Why a Black Cloud?

I will explain the "black cloud". My mother's family from time to time would say that if anything bad that could happen would happen to them and called it the black cloud. I find this to be true in my life almost on a daily basis. Just like a friend my black cloud is present everyday. Let me make this clear...I talk about my black cloud in an entirely jokingly way. I laugh about most things, even when they are bad....it's all going to be alright. My faith is such that the Lord will provide and even if I don't know how in the world we are going to fix whatever has happened, he knows. So please any of my bad things that I mention, know that I am laughing and remaining faithful while I am typing! And please LAUGH because I am!

He that is afraid of bad luck will never know good" -RussianProverb

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope

Thursday, November 24, 2011

1 Thessalonians 5:18: My Thankful Lists

"In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you."

In every thing....hmmm the good AND bad things....so here is my  list of the good things I am thankful for

  • The Father, Son and Holy Spirit
  • My Salvation, without it I wouldn't have eternal life
  • Jason, my husband 
  • Amanda, my first born
  • Tyler, my middle child
  • Madison, my youngest
  • Our vehicles
  • Jason's job
  • My job as mother, wife, cook, taxi driver, etc.
  • My Church
  • My Pastor and his family
  • My sisters
  • Today, special day to remind us why we are thankful to God for all we have
  • Yesterday, the opportunity to help pass out plates of food to others
  • My Parents (Daddy, Mama and Shirley)
  • My Aunts and Uncles
  • My window to the world, my computer
  • Our Military
  • Grocery stores, without them I would have to spend all my time processing our food

Now for bad thing I am thankful for:

  • Jason's speeding ticket, hopefully it made him pay closer attention to his speed and the entire ordeal of paying the ticket reminded me that some people do care
  • Bills, having them reminds me that we have lights, water, tv, computer and phone service
  • Difficult people, they remind me of how I don't want to be.
  • My childhood, it reminds me to be careful of my children's feelings
  • Broken down cars, they remind me that I have a car, a husband who has the ability to fix it, and time spent giggling about what's gonna happen next
  • Being angry at God, reminds me where I was and where I am now
  • Ex husband, reminds me to be thankful for the gentle, kind, loving man God sent me
  • Teenager trials, reminds me that they are independent, strong people and are able to think for themselves
  • Preschooler trials, reminds me that she is finding her place in the world, learning and growing right before my eyes
  • Money problems, remind me that "we" can make it through anything
  • My mother's illness, reminds me that she was a fighter, that she knew where she was going when she died but loved us so much that she didn't want to leave
  • My father's accident, reminds me how much he means to me and the changes he made in his life (made him thankful for life)
  • Jason's job, reminds me that even though we hate his hours, he cares for us enough to get going back so he can pay for things we need.
I was trying to make both list be at least 20 things each, I couldn't come up with that many on my bad list. I guess maybe that is because I have tried to think about my black cloud moments in an entirely different way, to see the sunny spots and not just the black clouds. It truly changes you as a person when you are able to do that. 

So tonight as Thanksgiving draws to a close and the crazy shopping begins, I am thankful  to God for all things, good and bad...they have made me into the person I am today. 

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Joy to the World, Mama to me, Bonita to others

October 8th, would have been my mother's 62nd birthday. I still miss her everyday even though she has been gone 8 years. I remember her  telling me one time how she missed her parents when they died and how she still wanted to talk to them long after they were gone. I understand this now. I still want to pick up the phone and call her to tell her the latest things that my children have done, to get her take on situations with them or to just talk about nothing.

I am thankful to have known her. I am thankful for what she taught me about life. I am thankful she was my mother.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pocketbook parties, cell phones, bulletins

Tonight, I hosted a thirty one party. I don't like doing these things. I mean you run around like a crazy person getting food together for the party, then have a few people show up, and  then get a few "free" things if you meet a sales quota. Whoever ( I suspect Tupperware) came up with the idea of these parties was a genius. You get a person to host a party (no cost to you), feed the customers (no cost to you), show your products and wait on the orders (profit for you), give the hostess (a gift if they meet the minimum sales limit) and offer half price items to her. No building to rent, no utilities to pay.

My consultant was great. A very nice lady I have known for years. I admire her for trying to make a living selling these products. I guess it just isn't my cup of tea. It was nice to hear the story behind thirty one because I didn't know why it was called thirty one until tonight. Proverbs 31. It was nice that eight people showed up since I have heard that sometimes no one does. It was also nice to sit and talk and munch on "party" food. I even "quacked" at Mary....I had to since Nicky wasn't there.

My 16 year thinks I am so unreasonable to have a rule where you can't use the phone/cell phone or computer after 10:30pm. I think it is lenient. I had to be off of the phone at 9pm until I left home. she said that she was the only 11th grader that had to be off of the phone at a certain time. boo hooo hooo poor thing life is so hard...LOL.

I have the job of doing the bulletin for church now. Wow! I almost have it finished (with the exception of the hymn page numbers, last minute announcements). I knew it was going to be challenging but just didn't realize how much. I think I am really going to love it because I love being creative. I just hope everyone else likes it.

Tonight I am thankful for those who strive for better things in their lives (like Ms Cindy, the 31 consultant), friends, 16 year old's logic, and a new challenge.

Friday, September 16, 2011

My Biggest Fear

Ok maybe NOT my biggest fear but definitely a fear of mine. Public speaking. Then why do I keep having this feeling that it is something I HAVE to do? Public speaking through my blog is easy..I can type away, hit publish, panic for a moment about the judgement someone may have about my story and forget about it. Well until I look at the "stats" page and find out that it has been read...yikes!

 Do I really have something to say that anyone would want to listen to? Would my "story" really help someone else if it were told in a condensed version in person?

I keep going back to the time I took a zero in Ms Brewster's English class instead of having to get up in front of my classmates and recite a poem. Would I freeze like that? Could I get it all out without crying?

What to do? Can I polish a speech enough to make it meaningful and interesting? Questions...that's all I got tonight...

So as I close tonight, I can say I am thankful for questions because I know I will eventually have the answers. That is how God works. He will calm the fears and answer the questions. If it is truly what I am supposed to do, stand up in front of people and tell my story, I will know in His time.

Sunday, September 11, 2011


The following takes place over about three or fours days-beginning with the attacks. Jason, my husband was an over the road truck driver and I had taken a two week trip with him (this was the second week).

Everyone asks where you were when.....well here is my 9/11 story:

I awoke to an annoying announcer on the radio that kept repeating something about a tower over and over. I climbed out of the bunk and noticed the dog was wanting to go out. I changed the radio and found that that station was also saying something about towers-to me at that moment I heard tower and thought radio tower. I turned the station again and again "towers". I decided to stop and listen as I was putting on my shoes and the dog's leash. That is when I heard that a second plane had hit the World Trade Center. I couldn't believe what I was hearing. I woke Jason and asked him to take the dog out so I could listen to what was going on. Little did I  know at that moment the chaos, fear and uncertainty that I would feel over the next few days.

We were parked on an entrance ramp outside of St. Louis. Later at a truck stop in East St. Louis IL, we finally saw the images for the first time on a tv screen. Unbelievable. I felt like I couldn't breath. I felt like I needed to do something but had no idea what that something was. I wanted to go home...to hug my children, my mama, my daddy and meme but I knew there was no quick way to get home. I knew there was nothing I could do to make this terrible feeling go away. The stories and rumors had begun on the CB. I couldn't even begin to remember all of the things we heard that turned out not to be true. We did hear about the Pentagon and the Pennsylvania crash but we didn't know to believe it or not. That is until we saw it for ourselves at the next stop with a tv. 

We listened to our President as he made his speak that night on the radio. We were glued to the radio night and day trying to sort out all of the stories we were hearing and trying to stay on top of what was happening to our great Nation. It was so emotional for us...and a mixed bag at that. Anger set in at some point.

We went past the Indianapolis Airport and there wasn't a single plane in the sky...what an eerie site...we had been past it before and saw a lot of planes circling and then to go back past and nothing was moving at all.  We eventually had to head to the northeast. We never went into NY but we were very close. the closer we got the more banners we saw-hanging from overpasses-signs hanging on fences along the turnpike. Tears flowed. this all was for real...it was really happening...we had been attacked and many many people had died and for what? Why were we hated that much?

We made our way south and had the opportunity to go through Washington DC and right past the Pentagon. It was still smoking. There was a tension in the air that I can't explain. 

I didn't know anyone who was killed that day but there was a strong sense of mourning that I felt-these were fellow Americans.

Today, I remember these people, I remember those in our military that have died in this "war on terror" and I remember those who went into these buildings to save others and never made it back out.

Today, I am thankful for our military, and our nations first responders.  These men and women have a selfless spirit that pushes them to do things everyday without a second thought. Ordinary people who do extraordinary things. I am thankful for my family and I, like most, hold them a little closer now because of the events of 9/11/01.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

It's the Little Things

The other day, I had two facebook friends who posted something about the little things in life are the most important. That is so true!  Little things can add up to be big things-both bad and good.

One of my facebook friends posted a note about how the little things kept people from being inside the World Trade Centers on 9/11. One had to stop to get doughnuts, another had overslept, another had to get band aids, and another had a child starting school. These little things, that I am convinced God put in these people's lives at just the right moment, saved their lives. 

My husband does lots of little things....and big things too....but the small things mean more because it shows he was thinking about more than just the obvious. He has started working nights and when he comes in from work he picks up my laptop and plugs it in for me (cause usually I have gone to sleep with it on). I try to do those little things for him. Sometimes he notices and sometimes he doesn't (and that is OK with me), although I have the suspicion that he always notices but just doesn't always mention it.

The little things we do for one another doesn't always have to be for our family or friends.  What about holding the door open for the person behind you? What about a warm smile for each person you pass in the store? What about helping that elderly person get their bags into their car? or that frazzled mom who is trying her best to get the baby, stroller and her bags into the car? Sometimes this little things mean the most. Sometimes this could be your time to let your light shine (remember the song?singing it in your head yet?). 

Sometimes when you do these little things for complete strangers, you get puzzled looks and sometimes the person isn't receptive to your help....but that is OK! You extended your kindness to that person and whether they choose to accept  it is up to them. Smile and know you tried.

What about the little things that add up to big bad things? If your little things are negative, then they will add up to be big negative things. The first example that comes to mind is parents saying little negative things to their children. Little minute things that you didn't mean to be bad but were perceived negatively. These little things add up to a big bad case of low self esteem.

Tonight, I am thankful for the little things in life. The sweet little hugs and kisses Madison gives with no expectations. The sweet response I got when I sincerely thanked Tyler for his help yesterday. The hand holding my hubby does in his sleep. The lovely time I spent with Amanda this morning and the giggles we shared.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Sometimes You Just Gotta Let It Go

“always forgive but never forget, remember but never regret. life's what you make of it, so make something of it. you only live once, so make it worthwhile”

We all have things happen to us. Things we wish we didn't have to go through, but somehow we make it through and we can chose to do one of two things: hang on to the hurt and not forgive or let it go and forgive. I am no different. I have been through so much in my 39 years that it would take days to write about each and every big event and months for the little things. Instead of sharing all of the "things", I am choosing to write tonight about the forgiveness part.  For many years I  held on to the hurt and anger that these things caused me. I was angry and questioned why I had to endure such pain. Why me? Why? Why? Why? One day it hit me that I didn't have to keep this in my life. I could let it go. I could choose to be happy. I could choose not to be angry and I could choose not to question why (instead accept, forgive and move on). What a powerful feeling this was! What a freeing moment in my life!

I got out my paper and pen and starting writing. I had so much to say. I had never been asked for this forgiveness but I chose to give it. The Bible tells us that Jesus forgave us so we must forgive others that wrong us. During all the counseling I had gone to, I had been told I didn't have to forgive. After the realization that I was forgiven and  the person who wronged me (if they asked for forgiveness from Jesus, they were forgiven), I knew I had to forgive too. I wrote. I cried. After I was finished, I smiled and I actually felt as if a weight had been lifted from my body.

My letter was delivered and read. My forgiveness had been given.

It is amazing how many people hold on to the hurtful things in life and it amazing how it effects us physically, emotionally and spiritually. We can choose to be happy or miserable. We can choose to be forgivers or haters.

Tonight, my advice is: if there is something big or small that is making you hurt or hate, choose to give the person your forgiveness. Don't see it as being weak, see it as being strong-the bigger person. Don't say they don't deserve forgiveness because Jesus didn't deserve the cross and do we deserve Jesus' forgiveness? But he gives it to us...

I am thankful that I am forgiven.  I am thankful for Pastor Hamilton for talking me through it and making me realize that forgiveness was a have to. I thankful that I finally realized I wasn't doing anyone any harm except myself by not giving my forgiveness. My hatred and hurt didn't positively impact the other persons life, but my forgiveness did..

One cannot walk in fellowship with God if he refuses to forgive others 

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


My Aunt Eunice aka Bubba was one of the funniest ladies I have ever met. She could make you laugh even without trying.  One thing I remember her saying about another lady "she must be a good cook" in reference to this particular lady's size..lol. I never knew her husband, Hub, but I am sure there had to be a lot of laughter in that house with the two of them. Here's a story I have been told many times about Hub and Eunice: Hub came home drunk one night and I guess Eunice was up worried about him and waiting on him to return home. When Hub started toward the house, Eunice started to pray and ask Jesus to watch over her poor drunk husband. Hub told her not to tell Jesus he was drunk to tell him he was sick!

Bubba let me drive her around once in her huge boat of a car. I don't remember if I had my license yet or not. If she was afraid, she didn't let me know it, instead she sat there in the front seat with me and smiled the entire way.

 She taught me to make a treat like no other...chocolate rolls...kind of like cinnamon rolls but with chocolate and we all know chocolate makes everything great!. After attempting to make my Granny's biscuits three times and them not ever tasting like Granny's, I decided to make some chocolate rolls..think my family is sick of taste testing biscuits, then telling me they are good and then me saying/whining "but they aren't like Granny's"...lol...they don't know because they never tasted a Granny biscuit. I remember standing in Bubba's kitchen as she made the dough and rolled it out, put the cocoa powder, sugar and lots of butter on it. As they baked the smell of chocolate was intoxicating. I couldn't wait to taste these delectable gooey chocolate treats! If it weren't 2am, I would be in the kitchen baking them right now!

Tomorrow, my children will have a lovely treat of chocolate rolls and I will have the truely sweet memory of Bubba, a wonderful lady and another terriffic cook that shared a little piece of herself with me as a child.

Tonight, I am thankful for Bubba, chocolate rolls and the wonderful childhood memories I have of her. I am thankful that I will be able to pass a little piece of Bubba on to my children, who didn't know her like I did.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Chicken and Biscuits

Just thinking about my grandmothers makes me smile. So much love from them and so much love for them. I miss them everyday.  Both were fantastic cooks, mamas and grandmothers.

My paternal grandmother, Nana, taught me a lot about cooking during our summers together. One thing that I held onto was how to fry chicken and make corn bread. My corn bread never tastes exactly like the batches we made but my chicken, seems to be right up there with hers. I fry  chicken for my dad every year on his birthday (in Crisco) and he says it tastes like Nana's. Although she has been gone for 16 years, it's like having her right there with me when I pull out the Crisco once or twice a year and make her chicken.

My maternal grandmother, Granny, made the best biscuits among other things. I loved hers because they didn't have all the fluffy middle stuff, which I know most people like. I on the other hand usually pull that fluff out when I get a biscuit from just about anywhere. I like the crispy outside part. Granny's biscuits were thin and square. She didn't cut them, just pinched the dough off and pressed it in the pan. All were always the same size and the pan was always full (that's why they were square-all pressed against each other in a cookie sheet type pan). These delightful little things I have not mastered. I have tried to make biscuits over the years and they were always OK. So I tried to make Granny Biscuits yesterday. They were flat-yay! They were not square- :(.  They were not good-:(  They looked (and felt ) more like a hockey puck!  But I will NOT give up! When I finally get something  close to what resembles a Granny biscuit, I will sit with a cup of coffee (in my cup that looks similar to hers) in her rocking chair and revel in what I have accomplished. I haven't had one of these biscuits in 26 years, that's how long she's been gone.

Tonight, I am thankful for the love and knowledge that my grandmothers passed on. Even though I wish I had had one more day with each of them to learn more, to write down recipes (if they had used any), to hug them once more but, I know that one day I will be sitting with them talking and laughing, and eating the best chicken and biscuits in Heaven.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Stressful Stress Test

Seems the black cloud was hovering over Self Regional today. I guess it followed Jason and me....as usual. We were told we were late when we went to register even though we were 15 minutes earlier than the time we were told to be there and 45 minutes early for the actual appointment. They took us back to start the testing. They started explaining how the test would work and what he could expect. One nurse was asking questions, another was shaving his "sweater" and another was getting the IV ready. They then took his blood pressure. It was 201/105! We were, of course, informed that he couldn't walk on the treadmill today if his blood pressure didn't go down  and he didn't relax...lol.

 "Lets all hover over you ask you bunches of questions, shave ya, stick a  unch of sticky things to you and push a needle in your arm and THEN take your blood pressure. oops too high...lets stress you out by telling you you must calm down and get your blood pressure down so you can walk on the treadmill" LOL. "Well Mr Allen your pressure is still too high 168/97 and if you walk on that tread mill you might have a stroke...ok now you need to walk two miles to your truck and drive to your doctor and get some meds to get that pressure down"  LOL

 Then the poor guy walks into the doctors office and only one person seemed to know he was supposed to be coming even after the call from the hospital. Blood pressure at doctors office 122/something....no meds only a diet plan....wow....think stress made his stress test a no go?

Thankful for the laughs we had together today about the entire situation, thankful they were cautious and thankful there is no blood pressure meds in his immediate future.

School Days

My little angels started school today. I never knew why older people would say thing about how time flies and children grow up too fast until I became an older person AKA a parent. I can honestly say the years have flown. Amanda started her junior year, Tyler started his 8th grade year and Madison started 4K. Seems like yesterday when they were just babies.

Amanda drove to school for the first time today. I know now why my daddy used to draw maps for me to get places and not have to make left turns and why mama worried about if I made it to my destination. Wasn't she just learning to ride on her Sesame Street train in the living room?

Tyler started his 8th grade year sporting a mohawk.  I know now why my parents always looked at my big 80s hair like they did...you know kind of a puzzled why would she want her hair to look like THAT look! Wasn't he  just a blonde curly headed little boy yesterday?
Madison started her first day of 4K without a tear-a big girl with a lot of spunk! I know now why parents miss those days of their "babies" needing them and wanting to be by their side all of the time. Wasn't she just wanting me and only me just yesterday?

 Even though today has been a bittersweet day, I am thankful for it all. I am thankful for the independence and uniqueness of all three of my children. They step to the beat of a different drum. They are their own people in their own ways and I am blessed more everyday to have them in my life.

Saturday, August 13, 2011


Motivation: the general desire or willingness of  a person to do something

Beverly and I were motivated to go to the Get Motivated seminar. We were interested in hearing several of the speakers that were supposed to be there...for me it was Bill Cosby.  We got up early and took children to sitters. We went to Greenville-seems everyone else did too! Wow what traffic and droves of people making their way to the Bilo Center. Guess they were more motivated than they thought too.After 3 full parking garages, we had to park at the TD Center and ride a shuttle to the Bilo Center. Again a lot of people wanting to get motivated there too. We stood in line a block long waiting on a shuttle bus. We finally got on a bus and made our way to the Center.  After Beverly was forced to throw out a perfectly good pack of peanuts, we made our way inside. Every where you looked there was people for as far as the eye could see. Oceans of people. We went into one of the entry points and saw that Rudy Guiliani was speaking and also saw NO empty seats. We must have tried about 10 or more entry ways still with no luck in finding a seat. We got robbed the same way you do at the movie theater, at the concession stand-$4 for a pepsi and it wasn't even a large one!  One last try, one last entry way, when Lou Holtz appeared on stage.  We stood-like a lot of people-and listened to his 30 minute speech about life peppered with a lot of humor. He was good-at least what I could understand (ever heard Holtz talk?).  We decided we had had all of the motivating we could stand for one day. We caught a shuttle bus back to the TD Center and had a fabulous driver who dropped us off near our car so we didn't have to walk the block back to the car in the blazing heat. A quick change of clothes-yes I changed my shirt in the car-so hot I had to peel it off of me-I am still hoping there wasnt some freak with a video camera who has now posted the act on youtube!

I had fun, just like always when Beverly and I go somewhere but do we really need 10 motivational speakers to talk about how they over come the worst obstacles in life but still managed to become a millionaire, have the perfect spouse and 2.2 perfect children?  Don't get me wrong, I would have loved to sit and listen to a couple of these folks speak-just because and I do think that their stories of their lives is interesting. We can always find someone who has had a worse life than us, we can always find people with worse problems, etc. So shouldn't that be motivating enough? If Joe Blow grew up in an abusive house hold with a drunk for a mom and druggy for a dad, was homeless for 3 years as a teen, had to quit school to get a job, got married to a woman who decided she would rather do anything else beside staying married one more day, his car broke down yesterday and they repo'd it this morning AND he is STILL living, breathing in and out and making the best of life...then why can't we, who haven't been through the same, keep living, breathing in and out?  Wouldn't his testament of life be motivating enough? Why superstars? Why not your fellow man?

I suppose that is what this blog started out being. Look at all my "bad luck"/black cloud stuff and I am laughing about it...that means you can do the same-at least if you look at life as a whole and not just the bad parts.

I, too, have gone through a lot in life and not just broken down cars and crazy hair choices of my teen aged son, but I try everyday to see what is good about the bad stuff. That is why at the end of every entry I put what I am thankful for in that situation. You choose your happiness or your misery. A lady once told me not to feel rained on. It has taken me a lot of years to choose to see the sunshiney parts of the black cloud and not to feel rained on. Life happens to all of us and we have to decide to make the best of the darkness and rejoice in the light.

Even though we didn't get a seat or get to hear the people we wanted to hear speak, I am thankful for the day with my sister, where people watching took on an entirely new meaning, the giggles we shared and for the realization that we all have rainy spots in life, but it is the way we choose to see the rain that matters.

Monday, August 8, 2011

You Only Have so Many Words to Speak

When I was about 4 (I am guessing), my mother told me "God only gives you so many words to speak. You have to be quiet sometimes so you don't use them all up." The thought of running out of words terrified me just enough to be quiet for a short time. Now that Madison is 4 (almost 5), I understand. She must be like I was at that age because I have found myself wanting to tell her the same thing the last few days! WOW! She is gonna be a talker! She goes on and on about anything-repeating the same thing like she thinks you don't understand what she means.

Don't get me wrong I love that she talks and her wisdom at four is amazing. Her take on the simple things in life is beyond her years.  She really says some funny stuff almost daily.

Madison had fallen twice on her bottom-once when climbing into the truck and once while swinging holding the arm of the couch and the end table-she was complaining  about her hurting hiney. I asked when does it hurt? She looks at me confused...and then the light bulb came on- "on Saturdays" LOL

She told me that her legs were hurting because she had been eating-meaning she was growing.

One of my favorites was when she was playing in the yard and came up to the porch holding someone's hand (someone I couldn't see). She told me that she had prayed and ask Jesus to come play with her and he did. She told me that he wouldn't come on the porch because he was afraid of me. I told her that Jesus wasn't afraid of anything not even me. So she turned around and talked to him and evidently talked him into coming on the porch with me. She then went back into the yard and I watched my baby talking and talking to Him. Later she told a lady at church about it. When the lady said I wish He would come and play with me, Madison, not missing a beat said, "all you gotta do is pray and ask him."

Today, she informed me that she wished she could talk to animals and that she wanted to be able to understand what they say to her.

Even though my mom's statement was in hopes that I would just stop talking for a while and give her a break (LOL), it is a very true statement. We must be quiet sometimes and hear the special things in life and not be so busy talking and not listening that we miss out.

Tonight, even though the talking has worn me thin at times today, I am thankful for it. Thankful for her desire to communicate, thankful for her unique take on daily life and thankful that God saw fit to bless Jason and me.

Sunday, August 7, 2011


As a child, I was shuffled between divorced parents who constantly drug the other into court for custody. This isn't what my post is about tonight. I have forgiven both. I think they both did what they thought they should at the time but didn't always only see what was best for me (both very bitter at the other and didn't see as clearly as I would have liked) any way that is a story for another day.

 I have never felt like I had a hometown. I went to day care in Clinton for a while and then on to kindergarten. Then custody changed and I was in Ware Shoals for 1st, 2nd, 3rd and half of 4th grade. Then custody changed in the middle of Christmas holidays and I was back in Clinton-where most didn't remember me from kindergarten or from Young World (daycare). Add to this changing the fact that every other weekend I was carted off to the other parents house. I never felt like I fit in either place....I didn't have those life long friendships a lot of my classmates had from growing up in small towns.

Over the years since graduation, I had only visited Clinton (where I graduated high school) once or twice until last year. I had been away for 20+ years, when I enrolled Madison in 3 year old preschool at First Baptist.  Someone made a "You know you are from Clinton If..." page on facebook. After reading all those posts, remembering a lot things I thought I had forgotten, maybe I did have more of a  "hometown" than I thought.  I loved this trip down memory lane...I had forgotten the "good" stuff about Clinton that had been clouded out by the "bad" stuff I had while there.  I had even made the decision not to list a "hometown" on my profile page for facebook.

I suppose 'Home' is where you decide it is. Tonight when I change my blank hometown section to "Clinton", I will smile and think only of the good things....and will be proud to be a RED DEVIL...again.

Tonight, I am thankful for finally seeing that even though my memories were shadowed by a black cloud, insecurities, and uncertainty, underneath there were some good times, good friends and good memories.

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Growing Pains and Orphans

Madison is starting to have leg pains...growing pains. This was our conversation today about her pain:
Madison: My legs hurt.
Me: Why do your legs hurt? Did you do something to them?
Madison: They hurt because I eat
Me: :::giving her a very puzzled look:::
Madison: Now I am growing
She then rolls her eyes at my cluelessness.
I remember the growing pains I had, although I was older than she is. It was the worse pain I had ever experienced-long before labor pains! Growing pains-I guess we all experience them, in one way or another. We go through the leg pain, then the pain of adolescence, the pain of watching our children hurt, and the pain that our children's adolescence puts us through. Having two teenagers and a 4 year old, I have gone through a lot of those "growing pains" at the same time.

We had a tiny little kitty show up at our house...an orphan. Poor little thing was so scared that we couldn't even get close to him (her). Today, Madison picked up this little kitten and held it, petted it and loved it until it was purring so loud! The kitty finally sees we aren't going to hurt it. My little cat whisperer has made sure it has had food to eat, that it knows where the water bowl is, where the litter box is and that it is loved. I have explained to Madison that we can't keep the kitty and that we must find it a good home. We have Choo
Choo and he has herpes which is very contagious to other cats. I explained that we can't take care of two kitties with herpes and how we don't want this kitty to get sick. She says she understands but I know she will be heart broken when we do find it a home. She has such a caring heart.

Children with growing pains and orphan kitties are a lot a like. We love them through all the painful stuff and hope they always feel loved and wanted and cared for.

Tonight, I am thankful for the stages we grow through with our children, even when they are painful. I am thankful for Amanda , who cared enough for her baby sister to want to sit and rub her legs and had compassion for her pain. I am thankful that Madison feels the need to nurture this helpless little animal because I know that is something she will carry with her through life.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Lyrics, Love, Train

Jason and I have a totally different view on songs...he listens to the music, I listen to the words. wonder if that is a gender thing?
Some of my favorites are by Train and Pat Monahan:
Marry Me: "Forever will never be long enough for me to feel like I have had long enough with you"
                  "together will never be close enough for me to feel like I am close enough to you"
If its Love: "I love you from your toes to your face"
Soul Sister: " Your sweet moonbeam the smell of you in every dream I dream"
Her Eyes: "Her eyes, that's where hope lies. That's where the blue skies meet the sunrise.Her eyes that's  where I go when I go home."

I could go on and on...with the lyrics. Words touch me, say things that I wish I could have said on my own...but someone beat me to it. I hear the words and think about how I love Jason. I am so lucky to have found someone like him. I have said before that it is funny how God puts people in our lives...when we least expect them. Jason was unexpected...by me..I know God had a part in it  and a plan. Sometimes we have to be still and listen to Him and know that He knows all. 

I am looking forward to planning our next date night and our next quick trip. Sometimes our dates are a special meal cooked at home. Like some Italian dish we have never had before, served on matching plates and place mats (its the small things) with a candle...sometime with Madison. :)  Another time it was Mexican complete with appetizers, candles, place mats and cloth napkins. Sometimes we get a coupon and spring for a night out. We are lucky to have grandparents close by that are more than willing to keep Madison for a couple of hours! We took at weekend trip to Gatllinburg back in February to celebrate our 10 year anniversary. We stayed in the same cabin we stayed in for our honeymoon.

Tonight/morning, I am missing my husband (working tonight), but am thankful for him, the person he is and the person I am because of him.

Monday, August 1, 2011

New Beginnings

Yesterday, my church welcomed its new pastor and his family. This will be the youngest pastor I have ever had. We will be his first church as head pastor. He has a lovely wife and two very small children (6 months and 2 years). I hope this will be my church's new beginning and this family's beginning to a wonderful new experience. We have had some rough spots over the last year within our church. I have been upset with the direction for sometime now. You see this church seems like home. My family has been in this church for many many years. I hated to see it deteriorate. I feel this man and his family are ready to light a fire in our church (and its members) so we become the church that God wants us to be.

In a couple of weeks, school for everyone in my household will start again. I will be finishing up my associates degree, Jason will be starting his second year of Engineering, Amanda will be starting 11th grade, Tyler will be starting 8th grade and Madison will be starting 4K.  Another set of new beginning in our lives.

Although I will be finishing up my associates degree, it will be the start of a new school and four year degree for me-starting in January. This will be the end of a long-very long process I started when I graduated from high school 21 years ago. I started my associates degree, stopped, started again, stopped and started again...now I am almost at the end of this road. In January, I hope to be starting at Liberty University and will be majoring in education with a minor in church ministry. I am not sure what the future will hold with this degree but I feel I am being led in this direction.

Jason's hard work and dedication to his degree has been evident in his making the dean's list every semester. This summer term has been a challenging one for him. I know he is glad it is almost over. Again, we don't know what the future holds for him (and our family) once he is finished-maybe a four year school, maybe a new job.

Amanda and Tyler are one step closer to graduation. I hope this year will hold new beginnings for them both. For Amanda, I hope this is the year she chooses great people to associate with and that there will be one person in her peer group that has a tremendous positive influence in her life. Sometimes we need someone our own age to point us in the right direction. She has this inner beauty that I hope she will let shine through. For Tyler, I hope this is the year that school will make sense (click) for him and he will see the point of school for him. He is a very special boy and I know there are great things ahead for him.

Madison is just starting this education journey. She is a very  bright little girl who is excited about the upcoming year. For Madison, I hope this is the beginning of a wonderful educational experience and that she will flourish.

Today, I am thankful for new beginnings-not just educational ones, not just new jobs, not just new people, but those times in life where we get a new start, where everything falls into place just like it should have if we had been willing to listen to what God had planned.

Saturday, July 30, 2011


The introductions:

Jason, my husband, a full time engineering student, a full time employee, a gardener, a mechanic and wonderful Daddy.

Amanda, my first born, rising 11th grader, a straight A student, a driver, an employee of her grandaddy's machine shop, a beauty inside and out, text messaging champ and independent thinker.

Tyler, my only son, rising 8th grader, funny as they come, gamer, mohawk wearer, a cutie pie, independent thinker, text messaging champ with a tender heart.

Madison, my youngest, a bike rider-no training wheels, a movie lover, rising 4k'er, pbs kids game player, a talker, a singer, a kool aid maker, independent thinker and has a sweet spirit.

Choo Choo, our cat, has OCD and has a ritual before he drinks water, has herpes, loves laying in the driveway daring the car to hit him and likes (or tolerates) us on his own terms.

Daisy,the beagle, afraid of loud noises especially thunderstorms and gun shots, loves Madison and will allow any torture she dishes out, a rescue dog, and has her "furever" home for almost 3 years.

Tinkerbell, our Jack Chihuahua mix, an Amanda hater, Madison tolerater, Jason's shadow, seems to like me when Jason isn't around, squirrel chaser, and house protector.

I am thankful that they and all their good traits are in my life. How blessed am I to have a wonderful husband, three beautiful and intelligent children and three of the quirkiest animals? God is good...all the time!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Pennies, Enraged Drivers,Car Sickness, GPS and Family Dollar Tools

Pennies-wow who knew they could bring up so many valuable memories and feelings. Today, I heard about the sudden appearance of wheat pennies and what it means to one special person. I am so glad that something so mundane as counting pennies and finding wheat pennies made this person share her story.

We were on I 26 today right where it turns into 3 lanes. This woman, who was driving a truck with dents and scratches all down the side, tried to pass us on the right and got caught behind traffic. Instead of slowing down, she came right on over in our lane-like she didn't see the big red Ford Explorer! She then went on to cut off another driver and almost hit the car in front of it!

Even with the swerving to get out of Ms. Brown Truck Crazy Driver's way, we had NO car sickness today! woooohoooo! I gave Madison motion sickness meds before we left.  Even Madison said "no puking today"!

GPS, TOMTOM...I want a job mapping out routes for one of these companies! Wow! Something that is suppose to make life easier and getting to unfamiliar places a snap, surely isn't either, especially when it loses its signal!. If it was correct, we would have gotten out at an empty lot on a dead end street two houses away from our true destination. Once we found the correct house, we got out to find that the desk we went to pick up wouldn't fit into the Explorer...LOL!  The seller of this desk was determined if we just turned it the right way it would fit all the way in. I guess the fact that the desk was about a foot too long to fit in (anyway you tried) just wasn't proof enough. The tape measure was wrong, I guess...lol. So we strapped it in just to get away from the lady and hit up the closest Family Dollar for some tools.  So here me and Beverly are standing in the Family Dollar parking lot across from Providence Hospital in 900 degree weather unscrewing everything we could find on this desk and giggling like crazy people. We, of course, made it fit. Ms Desk Seller just didn't know us and our determination!

Then we were off to pick up a shelving unit....a six foot shelving unit....lol. That is where we met Mr. Spiddy Tie Dye Veteran, a very very nice guy, who quickly found out what South Carolina girls are like-determined. He had just moved to Irmo from Arizona.  We picked that shelf up and stacked it right on top of the desk (both hanging out the back hatch of the Explorer).  So if you were on I26 this afternoon and saw a red Explorer with "stuff" hanging out of the back, you should have waved...

Today, I am thankful for my Aunt Nett and her tender heart, time spent with my baby sister, that we didn't end up on the HP's accident report, that Family Dollar has tools, GPS's even if they aren't always correct, motion sickness chewables, no puke and for determination.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Pennies, A Haircut and Home Buying

My parents had a large can that had be emptied and the top welded back on that they put their pennies in. When I was little my daddy re-opened the can and gave me the pennies to count. I counted them in stacks of 10 and when I would get 10 stacks, I would roll them or put them in small envelopes and label them $1. I took dollars and dollars of pennies to the bank to deposit them into my savings account.  The other day Daddy gave me a dish pan full of pennies that he said had the remaining pennies in it and one small envelope marked $2.00-with lots more added over the years since my counting days. I just finished counting all those pennies-here's what I ended up with:$32.59, about 30 wheat pennies, one Canadian penny, two car wash tokens and handfuls of sewing pins. What memories those pennies brought back! None of the wheat pennies were worth more than 4 cents-wish I could have found one of those worth $500!

I took Madison to get her hair cut today. A cute bob cut that she is thrilled with! Before we left for our appointment, she had decided to let her hair grow and just get her bangs cut and the back trimmed, That all changed when she sat in the chair at the salon. She wanted it CUT!

A friend of mine and her family are looking for a home to buy. They have been through a lot of changes in the last year. They had a house fire. So, they have been searching for a house ever since. Just when they think they have found the perfect place, something happens to prevent it. My friend the Black Cloud seems to have broken off and is now taking permanent residence over this family! They have found another house that is big enough with lots of land-seems to be perfect except for the usual problems that a house over 100 years old would have. These problems bring up an entirely new set of problems...contractors! Wow I never knew the red tape and the aggravation that would have to be waded through to get things done and a family in a house!  Government regulations, bank requirements, and contractors who don't want to be bothered with either.

Tonight I am thankful for my memories of pennies, Madison's individuality and for friends, who even though they are going through a very rough spot in life, haven't given up. I am also prayerful for this family, their house search and their contractor search.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Greasy fingernails

As I type tonight with my greasy fingernails, I am thrilled to report we have a running (very well I might add) car-the toyota!!!!! Jason has worked so hard on our broken down buckets the last few weeks that this is a wonderful end to a long hot day! I helped today in hopes it would cut down on his time in the heat-besides I like to turn bolts every now and then! I cleaned the valve cover, put it back on, put the spark plugs back in, hooked the wires up, and re-attached the distributor cap. I couldn't even list all the stuff Jason did.

We will be tackling the cavalier's other issues next!

So we all know what I am thankful for tonight- MY CAR RUNS and I have Jason to thank!  (I am sure the prayers helped us along this journey, too)


Copied from facebook written February 2010
If you know me well, I am not sure which you will find more hard to believe....the fact I was in Walmart or the story I am about to share. I went to the Evil Empire today to buy a few little chocolate hearts and to get a small little present for Jason's birthday-which is valentine's day. As I stood in line an older fellow began to talk to me about how important oil is for your car and how you can't go to places like Walmart if you don't take care of your car's oil. Strange conversation even for a Walmart line. Anyway, he then told me that his blood was like the oil in a car and he took care of it (his bloodAND his oil apparently). Then he told me his blood was good and he would live to be 110 years old...I chuckled...but he was serious. I told him (trying not to be rude and trying to cover my chuckle) I wasn't so sure I wanted to live to be 110. He then told me he was afraid to die. Took me by surprise. I didn't miss a beat (God took over) and told him if he knew the Good Lord up above there was nothing to fear. He said I have a hard time believing in all that, hard to believe in something you can't even see. I (again didn't miss a beat-funny how God takes over) said do you believe there is wind? He said yes that is air. I asked can you see it? He said no but that is air and you can't see air...I said do you believe you must have air to live and breathe...and again can you see it? He got a little flustered with me...lol and hurried out. Please pray for this WalMart Oil Man...he needs the prayers (just as he needs air to breathe and Jesus to live eternally).

this is pretty ironic....I went to Walmart last night to pick up a couple of things we needed to finish painting our bedroom....and who do you think I see????? Walmart Oil Man!!!!! I couldn't believe it! I tried to catch up with him and tell him how many prayers had been said for him...but I couldn't get to hIM.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Blog comments

I took the time to read the instructions...lol...and found out how to change the settings so that people can comment.....so comment away.  Hope it works!

101 uses for Rubber Bands

Today has been another interesting day at the Allen Homestead. I lost the car keys and spent 3 hours this morning looking for them.  The car still isn't fixed-wasn't for lack of effort, but we are thankful to have a truck that runs....so we arent completly stranded.  Madison learned how to type in the password-so now she can turn on the computer, type in her password and play pbs kids games....she is thrilled. I, of course, think she is growing to fast-bikes without training wheels and computer independence (well sort of)...too grown up for 4 years old. Speaking of too grown up...Amanda. She is turning into a young woman right before my eyes and she is wise beyond her years. I saw my Ty Ty today..."too pretty to be a boy" even with the blue and red mohawk.

I saw a friend today and we shared our black cloud stories...lots of laughs at egg fragranced chocolate milk and rubber bands. Who knew there were so many things you could do with rubber bands...Did you know there is actually a web site that lists 101 things to do with rubber bands? But let me assure you not ALL the uses were listed!  :)

Also talked to another friend on the phone and shared our black clouds. Amazing how God puts people in your life so unexpectly. She has lots of little "helping" hands at her house,that help make messes, and unorganize the once organized (I can so relate!). Her cloud today was perfectly organized paperwork that had been rearranged all over the floor! Even through all that, I know she is thankful for each and everyone of those "helping hands".

So today, even with a still broken car, even with messes all over the floor,even without my perfectly placed rubber band and even with eggy chocolate milk: I am thankful for many things: my hard working husband, my beautiful and very intelligent children, my friends and all the laughs we can have in midst of the turmoil we call life.

 God has truly blessed us all!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Today is a New Day

"Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes courage is the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'"

- Mary Anne Radmacher

In the words of Mary Roddy, "WELL," the car still doesn't run. I guess I will have to "suck it up".  After all there is no way crying or worrying is going to fix the car. So today is a new day! We have decided that the head will have to be taken off of the Cavalier-yes a lot of work and prob a lot more money. The toyota will be pulled into the carport later today so the disassembling can begin. I am really hopeful that this one won't be as bad-but then again I was hopeful the Cavalier was going to start! 

Today my newly more independent teenage daughter took me to lunch and then out for ice cream. She even told me she had fun with me! She wanted to pay for all of it. :)  I asked what she wanted, what she had to tell me, and where was she wanting to go. Her answer "I don't have any other reason other than wanting us to go. We haven't done anything together in a long time".  Wow!  What a GREAT day!  We giggled and talked...it was wonderful. See the last 9 months or so have been very trying for us. She acted like she didn't like me very much-guess she didn't but hopefully she sees now (or later) that I was only looking out for her. 

My car and my relationship with my daughter relate to the quote above....I have said "i will try again tomorrow" in both situations...today a payoff....big smiles!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Why would it?

Well, after almost 2 weeks waiting bolts to come from GM, $400+ in other parts, lots of aggravation, manual looking, internet searching and lots of hard work, my car is finally back together! The battery was dead by the time the last bolt was tighten, so we pushed it from the carport and hooked up the jumper cables to Jason's truck. We were anxiously waiting to hear the engine start up. The interior lights came on...yay! The aggravating buzzer thing started making its noise...yay! Finally, enough power for the locks to lock and unlock (something it does when the keys in and the doors open)....yay!  So here comes to moment we have looked so forward to...when I turn the key and hear it running. It wouldn't start...and just why would it? I mean nothing is ever that easy and simple for us, right? So tomorrow, a entire battery of tests to try and find out what is wrong now...

I forgot to point out my rainbow in the middle of my friend, the black cloud. Thankful for the time with Jason-he doesn't yell or get mad at me while working on the car like some men. Thankful and hopeful that we will find the problem tomorrow in the light.

Sunday, July 17, 2011


  I log onto facebook tonight to see this comment :  "I don't care what anyone thinks.....except my mama".  Well, son, if that was the case and the entire truth, why a mohawk? A little while later I check back. Tyler's status says that he did it (got the mohawk) and he LOVES it!  I just checked back in and there in full color on my computer screen is my precious 13 year old with his strawberry blonde mohawk! I don't know what to say....except I miss the shaggy blondie he was...and I guess I can thank my lucky stars he hasn't figured out how to dye it green (YET).

By the way, it's just hair..it grows back.

shaking my head none the less....wow what else can I find to be thankful for in the situation.....
1. it isn't green
2. it will grow back
 3. he will get tired of it soon, he is 13 after all
4. he is showing some of his mama's traits-I had the craziest hair styles/cuts in the 80s/90s (even crazier than what was "stylish").
5. the shaggy in his eyes style is gone (although I wish it were back)

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Help! Help! This girl stole my car!

So before you ask...no it wasn't my car.  Afterall, who would want either of my cars?!?! I was on my way to town (lunch packed). There in the middle of the road was a guy waving his arms and screaming. I stopped and rolled down the window to see what was wrong. My first thought was that someone had had an accident. That wasn't the case. He began telling me that some girl had stolen his car and his paycheck was inside and then the introductions began. He told me his name and his grandfather's name and ask me to take him to his house, which was only about a mile away. I know what you are saying...I know you didn't take him anywhere...but I did. Before he got in the car, I punched in 911 in my cell phone in case I needed it, it would only be one push a way. I took him to the end of the road-the road he lived on. Suddenly he starts screaming "there she is!!" "there's my truck!". Before I could get stopped, he had opened the door and was out. Next thing I saw was him running into the middle of the road, screaming to this girl to move over so he could get in. Then the "GDs" started...he even screamed at her and told her that I witnessed her taking his truck and that I was on the phone with the police. Neither were true. I, of course, didn't want to be in the middle of anything. By this time I had put all the pieces together of the little things he was saying in the very short drive to his road. I think "this girl" was probably his girlfriend and while he was visiting his children she got bored and took his truck for a drive-don't think "stolen" was the case at all. As I drove away, I began thinking about the classmate that got shot and her situation and wondering what was going to happen to this woman. What was he going to do to her in his obvious anger? Was my inaction and not wanting to get involved going to put in her danger?  I came home and called a neighbor of this man's and asked that they check in on her because I didn't know what he was capable of  and I didn't want something to happen to her because I didn't want to get involved. Also after a little research, I found he has recently been arrested for meth.  Ok I have learned my lesson...no more picking up strangers!  My desire to help might get me in trouble...but hopefully today it got her help if she needed it.  Ahhh, life in a small town!

Thursday, July 14, 2011

My funny little Madison

Beverly and I went to the thrift store today. Madison and Austin both were looking forward to spending some money. Madison tried to get everything she saw including a pair of 4 sizes to big roller skates! Finally she was happy with a book and a microphone.  You probably have seen those big microphones that echo when you talk into them.  She had to make a potty run when we got home and took her microphone with her. The entire time she was in the bathroom she was singing into her microphone. Not sure of exactly what she was singing, just made up little songs, I guess. Jason peeked in to see what she was doing. There she was perched on the potty, no pants, singing her little heart out!

In the blink of an eye (updated)

In a split second, your entire life can change. I was reminded of this today when I heard the news of a shooting in my county. A lady, who I didn't know personally but had heard her name before, was shot by someone who was supposed to love her. By reading the postings on facebook, I found out we went to the same high school. I also learned that she left behind children. This man who was supposed to love her took away their mother. Their lives will never be the same. This same man also shot a very young man who left behind a wife and two children. Their lives will never be the same.
Our laws regarding domestic violence need to be changed, but more importantly people need to change the way they live their lives and they way they raise their children. This man's anger and his behavior have caused two families more pain than they ever deserved to bear. If he had changed the way he responded to things he didn't like, he could have saved these two families a lot of suffering. Does it sound too simple?  Yes, maybe. But didn't these children deserve to grow up with their mother and father? Why wasn't that important to him? Why wasn't another person's life more important to him?
I will continure to pray for these two families but also for this man. He needs it. He needs his heart to be changed.
So today I am thankful for the non stop talking and question asking and the sweet little singing voice I heard coming from the bathroom; Call of Duty playing at top volume coming from the living room; the tearful phone call from a teenager when she got hurt; and for the text message I hope to get later saying my son loves me. I guess sometimes we need a reminder to be thankful for all the moments we share-even for the aggravating things.
Rest in peace Nicole "Peaches" Kingsborough and Deputy Roger Rice

Update: WSPA is reporting this: "
The magistrate says he did not know about the two prior criminal domestic violence charges because he did not have his criminal record when he made the decision.
While a recent state law says bond judges must have a copy of the suspect’s record when setting bond, Judge Tommy Copeland did not.
He says the jail did not provide him with a copy in Brown’s hearing and he did not think to ask because the law is relatively new.
Copeland says if he knew about the previous charges, he would have set his bond much higher."

 Much higher??? Really?? wouldn't take much to be higher than personal recognizance-where all it takes is this guy signature. Wow...this judge and our system really failed Nicole's family and Deputy Rice's family.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

God's Voice

Jason used to be a over the road truck driver. I was having a really depressing time after my mom died and couldn't stand the thought of being alone. I had my children but he was gone for weeks on end. When he got ready to leave for another long couple of weeks, I started to cry uncontrollably. He hated to leave but knew he had to because his job was our only source of income. He left. I cried. A couple of hours later he called to tell me that he had turned in his truck and was coming home.  WOW! then the tears really started to flow: how were we gonna make it? What were gonna do? How could he put us in this situation on top of my already depressed state especially without the prospect of any other job? When I went to pick him up I found out the answers. He said that once he got on the interstate he kept feeling this nagging feeling to turn his XM radio to a particular station. So he finally did even not know what that station even was (what kind of music or talk they played on the station). That is when he heard Andy Stanley talking about his new book, "Choosing to Cheat". He drove for an hour listening to what this book was about. It was about cheating your family by doing other things including working extended hours.  Your family, according to the radio, needed your time and not only the money. He said he then knew what he had to do. ...he knew I needed him, he knew the children needed him and that the Lord would provide us with whatever we needed but we just had to trust that. Jason then started applying for jobs...the one he got was a job that usually took about 6 weeks to get (after umpteen interviews, drug tests, physical tests, etc) and he was employed and working in about 4.  Did we struggle for those 4 weeks?  Yes but we made it...just like we had faith we would.

Falling limbs and broken down cars

About a month ago, my high mileage cavalier stopped working. We had the problem diagnosed by a mechanic. He said the timing chain had broken and with the 182K miles we would be better off not fixing it cause it would cost too much to fix it. Turns out it wasn't the timing chain but instead the guides had broken and the chain was so loose that it caused some damage to bolts,e tc. (bolts had to be ordered from GM and took 1 1/2 weeks to get here).  So I bought a beater from a friend -96 toyota with 214K miles.  thought it was great for two reasons: no car payment and toyotas last forever...ok at least it would last until we could afford a car payment. I took the toyota to get a couple of tires and an alignment..that is when the Highway Patrolman stopped me for an expired tag. When I bought the car we left it in my friends name for a couple of days until she could get back to get the title for me. She has forgotten to renew the tag since the car wasn't their main vehicle. She got back into town we signed the car over to me and I got the fine reduced! Yesterday, when I was on my way to run an errand, the toyota stopped...double yay!  Beverly and Brian went over to were the car was to try and figure out what was wrong with it.  guess what is wrong!  The timing belt...wooohooo! Beverly pulled it home for me with Brian steering the toyota. So now that Jason has the cavalier torn apart to replace the timing guides, chain and bolts ...I am still without a car since the toyota has broken its timing belt.  Last night, I hear a huge cracking sound and then a thud. I got up to see what it was. I huge limb broke off of our 100 year old pecan tree ( I don't know if it is that old but it is the biggest pecan tree I have ever seen) and is laying in the back yard.  Things I am thankful for: a husband who can fix the cars, even if it takes a long time (he is in school full time and works full time), brother in law and sister who were willing to stand in the 100 degree weather to see what was wrong and get the car home and that the limb didn't hit the house!

About me

I am Renita (in southern, it's Neater).  I am a stay at home mom of three children (Amanda 16; Tyler, 13 and Madison, 4); wife to Jason; full time student; occasional mechanic; cook; mediocre seamstress; ok you get the idea.  I live in the sticks (you have to pack a lunch to go to town) next door to my Daddy and my Wicked Step-Mother (it's ok, she calls me her red headed stepchild). We have three pets: Tinker Bell (and in the words of Madison) our "Jack Russell head and waa waaa body" dog, Daisy, our Beagle; and Choo Choo our herpes infested cat.  Btw, waa waa is Chihuahua in 4 year old speak...and Herpes in cats isn't because he has been naughty, it is because he has a virus that causes ulcers in his mouth and respiratory problems. I have two sisters; Beverly and Lisa. My Mama died 8 years ago from cancer. I have fibromyalgia and two broken down cars-right now anyway. I guess that is all for right now...

Why a Black Cloud as a friend??

I will explain the "black cloud".  My mother's family from time to time would say that if anything bad that could happen would happen to them and called it the black cloud. I find this to be true in my life almost on a daily basis. Just like a friend my black cloud is present everyday.  Let me make this clear...I talk about my black cloud in an entirely jokingly way. I laugh about most things, even when they are bad....it's all going to be alright. My faith is such that the Lord will provide and even if I don't know how in the world we are going to fix whatever has happened, he knows. So please any of my bad things that I mention, know that I am laughing and remaining faithful while I am typing!  And please LAUGH because I am!

"He that is afraid of bad luck will never know good"  -Russian Proverb

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.