I know me, most of the time

I am relatively new at blogging, at least new at blogging consistently.  I dabbled in it for several years, but only recently began to write on a frequent basis.  And I’ve learned by reading other blogs and help and how to guides that bloggers are a lot like teenage girls — they crave feedback and approval.  They want to be popular, have a lot of followers, have a lot of likes.  What’s the point of taking the risk of putting your words and thoughts out there in cyberspace if not to get some positive feedback in return?

There is a lot of advice out there on how to get more readers, including to focus your blogs.  Blog on a theme, to specialize.  Like blog about desserts or cooking.  Or blog about gaming.  Or blog about children.  Or blog about gaming that includes cooking desserts for children.

Get These Thoughts Out of My Head

Well, that advice doesn’t help me at all.  I don’t focus or specialize at anything.

What am I an expert at?

**Crickets chirp.  Minutes pass.  Silence is king.**

I know the most about being me, living my life.  I wouldn’t even say that I specialize at being me.  There are more times than I wish that I would like to send in a substitute player for myself to live my life for the day while I stay home and watch true crime.  The sub surely couldn’t make any worse decisions during that 24 hour period than I do.  Maybe they would even make better ones.  Bonus!

So, I may never have thousands of followers or be voted Blog High School Homecoming Queen because there apparently isn’t a big group of followers for “middle-aged Southerner writing about her days”.  But frankly, I would rather read about the things that I find interesting than chocolate cakes or battling asteroids.  Oh, but if it were asteroids made of chocolate cake–that I would find interesting.  And handy to just walk outside and pick up cake.

UPDATE:  I’ve been informed that asteroids don’t hit the earth often, and if they do, it’s not good, i.e. that movie “Armageddon”.  I was envisioning little chocolate cake asteroids floating down, like manna.  Apparently, I need to be following some science blogs.

Lady Mama

I named my blog “My Mama Always Said” because someone once pointed out to me that I started a lot of my stories with the phrase, “Well, my mama always said…”  And she really did have a lot to say, as I wrote about in one of my very first blogs.  I didn’t realize until I was Googling one day that most people associate that phrase with “Forrest Gump”, followed by “that life is like a box of chocolates.”  My mama never said that.  She said life isn’t always fair.  She said that you should eat chocolate if you get the chance.  But she never put life and chocolate in the same sentence.

So, I’ve spent my life hearing, listening (because there is a difference between “hearing” and “listening”) and repeating my mama’s words of wisdom, I was nonetheless shocked to realize just how hip she is.  This morning as I was driving to work, Lady Gaga came on the radio singing “Born This Way”.  Compare my mama to Lady Gaga.

me as a teenager:  I feel ugly / fat.  My hair is ugly.  I’m stupid.

My mama:  You are none of those.  You are beautiful.  God made you the way you are.  And He doesn’t make any mistakes.

Lady Gaga:  I’m beautiful in my way, ‘Cause God makes no mistakes

Who knew that my mama and Lady Gaga had so much in common?  I’m thinking of buying her a meat dress for Christmas.  My mama, that is.  Lady Gaga has been there, done that.

This Is Why You Should Have Good Health Insurance

SCENE:  Matt and I are watching TV when this commercial comes on (for the gizzillionth time).

me:  I’m so glad that you don’t wear your hair like that guy.  Flopping over in your face.  It’s messy looking.

Matt:  I couldn’t wear my hair that way if I wanted to.  My hair is so curly.  It would just grow into a big ‘fro.


Matt:  I guess eventually it would flop over when it got big enough.  Just from the weight.

me:  I can’t wait until you’re an invalid and I can let you hair grow.  I’m not going to cut it for months, years.

Matt:  (weird stare)

me:  I’m going to let it grow until I can see what it would look like all big and fluffy and floppy.  And you won’t care because you’re an invalid and you won’t be going anywhere.

Matt:  (weirder stare)

me:  But I’ll cut your fingernails and toenails.  I promise.

Matt:  You’re too good to me.

What Now?

I have had a very unsettling week.  Bad news, sad news, headaches have cropped up over the week.  I have had the image of being a pack mule in my head, and every day I have felt like another 50 lb. load has been added to my burden, weighing me down.  I need some encouragement that I’ll be okay.

I know that everyone struggles with disappointments and problems and bad news over his/her live.  You wouldn’t exactly be living if you didn’t have pain.  How to handle that pain has always been something with which I have tussled.

Storm on Sept. 8, 2012

We had a Women’s Leadership Summit at work yesterday and one of the speakers talked about happiness.  She had a list of five things that led to happiness, including Diet and Exercise, Meditation, Intention, etc.  I appreciated where she was going, but I felt like she was just a little too “new age-y” for me.

For me, I have to rely on my faith.  I can’t rely on myself, because I have already learned that I am not perfect and prone to mistakes.

Tenth Avenue North is one of my favorite Christian bands and they sing a song called “Times”.  In this song, God tells us the times He’ll love us, including:

The times you’re broken

The times that you mend

The times that you hate Me, and the times that you bend.

Well, My love is over, it’s underneath.

It’s inside, it’s in between.

These times you’re healing, and when your heart breaks.

The times that you feel like you’re falling from grace.

The times that you’re hurting.

Yep, that about describes how I’m feeling right now.  Relieved and happy to know that God has my back.  That is where my comfort is coming from this week.

My Russian Connection

Matt ate dinner with his Uncle Richard tonight.  Uncle Richard is a really nice man, but I think one of the most interesting things about him is his wife, Ala.

Ala is Uncle Richard’s Russian bride.  Well, actually, she is from the Republic of Belarus.  I think that her father was somebody in the Communist party, so she has all these stories of traveling around Russia (oops, the U.S.S.R) while she was growing up.  Her sister is married to the current Belarusian ambassador to the United Kingdom, so she can move in some highfalutin company.

She speaks English really well, but she still has some problems with phrases and words.  Every time we get together, she always says to me, “Cristy, it’s so good to meet you”, like it’s the first time that we’ve ever met.  I just always tell her that I’m glad to see her, too.

I love hearing her talk about growing up in a Communist country, traveling around Eastern Europe, etc.  Matt loves to drink vodka with her.  At Christmas, we were asking her questions about Belarus, winter, vodka, etc. and she told us about how the Communist party strictly controlled alcohol during her younger days.  She said, “You know, a man would be scared to have an affair with his secretary in his office, you know with his office door closed.  Because people might have thought they were in there drinking.”

Like Southern Baptists.

On another note, I found the coolest thing.  Remember my drawing of a Dead Horse, perfect for your soul-sucking meetings?

Well, there is a place where you can send your drawings and they will bring your drawings to life.  Ok, not really to life, à la Frankenstein, but at least a stuffed version.


Isn’t that the coolest thing?  Get your own Dead Horse to beat yourself with!  Or your co-worker.  Your choice.

**9-11  I’ll never forget **

Lottery Thoughts

There is a PowerBall drawing tonight worth $100 million.  I don’t normally pay any attention to the lottery because I know the odds of winning are stupid.  You know, like you’re 30,000 times more likely to get hit by lightning than you are to win the lottery, or whatever the statistic is.  (Of course, one of my aunts, my sister and my cousin were struck by lightning while they were in the car, driving down the road, and apparently that’s like supposed to be super-extra rare,and it happened to them.  So, the improbable does happen.). But I’ve been having a tougher time than normal at work recently, so I have been spending time fantasizing about being independently wealthy.

Any time I think about the lottery, it makes me think of mine and my sister’s babysitter’s husband, Roger.  Roger is one of the sweetest, kindest men that I ever met in my life, and as a distant cousin, my mom and my family have always known Roger and his family.

At our wedding (Susan Roark photography)

Roger used to talk about winning the lottery.  He had a plan.  And he always included giving part of his winnings to my mama, to help her pay off our mortgage.  When I was growing up, I thought the only reason that my mama had to work was this nebulous thing called a “mortgage”, and if this was gone, she could stay at home with me and Ashleigh, so I LOVED Roger’s plan.

How awesome was it that Roger was going to give us part of his winnings?  I don’t know many people who would give me any of their lottery jackpot…

I haven’t seen Roger in a couple of years.  The last time that I saw him, he didn’t remember or recognize me because of dementia.  I reminded him that I was Libby’s daughter.  To which he replied, “You’re Ashleigh’s sister, right?  You used to be the pretty one, but now she’s the pretty one.”

I agreed with him.  My sister is the pretty one. 

And she’s been hit by lightning.  Dang, she does have the luck.  Maybe I can get her to buy me a PowerBall ticket.

Don’t Bite the Hand That Feeds You. Seriously. Don’t Do It.

I learned something new over the past several days:  dog bites hurt.

How did I learn this?  My damn dog bit me!
More than once.
There are a lot of things that I accept from having a dog, including peeing in the house, digging in the yard, lots of dirt on the floor, etc.  What I don’t accept is my own dog biting me, of being afraid of my dog.
Ray, that little cutie patootie, had aggression issues, specifically with me.  While he never reacted badly with Matt, on more than one occasion, I only had to move towards him to send him into attack mode.
Ray, the little shit that bit me
He would charge across the room at me, like a lion hunting a wildebeest.  And like a lion, he aimed for the knees in an attempt to bring me down.  I hate to think what would have happened had he succeeded….
I am, of course, falling back on humor to defend against the fact that my heart is broken by the way that events have played out.  Because he stayed on such high alert with me, and I stayed on such high alert with him, it became very evident that this was not the right home for him.  And since he and Reynolds were a pair, we made the choice to return them both to the shelter (which was in the contract that we signed when we adopted them, that if there were any problems, we would return them to the shelter rather than give them away).
They were ecstatic to return to the shelter, which has become their home.  One of the volunteers at the shelter has basically adopted them herself, so we know that they are well loved and taken care of.  We are very sad that things did not work out with them, but my knees and my nerves are thankful that they are not under attack every day.
I miss the little guys.

Truth, As I Declare It

I was driving to work this morning when I got behind one of those trucks that hauls gravel or other construction materials.  You know, the ones that have the sign on the back that says “Not Responsible for Broken Windshields”?

source:  http://significantblog.wordpress.com/2011/08/

My thought was (as always when I get behind one of these trucks) “Really?  Just not responsible?”

It would be one thing if the sign read “We will not take responsibility for broken windshields”.  That I could handle.  But this categorically states that they Just. Aren’t. Responsible. Period.

Are trucking companies the only entities that can make a truth just by stating it?  You know, like Rene Descartes wrote, “I think, therefore I am” is there a corollary that is “I say it, therefore it is the truth”?

Let’s ignore the internets for the moment, where truth plays no role, and just ponder the ability to make something A TRUTH just by declaring it to be so.

Here is what I would declare to be my Top 10 Truths (ignoring logic, science and evidence to the contrary):

  1. Politicians are honest, scrupulous individuals, working for the best for the nation.
  2. Chicken McNuggets are 100% real chicken and a nutritious and healthy, anytime meal.
  3. I can drink as much as I want without getting a hangover, becoming obnoxious, talking too loudly or falling asleep by 7:30 PM.
  4. Nice guys finish First (and second and third, but never last).
  5. No one cares about Brangelina.
  6. I have a beautiful singing voice.
  7. There is no such thing as “bathing suit season”.
  8. People want to take accountability for their actions.
  9. Restaurants cook their food with the same attention to cleanliness as I do in my own kitchen (which is a lot).
  10. My tax money is being spent with care, forethought and in the manner that benefits the most members of my community, state and nation.
Yep, that’ll do it.  And guess what Mr. Dump Truck Driver?  If I ever kick a rock up into your windshield, I am not responsible for any ensuing damage.  Neener neener.