How I Ended Up This Way's Blog











{January 8, 2013}   Ode To Aunt Sue

Hey everyone . . . welcome.

It’s been a rough beginning of the year for me. We buried a dear soul Saturday; my Aunt Sue.  It’s been FREAKIN tough … no, it’s PLUMB HARD writing this blog.

See, anytime I was stuck on a blog, I’d call my aunt Sue. For some very ODD reason (uh, Teddy… imagine THAT!) my auntie could talk me out of any crisis . . . she had that soothing voice.  Whether it was my brother’s death (Tim), my cousin’s death (her son, Alva), another cousin’s (Alan) death or a minor crisis like writer’s block, Sue had the magic touch for me.

Yet, each time I sat down to write this blog about her, I’d end up bawling. Then I’d get frustrated, then I’d reach for the phone to call my auntie so she could use her “magic voice” and calm me, so I could focus . . . Then, I would remember. She’s not here anymore.

My aunt went home to the Lord on December 27, 2012. She lost her battle with liver cancer. Through tears, I am somehow writing this.

I can still remember her and her old blue Chevy. It was a 1980, I think.  I was around eleven or so when we all hopped in the back to go to the creek. It was me, my brothers and Sue’s two sons — James and Alva.  Sue was driving on a back road in hillbilly Arkansas, (I can say that because I LIVED there!) and she took a curve too fast just as her tire inched off the road onto the loose gravel. My little cousin, Alva, who was about seven or so, went flying over the side LITERALY. He would have died that day, if it weren’t for my brother Tim who had managed to grab him right in mid air.

But what do I remember most about that day? It was how shaken Sue was.  You have to remember, I was only eleven or so at the time. I didn’t have kids, didn’t appreciate the whole “life and death” thing because up until that point in my life, I’d never lost anyone close to me.

Us kids, we were all like “that was COOL!!! DUDE!!! YOU SEE THAT?!!!” God Bless the innocent ones. But Sue was FREAKIN freaked the hell out!!! Yes, I realize I used two “freakin” variations in a row, BUT it calls for it!  Well, now that I am a parent, I get it.

We all look back at that day and smile with appreciative love. That single event, affected me in many ways. At the time, of course we thought it was awesome. As I got older, it was not only awesome it was filled with amazement at exactly how things happened the way they did. It all happened in a mere fraction of a second and could have gone either way. As I had children, the fear of just exactly how close not only Alva was to being seriously injured, but we all could have gone over the side that day. Sue could have lost complete control and flipped the old blue. Now, as a much older version of the young girl in the back of that truck, I still feel every inch of awesomeness, amazement, fear and even enjoyment. We didn’t realize it at the time, but Tim didn’t save Alva. God saved Alva, through Tim. Just like God blessed me with my aunt Sue.  Therein, lays the joy.

Aunt Sue had many struggles and strange occurrences in her young life, yet she always stayed strong. I can hear her voice even now giving me advice.

                 Me : “Aunt Sue, how did you manage to raise James and Alva after Big

                            Alva was killed? I don’t understand how you can manage to live without

                            him.”

                 Sue :  “I don’t know, honey. You just do it.” 

I have always loved this photo of me and my aunt taken February 1971. So, now my beloved blog followers, I am sharing this photo of us with you. Aunt Sue, you are gone but never, EVER forgotten!

 

Sue 1

    August 5, 1953 – December 27, 2012

May we all learn to slow down as we are going through life’s back roads and not take the curves too fast. Just feel every emotion God gives you. You never know, what feels badly today may bring you much appreciation later.

Now, I think I’ll play some Charlie Daniels in my aunt’s honor. Then, maybe I’ll play some Hinsons.  Ya’ll be good, ya hear?

Ya’ll, let’s say we kick some CANCER butt?? Whadda ya say??

Til next time  . . . peace

AJ

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{June 20, 2011}   My Dog Is The Best Dog Ever

Hi all! Welcome.

As the title of this blog states, my dog, Ryoki, is the best and greatest dog EVER! Actually, she’s more of my dad’s dog. But I claim her as mine now.

And I’m going to tell you why. I think you’ll agree she is really something special.

Ryoki

The other night, I was going through some of my boxes. I moved into an add-on at my parents home last year to try to get back on my feet and get some other things in order. The longer I stay here, the more I think about what’s in those boxes and how tired I am of the items. So, every now and then, I’ll go through them and give some things away. I just gave all my plates to my niece. I picked out some pots for her and some silver wear for my mom along with just taking some
of my baking items out for use. By the way mom, the baking items are still mine
. . . but you can use. I love to bake.

 Anyway, I was taking some things inside the house. As usual, I had overloaded my arms and had no possible way to open the screen door. My mom’s screen door handle is broken, so it doesn’t “catch”. This is great for Ryoki because when she has to go out, she pushes the screen door ever so slightly and goes out. She hasn’t mastered knocking the door hard enough for it to bounce open wide enough so she can stick her head in to get back in . . . but she does knock when she wants back in.

Now, in the past, I have mentioned how she is the “favored sister”. And in truth, she really is. But I don’t mind, especially after what she did the other night.

There I stood outside the door, my arms so full I couldn’t even use my elbow to nudge the screen door open, saying “Someone please get the door”. I was nice at first. After all, there were five
people in the house; my three kids, their dad and both my parents, just feet away from the door. No one came to my assistance. However, I did see Ryoki standing inside the door. Again, and a little louder, I said “Can someone get the door???” Apparently, they were too busy to be bothered. Again, I see pretty little Miss Ryoki standing by the screen door. But wait, she was coming my way. Gently, she edged the door open and backed up. Dang dog. Was she teasing me? She already poops right outside my door (my door leads directly outside; she doesn’t poop in the
house). Great. Now, she’s found a new way to diss me. Which, I let her know I didn’t appreciate.

She then pushed the screen door open a little farther. Holy cow, I thought. Was she trying to open the door for me? I didn’t catch the open part quickly enough with my shoulder. So, testing the waters, I said “One more time Ryoki, I couldn’t get that one.” All the while five people were standing in the dining room; only a few feet into the house.

And, I’ll be damned. Ryoki not only opens the door, she opens it a bit wider and holds it until I catch it with my shoulder! I couldn’t believe it! I figured she was going to come outside and
that was her ultimate reason for opening the door. Yet as I nudged the screen door open, and took the one step up that led me into the house, she backs up, looks up at me wagging her tail and I swear people, she was smiling! She knew exactly what she was doing! Very impressive Ryoki!

I went around to every person in the house and bragged on her, considering they were content to ignore my pleas for someone to open the door, I felt I was justified.

As I relayed the story to my mom asked me “did she go on outside?” I proudly informed her, “No, she simply opened the door for me. Once she saw I had the door and was coming in, she backed up for me.”

How freakin’ genius is my dog?! And I thought she didn’t even like me, considering you know, the pooping outside my door and all. I think I can truly say she is my sister now with pride . . . after all, she still is a dog.

Until
next time . . .

  A.J.



As I sit here getting everything prepared for my daughter’s high school graduation today, I can not help but think about the little girl she was. As a matter of fact, I have a picture of her taken by her pre-school teacher so many years ago. I have always kept this particular photo on my refrigerator. It’s one of those pictures of her that I just love. You know the photo I mean; we
all have that one special photo that for whatever reason, hits us in a special way.

 As I look at the photo of my then, preschooler, I think back to the events surrounding the day I was given the photo. It was near the end of her preschool year. She is standing there, with her special “all-happy” smile on her beautiful face, wearing one of the dresses I made her. The dress is covered with different colored flowers. There had been another kid standing with her until she made me cut the kid out of the picture because the kid was mean and she didn’t like him. I remember how stubborn she has always been. She has such a strong personality. As a matter of fact, when she was three years old, she was so angry with the fact she could not read like her older cousin did. I explained to her that you had to actually learn how to spell the words in order
to read them. It didn’t come automatically as she thought everything should. She wanted to know how to read. She wanted to learn how to spell so I started giving her spelling tests. We would study the words throughout the week, and on Friday’s, she would test. People,
this was her idea. I didn’t force her. So don’t be all “mommy dearest” on me.

It wasn’t long before she was reading small books. Once she proved she could read, she was satisfied. It amazed me how easily she picked up each new word. It shouldn’t have, considering she started talking when she was a little shy of four months old. I’ll never forget when we were at her six month check up. The doctor offered her the “tongue presser-downer” thingy (don’t mock me, you don’t know the technical term for them either!) to her. April took it, and promptly told the doctor “thank you”. I will never, in my life, forget the look on the doctor’s face. She did a double take, looked at my baby, who was already playing with the thing, then turned to me and my mother for verification. “Did she just say thank you?” With all of my vast knowledge which came with my twenty-three years (yea, not near as much as I thought) I looked at the
pediatrician and with confusion in my eyes, answered “yes”. I couldn’t figure out why she was so surprised. This was just two words of my daughter’s vocabulary. She says many things. She sings even. She started walking when she was just shy of seven months. What was the big deal? Little did I realize how naïve I really was; I was so stupid.

It was so difficult to let her go off to pre-school. She is my oldest and has a vivid imagination. Even my two younger children went through withdrawals not having her there. She definitely kept our days filled with things to do. Even now, at 18, she can open a big ole can of worms and turn it into an all day conversation or debate, whichever way she what she chooses it to go.

Yet, it’s this spirit that lives inside her, that has made her the person . . . dare I say, the woman, she is today. She is full of life, love and conviction for what she believes is right. And she is not afraid to stand up for her beliefs.

I know as she walks tonight, as she receives her diploma, and takes those first steps towards her adult life, she does so with a strong belief and determination to make this world a better place. And I know, with all that is within me, that she will make a difference in our world. As she does, I hope she’ll forgive the tears I know will be falling down my cheeks. And I hope she knows I could not be any prouder than I am at this moment . . . tears and all.

Until  next time……Peace

A.J.



{February 21, 2011}   My Daughter Out Ranks Me

Most of my readers are aware I am in the process of completing a book called “Confessions 2 AJ”. Several of you have participated, and for that I thank you from the bottom of my heart. It will not be long before I have enough material to submit the manuscript for publication!

If you have already submitted a “confession” please, feel free to submit as many as you like! The more, the better the book will be.

For those of you that have chosen not to participate at this time, you still have time to change your minds! As I have promised you before, all names will be held under privacy protection. As a matter of fact, I will not be publishing names; even when asked to do so. And, I have been asked to include names by some people for their confession.

Anyway, my 14 year old daughter. . . where do I start? Although, she has her own way of doing things, she is sort of a mini me. She looks like me. Especially, when she was small.  She is athletic just as I was growing up (and still am). Even down to the way she runs; just like I did. My mom once asked me, when I was young, “why do you run like that?” Not sure what she meant by that, but I’m sure it was not a compliment. She likes most of the same . . . well, she loves Christian Kane. Need I say more?

My daughter approx. 3 yrs old

Me approx. 2 1/2 yrs old

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I want to say, publically, to her: thank you for being my biggest supporter! I love you dearly and I am so thankful you find humor in your mom’s oh so warped mind!

Now down to business. My daughter is so very talented. She also writes. She is much more talented than I am because not only does she write stories, she has the ability to write poems, songs, even rap songs. Some  of her work, I have posted early in my blogs. The first one I posted, she wrote at age eleven. You should check it out, very poignant. It’s called “The Unknown” posted on July 22, 2010.

She is writing a book. Did I say she was 14?! There is a site for teens where they can go and share their stories with other teens. And yes, I read them as well; I keep a tight reign on what sites they visit.  

I am 40 years old. I have some fans/friends. I hate saying “I have fans…” It sounds arrogant to me. But, my daughter has fans. WHAT? Yep, you heard, well, read me right. She has fans. Fans that ask her to read their work and give feedback. Fans that say, “When are you posting another chapter?” She will post at least one chapter at a time. They tell her how much they love “so and so” and how they can’t wait to see if “so and so” will get together with “whoever”. They have actually fallen in love with her story and the characters she has invented. How cool is that!

I knew she was talented and had the ability to be a great writer. What I didn’t fully understand, is she would be implementing that ability this early in her life. I am extremely proud of her and would be, no matter what she chose to do. However, it is incredibly amazing to see her realize this particular talent and actually chose to use it. Can you imagine what she will be able to accomplish? And so much earlier than I have or will. As wonderful as all this is I must admit I will forever see her as the wonderful happy baby shown below. Always the peace maker, she was.

 

I fully expect to, one day, be out ranked by her in the writing world. And you know what? I am just fine with that.

Until next time……Peace

AJ



{January 11, 2011}   Why It’s Good To Be A Woman

Hello everyone, welcome!!

I’m doing something a little different today. I would like to share an email I received. Even if you are a guy; it’s just plain funny!

Enjoy!

 

National  Girlfriend and Sister’s Week
I  am only as strong as the coffee I drink, the  hairspray I use, and the friends I  have.
To the cool women who have  touched my life. Here’s to  you!

National  Girlfriends’ Day  Be  Happy! 

Why It  is good to be a woman:  

1.  We got off the Titanic first.

2. We can  scare male bosses with the mysterious  gynecological disorder excuses.

3  Taxis stop for us.

4. We don’t look  like a frog in a blender when  dancing.

5. No fashion faux pas we  make, could ever rival the Speedo.

6.  We don’t have to pass gas to amuse  ourselves.

7. If we forget to shave, no  one has to know.

8. We can congratulate  our teammate without ever touching her rear  end.

9. We never have to reach down  every so often to make sure our privates are  still there..

10. We have the ability  to dress ourselves.

11.  We can  talk to the opposite sex without having to  picture them naked.

12.  If we  marry someone 20 years younger, we are aware  that we will look like an idiot.

13. We  will never regret piercing our  ears.

14. There are times when  chocolate really can solve all your  problems.

15. We can make comments  about how silly men are in their presence  because they aren’t listening anyway.   

Until next time . . . Peace

AJ



et cetera