Just how many miles does Neighborhood Watch go?
by DebraThomas
 Musings
Mar 29, 2012 | 4229 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
Tonight I was on the phone with my mother in law. We were going over the details of the evening after my husband and I had left their house and I had gone to the doctor and so on.
While I was on the phone with her, a knock came at their door. She answered the door with me on the phone and a very deep sounding voice coming from a young male, said, "Yeah, I need to use your phone." She was uneasy and I could tell, and she said, well as you can see I am on the phone, so just a minute. She told me to hang up and call her later. So I waited about 5 minutes and I called her back. The young man answered the phone and I told him that I must have the wrong number because I was trying to get in touch with my mother in law. The guy must have been really confused or something because he kept saying over and over to her I guess, "its Thomas, Deb.  Its Thomas, Deb."   Finally after several anxious seconds I told him to hand the phone to my mother in law please. Well she got on the phone, and my husband heard my side of the conversation so he was now getting a little anxious and he started asking to talk to his mom. He informed her to tell the guy to leave and get out of the house, etc.   In the meantime, I called the police station in their town and no answer so I called 911. My county connected me to the county they live in and some very nice and professional ladies spoke with me and dispatched my not really a 911 call to the proper authorities. They assured me that they would do a welfare check on  my inlaws and see what the guy was up to. Ok, so I get my husband to get off the phone with his mom and calm down.  All the while getting dressed in whatever I can find, (which wound up being his jeans and an old T shirt, cute!!) and telling him we are on our way to your folks house. He was in the car faster than I have ever seen him move.

I think that my little red Honda takes on a personality of its own. I think it takes on whatever my state of mind is and puts it on the hood and in its lights and says GET OUT OF THIS WOMANS WAY SHE IS ON A MISSION!!! So here we go, down the highway at faster rates of speed than I drive normally or have driven in years.

I made it to their driveway in 17 minutes. Usually its about at least a 30 minute drive because they live about 24 miles away. Anyway, we pull up and my husband goes in the house first. Bless his heart, his 86 year old dad is sitting there watching the Weather Channel and eating milk and cornbread for dinner. My mother in law has gone to choir practice at church and will be back later. All is well.   His dad is alarmed to see us come to the house after we had left not too long before and I explained that we were just looking to be sure all was ok after the guy wanted to use the phone. He said yeah, all was fine, and went back to watching the Weather Channel. God love them!!

So my husband, being in the law enforcement frame of mind he has (he isnt a policeman but we watch a lot of TV) he goes to the neighbors house and sees if that widow is ok. She is and her grandson is there with her. After several minutes of visiting the neighbor, my husband comes in and joins us. We get ready to leave and my mother in law drives up.  She is relieved to know that all is well, and proud of her son for checking on the neighbor.  Again, we get ready to leave.

As we are saying the goodbyes, etc and making sure they are in the house safely, my husband is shining his flashlight in the bushes and on the porches of the houses. Sure enough, I smell cigarette smoke from closeby, and there is clearly no reason for any smoke smell to be around either of these folks houses. I tell this to my husband and as I am saying the words, his flashlight shines on the young man leaving across the neighbors yard.  We drive down to the closest turn around spot and make a definite identification of the suspected person that has been going from house to house using the phone and "hanging out".  The neighbor lady said he had been hanging around the drugstore all day, and the Pharmacists asked if she knew who he was.  My husband and I noticed him earlier on our first trip to their town this afternoon, so whatever phone usage he needed, he clearly didnt get it resolved in the hours we were gone.

So as wee were leaving the small town, I noticed the Sheriffs office cars sitting closeby and I wheeled over to where they were and let my husband tell the details of the young man and the phone usages at the local houses that day and hanging out at the drug store.

Needless to say, the local police department, the Sheriffs Department and I am sure several local citizens that passed by made note of this young man, and talked to him about his actions.
There was no harm done, but to make 3 elderly folks uneasy. They dont realize how times have changed and you dont know everybody that comes to the door, so dont answer it and CERTAINLY dont let them in.

It may have been something and it may not have. But I am so thankful to know that the police and the Sheriff's department and the 911 operators took the time to listen to me, and to take me seriously. They took the time to check out my complaints. My husband took the time to listen to me when I told him about the cigarette smoke and he flashed his flashlight all around to see the guy.

So with that said, just how far does Neighborhood Watch go? 


You just never know when a little red Honda may find a person hiding in the shrubs after he was asked to leave, and we will let the authorities handle the situation.  I dont know the young man, nor what he wanted, but if it was no good, well, its not going to happen on my watch,
even if I am 24 miles away.
I'm Fine, And You? And I love COUPONS too.
by DebraThomas
 Musings
Mar 29, 2012 | 3311 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
From the time I was old enough to pay attention to my parents and grandparents and others being asked how they were doing, that same old phrase, "Im Fine, And You?" has been uttered for as long as I can remember. So as habit or just reflex, that is my standard response now too. Has been for quite some time. But its true. I'm fine. I am frustrated, scared, broke, messy, overweight and a list of other things but so what, I am fine. I have had a great day and I look forward to even better ones and the ones that arent so great, well, hopefully I will live to see a great one after that soon, and I pray that I am a blessing to someone along the way. And those are feelings from the heart. Now, care to know why I am fine? If so, read on. And if you dont, well nice of you to stop by and visit and do come again.

See yesterday I had 2 doctors appointments. Went to both. Pretty good news out of both, except that my Lupus is acting up and on top of that I have shingles. Yep, Shingles. Oh and this is not the first nor the last time, they seem to be the re-occuring type. And my thyroid is gone. Didnt know it until now, but its gone. Didnt feel it going but evidentally thats why I am so tired and so on. But, the Lupus doctor told me to be sure and see someone for a second opinion and I said ok. 

Well today was my special day. I have been looking forward to this day for weeks. We get a lot of junk mail along with the bills but, the ones that look to be of interest, (other than the keys to open a car on some lot somewhere or the ones saying I have been approved for a $100000 loan) yeah right, anyway, I open the interesting ones. And sometimes I hit the jackpot. And I hit it last week. 

I got a coupon for 40% off of a pair of shoes at the Payless Shoestore in the Mall; a free pair of panties or a thong from Victoria's Secret; and a coupon for a free trial size bottle of body wash from Bath and Body Works, along with 20% off a purchase. Well, folks, I have put those coupons in my purse, I have handled them, and reread them so many times I think the ink was about off. Had my gameplan set. Was going to the mall. Was going to get the new shoes; pick out a pair of drawers and then I had used up the last of my Cherry Blossom Bath stuff so I was ready to get some more.

I planned on going Saturday, but my husbands plans changed and he is not going out of town as planned so, I said, ok, today is the day I am going, want to go with me? And to my pleasant surprise he did. And we had a great time.

He was so nice in the shoe store. He helped me and another lady pick out shoes. She said she needed someone decisive to help her so he did. He told her to get the black wedges so they will go with everything.

He was great in Victorias Secret and wasnt embarrased at all to tell me there was nothing in there that would fit him or that he was interested in, (WHEW!!!) and I replied I was just in there to get a free panty. No Thong. So we go to the table she directed us to that had the free panties, and the LARGE wouldnt go around this laptop screen. So needless to say, I didnt get me a pair of panties. But being the tightwad I am, I did use the coupon, and got a pair for my mother in law. She is about 98 pounds and in her eighties so I figured chances are she has never had a pair of Victorias Secret panties. Presented my coupon and the clerk put them in a pretty striped bag and wrapped them in pink paper and we walked out. Not a cent spent.

Went to Bath and Body Works. Sure enough there was a sale there too.  I could get 3 things, get 3 free things and then could use the 20% off coupon and also get a free sample size of shower gel. Man was I happy. To reward my husband for being such a good sport, I told him that I would get the things I want, (cheaper ones) and he could get the 3 free. He was a happy camper  too. So we proceed to the checkout and the man tells me that hubby can get 3 shower gels to go with his purchase, so we wound up with 7 bottles of stuff for him and my 3 that we bought and it was still less than it would have been for just the 3 for me. Off of coupons!!!

Now I am not a new couponer at all. I have been using these things since rebates in the mail still containted cash. I was working and would use the coupons and rebates for lunch money and pantyhose money all of the time.  My sister lives near Atlanta and she still gives me the coupons they get in their papers. I am so happy!! So I use them for dog food and cat food and so on. Love the savings and free stuff.  

Well, we were on our way to the pet store to get the cat and dogs food (yep have a store card there for the discounts) and I saw CARES was open and one of my favorite doctors was there today. I opened the door and there was no one in the chairs waiting. So I took it as a sign to get the refills for the RX I needed for asthma meds and stuff and thought well, I will get that second opinion on these shingles.

Let me tell you, this stuff is not for wimps. My whole body part, (which I wont describe on this family friendly post) is inflamed and red and you get the picture.  Yep, you got Shingles and Lupus too. You must be in pain. Well, yeah I said, but you have to go on. You cant just give up, and stay in bed and cover your head, you have to go on. I have too many folks lives I have to run, so yeah, I hurt but if a 325 milligram aspirin wont take care of it or some CamphoPhenique then well, I dont have time for it. Asthma meds filled, a shot in the other side where the shingles isnt at (now you know) and I was on my way.

We got in the car and my husband lovingly looks over at me and asks, well, hon, how are you feeling?

Without missing a beat, I said, Fine and You?

He is so wonderful to me. He praised my attitude and said he has never seen anyone with the attitude I have when in pain. Cant move, hurt, broken out, and you still laugh and smile.
He kissed the top of my hand, and you know what?

That smile, admiration from him and feeling of love he gives is better than any 325 milligram aspirin or shot in the.........................

So when you see me, just know, if you ask, the answer will always be, I'm fine, and you?
Hopefully. If not, check to see if I am really ok.
Thanks and I hope you have a wonderful day too. I did. Cant wait to see what tomorrow brings.
Dont Get Rid of Anything Good...Somebody Can Use It.
by DebraThomas
 Musings
Mar 12, 2012 | 3320 views |  0 comments | 22 22 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
I am not real sure what "IT" is, but Bless Her Heart, that was some of my mothers favorite words. Dont get rid  of anything good, somebody might can use it. Just drop it off here and I will go through it. Well, I have inheirited her same thoughts. And stuff. And more stuff.  Now, sometimes I get some really good stuff, but most of the time I just hoard it up here at the Ponderosa and then, well, I have to find a place to put it. And well, to be honest, I am running out of space. Not only in the house, but the carport is getting full and the car, well, its got just enough room now to get a bag of groceries in there. If you smash them in there. Ok, I will admit it, I think that sometimes I do keep things that I shouldnt. But if you watch television like I do, there is a show almost every night showing where someone finds an old phonograph or a picture frame or a book that is worth LOTS of money. I mean, LOTS of money. But for some reason, that has Never happened to me. And I just have a feeling its not going to happen to me.

Sometimes I get a really great something though. Like when my aunt died. Her daughter called and said she was getting rid of all of her moms clothes and would I want to come and get them. So yes, sure, I will be more than happy to come over. And load the Honda. And I did. Oh was I happy. I loaded clothes, belts, purses, shoes and all sorts of other stuff into that car until you almost couldnt close the door. Then I got home and unloaded it into the living room. Beautiful dresses, in a size 12. My heart sank. I was born in a size 12. My right leg is a size 12. I come from a family where anybody under 200 pounds looks "puny", so I dont know where she got a size 12 from, so it goes into the pile to go somewhere else.  And then the shoes, well, if you wear a small size in dresses, you get the picture.

Not a whole lot of 7W in there. As a matter of fact, nothing in my size in the way of shoes and few clothes. But nonetheless, I kept lots of stuff. My mom could use a large portion of the things, and I was so glad to get the for her. Not a problem.

When I was about to give up hope, my eyes fell on a box, a Playtex Bra box. I was so happy. It was a sign of things to come!!! Yeah!!! I havent had what I would call a good bra in several years. Several. So without hesitation I grab the box. I look lovingly at the brand new, no wire, shapely bra. So very happy. So it goes back into the box for the day I will wear it in public.

The day came. I pulled, pushed, smashed, and put everything where it was supposed to go. I didnt pay attention to the size, just that it was new. After quite a while of tucking and pressing and carrying on, I got it on. I felt great. A little hard to breath, but did I feel like I looked good!!! Well, as good as I can anyway.

A week or so passes and I get a call that my youngest nephew is moving to California. His wife has lost a lot of weight and they are getting rid of her old "bigger" clothes and my sister wanted to know if I would be interested in some of her clothes.  "Are you kidding?" Yes, I screamed, yes, bring them on. I will be thrilled to get some of her stuff!!!

So within a few days, 2 large black Hefty size lawn and leaf bags arrived at my house. I was so happy. Here I had won again. All new clothes. This time I could wear some of them and even though the young lady is quite a few years younger than I, she had excellant taste and yep, you guessed it, there was a bra in there. Oh man, this is like winning the bra lottery!! So pretty and full nice straps. YEAH!!

So, I gather the clothes I can wear and use and clean them and the bra and am so happy with my new belongings. I tried on the freshly laundered bra and sure enough, it fit. I have no idea what size it was but it fit and I felt good in it.

Well, as luck would have it, I developed a nasty cold and flu and the doctor wanted to take Xrays of my chest. Fine. Not a problem. Like the confidence of knowing all of the answers on a test, I felt the courage and confidence to have the Xrays taken and not be ashamed of my under coverage.

The nurse is putting the Xray camera down close to the area she needs to look at and says that is a nice bra you have on, where did you get it?

Well, never having been faced with such a question, I didnt know what to say or how to answer, so with a very red face, (I didnt want to say a dead aunt or a niece in law that lost weight) so I lied. I said Sears.

I felt so bad about that lie. The poor lady is probably still looking somewhere for that wide strapped bra with the full coverage.

But there is such a thing as Karma or payback or God telling you dont be proud of things, and I was proud of that bra. Sad, isnt it. Well, it gets sadder. Much sadder.

I came home one evening and was taking off the shoes and so on and I couldnt get the bra off. I dont mean unhooking it, I mean, couldnt get it to come off. At all. Nothing. Nobody home to help me, and this isnt the kind of thing you just ask a neighbor to assist with, so I had to do the unthinkable.

I had to cut the bra off. It was after I had turned, twisted and struggled for longer than I care to write about, but I had to cut that thing off. And for the first time in my life, I was sad about a bra. Sad that I had lost one of the two good ones I had in several years. Sad that I had lied about where I got it because to tell the truth I didnt know.

As if that wasnt sad and bad enough. The other one met a bad fate. An accident in the washer ripped the whole side out of the front. No repairs. Nothing to do but throw it away.

So now, I am on the lookout for a new bra. One that fits. One that has broad straps and nice front coverage, and this time, I think I will purchase my own bra.

Gosh, I hope Hoarders doesnt read this Blog column.  They might just think I have a problem.

I am beginning to think as I look around, I might.  Sad.  But it makes me happy to know that I am temporarily giving a lot of stuff a good home.  At least till somebody can use it.
Bags? I Got 'Em
by DebraThomas
 Musings
Mar 07, 2012 | 1686 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
And sags and splotches and blotches. Sounds like a commercial doesnt it? Well, its not, its me.

And you know what, I am glad I've got them. I am unique. There is no one else like me. Not weird, just unique.

See I was talking with my best friend tonight, and we were talking about life in general. She was telling me things that have gone on in her life and was asking about some of the things in mine, and as I told her some of the sorted stories, she was sorry for me. And that made me feel odd. Not that she felt sorry for me, but that someone would feel that way about me.

See, I dont claim to be a beauty, and you can tell by looking at my photo on here that Miss America hasnt been trying to call me, but I am me.

I am fine with being me. I have earned every line, crease, wrinkle, scar, blotch, splotch and sag I have. I wear them as badges. I wear them with honor. I kinda look at my life as a charm bracelet, and every part has a story to tell.

Some arent pretty, some arent bad. But its life. And the best thing I can say is that its been a pretty good one. I have had a wonderful husband for many years of my adult life, and I pray he will see me on into the day when Willard Scott has to annouce my 100th birthday on the Today Show.

I have wonderful parents, even though my father died when I was young, he still lives in my memories, so therefore I still have him. And you all know how I feel about Moma. She is just my bestest of all friends.

I have great siblings, that even though there are years between us, have instilled in me love and security and knowledge of the meaning of family that many on the outside must admire.

My inlaws are just extended family, not INLAWS at all. They love me and I do them. I am so blessed they have taken me in and made me the daughter they never had. 


So, when someone says something that hurts your feelings or makes you sad or makes you feel less than you are, then just think of this one little thing.......


Everybody has a wart on their behind somewhere.  (You can change the word behind for whatever you want, but this is a family page after all). But the meaning is, no matter what someone else says or does to you, they are not perfect. They have some shortcoming and are trying to make up for it by making you feel small. But dont. Just think of them with that wart, or freckle or mole or whatever you want to, but just know, Miss America or Mr Universe isnt calling them either, so smile and know you can always come here to the  Musings Blog

and hopefully I will make you smile. Or laugh out loud, or at least feel like you have a friend, even if I'm not Miss America.

You Want Fries With That?
by DebraThomas
 Musings
Mar 07, 2012 | 1405 views |  0 comments | 24 24 recommendations | email to a friend | print | permalink
For those of you that know me, or have read any of the blogs, you know that I am close to my Mom and she is experiencing some health problems right now, so I have been a little delayed in posting anything here. Thank you for your thoughts and prayers and I will keep you informed as I find out things but for now, heres whats on my mind tonight. Hope you enjoy.

We are each alotted 24 hours in a day. There is no more for the rich person and no less for the underpaid. So what we choose to do with that time is our own decision.  As for me, I think I am going to eat off my china.

See I found this extremely beautiful China pattern back in the late 70's or early 80s. It was before my husband and housekeeping, and when I was living at home with Mother but I had a HOPE Chest and wanted to fill it with as many of life's beauties as I could. So I bought this wonderful full set of China.  And it remained packed for several years.

When I married, I used it for the first anniversary, for the first dinner party we had with the family and so on. Then it was repacked. And stored. And we moved. And the china moved. And it has been used two or three times for showers and things like that but the rest of the time, you guessed it, packed away with pieces of tissue in between each plate. The platter rests on my counter and with care I lift it from time to time and admire the pattern of pink roses twined within the grey lattice work. Lovely to behold. But hard to sell. I know because I have tried to sell it twice. No offers. Not one, so I figure its a sign. 

Several of the pieces have never even been used. But not for long.  

I have decided that tomorrow when I prepare my loving husbands lunch, we will eat on China. Why save it for a special occasion when life is a special occasion? 

Why wait for a special time to do something? Or say something kind to that person standing next to you? Or make up with someone that you have hurt their feelings ?  Take time out of your 24 hours and make a dfference in someones life.

 Be kind. Eat off the china. Run with scissors (carefully). Laugh at yourself. Dont try to be perfect all the time. No one is. Sing like no one is listening. Pray and listen to your heart when you do. 

We dont know what tomorrow holds, but for me and mine, looks like a burger and tots on china. 

And by the way, if you see the white haired lady in the red Honda and she is singing, its not because I have a great voice, its because I do sing as if no one is listening. And most of the time, they're not.

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