I Just Don’t Understand….

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I’m getting pretty consistent with this blogging stuff, huh? I don’t know how consistently my blog is being read though – I mean, I know my Mom reads it…but she is kind of obligated to because I’m hers, right? Anyway, that isn’t what I don’t understand. There are lots of things I don’t understand & yesterday as I was driving home I started thinking about my Bible reading from the past few days & it got me further thinking about the little things in life that I don’t understand as well as the big things. So, without further ado – some of the things in life that I just don’t understand.

Warning – some of these are funny & some are serious. Sorry if you don’t like serious. It’s my blog, ha ha!

  • Why do some people slow down when they approach green lights? Green means go! If you are color blind, them I’m totally sorry for this rant – I guess you can’t help it. Are you psychic & you know that the light is about to turn red? If so, you have to get through the yellow light before you get to red – so don’t slow down! If the light is green – keep it moving. Because when you slow down, you boggle my mind. I just don’t understand.
  • Why is the little box of cereal (almost) always more expensive than the big box? What kind of game are they playing? My Mom taught me to be a cautious shopper (at least when it comes to groceries. Bless her, she has tried to teach me to hold on to my money when I shop for other things, but I just can’t curb those impulses) & because of this, I notice that you can buy that smaller box, but you might actually be paying more for it than that big ol box. I just don’t understand.
  • Why do dogs & cats dislike one another? Maybe they all don’t, but it seems like that is the general rule. Recently, I got the idea that I would get myself a kitten to join mine & Watson’s little family. My Dad immediatly said “that’s a bad idea, Watson will snap that kitten’s neck.” Now – Watson isn’t particulary violent (although he is territorial) so I asked my Dad what his reasoning behind that was. It was simple – dogs & cats don’t get along. Why not though? Can’t they be friends like Milo & Otis? Why are Milo & Otis the exception & not the rule? I just don’t understand.
  • Why are people mean? And better than that – why are kids mean? I know kids don’t come into this world mean, so they are learning it somewhere. Who teaches kids to be mean?  Mean children turn into mean adults & the cycle just starts all over again. All a person wants in the world is to be loved & accepted, so who are these people that keep hurting their kids & turning them into cruel kids that are sent out into the world to continue the cycle of mean? I just don’t understand.
  • Why is it that people who desperately want a baby can’t have one & people that don’t want a baby at all are able to have them? I don’t even really know if I can elaborate on that because it just blows my mind & I have to trust that there is a reason for that – because I just don’t understand.
  • And lastly – I was reading my Bible the other day (we were around the end of Joshua, start of Judges) & the Lord has lead the Israelites out of Egypt, led them through the desert, delivered them from numerous other peoples, performed miraculous wonders, etc. He tells the people of Israel that as long as they worship & follow him, he will bless them, he will make their crops bountiful, their lives long, any city they attack he will deliver into their hands, basically – he is going to take care of them. If they turn away from him though – things are gonna be bad. They will lose every battle, their crops will die, their lives will be cut short. And what do they do? The first chance they get – they turn away from him & start worshipping Baal – and just like the Lord promised – things just go downhill from there. I read that & I thought “what idiots those people were. They had it all laid out in front of them & they just rejected it completely.” And then, that still small voice said to me “Don’t you do that every day?” Wow. I do. The Lord didn’t deliver me from armies, he hasn’t made crops bountiful, but he did something so much more. He died for me. He gave his very life so that I could be free from Hell. And all I have to do is follow him & he promises to make my life more exceptional than I could imagine or dream up. But what do I do? I’m just as ridiculous as those Israelites – I think that my way has to be better & so I go off on my own. And what happens? Things go horribly wrong. Well duh Natalie. Why do you do that? I just don’t understand.

So, I guess that is all for today. Are you being ridiculous & trying to go your own way? I know I was convicted by that. Just thought I’d share.

Home is Where the Heart Is

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So, they say home is where your heart is. Well, what about your actual house? My Dad got a job in Virginia & so my parents are moving to Virginia at the end of May. My little sister lives in Colorado & so now that leaves me here in Mississippi. Our family is literally about to be stretched out across the continent. Along with the new reality of all of us being in these different places (which is a concept I’m still grasping) is the reality that the parents are selling the house. I knew that was coming, but things are starting to make it very real. My little sister & my parents went through Lindsey’s room yesterday & started packing stuff up & I guess I wasn’t expecting it to look like it did when I got home – you know, it looked like we might actually be moving. So, I started thinking about all the wonderful times we’ve had in our house & I felt the need to blog again.

Home is where your heart is….what does that even mean? Whenever I hear someone say that, it instantly makes me think of the line “home is where your heart it, so your real home’s in your chest” – which is a line from a song in Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog*. Hence the picture of Captain Hammer up there. I get what the statement means, I do. It means that you always have the people you love with you in your heart & so there is where you truly find home. If you have the ones you love around you, then home can be in a hut in Africa or an igloo in the Arctic or wherever. My home; for the past 13 years, has been a house on Mayatt Road with with three bedrooms, two & a half bathrooms, a bonus room, a living room/dining room/kitchen & even a sunroom. It is also filled with lots of memories. So – I’m gonna share a few of my fondest memories from my home. Because in less than two months, all I’ll have are the memories from my home & someone else will be making new memories there. Sigh.

*If you have never seen Dr. Horrible’s Sing Along Blog, you must find a way to watch it ASAP. It is quite possibly one of the greatest things I have ever watched. I mean – I knew Neil Patrick Harris could sing (because I’ll be honest, I  kind of love NPH) but I had no idea that Nathan Fillion (Castle anyone?) could sing. Plus – both Neil Patrick Harris & Nathan Fillion are not hard to look at.  I assure you – it is 45 minutes that will just be epic. Okay, well maybe 43 because I guess the last 2 minutes aren’t as epic as the first 43, but you get my point. You should go watch it. Now. All 5 of you that actually follow me & are reading this. 🙂

I remember my 13th birthday. Maybe this memory isn’t necessarily “fond”, but I remember it well. We moved into the house about a month before my birthday & so I got to be the first one to have a big party/get together/hoopla in our new house! All my cool friends came over & we had a cookout. Once we had finished eating our delicious food, blowing out the candles & opening all the cool presents, my friends I just wandered around in the yard – talking about boys & clothes & hair & all that other stuff that 13 year olds are obsessed with. We got to the end of the driveway & we were just kind of taking in the busted up trailers that were across the street & I was explaining to them about how the junkyard looking trailers across the street was “really the only drawback to living here” when we see a guy walking up the road. Carrying a scythe. A scythe. We all watched in frozen horror as the guy just walked right passed us & down the road, swinging his scythe all the while. Once he was out of sight, we all fled back up the driveway & proceeded to discuss the possibility of my whole family being killed in our sleep by the guy with the scythe. A wonderful ending to a spectacular 13th birthday. Thanks scythe guy – you gave me a memory that now cracks me up.

Another great memory – coming home from my first prom. I was only 15, but my boyfriend was older & so I got to go to prom. Let me just say, I was looking pretty cute. Except for the crazy Barbie doll hair that the stupid hairdresser gave me. I specifically said “not poufy” & yet when I left, poufy. But I digress…. My boyfriend brought me home from prom (it was actually his prom, not mine. I was just the date) & in the driveway of the house he proceeded to turn on “our” song & dance with me. I mean – to a 15 year old, that was big stuff. Granted, the romantic moment got interrupted with the realization that a beetle had somehow gotten into my dress. After I flew inside to have my Mom (who was still up at 4-something waiting on me, so sweet) extract the bug from the layers of fluffy dress, I went back outside & finished my dance. That is a great memory. Dancing in the driveway. That could be a song…

Moving right along – I remember getting my car for Christmas in 2002. I had no clue what was going on. All I knew was that something was up because my Mom kept “forgetting” who this present belonged to & so Lindsey & I had to pass it back & forth & keep unwrapping it, layer by layer. Finally my Mom says “oh yeah, that’s right – it is Natalie’s present” & I got to open the last little box. There, on a puffy little cloud of jewelry fuzz was something far more beautiful than jewelry. It was a car key! I can’t really describe the moment – we have it on film somewhere & it is pretty funny. I almost broke my neck getting to the front door & flinging it open & that is when the screaming began. I think I opened & closed the doors of that car so many times to make sure it was really mine & was really real. Also – having a new car meant that I got to have a spot in the garage. The slot on the right was for “Natalie’s Car” & that was awesome. Good times.

Another memory I have is of the Christmas Eve party we have every year. After going to the church for the Christmas Eve service, the Summerlins, the McKeithens, the Watsons & the Deans would go back to our house & proceed to have an awesome party. There is always more food than anyone can ever hope to eat. There are conversations, jokes, laughter & most of all, a lot of love. Some other people have come from one year to the next, but those families are the core group. This group of people (most are family, some are not but they might as well be) are people that I know love me & the one thing I remember most about this party is knowing that on Christmas Eve, I am surronded by so many people that love & care about me & my family. That is truly a blessing. Some people can’t name the people that care for them on one hand – I am lucky enough to not have enough fingers (or toes for that matter) to count all the people that care for me. We have gained some members (McKenna was born into this group. The Christmas we started it, she was still in utero, but it has been a staple of her Christmas Eve from a time before she was even born) & we have lost some members (Papaw. I miss you) but it is a guarantee that every Christmas Eve, the house would be filled with people. Not sure what will happen now.

My house has, in the 13 years that my family has lived there
-seen two little girls grow into young women
-sheltered a family through the loss of a parent & a grandparent
-provided a safe haven from the storm’s of life, whether they be literal or emotional
-been a safe place to come home to when you wanted to escape the stresses of college life
-seen hearts break & mend, some hearts having done this multiple times
-seen two girls learn all about first love (and loss)
-been taken over by several furry creatures, both the feline & canine persuasion
-been wounded by a young driver pushing the gas instead of the brake (yes, it was me)
-had snow tracked through it, which is interesting since it is in the deep South

Most of all, my house has been a home. It has provided me with a lifetime of memories that I will cherish for the rest of my life. So, to the people who will be moving into our house – please cherish it. It has cherished my family for 13+ years & we have loved it right back. It is a house that was built with love & has been filled with love since the first bits of the foundation were poured. Please love our house (I guess it is really your house now) because we have loved it.

Working in this Office….Seriously (Funny)

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I sat here (or as I originally had typed – sart her – the brain is not working today) trying to decide whether I should write a serious post or if I should just be less serious & I decided on less serious. My life is going to get really serious soon & I have a wonderful friend who has had some really serious stuff going on (who shall remain nameless, although you can always say a prayer for Natalie’s friend & I feel confident the Lord will know who you are talking about) & so between my serious & my friend’s serious, I really needed to be not so serious. So I’m gonna talk about my office again – because while we do serious stuff here, I manage to find things that are funny all the time. I mean – I work in a house that was built in the late 1800’s – there are no end to the oddities in this house.

Let me start at the bottom of the house & work my way up. The basement – I just really have no words for the basement. I affectionately call it the murder basement. The picture at the left is the best example I could come up with – the murder basement at work is worse because the light is not nearly so bright. There are random small rooms (perhaps they were once closets? torture chambers? solitary?) that I choose to stay away from. Heaven only knows what I might find in them. I wandered into the file room & saw one of those small rooms had the door open & there was a hole in the middle that led down, down, down…to nowhere. I told a friend that I was afraid something would come out of it & drag me to hell. His response? “I think there was a movie called that.” Yes, there was. Did you see the preview? I did. And that is why I am staying away from the hole in the small creepy room in the corner of the murder basement. The stairs are creaky, the walls seem cold & mildewy (I’m not touching the walls) & the smell is like being in a mold infested hole of death. The murder basement floods when it rains & let me tell you, that really adds to the ambiance of the place. Here is the best part about the murder basement – the light switch for the one light is at the top of the stairs – far away from you when you are in the middle of the file room.

I discovered this fact on my first trip to the basement. I did what I needed to do & got out of dodge. I went home & proceeded to make the biggest mistake (okay, maybe not biggest but close) of my life. I told my Mom all about how when you go into the murder basement, you cut on the light at the top of the stairs & then have to wander deep into the depths of the basement & far away from the light. I said “If I was ever in the file room & someone didn’t know I was down there & they cut off the light, I would scream like I was being killed.” Or like the child on the right pictured. Well, my Mom immediately said in response “Oh, I’ve got to tell Tina that.” Thank you Mom. I love you too. I’m glad to know that you want to have your friend scare the living daylights out of me while simultaneously making me look like an idiot in front of my coworkers. I’m not going to the murder basement ever again. The risk is too great.

Now then, let us move to the first floor. What is most fun about the first floor you ask? The bathroom, of course! I’ve already talked about getting locked in the bathroom so I am not really gonna elaborate on that topic too much. I discovered that since the door is totally messed up & you can get locked into the bathroom without actually locking the door, I don’t need to use that bathroom ever. I will happily climb the stairs every single time I need to use the bathroom. Because I am not going to be the cool kid hollering to be let out of the bathroom. Nope. Just not gonna do it. I suppose the crazy bathroom is really the only downside to the downstairs floor of the house. I guess. I’ve only been here 8 weeks. Who knows what I’ll discover?

Moving on to the upstairs of the house. I go up there a lot – the bathroom is up there & so is Tina. I suppose I am Tina’s right hand woman (not man, cause I’m not a man, duh) since she is sending me emails filled with work to do all the time. Plus, we can usually get a conversation going without any effort whatsoever. I have been using the upstairs bathroom ever since I decided that I wasn’t going to fall victim to the downstairs bathroom any longer. Today I discovered that the upstairs bathroom has some tricks up its sleeve too. This place is just full of tricks. The toilet seat is not afixed to the toilet! How do I know this? Because, I almost fell off the toilet today. Why am I telling you this? I really don’t know. I just know that I leaned just a little to the left & apparently you must sit on the toilet straight as a fence post or the whole toilet seat will just slide on off, with you sitting on it. Excellent. So – my choices are to use the bathroom downstairs & risk getting trapped or use the bathroom upstairs & risk falling off the toilet into the floor. Awesome.

Just a few other weird things I’ve noticed. There are hooks in the ceiling of my office. What is that about? I’m a little scared to know the answer. The second floor ceiling leaks when it rains & these chunks of plaster fall off at random. I haven’t been hit, but I’ve seen it fall & I don’t really want to develop Chicken Little Syndrome. Also – in the upstairs bathroom there is a tub. There are three handles in this tub. One is marked hot, one is marked cold & one is marked….waste. What?!? I don’t even understand that & frankly, I’m not sure I want to. Do you one day decide that taking a bath in hot, cold or warm water just isn’t enough & therefore you need to add a little something extra? I am so confused by that. Confused & scared. This place is kind of like a house of horrors.

I still haven’t had a ghost encounter yet but with all the other delightful treats this place has, who says having a ghost encounter is even that great? I may one day become immune to the oddities of this place & when something weird happens, I’ll just shrug it off & be like “yeah, that’s just how we roll.” Oh Geez.

P.S. I feel pretty sure a serious post is coming soon. I think so. Yep.

So…Remember that Ghost I Mentioned?

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First of all – no, I haven’t “seen it”. Nor have I had any ghostly encounters. I really would rather not have any ghostly encounters, but I thought since I mentioned the ghost in the last post, I’d tell what little I know about the BMG ghost in this post.

Let me preface this story by telling you all (all 5 of you according to my blog – 5 followers) that my little sister used to clean this very office & sometimes I would come up to the office with her & “help out” (read this as supervise, ha-ha). We were always in agreement that the office was a little bit creepy, but we always spent our summer afternoons watching “A Haunting” on TLC, so we were beyond convinced that if a house was old, it had to be haunted from floor to ceiling. We were particularly terrifed of the basement. The door to the basement was always locked & you could only see into it from outside throught these dirty little windows. We just knew it had to be a murder basement. I mean, hello…old house with a creepy basement? It was most assuredly haunted by the ghost(s) of the people that had been offed in the murder basement. Duh. I should mention at this point that my Mother assured us we were both nuts. I mean – Ginger, did you just now figure out you have nuts for kids?

So – fast forward from around 2006-2007 to present day. I get a job at BMG! Yay for me! I think nothing of the crazy ghosts/murder basement plots that Lindsey & I used to fabricate as we wandered the house cleaning. At least, I didn’t think about those things for the first day I worked there. Then my co-workers began to enlighten me as to the office’s ghost. Oh joy. Thus – let me share with you two of the ghost stories from my co-workers. We’ll start with “Vicki”. (I’ve changed the names to protect the innocent, ha-ha!)

Vicki tells me that she had heard everyone talk about the ghost that haunted the house, but she wasn’t every really concerned about it. She thought they were making stuff up. So one day, she stays late to finish up some work & she knows that she is alone in the building. She hears sounds coming from the back of the house where another co-worker; Sanya, has a desk. Thinking Sanya has come back & is messing with her, which is a perfectly legitimate thought since Sanya likes to joke around, she hollers to her to quit messing around. She gets no answer except to hear the same noises… After telling “Sanya” to knock it off a couple more times & still hearing nothing, she goes into the back to tell her face to face to chill out – only to see Sanya’s empty desk chair turning in a circle…just going round & round & round. She grabbed her purse & headed for the exit as fast as her legs could carry her & decided she never needed to stay after 5 to finish up work again. She advised me not to ever stay after 5 either. And now on to Macy’s story…

Macy goes to night classes after work a couple days a week, but her classes don’t start until around 6:30 so she usually hangs out at the office until time to go to class. She is able to finish up work for school or for the office. She is obviously made of stronger stuff than me. She says she cannot count the times she has seen doors open & close on their own, heard footsteps going up & down the steps, seen water cut on & off in the bathroom, etc….all when she knows she is completely alone in the house. She just ignores it & keeps right on doing what she is doing. I’m not gonna lie – I admire that kind of hardcore. Just the idea of that happening while I am here, whether I’m alone or not would send me running for the door.

I thought that maybe they were all just messing with me. I mean, the kinder gentler way of hazing the new girl. I asked a friend that works at the office, thinking she would tell me that everyone was just pulling my leg or something of the sort. Nope. Gina looked at me with the straightest of faces & said “I wouldn’t hang out here after 5. Things get weird.” Well…great. Awesome. Not only did she tell me that, along with those two delightful stories from my co-workers, two other people in the office told me about the ghost. My boss Jan told me that “we have a ghost here, but she’s a nice ghost.” Oh, ok. How do we know the ghost is a girl? How do we know the ghost is nice? What if the ghost is a man & he’s seriously ticked that you refer to him as a woman? What if he’s plotting revenge as we joke about him? And then a guy at the office tells me “so, I guess you’ve heard about our ghost, huh?” Thanks Ron. I have. Thrilled to hear that we have one.

So – now you all (all 5 of you) know a little more about the ghost. I haven’t had any encounters with he or she…& I really have no desire to. I don’t like ghosts. I don’t like movies about ghosts. Give me a horror movie with blood & gore over ghost & goblins any day. I don’t want to meet any ghosts. I can tell you one thing though. I have watched numerous episodes of “A Haunting” as well as “Ghost Hunters” & they always tell you that when the temperature drops…that is the sign that a ghost is present. Ghosts suck energy from the room, taking the heat too. Every time I go to the bathroom at work, it is about 15 degrees colder in there than in the rest of the building. Does the ghost haunt the toilet? Is she (Jan said she was a girl) like Moaning Myrtle? Because that would be horrible. Who wants to haunt a toilet? Of course, this house was built in the late 1800’s, what I think is a toilet may have been something else entirely when the house was built.

Anyway – I’ve rambled on about the ghost of BMG long enough. It’s time for me to go to lunch! 🙂 Oh – I’ve been in the basement now. It was most certainly a murder basement. I’ve only been down there once, but that was enough. Again – story for another time. But definitely a murder basement. No doubt.