Friday, December 16, 2011

Split Pea Soup aka Pea Green Soup

This has got to be the strangest post I've ever done...and slightly gross, so if you have a weak stomach, don't continue
I'd post a picture, but there are some things people just don't want to see *ahem* like green soup. As kids, we called it Pea Green Soup, and laughed our heads off...'cause we were kids, but honestly, it still makes me giggle, and talking with my sister on the phone, the laughter was evident she remembered too. We used to eat it fairly often as kids, and we loved it, until, one dreadful day when we watched my brother Jeff projectile vomit the stuff. We all screamed and then laughed our heads off in true Jones fashion (that was our last name back then). I remember that day being the last day I ate the stuff...until recently.
Sunday was the birth date of my brother Jeff (who passed away this past May). Without fail, when I think of split pea soup (which is not often), I think of Jeff. Sunday, my sister, of all days, made split pea soup. My sister doesn't have many memories of our childhood, and we both know that, so when something happens that points back to childhood, I ask her if she remembers when.... Of course, this time was no different and we laughed and laughed, then she said "you are so gross!" I am! But, I'm not the one who subconsciously made Pea Green Soup on our brother's birthday!
So...there's my random rambling void of rhyme and reason.
Hope you enjoyed. ha ha

Monday, November 21, 2011

My Sister's Wedding Weekend

She's so lovely!

The picture was stolen from my niece’s pictures on facebook. Of all the pictures I’ve seen so far, this was the best.

My sister, aka “sisterface” is one of my favorite people on the planet. I can’t function when she is mad at me (it’s been a long time, but oh yes, she’s been mad at me…we’re sisters…duh). As children, we had our wars…black eye, shaved head, tattle-tailing, and “I’ll say you ate your oatmeal, but you have to obey my every demand for a week”. I was the little sister, she always took care of me…she hated me for it; but, in her way, loved me in spite of it. Today when we’re together, we’re just stupid crazy and always have a great time.
I think it was about this time last year when she asked me to officiate her wedding. Of course I couldn’t turn my sisterface down. Four weeks of severe anxiety led up to the wedding. It wasn’t just the wedding though, I had visitors in just days before my family was to come in, my former roommate of 3 years was getting married and I was helping with the shower one weekend and driving across town the next weekend for the wedding. I also had a huge church transition during that time, ministry meetings, and had a new roommate move in and was trying to reorganize my house to accommodate her. Whew! I hadn’t lost so much sleep since college. And to top it all off…my boss was the groom!
The day of the wedding came, I closed up the shop early to rehearse (not that it helped) and get ready. Sisterface asked me to use her Bible during the ceremony. The Bible I gave her when I was about 15, on fire for the Lord, and deeply desiring her to know Christ. She did accept Christ, and to this day she reads that Bible almost every morning (I say almost ‘cause it didn’t make it to her suitcase for her honeymoon *ahem-hee hee*). It was fun to read the inscription I wrote to her and see the verses I highlighted…made me choke back some tears. That’s where the sentiment ended. Sisterface and Bossman decided to pull a prank, and at the part…you know the part…“should anyone show just cause…”had everyone stand and clear their throat...nice. Freaked me out…my mind went blank…I could hardly regain composure, but should I have expected anything less? Can’t wait to see the video, it should be filled with many “stop it”, “behave”, and “just say it right” phrases. Whew, had fun, glad it’s over! They are on their honeymoon now…yay. J
It was nice to get to see some of the family again. My brother Jeff’s family stayed with me (all that was missing was Jeff…and he was certainly missed). My brother Vincent stayed with me as well. I had not seen him since I was about 14 I think. It was nice to see him again after so long.
The weekend closed with a trip downtown with my nieces, ‘cause downtown is my happy place. J My niece Brandi made such a profound statement that night. She talked about how wonderful it was to watch & hear people delight in the surroundings to which we’ve become so accustomed. She said it gave her a whole new appreciation for the things we see every day. How right she is.
May you find beauty in your “everyday” surroundings.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Meeting the Fam

So this is the weekend I got to meet the family I never knew I had. I took a road trip to Oklahoma City, OK. Friday morning came and I was as nervous as could's not like I haven't ever traveled and met pure strangers, a person or two or ten that have shown themselves friendly by speaking a word or two over twitter, blogging, or facebook. This time it's different. These are a people who are most certainly friendly and loving and willing to meet, and though they were friendly, they were strangers...or were they?

Forty years ago, a series of events took place (events in which no one really has the full truth) which separated me from my biological family; not just me, but my entire family was separated. These past forty years have been a struggle for some of my family members who believed they could have done something more to keep us all together. It's not their fault, everyone was doing all they knew to do. They would search for the next 40 years for us and we had no idea there was anyone to look in the first place.

One family member went out of the way to search for the family, and eventually came up with a name, called that person and was met with love and open arms. So, we are all over the next couple weeks, headed to OK to meet the family. This weekend is my time. :)

I left at 4 on Friday and got into OK around 2:30am. The ride didn't seem so long because a long time friend of mine came with last minute to see her family out here. The conversation was great and the trip wasn't so bad. Auntie Jaye met me at 5:15. I could hardly sleep, and she didn't sleep at all. She was at the hotel at 4:15 waiting for 5am so she could meet me. She's such a doll.

Auntie and I kept saying the same was the funniest thing...we laughed so much. Even personality wise. She waited until she got a good feel for me and who I was before she really opened up. She loves the Lord! As time passed, He was just about all she would talk that!

Auntie took me to meet Uncle Frank and Uncle Martin. They were outside Uncle Franks house and looked at me thinking I looked like family but not knowing who I was. :) Good times!
This is Uncle Frank, Auntie Jaye, and Uncle Martin. And below is me and Uncle Frank, and Uncle Frank back in the day...kinda looks like Richard

So that was my journey for yesterday...had a blast. Today I will be attending a Pentecostal church with another member of the family I have not yet met...kinda excited...kinda. ;) More to come.

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Family, family, FAMILY!

So much has happened over the past two weeks I don't really know where to begin. Company has been in and out of my place, I've been running here and there, and right about now, all I am sure of is that I need some serious sleep.

Two weeks ago...maybe three...time escapes me, I received a phone call from my foster brother saying that Uncle Bob was being flown to Swedish Hospital with a brain aneurysm, and he and a cousin and Grandma were driving to Denver and asked if I had room for them. Of course I did, then he mentioned that my foster dad, his wife, and another cousin from TX was coming in too...yikes! I said I'd have to pitch some tents in the living room but that we would somehow manage. Well, most of them got hotel rooms (thank company, love family, but whew), but the cousins & my lil bro stayed with me. What a time of drama, fun, and amazing God things. :) I love my peeps so much!

So...during this visit, my 1/2 brothers girlfriend was searching for family...AND FOUND THEM!!! Woot Woot! I grew up being told my biological mother was an only child...that was probably the biggest lie I ever believed. There were 14 siblings, and 10 are still alive. I will be driving out to Oklahoma City this weekend to meet a few. For now, here are some pics of my peeps:

They started it all, my great grandpa and my grandparents:

Aren't they just amazingly gorgeous??

My Auntie Jaye, she has brought me so much joy just getting to know her. She is kind and so very loving, full of grace, and always has a kind word and open arms.

So, I'm headed out to Oklahoma City, OK this weekend, and I cannot wait to meet my biological family for the first time. There will definitely be a weekend blog, so stay tuned. :)

Monday, May 23, 2011

...and then there were 5

We were a group of 6 children, abandoned in an apartment complex on the outskirts of San Diego, CA in 1971. The oldest of us was 9; I was the youngest and 8 months old. Social services placed us all in separate homes by two's, the two oldest boys, the two younger boys, and my sister and I. Some of us had it good, as far as foster homes go, some of us not so good. After four years, we were handed back to our biological mother for a trial period, and during that time our last names were changed to Jones and we were taken out of California to live out our childhood in hidden torture. We all left "home" very young, very tough, and much scarred.
A week ago I said my forever goodbye to the first of us siblings. Jeff was a happy-go-lucky kind of guy, an artist, and an excellent cook. He met a wonderful woman with children and they eventually added one to the brood. He had a problem with alcohol though; it claimed his liver, and eventually helped claim his life. He always felt guilty for leaving me...even asking for me before he slipped away. We lost track of each other when he left "home," but a few years later we reconnected. I was 16, and at a festival in NM (The Great Enchilada Festival haa haa) when I heard my name being called. I tried not to turn around because I didn't go by that name anymore, but recognized his voice and turned to see my brother again. He kept track of me from then on, even attending the church where my foster dad ministered. I'm happy he's no longer in pain, sad to see him go, and just a tad bit jealous that he got to see Jesus first...I sure will miss him.
I left for TX the night Jeff passed away. (Thanks to my siesta's who prayed my hoopdie down there and back.) I stayed with my adopted parents in Trinidad, CO Friday night and a foster brother in NM Saturday night. Sunday I arrived in TX. It broke my heart seeing my sis-in-law. I hugged her neck and choked back tears. Soon my biological mother arrived. As I walked passed her to hug my brother, she asked when I was going to arrive. When all heads turned toward me, she guessed who I was. :) It was such a strange feeling to be around this woman who tortured us as children, the woman from whom I tried so hard to earn love. As she stood there staring at me while ringing her hands, I realized I didn't need her, or her approval, or her love for that matter...the tables had now turned as she waited for me to turn my attention toward her. I said "hi" and listened to her talk and walked away...that was it. I didn't talk to her again. I didn't need to. I heard her stories and realized she is still a narcissistic, psychotic, pathological liar, and I didn't feel the need to respect her for any loss she might feel...I KNOW Jeff wouldn't either. I understand that sounds harsh, but had she owned up to anything instead of disrespecting his memory by telling lies, I would have respected her for simply being a human being who gave birth to a fabulous little boy who she had to say goodbye to far too early.
It was a strange time to say the least; a time of facing fears, enduring heartbreak, realizing who I am now apart from who I used to be, and a time of sad but sweet good-byes. However, during this time, I gained a deep need to know the paternal side of my family, and I am now on a hunt...this part to be continued.
I know this is long, and not exactly happy, but I wanted to share it anyway. Thanks for bearing with me.

Friday, March 18, 2011

It's Like Coming Home

THE FARM (Isn't it cute!)

My friend Janice and I went to Kansas City, Missouri on a road trip to attend the International House of Prayer and another church there, as well as to have a little fun. On our way, we stopped just outside Colby, Kansas to stay overnight with some very dear people I know, visit a little, and be on our way.

In my youth I was in a home for homeless & "throw-away" teens called The Lighthouse for Girls. Marvin & Topper were the directors of the home. The home is no longer there, but Marvin & Topper are still there, doing Kingdom business from a little farm. After I put my stuff down, I held Topper and said "it feels like home." She said "well, y'are home". Melted my heart! (I can still hear the Kansas twang in her beautiful voice now as I think back.) It was late, so Topper was off to bed, and told us she needed to be up at 5:30 to bottle feed the calves. I gasped "I wanna help!" She said "no, you don't, you need to sleep in, it's awfully early." I could hardly sleep that night waiting to hear the shuffling of early morning feet...finally I heard her up and jumped out of bed ready to feed calves if I had to do it in my jammies! She told me to go back to bed, they would go out at 7:30. I was too excited to sleep though, I was dressed and ready in seconds. I miss the "chores" of farm life. It's like really living...I don't know how else to explain it. Here's some pics of the little guys we fed. They were taken with my cell phone, so they aren't that great, but the calves are just adorable!

Below are the cows about a year after bottle feeding. It's so cute, M&T said they don't ever have to herd the cattle, they just call and the cows follow. They were debating coming up so we could pet them, but they eventually did...and I was licked by their cat-like tongues...gross, but so cool! And their beautiful!

Our stop in Kansas was probably the highlight of my trip. I'm not far from M&T, but sadly I don't often visit. Strange how that is, considering how much I love my people and how fun their place is.

So M&T always load me up with books & devotionals & study material every time I am there...they crack me up. They loaded Janice up too. Well, on our way to Kansas City, MO, I was reading one of the books they gave us out loud. :) We were so into the book that neither one of us realized that so much time had passed until we heard the clunk of the engine just OUTSIDE Topeka...haa haa. We were out of gas. My carpanion was a bit stressed out, but I was having a great time on the side of the highway, and I knew help was on the way...and it was, we were rescued in about 30 minutes. Things never seem to go as planned, but when away from the regular stresses of every day life, to me, it's all adventure. :D

My adventure didn't end there. IHOP is such an amazing place of 24/7 prayer and worship. I wrote down many of the words to the music that was being sung as if it was the Lord singing it to me. I could have stayed there for hours on end, and the next time I go alone, I certainly will. One thing I know now more than ever, His hand was over us everywhere we went, and in everything that was sung & spoken over me during the time I was there. He was thinking of me (Psalm 139:17) and at this very moment I am so aware of it! He just never ceases to amaze me, and I pray that some day I will amaze Him right back.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Ahh New Year

I always love the beginning of a new year. It's not that I really think that I get a clean slate, because God doesn't change at the start of a new year, only my mindset...for however long that may be. I just love the feeling that starting over brings...especially when just about everyone else in the world is doing it too.

Last year was pretty rough for me. I attended some events that lifted my spirit and broke my heart all at the same time. I attended other events and received answers to prayers and became closer to people I knew and didn't know (but should have). I saw death...listening to the sobs and strained voice of a dear friend who lost her mother with no warning; I held my best friends hand as she struggled through the death of her marriage, I said goodbye to a woman of God unlike any I have ever met before. I saw life...rekindling two friendships I had lost touch with 25 years ago. I finally let go of a job I had no business clinging to; and, though it doesn't make sense, I am happy & blessed. I make less money than I have since my 20's, but God has blessed me so much in these last 3 months I have not missed a dime! When I say 2010 was rough...I mean it was rough...I'm just going to be straight and get it all out there. It was almost the end of me. My health was taking a fast plunge...among other things, and I put on a smile pretending everything was fine, but I had given up...emergency prayer chain kind of given up (ps...thanks for the hand's was me). This past year is one I am running from.

On to the new year. I don't want to make any resolutions; but, I do want to be resolved to live my life with the Lord in charge. I want to fine tune my senses. I want to see what He sees, hear what He wants me to hear, and be obedient doing what He wants me to do. I want to sense His presence, that's all. Sounds simple, but I know it wont be. I may keep you posted along the way about that? ;)

I hope we all have the greatest new year ever.