Monday, October 31, 2011

A Much Needed Laugh...

I would be lying if I told you that the transition from the last job to the current one has been nothing but smooth.  There are so many things I love about my new job.  But it has been a big change for all of us involved. 

The ladies that worked at the store that Magpies bought out, have had to adapt to new management and new employees, new rules, same place but different store.  I'm sure they feel invaded.

The new owner has a 2 hour commute...1 hour there and 1 hour home stealing from her family time.  As well, she left another location where all her closest friends still remain.

The manager has had major life adjustments these past few months including getting married and getting pregnant and moving out to Cypress.  She also left her good friends in the big city.

The other new employee besides me is a longtime employee of Magpies but transferred out to she, too, left long-time friends behind.  

So while I had a peace about leaving a job that I loved and I thank God for this new job falling in my lap, it hasn't been all that easy. My changes aren't all bad...quite the contrary.  I'm making new friends, but I miss my old ones.  I'm working different hours but I'm adapting. I am loving my Mondays off.  But I did work for the last 7 years with 5 year olds.  And those kids were my chaos and my daily hugs.  And they made me laugh.

I miss laughing.  I know I sound like a broken record.  But it's so true.  I have got to have's like oxygen to me.

I had a long talk the other night with one of my "teacher" friends.  She told me some funny kid stories and I expressed to her how much I am missing all of that.  She showed me some love the next day by sending me some pictures. 

Ahh....a much needed laugh.  Thanks my friend! 

I get by with a little help from my friends.

Happy Halloween!

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Retail Baby...

Now that I work in retail, I am in that time warp that moves the holidays forward and one has to stop twice to think about what day it is.  You know it's July, but the store is decorated with Fall leaves.  It's Labor Day but the witches and ghosts are adorning the store.

Well, I have been looking at the cutest Halloween and Thanksgiving decorations for the last month or more and I have failed to even put out one thing in this house.  This bothers me a little because I never wanted to be that person that stopped decorating for the holidays.  I remember my mother putting Christmas lights on a ficus tree and calling the house ready for the holidays...and it horrified me.

But now? Imagine a graph where the line that represents Holiday Decorating is taking a sharp dive just as it crosses the line that represents Aging streaking to the top...that would be a graph of my life right now.

Last month, I went to Roundtop with my friend Karen T. who I hadn't seen in a very long time.  When she got in the car she handed me a gift that she had had for me for almost 2 years.  It was an adorable acorn.  It made her think of me and my holiday decorating and she bought it and hung on to it until she saw me again.

I immediately came home and put it on my buffet with the best of attentions of getting the rest of the Fall decorations out.  That never happened.

Yesterday, I added my adorable black & white pumpkin that my other friend, Karen L. painted for me a few years ago...with a Thanksgiving tag on it. 

And sadly this may be as good as it gets around here.  But I love it.  Because when I look at it, I see my friends' gifts......and I know I am blessed.

By the way.......Christmas is in the store!  We are in October...but it's Retail Baby!  And the holidays come around the corner quickly. Come by and see us.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


Today is our 28th wedding anniversary.
I decided to list 28 things I love about Chuck
in honor of this day.

  1. He is kind to everyone.
  2. He is patient with me.
  3. He is a handyman...and if I call it a project, he's on it!
  4. He takes care of paying the bills...not only is he a good provider, but he actually sits down twice a month and pays the bills.
  5. He is a loyal employee.
  6. He takes care of the cars.
  7. He grills steak every Sunday evening.
  8. His side of the closet is always neater than mine.
  9. He helps with the laundry...and has learned to hang my things to dry.
  10. He grocery shops.
  11. He provided a college education for our children.
  12. He is not a picky eater...and is okay with cereal or sandwiches for dinner.
  13. He doesn't mind that I rearrange furniture constantly.
  14. He likes to go to the movies.
  15. He is dependable.
  16. His laugh.
  17. His voice.
  18. His brown eyes.
  19. He doesn't cuss...and flinches when I do.
  20. He doesn't talk badly about people. Ever.
  21. He cries when he watches Undercover Boss.  Everytime.
  22. He loves to watch ghost shows but will change the channel when I come in because I hate them.
  23. He never complains about his long commute.
  24. He brings me dessert everytime he goes out to eat with clients.
  25. He makes the coffee every night before going to bed.
  26. He is quiet in the morning when he gets up 2 hours earlier than me.
  27. He is the my storm.
  28. He keeps his promises.

Happy 28th Anniversary Chuck.
 I do love you.

October 22, 1983


then two...

then three...

A son-in-law added and all the babies are grown up...28 years later.

    Thursday, October 20, 2011

    This is NOT a Commercial

    Waiting for the Tempurpedic mattress to "break-in" and listening to Chuck huff and puff every night because he hated it, I reached my limit (which is not as high as most) and finally said yelled, "Call Gallery and take it back!"  I was sleeping better than I had in years and waking up rested with no pain...everything the commercial says.  But listening to Chuck's huffing and puffing was killing me.

    We had been 3 times to look at mattresses and while we both decided on the Tempurpedic over 40 days of us was not liking it.  The second choice was a pillowtop.  Sunday night I decided to give in. So Monday, Chuck went to Gallery and set up a delivery for the pillowtop to be exchanged for the Tempurpedic.

    The delivery guys brought in the new mattress and glanced at the Tempurpedic mattress on our bed and with a puzzled look asked, "You're trading this for a pillow top?" 

    "Yes.  But not because I want to.....because my husband does."

    One responded, "I'm so sorry, m'am."

    And it was at this point that I started tearing up.  I know, crying over a mattress.  But I really liked it.

    Monday night. 


    I head to the couch.

    HE CAN'T SLEEP EITHER.  Because the new pillow top is as hard as rocks because it will take at least 30 days to break it in.  Thirty MORE days because we are on Day 40 with the Tempurpedic.

    So he comes in to the dark living room around 1:00 a.m., stands next to me on the couch, and says he will get the Tempurpedic mattress delivered back to the house the next day.  I say no.  He says yes...he will try harder to like it.  I say NO.  He says YES...HE IS. I YELL NO!!!

    He quietly heads back to bed.

    I lay there thinking how stupid we are.  So not only am I trying to fall asleep on the couch, I am trying to come to grips with how stupid we are.  And how that whole scene would play out in Gallery if we tried to get our mattress back...the one they had just picked up that day... the next day.  What is wrong with us?  We are old enough to receive the AARP magazine but we can't even choose a mattress. 

    And now I'm adding up the delivery fees for bringing it the first time, taking it back to Gallery and now bringing it back to our house.  Ugh. 


    Chuck stops by Magpies and brings me a note.  The bed is on it's way back to our house.  The new pillow top is kept for Will's room/guest room.  The ancient mattress that was about 20 years old is hauled off.  So after 20 some odd years of never purchasing a new mattress, we have bought 2 in less than 40 days. 

    The note Chuck hands me is from Mattress Mack...the owner of Gallery Furniture...

    Dear Julia,

    First of all thx for being a great Gallery Furniture customer.  Gallery really appreciates you and your husband.  And thx for being loyal to Tempurpedic - the worlds best mattress.  William has realized the error of his reselection and has made great amends! You have a wonderful husband and a great TPX mattress. 


    One "Get Out of Jail Free" pass written by Mattress Mack.  Apparently, Chuck walked straight up to Mack and said he needed help getting out of Husband Jail.  After Mack called the mattress salesman over to ridicule Chuck a little, he wrote the note to me.

    I do have a wonderful husband.  However, he is as stubborn as I am.  And mattresses are the hardest thing in the world to shop for.

    My advice to you....get twins and push them together if you must.

    Sunday, October 9, 2011

    Happy Birthday William Ross

    The baby...

    ... that was adored by his two sisters and parents and could get away with things simply because he was #3...and by #3 we had learned to choose our battles...

    the 4 year old who sat down in the middle of the field during t-ball games...

     the kid who ordered catfish off the menu when he was 6 and had never eaten it before...we tried to talk him out of it because he had never had it before and he said, "Nope, I want catfish." ...and he ate every bite...

    the boy who hated homework and would make the whole family miserable when he had it...and Lord help us if it was a project due in 3 weeks because there would be 3 weeks of misery and complaining...

    the junior high boy who, along with a few others, poured their leftover lunch in to a girl's binder because she left it on the table...and I received a phone call from the Assistant Principal that my son had vandalized another student's property...and he and the others later had to serve detention for it and help buy her a new binder...and when asked why he would do that?...he responded "to teach her a lesson because she always left her binder"....while I knew full well, it was peer pressure to do something naughty...wicked fun at the time...

    the teenager who jumped out of a moving car...because he thought he could keep running a la Roadrunner cartoons...and gave us the scare of our lives...I still shudder to think how badly he could have been injured...

    the young man who has a bleeding heart for others and goes to the animal shelter just to pet the strays...

    the guy who never liked team sports but is extremely athletic...

    that baby, that boy, that junior high kid, that teenager, that guy is finally an adult.  He turns 21 today.  And I thank God for His protection over him.  It took a village to raise him and a mighty God to protect him. 

    Happy Birthday William Ross! 

    Thursday, October 6, 2011

    Lived Wide

    Some of us will live long lives.  Some of us won't.  But how wide we live depends on us.  A dear friend of my nephews, Mark and Jack,  died unexpectedly last weekend and they are reeling from the pain.

    Sofia was a graduate of Sam Houston State University where my nephews also attended and the 3 of them were involved in Musical Theater together. She was extremely talented. She was exotic looking and rowdy and introspective and loud and quiet and funny...full of life.  She lived wide.

    But unfortunately she did not live long.  She lived 27 years.  Still a young woman.  On the edge of adulthood.  Just starting her career.  Way too short for those who loved her.

    At the time of my daughter's wedding in March, 2010, Sofia was the girlfriend of my nephew Jack.  She attended the wedding as his guest so she is captured in some of the pictures.  While I didn't know her well, I could certainly see that she was full of life.

    And while Jack and Sofia were not together as a couple at the time of her death, she was certainly someone he still loved.  And it's for him I am hurting for this week. 

    To Jack,

    My sympathies.   Go out and make a good life.  Live wide.  Do it for Sofia.

    Aunt Julia

    Photos courtesy of Caroline Fontenot.

    Tuesday, October 4, 2011


    Cameron is working on an oil rig near Fort Worth for about a month.  Jordan is in Fort Worth for a conference for a few days.  So they met up last night for dinner...and I woke up to this picture this morning.  A picture of "women." 

    I know they're women. But when I'm around them together they still seem like my girls. And I'm guilty of looking at them as my "little" girls. So seeing this today, I looked at them as women.


    Monday, October 3, 2011

    The Mattress

    Chuck and I can't even remember when we bought our was that old.  At some point, we went from a queen...the bed he had when we a king.  We've been married 28 years and we think it was around year, maybe year 7...or it could have been year 8 or 9.  Gross?  Gross.  The mattress, not the marriage.
    So for the last several years, my shoulder and hips have been hurting and I've been flipping and flopping all night long trying to get comfortable.  I wrote it off to age or menopause or just being a "side sleeper." But about a year ago I turned up the volume on the complaining. 

    "My shoulders are killing me...we need a new mattress."

    "This mattress is ridiculous!"

    "We HAVE GOT to get a new feels like sh*t and my body aches when I get up."

    "I feel like I'm sleeping on concrete..grrrrrrrrrr."

    "I'm going to buy a new bed with
    or without YOU!"

    And each time I complained, we would try to figure out just how old the dang thing was.  Never could.

    I'd back off and then push forward with the complaints.  Finally, finally, finally, Chuck agreed to go get a new mattress.  But you need to know this did not happen overnight.  It was months and months that added up to years and years of me requesting, asking nicely, then begging in a ridiculous way.  It may have been when I said I would have to start sleeping on the couch or upstairs that got his attention. Or maybe when I just finally told him I was going to buy one with or without him there.

    Mr. Control Freak in the Money Department went with me and we made a purchase.  Three weeks ago.  I did a little research (googled it and asked a few friends) and decided I wanted to go with the Tempur-pedic Cloud.  Expensive?  Yes.  But when you consider it is guaranteed for 20 years and how long we go between mattress purchases, we may never need another bed.

    Not us...but apparently we could be this happy
    on a Tempur-pedic according to their ad!

    So we get to the place and he decides he actually likes the next step up.  The Cloud Supreme.  Works for me.  It gets delivered and I'm sleeping like a baby. 


    Not so much.

    Really?  Your back hurts?

    Really?  'Cause I hurt for years and now I'm not.

    Marriage.  Oh,  nobody tells you about this stuff, do they?

    Apparently, Chuck can listen to me complain for years and tune it out.  I, on the other hand, am not used to Chuck complaining so after the 3rd day, I was sick of his whining. 

    We started trying to compromise.  I know.  Can you believe it? 

    I suggested we give it more time and if he still hated it, we would return it for another kind of mattress.  He wanted to just go look at other mattresses.  I made him promise me in writing that if we returned this one and bought a pillowtop, we would get a new mattress in 3 years if I hated it.  He said he would put it in writing. 

    So yesterday, we headed back to the furniture store to "just look" at other mattresses....again.  Because we looked at all of them 3 weeks ago.

    The salesmEn (more than one) told us we really have to give it more time.  They would take the mattress back but even a new pillowtop would take time to break we would be right back where we started.  They explained that the beds we are trying out on the showroom are "broken in" because hundreds of people have laid on them...ew.  Even the exact mattress we purchased was way more comfortable than ours because of all the traffic it had seen.

    So we're taking more time.  We're waiting. 

    Bed shopping may just be worse than bra shopping.
    And I didn't think anything was worse than bra shopping.