Sunday, November 13, 2011

Thankful Days of November

Thankful for my children because they are creative and I steal their ideas!
My blog has been about Blessings, so mentioning things I am thankful for this month really include many of the blessings I have written earlier.
I had a big birthday this year, I am not talking about the age thing but more about appreciating the years and experiences along my journey of "Passin Through"
I am decades old and when talking to a family member yesterday we did speak a lot of how we understand much more about our parents now. I guess it will be this way with my children when I am gone. If I have one very huge regret is the way I treated my mother. I loved her so much but she did drive me mad at times. I know she must have had patience like Job. I said lots of words that can't be taken back, did things I wish I could change, and as bad as I was the more she loved me! I believe if I had committed murder she would have tried to convince everyone including God the person needed to die. It was not a healthy way to raise a daughter, now see here I go again.  I am thankful God gave me to my mother, I really did admire her and after my dear Shannon died I understood why she acted the way she did since she lost her firstborn son also. My mother loved her children and was always telling us how much. She adored her four grandchildren that were born before she passed away. I am almost as old as my mother when she died.
Being thankful isn't hard for us that have been blessed with so many good things and times. It makes me feel guilty sometimes when I remember those less fortunate. There are so many with so little. I pray this year thanksgiving will be an opportunity for us with so much to help someone without.
Beautiful day here, it seems like fall is doing its best to hang on and keep old man winter away!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Silver Linings are Blessings!

I love the rain in the summer! Especially, this summer. It has been like a desert here for weeks, more like Arizona instead of Arkansas. No rain for weeks gave us dead grass and the trees are almost without any leaves,
I always think about the rainbows God has blessed me with. A few years back when I was especially troubled God gave me a triple rainbow!
I think it is interesting how we always appreciate the good weather, good times, etc. when things have been bad for a long time. Much of the time we stay busy and don't notice all we are given.
When I had cancer and lost my hair it did not bother me. Friends did not believe me because they know me and are very aware of my fault of vanity. Actually, it was a blessing not to have to worry about my hair. My husband would rub my head and tell me how little and pretty it was. Not being able to see where to stop the make-up was a challenge and my head was cold. Most days no make-up and my man's orange hunting toboggan solved those issues. No hair on my legs to shave, see blessings galore!
Spending the past weeks ill and in the bed most of the time made me sad, nervous, lonely etc. But the infection got better each day, my home health nurses were awesome, friends from far and near showed up to help. They cleaned, cooked, brought lunch and dinners. My kids all came to help at different times and ways.
 For the first time in years I feel rested! I have not been suffering from Fibromyalsia at all!
Try to see the good with the bad it sure helps to get through most things life throws at us!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

The blessings of family, neighbors, friends when ill

Most people know how I feel about handwashing and bacteria. After all I am the manager of Microbiolgy at a hospital. I read reports from CDC before most doctors have any idea of the lastest scare. The increase of infections due to Staph is not something people are unaware of. June 11 I noticed a red spot the size of a dime on my booty. It did not look like an insect bite. It did not seem infected. I did clean it and used triple antibiotic cream just in case. In less than 24 hours this spot bacame a boil as big as my fist. I felt terrible, started running a fever and decided it was time to get to a doctor. I will not get into all the stupid things that went wrong. Just one point I will make, when you are real sick take someone with you to the doctor. I was admitted to the hospital 72 hours after going to a walk in clinic. I was septic (means blood poisoning) So blessed to have my daughter, Andie come and stay at the hospital with me. I was admitted on Wed afternoon and by Saturday night released to go home. Andie took care of getting me home and she and her husband stayed the week. I kept feeling terrible with fever. The kids took me to see my real doctor on Thursday, he is not in my insurance net work so I had been taken care of by a hospitalist. Since a surgeon was never called to consult about the abscess and no follow up ultral sound done this Dr was very upset, He wanted me back in the hospital for a surgeon to decide to remove this abscess. He did add another antibiotic to hold me over until the surgery. The surgery was done on Tuesday evening. I stayed in the hospital until Friday evening. I have been receiving home health care since, Two IV's daily and a wound vac attached to the surgery site.
The many prayers from friends and families have been very appreciated. Sarah and Ryan sent me a care package from Nashville and a sweet card that Liam even signed! Stacey and her family have been over to help. My neighbors and some church friends have been here. The best was two of my friends from Siloam Springs made the long trip to Greenwood with food . They cleanned my kitchen and spent most of the afternoon with me. I got some lovely flowers from another friend in Siloam. Several lovely cards from as far away as Virginia. I needed the rest but now appreciate my job. I will be so happy to get back on my feet ASAP. I am blessed with much. God is good all the time.

Monday, July 4, 2011

July 4, when JuJu was a kid

I was visiting with my brother yesterday about the wonderful blessing we grew up with, this being our father's talent for cooking. The fourth of July celebrations we experienced were all filled with lots of great food.
We both know the Walker secret BBQ recipe. I have never had better. I am going to make some this fall this is a promise. His ice cream was wonderful also Until my freezer croaked I made ice cream in the summers. Never had a bite left.
My cousins would usually show up on the fourth. I remember going to Spring Lake in Yell county early in the morning. The lake was spring fed and was cold except on the fourth when it would warm up due to the big crowd.
By the time we returned home the water melon we had filled up on at the lake was gone.We were starving and the wait for the chicken and ice cream was nothing but pain.
I never remember my dad in a hurry with the exception of driving fast, I never remember my mother doing a single thing at a slow pace. Since daddy was cooking the food it would not be ready soon. But man was it worth the wait. He had someone custom make his BBQ smoker grill out of a old cast iron wash pot. It had legs and was used to  heat water by building a fire under it. Dad had a frame to hold it with wheels. Looked  sort of like a cart. He filled it with charcoal , a grill was placed on top and there was a big heavy lid, too heavy for me to open when I was 10. The men would be cranking the ice cream freezer. I never really understood why once the handle was stuck and the cream was frozen  why we were not allowed to open it and dig in. This frozen ice cream was salted down again and a heavy quilt was wrapped around it for at least another hour. It was a great moment when the time was right and the first mouth full of ice cream was tasted.
It was just wonderful and I always ate it too fast and wound up with brain freeze!!
Soon after dinner the fire works came out along with the lightening bugs! We had so much fun chasing each other with fire crackers, The cousins usually stayed the night with us. We were always going to stay up  all night , however I never remember that happening. I do remember falling asleep listening to the whippoorwills calling out from the woods.
Those were the best of times and the years have flown by way too fast. I am thankful for the blessings of growing up in the south with good food and fun cousins.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Blessings, my daughters!

The mother of three daughters, now all grown up. I still catch myself wondering where did the time go?
 It seems only yesterday Stacey was a little girl. Now she is a successful engineer, been married to Scott for more than 20 years and the wonderful mother of Tori, age 13, and Austin, about to be 11. My first daughter was born a few days after I had my 18th birthday. She was very active before she was born. I felt like she was doing flips and jumping jacks 24/7. When she was born the activity level did not slow down. Today she can get more done in 1 hour than most people do in one day! She has and is a blessing to me and the rest of our family and those that know her. I appreciate all the times she helps me with decisions or listens when I need to vent.
Stacey was my baby for almost fifteen years. In August of 1984 I had, Sarah Elizabeth. We named her after her sister, Stacey Elizabeth. Sarah has always called her Sissy.
Sarah was a precocious baby, gifted with language at a very young age. She was what I call an old soul. It seems she was not a baby very long. She was speaking sentences on her first birthday. She grew fast and was big for her age with long hair. It seemed she was born with poise and presence. When Sarah was only two her older brother, Shannon , barely 19 was killed in a terrible accident. I have felt a lot of guilt because of the terrible grief and despair that kept me from being a good mother for Sarah. God's grace does cover so much for Sarah was never a problem. She was always well liked with tons of friends and an excellent student. She enjoyed helping the younger kids at school. She went on mission trips with our church. I heard many people say that Sarah has a special gift working with children. All I know is she is a wonderful young lady, she has been a wonderful mother to Liam born 6 weeks premature. She manages a Star bucks store and does a great job. Sarah lives all the way to Nashville. I enjoy the times we spend together. I am thankful to have been blessed with my Sarah Beth.
Then along came baby girl number three. Andrea Jeanne, was a surprise. She is almost 20 years younger than Stacey and five years younger than Sarah. She is the only child I have ever known with multiple imaginary friends. Andie was born joyful. I remember her giggles before she could talk. It is hard not to smile when thinking about Andie. She makes everyone laugh. She is now almost 22 and is focused on school. She is planning on becoming a nurse. I know she will be a wonderful nurse, her gift is compassion.
One of my prayers is that these three sisters will someday have a strong bond. I hope they will want to spend time together, that they will know how much they are loved by me. I have people tell me often what a great mother I am to have such three great girls. I just don't feel like any credit is due. I think God, in his mercy and grace was able to fill in the gaps. He knows my heart and answered my prayers. I prayed for many years my daughters would not make the same mistakes as I, and  would have wonderful Godly husbands, would be healthy.
I continue to pray they walk with Jesus and for their protection from the evil one.
Thanks to the Lord God Almighty, my three daughters are my treasures!

Monday, May 23, 2011

May 23, 2011

Last night a terrible tornado hit Joplin, Missouri, this happened about 6:40 PM.  St John's Mercy Hospital was hit the hardest, Over 130 deaths and hundreds not accounted for. The hospital is part of the Mercy System I work for. My heart goes out to all those hurting, those homeless, the ones that have lost everything. If I had the money I would give a fortune to help them.
On the way home from work it was like driving through a flood. I am thankful for a bigger car so being swept away was not a concern. I bought a get well card to send to Peepaw, he has been very ill. I was thinking about going to visit him this past week-end. I did not want to cause additional stress for him or Betty. I prayed for him last night and again this morning.
when I got home this afternoon I noticed my phone had two messages. Jesse passed away about noon today. I spoke with Stacey for a few minutes and was told Andie did not know yet. I did tx Sarah and she responded she was ok and Andie knew.
Peeps was one of my favorite people. He was always very good to me. The day my husband moved out Jesse came in the kitchen crying. He gave me a big hug and told me he was so sorry.
He has been sick since last summer. I went to visit him twice when he was in the hospital, took him chicken and dumplings and fried apples.
I am glad he got to see Liam the two times he was here,
He was a wonderful grandfather to my kids , Even after the divorce he went to Austin's ballgames. I will miss him very much.
Rest In Peace dear Peeps.

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Vacation Was A Blessing

 I had a great trip to Nashville. I am getting used to making the drive. It isn't bad at all. I was tired when arriving. However, most days when Sarah got home JuJu got a good long nap. I wam amazed  Liam is almost six months old!! He is growing fast. He is adorable in every way. I can set and watch him sleep and it brings me great joy to be his grandmother. He looks a lot like Sarah but I see Ryan also.  His mommy makes his baby food! She is starting him on the more perfect foods, oatmeal, sweetpotatoes, avacado, bananas. Liam like the food and will eat every single bite.
I was sad to leave but work awaits me in the morning! I was able to stop in Forrest City and see my brother and my nephews for a little while. John made me a sandwich, baby swiss cheese, cajun turkey, he even cut it in four pieces just the way our mom made sandwiches for us.
Yesterday, I got to spend a little time with Tori. Her family was in NWA for Austin's baseball turny. The game was delayed due to bad weather. Tori was bored and wanted to come on  home so she came down the mountain with me. I enjoyed her company very much. She is a beautiful sweet young lady.
I was happy to get in my bed last night. I did not get up in time for church. That was not good, since the Lord gives me so many blessings I should have gotten up.
I must get in a better frame of mind, the job this week will be hard. I have to work the week end. I know I will be depending on God to give me strength to get the work done.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Spring Break in Nashville 2011

I am sure it has been mentioned many times,"there is nothing as special as being a grandparent", it is the truth.
I am blessed to have three healthy beautiful grandchildren. There are no words to explain the deep love in my heart for these young children.
Liam David Hawk, the youngest, only 5.5 months needed a baby sitter this week. His daddy is his caregiver during the day while his mommy works. Since daddy had a chance to play music this week I decided to help out and come to Nashville . I had him  by myself yesterday and it worked out great! He is just adorable
I  lived close by when Tori  and Austin were little. I spent lots of time with them.
I have found it very difficult being so far away from Liam. I have wondered if we would have as close of a bond as the other two.
God blessed me so much by not only giving us a new baby, but making it possible for me to have a job with vacation time. I am very thankful to be healthy enough to come help.
I am so in love with this new grandson.
He is so sweet. His smiles are beautiful, his voice is so funny as he speaks the baby language. He is a very good baby. Sarah and Ryan are doing a great job taking care of him. I hope the rest of my time here goes well. I am cherishing each moment.

Saturday, March 5, 2011


Saturdays when I was a kid meant great t.v. in the  morning and then lots of time to play in the afternoon. I loved getting up on Sat. morning and putting the snicker bars in the freezer, they would be so good for the afternoon snack. I loved to watch cartoons, Mighty Mouse, Tweety Bird, etc. Then the great Sky King, Fury, My Friend Flicka, no wonder all kids wanted horses. I was blessed to grow up with so much fun in a small town. My grandkids are always going some place, they are so busy with ativities. I know their parents are great and good to drive them to all of the things they do. I am just glad that when I was a kid, Saturday was a day to just play! So another blessing to count, the good ole days, riding bikes, playing hop scotch, swinging, eating ice cream, and talking to friends. I loved to walk to the drug store and buy a soda. Maybe eat a plate of home fried potatoes with a homemade roll. Life was easy time seemed forever, now the time goes by so fast I forget to turn the page on the calender at the start of a new month. Seems like yesterday was Christmas and now we are almost to Easter...
My bradford pear trees are blooming, the dogwood is almost ready to bloom. I am so much better than a year ago. So blessed with so much and am glad to know how many friends I have.
God is good all the time.... 

Thursday, February 24, 2011


 Recently my life feels like it belongs to a stranger. I am blessed with so much, truly am a thankful person. But, hold on, I miss my man of almost three decades. He now lives with a new wife, walked out of my life, has made no effort to stay in touch with two very special grandchildren. Why do I miss a person that would cheat, lie and leave? It is especially hurtful to know we can not have a conversation about our children, grandchildren or his precious parents. Divorce is so wrong! It hurts so many
I am angry and tired. I do not know where my home is anymore. He wants his wife to believe he never loved me. That all I was or interested in are things!
Just a note here for the record, I refuse to believe his lies. They sound so much like Satan's words. However, the Great I am is my Prince of Peace. I will recover, I will find my path and hope not to be looking back.
It is when seeing Liam with out him, or visiting with Tori or Austin and his name comes up. My heart aches for what should have been the best years.
I am doing my best to go on, things always are better when the sun shines. Today was cold and raining, the grey sky looked bleak.
Being still and listening to the Lord is what I should be doing. Instead my weakness comes out in angry thoughts and feelings of great sadness.
I pray my daughters, grandchildren do not follow in his foot steps and run away. I am wondering if that grass that looked so green is hard to mow?
So perhaps the changes ahead are for the better, suppose I will find happiness in helping others, Spending time with old friends, making a new life.
I believe it can happen, my heart will heal, my brain will not dwell on the negative. Each day will be an adventure.
JuJu's blessings are usually appreciated when I slow down enough to spend more time in God's word. Setting at Christ's feet listening.
Spring is on it's way.
Thank you dear Lord for the blessings! The grandchildren  are adorable, my daughters so good to me, son-in-laws that I love like they are mine. I love my brother, nephews.
A promotion at work to keep me busy! Good friends to hang out with.
A vacation to Tennessee coming up soon.
I think this blogging is contagious! I think writing my feelings down help lift  my spirits....

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Spring, maybe??

Could spring be here in February? Perhaps the bad weather is the past, we have been enjoying some warm days. I noticed tiny bud on the dogwood and pear trees in my yard. However,we got a big snow last year the last of March, so think I will  keep my boots close by.
Looking forward to March 18. I am heading east to Tennessee. I can't stand being so far away from Liam Bird! I am going to rock a bye that little bird while momma Hawk works.
Aunt Barbara will meet me in Nashville. Vacation coming up! Now I must stay positive, not work too hard, save energy for the fun time we will have.
Thankful for the vacations coming my way.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Winter Storm 2011

The past 48 hours have been interesting to say the least. The weather people predicted North West Arkansas would only receive about 3-6 inches of snow, last I heard before going to sleep night before last (Feb.8) I had a feeling this could be wrong because the weather people seldom get it right. But it was very shocking to wake up to an amazing deep snow. Not much of a chance the hospital would close  so off to work we went. I stepped out the door and the snow was almost to my knees!! Not sure about the amount in inches but at least a foot! Jeanette and I started out to work and made it without too much trouble, we had to stay in the ruts to drive. We worked as fast as we could so we could head back to her place. The snow never quit, it was steady all day until late afternoon, I believe there was at least 24 inches and of course the drifts were every place. The trip home was not easy, we even passed a car going the wrong way in our lane (rut) The road to her house was plowed and the snow was pushed right up to her drive way! It was like driving through a mountain. It took a few attempts to make it up the drive and into the garage,
I have lived my entire life in Arkansas , we do not usually have much snow. I remember some bad winters in the seventies. Once we got a big snow
that month.
Snow is beautiful when one is able to stay inside and keep warm. I think about snow flakes and how unique each one is. This is how God made them, just like people no two are the same.I am thankful for the beauty of snow but since my days of playing in it are over, it is a relieve when it ends. I know there are many folks cold, animals and birds are hungry. It makes travel in Arkansas difficult because we do not have the many \snow plows or snow blowers or preparation like the northern states.
I am thankful and blessed to live in a lovely state that certainly has more warm sunny days than some.
This winter weather may break records, I do hope the worst of this winter is over!!

JuJu' s Girls

 Wow am I proud of my daughter's and granddaughter!

Thursday, January 27, 2011


My very first job was baby sitting or "kid chasing". I was 12 and the kid was a niece of a lady my mother knew from the Danville Methodist Church. I do not remember her name, the kid that is: the lady will remain anonymous to protect her memory. I was in charge of this 8 year old girl from 8 until 4 , Monday - Friday for four weeks. The first few days went ok but after that the hours seemed like days. I was very tired of running after this ball of energy. I wanted her to read or watch T.V. , she wanted to walk all over town or play hide and seek. The aunt was a nice enough lady and expected me to fix lunch and clean the kitchen along with entertaining this kid. I won't go into all the games, how terrible this kid acted etc. The  point I want to make is about the lesson learned the hard way. My excitement about this job was all about when the aunt would hand over my money. The deal was I would be paid the day the aunt got her check the first day of August. I was excited about the cute outfits and shoes seen in the Sears and Roebuck catalogue. I had marked the pages and filled out the order form to have ready to mail. I was going to buy my own school clothes! The last day to baby sit passed . August 1 came and I expected the aunt to come by our house on her way home from work. She did not stop by or call. The next day the same thing. One the third day I went to my mother in tears asking her advice about how to ask for my pay. My mom told me the lady was probably busy and just forgot about it. We talked it over and it was decided for me to walk over to her house and remind her. I was very nervous that hot afternoon. I knocked on the door and waited . I could hear the T.V, I knocked again and nobody came to the door. I walked home with my feet dragging. The next day my mother called the lady and asked if she was well. The answer was everything was fine. She must have not heard me at the door and encouraged mother to send me over. I ran almost the entire 5 blocks. I arrived and knocked , the door opened and an envelope was handed to me. I told her thanks. She told me thanks and I left. When I was about two blocks away I ripped open the envelope to count the cash. $9.00 was it. One five dollar bill and four ones, I recounted, that was it! I started crying and ran home. I got home and showed my mother and she said I should call her. Mother thought perhaps the mistake was because  she thought the ones were tens and ten a twenty. I pleaded with mom to call her and she wouldn't. So I made the call with my throat s!o tight my voice was almost breaking. When asking the lady about the pay she made it very clear $9 was it. She even had the nerve to ask me to watch the kid the next summer.
That night when daddy came home he heard me crying. He knocked on my door and asked to come in.
He told me the pay was not fair at all. He understood my disappointment and tears. He then asked me what was the original agreement? Did I tell the lady what I charged per hour or day to watch children. I had not made a deal at all. I learned a big lesson that day. Always make it clear what you expect to be paid whenever you work. Make sure all involved are in agreement and get the information in writing.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Just another January Saturday

Today is the first time for me to enter into the world of blogging! I don't know if it will last or even if others will ever read it. I have enjoyed reading my daughter, Sarah Beth's blog very much so here goes!  My life has changed so much this past year. I am amazed at the joy found even in the mist of betrayal and hurt. God is so good to me hence the name of the blog "jujusblessings'! Here is a short list of the fun times when I was not on my knees or crying like a baby. The storm hit in January so I was mostly trying to get up, go to work, eat and sleep. I was being held up by many prayers, friends and my precious family. I have some coping skills developed from some past life storms so in my heart it helped to know there was not going to be any giving up!! March was a better month when I traveled to New Orleans with my dear friend, Susan. It was a wonderful trip ! We took our time and ate our way down to the big easy. I get hungry thinking about those meat pies and the poorboy sandwiches! We did a lot of wal king or I would have gained 20 pounds. The weather was perfect, spring comes early in that area. I loved meeting Susan's sister, Lisa. I road on a trolley, walked in beautiful parks with gorgeous huge oak trees, and did some shopping in the french quarter. When we made it home God had left me a gift , a beautiful pansy had bloomed in my front yard!
The next week I found out baby bird Hawk was on the way! One thing is certain my grandchildren are wonderful blessings!
July I bought my very first brand new car! 2011 Sonata Hyundai I drove my first road trip all the way to Cleveland, TN. , I stopped on the way to visit my brother  and his family, then spent two nights in Nashville with Sarah and Ryan When I made it to Barb's house it was late and dark but seeing her was wonderful! We stayed up late and talked and laughed. The next day we went driving, we visited a Mennonite farm, and we both considered becoming one of them. After thinking about no air cconditioning or cute clothes the decision to stay in the world seemed best. Barb took me up to Look Out Mountain close to Chattanooga . Beautiful country and from the mountain we could see the Tennessee river winding around. I love Civil war history so seeing the Smokey's and the history came to life. The only problem with the trip was I was not ready to go home. I should have planned to stay at least a week.
 It was a bit scary to drive all by myself that far. I was very proud of myself for making it without getting completely lost.
Oct.1, 2010 is my third grandson's birthday! Liam David Hawk arrived via emergency C Section  6 weeks early. Austin went with me to Nashville to see him. I was so happy he did fine and was a big preemie weighing 5 pounds 5.5 oz. Oct 26 I made another trip to Tennessee. This time was my planned vacation. I drove to Cleveland again, spent the night with Barb. we left for Pigeon Forge the next morning. We went to help with cousin Vanessa's wedding! The weather was perfect, the autumn color breathtaking beautiful! We stayed at a huge lodge  There was lots of fun and  lots of work. I love the mountains! I drove 14 hours home all in one day! I made a stop on the way to spend one night and day with Liam and a short two hours on the way back so I could rock him again.
The holidays were certainly different to say the least. I spend Thanksgiving with Stacey and her family. Friday Kevin and Andie came to my house. Andie cooked a turkey in her new wave oven for me and the Archers, it was  very good.
         December 12 the Hawk family made it to Arkansas! I gave them their Christmas early. I enjoyed two days off visiting with them. Liam had changed so much just like babies always do.
Per Stacey's advice I did not attempt to get our tree down and all the memories the ornaments hold. Instead I bought new decorations , new smaller tree. Stacey put it up and I loved it. I spent Christmas day with Stacey and family, later that evening Kevin and Andie came. We all went to see True Grit. Kevin and Andie spent the night with me . I made chocolate gravy, biscuits and bacon for brunch.
New years eve I worked . Now I am excited about what ever God plans for this year. I am weak but He is strong, Yes!! Jesus Loves Me!!