Where it all started....

Well, it started many years ago at a company called RPS. The company name changed and so did mine in 2001. From there, the road led us to the ATL and our own business. I left the road to have babies, but it sure is hard to take the trucker out of a Momma!

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Dear Metro Atlanta Drivers:

The past two mornings, I have been in complete shock and awe with the piss poor driving and lack of patience by my fellow motorists!  I am not a perfect driver but I have been professionally trained by 2 commercial companies.  I went through Smith System Training at UPS and FedEx (well it was RPS an FDX Company when I went through the class,  but still).  I know how to operate tractor trailers, box trucks, step vans, and apply those skills when driving my little VW Passat.    For anyone that cares, here is a little insight:

1.  If I see a light change from yellow to red ahead of me, I am going to shift my car into neutral and let that slow me down instead of continuing at the same rate of speed and then slamming on my brakes.  Riding my bumper to a red light is not going to make a bit of difference, so ride away.  Now, maybe a little education about why this is effective and cost saving will help.  By shifting to neutral in a manual (or just taking your foot OFF the gas in an automatic) you will save on gas and the pads on your brakes!  Good driving PAYS off people!

2.  If I am sitting at a light, I leave my car in neutral with my foot off the clutch.  It will take me several seconds to shift into 1st, but I usually watch the light in the other direction and am all over it.  If your impatient ass cannot manage to wait the less than 5 seconds it takes me to shift into first and start to move and you feel the need to honk.....HONK away and see how long it will take me to get out of 1st gear and into 2nd!  I have all the time in the world!  Now, maybe a little education about why this is effective and cost saving will help.  A manual transmission in itself is cost saving, but making it last is even more so!  By doing what I mentioned in #1 and then not engaging the clutch again until I am ready to roll will save the throw out bearings in my clutch thus saving me repair bills in the long run.

3.  Turn signals are not an option on a car or truck, so use them!  One of the 5 keys to safe driving from the Smith System is Make Yourself Known.  This can be applied to many different aspects of driving, but using your turn signal is a huge one!  Now, if I see someone in front of me actually use one of these thought to be car options, I will react accordingly.  If they signal in front of me, I will slow down to allow for more of a space cushion in case I need to stop in order for them to complete their turn.  You riding my ass will not make me get closer to them.   Now, maybe a little education about why this is effective and cost saving will help.   Letting off the gas and not slamming on my brakes will have the same result as #1:  money savings!!!

Now, I could go on and on, but I think you get the picture.  People:  SLOW DOWN, BE AWARE, BACK OFF, and DRIVE SAFELY!!  If you have to drive like a bat out of hell to get where you have to go, maybe you need to leave a little sooner so we can all arrive at our destination safely!

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

The Lack of Parenting

There have been so many horrible things reported in the news lately.  A lot of them seem to be linked to teens.  My question is.....Where are the parents?  I think the law should hold them accountable as well!!

One recent incident:


-- A random act of violence has left a promising 23-year-old college baseball player dead, a family devastated and two countries half a world apart rattled.
Christopher Lane, who was from Australia, was gunned down in Duncan, Oklahoma, while he was out jogging last week. The motive? Three teens who had nothing better to do, according to police.
"They witnessed a young man run by on the street. Chose him as the target," Police Chief Danny Ford told CNN affiliate KSWO.

So, where were the parents of these teens, ages 15, 16, and 17 that were charged with the crime? Did their parents give them access to the car used in this horrible act? Did they pay for the gas that allowed the kids to cruise around looking for a random target?  Did they know that their children had a gun?  I see all too many people trying to be friends with their kids and give them the world.  This is what happens when you do not parent!  And as the mug shots of these kids show, it is a mixed race lot, so it is piss poor parenting on equal levels!

Another act:

It was a tiny bullet that took the short life of Antonio Santiago.

He had learned to walk, but not yet talk, when he was killed March 21, six weeks after his first birthday. He was strapped in his stroller, out for a walk with his mother a few blocks from their apartment near the Georgia coast, when someone shot the boy between the eyes with a .22-caliber bullet the size of a garden pea.

The teenager charged as the shooter is scheduled to stand trial next week in a courthouse far from the scene of the crime. Because of public outrage and news coverage, a judge has moved 18-year-old De'Marquise Elkins' trial 325 miles away, to the suburbs outside Atlanta. Jury selection starts Monday at the Cobb County courthouse in Marietta. Superior Court Judge Stephen Kelley has set aside two weeks for the trial.

Elkins faces life in prison if convicted of murder. His youth spared him a possible death sentence. At the time of the shooting he was 17, too young to face capital charges in Georgia.

Police say the motive was as banal as the slaying of a toddler was shocking. Investigators concluded that Antonio was killed during an attempted street robbery as his mother, Sherry West, was strolling home with the child from the post office. West said a gunman demanding cash shot her baby in the face after she told him she had no money.

So, where were the 17 year old shooter and 15 year old accomplice's parents?  Did they know their kids were out roaming the streets with a .22?  Did the parents buy that gun and not manage it?  

People can judge.  My kids can hate me.  Others can question, BUT I WILL BE UP MY KID'S ASSES UNTIL THEY MOVE OUT OF THIS HOUSE!!  My kids are not given anything!!  They earn it through respect and working as a member of our family.  Cartoons: earned.  Game time on my phone:  earned!  Special toys outside of Christmas or a birthday:  earned!  If I give them everything and do not hold them accountable at 5 & 4, they too could end up on the wrong side!  

Did the parents of these bad kids even know the kids their own children are hanging out with?  I have witnessed parents drop their middle school kids off across the street and not even get out of the car.  I have often wondered if they knew the kid their child was visiting was kicked out of school for an entire year and had to go to alternative school and then was not allowed back to his "home school" for the rest of the year.  I wondered if they knew that the adult in the house was often not even around.  

Did these teens gone astray ever hold a job or have household jobs that they were required to do?  My 5 year old has to collect the chicken eggs daily, set the table, clear her plate, keep her room clean, put away her clean clothes, and help when asked.  My 4 year old feeds the dog every evening, gets out cups and plates for dinner, clears his plate, puts the dirty clothes in the laundry, put away his clean clothes, and helps when asked.  Responsibility is huge to me!  I have a friend that owns a farm and has her 2 young kids helping with daily farm chores at 5 & 3.  I have seen the 3 year old peel leeks to get them ready for market.  I bet these kids have a complete understanding that they need to work to help keep their life going and I have the utmost respect for it!  What about sports?  Did these killing teenage thugs ever participate in organized sports which require commitment and focus?  

PARENTS....wake up!  PARENT your own kids and be accountable to yourself and them!  Your children are a direct reflection of you!  Show the world that you are a good person by being a good parent!  I have other neighbors that I see in the street walking with their high schoolers.  I see them playing ball with their middle schoolers.  I see them support their kids education.  I would put money on the fact that these kids end up being something!  I would put money on the fact that these kids will end up being productive members of society!  Why???  Because they have parents that are PARENTS!  I am not saying every parent is perfect (I am far from it), but being an involved and accountable parent is better than being your kids' friend, showing by poor example, and leaving a kid to raise themselves!

Monday, August 12, 2013

Reality vs. Pinterest LaLa Land

I love Pinterest for creative ideas, but some of the things I see and the things that people find important mystify me!  I also enjoy the blogs that are so often linked to these wondrous ideas, but I am here to call bullshit and show the reality of every day life!

Here is a picture of a little girls room found on Pinterest:

Does a little girl even sleep here or is it just for show??

Here is the reality of it and I can personally attest to the the fact that I might have spent a total of $115 to create this look!!
My little girl sleeps in the same bed that my Grandfather made for me when I was a kid.  She has an old dresser from my Grandma.  Bought her a comforter set used, a new light from Ikea and pink Target curtains.
Her doll cradle was also made by my Grandfather and was also mine when I was a girl.  It is her room, so if she want it to look like a bomb went off....so be it.  She can't find something, she knows she gets ZERO sympathy!
The blanket chest is very old and was my grandparents.  For now, it is a collection spot for this and that.  The access door to the attic is on my list of things to complete with some chalk board paint, but there is always tomorrow.  The old school desk in the very corner used to have all her stuffed animals sitting on it, but now it is folded up and was a fort for a week or so.

Now, what about little boy rooms?  Here is Pinterest perfection:
photo from: http://retrointeriordesign.com/little-boys-bedroom-decorating-plan/
I don't know a little boy that would not have that room in a heap in under 10 minutes!!  

Here is why I call bullshit:

 No matter how many times I have dumped, sorted, and tossed, the toys will always end up in a heap.  If a kid wants a heap....he can have it, because I have plenty of other ways to spend my time!  His dressers were the first new adult pieces of furniture I purchased when I got my own place.  They are from Ikea and are great, but I only had a double bed and it was cool for the first 6 mo. after I got married, but then I wanted to sleep on a little bit of bed instead of clinging for life.  The table was an old end table that I spray painted.  2 of the chairs were mine as a kid.  The white one came from a furniture store on clearance.

We did buy his bunk bed new from Ikea, because it
allows his sister to sleep in his room when we have company.  Yes, he needs new blinds, but he will just destroy them trying to look at the neighbors dog!
I had to sand the top of the dresser to get it to fit in the dormer, but what else would go there.  His room might not be pin worthy, but he sure likes it and has no trouble sleeping here!

Am I done.....NO!  One last one.  Kids bathrooms.....

While I love this look, is it really achievable?  

Here is my kids bathroom.  Yep....still picture worthy, TP on the toilet and all!!  The waves?  I painted them myself!  The fish?  $7 Target clearance decals.  Light from Ikea.  It is all fine and functional!!

So, am I right in calling bullshit?   

Monday, June 3, 2013

I'm not Mary, but my garden sure is growing....

I am giddy like a school girl!  FINALLY, I have a garden flourishing!  After years of backyard fails, our front yard raised beds are showing great hope.  There are zucchini zipping along, beans budding, tomatoes turning from blossom to (well what else...) TOMATOES, cucumbers creating, and peppers popping!

Roma tomatoes

Early Girl tomatoes

Baby Zucchini

Pole beans


And, all five hens are laying and we are rolling in the eggs!!  They are loving their new home and I am happy to have poop free eggs!  Here is a picture of the egg skelter:

I am betting the HUGE on in the middle is a double yolker from one of our Java girls.  

Friday, May 31, 2013

The Woes of The Husband....

So, Patrick returned from Arkansas with the kids, a kayak, and a staph infection.  Oh yeah!

This warranted a trip to the Emergency Room on Sunday, which probably saved his leg or his life.  His temperature spiked to 104.7 and he was seeing blurry.  They sent him home with 2 prescriptions.  1 for pain to which is debated about filling and 1 for Doxycycline for attacking the infection.  It took until Wednesday to be fever free.  It also took us to the doctor for a follow-up and full diagnosis.  Strep A cellulitis that got in through a small cut or bug bite.  The doctor changed his meds and gave him more pills for pain.  (Yes, he was very glad that he had filled the first one by Monday afternoon!!)

So, with all this going on, my one week of covering at work for his vacation looks like it will be going into week 3 on Monday.  His infection has stopped spreading, but he is nowhere close to being healed.

This is his leg outlined with the hospital marking the original infection.  We had to track it from there, thus the #2.

Not too bad looking, but not pretty.

This is day 3, the day we went for the follow-up.

 Today (Friday) is not pretty!  The doctor did say it would take several days to several weeks for all of it to come to the surface, blister, and scab.  It is blistering alright.  He is still in great pain and can not stand still because it hurts so much.  Walking is good but after 30 minutes, he needs to sit and put his leg up.

So, I am going to work tomorrow and probably all of next week.  Turning back into a trucker and he is not real content in the stay at home role.  Told him, he better get used to it, because he is not going back until he is healed!

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Chicken House Progress....

With the husband and kids gone on a visit to the farm in Arkansas, I have been working at FedEx for the usual hours to get the drivers out the door and then coming home to work on the chicken condo.  It has come along quite well and the girls moved in today!!

Again, I credit henning house (http://henninghouse.com/2011/05/building-the-chicken-coop-henhouse-part-1/) for their inspiration!

Here is a breakdown of the condo in stages:

Base constructed and checked for level.

Built the walls in the driveway and carried them down to the base.

All walls up and roof on!  Had the
husband help with this part, because it
was a tough go alone!

2 walls up

Used the FedEx van for a lumber (and tomato cage)
run!  Works better than the pick-up truck!
I opted to use 8 ft fence pickets instead of ply wood, because of the cuts for the
door, nesting boxes, and windows.  I put them on vertically to give it a log look. 

Window in and nesting boxes started.

Left side complete!

Nesting box complete (at least on the outside)

Back wall windows cut in as is the exit for the girls!

Back wall done including shutters
and screening on windows.
Window screen on the inside

Shutters can close to keep the
draft down in the winter.

Door added.  Needs a latch since the one I bought
was missing parts.  But who makes a
Home Depot run on Memorial Day weekend?!?

Ramp and screening for the open area at the bottom.  Have to keep the
predators out of the chicken house!

Added an awning above the windows.

Roost bars 

Nesting boxes on the
inside.  (And no build could be
complete without a cold one!)

Nesting box egg access.

Nesting box door open

While I was moving the fence
around and the girls were free ranging,
Floppsie made her own way in to lay!

All the girls are in and liking it!

I went down to check on them after it was dark and a
couple of the girls have made the transition quite well.
2 were not into the new roost.
I have several things left to finish, but all in all, I am super excited about the house that I built for the girls!  I think my shop classes in 6, 7, and 8th grades served me well!  It is not perfect and I used a TON of screws, but I still have all my fingers and I did it all with the Ryobi tool set my husband said could not be used to build a thing.  I didn't need that $200 compound miter saw he was trying to get me to buy!

For the project to be 100% done, I need to get a hanger for their food so it is right at the gate or inside the condo itself.  I also need to add a roost bar, because I realized tonight they are a little high.  A way to close the hen exit is in the works (but again would have required going to Home Depot).

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Kids Summer: Trip #1

As kids, both my husband and I lived away from our families and Summer meant going to visit family.  Well, the same holds true for our kids.  The first trip of Summer Break took them to Arkansas with their Dad to visit their Papa John.  I stayed home to keep the business running and work on a couple of projects around the house.

The first day, the girl is already at peace walking the fields in her new Bog Boots and dress.

Day two....It was time to get to work!  John picked the wagon over driving,  so he could watch the dog run with them as they rode the fence lines.

The big pool was apparently still a little cold and not ready for swimming, but these 2 were set on swimming while at Papa John's.  Thanks to the Pocahontas, AR Wal-Mart for making it happen!

Some of the best things are cuddles with grandparents.  I remember mine fondly.  Hope they will remember theirs as well!

There is a large Mennonite population near Papa John and the kids were given hats to fit in!  They have been worn ever since.

And yet another fond memory I have of visits with my Grandparents:  Fishing!  I am so glad they are having fun!