The “Story of My Life” | Driving into Storms | Paula Deen Experience

Yesterday was Friday, but I woke up knowing it was going to be a long day. My first thought was to dread it but then I said “nah, embrace it and enjoy it”. So I did. Or did I? lol It did have its foibles but most of it was a good day. And it was indeed long.

Up at 4:50 (because I had to snooze), showered, coffee, blog post and then I picked my song from Epidemic Sound for the video (it’s one of my favorite things about making the videos), and added a few voiceovers to the video while I was by myself and it was silent. Off to work (thank goodness not raining yet) and work at my desk.

Mom’s thyroid appointment was made months ago to get a late afternoon appointment. The doc office had confirmed our appointment at 4:00 yesterday (which means leaving at 2:00 so I can leave Antioch, go to Lebanon, get Mom to Hermitage in time). So plans were set. But then the doc office called. (They do that on Friday afternoon appointments a lot when the doc decides he’d rather do something more fun on a Friday afternoon than be a doc). Doc wanted to cancel.

Me: “Um well, Mom needs her thyroid meds and we have had this scheduled for weeks to get this time slot, so is there some kind of PA or someone else she could see to get this taken care of. We have rearranged our plans just for today.” (And Mom was in the midst of fasting for her bloodwork). So luckily they worked us in with his PA only 45 min earlier, which meant I needed to leave work earlier, but hey it is what it is. And with all those hours worked over for QE (not to mention my day is normally 9+ hours on a regular day) – I’m not worried about taking the afternoon off. I don’t get OT pay like hourly do – I get ZERO for my extra efforts and hours – and I already come in early for the doc appts for her eye as that is every month and I have a set time to make it up – but this one is already by nature made up! So I didn’t worry about having to leave earlier. 😉

Photo by Kat Smith on

So I get to Mom’s and tell her I’m earlier but that is ok – we can try to be early b/c the skies were building and storms were coming. I had my doubts we would make it w/o going through the storm. I don’t drive in the storms, but yesterday I did it for my mother. I felt like a storm chaser instead of the one who normally hides from it.

So Mom lost her keys. She can’t find anything in her purse. She begins looking everywhere. Can’t find them. I tell her no worries, we’ll look when we get back. They are here somewhere as you have not been anywhere. (Two weekends in a row helping people look for missed keys? Must be my life’s purpose!) So then we start to go, but “wait, I need my umbrella”.

As we got pulled out, Mom said she needed her mail. The clouds were getting closer. But I stopped to get it. I knew at that point we’d be driving thru the storms guaranteed. I’m thinking at this point in my life if I get flipped over by a tornado taking my mother to a doc appointment when I would never drive through a storm for myself, then so be it. At least maybe God would give me special star in my crown for that.

Then Mom exclaims as we get on the interstate “oh I forgot my grocery list”. (Not going back at this point).

So yeah, we get on the road and the skies build and we drive into the wall cloud. And then as we arrive at the doc office, the skies opened and an ocean of water fell from the skies all at once. I got Mom parked under an awning which I figure is going to blow away at any second. I had to wait for another car first though. Then I dropped her off and found parking (nothing really close but it could have been worse). I had an umbrella, but the wind was blowing so hard I knew I’d spend my time trying to keep it from turning inside out, so I just tried to make a mad dash.

Only one problem. I was wearing croc sandals. Have you ever worn wet crocs? These are dressy on top but they are croc like on the bottom. My feet were sliding all around. There would be no mad dashing. I was chosen to walk slowly and carefully and nearly drowned just walking in the rain. And of course there was some kind of rug that had blown out of place and was curled up over the sidewalk near the entrance and I had to figure out how to step over it in wet crocs without totally wiping out and surfing down the sidewalk. Of course there was a huge rug blocking the entrance, lol. The angels above must have been laughing their heads off, and I’m telling you, there might have been more fallen angels beside the devil if I’d seen them, lol.

Mom is like, “well why didn’t you use my umbrella?” Because I have an umbrella on my own and no umbrella is working in that wind. “Well you should have sat in the car!” “NO that would not have worked, you’d have been sitting here waiting on me, wondering where I was.” “NO, I’m here to see the doctor”.

So I sat in the doc office and froze my but off and was totally soaked and my clothes all sticking to me and looked like I’d gone for a dip in the pool with my clothes on.

So we get out of the doctor and Mom is like…”I need the first fast food place you can get to”. She has fasted all day. I say “I know I know, you need to eat”. Of course all of the fast food restaurants are on the left side of the road across 5 lanes of traffic and no light to get out and there was Friday afternoon traffic at an already busy highway any time of day. There would be NO fast food eating in that area because I could not get there! I tried to go right and make a block and come back but the lights are so long on that highway. I gave up as she was “starving” not having eaten all day so I told her we’d have to find something on the way home. I cut through neighborhoods to avoid traffic.

The interstates were shutting down b/c VP Kamala Harris was landing about that time at the airport for her commencement message at TSU today. (Insert eye rolling emoji here.) So we had all the back flow traffic. I got to Lebanon road and Mom had already mentioned twice how hungry she was and why wasn’t she seeing any fast food restaurants. I told her to hang on that I’m going as fast as I can. So on Lebanon Road I told her we’d see fast food. Well, it still took a while. Tractor Supply, a Mexican restaurant, car dealerships, auto repair shops. She mentioned again, where are the fast food places? “Mom, there will be some down here, I promise, I’m trying!”

Finally get to a Burger King on the left side of the road and we pull in after waiting a while and traffic never really thins so I have to dart with Mom over there going “Hurry hurry it’s on my side”. So I tell her they have whoppers or regular hamburgers and I figured she’d just want a small something or other so she wouldn’t totally spoil dinner. She says “regular hamburger ok” with fries and then when the speaker asked she had me “upsize” it all.

I’m so flabbergasted and rushed at that point that when he gives me her change and her huge heavy upsized Dr Pepper, that I pull off. Mom said “where’s the food?”. I said “shit”. Sorry, but that IS what I said. I had to pull over and walk up to the drive thru window in front of the other guy that just pulled up in my spot. They gave me the food and I got back in the car. Mom said “ha, that was funny”. I said, “there was NOTHING funny about that”. And THAT is the story of my life. It is a snapshot of what my life has become. Running around so hurried and smeared across life that I can’t function or do anything right. Especially while being rushed and taunted all over the place.

Anyway, while she is over there snickering and eating her burger and fries and coke just an hour before leaving to go eat at Paula Deen’s, I decide I need coffee as I’ve been up since before daylight and I need something to perk me up and make me more alert. So I pull in Starbucks. Of course it is also on the left side of the road across lanes of traffic. I don’t know – must be a fast food kinda thing. Nothing is convenient. Why are they always on the other side of the road? Never on the right. I guess we are always going the wrong direction? lol

Finally figure out how to get to Star Bucks and I have a Starbucks card to use. Get my coffee and give him the card and he says something. I said what? He said you still owe six cents. Oh, shocked, I dig around the car for loose change. I know it’s there. Oh there’s a dime. My fingers couldn’t quite get it. Finally I did get the dime and he says “ok I still need some odd cents”. Finally I understand he said “fifty six cents and not six cents” – I mean sounds of traffic, sounds from Mom making comments about how her burger is too small, it’s hard to hear. So I dig for a dollar. Then we could go home. I told Mom – “hey I asked you if you wanted a whopper or a regular hamburger –remember? You said regular hamburger.” She said “that’s ok”. I remind her a huge dinner is upcoming.

So I get Mom in the house and we sit and I want to watch YouTube and try to soothe my spirit a little more and relax a bit before. You Tube won’t work. Netflix won’t work. Nothing streaming would work? Has it heard that I’m wanting to stream only and cut the cable and now cable is trying to punish me or is it just the evil gremlins that follow my life and trying to play tricks on me to aggravate me? Who knows. Nothing will work for me but cable so I watch The Weather channel and finally the news. I don’t know what is wrong and I’m not in the mood to fight with it. So I give up. We wait for George to get home. At least the storms are subsiding and the sun is trying to make it’s way back in our lives.

So then Mom tries to remember everything that is on her grocery list as we were going after Paula Deen’s. I try to spark her memory. We go through every aisle and section of the grocery and every task of keeping house and making meals. I know without a doubt that Sunday we’ll be going to the store again for whatever items we missed. I want to avoid having to do things twice if we can because we get such little time.

So the cat settles in my lap, also having been drenched from said recent storm. The two of us settle with wet self under a blanket and he on top of it. Then Mom decides she wants a blanket too. I’m not getting up at this point. I point her to it. So she got up and got it.

George gets home and I drive up through the front yard to pick up Mom from the front stairs. Normally it’s not an issue, but the tires don’t want to go up the little hill in the grass as it’s rained so much. I have to back up a couple of times and still slide. I know George is cringing as he waits on the porch with Mom as his beautiful yard is being torn up. I’m cringing because I have mud all over my white car and even on the windows.

Finally we are all in the car and drive there. I think Mom is in a food coma in the back seat or a sugar high from her gallon sized Dr Pepper. She’s quiet unless she hears us talking about something she wants to know more about – like where we are going and what we are doing and asks us to repeat it if it was something she didn’t hear. lol

On the way we pass a couple of restaurants —Uncle Bud’s and McNamara’s (Irish) and Mom says “we can eat there if you want, at both”. But I tell her we will stick with our plans.

We get to Paula Deen’s and I’m hoping for a not big crowd on a Friday night before Mother’s Day. Who am I kidding. There was traffic so I couldn’t drop Mom off at the door. And then I found a parking spot not horrible distance away (not exactly close either) but Mom says she is up for a walk. She NEEDS to walk. So we get her inside and there is one seat available in the waiting area just for her. I park her and go shopping as dinner would be about 30 min – not bad for a Nashville hotspot on a Friday night.

We get seated. Mom and George order fancy teas and lemonades, and I order a glass of wine. I’ve earned it. Even though it was not as full of a glass as I’d have poured, it was still good.

They seated us by the window and a view of the Cumberland River. My heart new that God was rewarding me for my efforts as this pleased my soul. I was surprised the current moved so fast.

My spirit starts to feel better. I was getting hungry and we were seated with food decisions made and the meal on its way and wine! Yes wine! And then they brought those oooooie gooooie biscuits! Pure butter, garlic, onion, yumminess, fat grams, calories, obesity confirming biscuits. So good!

Then the ducks showed up. Loved it!

Then the rest of our “fried food” arrived and we had extra portions of it arrive later. Mental note next time – bring a gallon size baggy and stick the last piece of chicken that no one ate, in it and in your purse so it’s not wasted. There are no take out boxes granted except for dessert. We got to dessert to go as we were stuffed. Mom said she was miserable as we got in the car. I’m sure she was as she’d had two big meals just inside of three hours, but I totally get that she needed something to hold her over.

We said Good Bye to Paula and George had a little fun with Mom. Bunny ears.

And now for the real pic without George’s “help”.

No rest for the weary though. The day ain’t over! We head to the grocery store. I make George go out of the way to take us to the smaller Kroger so that Mom wouldn’t have to walk so far. She does fine with a buggy cart in front of her holding on to that, but when we forget things and have to walk a half mile back and get something three times, it’s just easier to be in a smaller store.

Mom asked if I was getting groceries and I said “no” and she said “good, you can help get mine”. So I read through the list and mentally tried to stage it all so as we went down each aisle I could grab the items. George was the person that “went back to get things missed”.

And he didn’t miss a beat or a note! lol

We got the groceries, got loaded back up, and headed back to Lebanon to Mom’s. Got Mom in the house. Fancy had pooped in the hallway five different times – five different piles. We brought groceries in -bags and bags as Mom reminded us it had been two weeks- (due to our being out of town last week).

As we unloaded groceries from the car Mom dealt with Fancy and Fancy’s Poop Campaign that said “please don’t leave me again for that long”. I noticed that one of the piles had changed form. Yep, not sure who but someone stepped in it and smeared it along. Could the day get any better?

Why yes, yes it could.

I stepped outside to get more groceries and I heard this “hissing unsettling sound”. What was happening? Was I about to be eaten by a wild coyote? Probably. Nothing would surprise this gal. I mean I have had a bob cat visit me in my window at work. And Tom Turkeys to greet me and walk me to my car.

Then suddenly it’s raining again? But no the skies are cleaning but I’m getting soaked. The sprinklers decided to come on and I got drenched on one side from my hip to my toes. But no bites from coyotes. I get the groceries and again, I still have on crocs, so I slowly have to glide through the sprinklers and me and the bags of groceries are soaking wet coming in the house as I try to step over smeared poop going down the hallway. I tell Mom she missed a spot. She says “well that’s ok I’ll have to get it tomorrow”. I just let it go and I don’t deal with it myself. If she can live with poop being there til tomorrow so can I. I’m soaking wet, and have to goooooooooo as my blood pressure meds were taking effect and I’d had to gooooooo many times already and I JUST WANT MY BED! But in the meantime there are more trips to the car and more twinkling tip toes through the sprinklers for groceries.

George comes in and said “what is up with the sprinklers? There’s no way to avoid getting soaked.”

We finally get in the car. George said “How was the rest of your day?”

I say, “It was fine. Just fine. :-O”

We drove in silence back to the house and I played candy crush trying to stay awake. He yawned. I wanted to try and keep us awake for the ride home. I was too tired to talk but I stayed alert to make sure he remained awake. We got home around 10:30 or so? Got ready for bed and crashed.

And here we are today. George has gone yard sailing and running errands and to the bank before our day out. I’ve made the coffee, and started the laundry and need to shower and get ready for our day. I may work on the video some while it’s quiet.

In the mean time Happy Mother’s Day to all ya’ll out there. Here is a card from Terre. So sweet of you! I appreciate it so much. You are so kind Tarryterre!

Ready to Fly and Thank You Blog Community

Photo by Dan Gold on

Well, we are packed and ready. I had a very loooooong day yesterday. My original intent was to go in early as I knew it would be packed extra full. I rushed through the day and was able to get everything done. It was a tough payroll with tons of vacations to enter. Since we didn’t have the holiday Friday everyone took PTO, lol. When I get back I’ll have the HOL payroll and so I have exclamations all over the place for next Monday when I get back so I don’t forget to pay HOL pay since it was a weird year and taken on the 3rd. I left the house at 6:30 ish I think and got home about 6. Everything I didn’t do will be waiting for me to double up on next week.

Remember when I told you I get to drive over the lake to work. The bridge is about twice this long. Was about half way over at this shot. The sunrises over the lake was incredible with the pink clouds and little fog clouds hovering above the water.

The drive itself was pretty through these backroads with the trees still full with snow and the sun peeking through.

I said a prayer of thanks to God for his beautiful artwork yesterday.

So we are about to head out. The flight is at 11:35. Please say prayers of travel safety and blessings as we have both air and car. Hoping all flights go and the rental car has no issues since they are “hard to get” I hear. I hear planes flying about the house already this morning so at least someone is getting somewhere.

My suitcase is full. I can’t buy anything. If I do it’ll have to fit in George’s suitcase (he said he had room) or my backpack. We are excited to see Little Roo! And I won’t like leaving him Sunday not knowing when I will get to see him again. I’m already dreading leaving and we’ve not arrived yet. But we plan to enjoy the time we have. Only 4 nights. Then our plates are full when we return.

We have neighbors who are watching over the house and the cat and will let the cat in the night it dips to 9 degrees when we are gone.

Now that Christmas is over and New Year gone, and we are embarking upon this trip, I’m starting to see the other side of the “holidays” finally. A new year, fresh planner, things to accomplish, friends to see, still two Christmases to do, so the tree itself stays up for a bit. We will also be working on Mom’s goals with her.

Blog Community

So this gets its own headline. Oh my gosh ya’ll. YOU all came out for me yesterday! Thank you so much. EACH ONE of you! I felt your embraces and your trying to solve our problem. Perhaps we can find someone that can lend a screw driving hand in a pinch. I don’t think she will be willing to pay for it. And we are all kinda trying to save right now, but it could be the answer if she is so demandingly desperate with the right now mentality. I was really surprised that the holidays were barely over before the “I have to have my curtains NOW scenario; Nothing is happening the way I want it; I shouldn’t have moved here cause I can’t do anything and ya’ll can’t either ” went down. I feel like sometimes people try to make you feel guilty to make you do more. I’ve been doing a lot of psychological studies on manipulation and have started to see where people in my life have used this. It worked on a lot of people including me. But when I recognize manipulative behavior, I’m learning how to live with it. I have been learning about boundaries for a long time as I’ve always had a soft personality and very easily swayed and taken advantage of at times. You live and learn. I’ve never been good with demanding demeanors though and have never accepted that well. At 59, I don’t have to have demands put on me with an ugly tone – not even from bosses. Just ask a boss that was ugly to me – I didn’t take it and their conversation with me did not go well. I know how to take care of myself and it shocks people when I do. People in life just need to be nice. You get far more with honey than being demanding with people, especially ones that do so much already. What is it they say. “Don’t bite the hand that feeds.” There’s been a lot of hand biting in peoples lives. The result of it is never good. It takes a long time to heal and forgive – if indeed it ever will be. There is already evidence of it. I hope there are not repeats. We can only take so much in life.

When you give and give and give and it’s still not good enough. Sorry for the pun, but something gotta give! All I know is I have to protect my psyche and try to put positive influences in my life to overcome the negative and miserable influences. So I have given everything to God to handle. It’s all to big for me. I’m going to keep on living my life. I’m not giving up my entire free time for one person. It doesn’t work that way. Needs will be met. Luxuries and extra comforts may have to wait a bit. We all have to be patient at times. Maybe the Lord is trying to teach it and it isn’t working, lol.

I just know that I felt sucker punched on my birthday by the “this ain’t working conversation”. It’s not a day I will forget any time soon. What’s done is done. And it didn’t do anyone any favors.

But ya’ll “thank you” for coming to me yesterday. I love you all. This is my place to vent and write and fret! Thank you for letting me get my feelings out of feeling so insufficient and helpless. Not able to be everything everyone wants me to be, and feeling like I’m a disappointment to my Mom. I feel like I can never do anything or enough to please her – ever. And I’m learning that despite my efforts I just need to quit trying to forever please, it’s a moving target I cannot ever personally reach. So we will do what we can with the time we have to give and if that is not good enough…..then ta da……

Here he is….mystery maintenance man to the rescue? Is Schneider still up from hire from One Day at a Time? lol

Photo by Ksenia Chernaya on

rnnnnnh rnnnnnh…

Birthday Surprises of Every Kind

I wasn’t planning on writing today but decided it would be better to go in later and work later because of the high potential of black ice. So I’m taking time to blog to kill some time.

Birthday Girl

Of course we got the snow for my birthday, ha! Roads were mainly fine. Mom and I had plans to go to lunch and so she called to say Happy Birthday and find out what time we were going. I had already told her we could also go look for her curtains after we ate at Red Lobster. I had told her Friday when I set our plans that I would be there after I got my nails done.

She was worried that we wouldn’t have time to get curtains and get them hung today (yesterday). I guess she was wanting George to go with us and then him be there to hang them when we got home. The sun puts a glare on the TV and she can’t see it unless she sits in a different part of the room but her favorite chair won’t work there in any different spot in the room. But George was not going with us, nor would he be hanging curtains this weekend, nor the next (in Texas), nor the weekend after that (family coming in town). He had his day planned yesterday (b/c I had made plans thinking he was working and he wasn’t). I felt bad when I realized he was off b/c normally he and I go on special excursions for our birthdays – fun days doing things we each want to do for our birthday all day. When I thought he was working, I booked a day with Mom to go do stuff MOM wanted to do, knowing we’d be gone to Texas and also have a full weekend planned the weekend after, to try and keep her satisfied.

When I told Mom about having company on the 15th, she told me it was a mistake to have moved up here because she can’t set anything up herself (which I took it to mean mean we are moving too slow for her contentment and timeline.) I knew this would be a problem as she likes to have things right now and not having to wait. This is sad for me to watch the struggle and to be part of it, or I guess in her mind, the cause of it. She says she doesn’t blame us but blames herself. However, it’s our timeline that is making the difference so I can’t help but feel defeated and insufficient for her needs.

We got off the phone and I cried. Big loud sobs as I laid my head down to my desk. George came in and patted me on the head and back and had to talk me through. I. Just. Can’t. Anymore. I am not efficient enough to care for my Mother in her terms. I’m not convinced anyone is. She realizes she can’t do things to suit herself and none of the rest of us can either. Am I supposed to just be there 24/7? Handy people on a given whim? NO. Quit my job? Hell no.

I agree though that she made a bad decision now. She is not as healthy as I thought. She really needed to have chosen assisted living. For her. For all of us. But she was too independent, strong willed, and refused to even think of it but if she were at her other home she would have even less help as we would not be nearby and it would be a round trip of 3 hours just to get there. Still she told me she wished she had stayed there.

I asked her yesterday what she had expected? Did she think we’d be there every day or every day we had off? I reminded her of how far we had come in a short period of time. She says she is “simply existing”. I’m not sure what she wants it to be. “Living Lavishly?” I’m sorry we can’t get there fast enough. But I know she wants all of it done like yesterday. We can’t give up our lives completely for another 1/2 year to be there every weekend like we were last year. I told her we gave her 2/3 of our year last year of our free time. I think she wants it all. But that is not going to happen. And I think she thought we’d be over there all the time.

So my day started off horribly and was not the pleasant day I would have preferred. I have a few expectations of my own!!!!! George let me open my gifts to cheer me. Clinique perfume and a Clinique facial system. How nice. He knows I love it but I chosen to not spend our money and go for less expensive cosmetics.

Then I got my nails done. However they were really busy and very slow. When it was time for me to go get mom for lunch I was still in the chair and they had my hands. My phone was blowing up with birthday messages which is a good thing, but I’m sure everyone at the shop was like WTH, lol, and then I got Mom’s call which sounds like the Queen has arrived in ring tone. I asked to be excused so I could tell her I was running late and apologized.

We went to Red Lobster and had lunch. I wasn’t sure what to say after our morning conversation. I was very upset. And even very angry, if I will admit. But not a word was said about the conversation from either of us. And we went to find her curtains. We got them but she said “but that doesn’t help my TV situation as I still don’t have the curtains for the sliding door. So we ordered those on Amazon. They didn’t have the right size. George brought her car over and told her he thought he could hang curtains on the 21st.

After Mom’s things were ordered she had some things she wanted to find, but we couldn’t find them (blankets) in a bag. She wasn’t able to describe what they looked like and George found some but she said those weren’t the ones. I don’t think we have any thing like that left in the basement. George looked in her garage, but there is so much stuff. So it is likely in the garage amongst things that are packed. He told her we could try to pull more things out on the 21st and do a work day there then. She wanted the U Haul blankets hauled off or she was going to sell them, so we took them back home to give to the person that gave them to us to use.

Then he and I went to a coffee shop. The coffee I ordered was very weak and tasted like warm water. It wasn’t even hot. So that was a disappointment. I just wanted to transition over coffee and into our birthday evening but I guess that is why no one else was there huh? OH well. I’m surprised they are still in business. Their food is good I guess. I won’t give their name though.

Then we went to an Asian restaurant. I had wanted the kind they cook at your table, but it was still hibachi and we got the hibachi for two.

It was a lot of food! I took almost the entire plate home, because he had ordered sushi and egg rolls and it was way too much.

So it ended up being a good birthday, even after feeling like an insufficient daughter. I feel like Mom should have had a different, more talented, more of a daughter that would be able to dote to her more and be able to serve her more at her beck and call. I just fail at being able to make or keep her satisfied. I hate it for her. I really do. But I realize I will never be what she thinks she needs. Never. Not now. Not ever. I won’t be able to give up my life completely to see to her every need. Not sure what to do. It’s just the way it is. I am not sufficient for what she wants. All I can do is keep trying and give it to God, b/c this mess is bigger than I am.

Lord help us, I thought about me waiting 16 years to get rid of my blue linoleum. lol Anyway, sometimes we just have to try to see good in all things, embrace what we have and forge forward, and tried to be content in our every situation. It may not meet our vision, but it is what it is. I get it. I like for things to go my way and for my visions to be met to. Trust me, my visions have completely been thrown in the trash many times over. It’s been a difficult year. We agreed to do it. We did it. It’s almost there. But dammit the curtains aren’t hung yet!!!!!!!

Now off to work later than expected but the sun is coming up and that is safer. So I may work later but that is what it is also, b/c I needed to leave when I could see the road! Ok off to get about half my week done in one day. lol. I laugh saying it. It’s so absurd. But here we go.