Thursday, June 30, 2011

No! Stop That!

In the last post, I acknowledged my self-loathing. I am aware of it. I know where it began. I know why I do it. Now, let's look at changing it.

I will say, "No! Stop that!" Then I will encourage myself like I would a friend who needed me to tell them to keep going, keep trying. I acknowledge that I am trying to change. I will focus on what I do well. I will forgive myself. I will state things in the affirmative...this could be comical.

NOT: I am fat and lazy.
RATHER: I like myself with a little padding and without an agenda. (EAEANT! Try again)
TA-DA!: I have been successful losing weight in the past, and I can do it again. I will get up and go for a walk.

Today I am in OSHA training. Not a lot to blog about. Maybe tomorrow will be more interesting. Today's positive thought...I WAS A GOOD TEACHER.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

I'm Not Very Good At Keeping Promises...

...especially in the five minutes it takes to fall asleep and especially when it comes to not beating myself up on the inside.

Self loathing is something everyone struggles with at some point or other. It's easier for me to love everyone else than myself...always has been. I do my most self damage from the moment I click off the lamp until my body takes mercy on my mind and drifts off to dreamland. Last night's inner dialog:

"Did you set the alarm for 6 so you would get up and walk? Look at it to be sure...lazy. You're never going to change anything, are you? You should get back up and put away the laundry that your husband washed for you. He also cooked your favorite dinner and took the girls to Hobby Lobby. When are you going to quit feeling sorry for yourself and get back into life? Your sister would be so disappointed in you. You always let everybody down..." ZZZZ

Sounds pretty bad when I write it all down. Sometimes it goes on so long and gets so ugly I start counting backwards from 100 by sevens to keep my hatefulness at bay. The only good news in this is that I HAVE stopped doing the same thing to my image in the morning...don't want to send me to work with a complex or anything. Geesh!

MySarah told me last week I have to find one thing I love about myself and focus on that. I have it picked but when there's so much more of me than that one thing, the balance is lost. FOCUS! FOCUS! FOCUS! Hocus Pocus! You've shed 30+ years of self-loathing and are self-loving! Ah to dream...

How to Stop Self Hatred:
1. Be aware of it (check).
2. Find out where the negative self-talk originated (we won't go here in a public forum, but, yes, I know where this began).
3. Acknowledge the pay-offs (makes it easier to explain the outside if I can break down the inside).
4. Take conscience steps to stop the negative talk (to be continued).

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

This is Probably Going to Upset a Few...

What if there were 1,138 laws that benefitted and provided rights and privileges for anyone who didn't have blue eyes? What if more than 85% of the 50 United States didn't recognize your human right to marry the one you love because you have blue eyes? What if only 11.7 million people wore their blue eyes with pride in a sea of 311 million brown and green eyes? What if countless men and women wore colored contacts to hide their beautiful blue eyes?

Personally, my world is better for the men and women in it with blue eyes. They are my brothers and sisters by choice and by heart. I love them with all my being and would give them anything they asked. However, my love will not correct the atrocious wrongs inflicted by this country because of their blue eyes.

CHEERS, New York! Welcome to the modern world. I salute you from my home deep in the dark ages. I titled this "This is Probably Going to Upset a Few..." And I really don't give a flip! We are all God's children, and He loves us, everyone...just the way we are!

NOTE: I was excused from jury duty most likely because I am a child of postal carriers! :-D

Monday, June 27, 2011

Don't Laugh...I WILL Say "Duty"...Several Times

"There is no more valuable work that the average citizen can perform in support of our Government than the full and honest discharge of jury duty" (HANDBOOK FOR TRIAL JURORS SERVING IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTS. Published by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts, Washington, D.C. 20544).

YEP! I'm a big dork...I read the nine-page Juror Handbook this morning in lieu of my big day in court tomorrow. I'm prepared to be selected because in my mind it's 99.99% possible I will be chosen to perform my civic duty. My support is as follows:

In 2010, I received the first jury duty summons from the Eastern Texas U.S. District Court. I completed the questionnaire online and waited for my day to be called. Following directions, I called the toll-free number the night before only to find out that I was not needed. Insert sad emoticon...

In March of this year, DING! I was summoned again. I completed the online registry again and waited for my day in court. During my wait, I lost my best friend and sister. I was still "honest and intelligent... [and had] integrity," but I was too distraught to have "good judgment" (pg. 9). One call to the court, one message left, one call returned okaying my excuse, two automated voicemails telling me to appear, one more message left to the court seeking clarification, and one return call that I was excused later, and my civic duty was done. OR SO I THOUGHT!

Two weeks after sister's memorial service, Hubby Dearest came to me with a sheepish look and head hung low. He had intercepted the newest jury summons on Friday and hidden it until Sunday to give me a relaxed weekend. Sweet Man! "No freaking way!" I screamed. Wash, rinse, repeat...except this time, the automated information line called the week before to tell me my services were not needed due to court being cancelled. Alright! Once again with feeling..."Whew!" (Not really, I have always wondered what it would be like to sit on a jury...always called, never selected).

LUCKY ME! Two weeks ago, the neighbors could hear me. "YOU'VE. GOT. TO. BE. KIDDING. ME!" Yep, I had received another jury summons. Chad laughed uncomfortably. Wash, Rinse, Repeat. Beginning last Thursday, I started receiving the call from the automated information line stating that I should appear tomorrow (Tuesday, June 28) for jury duty. Then it called me again on Friday and Saturday. I am almost sure I'll get a call today. I think I am going to get selected for sure this time!

THE DOOTY OF THE DUTY: I have to wear a dress/pant suit (I only own one...please, DEAR LORD, let it fit!). The case could go until July 6 (did I mention I only own ONE suit!). You're not allowed any electronic entertainment to keep you occupied while you wait (guess I'll take a book...paper and ALL!). I have to miss work for however long it takes (at least they pay $44/day and mileage but that's still not as much as I make at work).

Friday, June 24, 2011

Oh, OTIS! I was wrong?!?

This one is for my girls, Skylar-Bear and Darby-Doo! Mark the calendar, Mrs. Jaimee was "WRONG!"

Last summer, Chad and I took Darby and Skylar to Bull Shoals for vacation (I might have mentioned this before, but hang on!). Because it was freaking AUGUST and because we had free rooms with ChadTravelPoints, we decided to stay in a hotel in Mountain Home and drive to our points of interest each day. Hotel name slips my addled brain at the moment but they gave us Otis Spunkmeyer muffins every morning and freshly baked Otis cookies every evening at 6 p.m. on the dot!

At each morning and evening meeting with our dear friend, Otis, the girls would say his name reverently, and I would respond, "Poor Otis...Otis Spunkmeyer. Poor, poor Otis! As a child on the playground, I bet he was picked on mercilessly for his name. Oh Otis! But he would grow up to show them all...wahahaaha! Cookies and muffins to you!"

Then, as if he were following us, Skylar spotted this sign in the descending elevator of the caverns we visited on our last day. Because the elevator was wall-to-wall tourist elbows, she pointed and whispered, "OTIS!"
I wriggled my camera up and got the shot! (See how much muffins and cookies can make you weigh...tsk...tsk...he was pudgy too...sniff)

All year long "Otis!" has been our love call among us gals. Therefore, I just had to make sure we took him along for this year's vacation. Darby and I swung by Sam's Club on our way out of town and bought the giant muffin package...this seems to be the only place we can find the little darlings.

HERE'S where I was wrong...according to Wikipedia, "Despite common belief, the name Otis Spunkmeyer is not actually referring to any person. The name was a whimsical creation of the then 12-year-old daughter of the company's founder." Not. Real. So. Distraught. Confused. Disappointed.

I really wish I would learn to leave well enough alone and not research the biography of every stinkin' person that interests me. I blame Helen Keller and reading her biography when I was in the third grade.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Metal Rooster Obsessed!


Every little break I get today, I am like a woman un-done about finding a five-foot-tall recycled metal rooster. My pal Val (check out her fabulous blog) posted about "The Bloggess" (I am guessing Blog Goddess???) this morning. I was not only falling out of my chair with tears and laughter, I was bound and determined I NEEDED to find myself such a treasure!

Obsession, at least in my world, is the result of a few factors. First, an indescribable and painful urge to WANT to change something and it not be within my ability to do so. Second, it's a "slow news day," and I am obviously not occupied in another endeavor. Third, I have access to a computer and the internet. TA-DA! Perfect recipe for an obsession.

Today the obsession meal began with an appetizer of waking up from a nightmare of dreams unfulfilled and objects of affection stolen from me.
Double measure of sadness was set to ruin me for the rest of the day at 7 a.m. However, like the morning coffee and newspaper routine of a hokier time, I had to check out my buddy's blog and found the little nugget of joy I spoke of in the first paragraph. Because it made me laugh uproariously, I was set upon the mission of finding a five-foot-tall recycled metal rooster. NO. SUCH. LUCK. (I wonder if my brother could make me one...hmmm)

Do I really NEED it? NO. Do I really really WANT it? Probably NO on that too. That's an obsession for you. So now that I have been writing this entry all day (a little here, a little there as time permits), I think I will take a look at what I really need to be researching...grief counseling, Weight Watchers, and a stop smoking plan that works.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

William Starling is a Darling!

Three months ago amid the greatest heartbreak of our lives, William Starling plopped himself right smack in the middle of my heart. His birth brought us all great joy, and he is one of the sweetest babies you will ever meet.

Last week, I tried to teach him to put his feet in his mouth...and to scratch his ears with his toes. Papa kept saying, "Aunt J-Me, he's not supposed to bend like that." I say porque no? I taught his big brother to do it, it makes his tummy feel better, and it's so dang cute!

Right now, William Boy (sounds like Wimbaly when James III says it) doesn't do much. However, he seems amicable to me assisting him in learning the running man and giving him kisses (watch out for baby sugars!). He's also very ticklish, but he gets annoyed and starts wailing if you do it too much. He prefers you to walk with him, but his Mama and Pa say, "NO!" So I learned to sit with him on my shoulder. Together, he and I proved I could eat an entire meal with him there...wish I was right-handed when my arm got tired and I needed to switch shoulders.

Today I find myself wondering about all he'll see and do. I do this a lot with his big brother too. When you have such a sweet, smart and crafty Mama and loving, ingenious, and handy Pa, the future could be anything! I love hearing about their newest "firsts" and can't wait to see what is in their futures. Wish I was around more to experience them first hand.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Passing Down Memories

Since, Chad and I married, I have been trying to re-create the family vacations my mama and daddy provided us growing up by taking Chad and Darby to northern Arkansas. This year we were able to all go together: Daddy, Mama, James II, Dana, James III, William, Chad, Darby, and myself. Our chosen family Skylar, Mike, and Jeremy even joined us (Sarah and Craig, we'll expect you next year!). In our hearts we all brought our Gayla.

Last week, surrounded by family and soaking my toes in the ice-cold White River, I felt normal. The large weight that always feels like it is sitting on my lungs preventing me from breathing or moving was lifted. I know it was because every member of my family was helping hold it up off of me...and they didn't even know it.

You'd be amazed at how a little two-year-old hand grasping your fingers as he walks down the trail can bring relief to heartbreak. A surly teenager turned hugger causes your heart to soar. A newborn curled into your shoulder brings you comfort. Singing "Row, Row, Row Your Boat" in rounds down the river by canoe with your siblings and children makes you feel young. Out-fishing your husband even makes you feel sheepishly proud, especially when your Daddy and Brother brag on you.

Gayla used to really hate coming back from I see why. It's the only time we really live with our loved ones and the "real world" is held at bay for just a little while.

NOTE: I really need pictures of Dana, who was always behind the camera, and Mike and Jeremy!

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Dearest Husband and Best Friend...

My Dearest All Knowing Chad,

Today is the day that God made you. From the stories I have heard you were a terror from birth to your second birthday, and then "poof" you were an angel. HaHaHa! We both know the truth on that one!

Nevertheless, I send up my prayers of thanks today for you, my miracle. Our path has not always run straight, but it seems to have always converged just when we both needed it. You, my hero, have saved me over and over again. You are everything I have ever prayed for in a husband. Thank you for being you and for being my blessing. Happy birthday, my love!

I love you,

Friday, June 10, 2011

"I'm a logger - just up from Coos Bay, Oregon..."

We're a road trip family! And Ray Stevens' genius was always invited to join us. In fact, I am thinking I'll download a few of our favorites to my playlist before we hit the road tomorrow. We're no longer a family of five in an Astro Van with our first tape deck and individual captains chairs. We're a troop of four varying vehicles, 8 adults (sorta), 2 teens, and 2 big boys (babies). The music is more of the IPhone/IPod nature and the artists are more eclectic, and we all have the house sitters and dog sitters lined up. Only one thing could make this trip perfect, but I am not going there today. I hope to post some fun stuff while we're out there, but we won't know till we get there if we're able. Nevertheless, an adventure awaits, and I am singing in my head, "I want to sing and dance, I want to sing and dance, I want to be a pirate in the Pirates of Penzance, Wear me silver-buckled slippers and me tight shiny pants,I want to sing and dance."

Thursday, June 9, 2011

My Favorite Women

I can't think of anything inspiring to write about today so I thought I would share pics of my favorite women! Don't get your feelings hurt if you're not here...just means I don't have a pic!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Greeting Cards

While sorting a file drawer in sister's kitchen this weekend, My Mama came across a ton of greeting cards. There were the ones we had sent Gayla and there were ones that she had bought to send us. I was my mama's rock while she sorted them into piles until she found one for me.

On the front was a little critter wearing a sombrero saying, "Sis, for your birthday, let's have a margarita." On the inside it read, "Isn't it cute how I insinuated we'd only have one." Ever seen rock melt into a should have been there. Now I am carrying the dang thing around in my purse, reading it at least twice a day!

The thing that gets me is that this card had been bought for a while and my birthday isn't until November. Did she stumble across it while picking another card for someone else and purchase because it is just too befitting? Did she have it last November and just forget where it was thus opting to buy the one she gave me? Did she buy two in the fall and this one lost?

Today's a downer...crying at work. Was hoping writing would stick a cork in it. Not so much! On another note, I did send my paper flower creation's pictures to the Ree at I'll be thrilled to see if she makes a comment!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Paper Flowers

My new addiction is absorbing everything I can from Ree at Yesterday, I created a boquet basket of paper flowers from her web site. Check it out at I highly recommend you get the full instructions from her web site. The only modifcations I made were to add leaves that I cut out using my wacky scissors and glueing everything into a shallow basket I made from scrapbook paper. Do something creative today. This little project made me smile, and the praise I received filled my heart. Is it crazy I want to post my creation to her FaceBook and tell her thank you?

Monday, June 6, 2011

Customer Service After the Sale

Nothing much to share today. However, check out the letter I am sending to Robbins Brothers corporate about my trip to the store to have my marital rings cleaned...tsk tsk! Also, check out the recipe I am going to try tonight!

NOTE: the sales manager at RB called me within an hour of me sending my letter! She reflected more of the customer service we have come to expect!

Dear Robbins Brothers,

When my husband and I chose to buy our wedding and engagement rings at your Dallas store more than four years ago, we were blown away by the helpful and eager employees whom completely sold us their "love is eternal" face. When I went into the same store on our one year anniversary to have my rings cleaned and sized, I was met with warm and friendly sales professionals who were more than happy to help me with the services. It was amazing to me that they greeted everyone with such warmth and genuinely kind and helpful regard.

However, on Friday, June 3, 2011, I was treated quite differently. When I approached the front entry of the showroom, the receptionist was preoccupied and had her back to me. I greeted her with a "Good afternoon." Upon turning around, the young woman literally looked me up and down and wrinkled her nose as if I was odorous. It startled me, but I pressed on. I said that I was there to have my wedding rings cleaned and handed her the two rings. She responded with no smile or enthusiasm, "Did you purchase a maintenance plan?" To add to her distain of my person, she also held the rings as if they were odorous. I was very close to losing my temper when another female associate approached and asked the receptionist, "What does she want?" The sales associate didn't greet me or smile but took the rings to the back to be cleaned.

At that time, the receptionist told me to fill out an information card so she could look up our purchase. I am guessing she was able to verify from the information I provided that I was a legitimate client. The only indication of this was that she directed me to have a seat in the waiting area and help myself to some water or coffee. The receptionist walked away to the back at which time I witnessed a male sales associate enthusiastically greet a couple entering the showroom in the manner to which I had come accustomed when visiting the store. When the female sales associate returned with my rings, she did at least smile and I thanked her for helping me. I verified that I was able to have my rings cleaned and she told me "as often as you like" and that I could have it inspected once a year.

My husband and I have recommended your store to so many couples in the past four years. However, I cannot say that I feel comfortable doing this anymore. Isn't it sad what one bad experience can do to a customer service reputation!

Jaimee Hunter

FUN NOTE: YES!, I shall make Pasta with Pesto Cream Sauce! Check the recipe out at

Friday, June 3, 2011

How Are You Doing?

Photo Source

Chalk it up to over analyzing every cotton-picking thing from thought to deed, but I am not exactly sure how to answer this question. Do people really want to know how I am doing? Do they want to know my physical well-being or mental? Are the two interchangeable?

For instance, today I have a sharp, radiating pain in my upper back that comes and goes. Also, I have a titch of a headache that is in tow with the back pain. What am I doing about it? I'm searching webMD and such to make sure it couldn't be something more than a pinched nerve from sleeping wonky. I catch the site that says it could be a heart attack masked as a different pain. So do I go to the hospital or call the doctor who I know won't have an appointment on a Friday? Then my over analyzing kicks in..."You're just going through a hard time," I tell myself. "You don't want to be 'that person,' the one who feigns illness and it turns out to be anxiety." But do I want to be "that person" who ignores something fixable only to end up falling down with a heart attack?

So if you ask me today, "How are you?" Make sure you want to know cuz I might just tell you to see if you think I should go to the hospital. Ha!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Finding a Connection

When Darling Daughter Darby was nine years old, she was my little buddy always down for whatever crazy activity I was throwing out. Now that she's 14, hmmm...not so much. Of recent, making the connection has been like trying to fasten a size 8 belt around a size 16 waist. It ain't gonna happen.

However, either she was throwing her old Jaimee a bone last night, or I did something right! With Hubby Dearest in Vermont on a business trip, I offered up our favorite daddy-is-out-of-town meal...meatball subs. Darby helped me prepare our meal as we discussed next year's reading list, which I had received via e-mail yesterday. I had made some notes on the list about how Papa James and Memaw love Lonesome Dove and how Taming of the Shrew has been remade into all kinds of movies.

I suggested to Darling girl if she picked a few books, we could load them on our Kindles and read together this summer. Of course she picks Pride and Prejudice and Zombies! Not sweating it, not at all. In fact because the original is one of my favs and I have the movie, I suggested we watch the movie while we eat and then possibly read afterwards.

The night was a success! Score one for the un-cool Jaimee!! Having watched the movie first and jumped right into reading, Darby seemed to really get into the book. We took turns reading a chapter a piece and made it to chapter six. To add whipped cream to fudge sundae, when it was nearing bedtime, there was no struggle to persuade girly to head upstairs, put away laundry and get a shower. NO WIGGLY DANCE OF FRUSTRATION!!!! YAY!!!! I wonder how tonight will go...

SPECIAL NOTE: Wiggly Dance of Frustration is a slumping of a teens shoulders as he/she slightly bends at the knees and waist like an accordian as if the request of him/her is so weighty and horrible that it threatens to knock him/her down. The accompaning air pushed out by said action makes a whiny "huh" sound. The dance's finale is a stomping off stage to complete the requested task half-assedly.

RANDOM PITTY PARTY: Coping is so much more difficult when Hubby Dearest is traveling for work. After Darling Darby went to bed last night, I just laid there and cried till well after midnight.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Photo Source

Summer begins at the sounding of that final clanking bell followed by a crescendo of children's laughter. The melody fades to a chorus of crickets chirping each night and a slight buzzing during the day.

The scorching heat of the season is at first thawing when emerging from a fully air conditioned home or car. It makes you feel lazy and lethargic. In east Texas you can almost feel the air as it sits wrapped around your body.

Watermelon, purple hull peas, cantaloupe, and tomatoes are just a sampling of the tastes of summer. Keep it light and save the home-made Butterfinger ice cream for after the sun goes down.

Summer reminds me of getting dolled up to go out. In the beginning you're crisp, clean and fully clothed. Like summer, you look like an explosion of color ready to burst forth and you smell like a bouquet. However, as the night (and the season) wear on, you shed articles of your garb, your make-up runs out the edges, the humidity starts to frumple you, and WHOO! that bouquet wilts.

The season is upon us. Like I used to tell my students before each break, "Go out there and have fun. Just don't do anything you wouldn't want me to have to read about in the newspaper."

Inspiration to Create Special Note: I found the cutest blog today and want to share. If you’re searching for a creative inspiration, check out Violette’s Creative Juice at