Monthly Archives: March 2013

Let’s Get This Straight

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Can I just throw something out there? If you are the parent of a small child, you have an incredibly huge responsibility to train that child up in such a way that they will grow into a kind, courteous, respectable, adult. If you’ve got a son, y’all better be teaching him to hold the door for a lady and to never, ever, under any circumstance, make her feel like she is less than human because she’s a woman. They see a lady coming, they better tip their hat and say, “Hello, ma’am.” There’s a lady in the room, their mouth better be clean and no swearing in front of a lady either. And by the way, it’s not “yeah” and “nope.” It’s “yes ma’am/sir” or “no ma’am/sir.” And ladies, for the record, you want to be treated like a lady? Then act like one. That means all you mommas out there that have baby girls, teach them what it means to be a lady. Show them what it means to respect themselves enough to never let a man walk all over them. Show them how to be classy and to dress like a lady instead of throwing themselves at a man with what society tells them is pretty. Cause walking around with yourself exposed ain’t cute, girls. And it’s only gonna attract the boys (notice I didn’t say MEN) who want one thing. And that ain’t ya cookin’, ya lovin’, or even your first name. They want one thing, and one thing only. Don’t give it away so easily. I get so tired of hearing about girls who fall for the same kind of man over and over and over again. Oh, and before I get too far, let me tell y’all: I’m preaching to the choir cause I’ve been one of those girls, and not too long ago, either.

So mommas and daddies, love on your kids. Dads, take your little girls on dates. Shower her with praise and tell her she’s pretty. YOU step up and be the MAN in her life that she knows she can run to so she’s not running to little boys who don’t care about her heart and her mind and the way she feels deep down inside. Mothers, you do the same with your boys . Love on them and let them know it’s okay to show their emotions and that instead of putting up a wall when they’re hurt, you are the one they can come running to. And never make them feel like less of a man when they do choose to cry in front of you. You hold them even tighter and don’t let go until they’re ready. And dads, you better set the example of how to treat a lady in the way you treat their momma! Kids will do as they see, not always as they’re told. Set the bar high!

I’m not a parent, not even close. But I’m so tired of running into men (and I use the word men loosely here) that were never taught the importance of treating a woman with respect. And it’s just as frustrating to sit back and watch women throw themselves at men because they’re insecure and lacking something in life that creates a longing for that attention and affection. Ladies, ya ain’t gonna find it in those kinda men. Not happening. So parents, again, this is a desperate plea, train ya babies up. We don’t need another generation of what we have now. The cycle has to be broken!

Collard Greens

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The South: a place that will get in your blood and stay forever!

Today was a first for me. I’ve been wanting to try collard greens for some time now but seeing as I’m a Midwesterner, collard greens are not a way of life here. We have spinach salads with raspberry vinaigrette topped with gorgonzola cheese crumbles. We ain’t got no collard greens. And there’s this part of me that is sad when I think of the 26 years of my life that have slipped by without ever having eaten some good ol greens smothered in butter and cooked in a ham hock. But today was a first. Today I put a serious hurtin’ on some collard greens. I tore those bad boys up. Mom and I were invited to the all black church in the next town over so we went and let me tell y’all, I haven’t had fun like that in my whole life. Big Mama behind me got to dancing and waving her tambourine around, she must’ve been lost in the spirit cause she got that tambourine caught all up in my hair. I thought she was gonna drag me right up out the pew when she took off on a Jericho run. And they were lucky I’m congested today cause otherwise, I would’ve hopped right in that alto section of the choir!! Anyway, after church was over, they served lunch and I’ll tell y’all something, Miss Patricia made the best fried chicken, greens, and sweet potato pie I ever had. I thought I’d died and woke up at the Pearly Gates. I couldn’t believe that I had waited 26 years to try greens. The lady next to me kept telling me to get mo chicken, get mo greens and if I could’ve snuck the whole dadgum bowl of greens out the kitchen, y’all know I would’ve.

My first experience with greens did one thing and one thing only: it fueled the fire within me of longing for a southern way of life. I was made for the south. I need to be in the south. That or I need to bring the south to me…..meaning I need to open a southern style diner ASAP. I know I’ve spent a lot of years and money on getting my teaching degree, but if I had the opportunity to open a diner, I’d never look back. If only, if only…….

Don’t Hate Us Cause You Ain’t Us

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John and I have been friends ever since we met at church camp when we were 12 years old. We were both in the choir and we had a bonding experience when the girl behind us was trying to sing alto but clearly had no idea what she was doing. John and I both have an ear for music so the fact that she was bellowing what she thought was her alto part so loudly in our ears made us laugh and ya’ll know when John and I start laughing, it usually takes an act of God himself to get us to stop. That is something we are really, really good at. It isn’t uncommon at all for me to find myself laughing so hard that there is no sound coming out of my mouth at all when I’m with John. And the great thing is, we share the same sense of humor so things that NO ONE else thinks is funny, well, John and I find hilarious. And then we go into the uncontrollable laughter and it’s always a great time. Today we both took the day off and decided to take a little mini day trip. We really had no idea where we were going to go or what we’d end up doing20130308-221414.jpg but that’s typically when we have the most fun. We had somewhat of an idea on where were headed so we hopped in my car at 9:00 a.m. and headed south.

Well, we hit the road after we looked up and realized that John had been so excited when he pulled into my driveway that he forgot to put his car in park and there it went, just rolling down the hill headed straight for my neighbor’s back door. He took off sprinting across my yard and I promise you guys, I was laughing so hard my abs were hurting. There is never a dull moment with the two of us. So, after we were finally able to get our trip started, we decided we’d go to my grandparent’s farm. We took the back way and stopped at a little store called The Jane Store.
As we parked and got out of the car, I noticed two little old men sitting on the front porch of the store, coffee in hand and as I walked through the screen door and felt the old wooden floor creaking beneath my feet, I instantly felt like I was in Mayberry and that I’d see Opie and Andy walking down the gravel road in front of me, fishing poles in hand.

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We bought some home made jam and talked to Joyce, the sweet lady who owns the store, and thanked her for keeping the store in it’s original fashion. It was just adorable. As we continued driving to the farm, we of course were having a major car concert when we noticed some sort of building tucked into a boulder off the road a ways. We slowed down, thinking it may be a flea market or another store we’d want to see, but realized it was an old tavern. John and I share brainwaves most of the time, so it came as no surprise when we both looked down at the clock in the car, noticing it read 10:21 and without missing a beat, we both said, “It’s 5 o’clock somewhere.” And then we laughed so hard I thought John was going to send our car flying off the slopes. We finally arrived at the farm and by this point, we were in rare form, hyper as could be from laughing so hard. My gramma was happy to see us and of course took us out to feed the horse and see what new tricks my papa had been teaching him. We went inside and Gramma started telling us that someone had broken into the shop and stolen some of Papa’s stuff. If ya’ll don’t know my gramma, well, let me just tell you: she stands about 4’11” and has a thick southern drawl and she’s a feisty little thing. So as she was telling us about the break in she said, “I’m just suh sick uh dealin’ with them thugs.” And I almost fell to the floor from laughing. I didn’t even know my gramma knew the word thug. Oh my. It was great times

. We left the farm and went into town (which is population 275) and hit up a few flea markets where John became the chief of Washburn. We of course made friends with the owner of the flea market and listened to stories of when my momma was growing up there. Next we made our way into Cassville where we found even more flea markets and amazing treasures and then decided we’d better make a quick stop in at Roaring River State Park. We did a little jig in the parking lot and then laughed uncontrollably at the thought of what people around us think of our unbridled sense of humor .20130308-221525.jpg

We left Cassville and stopped in at Newtonia at the Mennonite store and had the ladies there make us the BEST turkey sandwich I have ever eaten. We bought homemade pickles (and of course more candy) and then drove to a small farm of draft horses. We parked there and ate lunch while the horses munched away on hay and laughed at the thought of having lunch with the horses. By this time it was 2:30 and I needed to be back in town to have my TB test (for student teaching) read so pulled into the Health Department and started laughing hysterically thinking about what would run through peoples’ minds if we “checked ourselves in”on Facebook at the Health Department together. Like I said, it’s never a dull moment with this guy. We got the results and were happy to find that I didn’t have tuberculosis so we decided we’d celebrate with ice cream. The local drug store on the square serves the best home made ice cream so naturally, we knew this is where we’d be getting ice cream. After putting ourselves into a sugar coma, we decided it was probably time for a break so we curled up on my couch and started catching up on American Idol. About this time, we heard a knock on my door. There stood my dad with a baby squirrel in his arms. He (the squirrel, not my dad. haha) had fallen out of his nest and my dad had almost run over him with the mower. John and I knew we had only one option and that was to take little Chuck (as we named him) under our wings and our parental instincts instantly kicked in. Well, until the conservation lady told us we could go to jail and be fined for harboring a wild animal. So, we pawned ol Chuck off on a man at Walmart who promised me that he’d have a better life. Listen people, I loved Chuck but I wasn’t about to be thrown in the slammer over a dadgum squirrel. It was fun while it lasted, but Monica warned us to prepare for the worst. So, John and I were ready when we had to give up the little guy.

20130308-221626.jpgWhat a day. It was by far one of the funnest days I’ve had in so long. John and I have more inside jokes than I can even begin to count. We like to call them our “Remember Whens.” A lot of people don’t get our sense of humor but we do and that’s all that matters. I love every moment that we’re laughing so hard we can’t breathe and then when we finally do come up for air, all we have to do is look at each other and it starts all over. He’s one in a billion and I’m so happy he’s my friend.

Hey John, remember when my grandparents were looking for a worship leader and you applied?

I love you, friend!! YOLO.

Wachel’th Hand

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There isn’t another human being on this planet that I love more than my nephew, Isaac Ray. He can be a little stinker at times, but that’s normal with any two and half year old kid! I love his little lisp and how excited he gets when I tell him I’ll play tractors with him on his floor mat. I love that when he eats, his lips purse together like a little turtle. I love how he dances when he hears music and that when he wears his daddy’s headphones to listen to Veggie Tales, he sings like no one else can hear him. I love that little guy more than life.

Tonight, we celebrated my sis-in-law’s birthday at a local Chinese restaurant and in front of the building, there are two huge statues of lions. Isaac always gets excited when we pull in to this particular restaurant because he gets to eat at “Lion King.” There’s a fountain right inside the lobby so before we went in tonight, I gathered all the change out of the bottom of my purse and if I could have captured the excitement in his eyes and put that in a photo for you all to see, I would’ve done it. The whole way there, he kept saying, “Money in the water! Money in the water!”

On the way home after dinner, I sat in the back seat with him and we were dancing to the music when he suddenly stopped and said, “Wachel’th hand!” (that translates to Rachel’s hand) He took my hand in his and held it tightly until we pulled in to the drive way. I love and cherish those sweet moments. As a two year old child, we’ve never explained to Isaac that holding hands is a sign of affection, but he knows. And in moments like that, I know how much he loves his aunt Rachel and I hope he always knows how much I adore him.

My brother has Isaac convinced that he can open the garage door. As we pulled in to the driveway tonight, my brother told Isaac to open the garage door and he put his little hands out and yelled, “Open!!!” and at the same time, my brother hit the button on the garage door opener. It’s just the cutest thing ever. I love the faith that children have. I just love that little dude. There’s not a thing in this world I love more than being an aunt. It’s an honor to be able to love him and watch him grow and develop his personality and see the things that he loves, like John Deere tractors and farm animals. Tonight I asked if he was excited to move into his new house that had a barn and he got a huge grin on his face and said, “Farm, Rachel!!!”

He’s my favorite. I couldn’t imagine life without him in it.

Goodnight~Aunt Wachel

The Lobster Award? No Wait. It’s Liebster Blog Award.

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Yeah, I have no idea what this is even about but my pal Brooke, over at http://belowrance.wordpress.com/ , nominated me for this Liebster Blog Award thing and I’m going to assume that’s a good thing?!?! Anyway. After reading her description of what this is all about, I guess I am to answer the 11 questions she has sent to me and then nominate 3-5 other bloggers who I will then ask 11 different questions. Seems easy enough. And I’m kind of excited because I haven’t been nominated for anything since the 7th grade and that was the year I won most talkative and class clown. Looks like I’m just moving on up in the world of awards. So here are the 11 questions that were sent to me:

1.  How did you feel when you got your first follower?  Or realized other people were reading your words? (or looking at your pictures, Mike?) Kind of creeped out because I didn’t really think anyone would read them ever. And I was even more creeped out when I found the search engines that showed me what people had been looking for when they found my blog.

2.  I am a car concert superstar (aka I belt out songs in the car with no one around), what is your song of choice when you are a car concert superstar? ME TOO!! It’s usually Rascal Flatts or Miranda Lambert. If John is with me, it’s definitely one of those two!! If I’m feeling confident, I like to do a little Whitney every now and again……AND IIIIIIIIIIII-EEEE-IIIII WILL ALWAYS LOVE YOUOOOOOOOOUUUUUUUOOOUUUUU.

3.  If you could travel anywhere in the world, where would it be? I’ve been a lot of places but Ireland is one place I’ve not been able to travel. I would go there and I’d go back to West Africa and teach.

4.  If you had to rush out of your house and only take one item with you, what would it be? My family!! But if it had to be an “item,” it’d be the letter that my dad wrote to me a couple years ago.

5.  What is your favorite baseball team? I don’t follow baseball until the World Series and then I just cheer for the underdog.

6.  Have you ever had a dance party when no one else was around?  (yes, I have done this… actually it happens a lot in my house) All day, errrday!

7.  What is your favorite season? Spring!!! And early Summer!

8.  What is the best concert you’ve ever been to? Rascal Flatts

9.  If you could be granted one wish, what would it be? To get skinny by eating all my favorite foods.

10.  If you could switch professions tomorrow, what would you do? I’d own my own restaurant!!

11.  Coke or Pepsi?  (If you say Pepsi, we will not be friends.) Neither! But if I have to pick….Coke Zero.

Thanks for nominating me, Brooke!! You’re the bomb dot com. And here are my nominations, in no particular order:

http://theverybesttop10.com/ ~ I love the randomness of your top ten lists and I like the fact that while some of them are just for a good laugh, a lot of them are somewhat applicable. Matter of fact, I’ve been busy trying to order some of those wacky kitchen gadgets!

 Miss Charity Faye from http://charityfaye.wordpress.com/ ~ I always enjoy reading your blogs. I feel like they have given me a glimpse inside your soul and when I read your words, I feel a connection with your vulnerability. Keep ’em coming!! And I think you’re pretty rad because you’re bff’s with my cousin. So yeah.

And last but not least, I nominate the cute little couple from http://talesofamaninlove.wordpress.com/. I absolutely adore ya’ll’s love story. It’s whimsical, mischievous at times, and gives me hope of finding love like yours one day.

Congrats, ya’ll. Here are your 11 questions! I hope you have fun with these and that you will nominate your favorites as well. I’m still not sure what the Liebster Blog Award is all about, but heck, I’ll take it!!

1. Were you named after anyone?

2. If you were another person, would you be friends with you and why?

3. What is the first thing you notice about people?

4. Mountain hideaway or beach house?

5. What is the farthest you’ve been from home?

6. What is your favorite smell?

7. If you were a crayon, what color would you be and why?

8. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

9. If you could be given ANY gift, what would it be?

10. What is the first thing you do every morning?

11. What was the worst/most embarrassing album/CD you ever owned?

HAVE FUN!!!!!!!!!! CAN’T WAIT TO SEE THE YOUR ANSWERS!

 

An Awful Pattern

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I’ve noticed a pattern with myself lately. It’s not a good one, either. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the Valentines Day Teacher and how “perfect” he had been. I gave examples of how incredible he made me feel at times and that I never for a second doubted that he loved me.

I haven’t written about the Dairy Farmer, but in the short six months that we dated, I absolutely had a blast. I loved going out late at night for calf checks. I loved bottle feeding early in the morning. I loved riding out with him to get cows up to the barn and I loved helping milk. I loved planting a garden with him. And I really liked him a lot.

Both of these relationships have something in common and it’s not that the two men were anything alike at all. In fact, you couldn’t find two men that were more different. But one thing that they did have in common was that they really, really liked me. In fact, by the end of both relationships, both of them had told me they loved me. So what’s the problem you might ask? Well, let me just tell it how it is: I’ve noticed recently that when I am made aware of the fact that someone “likes” me, I run the other direction. I run for the hills! I was talking to a friend about this over lunch today and I told her that I think it’s because I’m afraid of getting hurt. I’m afraid that the more these people get to know about me, they will realize that they, in fact, don’t like me and they’ll decide to leave me. So, I’d rather just leave on the note that they liked me, maybe even loved me, and leave it at that. I would feel worse if they said they loved me and then after getting to know me more decided they were wrong in feeling that way.

If you looked at my dating track record, you wouldn’t find much. The longest relationship I was ever in was with the doctor and that was almost five years. So, you might wonder why I never turned and ran for the hills when I was dating him. Because I never really felt like he liked me, let alone loved me. So for me, I found a challenge. I found someone that never said he loved me, spoke hateful words to me, and made me feel like less than human. And I stayed. I stayed for a long, long time.

I’m not saying that there have been men just knocking down my door to get to me, but I will say that any time I start to think that someone likes me, I run. And I hurt people who probably genuinely do have interest.

I’m not sure what to do about this problem. I suppose I’ll think about it while I’m burning some major cals on the treadmill tonight. Or not.

Crossing The Jordan

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There are a lot of times in life that we are asked to do things that we don’t want to do. And a lot of times, we don’t know how we’re going to do them. For instance, I didn’t know how in the heck I was going to make it financially, emotionally, mentally, physically, in any way at all really, when I moved home with my parents a year and a half ago. All I knew was that it was time and if I wanted to see change at all, I just had to bite the bullet and make that move. I knew that there were going to be a lot of speed bumps and obstacles along the way and that it wouldn’t always be smooth sailing but I had to do it. So I stepped out in faith and blindly walked into a world that was unfamiliar and really kind of scary. I mean, let’s be real. I was 25 and moving back in with my  parents. It wasn’t like I was 15 again. I knew it was going to be totally different and I didn’t know what to expect. I knew that if I stayed where I was though, that was all I was ever going to be or do. And I knew that there was something else beyond what my finite mind could see. So I made the move. And there have definitely been some bumpy patches but God has always come through and provided a way.

I’ve been reading out of Joshua the last few nights and as I was reading Joshua 3, I had to just stop and write my thoughts down because what I read really opened my eyes to something I had never thought about. In this particular chapter, Joshua told the Israelites that they were going to be heading towards the Jordan River and when they got there, they were going to camp out before crossing over. It was harvest time during this particular time of year which meant that the Jordan River was flooded so I’m sure all the Israelites were wondering how in the heck they were supposed to cross the river. After they had camped out for three days, the head haunchos went throughout the camp and began to tell the Israelites that it was time to start crossing the Jordan. All they were told was that when they got to the river’s edge, God would provide a way for them to cross. They didn’t know if they’d be walking around it, through it, on top of it, or if a boat would miraculously appear. All they knew was that there was a huge obstacle in front of them but they still packed up their tents and belongings and made their way towards the river. When they got to the Jordan and the elders’ feet touched the water’s edge, the water from upstream stopped flowing and piled up in a heap a great distance away and they were able to cross on dry land (verses 15-16). As I was reading this, I began to think about how scary it is when God asks us to step out in faith and do things we aren’t comfortable with or things that we have no idea how we’re going to do them. We see the obstacles in front of us and we have no idea how we’re going to get around them. I think a lot of times I’ve had the mentality that when God has asked me to do something that requires faith, I sit back and wait for Him to remove the obstacles before I’m willing to commit to whatever it is He’s asking of me. That’s not how it works. We have to actually step out and begin doing whatever it is and as we continue taking steps in His will and towards whatever He is asking us to do, that’s when the obstacles are removed or pushed aside. A lot of times, He waits for us to step out in faith before removing all obstacles or opening a way for us.

I’m not a big fan of not knowing what lies ahead of me. We’ve established this. I’m a planner. I like to have things all figured out and I like to have at least an idea of what the end product is going to look like. And I’m really guilty of calling off plans or completely changing things when I foresee a challenge or obstacle in my course of plans. What if the Israelites had told Joshua that they didn’t think they’d be able to make it across the Jordan? No one had a boat. No one could swim. No one could walk on water. No one had any idea how they were going to get across. They would have never made it to the Promise Land which was ultimately where they ended up. I don’t want to miss out on my Promise Land because I’m too afraid of the obstacles in front of me or not knowing what lies ahead of me. It’s time to cross the Jordan. Who’s with me?