Exfoliate Your Donuts

For those of you who missed it, I had surgery three weeks ago. Three long weeks. It was major surgery.

[Why am I not saying it like in “A Christmas Story” and tell everyone about my MAJOR SURGERY? In the long run it will be better and my life will be more fun. In the short term though…I didn’t even get a leg lamp!]

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Things That Scare Me

It’s been a year and a half since The Man’s heart attack. I’ve almost forgotten the fear and worry and feeling of loss I had while he was in the hospital and I was here alone trying to make life seem normal for our little girl. Almost. I will never forget that hideous shade of grey on his face. I will never forget him being so quiet and unmoving. After they “stabilized” him he wasn’t himself. He wasn’t making jokes or being funny or even telling me not to worry. I hugged him and said “I’m scared.” He said, “Me too.”

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The Big Scary Tomato

I grew up in Northwestern Pennsylvania. Up there a “major weather event” is usually snow related. We’ve experienced the odd earthquake and heard of a tornado or flood or two. But…while weather like that can be serious, and breaks my heart when I see the damage afterwards (usually on television) I think I thought of it as “part of life” and the planet we live on does these things and we’ve been here a while, we’re survivors, we’ve adapted to fit our environment or…whatever. It just is…but it was never us. Everything was always happening to someone else. Another state, another city, another school.

Then I moved to Alabama.

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I lost my Gramma almost 11 years ago. She passed away suddenly on May 10, 2003, in a hospital while being treated for cancer. She died after having come to some kind of terms with facing cancer, the thought of losing her hair, the thought of getting sicker before she got better…and the thought that she may just not get better anyway. It seems almost cruel to put someone through all that and then whisk her away.

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Life Has A Way…

I had a few ideas of what to write about and just now got some time to sit down and write, however….

Well, let me back up a bit. As a woman and mom there are times I wonder what kind of person I am. Am I nice enough? Compassionate? A good role model for my children? An inspiration to my Significant Other and others around me? What would I do in a physical crisis? Would I respond appropriately in an emotional crisis? Continue reading

You Found Me, HOW?

A few of my friends with blogs have been discussing the search terms used by people to get to their blogs. What this means is that when someone sits down and types these things into Google or Bing, Google or Bing will bring them to your blog. So, one would expect for mine “Respectfully Disrespectful” or “Elisa Ashley” would get you here…they do. But so do these: Continue reading

Attitude of Gratitude

‘Tis the season and all that, so I’m starting my 30 days of Gratitude early.

Because I am.


Things may not always go the way I hope they will and they definitely don’t usually go the way I plan them to, but in the end everything seems to work out all right. Last year was a better one for us than most…right up until November when Matt had a heart attack. It’s been an interesting ride since then, that’s for sure.

Grateful: HE’S STILL HERE.

Grateful: He’s able to do most of the things he could do before the heart attack.

Grateful: He’s back in school working on his degree.

We’re struggling financially right now, but that is due to a fluke in his financial aid, and we should be back on track in January when the Spring semester begins.


We’ve had to lean on our church who was generous enough to step in and pay our water bill and get our water turned back on (that was a very long week!!)


A month after getting water we had to ask them for help with our rent and they stepped right in and took care of that so we wouldn’t be evicted.


Our truck was about to explode…literally. We couldn’t keep water or coolant in it and you could see it run right through. His teachers stepped in and got our truck fixed so we wouldn’t lose our transportation and Matt wouldn’t have to stop going to classes.


And, we’ve discovered not every human being is…well, you know. We have restored faith in humanity.


And, we are being exposed to more professional and personal opportunities to grow through his college and his involvement with the Student Government Association.


And, because we’ve discovered what our church is doing to help others we have to opportunity to be on the front lines to help other people which is lending faith, grace and humility to our souls.


And, when all this started one of my internet friends whom I’ve never actually met and who is living day-to-day, paycheck-to-paycheck like the rest of us sent us money which helped us meet our rent a few months ago. Out of the blue. Because she could.


While we’re still a bit stressed at times, I am surprisingly calmer about a lot of things because I know we walk THROUGH the valley of the shadow of death. We don’t take up camp halfway in, and we aren’t expected to visit and take pictures and send postcards home….we walk through….to get to the other side.

For the chance to keep walking with the man I love by my side and our sweet little tornado trailing behind us….

I am so very, very grateful.

We got this.