Look who turned 1 !!

1 year

 

 

I have some exciting things to share with you all ….

First …. Valley Girl Gone Country turned one on March 5th!!  I can’t believe this blog has been up for a year now! I never would have expected to have over 17,000 views and over 600 followers but I am thankful for all those who have taken their time to read all about my silly adventures in the country.

Now…for the exciting part……

I’m surprised that I haven’t spilled the beans considering this is something that I’ve been looking forward to for MONTHS!

Valley Girl Gone Country is getting a makeover!

Back in August I had bought Valleygirlgonecountry.com with every intention to spruce up the site….not me persay; but someone who stated that transferring the blog would be easy peasy and giving it a makeover would be no problem. Well, as you can see my site hasn’t changed in over a year and knowing that I am not tech savvy enough to pretty it up some I decided to seek the help of Monique over at Fantastique Designs.

She is for better words … “Fantastic” and has made this process so much fun!  I am pretty sure all those who follow me still will be able to view my posts; my account is still through WordPress….so from what I have been told there shouldn’t be a problem!

We are in the final stages of the design process soooo keep your eyes posted for the new look!! I hope you guys love it as much as I do!!

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. 

 

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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I totally jinxed myself

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I have come to the conclusion that I need to either switch from reading Sci-Fi fantasy-vampire-breed  books to a more entertaining chick flick genre, stop watching the first couple minutes of Ancient Aliens an hour before bedtime or both….because my night was riddled with crazy nightmarish dreams which included the scary ass clown from Stephen Kings IT; how that demonic clown webbed its way into my dream is beyond me because I haven’t watched that movie since I was a teenager!!

I blame myself….I sat there watching the intro to Ancient Aliens on the History channel, briefly listening to what the show was going to be about. Something to do with the Fiji Mountains, evil spirits and some other demonic beings who were thought to be aliens at one time or another, who knows but seeing glimpses of these creatures on my television screen for a few seconds made my decision quite easy. “I’m not watching this, it will give me nightmares”………..I totally jinxed myself!!

clownMy dream started with me being told that I was not to wander the town because someone was out to avenge someone’s death by killing me. From what I gathered I was the daughter of some big shot who did someone wrong therefore making my father pay by offing me (totally in the book I was reading but my dream didn’t involve vampires). I did as I was told; I stayed close to home … but one afternoon I saw a neighbor who I hadn’t seen in years so I went down to say hello, a minute later I see the barrel of a gun sticking out from the crack of the door aiming right at my chest. I heard three shots………then things went dark.  You would think that would have killed me….nope not in Jolenes Dream World, I woke up in a safe house somewhere deep in the country. Long story short…..no one bothered to check if “IT” resided there because after a few days of venturing out on my own to check out this compound that looked like a little city than housing for those that needed to be kept safe I started to see glimpses of this spooky clown…always baring his ugly sharp teeth.  The bizarre part of this dream was that in my DREAM I woke up and hours later I was telling a co-worker about my nightmare (everything I had just written), she then asked “do your dreams have an orange tint to them?”, I looked at her as though she had been smoking something potent “hmmm no, why?” I replied. “If you notice your dreams turning orange you are giving life to them”she said. Interesting.

That’s when I woke up for real, my heart racing …I glanced up at the clock “12:42” , I did my best to think happy thoughts as I cuddled close to the furkids before going back to sleep…those happy thoughts didn’t help. I was whisked right back into the land of IT. While I was wandering the woods I heard the laughter of a child (so I thought), but this laugh was more sinister…… I turned my head to see a little boy holding a doll, HIS CHUCKY DOLL….CHUCKY was laughing ( seriously I was waiting for FREDDY to pop up any moment) knowing this boy lost his way I grabbed his hand and walked him back to the safety of his home. 

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This night long nightmare ended with me running into an old roommate of mine at a memorial service for those that died by the hands of the spooky ass clown, we decided to share a room and head back into town the next morning together. We were supposed to meet everyone who attended the service for dinner but fell asleep only to wake up with the eerily feeling that her and I were the only two alive and behind our door was our fate.

That’s when I woke up and decided that I had enough sleep, “I totally jinxed myself” I whispered. My subconscious had fun with me last night, digging deep and pulling out characters that caused me to keep the lights on when I was a young kid. Thank goodness E.T or the alien from Signs didn’t show up in my dream, the lights would be on indefinitely!!

 

 

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I couldn’t be a farmer

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Most of you who follow this blog know that I have grown quite fond of the cows that live down the street from me…..they are just cute, especially the little baby calves.

I can hear you saying  “did she just say cows are cute?” yes I did…. and no my house isn’t full of cow figurines.

Yesterday, as I was driving home from the hair salon I passed by the cow pasture and noticed that a momma cow was occupied with something, I slowed the car down and noticed it was a baby calf…..not as big as the ones I had recently photographed, I want to say this was a couple of weeks old(maybe). My heart dropped, from what I saw the baby was laying flat on the grass and the momma was licking her/him …..I assumed it had died. I turned my car around to look once more and I didn’t see the baby move….so I pulled into the farmers drive-way to alert them.

I tried with all my might not to break down right there, I knocked on the door and waited…finally an older lady in a floral moo-moo (no pun intended) came to the door. I told her that I thought one of her calves had died and that the momma was by its side.

“Honey I can’t do anything right now, I’m an old lady but one of the men should be back shortly…thank you so much for telling me”.

I walked back to my car and tears fell…..there was no way for me to bypass the momma and baby calf; I just drove right pass the cows and said a little prayer. I couldn’t stop crying, it was the saddest thing I ever saw…..I pulled into my garage, grabbed the groceries from the trunk and headed inside to be met at the door by my husband.

He looked confused….

I broke down “the baby calf is dead and the momma cow was right by it nudging it and licking it” I managed to say.

“I thought you were only getting a few things from the store” he said.

“I went  to the farmers house and told them….it was so sad, it was a white baby cow not one of the black ones that I took a picture of, it wasn’t moving” 

He stood there just staring….knowing that I was overwhelmed with what I saw.

I couldn’t stop crying ….. My fur kids looked confused as well, but knew that inside one of those bags was some treats so they didn’t leave my side.

My husband came into the kitchen and just hugged me….. I broke down, weeping, mumbling something about the momma cow and baby and how the farmer wasn’t there but his wife was. He just let me cry, he didn’t say anything ….. I was expecting him to say “death happens” or “they are just cows” but he didn’t, he just let me cry.  While in his arms all I thought about was how we had to move and that I needed a glass of wine but I knew both weren’t the right answer…….well, the glass of wine probably would have helped but moving would just be silly.

After awhile I sent a message to a dear friend telling her of what I saw. She felt my sadness because she also lives across from a farm and has witnessed a cows birth and to a baby calf dying……that’s when it hit me “maybe it was just born and the momma was nudging it to move, it was small enough”, but that thought was gone quickly and my heart just went out to the momma cow.

~

On my way into work this morning, I had to drive pass the farm ….seriously there is no way around it, well there is but I would be going way out of my way, but as I got closer I felt as though everything was ok on the farm, “it’s alive and it was just born” was the thought that came into my mind.

This morning as I was telling the sad tale to one of my co-workers….she said,

“Jolene, you have a soft heart …. you know he could have just been born and the mom was just licking him clean and nudging him to move” she said.

She may be right ….. and the comforting whispered “thoughts” that the baby cow is well eases my heart somewhat. Part of me wants to know the true fate of the little white calf but I am not sure if I can handle knowing……

 

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!!

 

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. 

Uninspired

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That’s how I have been feeling lately. I want to write, I have a lot on my mind but to pull it out and let the words flow through my finger tips isn’t happening. There’s a roadblock……a yellow caution “DO NOT CROSS” tape in front of those thoughts that are keeping me from moving forward.

Maybe it’s the weather ……

Saturday I felt as though something was sucking all the energy out of me. I wasn’t sick….but just going from the living room to the kitchen took everything out of me. Driving to the store was nearly impossible, I wanted to just pull over and sleep. It took quite a bit of convincing (from myself) to get in the shower and once in, I just stood under the stream of water for what felt like hours wishing for this feeling to disappear.

Was what I was feeling the result of the lack of carbs and caffeine from this diet I am on or was this just a combination of being emotionally drained, not having an appetite and having so much going on that my body was forcing me to just rest and recharge?

I truly miss my IPhone 4

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Last year I switched from the IPhone 4 to the Samsung Galaxy two and at first I really liked it. I even spoke the words “This is so much better then the IPhone” because at one point I did enjoy the large screen and all the new dodads that come with operating some new techy equipment.

Since I wasn’t using the IPhone anymore I sent it onto my sister considering she was having issues with her own IPhone….I wasn’t going to just give it to just anyone….shit I paid enough for it, over $250. After awhile, I felt a little tug …. I missed my IPhone….it was pretty, I was able to organize pictures in folders, it had that little “ding” that reminded me of the sound I heard while flying, I was able to take pictures of the screen by just pushing a button (i can’t do that with this phone), I missed the opportunity to listen to my music list that I had on my ITunes, I was able to see when another IPhone user was texting me back…I just missed it, but I pushed my feelings aside…..I had a nice phone, I needed to stop being a baby.

I knew I shouldn’t have ever given my IPhone 3 to a co-worker, but I was being nice…..she had broken hers earlier that morning and financially she couldn’t afford a new phone. SOOOO, the nice person that I am told her that I had a phone that I wasn’t using and she could use it, DO YOU KNOW WHAT SHE DID???? a couple days later I noticed that she was sporting a phone, a new phone….not the IPhone I gave her. She told me she traded my IPhone in for the one she was now sporting……I smiled but inside I was pissed!!!  Kinda still am.

Well, months have passed and I am still missing the IPhone…. and after being around my relatives this past weekend; who all had IPhones  just confirmed to me that I am going to go back to the IPhone. I just like the format, I like what it has to offer……. I spoke with my sister about my stupid desire to have an IPhone again and she told me she would send mine back, since she has a new phone and no longer was using the IPhone I gave her.

~I know this is stupid…..but I’m excited…..so excited that I already went and purchased a pretty case for it, now I’m just waiting for the phone.

 

 

Life is too short ~

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We’ve all seen this saying, we probably have said it once or twice to a friend in need and maybe we shouted it out to a former lover. We may have read it on a page of some self-help book or heard our pastor give a sermon on holding onto the past. We may have even been on the receiving end of that statement a few times. God knows I have.

Yes, I do believe that life is too short to sweat the small stuff ….. like, wearing two different colored socks, missing your flight, being a dollar short in the drive-thru of your favorite fast food joint and I agree there is a time to just move forward and let the past just stay in the past…..

BUT, there are exceptions to this ……  there are times that the only way to move forward is to deal with it head on. I believe that “some” people use this expression as an easy way out; a way for them not to have to deal with the pain that they have caused other people. They don’t want to face the hard cold fact that they have something to do with the nightmares and constant inner struggle someone has gone through for the past thirty something years. …..and by “someone” I mean me and the delusional “someone” is none other than mommy dearest.

“Life is too short to dwell on the past” she wrote today.

Maybe for you…..you’re seventy, I have a good fifty years still ahead of me… I thought.. as I ripped a twizzler out of its bag and began chomping on it, I was irritated. Leave it to her to turn a blind eye on the crap that she pulled. Years of manipulation, years of guilt trips, years of seeing her throw temper tantrums on her bed because “life isn’t fair”, years of head games…..fucked up head games. Fine, you want to be in denial, you want to sweep things under the rug and pretend nothing happened….Fine live your life that way, but I won’t. I want to be healthy, I want to rid myself of the ghosts that have haunted me for years, I want to be strong and finally be proud of myself, I want to ………………..hear you say “you fucked up” and acknowledge that you didn’t love me like a mother should….but that will never happen because you want to turn a blinds eye, pretend it never happened.

Yes, let’s pretend that you never played favorites……let’s pretend I never heard my father say “it’s our choice who we choose to love”…let’s pretend that you never ignored me while I was pregnant with my first child and thought that God was punishing YOU! ….let’s pretend that after I was there for you while you were dealing with your mothers sudden death that you didn’t become your icy self once you went back home. I remember that night when you opened up to me, how you wished your mother had loved you. You were hurt because she considered her neighbor more of a daughter than you…….I sat there night after night listening. I thought we had a mother daughter break through. You cried, you made me feel sorry for you, you yearned for her love, you told me you wished she would have been more of a mother to you. That night I expressed my feelings about us, I thought you listened…… I was wrong……so wrong. Remember when Andrea had a change of heart and wasn’t going to go into the military, and you turned on her…….who did you call?? You called me…….for the first time I got to see what it was like to be your favorite, for a week and a half I got to feel what my sister felt. We went places, did things, laughed and cooked together. “You need to talk to your sister” you asked. I did…..the day my sister decided to go through with her decision and continue on with the military was the day you changed. I was again an outsider looking in. Let’s pretend you never called me a bitch in front of your home, let’s pretend you never told a family friend that I was a failure and no amount of praying will help me, let’s pretend how when I wanted to be hugged by my mother all I got was a fake “I’m too busy” embrace, it wasn’t even an embrace. Why even bother to hug me now??

You were the reason why you weren’t invited to the wedding……………it was your hurtful words that you said to our family friend not only once, not twice but a few times about me that finally was enough for me.  You can go ahead and live your life as you do and I will live mine. I will know that I HAVE stopped the cycle that you and your mother started. I will know that when my kids were growing up they knew I loved them UNCONDITIONALLY. …….they know of their mothers’ love, something I only experienced the first five years of my life.

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