Is she a supermodel or what? Bobbie Jo took this photo of Clover during one of their sessions last weekend. People seriously think we put fans around the "set" to blow her hair, but it's blowing because she is always moving. ALWAYS moving. Even when she is supposed to be sleeping.
I know. I know you have heard the story. But I have to tell you this part. You may not know this part. (Unless you are PJ and hear me bitch about it at least three times a week.) My Starbucks order has never changed. I order the same thing every single time. The baristas see me coming and start making it. However I decided over the last few times I have been there to record what I have paid for the very same drink each time. Seriously. Same order every single time.
Monday, April 21st = $2.76
Wednesday, April 23rd = $4.16
Friday, April 25th = $1.68 (Apparently I was living right this day.)
Monday, April 28th = $3.11
And no, I haven't said anything about it. They already hate me and I just want to get my coffee and go. I figure it will all even out at some point.
Hey - remember this? And since Noele doesn't have a blog, she signed up for the "Random Act of Kindness" option. And she delivered. Here's what she did to Margie's desk while Margie and I were at lunch Friday. Cute and sweet...and Vera Bradley! It will be hard to top that.
And winners, I do realize I haven't done my part yet, but you do remember I have a year in which to get this done? Right? That means I will be busting my ass come January 15th. But, hey, I love a challenge.
There were lots of opportunities for sharing and for baring your soul at the Event last weekend. I'm not sure why I decided to answer Monique's question about what you would do if you had all the money in the world and no fear of failing the way I did, but I was completely serious. I would open a car wash. And not because I like to wash cars. But because of childhood memories...it's not important now to explain this story, but I will say that I felt a little petty and self absorbed when all of the other emotional women started talking about how they would cure breast cancer and feed the hungry. Oh. That. I would do that, too. But I would open my car wash first. And don't you think breast cancer would already be cured if all the money in the world would fix it?
Along those same lines - my car is GROSS today. I think I will get it washed this weekend. "Gross" is a relative term. If you have children, your car is much more gross than mine. Get it washed. And vacuumed.
So it occurred to me a few days ago that my shoulder and neck have been hurting for weeks. I mean, I know I have been hurting, but I've just been popping Tylenol and moving on. Well, someone has now freaked me out about the amount of Tylenol I take and lately the pain is getting worse and worse. (I'm setting up a story here - not listing maladies...when I start listing maladies in every blog entry just go ahead and kill me.) In order to see a specialist, I knew I would need a referral and I also knew I wouldn't have time to go to the GP just for that. I don't even really have a GP. What to do? Well, I saw my allergist earlier in the week and cleverly posed the question, "What kind of doctor do you see when your shoulder hurts so bad you want to throw up?" She wrote me a referral. I'm clever that way.
I found a specialist yesterday, but the soonest he can see me is May 13th. How crazy is that? Anyway, I had to stay on the phone forever with the receptionist to give her all of my contact, insurance and personal information just to set up the appointment. Near the end of our conversation she said, "Now, are you an athlete?" (Insert hysterical laughter from me at this point.) "No," I replied, "I am a scrapbooker."
I wonder if they would have seen me sooner if I had answered that question differently? I guess I'm really not so clever after all.
I'm sad...that's why I haven't been here. The Scrap, Etc. Event was great, but I found out while I was there that my friend, Kelli, had died. Here are a few of the reasons why I adored Kelli:
She was beautiful and talented and oh so happy...even when she had every reason to be bitter and angry.
She was short and cute. And she liked for me to tease her about it.
Her eyes danced when she talked.
Her laugh was contagious. And she laughed a whole lot.
She thought I was funny. She laughed at my jokes.
She loved me when I needed her most - when I was in the middle of a nightmare of a divorce and literally doing nothing but sitting in the floor and crying all day every day. I remember running into her in Kroger one day and having a complete come apart right there in the produce section. She handled it well and got me out of the store as quickly as possible.
She was honest with me and told me what everyone else had known (and been talking about behind my back) for months. And she cried while she was telling me because she knew my heart was aching.
She believed in me, and told me I would be fine over and over again.
She taught me how to make kick ass mashed potatoes.
She would make special pasta dishes just for me when I stopped in the restaurant for lunch.
She kept in touch with me after I moved away. She left me voice mails often and would keep calling me until I called her back. She would say, "I want you to call me back. OK, Mandy? Call me back."
She drove all the way down here for my 40th birthday party and told me over and over again how happy she was to be here.
Saturday night after the Event ended several of us walked to a local bar and sat outside. I told the others about Kelli and we had a toast in her honor. It occurred to me when I saw the glasses and bottles all clicking together that the time I was spending with these girls was flying by...just like all the time I spent with Kelli flew by. Where does it go? I find it ironic that I had just spent a weekend talking about reasons to preserve memories when I found out about Kelli's passing. I'm reminded that I have more than enough inspiration.
So... I'm in the funk/shock that comes at a time like this. Wondering what it (life) is all about...and thinking that blogging may have to wait until the fog has lifted.
I worry that I wasn't as good a friend to Kelli as she was to me. Her sister told me that Kelli always admired the way I had recreated my life. I wonder if Kelli knew she was a huge part of that. I hope I told her. I wish I could talk to her just one more time so I could tell her how much I appreciate her friendship.
I want you to call me back. OK, Kelli? Call me back.
Little by little I can tell I'm catching up...with what? I don't know. I'm just feeling less stressed and freaked out about the state of things like the messy office (it's not going anywhere), the not done homework for the Scrap, Etc. event this weekend (nothingI can do about it now and I might have more fun without it anyway), the fact that Cowboy scratches all the time (he can chew his leg off if he wants to - he's earned the right), Weight Watchers (so what if I gained 1.8 pounds after a week of counting the points in minute detail of every flippin' thing that went anywhere near my face), and work (well, OK, I'm still in the weeds at work - only because I'm not sure if I'm doing what I wanted to do...is that what I wanted to be when I grew up? Am I grown up? And why isn't it more fun? And why am I not rich?)
The main reason I am less of a basket case about all of this is the fact that I have decided I will never master it all - at least not all at the same time. And don't ask me how I came to that conclusion one day after 44 years of freaking out about every little thing. It just happened...and it may not last. But for now I'm riding the wave, baby. And when I am less of a freak, things tend to work out better. SHOCKING, I know. There are so many people who need to hear my little sermon this morning, but they don't read this blog. Or at least I hope they don't.
Whoa...you have to see this book that my secret sis made for me. My very own ART JOURNAL! It's absolutely beautiful. I have looked at it over and over again. I'm so flattered that she would take the time to do something so special just for me.
See, she's supposed to be a secret, but she's not because...well, I jokingly requested that she be my secret sis and then she told the organizer of the whole thing to make me her secret sis thinking I wouldn't expect that, and then I figured it out...well, PJ helped me figure it out, and well, how could I not know who it was once all this beautiful stuff starting showing up on my doorstep? She's been an amazing secret sis and I'm sad it's all ending. If you haven't seen Virginia's work before, check out her blog. See. I told you. Amazing. And get this...she has three children. Little children.
Thank you so much for all of the positive comments and encouragement about my inability to get my sh*t together. And Slade, how 'bout that New Moon? Excellent news! Anyway...so I was off today (Praise the Lord God Almighty) and Bobbie Jo came over and helped me tremendously with the office. It's looking so much better. Here's a before pic of one corner. That's all I'm gonna reveal until after it's all done. And see that football? The one in the box on the left? It's autographed. By Nick Saban. I know, I'm going to Hell for disrespecting it so much.
And here's how happy Clover was to see Bobbie Jo. I felt the same way. I just can't jump that high.
If I were brave enough I would take a picture of my home office/scrapbooking room, but I really don't think I'm ready to be that open with my public. I started "organizing" it over a week ago and it looks like a tornado came through here now. Instead of just finishing the job, I'm in a funk about it...virtually paralyzed. And I can't do a thing about it. That would be OK, sort of, if I didn't have things I needed to accomplish and things I need to produce that involve this room. Because all of the things I need to do would stem from this room, I have decided I am unable to do those things as well. So I just do none of the things I need to do and walk around in a bit of a panic about all of it. Fun. I'm not sure what I am waiting on, but something has to give. I'm going to the Scrap, Etc. event in Nashville in a couple of weeks and that's when I have to have all of these "things" completed. Sigh. In case you haven't known me for long, this is a pattern...this deciding to "organize" before I can "do"...and then finding myself in the middle of a big fat mess with no organization and nothing done. It's how I roll. It will work out. It always does. Meanwhile, I will be freaking out. (Bobbie Jo is rolling her eyes right now.)
Oh, wait, I do want to say this. Yogurt makes me sick. And every time I think I want yogurt and I go buy about 10 cartons of it and start eating it - I remember that it makes me sick. Maybe if I actually write that fact here, I will believe it. Maybe I will just forget about yogurt and realize I am not a person that can eat yogurt. Yogurt makes me vomit. That in itself does not make me a bad person.
The fact that this room looks like Fred Sanford's garage makes me a bad person. I will give you that.