About me...

Pop the lid on my Mason Jar and meet my family. Jim {Jimma} and I have four kids, Creston (Ashley), Jami (Matt), Brandon and Chance. Our grandkids, Cade, Kirby, Eisley, Beck and Reed bring us more joy than any Mason Jar could ever hold. I am counting my blessings over and over and thanking God for His amazing love and grace.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Miss Marlboro

After seeing my neighbor, Clara, walk to the end of the block and back on several different occasions, I asked her one day what she was looking for. “Cigarettes” was her answer! I was more than a little puzzled by her answer and she further explained. For over five years, someone has been tossing a pack of cigarettes in the street. The” tossing of the pack” happens between 4:00 and 4:30 p.m., only on weekdays, anywhere from three to five times a week. To add to the mystery, there is almost always 14 cigarettes in the pack that gets tossed.

The guy living with Clara, has seen the mystery person who throws out the cigarettes and described the vehicle and driver to us. The past few weeks, Jim and I have sat on the porch many a day watching for the cigarette lady. Somehow she has always managed to elude us until the other day. Jim happened to notice a Lincoln, driven by an older lady, come slowly by our house. The driver’s window was halfway down and the car slowed before it got to the intersection. He knew it had to be the cigarette lady, and just as he anticipated a pack of cigarettes was tossed out of the window. Having a better description of her car, I went on a mission to find the car, while out walking. We figured that she must work near where we live and sure enough, I found her car parked at a business two blocks from our house. Through observation, we’ve figured out that she works from 8:00-4:00, Monday through Friday.

Being super curious, we are relishing in the fact that we’ve solved part of the mystery, although the most mysterious part remains unsolved. Why would someone her age, throw away an almost full pack of cigarettes, several times a week? I could understand if this were a teenager, but an older lady? Why not leave them at work, or hide them in her car instead of throwing them away? If she has to be so secretive that she throws cigarettes away, when does she smoke those six cigarettes?

When handing Clara a pack I picked up recently, she said to me, “That lady sure has saved me a lot of money!” No doubt about it! Jim did some quick math, and figures Miss Marlboro has thrown away over $4,000 worth of smokes in the last five years. She is literally throwing money away, giving the phrase, “up in smoke” a whole new meaning!

Jim and I sit and fantasize about stopping Miss Marlboro one day and asking for an interview. Yep, we’re just that curious! We’ve even thought about putting some Nicorette coupons on her windshield, or a note telling her she is supporting our neighbor’s bad habit. At the expense of our fun, the cigarette lady would probably take a new route home each day, and that would be the end of Clara’s free cigarettes. Our theory is that if Clara is going to smoke, she might as well get the freebies being thrown away. Which leaves me to wonder, if this considered “street pickup” instead of dumper diving???

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Memories on Mother's Day

When I think about growing up, my thoughts always reflect on Mom’s sewing and cooking. Mom’s sewing skills were amazing and creative. A lot of her sewing was done without patterns or by putting patterns together. She knew what to do to make the pattern fit or how to alter the item as she was sewing, so it would fit. My sewing involved a pattern and the pattern had better be the right size, because I was clueless how to alter it to make it work. Many things were given away or trashed in frustration, which is probably the reason I didn’t sew more than what I did.

Mom made clothes with matching bonnets and panties for my dolls, and really sweet night gowns with matching slippers for me. One of my favorite things she made was an Indian costume for a play in elementary school. I’ll always remember looking at the other costumes and thinking mine was the best of all! Even as a teen, I loved the clothes she made for me and wore them with pride. From the clothes she made for me and my dolls, to my wedding dress, Mom was creative with her sewing and could make anything look store bought.

And Mom’s cooking... oh my goodness that lady could cook! I have so many wonderful childhood memories of meals that she so lovingly prepared. I can remember her reading books to me when I was little, while a pot of soup, stew, dried beans or rutabagas were cooking on the stove. Every day when Dad came home from work, our family would sit down and have supper together. In Mississippi, we didn’t have “lunch” and “dinner”, we had “dinner” and “supper.” And every meal came with a large pitcher of sweet ice tea.

Every Sunday morning Mom would get up, fix breakfast and dinner (lunch), and get four kids ready for church. We were always on time, and came home to a wonderful home cooked meal. My Sunday mornings with four kids were chaotic to say the least, and we always ran late to church. If I managed to prepare a meal before church, you can bet it wasn’t anything like the ones my mom prepared. Growing up, a typical home cooked meal on Sunday would be fried chicken, mashed potatoes, gravy and the works to go along with it. As a mom, my idea of a perfect Sunday dinner was to pick up Kentucky Fried Chicken with all the side dishes, and bring it home.

Every so often, we got a big surprise for breakfast. On those mornings Mom would say she SHOULD be giving us a healthy breakfast, but was giving us a treat instead. The treat was a yellow cake she baked covered with a “melt in your mouth” fudge frosting. That had to have been the best cake and frosting ever, as well as one of our favorite breakfasts.

And then there were Mom’s doughnuts. They were the best ever. She would make a big batch of them, glaze them with a powdered sugar glaze and we would devour them in no time. Another favorite was Mom’s fried apricot pies. She would take dried apricots, cook them down and add butter and sugar to them. Then she would get canned biscuits, roll them out, put the filling on one side, fold them over and fry them. We would eat them as soon as they were cool enough to touch.
It’s disappointing to have the best teacher in the world when it comes to cooking, and not even come close to being able to cook as well as she does. As much as I tried, my cooking can’t begin to compare to Mom’s. Not that her meals were fancy, they were just good, old home cooked meals. She never needed a recipe and could throw stuff together and make a mouth-watering dish. As for me, I use recipes and follow them to the letter. Where Mom took what she had on hand and created a wonderful meal, I went to the grocery store with my list, picking up the ingredients the recipe called for.

I am proud to say that I did learn to cook a few things from Mom. She taught me how to make “Chicken and Dumplings” from scratch, and the secret to making them - ice water. I can almost make “Chicken and Dressing” as good as she does, and I know that the secret to her spaghetti sauce is to add a little sugar. So many people liked Mom’s potato salad that we sat down one day and measured out the ingredients as she made it. Even with her recipe, mine doesn’t quiet measure up to hers. Truthfully I don’t think I’ve ever cooked anything Mom cooked, that tastes as good as hers.

I seriously think Mom’s sewing and cooking talents bypassed me and skipped a generation. My daughter is creative, has sewed some really cool stuff without a pattern, and can throw a wonderful meal together in no time, without a recipe. All this leads me to believe that one day Eisley will be writing about what an awesome, creative, mom she has. And hopefully the talents didn’t skip her generation!

Early Morning Conversation

Since Jim’s surgery, I have to help him get dressed. While sitting on the porch this morning, I told him a little white lie.

“Last night I blogged about putting your underwear on backwards.”

“You didn’t put them on backwards, you tried to put them on backwards. Maybe you should call it a “log” instead of a “blog” since you lied.”

Jim said that even though he still is in a lot of pain, he feels better today than he did yesterday. I said, “Now you know how I felt when I had my hysterectomy!” I reminded him that the surgeon told him when he had colon surgery for cancer, that colon surgery and a hysterectomy were two of the most painful surgeries. I’m guessing that surgeon isn’t familiar with open heart surgery??? He said since we've both had surgery on our "tops and our bottoms" (mastectomy, hysterectomy, heart, and colon), now we're even.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Some funny moments...

There have been some humourous moments the past couple of weeks and I wish I had written more of them down. Here’s a few that I wrote notes about.

The night before Jim’s surgery I said, “ I promise I’m never going to do another crappy thing to you again.”

“Can I have that in writing?” he asked.
“Uh, I don’t think so.”

“Jim, just think this time tomorrow you’ll either wake up and be with me, or be with Jesus.”

“Yep, I’ll either win the lottery or be with you, Molly.”

“So, you don’t think being with me is like winning the lottery? You better not answer that one, Jim!”

I put a heart tattoo on the back of Jim’s shoulder after his heart cath, while he was still drowsy from the anesthesia. I thought he’d see it and assume it had been on there when he had the heart cath. I couldn’t wait for him to notice it. Well, it didn’t happen as I had planned. He ended up being admitted to the ER and never saw it. The night he was admitted to ER, one of the nurses saw it and said to another nurse, “Oh look at his heart tattoo.”

“What tattoo?” he asked. He called me right away and said, “MOLLY, WHAT DID YOU PUT ON MY BACK???”

When Chance and I went to see Jim on Monday, we met the nurse taking him for his walk. They turned around to head back to his room and Chance and I were behind them. I asked the nurse, “So, you don't make sure their butt isn't showing, before you take the patients walking?" She jerked her head around to make sure Jim’s rear was covered and then realized I was joking and started laughing. I wish I could I have seen the look on Jim’s face. I’m sure it was priceless.

I carried Jim’s clothes home that he wore to the ER to wash them. He called me Tuesday morning to tell me he was being released and to bring him some clothes to wear home. When I got to the hospital, I hid his clothes in the bottom of a bag. He said, "Honey, did you bring me clothes to wear home?"

"Oops, I forgot."

I looked at the nurse and asked her if he could wear the hospital gown home. She said it wouldn’t be a problem. Jim looked at me and said, “Molly, that doctor cut the humor out of me, so don't try this one."

It hurts Jim to laugh, and it seems like I’ve said some funny stuff lately, making us both laugh. He told me the second day he was home, that I had to quit being funny and making him laugh. He said that his lungs could collapse if he laughed, too much or too hard. I’m so gullible and thought he was being telling the truth. The next day when the nurse came, I asked how laughing could make his lungs collapse. She looked confused and said that couldn’t happen. Oh, he was so BUSTED!!!

And, my favorite comment made during this ordeal was one Chance said, that speaks volumes about his personality. When we were leaving the hospital Monday, he saw an old man walking to his car and said, “I’m not going to be a slow, old person, even if it means getting a fast scooter!

Friday, May 7, 2010

Answered Prayers

I am so tired, I seriously feel deflated. The past few days have found me spending a lot of time sitting on the porch, going to bed earlier and even taking a nap, something I rarely do. Between Jim’s hospital stay, and him being in a lot of pain since he’s been home, I've had several sleepless nights that have finally caught up with me.

About three weeks ago Jim’s stress test revealed the blood was moving sluggishly through his heart. He went for a heart cath on the 26th and the cardiologist said he needed a triple bypass. The surgery was scheduled for May 3rd. The next afternoon he started having severe pain and I had to take him to the ER. He was admitted to the hospital and surgery was bumped up to April 30th.

Jim ended up having a quadruple bypass and did really well. The doctor said this surgery usually requires a 3-5 day hospital stay, but since Jim is diabetic, we could expect a 7-10 day stay. He was released four days after surgery and came home Tuesday!

We had a lot of people praying for Jim and for me, before and during the surgery, and still have people praying for his recovery. Not only have I seen prayers answered in how well things have gone, I have felt prayers answered, in the peace I have felt during this time.

Creston and Chance were able to come and be with me during the surgery. It was quite the trip riding with them. Chance saw a duffle bag in the truck and asked Creston if it was his. Then he asked him, “What are you planning to do, rob a bank or something?” He teased Creston about it looking like a bank robber’s bag from the 70's and said he sure hoped he wasn’t taking it with him in the hospital.

The boys had me and Jim laughing before surgery. Turns out that Creston had a humorous book packed in that duffle bag and he pulled it out and started reading it to us. When Jim mentioned that he had been shaved from head to toe, Chance asked him if he was going to keep up the “man-scaping” after surgery. While Jim was in surgery, Chance found some hilarious videos on “You Tube” which had the three of us laughing out loud.

I was dreading telling Jim bye when they took him to surgery, and the waiting during the surgery. I knew I would cry when they took him back, making it worse for both of us and would probably cry during the wait. Having Creston and Chance with me, made it so much better than I could ever have imagined. Between the comments, jokes and videos, they kept me well entertained and I never shed the first tear!!!

After surgery I called several people to give them updates. One of the people I called is my friend Vicki. I told her the surgery had gone well and I had done amazingly well, thanks to comic relief from the boys. Vicki Said to me, “You’re not going to believe this, but two times this morning I specifically prayed for comic relief from the boys!” How awesome is that!