Saturday, December 31, 2011

I've got a hitch in my get-along!

The oddest things make me happy.  It seems I'm not the only one limping these days.  I look at people my age and older and realize that my handicap is growing faint because my AGE is making the side effects of my handicap second nature for everyone around me.  Steve says all the time he can't get his hips started when he gets up and limps for about 10 steps before finally straightening out.  My Mom has a bad hip and it takes her, what seems like forever to get moving, but once she's up, she's still a race horse.  My Dad is so funny.  It takes him FOREVER to get out of a vehicle!  I can almost have my groceries in the cart before he makes it through the sliding doors.  I thought I would never see the day, but it has arrived.  This Happy Handicap has more dexterity than a lot of folks around me!  Sloane had gallbladder surgery over the holiday break and she even had to ask me to slow down in Ingles the other day.  That's another sad topic that grocery stores actually excite me these days!

I am looking forward to 2012!  Are you?  I have set myself some goals, not resolutions!  I want to lose another 10 pounds.  I lost 12 in 2011 and want to add to that victory.  I also want to speak and share my testimony at least two times a month.  You can help me with this goal.  If your church would entertain the idea of me sharing my story at some point, please email me at  and I will be overjoyed to contact them.  My third goal is to finish one of the books I have started.  You can help me with this goal too.  Please leave me a comment on facebook and let me know which title you would be most interested in reading:  How to lose your life for Jesus or How to land your man the old fashioned way!  My fourth goal is to re-enter the college world and seek a degree in Christian Counseling.  Wish me luck!  My 5th goal and final written goal is to recruit travelers for my group tour to Venice, Florence and Rome, Italy.  For more information please contact me or click here

My final thought for 2011.  I am currently reading Bill Clinton's new book "Back to Work" and Steve Jobs' biography concurrently.  I'm figuring when I get finished with both, sometime in early January 2012, I should be able to solve our current economic crisis on an Apple "i" device!  Happy New Year!

Gettin' along pretty well,
The Happy Handicap

Saturday, December 24, 2011

All I want for Christmas is memories!

Who knew? Just who knew that in 2011, technology would have changed so much that it would control my memories?  Actually, the technology is being controlled by a photographer but I am still a slave to it.  All I want for Christmas is memories from my daughter's wedding this year.  One little hard plastic disk with data.  Data that has magically embedded four hours of one day in October 2011 that cannot be relived or recreated.  I'm not a very sentimental person either but I would love to have the pictures from my daughter's wedding. But I want you to know, if we don't get them, I'm still a very happy, sorely disappointed, handicap!  My emotions run deep today and it feels better to talk about them. :)

On a lighter note, with faint kidney stone pain and everyone present and accounted for, we opened our gifts this morning.  I got things I've been wanting, a blow dryer, an iPhone car charger, Sydnee happily married, the new Bill Clinton book "Back to Work", a nice stand mixer, a successful gallbladder surgery for Sloane and money.  I'm already reading the Steve Jobs biography and I'm figuring that when I finish both books, I'll be able to use my Apple "i" products to solve the current world economic crisis!  I got Steve a Cracker Barrel rocking chair, maybe he'll have it put together by the time he retires! lol 

I hope each of you create a memory or two of your own this Christmas.  We are all blessed beyond comprehension in our least favorite moments.  I don't really even like pictures but the day of my daughters wedding, I was so busy making sure everything was going correctly (being Tammy) that I didn't really "enjoy" the day, I was managing it without a thought that we would still be picture-less 10 weeks after the wedding.  Pictures are nice but I've learned a valuable lesson.  Don't rely on them to enjoy and reminisce big events in your life.  Breathe in each moment you live embedding your own data or images into your brain and then you can random access them whenever you choose, even without a power supply.

Merry Christmas,
The Happy Handicap

Thursday, November 17, 2011

things every woman should know about men

i have learned so much in 26 years of marriage that i can't possibly post it all.  i created a video that says it better.  the video can be watched from the video bar.  It shows how a wife should treat her husband!

i've learned that the way to a man's heart is not through his stomach.  i don't disagree that men love good cookin', but i've always wondered about this cliche because according to the human body, once you've reached a man's stomach, you've already passed his heart!  what about women who can't cook?  do men not love them?  the answer is yes they do because food doesn't have anything to do with the heart nor a man's love.  if a man loves you, he'll like your cookin' whether it's good or not.  for example, if i burn dinner, steve says "i love burnt biscuits or i like mine burned", whatever it takes to make me feel good.  lesson #1:  the way to a man's heart is to be sure he loves you before you start cooking for him!

i've also learned that the phrase "if momma ain't happy, nobody ain't happy" should be like this "if daddy ain't happy, nobody ain't happy"!  You're probably wondering how to keep daddy happy?  here's how:
1.  If he's mowing or working outside, always carry him a drink of water
2.  If you borrow one of his tools, return it to it's proper place the same day
3.  Don't borrow his beard trimmers to cut anything
4.  When using the bathroom, please close the door
5.  When positioning a tv in a room, make sure the sun don't effect the picture
6.  If you drive his truck, make sure the seat and mirrors are back in their original position
7.  His place setting at the table should include a big fork, a big glass and a big plate
If you're laughing because some of these sound familiar, our men could make the list for making momma happy and it would sound just as ridiculous and petty!

I've also learned that:
  • My husband is part of me. I wouldn't treat myself poorly, so don't treat him poorly
  • Whatever I need, he's also been able to provide
  • When I cry, he can make me laugh 
  • When I'm weak, he's strong
  • Trust, honesty and commitment are priceless
  • He's smarter than you think, listen to him
  • Nurture his dreams, fulfill his desires
I could go on and on.  I am so thankful for my husband and my marriage.  I know God created him just for me.

Happy 26th anniversary to me,
The Happy Handicap

Friday, October 21, 2011

the MOB dress!

Well. Sunday, October 16, 2011, my oldest daughter Sydnee married her childhood sweetheart James Leroy Epperson III, better known as Trey! Now you know I worried about this wedding. I wanted everything to be perfect, the timing, the sound, the food, the cake, the band, etc. etc. I also wanted the mother of the bride, ME, to look nice. You know I can't wear high heels or any dress shoe comfortably because I'm handicapped. So, with that in mind, I decided to buy myself a nice dress at a boutique in Marietta. You always need a good reason to justify buying an expensive dress and I HAD ONE!  The boutique had nothing in the store that I liked so I mail ordered a dress out of a catalog from New York City! No joke! I really did. It took about 6 weeks to get it because it was made when it was ordered.

On my way to the boutique for the first try-on, I was getting anxious. I had worked hard to lose 12 pounds and obviously wanted people to notice it! When I put the dress on, I looked like a scaly whale or an oompa loompa on the downswing of singing Dippity Do!  You know, the point where they are their shortest, bobbing up and down to the beat of the music. For a good laugh, check out the pic below.  And yes, after I looked at it once, I couldn't look at it again, I closed my eyes shut.....tightly!

If you could have seen the look on my Mom's face when I walked out of the dressing room in that dress!  Despite the fact that I looked like I had gained 45 pounds, all she could talk about was covering up my cleavage which was the only thing that DID look good in my mind!  I left the shop shaking my head wondering how in the world could the seamstress and the shop owner tell me I looked good in that dress?  Because they sold it to me, that's how!  My Mom kept right on trying to convince me "It didn't look that bad" she said and "I wish I had paid more attention to the dress you ordered.  I could have told you those pleats would make you look big"!  I said, "Mom, you are not helping and I am not wearing that dress.  I refuse to pay $!X%#@ for a wedding and arrive at it looking like a hog ready for slaughter!"  Anyway, I went to Macy's that same afternoon and found the dress I wore to Sydnee and Trey's wedding.  I was very happy with it.  I looked the way I had imagined and we took it home.  Feast your eyes on this one!

Quite the difference!  Now there was only one other thing wrong.  The overlay of the dress was so sheer that my Mom's sewing machine would not hem it without pulling the material.  I took it to the cleaners in Chatsworth to see if they could hem it and he said he couldn't do it, material too sheer.  I asked if he knew who could and he said "Not in this town".   So, I decided to just cut off the dress and not hem it and pray it wouldn't ravel.  I took the attitude of "If anybody notices it's not hemmed, they shouldn't be looking that closely".  It did ravel a bit and Can you believe I had two people that day tell me my dress was coming unhemmed?  One woman and yes, one man!  Unbelievable. The bride was gorgeous, the weather was beautiful, the band was amazing, the food was great, and so on but they were interested in my dress hem!  

The moral of this story is (1) Never, ever buy a dress from a catalog that you haven't tried on, (2) People will notice if your dress is not hemmed and (3) the Mother of the Bride (MOB) has to look skinny no matter what!

Unraveled and hemmed in,
The Happy Handicap

Monday, September 19, 2011

Falling and Feelings

Aaahhh Fall! That's what most people think. My daughters love Fall and my husband just loves living period, doesn't voice a particular feelings about any season. Fall is beautiful but it is just that, a fall. We are falling into winter, which sometimes feels like a dark chasm to me. The trees become bare, the grass dies, the ground doesn't produce for several months and the corner of the world we are in is dark more than it is light. God knew winter needed some Light, he sent Jesus in December! We experience the shortest, darkest day of the year in December. Thank God for Christmas, that great Christmas feeling lasts, for me, right up until we are Springing into Summer!

Enough about feelings, nothing more than feelings, trying to forget my feelings of.........have you ever read someone breaking out in song? For you old timers, you will remember that popular song, "Feelings". The rest of you should youtube-it for quite the treat! Anyways, my mom's dog hates me! She's a white pomeranian with orange highlights and her name is Peachie. She looks like a peach, fuzzy all over. Click in the video bar at the left, on the second video right above the YouTube logo and you can see Peachie in action!

Peachie is a great daughter to my mom and dad, a great auntie to my daughters, a nice sister-in-law to Steve, but she is not a good sista to me. My mom lovingly says she doesn't like my scent, what?? I don't like Peachie's scent either but I don't try to bite her! I think she discriminates against handicapped people and it's my limp she doesn't like! She's prejudice to the core. My Mom rescued her from the pound. Her former owners were a hispanic family. I think it may be my dark hair and dark features she doesn't like and most hispanics are short! You can see from the video that she really doesn't like me. This is a video when mom first adopted her, she's over a year old now and she will almost peel my skin back biting me these days!

My daddy calls her Peaches which drives my mom up a wall but, he calls my dog Shorty and his name is Hermie! I call his dog Cookie and her name is Candy! My mom likes the dog because she is pretty! I asked her if she would have sent me back if I had been uglier. What am I thinking? She almost didn't bring me home from the hospital! lol I love joking around about my family and our pets. I love all our pets and all of them are so loving to me except Peachie. She better watch out for me, I wonder if Taco Bell is needing any meat? I'm just not feelin' her!

Just kidding,
Tammy, The Happy Handicap

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Throwing my Hands Up!

Have you ever watched that movie "The Emperor's New Groove"?  I feel like Yzma when her and Kronk were riding the roller coaster to the lab and he said "Yzma, put your hands in the air"!  My hands are in the air, throwin them up, and saying go figure.  But, don't go figure because it will never add up, not in real life or in your head.  Below are some things I find strange today:

1.  Why are you told to eat fiber when you get older?  The fiber may move your insides but it can't move your outsides any faster!  Hands up, figuring on how to get to the bathroom more quickly!

2.  Why does Steve invite me to pick worms off the tomatoes and then gather them when every time I make homemade salsa for him, he carries the PACE to the table?  Hands up, figuring maybe he just overlooked the big bowl of bright, beautiful, red stuff with the tortilla chips sitting right next to it!

3.  Why do people still use the word crippled when being politically correct is so popular?  Two hands way up and figuring it's so 2008 and they're so 2000 and late!

4.  Why do people think I don't notice them staring at my feet?  Wishing I could fly away with two hands and arms in the air and figuring I am just too interesting not to stare at!

5.  Why do people get bad attitudes as they get older?  Hoping to get on a roller coaster and get my hands high in the air and figuring I'll just go to Disney World and ride in a hoveround!

I love Disney World and I think everyone should see it snow on Main Street USA at least once in their lifetime! 

Dreaming of Fantasyland,
Tammy, the Happy Handicap

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Ahhh! A Night and Day in Savannah

our trip to savannah to check my air conditioning started at 4:00 pm when steve got home from work on a tuesday afternoon.  we went by college and picked up sloane because the trip held more than just a check of my a/c but i've signed a contract and obligated myself not to tell.  after we picked up sloane, the adventure began straight through downtown atlanta.  i was driving so fast until i hit that downtown traffic stop that my a/c was working perfectly.  remember, it works when i'm going fast but not when i'm going slow.  steve kept telling me to watch this car and watch that car until i had to crank the a/c on frigid because i was so nervous and perspiring.  sloane said "don't worry dad, she won't hit them, they are not parked".  sloane is so smart because she is right.  my car has this uncanny tendency to gravitate toward parked cars and smash right into them.

we rode right on down south and at some unknown point decided to stop and eat at cracker barrel.  we all like to eat at cracker barrel because they always have a chair waiting for you on their porch and a BIG checkerboard with BIG checkers.  i reckon they like handicap people because they save me a parking spot right at the door and then greet me sometimes by opening the door.  what makes cracker barrel special to me is they don't discriminate against short people with handicaps!  have you ever noticed they keep them adult-size rockers and the handicap-size rockers both on the porch right next to one another?

once inside, i was headed to the hostess station to put down our name.  there was a woman standing in front of me pickin at the candy display, pickin up every kind of candy on the shelf, examining it and puttin it back down.  the hostess looked up, caught my attention and i said, 3 please!  steve, being his usual kind self, proceeded to tell me that sloane and i had jumped right in front of that woman fiddlin with the candy and he openly told the woman to excuse us that we were rude.  i started to tell him and her that she didn't need to be fiddlin with the candy that if she would go on and get a table they would feed her real food but i didn't want to be rude twice.  the hostess seated the woman and then came back and asked me how many?  i simply replied "two rude and one nice"!

when we got seated, sloane noticed something white on her dad's shirt.  she said "dad, what's that on your shirt?" he looked at it and hurriedly brushed it off.  she said "what is it, dandruff?" and he said "NO! it's pieces of skin falling out of my nose".  we started laughing so hard because he was so embarrassed.  he said "shhhhh, don't tell everyone they will be staring at my nose".  we didn't care much and kept right on laughing because we were thinking it served him right for saying we were rude when we really weren't.  steve has a terrible case of eczema and it causes skin to fall off of him in several places.  sometimes i think i'm married to a reptile because of the skin he leaves laying around, long and round pieces that i'm not sure where they came from.

i saw the cutest plate in cracker barrel that said gobble till you wobble and i thought since i already wobble without the gobble that i would adapt this as my new fall saying.....gobble when you wobble!  i think i will add a real turkey gobble to it when i say it (at least as close to a turkey as i can sound).  i think it will be a funny addition to our fall activities!  with this cool weather coming on, the decision on my air conditioning is that i think it can wait until next summer to repair.  i'm startin to like riding with my windows down.  it accomplishes several things at one time, 1) gives me a new hairdo, 2) cools me down a bit and 3) the humidity hydrates my skin!  i've included a pic below.  steve says this is what i look like after we take a trip!

feeling fallish,
tammy, the happy handicap

Brad called!  He wants his sexy back!

Saturday, August 20, 2011

what a weekend!

last sunday, steve and i had the opportunity to entertain three guys from l.a., that's los angeles, california not lower alabamie!  they were here doing a music video for our future son-in-law, trey's band and trey asked me to cook breakfast for them.  now since these californians didn't know me and know that i am a happy handicap, i thought i might present myself in something that would make them think i'm just "normal" little me.  i told sydnee and sloane that i was gonna wear my long dress instead of my normal pair of shorts so they couldn't see my fine legs and maybe, just maybe they wouldn't notice i limp!  (i included a pic of me in my dress below)

well, the breakfast went great.  i made biscuits (from the freezer) but they thought they were homemade and since they didn't ask me directly, i didn't tell them no different.  i had never made that much gravy to feed 11 people so my girls and me said a prayer over it while i was puttin it together.  it was the best gravy i have ever made, no joke!   i had cream cheese danish with some fruit that sydnee fixed in a pretty plate all fancy-like and scrambled eggs.  one of the guys from l.a. said that everything is fresher in georgia.  he said the milk tastes fresher and he told me my eggs were the best he had ever eaten, no fibbing.  he asked me how i got them so fresh and i told him it was because i had just gone outside that morning and lifted the chicken off of them, brought them in and put them in the pan while they were still warm from the hen's feathers.  his eyes got really big and wide and wanted to go see the chickens.  at that point, i had to come clean and tell him, nah, i got them from the grocery store like everybody else and i couldn't figure why my eggs were any better than anyone else's!  i started to tell them my theory of my being short helps me cook better because i am so close to the stove and the pans, it's like having a birds eye view and I don't over stir!

the conversation at breakfast went smoothly and just about the time the guys were about to leave, steve turns to them and says "Guys, y'all don't know anyone in l.a. that works with silicone, do you?" and i thought, oh no!  yep, he continued right on to say, well, tammy's handicapped and she wears custom silicone prosthetics and i was wondering if you knew anybody in the movie business that works with silicone that might tell us how to make her some feet!  they didn't know anybody and i just acted like i didn't even notice he said anything.  i decided right then and there that if i was ever gonna try and mask my handicap again, i would definitely let steve in on the plot!  i love him because i know he always has my best interest at heart and was trying to help me get my feet cheaper where he could buy me more pairs of them. the la guys didn't blink an eye so i'm pretty sure they had already noticed i limp.

after our guests left, steve invited me out to our small garden to help him look for worms and pick them off the tomato plants.  i don't particularly like to do this exercise but steve loves it and he says it gives us some together time and increases our tomato harvest.  i think it just makes me hot and my feet hurt and he's much more interested in the worms than he is being with me.  i don't know about yours but our tomato plants have about quit bearing and i told steve just let the worms eat the plants and the tomatoes too if they want them!

next week i'll tell you about our trip to savannah to test out my air conditioning.  you won't want to miss that post!  talk to you then...

bye now,
Tammy, the happy handicap

Saturday, August 13, 2011

tests and trips

Steve and I took a trip to the supermarket this week.  See him above holding some ginger root?  He's not considering buying this, he's telling me that the root looks like my toes, you know I only have two toes per foot.  I must admit there is a striking resemblance.  Did you know that ginger root is $6.00 per pound?  I told Steve that if we ever got to needing money real bad, I could see about cutting off my toes and selling them to the supermarket.  I've had several doctors suggest amputation already so I'm sure they would be willing plus we could call them "organic" and get $8.00 per pound.  Steve said he wasn't sure that the ginger root would ooze red stuff like my toes but if need be he could come back and do a test to see.  I thanked him for his offer to help and told him since he was so nice, I'd surely take one for the team and take that $8.00 per pound to the bank!

My air conditioning is on the fritz in my car and the repair shop estimated $2400 to fix it.  Steve asked me if I thought I could make it through the summer without it and I said I didn't know.  He asked me when I would know and I told him I would probably know after a short trip.  So, I scheduled a trip to Savannah next week.  He wanted to know why a trip would help me make up my mind.  I told him my air works when the car is moving fast but quits when I am idling and I'm pretty sure that the traffic idles a lot on River Street in downtown Savannah.  He was excited I had come up with such a good test and agreed to go with me to judge it for himself.  We'll let you know how hot we were when we get back and if I'll be able to do without the a/c.

One evening this week, Steve blew a gasket and we drove all the way to Cleveland, TN to get one.  I'm not sure where that teeny tiny gasket goes and on what but I'm sure he'll figure it out.  He's smart that way!  The next day after that, he decided he needed some cooling off because he was sweating so much trying to install that gasket.  His shop is not air conditioned!  I spent most of my day searching for him an air conditioning unit on that internet.  This time, we drove all the way to Lowe's in Kennesaw, GA to pick up an a/c unit for him.  I guess he couldn't make it through the rest of the summer without it!

While we were at Lowe's we shopped for some toilets for the home.  Steve is convinced we need a couple of them energy efficient flushers that saves power and water.  He told the salesman we need a short toilet because I have short legs.  I do have short legs but it was kinda embarrassing when the salesman made me sit on one of those toilets to see just how short of one I needed to do my business comfortably.  I thought it was a little much too when he looked for a ruler and he had a 25 ft. measuring tape swinging from his belt.  I was wondering why Steve even mentioned it.  But I know he had my best interest at heart, not to mention the environment and Georgia Power.

I forgot to mention I wanted to buy some of that  ginger root at the supermarket because I've heard there are some pretty fabulous dishes that can be made with it.  Steve told me "Nah" that he'd take me to one of them fancy Chinese restaurants in Dalton with the red dragons out front.  I got so excited because I've heard they have a bridge and a fish pond you walk over when you go through the door.  Steve told me he'd take me between 11 and 2 because they serve small portions then.  I feel so privileged to have a concerned husband who is always looking out for my weight and well being.  He said the prices are cheaper then too!  I can't wait!  I love my husband and our children.  We are just one happy family!

Until next time,
Tammy, the Happy Handicap

Saturday, July 30, 2011

my husband is my best friend

this post is about my best friend and he is truly my best friend!  if any of you know my husband steve, you will understand the love and humor that can only come from him.  if you have a husband that is your best friend and you two are truly in love, you will appreciate this post!

one evening, long ago, before i became the wife i am today, steve, the kids and i were having dinner.  we were discussing the topic of the day and i shook my little finger at him and made that popping noise with my mouth as to shame him for what he said.  well, he told me that if I didn't keep my mouth shut, he would slide me up under something.  i told him, no, he wouldn't and one thing led to another and the next thing i knew, steve had me out of my dinner chair, holding me by one arm and one leg and slide me right under the dining room table!  it was one of the funniest moments of our marriage to-date!  we laughed for 20 minutes non-stop.  so, if you see us and i start running my mouth and he gives me that look, you and i know what his eyes are communicating to me......if you don't hush, i'll slide you under something!

steve has pet names for me.  i'm sure your husband has pet names for you too!  albeit, i bet your husband doesn't have the material mine does to work with!  you know i just came out last year admitting that i am handicapped and only have two toes per foot.  well, one of steve's favorite pet names for me is ostrich hooves, referring to my feet of course.  he also refers to me lovingly as a gimp and threatens to give me the two-toed indian foot lick!  he calls me "tam", short for tammy.  he'll say, hobble on over here tam or can you pick up the channel changer "condor wings".  he thinks i have extremely long arms too.  i think he has some kind of weird foot fetish which suits me just fine.  if you are curious about this, pick up a copy of my book, Labeled by Humanity, Loved by God here.  there are pictures!

steve has many fine qualities that make him great at loving a disabled woman.  he hung me up a handicapped sign in the garage so no one else would get my parking place at home.  he insists that i cook dinner every night standing up so my feet and legs don't go numb from sitting.  he keeps a constant check on what I eat, he says my feet don't need any extra pounds to carry around.  he tells me when i need a haircut because he says i have enough trouble walking, don't need my hair falling down in my eyes blocking my view.  steve is so nice to me, i wish i could do something for him.  he's a leg man and i wish doctors had a leg job like i need but they don't and it's just my luck, i don't need a boob job!  steve's second and third toes on both feet are grown together and i keep telling him that doctors could probably fix that, it looks gross!

i'm joking! i'm joking!  nah, not really! steve and i have been married for almost 26 years and we love each other more now than we ever did.  we are best friends!  if you can't laugh with your spouse and make fun of each other, your marriage probably won't work.  you know it's not nice to make fun of other people, you;ve got to keep it in the family!

i'm his b-ride and he's my vgroom, vgroom!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

The Three Amigos

Donna, Nancy and I went for a nice dinner at Cafe Intermezzo in Downtown Atlanta this past weekend.  On a hot July day, the breeze was blowing exceptionally pleasant and we sat outdoors and enjoyed our time together.  My daughter Sydnee went with us too!

Nancy compared us to Steel Magnolias.  She was Shirley McClain, Donna was Dolly Parton, I was Sally Fields and Sydnee is Julia Roberts.  So, the tips below derived from our conversation that evening!  Enjoy!

1.  Never ever-ever consistently look better than your friend.  She will start avoiding you and will eventually quit being your friend!

2.  Don't talk about your children the entire visit even if you think they are perfect.  We love our unruly children and don't care to hear you droning on and on about precious little Susie and athletic little Bobby!

3.  Don't tell us how good your husband is to you!  We know you follow him around with a stick and if we saw him the tongue lashing would still be visible!

4.  Please limit your good news stories to 10! 

5.  Don't tell us your employer loves you!  Employers only love themselves!

6.  Don't wanna hear about your custom designed home decor when we can't afford "Design on a Dime"!

7.  Your Beamer don't need a nickname!  We know how much it costs, how much the insurance costs and how expensive the monthly maintenance is!

8.  Don't fork the lettuce from your petite salad and talk to me while waving it in my face.  I already noticed you ordered a salad!

9.  Don't sport your $1000 sandals and tell me you paid that much for them when I can't afford a root canal!

10.  Don't whine about being overweight!  Fire your yard man and attack that lawn like Richard Simmons doing "Sweatin to the Oldies" or you could walk your own dogs!

11.  Don't run down your list of prescription meds, it makes me feel bad about my own!

In the end, Nancy, Donna and I are truly friends, we love each other!  If you can find humor in these tips without getting mad, stomping your feet, puffing up and pouting, I know your friends love you too!

Friday, July 15, 2011

to friend or not to friend?

Great Friday morning everyone! I've had this question rolling around in my head for a week!  It reminds me of Shakespeare's "to be or not to be?" that is the question.  So let's talk about it!  It is a soliloquy because when Hamlet speaks it he is alone onstage.  I feel alone sometimes even when I'm with something or someone that I call a friend! 

Here are some examples:

Mmmmmm chocolate cake !  Should I friend this chocolate cake or not?  My mouth loves chocolate cake!  It's not so good for the rest of my body so when I'm eating it, I have a good time but afterward, I wish I hadn't!  I really shouldn't keep any of this in my house, because it doesn't sit innocently in a cake plate.  No!  It is calling my name incessantly, wanting my attention and friendship.  Only problem is, I don't get anything in return but a sweet, empty feeling.

Ahhhhhhh credit cards!  Should I friend these little magic plastic cards or not?  My buying habit loves them but my checkbook isn't loving them when the bills come!  Now, unlike the cake, these might actually be able to get me out of bind or help me pay for something if I friend them wisely or if I control them.  Maybe I should have one or two of these because they are less demanding of my attention and add value to my life!

Ohhhhhhh the medicine cabinet!  Should I friend my pills or not?  If you have any kind of medical condition, you need your meds.  They enable you to live a longer, improved life.  They may actually give you some life where without them you might die.  Antibiotics cure an infection, anti-inflammatories help your body remove inflammation that hurts and pain relievers can be a Godsend when used, not abused. 

The question is "to friend or not to friend", the answer is "yes, be a friend to all".  The examples I've used are exactly some of the people we encounter everyday.  Like chocolate cake, we meet people that may be sweet on the surface but leave us with a bitter taste in our mouth.  Like credit cards, we meet people that may help us but they are always calling in their debt and just like meds, we meet people that make us feel good on a daily basis 

The next time you meet someone new or maybe someone you already know, you can see them as cake, credit or medicine.  You can actually select the people you want to surround yourself with.  Everybody needs friends and everybody wants to be friended.  Just be careful and make sure you're a good friend.  You don't want people to view you as cake or empty satisfaction.  You might or might not want them to view you as a plastic credit card, offering them more buying power.  You want them to view you like medicine, something they need everyday, critical to their health and in most cases, can't live without!

Monday, July 4, 2011

friend or foe?

Happy 4th of July!  Today, being very thankful for an independent and free, United States of America, I started thinking about what it takes to be a friend or friendly.  The USA is friendly to most anyone who is friendly to her.  I am the same way, I bet you are too!  I looked up the definition of friend(ly) and the common two were "not hostile" or "one who is on good terms with another". 

Challenge #2:  During the next week, contemplate this - Are you on good terms with everyone you know?  Are you hostile toward anyone?  Is anyone hostile toward you?  Now, let me explain how I see this.  I can always make sure that I am on good terms with everyone and that I am not hostile toward anyone.  Alternately, if anyone is hostile toward me, and I know it, I can truly apologize for anything I have done toward them, talk about it with them and the rest is up to them.  I cannot create forgiveness in their heart, only mine.  So, challenge #2 is to decide if you are hostile toward anyone and forgive that person even if they have not asked for it!  Easy enough, right? 

Did you know that hostility or anger is dangerous to your health?  At least 20% of the general population has levels of hostility high enough to be dangerous to their health.  This fact is excepted from a 1993 report by Redford Williams, M.D. and Virginia Williams, Ph.D. called Anger Kills!  That  report is almost 20 years ago, can you imagine how that number has risen?

I'm coming clean!  I cannot think of one person or group that I am harboring any hostility toward.  I will admit that it took me some time to recover from quitting my job and nursing myself back to health, letting go of 10+ years of anger toward a company.  Hostility can build about anything!  I may not be hostile toward people but there is one thing I absolutely loathe!  I have included a pic below:

That's right!  I am hostile toward cleaning!  I don't like to clean anything, my house, my car, my teeth!  Of course, I do these things but I don't like them!  And, it's ok that I don't like them or are angry toward them!  It doesn't add years to my life but it also doesn't make me unfriendly to anyone (unless they meet me on a cleaning day!).  Cleaning physical things is hard and sometimes it's even harder to clean our attitude towards others.  Did you know some people even clean their home when they are hostile or angry?  I can't use that as therapy, it would make me even madder!  Anyways, this week, let's work hard to clean up ourselves, even if we don't like it, free ourselves and become independent of anger and hostility!  I bet you will like yourself better might make a new friend!

Monday, June 27, 2011

are you appealing or a peeling?

Well.....hello!  Did you take challenge #1 with me?  Meet someone new and remember their name?  I did!  Last week, I had two new experiences.  I met Krista who is the mother of my daughter's new friend Lauren.  They own Raspberry Row in downtown Dalton.  You might check it out sometime.  I also went to a retirement party for an old friend that I had not seen in a while.  There were about 50 people there I had never met and about 6 or 8 that I knew!  I met a grand total of 3 new people out of that crowd and remember their names, Andrea, Geoff and Earlene!  I think I passed the challenge, but, I woke up this morning wondering what makes people appeal to other people?  What makes someone interested in talking to me?  I can't think of one thing!

At one point during the retirement party, Laura and I, (Laura is my friend I went with) were hugging a wall just watching all the other people talk and have fun.  At this point, I started to discuss what makes people appealing and we could not answer the age old question.  We moved to a table just outside of the "social" imaginary line and ate hors d'oeuvres.  Food is always your friend and always appealing!  When dinner began, Laura and I were rescued by four sweet, younger-than-us guys we knew and luckily, we didn't have to occupy a table for two old, boring women. 

There was one lady there that worked the room.  She seemed very confident, very tall, very pretty, very tan, very low-cut tank top, nice jeans and a "presence".  I began wondering if that's what it takes to be appealing?  Then, I thought of my husband who would put her in the category of an "Amazon", meaning she is tall and big-boned and was thankful that she would not appeal to everyone.  So, at this event, I realized that, once again, it was my own mental block that caused me to shrink like a violet and take a back seat on the bus.  I woke up this morning accessing my success for last week asking myself, was i appealing or a peeling?  My picture is below:

Yep, a banana peel! What can you do with a banana peel?  Nothing!  You can at least make jelly out of apple peelings! lol  Wait a minute.  My mom uses banana peels to fertilize her rose bushes.  Now, that makes me feel better.  I'm seeing a ray of sunshine.  Yes, even a peeling, that you seemingly can't do anything with can be used.  So, this day, if I can't be appealing, not just yet, I will be happy as a peeling that is used to fertilize someone else to make them grow.  If I can see someone get stronger, grow larger, spread their roots, put on green leaves or bloom, I will be content with my progress, put one in the "win" column for Tammy.  After all, isn't that what being a friend is about? 

Monday, June 20, 2011

awkward or awesome?

ok.  this is my first blog and it's on a subject that is so important but most of us (including me) have overlooked it until now.  if you are like me, my general opinion is "people either like me or they don't" or "they can take me or leave me".  are you shaking your head in agreement?  if so, this blog is for you and especially for me!

at times, i can be awesome with people but most times, i am awkward.  you know the feeling.  you meet someone new or you see an old friend and you walk away from them thinking "what in the world did i just say?", "am i nuts?", "why didn't i complement that person?" or "why didn't i give them a hug?".  hugs are a whole 'nuther ballgame that i might play another day.  we'll get there but i'm starting with awkwardness pre-k right now.

awkward reminds me of the word aardvark.   just look at that guy!  he's got long ears, a long snout, a humped back, a long tail and really doesn't look like any other animal we see on a regular basis.  is that how you feel sometimes?  i do, especially when talking to people, even my family!  oh, did i also mention, he lives in a hole?  in african folklore, the aardvark is much admired because of its diligent quest for food and its fearless response to soldier ants.  we need to think of ourselves as the aardvark!  we will become admired because of our diligent quest for friends and our fearless response to people!  we will become less and less like the guy above and more and more like the guy below.
feast your eyes on arthur the loveable aardvark!  he's got lots of friends and rules the playground.  you may be wondering how i, the person who talks 90 miles a minutes could ever have a problem meeting people.  i usually fake it till i make it and then beat myself up for the next several days.  i love people and i want to be that person who can talk in any situation, illuminate a room and even, make people feel good!  if you have the same challenges with people that i do, follow my blog and we'll take this journey together.  i always feel safer when i have someone to travel with.

we will begin with a different challenge each week.  if you are serious about progress, please do this with me and share your results with me by emailing me at  ok. 

challenge #1:
meet one stranger this week.  it doesn't matter where you meet them, just make it someone that you don't even know their name.  but be sure you remember their name......they will hopefully move from the category of "acquaintance" to "friend"!