1halffull's Blog

Biscuits, Milk and Gravy?
April 11, 2010, 12:35 am
Filed under: Biscuit World, Food, Humor, Life, Memories, Waffle House

Today was a beautiful day.  Sun shining, flowers blooming, trees in full bud.  A gorgeous day.

We headed out to buy ‘biscuits, milk and gravy’ as my husband said. 

“Gravy?” I questioned?  “Are you thinking we should go to Waffle House?” I continued. 

“Not really. Why?” he volleyed back.

“Because, you just said we were going out to go buy biscuits, milk and gravy,” I responded. 

He chuckled, shaking his head at what he’d said.  “No, I meant dog biscuits, milk and juice.” 

We laughed, then he asked if I wanted to go any place first.  I elected Kohl’s as I’m still looking for a dress to wear to our nephew’s wedding next week.  Plus, we needed to get cat food and litter for Mr. Finicky and the pet store is in the vicinity.  It didn’t hurt that Waffle House was on the way.  All the talk of biscuits and gravy had given me a taste for it, but I didn’t want to be obvious, so I figured I’d wait to see if Dan would get the same idea.

As we got closer, suddenly he said, ‘Well, hey.  Do you want to get a waffle?” 

I know it’s called Waffle House, but after all that talk of biscuits and gravy, how could he even think I’d be looking for a waffle?  “Actually, I was thinking biscuits and gravy after all that talk earlier.”  So we pulled in, each of us with our own ideas for what Waffle House might provide us.

Suddenly it brought back a goofy event also involving, well almost anyway, biscuits. 

Back in 1989 my brother-in-law decided to get married in his home in North Carolina.  I won’t bore you with all the details of that very interesting event, although if I did, you seriously wouldn’t believe it!  I’ll just get right down to the biscuit part. 

We were on our way home.  I was driving our van with my sister-in-law riding shot gun through the hills of West Virginia.  Dan and her husband were in front of us driving with the kids.  That part was quite happy for Judi and me.  Anyway, we decided we wanted something to eat.  In particular, I wanted ice cream.  We were getting close to Charleston and began looking for a place to stop when I spied signs for Biscuit World.  The moment I saw it, I knew that Dan would be drawn to it if I didn’t do something to take control of the situation.  I began to apply the pedal to the metal and sped ahead of him. 

“What are you doing?” asked Judi.  “You must be going 85 miles and hour!” 

“87.  But who’s counting?” I responded.

“But why are you going so fast?  Are you trying to kill us?”

“No, I’m not trying to kill us.  I’m trying to find someplace that sells ice cream before Dan has a chance to head off to Biscuit World!” I exclaimed.  “If we don’t find someplace fast, we’ll find ourselves eating biscuits and grits instead of ice cream with hot fudge.”

We did manage to outrun him and missed out entirely on Biscuit World.  Of course, all involved looked like they’d gone through a wind tunnel thanks to my preference for speed.

Today’s adventure to Waffle House got us both what we wanted but only after Dan nearly didn’t get a waffle, because the waitress forgot to turn in his order.  Instead, he ended up getting two for the price of one because the waitress felt bad for messing up. 

We both enjoyed the meal and no one looked like they’d been through a wind tunnel when we were done.


The Surprises of Life…
April 4, 2010, 5:05 am
Filed under: Change, Dad, Friends, God, Happiness, Humor, Jesus, Kids, Legacy, Life, Love, Memories, Nostalgia, Parents, Travel

For the average person, there are very few really big events that take place in our lives.  You’re born – but you probably don’t remember that.  You learn to walk – don’t remember that either.  Your first day at school – maybe.  Your first visit from the tooth fairy – yep, pretty sure you remember that.

 The first date…the first kiss….the first ‘real’ boyfriend.  High school graduation then college.  Getting engaged then the big (or small) wedding day.  The birth of your first child, and every child after that.  The death of your mom, then your dad; your grandmas and grandpas if you were fortunate to know them at all.  There goes your favorite aunt and suddenly you’re so much older than you’d have thought you could get when you were 20.

 For me, most of that happened in the first 30 years.  It was a lot to pack in there.  They were all a big deal at the time….some remain a big deal in my heart, my head, even now.

 Someone once said that it’s the little things that sneak up and grab a hold of you.  They were right.

 Some of my ‘little things’ include, in random order….

 Going fishing with my dad and catching more fish than him.  He let me.  I loved the lake.  Still do.

 My friend deciding that I wouldn’t be able to deal with a club meeting when I got home after my dad’s death.  She put herself in my place and took care of it so I didn’t have to.  A little, but thoughtful thing.

 My dad poking his head into my room, handing me a $20 bill as he told me that he knew all I’d been doing around the house to help out.  Demonstrated appreciation that meant so much to me under the circumstances.

 Aunt Betty who invited me to visit her in the summers and allowed me to see myself as a valuable person like few others did.

 Learning that my friend Avis daily sang ‘I have decided to follow Jesus’ in the final weeks of her life.  I’d always hoped she would.

 Playing a game of ‘keep the car moving till the light turns green’ when taking kids home from church – it’s a fun game – you should try it.

 Having a mother-in-law who patiently listened over the years, didn’t butt in, and has spent hours on the phone with me, talking about anything and nothing.  If we were running the world, it would be a much better place.  Thanks, mom.

 Going to the beach with the whole clan; all the kids playing together; sunburns radiating.  Sea creatures scurrying out of the bucket of sand while one child screamed and the others all laughed.

 My sister-in-law and I in the ocean – without our contacts in – screaming at ‘jaws’ coming for us then laughing our faces off when we finally could tell they were just shadows.  Another time laughing ourselves silly so hard in the card section that a man ‘just had to come see why we were so hysterical’.  “There are two sides to every divorce” the outside of the card said.  “Yours and the s— head’s.” (not my words – but how we howled and promptly sent it to a sibling who may still have it today)!

 Two little faces pressed against the window waving and calling ‘bye mommy’ as I’d pull out of the driveway on my way to somewhere else.

 The surprise 40th birthday party my husband gave me where I was totally surprised.

 The kids so excited to sleep in the van the night before a vacation started.

 All the Christmas videos we made that could be Christmas any year except for the changes in sizes, hairdos, glasses and voices.

 Howling at the moon from the causeway with my daughter.

 Taking my son for his first tattoo.

 Oh, the list goes on and on and is my way of saying, let the little things grab on to you and you hold on tight to them.  In the end, they’re really the only things that matter.

What is it about Thursday?
February 12, 2010, 6:20 am
Filed under: Happiness, Humor, Jobs, Life, Work

If it’s Thursday night, it must be Friday morning!

Make sense to you?  If it does, then you must be suffering the same ‘malady’ as am I!

About a month ago, Thursday dawned in a happy manner – with the realization that tomorrow was Friday which would be followed by Saturday, a day without formal, outside-the-house work.  So I went to work that Thursday with a spring in my step and a hum in my mind, happy to be in the midst of Thursday.

When I got home from Thursday, it was like I’d been shot with the glitter of a rainbow.  I made ‘real’ dinner – as opposed to those fake ones made up of either left overs or stuff from cans – breezed through the evening to my favorite show at 10 – Burn Notice – then found that I didn’t even want to go to bed yet.  So I fooled around on the computer, watched more TV, goofed off in the bathroom then landed on the couch to lull myself to sleep with TVLand’s favorite show:  Roseanne.

When the buzzer went off signaling Friday morning, I was glad to greet it!  It was FRIDAY! which could only mean that tomorrow was Saturday, the day I didn’t have to go to work.  What a great day!  What fun I’d had….for once.

Unfortunately, Friday night found me snoring on the couch by 9:30.  I didn’t care!  It was worth the price to have had Wonderful Thursday!

Then there was lovely Saturday and Perfect Sunday followed by, you guessed it, Ugly Monday.  Mondays are often difficult where I work.  You walk in and rather than take off your coat and have a few minutes to settle in, you’re hit with who didn’t show up, what has to be picked up, whose project needs to be started up – you know, the usual first day of the work week stuff.  Suddenly you find yourself thinking about the other end of the week and wondering when it’s coming?

Next it was Tuesday, then Wednesday.  Before I knew what was going on, it was Thursday.  ANOTHER BEAUTIFUL THURSDAY.  Ahhhhhh…….

Again, I woke up so happy to be at the beginning of Thursday.  What a wonderful day.

Just like the week before, the day breezed by.  There was another real meal, some friendly competition on the Wii, some computer time, the 10 p.m. TV show.  Then there was no sleep!  Who needs sleep?  It’s Thursday after all, that lovely day that precedes Friday – again.

What makes it seem even more wonderful is that I’ve been giving in to my body clock on these Thursday night romps.  You see, while some people’s bodies are programmed to arise from their beds by 6 a.m., mine is not programmed that way.  When others want to chat their way from the edge of night to the bright of day, I want to snuggle under the covers sleeping until I might naturally awake about 10 a.m.  When some are crawling into bed at 10 p.m., I would adore staying up every night until 2 a.m.  My body lives for those days.

So, that’s what’s been taking place on Thursdays.  It’s such a luxury, dare I say even a thrill to indulge myself in staying up on lovely Thursday, anticipating Wonderful Friday.  My body feels happier and so do I!

So, what about Thursday?  It’s just the very happy day before Wonderful Friday, the best day of the week!

Everybody Poops
October 18, 2009, 12:47 am
Filed under: Bragging, Everybody Poops, God, Humor, Life, Love, Parents, Racism, Sadness, Storms, Unions, Work

billnyeThe book, ‘Everybody Poops’, was written by Bill Nye, The Science Guy.  Remember him?  He was a hit with kids back in the late 80’s and early 90’s I think.  The first time we saw the book, we giggled like school kids.  I mean, after all, it mentioned the word poop and that word makes everyone giggle at some point or another.  Well, unless you’re a person whose job is to clean it up.  Then, I suppose, you probably don’t giggle much about it.

Anyway, we were talking today about people who think that for one reason or another, they’re at least a half head better than everyone else.  We all know them.  We work with alot of them.  They make it their business to make sure we know how important they are, even when they aren’t.  We watch alot of them on TV or in movies or on sports fields.  Then we watch them get all haughty because someone wants to take their picture or asks for an autograph and they don’t think they should have to participate.  Hey, bucko, you’re the one who wanted to get all famous, and I helped you get there, so suck it up and sign the autograph.

Which brings me to – Everybody Poops.  I started thinking about how we all want to point out the differences among us and Poopshow some of us even want to get all haughty about these differences.  Whether we should or not is another question.  

Just in case you ever get the idea you’ve got something to get all haughty over, I thought I’d give you a list of some of the things we do pretty much the same.  Here goes….

We all have skin covering our muscles, unless yours has been burned off in a fire.

We all have hair covering our bodies, unless you have alopecia.

We all have eyes to see, unless you’re an alien from another galaxy, then you might not.  Or if your haughtiness has blinded you.

We all have hands and feet and, generally speaking, ten fingers and ten toes, unless you were in a very bad accident or born without them.

We all have navals, I believe, without exception.  There is a difference in navals, as some people have innies and some have outties.  Even so, I see no reason to get haughty over it.

We all have ears, although some of us use them less than others.

We all have mouths, although some of us use them more than others and should think about that.

We all have butts, some flat, some round, some with kind of a table top effect, some sagging.  Maybe you can get all haughty over your booty if you want.  I wouldn’t lord it over others, cause the booty can change at any moment.

We all put our pants on one leg at a time, unless, again, you’ve been in a terrible accident, lost your legs to diabetes, or were born without them.  If you’ve got ’em, be thankful for them and keep on walking.

We all have brains, although with some people, you just can’t tell.

We all breathe the same air, but some of our bodies respond badly to it while others consume it regularly.

heartWe all have hearts that pump the blood that we all have, carrying the oxygen that we just breathed to all of the organs that we all also have.  Here there is a difference:  some hearts beat with love while others beat against love.  Again no reason to get haughty – those beating with love should strive to help those beating against love.

 We all came from the collision of a sperm with an egg and were ‘baked’ in a warm uterus until it was time for us to pop out.

We all have birth mothers; we don’t all have moms.  Those who have moms should share with those who only have birth mothers.

We all have access to God.  We don’t all choose to access Him.

We all have the capacity to love one another.  When we use that capacity wisely, without mixing love with power or control, we just might forget the reason we thought we could get all haughty and enjoy and benefit from the gifts we each can share.

If all else fails just remember:  everybody poops.  Sometimes, that’s a very stinky business, so try not to poop on anyone else.

September 2, 2009, 4:05 am
Filed under: Humor, Life, Over reaction, Storms

Father of the bride

I love the line in the movie ‘Father of the Bride’ when Steve Martin (as the Father) in speaking with his daughter’s fiance, tells him that his daughter comes from a long line of over reactors.  He then proclaims the lineage that includes his mother, himself and, naturally, his daughter.

I love that part because, misery loves company, it takes one to know one, and I recognize myself in that particular segment.

Some people would say that those of us who do overreact to situations or conversations or any unnatural life circumstance that causes us fear are probably just plain crazy or high strung.  I don’t think so.

I think the real truth of the matter is that we are people who vibrate on a higher stream of consciousness than most.  Unlike most plebeians (plain folks to you) we are not rooted to the earth but rise above it, allowing our electrical vibrations a more free and intense reign.  We have a sixth sense and connection to the invisible world that allows or causes us to experience things more acutely, thereby making us over reactors rather than just reactors.  Those rooted in the ground basically don’t have the ability to quake at a 7.5 level.  We do.

In the king’s English, that just means that we make mountains out of molehills.  We listen to the anecdotal stories of others and adopt them as truth.  We take Xanax to quiet our out of control electrical vibrations so that we can stand to hear the truth when it’s delivered.

The truth is like a bucket of very cold water tossed on a couple of mating dogs:  it strikes us to the ground where all vibration stops.  We come out of our electrically charged state and return to the dull lifelessness that we resemble following a major quake phase.  Breathing returns to normal; thinking clears; and the headache sets in.  The aftermath of the quake is that we feel silly.

No matter how many times we go through this, when we’re done, we tell ourselves that we’ll never allow that to happen again!  Next time, we say, we’ll remain calm until there’s a real reason not to remain calm.

It’s a lie.  We can’t do it.  Next time something happens that frightens us to death, we’ll begin to vibrate again, well beyond normal human rates, out of control, making ourselves crazy, raising our blood pressures, letting our minds tell us that only the worst is possible.  And while the worst just may come, there’s a greater probability that it won’t.

Regardless, we’ll vibrate out of control until the truth is revealed and we once again feel silly.  You can count on it.

Without a vision the people perish
August 7, 2009, 3:14 am
Filed under: decorating, House Beautiful, Humor, painting

Some days it’s interesting for me to open up this blog.  I feel like I want to write something, but haven’t a clue what that something is.  Like now.

How about this:  We’ve lived in our house for 22 years.  When we first moved in, it was filled with rooms full of very ugly wallpaper.  The one that was in our bedroom would have scared any normal person into a catatonic state.  I’m not normal so I just disliked it then painted over it when it refused to come off the wall.  That is, until the paint hit then it wanted to fall off the wall.  Stupid wallpaper.

We invited our nephews to join us in the first week of our move.  They, along with our two kids, had a ball peeling off wallpaper in many of the rooms, without getting into trouble for doing it.  They also slid down the stairs, pulling the bright orange carpet away from the steps. We were glad to be rid of it.

While it was all pretty ugly, I had a vision for how to change it, make it nice, just short of “House Beautiful”.  That was 20 years ago.

About six months ago, I was walking down the front hallway when it hit me that the hand painted pictures lining the wall had been there for 20 years.  Then I looked into the living room and said ‘Good grief! That is the same stuff I put in there 20 years ago!”

I began yelling for Dan:  “Dan!  Oh DAN!”

“What?” he yelled back.  “Our house is outdated,” I shouted.  There was no response.

A few weeks went by.  One day, walking through the house, I heard Dan call out to me, “Hey, you know what?  We need to do something about the inside of this house.  It’s looking old.”  “Really?” I replied

So now, we’re finally on the same page about this subject.  However, in my head and heart, doing something means I don’t just want some new paint on the walls; I want furniture and carpet, too.  We could truly use new windows to stop the winds that blow through in winter and I really wish I could tear out the current fire place, make a large opening between the family room and the living room to create a ‘great’ room and….you get my drift.

But right now, for a number of reasons that we can’t control, we have no money to do much more than paint.  There is no vision for painting a room filled with the same old stuff.  It will just look like the same old room, just a different color.  Why bother?

What I do envision is another 10 years going by, walking through the hallway one day and not saying anything at all.  You get used to anything, even murder, if you’re around it long enough.  I’ll get used to this, too.

Let’s Call It A Day
July 28, 2009, 1:21 am
Filed under: Humor, Jobs, Magician, Work

There are some days that you are absolutely doomed to be the loser in no matter how hard you try.  What’s that old saying?  Some days you’re the dog; some days you’re the fire hydrant.

For example, if you wake up four hours before you really should be waking up, and then you can’t go back to sleep, you should be smart enough to recognize that it probably won’t get better from here, especially if it’s a Monday.

I prefer to wake up about 6:45, take my shower, put my lunch together then head out the door about 7:30.  This puts me at work by about 7:55 where I hopefully go to my office with the intent of sitting down, booting up my computer and reading my email.

Mornings that I wake up at 4:30, that’s not what happens.  On these mornings, I land at work about 7:10 – why not?  I have nothing better to do, including sleeping -, open my office, notice my phone is blinking with unanswered messages and proceed to lock myself out as I fly down one hall after the other putting out fires.  Suddenly 11 o’clock comes along and I’m finally getting my first cup of coffee and landing in my chair for the first time of the morning.  From there it’s all down the slippery slope over lunch and on to playing musical employees/volunteers with the three-too-many people who have shown up to help out that day when I have no jobs left for them to do.

You’d think in a place as big as ours, it wouldn’t be tough to find work for everyone.  You’re right, it shouldn’t be.  I can find lots of boring things to do, but people only want to do those things for just so long then they want something interesting to do.  This difficulty is compounded by the summer students who work with us five days a week.  They become the priority in terms of giving them work to do, which is why the rest are left with the boring tasks.

Another thing that happens on my job is that we can go the entire week without one extra project coming our way.  Then Thursday dawns.  Not only does it dawn, but it winds its way down till about 3:30 when we get the regular weekly phone call from one particular department – ‘Hey, I’ve got an 800 piece mailing here and I need it to go out tomorrow morning!”  Uh, do you know it’s one hour till quitting time?  Do you realize all the volunteers have gone home for the day?  Why do you wait every single week until 3:30 on Thursday to give us a project?

And yet, every Friday, we send the project to the mail room, completed.  Yes, we are miracle workers, thank you very much.

When Friday comes, I’m really ready to not only call it a day but call it a week – sometimes a week and a half.