Monday, March 25, 2013

Let's Play Musical Cars...

Things at my house are rarely easy. Events of this weekend, which are being finalized this morning, are a perfect example. Let me explain....

Nearly two years ago, my oldest son wrecked his car. He’d been at the hospital all night with a friend who was in an accident, and while driving home, he went to sleep and ran into a tree. The insurance company wasn’t happy (this was the 2nd car in less than a year), so he started driving my old, close-to-the-grave Explorer. Last fall, the Explorer went to the great Ford graveyard in the sky, so he’s been carless since.

This wasn’t a problem for his brother, because Son #2 loves to drive his dad’s F250. Most of the time, Dusty would borrow G’s car, which meant G was left driving his dad’s truck (which wasn’t a problem, because my husband couldn’t drive anyway, because of his seizures). When my husband was cleared to drive again back in December, everything changed.

Dusty (Son #1) had to drive my car (not nearly as cool as his brother’s Mustang), or hitch a ride with a friend. G got booted from the truck, and everything has kind of been in limbo since.

This past Friday, G drove to Greensboro to pick Dusty up, and on the way home, they hatched a master plan. G and his dad have been talking about trading cars for a few months. G really, REALLY wants a truck. We live in a rural area and all of his friends have trucks. Plus, he hunts a lot, so he ends up borrowing his dad’s truck a lot during hunting season, anyway.

Hubs would then take G’s car and trade it in on a smaller truck. We originally got the F250 to pull campers and boats, etc., but we so rarely use it for that, that if we need to, we could just borrow it back from G. We’ll let G worry about paying the gas and insurance on the monster – I’m thinking his love affair with Big Green is going to be short lived. :-D

Anyway... new plan.... Dusty will take G’s car, G will get his dad’s truck, and we’ll get Hubs something else. For me, it all comes out the same. We were going to have to help Dusty get a car anyway. We were going to trade the car in for something for Hubs anyway, so it all sort of makes sense. But this morning, we need to get inspections done on both vehicles, so we can transfer titles and tags. We need to get the insurance all straightened out. And THEY need to go to DMV and get all the titles switched around.

Notice I said THEY... no way am I spending half the day at DMV. I have work to do. Master Matthew (Master Lucas’s friend) is getting a little impatient with me to get him to his Happily Ever After, and I really don’t want to upset Master Matthew (or any Master for that matter! :D ).

So what about you? Do things get this complicated at your house? Can the simplest of things end up being a major ordeal? Or is this just a special talent that my family has?

This is the last week to enter this month’s drawing, so Tweet, share on FB, and leave a comment below to get your name in the hat!! Have a great week!!!

Much peace and love,

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Let’s talk Ph-Ph-Phobia... Eek!

If you’re friends with me on Facebook, you probably heard about my dental ordeal last week. I’ve known since November I needed to have a root canal, but I kept putting it off. Even though I suspected the “bad” tooth was causing the excessive headaches and the occasional ear ache, I still refused to call and schedule the appointment. In my defense, I did have it scheduled for January 10th, but that was the only day my son could have his wisdom teeth removed, and being the loving, giving parent that I am, I sacrificed my appointment for the sake of his. :-D

What surprised me was how many of my friends also have a fear of going to the dentist.

According to, a phobia is “a persistent, irrational fear of a specific object, activity, or situation that leads to a compelling desire to avoid it.”

I’m not sure I have an actual phobia of the dentist. I don’t have an irrational fear, I have a very specific reason that I’m afraid to go. As a child, I spent a lot of time in the dentist’s chair. He always gave me the “goofy gas” (nitrous), so it wasn’t usually too bad. But one time, he had a rubber dam in my mouth and refused to take it out or believe me when I told him I was going to get sick.

I clearly remember him saying, “Oh, no you’re not.”

I also clearly remember starting to throw up, but with a rubber dam in my mouth it had no where to go except stuck in my throat... which was nasty, but also resulted in me choking.

Since then, I’ve been terrified to go. The lady at the endodontist put it into words that finally made sense for me. She said, “You trusted them to take care of you. When they didn’t, you know no longer have a trust for him, or anyone in that profession.”

That’s very true and the reason I didn’t go for years... which is how this tooth ended up getting into the condition it did. I knew I needed a filling, but I didn’t go. I let it go for so long, that when they did try to fill it, the tooth cracked. Then I needed a crown. The crown loosened and started coming off (which we didn’t know), which allowed bacteria to get down into the tooth, which caused the infection in the gum, which made it need a root canal.

Now, let me say, my current dentist is wonderful. He also had a phobia of the dentist, which is why he went into the profession. He wanted to help people like us. He’s a sweet, gentle man, who always goes out of his way to be as kind and gentle as he can. So that fear and distrust has eased over the years, but I also have a very strong aversion to pain. :-D

My teeth are sensitive, so even cleanings are uncomfortable for me. But again, I have an amazing hygienist that is cautious and goes slow, especially around the sensitive gum areas, and I’m usually able to get through a cleaning without squealing even once. LOL

The reason for this long dissertation was to defend my position and show that I’ve ruled my fear of the dentist out as a phobia. I’m afraid, but I have good reason. However, I do have several other phobias, which are true irrational fears that can leave me nearly paralyzed when confronted with them.

Heights is one of them. I know a lot of other people share this same fear. In fact, my step-dad is also afraid of heights, something I find extremely amusing... I guess as a fighter pilot, he just never looked down?! :D

I’m also afraid of tight spaces. When I was little, my mom used to make me crawl under my bed to vacuum. I remember being terrified that the bed was going to fall on me and I would be crushed; I couldn’t breathe and my arms and fingers would get numb and tingly. I would vacuum like crazy to get it done so I could get out from under there and grab a good, deep breath.

That phobia isn’t quite as bad now, but I still don’t like tight spaces – like small bathroom stalls, and even elevators. If they’re rickety and I’m riding for a long time, I find myself sweating and having to force myself to breathe normally.

So what about you? Do you have any phobias... or any fears that aren’t phobias, because you have a reasonable explanation for avoiding them like your life depended on it? The rafflecopter is extended through next week, but you can still keep adding chances to win by commenting here and Tweeting/Facebooking to encourage others to come over and check out my blog. I love making new friends!

Have a beautiful week everyone!
Peace and Love,

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Monday, March 11, 2013

Bonding Over Racquetball

My youngest son and I have never been incredibly close. We just don’t seem to have that much in common, and therefore it’s always been difficult for us to find something to bond over. He’s an avid hunter… I don’t particularly like hunting, and I definitely can’t run out to the truck and ooooh and ahhhhhh over the massive buck he has proudly displayed in the back. I like NASCAR… he could take it or leave it. He’s ridden skateboards and BMX bikes over the years, and while I always went to his competitions to support him, there wasn’t much interaction between the two of us.

Last year, he joined the volunteer fire department. I’m incredibly proud of him, and always sit and listen to him share his exciting stories with me – sometimes I’m the middle-of-the-night therapist who listens to him when he needs to talk out and process a particularly difficult call he’s just come home from – but it’s not something that we’re doing together, and certainly not something fun that we can enjoy each other’s company while doing.

But over the weekend, I think we finally hit on something! Last week, one of the local gyms came to the fire department and signed anyone who wanted to up for a special group rate. My son has wanted to join the gym for a while now, and this was the local club that has indoor racquetball courts, so G (my son), my husband, and I all joined.

I used to play 2-3 hours of racquetball a day when I was in college, but since that was a lifetime ago, G sort of blew me off and didn’t take me seriously. He went every night last week and played with his friends, so when he and I played on Friday morning, he was confident that he would be beat me without much effort.
The poor child is still reeling from the shock of having his mom beat him 3 games to 0. :-D Not only that, as soon as we got in the car, I called his best friend to share the good news - he’s like my adopted 3rd son… he’s also on the fire department, so I knew this good news would spread like wild fire… pardon the pun, I couldn’t pass that up! LOL
On Saturday, while working the annual fire department BBQ plate fundraiser, I got lots of praise from the guys on the department, a few of them want to play me, and G was a tremendously good sport about the whole thing! We’ve had a lot of fun laughing and joking about it, and we’re scheduled for a rematch on Monday morning (provided I’m not at the dentist/endodontist dealing with a tooth issue).

Who would’ve thought a good old fashioned ass whipping on the racquetball court would’ve been the thing to bring us together?! LOL

While at the gym on Sunday, my husband and I met a couple who met on the racquetball court! They were playing against each other in a competition, and he beat her. She said to him, “I can’t believe you actually beat me!” :-D I’m not sure what happened after that, but she said they celebrated their 10 year anniversary on Valentine’s Day.

So what about you? What oddball thing has been the magnet that drew you together with someone?

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Monday, March 4, 2013

God Blessed Our Twisted, Pot-hole Filled Road

The start of my relationship with my husband wasn’t love at first sight. In fact, my first sight of him was a quick glimpse of his back as he walked away from me across a crowded room.

We were at my office open house (anyone read “Savin’ Me”… is this sounding familiar?)… I was a new employee and they’d just moved into a new space. Turns out, our office was known for throwing massive parties (we didn’t need much of an excuse and the Christmas parties were legendary. Another time, I’ll tell you about one that almost ended up with me divorced, before we even got married!) Anyway, the grand opening of the new office space was the perfect reason to have a party. I’d just started work the week before, he’d just moved back to town the week before, so there we were… but we didn’t meet that day.

I was the ad agency’s receptionist, and I worked with his sister. He’s a huge practical jokester, so for the next two months, whenever he called to speak with her, I got hit with a joke, we’d talk for a few minutes, and then I’d pass him off to her.

One Friday afternoon, I answered the phone, we spoke for a few minutes, and then I said, “Hang on just a sec.”

He said, “Why you puttin’ me on hold?”

“Because that’s the only way I can transfer the phone to your sister.”

I’ll never forget the next words, said in his smooth, eastern North Carolina drawl, “I didn’t call to talk to her. I called to talk to you.”

I’d been standing because I’d grabbed the phone on the run, so I lowered myself into my chair and held my breath.

He said, “I have two tickets for the football game tomorrow, you wanna go?”

At this point, I was all kinds of conflicted. I said, “My co-worker just invited me to go with him and his girlfriend, and it sounds like so much fun, but I don’t have a babysitter.” (Dusty was five) There were a few other reasons I wasn’t sure I wanted to go, but I won’t go into those now.

He said, “I can do better than him. If I find a sitter, will you go?”

Fifteen minutes later, he called back to see if I wanted the babysitter at his house or mine! :D I should probably let you know that later, he told me I wasn’t his first choice. His first choice had to work, so I was his second (and only) option. He didn’t want to go to the game without a date, so he was highly motivated! LOL

Since I’d just moved to town and didn’t have any furniture, we settled on his house. Correctly assuming that a fridge full of beer and leftover pizza wouldn’t be suitable for a five-year-old, Charles had us come over early so we could take Dusty to the grocery and let him pick out snacks for the day.

We left Dusty and the babysitter with enough junk food to put them into a diabetic coma, and headed off for the game. The game was great… in the beginning. But as Charles continued to work his way through airplane bottle after airplane bottle after airplane bottle, the afternoon took a turn for the worse. At least as far as I was concerned.

By the time the game was over, he was sloshed. I was annoyed.

I drove us back to his house with every intention of grabbing my kid and running for the hills. But the next thing I knew, Charles and his roommates had Dusty in the backyard, innings deep into an epic whiffle ball game. He was so sweet and amazing with my kid, I couldn’t help but melt.

At least enough for him to talk me into staying for dinner.

Hey, he offered to grill steaks!

As he sobered, the evening improved, but there were still times I found myself shaking my head and thinking, “This guy is so full of shit, no wonder his eyes are brown.”

When it came time for me to leave, he invited me to go downtown the following day to the United Way Fundraiser Kick-off. His friend was playing a concert in the park and he thought it would be something fun we could do with Dusty.

Not anxious to repeat this crazy up and down date, I fumbled for a good excuse. Finally, I remembered... “Oh, gosh. I wish I could, but I have laundry to do!”

“No problem,” he said, “I have a washer and a dryer.”

Okay, anyone who’s ever gone to a public laundry mat knows doing laundry in the luxury of a home is sooooo much better. I debated whether or not I was willing to tolerate another lousy date, and decided it was worth the risk.

Amazingly enough, it was one of the best dates, EVER! He continued to be incredibly sweet and attentive to my son, he carried him around on his shoulders so he could see everything going on, and he stopped and got a family-friendly movie we could all watch while the laundry was finishing up.

The next evening, he showed up at my house with a package of Dusty’s favorite cookies (chocolate chip with M&M’s on top) and a rose for me. He also asked if he could take us to the go-cart track that Friday.

We didn’t talk anymore that week, but true to his word, he arrived promptly at six-thirty on Friday and Date #3 cinched the deal. Dusty and I were hooked! Since that night, we’ve been pretty much inseparable, and I’m so grateful one of the first purchases Hubs made when he bought his new house was that washer and dryer!!

Two little side notes: I don’t have a picture of them playing whiffle ball the night of our first date, but I do have a picture of them playing ball the day we got married. We had a church wedding, then everyone went home and changed into casual clothes for the pig-pickin’ reception. Dusty was anxious to play, after having been in a little suit and uncomfortable shoes for a few hours, so Charles stood out in the drive with him and played ball before he changed.

Also, since his surgery and especially since the radiation, his memory is horrible!! He can’t remember conversations he had twenty-minutes ago or whether or not he’s had lunch. BUT… he still remembers Dusty’s favorite kind of cookies, and it’s not at all uncommon for him to grab a bag for Dusty if he’s at the grocery store.

Okay, your turn. Tell me about a whacky date that turned around... or one that didn’t! LOL Did you have lots of starts and stops on your road to Happily Ever After? Are you still in the process of missing massive potholes and a few landmines, looking for the "Right One?"

There will be a new blog post every Monday, but I'm going to allow the Rafflecopter to run for the month. However, since it's running that long, I'm increasing the prize packs. I'll give away 4 digital copies of the Heat Wave Novel of your choice, as well as 2 signed print books. Remember, you can tweet and share on FB every day to enter, and there will be new postings every Monday!

Thank you for dropping by and visiting with me!! I'm back here every day to reply to comments, so check back often, especially if you have a question you're waiting to be answered. Winner from last week's contest will be announced tomorrow!!!

Wishing you much peace and love!

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