The Nerve!

“Good morning my dear!”

What is that sound? Is someone talking to me?

“Time to wake up!”

There it is again. That voice! What time is it?? It can’t be time to wake up. I just fell asleep. Wait…I rolled over onto my side. Bad move. My head hurts. Twinges of pain shot through my head. Stop moving I told myself. Maybe the pain will go away.

“Rise and shine, Sleepyhead!” Laughter followed this time.

I have got to find that voice and tell it to shut up. The nerve! I reached for my phone. The time shone brightly into my squinting eyes. 6:45 am. I plopped back on my pillow.

Voice, wherever you are and whatever you are, SHUT UP! I silently screamed. I tried to go back to sleep. No such luck. There was sudden pain behind my eyes. It almost felt like thunder that clapped super loud. Wow! I thought. What is going on?

Bahaha! “What’s the matter?” Bawahaha! “Does your head hurt? Big baby. Get up! You are wasting time staying in bed!!”

When I heard that voice again, I realized it was coming from my own head.

Why are you bothering me? I’m tired.

“You were sleeping too comfortable. I thought it was time to disturb you.”

You have quite the nerve to bother me. Shame on you! I’m going to ignore you.

I rolled over and snuggled next to my hubby. Next thing I knew I had fallen back to sleep. When I woke again an hour later, my head was pain free.

(I have suffered with migraines and all the other types of headaches my entire life. No medicine helped….wait for it…until two years ago. I am 53 years old and yes, finally, I found a neurologist that found something that helped with the pains in my head. Yes, the medicine helps take the edge off. I still get breakthrough headaches/migraines.)

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

What’s Happening Through The Window?

It’s Tuesday afternoon and I am home alone! Trust me when I say it does not happen very often. Well, okay, fine. Technically, I am not home alone. Charlie (our cat) and Elle (our dog) are here with me.

Elle and I looking out the window, watching Robins in the yard. I’m sipping on a cup of coffee while the radio is playing. The dryer is turning and twisting the clothes round and round. The ceiling fan is going around and around, circulating the air for me.

The beautiful, warm sun is out. The windows are open letting in fresh air. Feels amazing in here.

Elle is standing on the telephone table just enjoying the sights. Part of our yard is flat with a slow grade that leads up to a hill. (I’m not sure hill is the right word. More like a slope.) Anyway, on top of the slope is ditch and above that is a row of bushes.

Rabbits and squirrels enjoy running up and down and through the bushes. Elle and I can hear the birds tweeting and chirping away. What a lovely sound! I hope I never lose my hearing because I would miss the sound of the birds singing.

Charlie is lying on top of a blanket that is lying on top of a large pillow. He sleeps most of the day. At night, he terrorizes the house. This morning, coming out of the bedroom, Charlie left us a mess. He had knocked down two large containers. The noise created by the tumbling of the containers made me jump out of my sleep. While we sleep, Charlie goes head first into the trash can. Mornings are always fun because we never know what we will discover.

There is never a dull moment around here.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

Help?

Not me! I do not need anyone’s help! Or at least I thought so…

When I worked overnight stocking shelves, I refused to ask for help. I had the heaviest aisle. I was going to show my boss and everyone that I could do it! What a mistake!! One night, I had two full pallets that were maybe nine feet tall. (Seriously, no joke.) Plus, about eleven carts (not shopping carts) that were stacked full. It’s kind of hard to describe the carts. We were being timed, as well. We had to write down the time we actually started and the time we finished. My job consisted of pulling carts out to the floor, stocking shelves, taking care of the cardboard from my aisle with taking breaks every two hours. Lunch was an hour, if you liked it or not. We also had to zone the shelfs. Also, we had to stock the stuff that was brought out to us from the back room. (Make them look nice and full.) All within 8 hours. This particular night, I just could not do it all myself. Needless to say, one pallet was not touched. Every cart was done with one of the pallets about 1/4 done. I asked for help. My boss kind of just laughed at me. “I’ll send help when I can.” Whatever! I did not get help at all. My boss got upset with me because I did not get everything done. There was absolutely no overtime. I just shrugged my shoulders and told her oh well. She didn’t care for me anyway. She picked on me constantly. Probably because I could out work her. She was not a nice person. I learned from that night. I learned to stop trying to do it all. I learned that it is okay to ask for help.

Mom raised us with the attitude of if you want something done right, just do it yourself. I guess that’s why I am the way I am. It’s just easier for me to do whatever it is that needs to be done.

Anyway, do not be ashamed to ask for help.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

 

Fear

Sit back, relax and have a sip of coffee. Let me tell you a story.

Fear:

I have experienced plenty of fear in my life. One experience of fear sticks out, though. When I had to get a job after 18 years, I was scared!

I was blessed and lucky enough to be a stay-at-home mom for 18 years. I was blessed with being able to watch my children grow. At that time, I had five children. (Now, I am blessed with six.) It was during a time where two income families had not been heard of.

Well, my children were all in school. So, a mom from the area heard I did childcare. She stopped by with her son. We talked for a bit and I agreed to take care of her son for her after school. At noon time, my husband called me. I mentioned to him that I was going to start doing childcare. I could tell by the tone of his voice that he did not like the idea. He just wanted to take care of me. He didn’t want me to do anything but take care of his kids and keep the house clean. Too bad. Throughout the years, I watched many children. I even had a part-time job as cook for the elementary school.

Now that I was bringing in money, my husband wanted me to get a real job. Okay. I guess being a stay-at-home mom was not a real job. At least in his eyes. Rarely would he come home and find the house a mess. Dinner was always on the table with the kids sitting around it. When he came home and found the house a mess because I had not had time to clean it, he’d ask me what I do all day. One particular day, he asked me that and it ticked me off. I asked him if he saw all those kids around the table? I said they are still breathing, right? I took care of your kids! That’s what I do all day!

I realize that I am getting off track.

We had been married for 18 years and the problems started. He left for work earlier and earlier. He came home later and later. After 23 years, he filed for divorce without telling me. During those five years, we went to counseling. That worked for a while. Our marriage never went back to the way it was in the beginning.

Shortly before he filed for divorce, I realized that I needed a good paying job to support myself just in case. The day I applied for the job, I was so nervous and scared. I had not really worked outside the home in 23 years! The job I had applied for was close to home. It was at a golf course doing landscaping.

I learned so much about myself with that job. I was so excited when I was hired on. I was the landscaping assistant. I learned that I loved being outdoors. The fresh air and the people I worked with made me feel good. And the paycheck was nice!

After working for months, I knew there was no reason to have fear.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

Dirty

For some reason, this word brings back plenty of memories where I was dirty. Ya see, I grew up on a farm. There was always work that had to be done. Animals needed to be fed. Manure had to be cleaned out from under the barn porch. New straw had to be put down during the winter to help keep the cows warm.

Pigs were chased in the dark after they dug themselves out of their pens. That night was a whole lot of fun. NOT! Trying to locate pigs in the dark using flashlights was not fun at all.

My siblings and I took turns feeding the cows and pigs. Well, on this particular Saturday morning, (during the winter thaw) it was my turn to feed. Dad was sitting at the table and he told me to wait for him. He was going to help me. I went on outside by myself. I fed the hogs. By the time I was done with them, Dad had not come out. I waited for a bit, playing the little bit of snow that had not melted. Well, I grew impatient waiting for Dad.

So, I decided to go ahead and feed the cows. I walked down the trough to the other end to open the door where the hay was to go out of. I opened the door and found all the cows staring at me. There was muck everywhere. The cows were surrounding the hay ring. Now, I was never really intimidated by the cows until I was chased by one that had horns. The bull we had was an enormous animal, as well.

Anyway, to make a long story short, I just cut the twine strings off the bales. I threw the hay right there in the mud and muck. A little voice said shame on me for not doing the job the correct way. I was a bit nervous about wading through the muck dragging hay bales with me. I would have had to make numerous trips. By this time, I was getting cold. After I had thrown the last bit of hay into the muck, who decides to show up? Dad! I had just closed the door and turned around. Dad was walking toward me. I was suddenly feeling very nervous. He saw what I had done. He told me in no uncertain terms to go back into the house.

I guess I really wasn’t chased by a cow. More like stormed toward me. I had the job of watching the gate. We were separating the cows and calves. Dad had decided to put a bell on one of the cows. We could hear where the cows were when the bell rang from around the cow’s neck. Anyway, the cow he chose had horns. As soon as that cow heard the bell, she was scared. She literally jumped out of the pen she had been in. She pawed the ground and saw me standing at the gate. She rushed toward me. All I heard was Laurie get out of the way! I jumped the gate and turned around. By the time, I had turned around the cow’s horns were sticking through the gate. In the same spot that I had just been standing. Talk about shaky! I don’t think I’ve ever moved so fast in my entire life.

There was a stream running in the back of our barn. I remember playing in it once or twice.  Yes, we were told not to play in it. Did we listen? No, of course not. We took our shoes off and played in the water. Now, the cows used that stream for drinking and such. We didn’t care. It was a hot summer day and we wanted to cool off. Dad caught us and yelled at us. We grabbed our shoes and ran across the rocks snickering.

Dad had a small pond put in out in the pastures. The cows needed water out there. We were given strict orders to stay out of the water. We were warned that there could be deadly snakes in the water. I don’t know if that was true or not. We did not listen. It was another hot summer day. Me and my siblings decided to check out the pond. We took off our shoes and waded into the water. It felt wonderful. The water was murky and not clear at all. We could not see our feet through the muddy water.

We had been throwing water on each other having a good ole time. We suddenly heard splashing going on. It wasn’t coming from us. We looked around and saw the bull coming toward us. I screamed, grabbed my shoes and took off. Apparently, the bull didn’t like sharing his watering hole with us. That was the only time we played in the pond. We arrived back at the house dripping wet. Mom just looked at us and shook her head. She didn’t want to know what we had been up to.

I hated cleaning out the pig pens. Scooping the manure and scraping the concert clean. Nasty! By the time the job was complete, we smelled of hog manure. Nothing is worse, though, than chicken poop. Now, there is some nasty smelling stuff. I had to clean out my grandparents chicken house. It was not a pleasant job.

May your day be filled with tons of sunshine!

Laurie Jackson

 

My Best Friend

I have one true friend. That’s all I need. Yes, I have acquaintances and I know a lot of people. I can truly say I have that one special friend.

She and I have been friends for many, many years. Since our girls were in kindergarten.

We have a connection that we can feel when the other needs to talk. We can call each other up and continue the conversation where it ended the last time we spoke. We can tell each other anything and know that it will not be spread around. I can trust her with everything. I trust her with my life.

When I was going through my divorce, she’d call me to check on me. If I was feeling down or crying, she told me to put my big girl panties and deal with it. Shake it off is what she used to tell me. I know I could not have survived my divorce without her help and friendship.

I have five sisters but this woman is more of a sister to me. I am not as close to my own sisters. With MC, I can laugh and cry and yes even yell at her. Trust me. She does the same with me.

I could not imagine my life without her.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

Enjoy Life

Don’t put your life on a shelf! Get out and enjoy the weather! Explore the world, if you can. Travel, if you can afford it. Or take day trips to places close to home.

Don’t sit on a shelf and think about doing anything.  Don’t let yourself get dusty from sitting too long. Just do it! Life is way too short. It’s way too short for negativity. It’s way too short for complaining. My husband and I literally live from month to month with no money left over for “fun” stuff like go to the movies. So, we create our own fun. The river is within reason from our home. We drive there and just people watch. Or we just sit and watch the water flow by. There is even a walking trail that we sometimes travel down. We are outside and getting fresh air. We are enjoying ourselves. We may not have much but we do have each other. We laugh every day.

Don’t sit and watch your life go by!

I wanted to go back to school. So, I did. I, now have my BFA (Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts.) Why did I do that? Just to see if I could do it. I am even contemplating getting my Masters degree. Why? Simply because I want to. It’s never too late to achieve a goal you may have. Believe in yourself and go for it!

I am 53 years old. I am tired of waiting for that right moment to do something. Guess what! There never is going to be that “right” moment. Well, no, I take that back. Right now is the right time to do it.

I suffer from chronic depression. It is a struggle each and every day. I will not let it get me down. I have too much living to do. I choose to be happy.

I was a quiet, shy kind of child growing up. I was scared to death to anything wrong.  In my first marriage, I was submissive. After my divorce, I promised myself that I would be true to myself. No more going along with the crowd. My children are grown. They do not need me as much now. They all have their own lives.

So, I plan on spoiling my husband and my grandchildren. Give them all the love I have inside. I enjoy life. When I die, there will be skid marks leading into my grave. I ain’t going down without a fight. I’ll have a smile on my face. I can hear my kids now say, “Yep, that’s our Mama! She was crazy (in a good way) but she lived life to the fullest.”

May your day be filled with tons of blessings!

Laurie Jackson

Bucket List

My bucket list:

Go to a Reba McEntire concert. (Did that.) Have always loved her music. She has a wonderful voice.

Ride a horse. I have always enjoyed horses. I think they are beautiful creatures.

Complete my sister’s story. I’ve been working on it for many years. It is time to finish it.

Take a trip to Canada. My husband wants to take me there this year. He wants to show me where he grew up. Also, we will visit his daughter and sister who live in Canada. Alex wants to show me real mountains.

Go zip-lining. (Did that.) Alex and I did this last summer. I truly enjoyed myself. I’d like to do it again. I’m not so sure about Alex, though. I have to admit that I screamed. I am scared of heights but I still wanted to zip-line.

Take a trip to Colorado. (Did that.) I took a bus trip to Colorado about six years ago. I have always wanted to see the mountains. The trip was nine days long. We rode four different trains while we were out there. It is a beautiful state but I do not think I could live there. I had a hard time breathing. Alex and I also took a trip to the southern part of Colorado. Again, I was suffering from flu type symptoms.

Visit the ocean on the east coast on a clear, warm day. We drove to South Carolina over 23 years ago to visit my sister and brother-in-laws. The day we went to the ocean, it was windy and very cold. It was not a pleasant visit.

Go gambling out in Las Vegas. (Did that.) I’d like to go again. This time with Alex. I flew out to Vegas several years ago with an old acquaintance. I had a great time and did not want to leave. I do not think I could live out there, though. It was too dry for me.

Make quilts. (Did that.) I want to make quilts for my children again. I would like to make a quilt for myself and Alex. I am working on a quilt for James (my grandson). I have not made him a quilt yet.

I can’t really think of anything else at the moment.

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson

 

No Envy Here

There’s no envy here, I promise.

I’d like to think I’ve outgrown that stage of my life.

I am finally at my happy place in life. I am so blessed. My cup runneth over with blessings. For starters, I have a wonderful husband. He shows his love for me on a daily basis. He is the love of my life. He treats me like a queen. He is so respectful. He is my best friend, my lover. For the most part, he actually hears what I am saying.

I have been blessed with six wonderful children. Each one has grown into fantastic adults. I could not be prouder of them. Each one is about as different as the other. I would not want them any other way. I have also been blessed with two terrific grandchildren. I have a healthy grandson who is 7 years old already!! I also have a beautiful healthy granddaughter. She is almost a month old. Time sure does fly.

I am blessed because I still have my mother around. She is my rock, my role model, my hero. She raised eight children. Even with my baby sister ill, Mom always made time for all of us. I do not know how she did it.

I am blessed to have one great friend. She is my best friend. We’ve known each other for almost 25 years. She and I can go weeks without talking. Each time we do, it’s like no time has passed. We can pick up the conversation from where we stopped the last time we talked. I just love that kind of friendship.

Alex and I do not have money. I do not care. We have each other. That’s what matters most. For the most part, we are healthy. We have a roof over our heads and clothes on our backs. We have food to eat and a bed to sleep in.

Okay, okay. I used to be envious of anyone who had a wonderful dad. I did not. He did not drink or smoke. He did take out his anger fits on us four older ones. He had a bad day, we were spanked. He did not like your response, we were spanked. When we were in church and one of us made the slightest noise, we were spanked. He did not just spank us but he also belittled us. He called us names.

Have a super day!

Laurie Jackson

 

Contrast

I immediately thought of my children when I saw what the prompt word was.

I have four sons and they are about as different as night day. Each one has his own personality. Growing up, they’d fight amongst themselves. Outside the home, though, they would have each other’s back. I have to say they are protective of each other.

I have a gay son and if that’s his worst trait, then I’m a blessed mom. I have no complaints about him being gay. He is so book smart, it’s unbelievable. He was reading by the age of 5.  He has an impressive art talent.

My second son is street smart. He is very mechanically inclined. He can fix any type of motor. He blessed with a grandson. When this son was born, I took one look at him and thought this little guy is going to be trouble. Let me just say, there has not been a dull moment watching him grow up. 🙂

My third son came late one May night, almost midnight.  I was very calm even though I was having problems. He was a c-section birth. He also had a speech problem. He was (and still is) a quiet, shy kind of guy. It takes a lot to tick him off. Watch out, though, when his temper comes out. Run for the hills. Right after his high school graduation, he went into bootcamp. The time he was gone was horrible for me. I realize that sounds selfish but it’s the truth. We could not contact him and vise versa for six weeks. He was in the Army Reserves for six long years. I am thrilled he is no longer in the military.

My fourth son was born on December 31. That’s right. New Year’s Eve. With him, I literally stood on my head. I was too far a long for an epidural. The doctor swung the bed to the position where I was hanging on my head. He said push and suddenly there was my son. I was ill at the time of his birth. I feel that my illness affected my son’s immunity system. This son is extremely book smart. His nickname in grade school was DATA. When the Brain Bowls took place, everyone wanted him on their team.

My sons are as different as night and day; water and oil. I love them each the same. I could not be more proud of the intelligent young men they have turned out to be. They are my pride and joy. (I also have two daughters. That in itself is a whole other blog.)

Have a blessed day!

Laurie Jackson