Category Archives: Relationships

Time to Celebrate

From http://www.ajhomeontheroam.wordpress.com

April 20, 2015 (by Angela)

Jim and I a very proud of our children, our children through marriage (also known as our children’s spouses), and our grandchildren. There is a litany of things we could share that makes us proud of each member of our family. At this moment, however, there is a special celebration in the plans for the weekend of May 9th, which is also Mother’s Day weekend (It should be Mothers’ Day since more than one “mother” is honored – any way, I digress.)

We will have much to celebrate as our family gathers that weekend. Heck, to have so many of us together, traveling from several states, is a reason to celebrate alone. We tried to get all of us together last spring – one event for my side and one for Jim’s side. Unfortunately, Brett (son by marriage to daughter Amanda) was unable to attend due to a previous commitment with the U. S. military.

My side of the family gathering on St. Patrick's Day in 2014 (hence all the green)

My side of the family gathering on St. Patrick’s Day in 2014 (hence all the green) near Clarkesville, GA

Brett (who missed out on the last family gathering)

Brett (who missed  last family gathering)

Jim's "crew" as we celebrated Clarissa's  (Ctr in black and white) graduation from Shawnee Junior College in May 2014

Jim’s “crew” as we celebrated Clarissa’s (Ctr in black and white) graduation from Shawnee Junior College in May 2014

All going as planned next month, we will have all the” kids,” their spouses, and their children from my side of our joint family present together for the first time in years. This is a huge reason to celebrate!  Most of the ladies present will be mothers, so we’ll celebrate that. There are three birthdays in our combined families that week, and two of those having birthdays will be present, so we’ll celebrate birthdays. The biggest part of our celebration, unlike birthdays and Mother’s Day, will be for an event that doesn’t come around each year. It is something that for many may never happen, and it is something that can be celebrated because two young people have sacrificed and worked hard to achieve their goals.  Our son Nathaniel and his wife Rachel will graduate on May 9th, which is also Nathaniel’s birthday, from Armstrong Atlantic with hard-earned degrees. Nathaniel will receive his Doctorate in Physical Therapy, and Rachel will receive her Master’s in Education in Special Ed to go with her teaching degree in Art.

Rachel and Nathaniel with Jim and me - 2014

Rachel and Nathaniel with Jim and me – 2014

Thinking outside of the box, these two would like to be able to purchase a home in the town where Nathaniel has accepted his first career position in physical therapy, so they’ve set up an online account hoping family, friends, and anyone else who may feel led to do so will help them celebrate their achievements by facilitating the attainment of their next goal: to purchase a home.

Nathaniel and Rachel -  November 24, 2012

Nathaniel and Rachel – November 24, 2012

If you wish to help them celebrate goals achieved and move toward attainment of this new goal, you can click here and make a donation. No gift is too small and all will be very much appreciated.

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Welcome to a New Blogger: My Funny and Cynical Hubby

Blogger world, watch out! A new blogger is on the lose, and he is going to be fun to read.

Check out jimmysbriefcase@wordpress.com, and you’ll not be sorry!

Jimmy Johnson, my HH

Jimmy Johnson, my HH

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Stray Boots: A Fun Tour of Downtown “Music City”

If you read this blog, you know that I am a big fan of Groupon, Living Social and such sites, especially when looking for fun things to do with the HH. The past weekend, we used a high-tech scavenger hunt to get us out and about around town, which I purchased at a discount through Groupon.

Mural of Nashville in Nashville

Mural of Nashville in Nashville

Saturday was the perfect day weather wise to do the tour, so with our smart phones in hand, we drove the indicated starting point (or close to it) and found a parking spot. Since I drive an eco-friendly car, I was able to get a “free parking” pass for metered spots when I registered my car this year, so we parked, hung up the parking pass on the rearview mirror, and began the adventure.

Jim in front of Wild Horse Saloon on 2nd Avenue

Wild Horse Saloon

It was an interesting morning, and believe it or not, we learned quite a bit about Nashville that we did not already know and had immense fun while doing so. For example, Tootsie’s opens at 9:30 a.m., and the venue has three levels with live music on all levels all the time they are open. All of the walking gave us the exercise we needed without even realizing it. Since I was the “head” of our team simply because I set it up, I had to submit the answers and make the pictures, but here are a few shots from the day.

Here are pictures of my husband in front of several of the places we visited on the route. I will not spoil it for someone else, but there is an interesting challenge after the Wild Horse stop that folks who like to sing in the shower may enjoy. 🙂

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I HIGHLY recommend that you go to strayboots.com to check it out as I think they have tours in about 180 cities world wide.

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Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 6)

Playing.

My husband and I enjoy playing together.  The kid in him brings out the kid in me, and I enjoy planning play times for us.  While spontaneity is fun, with busy schedules, sometimes planning time for fun is necessary.

Extensive travel has kept Jim on the road since mid February. Since he had spent four months on the bench, much too long for him, he was happy to be on the traveling work road with full vigor.  Now that we are settling into a more regular routine again, we are back into play times together.

Fired Up Mt. Juliet, TN

Fired Up
Mt. Juliet, TN

This past weekend was the first of an entire month of playful weekend adventures.

Jim and I went to the gym together, and then he and I went to a local small business named Fired Up to work in ceramics.  We each chose our project piece, and then the creativity began. Actually, the creativity began for Jim, as I knew it would.  He is an amazingly creative person.  While I struggled to determine the correct balance of colors on a soccer ball bank, he was designing a one-of-a-kind snack bowl. Over the next few weeks, we will return to work on our pieces, and I am sure that in the end Jim’s will be a masterpiece despite the fact that it is his first time to work in ceramics (and I had a year-long class in ceramics in high school). Look at the pictures of Jim working below.

 

Jim working on his ceramic bowl

Jim working on his ceramic bowl

Jim's Snack Bowl It says, "Insert Chocolate Here!"

Jim’s Snack Bowl
It says, “Insert Chocolate Here!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come back next week to read about our playing adventures for this coming weekend. 🙂

 

 

 

 

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Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 5)

Wow!  Where to begin.  I’ve been away from writing for a few weeks, but I have a really good reason. My husband gave me an opportunity to clear my schedule, drop everything, and fly away. I came home from an appointment on a Thursday to find out that he was being sent the follow Monday to Maui, Hawaii, to work for a month.  Immediately, I wanted to go, and I got the green light.  While I could not stay the full time, I did have a nice visit.

As discussed in Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 2), my husband’s propensity for renaming things continues in Maui.  The first thing that I noticed while there with him was that he was already renaming the streets. “Puunene” is now “Puny,” for example.  Wildlife has also been renamed.  I’m not really sure of the bird’s true name, but a small bird with a greenish colored head and a brownish body is now “duck bird;” some rodent-like creature that we often saw running across the road is now a “squeasel” because it reminds him of a combination of a squirrel and a weasel. Finally, the unique trees that are everywhere on Maui will forever be to me “red dog, blue dog trees” because they remind my dear hubby of the trees shown in the popular children’s book Go Dog Go.

Speaking of roads, please be very careful, and reasonably afraid, of any roads going along the cliffs of Maui.  Our first experience was with the Road to Hana, which goes along the coast down the southeast side of the island.

Road to Hana T-Shirt

Road to Hana T-Shirt

It is highly advertised, and tourist are warned of the challenge of driving the road.  As we drove it, my husband said, “Highway 1 in California is child’s play compared to this.”  The picture of the t-shirt I purchased tells you why. Now, after you read about the Road to Hana, please know that the cliff road on the northwest side of the island is much harder to drive, much more dangerous, and terribly frightening; we found out the hard way.

The day after we drove to Hana and on around so that we made a circle back to Kahului, we had plans in Lahaina, so we thought we’d drive a circle of that side of the island, too.  We drove counter-clockwise, which we now know was a very, very bad choice.  If Highway 1 in California is child’s play compared tothe Road to Hana, the Road to Hana is child’s play compared to this cliff-side drive.  Poor hubby was driving, and I think we both were truly afraid for our lives at least once on this journey.

Harrowing Road Journey

Harrowing Road Journey

You see, most of the drive is a one-lane road with a rock wall on one side (the clockwise side) and a sheer drop off with no shoulder on the other side (the counter-clockwise direction).  Add to that the curves and lush greenery makes it almost impossible to see who or what is coming until you meet.  It was just after one of these curves as we were headed downhill toward another curve and a one way bridge that we found ourselves face to face with another vehicle.  Before we could figure out how to maneuver so we could pass each other, more vehicles were behind each of us. Slowly backing up, Jim was trying to avoid scraping the car on the rock wall while also not backing my side of the car off the cliff.  It was harrowing! Some how, some way – it all worked out, but here is a view of what we saw during the ordeal. (Please know that the mound of dirt and grass seen ahead on the right is NOT between me and the cliff where I am in the car making this picture.) Never have I been happier to see a two-lane road once we cleared this section of the drive!

Life with  my husband Jim is certainly exciting!

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Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 4)

This past weekend, the HH was under the weather; he had what we sometimes call “the bathroom blues.” As a result, he did not feel like doing much or going anywhere.  He cancelled out of our couples night dinner and performance; I had to go alone since the tickets had already been purchased. Not being able to sleep well a couple of nights, he also got his nights and days turned around.

When he got up from his five-hour nap just before 8:00 p.m. yesterday, he was in his normal form, so I knew he was feeling better.  The ultimate tip to confirm my hubby was over the worst of the GI issues was when he tried to talk me into walking down the street at 10 p.m. last night to get the mail.  You see, he LOVES getting mail, and he LOVES being the one to pick up the mail and open it all – even the “junk” mail.  He felt too badly all weekend long to go pick up the mail, and now he was ready to open and read the mail.  The thing is, he didn’t want to get out and walk to the mailbox, so he was doing his best to convince me to do it for him.  I got the puppy dog eyes; I got the lower lip sticking out; I got the guilt trip. He tried everything in his play book to try to get me to go get the mail.

He failed.  There are some points on which I will not give, and asking me to go out late at night, even with the dog, into the cold when I was already warm, cozy, and almost ready for bed was not something I was going to do.

He went to bed at 4:09 a.m. this morning – remember I told you he has gotten his days and night confused.  When I got up this morning, the opened mail was sitting on the arm of my recliner.  Good call, Angela.  If the hubby was well enough to make a big issue of wanting the mail, he was well enough to walk and get it himself.

I teased him with the idea that he was sick like this to drop some weight quickly. Of course, he had no control over being ill, and no one would really choose this form of losing weight.  When he weighed this morning, he’d lost about 3 1/2 pounds since Saturday morning. He has an appointment with the weight loss folks today, and he is going to end up being the poster child for doing a good job.  I bet you money he does not confess to being sick all weekend. Instead he will bask in the praise. 🙂

I’m so glad his better. 🙂

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Life with a 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol 3)

Spoiled!

Yes, the HH is spoiled. Home or on the road, he has folks “taking care of him.”

Holiday Inn Express is the lodging of choice when my husband is on the road and working at client sites.  When he spends four nights out of seven at HIE, he has “elves,” as he calls them, to clean the bathroom, bring fresh towels, make his bed. He is spoiled in this way by HIE, but he doesn’t have elves, at least not the same type of elves, at home.

When home, my husband is waited on hand and foot more often than not, especially when it comes to food and drink. When I prepare meals, I usually fill the hubby’s plate, or bowl, and hand it to him. In the same manner, I often end up picking up his dirty dishes to return them to the kitchen for him. To be fair, he puts his own dishes in the kitchen about 50% of the time.

If, however, he needs or wants a glass of water or some such thing and does not want to get up to go get it himself, he will wait until I am up, and then he will ask me to get whatever he needs. What gets me is that sometimes, even though I may be comfy in the recliner working on my computer, he will actually ask me to get up and turn on the light, go get his glasses, etc. because he is so spoiled (and too lazy at times) to do these things for himself.

I haven’t told my husband this story yet, but a couple of weeks ago I was having burgers with a friend before going to a concert.  I don’t remember what I said exactly, but evidently I relayed a story about taking food to the HH while he was watching TV or working on his computer. A complete stranger, a man about our age, who was in the burger joint offered unrequested advice to me. He said that I should tell my husband to get up off his butt and get his own food since I did the cooking. (What he said was a little more colorful, but this was the gist of what he was trying to express.)He elaborated on this idea more, and I did let him know that what I do, I do gladly, but that is not my point of sharing here. After all, it was not the stranger’s place to say what he did, but at the same time, I got a real giggle out of it as it underlined the fact that my husband is spoiled.

I think my husband knows he is spoiled, and I hope he appreciates it. Of course, he has given me the time and freedom to spoil him more at this time. I appreciate the opportunity and freedom he has allowed me. If the truth is told, I enjoy spoiling him most of the time, and I know that if I find myself working full-time again, he’ll not expect the same spoiling as he is getting now.

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A Difficult Balancing Act

Many younger Baby Boomers, like my husband and I, struggle with an interesting balancing act. With our own retirement about 12 – 15 years out, we still have younger children finishing college degrees while we have parents who are in need of more help and care. How do we balance the needs of our parents and our children with our own needs? This is the juggle of time and money and energy we have going on now.

While all of our children are adults and technically responsible for themselves and their own families, if married, we try to help out as we can and as we know of needs. For the most part, at this moment, our parents and step-parents are in pretty good shape for their age and stage; the exception is my mother.

Diagnosed late with diabetes, she has diabetic retinopathy. Legally blind in one eye, and even corrected in the other eye she cannot see well, she no longer drives. She was not financially well prepared for retirement. Unfortunately, my mother has not done much to encourage a strong friend base in her senior years, and family is limited; there is only my brother, my husband, and I to help her.  We all live more than an hour away.

If it were not for the rural transportation bus program that began in her area a few years ago, I do not know what we would do.  She is able to use this program to go to the grocery, bank, pharmacy, some of her medical appoints, etc. More than the transportation, it gives her a reason to interact with others.  For the past year, she has had a woman come to her home for a few hours most weeks to help with light housekeeping and other needs.  Again, the biggest assistance this service provides is interaction with others. Mom no longer wants to go out to eat with family members; I can’t get her to come stay with us or go on trips for even brief periods.  She wants to stay in her home, and she does not even want to have a senior facility as a consideration for down the road.  Finances are not available to have a live-in caregiver, so I don’t know what the future will bring.

My husband and I, after each of us has an experience a serious health issue ourselves, want to travel and enjoy life while we are physically able, and we need to provide for our own retirement.  Neither he nor I want to become a burden to our children. Balancing the needs of our family members with our own needs is truly a balancing act that we practice more and more as time goes by.  Hopefully, we will find the right balance for all of us.

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Life with My 50+-Year-Old “Kid” (Vol. 2)

I’ve been debating between a couple of topics for today’s post, which is a follow up to last week’s post Life with My 50+-Year-Old “Kid”. These posts give insight into life with my husband. After much thought, I’ve decided the next thing I want to share is the adorable, and sometimes frustrating and at times embarrassing, habit my husband has of renaming almost everything.

Early in our time together, I began to see a pattern. In Clarksville, where we lived previously, Kraft Street came to be known as “Hooters’ By-Pass” because he associated one of the street’s intersecting near Hooters with the eatery.  I don’t guess you’d be surprised to know that the intersection was known as “Hooters’ Intersection.”  Yes, my husband has an obsession with Hooters, and I bet you can guess why.

While we lived in Clarksville, an overpass for the 101st Airborne was built over Wilma Rudolph Blvd to ease traffic congestion.  We had a conversation about this road construction one day while out and about, and ever after that, the overpass was dubbed the “Decongestion By-Pass.”

All roads that make a circle of sorts from I-24 at Exit 4 in Tennessee to I-24 at Exit 86 in Kentucky are, according to him, “Wilma Rudolph.”  Yes, the road named Wilma Rudolph runs from I-24 until it becomes College Street at the traffic light where Kraft Street intersects it.  Then, College St. becomes Second Avenue; Second Avenue becomes Providence, and finally, Providence becomes Ft Campbell Blvd, but all of that to my husband is “Wilma Rudolph.”

One day, the hubby was telling me something about a gas station, and he identified the gas station as the “Mapco on Wilma Rudolph.” I was extremely confused because at that time, and for many years to come, there wasn’t a Mapco on Wilma Rudolph.  After much frustration, I finally came to understand that he was talking about the Dodge Store on Ft. Campbell Blvd.  Duh!  Why couldn’t I understand that? (Cue sarcasm) Of course, the names and locations are so similar, it was easy for him to confuse, right?  One thing is for sure, if he had ever needed to tell me where to meet him in case of an emergency and did not want anyone else to know where that would be, the Mapco on Wilma Rudolph would have been the place.

He does not reserve his renaming for roads, intersections, and businesses.  As a general rule, we watch the nightly local news on WSMV (channel 4) in Nashville, and he has renamed many of the news professionals. Two of the female meteorologists have been renamed. One has been dubbed “Kay” because he thinks she favors my former Head of School, and the other is “The Vampire” because one night she had on an outfit with a high collar that made him think of her as a lovely female vampire. One reporter is simply “my (meaning the hubby’s) girlfriend” because he finds her very attractive, though he did say he’d have to behave around her, or she’d hurt him (she is a plus-size girl).

One day the HH was laughing his head off while watching the news, and I did not understand why.  He then pointed out to me that “The Vampire” was doing the weather from the Red Cross building while promoting a blood drive.  It just confirmed his renaming choice.

My husband even renames weather systems.  If you live in the United States, you most likely have experienced the extreme cold this winter has brought because of Arctic Clippers and another phenomenon known as a Polar Vortex.  According to my husband, the Polar Vortex is the “Arctic Complex.”

If you are unsure of the words to a song, don’t worry.  My dear hubby will give his teenage-boy version of most any song. For example, in the song “Winter Wonderland,” instead of “Parson Brown,” it is “parched and brown.” Many of the examples I could share would probably be to risqué to write here, so just use your imagination.

Finally, if my hubby can’t come up with the right name, or a new name for something, then it is the “thing.”  One night a couple of months ago, he told me that he needed “the thing to make the thing do the thing.”  That hit me as so funny that I laughed until I cried and nearly wet my pants because he was so serious about what he was telling me even though it did not make a lick of sense.

Yes, this is life with my HH.  It is never dull.

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Life with My 50+-Year-Old “Kid”

First, let me say that not only do I have my dear hubby’s permission to write this series, it was his idea. 🙂  The HH enjoys laughing, and he doesn’t even mind laughing at himself.

Now, where to begin?!

Today, I think I’ll talk about the fact that I have not trained him well.  When I told him so this morning, he said it was his mother’s fault; she had not trained him well enough.  I’m sure my dear MIL (mother-in-law) will appreciate hearing this.

What’s the problem with his training?  I think this could be several posts, but let’s start with his lack of training that was the topic of discussion this morning.

Photo Credit

Photo Credit

One of my pet peeves is someone coming into the kitchen knowing that there are clean dishes in the dishwasher that have not yet been unloaded and put away, yet that person (my husband) chooses to go to the cabinet – yeah, the place where clean dishes are stored after being put away – to get out a cup, plate, bowl, etc.  You see, my way of thinking is that he can just as easily open the dishwasher and get a clean cup, plate, bowl, etc. out.  Doing so would save someone else (me) a tiny bit of extra effort in unloading and loading dishes.

In the same way, if I have clean clothes on the bed not yet hung up, why not grab a shirt from the clothes yet to be put away rather than going into the closet to pull a clean shirt off the hanger? Grabbing the shirt not yet hung up would save me some effort in doing laundry.

Another of my pet peeves is leaving the toilet seat up. I know many of you are shocked that my dear hubby would leave the toilet seat up since I’m sure that you or your husband and/or sons are so thoughtful and always remember to put the seat back down (*cough*).  Weekends, when he was home from work at the client site, were dangerous the last few years! In his defense, after working from home the last three months, he has become much more thoughtful.  I’d say in the last month that he has put the seat down about 98% of the time, though I fear that once he goes back on the road, he will revert to his former heathen ways.  What about the other 2% of the time?  Well, his timing is impeccable.  Let me explain.

Toilet_seat_up

Photo Credit

Last month I was prepping for a colonoscopy.  Only those of you who have had a colonoscopy can appreciate what this means, but if you know what it means, you will understand that leaving the toilet seat up, as he did, during this process was very stressful and inconvenient.  On occasion, he will leave the toilet seat up prior to coming to bed.  Since he is the last to bed each night and I usually find myself sleepily making my way to the bathroom sometime in the evening, he has a 50/50 chance of hearing a splash followed by a loud scream.  I think it is his version of Russian Roulette.

This is enough about my pet peeves and my husband’s faulty training for now.  There will be more to come, so come back later to get the scoop on life with my 50+ “kid”.

Have a blessed and happy day,

Angela

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