Katrina & A Storm Survival Guide.....

In yet another nod to my bad luck with weather.....

It seems like it was just yesterday that we were being battered by Hurricane Katrina. But it was only 4 years ago. But today, to me, my friends and family and so many others, it's still fresh. (and FYI - I was a detective with the Sheriff's Dept - we were all on call, I couldn't leave).....

A day or so before my friends and I were having a shrimp boil and hanging out in the pool and the hot tub joking and screaming "we're all gonna die" and thought that beer was an essential staple. Turned out it was, but more about that later....

When that monster turned and took aim right at the Mississippi Gulf Coast it wasn't so carefree was like "oh shiz", and a mass exodus from said party was in full force.....see that county it's splitting through the middle of? Yea. Mine.

And it decimated us. My house was still standing, albeit with three trees in it and countless damage outside......even 50 miles inland we had 125 mph winds..16 people died in my county (Pearl River) took away many of the landmarks from my childhood.....

The restaurants that my grandparents took me to.....

And my's before and after pics of one of my favorite hangouts....

Yet New Orleans got all of the attention. Sure it was bad there, but it wasn't the only place that was affected.. And the citizens of NOLA were afforded the opportunity to GET OUT in plenty of time. Many chose not to. You didn't see government funded buses hauling people out of Biloxi, Bay St. Louis or saw friends, relatives and caring neighbors taking care of one another.

Don't get me wrong - I LOVE is hands down one of my favorite places on earth....but so is the Mississippi Gulf Coast....I have been back several times since the storm, and am amazed at the tenacity of the people there and how it's coming back. It will never be the same, of course, but life goes on.

I learned alot from going through a big storm, and sure I'd been through tons of tropical storms and Cat 1 and 2's , but nothing like below are some bullet points of what you might want to do before, during and after when a big storm is a'comin'......

*Stock up on beer and snacks. Your friends will thank you. And don't worry about spending much. In a disaster even Natty Lite and Beanee Weenies are gourmet.

*Sterno. See above referenced beanee weenies.

*Cash. Think you can just run to an ATM? Yea, try that with no power. Plus, your friend can borrow $20 today and gladly pay you $30 on Wednesday.

*Cigarettes. You don't smoke?? No problem. You can sell those sticks like they're gold to the nicotine freaks , add a lighter and you're getting $10 a pack.

*A satellite phone. No really. Either that or a lot of gas and matches (you'll have plenty of wood) to send smoke signals, cause more bars in more places?? Can you hear me now?? Not.

*Propane Propane Propane.....or a charcoal grill and lots of charcoal. That way when your friends that shop at Sam's and Costco have to get rid of all of their bulk steaks and chicken, you don't have to eat Beanee Weenies !!!! YAY !!!

*ICE ICE BABY ....and a HUGE marine ice chest to store it in. And rock salt. It keeps your ice from melting so quickly, thus keeping your beer colder longer. And everyone knows steaks go better with cold beer.

*Chinet - ever tried to cut a nice juicy steak on a dollar store paper plate sitting on your lap?
Usually you cut a few arteries as well. And you china snobs don't turn your nose up. Your fancy schmancy dishwasher isn't gonna work for awhile. You're roughing it. Deal.

*Bug Spray and citronella candles - OMG. The bugs and skeeters that come out after a storm are the size of Shaq....and if you have kids they can set up a spray stand on the street and charge people $1 to spray them down. If the bugs don't haul them off like little mice. May want to invest in a weighted vest as well.

*Lidless toilet seat and baby wipes - usually the water goes out. Ever poop in a 5 gallon bucket? It's a lot easier if you don't have to hover. And no bidet is gonna work, so break out the butt wipes. And don't roll up your nose and ewwww at me. If you wanna use a gallon jug of bottled water every time someone needs to tinkle or drop the kids off at the pool you have more money than sense and probably could have evacuated to the Ritz.

*A shotgun. One word? LOOTIE !! (with great taste in beer - but alas, no ice)

You may ask yourself why I didn't mention gas, generators, bottled water,flashlights etc. Hell everyone knows to get that, but when you're running around nilly-willy getting ready to get "BLOWED AWAY" , you forget the little things that mean the most.

Take it from me, hurricane sur-vi-vah.....stick to this list dear reader, and you'll be safe in the eye of the storm....


Keep your house clean in case you die.....

Yes .... that really is the title of this post.

I got to thinking about it while looking through some pics and pondering when to put my house back up for sale. This house is just way too big for me. Greg and I lived here for 3 1/2 of our 6 years together, and I love it, but it's gotta go. And I'm ready now...I made the decision a few days ago....the memories we made here will go where I do. The material things that remind me of our life together will go with me as well. And it's just a house. Leaving here will not take me further away from him and in a way I think a new place will help me. I just have to figure out where my "new place" is. In more ways than one....but I know I can do it, heck I've moved from Singapore back to the US after 10 years there, moved to Alabama after 20 years there, and now ? Who knows where I'll end up? I may just pack up and move across the country like a very strong person I know....or I may stay here.....the only thing stopping me right now is my daddy, and I'm not going anywhere until I see what happens with his cancer.

And I have to figure out what to do with all of this STUFF !! Agghh !! I have so much I don't need ! I hate packing and all of's such a pain !! I have started in the last few days by attacking a few boxes of stuff in the basement from hell , making a trash pile, a consignment pile and a keep pile. I got to looking around in this place and I'm gonna have ALOT of piles. Argh. But it will definitely keep me busy ! And I say AGAIN , (all together now) I will be organized this time !!!

Back when I was a kid, my paternal grandmother kept a spotless house. Now that I think about it, most of my family were Martha Stewart prototypes.....except for one aunt and a few cousins, and we didn't go "over there." And god forbid you eat something from that relatives house at a'd more than likely cough up a hairball.

My Granny used to say that your house always needed to be clean in case something happened to you, because if it did, everyone would come over. And I guess back then, it was true. A lot of people had wakes and such at their homes, especially in the South. My great grandmother was laid out in our living room at one time, as I learned through a picture. *brrrrrr ick*. I never went near that part of the room after that little discovery.

So anyway, I was raised with that philosophy. Sure, when I was a teenager I had the pile of clothes in the closet and stuff randomly laying around, but I've never been like gross messy. And when I was a cop I've gone in some houses that I couldn't live like that, hell I won't even drink milk if it's a day before it's expiration.....I'm not living in a home that smells like it. Sure, there is a closet or two in this house that I call the "closets from hell" and part of my basement is house decor hades, but otherwise everything else is "in it's place."

I discovered the handiness of this when I lived in Poplarville and my Granny died and sho nuff, everyone came over. Since everything was clean....that was less stress on me. I'll never forget sitting in the hospital with Greg and being asked, "is your house clean?" Well, yeah. That was the least of my worries! If I put it where it goes.....I can find it...most of the time !!

I'm not totally Martha Stewart, but I do have my quirks, such as....

*my bed is made everyday, except Sundays
*dishes don't hang out in the sink unless they are soaking, and no more than an hour
*My vacuum and dust mop get out and dance 4-5 times a week
*Mr Clean magic erasers have a special place in my heart
*My sheets have a hot date with my washer twice a week
*I would like to kiss whoever invented Swiffer dusters and sweepers

And I'm sure there is other stuff I can think of, and I know I am uber anal about alot of stuff that means nothing, but it makes me feel better, yanno?

And if I die, yall won't have to worry about coming over to clean up my house'll probably have to empty the dryer and dishwasher because I HATE DOING THAT....but otherwise you should be good......

P.S. The good booze is under the wet bar....


This quote is taped to the front of my iMAc.

I look at it every day.

Today, I have decided to not just look at it, but live it.


I hope I can do it justice.


The I Am Not Amused park......

Hi yall.

Today I woke up in a great mood, which is odd, considering the events of last night.

Dr. L ? Gone.

I feel good, it's a beautiful day, and even though I'm still sad, I'm ok, at the moment.

Is this what depression is like? I mean, like for people that don't have dead spouses but have to deal with it anyway?

Does everyday life really make people feel like this? And what the hell is so bad when you have the person you love, or your kids, and a good job, nice house, etc,etc?? What sends people into this?

Jeez. I don't think I could take it.

I've been living with whatever "it" is since March. One minute I'm fine, the next, notsomuch.

And I know I have a perfectly good reason for it....doesn't mean I have to like it though.

Any of you that have read me before know I started "taking something"....well, I quit after a month. All it did was made me feel discombobulated and disconnected, and I'm not into that.

It's like one of those pendulum rides at the amusement park, yanno? The one that swings back and forth, high and low, pausing for a second at each spectrum to dangle you out there.

I am really not liking this ride. I want oh eff eff.

This depression thing is a BIATCH ! Kudos to those of you that can pull it off, but I just don't think I'm built this way.

So, I guess I'll just keep trudging along and see what each new day ( and night - eeek) brings.....

Thanks for walking along beside me.....



My birthday weekend is over.

I am exhausted.

I had a great time, but all of the fun has caught up with me.

I can't keep the guilty feelings away.

Dr. Lecter tapped at the windows all weekend and this afternoon came full force through the door.

He won't leave.

He's sitting in the chair behind me now.


He's palpable. And holds me accountable when I have fun and try to act "normal."

I wish it had been me and G at the lake.

I wish my husband wasn't dead.

I wish I could have saved him.

I wish this had happened to someone else and not us.

There. I said it.

And even though I say I wouldn't wish this on anyone, I wish it had been someone else.

And I can't deny it anymore.



Happy Birthday Beaux !!!!

You are a year old today!

Thanks for being a great dog and living up to your namesake !!


Weather warning....

I am a weather nerd. Give me a storm or a tornado and I will stay glued to coverage like it’s the Super Bowl. I am friends with our local weatherman and if I’m not home I RECORD THE WEATHER FORECAST. Yes, I’m a complete meteorlogical goob. My dream gadget is a Davis Weather Machine thingy, but alas I now only have a Radio Shack weather radio to get my fix with.

I’m also one of those idiots that would love to chase a tornado.

The dumbass standing in the surf when a hurricane is coming? Me.

The girl who walks in the rain instead of running? <<<<

The person who has hurricane season highlighted on the calender? Me.

The person that slows down in front of you in traffic to take a picture of a cool looking cloud? Yea, that’s me too.

I have a whole folder on my iMac dedicated to the weather. I refuse to watch the Weather Channel because they started a feud with THE GREATEST METEOROLOGIST OF ALL TIME,James Spann. They are dead to me.

Here’s the thing though…I am a bad weather MAGNET !!

I was brought on by barometric pressure, I kid you not. I was about three weeks early because Hurricane Camille came ashore while my mom was pregnant and the subsequent drop in barometric pressure put her in labor.

When I was about 3 or 4 a freak snowstorm dropped a foot of snow at my house. In Houston, Texas.

I grew up in Singapore and went through many a monsoon.

I’ve been in a plane that was struck by lightning and went down to one engine. We had to make an emergency landing in the Phillipines with the foam and everything.

My parents used to have a condo on South Padre Island. Yea. Hurricane Barry.

One year while on Spring Break we left for Florida, and by the time we got there a late winter storm had unexpectedly rolled in and produced the lowest temps in Fort Walton Beach in 70 years !

I had front row tickets to see Def Leppard when I was in college…. the concert was canceled….wanna know why? Hurricane Florence.

In 2004 I was at my parents house the day before Thanksgiving. My mom got me out of bed 30 seconds before an F3 tornado tore our house in half and deposited my bed, my laptop and all of my clothes on an island across the lake from their house.

2005? I lived in South Mississippi. Hurricane Katrina anyone?

And now it is the week of my birth. Tropical Storm Ana just blew through, and Hurricane Bill (my dad’s name) is churning across the Atlantic towards Bermuda, where guess what?? My parents own property that was handed down from my grandparents.

No offense, but if the weather gets bad, you get the hell away from me.

You’ve been warned.


Dear 40.......

Dear 40....

Here we are. I'm stunned that it's really happening. I'm not upset, not really. Not as upset as I thought I'd be six months ago.

Five months ago something happened that pretty much overshadowed your arrival and made me realize there are much worse things than getting a year older.

We're supposed to be in Mexico getting older together. Instead I sit here in Alabama getting older by myself.

That little goofy brown haired kid seems so long ago.

She still comes out to play every once in awhile. Not so much lately, but I'm hoping she'll start coming by more often.

She and I have been some places. Singapore, Nepal, Australia, England and so many other places on this magnificent planet of ours. The back roads and byways of Mississippi, the streets of NYC and New Orleans, and more "road trips" to Florida than I can count. Football games, parties, lake trips, floats, boat rides, camping, any time someone said let's go, we went! Somehow we've always made it through.

We've had great times with great friends....who will be my friends for my next 40 years.....

We even managed to come across the love of our life and spent six crazy glorious fantabulous years together.....

All in all, so far, it's been a hell of a great life....and if 40 really is the new 30?

Stick with me kiddo, maybe this 40 thing isn't gonna be so bad after all.

Dear Mom and Dad.....

Happy 42nd anniversary.

42 years ago today you stood in front of the fireplace at Granny & Papaw's house in front of family and friends and swore to love each other for better or worse. And you have done so.

Thank you.

Thank you for always showing me the better. If there was worse? I never knew.

Daddy, thanks for working so hard and giving me an amazing life and everything I ever wanted without making me a spoiled whiny brat. Thank you for showing me the world, from the gulf coast of Mississippi to Singapore and all points around and in between.

Thank you for protecting me without smothering me and letting me go out on my own adventures and to learn from my mistakes without saying "I told you so." Thanks for coaching me in some of my sports teams, and always, no matter what was happening, being at my games and win or lose, always saying how proud you were of me.

Thanks for teaching me your love of sports, and passing on what you learned in college and the NFL, that such as football, life is a game that we are all lucky enough to play, no matter what our time on the field may be.


Mom, you were a stay at home mother before it was cool. Making sure I was up and at em for school, taking me all over the world as we traveled back and forth from the US to Singapore for almost 10 years, and raising me right. You and your friends were like the moms you see on the "vintage mom" napkins you see floating around.

If we fell down and scraped our knee?? You and your friends looked over to make sure we were ok, watched us bounce right back up and go running back around like a wild monkey and you knew we were ok, and back to your gin and tonics you went. Not like today, where you see mom's rapid firing the neosporin and coddling the kid who chips a nail. Thanks for letting me be a kid, not a porcelain doll. I think it made me a better, stronger adult.


To both of you, thank you for all of the wonderful holidays and vacations and just the time together as a family. I didn't know it when I was growing up, but I know now that we had it made. You gave me a perfect childhood and a great entry into adulthood, and in a world where a lot of people didn't have the same, I was damn lucky.

I love you both from the bottom of my heart. And a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.


What a week...

I am very conflicted about this week.

I will feel happy, sad, guilty, every emotion you can think of.

In this week, my parents will celebrate their 42nd wedding anniversary.

I will turn 40 , and celebrate with friends on the 5 month mark of the death of my beloved.

The dog that Gregory wanted so badly and is such a comfort to me now will be a year old on Saturday.

I'm excited to see my friends, but I'm also mad.

I'm mad that I'm not checking into the all-inclusive resort with Gregory to celebrate my birthday.

I feel guilty about celebrating getting another year older when he will never have another birthday , ever.

I'm jealous of my parent's having the luck to spend 42 years with the person they love when I will never have that, but so happy and proud of them at the same time. And I feel guilt for the jealousy.

I'm sad because this will probably be the last one they will celebrate before the effing gd s-o-b cancer takes my Daddy away forever.

And I'm scared because I don't know if I can take losing my husband and my daddy, and I don't know if I'll be able to be strong enough to help my mom.

And even though I'm excited and tweeting about #kimberday and all that, deep down?

I'm terrified.

And the one person who could make it all better is never. coming. back.

And I'm mad as hell about it.



40 years ago today, Hurricane Camille washed ashore on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

This event preceded another historical event, the day of my birth.

But anyway, back to Camille. At the time my family lived in Ocean Springs, a little town just across the bay from Biloxi. My mom was awaiting my arrival while trying to entertain my nine year old brother in the middle of a hot Mississippi August.

This was 1969, there was no cable TV, no cell phones, no 24 hour weather station. Everyone knew what was coming was bad, but unlike nowadays and the 24/7 coverage over Katrina, no one knew what was really swirling towards them.

About 36 hours before the storm hit, my Papaw drove down from Poplarville to bring my parents food and various supplies as it was pan-delirium at local stores and places were selling out. He also came to pick up my brother so he could stay farther inland with them and be safer. See, my parents couldn't leave because obviously my mom was ready to drop and her ob/gyn was 5 minutes away.

34 hours before the storm, my mom thought she went into labor. Nope. So the doctor sent her home. Then Camille came ashore. My parents and some neighbors huddled in the hallway of our home until it passed, then went out to assess the damages. No power, no phones, no nothing. And it was HAWWWT. Yes, that hot. My dad drug the mattresses out in the driveway and set up mosquito nets because the only air that was moving was a breeze off the gulf. Neighbors were BBQing up what meat they had in the freezer so it wouldn't go bad. It was basically a big block party, but not as much fun.

August 19th my mom went into labor. Along with another lady that lived three houses down from us. My dad loaded my mom and the lady, whose husband was a police officer and was working, into his car and away he went towards the hospital, dodging downed trees and power lines and debris of all kinds. At the intersection of our subdivision and Hwy 90, he was stopped by the Mississippi National Guard. The poor guardsman took one look in the car, said "oh shit" , and promptly escorted my dad to the hospital.

I was born in the early morning of August 20th, after the storm had come and gone and the hospital was filled with sick people. People lined the halls on gurneys, they had army tents outside set up as surgery wards, and there was general ickiness everywhere. My mom's doctor decreed that I was fine ( I should have asked for a second opinion) and promptly sent me home a whopping 4 hours after birth. The consensus was that all newborns would be better off at home , away from all of the sick people. So I spent my first few days of life sleeping in my crib outside in my yard. No wonder I hate camping now.

My Papaw drove down a few days later to check on us, as once again, no phones. He got to the Biloxi/Ocean Springs bridge, and well, it wasn't all there. He told the military guys what he needed and apparently flashed his Naval Commander status and the SeaBees got him across the bay and to our house. He met me, checked on my parents, and turned right around and went home, with a little help from the Seabees again.

Obviously I don't remember any of this as I was a NEWBORN, but I have heard stories from my family and seen many pictures. It was truly a disaster in so many ways, and I am thankful that my family came out unscathed.

It was the same with Katrina. I was 40 miles inland from landfall but was there for the whole thing, including the 125+ winds that hit our small town. Just like my brother did when he was 9 and I was on the way, I rode out Katrina in that basement in Poplarville with my dogs and my cell phone, which I used to talk to Gregory (who was in Philly and a HOT MESS about me being there) until the damn signal went away about an hour in. I'll never forget looking out my kitchen window 2 days later and seeing a car pull in my driveway, and there he was, coming to rescue me. Always my knight in shining armor that one.

But back to my point, with it being late in hurricane season and the activity heating up, it got me thinking about Camille. And Betsy, and Andrew, and Katrina, and all of the other storms that have left death, destruction and devastation in their wake. So today, wherever you are, say a little prayer for the folks that have been affected by them, and also for the folks that are in their path today.

This is a picture of the Hurricane Camille memorial that sits along Hwy 90 in Biloxi. The flagpole is bent because it was a flagpole that was bent during the actual storm.

This?? The same memorial after Katrina.


The Closet

The closet in our master bedroom looks like a war zone.

It literally looks like it was ransacked by a free-range crackhead.

Normally it's quite organized and clutter-free, since I used to be miss everything has it's place and that's where it will go.

Now?? It looks like some of the places you see on one of those cable messy home shows.

The rest of my house is pristine, everything in it's place, clean and normal.

I haven't always been a neat freak. I was as messy as the next teenager. But taking care of an dementia riddled eventually diagnosed with Alzheimer's grandmother will make you realize the value of stuff being where it's supposed to be. And having a husband who likes things as you do, score !! Clean and organized house that is still comfy but not a hot mess, a BIG THUMBS UP ! Plus, G would do his thing too, he was an expert of the Swiffer !! (Or Swiffle, as he liked to call it).

The closet that I want to forget?? **shudder**

And it's a shame because it's a "double-walk in", which is like a room unto itself.

It started off innocently enough. I finally washed the last loads of laundry that were around in the week or so after Gregory died, folded them neatly and put them in their baskets.

I started putting stuff away, and arrived at his favorite t-shirt.

The shirt we got while we were in Florida for our first "bike week."

The shirt he asked me to help him pick out.

The shirt he liked because the dog on it "looks like Ted Terrific."

The shirt he wore on our honeymoon.

On our trip to Marco Island.

Our parties in New Orleans.

Our trip back to Poplarville.

Just hanging out.

The shirt he was wearing when he got his first ever tattoo. He called his tattoo his "mid-life crisis", and I immediately told him that I was his mid-life crisis.

The shirt that he wears wore while smiling that big goofy smile that I am so in love with.

This one.

This shirt brought me to my knees. I held onto this shirt and cried and wailed and threw a tantrum a teething baby would be proud of, and when it was finally so soaked with tears that I thought I couldn't smell him anymore? I put it on.

Then I took the basket and the other one that was full and set them in the closet, where his clothes still hang. And mine too. Day by day, I would pick up a shoe, or see one of his coats hanging in the hall or in one of the entryways, and to the closet it would go.

Along with towels that don't need folding right this second, clean sheets and bedding that needs to go to it's spot but still sits in it's basket, and things that I might wear but probably won't but if I do I'll just throw them in the dryer to knock the wrinkles out.

That closet is like me. When the door is closed, it looks like just another normal place. But open the door, and it's a mass of jumbled things that don't know exactly where to go, what to do or how they got there.

It just keeps hoping that someone will finally take the time to come along and fix it and make it right again.


What's up Yall Wednesday???

What's up yall ?? Teddy says "holla!!"


Not a Mom - Just a Wino.....

I've been "grouped" again.

For "not being a mother."

There is a very good wine that I used to enjoy that was asking for written reviews, so I volunteered to do so. Soon after responding to their little e-mail survey I received a thanks but no thanks reply.

To quote:

" Thank you for your interest, but we are trying to market to a demographic that you are not a member of. We want to showcase our wines to mothers of small children that would like to enjoy a glass of our products after a hectic day of being a mom. Unfortunately we would be unable to publish your review. Thanks again, and please continue to enjoy our products!!"

Asshat Wine Company ( real name not mentioned to deflect lawsuits)


So I guess this means that mothers of teenagers can't drink your wine. Dads? You're screwed too. Gay and Lesbian parents with pre-teens ? Sorry, you're outta luck. Hell why don't yall just put a swastika on the bottle so Jewish people can't drink it? Better yet, how about a guy in a white hood, or a chihuahua, or a picture of a Vietnamese woman doing a pedicure. Shit let's offend EVERYONE who doesn't fall in your demographic !!!

I thought wine was for ANYONE of legal drinking age. Hell we had Boone's farm at the kid's table every Christmas ! One small glass per child please.

As you can tell I'm a bit peeved.

No, I'M NOT A MOTHER. I used to be a step-mom. I would have had kid's but when who would have been Baby-Daddy up and died on me that became a bit of a problem.

But I have nephews and nieces. Cousins. Friends who actually have REAL LIVE
BABIES! And many of these people DRINK WINE !! IMAGINE THAT !!!

Some of my best internet friends are bloggers with kids. Some are even "mommy bloggers". Some of them post about their kids a lot, but many of them post about dildos and dying one's nether regions blue and tattoos and what idiots their husbands can be and all kinds of normal everyday life stuff. So they can have wine , but not me. Bitches. ; )

So let's check this off shall we? Because I have no children, I can't drink _____ wine, can't get federal assistance to help me until Greg's will is probated, can't get Social Security til I'm 60, and I get asked by people don't I wish we'd had a baby so I would have something "to remember him by." Oh yes, that has happened. More than once.

I'm fed up with being looked down on because I don't have kids. Because I waited to find the love of my life before I started even considering it. It royally irks me.

And you know what's really bad?? Next year, at BlogHer 10, they'll probably be cool parties and events that I won't get to go to because I'm "not a mom." But my friends that are moms will get to go and I won't get to hang out with them !! ARGH !! I don't want the baby swag !! I just want to hang out with the people that live in my computer !!


Thanks for letting me rant. I'm off to take my barren uterus to the fridge for a Sam Adams. At least he still loves me.

And BTW, I am a mom. Here are my babies.


Sunday Song......

Here's our Sunday song that G would sing to me as we made breakfast, had our mimosas or took a boat ride. Sometimes he would just grab me and dance around the room while he sang it.....oh I miss you so.......



I'm trying to keep the weekends light and weepy widow-free, after all, isn't that what weekends are all about?? So here's a useless me-me so you'll know more dirt on me when I become Supreme Princess and all that.....and a bag of chips. *snap*

First Job: I worked at "the Creamery" across from my Granny's when I was a senior in HS. I got out at 1 because I had almost all of my credits and worked there 3 days a week.

First Real Job: Dispatcher / Jailer for the Pearl River County Sheriff's Department, which led to being a deputy then a Criminal Investigator and Evidence Tech.

First Favorite Politician: Theodore Roosevelt

First Car: 1986 Honda Prelude was the first car of my own ! The first one I really drove was my Granny's Ford Escort and Lincoln Town Car.

First Record/CD: Oh boy. I don't remember my first record but I know the first CD I ever bought was The Beastie Boys "Licensed to Ill."

First Sport Played: Geez. I dunno. T-ball?

First Concert: David Bowie in Singapore !!

First Foreign Country Visited: I think I was 5 the first time I went overseas, to Tokyo.

First Favorite TV Show: Hee Haw!!

First Favorite Actor: John Belushi

First Favorite Actress: Gilda Radner

First Girlfriend/Boyfriend: Scott I don't remember his last name but our first date was to see "Purple Rain"

First Encounter with a Famous Person: We saw Robert Redford on the street in Tokyo and my mom had a conniption. I was meh. But when I sat with Joe Montana on a plane once I was like OHMYGAWDIMSITTINGNEXTTOJOEMONTANASQUUUUEEEEEE!!!

First Brush With Death: While flying back from Singapore one of our plane's engines caught fire and we had to make an emergency landing in Guam, during a monsoon, and we had to slide down the plane emergency escape thingy.

First House/Condo Owned: My granny's home in Mississippi.

First Film Seen: I have no clue. The earliest one I remember was Smokey and the Bandit.

First Favorite Recording Artist: Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass. Yes, I admit it.

First Favorite Radio Station: WWL Radio New Orleans

First Book I Remember Reading: Where the Sidewalk Ends by Shel Silverstein

First Meme You Answered on Your Blog:
Here ya go....


Here it comes.....

My birthday is coming up.

Two weeks from today I'll be 40. Ugh.

And yanno, it's not really the turning 40 part that annoys me.

It's the turning 40 without him.

I was looking forward to getting old with him.

He told me once that when he turned 40, his then wife didn't do anything for him but get him a card. No party, no cake, nothing. I have always been a huge birthday person and literally think it should be a birthweek, not just a day. We called his birthday Saint Gregory Day, and he coined the term "Kimberday" to celebrate mine.

When he turned 50, I went all out. He said he didn't want a party, he just wanted to spend the weekend with me at the lake. So I took off for a four day weekend, and arranged for a few surprises. He woke up on his birthday to 50 ballons, a flat screen TV, and several yard toys, tools and doo-dads that he wanted. Along with some of his favorite movies and cd's. And his very own iPod Shuffle to take to the gym , loaded up with his tunes. He was like a little boy. We spent the weekend cooking his favorite things, riding around the lake on our boat and just relaxing. He said it was the best birthday ever. I hope he meant it.

I am not dreading my birthday. We were actually going to an all-inclusive resort for a week and float around in the pool and walk into the lazy river right outside our room and just chill.

I'm dreading the weird feeling of detachment. Sure I'll have some good friends coming in from out-of-town and my hometown friends here, but he'll still be missing.

And to add to the irony, it will also mark 5 months since he died.

But, as he would tell me, I gotta put my big girl panties on and deal with it.

So I will, and I hope, surrounded by family, friends and good wishes that it turns out to be a happy birthday after all.


Paying it Forward....

Today I think I paid it forward. Or at least I hope so.

I was at work for approximately two minutes when the phone rang. Normally I am headed out to the floor and I don't answer. But today I did.

After my usual intro spiel, I heard a man's voice say "Hi, I need some help." So I mentally prepared my automated response in my head while my mouth uttered the words "Sure!! What can I help you with?"

His response?

"My wife died , and I need the slide show she made of her life off of her computer for her funeral and I don't know how to do it. Can you help me??"

Well shit.

It would have to be ME that answered that call. God has a wicked sense of humor.

Once my brain re-engaged I gave him my condolences (which I KNOW meant nothing to him at that second) , and told him in not exactly these words to get his ass to our store and I would move heaven and earth to help him. I told him my name and told him when he got there to ask for me.

Then I hung up the phone, took a deep breath and started asking my co-workers who could help me if I couldn't do what he needed because frankly, I may have bitten off more than I could chew cause I had no idea what program the slide show was on, what format, what he really needed, nothing ! Oops.

Some people were like "wow his wife's dead and he's coming here?" and "geez, why is he thinking about that?"

I'll tell you why. The man was in shock. Even though I found out later that she was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer in May and died early this morning, he will expect her to be home when he gets there tonight.

The nights in the hospital?? Noooo that's not us! It was a nightmare!

He will still pick up the phone months later and call her to tell her something he wants to tell no one else.

He will still roll over at night to hold her and only touch an empty space.

He will hear the air conditioning kick on and think it's the garage door opening and her coming home.

He will call her to ask if we still have an onion or a lemon or if we need anything from the store.

And he will still not believe it when she doesn't answer the phone, when she doesn't come home,
and when he can't hold her when he wants to.

And that is why he was here. Because a part of the person he loved is still alive on the pictures on that computer he has no idea how to work, because that's what she wanted and he bought it for her and it made her happy.

Because he is operating on auto-pilot and someone told him they needed pictures for her wake and that is what he has. And he came here for help getting it.

I knew who he was before he walked through the doors. I saw him standing on the fringe looking for someone in an orange shirt like I told him to and before that other orange shirt got to him he looked up and locked eyes with me and I just knew. He had the look. He was among us. We were among you.

Unless you have been there you don't know the look. And I just don't mean people who have lost their wives or husbands, I also mean those that have lost their children or someone they love so quickly and unexpectedly that you feel like you may not breathe again. It's a hollow look. Like nothing will ever be right again. And it won't.

I met him halfway and told him my name and asked him a few questions about what he needed and told him to have a seat and I would help him.

Then I told him that I didn't know exactly how he felt, but I had an idea. I didn't ask him if he was ok, that I understood, or anything. I just asked about him.

Then I told him. For months when customers ask me if I'm married or how is my husband or say something complimentary about my wedding bands I say "ok, fine, and thank you!" But I looked this man in the eye and told him my terrible truth and right there in the middle of retail hell he reached out to hug me. And I hugged him. And we both knew what no one else in our vicinity knew (I hope for their sake). That we are both members of a club no one wants to be in, but one that will make us stronger and make us appreciate our lives more.

I won't tell you much more , except that we helped him get what he needed at that moment for his wife's funeral.

We gave him that little bit, and when you are deep in the chasm of grief that tiny little bit can be a huge thing.

I want to thank "Ams" for taking the time to help and taking care of him. You have payed it forward more than you will ever know.

And to my new friend "K" ? Hang tight, do your thing, follow your own path. And as I told you today, you call me, you e-mail me anytime.

I am happy to be your new friend. I look forward to becoming old ones.


Recap !

From what I've gathered I have a few new readers, so for their sake I thought I'd do a bullet post about me and where I'm coming from here.....
  • I live in Alabama, hence the 205 (area code).
  • My husband died March 20th. Unexpectedly. Did.Not.Want.
  • That makes me a widow. Do.Not.Want.
  • I have had this blog for a year and a half but just really started writing after Did.Not.Want.
  • I have made some AMAZING friends because of this blog. Want.
  • I used to be a cop, and now I am a computer nerd. Wanted. Gotted.
  • I love my two dogs. Want More. Not.
  • My dad has terminal cancer. Do.Not.Want.That.Either.
  • I like LOL Cats. Alot. Obviously. Nom.
  • I will be 40 in three weeks. Do.Not.Want. Beats the alternative.
  • I am a TV junkie and Twitter addict. Want.
  • You may find me on Twitter @kimt205. Be my friend?? Want.
  • I like that you are reading my blog! Comments? Want.

Here I am......

...guest-blogging at Karl's.....