Wednesday, December 29, 2004


Woo! What a long time since I've last blogged! I hope my blog-friends have not given up on me!

What's been going on since we've last spoken? Well, I stayed with my friend Carrie until mid-afternoon on the 20th and then headed home to hurriedly do laundry, clean the house, spend quality time with my cats, and pack. Then Tuesday the 21st, I got on a plane to DFW!

I spent the first 29 years of my life in and around the DFW area. The first time I left was when I came out to Atlanta 8 years ago. It's nice to go back to the ole "stompin' grounds," however it's not really home anymore. I felt such a sense of coming home when I looked out the window of my plane today and saw the Atlanta skyline.

That's not to say that I didn't have a good time in Texas, because I did. I mainly hung out with my friend, Andrea, and her family. Andrea and I have been friends since I was 8, so her family thinks I'm one of theirs - and I am.

It snowed for almost a whole day while I was there! In the DFW part of Texas, that's rare. You might get a few flurries, but not a good solid snow shower for the entire day! It was so beautiful!

It was frigidly cold, however, I didn't complain because after such a mild fall, it finally felt Christmasy.

I got to eat plenty of Tex-Mex! There is something about Tex-Mex that just can't be duplicated outside of the borders of Texas.

I also got my Whataburger fix. Whataburger is a burger joint that mainly inhabits Texas and the surrounding states. There's nothing really spectacularly wonderful about them, except they are something from "home."

Andrea's family was very generous to me on Christmas Day. It seems like I always show up at their house empty handed, but they would think of not having something for me under the tree.

As a matter of fact, many of my friends were very generous with me! I've said it before, and I'll say it again - I have the best friends and family!!!

Outside of Andrea's family, I got to hang out with Susan and Darla, my step-mom Joanna, and the Stockton's. I didn't get to see Holli and Keva this time, which saddened me, but I guess it just wasn't meant to be.

I got a fun Christmas package from my sister and brother-in-law! I got some of the BEST slippers, a cosmetic bag, and a gift card.

Lesley was kind enough to pick me up from the airport, rather than making me ride MARTA, which was a godsend. My bags were sooo heavy and dragging them on the train would have been a bitch!!!

I got home and my sweet kitties were waiting for me and were very happy to see me. Lesley and her sister Rani took wonderful care of them while I was gone. I walked in to a big pile of mail that included several Christmas Cards and a package from my niece, Amanda and her family! She sent me a really cool pottery cup! What a wonderful welcome home that was!

All in all, it was a great Christmas vacation! However, I am very glad to be back home. I hope you and yours had a great holiday, as well.

I think this goes without saying, but I'm going to say it anyway - Please say an extra prayer and/or send up an extra good thought for the people that were involved with the tsunami in the Indian Ocean.

...and as Tiny Tim said in that famous Dickins story, "God Bless us every one!"



Sunday, December 19, 2004

Cold, Almost Snowy, Sunday afternoon 

My friend Carrie had a hysterectomy on Wednesday. I sprung her from the hospital yesterday and I have been staying with her and trying to keep her sedentary. She's not the best patient in the world, because she isn't comfortable having people do for her, but she's trying.

For all intents and purposes, she basically had a c-section and birthed a bouncing baby tumor that was 7 pounds! Geez Louise! I'm very thankful to not have fibroid tumors and I don't think our family has a history of them. After several conversations with her girlfriends, we helped her see that she needed to keep her ovary if at all possible, and luckily it was possible.

I went to Publix to get her some groceries. Carrie lives in Buckhead and the Publix here has a very different conglomeration of folks that frequent it. There were ancient ladies very carefully walking very slowly around the store and there were yuppies, fresh from their Pilates class, dashing in for some Soy Milk, and everything in between.

I came back to the house and one of Carrie's friends came by with Squash and Pear soup, a loaf of french bread, some salad, and some pound cake. Carrie's friend is a massage therapist and reflexologist and she did some reflexology on Carrie's feet. It was very interesting, and relaxing, just to watch.

We spent the evening watching TV and movies. We watched "White Chicks." OH! What a disappointment! I was so hoping it would be funny but it was nothing but dreadful.

Today we have been watching all the cooking shows on the Food Network. Carrie has an aversion to the Barefoot Contessa. I kinda like her. She's very Martha Stewart-ish, but cool, none the less.

We looked outside and saw a few flakes of snow falling. It was so nice! It's supposed to get down to 15 degrees here tonight, so we are snuggling in and watching more movies!

I finally have gotten Carrie to lay down for a bit of a nap and I thought I would catch up with all of you. I hope that you are enjoying whatever this day is bringing for you.



Wednesday, December 15, 2004

Time for an Update!

My sister advised me that it's time to update my blog friends what's going on in the "Wonderful World of Joan!" I try to do what my sister asks me to do, so here goes!

Well, since my last post many wonderful things have happened. I have many sweet comments from my blogging community, I have had several really supportive emails, I have had several surprises of folks just giving me money and I have had several people really step up and say, "Joan, where can I help?"

As it stands right now, almost all of my bills have been paid for December INCLUDING my car payment which I was really worried about. Not only that, I have had the offer of a place to stay when my lease ends 1/31/05. Can I say that a million pound boulder has been lifted off my shoulders? Whew!

Those who know me well, know that my stepping up and saying, "Hey, I'm going through a tough time here and need your support," is a big break through moment for me. I come from a long line of folks who kept secrets and suffered in silence on one side of the family tree. On the other side of the family tree is the line of folks who had a tendency to want to find the easy way out of a bad situation. I'm breaking both of those cycles and that is so cool!

I've still got some challenges ahead of me. I'm sending resumes out like a mad woman. I've still got rent and bills for January to come up with, but I feel like it will all work out.

I have such good friends and such wonderful family. I am so incredibly fortunate. I can't begin to express how appreciative I am to everyone that thought of me, prayed for me, blogged for me, sent me emails, gave me money, paid my bills and just generally loved me. I thank God for each and every one of you. Know that I will never forget your kindness.

Man, am I a lucky dame, or what?



Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Putting myself out there...

What I'm about to say makes me very uncomfortable. I HATE that I'm in the situation I'm in, and yet, I am. I'm trying to learn what I can from the situation, but right now, all I feel is really, really achingly raw and vulnerable.

I haven't worked since January 24, 2004. I have used up my pension and my entire 401k to make it to this point today. However, that money has dried up completely. What I currently have in my wallet is the money I have left.

I have been very, very fortunate to make it as far as I have and I am truly thankful that I've been taken care of. My friends and family have been very generous to me and I can't begin to express my appreciation for that.

I have been homeless before. It really sucks. I don't want to be homeless again. I finally have a car that I can be proud of and it would kill me if it got repossessed. Crazily enough, my credit is the best it's ever been after working SO hard to get it back in check and to lose that would be so sad.

My faith tells me to believe that God will take care of me. I do believe that. I don't think I would have gotten this far without a belief that God wants only the best for me. At the same time, flashbacks to how my life was when I was homeless and owned nothing terrify me beyond comprehension. Therefore, as much as I want to invest myself 100% in the idea that I have nothing to worry about because God wants what is best for me, I can't. I really, really want to, but my fear holds me back. So rather than being 100% invested, I'm probably about 50%, which makes me feel somewhat ashamed.

In addition, this year has not only been about my being unemployed. It's also been about finally dealing - and I mean REALLY dealing - with some demons from my past. In the past, I was so good at pretending that everything was OK, but as the years wore on, I really sucked at pretending everything was OK. My mask, that had once been steel, became paper thin. I was depressed - not blue - not upset - not sad - but really, really depressed. I was never suicidal, but I did come to the conclusion that the world would not be that changed if I wasn't around. There were long periods of time where doing anything other than watching TV and playing video games was just unfathomable.

Thanks to some very good friends and family, I finally got some help. I found a low cost, but WONDERFUL therapist, and was able to get on anti-depressants for a very low cost. After 6 months of therapy and drugs, I can say that I'm finally starting to feel good again. However it has taken almost all of that time to finally start feeling on an even keel.

So that brings me to today. I apply for jobs daily, but nothing has come through for me yet. My bank account is empty and my wallet is very thin. However, I am feeling mentally a whole lot better.

Why am I telling you all of this? Well, I believe in the power of prayer and the power of positive thoughts. My friend, if you could, I would really appreciate your positive prayers and/or your positive thoughts that I will find a job very soon and therefore be able to keep a roof over my head, a car to drive to and from my new job, as well as keep my credit standing decent.

If you feel led to share this with others that might be willing to offer their positive prayer and/or positive thoughts for me, I would be estatic if you did that.

In return, I offer you my undying gratitude and appreciation.

Thank you, thank you, thank you!



Wednesday, December 01, 2004

Alicia likes pudding!

The following is a series of pictures taken of my great-niece, Alicia, on Thanksgiving Day. (Is that what's she's called when she's my nieces kid?)

The redhead in the second picture is none other than my sister!




HEY! I must have pudding NOW! Posted by Hello

YOU! You have the pudding connection! Posted by Hello

No more pesky spoons when I have 10 fingers! Posted by Hello

Pudding tastes even better when you lick it off he plate! Posted by Hello

That was some tasty pudding! Posted by Hello

It even smells good! Posted by Hello

Please don't take the plate away...I want more pudding! Posted by Hello

C'mon! Give me some more pudding! Posted by Hello

Please God - send more pudding! Posted by Hello
I can finally play it as a word in Scrabble!

The word "blog" will be listed in the newest edition of Merriam-Webster's dictionary! Read more about it here.



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