I’m Shakin’

In a little over 5 months, I get to marry my best friend.  I honestly don’t think it’s possible for me to be any happier.  Each day just seems nearly too good to be true.

He and I have history.  We met in college.  We’ve both admitted that while love at first sight may not exist, we both caught each others eye and that was that.  I made any excuse I could to be around him.  He made me smile.  He also had a girlfriend and I was coupled with the devil incarnate.  So we left it at a friendship, though we both knew we should be together.

And then life happened.  He moved away for grad school and got married.  I finished grad school and started on the path to my current career.  There were other boyfriends.  Good boyfriends, good people.  But no one ever really fit me.

I met him out with my current boyfriend at the time once.  He brought his wife.  It was awkward.  We sat across the table from each other, just two old friends.  Two old friends who never wanted to be friends.

More time went by.  And roughly a decade after the day we met a fateful “how are you doing text” started a communication that’s never ceased.  His marriage was over and I was flying solo.  It was finally our time.  And we both seized the opportunity.  We haven’t looked back since.

Well, that’s not entirely true.  We look back all the time!  It’s fun to reminisce about how truly clueless we were back in the day.  It’s crazy that we missed each other.  It’s stupid that neither of us said the right words at the right time.

But as with many things in life, timing is everything.  I don’t for a minute regret us taking the paths we did.  Yes, no one desires divorce or a failed relationship, but they teach us.  The years taught us both how to be better partners.  They taught us what we wanted; what makes us happy.  We grew up and learned about ourselves.  So now that we’re finally together, we can really appreciate how truly special our relationship is.

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So, all that as back story for this week’s 100 Word Song inspired by Jack White’s “I’m Shakin”.  It’s about my first road trip to see him  after our reconnection.  Go visit my friend Lance over at My Blog Can Beat Up Your Blog and share your 100 word story!
245 miles.

That gives me roughly 4 hours  to compose myself.  Shit, I’m nervous. It’s a good nervous though, the kind that leaves you antsy and causes your heart to randomly flutter.

115 miles.

Ok, only an hour and a half to go. Just a quick stop to apply deodorant. Jesus, why am I sweating so badly?  Maybe I’ll just roll down the window a bit, get some air in here.

2 miles.

There’s the exit. This is it. The moment of truth.

Parking lot.

There he is. Smiles, flutters, roller-coaster tummy.  I’m shakin’. The car door opens.

Hi there.

 

 

 

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Confessions of a Childhood Home: Branford, FL

So it is time for me to say goodbye to Branford one more time.  Kinda.  You never really say a true goodbye to Branford if you’re from there.  It’s more of a “I’ll see ya after while” to which Branford replies, “y’all come back now, ya hear”.   You see, my parents are moving and while I’m super excited about having a lot more to do each time I visit (Gainesville has infinitely more options), I’m saddened to be bidding adieu to my childhood home. This new house will be great, but nothing can ever come close to replacing the house you grew up in. Man do I have some memories in that house!

It really makes you think that if that house were a living being, boy has it seen some shit.  Oh the stories it could share with it’s new owner!  Well they do say that confession is good for a house’s soul, so I thought we’d give 116 Hillcrest Circle some time in the confessional.

Forgive me father, it’s been quite a while since my last confession, you see, I’m a house.  With a new family coming in I thought it might be good to like, ya know, clean out my attic so to speak.  Yeah, so, how exactly do I do this?

Speak from your heart son.

Heart?  Hmmm, okay, I suppose that’s like a furnace. 

Sure, go ahead.

Well they moved in back in ’87 after watching me grow from blocks of wood and bricks.  They were obviously excited; you could tell from all of the yelling and running around.  That little blonde boy used to ride his bike up and down the big dirt mound out front that they brought in to level out my front yard.  I suppose I was a bit out of balance.  Anyway, the yelling never stopped. 

You mean to say that they fought a lot?  Were angry?

No, just loud.  Very loud!  Especially the girl.  She started talking the moment she walked in and didn’t stop till she left for college.  Apparently she has a lot to say and she likes to say it so everyone can hear. I think she got it from the man.  He was super loud too.   Hello, we can hear you!  Sorry, I got a little sidetracked.  So, yes, they were all quite loud.

Go on.

They boy and girl would wake up each morning when they didn’t have school and burst out of the house.  It was like they couldn’t wait to get out of me.  They’d play in the woods behind me for hours, making trails and forts.  Sometimes they’d climb trees so high that I’d get a bit nervous.  But what could I do?  At lunch they’d come in gobble up a peanut butter and banana sandwich and then they’d rush out again.  Ha ha ha…

What is it?

I was just thinking about this one time the boy didn’t want to eat his sandwich.  So the girl told him to throw it in the weeds.  He did.  Apparently she didn’t want her sandwich either, because the next thing I knew she was tossing out her sandwich as well.  Then you’ll never believe what happened.

What?

She went in and told on the boy for tossing his sandwich!  Can you believe it?  Of course he then ratted her out.  Awwww, but those two were quite the team.  They’d race biked around the neighborhood like maniacs.  Sometimes they’d come back with bloody knees and elbows.  But it didn’t seem to phase them.  I think they liked being dirty.  They sure took many a grubby shower in my bathroom.  Leaves, beggar weeds, thorns, and all manner of stuff would stick to them.  I always liked when it was hot, because then they’d play in the hose and sprinkler.  That always felt so good on my hot cement.  You know, brick isn’t exactly summer wear.  And they don’t call it the Sunshine State for nothing.

So I’ve heard.  So this little boy and girl were buddies huh?

Oh yes!  They got along very well….for the most part.

So sometimes they fought?

On occasion.  One time they put a hole in my hallway door.  Ouch!

How’d that happen?

Every Easter it never failed, they’d find their Easter baskets (the woman hid them in the house) and the girl would instantly start gobbling up all of her candy.  The boy would nibble a few odds and ends and then move on to playing with whatever toy came in his basket.  A few days later, the girl’s candy would be gone.  The boy would wrap his Easter bunny in Saran wrap and put it the fridge.  Each day or so, he’d come back in and nibble a little off the ears.  Well, this drove the girl crazy!  She decided to start taking secret nibbles of the bunny as well.  Oh, but her greed caught up with her!  The boy realized what was happening.  By goodness, the ears were just disappearing too quickly.  He confronted her with the chilled bunny!  Well she just stuck out her tongue and said, “I wanted some and mine was gone.”  So he chucked that ice-cold, ear-less rabbit right at her head!  She ducked and it ended up hitting me right in the hallway door.  It made a huge hole.  That kid had an arm!

I bet she didn’t sneak anymore of the bunny after that.

Nope, at least not that Easter.  Oh, I have another Easter story!

Great.  But why don’t we save that for next time.  I have quite the line forming out there.

Sure, I just have so much to tell;  26 years is quite a bit of life!  I’ll be back in.  So, what is my penance?

You’re a house,  so I’m not really sure what would work for you.  How about you look in the bathroom mirror and say three Hail Marys?

*****

So obviously I’ll be continuing my Branford house confessional in the coming weeks.  I plan to pull out the photo albums so I can give you guys a little visual with this too!  Until then, here’s a picture the house uncovered of the girl and some of her childhood buddies.  This one was from their trip to Grad Nite at Disney.  What a fashionable bunch!

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Want to know why I love Branford, FL so much?  Check out my post:  5 Reasons Branford was an Awesome Place to Grow Up

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Pepper – Tradewinds

Random fact:  That banana and peanut butter story actually predates this house, but I couldn’t leave it out.

Want to live in this famous house?  It’s for sale!  Check it out:  Kick-ass Home

My Super Hero Secret

The day has finally come when I feel compelled to reveal my true identity as a mutant.  I can hide in the shadows no longer and deny my true self.  I have a super power, the strength of which is so great that Professor Xavier himself attempted to recruit me for his academy many years ago.  Unfortunately, I passed as I was still anxiously awaiting my Hogwart’s letter.  It never came.  That means that I missed out on Cyclops for absolutely nothing.  So is life.

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What is this power you ask?  Powerful telepath?  Nope.  Shape shifter?  Hardly.  Phasing?  Not even close.  Constant reactive evolution?  I wish!   No, ladies and gentlemen, my super human strength is my sniffer.  Yep, this wee nose I possess is quite powerful indeed.  I rival the most prize winning blood hound.  And like most super powers, it’s both a blessing and a curse.

On the curse list:

  • Farts– If there is a crop-dusting incident happening in a 50-yard radius, I’m going to be a casualty.
  • Washing Machine Mishaps–  Oh, you didn’t wash your towels on hot?  Yeah, I can tell.  That fabric softener is no match for my snout.  I can decipher mildew in my sleep.  FYI, you should be washing your gym clothes in hot water too smelly gym guy.
  • Poor Hygiene– You forgot to put deodorant on today huh?  Actually, that’s not a question;  I was just letting you know.
  • Stinky Office Food-  Salmon for lunch again?  You’re the best!  Burnt popcorn?  Fantastic!  Bacon?  Just what I wanted to smell wafting into my office.  Nothing says we’re part of the fitness industry quite like bacon.
  • Dog Poop–  Jo takes a crap on the other side of the yard and I might as well be sniffing by her tail.  Don’t get me started on her horrible breath.
  • Any Smell That Has Been in My House, Ever-  I could work for some sort of smell CSI unit.  I can tell you that a cat once peed in this room, a year ago.  Yep, even after scrubbing and shampooing, it’s still there.  No one else can smell it.  Just me.  Aren’t I lucky?  We cooked dinner in a skillet two days ago and I’m still spraying Febreeze on everything:  the air, the furniture,….the dog.  My nose can detect smells most can’t even if their face is literally shoved in it.  It’s the equivalent of “out damn spot” only stinky.

But all of this misery is well worth the positive.  I love delightful smells and I smell them at such an acute level.  So while the coffee is pretty delightful for you, it’s freaking fantastic for me.  A wonderful perfume is like heaven.  A batch of cookies baking is ecstasy.  But the number one thing I love about smelling everything is that it has helped me recall so many memories I may have lost in the recesses of my mind should a smell have passed me by.

Pause for a quick smelling lesson

You see, the sense of smell is housed in the brain’s limbic system, an area of the brain closely associated with memory and feeling.  It’s actually even referred to as the “emotional brain”.  For this reason, a smell can trigger a nearly instant flash back.  The olfactory bulb has intimate access to the amygdala, which processes emotion, and the hippocampus, which is responsible for associative learning.  Because of all of this tight wiring and conditioned response, you associate a smell to a time, place, or person.  And the feelings associated with the memory flood right back.    The link is part of your brain’s mapping.

Now that I’m done playing Bill Nye Science Guy, let’s look at two recalls that have happened for me in the past week:

Do I smell mothballs?

Walking to the bus this morning I was hit in the face with a nice burst of mothball.  My first thought should have been, why the hell is someone loading their car with mothballs?  Seriously, what odor is so bad that mothballs is preferable?  Oh my god, what if they have a dead body in the trunk?

Ok, so maybe that shouldn’t have been my first thought….

Instead, the first thing that popped into my mind was my high school friend (who I haven’t talked to in 15 years) and her aunt.  Her aunt was legally blind and lived alone.  Her house was a mothball bomb.  You could smell it out in the yard.  When I asked Tara about it, she explained that her aunt was deathly afraid of spiders and since she couldn’t see them, her paranoia got the best of her.  The mothballs ensured that spiders (and basically most living things) wouldn’t dare come into her home.

Someone make me some buttermilk biscuits and give me a bucket of butter beans to shell.

On Saturday I was planting my fall/winter garden (better a bit late than never).  My peppers are still kicking ass, so the sweet smell of bell pepper was tickling my nose.  Then I caught a whiff of vidalia onion.  Finally, the trifecta happened;  the smell of freshly turned soil edged in.  Instantly I was a kid again at my Great Granny Marie’s house.  Her and my Grandaddy had a farm:  cows, chickens, tractors, the whole nine.  They always had a crop of something working and us grand kids were always picking, shelling, shucking, or hauling something.

As soon as my garden worked its memory magic on me,  I was instantly hugged with the warmest, happiest, most perfect memories of a childhood well spent and a wonderful matriarch.

I don’t have a picture of my Great Granny on my computer, but here is the next best thing.  Here is my Great Granny Kat.  She is Granny’s daughter and in my opinion, the most like her.  She is also a true matriarch in every sense of the word.  I’m sure Granny is smiling down on what a generous, awesome person she continues to be.

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At the end of the day, I couldn’t abandon this gift even if I tried, nor would I want to.  Yeah, I may have to suffer through a few more cases of halitosis exposure than most, but I also share in an abundance of olfactory inspired memories.

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One last nod to what could’ve been….

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  The Cure – Sleep When I’m Dead

Eating:  Pasta, again.

Drinking:  H20, as per usual.

Reading:  “Vampyres of Hollywood” by Adrienne Barbeau & Michael Scott

You Think You’re So Clever: A Facebook Retrospective

While creating all of these recent 90s related posts, I’ve been thinking a lot about the differences between growing up then vs. now.  The whole idea of having posts come back to haunt you later is terrifying!  What kind of stupid shit would my 16 year old self have posted?  I for one am thankful the stupidity of my youth lives on only in databases of select people’s memories!

It did make me curious to look back on some old Facebook posts to see what I was up to way back in the day.   Brace yourselves, because we are going way way back to:

2008

Looks like I joined Facebook back in 2007, but didn’t really start using it until November of 2008.  That year I had 28 friends online and bought my first house.  You can tell that I was just not that into social media yet, because now every aspect of the purchase would be online (house hunting, closing, decorating etc.)

2009

My friend count was up to 122.

is about to cook a healthy dinner but really wants a pizza.
Nice to see that some things never change.  Pizza will always be my nemesis.
is counting the hours until the Charlotte Checkers are crushed….
is super STOKED that her team beat the piss out of the FL Everblades!!
I had season tickets to the Gwinnett Gladiators (ECHL hockey).  Man did I spend a lot of time in that area that year.
is addicted to Lo-Carb Monster! The first step is admitting you have a problem!
And apparently I never took the second step.  Still my go-to caffeine fix.
thinks life without sunshine is depressing! I don’t know how folks up north survive.
Truth.  And having been crushed with rain nearly everyday for the last two months, I’m certainly missing it right now.
is sick of the rain especially since I busted my ass on the muddy hill in my backyard attempting to retrieve the dead (almost?) squirrel carcass.
refuses to believe her dogs are murderers! Maybe they are like Lenny from Of Mice and Men. They were just playing with that squirrel and now he’s dead
The dogs had destroyed a squirrel and I was attempting to retrieve it in order to fling it over into the neighbor’s yard.  Busted ass in my PJs and was finally able to retrieve said squirrel….which was still partially alive. 
will drink and dance with one hand free Let the world back into me And on Ill be a sight to see Back in the high life again
Hold up. Wait a minute. Let me put some boom in it!
Yea — Here’s a story ’bout my homeboy Randy He was hooked on a girl named Candy
There’s a little black spot on the sun today It’s the same old thing as yesterday There’s a black cat caught in a high tree top There’s a flag-pole rag and the wind won’t stop
Always quoting song lyrics.  Has any time passed at all?
has the urge to talk like a robot all day.
Don’t we all have this urge sometimes?
3 DAYS UNTIL THE INVASION OF NEW ORLEANS! (i’m just a smidge excited…)
So this was the first trip I took to visit Kasi after she moved to NOLA.  Based on drunken conversations with  a random group of girls we had met several years prior, we decided that we really needed to purchase a set of hand puppet T Rexes and go out for a night on Bourbon Street.

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It went just the way you’d imagine it would.

Thinks Laura Palmer had it coming.
is disappointed. Why no comments on my Twin Peaks reference earlier? I may have out dorked even my dorkiest friends on Facebook.
Can I ever run into one Twin Peaks fan?  I guess that’s why it only latest one season. 
The point is….don’t lose your dinosaur.
Step Brothers!
Another football season coming up…just not the same in GA. I don’t care about UGA vs Tech and I can’t seem to make myself get into the “dirty birds”. I miss the Swamp.
Yep, it’s still not the same.  Go Gators!
This may piss off the majority of my friends with offspring but, does it honestly take 4-5 minutes to load a kid onto the school bus? Seriously, I timed it! I realize we are in the first few weeks of school, but can’t the heartfelt goodbye, backpack check, etc happen before the bus arrives?
Seriously.
Yum a delicious shepard’s pie cooking for dinner.

I was still eating meat.  Seems bizarre to me now.

had that dream last night where I am back in college and not prepared for any of my tests. I also had a paper due (Mr. Murfee made a cameo as my college lit professor) on a book I had not read. I HATE these dreams! Nothing like waking up with anxiety to start your week!
Hate these dreams.  How many years do you have to be out of school for these to stop?
wants some coffee. Not from the kitchen. Stop & Shop. If it’s not Stop & Shop I send it back. Large. If it’s a medium I send it back. If it’s an extra-large I send it back.
Guess what? I have flaws. What are they? Oh I donno, I sing in the shower? Sometimes I spend too much time volunteering. Occasionally I’ll hit somebody with my car. So sue me– no, don’t sue me. That is opposite the point I’m trying to make.

I’ve always been fond of quoting The Office.  Gasp, The Office!  Guys, remember this show.  Oh it was the best!   It seems like it was still on the air just this year.    They just don’t make ’em like that any more!

November 12, 2009 via Pandora
Possibly my absolute favorite 80s song! Love me some Tears for Fears!

Head Over Heels

by Tears For Fears

on Songs From The Big Chair
It really, really is!  I’m sure I’ve posted this song to FB at least 5 times over the years proclaiming my undying love for it.
is enjoying her blast from the past in Bford for the most part. NOT enjoying the cell reception and the state of the roads around here…and breakfast at Nell’s…what was I thinking? I’m totally looking forward to seeing some old friend tonight!

Oh, Branford don’t you ever change.  What’s that?  You don’t plan to?

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First Profile Pic Posted 2008

So aside from not eating meat now, it doesn’t seem like I’ve changed that much.  I love how we are so instantly nostalgic now.  But it is cool to look back on things even if they were only a few short years ago.  Maybe Facebook really is good for something other than wasting time, connecting with friends and stalking people.  It’s like a time capsule that you can dig up any old time you want!

Take a look back at your page in ’08 or ’09 and share one of your posts with me!

Stay positive & love your life!

-Melissa

Today:

Listening to:  Full Service – Ramona

Eating:  Leftover new potatos with Mediterranean sauce.

Drinking:  H2O

Random fact:  I buried a time capsule back when I was 8 or 9.  From what I can remember, it contained my resolutions for the year, a friendship bracelet, and a NKOTB trading card.  Even with my awesome hand drawn map, I was never able to locate it after burial.