Sunday, November 27, 2011

The Holidays are here……


Nothing says the Holidays like Black Friday….some store now call it Blue Friday or Green Friday….but we all know what they mean…..Everyone gets there wallet out to rush the stores for the “Great” deals being offered.  You know, like the 42” TV for $200….the “camera Kit” for $49…..

The deals are so great, some people just have to act stupid….take this guy:

Nothing says “Happy Holidays” like a face full of Pepper spray!  There is nothing a store sells that is worth getting sprayed by someone with a can of pepper spray who just wants to be first in line….

Nor is there anything I want that is worth this:

best buy campers bilde

Or How would you like to be waiting in this line to the cash register???11-15-black-friday_full_600 utahshoppingcenter

You can search the internet all day and find images of the violence this 1 day causes….Customers and police pepper spraying other customers, police slamming people to the ground and in one case knocking a man unconscious and bloody for supposedly shop lifting while shopper use cell phones to record their total lack of concern for the unconscious man….instead letting the blood flow while they hand cuff him….A man in West Virginia trampled to death while shoppers rush past him to buy some cheap thing they will probably end up returning the day after Christmas when they realize “Cheap doesn’t mean Good”.

One thing thing needs to be clear here...If you clicked on the link and watched the video you learn several things...a) the man was trying to protect his grandson from being trampled and wanted both hands free to do so, and b) he had not left the store with anything so had not shop lifted anything yet.... Concealed, maybe, but if this man was trying to steal something, couldn't the police have waited until the man attempted to leave the store without paying??? I hope he sues Wal-Mart and gets millions of dollars for the treatment he received and never shops at Wal-mart again!

I used to work in retail….I’ve seen the crowds, the fighting over items and even shopping carts; and the long lines of returns after the holidays when the items they fought for turn out to be pieces of cheap junk…

As for me, I sit at home.  I go out in my own time and if there was something I was really interested in, and the store still has some left, I buy it then….If the items are all gone, they just weren’t meant to be mine….

Don’t get me wrong, I do understand why some people do this madness every year….To save money….I’ll save my money all year, and pay for quality items….I’m just as broke as the next guy, I just can’t see hurting someone for any reason….

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sad News…..

My morning routine has been the same for months…..I wake up when my little puppy Lacey decides it’s time to get up around 8a.m., let her out with my son’s 2 bigger dogs, feed and water them then feed and water all the indoor pets, start the coffee pot, wash whatever dishes accumulated in the sink over the night thanks to the “Dish Fairies”, and turn the computer on.

I open my face book page and read any stories or updates that collected over night and then begin to play my “Farm” games….

Yesterday I got a real shock.  When I opened my home page, there was a message from one of our coaches saying a dear friend had  passed away….Coach Phil McKnight Sr. of the Rising Park Razorbacks.

DSC03559 Sept 15 038 Sept 3 2011 034

My oldest grandson played for Phil his first 3 years here as a Razorback.


My 2 Nephews played for the Razorbacks, too.

opening day aug 27 284

Phil was a dear friend, a good christian, a great mentor and he demanded good sportsmanship from all his players and parents as well.  He didn’t allow any cursing on the practice field or the sidelines from players, parents or other coaches.  He never yelled or raised his voice.  You knew by the look on his face when you did wrong. Phil had style….

October 8 part 2 070

We came to know his wife, Beth whose birthday just happened to be the same day as my daughter’s.  We met his 4 sons; Chad, Phil Jr., Chris and Brett.  All played football and went on to play basketball. 

Mcknight 6

Two of his boys currently play for teams “across the big pond”, one started his own sports training business here and the youngest is in college playing basketball.

opening day aug 27 269 opening day aug 27 270 2 of his sons always by him on the field


Sept 15 048


The Razorbacks had some bad seasons over the years.  My grandson just happened to be on the team when they placed second in the league in 2004.  Many years they placed in the bottom half of the teams, sometimes never winning a game….but Phil never gave up on them…..Every year for their banquet, his wife, Beth cooks most of the meal.  Every year, no matter where they placed in the league, Phil made sure the boys and girls got a trophy of some sort….One year, he even made up special plaques for the 6th graders complete with a face mask and Razorback with their names on it.  One year my grandson got a special trophy for the number of tackles he made all season.

100_3006 Phil and son

New Lens 014

No matter what team I cheered for, I always made sure that I got a hug from Phil that day.  His smile was infectious.

Phil was known for standing on the fields during the games.  All the other coaches couldn’t figure out how he didn’t get called on it more than he did. Everyone respected him.

Clearly 5 yards in!

Sept 3 2011 082


He always asked about the family, and even tried to talk some sense into my daughter when she cut me off.  Although my daughter respected Phil, she just couldn’t bring herself to admit that she would ever need me or want anything to do with me again…..but Phil insisted she needed to try.

For the past 2 years, the Razorbacks have been the City League Champions.

RazorbacksChampion 2010

 Chiefs vs Razorbacks Championship game 132 Razorbacks vs Chiefs (3) 2011

When I first knew Phil, I was knitting scarves….back then I was only doing the “Harry Potter” colors, but I made one with the Razorback colors just for Phil…. most people would be satisfied….Phil loved in but later he asked for a plain white one so he could wear it to church….I finally made it for him this year and gave it to him October 29th at the Championship game.

Sept 3 2011 223

Phil had heart problems.  For 2 years, he had problems with the internal defibrillator that was installed in his chest.  More than once it went off when it shouldn’t have and he had to be taken from the football field in an ambulance.

This year, his team will have a heart wrenching banquet….It was supposed to be last Saturday, but got postponed until this Saturday….I’m sure it will get postponed again now…..

The local paper ran an article on the front page today about his passing.  No news yet on a funeral….The family is probably waiting so all 4 sons can come home and they can find a place large enough to hold the crowd…..It will probably be a huge funeral….Phil touched so many lives….He will be greatly missed.

Rest in Peace dear friend!  You will be greatly missed by many…May the Lord watch over Beth, Chad, Phil Jr., Chris and Brett….may the love we all have for you and your family carry them through.

God must have need another player on the football team……

Hugs and Love to all!!! 

I hope in the end, people realize just how short life is…..and realize that nothing should separate family…not even a silly argument.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

In the Nick of time

As some of you may know, the only contact I have had with my 4 grandchildren since June has been through Facebook. 

Daily, I check their pages to see if there is any news I would love to hear of their new lives so far away.  My daughter has never spoke to me again; and the last time I spoke with any of the grandchildren I was told she is still mad at me.

The youngest grandson very rarely gets on the computer from what I understand; but did play football for a team in Florida.  He had 3 years experience when he moved there; but because of his size and weight, he had to play for a younger age group…He is 11 and played with a 9-10 year old team; the 49’ers.

Tyree 49ers

His mother (my daughter) was taking photos and videos at his practices and games (nothing like what I would have been taking) then “tagging” him so they would go on his Facebook page.  I could go on to his page, see the photos of his game and watch short video clips of him playing….I’d even copy and paste the photos into my computer to look at later.  If you are familiar with this practice, you may well know that some photos done this way are of a really low quality and don’t make very good prints….but to me they are precious….my only contact with the “loves of my life”…

49ers after game bench2 Tyree

on field

I looked forward to getting up every Tuesday just to see the new photos.   This past Monday was the Championship play-off game.  They played the game at my grand-daughter’s High School; Chocowatchee Senior High.  I scrolled through the photos saving each one to look at later when I need something to cheer me up.


The 49’ers won their game and are this year’s City League Champions!  According to what my daughter posted, the game went into overtime with my grandson scoring the touchdown that tied the game, and one of his team mates scored the extra points to win it for the team.

champions 2

I posted a note under one of the photos, sharing it with my friends and saying congratulations to my grandson and the team….

Later I went on my facebook to see if anyone had commented about the photo and it was gone!!  I went back to my grandson’s facebook page and all the photos and videos of his football season were gone. My daughter has either deleted her facebook page, or made it private so I cannot view the photos…But it’s too late….although I could not copy the videos, I do have copies of the photos!  I will miss any photos of him playing in the “Turkey Bowl”  the weekend after Thanksgiving; but at least I had the chance to “see” him play the regular season.

On the other hand, I have a better surprise.  My grand-daughter who was kept from contacting me for over 8 years is now one of my Facebook friends.  She graduated in June and turned 18 in August.  I now get to talk to her and see recent photos of her…

Samantha 2011 Samantha lemon Samantha

As you may recall, the tift between my daughter and I started after my grand-daughter and her family came to my oldest grandson’s graduation and I was chastised for wanting to take a photo of her with my grandson following the ceremony. I am so happy that she wants anything to do with me; but I know she knew all along that I didn’t stay away because I wanted to…her mother kept her away from me.

Zack zack

I have also been chatting with another young grandson…He called me one day wanting to know some genealogy on the family.  At 11, he wants to know where he came from.  I have been making some charts to send him at his other Grandpa’s house where he now visits on the weekend.  He and his brother were living there until the school found out. He told me he’s been trying to convince his mom that they need to come up here for a visit.  It would be so nice and I would even travel to my brother-in-law’s farm if I had to to see them.

For now I have to be happy with that….Knowing that my grand-children do love me and they will find a way to see me again….when they are older and they get away from their unreasonable parents. 

As for the grand-daughter who I pay for her cell phone bill….she has no excuse….She graduates in June 2012.  Her cell phone contract runs out in July. She turns 18 next September…..if I don’t hear from her before then or get invited to her graduation, I will have the phone shut off…..Why should I pay the extra money for a phone that she can’t even use to call or text me….She “allows” me to be her facebook friend, but I am not allowed to make any comments….I put pictures of her on my facebook and tagged them so she could see them on her page, and she removed all the tags….erasing them from her page.

I love the holidays, but this year will not be happy ones for me.  My birthday falls between Christmas and the new year and I doubt I’ll hear from any of the grandchildren or my 2 oldest children…..

And  that will make me cry more…..

Hugs and Love to all!  

Monday, November 7, 2011

Newest project addiction

  Last week I was hit with a sudden realization that my life is totally boring without football so I decided to do something.

I take THOUSANDS of photos…..sometimes I print them, sometimes I use them in Videos I make.  Often times though, I just move them from the camera, to the computer, to a hard drive.

Waiting to hear from the coaches about the Banquet, I decided to make something as a gift for the Head coach who I have great respect for and have worked with now for 5 seasons….I went to the local craft store and bought a scrap book.  Last month the store where I usually print all my photos had a special for their employees….of which my husband is one….50% off all photos….So I got busy.  I had 10 coupons for $1 off orders of 25 photos or more….I made up 4 packs of photos from the football games and ordered them on-line….my husband and I also get 10% off all purchases on top of the special offers….so basically I got over 100 photos for under $4!!  I placed several other orders to make sure I could use up as many of the $1 coupons I could before they expired.

My trip to the craft store was to get just the right album, some theme pages and stickers to add to the ones I had at home already….and see if there was anything new I needed to add.  I found a scrapbook that looked like a football.  Perfect! I had several pages already that were football themed and I had some football theme stickers but I found many more I wanted to use too.  Then it was all a matter of organization.

I set the album up to include a title page and a “Coaches” page….Then using the individual tea, photos I make a point to take every year, I made pages up of the individual players as a yearbook would be.  Using Vellum, I printed a team roster. Some pages were set up to go with the banners I had made this season….I printed pictures of the banners and trimmed photos to fit the pages.  I had a blast!

Not wanting to leave anyone out, I also made pages for the Cheer Leaders.  I had some cheer stickers that went along with the football stickers and added them, too. Since I didn’t take many pictures of them actually cheering, I used ones I had taken at the Cheer Expedition….so I am very thankful that I went to the Championship games.

I was so excited when I finally finished the book, that it inspired me to do more.  I have some metallic markers that I may use to get the boys to sign the inside covers of the book.

And now wit’s just a matter of waiting for the banquet to present my “Masterpiece”.

Last night, another flash of brilliance came to me….A long time ago, I had set up an scrapbook with pages to make a family scrap book….there are pages for holidays, Family Genealogy, special occasions like graduations, seasons….etc.

I have boxes of left over photos from other photo albums I have created…..I spent a couple of hours last night going through a small portion of these….my son is home today and getting ready to kick me off the computer… I am going back to my room and work on this project….I will take photos and post them later of both projects….

It should keep me out of trouble for about a week….or maybe bore….I hope!

My mood is upbeat…so the photos will bring back smiles of long ago….

Hugs and Love to all!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

I AM……

How do you define yourself?

I used to define myself as a married mother of 4 with 8 grandchildren….

Now, I am unsure of how I want to describe myself….Mother of 4 doesn’t seam right when only 2 children consider me their “Mom” anymore….The 2 oldest ones that I worked so hard to raise as a single mother for over 3 1/2 years of their early life don’t want anything to do with me….

Grandmother of 8 doesn’t sound right as the only contact I have with any of the 8 is an occasional posting on Facebook.  I have tried by texting or calling them. I send them cards, pictures and letters.  I pay the cell phone bill for my youngest grand-daughter….But my letters, texts, calls, etc. go unanswered or even acknowledged…..unless they need money. My contact is limited to checking their Facebook pages for recent photos, activities….anything to make me feel a part of their lives. My grand-daughter doesn’t even want me posting on her page.

Even the “married” part doesn’t seem right…After 31 years of marriage, I have nothing to show for it.  My “husband” barely acknowledges me.  On paydays he hands the money, or asks for a ride to the Flea market where he stays on the weekends…But no love, no kisses, no hugs….The last time we went anywhere together as a couple was when I demanded to go out to eat for my 25th wedding anniversary….and ended up paying for it myself…I don’t get presents, I don’t even have a set of wedding rings. I wear a ring I inherited from my Dad when he passed….It was his dad’s.

Now if I said I’m an unemployed, cook, housekeeper, pet care giver, taxi service who lives with 3 adult men…who although related never consider I need more….then that is more accurate. My middle son would do more if he could. He is my constant companion and seems to know when I need comforting, or cheering up.

I don’t even feel like a part of a family anymore.

I moved away from my parents and siblings because my husband and, at the time, my daughter wanted to be near his family. She wanted away from the drama in a quiet setting.  His father had just passed away and he wanted to be near his mother and siblings….But now that we are here, we are no more a part of their lives than we were when we lived near mine. At least when I lived near mine, they called every day and we spent time together.  His family gets together 3 times a year….Thanksgiving, Christmas and a summer family “reunion”…and every year, less family shows up.In almost 10 years, I am there as an outsider….to take pictures; but never be in any. The rest of the year, no one calls, or stops by….unless they want something from one of us….like me to take pictures so they don’t have to pay a real photographer.

Is it so wrong to want more?

No wonder I stay depressed and on the verge of tears most days….If it wasn’t for my 2 dogs, I’d probably never get out of bed…..