Wednesday, April 29, 2009

A Little Whine Over the Swine


Today I have been really annoyed over the whole Swine Flu epidemic, pandemic, bullshit!
Yesterday the school nurse called me to come pick up my 13 year old asthmatic daughter from school. She said she was sick, running a low grade fever, and she was complaining of her asthma. I told her it was going to be just a few minutes, because I had to hunt down my youngest brother to pick her up because I couldn't walk too good yet, much less drive. She said she understood and was real nice to explain to me that Lonnie wasn't on the list to sign her out but this one time would be fine.

I stayed in the car while Lonnie walked in to get Shelby and sign her out. When they came walking out, Lonnie was in front of Shelby and the school nurse was following behind. Lonnie looked at me and rolled his eyes. When she saw me she waved and very cheerfully said "Hi Haley, I'm glad to see you out and about how are you?"
When I replied "I'm OK and you?" she said "I hope Shelby feels better, you might want to think of trying to find a mask for her so her germs doesn't spread among the household, Id hate to see you get sick in your condition"
I looked at her like she had lost her mind. I heard Lonnie in the drivers seat mumble something under his breath. I then asked what in the world would she need a mask for? Simply ignoring the fact of "the condition" I'm in. She said "Oh in case its THE SWINE?" I just kind of looked at her still and then I said "I highly doubt she has the Swine Flu". I made sure I emphasised on The Swine Flu, her quirky nickname for it irritated me!
"Oh but Haley we cannot be to careful, we are sending them home with the first signs of it."
"But this isn't the Swine Flu" I urged.
"Well we cant be to sure, just get her to the doctor if her fever spikes and take care of yourself" she spun on her heals and energetically ran back in the school.
I looked over at my brother, who wrinkled his noise and made oink oink sounds.
Poor Shelby wasn't amused.

As the night went by Shelby started feeling better after taking her nebulizer and a couple of Tylenol. She returned to school this morning because they are having standardized testing. About 12ish i received the call to come get her, she was not feeling well. I asked a series of questions on how Shelby was feeling, what were the symptoms, was she running a fever, etc...and the nurse started getting snappy with me, she said "I told you yesterday if her fever spiked to take her to the doctor"
I had just about enough when i snapped back off on her and explained to her that Shelby's illness had nothing to do with The Swine Flu, had she even taken her damn temperature she would have noted that it was a tad lower than normal temps, but she was too worked over what she called THE SWINE to even care what her temps were. I asked her again if she had taken her temperature and she told me she hadn't but her face was awfully warm. I mumbled under my breath and told her we would be there soon.

She walked Shelby out to the car she asked again why I didn't take her to the doctor. Well first of all I am up to my ass in medical bills already, and secondly I do not see the point in it. The nurse said "well what if its the Swine? Look at all you re infecting"
Technically if it was the Swine Flu, she wouldn't have even felt like going to school this morning, she probably wouldn't even had wanted to get out of bed. I couldn't hold back or bite my tongue anymore "Well look at the fright you are putting in all these kids you are sending home at a little damn sniffle. YOU should really RECONSIDER your approach on the subject and YOU should have a tad more knowledge on the SWINE FLU before you start throwing out accusations. Shelby hasn't been around anyone, and you continue to call her out, call us out to pick her up, and personally I think its all bullshit!" Lonnie leaned over me telling her thank you for her concerns and we would handle the matter as we see fit, and he sped out of the parking lot telling me
how I need to bite my tongue more often.

Ok, So I lost it. I should have bitten my tongue. I shouldn't have said what I was thinking. Actually, I kinda did hold back a little but I'm just sick and tired of everyone going ballistic over this Swine Flu.

I agree, we should be alert, but to panic? To call out a child for sneezing and coughing from a cold? NO! Every year thousands of people die from the flu alone, this isn't so much different, except the fact that its just a different kind of flu.
Yes, I have been washing my hands, and making the kids wash theirs, but that's not because I am freaking out over this thing. I am just being safe, and using good hygiene.

Is the WHO, CDC and the MEDIA making too much of this? Are they not sending the world into a panic? Is it just me that feels this way or do others feel the same?

Tonight I have decided that maybe I should call the school nurse and offer my apologies for jumping down her throat. Maybe even invite her to dinner for some country fried SWINE chops and collard greens cooked with a big huge SWINE (ham)hock!

Today I confess....THE SWINE is getting on my nerves!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

The TRUTH is....


This morning after my daughters left for school, I sat on the front porch in one of the straight back chairs, to enjoy the beautiful sounds and sights of the bright morning. Wrapped up in one of my Grandmother's multicolored afghans to keep the chill off, I started thinking about how the TRUTH can really hurt people's feelings.
As I was recovering from a brain injury from my accident, my neuropsychologist would often give me single words to reflect on. Two of those words were Patience and Hope. Those were the two that seemed to help me the most. This morning, one single word kept playing in my mind...TRUTH. I sat wrapped in my afghan thinking how the TRUTH can be quite damning sometimes.
As human beings we do not want to hear the TRUTH when we feel it is going to hurt us. Some of us beg for TRUTH, and liars always have a hard time speaking the TRUTH. As parents we try and teach our children not to tell a lie. We sometimes tell them the story of our first president, "Father, I cannot tell a lie, I cut down the cherry tree". With that, there is speculations in TRUTH that George Washington was not the first president, but some believe John Hanson was. TRUTH be known, we may never know who was the first president. Some believe that George Washington became the first president under the constitution we follow today. There are beliefs that 6 more presidents were elected after John Hanson's term. Is there TRUTH that there were 7 forgotten presidents?
When we ladies ask "do these jeans make my butt look big?" Are we really seeking the TRUTH? Do we really wish to know the the TRUTH? Men often result to a little white lie in fear of hurting ones feelings upon such a simple question.
We were taught to speak the TRUTH for the TRUTH will set you free.
We played the childhood game TRUTH or Dare, and some of us, like me, chose TRUTH over a dare. Sometimes we avoid the TRUTH in fear that we will get in trouble. I remember a time when I was about 5, my mother and my neighbor warned me over and over not pet the neighbor's chihuahua, for he would bite. One day I wandered over to the neighbors house. The chihuahua was outside yipping and yapping at me. I couldn't imagine such a tiny thing being so mean. I reached down to pick him up, and was bitten on the lip and nose. One of his teeth cut the side of my nose and I was bleeding pretty bad. I was scared to go home and tell my mother what happened for I feared her often abusive hand. When she asked what happened, the first thing that popped in my mind "I fell on a pine cone" Apparently the cut was pretty deep because I had a "butterfly" stitch applied to side of my nose. It was 20 years later before I ever confessed the TRUTH to my mother. She was telling someone how I cut my nose and lip on a pine cone as child. "Well Mom, TRUTH is, I picked up that damn chihuahua and he attacked my face" Why I was suddenly compelled to tell the TRUTH after all those years is a mystery to me, but the TRUTH set me free. No longer did I have to feel the guilt of lying to my Mother about that Chihuahua!
For the most part I have always been an honest person, yet I have spoken my share of a few white lies.
I tried teaching my daughters TRUTH is always better than a lie. When my youngest daughter was 3 years old, there was a little old lady telling her how precious she was. Shelby kept backing away from her. The lady made a comment of Shelby being shy. Shelby was by far from shy and I had a feeling why she was backing away. I had hoped that Shelby would remain quiet, when suddenly she squealed "I'm not shy, You have a big green boogie in your nose!" Sometimes the TRUTH is best left unsaid!
The majority of the reason why I was reflecting on TRUTH so much this morning was simply because in speaking the TRUTH to a dear friend, I hurt their feelings. Speaking the TRUTH in how I felt was not what they wanted to hear, yet I have a hard time in keeping quiet, and I continued to voice the TRUTH in what I felt. In speaking the TRUTH I caused pain in both he and myself. What I voiced was the TRUTH in me, what he voiced was the TRUTH in him, those two TRUTHS were two totally different views. His a softer TRUTH, mine a more volatile TRUTH.
The TRUTH can be so explosive sometimes and I guess that's why some of us refrain from the TRUTH.
There are times we simply just do not want to hear the TRUTH.
With my brain injury, I became a mean person. I was self centered, and I spoke too much TRUTH, and would often cry when I realized the damages done. In speaking angrily TRUTHS I pushed those away who meant alot to me.
Some understood, Some didn't, but the TRUTH is, I damaged feelings in both others and myself and there was not much I could do to take away that hurt. No matter how much I offered my apologies, the damage was done.
In learning to deal with my anger, my depression, and deal with situation, I realized how many people in my life were affected by my accident, thanks to my brothers Steve and Lonnie. My sister always took a soft approach to my anger outbursts, my brother Lonnie did not. He fought back, yelling right back at me. One day he got in my face, nose to nose, and yelled "Haley, you have become a self centered bitch no one wants to be around! Wake up! You were not the only one who suffered in this accident, we all have! We all changed our lives to take care of you, and you're too wrapped up in your own little pity party to see the TRUTH. We cant help you when you wont help yourself" Those TRUTHful words stung, and hurt. I cried for hours.
Simply put, TRUTH hurts. But with that hurt, we become stronger and wiser. My sister Kelly tried calming Lonnie, who in return yelled at her "No Kelly, she needs to know the damn TRUTH instead of you babying her all the time"
He was right, and with that TRUTH I realized I had become a self centered bitch, and I vowed I would never be again.
I realized how much my family has done for me, how my harsh words have hurt and pushed people away. How I had let my inadequacies infuriate and hurt the people who meant the most to me. I wanted to make things right, and I knew I had to confess my wrongs and I had to admit the TRUTH!
It was that TRUTH yelled by my brother that has gotten me this far. I worked harder in my physical therapy, I worked harder in psychological therapy and I let myself be taught how to fight to become whole again.
I realized how much TRUTH in my life has made me stronger.
When I learned the TRUTH of my ex husband's infidelity, it hurt at first, but I gained from it. I became more confident in myself as I healed from that pain. I worked harder to provide for my girls, I became independent, and I became much more wiser to men in my life.....ok, that last statement might not be so TRUE!
When I was told the TRUTH by doctors that I could never have children, I proved them wrong by adopting my two daughters.
When I was told farming was not a woman's job you will never make it, I worked harder to prove the TRUTH that I could do it and today I have a very successful and diverse farm.
TRUTH is so harsh, yet we can grow, learn, and become someone stronger in learning the TRUTH.

Today I confess....The TRUTH

Wednesday, April 22, 2009



Today I laid alone deep in my own thoughts. Absorbed by my own insecurities. Wondering why life has to take so many twists and turns. I let my thoughts wander to a time where I felt the strongest in my life, where I felt I was on top of the world, where I felt I was in complete control, a time where
I felt whole and complete. I was my own person, raising my daughters alone, yet secure, confident,and independent. Today I let myself be depleted by my own inadequacies, apprehending the realization of what I no longer am and who I no longer am.
As tears began to fill my eyes, I realized I was letting too much negativity consume me and for a moment I let myself be held captive by my own adversity.
I needed to relinquish these dark and dreary thoughts and find once again my fortitude to move onward.
I have overcome so much in my past that has made me stronger and wiser, there was no need to let this adverse sudden feeling of failure and guilt consume me. There is nothing I can do to change the current situation at hand, there is nothing I can do to take away what has been done.
I am halfway there, the worst is behind me. I can look back on happier times and smile a tearful smile, and embrace gracious memories. Yet I can look ahead and embrace the knowledge that this is one of God's requirements to obtain the rainbow at the end of my journey. Knowing that a more confident, smarter, stronger me will emerge when my journey has ended and I begin to embark on another.
I look ahead into the future knowing there is a bright light in the darkness that often swallows me.
I know right around the corner there is hope, hope is my future. I search for hope knowing that holding
on to hope is what will get me through. If I lose hope, then I have lost it all.

Monday, April 13, 2009



I laid in the bed last night, letting the darkness consume me. I wrapped myself in the softness of my comforter, feeling
the warmth against my chilled body, waiting patiently for the narcotics to dull the never ending pain. I wanted to
relinquish all the negative thoughts that began to run rapid. I would not let myself be consumed by the negativity I often feel.
Remaining postive in a time so trying, is often difficult. I have to learn to fight those negative feelings away. As I began
to fight between what was so negative in my thoughts, to the positiveness that I often forget, I realized for the first
time since my accident, I cant undo this, I cant go back and undo this. I think I have spent too much time focusing
on what I cant do, than focusing on what I CAN do. Someone told me I focus too much on the past. Its the past that
I want back. Its the past that I tend to focus more on than dealing with the current situation at hand. When I discovered the
infidelity of my exhusband 4 years ago, I didnt waste time looking back into the 16 years we had spent together, instead I
took that hurt and anger and extinguished the flames that burned me. I was woman enough, smart enough, wise enough,
to learn that his loss was my gain and never once did I look back. When my Grandmother died, I felt a very big part of me
died with her at first, but I came to realize that was not how she would want me to feel, she would want me to keep her memories alive and remember what we had and not be consumed by the sadness. I didnt look back on the regrets with her, because I had none, instead I focused on every single thing she instilled me, all her wisdom, all her morals, and I would live with her wise words and continue to follow in the path of wisdom
she laid in front of me. I kept her alive inside of me.
When I almost lost the farm, I had to focus on the situation at hand, I had to look into the future, and I had to learn believe in myself. I would not let what my Grandfather gave me be taken by my poor choices I made in a relationship.
I would not let my farm be robbed of me. I had to make a decision real quick, and I had to put my stubborness on the back burner, I had to face
the one I fought the most with, I had to succumb to a weakness, to hide the pride, and I had to admit to my oldest brother I needed help.
I was unable to fight the battle alone. He knew it was a big step in admittance for me, and never once did he condemn me for my mistake, instead, he pulled me through and told me to continue on and not look back.
My accident left me not only broken with many broken bones and mind, but also a broken spirit.
A couple of weeks ago, my oldest brother Steve took me for a long ride just to get me out of the house, so he said, but I knew that
it was also because he needed to talk to me away from others in private.
As we drove through the long country roads lined with new budding green leaves on trees, green grass starting to spring, and flowers starting bloom, he pointed
out the beauty of nature, the beauty of spring emerging.
"Haley, you have lost your spirit, you have let everything consume you, you have let it take you away, and you have given up your will to fight"
I wanted to argue, but in reality I knew he was right. "The old Haley would have never given up, she would have fought tooth and nail"
I wanted to scream, I wanted to hit him, I think mainly because , truth hurts, and I knew he was only speaking the truth and that truth angered me.
He went on to say "When I stood by your bedside with you in a coma, I knew you would not be able to fight alone, I knew we would all
pull together and help you in this battle, but you have given up on the fight Haley, and we can no longer help you when there is no fight. You
cant help somebody when they wont help themselves"
I sat in silence, motionless, still as a rock, I was hurt by his words. My brothers and sister were giving up on me, I felt I was a lost cause.
Weakness consumed me, I began to cry. I couldnt force the tears back no matter how hard I tried, I quit fighting, I let them flow.
He let me cry for a few minutes in our silence as his words rolled through my brain.
"Haley, let me explain something, in a way I think you may relate to. You love nature, look around once again at all the spring colors, the life that
is budding through" he spoke. I looked at the beauty of the brilliant new green leaves, the bright pink among cherry blossoms, and dogwoods, the soft
yellow in daffodils, the different shades of fuscia, pink, red, and white in the azeleas..."its pretty" I managed to whisper.
"And so are you Haley, but your attitude has become weak and ugly and you are bringing others down with you" he went on to say...
"Haley nature around us lays dormant in the winter months, it takes a rest, it takes a break, because it needs all the energy
to make the brilliant beautiful colors in the spring. When spring arrives, nature wakes from its dormancy and it begins to spring forward to give us
the beauty and make us feel alive, does that make sense Haley?" I nodded, he continued "You have laid in a dormant period Haley, its time
to spring forward, move ahead, and not look back on the past you can no longer recapture, but to focus on letting your beauty shine through
again. Regain your fight Haley, youre a redhead, you were born to fight, and you need to fight, your dorminancy is over with Haley. Spring flowers
will die Haley but they make way for the summer flowers to bloom. You will spring back Haley and with each new step, fighting head on
what lies ahead of you, and you will make way for new summer flowers, new steps, new goals, and a new life"
I let his words sink into me for a few days. I let them play over and over in my head like a broken record. I let his words consume me and I concentrated on the truth he had spoken. I had to make things right in the ones I had hurt in my bitterness, and after I did that I tried tossing it all behind me, and concentrating on the present and the future.
Last night I realized, it is all behind me now, and its time for me to spring forward, move on, dont look back on what I have lost, but to
look at what im gaining, focus on the present, and focus on the future. Set goals and move closer to those goals.
Today I sit on the couch typing this, looking out the window from time to time, still seeing the destruciton of the tornado from
friday. Seeing the green leaves on the trees still standing, watching the rain fall against the many shades of green...
I have let the tornado take away the old, the wind blow away the negative, the rain wash away the sadness, and when
the sun peaks through, I will shine and shine like I have never shined before, and I will not look back, I will not be consumed
by what could have been, but I will allow myself to be consumed by what will be!

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Georgia Destruction


Oak uprooted and laying across one of my barns and shed

Hell hath no fury when it comes to mother nature. one minute the sun is shining, youre planning everything out for a pic nic with family and friends for the following day, when suddenly, within an hour youre left in total darkness, total silence, from an F2 tornado.
I love a good storm, the more intense they are, the more i love them. I have to admit, I was scared shitless last night.
I now know first hand what a tornado sounds like as it passes over, sparing your home and loved ones. However some were not so lucky. I lost all my oak trees, but my pecan trees held up. I didnt get much damage to the peach trees at all, but all my oaks are gone. Its amazing to see the destruction, its scary to realize that it could have been worse, yet the whole time wondering, what would have happened had it touched down on my house?
I called my sister in SC as the same storms headed her way, she was frantic telling me they had already hit and they too were without power. This morning we compared our tornado stories. She in SC with an F2, I in Georgia with an F2, we both thanked God we were spared and still had a bed to lay down in tonight.

(ignore the year on my camera it is not set right!!)



mygarage roof


My dear employee's Nortrina's house

Nortrina's House

Just two miles down the road!!

2 miles downthe road



For more photos of the destruction around me and near me click here :