Friday, February 20, 2015

The Granny Newsletter

The Granny Newsletter...From January, 2005.

Text Box:  The Granny Newsletter
 January 2005  Happy New Year!     Issue #14

The Granny Update

Hi Everyone,
I hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and has a Happy New Year!  Granny is doing good these days.  Stacy (Moon-Richardson) attended Granny’s CarePlan meeting at Winder Rehab with me on Tuesday, Dec. 28th. They said that Granny is doing really well. This time we agree.  Granny does seem to be doing quiet well right now. She has not been sick except for a little bit of runny nose from allergies.  She has lost one pound recently, and is currently at 101 lbs.  They have moved Granny from the ‘Prompting Table’ at mealtimes, to a ‘Feeding Table’. This means there is a person assisting Granny in eating instead of just ‘prompting’ her to eat on her own. They said they had noticed Granny is eating less and less on her own. Sometimes she just forgets what the fork and spoon is for. And sometimes she just has a hard time picking up the food with her fingers.  When me, Bo, Fay & Cody visited her on Christmas Day, she was using a spoon to eat.  So I guess sometimes she still can do it herself.  Granny is still getting ice cream with almost every meal, Carnation Instant drink three times a day, and a calcium supplement. She also gets Tylenol three times a day for arthritis pain (she gets it crushed up in applesauce).  She gets Zantac once a day for heartburn, and a pill to help with sleep about once every other night.  She also gets robitussin and milk of magnesia as needed.  She also has that ‘sitting sore’ as we call it, (instead of a bed sore) on her bottom, and they put something called Xanoderm (sp?) on it.  Compared to a lot of people her age (and younger), she is not on a lot of medications at all.  Granny can still be ‘walked’ with assistance some days.  She has received a new wheelchair with big bars that come out in the front and back to prevent her from tipping herself forward or backward.  She still loves to ‘ride’ up and down the halls and hold her baby.  I think Granny had a very good Christmas.  She got a new sweat suit from one of the head nurses, a sweat suit from Secret Santa and several other new articles of clothing from different family members. She got a new lap throw & candy from Mary & Hollis and a new quilt from Michelle & Shane & boys. She got new PJ’s from Debbie and a new robe from Carolyn (Little Bit).   She got one of the goody-bag (fruit, candy, cookies & other stuff) that Mama (Kathleen) and her friend Debbie Helton put together for all the residents on the bottom floor.  Especially thrilled to get one of the baskets was Grady, the only male resident on Granny’s floor. He was so excited about a sock-cap in his goody-bag.  He still had it on Christmas Day when I saw him in the cafeteria.  It’s amazing what can bring a smile to their face…things we take for granted!  Granny also got some cash donations for her account to help pay for her out of pocket expenses….thanks to Patsy, Bob & Fay, Dorsey & Pauline, and one anonymous giver, for the donations.  She may have got more stuff that I don’t know about! 

Reminiscing With Granny
By Carolyn Chapple

At the dawn of each New Year, most people start thinking about what they can do in the upcoming year that will improve their lives.  New Year’s Celebrations originated some 4,000 years ago in Babylon, where as in the Western world it has probably been celebrated for about 400 years.  Some common New Year Resolutions these days are to lose weight, quit smoking, find a new job, find a new love interest, make more money, etc. The Babylonians resolved to return all borrowed farm equipment.  The Tournament of Roses Parade began in 1886 when folks decorated their carriages with flowers to celebrate the ripening of oranges in California.  In 1902, the first Rose Bowl game was played (football).  These are all traditions we still follow today.  Almost every New Year’s Eve finds me dreaming of paying off a credit card or other bill…it usually doesn’t happen, but each New Year’s Eve I find myself thinking about the same thing.  I remember Granny talking about what to do and not do on New Year’s Day.  She believed that whatever you did on New Year’s Day, you would do LOTS of that same thing through out the New Year.  Therefore, she didn’t do laundry.  I guess she hated doing laundry as much as the rest of us!  She believed, like people all over the world, that certain things you eat on New Year’s Day could bring you good luck.  Black-eyed peas bring you wealth, and hog-jowls or ham bring prosperity, and cabbage or collard greens represent paper money.  Other countries believe eating something ‘round’, such as donuts symbolizes ‘coming full circle’, and others believe eating rice brings good luck.  Granny usually had some black-eye peas with ham & collard greens simmering on the stove on New Year’s Day.  Another New Year’s tradition all over the world is to sing the song, “Auld Lang Syne”.  This song was written by Robert Burns in the 1700’s, and became more popular around the early 1800’s.  The title of the song means literally, “old long ago” or “the good old days”.  This song is fitting for New Year’s Day as we remember the past year and the happiness and sadness it has brought.  We have lost family members and friends, should they be forgotten?  Read the words to this song and remember the ‘good old days’ with Granny and Papa, and family members and good friends who have gone before us, and in the new year take the hand of a loved one, or friend, and share a cup of kindness.  May you all be blessed with a Happy & Prosperous New Year!

Auld Lang Syne

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
For auld lang syne, my dear,
for auld lang syne,
we'll take a cup of kindness yet,
for auld lang syne.

Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot
and days of auld lang syne?
And here's a hand, my trusty friend
And gie's a hand o' thine
We'll tak' a cup o' kindness yet
For auld lang syne

Prayer List
Jeff Glass – Continued prayers for health – started Chemo in early December, has gained some weight back.
Tracey Glass – brain tumor & treatment for it
Andy Knight – motorcycle wreck in early December…broke 3 vertebrae
Helen Knight – continued chemo treatments
Hollis Mahaffey – diagnosed with diverticulosis & getting a biopsy on a mass on lower rib
Mary Mahaffey-spine problems, causing leg pain
Tyler Barrett (Michelle’s son) – Surgery on Eardrums 12/15
Paula Knight Barrett – tests for Sleep Apnea
Bob & Carolyn and their families  = Daddy (Robert Hutchins) died 12/16 (Thanks for all your kind words & cards during this time)
Libby Hunter (Granny’s friend) – Health Problems
Randal Helton’s Mother – Health Problems

Amber-was granted an internship with Gwinnett County – in the Juvenile Probation Division. Starts Jan. 24.
Todd Davidson – Still Tobacco Free
Cody Hutchins – gained a few pounds back!
Larry Knight – tests show blockage in neck improved

Gayle & Mike Grooms have a new Granddaughter…Samantha Elizabeth, born Dec. 27!
(Parents: Michael & Jodi Grooms)
Birthdays & Special Dates to Remember for January, February & March:
Heather Mosley – Jan 4
Pearl Black – Jan 5
Danny (Dee) Knight – Jan 13, 1980
Lucas Bennett – Jan 19
Kathleen Trusty – Jan 22, 1938
Regina Knight – Jan 22, 1949 (deceased)
Barbara Knight – Jan 29, 1940 (deceased)
Hugh Dorsey Knight (infant son of Cassie & Belvie Knight) Feb 7, 1940 (deceased)
Jean Knight – Feb 13,1998
Teresa Mosley – Feb 16, 1973
Stacy Moon-Richardson – Feb 20, 1971
Belvie Knight – Feb 23, 1915 (deceased)
Christopher Friend – Feb 27, 1992
David Knight – Mar 2, 1963 (deceased)
Timothy Bennett – Mar 3, 1978
Scott Richardson – Mar 9, 1971
Jimmy Knight – Mar 11, 1985
Elaine Knight – Mar 14, 2000
Carolyn Chapple – Mar 17, 1961
Billy Manis – Mar 18, 1992
Rodney Mosley – Mar 18
Jessica Chapple – Mar 27, 1990
Gayle Grooms – Mar 27
Edward Trusty – Mar 28, 1946
Sharon Friend – Mar 28, 1969
Nikki Mahaffey – Mar 31, 1987
Tara Grooms – Mar 31, 1990
Please note:  I still don’t have birth dates for the following people:  Grant  & Zoe Knight, Willis Manis, Stephanie Moon, Shane Smith & Linda (Larry’s  girlfriend)

Judy, Phyllis and Fay joined me on Wednesday, December 8th At Winder Rehab to help with the Christmas Store for the Residents. We had a lot of fun setting up the store, helping residents shop, and wrapping their gifts for them.  They enjoyed shopping for themselves and their loved ones so much.  Sweaters and Sweatshirts went fast…and so did stuffed animals and dolls!  I think we all got a lot of personal satisfaction just helping out with the ‘old folks’.  Thanks to everyone who was able to donate merchandise or gift-wrapping supplies! (see photo page)
Christmas Party for Residents & Family/Friends
On Saturday, Dec. 4, a small group of us got together and had lunch with Granny at the nursing home. (Included me, Judy, Jessica, Michael, Nicholas, Benjamin & his friend). The home provided lots of good food – buffet style…boiled shrimp, chicken fingers, spinach dip, finger sandwiches and desserts galore!  And some very good punch!  Granny enjoyed us all being there. We went to the front lobby and watched the birds for a while and visited with her. 
Beginning with this issue, I am only going to be sending out a newsletter once every 3 months, and then a Christmas Issue:  The next one will be in April, then July and October and then the Christmas Issue.
Please mail any cards or notes to Granny to: Winder Healthcare & Rehab Center/P.O. Box 588/Winder, Georgia 30680
Call me, write me or email me with any questions, comments, stories or family news or if you want to be removed from the mailing list:
4623 Pine Drive/Loganville/30052

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Adios 2014!!!

Adios 2014!
  (My year in review)
January 2014 - Happy New Year!!!!
Granny's Baby Tiny

January 2014, started the year being expensive. The first week of January the transmission went out in my Honda CR-V. Can we say Ka-Ching??? My mama celebrated her 76th birthday. Other than that, the start of the year was rather uneventful.
That's Crash. Hopefully she will last a few more years!

Jess' Baby Kolbi!

Then February rolled around, bringing with it, the snow! We got a dusting in January, but got several inches in mid February. I got to stay home for a few days because Gwinnett County actually closed! It was awesome! I even built a snow man! 

February is also when I started talking to someone on Facebook...Lindon! We began talking on Facebook and he quickly became a good friend!
My Snowman!

March 1st was mine and Lindon's first face to face meeting. We had a great time exploring Athens and getting to know one another.
Me and Lindon.

March is full of birthdays for us! March 23, my grandson, Greyson, turned 3 My daughter, Jessica, and I both had birthdays too.
Happy 3rd Birthday Greyson!

In April, me, Amber and Chris, did the Color Run at Road Atlanta. We had a blast!

Spring brings hope and renewal, but also, some sadness. Our good family friend, Debbie Helton, passed away. With happiness and joy, there must also be some heartbreak and tears.

We celebrated Easter at Chris' Aunt Joy's. She is so gracious to open her home to all of us that we may celebrate Easter together!
Abel, Greyson and lots of cousins at Easter!

Lindon introduced me to a group of wonderful young men, a gospel quartet, called The Old Paths. Over this past year we have seen them in concert several times and I have gotten to know them and they are just an awesome group of young men who praise God with their music!

Also, Lindon and I begin going hiking. Over the course of spring and summer, he and I started going to different Georgia State Parks and county parks, hiking the trails, getting in better shape and just enjoying nature!

June brought more sadness along with the warmer weather. My step-brother, Tony, passed away early June. It was sad to see him go because we had just gotten re-connected a couple of years earlier after many years of no contact.

June also brought VACATION! Once again, we were able to join Chris on his Rescue Rodeo through his job with Georgia Power, to St. Simon's Island, Georgia. Lindon joined us and we had a great time at the beach and exploring St. Simon's!
Me, Lindon and the boys in Jekyll while on vacation.

Lindon and I celebrated the 4th of July at a festival in Auburn, Georgia. July also found me in the E.R. one day with gall stones. I opted to NOT have surgery to remove it. So far, so good. We'll see if 2015 brings back gall stone problems! Hopefully NOT!
Greyson and Abel, St. Simon's Beach!

In August, Lindon I hiked Talullah Gorge. Out of all the hikes we've been on, this one has been the best so far! It involved crossing the river by jumping from one boulder to the next, getting on all fours to cross rocks and boulders, sliding across a sheet of rock that goes almost straight up and slick from rain, and getting rained on. That was one of my all time best days of my life! We also went to the Garlic Festival near Cleveland, GA this year!

September 4, my grandson Abel turned 2! We celebrated him with a party in the park! It was fun to get the family together! Lindon and I went to the Jug Tavern Festival and enjoyed a good concert.
Aunt Faye helping Abel blow bubbles!

Happy 2nd Birthday Abel!

We went to the Georgia National Fair in Perry, GA, in October. Lindon and I headed up to the North Georgia Mountains to see the changing leaves. I transformed into Progressive's spokes lady, Flo, for Halloween. Also, my sister-in-law, Faye, hosted a Memorial Cookout to honor my brother, Bobby, who passed away last year.

Color North Georgia Mountains!
November brought much to be thankful for! We celebrated Thanksgiving down south with Chris' cousin Andrea. She welcomed all of us into her home and we had enough food to feed an army!
Our bunch...enjoying Thanksgiving Dinner!

Granny's Girls celebrated our annual gathering of Granny's blood daughters, granddaughters and great granddaughters for the 10th year, I think. Stacy hosted this year, and she had us all meet at Master Mixers and we painted our own picture for Christmas! We had a blast!
The boys and their dogs, Foxy and Henry.

Granny's Girls - 2014!

Other happenings in December...Lindon had a birthday! Our family got together at my brothers to celebrate Christmas and the year ended with me home on the couch sick!

This year my son in law, Chris, changed jobs. Amber continued to stay home with my grandsons. My  'adopted daughter', Grace, got engaged, got a new job, and bought a house. Jess and Justin moved in to a new home and continue to do well in their jobs. All my children seem happy and content with their life. My grandsons are growing like weeds and are so intelligent and have so many positive influences in their lives. I have a good person in my life with whom to explore the world with!

It has been a fairly decent year, with some sadness sprinkled in with the happiness. I am looking forward to a New Year with new opportunities and more places to explore. I am hoping God continues to bless us as he has, and that we find even more favor with him. I am not really making any 'Resolutions' for the new year, but do have a few ideas for change. I would like to pursue purchasing my own home. Maybe work on my degree again. Hopefully be physically active again this year. With God's help, all things are possible!
The boys and their truck from Uncle Bobby and Aunt Faye!

God Bless 2015!

Me and my brood...2014!

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Revelation (aka: AHA! Moment)

(aka:  AHA! Moment)
Revelation - noun  1.   the act of revealing or disclosing; disclosure. 2.  something revealed or disclosed, especially a striking disclosure, as of something not before realized.

The Catholic Sacraments 

The traditional definition of a sacrament is this: "A sacrament is a visible sign, instituted by Christ, to give grace." Within this definition there are three important statements:

  • A visible sign An action is performed by a minister (usually a priest).
    For example, when a baby is baptized in the church the priest pours
    water over its head and at the same time says the words "I baptize
    you in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit."
    That is a visible sign. 

  • Instituted by Christ The Lord Jesus Christ instructed His church to offer the seven
    sacraments to His followers. For example, His directive to His
    disciples in Matthew's Gospel (28/19), "Go then, to all peoples
    everywhere and make them my disciples; baptize them in the name
    of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit and teach them to obey
    everything I have commanded you."
  • To give grace Grace is God's free gift of Himself as the controlling influence in
    our life and the decisions we make once we have committed ourselves
    to Him in faith.

In summary, a sacrament is one of the means God has chosen to influence our life in the direction of his purpose for giving us life.
(The above excerpt was copied from this website:  It is being used only to give explanation of the Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic faith. I am not claiming it as my own writing in no means, way, or fashion.)

Today, I had a revelation. But first, some history.

This December, I should be celebrating my 25th wedding anniversary. But I will not be. It has been a bit puzzling to me the past year and half, as to why I won't be celebrating any more wedding anniversaries with the father of my youngest child...

When I met him, he informed me he was Catholic, then he watched my face. I am sure my face did not change with this knowledge, for I had very little understanding of the Catholic faith. When he saw I did not grimace, faint or scream, he continued on with his courtship.

I had always heard, all my life, not to marry 'outside of your faith'. To the best of my knowledge at the time, I was Baptist, as I was essentially un-churched. Oh, I had attended church. I was FULL ON Christian, as I had accepted Jesus Christ as my Savior early on. I had been baptized too. In a church. A Baptist church.  When our courtship turned into an engagement of sorts, I did have my reservations. But honestly, he was so much more religious than I was, and he was so much more devoted to God and so much more knowledgeable about the Bible than I was, I couldn't see anything wrong with us being married. We did, as far as I was concerned, worship the same God. Just maybe a little differently. In fact, the only thing that seemed different was that he not only prayed to God, but he could also call on Mary, the mother of Jesus.

Early on in our marriage, I learned about the Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic Church. He told me these were things he learned about and had drilled into his head during his 12 years of a private Catholic school student. He said of all things he learned about in his faith, the Seven Sacraments were the things he felt most led to follow. Especially holy sanctity of marriage. (He also did not believe in abortion, but he definitely believed in birth control!)  I bought a children's book about the Sacraments, as to have more understanding of what my husband believed.

From this little book with it's colorful drawings that appealed to young children, and from my husband's own mouth, I learned that marriage is held in the highest esteem (for lack of a better word) in the Catholic world.

All love comes from God, and all love reflects the love that God has for His creation. The Sacrament of Marriage is, first and foremost, a sign and symbol of this love. Marriage is a sacrament of the self-giving love which two people offer to each other. The love which a couple have for each other mirrors the love God has for men and women.

The minister of the Sacrament of Marriage is the couple themselves. The priest serves as a witness.

The joy and mutual support of married love can be a source of strength which enables married people to serve others in a very powerful way. It should spill out to their children and to those around them and become a source of life, hope and comfort for others. This is reflected in the blessing which the priest often gives the newly-married couples, saying:

"May you always bear witness to the love of God in this world, so that the afflicted and the needy will find in you generous friends and welcome you into the joys of Heaven."

Again, this is borrowed from the website  It is being used only to give explanation of the Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic faith. I am not claiming it as my own writing in no means, way, or fashion.)

Therefore, one can only imagine the confusion, disappointment, and heartbreak I felt when I learned my marriage to this man would fail. Yes, many times over the years, I did want to divorce. Yes, there were times I thought if I could only run away and not look back. But every time we had challenges, we overcame them. I thought we always would. I thought, I am married to a man where divorce is not an option. Maybe that was part of the problem. I thought no matter what sin I committed, or he committed, divorce was not an option. But there it was. 

Hindsight is 20/20.  Heard that saying before?  Well, as Paul Harvey would have said, here's the rest of the story...

About a year or more before I knew our marriage was seriously endangered, my husband ventured out into the world of 'faith other than that of Catholicism' . He went to a Christmas service at 'my' church, a Methodist church. He began to listen to Joel Osteen, the televangelist. I can honestly admit, I was tickled pink! I would walk through my living room and he would be on his stationary bike, pedaling like a mad-man, and listening to Joel Osteen preach! I was amazed by this, because he has always been very critical of the Baptist church. But now he had CD's of this man's sermons, offering them to me to listen to.

One night I overheard Joel stating that a man should love and honor his wife, and show her in different ways how he loves her. I stopped and asked my husband, 'When exactly are you going to start doing these things you are hearing in these sermons?'  I was joking with him, and he joked back.

In one discussion about his listening to Joel Osteen, I asked my husband, 'Why would a Catholic man listen to him?" He stated, "I am not sure I am still Catholic". He had told me from the day I knew he was Catholic, that he was not a practicing Catholic. He also told me that he had not always agreed with every single teaching of the Catholic religion he had received in church or Catholic school. And now, it seemed he may be doubting his Catholic 'religion' and was ready to broaden his faith horizons.

Now....the Revelation. The AHA! moment I had today...If you are no longer 'Catholic', perhaps you no longer have to believe, or at least, no longer have to uphold The Seven Holy Sacraments of the Catholic faith. Including the one of matrimony.

Well, that explains that.



Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Why Do the Birds Go On Singing?

"Why do the birds go on singing? Don't they know its the end of the world? " Asks Brenda Lee in her song "The End of the World".

It is true, when you have love and lose it, it is absolutely devastating. You are trapped inside a bubble with only your hurting thoughts, feelings and emotions, and you cannot fathom why other people are walking around, smiling and laughing, and carrying on like your heart isn't absolutely smashed to pieces! 

This is a really sad state of being to live through! It is a miserable way to feel.


 If you thought this was going to be a sad post, you are, I am happy to say - WRONG!

As you all know, readers, I have had my fair share of sad and sappy Brenda Lee-like  songs ringing out of my keyboard for the past couple of years. But! That has come to an end!

I am singing a NEW SONG now!  I am singing 'Happy' by Pharrell Williams! 

Why am I so happy? Because I have found the answer to Brenda Lee's question...Why do the birds go on singing????

It's because, even though having love and losing it, and feeling like you are going to die, it really IS NOT the end of the world! It may be the end of the world as you know it, but the sun does go on shining! The stars do keep glowing above! The sea does continue to rush! Your heart does go on beating! And yes! You will cry tears and people will go on about their business - - - because the world keeps going!

The reason it does, is because you heal, you find new reasons to smile and laugh, you see the world through different eyes, you learn there are new (or old) reasons to live! And there the world is, continuing on and waiting for you to catch up!

If you have loved and lost, or are hurting for any other reason, do not give up hope! Pray to God above to heal you! Ask your friends and other loved ones to pray for you! Post prayer requests for an 'un-named' person if you are too shy or embarrassed to ask for yourself...God KNOWS who they will be praying for! God listens. He cares. He will heal you! I am living proof of this!

My 'help me cry' song of choice for over a decade was Evanescence 's 'My Immortal'. If you truly listen to the words to this song, you will feel the heartache of a person who loved someone, helped them through things, was there for that person, only to have their loved one turn their back and leave. And for the longest time, I felt broken like the person in the song. But I have listened to that song for the last time.

I am happy because God has lifted me up. He heard my cries and felt my pain and he has eased it! He has helped me realize all my blessings...including my daughters, my grandsons, my extended family, my friends, my job, the list goes on and on! He has put a new person in my life that makes me smile and laugh, and makes my heart skip a beat! God wants us to be happy! God LOVES a good romance! (You don't believe that? Find the book  (called the Song) of Solomon in the Bible and read it!)

So pick your song now...will it be Brenda Lee, 
or Pharrell Williams?

Sad Songs: 

1. Brenda Lee - The End of the World  

2. Evanescense - My Immortal

Happy Songs:

3. Pharrell Williams - Happy

Others that are uplifting and Happy...

4. Jamie Grace - Hold Me

5.  Toby Mac - Get Back Up

And here is a link to the top 10 'Happy' Songs of all time! (not sure I agree...but you might!)


Wednesday, January 1, 2014

Goodbye 2013!

Goodbye to year 2013! I am really not too sad to see you go. I have not written on this site in much has happened and I'm trying to get caught up with my life. Here is a little bit about 2013...and a bit about the past 23 years too!
There were happy times!

And there were sad times.

I don't remember too much about January, 2013. I just know it was cold. The weather was cold. My life was cold. My husband of 23 years continued to not speak to me though we lived in the same house and slept in the same bed. He had not spoken to me in months and we crept about the house avoiding each other. I avoided him because it was painful that he would not look at me or speak to me. If I asked him a question he would shrug, nod, shake his head, and sometimes give a one word answer. We were on different work schedules so it wasn't too hard to avoid him most of the time. He avoided me, because, from my own deductions, he just didn't love me or want to be around me anymore.

February, 2013 wasn't just cold, it was frigid! It rained, snowed, iced over. The coldness inside our home continued to freeze also. Trying to talk about the situation only brought anger, yelling, and more coldness.

Snow, February 2013. Rabbit Farm Road. Loganville, GA.

A visit from Amber, Abel, Greyson and Jessica. February 2013.

March, 2013, was a time for decisions. I decided I could not take my life as it was anymore. I informed my husband I would be moving out in one week for a formal separation. I think he was very relieved. I moved into a small, three bedroom house that was built in 1936. My daughter, Jessica, moved with me. She had just graduated from UGA in December and moved back home. Having her with me during the move was a blessing. 

Right from the start, moving out was a challenge. For 23 years my husband had paid all the major bills we had. He was 100% an excellent provider in the way of a home, cars and repairs, and so much I cannot even list it all. My part was providing our health insurance, groceries, car insurance, cable bill, my own and my children's extracurricular activities. But now I had to pay rent, all the utilities, food, etc. for me and Jessica, as at the time she was not working. It was tough.

Thank God for my family, who swept in with trucks and arms and loaded up all my furniture and belongings I needed immediately and brought it to my new home. They also cleaned the new place and helped clean the old place. I did not take everything from the house. I took a bed that was Amber's when she lived at home and the dresser that goes with it. I took the love seat and a tv that my husband had given me for our bedroom years ago. I took the kitchen table and chairs and a few odds and ends furniture that my stepdad had built for me. I left him the rest of the living room suit (couch, book shelves, end table). I left him our bedroom suit. He had his own tv and computers and other odds and ends furniture. Jess had stuff we could use from her apartment in storage. We brought her microwave oven, toaster oven, big screen tv, and other items that we could use. 

Slowly, by careful management of my money and being very frugal, me and Jess made a new home in our little bitty house.

Mine and Jess' new home. March 2013.

Me, Amber, Abel, Greyson and Chris. Easter 2013.

My Grandson, Greyson, celebrated his 2nd birthday with a party at Burger King.

April, 2013 brought with it the news that my husband was filing for divorce. We only had communication through texting and a very few emails. We worked out the details of our divorce that way, as my attempts to call him were ignored. 
I tried very hard to stay busy. Trying to cram a three story house and over 20 years of collecting stuff into a one story house kept me quite busy. I took stuff to Goodwill. I gave stuff away. I had a yard sale. I tried to find a place for everything I couldn't bear to part with. Whew!

 In the meantime, I tried to have a normal life and tried to make things normal for Jess and my older daughter, Amber, and her family too.

Jess, friend Paige, Amber and me - The Color Run Atlanta.

Greyson and Abel. Abel trying to catch up with big brother!

Weiner Roast at my house to thank my family for helping me in my move.

In May, 2013, my brother Bobby, and his wife, Faye, have a graduation party for their son, my nephew, Cody. It is a happy time for Bobby and Faye, in an otherwise hard time for them. Bobby was diagnosed with stage 3 lung cancer in 2012. It was his wish to live to see his son graduate high school. No one knew for sure he would make it. He did, plus got to be at his graduation celebration!

Cody and Faye at his graduation party.

Me and Jess at the little free zoo in Athens.

Greyson looking at the bears at the free zoo in Athens.

A beautiful and Jess visited the Athens Botanical Gardens to try out her new camera.


Abel at a kids' play zone at Athens Square Mall.

 June, 2013...the divorce is final. It's weird to think about saying vows and at the time, you mean everything you say. Till death do we part. I guess at the time you beleive it and you mean it. He really seemed to. You feel like you let God down. But what choice did I have in the matter. I had asked him to go to counseling and he said no.

I got to go with Amber and Chris to St. Simon's Island for a week. Jess went along too. We had a lot of fun going to the beach, the pool, site-seeing, shopping and eating.
Amber and Jess at the beach, St. Simon's Island.

Greyson on the beach.

Abel on the beach.

Bobby. 48 years old.

My brother Bobby celebrated his 48th birthday.

July, 2013...Summer is in full swing. Me, my Aunt Judy and Mama went to the fireworks celebration in Auburn, Georgia. I guess that was the high light of the month. Still trying to get used to being a 'single' person again. I did venture out to bars with friends. But nothing and no one interests me.

Abel and Greyson looking out the window into the back yard of their home, which is the woods.
August, 2013. The hottest part of summer arrives and Jess and I do well keeping our house at a comfortable high 70-something degrees. We are still learning how to live on the cheap. We rarely splurge on anything. If we do, its usually a meal out or a movie.

Even though Jess graduated in December, she is still taking classes over the summer. She is taking classes required in order to apply for nursing school. This is what she is shooting for. So a couple of times a week she is in class and on line classes too. And she got a job! It's her first 'real' job and she got a good taste of how it is to work with a bunch of women of different ages, different ethnic backgrounds, and different stations in life.

I have my good moments, and my bad moments. Then I have my really, really, bad moments. I am not sure it is my husband I miss, because he had become so distant and shut off from me, how can I miss that? 

I did and still do miss the man I married. The man who worked so hard to earn a good living so we could have a nice home and nice things. I miss the man who liked to go to movies and out to eat with me and the kids. I miss just having him in the house, not so much to do things with, but just feeling safe, even if he is upstairs in his office half the night. 

I miss my bedroom at my old house. I had painted it blue. Three walls a beautiful, ocean inspired blue. The fourth wall a darker shade of the same blue. My picture 'The Meandering River' over the bed. My bird pictures on the walls. The closet I hated because it wasn't big enough, and the bathroom, because it was big enough.

My husband, since early in our marriage, stayed away from the house during the times we were mostly awake. He slept late in the mornings and got up after we had all left for work or school. He worked late and mostly didn't come home until we had all turned in for the night. During the times he did come home before our bedtime, he stayed in his office upstairs working on some project or another and didn't come to bed till we had all been asleep for hours. Sometimes, it felt as if I were not married at all, except he provided us a nice home and kept everything in working order and good repair. 

I'm not saying he wasn't EVER home when we were. Except for certain times during our marriage, he was always at home at night. I had given up years ago trying to stay awake until he got home. It woke me up when he came to bed at 10:00pm, 11:00pm, midnight, or later. But in the last few years, it no longer woke me. I didn't know if he had come home or not until I woke the next morning.

Friends and family said they could never live that way. I would have said that too, except the changes were mostly gradual, so that you really don't realize it's happening until its too late. And then, when you bring up the fact you don't like how things are, you are asked, Why is this a problem all of a sudden? I guess that's a valid question. 

My girls played sports and were involved in all kinds of activities and clubs over the years. Amber played basketball from the time she was in 3rd grade to 8th grade. Jess tried many, swim team, basketball, tennis. She was also in scouts and school choir. My husband rarely attended any of these events. I mentioned it to him one time, he said he didn't mind them being in sports and clubs and stuff, but he never cared for sports and had no interest in watching sports. Ok.

Greyson and Abel play outside on a hot August day.

Catawba worms. Gross!

At least something good comes from disgusting caterpillars!

Fascinating spiders abound in August...Cellar Spider. Or as we called them as kids, Writing spiders.

September, 2013...We celebrated Abel's first birthday at Chik-filet. It felt good to have friends and family around us again. With all the sadness going on in my life...a divorce, the death of a new friend, my brother battling cancer, it was nice to have some happiness going on. 

Happy Birthday to Abel, with Poppa Mahaffey, Chris (Dada), Cow, Amber, Greyson and Granddad Tim.

Greyson, Amber and Abel on the paddle boat at Fort Yargo.

Greyson and Poppa at Poppa's house.

Abel enjoying time with Poppa!                                                                                                                                                                                                      


 October, 2013. Things were going okay in October...but things changed. My brother's cancer had, over the summer, seem to be under control. But in late September he got news that the trial drug he had been taken had not been able to stop the cancer from growing. He had tough decisions to make. Stop all treatment and live as long as he could without being sick from treatments...or try a new, stronger chemo, that would make him feel bad, but might help him live longer? I know he struggled with this decision. But I think the desire to live and to be with his wife and son longer helped him decide to try more treatment.

Me and Mama had decided to go to Faye and Bobby's house that Sunday. We took them a meal I had made for them. Bobby lay on his cot in the living room and he never got up while we were there. He would respond to questions with a nod or smile, but he never really sat up, opened his eyes, or talked.  Faye explained to us he was weak and tired. The chemo had made him very hoarse and he had a cough. When we were leaving I heard him cough and commented on how terrible it sounded. I thought maybe he had pneumonia. 

The next morning my sister-in-law had to call 9-1-1. Bobby was not getting oxygen. By the time she saw him in the E.R...he was already turning a dark color. When me and Mama got there, I was shocked by the dark grey and black his skin was, especially around his eyes and mouth. They were just going to start to intubate him when we arrived. The hospital in Winder got him stabilized and he was transported by ambulance to Athens Regional Hospital. Shortly after he arrived there, he passed away. It was one of the hardest things I've ever gone through. But for my sister-in-law, Faye, it was the WORST thing she had ever gone through.

My brother was buried on October 17th. Again, the family gathered, but more of them, and from farther away. Bobby and Faye's friends gathered. Friends of all members of our family gathered. We cried. We laughed. We remembered.
Brother Bobby, about 3 years old.

Bobby, Christmas 2012.

Greyson and Abel...growing so big!

Abel at the pumpkin patch.

Greyson and his silly self!

November, 2013.  A time for Thanksgiving. Amidst all the pain and hurting, there is time and opportunity to forgive others and to forgive yourself. Did I hurt someone? Did I do enough? Did I make the right decision? And what if....what if....what if? If only...

Jessica found a new job...a really good job, doing something in her field that she went to school for (Biology). Her new job is about an hour and half away from where we live in Winder, so she moved to be closer to her job. And closer to her boyfriend. I am a true empty nester now. 

Again, I struggled with losing someone. But no young adult wants to live with their parents forever, and I totally understand that and totally support her in her move. 

This is house is small when people come to visit. It is big when you are home alone. I can hear every creak, bump and rattle. I have a very hard time sleeping at night. I stay up as late as I can, watching shows on Netflix. (I cannot afford cable right now. Netflix is only $8.00 a month and its powered by the internet I already have in order to have the computer). I watch Frazier every night. It is my routine and it helps me keep my sanity. I don't know what will take Frazier 's place once I have watched all the episodes. I will deal with that when it comes. 

I am trying to continue watching the stuff me and my husband watched together, and stuff me and Jess watched together. It is sad, but comforting too. 

Me and my girls celebrated Thanksgiving a week after Thanksgiving, in the North Georgia Mountains. It was nice staying in a cabin and getting out and roaming about during the day. Jess came for one day, I was there three. Amber, Chris and the boys stayed the week. We ate T.G. dinner at Glenda's in Cleveland. We walked around Helen and Dahlonega. We did a tiny bit of Christmas shopping.

I also went on a one day girls' outting to the mountains with my cousins in November. We ended up in Cherokee, N.C. and I spent $5.00 at the casino, but found some good Christmas gifts in shops on the way there and back.

The cold weather came with November. I cannot afford a big heating bill, so I keep the thermostat low. Amber and Chris like that! I walk around with sweaters and scarves on. But the bills get larger and the paycheck does not, so I don't mind throwing on extra clothing and a heating blanket.

Abel playing with train set at Georgia State Fair, Perry.

Greyson at Georgia State Fair, Perry.

Greyson and Abel at cabin in Cleveland. Thanksgiving.

The boys in Helen, GA.

Jess and Amber. Helen, GA.
Amber, Chris and Greyson. Thanksgiving dinner at Glenda's in Cleveland.

Cherokee, NC - mid November.

December, 2013. Christmas. A time to celebrate the birth of our Lord, Jesus Christ. A time to hurry. A time to use your credit card. A time to spend with family, more family, your other family, and friends. 

We started the month with Granny's Girl's Christmas Tea at my daughter, Amber's. She lives in South Georgia so we all trekked down there with sleeping bags and pillows to party and slumber. It was a lot of hard work but it was all worth it because we laughed, ate, and had a blast.

The weekend before Christmas, Amber, Chris and the boys, and Jess came over and we celebrated Christmas. Then we visited with Mama so the boys could see 'Granny'. We finished off the weekend with Christmas dinner at my brother Edward (Bo) 's house with a visit from Santa (which scared the boys half to death) and everything.

I spent Christmas day with my Mama and brother and sister in law came over too.

Jess, me and Amber

Me and Santa Clause

Chris, Greyson, Amber, Abel and Mama

Amber, Grace and Jess

Greyson and Abel...Santa came to Mimi's house

Granny's Girls Christmas Party, front row, me and Stacy, Middle Row Amber, Jess and Annette, back row Michele, Judy and Sharon

My brother's Memory will live forever in our hearts.
My Trigger Thumb Release Surgery was in early December. All healed up now!

I am finally kind of getting used to having the house to myself. I watch what I want to watch on t.v. I eat what I want to eat and don't cook if I can avoid it. I took over the bedroom Jess used when she lived here. I keep the heat on very low and it's helped the cats fluff up a bit. I rarely have visitors, but its ok. I have always been a bit of a loner. By choice? By nature? I don't know. Maybe I learned it?

I celebrated the New Year at home by myself under a heated blanket and having a Breaking Bad marathon. I'm on season 5. I was supposed to be in South Georgia with my grandsons for New Year's Eve, but my car broke a week ago. It's in the shop waiting for repairs. So I am home.

The fireworks at 12:00 a.m. freaked my two cats out and they turned on each other and had a hissing and growling and howling match. Fun Stuff!

It is time to let go of 2013 and embrace 2014. I am hoping to continue to heal from my divorce. I'm hoping to line my empty nest with soft and fuzzy stuff to make a more loving, enjoyable home. I'm hoping to get a raise at work this year. It is my goal to get my car is good working order and spend the rest of my life paying off the credit card bills it will take to do that. I plan to spend more time with family and friends. I hope to help my sister-in-law recover from losing her husband, my brother. I am looking forward to 2014 with hope, healing and great expectations! 

And finally...last but not least....our Pets, 2013.

Sam. Was Amber and Chris' cat, came to live with me, Summer 2013.

Lex. Jess' cat. He lives with me now that Jess has moved out.
Buffy. Amber has had her a LONG time! LOL!

Foxy, and her pup, Henry. They joined the family in the fall of 2013. Greyson and Abel's dogs.
Kolby. Jess got her for Christmas!

Stormy. Sweet, gentle, a boy's best friend. Hit and killed by a car in the summer of 2013. God rest her soul.