Ghosts of Christmas ....


and present....



Happy Anniversary Baby. I love you.


Who's that lady ?

See that lady in the black dress ?

The one with her best friend and husband on her left arm and her crazy wild unpredictable get her in trouble let's go cause it's fun friend on the other ? The one in the LBD between the two who share the same birthday, not only day and month but year ? The one between the two men who used to laugh and play with the lady in the LBD in the good old days ? One of them is gone now. One of them is still here, but he's not himself. He has let the demons that took control of his friend into his own house.

And I miss our boys in the back. Jason, Sam and Robert ... my dapper peanut gallery.

But the lady in the LBD ?

That lady has been wandering around lost for a bit.

But she's STILL HERE.

And she's damn good and tired of wandering around lost.

She wants out of her sweatpants and pajamas and back in her LBD. She misses her husband and best friend. She misses that goofy gray haired fool that used to argue with birthday brother about who she loved best.

She misses the good times.

Her new BFF, an incline trainer, will be here Wednesday. She's going to call on her old crazy friend and see if she can pull him out of his funk, herself out of hers, and start kicking some ass and taking some names.

It's time. Well past due. As Alan Jackson says, it's time for a good time.

My name is Kim.

I'm back.

Look out.


Still standing in the rain.....

I posted this video 7 months ago.

Almost 9 months now and I'm still in the middle of the storm.

And I'm still standing.

Bring it on baby. I can take it.


Dear Mom....

Dear Mom,

Let me start by saying I love you. I love you and appreciate you and am thankful for your help these last 8 and a half months. Most of the time. : )

I just need to put some things out there to let you know some of the things I'm thinking and feeling that I just can't say to you in person. I know some of them will hurt your feelings, but you said I could always tell you anything, so here goes....

* Even though I tell you I'm ok when you ask, I'm really not. I just can't put more of a burden on you than you are already carrying. I know you're strong enough to hurt for both of us. So am I. I hide it pretty well. There's only two people I really talk to about it....and they can handle it, and my emotions. You have enough on your plate.

* Dad is going to die. I know you tell me you just can't let yourself believe it, but you have to. He is using a walker!! A walker for the man who used to walk onto a football field in a San Francisco 49er's uniform. Look at the oxygen tanks they've delivered for future use. He is in the beginning stages of hospice care. This is a pretty good sign that things aren't going to end well. Nothing will prepare you, but the denial will make the reality so much worse when it comes. You say you have big shoulders and can take it. So do I. I am my mother's daughter. I'll be here when it comes. We'll get through it somehow. I don't know how yet, but we'll find a way. I hope.

* You have got to start taking care of your health. Physical and Mental. Your blood pressure is up, you are snappy and you are tired all of the time. Dad needs you, and I definitely need you. I'm glad you finally went to the doctor. No matter the results, I'm right here with you. I know you are hurting because of all of the turmoil with my situation, dad's illness and general family crap , but you need to be ok. If it's just a 20 minute walk to get some air, take it. It will probably do you more good than you know.

* Quit worrying so much about me. One way or another...I'll be ok. I just miss my best pal and honestly most of the time I would rather just be home alone. I'll keep putting one foot in front of the other, just like you have to do. Maybe something good will happen eventually....that's the thing we both have to cling to. If Probate Court gets continued's just a house. It's just stuff. The little things really do take on more significance when the big picture gets shaken up. Life will go on. Maybe not how we would have wanted it, but it will.

* Yes, I have money for groceries. Look at me. You've heard of the freshman 15? I got the widows 25. I wish I had no appetite. Apparently I have mine and Greg's too.

* Yes, I'm still playing with video games. I'll reel you in on this Wii thing soon enough.

* Yes, I may have to take care of you one day. And no, the dogs aren't going anywhere. If you don't like that, like you said you have the money to pay for the finest care anywhere. I'll visit each week. With pie. ; )

* I want to come visit with yall as much as I can. But when I'm there, don't nag about Dad not doing anything all day. He has frigging cancer. He worked his ass off and gave us a good life and if he wants to lay in his recliner and die, just let him. And Dad, you stop telling me how mean mom is to you. She kisses your butt and you know it. You're both pain in the asses, and I don't want to be the thing in the middle !! It's like yall are the bickering teenage kids I never had!

* No, I don't know what we're going to do with "all of this stuff". That's why someone invented storage units. And it's my "stuff", I'll be the one to decide what goes and what stays, thanks.

* I appreciate you calling to see how I am, but really, it's not necessary to call around 9am. Every day. I don't go to bed with the chickens like some folks do. Sometime around lunch or even after the 5 o'clock weather would be just fine. And I know if you don't hear from me several times a day you worry. Don't be alarmed, I'm not going to off myself or anything. I think wayyyy too highly of me to deprive the world of my awesomeness.

OK, think that covers it.

Oh, one more thing.

I love you.



The Closet revisited.....

I have been cleaning out our closet. Well, my closet.

I posted about this endeavor months now I am trying again.

His clothes have hung there for over 8 months, undisturbed, except for the occasional t-shirt, sweatshirt or flannel shirt I'll pull out and wear around.

I've begun to go through them. One by one, I pull them down , look at them, and make a decision in my mind for them to go in one of three places - stay, go to consignment, or go to the Salvation Army. Many of them trigger nothing inside me, just a random look at the label or a fleeting thought of where they were purchased.

So many of them trigger so much more. Raw emotion. Smiles, tears, and a few , something so gut-wrenching I have to stop, turn off the lights and leave for awhile. One particular night brought a string of some so powerful I just laid down in the closet and cried.

I try to tell myself that they are just clothes, threads of materials intertwined together in some factory far away by people we don't know. But they're not. They are memories. They are pieces of him that I can hold onto, sleep in, cry in and try to smell what may be left of his scent in.

The time before this was just a trial run, this time I'm really doing it. I've made Patrick's old bedroom Fashion Row, if you will. There are laundry hampers and two racks in there, endless hangers, and a notepad where I record what goes where and when. Dress clothes, suits, shorts, jeans, ties, hats, shoes.

Then there's a corner of our closet that has the things I'll never part with....
the shirt he wore when we eloped, the shirt he wore at our unofficial vow renewal in NOLA, and other items that mean things to us. Throw in a few hats, some hoodies and his leather jacket and I've still got a little to hold onto.

And a little of something is better than a lot of nothing.


Mailbox Inspiration....

This came yesterday. It was one of those anonymous postmarks, and had no signature, just these quotes, typed on plain white paper. To whoever did it,thanks.....

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.

Walt Emerson

Courage, sacrifice, determination, commitment, toughness,heart, talent, guts. That's what little girls are made of; the heck with sugar and spice.

Bethany Hamilton


Angel of Death....

....snazzy title huh?

I sure feel like it.

Remember yesterday's post? The one where I list all the stuff?

Well, let's add another !

I got home and was feeding everyone and Fred the Betta Fish Junior was tits up in his bowl.

Fred was Version 2.0. Fred 1.0 died while Patrick (my stepson) was at school, so G and I hurriedly replaced him with Fred 2.0. Same color, size, everything. God Bless PetSmart.

I actually fell into a laughing fit when I found him. I mean really? He's just a fish. But the whole absurdity of it all just struck me as funny. I think, at this point, if I didn't laugh about it, all of it would hit me at once and I just might go totally over the edge. Cause brothers and sisters, I'm hanging on by a thread. Bless that thread's heart.

Want someone gone? Send them to me.

All I require is a reservation at a great steakhouse, a few bottles of wine, my luck to continue, and I'll send you the tab.

Good thing I look great in black.



Dear 2009,

You have really disappointed me. We started off so positive with the promise of a Caribbean vacay for G and I, a new boat, season tickets to Auburn football, a NYC trip to the new Yankee stadium and the promise of spending my 40th birthday in a tropical paradise sipping frou-frou drinks.

And then you went right to shit. Yes, I said it - shit. And nooooooo, you couldn't be innocuous and easy. Oh no, not you 2009.....Yanno those new toilets? The ones that go WHOOOOOOOSSSHHHH and sound like they could suck you down with them? Well, someone replaced all of the old slow swirly ones in my life with a BIG one of those. Effers.

Here's my 2009 in bullet form......

* My husband, best friend, buddy and partner in crime died in a freak accident.
* My dad's cancer progressed to the point that he isn't gonna get through Christmas.
* An uninsured illegal Mexican hit my NEW CAR. I had to pay for it.
* A tree in my yard fell over in a storm and crushed my neighbor's cars.
* My favorite cousin had her colon cancer come back. She's back in treatment.
* My family? The drama ? Jeez. It never ends.
* My stepson's mom got his SS check and won't let me see him anymore. Bitch.
* My former stepdaughter is fighting me on the will. See above,add white trash.
* About that, it's been going on for 8 months !
* I can't do anything with the house til it's over. I may lose it.
* I have gone absolutely nowhere in my job and wonder if I ever will.
* I have a crazy dog that destroys ANYTHING that stays still.
* I spent my 40th birthday landlocked. ( but with good friends )
* The people I thought would be here for me ? NOT !
* I was diagnosed with carpal tunnel. Ugh.
* A good friend committed suicide this past weekend.
* Another died in a MC accident right after Greg died. I couldn't make myself go to the funeral because my own grief was so strong.
* My cousin died Sunday night from cancer. My mom called me at work.
* I found out it's not cool to take calls about dead people at work.
* I've developed a raging case of insomnia. Except in daylight hours.
* Turns out death isn't a great diet for me - apparently I'm a stress eater.
* I can't fit into my pants.
* did I mention that my husband DIED?

The only good things that have happened this year are that I found out just how good, true and so there for you internet, Twitter, FB and blogger friends really are. And that real life friends sometimes suck. Not all of them, but as Cyndi Lauper sings, true colors....

Oh, and the Yankees won the World Series and as of right now the Saints are 11-0. And my bangs are longer than they've been in 10 years. And I found some pants that fit.

Little victories. I'll take em.



....from Adam..... thanks !!!

If I was a/an _____, I'd be ______

TV show: Seinfeld
Song: Tuesday by Five for Fighting
Movie: Steel Magnolis
Book: It
Fictional character: Sophie Stanton
City: New York
Verb: mess
Color: black
Animal: snake
Emotion: numb
Article of clothing: pajamas
Flavor: sour
Food: junk
Vice: alcohol
Plant: dead
Mythological animal: unicorn
Letter: K
Inanimate object: remote
School Activity: recess
Positive attribute: smile
Negative attribute: weakness

Now you go.



Well, that's not exactly what my mom said, it was more like suggesting cancer tuck itself into the derriere of a turkey or something like that....I think it rhymed with duck.

I was rudely awakened by the wild dogs at 0645am so they could go out, and when I walked out I was greeted with this.....

I sat on the deck and had coffee and thought about how G always loved getting up early when we were there because of mornings just like that one. It started my day off with a smile.

Then it was reading the paper and watching the parade with my dad ( and my brother - yay! ) while also running back and forth to the kitchen to help out my mom, who is a saint.

There was lots of food and lots of people ( at different times ) and just lots of love....but mostly, there was this....

And the rest? The rest was just gravy......


Iron Bowl 2009

It's Iron Bowl time in our state. Auburn vs. Alabama. The insults are fast and furious, the bets are epic, and for one day, there is many a house divided. I've had running banter with my family and friends for weeks leading up to this day. Most of my family is more apt to say "Roll Tide", but some of us managed to escape the madness and proudly declare....



Thankful through the storms....

Though this year has not been made of awesome, I am still thankful.

I am thankful for my family, those that are here, and those that are not. My friends, in real life and online. Especially my blogger, twitter and internet friends. You have proven time and again that you are here for me, and so many others, no matter what. I am blessed to know each of you.

And mostly I am thankful for memories, old, new and yet to be made....and that on some days, I can hide in them and be in a place where everything was ok, and life was still good.....


James Spann saved my life ( with a little help from my mom)....

As many of you may know, I'm obsessed very interested in the weather. I'm stalking good friends with several meteorologists here in my area and my only Twitter list consists of fellow weather goobs SkyWatchers. I've posted here before about my adventures in weather , but this time was a doozy...

Five years ago this week James Spann saved my life. For realz.

It was a few days before Thanksgiving and I was still living in Mississippi at the time. Gregory and I were talking and he suggested I come up on Tuesday instead of Wednesday so that not only would we have an extra day to hang out but also the weather was supposed to get bad. So Tuesday morning I got up early, dropped Ted off at doggy camp and headed to the 205. G and I spent the day at one of our favorite hangouts and just chilled out. I then reluctantly went to my parents and he went to Cullman to be with his mother for the holiday.

My dad was coming in the next day from the shipyard so I spent a relatively quiet evening with my mom, helping her prep some dishes and watching TV, and in between stayed on the phone with G. Between the two of us I think we burned around 3000 minutes a month, LOL - if we weren't together we were ALWAYS on the phone. We watched the news and she went off to bed and I stayed on the phone with G some more and went to sleep around midnight.

Around 5am she came to my room and woke me up and told me I needed to come downstairs with her because her weather radio had gone off and there was bad weather around. The bottom of their house is all brick and built into the side of the hill, so that's the best place to be in severe weather. I grabbed my phone and sleepily padded downstairs in my pajamas and took up residence on the couch while my mom put the TV on Jame's live weather cast, all the while listening to me moan and groan about wanting to go back to sleep. In Alabama, James is a weather legend. When he is on TV, you better pay attention because some weather juju is going down somewhere, and if it's near you, you want to know. At the time I did not heed my own advice.

After about 30 minutes of listening to my sleepy bitching and thinking we were in the clear, she agreed to let me go back to my nice warm bed while she stayed up and watched the news. This was around 0540. I got back in bed and was just drifting back off to sleep when the power went out. I had enough time to think "oh great they'll never get it back on in time for us to cook." Then I started hearing thuds and things hitting the side of the house. Then I heard my mother screaming.

The next thing I know, the door is flying open, she's SHRIEKING, glass is shattering and we are headed down the stairs to the lower part of the house...with her pushing me all the way we didn't roll down the stairs and break our necks I have no clue. We barely made it into a closet at the bottom of the steps, and as I was pulling the door shut I could feel the suction trying to pull it open. And I can't say it was scary because actually, it happened so fast. Afterward, I was terrified.

People always ask me what it sounded like. Some say it sounds like a train. To me it sounds like Betty Trimble screaming her head off in one ear with a side of raging wind and breaking glass in the other. When it was over we went upstairs and pretty much all of the front glass was blown out. And though we didn't know it, the house had shifted about half a foot off it's foundation. My brother was pounding on the door because when he looked down from his house he saw this.....

And I walked outside and saw this......

where there used to be this.....

and this.....

Where my room used to be......

Good thing I wasn't in the shower....

My bed that I had been nestled in so comfortably moments before was on an island across the lake...... My clothes were all over the place...and they found my laptop, still in it's case, soaking wet about a mile away.....

And somewhere under there are three boats and a few jet skis.....

....but we were alive, and had the love and assistance of family and friends to help us get out, rebuild and start again.

And for that, I am forever thankful......


Being strong...... highly overrated.

Right now, all I want to do is this....

But I can't.



8 months...

8 months ago today I woke up from what I can best describe as a tiny respite from my nightmare in one of those hospital chairs that tries to be comfortable but really wasn't.
I was holding Gregory's hand through the mass of wires and tubes.

Standing in front of me were two of the south's finest neurosurgeons.

One of them was holding a clipboard.

Both of them were looking at me.

If you've ever seen Steel Magnolias, you know what comes next.

8 months ago today, my husband died.

I am a widow.

But I guess you all know that by now don't you?

Me ?

I'm still waiting for someone to wake me up and tell me it's just a nightmare.


Thursday's post....

....has now been password protected for the sake of family unity is now here....and the link works now.....

DM me on Twitter, email me at or if you know my digits text me for the password.


But I think this is headed in a positive way, so mission accomplished.


Two - again.......

This is the second post about two that I've written in the last week.

I have a sinus infection and bronchitis. Two ailments. It took the nurse two tries on each arm ( obviously, I have two - do ya see the pattern here? ) until she could draw enough blood for the two tests they do. They took two x-rays of my lungs. I have two prescriptions. Only one steroid shot in the ass though. I guess since there's a split in it, I could count it as two.

This morning, my dad went back to his oncologist after she read the scan he had last week.

The cancer has advanced, spreading into his liver, his spine and he has TWO new lesions where there weren't any before. Radiation or chemo won't help. Surgery was never an option.

He has less than two months to live.

Two months.

I will be without the two most important people in my life forever in less than two months.

Screw you world.

Guess which two fingers I'm holding up ?

A friend in need....

Anissa is a fellow blogger, someone I have met in person and one of my Twitter friends.

She has watched her daughter Peyton battle and defeat cancer, all doing so with a smile and a can-do attitude.

Yesterday she suffered a stroke and is in ICU in an Atlanta hospital.

Please, keep Anissa, including her husband and three children in your thoughts and prayers.

Send her good karma.

Burn a candle.


Just hope, along with her friends and family - in real life and in the blogosphere that she gets better.

And 2009 ? Get on with yer bad self.

PS - If you are in the ATLANTA area and want to help somehow, let me know - either at or at 205-377-0546. I am 2.5 hours away and may be going over there depending on the need, and if not I may learn more about resources as the day goes on.


The Three G's......

It's 0331am on Monday morning and I'm still awake.

I haven't been sleeping well. Even with the aid of prescription sleep aids and other "downer" type meds.

I lay in bed and toss and turn, can't get comfortable, cant turn my mind off.

The fact that I'm not alone in my bed isn't helping. I sleep try to sleep with the three G's wallowing all in the bed with me like some restless pack of dogs.




Grief - it's always there. Most of the time I hide it behind a smile, a joke or conversation, only to feel it building up like pressure does against a dam. I feel it's strength, and I take my hands and try and push it back, but it keeps on and on until it's running through my fingers and pooling around my feet and eventually I just have to let it wash over me completely. So many people think I should "be ok" by now, or they have just totally stopped communicating with me at all because I guess they think grief by osmosis is possible. It's the loneliness that really digs in on you and slowly wears you down. It's the not wanting to be a burden, a third wheel, the one everyone feel's sorry for. It's the lack of human communication and the feeling of another person just being there that pokes a tiny hole in your soul and makes everything flat. I hope, when faced with another person who will one day embark on this journey I'm on, that I will remember just how much a hi and a smile, a hug, a phone call, a text, an invite to lunch or to just talk and take a walk would help. There's a song by Train that has a line that goes"Am I the friend I think I am?" I hope when I have to step up and be that friend that I am that and more.

Guilt - Guilt is my ever constant companion. Guilt over not seeing if an ultimatum would have worked - forcing him to go back to rehab? Guilt that I didn't try to have him taken there legally though I promised him I wouldn't. Stupid guilt - guilt over going to work when I knew he would go and drink while I was gone. Guilt because people tell me I shouldn't feel guilt because he was a grown man and made his own choices. Guilt that I wasn't a better wife that could fix him and take the demons away. Guilt over not forcing him to go to the hospital when he fell. Guilt over laughing with him about his black eye two days later while he was still fine, instead of maybe seeing that it could be a sign of something worse. Guilt that when he said he was sleepy and wanted to take a nap he slipped into a coma while I was at work instead of at home where I could have done something, anything. Guilt that maybe I didn't pray enough on the way to the hospital. Guilt that I'm pissed off at God, at thinking there maybe isn't even a God, and the guilt that goes along with questioning it at all. And then the guilt of still being here. Then the guilt from the guilt of all of that and feeling guilty for bitching about it because hey, I'm still alive! It's a freaking guilt goulash around here and it seems like the pot never empties.

Gregory - He is always with me. I talk to him all of the time. Well, I talk to the space around me, but I tell myself he hears me. I see his face on the pictures throughout our house, I look down and see his wedding ring on my finger and the bracelet I gave him on my wrist. His St Christopher hangs around my neck on the same chain that used to fall around his. His clothes are all still in the same places, though by now I've sniffed his smell out of them a thousand times over. I sleep in his pajamas. I walk around in his socks. I use his toothbrush. I miss his voice, his touch, his scent. I miss just the thought of him being somewhere on the same earth as me. When he would go out of town I would cry everytime he left, and he would tell me not to cry, that he would be home before I knew it. He's not coming home no matter how much I cry this time. He's stuck forever in that damn urn that I kiss every time I go by it.

My three constant companions. It's like me and The Three Amigo's.

I guess it beat's being alone.


Charity begins at home.....

I've been thinking a lot about the upcoming holidays and how my days won't be filled with decorating, shopping for my family, cooking, planning who goes where when, what to buy Rachel's boyfriend, what days Patrick would spend here and at his mom's and at the respective relatives.

Yanno, all the normal stuff.

Instead I'll be spending them working, navigating through Probate Court, pre-spring cleaning through my house and it's contents, getting G's headstone moved to it's new home, dealing with the dreaded beauracracy of death, and generally trying to ignore any semblance of holiday happiness and to avoid any and all things that may trigger yet another epic meltdown.

Yanno, my new normal.

Everyone in my family is grown except for one cousin that is 8, the same age as Patrick. I have one of those "Zou-Zou" things for her. I always get my mother a Santa Claus and an Angel for her collection, and I have those already. My brother and I will exchange some little something, usually a bottle of some rad booze or some techie do-dah.

My dad? His most precious gift is time. I plan to spend as much of it with him as I can, including taking Teddy and Beaux to see their "Pappy". My dad lights up when he sees his "boys." While there I hope to give my mom a break from taking care of my dad, but since she's like the dang bionic woman there's little hope of that.

I've had lots of good advice and suggestions of ways to get through the holidays by helping others and giving back, and I have come to the conclusion that it's a damn good idea indeed.

Now, be aware, my fat sassy ass will still be going to the beach at some point once all of this DBOD is over (see above), but in the interim, I have picked five different organization/charities to donate to in some way or fashion to channel my holiday energies into something positive for others that also helps me as well.

Each of them means something to me. There is a personal tie. If you really know me, there might not be a problem figuring them out. If you don't, just understand that each one is near and dear to my heart and that I'll find a bit of the joy of the holiday season by helping them in my own little way. Along with those listed below, when I can, I'll grab an angel for the angel tree, drop a bag of dog and cat food off at the shelter, throw some cans into the food drive bin at Publix, and leave my extra change with the Salvation Army bell ringers. And I may just try and muster a smile or two while I'm doing it.

I'll make these donations not only in my name, but in the name of our family. Whatever the circumstances, death, legal or otherwise, in Gregory's eyes from heaven we are still a family. So they will be made in the name of the Mann Family - Gregory, Kimberly, Rachel and Patrick. We were his family.

And he wouldn't have it any other way.

My choices are below......if you are so inclined, feel free to give them a little love.....thanks.....

* American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

* Friends of Maddie

* Shelby County Humane Society

* American Red Cross - Mississippi Gulf Coast Chapter

* Surfrider Foundation

* The Leary Firefighters Foundation


AvitaWeen Official pics......

Here's some of the amazing pics taken at Avitaween....these are a few of my favorites...the entire set can be found here...

Me & Karl....
The lovely Britt and myself.....
Me and My Becky !!!

Dawg, Poppy and Sheila....
My three girls !!! Robin, Rachel and Nicole !!

Love this one !! Ty-Man, Britt and Heather....
Adam and Amy...our amazing hosts....
Head of the P.R.B......
Linda, me (in my Alien suit - yea I had dual costumes!! LOL) and Fraughter....

Ty-Man, Me, Becky, Heather, Adam, Poppy and Britt...
And again !!!