Happy Anniversary to Me!

It is my twenty seventh anniversary today…with my employer. How have I managed to hang in there that long? Not because it’s the greatest place to work. Pay is terrible. Benefits are terrible. But it’s a living. And we don’t have much choice in this area. It’s a thirty minute drive one way but that beats an hour and a half drive.

One reason I’ve stayed so long is that it’s kinda like family there. I spend most of my waking time there with those people. Many folks, like me, have been there for two or three decades or more. I’ve seen hundreds of people come and go. I've made some really good friends over the years. Many of those friends have left the company but we still keep in touch.

I have noticed how today’s generation of younger workers are nothing, I mean nothing, like the old days. Turnover is huge because they want to do as little work as possible for as much money as possible and then skip out to go spend their money. Whatever happened to “any job worth doing is worth doing well”?

The company itself is very different today than when I first started. At one time there were over 700 employees in the plant. We had two other plants in the US and an R & D center. Now it’s down to this plant and the corporate office which is located just up the road. There are less than 300 employees. The economy has really hurt this type business. Hopefully that will change soon. We’ll see.

So maybe I don't have the greatest, most exciting, best paying job in the world but I'm thankful I'm employed. It has paid many bills and helped provide for my family. But now I’m just looking forward to retirement. I only have twenty years to go.


You Might Be a Redneck...

...if you get excited about a culvert. But this was a really BIG culvert! The county road crew brought it out to replace a decades old wooden bridge that is now unsafe for traffic. This is a little gravel road that runs beside our house. When you live way, way out in the country it doesn't take much to amuse you.


The Birthday Girls!

One year ago today our granddaughters came into this world. Kylie weighed 3 pounds 13 ounces and when Kassidy was born 2 minutes later she weighed 3 pounds 10 ounces. Even though they were tiny they were healthy. It has been an interesting and fun year. It is amazing how they grow and learn. I am so looking forward to the future.


The Sound of Silence

I am sitting at home listening to…NOTHING. It has been a while since it has been this quiet at my house and also a while since I’ve had time to sit down at home and write in my blog.

It was a busy week. Lots of shopping and preparations for the grandbabies big “# 1” birthday party and for my daughter’s mission trip.

The birthday party was GREAT! My little redheads loved digging into their cakes and getting it all over them…and even tasting some ever now and then. We had a big crowd of family and friends. Lots of presents, food and swimming. WHEW. It was fun but I’m glad it’s over.

But now the babies are spending a couple of days with their other grandparents and my daughter has gone to Wyoming.

My daughter and 33 others from several churches are headed to Wyoming to help with VBS and do some construction work at a couple of churches. I hope they can be a light for Jesus and plant some seeds.

My daughter has only been gone for 12 hours now but I miss her already. I miss “Mama, where’s my “whatever?””. “Mama, what’s to eat?”. The grandbabies have only been gone about 6 hours and I already miss the pitter patter of little feet, the foreign baby language, the giggles, cries when they fall or bump their head, slobbery kisses and yes, even poopy diapers.

It is so quiet around my house. I don’t think I really like the sound of silence at all. No, not at all.


Why Weight?

Three years ago this month I took a drastic step that would change my life. I had gastric bypass surgery. It was one of the best things I’ve ever done.

I was not overweight in my younger years. I was active. I cheered through high school and was on the dance team in college. The weight didn’t begin to pile on until after three pregnancies (two of those ending in miscarriages). I was two months shy of thirty when my daughter was born. I figure the greatest factor in my weight gain though was I became sedentary. After years and years of sitting behind a desk all day with a Mt. Dew in front of me at all times did not help. The weight just kind of creeped up. A few pounds a year, and before I knew it, I could barely walk up the stairs without gasping for breath. The weight became an embarrassment, not only to me but my family. My husband was never cruel about it but would subtly mention that I needed to do something. And with my family’s history of heart disease and diabetes I knew I had to do something.

Like so many people, I had tried every diet in the book. My drawer at work was full of diet pills. I went to the “fat doctor” for a few months and lost a considerable amount of weight. But the weight always came back. Then, I was inspired by a co-worker who had lapband surgery. He did wonderful with his surgery, and looked so good. I got his doctor’s name and number and was on my way.

It took some time for approval. There are criteria you must meet and tests you must endure. And the sleep tests are NOT fun. Who wants to go to sleep knowing someone is watching you? I was diagnosed with severe sleep apnea. I had to get hooked up to a c-pap machine after that. What a pain.

I decided the Roux en Y gastric bypass surgery would be the best choice for me. Now this is major surgery but it went great without any glitches. Amazingly, there was minimal pain afterwards. Eating again was like starting over as a baby. You start out on soft, mushy foods, then gradually over weeks build up to solids. I drank gallons and gallons of water. Even though I’d always thought I’d like to be a vegetarian, the hardest part of recovery was going without meat for those first three months. It’s safe to say I will never be vegetarian!

After time, you learn how and what you can eat. I had a few bouts with nausea but not many. Today, I pretty much can eat whatever I like, just much smaller portions. Some things may make me queasy but I’ve learned what to watch out for.

Being one hundred and twenty one pounds lighter, I can definitely say my surgery was worth it. If anyone is considering the surgery, I say go for it. Of course, not everyone will recover as well as I did. Find a good doctor and talk it over with them.

Here’s my doctor’s website. It is a great source of info: www.whyweight.com


Delete or not delete?

There’s been a lot of tragedy and deaths in our small community recently. And these people were so young. Illness, wrecks, and even a stabbing. Teenagers from the high school, a young boy only seven, mothers and fathers. A dear friend lost her husband, home and little dog in a fire. All this said brings me to this…I love to send and receive emails. Most of them are usually jokes, pictures, useful information or maybe an interesting article. I hope those receiving the emails know I’m thinking about them and send them emails because they are my friend. I may rarely, if ever, write a personal note to them but I do think about them as I scroll through my email address book and type in their name before I hit “send”. It’s just a simple way to keep in touch.

When I went to visit my friend, who lost her husband in the fire, before I left, she told me through her tears, “don’t send me any emails since I don’t have a computer any more”. I know her husband can never be replaced but her home and computer can. And if my little emails bring her a tiny ounce of joy, I’ll start sending them again. Her name will stay in my address book.

A couple of those people who have passed away were not only my friend but also my email buddy. Now when I scroll through my address book I pause when I come to their name. I just can’t bring myself to delete it. It’s as if I might erase them from my memory if I delete their name from that little file. One of the girls has been gone for over two years now. She died unexpectedly and suddenly from a brain aneurism. Her face always pops into my mind when I scroll to her name. She was a stay at home mom but volunteered at the school all the time. She loved her daughters and also loved helping the children at school. The other friend died instantly in a car wreck along with her little boy. She was a beautiful girl. I always can see her smile and dimples when I read her name. I know I’ll never forget either of these friends but somehow just seeing their name “makes” me remember them. And I just can’t bring myself to hit delete.


O Daddy, Where Art Thou?

If only I had listened closer, watched more and asked more questions. My daddy has been gone eight years now and there are so many things I can think of that I’d love to know about but just never did ask or didn’t pay attention when I should. Like gardening. After he retired, one of his joys was raising his gardens. He always had two, sometimes three, plots. And I don’t mean small patio gardens either. We would help if he asked but he usually liked to do everything himself. He kept the middles plowed clean. No weeds allowed in his garden. When his grandkids were small he’d tell them to “step where I step” so they wouldn’t step on his seeds or tender young plants just sprouting up. And the kids would fall right behind him, walking in his footsteps. His pride and joy was his tomatoes. He planted no less than one hundred plants each spring. Mother and us would gather and can all we wanted and then Daddy would give away the rest. He loved to take the neighbors a bucket of tomatoes or squash or whatever. Now I can’t even remember what kind of tomatoes he planted. And I should know that. We don’t plant a garden today because we always depended on Daddy and never learned what we needed to know.

If you still have your parents or even grandparents, take the time to talk to them and get all the information you can. Don’t wait. Do it today because tomorrow might be too late.

What do you know that we do not know? What insights do you have that we do not have? The gray-haired and the aged are on our side, men even older than your father. Job 15:9-10