Archive for the Photos Category

New babies

Since I haven't been able to motivate myself to actually write anything, here are some cat pictures since Amber hatched again over the weekend. Newborns: She had one more after that: And her remaining 2 from first litter just because:

Adventures in Arkansas

I really should have sat down and written last night when I had things to say. Or at least made a note of what I wanted to write about like I suggested to Petra. Haha! But in my defense, I was sick as a dog from the flight back from Arkansas. But Enterprise hooked me up with a sweet rental car: I almost didn't make that trip. I really didn't want to. I didn't want to face my mom's health issues because avoidance is my default action (or inaction as it were) when I can't practice full on denial. But I plucked up the courage to do it anyway. Oh my word. Her short term memory is completely gone. She had a stroke while she was in the hospital recovering from pneumonia (and she has COPD), and while the memory issues could be attributed to Alzheimer's, her inability to say the right words is not something she had prior. It was hard. Hard to listen to and watch her struggle to get out what she wanted to say, and hard to figure out what she meant. But she gets around fine, and I wore her out! Because that's how I roll. ;) She's in the nursing home for rehabilitation, and they let me check her out and run her around. I took her to the Veteran's Walk of Flags by the hospital first. We did not walk the whole thing. But my cousin Sharon was interviewed later that day while she was there: Flags Flying for Veterans In Morrilton Today It is such a beautiful and humbling display, and I feel honored that I now have a flag among so many others. I am so very grateful to Sharon for making sure all the Eoff family veterans got flags. Then we went out to the Bishop family reunion and I didn't take a single picture of any of my family. :( I did take one down at the creek: Because the reunion isn't just complete without a walk down to the creek. It was the thing to do when I was a kid, and it still is at 44. Not that I got off the bridge because the possibility of falling and getting wet doesn't appeal to me anymore. Mainly because I didn't want my phone ruined. haha! But I had a great time, and didn't get glutened. Mom seemed to know everybody and that was great! I had a good talk with my sister-in-law even if it was short and kept semi on the down low given what I shared with her. And throughout the weekend I got to have really good visits with family and a couple old friends and my mom's neighbor. And then after I dropped Mom off Saturday night and left the nursing home, I drove around town and bawled. Now, I don't like to fly, and have been terrified of flying since 1999. So as I drove up to RDU to leave, I thought I would try a little something different than I normally do. See, normally the DragonLady doesn't get on a plane sober. Granted, last summer I flew sober, but I was a wreck the whole time. This time, drinking wasn't an option I was willing to entertain so I prayed and asked God to remove my fear of flying. You know, it worked. I was not at all scared coming or going. Even with the turbulence and thunderstorms around Charlotte. And no, I didn't ask God to give me a good rental car. That was pure bonus. hahaha!

You can’t hear if you’re not listening

There is a story behind that picture. I was scheduled to play at church this past Sunday, and there were several emails throughout the week regarding the song lineup. The first had to do with one particular song (video below) that only really had 3 instrumental parts: drums, bass, and keyboard. Bradford said that I would be playing keyboard. I laughed at that part of the email. He added not to worry that the keyboards would be tracked, and I just had to look like I was playing. Which made me laugh more because if I could fake playing a trumpet in college, I could definitely fake play keyboards. After listening to the song I thought that if I still had a keyboard and the time to practice (and the sheet music), I could have played it for real. But people thought I was really playing. Those who mentioned to me how cool it was that I play keyboards too got to hear the truth that I was keysyncing (like lipsyncing). And that was the only song I didn't screw up. :cheesy: And I was glad to do it because otherwise I would have only been doing vocals, and I couldn't do the clapping right. Plus clapping hurts my hands. Regardless, it gave me something to do with my hands. Before rehearsal last Thursday as Bradford led us in a devotional, he summed up Pastor's Nate's sermon from the previous Sunday (which I missed).
Just because God is silent does not mean He isn't active.
My experience has been that whenever I am going through a hard trial or a period of depression, God is not only silent, but He seems absent. I feel like I am completely alone and overwhelmed. Once it passes, I can then see that God was there the whole time working while I was wallowing in fear and/or self-pity. I'm starting to see, or hear, that He isn't always silent in the pit. I usually have ministry hangover the day after I play at church. Yesterday was no exception, and life compounded it. I felt it when I (finally) got out of bed, and I started praying while I showered. My shower is my "prayer closet" because generally speaking, I can be alone without interruption. This is also why I named my shower "the confessional." So I was praying and as it progressed, I began praying about my self-will. I don't remember what I asked, but I remember hearing the answer. I have already been set free. Jesus is stronger than my self-will. I have a hard time remembering that. Partially because of self-will. Partially because of bad theology. But hearing it helped. I immediately felt peace. And then life reared its head again, and the peace was gone. But over and over and over all day, I went back to my prayer time and reminded myself of what God spoke to me, and it got me through. Pastor Benji said something during his sermon Sunday morning that really made an impression on me. If I didn't already know what the Bible has to say about my self-will, I don't think I would have heard God's voice as I did.
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:26 ESV)
But additionally, I don't think I would have heard it if I hadn't been willing to hear something that might not be what I want to hear. Nor do I think I would have heard it if I wasn't willing to give up my self-will. And I wouldn't be willing to give up my self-will if living according to my will worked.

Living the dream

One line. At :28. By Blair. :) So there I was right, on my way to the dentist to get my permanent crown when I had a thought. The thought was 2 years in the making, but I was finally going to go through with it. Probably. To ensure I would, I texted Petra to see if she had anything going on. See, it also wasn't something I was going to do solo. haha. She didn't so I told her what I was planning, and she was all like "I gotta see this!" I decided to get my nose pierced. I'm pretty sure we had discussed it before, but it seemed to genuinely shock her. But, she was going to base her decision on my experience. [caption id="attachment_2142" align="aligncenter" width="600"]With his finger all up in my nose. :) With his finger all up in my nose. :)[/caption] [caption id="attachment_2143" align="aligncenter" width="600"]What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around? What is up with that spare tire I am carrying around?[/caption] Oh. My. Word. At least he warned me about what to expect. The actual piercing didn't really hurt that bad. It was getting the ring in that was the issue. You know, because I'm not going to be normal. I have really thick cartilage. So it took some work to get the ring in. Then Petra says, "You have blood on your boob." Wait. What? When he got the bleeding pretty much stopped and I looked down, I was all like "Holy crap!" It wasn't just on my boob. It was all down my shirt. I said I was going to wear it to rehearsal like a badge of honor, but I didn't. I changed. IMG_1622.JPG We both wished she had gotten a shot when the needle was sticking through. And it was a HUGE needle. I commented that it was like blood donation needle. Because it was. Petra now refuses to get her nose pierced. I called her a puss. I mean really. She's had 7 kids. What's a big needle through the nose? ;) She's getting tattoos first though. If she has no reaction to the ink, then I will feel it's safe(ish) to get one. And maybe by then I will figure out what I want. Besides the mushroom cloud tramp stamp, that is. ;) This is hilarious! H/T to Stephen Altrogge.

Random Randomness of Random

I should just go ahead an announce a blog hiatus because every time I have ever done that I've been able to write. It's not that I don't have anything to write, it's just organizing thoughts into something coherent. Of course, there will be no coherency in this post just because. ;) I took off work Friday so I could take the hubster to court. Told him early in the week that I had the day off. Late Thursday night he informed me that he had another ride. Alrighty then. He nearly got arrested due to the county rescheduling and not letting anyone know but him. So he goes back in June and I will not be his transportation this time. Since I had the day, I took care of some bidness at the insurance agent, and went to Chapel Hill to pick up my race packet for the Tar Hell 10 Miler. I love how fancy it's all personalized. More on the race later. I was a little hungry and definitely thirsty, so I stopped in Pittsboro at Chatham Marketplace, and they had what I wanted. I decided to have some fun and sent my sponsor a text saying, "So I picked up a 6 pack for lunch..." I followed that up with this pic: 6-pack After eating the second one, I sent Petra a text saying that I had just had a mouthgasm. Yes, it was that good. About the 10 miler. I woke up at 4:30 am with abdominal cramps from hell. Same thing happened about a month ago. So rather than treating it as a stomach bug, I took some ibuprofen and the pain was gone around noon. I don't know what is up with that crap, or the hot flash from hell that had me up from 2-3:30 this morning. My knee is hurt also so there was a valid(ish) reason for not racing other than the fact that I haven't run in so long I don't remember the last time I ran. After the meds kicked in Saturday, the good idea fairy showed up and convinced me that since it was such a nice day it would be a great idea to wash and wax my car. I'm pretty sure running 10 miles would have been less painful. 4 hours, and I am still sore today. I got some good sleeps that night and didn't wake up until 9 yesterday. photo 3 Oh, and Amber hatched Easter Sunday: 2 are already spoken for, thank goodness. She had 4, but one didn't make it. Enjoy your Monday.

In which I take a break from the heavy stuff

I had to surrender to something over the weekend. KitKat. I don't know what on earth got into her, but she is different. I have accused her of being demon-possessed and have called her the spawn of Satan. She is just that eat up. But here lately, there has been a change in her attitude toward me. It started a few weeks ago where she started making a bee-line for the master bedroom whenever I opened up the door. One day she darted in there as I was on my way to the bathroom, and didn't have time to pick her up and throw her out. And it is really hard to poop when you have a cat trying to get in your lap and to get you to pet her. I assumed she was just hungry because she gets friendly when she's hungry. It happened again, though not when I was pooping, that she wanted in the bedroom. I assumed she was hungry and refilled the food bowls - none of which were empty. Soon she was meowing and scratching on the door. So I gave her fresh water. No sooner did I get in bed than she was meowing and scratching on the door again. Crazy cat. This got more and more frequent, and rather than rename her "Dammit KitKat," I gave in and put a food and water bowl and a litter box in the bedroom and let her move in. Oh my word. She is loving and playful. I had no idea that she knew how to cat. She's still scabby and gross, but her personality makes up for it. It is so weird.

“Laughter through tears is my favorite emotion.”

While I will use a quote from Steel Magnolias at the drop of a hat, I can't say that one is entirely true. Namely because I am not a big fan of tears. Sometimes I just get so overwhelmed that I just know a good cry will help. Problem is, sometimes I am totally distraught, but yet just too numb to have the meltdown I need. On top of all the life going on around me, I got sick last week. At one point, I was real close to going to the ER. But the pain finally became less frequent and less severe thankfully before I had to take my daughter to her appointment. Now she had been asking for a bank account forever, and I told her I would take her to the bank after her appointment. So we did, and through the course of talking to the gentlemen setting everything up, he got to telling us stories. We laughed until we cried. I felt so much better. Someone told me that I should find something that will make me deep down belly laugh hard when I feel like I need to cry and can't because I'll get the same emotional release I need. I am definitely a believer now. Of course I have to over-analyze everything I do and experience, and this was no exception. I will, however, spare you that introspection and analyzation and just leave it as is. Sometimes, I just need to laugh and laugh hard. Even when I hurt.

Play on

If music be the food of love, play on;
Shakespeare's Twelfth Night, 1602 I was reading someone's blog recently, and not only do I not remember whose blog it was, I don't remember when. Could have been yesterday or several days ago. Anyway, the writer had a list of tips for bloggers, and one was write about what your passion is. Or something like that. That's too broad of an area for me to niche. I may just be too ADHD. ;) One Friday evening 2 or 3 weeks ago, James was sick and we were hungry, but I didn't want to cook, and so I went to Lowes Food. As I was checking out, the young lady ringing me up asked, "Don't you sing at New Hope?" She's a New Hoper too, turns out, and I am slowly but surely losing the anonymity I used to enjoy in Sanford due to not knowing very many people. But, alas, I've made it. I'm a rock star. :cool: Of course, I'm not really, but it's actually better because it isn't about me. I was in Food Lion the other night, and walked through the store singing along with whatever song was playing. I have no idea what it was, but it is just kind of funny to me that I feel comfortable enough to sing out loud (albeit softly) in a store. And without my kids. Even though I don't remember the song, I remember just hearing it made me feel good. I'm sure it was from the 80's. Did this yesterday at Food Lion also, and at one point even felt the need to apologize to the gentleman within earshot. ;) A few mornings ago I was listening to the songs that were scheduled for the following Sunday on the way into work because I was on the schedule, and, oh, by the way, that was the closest I had come that week to practicing. One of the songs was a newer song containing an older hymn, Just as I Am. Since I knew the hymn portion, I was practicing the harmony vocals when just out of the blue, meltdown. 2 blocks from the front gate. Really? I didn't melt down during any of the services that day, so it was all good. I did, however, have waaaayyyy too much coffee that morning resulting in my Beavis Cornholio impression for which I quickly apologized due to the inappropriateness of quoting Beavis & Butthead at church. I think they found that more humorous. I was off the chain. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. I have always loved music and all kinds. Now, one of my goals for this year was to get a sponsor. I have one now, and Friday she told me to take some time over this weekend for myself just to relax. Well, who has time to relax when you are the only one with a driver's license, and shopping needs to be done? I made the time. First of all, I shopped alone. This meant I was alone in the car for most of my running around which meant I could play Fleetwood Mac loudly and sing along just as loudly as I wanted. And I did it with the sunroof wide open. It was fabulous. Later at home, I sat on the front porch journaling and instagramming until sundown. Music has a way of lifting my spirit when I'm feeling down. I can hear certain songs that will put a smile on my face no matter how down I feel. I can listen to certain genres and relax, which is why I often listen to classical when I am driving to and from work, and even sometimes at work. These are things I need to remember when I get into a funk or worry cycle, and then just listen to the music. )

Here, there, and nowhere

I fell over in Walmart yesterday. Stone cold sober, and not even sick. Just a word of caution: If the aisle seems too narrow to turn your cart around, it is. I guess it was just my turn to be an example of peopleofwalmart.com. Hopefully the other lady in the aisle didn't snap a picture and upload it. I never looked back. lol I think that is Tiger's favorite spot. Or maybe his second favorite because his favorite spot may be the one where his butt is in my face. It was a really nice weekend. I got out Saturday and spent a lot more time out than I intended. I really wanted to go for a bike ride, but I took James to Lee & Rachel's. I wanted Starbucks, and since we were close(ish) to Southern Pines, that's where I went. I did not, however, stop at Starbucks as half of Moore County was there. So I went to Hobby Lobby after I had taken a few photos around the area. I sat Saturday night sorting and organizing my fasteners. It was quite relaxing and I was almost able to completely block out what Chad and Alex were watching. The only thing I really managed to accomplish was washing my clothes and picking up my Flonase prescription. This post really has nothing to do with anything. But it's a post. With pictures. ;)

Making the most of it

I had to run a virtual 5k this weekend because my foot was broken the previous weekend. "Broken" is an exaggeration. It hurt like it was broken, but 1) I didn't go to the doctor over it and 2) whatever I did to it happened at work while I was sitting at my desk. Saturday was just nasty windy, and so was yesterday morning. But after noon yesterday, the wind died down some, and the sun was out and I made myself go run. I tried every way I could think of to not do it and yet still count it, but I finally just texted Karyn and Molly "Tell me to run," knowing they would give me that bit of motivation I needed to just go do it. I hated every single step of that run. But. I'm working on finding bright spots among the suck. As I approached the halfway point, I noticed a pond. I've run past that house countless times, but yesterday was the first time I noticed that pond behind it. I noticed the squirrels, which really isn't unusual. I noticed the frogs croaking in the ditch on the way back, and noticed how once I got past them, they stopped. And, by the way, I love the sound of a bunch of croaking frogs. I stopped at a neighbor's house and chatted with him for a minute (pausing the workout - lol), and learned he was a boxer when he was younger. The actual running (and my time) sucked, but the rest of it didn't. I tried to get the dogs in the photo with me, but only Brownie would even remotely cooperate. I also ripped a hole in the butt of my running tights while trying to get the dogs in the shot. :-/ But it really was a beautiful day for a run. The race was the Stop Stroke Shuffle 5k. Enjoyed supporting Dani's cause, and would not feel the donation wasted if I hadn't run. Thank you Dani for the reason to get off my butt! :)