesn't leave the saddle) So after 2 weeks of riding in the ring that is full of dusty, dusty, rocky sand I decided that it is finally time to let go of my apprehensions about him hurting himself and he finally has to get exercise somehow, and if I ride one more time in this ring, i'm gonna barf on my freshly cleaned saddle. I appreciate a clean saddle, so I asked a barn friend to come out with me and she kindly obliged.

So today ladies and gentleman, we took our very FIRST trail ride in SEVEN months. It was just what the doctor ordered. Today was the day that makes me remember that my horse takes me away from all the 'mess' that goes on. Today was the day that I can just leave it in the car, and as soon as I walk out onto the grass to go to the barn, I forget all my troubles. Most of all, seeing the world through the ears of a red headed walking horse gave me just what the doctor ordered. Today was it. Today was what I needed. I now feel fresh as a daisy. It is amazing what that horse does for me.

Yes, when I saddle him up he bends his neck around and looks at me like, YOU'RE going up THERE? But you've gained 3000 pounds since the last time, MOM! Do you think thats tight enough already? And then he bites my boob. Then I smack him on the neck. Then he looks back at me again. Then he almost bites my elbow. Then I push his head facing straight. Apparently he's decided that he likes to turn around and watch me tighten his girth. He is like trying to saddle a tornado sometimes and making sure the saddle pad is even with the saddle, and trying to do it all the while keeping my composure and not getting frustrated is tough. I'm sure it's funny to watch though.

Today was amazing. I wish I took pictures.

We crossed creeks (twice) crossed a bridge, and the whole entire time he didn't skip a beat. He continued on exactly like I never even made him stay in a stall for 7 months. What a good boy he is.

We even ran a smidge. Walked a lot, and had an occasional rack. His leg looks okay, just needs to be exercised, which I am in the process of. He is no longer taking his horsey 'Aleve' and his doing fine. Tomorrow will be the true see if it doesn't swell. I have a feeling it'll be fine.

I just wanted to share this exciting time for us with you guys! If you only knew all of the work i've put into this whole 7 month nightmare i'm sure i'd qualify for an award. Now i'm the one that is getting the REward. Thanks guys for all your prayers and support.

How bout a little tribute?

I think that's all the documentation I have!
Whoa, I forgot how much of a trainwreck his leg was (or looked like) Thank goodness he feels better now.
God is GOOD.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Welcome to your computer, the first ever Not Me Monday!!

Okay, so "Not Me Monday" is a day earlier.

I am doing it in honor of the creator of this idea 'MckMama' and her blog.

...and I think it is a fabulous idea that she had, and it makes us all feel a little bit better about the things that we did not do :) by making it public and joking about all the things we 'did not do'

So without further ado, these are the things that I did not do all weekend.

I did not totally enjoy my night to myself last night, and I did not come home from the barn after 3 hours, all dirty and tired with a bag of taco bell and a movie from Redbox and did not enjoy a chick flick completely alone in the comfort of my living room. If I were to have watched that said chick flick, I might have watched 27 Dresses.

I did not go to Dover saddlery and purchase my very first riding helmet after 20 years of horseback riding and being 'lucky' that I have not fallen off with a major head injury. I most certainly did not chose this said helmet based on it's color alone. (pink) Nope, I sure did not.

I did not go out to eat with Shawn and Uriah today to a sports bar and order my food after they had already ate. I did not eat Uriah's chocolate desert before I ate my entree. I did not enjoy every morsel of my pre-dinner desert. :)

Thus concludes my first Not Me Monday post. Look forward to my NEXT Not Me Monday post (on Monday)

On a side note, I had to have the vet called out today for Tuff's eye. Yes, on a Sunday. Yes, the money we've dropped on this horse is getting to be ridiculous, but I wouldn't have it any other way :) (actually I would prefer not to have spent anything due to nothing happening, but since he is accident prone, I wouldn't have it any other way and let him suffer)

He has a small bump in between his eyes and his left eye is runny/itchy. I caught him rubbing his eye on the side of his wooden feed trough. This scares me because I worried that he would scratch and get a splinter in his eyeball. So rather than waiting until Monday, which chances are I could have done to avoid the emergency fee, I did not want to chance it and risk the fact that my horse is accident prone and would have found a splinter if there was one and would have stuck it into his eyeball to drive me into the looney bin. So, the vet stained his eye with 'green stuff' and flushed it so the 'green stuff' would drain out of his nose if his tear duct wasn't clogged. Well, it didn't drain so the vet thinks that he just has a clogged tear duct and ointment and antibiotics should take care of it. If not then she is coming back out to flush his tear duct.

There is also a very very very small chance that the swelling on his head between his eye is a fracture, and that is what is causing his eye to bother him. We will know for sure in a couple of days whether or not it is something simple because the medicine should clear him up first. If it does not, then we will pursue that further. Everybody cross your fingers for NO FRACTURE. My emotions cannot handle that bad news!

So what did you not do this weekend?

Don't forget to pray for Evelyn Rose.

Please send a word up for my Tuffy also.



Thursday, September 18, 2008

I think I made a decision

...about which surgery to do.

So read the previous post about my ear otherwise you'll be totally lost. After much thinking (and i'm sure alot more thinking) I am pretty sure i've decided to get my stapes bone repaired for now, and hold off on the baha implant. There are a couple of reasons. First I sort of wanted to talk to my ear doctor in NC who is amazing and knows my ear better than I know my ear, to see if I in fact had nerve damage to my ear (which I do not). I told him about my hearing loss which as gotten 20% worse than the previous year, and I also told him about my 'slipped' stapes bone. I also told him about the baha trial 5 minute period in which I wore it in the office, and told him it was great and he was happy for me.

I had not told him the thoughts that were on my mind about which side I was leaning towards until he said that he likes to encourage his patients to go forward with fixing what God gave you to begin with, then if that doesn't work, go forward with other measures if you need to. He said yes, I will hear better (with just repairing my bone), but I will never hear as good as the first time I was put together. I had been leaning on that decision, and he just pushed me closer to it. I really trust him and I really value his medical opinion. He said that the baha really doesn't have a time frame to it, and since i'm only 26 you really don't know how long it will last, especially with technology advancing so fast these days, it will be outdated, and it is expensive, and some insurance companies do not cover it, and it is so permanent. That is the part that 'scares' me. I could regain almost 30% of my hearing which would put me to maybe around 80%. I am completely okay with that. I still have a right ear that is in good working order.

I have found a forum for people with ear problems, baha users, every kind of ear issue you can imagine for every different reason you can imagine and as I look and read from it, I realize that i'm alot more fortunate than alot are and really feel like I should fix what is causing my problem while I can, and keep fixing it until it can't be fixed anymore, and when i'm 50 and it can't be fixed and all options have been explored, THEN I feel like it is necessary to resort to something so permanent. But I just can't go there yet. I don't want something there permanently when I know I could have helped my hearing somewha by having the surgery, and it would be enough for me.

So tonight I took Austin on a walk, and it was a unplanned walk, I literally walked in the door from the barn after 3 hours, went straight to the drawer with her leash, put it on her, and before I knew it was walking down the street. I hadn't planned on it. But for some reason it just happened. I wasn't even halfway down the sidewalk when I suddenly found myself enjoying the sound of crickets chirping, and of Austin's toenails clicking on the pavement. These are all noises people take for granted. I felt like God was telling me 'listen and be thankful you can hear this' 'I will help you in your decision', and call me wierd, but I just feel a little bit peaceful in knowing that I am not going to get the baha now. I feel peace in knowing that my decision is getting my bone repaired instead, I feel like I was being led by the hand to this decision by God and was just led outside to walk Austin to be forced to listen, to be still and just listen...not to my surroundings, but to listen to Him. I am going to continue to listen and pray and be thankful, but until then I just wanted you all to know the latest. Thanks for everything so far.



Wednesday, September 17, 2008


Today makes it a month :( 8.18.2008

and tomorrow makes it 8 years. 9.19.2000


My mistake...the Baha stands for Bone Anchored Hearing Aid.

You better watch out

Cause i'm gonna hear better than you one day!

Today I went to 3 doctor appointments, 2 of which were ear related. The other I won't go into until I know more, but I had a CT scan done on my head, to check and see if my temporal bone is bad. I don't know where in the world your temporal bone is but hey.

So after my CT scan I go upstairs to meet with the ear specialist who has never seen my case before. This is my first official ear appointment since moving away from NC and leaving behind my regular ear doctor that knows my ear like the back of his hand. I was hopeful that nothing would be wrong.

There is good news, and there is 'bad' news, if you want to call it bad. First the bad news: I need surgery again, for the 5th time. My stapes bone has 'slipped' and is no longer functioning like it should. It is just having it's own little party in never never land and isn't attached to the maleus which is where it should be. When I had surgery number 2 the doctor had to remove my incus, replace my stapes with a prosthetic ear bone and just build a 'bridge' to my maleus but linking my stapes to my maleus and my inner ear.

here is a picture:
Just picture the incus totally gone, and the stapes forming a 'bridge' connecting directly to the maleus. Mine is no longer touching the maleus like it was meant to do in the 2nd surgery.
The picture below is an overview of where the ear bones are

So my obvious decision is do I or do I not have the surgery? The no brainer would be to have it. I am not opposed to doing that, that is until I had the 'baha' experience. The 'baha' Bone Apparatus Hearing Aid is a hearing aid that would be implanted into my bone permanantly for the rest of my life, the part that would be implanted would be the size of a pencil eraser behind my ear (feel the hard bone behind your ear? that is where it would be implanted) and would be titanium metal so I would be able to swim, shower, basically live a normal life. The next part that would be my aid would be a snap on little diddy that is maybe 1''x1'' 'box' that would have a battery, a volume control and would amplify my sounds bypassing my disastrous middle ear and getting all the information straight to the business center of my inner ear. I had no idea what to expect when the doctor hastily ran away to his office to get the sample version of it for me to try in the room. The 'sample' version isn't as effective as the 'REAL' version, but it got the point across BIG TIME. So he puts it on my head and quietly whispers into my left ear 'test 123' and a smile jumped across my face like no other. He then continues to tell me that because my stapes bone is unattached my hearing loss is 50-60% now and that blah blah blah blah blah blah blah (not listening to him anymore because I am currently crying my eyeballs out from tears of sheer happiness) Yes, folks, the BAHA made me a good way. He was such a soft spoken, understanding man and tells me that it's alright to cry because i've not heard this well in a long time. He was very sweet.

He has done 11 surgeries total of this surgery, 4 while he was in practice and all of them have had positive results. He said that insurance companies will now pay for the surgery, but not all will pay for the aid, which could cost 1-2,000. The piece that attaches to the implant isn't too stylish, but he said that technology would update possibly and it would become smaller, possibly even a blue tooth technology.

Here is a website with pictures to show you what it would look like:

Baha Implant.

Somewhere in between the tears I managed to squeeze out a couple of questions about the procedure like, recovery time (5-7 days) surgery (lasts about 1.5 hrs done under general anesthesia) and whether or not he could repair my stapes bone while the baha is inserted. He said that he wouldn't need to do both.

My thoughts are this (these) . Despite the fact that the BAHA is amazing, and gave me dog ears, I am hesitant on something being so permanant. It would be drilled into my skull basically, forever seems so scary. I feel like I should get my stapes bone repaired again, but then there is another chance that it would slip again, because thats what they do, and I would be in the same boat. I think I also remember my doctor in NC saying that my hearing would never be normal again because of my prosthetic ear bone, no incus and possible nerve damage in my inner ear. So even repairing the stapes, I have a feeling would never give me the sounds that I heard today. What then would be the point of having it if it didn't effect my hearing? I want to call my NC doctor tomorrow and have a chat with him. We'll see how that goes.

With the BAHA I could hear background noise, AND have a conversation. I could also hear very clearly out of my left ear. I could hear whispers, I could hear termites in the wood (kidding). There is also a volume level on the 'box' that you can adjust. The doctor had mine first on '2' which would give me vibrations in my ear with loud noises. He then turned it down to '1/2' and it was still very crystal clear and miraculous.

I can take the Baha home on a trial basis and see if I like it, if I do, then I can have the surgery. Since this hearing aid worked for me, I asked if just a 'regular' one would work for me, and he said that I could absolutely try one, (despite my middle ear being messed up - that would be the part that would be used with a 'regular' hearing aid so it might not work as well) so on October 1st I am having a hearing aid evaluation with the audiologist and we'll see how that goes. I may even opt to have a 'regular' hearing aid with the stapes surgery repair and if need be get the baha years down the road. Maybe? Heck, I don't know.

Thoughts anyone?

Up until today I had just assumed that I would be deaf in my left ear in 10-15 years and had accepted that fact and come to terms with it. Now I have a whole new outlook on my possibilities. Now I just need to think about what I want to do with them. I value all of your thoughts and opinions or any questions you may have because maybe I should have them to. Please ask away and leave your comments here or email them to me. PLEASE:) Like I said, I value all of them.

Please say a little prayer.

On a side note, please pray for my friend Lisa's baby. Her name is Evelyn Rose and she has been diagnosed as having Myoclonic epileptic seizures, had strokes while in the womb, areas of her brain have died and are now damaged and will develop cerebral palsy when she develops although the doctors don't know to what extent all of this will have on her little body. Please pray for her miraculous healing and for strength and peace without understanding for her family during this difficult time. All prayers are very much appreciated.



Almost wordless wednesday

Miss you

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Lindsay and the terrible, horrible, no good very bad day.

Anybody remember reading this book? Alexander and the terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day? I remember reading it in the 4th grade, I also remember having to finish the day by writing a fictional story of our own that was horrible. Well today, I had a NON-Fiction heck of a story of my own. Atleast I thought it was a heck of a day.

I'd like to share.

This morning was pretty typical, except for on my way to work I ran over a squirrel. This should have been the big red flag that today was going to be a struggle. Mr(s). Squirrel decided to run across the street (2 lanes) just as 2 cars were coming, mine and another in the neighboring lane. I braked ASAP and Mr(s). Squirrel ran out halfway, had a change of heart since he saw my car coming, ran back the other way towards safety, then saw the SUV coming towards him as well and panicked, ran back into my lane and thump, thump he went under my left tires. Talk about HORROR! I wanted to pull over on the side of the road and cry. Poor little thing, just tryin' to gather a few nuts before winter to hide away in his little hidey-hole and here I come along and trample on his dreams. I hope his little life was a full one and he was an old man squirrel. Still I feel horrible. I have never killed anything before (other than bugs of course) but killing something while driving, accidentally, something cute and furry is so traumatizing to me. I just want to forget it happened, rewind and let the poor little thing live. Atleast he is in heaven now. Bless it.

After that my whole mood for the day was completely ruined. I just felt agitated all day. I couldn't get IV catheters in today to save my life, and everytime I was successful the dog struggled and my holder couldn't regain control before the catheter got sliipped out again. Needless to say the dog looked like a crack addict by all the tracks left on it's arms from so many pokes (3) ...I gave up. I didn't feel so bad that no one else could get it in successfully either. Add all of that to a chorus of a incessant meowing cat, and barking (screeching is more like it) dog and you have one vet tech ready to explode. I had to flee the scene.

Now i'm at home, eatin' some cake, contemplating on riding my Tuff finally today, and then I remember I washed his saddle pad and left it in the sun to dry 2 days ago (it's taking forever to dry) It should have dried last night but I wasn't able to make it out there last night to take it back in the tack room, and today it rained, so I know it's wet again and has ruined my plan (again) to ride today.

I need a nap, but need to go to the barn instead. I think the nap is going to win for now, and I can go to the barn tonight to do doodoo duty when i'm refreshed. Tuff would like me better refreshed.

So that is what I must do. Goodnight people!


Sunday, September 7, 2008

The Story

A reporter from the Huntersville Herald wrote a story about my papaw and my great uncle. Here is the article.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

I wish

I wish I could hear my papaw laugh again.

I wish I could see him walk through the door to the house from the Garden carrying a basketful of tomatoes.

I wish I could have given him one more last hug.

I wish it would stop raining.

I wish I had a personal butler, and a horse butler.

I wish I could sleep for 15 hours straight.

I wish I could win the lottery :)

I wish I could have someone clean my house.

I wish I could move back home to NC.

I wish I could just blink and have already finished school, settled into a dream career, and have a house in NC already.

I wish papaw and grandmother were still here.

I wish this didn't hurt so bad.

Happy Grandparent's Day

Love You.

Monday, September 1, 2008

I'm Po'

But not really...

Lately i've been reading alot of blogs of people that have alot more going on in their lives than I do....Scratch that, alot more FUN things going on than I do. Because I certainly have alot going on right now. I'll get to that later.

Lately there has been this thing called money that i've been stressing over, mainly because I have a million dollar horse. I say million, but I really don't know how much i've spent on him in all his 14 years, but lately it has felt like a million because of his injury in March of this year. Let's just say that since March, we've spent about $4-5,000+ on his leg alone, not counting the bi-annual checkups, maintenance of his feet, gas it takes to drive 100 miles every day for 6 months and let's just say I got paid for driving 2 hours a day, let's not forget all THAT money and time! THANKFULLY, thankfully, I found a barn that is 6.4 miles away from my house, AND it takes me 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7- SEVEN minutes to get there. Let's not forget how thankful I am for that. Can I get an AMEN? AMEN!

So...where was I? Money, oh yeah. There are these things called bills, rent, student loans, HORSE, blah blah blah, that seem to take all the fun out of getting paid every week. But I am always reminded that I have my health, a wonderful roof over my head, warm bed, cool house, a wonderful husband (who tolerates my million dollar horse), a terrific family with great friends who still keep in touch regardless of how far away we now live, (1 more year and 9 months guys!) a car, money to buy gas, a JOB, and a possibility to be educated, which started again last Tuesday. There are tons more but you fill the rest in.

So after writing all of that, I think, -God has really blessed us with alot of things, and I think i'm spoiled. Know i'm spoiled. I have alot compared to BUNCHES of people in this world. And somehow I still manage to claim i'm po'. We are not poor really. But I kind of like saying the word po. Continuing on, i'd like to say that God has always provided for us, has always eased our 'worries' always blessed us with anything and everything we could always want or need. I find it ridiculous to worry about money right now. Absolutely ridiculous. Especially after what I saw this morning.

So back to the blog thing. I came across one this morning of a lady that traveled to Africa with
Compassion and I read a link to her blog (Boomama) that made all of the things that I take for granted just seem so small and silly when there are people out there that are orphaned, live in 1 room 'shacks' the size of my half bath, that have straw for flooring, sheets for doors, cardboard beds and walls, very very sick family members that struggle to provide for their own children who manage to eat every 3 days, and STILL manage to smile. And here I am thinking, man I really don't want any more Lean Cuisines for lunch. Pitiful. If I could say one word I think it would be 'perspective' and mine has been changed.

So with that said, i'm going to share this with my husband, and continue to think about all the things that we take for granted here in our free country with things called carpeted floors and grocery stores and heating and cooling.

Everyone have a Happy Labor Day and enjoy your day off...another thing we take for granted.

What areYOU thankful for?


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Last Week in Pictures...

(Alternately Titled, "My chains are gone, i've been set free")

If you hadn't heard, our family lost 2 very precious souls last week. My great uncle (Doodle" was his nickname) became very sick and requested he be taken to the same hospital my papaw was already sent to the day before. My papaw had taken an experiemental chemo drug that upset his body and sent him to the emergency room Friday early morning at about 1:30am. Doodle, shortly followed. Doodle died Sunday, and Papaw passed Monday at 7:30pm. Neither knew the severity of each other's sickness. We know that God took them together for a reason. Papaw promised his mother that he would take care of his brother until the end, and that he most certainly did. They stormed the gates of Heaven together and are now resting peacefully in a much more beautiful, pain free, peaceful place that I can only dream about. I know I will see them one day again, but it just really hurts right now.

I was able to fly in on Monday late morning/early afternoon to be with him until he passed. We were all with him, praying over him until the very end and I held his hand until he went to be with Grandmother again. I will never forget the feeling of his hand in mine, and how warm and strong it felt. Those of you who never knew my papaw, never knew how much of a fighter he was and why this is such a shock to us all. He had been very sick before and always pulled through stronger than an ox. We knew he was sick, but didn't know how sick he really was...we were all expecting him to pull through this, after all it was just a little chemo drug, flush it out and he'll be fine right? We all thought that for awhile, but it was clear that that wasn't going to happen after we talked to the doctors. We learned that his lungs were full of tumors and he had little breathing capacity left, though i've never seen someone's heart beat as strongly as my papaw's. It was like a machine and stayed that way until the very end.

I am just so SHOCKED. How could this happen? Is this real?! Someone pinch me!

I sat and looked at him after his life on earth was over and he was peaceful and could only see the papaw that I always visited during the summer; hot, sweaty, shirtless and tanned as he came in from the garden working in it all day.

"Slick, you don't want to hug me, i'm all sweaty" I can hear him say that just like it was yesterday.

He called everyone slick.

The papaw I was looking at in the hospital was not the papaw I remember so strong and full of life. I still can't believe it.

We are all left with memories that no one will ever take away from us...

Here are some pictures of papaw last October when he took us all to the beach...

We loved climbing in this tree when we were little. We came back to it last October with Papaw.
Every year for as long as I can remember during the fall grandmother and papaw would rent a beach house in Kure Beach, in Wilmington, NC for a couple of months, and we would all visit him for a week or so coming and going. I remember grandmother staying up all night playing canasta, or scrabble. Anyway, when grandmother became sick we stopped going, and hadn't gone since. Last year, papaw started the tradition back up and he took us all to the same beach (though different beach house) and took us to all the same places we went when we were little. I always loved going to the aquarium, and looking for purple sea shells on the beaches. Papaw always took me. Here are some pictures of that trip...

Last October papaw took us to a beach house in Wilmington, NC for about a month. I was only able to make it down one weekend, but we had so much fun. He was so precious and took us back to the old places we loved to go when we were little. Little did we all know it would be our last beach trip together, how I will forever cherish these pictures.

None of the doctors could believe papaw was still living alone. Little did they know. He still took care of his garden this summer (though it didn't look as spiffy as previous years) and took care of his yard just how grandmother would have wanted it.
Papaw's apples
Papaw's squash

Papaw's tomatoes.
Grandmother loved her fish ponds, and when she died papaw kept the flowers and the garden just how she loved them, her fish pond included. The doctors couldn't believe how much papaw did on his own, in his condition. If they only knew how strong my papaw was, they would understand he was one heck of a fighter!
The swing we used to play on when we were little. Grandmother had 4 put in just for us. 2 for the big kids, and 2 for the little kids.
Papaw's delicious tomatoes.

Papaw grew, tomatoes, squash, and cantaloupe. Here is my aunt with one of the cantaloupes.

Papaw's roses.

The Sorrow...

A double funeral...

Red roses for papaw
White roses for Doodle
The family
Uncle Doodle.
My precious papaw.
"Amazing Grace" Bagpipe style. If you weren't crying before the song, the bagpipes would get to you eventually.

"Lord bring us something beautiful in all this suffering"

Despite all of the sadness we were able to become closer as a family and enjoy our time spent together despite everything..

After the funeral, we went to look through the empty house... were going through the house, and we found about 8 tubes of unopened lipstick of the color that grandmother used and that papaw had saved. Of course we had to put some on and find something to brighten our day, and here we are, doing just that. It was good to laugh thats for sure! I like to call this one "hooker hair" we look like streetwalkers.

Going home was some nice 'medicine' for homesickness and Daddy took me 4-wheelin' while I was there, it was great fun. We also went down to a creek just below our house and found a 'hole' that was deep enough, and we went fishing. I hadn't done this since I was 8 or 9 and it was so fun, we caught 2 in less than 15 minutes. They were very small, but it was still fun.
A little Uriah time...
Azteca Mexican restaurant
Heather enjoying her birthday festivities!

Before Tiffany and I had to head back home, we decided to go out to dinner, all 9 of us, which hasn't happened for quite some years, and it was so very fun and food for the soul. (The food was good too) :) Heather celebrated her birthday earlier that week (on the 17th) so we decided to surprise her with a birthday song, mexican style. It was hilarious, and here is the video.

All that said...I know I will see all my loved ones again one day, but I can't help but to miss Papaw and Grandmother until then, but am happy that they are happy together again, pain free, and cancer free with our Savior. I know once I get there papaw will be there to meet me and I can hear him now: "Slick, let me show you my garden" and it will be so beautiful. I how I miss you Papaw and Grandmother.