Monday, July 30, 2007

First day home- and I'm out of sorts.
As you know Cadence died just a few days before I went out of town. I missed the funeral and the gathering afterwards, so there's a part of me that still needs closure. In one way it's as if my trip to Charleston simply put my grief on hold...even though there were moments (like the day of the funeral) when deep saddness erupted in the midst of what was otherwise a joyful week.

All day I've wanted to blog but couldn't find the words. I kept stumbling, mentally, over a dark brooding feeling- and couldn't put my finger on what it was until just a little while ago.

I want to share my photos and funny stories about the family reunion, but there's a cloud over my heart. However, I'm going to press on~

One highlight of my trip to Charleston was getting to meet fellow blogger Greg and his family. He was gracious enough to invite us to his home and then show us around his greenhouse and then the Irvin Winery.
We had a great time and appreciated Greg and Diane being willing to meet us and show us around.

After the winery Tim and I and the kids went to the Charleston Tea Plantation, the "only" tea plantation in the US. We learned all about the tea plants- from how they're harvested to the final process of putting those little leaves in paper bags! There was a giant green (copper) frog on the front porch and I just couldn't resist giving him a little smooch!

He didn't turn into a Prince or anything...but I don't suppose he would have anyway- seeing how I'm not a Princess! :) And, Tim would have been peeved about having an extra dude hanging around. ;)

The purpose of the Charleston trip though was a family reunion, with 32 0f us splitting 2 houses, sharing meals, group cooking/shopping, talking, beaching, and lots of laughing.

I have never eaten so well in all my life! Everything was prepared by hand... We had Mexican food one night, Beef Brisket with black beans and rice, a low country boil (corn, sausages, and shrimp simmered in a big pot outside...MMMM!), an old fashioned cook out with hot dogs, hamburgers, dips, and all the fixings, breakfast casseroles, pork chop biscuits, shrimp grits, bacon, eggs...Oh! It was ALL GOOD!

(Aunt Helen, me, and my Aunt Carmen)

I know some of you (Mantissa :) expressed concern about spending a whole week with extended family, and yes, there were moments when we had a few rough patches...folks not seeing eye to eye on certain things, but for the most part we all got along remarkably well. They are good people and I am honored to belong to them, and they to me.

Our last day at the beach was overcast, but the water was heavenly! There was almost no undertow and the waves were gentle swells which was a pleasure to swim and float and play in!

Apparently the JELLYFISH thought so too! One of them, with long tendrils, floated past my right leg and decided to hug me (or something!) Dear God in heaven...what pain!!! Suddenly it felt as if my leg were on fire- and I was doing all I could to get out of the water. The swelling and red marks were wrapped around from the side of my calf just above the ankle and up the front of my shin to just below the knee.

If you are ever stung by a jellyfish, this is what you should do-

*Rub a handful of sand on the site immediately. This makes it feel better for a few minutes (and I think it helps scrub out some of the poison and any barbs still in the skin. )

*Rinse off the site with clean fresh water and then soak the affected skin in VINEGAR for 20 to 30 minutes. I soaked a wash cloth with vinegar and sat in the tub.

*Then apply a paste of meat tenderizer, water, and baking soda to the skin and let it sit for another 10 to 15 minutes.

*Lastly, and I thought this would really hurt, but it didn't, apply shaving cream and SHAVE the area. The razor will pull out any remaining barbs and it scrapes the poison out of the skin.

I will never go to the beach again without Vinegar, Baking Soda, and Meat Tenderizer. As many times as I've been swimming in the ocean I've never had an encounter like this one...never been stung or bitten (except for tiny fish nibbles) by anything in the water until now. I was in serious pain for the better part of the evening although the treatment listed above lessened the pain by about 50%. My leg is still marked up from the encounter, but the pain was mostly gone by the following morning.

The next thing I'll post will be the interview by our beloved Scary Monster. I'll be by your place for a visit very soon- I've got loads of catching up to do!


Sunday, July 29, 2007

I'm backkkkkkk....

Sunburned (but only a little), well fed (I gained 7 pounds- UGHHH!!!!), well loved, and stung by a beast of a Jelly Fish! But I'm here~
And I missed you :)
Except for Greg the Gardner...who I saw on this last trip! He, his wife, and his kids!!!

More tomorrow..but tonight I'm pooped :)

Love to all of you-
especially Scary Monster, Greg, X-Dell, Foam, Kate, Lux, K-9, Mantissa, Aunty, Libby, Phos, SJ, Little Lamb, Leelee, my Uncle Ray, Sis Naomi, Bone, and everyone else who checked in on me.

And, NYD of course ;)

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Offline for a while~

I'm off to the city of my birth for a family re-union,
Charleston, South Carolina

(the photo below is of the Crystal Coast, NC)

I go with a heart full of mixed emotions.
It will be good to be away for a while...
See you when I return~

Friday, July 20, 2007

Moment of Silence~

We lost Cadence this morning.
I wanted to thank you for your prayers and support.
I do believe in heaven- and I believe all children go there when they die.

Cadence is there now- and as heartbroken as I am over her passing, I am thankful that she's not suffering anymore. She was a gift of love, and she still is.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

For Scary Monster, and why I've been so busy-

Apparently Scary, or some version of him, has gotten lost up north in Canada~
I admit that I have him stomping around with me- or at least I have a COPY of him.
This is not the real deal- but the next best thing~

This is me, at my desk upstairs- with a crooked lamp shade in the corner (because I told someone I would keep it that way for the rest of the year in their honor)
And there is Scary- always smiling (or something) at me...
My beloved dog's photo (K9/She) is on the other wall, and all the things my blog friends have sent me (besides paintings that are hanging up downstairs) are in this room with me, or in one of my journals.
X-Dell wrote today about a blog friend of his who is suffering. I have a dear blog friend who has just been diagnosed with cancer. And yet another friend whose wife is not a blogger- and thinks we in the blog community are just looking for love~
Well, yes, of course- we ARE all looking for love, or companionship, or new friends, or just the simple desire to be heard. I am trying to get around to the 20 or so blogger who read me and get caught up at their place- it's a slow process, but you know what?
I love it.
And I care about all of you. We are a community in one way or another- and there are some bonds here that I do think will last for a long time. You are each special and dear in your own ways- and I value you. Some of you have big places in my heart... Thank you friends :)

Remember a few weeks ago when my kids were denied transfer out of year round school?
And I was going to write an angry letter questioning "WHY"?
I didn't write it.
Everytime I got ready to- I had the strangest sense that "Absolute Tact" was in order here.
Last Wednesday I got a call- out of the blue, from the Office of Student son was chosen to go to a "School of the Arts" that we've been applying to for 2 years!
No year round program for him!
Next- I called to see where my daughter was on the waiting list at a Charter school we applied to last fall-
She is #1 on the wait list!!!

If she does not get in I'll homeschool her- seriously. This is how determined I am to keep her out of that particular Middle School.

I've been reading "Awakening at Midlife", "7 Levels of Intimacy", and working in a Latin workbook. I've been listening to a college lecture about the life and work of Mark Twain, and for the first time ever- I have a whole story line for a book in my head- from beginning to end.
I've been reading the Bio of Carl Jung- wow!
I've also been asked to preview a new book that will be coming out around Christmas for an author who is a good friend of a good friend. I've actually been published in one of her books already.
I'm also going to submit an application at a pre-school for a teaching position. My hearts first love is little kids- and this would be an ideal position for me. Part time, pre-schoolers, lots of playing and making stuff-
It's perfect...and I was recommended to the director. We'll see what happens.

So, this is what's consumed me, and will continue to until the fall. If I homeschool Juli-Anna- I'll be really busy, but in the best kind of way :)

I have another trip in my future- to Charleston SC, and hopefully one to Florida later this fall with my daughter for her birthday (or close to it). She wants to go to Disney when it isn't so blooming hot- and less crowded. I'm working on it!

Hopefully I'll be around to see you soon. Now you are all caught up on my little life. And by the way, the new Tin foil hats are working out nicely! LOL! ;)

Sunday, July 15, 2007

The Sunsets around here are beautiful...

We were on our way home from a wedding celebration/reception- and I insisted that "Mr. Mayden" pull over so I could take a few pictures.
The colors changed so quickly- and one set was as vibrant as the next.

I couldn't believe how gorgeous it was. How firey the oranges were- how deep the blue-

And the Pink/ Peachy clouds...

I love the sky.
That sounds silly- but it's true. And I love the trees in North Carolina, and the green green grass. I love the hills, and the lakes, and my back yard.

I'm a romantic at heart...

My husband and I will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary next week.
We'll be in Charleston at a beach front family re-union. Might not be very romantic, but it should be a lot of fun.
Which I think sums up my marriage pretty well.
We are friends- above and beyond everything else.
Yes- there are days when I wish for "more of" one thing or another...and there are lots of times when feelings get hurt, or needs go unmet because of the pace of a busy life- but at the end of each day...I climb into bed with a dear friend I've known since I was 12- and I realize more and more each day that it's a gift.
A real gift.

Sorry to be all mushy in this post! I've been stunningly busy- reading, writing, making plans for the fall, I might even end up with a job in September! I promise to catch up soon- and comment.
I've missed you- All of you :)

Saturday, July 07, 2007

For my friend X- Dell

I hope I don't get in trouble for posting this...but I just had to :)
I've been reading at his place (but slack on comments, I'm sorry)- and when I saw this- I knew I had to share it :)
Enjoy! :)

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Me, on RUSH...months ago~

Before (or IF) you listen to this...
there are 2 things I want to tell you-

1. Mark, a relatively new friend at Myspace- but someone I went to high school with sent this video/audio clip to me...THANK YOU! :) I didn't get to hear this clip until he sent it to me- and I'm going to video tape it so I don't lose it!

2. The topic of conversation with Rush is about Mike Nifong and the 3 young men who were charged with raping an exotic dancer. The day the men were declared innocent I called Mr. Limbaugh and got through in the very last segment.

Rush had said 6 months earlier that the "truth would come out slowly" (he compared it to the Clinton/Lewisky affair) and all the charges would be dropped in the Spring. He was absolutely correct about this.

I believe Mr. Nifong was right and honorable to take the charges the woman made seriously. He was wrong and corrupted when he withheld information that showed there was NO evidence to convict the students with a crime.

I also believe Mr. Nifong continued to press on with the case because it won him favor with several black powerful Political Action Committees. Without their support he didn't think he could win the upcoming election for the position of District Attorney.

This is not meant to shine a bad light on the PAC's. Certainly- if a black woman is raped by 3 white men and the DA turns a blind eye to the situation...this is a reason for outrage. (It would be reason for outrage no matter what color a person was!) But, to use a case like this to earn points with one demographic in order to garner their support, at the brutal expense of 3 innocent men- well, it was just maddeningly wrong.

So...Here it is- my 15 seconds of fame (for this year anyway :) on Mr. Limbaugh's radio program.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

July 4th

He came to the beach military style...long pants, dog tags, and a cool watch.
He probably looked at all the sand and thought, "I've seen all the sand I ever want to see for as long as I live."

But this soldier wasn't alone...

I watched him with his kids- he carried his baby everywhere. His 3 and 4 year olds were always close by, within arms reach- I wondered how many months/years they had learned to live without dad being within "arms reach"- while he kept the rest of us out of "harms way".

I admire these men, and I admire their families. I whispered a prayer of thankfulness that this soldier was home with his for the 4th of July...for a trip to the beach with his kids.

Somehow- I don't think he minded all the sand today.
Thank you Sir- for all the ways you serve our country.

I dedicate this post to Sean and his family.
Thank you Sean~
The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.--That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, --That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.--Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.