Friday, December 19, 2014

It's weird...

It's weird when you are going through something tough and painful that each day is long and hard and it seems like you'll never feel relief or reach a resolution. But then slowly, slowly things get better and stuff falls into place. I'm in those long hard days. I know when I come out on the other side I'll be a stronger person. I am just having a hard time getting to that place. And so I'll take things minute by minute until that glorious day when the clouds break and the sun shines through. 

Saturday, December 6, 2014

I Need This

Man, I haven't blogged in a loooong time. My life has been so completely effed up since my dad died...  I am trying to keep my head above water and it isn't easy, day to day. 
Know what else isn't easy? Blogging from a phone. But that's a minor road block. Because I truly feel like blogging will help me out of a funk. A funk I must get out of. I desperately need some direction in my life and I enjoy writing. Who knew? I know not many people even read this, besides a spammy computer from time to time. I also know that with Reddit, Tumblr, Instagram, Buzzfeed and the like that a silly little blog from a 40 year old housewife isn't even that interesting. And I don't even give a damn. My blog is interesting to me and it's therapy I desperately need. It's gonna be happy and sad and funny and I'll include some of my family's adventures but mostly this is about me, for me. Once I get back into the hang of things, I may rename the blog... Maybe. Or maybe I'm too lazy. We shall see. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

My Dad Can Beat Up Your Dad by Ashley AKA "Rat"

I never thought this day would come. Okay, yes I did. I knew as a young girl and on into adulthood that my dad's love of cigarettes would eventually lead to emphysema, oxygen tanks and lung cancer and that's exactly what happened, in that order. Sure, it was a nasty awful habit, an embarrassing addiction but it didn't take away from the fact that my dad was a tough yet kind, amazing person. He was loyal, funny, strong, cool and handsome with his beautiful blue eyes.

My dad was a simple person, not at all fancy. Which was very apparent in his fashion choices: chambray jeans, a plaid or striped short sleeved button down shirt, brown or black gold toe socks and hush puppies. He NEVER wore a coat, ever! When he reached his 50's, he would don a long sleeved red and black plaid flannel that he would wear over his signature plaid shirt. And that was only if the weather was below 30 degrees. He even wore the same belt for as long as I can remember. In part because his belt was used for dual purposes: to hold up his chambray jeans because his lack of behind kept them sagging (long before it was trendy) and to whip us into shape whenever necessary. Old Yeller, as the belt was called was legendary in our house. I'm not sure when the belt broke, but I'd like to think it was while whacking some one's butt. He also used the same hairbrush for nearly thirty years. It was the second line of discipline when Old Yeller was otherwise occupied. That brush has been hurled across a room and down the hall so many times I've lost count. My dad had precise aim and knew just how hard to throw the brush to inflict enough pain to make a point but not enough to break. Now, I don't want you to think he abused us. That's just how things were done in our house back when physical discipline was the norm in almost every one's home. My older siblings may disagree, I think it's because he was too tired when us three younger girls came along. Really, my dad had a heart of gold beneath his crusty exterior, anyone that knew him would agree.
He ran a construction business for many years and his workers worshipped the ground Mr. Gary walked on, bringing him treats ranging from boots to umpteen bottles of tequila which he never drank. My dad didn't drink alcohol much, he liked Squirt and Coke with "alotta" ice. He also loved food! He loved to cook, but wasn't into fancy, unless you counted his Chicken Cordon Bleu. He was particularly proud of his spaghetti, his blue cheese dressing, vegetable soup and his exact replica of orange chicken a la Chinese takeout. He was also a snacker. I can't tell you how many times we had to rub/scratch his feet while he enjoyed a post-work/pre-dinner snack. His favorites being: fried pork skins, avocado with salt, Fritos and bean dip, Tostitos with cheese dip and Corn Nuts. He also thoroughly enjoyed Hostess Fried pies, green onion dip with Ruffles and cheese nachos with an ice cold Squirt. My daddy liked his drinks cold and his toast burnt. His favorite dinner was homemade fried chicken, corn on the cob, sliced tomatoes and green onions with plenty of salt. Another favorite was liver, ummm yuck!
He swore that liver, lima beans, beets (straight from the can) and other such awful foods would put hair on your chest.  Cool dad, thanks...

My dad was more than just a ''foodie'', he was also a crazy good handyman. He could make or fix anything. If he had time, his fix-its were a work of art. If he was in a hurry, they were still a work of art. Just of the duct tape/pliers variety. Trust me, we were the only kids I know who had a pair of vise grips for a shower knob. I've even seen my dad fashion a new insole for his hush puppies with one of my old binders from school during our particularly lean years. I'm pretty sure that the one fix-it skill he was most proud of was his ability to repair firearms. This was a self-taught skill, that provided money for our family. We lived off of his gunsmithing skills for many, many years. Back then, I never gave much thought to it. There was always "just enough" for what we needed and sometimes extra, like 99 cent Whopper Wednesdays at Burger King accompanied by a bag of chips and a 2 liter soda. Good times, surrounded by cheap food. I have many fond memories of time spent at his gun shop, Anderson Firearms, playing school with my sisters in the office upstairs. I thought I was a badass because my tough ol' daddy had his own business and it was a gun store, no less. Before he had to sell off his personal cache of firearms so we could eat, he would spread out his and my mom's good bedspread on the living room floor and clean his guns for hours. Those guns were his pride and joy, besides his babies which is precisely why he sold them, so we could eat and have water and electricity. And, that's not all he unloaded to take care of us. I, more than once accompanied him to a pawn shop to sell a power tool so we could have money. He had to swallow his pride a lot when we were growing up, borrowing from whomever he could and whatever he could to support his brood. And, I know it wasn't easy but I'll be forever thankful and in awe of my dad for this.

Some of my fondest memories are of him tossing us in the back of his Datsun pickup truck so we could head to Winchell's donuts or him, once in a blue moon going to church with us smelling a little like Winston lights and a lot like Wint-O-Green life savers and Old Spice cologne. He would rest his arm along the back of the pew, so he could love on you or thump your back if you got out of line. He would hum every hymn in his deep voice, which was a nice comforting sound. He took his role as comforter and nurturer very seriously, tough as he was. I can't count the times when I was sick that I would wake up to his rough, calloused hands checking my temperature or trying to shove baby aspirin or Donnatal down my throat. He loved his babies, no matter how feisty we were or how old we got, and showed us in his own special way. Most memorable would be picking our birthday and Valentine's cards when my mom began working towards my fifth grade year. He would always tease me in the cards about burning cookies, I think because he got me a card every year with a cookie recipe printed inside. His nickname for me was Rat, and he was the only one who was allowed to call me that. I distinctly remember one of the cards saying, "Honest Rat, I like hard cookies."

As much as he loved and cherished us, it was understood that we make his coffee, dump his ashtray, and get him a post dinner toothpick and rub his back of scratch his feet most nights of the week. Back then I hated it, now I realized he deserved it because he worked so hard for us. The feet scratching was the worst for us definitely. But the back rubs drove me nuts, because he always commanded us to "grab handfuls" of skin simply because it felt good and indulgent after a long day of work.
Of course, as a kid these were annoyances and now they are fond memories. Eventually we all grew up and moved away. Some out of state, but not me, I stayed close. As much as my parents drove me nuts, I couldn't stand to be far. I first moved five minutes away, then 15, then 45, and the furthest- 1 hour, which was heartbreaking because I always needed my mommy and daddy close. Many days as an adult, my dad would stop by to take my oldest child "ghost hunting", which was essentially a drive in the dark to look for ghosts or he would pop over on his lunch hour. He says he was checking on us, but I think mainly he wanted me to bid on books on Ebay for him so he could add to his collection of Stephen Meader books. He never learned how to use a computer, and I was his personal computer shopper.

I eventually moved further away and as my family grew older and got busier, I saw my folks less and less, but I talked to them everyday. Anytime I was scared, worried or needed advice, I would hang out with them so we could talk and talk and talk. The most recent was in November of 2010, when I was going through some heavy duty personal stuff. We sat at El Fenix, ate enchiladas and chatted, with my dad giving me stellar advice, as usual. Everything was okay when I talked to my dad, he always made me feel better. Then, as he aged without me realizing it, and eventually contracted cancer, it became mine and my siblings jobs to make him feel better. Gladly feeding him his favorite foods, making him coffee, rubbing his back and scratching his feet. Anything to ease his pain and misery. And yes, I put on his deodorant, trimmed his nose hair, and clipped his nails among many other things. I would've done anything to give him one ounce of the care, comfort and compassion he gave us kids growing up. What I wouldn't give to hear him tell me one more time, "You're hell, ain't ya, Rat?"

This isn't bye, Daddy. It's "see ya on the other side."

Love, Ashley "Rat Rat" Kristen Anderson

Friday, March 1, 2013

A Little Ditty

I miss me blogging
Oh yes I do!
I miss me blogging
How about you?

Saturday, January 1, 2011

I hope, I hope (resolutions be damned)

I hope:
that I can lose 20 more pounds and keep it off
that karma bites that nasty woman in her ass
that we don't get any more vehicles stolen or have any money issues
to be able to go the temple more
to be a better wife, mother, daughter, and friend
to be on Facebook less
that I don't have to attend any more funerals (4 in one calendar year is 4 too many..)
that my big sister can get clean
that Jon and my kids will be at my side every Sunday at church
that Chan will get a JOB and finally start school...
that I can get a tummy tuck and breast lift
that me and Jon will pretty please be able to go on a trip for our 15th anniversary
that my house will sell and we'll move to the right place for the right price

Really though, as much as I want all of the above, I just want to be HAPPY and I want to SMILE more. I want me and my family to get along and be together as often as possible and I want us to be HEALTHY and UNITED.
Happy New Year Y'all!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

She's baaaaaaacccckkkk!

Don't get too excited, I may up and quit before the week is out... But, either way- I thought I'd re-acquaint y'all with me. So, here goes.

I am a feisty redheaded mom of 5. I used to be a FAT chick, but am now what I consider chubby, if a size 12 is chubby. I used to weigh 270 at my highest and now weigh 175. I am addicted to Mexican food, pretzel M&M's, Diet Coke, kissing my baby (because he's the only one that can't get away) and my daily walks. I don't really have any talents to speak of- I can't cook, sew, scrapbook, take good pictures, etc etc. I am however a loyal friend and I think I'm pretty damn funny, so there! I am very good at- long bubble baths, Facebook, and window shopping. Right now my house is for sale and my hubby just started another job and cut his hours at his primary job. So, we are broke and it sucks. But, what can you do? I tried my hand at home-schooling my daughter but I felt tied down and she was bored so now, it's just me, my baby, and my oldest son who is both out of school AND unemployed. It's a barrel of fun. Not really. I hope to pick blogging up again full time. I can't promise I'll stick to it. I really hope I can provide a sounding board for myself and a laugh for y'all. If I am feeling ambitious I may fancy up my background and such and if y'all are lucky- I might even post some pictures. Don't count on it though. One thing I realized after having another baby- my kids are the boss around here not me. I'm just glad I get to eat and periodically shower....

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weight Loss Progress

For those of you on Facebook, this is old news. But, I'm posting it here anyways...

This is me when Cam was 6 weeks old and me as of July. I have lost 75 pounds since the day he was born. As of late April I am at 40 pounds lost and over 20 inches! Yay me! I am saving for a tummy tuck and breast lift, for reals. If I can get down to 145, I'm meeting with a surgeon. I am at 190 now. 45 more to go....

P.S. I suck at making photo collages....