Just out of curiosity, does anyone else have trouble getting the kitchen cleaned up from breakfast? No matter what type of breakfast we have (& believe me, they’re not elaborate most days), it seems to take me forever to clean up the dishes, toast crumbs, etc. Make me feel better – it’s not just me, right? Right?!? Thank you.

At my age, I’ve come to the conclusion that we’ve all set our kitchens up wrong. Scientists insist that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, yet we make little to no effort to prepare for it. My mom would make big meals for breakfast, but I never ate it. I didn’t like it – then or now. I cook it for everyone else, most days, but can’t really stomach it for myself. No pun intended. I don’t mind something quick with my COFFEE! Like a granola bar or donuts, something easy.

This morning, I had an epiphany & decided to round up a few ideas. If I could sit the kitchen up like a hotel breakfast bar, complete with Continental Breakfast, nothing too fancy, just the basics. The fam could just grab the milk &/or juice… Voila! And there you have it! Done & done. It would also be a way to streamline the snacks. The fruit & granola bars are already out, the kids would have to put forth effort to get to the pop & chips. What do you think they’ll grab first?

Honestly, I think if Julia Child had – had children, her kitchen would have looked a whole lot different than the one placed at the Smithsonian. Just sayin’

To include any variety of sliced bread or toast with butter/jam/jelly/honey, cheese, meat, croissants, muffins, pastries, bear claws, Croissant & Scones, rolls, pancakes with syrup, cornflakes or other cereal, yogurt/granola, coffee/tea, fruit juice(s). Use paper plates, plastic forks & spoons, paper napkins, etc.. Don’t feel guilty, you’re saving time & water. Less mess. Heck, I may even start to order the paper, I could sit & read it; gain some badly needed quiet time.

A simple enough pleasure, surely, to have breakfast alone with one’s husband, but how seldom married people in the midst of life achieve it. ~ Anne Spencer

Friends are an important part of our daily lives. They can help decide the paths that we take and the choices me make. I love listening to old stories about families members and how they interacted with their friends. Some stories still baffle me. Uncle Denny was sharing with me yesterday about how Papaw Kell used to own a second hand shoe shop in Grundy, Virginia back during the Depression. I still don’t know why the family ever moved to Grundy. Denny will ask Tom and get back to me on that. I was trying to track down any link to any of the early Adkins in Grundy to our line. So far, the only connection I’ve found is to the family Surname of “Morgan(s).” I thinking it must have had to do with a friendship of some sort. Secondhand shoes was a good business to be in, back in the day, since you couldn’t buy a pair of new shoes. Tom was the only child to stay in Grundy, when the family moved onto Ohio. A man named Walter Benders gave my uncle Tom (nee Alfred Roscoe Adkins – he named himself Tom) a job at the local Drive-In running the projectors. He loved it then moved to another theater, I think before he took a job as the local Building Inspector. Friends in High-Places( wink-wink… a lighthearted joke)!

Papaw Kell also would haul coal from Grundy to Waverly, Ohio, for Ishmael Montgomery. I wish that I had asked about his truck, I can only imagine what it must have looked like. I hope it was a Ford. Anyway, both he and Ishmael were raised in Magoffin County, Kentucky. I’m assuming that’s how they met. I guess we could consider that Networking(insert chuckle here). Ishmael was the son of Ollie and Dennie Montgomery nee Montgomery. He married Zula Montgomery, the daughter of Greenville and Mary Elizabeth (nee Howard) Montgomery. Ishmael and Zula, together had a daughter named Flora aka Flory; their only child. Flory married and divorced my late Uncle Lee. His full name was Charles Lee Adkins, but like most people he went by his middle name. I also found that odd since most people claim to hate their middle names, but anyway, I digress. Zula died a just few short weeks after my Aunt Flory was born from Septicemia following childbirth – delivery by midwife. That was common back then. A lot of women died of what my Grandma Dorothy “Child-Bed Fever.”

Ishmael then married my late Uncle Ben Adkins’s daughter Ethel Mae Adkins aka Mae Adkins Montgomery Williams. Mae married Rodney Williams after Ishmael passed away. Mae never had any children of her own either. Uncle Ben was Papaw Kell’s older brother. Mae was from Ben’s second marriage, also brief, to Cora Howard. Cora passed away and Ben married Ethel Montgomery daughter of Bruce Montgomery and Lula Blanton. [side-note: I love the story from Mary Alice about her two Grandpa’s – Brucepa & Flempa. Her Grandma Lula had married Flem Nickell after a questionable divorce from Bruce.] They had a lot of children so my late Uncle John Lewis Adkins (Kell & Ben’s oldest brother) and his wife Loula (don’t know her maiden name) Adkins raised Mae and Mae’s brother Robert, since they had no kids of their own. It sounds a little complicated, but times were hard back then and people did what they thought was best for their kids and for family. Well, most people anyway. But had they not had that network those people may have otherwise, never met.

When you’re journaling today, don’t forget to jot down the names of your friends, old and new. Describe each one very briefly and note when and where each was a friend.

If you had a childhood boyfriend or girlfriend, note his or her name, when you were friends, and briefly, what the relationship was like.

If you ever had an imaginary friend, describe this “friend” and when, where and how they were a part of your life.

Name the people besides family and friends who were important in your life. Note their relationship with you and what made this person memorable.

Name other people or social groups you tend to hang out with.

Think of your best friend(s), where or how did you meet? What drew you together? What did you typically do together, after school, on weekends, and or during vacations?

What are your fondest memories with your friends? Did you have any secrets or secret places that you’d go? Did you ever have a fight? Did you compete? Did something happen to end the your friendship(s)?

Who else was important to you? What did they look like? How did they act? Where did you meet? What happened between you? What made them stand out? What events or occasions happened that involved them?

Were there any “hangouts” places that you tended to go be with others your age? What was it like? What type of people were generally there? What would happen?

I had a friend named Bucket Woods in elementary school. No, I’m not joking. She lived on the main drag in Trenton, Ohio at the time and we lived on the corner of Madison Ave. She lived in light green two story house. Her older sister Tina and my oldest sister Shirley were very good friends at the time. That’s about all I can remember, but I still talk about her today, so it must have meant a lot to me at the time. That’s usually how most friendship’s and marriages for that matter, start. A common bond or relationship. Sometimes, it’s easier to track somebody down through their friends than it is to call a family member. The stories are usually better too.

When we honestly ask ourselves which person in our lives mean the most to us, we often find that it is those who, instead of giving advice, solutions, or cures, have chosen rather to share our pain and touch our wounds with a warm and tender hand. The friend who can be silent with us in a moment of despair or confusion, who can stay with us in an hour of grief and bereavement, who can tolerate not knowing, not curing, not healing and face with us the reality of our powerlessness, that is a friend who cares. ~ Henri J.M. Nouwen, Out of Solitude: Three Meditations on the Christian Life

* Your fences need to be horse-high, pig-tight
and bull-strong.

* Keep skunks and bankers at a

* Life is simpler when you plow around the stump.

* A bumble bee is considerably faster than a
John Deere tractor.

* Words that soak into your ears are whispered…not yelled.

* Meanness don’t jes’ happen overnight.

* Forgive your enemies. It messes up their heads.

* Do not corner something that you know is meaner
than you.

* It don’t take a very big person to carry a

* You cannot unsay a cruel word.

* Every path has a few puddles.

* When you wallow with pigs, expect to get dirty.

* The best sermons are lived, not preached.

* Most of the stuff people worry about ain’t
never gonna happen anyway.

* Don’t judge folks by their relatives.

* Remember that silence is sometimes the best

* Live a good, honorable life. Then when you get
older and think back, you’ll enjoy it a second time.

* Don’t interfere with somethin’ that ain’t
botherin’ you none.

* Timing has a lot to do with the outcome of a
rain dance.

* If you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is stop diggin’.

* Sometimes you get, and sometimes you get got.

* The biggest troublemaker you’ll probably ever
have to deal with, watches you from
the mirror every mornin’.

* Always drink upstream from the herd.

* Good judgment comes from experience, and a
lotta that comes from bad judgment.

* Lettin’ the cat outta the bag is a whole lot
easier than puttin’ it back in.

* If you get to thinkin’ you’re a person of some
influence, try orderin’ somebody else’s dog around.

* Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply.
* Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

There is poetry as soon as we realize that we possess nothing. ~ John Cage

I’ve headed my blog with the tagline, “Details make the story, so do personal attitudes.” I need to take my own advise about the “details” part. Never leave them out; life lesson! The other half is to warn readers that I tend to have an attitude… go figure…

With that said…

While I was piddling around all morning, waiting for a package to be delivered that had to be sign for, trying not to scream when they emailed saying, “The package that I paid extra to be overnighted, last week, will arrive tomorrow instead” (I’m sure it won’t decrease my rate any). No times listed either. Which means I’ll repeat the process, again tomorrow, I should have seen that coming. I thought that I’d handle a few mundane tasks & cross them off my too do list, while I waited. You know… “Redeem the time.”

I needed a password to email an invoice for my son while he’s on vacation, simple enough, it should have only taken a few minutes, but my memory failed me, I told myself to look it up. So, I did…

I had written it in one of the notepads on my desk (but which one?), a little harder to find than I thought. I found it easily enough the last time I needed it, so I thought it would be a snap today, but… nope. I leafed through page after page of redundant notes, cracking myself up, I doubt if the FBI, CIA or NASA combined could crack my code – slash – notes that I made to myself (I hope they never try). Its funny when you write something down, you’re sure you’ll have no problem remembering what their for later.
[That was after all, the point of taking notes. To briefly rehash them later, For further use, etc. But, NOPE!]

[Note to self: For future reference… make exact notes, no abbreviations, be clear – don’t doodle, don’t mix business with everyday tasks, use a separate pages for separate occasions. So that when you reread said notebooks, a year later or two later, you’ll know what the details were. ’nuff said!]

I did see where, I’m guessing I was frustrated with a phone call or maybe I was on hold, IDK, and gave myself a pep talk. ie: “Silence is one of the great arts of conversation.” ~ Hannah More. Thank you, Hannah. That was written above & in the same lined off section as a ’67 GTO Dayton- Craiglist (Springboro). You tell me??? I do try and draw a line between days/items/events, so I’m not sure where I went wrong there.

Some notes were very detailed, almost boarding on TMI, while others were so vague, I don’t know why I wrote them down at all. I did notice a reoccurring trend throughout the books, when I was overly stressed, with far too much on my TO DO LIST, I did follow it by a little quip [Here you thought it was just how I ended each post on the blog.] Not true, its how I live my day to day apparently… one page was so full of tasks, that in the middle clearly marked with an asterisk were the words, “The blueprints of your ultimate achievements. ~ Napoleon Hill. Its part of a quote that actually goes “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul; the blueprint of your ultimate achievements.” – Napoleon Hill. Words to live by, I’m not sure why I wrote it. What can I say? I was stressed.

I did however, on that same page, down a few tasks from that, again marked with an asterisk, write the rest of the quote, “Cherish your visions and your dreams as they are the children of your soul.” So I did know what I was thinking after all, I guess, just didn’t get my ducks (or Hill’s) in a row. Sorry, its was that kind of a day. Not to mention, that no one ever sees my notes, but me and I really don’t care.

I haven’t blogged for several months, and I do apologize for that, but I’ve been taking some badly needed time for myself. I did get to many of the emails answered (late) and helped where I could, but giving myself more time to run my own personal life; spending time with my husband and children and their children. I do thank you for being patient and affording me that luxury.

It has been a very eventful few months with a lot to share. If you follow me on Facebook (Not Twitter: I rarely tweet – sorry. Although, midway the notebook was a note to change my Twitter password; seems pointless now), then you know I’m a very busy person, yet I strive to make time for my family and friends and work.


My daughter Mandy & son-in-law Alan have since adopted their daughter Alyssa. Alyssa has been with them for many years and we’re thrilled to welcome her officially into our family. Her suburban home is full of love and lots of children. The official head count is 9 children. Don’t ask if their biological, adopted, PPLA, or full custody. She doesn’t see “status” as a real identity in her family, everyone is loved equally, regardless of their official status. That’s the way we should all be.


Steven spent two weeks in Japan. Nothing exciting to report on his trip, other than he went. He did miss his train, took another, arrived safe & sound. you’ll have to ask him more about it. Although, his cell phone bill almost gave me a heart attack, but other than that, its all good, he had fun. Hi, Yoko!


We should have a few new babies arriving soon. Sarah Wiley (Shay), Cassidy Metcalf and Kimberly Miniard (Scott), are all three girls are due before the end of the year. Congratulations to the families!


We had a Metcalf Family Reunion at the Mound in Miamisburg recently, it was a nice big crowd, 6 of the siblings got together with their families, the other 6 did not. We get too busy sometimes and fail to interact with family, thinking they’ll always be there, but its not so. We lost a few members this year and they will be sorely missed, but we will be welcoming a few more. Such is life.


I will admit being disheartened when my daughter repeated a joke that her first cousin made at her house last month, she said, “Our family should say that their in the CIA… they have to remain private.” That’s just sad. I know I used to exhaust myself trying to get people to interact, only to realize you can’t force people to get together or to love one another. Now, I just say, “I’ll see ya at the next funeral.”… and Life goes on. I am however delighted that the cousins are making a conscience effort, in their adult lives to get to know one another. Its a good thing.

I did get to spend a few minutes with family this weekend; a graduation and a baby shower. The typical Life events that we all attend briefly, not sharing anything more than an “Glad to see you again & How is everybody? Of course, if you know me at all, you know I didn’t get a single picture.

I think that I’m going to have a sit down dinner each month with one or two of the siblings and find out where the problem lies. If they don’t come, I’ll start sending them weekly newsletters, that way they’ll know what their missing. I’ll try and be more concise, if they had to read my notes they’d even stop taking my mail.


I did see in my notes where on 7/29(12 not written), I called “BELKIN” got a ticket number, U & P (I must have had an Router problem?). No other notes, except written in uppercase bold letters were the words, ‘COOL BEANS!” So I’m guessing they fixed my problem. Again, more details are needed.
Hey Patty, Good News… I found your phone number! … its probably to late to call. Sorry.


One page was so vague I wanted to cry after reading it, the top of the page read, ” Flannery O’Connor: ‘The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it emotionally.'” It only got worse from there. Most of it didn’t make any sense at all. Could be, judging from my notes, a good thing.


I found a quick note about my Cookie Party > Lime Green – Red – Pink -White. Sounds like a plan. I’ll just repeat that again, this year.


I did dog-ear a couple of pages, but after looking at both sides, couldn’t tell you why. On the page opposite (left) of the dog-eared page was a quote that read, “Life is meant to be a never-ending education. And when this is fully appreciated, we are no longer survivors but adventurers.” ~ David McNally. Its written under the name and number of my tax preparer, that can’t be a coincidence.

The other page, right side of dog-eared page, I made a list of Christmas movies I wanted to buy the kids for Christmas, I didn’t get them last year, so I’m thinking its not too late, I’ll start ordering them for this year. Never let a good idea go, just because you didn’t see it thru the first time, doesn’t mean its not still a good idea. Who doesn’t love the 1983 version of “A Christmas Story?” Someone in this family quotes it a dozen or more times a year, we won’t mention any names here. PS: My favorite Christmas movie of all time is “Its A Wonderful Life.” I have to watch it about 8 or more times every year, but that’s just me.

Quickly & for no apparent reason, other than to know where it is later, I’m going to list them here (feel free to skip over this section): Its A Wonderful Life (1946), A Christmas Story, Elf, We’re No Angels, Miracle on 34th St (1940), One Magic Christmas, Muppet Christmas Carol, Joyeux Noël, Gremlins, The Santa Clause, The Shop Around the Corner (1940), Christmas in Connecticut (1945), White Christmas (1954) [What can I say? I love the old black & whites.] Scrooged (1988), Polar Express, Die Hard (yes, my hubby loves action films), Love Actually, The Bishop’s Wife (its not my fav., but I sit thru it every year), Holiday Inn, The Nightmare Before Christmas (kids love that kind of stuff), A Christmas Carol (you guessed it,1951), Christmas Vacation (who doesn’t love that one? Chevy Chase & John Candy – Classic), Babes In Toyland (1934), and last but not least, Home Alone (1990). Who said all old notes were worthless? Just sayin’


On a genealogy note: One page divided in half lengthwise lists 1840 Adkins. Left side of page contain the names of every Adkins living in Morgan County. The right side of the page contain a list of Adkins names living in Pike County. Oddly enough, all related to each other. [Hum… now if I had only made a note as to why I made that list.] I do however, seem to know every detail of their lives as I read their names, even the ones that were misspelled or seemly so. It was a nice trip down memory lane or up the family tree so to speak. I’ll count that as a blessing. Hope to meet a few of them in Heaven one day.


One page contained only one email address, no other info provided. its to a Kevin Adkins with a gmail address. Funny, I don’t know a Kevin Adkins, or do I? Maybe, I should have sent him an email???


One page is a HUGE NOTE that basically says, “CARBONITE IS RUNNING!”


Last page read, ‘Fried Chicken & Dessert. Hazelwood. Okay, once again, Details.


And on that note, you can see that I had nothing new to add. My life is running like everyone else’s. Busy as a bee or as I like to say, “Chasing my tail.” Just another day at the office. In my j’s at 5 p.m. Going to shower & make dinner for my husband. I rarely get a chance to stay home and do that, and I really enjoy it. No libbers comments welcome. Its my life and you can quote me on that. Just leave me a note.

  People don’t care how much you know until they know how much you care. ~ John C. Maxwell

If you could travel back in time & visit a particular time period, which time would you visit? I think I’d love to visit the late 1800’s-early 1900’s, but I could come up with many, many other times, too.

Any particular time or place you’d love to visit? I’d love to visit some earlier Tuscan villas with ladies baking bread and working the vineyards or maybe some old French countryside, walking and talking with the ladies harvesting the lavender fields or just having breakfast. Talking about old recipes and how they felt about their families, civil issues, wars and such. I’d also like to spend some time in Kansas, with all of my Grandpa Stump’s family as children. It’s always nice to understand where the culture comes from… and the attitudes. Just to see how they really lived.

Most of us romanticize about how we think they lived or what may have beset them in their every day lives. We can speculate as to how they worked or dealt with family issues; one on one. I made a joke today about if you missed one of my Grandma Dorothy’s parties, I think she would have drove over and got you. You’d better be dead if you missed it, cause if not, she’d probably kill ya. Not really, I was just kidding about the physical part;  I don’t think that I ever saw her hit anybody, ever, but she just had a wonderful way about her that brought our families together and often.

And so many others I’d love to talk to…

Wouldn’t you like to know what caused the “Falling-Out,” as its usually referred to, between family members? To see, if maybe, anything could have been done to correct it or to mend the fences? I know I would. Why so & so ______________, (whomever you just thought of here) don’t want someone or anyone for that matter in their lives?

Lots of unanswered questions that I want to ask. A million different places I want to see. So many people I want to meet.

I know we can’t go back, but it’s always nice to dream a little.

What about you?

Imagination will often carry us to worlds that never were, but without it we go nowhere. ~ Carl Sagan

I believe Popeye said, “I yam what I yam and that’s all what I yam”

I’m just back from vacation early, and am shocked by some things that I have read and seen on Facebook today. Friends and family taking sides on a political war they have waged themselves. Anthony says that Facebook is the devil at least once a week and I’m starting to agree in part. Its a social media that allows us to express our feelings and to share our daily lives with one another, not a place to browbeat our friends with our own ideals. It doesn’t hurt anyone if we keep some things to ourselves.

The truth is that I’ve personally have had more than one heated debate over politics myself, but I try to never let it go too far. It did once and I have to admit, that one was for the better. Its not just Facebook, its what we used to refer to as the news. But its unfortunate that there is no longer any unbiased media. Every show has its writers, all trying to express their own agenda. We can’t let the biased media continue to divide us a people, or as a family. We all need to learn to “agree to disagree,” as we do in most things in life to keep the peace, why not politics? I’m not saying that we abandon all of our ideals, I’m just saying that there are times when you should say, I don’t agree with you and we’ll leave it at that.

I’m sure that we all know where I stand without even asking me, so why bring it up unless it is to provoke an argument? You’ll not sway me, nor I you, so we’ll discuss dinner or the weather, or even Farmville if you play, (which I do love to play it, but can’t seem to find time to for it anymore), and I’ll pick up you up and drive you to the polls to express your political opinions there.  More than likely, we’ll canceled each other out and I’m okay with that. That’s they way its supposed to be, its called Freedom. A democracy. And, most importantly, don’t forget to take some form of ID, its the law.

I came home early because I was sick, experiencing bouts of dizziness, nausea and vomiting. I didn’t let it effect what I went there for, the Rod Run and my daughters vow renewal.  It was wonderful ceremony and they did it for personal reasons, just to show their children that they’re dedicated to each other and will always be there for them. Some people thought it was silly, but to them I say, “Love is never silly, do what makes You happy.” Love your life! Enjoy everyday and make it fun.

Now with that said, I know I’m not going to live forever down here, but will except whatever God has waiting for me over there. No, I’m not expecting to die any time  soon, but if you follow my blog, you know I spend weeks, months, even years trying  to find out who, what, when, where and how people lived and died. Its what I do. I often think, why didn’t they just take a few minutes to write things down? How hard would that have been? Then we’d know why they chose to do what they did. Its hard to form an opinion when your on the outside looking in, but if they shared their reasoning, then maybe it would make more sense or maybe not. But we’d see them for whom they really were or are.

I have a little memento shadow box with the remnants of my dad’s life in it. He collected coins, a few military items, a few other miscellaneous items that I’m sure were only important to him, and his wallet. His wallet, contains his SS card, drivers license, blood card, and insurance card, among others. Yes, he’s past away now, but it proves that he lived. Although he is past, I can still provide anyone proof of who he was. He was a real – legal person.

You can’t go anywhere in today’s world without ID or you’ll be arrested as indigent. That’s the law. You get a form of ID when you’re born, a birth certificate or registration of birth, and a  Social Security card. You can’t drive with a drivers license or  a permit, for which, you had to provide proof of birth and a SS card. You must show ID to cash a check, to go to school, get welfare, etc. Why or how would someone living in America today, not have one? That is the question to ask; unless there an illegal or wanted for a crime.  In either case, they can’t vote. You can not NOT have some form of ID, so why refuse to show it? Even the Amish – whom have abstained from the SS program from the very start, MUST register their children births & have a driver’s license to operate a vehicle.

I also read an outlandish statement that “Republicans hate the poor.” WOW! To that I can assure you that I don’t hate poor people – that’s just liberal propaganda. This is the biased media in action. I do hate it when people cry poor mouth, but that’s an entirely different thing. I do however, feel sorry for anyone who buys into this rubbish. The bible says that there is nothing new under the sun. People have always had these similar experiences in the past. People may fear some individual poor people for their own reasons, but its just that, their own reasons. Ignorance to me is what should be hated. Work hard to rise above the level of education of your predecessors and make the most of who you are.  Make them proud to have raised you and of whom you have become. I hope that I raised you and your parents to the best of my abilities, and you’ll do even more with your children as a result.

The bible says a workman is worthy of his hire. I believe that. We have what God has given us. Nothing more… nothing less. We are expected to be good stewards over what He has given us. That’s what He expects for all of us. And yes, I switched parties and became a Republican because of my faith. I’m not of the liberal socialist mindset, but I will help anyone who is working and still struggling, doing the best they can, just needing a little help every now and then, when things get tight. I’ll try and be there. Very few people were there for me, but I thanked those that helped where it was needed. I’m not saying that I haven’t failed to help some in the past, but its been my experience that the people who truly need help, never ask. I’m even guilty of helping too much on occasion when it comes to my children, but I think as a parent we all suffer from that a little, from time to time.

I’ll try and explain to my ideals to children, although I’m sure they already know, and my Grandchildren so they will know more about me as I lived, and how I formed my ideals and my values. I do hope that you’re keeping a journal or a blog; doing the same thing for your family history and/or progeny. Let them know the good, the bad and even some of the ugly. Let them see you.

I was raised very poor. This may shock some of you, but those that knew me as a child knows that it’s true. Not that I was raised poorly, just that my dad had a alcohol addiction that was bigger than he was, so my mom worked hard to keep us together and to support us. She needed a little help and it came by way of the govt called “Aide to Dependent Children” aka ADCR. My mom worked – everyday. And as you all know, she died at a very young at age, she was 41; Killed in a car accident on her way to work. And YES, I do have a lot of personal issues with my childhood, as everyone does, even if it were ideal childhood. Its called baggage; some good and/or some bad, we carry it with us – it forms who we become later in life. Its why young girls with daddy issues marry old men and why some people cuss like sailors; except for Popeye.

My mom had many bad experiences raising us, working long hours, trying to live with an abusive husband or keeping a roof over our heads. Like the time the Govt took her entire ADCR check one month for making 33 cents too much. Think that didn’t hurt? She had her monies stolen out of her purse more than once and let me tell you, its hard to provide for 5 children with nothing in your wallet. Its funny, I don’t remember her complaining to anyone or ever crying poor mouth.  To my knowledge, she never had a checking account in her life. So that’s one thing she didn’t teach me. I had to learn to manage one the hard way –  from personal experience, just by doing it. Sometimes, you have to be self-taught, then you can see both sides – up close and personal. Allow a for a few mistakes here and there.

I’ve seen people abuse the system, lie to get what they want, be lazy and/or have a lot of children they neither wanted nor raised in order to get a bigger Govt check. As a child it infuriated me. I’ve also seen people abuse their children in ways that would make you ill, but as a child, was powerless to do or say anything about it. It is only as an adult that I could effect the way I live. Its called a Personal Choice.  I’ve seen adults use their children as meal tickets, more than once in my life, don’t worry, I won’t name names, but you know who you are. I also, hope that Karma will be a real part of God’s will, so that they will be given a glimpse of what they have done.

I choose to live my life as I see fit and encourage you to do the same. You’ll make mistakes, everyone does. Learn from them as not to be an repeat offender. And NO, I’ve never consider killing any of my children, for me that was never a CHOICE.  You choose to live the way you do, let me do the same. You know that I lost three children to miscarriage, but would love to have held them in my arms and raised them with whatever means I had, even if it meant making due with less or maybe even nothing, just to have the opportunity to know them and to have them in my life. That would be MY choice.

Some people will say, “If you can’t afford them, then you shouldn’t have them.” Well maybe some part of that is true, on some level, but for me, they’re the most valuable asset that I could have ever obtained in life. I wouldn’t want to have 10 kids if I knew before hand that I couldn’t afford them, but our Grandparents did, they believed that God would provide. Somehow, it worked out. I’ve also heard it jokingly said that one old man could take care of 10 kids, but 10 kids can’t take care of one old man. This seems even more true. Nursing homes & so called Assisted living facilities are bulging at the seams. Few people are ever worried about the elderly, when it was through their sacrifice that we have what we do today.

Moreover, I still would expect my husband to go to work everyday, by his choice, and to make good practical decisions for our family, at any stage; young or old. He was a seasonal constructional worker for many years, and the winter’s were rough. He worked before he ever met me, so expecting him to continue to do so, didn’t seem out of the norm. This he did and does for himself and for his family.  True Story: Together, we experienced one winter in which a family member, for whatever reason, was being childish and denied him his unemployment eligibility that year. We had two small children at the time and to say we were roughing it would have been an understatement for sure, but it only made me and my values stronger and us stronger as a couple. We didn’t qualify for food stamps, but somehow, through and by the Grace of God, we made due.

I laugh and tell people that  learned to make due from my oldest sister, she was a lot like my mom, she could stretch a dollar farther than you could ever imagine. She still can. Although, I’m sorry but I can’t use cheap one ply toilet paper. That’s where I draw the line. Now, my daughter Mandy is a coupon queen, that she learned from her, not me. I still think if the store can afford to offer a price reduction, they should. The burden is on them to provide the best quality and price they can for their customers, so its on them.  Both women taught me how to be a miser when needed, never to cry poor mouth and how make due with whatever. Valuable lessons in today world. That was back before we became a disposable, credit card carrying peoples. No one qualified so no one had it. You just made due with what you had. Like it or not.

In my married life, we used common sense, together we made sure that any monies made in the summer – carried us through the winter. I worked long and hard as a full time mother, office mgr and wore more hats around the house than I care to remember. Don’t even get me started on the 26 weeks to qualify for unemployment, now 99 weeks thing. Mercy. I don’t know how the seasonal workers will be able to stay seasonal.  But it helps with the media propaganda that unemployment is way down.  Its just that they have exhausted their allowance and no longer qualify for additional wages paid. I worry about those families – where do they go from here? I guess they’ll have to start over in another profession.  There goes the construction industry in the colder states.

This is where I get my values from, I’m sure you’re coming from a different place, different conditions. We all learn and grow from our experiences differently, make some us of more skeptical and/or bitter than others. I think I’ve heard just about everything at this point, from every side. Everything in America today is politically biased, that’s part of what makes us American is our RIGHT to our form own opinions and ideas and to reject the medias influence or to suck it up like a sponge when we don’t see it for what it is. I know I go with my gut on a lot of things, as I’m sure you do as well. Just don’t let it cause division, respect my thoughts and my ideas, my politics as I will respect your right to yours. Don’t belittle a man for working hard to earn the monies to support for his family and to spend it the way he sees fit. Don’t hate him for actually achieving the American dream. Don’t hate someone for being successful. Don’t tell him how to spend his money or take it away from him, because you think you have some right to it. I tell my kids to get a job. I’d tell yours to do the same.

I let my children make their own decisions, some of which I don’t agree with at all, but I do try to help them if or when they ask, some say even when I shouldn’t. I tell them them that I pay the bills around here so, I make the decisions for me and you’ll hear what I have to say, like it or not and when I’m at your house, I’ll do the same for you. I do respected their ideas, even Steven’s when we clearly don’t see eye to eye.  I pray that God will show him the truth one day and that’s all I can hope for. So kids, when uncle Steven has some crazy liberal idea, eats alligator and tells you it tastes like chicken, or gets lost crossing the street while going for cotton candy and tries to convince you that all six of you were lost, but he wasn’t, just agree to disagree with him and love him anyway. That’s what I do.

You know I love Popeye cartoons, he makes a lot sense sometimes in his own way. I love to hear an English accent and a Southern accent, a southern accent expresses a point of view – no matter the spoken word. Polite humor is still the best expression you can extrude. Its not making light of your ideas, its just a way to tell you how I feel without having to kick you to he curb.

It helps to know we are who we are, why we think the way we do, it keeps us stable and lets you know before hand what subjects are taboo. You’re not going to change who I am, nor I you. Just except me for who I am and I’ll do the same. If you’re sitting around my table you may get an ear full, God knows I could talk your leg off, but not to worry, Anthony won’t let us talk politics at the table so you won’t lose your appetite. My cooking is too good for that. Yes, I am a modern woman and I still love to cook. That’s who I am.

I’m a Republican by choice. A Wife by choice; his and mine. A Mother by choice.  A Christian by God’s choice and mine.  Cause I yam what I yam! (You may need to think with a southern accent here for that to make sense). I’ve heard people say that Ohioans have an accent, but to tell you the truth I’ve never heard it (insert light chuckle here).

As always,
Sheila Jean Adkins Metcalf

America will never be destroyed from the outside. If we falter and lose our freedoms, it will be because we destroyed ourselves. ~ Abraham Lincoln

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