You Capture Emotions in B&W

I’ve been participating in a photo forum on Thursdays. Brought to us by Beth, at I Should Be Folding Laundry (me too, by the way), it’s called You Capture. Every week there is a new theme. This week it was “Emotions in Black & White.”

Hey y’all! I’ve been missing for the last ten days. I guess I sort of fell off the blogging train and got left behind for a while.

Life is funny, ain’t it? I mean, you start out blogging because you want to capture bits of your life, either in words or in photos, or both. Then, you get so wrapped up in blogging that sometimes you don’t have time to live. Or, you get so busy living that you don’t have time to blog.

Sigh.

That’s what happened to me this past week. Both of my sons came home for a visit. My son, Ryan, who moved to Michigan a year and a half ago, was here to attend a wedding (and catch up on some much deserved R&R, not to mention family time.) My son, Klinton, was on spring break. He pretty much came home to see his brother, Ryan, and provide him with a free taxi-cab service, I think.

Myself, I was nothing but a huge mass of raw menopausal emotions walking around on two legs. It was bitter-sweet for me to have all of my sons together again. It has been over a year since I had them all sit down to my table to eat. I couldn’t figure out whether to cry tears of happiness or tears of sadness, because the week flew by so quickly, and they both had to go back to where they live now.

Notice I didn’t say they had to go home? Silly me, I still think they are home when they are with me. Darn those old Empty Nest Syndrome emotions!

One of the nicest things that happened this past week was Ryan finally got to meet his nephew, Kole.

I grabbed the camera when they were outside feeding the ducks in our back yard. Ryan was tenderly showing Kole how to feed tiny pieces of bread to them, but Kole was a little terrified at first. After all, the ducks are almost as big as he is, and they have big scary looking mouths.

Ryan gave Kole a little piece of bread, thinking he would like to throw it to the feathered friends.

Kole had his own idea. He promptly stuck it into his own mouth!

After that, Ryan picked him up and they ran around the yard like maniacs, chasing the ducks back into the pond. Kole was a lot happier when the ducks were running away from him, instead of running towards him!

My step daughter, Danielle, who lives in New York wanted to be a part of the family reunion, so we skyped her after dinner. While all three of my “boys” were gathered around my netbook talking to her, Kole just couldn’t figure out how that pretty girl inside the computer could be talking to him!

Now that everyone has gone home, and things are starting to get back to normal around my house, I find myself itching to get back onto the blogging train. Thanks to You Capture, I had a good excuse to post some of my photos from my week of being an emotional wreck living.

Next week’s You Capture topic is Youth! Grab your cameras, y’all, and join in the fun!

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How To Relax Your Eyelids

I suppose everybody is stressed out these days. Myself, in addition to being menopausal, I have an eyelid twitching problem. Yes, I know eyelid twitching doesn’t sound very serious, y’all. But try having your eyelids dance around like they are dancin’ the polka all the time for about three months straight.

I was constantly, freakishly, holding a finger to one eye in an attempt to stop it. People started looking at me funny. I think they were scared of me. I got even more stressed out about what I must look like, and that didn’t help the situation.

My eye doctor gave me a tip to make it stop. Her suggestion was not at all what you’d expect to hear from the medical community. She didn’t recommend eye drops, warm compresses or new glasses. She said to drink tonic water, of all things. Said it was a muscle relaxer. Tonic water contains quinine, which they used to prescribe for my very condition.

Well, huh. Who knew?

After I asked her if I couldn’t just drink a Bloody Mary instead (and I was just joking, ya’ll – I’d already tried it about a million times and knew it didn’t work) she said no, but I could mix it with some gin, if I liked.

That afternoon, my husband took me to play golf and afterwards we went to the bar in the clubhouse and I ordered my first gin and tonic. Can we say “New Favorite Drink?”

It must be working, because I haven’t had the eyelid twitching so much anymore. The fact that I now, sometimes, forget to take out my contact lens before I go to bed? A minor nuisance!

What the Heck Happened, Y’all?

Oh my God! After weeks and weeks of not being able to access my own blog from my own computer, all of a sudden here it is! And I can post! I’ve missed you, blog! I’ve missed you, bloggy friends! I don’t know what happened, but here is a post I was working on, before I found myself lost in the black hole of computer problems.

Every night it happens. I wake up. I’m aware of being uncomfortable. What is that? Sweat. Oh. My God. I’m sweating all over. My thighs are sweating, my back is sweating, my neck is dripping wet. The bottom of my feet are even sweaty.

I throw off the covers. I get up. I have to pee anyway. I wash my face with cold water at the sink. I remove my sweat soaked clothes and find something dry to put on. I turn on the overhead fan. I go into the kitchen for a glass of ice water. Then I slip back into bed.

I lie there, uncovered, and let the fan blow over me. I sip my water. I listen to the news commentators on the TV. I listen to my husband’s faint snoring.

The clock says 3:10 am. I wonder how long it will take me to fall back asleep? On a good night, it may take 30 minutes. On a bad night, I finally fall asleep, minutes before the alarm clock beeps at 5:00 am. Some nights, I don’t sleep at all.

And while I lie there, I wonder what happened.

Oh, I know what happened. I’m almost 53 years old, and I just had a hot flash. Duh. In a few minutes, I’ll probably have a cold flash, which will cause me to suddenly shiver violently, get up to turn off the fan, throw on a sweatshirt and pull the covers up to my ears (or over my head entirely). If I manage to get warm, I might fall asleep, which will last only until my body realizes it’s too warm and another sweaty hot flash wakes me up to start the whole damn cycle all over again.

No, what I wonder, while I lie there in various stages of fluctuating misery, is, what happened to me.

How did little Ginger, who was cute and blond and taken care of, become old Ginger, who is wrinkled and gray and tries to take care of everyone else? How did Gladys Parker’s first granddaughter become a grandmother, herself? How did Joyce’s little baby doll turn into a mother, and now, a grandmother with babies of my own to dress?

See? I was cute. I was young. I had a grandmother that adored me. I was her first grandchild, and I think, like me, she had been waiting all her life to take on that role. I had a young mother, who was probably wondering how she had become somebody’s mother. And I swear, y’all, it was just a few years ago.  Like, maybe 15 years ago. That”s what it seems like to me, anyways. It could not have been 50 years ago that this photo was taken.

Where in the heck did the last 50 years go?

A few years went by and I became a mother. I made my mother, Joyce, a grandmother for the first time. Here she is with my firstborn son, Kyle.

The years spent raising my boys are a blur. The three of them grew up to become such handsome young men.

And now, my youngest is in college earning a degree in physics. My middle son is in a state hundreds of miles from me, raising his own precious, blond haired, blue-eyed daughter.

Only my oldest, Kyle, is still nearby, although it is uncertain if that will last much longer.

Kyle’s son, Kole, is so much like he was. Here he is, looking on the mirror with my husband, his Pops. Can you see the resemblance to his daddy in this photo?

I know I’m going to wake up in a few years and wonder how I became a great grandmother. Time flies by as these photos show. Here is how my mother, Joyce, and I look today, with our grandson.

If only my grandmother, Gladys, could still be here to see her little grand daughter being someone’s grandmother.

I’m still not sure how any of this happened, but I think my grandmama would cheer me on.

And then she’d tell me to stop being silly and get back to sleep.

A Random Question. What Kind of God?

randomtuesday

Keely, over at Unmom, does this thing.

You post Random Thoughts on Tuesday. That’s it.

The other night at work, I was humming. Yes, humming. To entertain my self while I was vacuuming. Yes, vacuuming. And no, I’m not a cleaning woman, although it sure does feel like it sometimes. I’m not vacuuming toenail clippings off of some cheap hotel carpet, y’all. I vacuum soot. And no, not the soot that comes out of your fireplace, the kind of soot I’m talking about is white and chalky and it gets all over everything.

Like my new black suede MBT shoes that I bought at the expensive shoe boutique for 230 bucks on sale because I heard they would make my feet stop hurting. And like my hair, which I carefully spike up before work every day, and yet by the end of the day I look like I’ve just climbed out of a vat of powdered sugar. And all over my pants, my clean coat and my safety glasses.

Anyway, back to the humming. Vacuuming, as y’all all know, is a pretty boring and solitary job, so to pass the time I usually hum whatever tune pops into my head. A lot of time I get short little spiritual ditties, called “choruses” floating around in there. In my former life, before I backslid and got divorced, I played the piano for a Pentecostal type church.

For twelve years, y’all. That’s a whole lot of little spiritual “choruses.”

So the other night, the tune I had stuck in there was one of our major choruses. Only about four lines long, we would frequently sing it to start the services off with. “Our God is a _____ God.”

That’s right. A _____God. Now looky here, y’all, I could not, for the life of me, remember the words. So I’m thinking to myself, “Now, Ginger, think. What in the Sam Hill kind of God is He, anyway?”

I came up with several possibilities.

I wanted to claim it was Thankful. But no, Our God is a Thankful God didn’t seem quite right. We should be thankful, not Him.

I ran through everything I could think of….I knew it was two syllables. Mighty? No. Loving? No. Truthful? No. Jealous? No. Frightful? Clearly, no.

As y’all can tell, it was really buggin’ me. I started to wonder how on earth I could have forgotten this. Was I that far gone into Backslidingdom that I couldn’t remember what kind of God we have? Or was menopause, or lack of sleep, or my love of mojitos to blame?

I walked around in a memory fogged daze for a while, cleaning soot out of my machine and starting it back up, all the while trying my best to remember.

Our God is a _____ God? I just couldn’t fill in the blank.

Finally, after who knows how long, I decided to go down the alphabet. Sadly, I find myself using this trick more and more to recall things like this. Like, peoples’ names. When you know you know the name, but you just can’t quite grasp it. Amanda, Betty, Carmen, Donna, etc.

Yeah. Getting old sucks.

So, I started doing the alphabet game. I was going to go down the alphabet and think of a two syllable word for every letter that describes God.

I’m happy to report it worked. A. My first word was Awesome. AWESOME! YES! OUR GOD IS AN AWESOME GOD!!

Now I’m humming. Now for the rest of the song!! Our God is an Awesome God, He reigns…..uh…..blankblankblank on High. Huh?

Oh well, at least I got the title. At least I still remember that God is awesome.

I’ll work on remembering the rest of the song later.

But if y’all ever hear me say I’ve forgotten the words to Amazing Grace? Well, just shoot me.

Phone-phobia

This week’s Spin-Cycle topic, is about Fear. My fear, y’all, is kinda silly. I’m afraid of the phone. Well, not really the phone. I know the phone isn’t going to turn into some kind of wild-eyed little creature and attack me. I’m just afraid to make phone calls.

I didn’t realize, until I started researching it, that my phobia is one that is shared by so many other people. There are actually social networks on the Internet to help “the sufferers” of this condition. Great. So now I have another condition along with menopause, shift work sleep disorder, clicky elbow, morton’s neuroma, dark circles under my eyes, chronic constipation, saggy turkey neck, an adult child with ADHD, age spots, wrinkles, drooping knees, hyperhomocysteinemia, adult acne, abandonment issues, a stepchild with separation anxiety, and the whole burden of being southern…to worry about.

Wiki describe this as: fear of confrontation (why are you calling me?) , fear of ridicule (why do I want to talk to you?), fear of mis-communication (what if I mispronounce something and sound stupid?), fear of being misunderstood (southern slang is hard to “get” sometimes), fear of misunderstanding, fear of forgetting what you wanted to convey, and fear of forgetting what you were told while on the phone.

While I can relate to all of this, I’m pretty much just afraid of calling you at a bad time. Who knows what you might be doing? You could be eating, having a romantic interlude, sleeping, going potty, or tweezing your eyebrows. It feels rude to interrupt folks at times like that, and, as every southerner knows, the only thing worse than getting mad is being rude.

Now if you call me, that’s another story. Obviously you want to talk to me, but what if I can’t think of anything to say? A long lull in the conversation would be tacky and awkward. You might think you called during a bowel movement and how embarrassing would that be? I always write down everything I want to talk about if I DO make a call, but when someone calls me, there’s no notes to go by. This produces more fear.

So just know that if I’ve ever called you, I have endured a good day of working myself all up over it, a long internal debate about what would be the best time to call so as not to get you off the toilet or out of the bed, 30 minutes of plain old heart pounding, hand shaking fear, writing and re-writing the number (so I don’t call THE WRONG NUMBER….another whole kettle of fear to deal with…talking to a stranger!) writing down and rehearsing what I want to say and a few minutes of meditation. Plus, I really had to be in the mood to talk to you.

Nevermind. I’ll most likely never call, y’all. Thank God and Baby Jesus for the internet.