Monday, November 10, 2008

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Legends of the Fall…
I love fall! I love the smells, the sights, the crisp feel in the air, and the memories that come back to me during this time of year.

I remember when I was about 6 or 7 years old, I’d be so excited about the chestnuts falling from the three big chestnut trees in our front yard. I would gather them up in a big basket and I’d eat them as fast as I could put them in the basket! I liked them raw, not roasted, but I don’t recall ever turning down a roasted one either. Also, I remember my teacher’s aid in my 1st grade class, Mrs. Betty Neves and how she loved chestnuts, too. I would get her some in a paper bag and take them to her. She would always act like I’d brought her a bag of gold nuggets. She made me feel so good about my simple gesture. I wonder if she really liked them as much as she acted like she did? Or did she just pretend as a means of assuming a 6 year old? Either way, that woman was such a sweetheart and I loved her.

I remember when the spider lilies bloomed in our yard. They would just pop up out of nowhere and were scattered all over the place. I would go around and pick just about everyone that I saw and I’d have a huge bunch of them in my hands coming through the door. Mom would put them in a big vase and I remember thinking they weren’t near as pretty in the vase as they were popping up out of the ground from the bare grass! To this day, I get a bit nostalgic when I see spider lilies. They remind me of home and Mother and that awesome time of year.

I remember raking the leaves with mom in the yard and burning the piles. Those chestnut burrs would burn forever and we’d have several smoky piles of leaves and chestnut burrs scattered around the yard. It would start getting dark and cool and I’d love the way the burning piles would start casting off a spooky glow. On occasion, we’d roast a marshmallow or two just for the sake of not wasting a good smoldering fire.

I remember coming home from elementary school and getting a report on Mother’s progress on my Halloween costume for the upcoming Halloween escapades. Mother made our costumes from scratch and was a master at taking clothes and items we already had and turning them into the perfect costume. They were always so awesome! One year, I was Glinda the Good Witch and she made me a beautiful tall glittery crown just like the one Glinda wore and the wand to match. And one year, I was a Wicked Witch (do you see my Wizard of Oz obsession surfacing at this time in my life?) and she made me the most amazing hair and attached it to a witch’s hat. It must have been 3 scains of an ugly grey yarn that was wound into hundreds of tight curly curl. And it was a full head of hair! I really have no idea how she made the yarn curl tight like that but it was very cool looking! And the hat had a mouse running up the side. I remember thinking that was the coolest touch! She was so clever and creative with our costumes! I remember thinking I was very lucky to have a mom that would spend time doing stuff like that for me.

I remember trick-or-treating in Fort Gaines, Ga with my brother and cousins. We would go to my grandmother’s house and get our picture made and then we’d leave together and ride in a pick-up truck, usually in the back of it, and head into town. We’d go to all the cool houses, like the White’s, the Crapps, the Neves, and we’d see SO MANY of our friends on the streets as we’d go house to house. It was definitely not like it is now! We actually went to the front door of every house and we walked all through the town and we weren’t scared of anything happening to us or anyone grabbing us. Everyone knew everyone. Every house gave good candy, many of the houses had some surprises around the corner and all the kids rode around in the back of trucks. And when we had our fill of ringing doorbells and our baskets, buckets and bags were loaded down with confections, we would head back to Mama’s house to inspect the loot. We would all sit in the floor, me, my brother Steve and my cousins David, Jamie and Valerie and we would dump all our candy out and go through it piece by piece. Sometimes we’d do some swapping but most times we coveted our own loot and just starting making our mental schedule for when we would eat what. It was truly a magical time and I remember thinking I never wanted to go trick-or-treating ANYWHERE other than Fort Gaines!

Fall is such an awesome time of year! I appreciate the weather, the fall colors, the activities and most importantly, the memories!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Monday, October 20, 2008

Things that MADE MY DAY for Monday!

#1 My cousin Valerie found out today she is having a boy! Valerie is my only girl cousin on my mom's side and we are close. Her mom and my mom are sisters and they too are very close. So obviously, Val having a baby at 31 is very exciting for all of us! She and her hubby Rick celebrated their ONE YEAR anniversary today, too!
#2 I got a parking permit for the lot in front of my building again. I've been on the waiting list for over a year and while I have worked in that building for 12 years, I still got kicked out of the lot during the Health Center renovation. I finally got it back.
#3 My boys (all 3) and I carved an amazingly cute pumpkin tonight! I LOVE the look of pumpkins glowing on the front porch! Our's is called Jack Flack and he has a funny little crooked smirk on this face!
#4 I cooked a good meal, with yummy black-eyed peas, creamed corn and BBQ chicken! It was yummy if I say so myself.
#5 I finished pulling together my halloween costume for a party Saturday night! I think it's going to be pretty darn good.
#6 I got hit from behind on the way to work today (No, that's not the good news) and before 9:30, I had already heard from the lady's insurance company, gotten an estimate on the damage to my back bumper, gotten a rental car reserved and gotten an appointment for tomorrow to get my durango fixed. AND I NEVER made a single call! The lady used Progressive and I must say, I was very impressed with their service and how the handled the claim (so far.)
#7 AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... Tomorrow is mine and Derek's 13th wedding anniversary!
THANK GOD and everyone that has ever supported us and helped us get this far! It's been an amazing journey so far and I can't wait for the next 13 plus!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

As upbeat as I generally try to be...I just have to say, I'VE HAD A DEPRESSING DAY! First, I spent the morning listening to a scientist lecture on the climate changes and basically the human race facing apocolypic consequences. VERY DOOM AND GLOOM stuff with no sign of hope... I mean the list goes ON AND ON about how bad off the earth is, how bad we as a human race has messed up, and how bad the consequences will be that our children and grandchildren will inherit. UGGG...
Then we heard the Dean talk on and on about the budget, how bad it is, how bad it will be, how many layoffs will have to happen, how our raises are basically a complete improbability. Then we got the notice that our insurance was going up, health, car AND HOME... ALL OF IT!
Then to end the work day, I went and had my boobs mashed flat for my yearly mammogram - due in part to my mom having had breast cancer TWICE before the age of
60 and I walk around with a constant higher risk. (Please know I AM NOT blaming her or anyone else, its just the facts of life and one of the ones that SUCKS the MOST!)
Then I read about how many voters have signed up to vote this year and I'm pretty darn sure that 80% of them are probably democrats... in fact a huge number of them are PRISONERS! Great... real smooth move...
Then if that wasn't the worse part, I had to come home to THIS CRAP called a presidential debate!! I am getting a headache as we speak just watching these two try to avoid the questions! I just want to scream, LORD HELP US! HAVE MERCY ON US!!

But, in typical Juli fashion, I have to go to bed on a bright note... SO...

On the bright side, the boys are doing great, healthy and happy. Derek and I are doing great (better than ever!). I am pretty sure my job is one of the safe ones during this awful budget situation. We can pay our bills (even if we have to dip into our savings to do it.) And the bottom line is that God is STILL in control of EVERYTHING. And last but certainly NOT LEAST, because of Jesus Christ's love and forgiveness, I can go to bed knowing that if I die tonight, I'm ready for eternity! How is THAT for security?!

Monday, October 6, 2008

My Favorite Things - New For Mondays

I'm going to start sharing with you a few of my favorite things each Monday. It's easier than trying to come up with something to write about after a long hard Monday back at work... So here we go...

My Favorite Things for the Week of Oct. 6.
#1 My Mantle decorated for Halloween. I particularly like my cute witch lady that is striking a pose. She is dressed in a cute little purple and orange striped dress. She reminds me of me a little bit! Kinda sassy and only slightly 'wicked.'

#2 The cool hats and purses that belonged to Nanny that I brought home from the estate sale. Not only will they make cool potential halloween costume props, but they are special and unique. Nanny was quiet the fashionista!

#3 My new brown flats. They hurt my feet the first day I worn them, but they are cute, nonetheless.

#4 DISNEY WORLD and my personal page. We are planning a trip to Disney World for Thanksgiving and I love going to the site and looking at our intinerary! I've made and ordered customized maps for our trip that includes all the attractions and shows we want to be sure to see and all the restaurants where we plan to eat. I made reservatoins today for dinner on Thanksgiving Day, lunch on Friday at the Magic Kingdom and lunch on Saturday at Hollywood Studios! I am enjoying all the pre-planning and I sure hope it helps us navigate the busy holiday crowds. Regardless, I'm having a blast just thinking about that trip! I can hardly wait!

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Lord Gives and the Lord Takes Away

I think life is one giant game of give and take, on every single level, from the smallest things to the biggest. We (the entire Fields clan) spent the entire day yard sale-ing. Not buying but selling. We were helping Derek's mom sort through and sell all of her parent's belongings, who both passed away in the spring. The Lord gave the family 90 plus years of wonderful love with Nanny and Papa, and then the Lord took them back to His house.

It's amazing what folks buy and what they don't. Some things that you would think would sell so fast, don't even get a second look, while other stuff that you'd think is absolutly useless, gets snatched up fast. And then there is the whole concept of taking the lives of two people now reduced to 'things', pawning them off to the highest bidder (or the lowest bidder or the only bidder depending on the thing.) It feels weird but its just part of life. All the things that one collects in their lifetime will end up somewhere else or someone elses in the end. There is nothing like spending the day going through the 'things' of two deceased people to help drive home the fact that in the end, I mean the VERY end, the things that mattered most to those left behind were not 'things at all. There were so many items that held a different memory from each grandchild, child and friend. And while those objects are now on someone else's knick-knack self, the memories still remain in tact 'back at home.' The Lord gives us our memories, while the customer takes away the things.

And then there were the items Derek and I sold or tried to sell. I made a few hundred bucks for stuff I'd boxed up and carried to the yard sale. Meanwhile, I lost my sunglasses ($10), Derek's favorite sunglasses got broke ($10), and the big kicker, the boys spilled BBQ sauce on our white carpet during supper time. So, we made some money and its basically already spent, and if not, needs to be spent getting a carpet cleaner! While it's nice to get a few bucks of some things that were clogging up the basement, I can't help but wonder if it was worth the effort. I think in the end, I mean the VERY end, if it keeps my kids from having to go through one less bin of 'things' that belonged to me, it is definitly worth it!

Tonight I thank God for everything that He has given me and I'll thank Him more for everything he has taken away. In the end, I mean the VERY end, with God on my side, I know I'll do a whole lot better than 'break even.'