Monday, September 7, 2015

Not Enough Minutes

7 minutes and 53 seconds. That's just not enough minutes.

I knew a simple Facebook post would not have done this day enough justice. It was one year ago that you were reunited with Gran. It is hard to put into words the feelings I had that day. I just missed you...instantly. It was then that I couldn't call you anymore. Everything you knew, all of your knowledge, your stories...gone. If I didn't hear it by that day, I wouldn't hear it. I remember not wanting September 8th to would be the first day that you weren't in, weren't a part of. It happened again on New Years Eve..I didn't want 2015 to come because then it would be "last year" when I spoke to you. The finality was overwhelming.

The fact that you lived 3,000 miles away was irrelevant...we spoke weekly. Sometimes we spoke for half an hour, sometimes it was only 2 or 3 minutes...but, the last time was 7 minutes and 53 seconds. I wish I would have known that was to be the last time...maybe I would have lingered longer on the line..asked you more questions...savored that thick Black Country accent a little more. I don't much remember what we spoke of...truth is, after we hung up you might have already forgotten as well. You weren't always super coherent...but I didn't mind. I would go along with stories of how you played volleyball one week but never liked the sport the next. I just liked hearing you talk and I think you liked talking about something other than your medicines and aches and pains.

7 minutes and 53 seconds. I get so upset with myself when I think of it. I always let you lead on how the conversation went...I never knew how you were feeling, if you were tired, or if I was interrupting a cricket match or football on the telly or anything so, if you seemed to want to talk or grumble I was a willing ear and if you wanted to to just say a quick "'ello, 'ow are yow?", that was fine too. That took less than 8 minutes. Here's what I DO remember...I called from California. I am pretty sure we spoke of my trip across country and of Dozer, my cousins dog, who was sitting outside with me at the time. I was the only one awake...the 8 hour time difference sure limits when you can call. I told you I would speak to you again soon...and I didn't. We were on the road the following week and I couldn't get a hold of you the week after that. Then, that was it. You were in hospital and about 10 days later, you were gone.

A lot of things changed...the order of the world, it didn't seem right. I was all out of grandparents. I went to call you about 5 times in the weeks following, only for the painful reminder to sting my eyes and paralyze my was only for a second, but that was all it took. I still have that last call in my phone history...I certainly won't delete your contact. Jocelyn's birthday was a little tougher and a little less bright this year as she shares her day with yours...something we will always cherish.

Grandad, that was a wonderful 7 minutes and 53 seconds...and I would give anything to have another 7 minutes and 53 seconds with you, on the phone or otherwise. Make sure you remember me to Gran and give all my love to everyone!

Alan Abraham Whitehouse Griffiths
July 5, 1920-September 7, 2014
"Your life is made of two dates and a dash. Make the most of the dash."  


Monday, June 23, 2014

Our Isabella

In April of 2004, Lexie, Jamaine and I were in our apartment for almost a year. Lexie was almost 6 and, truth is, baby fever was strong for me. I knew a baby was not in our immediate future so we started thinking of getting a kitten. I had always had animals in the house, since I was born and I think Jamaine did too, dogs though.

I started my search at the SPCA website and came across a few very cute, tiny kittens and went kitten swoon instantly. Then I saw a bio of a cat that was 7 months old and had the same birthday (9/10) as Lexie. No picture provided however...her name was "Nosy". I thought that I would have to meet this Nosy girl when we went to visit the shelter.

When we got to the SPCA we went and looked around...well, you know cats, they aren't bothered about much so they weren't really pawing at us, but some meowed. As I got towards the back there was a beautiful kitty with a paw through the cage trying to get my attention. I, of course, obliged and got down with her and played with her for a while and she was awesome.

Before I made any decisions, I remembered Nosy, the cat that shared a birthday with Lexie just 5 years apart, and went to the desk to ask about her. They led me back into the big kitten room and back down the familiar paths I just walked right to the kitten I had been playing with! That was it! It was a done deal! She was a beautiful kitty, a calico. I now realized the name Nosy was obvious. Her nose was two different colors, split right down the middle, black and tan. Just beautiful coloring. She was now ours!

Once we were home with her, we decided we weren't big on the name Nosy and started thinking of other names. I can't, for the life of me, remember what any of our other choices were but one of Lexie's favorite movies at the time was The Lizzie Maguire Movie. So, I am pretty sure Lizzie was on the list. She ended up with a name from the movie, the rock star that Lizzie looked like and pretended she was for the movie. Her name was Isabella!

She has been with us for 10 years now and coming up on her 11th birthday this September. Jocelyn has completely taken over and even feels she is her cat. Although, Isabella, "Izzy", is definitely a mama's girl. She sleeps with me ::read, ON me:: almost every night. She loves to play in my hair. She has been the best cat our family has had.

That leads me to reason of this post today. She is, really sick. She has been throwing up a green liquid (bile, I think) for a week. We took her to the vet and $700 later they tell us it will cost another $400 just to find out WHY she is so sick. We just can't do it. It could be another, I don't know,  $1,000 to find out AND fix it. So now we wait...wait for her to turn a corner. Whether it be for the better or worse. Then we decide if she needs to be put down or not. It is one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make...and I haven't, technically, made it yet.

I just thought I would share just a very small portion of our story with Izzy. For all of those who have pets, enjoy them. Give them some extra love today...for us and Izzy Bizzy.

Saturday, July 27, 2013

The Little Voice

Teenagers are the weirdest creatures on God's green Earth! Sometimes they love ya and sometimes they  hate all depends on, well, I don't even know what it depends on. The moon? The Stars? High tide, low tide? The sky being blue? The weather? It's Tuesday? I have no idea what drives these peoples moods (can I call them people at this stage of life?).

I have one of these "people" going on 15 in a few weeks. We are basically halfway through now and they say if you're halfway through hell, keep going. So that is what we will do. I feel like I need a Masters Degree to navigate these years.

I know, I was once a teenager too but I wasn't like this...oh no, I was much worse, so I do have an appreciation for the "struggles" that I am going through with mine. She gets good grades but is a complete social butterfly. Her best friend is great and has goals and dreams. I whole-heartedly believe that a teenager can be made or broken by the friends they keep and she has done well in this area. She is starting to break into the boy-craze her dad and I feared. I am hopeful though because the boys she likes right now are all good students and also have extra curricular activities to keep them occupied on something other than my daughter all the time. She also knows that eventually they have to meet Mom and Dad and they better be up to par.

There are very fine lines when trying to keep an open relationship with your teens. It might be easy to become too much of a friend that you don't have their respect and it becomes hard to discipline or lead them and maybe you know TOO much OR you can become too distant that you don't know what is going on in their lives and it becomes harder to discipline or lead. It can be hard to find the balance. I would imagine that it is not always a bad thing to be kept in the dark about some things. Of course, that is what I struggle with. There are some things a mom should know and maybe a dad shouldn't when dealing with these teenage girls and vice versa for teenage boys, I'm sure. I will not say they are secrets but maybe private knowledge. Yeah, I like that, private knowledge.

I do sometimes hear the "Don't tell Dad" line and then it is a judgement call for me. Sometimes, I know he has to know and I give her the options, usually these are the ones she can choose from
-I will tell him while you are there
-You will tell him while I am there
-You can tell him on your own
I very rarely give the option of "I will tell him on my own" only because it really isn't mine to tell and she needs to feel comfortable talking to her dad, point blank, period, end of story. This also helps him to be objective. I know some of you have the dad or even married a guy that immediately flies off the handle at some things or just shuts down at others. He has done much better with hearing her out, sending her to her room, thinking about what was said and calmly talking to her about it later...and sometimes we all yell and scream at each other until we all separate into different corners of the house. Fun times. Basically, no one gets off scot-free in the wake of the teenage years. We are all going down together.

I must admit, I love the times that she sits out in the living room with her little sister and I, or says let's watch a movie. Sometimes, when given the option to stay home or come to some lame (for her) family outing, she chooses to come with us. She has even said things like "That was a good family day"...while I play it all cool on the outside like "Yeah, it was" Inside I am screaming "PARENTING WIN!!" and my heart smiles!

What I will say, because the last 6 paragraphs I said nothing apparently, is that it is very important to give your teenagers your perspective on serious issues. They might roll their eyes or seem like they aren't listening, but they are. When they are in the middle of a situation and they aren't sure what to do,  or what is right and wrong, a little voice pops up in the back of their head to help guide them in their decision...make sure that little voice is yours.

Teenagers are awesome....sometimes.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Palms Academy

The decision to Homeschool Jocelyn was VERY easy for me. Of course, I know not every day will be easy, and Jocelyn will not be excited to learn every day and I will not be excited to teach everyday, but I know her and I know how she likes to learn so I know we will be successful. My reasoning behind it was medical, and I am sure most of you have figured that out by now. Due to her Kidney Disease, she will not be potty trained by the time school will start and I certainly wasn't going to put her in that situation.

What I didn't know when I started thinking about this homeschool thing was that you had to come up with a name. Now, this has to be a respectable name that you can put on a transcript later in life so "Jocelyn's Cute Little Toosh School" was out. I went back and forth using family names and places (Mountford School-after my Gran's maiden name, Fairway Learning Center-after my address) but I went into something both of us share...she loves to point out Palm Trees and loves figuring out the different types...sooo, I went with Palms Academy. She gave me the thumbs up so I guess we were good with that.

Another thing I didn't realize is how much SPACE homeschooling took up! It's not just a teacher book and some paper (obviously, I knew going in it was more than that). I have so many books, so many notebooks, so many manipulatives, props and posters, craft supplies, coloring utensils, and paper. What am I supposed to do with all of it?? I guess it will work itself out once I get started. I am all about functionality. Once we get into a routine and I have felt it out a little, I am sure I will get a good system going.

Jocelyn is currently very excited to start Kindergarten although I don't think she gets that she is doing it AT home. She knows that I am her teacher and she gets that I am working on planning her work but she says things like "I will do that and then bring it home", so we are working on her understanding HOMEschool. She is anxious to start and keeps asking "Can we do school?" I have made up my mind to basically follow Lexie's school year, except for a few nonsense days that the school district gives the kids off. It should work out perfectly. That gives us 5 more weeks before we start!!

I have also come across a local homeschooling group that sets up field trips and such. That will help keep her socialized and keep things fresh and enrich her learning. I am looking forward to them, maybe more than she is. There is a trip to the Aquarium, An Orchard, and Grocery Store that are planned already. We will also be doing virtual field trips to the various countries we will be studying or video lessons about animals or weather. I am basically learning as I go but I will figure out what I can fit into the day, and what I can't.

I have no qualms about the public school system as my oldest daughter has been successful for the past 10 years or so. I, of course, worry about them getting in with the wrong crowds and picking up bad habits, but I know they have to be able to make mistakes to learn from them. Right now, the plan is to homeschool for Kindergarten and get her into school for 1st grade. I hope that homeschooling is so successful that we decide to continue but that is yet to be seen. I might fail miserably and Jocelyn might learn nothing but then I might teach Jocelyn more than any public school could teach her in 3 years. I am just going to go with the flow, stick to my schedule as well as I can and keep Jocelyn moving forward. I am sure I will be posting along our homeschool journey! Wish us luck!!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cash Family in 2013

It has been a while since I posted so I will do a quick update and then go on and make a "for real" post.

The hubby is doing well and still on his Get Buff Journey. He has been very dedicated to getting fit and we are all rather happy about his progress.

Lexie just finished middle school and I officially have a high schooler. She was on the Honor Roll all 3 years in MS and I hope that continues through her HS Honors courses. She had a blast at her first formal, the 8th grade dinner dance. They certainly upgraded that affair since I attended that school. Lexie had to get dressed up in a prom dress and we had to dress casual, they had a beautiful hall and we had the gym, they had it catered and we had chips and how things change.

Jocelyn had her detethering surgery in April and has been doing well. We have seen a lot of positive signs that surgery was successful...more on this in a later post. We have decided that we will be homeschooling her for Kindergarten, as she likely won't be fully potty trained by September. It was a surprisingly natural choice. I am so excited to get started!

As for me, I am still working on getting back in shape. I have a lot of work to do but I am just as motivate as I was 2 years ago. LET'S DO THIS!!! ***in my motivated, deep voice*** I am still working on my school work, trying to finish HS before my daughter starts but I took a break after Jocelyn's surgery and it likely won't be until she has already started.

We haven't traveled as a family yet this year, but my parents wanted to take Jocelyn down to Disney World after she had surgery so we went down in rained the ENTIRE time we were there. We still had a lot of fun though and she got to meet Tinkerbell and Rosetta! We are planning a do-over trip for the four of us in November. So excited for that.

It feels like we have so much going on and we are always busy, but as I typed this out, we seem pretty boring. I promise that this update is just the start of a whole new blog. We are gearing up for some exciting stuff and the  blog will be exciting too...well as exciting as reading can be. For now, I will sign off and get going on my next blog post. Which topic should I pick?  Decisions, decisions.

Monday, April 23, 2012

My Quarterly Post...(at least it seems to be)

Well, there went my blog. I am hoping that since the weather is getting better my life will become more exciting and I can blog more! For now I will do an update/things to come post.

My girls have been making me proud. Jocelyn is potty training nicely and her last appointment went well...not fantastic but ok. We are going to be having a kidney ultrasound in May but her bladder is emptying almost completely without cathing! That is GREAT news for her. She is still having tummy troubles so she gets daily meds to help keep things moving, and the Dr is hoping that it will resolve itself eventually too because they thought that the bladder meds were causing that issue. She is doing great in dance class which is good because her end of year show is in less than 2 months!

Lexie has kept up with her straight A's and is being considered for the National Junior Honor Society!! We are so proud!! Now she has to write an essay about what she does in and out of school to deserve to be in this elite group! I know she will rock it! She is also loving dance and practices constantly and wants to add tap to her list of things to do next year. I can't believe she will be 14 this summer!!

As for Jamaine...he is doing good and recently went to the Yankees home opener game...although, he said that this would make it harder to leave the East Coast to live on the West Coast. (UGH! It looks like I really might be stuck here.) He is working hard and working out and really trying to get healthy.

I am working hard on my "Get Organized" resolution and I am doing good so far. I have decluttered every room except Lexie's and that is the next undertaking. I am NOT looking forward to that portion. I am finding that once you get yourself together that is easier to get your home together. That is the other thing I am doing...getting myself together. It's hard but necessary, I highly recommend it! I hope to have the whole house in order by Summer.

Speaking of's that wonderful Plan Vacation time!! Well, we already have the locations chosen, now we are working on planning them out. In June we are all heading out to California for 16 days!! Woohoo!! We will be in Bakersfield for a majority of the time but we will be spending 3 days in San Francisco (so we can check off 2 more football stadiums on our life goal list) and at least 3 days in L.A. including taking in a Dodgers game with my childhood bestie and her hubby! That makes me pretty happy! Our second location is Atlanta! I am going for a My Thirty-One National Conference BUT the hubby is coming too and we are going to extend it a day or 2 to explore Hotlanta in August (and we can check off another stadium)! I know it is going to be SOOO hot!! Like 3 showers a day type of hot! I don't know too much about Atlanta but I will be doing research to check out the good spots to eat and sight-see!

That just about wraps things up. We are 49 days from Cali, but who's counting? Oh yeah, ME!!

Friday, January 6, 2012


OK, so here we are's a new year. A time to set resolutions, a time for goals, a time for betterment of every man and woman.... OK, OK, so how many have already broken all of your resolutions and forgotten about your goals and have in fact become a worse man or woman?? Well, maybe you haven't become a worse person but I am sure you have had a smoke or a big ol' slice of cake...but I haven't, because I am wonderful....joke. I actually gave up smoking YEARS ago but I am back on my healthy lifestyle again...that's fancy talk for diet.

My resolutions were as follows
      -Stop eating, or lose weight, whatever

So, that's it. There is no point in trying to set 50 resolutions because that sets you up for failure. I know I can lose weight...I don't know if I can get to my goal weight so let's just try that one for now. Once I do that I will try another one like, win the lottery.

Another resolution is to get organized, now my Director would tell me to use this opportunity to plug my business as a Thirty-One Independent Consultant and get you to buy organizational products from me but I wouldn't do that to you (Please go to to learn how you can get organized at home and on the go) I am sure you have all you need to get your house in order (My 31). But seriously, I have begun organizing my house (with 31) and I have been getting rid of so much stuff!! I would like nothing better than to have my house completely void of ANY clutter, ANYwhere but for now I have of them small, so there are toys everywhere and art supplies and books about Pigeons driving is my life and I can't donate it yet. Soon, well not soon, about seven years or so. But you get the idea...just get rid of it! If you haven't looked at it since 1991...toss it. I live in an apartment so I just had to come to terms that I just don't have room for all the crap I had.

Another resolution is to take more then you end up with  is 253 pictures of January 1st and 2nd and then NOTHING! Or you do well for a while, print them out and then they sit in a pile waiting to be framed or cropped into a collage you wanted to make for your mom but never get around to it...oh, is that just me then? Oh well, I really want to frame those pictures...

Save money is another popular one...but isn't this the MOST obvious one? Don't you think that if you had the money LAST year you might have saved something?? But no, you wanted to go to that baseball game and eat at the priciest restaurant in town or that cute little kid comes around asking you to buy girl scout cookies...which, by the way, directly affects you resolution to lose weight..or your local My Thirty-One Consultant comes over... never mind, you get the point. Saving money is a pointless about make MORE money. That could be a good one!

Either way, just try your best to do what is right and healthy and everything should be fine in 2012 for you. Settle debts...just get rid of it. Declutter your place...just get rid of it. Eat healthy, lose weight...just get rid of it. I see a trend...I think it's SIMPLIFY!

2012, the year of simplification. LET"S DO IT!