Meet little Miss Attitude

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One of our furkids, Sami (one of our cats) has a serious problem…..she’s beyond moody and it has nothing to do with this dreaded time change. Ever since Miss Penny strolled up our driveway and into our lives Sami has had one huge  chip on her shoulder. Understandably so, I get it….but it’s been close to two months now and you would THINK she would see that she is still the numero uno kitty in the house. She gets her favorite kitty food at the drop of a “meow” , she gets to stay out all day and roam the woods when the weather permits and Dart cuddles with her regardless of her attitude.

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Pre-Penny she was just your average kitty who thought she was a dog, she seldom was in a bad mood…..now Post-Penny if  you look at her wrong, get in her way, not let her out the instant she meows, or Penny decides to piss her off she lets everyone know that she’s not happy by letting out a high-pitched meow. It almost reminds me of my kids when they were teenagers…maybe I’m onto something!! Sami does come home around noon….eats and then heads back out to hang with the neighborhood kitty posse until it’s time for her dinner.

When she’s in one of her moods (which is daily) I will pick her up and love her ….. the whole time she’s singing her tune of annoyance. Once I put her down her buddy Dart will chase her around a bit, they will play for several minutes until one of them tuckers out. Penny has attempted to play with Sami and at times they do chase each other around the house…..as my husband and I laugh and think all is well now, it’s at that moment we hear them fighting in another room and “Sheriff” Dart runs into the room to break up the fuss with a few barks.

I hope this is just some “teenage” kitty phase because her attitude is wearing on me…hahaha. I love her regardless and I know she loves us to because at night she will crawl up beside me and fall asleep.

hmmm… I wonder if there is a book out there on “How to deal with your moody cat”.

Never claimed to be Mrs. Molly Homemaker

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I can hold my own in the kitchen, I’m no Rachel Ray by any means but I have a few dishes that I make that leave people saying “mmmm that was good!”. I have cookbooks galore that I skim through occasionally for new ideas, an “PIN” yummy must trys on Pinterest daily and when I get control of the remote 9 times out of ten the channel gets turned to the Food Network.

In the past couple of months the hubby has given some rather “helpful” suggestions for making the my cooking process easier. “You should prep our meals for the week”, “While making dinner you should prep for tomorrows meal”, “Guy marinates his meats overnight, you should try that”. Although his suggestions were received with a smile I kindly reminded him that I will not be prepping meals ahead of time (been there done that) and he is always welcomed to utilize the kitchen to make meals anytime he wants. “You know I don’t cook, I just don’t know why you can’t do step A and B then C and D tomorrow” he said.  Although, I understood his point… but for a man who has pretty much survived on PB&J sandwiches and Oreo cookies before we were married he just needs to just sit on the couch and leave the cooking to me…..I don’t suggest easier ways to go about tending to our yard or claim to be Bob Villa, I know my place.

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I’ve tried to explain to him that “prepping” meals isn’t as easy as it may sound, it takes time A LOT of time and I have tried this numerous times when the kids were younger but ….it just isn’t something that I enjoyed doing….BUT  if I knew that the pots and pans would be cleaned by him then maybe I would rethink the whole meal prepping idea.  We can all guess what his answer to that one was.

I know of families that prep their meals but they have children at home and a busy lifestyle where prepped meals make sense; but it’s just the two of us…. I just don’t see the need to prep meals.

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I did “entertain” the idea of prepping our meals not so long ago and came across a couple of blogs that are all about this crazy idea……….It didn’t take me long to laugh out loud and say “OH HELL NO” especially when I saw the kitchen sink full of mixing bowls, pots and pans, but I kept reading …… skimming their weekly recipes and knew instantly that my hubby wouldn’t be down with a weekly rotation of ground turkey, chicken breast and ground beef….he would definitely question the little grainy things on his plate which I would later have explain what quinoa was and why it doesn’t really have any flavor.

“Honey you knew I wasn’t Molly Homemaker before we got married but I haven’t made you sick, your food isn’t burnt and you seem pretty pleased with your meals…but if your compliments about how good dinner was were just little fibs then you know where to find the Peanut Butter and Jelly …and the bread is over there”  I told him as I headed to the bathroom with the furkids to give them a bath.

mind you, it was late evening….about 8pm, yeah I have PLENTY of time to prep meals. 

 

The picture says it all

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My father is Lutheran and my mother is Catholic, so sometime before I was born it was decided that I would be brought up Catholic and attend Catholic school. I wore the very fashionable plaid school uniforms till 8th grade and was lectured by nuns time and time again when my skirt was not of proper length, not only did I attend church on Sundays but a couple of times during the week as well; joys of going to Catholic school!, Ash Wednesday was always a big to do, next to Christmas ….. my classmates (all 30 of them) and I would compare “ash marks” to see whose was bigger and discuss what we were going to give up for the next forty days. It was always the same “I’m giving up being mean to my sister” or “I’m not going to drink soda” …….midway through the Lenten season all was forgotten and I would slip, but then get reminded that I was going to hell because not only was I weak and couldn’t make the 40 days but due to my disgust for anything seafood I would end up eating something with meat on Fridays.

I remember sitting at the dinner table as a young girl hearing my father excuse my carnivorous rebellion to my mother, stating that eating fish on Fridays during Lent was due to some pope (back in the day) helping out the fishing industry therefore making eating fish acceptable. The case he presented made sense,  why wouldn’t I believe him? granted he was the one who also convinced me that fish had ears and if I made a sound while fishing I would scare away all the fish; to a naïve little girl this made sense.

As I got older this “Church-fishing industry conspiracy” always got the best of me and little ole me would go one on one with the head strong nuns when I would show up to school with a salami sandwich on Fridays….I always lost, of course. As an adult I’m still very curious, my dad wasn’t the only one that shared their Fishy Theory, it was almost like a made for television CSI movie. Was there some medieval Pope who had a hankering for fish and declared it to be the go to meal during Lent? either way, I’m still not eating it.

AND…. yes I do know that the purpose of Lent is for prayer, penance, repentance of sins, atonement and self-denial. We also are told to sacrifice something for forty days…..my question is why does this “something” have to be food or of material value. I’ve read so many posts on Facebook stating that they are giving up the internet, fast food, wine, bread, clothes shopping, soda etc. What’s wrong with giving up being inpatient, manipulative,unfaithful, self-righteous for forty days? instead of losing your cool and yelling….work on holding your tongue for forty days.  (Jesus did sacrifice more than just a loaf of bread for you right?)

Is it easier to “sacrifice” and go without your favorite Starbucks coffee than to actually come face to face with something within yourself that is your own personal down fall like anger issues, low self-esteem, gossiping and stopping your bad behavior for forty days? can you imagine how your life would be forty days from now if you were able to give up yelling, or being inpatient, or cheating on your spouse or being a doormat for a bully to walk all over. Sure it will be tough, of course you will have to be on your toes making sure you don’t fall….but isn’t sacrifice suppose to be hard? once all is done YOU will have found your own inner strength to get past your struggles, you would have fought those inner demons and in the end have found inner peace.

What’s better than that?

Honoring Aleasha Billing

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As parents we do our best to keep our children safe, I can’t tell you how many times I have heard my kids tell me  “MOM, I’m not five I don’t need you to watch me cross the street” or “MOM, I’m not a baby anymore I’m 15!!”, sometimes as much as we want to wrap them in bubble wrap to keep them from harm or keep them within arms length of us, we just know that THAT is an impossible feat as they get older.

In 2011 as I was checking  Facebook I noticed that an old schoolmate posted some sad news regarding another classmate of ours and his family. The day after Thanksgiving, Mike and Carrie Billings 16 year old daughter, Aleasha was struck by a car while walking across the street with her sister and a cousin (who were unharmed)  and was now unconscious, on a respirator with a severe head injury and fighting for her life.

For everyone, no matter how upset you are, tell your children you love them. Never take the children for granted,” said Carrie Billing. “Always take the opportunity to give them a hug and tell them you love them because you never know.”

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My heart broke for this family, I couldn’t imagine the pain they were feeling. Aleasha underwent many surgeries in the last two years but never recovered. She passed away in late January due to complications after another brain surgery. A couple of weeks ago a link was being sent through Facebook regarding Aleasha, one of her nurses decided to help the Billings family in hopes to ease the mountain of medical bills, funeral expenses and other costs that were to come.

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I thought I would share this link with all of you in hopes that you can pass it along, if you would like to help the family they would forever be grateful.

Aleasha Billing’s nurse and friend raising money to help her family with medical costs/memorial since the death of this beautiful girl.

Aleasha Billing was full of life until one tragic day in November 2011. She was struck by a vehicle as she was walking home. She fought for a little over 2 years and had seemed to be making some progress. Tragically, her fight ended 2 weeks ago after having yet another brain surgery. She received her angel wings and returned home to God. Her family is having a difficult time in dealing with the death of their child….a parent’s worst nightmare!! I am trying to help the parents to take care of the mounds of medical bills, out-of-pocket funeral expenses and a memorial in Aleasha’s honor. Please support the fight to take care of our children and possibly keep this from happening to another innocent!!

Give Forward

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Happy Birthday Lily

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Our little Lily turned five today and before I left for work today I took a few pictures!!

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She’s wanting to know where her birthday eggs and bacon are…..but that will be tonight along with her birthday muffins.

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For the puppy muffins, I used vanilla pudding for the frosting.

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Her son Dart wanted his picture taken as well …… but was fed up with the hat after awhile

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Daily Prompt : With or Without You

I’ve given a few ultimatums in my day but I wanted to share one that was given to me about four years ago.

Mr. Crazy (2nd husband,divorced, but at the time we were living together) was in one of his jealous rages and no he wasn’t jealous of another man or my time spent with friends …he was jealous of my furkid, Lily.

“It’s either me or the dog, choose one”  he spat.

I laughed. Does he really want me to answer that truthfully? no one in their right mind would give such an asinine demand but again he wasn’t in his right mind, come to think of it… he was probably off his meds.

He threw out the ultimatum again, “It’s me or the dog !!!!” I looked straight at him and said, “I choose Lily”.

The look on his face was priceless, he was shocked. “You would choose a DOG over me?” he said angrily. “She’s not just a DOG, she has been with me through thick and thin…..and your ultimatum is the silliest thing I have ever heard, you are jealous of Lily!”

He thought the way he felt was truly valid but he was told by our therapist that being jealous of a dog was just crazy and that the ultimatum he tossed out was not only immature but stupid.

Come on look at this face …… you’d choose her too!!

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Thankfully, my husband loves Lily and the rest of our furkids…. he spoils them rotten with love, attention and many beggin strips.

To view other Daily Prompts please visit : With or Without You

Out for a walk…just me, the furkids and a few……cows

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The pups and I took a walk to the farm that is just down the street from me in hopes to see the two newest additions.

Our  walk was a success…..

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As soon as we started to head back home, the furkids and I had some company on our walk!!

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This totally made my day…. I have a feeling we made a few people laugh as they drove by ….it’s not every day you see a bunch of cows following a person walking their dogs!!

 

A walk down memory lane

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Sunday morning Ann (my daughter) and I went into the shed to grab some of her boxes that were filled with her childhood memories, inside one of her boxes was a journal that I started on December 4,  1986….I was 12. I briefly went though it and laughed at a black and white photo of Kirk Cameron that I had taped to one of the pages with the words “ I love Kirk Cameron” written on the other page.

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Last night I opened up my journal and instantly tales of my childhood came alive, reading about growing up in Catholic school was quite entertaining, because that’s where I got my first taste of cliques and how to survive being on the chopping block. Every week it seemed someone upset the “leader” of the group and on this particular day I was cast out of the group …. and now was taken in by the “goody two shoes” of our class.

Nancy hates me and I’m trying to figure out why all she said was “I hate you and I’m not kidding” I’m thinking it was because I wasn’t loud enough in cheerleading practice.  

A couple of months later…. in big black marker appeared “Nancy is no longer here, she went to a new school” and all was right again.

Page after page was a synopsis about my day and an update on the status of my grade school crush was at the bottom in red ink, the funny thing was is one week I’d like him, two weeks later I hated him just to turn around a week later to state how I like him again.

Some memories didn’t leave me laughing, as I continued reading the words of my twelve-year-old self; I was reminded of the many times I got a “lickin” (spanked with the belt) for something my sister had done or for trying to stand up for myself…which never went in my favor.

“my dad took the calico vision out of the playroom and put it in my sister’s room because she wanted to play with it. It was given to both of us for Christmas but she cried because she wanted it in her room, now my dad switched our television sets and guess what ….when I went to turn it on, it doesn’t work”

From what came next didn’t play out in my favor and no amount of trying to get my point across worked because I ended up getting grounded. I still hadn’t learned to just keep my mouth shut. 

One thing that became apparent on those pages was how a childhood friendship was changing and the things that I wrote about back then hadn’t really changed much from the present day. I felt the frustration that my younger self felt as she was trying to make sense of why her friend felt that she had to pretend to be something that she wasn’t just to fit in.

“Marie is acting weird. I don’t know I think it’s because she has stuck up friends and she’s trying to be like them”  , “Marie called and said she couldn’t go to my birthday party because she was going to skateland with her friends from school. She knew about my party since December” , “ I don’t know why Marie invited me to her sleepover when she planned to ignore me. She’s starting to act like them, why would someone want to act like an airhead?”

I don’t know why it was so important for me to hold onto this friendship so tightly, my only guess was the promise we made as little girls to remain friends forever. No matter the changes that I saw in her as time went on I still held on tightly to that promise making excuses for her behavior, always baffled why she thought she had to “play” a certain part for her friends or the people she surrounded herself with.  It wasn’t until very recently that I decided to put our friendship to rest and to leave the memory of those two little girls who at one time were inseparable in the past…where their friendship was carefree and innocent and not plagued by “growing up”.

What surprised me as I continued to read the pages of my journal was that I kept coming back making small entries….sometimes they were quick updates or details of my broken heart. The last entry was August 1996 … I think I will just leave a little note that says  “For a recent update just google Valley Girl Gone Country” . 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A bittersweet birthday weekend

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Thursday seemed more like my birthday then my actual birthday which was Saturday, my co-workers spoiled me rotten with a delicious chocolate cake, lunch of my choice…. which was McDonalds, a hilarious card and a few gifts. I was also pleasantly surprised when I got an edible arrangement from my father. I admit his gesture did leave me a bit perplexed because my father doesn’t do things like this…..the message didn’t say “Happy Birthday”, just “Hope your “big day” goes well” from Daddy Jack.  No Love Dad, No Love Mom and Dad….just from Daddy Jack. Ok….well the gesture was nice and quite yummy.  Later that evening my daughter Ann finally arrived and I was not only relieved that she was home but that she arrived safe and sound…..although no parent wants to hear “I almost fell asleep a couple of times while I was driving” and when I heard those very words spill out of her mouth I made a mental note to give her my Starbucks gift card before she headed back to Nebraska on Sunday.

KittyFriday was a long day ….. I took our newest furkid, Penny (the stray kitty) to the vet only to find out that she is 22 days pregnant, “congratulations you are going to be a grandma” the vet assistant said as she gave me a picture of the ultrasound. I looked down at the picture and the only thought that I had was “Holy Shit, how am I going to deliver this news to hubby”.  The Doc came in and discussed several options…. “she’s still early along in her pregnancy that we can spay her still, just don’t wait too long”….he must have seen the look on my face because the subject just wasn’t something I wanted to think about….”I will have the nurse come in with some estimates”. Ok.   —– Long story short, Hubby made the decision to have her spayed, there was no debate or argument…it was just how it was going to be. I called the Vet and made the appointment (and made it clear that it wasn’t my choice, they knew) he took her in this morning.

Later that day we made the trek to Oklahoma (five hour drive), we were meeting up with his family to see his ailing mom. It broke my heart to see the sadness in my husbands eyes when he held his moms hand and whispered a sweet message in her ear …but instead of breaking down, I stayed strong…for him. Once his brothers arrived at the nursing home, I made certain that they were left alone with her…… my daughter Ann decided to make friends with some of the elderly ladies that were on the same wing as momma, one in particular really took to my daughter….her name was Lola and for the next couple of days when we went to visit momma….Ann made her way to Lolas room to spend some time with her. Ann really has a gift……the compassion and love she has for people is just amazing. She’s certainly not shy but she never was …haha…she just has always had this knack for striking up conversations with strangers.  After visiting with Momma, we joined the rest of the family for dinner at a steakhouse and boy I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into a good tasty steak and dive right into a fully loaded baked potato….see my ass has been on a diet for a couple of months, my goal was to lose 20 pounds by my birthday….I was 3 pounds shy of meeting my goal but I rewarded myself that night!!

This was the only picture taken of me this weekend. I would have smiled if I knew I was being photographed. :)  this is me and my niece playing a game on my phone.....Ann is busy texting her boyfriend and the hubby is yapping about something.

This was the only picture taken of me this weekend. I would have smiled if I knew I was being photographed. 🙂 this is me and my niece playing a game on my phone…..Ann is busy texting her boyfriend and the hubby is yapping about something.

Saturday (my 40th bday) morning I woke up expecting to see a head full of gray hair but when I looked at myself in the mirror all that came to mind was “fuzzy wazzy was a bear” my hair for some reason lost all its curl from the night before and now was a frizzy mess…….my curling iron and straightener were at home, 5 hours away so I pulled my hair back in a ponytail and did my best to calm the frizz.

I thought I would hear a “Happy Birthday” out of my husbands mouth when we first woke up….but I was wrong. It came an hour later in a mumbled tone…… I kept telling myself that it wasn’t about me today, well not while we were in Oklahoma, we would celebrate my birthday later in the evening when we got home.  We headed to the nursing home and spent a couple of hours with Momma, she opened her eyes a bit but that was all……I knew family would be coming by shortly so I gently washed her face, combed her hair, put lotion on her face and hands and spoke to her like she could hear us. After our visit, we joined the rest of the family for breakfast, made one last trip to the nursing home and headed home…..5 hours later we were back in Arkansas  (7 pm) , we decided to go to Anns favorite restaurant  here in town which has a huge seafood buffet and although I can’t stand seafood, we went because she doesn’t come out here often and plus it put a smile on her face…….so while the two of them ate shrimp, crawfish and other fishy food I had the salad bar and a few things that weren’t seafood related that was on the buffet. I just knew once we got home I could have a large slice of chocolate cake……so I was saving room for my desert.

Once home we were welcomed at the door by some very excited furkids, boy did I miss them!  when they were settled and fed, I checked my phone and saw that there was a voicemail from my parents…..I hit play expecting to hear both of them wishing me a Happy Birthday, but it was just the voice of my dad saying Happy Birthday.  It didn’t surprise me at all that I didn’t hear the voice of my mother saying “Happy Birthday”  along with my dad, that’s her…..she has her reasons for being who she is. It pretty much showed me that I made the right decision to forgo the Hawaii trip. Ok….it sucked, I had hopes that this year would be different…..I was hoping to take baby steps towards mending our very broken relationship, but who am I kidding. I knew better…..it made sense why my moms name wasn’t on the special delivery I received at work on Thursday from my dad.

I put my phone away and headed to the kitchen to devour a slice of cake…..and once that piece of heavenly goodness touched my tongue, I wished myself a Happy Birthday ….the only thing missing was a nice glass of wine to wash down the chocolaty desert.

Staying true to myself

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Last night I slept, I slept better than I had in days…maybe weeks. I woke up around one in the morning recalling a dream that I just had, “I fell asleep” …I closed my eyes, snuggled up closer to the hubby and without hassle I fell back to sleep. I woke up refreshed … no sign of a headache, I was ready to tackle my day.

It had seemed as though writing about what was troubling me helped tremendously, but why was I so surprised this time?  Writing has always been therapeutic to me, writing is what I know …… sharing or venting to a friend has helped at times but when I write I feel as though I can express myself more clearly without interruption. It’s my feelings, my truth, my hopes, my life… in black and white.

I made a decision when I started Valley Girl Gone Country not to hold back, or to allow someone to dictate what was deemed appropriate…that type of restraint left me feeling bogged down and trapped, yes there are times that I have had to change a name just to protect the person that I am speaking of, there have been moments that I sat in front of my computer screen ready to hit publish but had second thoughts because maybe it was too raw…too personal…too me, but you know what?  I had to get pass that. Throwing myself under the bus or sharing idiotic situations will happen, because well…….sometimes life brings you idiot moments..right?

When I am blogging about my life here in the country or sharing experiences of my past….there are times that to some it may come across very personal, for example “Love Doesn’t Leave Bruises” It’s my attempt to reach them (them meaning friends/family) and I have exhausted my efforts every other way, I’ve talked to them until I was blue in the face, I’ve dumbed it down for them, I’ve pulled the emotion out of it, emailed…but I know they read this blog, I also know they read your comments. I know in time something has to click.

I watched the first episode of Blood, Sweat and Heels this past weekend and honestly I wasn’t too impressed, but one of the cast members is a blogger, Demetria Lucas and boy oh boy did she get some of those girlies panties in a bunch just by writing her truth, her observation from a brunch she attended. She wasn’t going to let them bully her into silence, she was going to write what she knew…..not even a calculated dinner to bamboozle her and tear apart her posts broke her. She stayed classy. She remained true to herself.

All in all I will remain true to myself and Valley Girl Gone Country. I’ve shut down one too many blogs and went into blogging hibernation because of other peoples opinions but I can’t do that anymore.

* You have the choice to read or not to read. I am not forcing that hand*

and when I say that I am staying true to myself this has nothing to do with me refusing to accept becoming forty  in a couple of days…..I will be 39 again and again and again.