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Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Dealing with Death

On Sunday, I wrote about my personal experiences regarding ghosts, spirits, or souls. I apologize to those readers that read my post late and night, and thus had trouble sleeping or going about their nightly tasks. I didn't really intend to be scary, but do you talk about such things without evoking some fear?

Ever since I relived my experience surrounding my co-workers death, and her possible visits to me and my friend, Mamabear, I have not been able to get it out of my mind. I have been thrown back into those days following her untimely death and how very difficult it was to go on. I'd like to share a little bit about the situation, and the things I learned about dealing with death.

It was December of 2002, and a dear friend/coworker named Wronda was on her 3rd moth of recovery from Gastric By-Pass. She appeared on the outside to be doing well. She has been back to work for months, and was going about her daily tasks. Talking with her, I began to worry for her emotionally. She was struggling with the small amounts of food she could eat, and how depressing it was for her. I remember her telling me how hard Thanksgiving had been for her. She felt unable to sit at the thanksgiving table with her family, and enjoy the holiday like she had done all her life when all she could eat was a few tablespoons of potatoes. It hurt her heart that she could not go out to eat with her family, without being done with her meal in less than 2 minutes, to only have to sit there and watch her family eat. I quickly began to worry that instead of eating the small amount she was aloud, she just chose to not eat anything at all.

It turns out my worry was definitely based on reality. On Dec. 17th she signed herself out of work, and called out as the left, "see you in two days!" Her sister was coming the next day for a special shopping day, so Wronda has taken the day off. Early The next day, we got a the horrible call from her husband saying that her young sons had just found Wronda dead, and called him in a panic. He was alone and wondered if anyone that had loved Wronda could come stay with him, until the sister would arrive hours later. A few of us immediately went to his aide. I, along with a few my my coworkers/friends, spend the rest of the day consoling Wronda's family, a husband and two sons I had only met twice before. I had never been in a situation like it. I sat in the living room with her young sons, trying to figure out what to say or was the most emotionally draining day of my life. My loss for the right words haunted me. I floundered in a sea of inadequacy. I will never forget that feeling.

Her death was so unexpected. It turns out that Wronda's body has not been getting the nutrients it needed to function, so the organs had started to deteriorate. The muscle, known as her heart, had been scarified for the protein. It understandably was unable to keep beating. She was gone. So suddenly gone.

The days, weeks, and months that followed where strangely void of sympathy and support for those grieving the death of our friend. A replacement was quickly hired, and her things were quietly removed before we returned from Christmas Break, and she was gone. So suddenly gone. We were all grieving in our own way, and often it did not mesh with what others wanted. It appeared the majority didn't want to talk about it....face it....embrace it. Many things were left unsaid, undone. As time passed, several us, including Mamabear and myself, began to feel the lack of official grieving weighing down on our work, our morale, our emotional well being.

It wasn't until May of 2004, that I finally broke the silence and requested a special ceremony on our annual wellness day. Usually, this day is planned as a day of fun and games for our site staff. That year, I pleaded the case that many of us needed an official "something" to end our grieving. I do believe some of the head honchos were shocked that 17 months after Wronda's death, there were so many feelings hanging many hurts unhealed. They let me head up a simple little tribute to Wronda.

The day of the Wellness outing, we pack up the little cork boats a few of us had pre-made, and asked many folks to bring fresh flowers. We sat at the local yacht club and each decorated our own boat. We wrote messages to Wronda on tissue paper, and when we were all ready, we trudged down to the water. It was a beautiful day, the sun was shining, and the breeze was slight. As my friends and coworkers stood holding their boats I read the following poem I had written for the occasion. It came from the heart, and I do believe it opened a few other hearts that day.

Oh Please……Oh Please….
By Corey

This is a very special day.
And it means so much to me.
This is a day of remembrance
A day I thought we’d never see….

For so long there was an elephant in the room.
We all pretended not to see it, but it was always there.
We’d talk about all kinds of things that didn’t matter,
Work, the weather ……what we could bare.

It seems that we all limped along in our own way
Licking our wounds, in desperate attempts to heal.
We each did it alone, afraid of each other
Afraid of the elephant, afraid to feel.

I worried about me, and I worried about you
I worried that we would somehow forget.
I worried I didn’t do enough, and I worried I did too much.
I worried it would never end…and it hasn’t yet.

But today is a step we are taking together
The way it is supposed to be.
By talking about her death,
We can set that elephant free…..

Oh please, oh please let us say her name…
Let us not be afraid.
Wronda, our dear Wronda
A person so wonderfully made.

Lets talk about her life.
Lets talk about our friend.
Let’s talk to each other.
Let this day not be the end.

Today is a new beginning.
It can be a bright new start.
Today we celebrate the memories,
So deeply ingrained in our hearts.

Gone but not forgotten.
Absent, but forever HERE.
Today we remember together
Let us toss away our fear.

Oh please, oh please let us say her name…
Let us remember the smile upon her face.
Wronda, our dear Wronda….
No one can take her place.

She is gone too soon no one can disagree.
A mother, a wife, a daughter, a sister, a coworker and a friend…
This day I acknowledge what she meant to me.
And a shoulder for your tears, I’ll gracefully lend.

I am here for you, are you there for me?
Can we say her name each day?
Can we make this gigantic step together?
Can I say “Wronda” and have you not turn away?

For if I cannot…then I must let you know
For now you are leaving me here all alone…..
….in a room….
With an elephant I don’t want to own.

It was amazing the sense of emotional release I felt as the group of the tearful living let drift our boats of remembrance. We hugged tightly, and we talked freely, and we finally saw into each other's hearts. We may all grieve differently, we may not do it all on the same timeline, but we certainly all need each other in the end.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday~Halloween

This week Annie ask us to share a little about our Halloween past. :)

As I do so often, I am sitting here staring at my computer thinking....pondering....diving deep into my memories. I am trying desperately to bring up something interesting...something worthy of sharing. I am finding it difficult. So, I do what any self proclaimed over analyzer does...and wonder what exactly it is about my Halloween past, that keeps it from revealing itself?

The answer lies in that I never really had a firm understanding of the holiday, nor did my parents place any sort of importance on it. There was no exciting costumes, and certainly no trick or treating. heard that trick or treating. It wasn't that my parents didn't believe in Halloween. They just didn't care one way or another. The main reason we didn't trick or treat was that we lived on a farm....far from neighbors....and who wants to drive your child miles and miles to get candy when you can just buy it for them. So that is what my mom did. She bought candy. We ate it. The end. maybe it wasn't THAT bad, but it certainly wasn't much more exciting than that either. I am sure there were some school parties....and somewhere along the line, the community started putting on a carnival. It was then, that I started to really enjoy Halloween. The Halloween Carnival was the ONLY carnival in our community during the year. It was HUGE, and so much fun. I loved the games....and winning prizes. Do I remember a single costume I ever wore???? NOPE, but I do remember one lady in our community that was always a witch, and she smelled so strongly of patouli oil it made me ill. I remember thinking she would have made a better skunk, than a witch. Do I remember the year my mom got stung by a wasp and her hand swelled up to the size of a baseball mitt? YUP....everyone thought she had the best costume of all the ladies at the ticket booth. tee hee

Now as a parent, I am forging my way through this holiday. I am trying to figure out what I want my Sugar to remember about Halloween. We live in the country where we get NO trick or treaters...sigh....and miles from town. So I will be driving miles and miles so that she can say "trick or treat!", in her sweetest little voice. Yeah....I'm a totally rockin' cool mom like that.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Happy Fall Y'all....Giveaway!

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Okay, so who doesn't love free stuff? Who doesn't love to spend hours upon hours clicking on blog after blog just to have the opportunity to win something. ME ME ME ME ME!!!!! I participated in the last big giveaway extravaganza and it was AWESOME! I won like 3-4 things, and met all sorts of fabulous bloggers. It was totally worth it.

I am please to be offering something really cool this time around. Up for grabs is a Free copy of the revised version of "The Baby Cookbook."

If you, or someone you know, is the type of person who loves to make your own baby food, this book is for you. It is totally fabulous. There are great recipes for toddlers....and the whole family. This book is in like new condition. I was VERY careful when I used it. I didn't use it as much as I wanted too, but I do think it is a valuable resource. I think it deserves a better home. tee hee

To win, all you need to do is leave me a comment on this thread. Friday the 2nd, I will pick a random number, and that commenter will win the book. Please no duplicate comments. Please make sure I have a way to contact you if you do not have a blog.

Have fun....visit the long list of those hosting giveaways and have a blast signing up. woo hoo....I love FALL!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Ghosts....and I'm not talking about Casper!

Is it just me, or do people start talking about ghosts this time of year? Seems like I have ran across several blogs recently discussing the creepy and the crawly. I wonder why?????? tee hee

Those sorts of conversations don't normally bother me, as long as the intention isn't to spread evil. Some of these discussions got me thinking about what I believe about spirits and ghosts. Usually, I keep such thoughts to myself, but a strange occurrence forced me to set my fingers to typing. Lucky you! wink wink...

The other night, Sugar Bear and I were playing her room. We were doing some sort of pretend play involving her large white Easter sheep and a baby lamb. It is a game we often play, nothing out of the ordinary. It was nearing her bedtime, so I momentarily left the room to fetch her jammies from the dryer. While I was away, I heard a thud, and Sugar began to fuss and whine, " me!" She didn't sound terribly urgent so I took my time. Let's face it...she often pretends to be in a troubling predicament so that "Super Mama" can come save her.

As I entered her room, it appeared that she had tripped over her big pink comfy chair and fell head over heels over the back. She was upside down with her feet in the air. She was not hurt, but enjoying the game of, "save me Mama"! I hurried over and said, "Oh my Sugar.....did you fall over your chair?", as I helped her to her feet. She looked at me quite seriously and said, "No Mama! He pushed me!!!", as she pointed into the empty corner of her room. I am not ashamed to admit that I took a few quick looks around the room and stammered, "ummmmm what did you say?" Sugar replied with, "That man pushed me!", with a big pout on her lips and a finger pointing to the corner. "Ummmm what man, Honey?", I somehow managed to ask. "That man, Mama!", again pointing to the corner. Okay people.....I have to say THAT FREAKED ME THE HECK OUT! Visions of "The Sixth Sense" ran through my head, as I said, "oh....THAT man! I'm sure it was an accident baby. Don't worry! Let's get your jammies on, okay?" Sweet Sugar said, "Okay Mama!", and that was that.

I spent the rest of the evening thinking about it, and wondering what moved Sugar to say such a thing. She has never pretended that someone was playing with her, or us. She has never blamed things on other people, and certainly not people that were not there. To be honest, I am still a little bit wigged out about it. Up until 5 years ago, I didn't believe in ghosts. However, a crazy event that happened to myself and a friend all in the same night changed my view forever. Neither myself, nor my friend had ever discussed ghosts with each other, or any others at work, but when we both showed up for work with stories of being visited by a ghost in the exact same proved to be enough to convince us that indeed something extraordinary can happen.

It was December, and a dear friend/coworker had died very suddenly in her sleep due to complications months after her gastric bypass. It was literally a "see you tomorrow" one day at quitting time, and a phone call the next morning informing us of her death. I had never in my life lost someone this way. It was devastating for many of us, including my friend Mamabear (not her real name).

The night of her funeral, I was babysitting my niece. She was only 6 weeks old and her first night away from her mama. Let's just say, I was up much of the night. Sometime in the deep dark of night, my niece woke up fussing yet again. I remember thinking, "dear lord, just let her sleep!" Suddenly I heard a shhhing sound, much like a person shhhing a baby. It jolted me straight out of my drowsy state. I gathered my niece out of her bassinet, and pulled her into my bed. I laid there wide awake for much of the night. I was able to finally brush the odd sound away blaming it on being overtired.

The next night, a Sunday, my niece had gone home, and I had a fabulous night of uninterrupted sleep. I had however, forgotten to set my alarm. About 20 minutes after I should have been awake, I heard a whispered voice say, "Coreyyyyy....". I thought I was dreaming, until I heard it much louder, "cooorrrreyyyyyy wake up! You'll be late!" This got me up and out of my bed in 200ths of a second, as I looked all around my room. I distinctively recognized the voice to be my friend who had just passed away. I hurriedly dressed, and headed off to work. The first words out of my mouth when I walked through the door was, "Oh my gosh...I think "W" paid me a visit this weekend!" Expecting to get a look of "you are nuts" from a coworker, when instead her jaw dropped and she said, "well you better go talk to Mamabear, cause....she says the SAME thing."

It appears that the night of the funeral, Mamabear was awoken to the sensation of a breeze in her room. When she opened her eyes, she noticed her curtains blowing in the wind away from her window....the only problem...her window was closed. As she pondered this, her head turned to the foot of her bed, where quite vividly "W" was standing looking at her. Needless to say, she freaked out and pulled the covers over head. She did a little one eyed peak, and "W" was still there. Mamabear frantically tried to wake her hubby. When he awoke, "W" had disappeared.

After sharing our two experiences over the weekend, it was clear to us that something odd had indeed happened. The interesting thing is this....I am certain I would have died of fright, right on the spot if I had actually SEEN "W" standing in my room, and Mamabear insists she would rather have SEEN her, than HEARD her. It got us wondering, did she just come by to say goodbye? Did she appear to us individually in the way that would scare us the least? I have no idea. I just know that in 5 years, I have never experienced another thing like it, and neither has my friend, Mamabear. It has slowly solidified our belief in what happened to us. We managed to push our fears aside knowing that "W" would never want to hurt us. I have grown to believe that a soul may be able to visit a loved one, but certainly there is no reason to believe that a spirit or soul would ever want to hurt me, right? All of this actually helped me feel more connected to those loved ones I have lost. It actually seemed to give me a sense of peace in some ways.

All has been well.....until the other night. I don't know about you, but "pushing" Sugar Bear doesn't seem so innocent....In fact, it seems a tad aggressive. So now...I am a little bit nervous...a little bit anxious....a little bit spooked. eeeeeeeekkkkkkkkkk!!!!!!!!!!!!! BOO!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Photo Hunters~Pink

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This picture not only makes me smile, it makes me laugh out loud.

This was taken while visiting my brother and his family when they vacationed at the lake two summers ago. It was the first outing for the PINK bikini...and boy did my girl know how to work her baby fat or what?. :)

I LOVE LOVE LOVE it. OH, and I entered this photo in a local cute kid contest, and it won most humorous. High Five!

Thank you for stopping by my blog this week, and Happy Photo Hunting. :)

Friday, October 26, 2007

Friday Freestyle

Well folks....It's FRIDAY! whew.....I made it. As some of you know, it was a "wait and see" week for me. Here's an update. On day four of the rash, it started to slowly disappear. It is day six now, and it appears to be nearly gone. It's cause will remain a mystery. I suppose I am okay with that. Let's just hope it never comes back. I really appreciated all your heartfelt comments. It really meant a lot. Thank you! Sugar is on the mend, and I am sure she is plotting her next stunt to get mama all worked up and nervous. I think she likes that. wink wink....

~The lovely Katie, at Bugs on a Blog, tagged me this week with the 6 facts or habits MEME. :) So I am going to try to come up with 6 things you might not know about me. It is always harder than it looks. Here we go:

1. I love books. I used to actually read at least one book a week. I was a regular at the Library. I would lay in bed and read each night. I would read for hours on the weekends. Then I started getting too many magazine subscriptions thanks to eBay. By the time I got through all my magazines, more would come, and I didn't have much time for books. Then I got the nasty Internet habit, and my free time got sucked away in the evenings, and the weekends. The truth is...I miss books. I need to get back in the habit of reading books. I love to read a variety of books...sci-fi, non-fiction, mysteries, horror, and so on. As long as it is NOT a romance I'll read it. or at least I used too....sigh.

2. I NEED at least 3 blankets on me to feel like I sleep well. I think it is the weight of the coverings that I crave. I just can't sleep if the blanket is too light. The best sleep of my life was in college, when I had to sleep on a sleeping porch with 60 other girls. We had the window open and an exhaust fan going for circulation of air. It was cold, cold, cold in the winter, so I slept in flannel PJ's, a hooded sweatshirt with the hood up, flannel sheets, a comforter and two afghans. I'm telling was the BEST.SLEEP.EVER!

3. My great grandmother made me a three toned pink ripple afghan in 1985. It became my blankie of choice. Besides sleeping with it every night at home, I also took it to all sleepover, off to college, and in to my married home. Here we are 23 years later, and I still use it every night. WOW! Who would have thought Red Heart Yarn could hold up so well?

4. I have always loved music. I wanted so badly to learn to play the piano. I took lessons on and off for a few years when I was about 8 years old. I just could not get a hang of it. I wasn't enjoying it like I thought I would, so I gave up. In fifth grade, I took on the Saxophone and LOVED IT! I played it for four years, then too many high school activities got in the way and I had to quit. I wish I hadn't because I haven't touched a saxophone in over 15 years, and I have since forgotten everything I learned. I am currently instrument ignorant, and that is sad. Oh...wait....I can totally rock the Kazoo.

5. As a child, I loved to swing. It had to be one of my very favorite past times. I remember swinging as high as I could, and feeling the wind on my face. I could swing the entire recess away. It saddens me to admit that I get motion sickness when I swing for longer than a minute these days. How can this be? What has changed? Why does it make me so sick now? I can't even do two rounds of "ring around the rosey" either......Sugar Bear is NOT impressed with mama's weak tummy.

6. I have the worst handwriting of all the women I know. It is seriously the ugliest, most nasty handwriting there is. It has embarrassed me for as long as I can remember. It is only getting worse with my lack of using it. I type nearly everything these days, and the other day, it took me three tries to write a legible check to repay a friend. Seriously, I am the QUEEN of "You Don't Use It....You'll Lose It" land.

Wow....that is always so much more work than I think it will be, so I chose not to tag anyone. If you are reading this and want to give it a try please do. :)

~Lastly, I just want to announce that I tend to post my Saturday Photo Hunters early in the day on Friday. Yes, I know it seems strange, but the Photo Hunt has participants from all around the world, and they have Saturday well be I do, so if I want them to view my entry, I need to have it up on Friday. Now I know I didn't NEED to explain this...but I didn't want anyone to think, I can't keep track of what day it is. wink wink...I may be losing it...but it isn't gone yet!

Have a great weekend. Thank you for all the fun comments this past week. Your rock! and yes...I mean YOU!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

I is for.....Innocence. in "purity of heart"! My Sugar Bear is the picture of Innocence.
William Butler Yeats once said, “The innocent and the beautiful have no enemy but time”. I think of this, and it makes me sad. Why must the innocent child proceed through time, and lose that most precious gift? Why must that pure heart learn of sadness, anger, heartbreak, evil, destruction, and death?

Do you remember when blowing the seeds from a dandelion meant making wishes, magic, fairies, and fun? When did I grow up and realize that blowing dandelions just spreads weeds? When did I lose the magic? When did I stop believing. Oh how I wish....wish I could shield my Sugar from all things ugly in this world. I wish I could preserve her innocence forever.

"First I make a wish, then I blow real hard,
And the little dandelions blow all over the yard,
And I wait and I hope for my wish to come true.
Guess there's only so much a dandelion can do."
~A verse from Dandelion Song
(Linda Allen, Kristin and Jennifer Allen-Zito)

When I look into her eyes I see only the beautiful things in life. I don't see the lines of pain and sorrow. I don't see the knowledge of hurt and heartache. I see unconditional love and trust. I see belief....wonder....magic....and hope. She just closes her eyes and makes a wish.

She tackles each day with INTEREST. She doesn't hold back for fear of failure. She tries new things. She asks questions, and soaks up the answers as if she were a daisy reaching for the sun.

She looks on the world with INTRIGUE. She notices things I have long ago forgotten. She finds all things worthy of INSPECTION, and often deems them amazing. To her, even a bug deserves a second glance, a question, a moment of her life.

She lets her IMAGINATION run wild, and doesn't fear looking silly or IGNORANT. She has no hang ups about how she looks, or what she knows. She just does what seems right to her at the time, only sometimes looking back for that smile of encouragement from her mama.

She giggles, and snickers....

and the joy of life simply radiates from her soul. It blesses my heart to have captured this feeling in a photo. This single photo is the picture of INNOCENCE, of purity of heart. This small child knows what is right with this world. I find her to be so very INSPIRATIONAL. She makes me want to be a better person.

Indeed, I need to be a better person, as I have no doubt this INNOCENT child learned the following attitude from ME. There is no way, a child who finds great joy in the simple things could possible be this BORED with a daisy! Okay, so maybe it was the fourth time she asked to get off the rock and go play, and I begged, "please baby....just a few more pictures!"

Yup...that might have done it. THAT might have stole the joy right out of a perfect day of exploring. A perfect day of interest, intrigue, inspection, imagination,and innocence. Sorry Sugar Bear, Mama is several steps behind you...but she is learning...she is trying.

(These photos were taken this past July....if you are interested in seeing the others I took that day, please visit this post titled,
"A Creek, some Cows....and a Sugar Bear!")

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Why Can't She Just Have Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease?

Why why why.....Wouldn't that be nice? Just a little bit of Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease. That's all I ask. Just something simple like that. Something normal. Something Typical....something easily diagnosable.

But NOOOOO.....not my Sugar Bear. She has to have something unexplained...something odd...something rare....something "let's wait and see!" ARGHHHHH...

I surely can't be the only parent that wishes a communicable disease on their child, right? Surely, right now in this universe some parent is muttering under their breath, "please lord let it be Fifth Disease!" I mean...isn't it common for a parent to just want their kid to have normal childhood illnesses? Isn't it normal for you to want to hear from the pediatrician, "Oh yeah.....seen it a million times....she has a raging case of Rosela! Contagious as all get out...but don't worry it will be gone soon!" ? Sure....that would be nice.

The words you don't want to hear is, "! Is it on her back too? hmmmmm fascinating......her bottom too, huh? INTERESTING! OH her ankles as well, huh? WOW! Well......I am not my 20 year of this practice I have NEVER seen a rash like this. Definitely NOT a typical communicable disease. My best guess is......"

WHAT? Your best GUESS! Oh dear lord, you did not just say best GUESS! What parent wants to hear that? What parent enjoys wondering what is wrong with their child, and not knowing when it will go away or if it will get worse before it gets better. Why oh Why can't she just have the Chicken Pox??????

So here we are....waiting and seeing.....I hate that. I have visions of MRSA running through my head, even though she has absolutely NO other symptoms besides the rash. Since the Pediatrician guessed that it was an immune system reaction to a virus or allergy, similar to hives, but not quite hives, I am wondering if her immune system is compromised. Is this a sign of a much larger problem? Is the tip of the iceberg? Is this the proverbial shoe about to drop? (Yes....if you haven't noticed, I can be worrisome, and a bit of paranoid.) The waiting.....the seeing.....not sure I can handle it.

Seriously people.....wouldn't it be easier if she just had some nasty Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease? It wouldn't be pretty, but it would certainly be NORMAL!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Time Travel Tuesday~Accident

This week Annie ask us to share about the worst accident or illness we have experienced!

Sitting here thinking about this topic made me realize just how very blessed I am. I have not suffered much illness in my life, and I certainly have not been accident prone. I suppose the most memorable event that comes to mind is my first and ONLY car accident. It really isn't the worst thing to happen to me health wise, but it is the most interesting, and a very good lesson learned. If you know me at all, you know that I appreciate a good lesson.

A few weeks before our wedding, hubby bought me a special present. My first CAR! :) It was a 1987 fire red Camero. Yowza.....did he know how to make a girl smile or what? I felt simply saucy in that thing. I loved driving it. It was my baby....and I took good care of it. It wasn't new (obviously). In fact it was 9 years old, but it was new to me and in great condition. least I thought it was.

One day, three months later, I was running late to meet my mother for a luncheon we were attending. I ran out the door of my house, and jumped in the Camero. I went to buckle my seat belt like I ALWAYS did, and it made a strange sound, and a spring sprung out of the buckle and it was BROKE BROKE BROKE.....sigh! What was a girl to do? I was late. Hubby was out at sea working.....and I had no other vehicle available. So for the first time in my life, I took off down the road with no seat belt on.

I was about 40 minutes into my drive when I reached a passing lane. I had been in a line of cars waiting to pass a very slow moving vehicle. Into the fast lane we went, soon we were all going at least 60 mph. Suddenly out of nowhere the slow moving car, who was going around 30 mph swerved into the fast lane in front of the pickup truck which was directly in front of me. We all slammed on our brakes. I distinctively remember the panic in my body. I remember the sound of the brakes screeching. I remember the pure relief when I was able to stop my car with inches to spare between the pickup's bumper and my hood. The slow moving vehicle swerved back into his lane and we started to move forward again. I felt so relieved.

It was then that I heard an awful was screeching tires....but how could that be? We were starting to go forward again....I glanced in my rear view mirror just as a small pickup slammed into the rear of my car. The jolt was horrifying...the sound was terrifying....and the pure fear was paralyzing. As my hatch back window, which had been popped out of my car and up into the air crashed back down on my car sending shattered glass everywhere, I realized that I was screaming. Then there was just plain deafening silence. My car limped to the side of the road, and I leapt out running my hands all over my body from head to toe...I was in hysterics. I just could not believe I wasn't hurt. I kept saying, "am I hurt? am I hurt?" a nice young man, told me I looked fine, so I sat back down and began to shake.

I could not believe that I had just been in my first car accident...on the same day I was driving without my seat belt. What are the odds? and how was I not hurt??? Even though I was rear ended with my car going about 10 mph and the other car going at least 55 mph...I was not hurt. I blew my mind. In fact, I was just plain lucky it was a rear ending accident. In a rear ending accident, the person is thrown BACK into their seat, not forward. If I had hit the car in front of would have been a very different story (this was much before airbags). I was so blessed. So never ride without the seat belt. It just isn't worth it. I came so close to getting seriously hurt. In the end, I had some nasty whiplash, but that was it.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Sugars in the Drivers Seat? (part three)

For Christmas last year, hubby purchased this fine Four Wheel Driving Machine for Sugar Bear. As you may have noticed...he is a bit outdoorsy, so no girly Barbie or Dora Jeep for our girl. Nope, not this little Sugar. She was a month shy of 2 when she took her first spin. It was hysterical. Let's just say, she was heavy on the pedal, and light on the steering. OR maybe it is more accurate to say, "heavy on the pedal, and non-existent on the steering!" Mama got quite the workout running along side the dang thing trying to steer while she floored it and giggled with glee. She "drove" this way for about 3 outings, then suddenly, she declared that she could NOT drive it, and wouldn't even try. She would just sit at the wheel, and act like she never knew where the pedal was in the first place, and was now blind to all attempts to point it out to her. Days later, she refused to even sit in the drivers seat. The phase lasted several months. It really had us dumb struck.

So up until our fall trip east, the precious Jeep served such purposes as collecting dust, and providing excellent seating for impromptu "Drive in Movie Nights." (We can talk about the TV in the bedroom later...I'm educated, I am aware, and I'm willing to discuss it...just not right now.)

Honestly, this wasn't a half bad plan, we don't have drive-in movies around here, and it was fun sharing the "idea" with Sugar Bear. Sometimes she would even sit IN the Jeep, but usually she liked to sit on top. She is a rebel like that. Yeah...she is totally cool.

Anyhow, back to the story. Hubby, being the rustic mountain man he is, just couldn't imagine a trip to the desert without a chance to drive a super cool four by four Jeep. I mean....what better of a place to learn to drive the dang thing then a flat landscape with relatively little to run into? So along with the dog, we tossed it in the back of the truck before we left.

Once we got to the cabin, Sugar was begging to drive her Jeep. I have to admit I rolled my eyes a little knowing that she would most likely just sit there and pretend not to know how. Regardless we unloaded it and set her up to drive. Surprisingly she started to try out the pedal. At first she was hesitant....then a little more daring. I am certain now that it wasn't her "forgetting" where the pedal was or how to use it, it was her maturing enough to know that if you are going to push that pedal you dang well better know how to steer it, and she didn't, so she held back. Hubby gave her some pointers about steering, and she slowly started to get the hang of it. They also worked on reverse, as she would often get herself too close to a rock or something. She really understood the idea of reverse quickly. It was fun to see her improve in a mere 10 minutes.

Then the good times began....I got the crazy idea to encourage Sugar to "chase" me with her Jeep. This was the most brilliant form of education I could ever imagine. The motivation to run down her mama, got her learning real quickly exactly how to turn left and right. In fact, within 5 minutes she was quite able to dodge sage brush, and aim that Jeep for her mama's hiney. The evil cackling that erupted from that sweet little body, still has me running in fear. Honestly, it just might be the best exercise plan I've come up with. Look at her face....she is totally into this game.

It is also plain to see that she takes right after her mama. When driving, if you suddenly hear something funny, or the vehicle starts to act up, one must check it out ASAP!

After taking a quick look, it is usually a good idea to get out....walk around the vehicle, and then just give it a good KICK!

Soon you'll be back on the road. At least for a little while...I'm not sure the Jeep can 4 X 4 over that log...but heck...she is adventurous, isn't she?

All in all, this trip was exactly what she needed to master her Jeep. You can hardly tell how proud she is. She hides it well. Rock on Sister!

Truely, as a mama, I found myself in awe of her enthusiasm....her determination....her independence. I had to hold myself back from wanting to hover. I had to stop myself from uttering a long sting of warnings, and words of caution. I held back a tear, as I watched my beautiful daughter ride off into the sunset thinking, "Not yet baby girl....NOT YET!"

(That last picture....could very well be an all time favorite picture....sigh)

Sunday, October 21, 2007

What's So Funny?

One of my good friends wrote a great little entry on her Myspace the other day. :) It seriously cracked me up....and I was utterly in awe of her comic genius. The sad thing is....I am the only one that got it. Was it just late at night when I read it, and I had the giggles? Or what? I'd love to post it here, and see if anyone else "gets it"!

She wrote:

Is anyone else out there addicted to Baked Lays (I'm talking about the chips). I just sat here and ate an entire bag. I think I'm retaining salt and it's making me swell. My eyes are even swollen. It's making me look more Asian than I already am. I must have a salt deficiency or something. I need another bag ASAP. I think I need a Baked Lays support group. We could meet between the pot smokers and the sex addicts.

Now tell me, what about this is so funny?

******Spoiler alert!!!******

Baked = What you are after smoking pot

Lays = To have sex

Thus, the Baked Lays Addicts group should meet Between the pot smokers and the sex addicts!

Get it????? isn't it funny?

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Please Vote For My Little Pumpkin

This is my 2005...sigh.....where has the time gone? Isn't she a little doll baby?

The fun thing for me about this photo is seeing how far I have come in my photography. This was my original point and shoot. My first digital. It was great...but not a lot of megapixels. I had just started learning PhotoShop, and I was having fun with the "dreamy" look. tee hee

In this particular picture I had carved out the pumpkin, cut the leg holes and set it over the furnace outlet, so the inside would be dry and warm. What a little trooper my Sugar Bear was, huh? Even thought the photography could have been better, this is still one of my favorite fall pictures.

I have entered this photo in the Fall Photo Contest over at Write From Karen. I just made the deadline by the skin of my teeth. (what does that saying mean anyhow??? I better google it.)
Please head on over there and vote for Sugar....or actually vote for the picture you like the best. YOu know I am a sucker for a good photo, so please vote for your favorite. :) IF that is mine...great, if not...I understand.

Photo Hunters~Practical

Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket

*** WARNING*** If Breastfeeding offends you please don't proceed any further. Thank you, for coming by my blog, but you might want to skip by me this week. See you next week. Happy Hunting!

Anyhow, why is it that when I struggle with the Photo Hunters theme for the week, I feel the need to read the definition? It really hasn't helped me yet, but I still try it in hopes that the bell will ring, the light bulb will illuminate above my head, and I'll suddenly just KNOW what picture to post. such luck.

prac·ti·cal (prkt-kl)
1. Of, relating to, governed by, or acquired through practice or action, rather than theory, speculation, or ideals: gained practical experience of sailing as a deck hand.
2. Manifested in or involving practice: practical applications of calculus.
3. Actually engaged in a specified occupation or a certain kind of work; practicing.
4. Capable of being used or put into effect; useful: practical knowledge of Japanese. See Usage Note at practicable.
5. Intended to serve a purpose without elaboration: practical low-heeled shoes.
6. Concerned with the production or operation of something useful: Woodworking is a practical art.
7. Level-headed, efficient, and unspeculative.
8. Being actually so in almost every respect; virtual: a practical disaster.

I have read these over and over and over, and the only one that sticks out to me is #5. I wrestled with posting this picture for quite sometime, for fear of offending someone, but that right there is the main reason I NEED to post this picture.

I am very much an advocate for breastfeeding, and it saddens me how much our society has turned feeding a child from the breast into something that needs to be hidden... Something that needs to be only done at HOME, and certainly not in front of strangers.....or relatives...or anyone else for that matter. Why should we feel ashamed of something so natural?

In my opinion, breastfeeding is the most PRACTICAL use of the breast there is. In fact, I am pretty sure THAT is what breasts are actually made for.

If you are still with me....Thanks! Have a great weekend. See you next week!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Goodbye Four For Friday....

Hello Friday Freestyle! is true...I am switching it up. I was starting to get stressed out by the Four For Friday...I would sit here painfully trying to come up with something to write, and that is definitely NOT the purpose of blogging for me. I want to write about what moves me at the time, just has to go. I am replacing it with the new Friday Freestyle. It will be a hodge podge of whatever suits me at the time. Often it will be the day I wrap up bloggity business, pass on awards, share a funny, or whatever floats my boat. Sound good? I hope so.

Today, I want to start with sharing just how horribly spoiled I am becoming....If we aren't careful...I'll soon be so bling heavy, I fall off the Internet. tee hee...can a person have too many good friends? I personally don't think so.

On with the awards...

*The Nap warden passed on the Trick or Treat Award to me today. This award was created by Hootin Anni and she simply said:
You're more than welcomed to pass it along
to ones you think are deserving of a special treat
for the season.
Kinda like "Pay it Forward"
Y'know, one goodwill gesture deserves another?
But DON'T just choose your friends
making this cliquish and 'just groupies'...
Make NEW friends by choosing random visitors!!!

I'd love to pass this fun one on to some of my newest commenters. I appreciate you so much!

-Melissa at Wool Gatherings
-Deb at Missives From Suburbia
-Kelly in the Mirror
-Megan at Fried Okra
- and Julie....I would love to know how to contact you...would you email me?

*Next Donetta, who is such a dear sweet friend presented me with the BFF Blog Friend Forever Award.

We have met through blogging, and She just touches my heart so much. She wrote:

Corey is so inspirational with her photography and well written pros. Her passion in motherhood warms my heart.

Thank you Donetta, you are such a lovely person.

I'd love to pass this award on to:

-Jo She is totally funny, and has warmly accepted me into her heart. Thank you, Jo.

*And speaking of dear Jo...she spoils me like crazy.

~First she gives me the Community Blogger Award created by Cellobella

Cellobela says,
The Community Blog Award celebrates people who reach out and makes the blogger community a better one.

Thank you JO for feeling that I fit that description. You made my heart smile today.

I'd like to pass this on to:

-Megan from Sortacrunchy-Michelle from Big Blueberry Eyes
-Pam from Kids Kitchen

~Secondly she awarded me the Bodacious Blog Award.

WOW....I am starting to feel a bit too big for my britches...and it can't possibly have anything to do with all the junk food I have been consuming.

I'd like to pass this award on to:

-In the life of a child

So many of you deserve awards....I feel blessed with so many friends and readers. Thank you all for all the support. YOU make blogging so much fun!

HAPPY FRIDAY EVERYONE!!!! :) Oh.... and Part Three of our Fall Trip is coming on Monday. :) Thank you so much for all the wonderful comments so far. It has truly blessed my heart.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Baby Jessica

In 1987, I was 13 years old, but I can clearly remember the media coverage of little Jessica McClure. It really seems like yesterday that I sat riveted to the TV set begging my mom to let me stay up and watch the rescue effort. I am not sure if other children that age were so invested in this tragedy, but I certainly couldn't pull myself away. Maybe it was my tendency to worry or maybe it was my love of babies, but....I just couldn't get that little girl out of my mind. It is so hard to believe that it has been 20 years....20 years...since I prayed for Baby Jessica.

Today I ran across this news article online, and the emotions came rushing back...only to affect me much more deeply than the originals. You see...I am a mother now...and being a mother literally changes everything. I am much more empathetic now, than I was as an egocentric teen. Today, I was able to put myself in shoes of the mother....and it was heart wrenching.

Here is a video of Jessica's Today Show interview this week. Watching this was so surreal....I am not certain I ever knew how much she went through physically after the incident. It makes sense, but I don't remember hearing a lot of follow-up, after she was rescued. It amazes me that someone had the foresight to set up a fund for her, with all the donations, but I wonder if she had not needed it through her medical journey. Seems strange to get the money now....what are your thoughts on this? If you had donated money 20 years ago, how would you have liked to see that money spent? Would you have liked to see it go to bettering her young life as an injured child, or go to the young mother she is now?

Many times over the years I have thought of Jessica. I can't count how many times I have seen the Movie, "Everybody's Baby: The Rescue of Jessica McClure" on TV, and each and every time a find myself knelt on the floor in a mess of tears, saying, "I hate this movie....I HATE this movie..." over and over. The scene of little Jessica responding to her mama's singing of "winnie the pooh" with her own tiny little voice singing along, just sends me into fits of hysterical crying. (watch at your own risk) It only gets worse when I remind myself that this REALLY happened. An 18 month old child was REALLY down there, and she really went through all that. Since becoming a mother, the thought of this happening is almost too much for my little heart to bear. I can NOT imagine. I nearly end up in the fetal position rocking myself to numbness just watching the on earth would I survive something like this happening to my child????

It is days like this that I can't wait for my daughter to wake up tomorrow morning, so that I can hug her tight, and say prayers for her safety. I am constantly walking that fine line between OVER protecting her, and letting her live an adventurous life. I find it horribly difficult to foresee all that could befall us, and struggle with knowing that I can't protect us from everything. Sometimes that lack of control burdens me. I need so badly to keep my precious Sugar Bear from harm, but in is not always in my hands. Day's like this....remind me...and leave me feeling a little helpless.

It is the men and women that spent days rescuing little Jessica, never giving up, that inspire me. The people that devote their lives to this very thing every day are heroes. It saddens me that the man who pulled Jessica from those dark depths, ended his own life shortly after. Post Traumatic Stress Disorder was to blame. This breaks my heart. I can not imagine the fear and strain those folks were under, and even though it ended well, the stress was unbearable for some.....sigh...okay...I am depressing myself now, and that was not my intention.

And now....I am not sure what the purpose of this post was. I guess I just felt compelled to share how profound this "stranger's" accident, and subsequent rescue affected me so very emotionally in all these years. I also wonder if the world has changed so much in the last 20 years, that we will NEVER rally around a young family in despair again. I mean...what made Jessica and her family different than all the sweet young children who suffer each day. Why did the world sit in front of their TVs and pray for Jessica? Why did people send money....LOTS of money? Has the sense of community changed so much in the past 20 years, that there will never be an "everybody's baby" again? That makes me sad...not that I want another child to be in such peril, but sad that we don't get as emotionally connected to strangers anymore.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Part Two~Cabin Fever!

I know that when Hubby told me about the cabin he mentioned "rustic", and I am certain that I remember hearing the words "no running water" and "dusty" and "outhouse", but for some reason I just wasn't prepared for what all that meant. Don't get me wrong, I am NOT a girly girl. I am NOT a frilly person. I grew up on a farm, and I have been tent camping many, many times in my life, but this was different. I suppose all my experience never took place in the driest, dustiest place on earth. Nor was it 30 degrees in the morning. NOR did I have a 2.5 year old when I did it. COLD, DIRTY, and ADVENTUROUS TODDLER added to NO RUNNING WATER....for some reason just doesn't appeal to me. Call me Crazy!

"Hello Crazy Lady!" See it isn't that hard.

Now I'm not saying we didn't have fun. We certainly did, but I am also not saying that I'll be going back any time soon! I would consider it...if I left the toddler and the sinus infection at home. Yeah....maybe that would make it better. It was beautiful though. That is for certain. I feel really blessed to have experienced it.

Before we arrived at the cabin, we made a stop off at the "Water Hole", and filled a few containers with water. I take it a water hole is, by definition, the largest tire one has ever seen filled with rain water, and ummm who knows what. WE hardly had to scare the cows away from their precious watering hole at all...they seemed so willing to share. Hubby assured me that we would need this water for washing hands, and the pots and pans we use to cook our hot dogs. was only the best for us. Soon, I was less worried about what was IN the hot dogs and more about what was ON the Hot Dogs...and umm...our hands. It made me incredibly relieved I remembered to pack several bottles of drinking water. NO amount of boiling would have made me eager to drink this stuff.

"Can I go swimming mom?"

The dog almost jumped in.

With our water loaded up, we headed toward the cabin. One of the first things I noticed was the outhouse.....ummm yeah...what a disappointment. I mean, no crescent mooned door or anything...sigh...looks like a shed, but believe smells like an outhouse. Sugar Bear was fascinated by the outhouse, and it was a full time job making sure she did NOT enter this three seater. It was straight out of "The Three Bears." It had a special hole for the baby bear, the mama bear and the papa bear. I was a little afraid she might fall into the papa bear hole...and seriously people that is a nightmarish thought. I was never so thankful that she is still in diapers, and that mama isn't a night time pee-er. whew....

Next, hubby let us into the cabin. Ummmm you can hardly tell he is the rustic, hunter type, can you? He hides it well.

It really wasn't so bad. It had glass in the windows, a door, and an ancient wood stove. There were four "beds" arranged around the one room. Sugar and I chose the one closest to the door in case of some sort of emergency. Don't ask me what kind, but I certainly felt the need to sleep with my baby right there with me by the door. Hubby chose one in the far corner. The dog was less than pleased to simply have to sleep on the hard wooden floor.

I spent quite a bit of time reading all the fabulous things previous dwellers had written on the walls. There was many accounts of special hunts and their kills. Thrilling, I tell you....THRILLING. I did add a special little mark that indicated Sugar Bear's height at the time of our visit. I am a sentimental mama like that. Oh...and she may not be back there until she is 15, so seeing her growth will be amazing. Somehow I failed to photograph the moment. sigh....

After getting acquainted with the inside of the cabin, we went out exploring. I saw so much beauty. While Sugar amused herself learning to drive her jeep (stay tuned for part THREE), I wandered around and took photos.

It amazed me that the ground consisted of about 2 inches of the finest, dusty silt I have ever seen. It managed to work it's way into everything. What a mess. Sugar ran around tripping on things, doing face plants, and having the time of her life. Runny nose, sticky hands and inches of dusty dirt resulted in one seriously filthy little honey by dark. In this picture I had given her the best dust off and spit shine I could manage.

As the day ended, and the sun started to set, I sat back and relished in sharing the sheer beauty with my family. I hope I was able to capture at least a slice of this with my photos.

Stay tuned for part three, Sugar Bear Drives Everywhere!

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