....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 !!!