Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Self Reflection

Yesterday I was looking on Facebook and saw a photo a friend had posted of themself along with another person who was a casual acquaintance from way back in the day. I'm ashamed to admit that my first thought upon seeing said-acquaintance was, "wow!" And for the record that was not a complimentary "wow." It immediately hit me hard when my next thought was, "I wonder if that's what people say about me when they see what I look like now?" Sadly, I'm pretty sure it is.

I was always the tall, skinny kid growing up. All through college and my 20's I managed to remain "slender" and in fact, there were periods in my life where I was painfully thin. When I got married at twenty-nine I only weighed ninety-eight pounds soaking wet. Marriage, two kids, and life in general changed all that. Now I look at photos of myself and wonder, "where did that fat cow come from?"

To add insult to injury my hair has gone the opposite direction and is now noticeably thin. It's in the genes of my mother's family. In addition to no longer having lush and shiny hair I'm also seeing grey. There were times in my younger days when I added streaks of lightener to my hair, now the streaks are there naturally. My mother always referred to me as her blonde haired child. As often happens when one gets older, the blonde turned to dirty blonde and then light brown. She always wanted my hair to revert back to it's childhood color and I guess that's what nature is doing now,  though it's not so much blonde as it is grey, almost white. I currently look in the mirror and wonder, "where did that old lady come from?"

Lately I've been battling under-eye-bags. Where did those come from and what the heck caused them? We're not even going to talk about the unwanted facial hair, age spots, wrinkles, sagging chin and boobs, and arm flab. I look in the mirror and don't even recognize the person looking back at me.

People say you shouldn't be critical of your body because it is a creation of God and everything God makes is perfect. Unfortunately it's a known fact that man (or woman in this case) can really screw up what God has created. In my defense I am being critical of what I've done to myself or allowed to happen, not the initial package. There are things I do and many more that I don't do that has led me down this path of self destruction. Some of it can be "fixed" but unfortunately a lot of it is here to stay.

If I don't want people seeing photos of me and thinking, "wow!" then it's time for me to step up and do something about it. The question is, do I have the gumption and will power to follow through? Hmmm, where to start?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

email, fat lips and a sourpuss

I had four new comments on my last two blogs but I didn't know they were there because I'm a ding-a-ling and forgot to change the email address for comment notifications. I wonder how many other things I forgot to change.

Changing an email address can lead to a lot of work. First you have to notify everyone in your email address book that you have a new one. Well, maybe not everyone - if you're changing email addresses to get away from certain people then you don't want to turn around and give them your new address. For the record, I did not create a new email account to get away from anyone in particular ... unless you count all the spammers and such ... they are the exact people I am running from, especially the ones that want me to increase the size of my penis (which, hello, I didn't even know I had one) and lose weight through the magic of their product (hmmm, maybe I should have taken that one more seriously).

After acquiring a new email address you also have to sign on to all the accounts that are associated with your email address and update your contact information . You know what I'm talking about - Facebook, Twitter, etc. and, let's not forget the phone carrier, the utilities, Allstate and Bank of America. For me there was also Evernote, Pinterest and the message board I frequent. Fortunately all my Google stuff like Reader, Documents, Calendar, Picasa, and such all automatically updated (just another plus for having a GMail account).

Whew, sounds like a lot of work doesn't it? Some might even think it's not worth all that work, especially since I've had my Charter email account for a hundred years. The problem was ....

I had an email account with Charter.

Viewing email directly from their webpage was a pain in the patootie; it took forever to load and wasn't very user friendly. Quite awhile ago I downloaded Thunderbird on my computer and used it as my email application. This actually worked great until I got an iPhone and then had the choice to view emails on my phone and on the computer. The only problem was once emails were downloaded to my computer they were no longer available on my phone. I was inevitably finding myself out and about and wanting to refer to an email that was now sitting at home on my computer. Talk about frustrating! I know I could have just used my phone only but when it comes to replying to emails, especially long answers, it's hard for my fat little fingers to type on a phone. Consequently I spent a lot of time running back and forth between the phone and the computer.

Another problem with my charter email account was now everyone and his brother had this address. Despite the filters that could be applied to incoming emails I was still getting a lot of junk and I was tired of it. Once before I was faced with the same dilemma and found it was just easier to start over with a whole new account. So, that's what I did!

I also figured that while I was at it I might as well tweak things up a bit. I have been using saidfraz for a loooooong time. It started back in the very first days of having a computer and internet access at home. I created the name "saidfraz" because it represented a family account. Since then we've been through several internet providers and "aid" have gotten their own email accounts. Saidfraz was mine alone and I thought it was time to claim it just for me - therefore, I now have SinSaidfraz@gmail.com.  Clever huh?

Does it remind you of something else?

Like the name of this blog? 


In other news, my week of vacation is winding down. Eddie has been at church camp all week so I've had a whole week to take care of all the projects I've got on my To-Do-List. These projects are things around the house that require me getting down and dirty and I don't like having to stop midstream to pick up a kid. Projects = time + energy + no one asking a thousand questions about what I'm doing. A week of vacation is an excellent time to take care of said projects,  sooooooooooooooo,

can you guess how many of  these projects I have finished?

That would be zero. A direct result of the fact that I actually only started .... zero ... of these projects. Yes, I've managed to whittle away four days and have nothing to say for myself. Next week I'm gonna be kicking myself for wasting the opportunity. My family however is happy because Momma hasn't worked on her To-Do-List and they haven't been forced to live in a house of disarray. I forgot to mention above that Project = CHAOS.

In case you're thinking I'm just sitting around eating bon-bons and watching TV let me assure you I'm NOT that lazy. I've just been working on "behind the scenes" things like the family history blog I'm creating. I've also been doing some photo editing and I'm still learning to navigate using my Bamboo tablet. Maybe one day soon I'll be able to show you the fruits of these labors.

And, speaking of FRUIT

I made a very important discovery last week. I can't believe I didn't share it here though I did manage to shout it out on Facebook and around the dinner table. For most of my adult life I have suffered from weird food allergies. They weren't so bad as to require professional help, I've just learn to abstain and go with it. The foods that affect me - watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew, bananas, and cucumbers. The affect - itching in my mouth, swelling in my throat, tongue and lips, and sometimes a stomach ache.  Well, come to find out all these foods are considered ragweed foods which trigger oral allergy syndrome. Should this be a surprise to me, the queen of seasonal allergies? No!

Evidently these foods contain pollen from the Compositae family (big word, look it up). Something else that falls into that category is honey. Hmmm, I don't eat honey but I use to use Burt's Bees chapstick religiously. That is until a couple of years ago when suddenly my lips started blowing up like a puffer fish. I looked horrible and it felt pretty bad too. I couldn't figure out what was going on. I stopped using my chapstick and switched to several other products just looking for relief and a remedy. It was so bad my ladies Bible study group even prayed specifically for a cure. It took almost a year to get my lips totally back to normal. Once on a whim I tried the BB chapstick again and sure enough my lips blew up. I immediately tossed all of it away (crying all the while 'cause that stuff ain't cheap!). I knew it was the cause, just didn't know why until now.

I'm so glad to have a name for my allergies now, and a complete list of foods and products that can affect me. I'm also very relieved that I can prevent puffer fish lips. I use to have a photo of me with my puffy lips but I deleted it because I didn't want to scare anyone. You'll just have trust me when I say " it ain't pretty!"

As for me, I'm done with Burt's Bees.

I just got this photo from Robert, our family picture made at Mother's 6.8.2012 As you can see here I've replaced the puffy lips with a puffy belly ... just call me Ms Piggy. And in case anyone wonders, this is as close as it comes to getting me to crack a smile ... just call me Sourpuss Ms Piggy.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

I'm Scottish, what are you?

I had 34 drafts in my Edit Posts file. Notice the key word here "HAD". There are now only two drafts.

What this means is there were 32 potential blog entries, in various  forms of completion, that will now never see the light of day. For whatever reason (some of which I can't even recall) none of them made the cut but I kept hanging on to them in hopes of someday pulling them out, blowing the dust off, and finishing them up. Instead, today I ruthlessly gave them the ax.

Take your hat off, bow your head, and let's have a moment of silence for their long overdue demise.

In other news today I cleaned air conditioning filters. Let me tell you, that's a fun and exciting job. NOT! See why I don't blog very often? My life is just too full of boring, mundane events.

I also did a little work on a project I've started. It's a blog documenting our family roots. I can tell you, due to the mad investigative skills of my cousin the genealogist, that my great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was born around 1632 and came to America from Scotland in 1652. He was a prisoner of Oliver Cromwell's, captured in the Battle of Worcester and banished to the colonies to work out his indentureship. That's pretty exciting don't ya think? I mean the fact that I know the facts, not the facts themselves, 'cause being a prisoner/servant isn't exactly a walk in the park, if you know what I mean.

Anywho, I bet my boys had no idea they had Scottish roots from both sides of their family. I actually think they might get a double whammy from my side because my mother is a descendant from the aforementioned 6x-great grandpa and I'm pretty sure my dad's side had Scottish roots too. And, of course, everyone knows Frazier is Scottish. So there you have it, we're doomed 'cause we have hot-tempered Scottish blood coursing through our veins. If I ever go postal that fact will be my defense, "sorry judge, it was the Scottish blood that made me do it!"

As to the family history blog, I would like to say you will get to read all about it one day but sadly that's probably not the case. My cousin says we should keep this info private 'cause of all the devious people out there that might try to use the info to steal our identities. What a shame bad people suck and take the all the fun out of life. Anyway, I'll probably make the blog available to family members only - which is sad because so much information that genealogist today have comes from people sharing on the internet. It's also so sad because I know you're all just dying to know where the heck I came from.

Darn internet. It's a wonderful tool and a dastardly one at the same time. I bet Al Gore had no idea what havoc he was creating when he invented the internet!
Ha, ha 

Sorry, I'm cracking myself up here. I guess that means it's time to put away the keyboard and fix dinner. Gotta feed those Scottish lads of mine.

Monday, June 18, 2012

Day of the Dad

Yesterday was Father's Day and the boys wanted to do something special with their Dad to celebrate. We had access to free tickets to a G-Braves games so despite my mixed emotions we made our plans. For those of you questioning my loyalty to baseball let me tell you -  I love baseball and I love watching it both on TV and live. I also love the fact my twenty-something sons wanted to spend an afternoon with mom and pop. However, what I don't love is sitting outside on a hot summer afternoon. It's one thing if you're beside a pool and have a way to quickly refresh yourself, but sitting in a baseball stadium in the blistering heat provides no such relief. Therefore I hate afternoon-live-summer games and it's needless to say there was a part of me that dreaded our afternoon plans.

But, it was Father's Day. How could I say no?

So, after church and a quick bite at KFC/Taco Bell we were off to our appointment with the Gwinnett Braves and the Columbus Clippers. Ian had picked up our tickets the day before so all we had to do was park and walk right into the stadium. 
Score one for the boy - he managed to get pretty good seats. They were down the first baseline which meant sitting behind the visitors dugout BUT they also faced east so it meant the sun was moving behind us, thus no direct sun beating down on our heads. Momma was even more happy to discover that even sitting just seven rows back from the field we were, within 30 minutes of arrival, actually sitting in the shadows. Yay!

I did have some reservations that our seats might make us susceptible to foul balls. Reading this on the back of our tickets didn't help.  
Apparently if the batter lets go of his bat and flings it into the seats (this actually did happen yesterday, fortunately no one was hit), or if a foul ball zips down the baseline and bops people in the head you're just out of luck. Not only is the team/stadium NOT going to take care of your medical needs, they won't even comp your tickets or give you a refund if you have to leave the game. Bummer. Obviously this doesn't deter the fans because they keep coming to games and sitting along the "line of fire." I just wished my boys had brought gloves like they did when they were younger so they could protect their mom in case something came our way. One foul ball did actually make pretty close and Andrew was inches from catching it. Of course I didn't see it 'cause I was cowering under the seats. Way to go son, protect your mom!

After settling in our seats I pulled out my phone and started taking photos.  
As usual I am taking photos and not paying attention to what is actually happening. They were introducing some guys here - I have no idea who they are. See those seats in the background? Those are the poor suckers who had to face the sun all afternoon. Notice how empty it is!

Here's my crew. 
They figured it would be easier to go ahead and let mom take photos early and get it out of her system. Don't they look happy to be here? It's because the seats behind them are empty. Too bad THAT didn't last.

The most annoying extended family crashed our happy outing. I swear I'm a magnet for loud and obnoxious people. This group had two women that fell into that category. One was around my age and her voice was deep and booming. She talked throughout the entire game, barely taking a breath of air. The other female was her daughter-in-law and her voice was equally loud but more whiney and shrill. She too talked almost the whole game. They often talked at the same time. At one point I announced (rather loudly) to my family, "I think my ears are starting to bleed!" Andrew was horrified. Though he agreed these were the most obnoxious people ever, he hates it when I say anything that might be overheard. I figured what the heck, if they want to talk loud enough for everyone within 100 feet to hear their conversation then they shouldn't object to me putting in my two-cents. Sadly I'm pretty sure I wasn't even a blip on their radar.

Then there was this kid who was sitting down at the very front. He looked to be about six or seven and was dressed in a Braves jersey and cap. That's what he looked like on the outside but I'm pretty sure underneath that jersey and cap was a pink bunny costume.
This kid was really    the Energizer Bunny in disguise.

He was into the game.

He was into inciting the crowd.

He was into driving me crazy.

It started innocently enough. "Let's go Braves, let's go."  and the crowd would respond - clap, clap. I know you know the scenario. He was cute and everyone enjoyed his enthusiasm. But once or twice or even 100 times wasn't enough. He did it CONTINUOUSLY for NINE innings. At one point I wanted to stand up and yell, "people, STOP encouraging him. IF you will only STOP clapping maybe HE will shut up!" But once again Andrew held me in check and no one else had the guts to put an end to the incessant chanting.

By the last couple of innings there were only a handful of people who would respond to his chant but he didn't seem to care. He did not stop .... He was accompanied by a man and a woman who I assume were his parents. The dad clapped each. and. every. time and I wondered if this is what life is like at home, little Johnny running rings around doting parents, relishing in the spot light. Or perhaps it's like Ian suggested, they were hoping he'd wear himself out at the game and they'd get an evening of peace and quiet at home. I can't lie, secretly I was hoping he was hopped up on caffeine and they'd have to listen to it non-stop into the wee hours of the night.

The last example of loud and obnoxious for the day is a guy I will call Boozer Boomer. As his name suggests, I'm pretty sure he was several sheets to the wind (drunk, if you don't know what that means) and around the sixth inning or so he started yelling out "encouragement" to the players. He was actually pretty funny but I'm sure if I had been sitting a little closer to him I might not have quite so amused. His female companion didn't look too fazed so I have to assume she was equally liquored up, deaf, or simply resigned to his antics. Like I said, he was pretty funny but he was definitely not what I would consider "family-friendly." Several times an usher came and sat on the railing in front of him in an effort to get him to take it down a notch. It worked just great until the usher left and BB would start up again. I 'm willing to bet he woke up this morning with a fairly good headache and more than likely was hoarse from all the yelling. Hmmmmm, laryngitis - maybe that's why she kept letting him yell?  

In case you were wondering, there was an actual game going on. Here's proof of some of the action .
During the game Dale got a lesson from Ian in using Instagram resulting in this photo  of his first born. (yes Mother, it is in black and white, there's nothing wrong with your computer).

He also took a photo of yours truly 
as actual proof that I was really there and not making all this up.

If you'll look closely in the background you can see the Energizer Bunny,  
bless his little heart.

Sadly the Braves blew up in the final inning and ended up losing 6-2. But, despite all the distractions around us, we enjoyed our family outing. In fact, we might even go back again before Andrew heads back to school and Ian does whatever it is he's gonna do. Until then I'm gonna stick to watching baseball live from the comforts of home.

One last thing - Happy Father's Day to a wonderful, caring, loving, inspiring man; our children are so blessed to have you as their Dad.  I love you, Chipmunk and you still make my heart go pitter-patter!

Friday, June 15, 2012

Family Celebration

We had a Bellah family get together last week. We were celebrating Mother's 85th birthday, my great-nephew Justin's 15th, and a visit from my sister and brother-in-law. We all met down at Mother's which really made her happy. For the first time in a long time she had all three of her children, plus their spouses, and most of the grandchildren, and great grand-kids under one roof.

I took some photos with my phone and I'm telling you right now these photos aren't the best. I'm just making do with what I've got.

 Here's the birthday girl.

She is NOT going to be happy with me for posting her photo. Sorry Mom, it's the only way to show you were really there, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! That's my Aunt Ree sitting in the background. She was married to my father's brother. How  cool is it that in their widowhood the sister's-in-law live minutes apart. We were all so happy that Aunt Ree joined us in our celebration.

Here's the birthday boy 
true to his Bellah blood, he did NOT want his photo taken. This was the best I could get. Too bad I didn't get a shot of him standing up. I think he is already taller than both my boys and at 15 is probably still growing. Meanwhile I feel it's my duty to warn everyone there's another new teen driver testing the roads. If you live down south of Atlanta - BEWARE! This kid drives race cars. We can only hope and pray he knows the difference between a racetrack and the road.

His sister, Kelsey  wasn't being cooperative either. She would not look at me even when I tried the guilt trip of "remember that time I drove all the way up to your school to take you to the emergency room 'cause you fell and bumped your noggin'?" My bro, David and nephew-in-law, Jay are lurking in the background. Jay knew I was shooting and was trying to be invisible. David was too intent on the conversation across the room to notice his wacky sister with the camera.

Younger brother Andy didn't mind so much having his photo taken,  though he couldn't take his eyes off whatever toy that was in his hand. Andy is a recent kindergarten graduate (even though he swore up and down to me he did NOT graduate!). He's such a little stinker. Also note his grandparents sitting behind him ... in all it's blurriness, it's the only shot I got of my SIL, Jerri.

Here's my Sweetie and my BIL (brother-in-law if you don't speak message board lingo) 
I just love the angelic aura surrounding my husband. That and Ian's flip-flop foot make the shot. We haven't seen BIL aka Corky in a couple of years so it was really good to have him here. Everyone throw in good thoughts, prayers, etc that he can follow through with retirement plans at the end of the year. Maybe then we can see more of him? At the very least my sister will welcome having him home in South Dakota full time.

My sister Carol   is sporting a sassy new 'do and isn't she cute with her glasses that match her top? I think she's looking pretty good for someone who recently had her thyroid zapped with radiation and has endured nine falls and two (or was it three?) visits to the ER in the last month. MS has not been kind to her but we're hoping and praying for a remission that sticks around for awhile. Please note that no matter what is going on in her life she's still chugging that nasty caffeine-free Diet Coke. Ewwww that stuff is gross, so no worries sis, no one is gonna take off with your drink!

Here's my recent grad (and he's totally not denying his achievements, Andy take note) 
Ian's still jobless and contemplating what to do with life. Oh, to be at that stage of life again (NOT!). The clock is ticking on when mom caves and has a hissy fit. Pray for us.

This would have been a great photo of Karyn Jean and Andrew IF I'd taken it with a real camera.  

Andrew doesn't look too bad after just finishing up a week of VBS. He told me pre-schoolers are ok, middle-schoolers are tolerable, but elementary kids are HORRIBLE! "Mom, they're so disrespectful and have such attitudes. I never acted like that at that age!"  It's so fun and gratifying seeing your kid acting in the role of an adult. Karyn teaches at a pre-school and has two elementary kid of her own. ( Ethan and Madelyn, were off with their Dad this weekend.) I wonder if she agrees with Andrew's assessment?

Here's the birthday girl harassing her great-great nephew Carlos trying to get him to dance. He was doing his best to ignore her. And while his Dad, Robert, is mother's great-nephew he and his sister, Karyn (and Paul who lives out of state), are really like Mother's grandchildren. It's a long story but what really matters is we're one big, happy (yes, we're happy dang it!) family. Robert is also the family's computer guru and the official family photographer. Ahemmm, if you're reading this Robert - where are the photos you took??

Meet my niece Melissa and her dad, my brother, David. To be honest I don't think they knew I was taking this photo and I'm pretty sure they aren't going to be happy to see it here on the blog. Sorry guys, I have to document you were present. And while we're at it, has anyone noticed how many photos David shows up in the background of? Maybe he secretly likes having his picture taken??

That pretty much wraps it up for who attended the shindig EXCEPT for Kelsey's boyfriend Kevin who I would not (yes, I do have boundaries) subject to the dastardly photo taking. I guess if we didn't run him off after meeting all the family he might be a keeper. Time will tell.

We were sad that Kiley, Shelley, and Hayden weren't with us. Poor guys are stuck over in HAWAII ... imagine the travesty of it all ... living in paradise while the rest of us are schlepping it here in Hot 'Lanta. They did call Nonnie earlier in the week and sang Happy Birthday to her. It totally made up for their absence. Way to go Kiley, sucking up to be the favorite grandson are ya?

Also missing were the aforementioned Paul and his lovely-still-a-bride-til-you-produce-children, Regina. Rumor has it they're soon to move here from Virginia so count on them being in the photos of the next family get together. Are you SURE you want to subject yourselves to this nonsense?

Robert's wife Susana was missing too. She's in Chile taking care of business. Lucky her. This party would have probably driven her crazy, too many people talking at one time. I can relate 'cause there were moments when I wanted to run screaming from the house.

And of course, there's my cousin Louise who's like a big sister but isn't. She was home resting before a grueling day at work. We missed you.

So, there you have it. We had lot's of people in a pretty small confined area. There was lot's of food, yummy birthday cake, and really loud and boisterous conversations. It was so nice to have us all together under one roof. Melissa, I'm sorry I flaked out on you when it came to cleaning up the kitchen. I was laying on the bed with my sister catching up life. I promise on the next go-round I'll do ALL the clean up. You have my word on it and now all of blogdom is your witness.

And last but not least ... for all you family members who are sure to complain about the crappy photos I posted on here ... feel free to chip in and buy me a decent new camera and I promise next time around we'll all look great.  

Love you all!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

There's a reason I'm so fat

Dinner at Waffle House tonight. Cheese eggs, sausage, hash browns, grits, and raisin bread toast with apple butter.

No photos to document this delicious meal 'cause the guys have started giving me grief for taking photos everywhere we go. Fun suckers is what they are!

I think I need to make it a stipulation that in order to get your meal paid for you have to let me take your picture. Sounds fair to me!