Category Archives: Outside the Wit Box

Where I’m From…

I’m from rural farm country and cute little Amish kids with bowl-cuts and bonnets, manners and kindness.  I’m from home-grown gardens and Ball canning jars.  I’m from pastures of hay and landscape upon landscape of old,  living barns. 

I’m from the little, yellow farmhouse nestled in the scent of summer lilacs.

I’m from Hibiscus the size of your head, Lamb’s Ears and Lily Of The Valley.  From Hosta-lined sidewalks and all the fuzzywuzzyworms you can catch.

I’m from The Big Christmas with Good Grandparents, from Margaret Caroline and Betty Jo, from Paschke and Cameron, from Saad and from Gunter. 

I’m from wicked intelligence and sun-kissed work ethic.

From barn rafters and cow tongues and hay bales and shit forks.  From boats and beaches and garage bands and Tarheels.

I’m from the music of Lutheran, the values of Presbyterian, and the individual spirit of Jesus.

I’m from Lee and from Mercer, from the dot on the map and the blink-and-you-miss-it, from small and from smaller, both familiar and endearing. 

I’m from more raisins than two scoops could ever be, from spiked apple cider and from no-bake and oatmeal chocolate chip.  I’m from “don’t tread too heavily – the bread will fall” and from “I forgot the fork.  They’ll be peanut butter balls.”

From the equestrian lover and computer geek, from the teacher and the dean, from the entrepreneur and the housewife.  From the rich and the poor, the sickness and the health, the here and the hereafter. 

I am from oil paintings on canvas, Baby Grand pianos, a single trip to Disney World and a ’68 Camaro.  I’m from a hiding spot on the roof above the stairwell and the spotlight shining down on the stage.  I’m from a little white dress with unicorns dancing and a butterfly t-shirt, four sizes too big.  I’m from love and from laughter, from tears and from pain.  All of these things, I’d do over again.


This post is inspired.




I’m fat.

What’s a fat girl to do?

Why, start a weight-loss blog, dontcha know?!

Beginning today, you may venture over to Elliptilogues, the cutting edge in witty weight loss!  With pictures!

I know you all wait eagerly by your computers, whittling figurines out of small tree branches until I publish a new post.  Now you can read me twice!  You’re welcome!

So c’mon by, Y’all!  It’s gonna get sweaty over there!


It amazes me how people who don’t technically know each other and have never met can be such a driving force in keeping each other’s spirits, sense of humor and self-worth in check.  Bloggers, I’ve found, are profound beings when it comes to rallying together to support others and their families.

Anissa Mayhew is at the forefront of the throngs of bloggers who do such rallying.  She suffered a stroke yesterday afternoon and now needs the rally to support her.  You get what you give, they say, and that’s why Anissa is due for tremendous love, support, healing words, prayers and good spirit.  Please visit her blog and learn a little more about her.  Then send a prayer up for her recovery.  Rally for her.

Happy Birthday, Maddie

Happy 2nd Birthday, Maddie

Today, the world celebrates you.

When The Going Gets Tough, Eat More Fiber

I don’t know what I want today’s post to be about.  I only know that I want and need to write.  Perhaps to provide myself some clarity.  Maybe to pass the time.  Ultimately, it is to figure out what is on my mind and……get it off.

Could it be that work has me stressed?  That I’m already doing the job of three people isn’t enough.  They give me half of a fourth job because the person for whom it is intended has a lazy streak longer than the River Nile and an attitude to rival The Cryptkeeper’s.  Why that person is still employed is beyond me.  Seeing as I’m the freakin’ HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGER I would assume that I have the power to oust her Righteousness, however I do not.  And the two people that do conveniently left their balls in the pockets of the pants they wore back in 1977.  And so, as it goes, the HR Manager is now also the PART TIME RECEPTIONIST because, apparently, benefit administration, payroll, safety management, workers compensation, first aid and event planning isn’t enough to fill my plate.  Wait, did I say four jobs?  I meant SIX.

No, I’m not bitter.

Maybe my two year old is the culprit of this restless mind of mine.  I can’t possibly imagine why, though I have a sneaking suspicion that it could be slightly due to the temper tantrums that seem to chase me around from the time her precious little feet hit the threshold of her daycare to the time they are buried in blankets, silent for the night.  Or her digression from potty training and losing the Binky.  Or attempting to knock off her baby sister.  Yes, that might be a contributing factor.

Or I could be in my Early Life Crisis.  As in I want to go back to school.  Or start my own business.  Or finally record that demo.  Or be a Stay-At-Home-Mom that has dinner on the table by 5:30 every day and makes pies and cakes and never sets her eyes upon a whole entire load of unwashed laundry and fits in a three-mile jog around the park on each and every sunny day or frequents the gym to keep her curvy physique in check.

Physique!  HA!  The “D-Word” issued a Cease and Desist order approximately 3 months ago and, while I’ve managed to maintain the loss of poundage that I did get around to, I haven’t progressed in a very long time.  I know. I know.  YOU think I’m gorgeous just the way I am (and I love you for that) but YOU don’t see me nekkid every day.  The mirror is a dark, dark place.

I find myself lost in thought a lot of the time.  Thoughts of what COULD be.  Then I feel guilty and try to concentrate on what IS.  Because what IS are the little joys that get me through the days.  My children, tantrums, getaways and all, are my refuge.  They are my refuge and my husband is the fort.  Together, they protect me and ward off the armies of pessimism that knock at the mighty gate of sanity.  They are the blessings that I count and reflect on when I’m wishing for one, big, giant, walk-in closet.

Like today.

A Whole Year Without You

I’m trying my best to get through today as if it were any ordinary day.

It’s September 21st.  That means two things.

First, it’s my dad’s birthday.

Happy Birthday, Daddy!

Unfortunately, this day will forever be masked.  This is also the day I lost my best friend.

One year ago today.

Now some people just don’t understand what all the hubbubb is about.  He was a dog.  Just a dog.

Anyone who knows me, however, or the family that I come from, knows that he was more than just a dog.

So. Much. More.

Jinx was a gift to me from my then-boyfriend-now-husband.  I had expressed interest in owning a Miniature Pinscher.  Less than two weeks later, Chris drove me to Benson, NC to pick out my new little baby.

There were two puppies to pick from.  One was a beefy, muscular, broad pup with a nonchalant, almost-arrogant way about him.  He was cute.

The other was a scrawny, cautiously inquisitive, red-haired little guy.  He was more than cute.

And so Jinx rode home with us, in my lap, where he kept house for the next two and a half years.

I read about Jessica Simpson losing her precious Maltipoo, Daisy, to a coyote in LA last week.  Right in front of her eyes.  My heart instantly broke for her.  I know how she feels.  I know what it’s like.  It will be a long, long time, if ever, before she will recover.

I don’t believe that the recovery is ever complete.

I lost my Jinky Bean to a pack of dogs that trespassed into my own front yard on September 20th, 2008.  He was attacked, defending his own territory.

Probably defending me.

I ran out to save him.  I thought I had.

We rushed him to Urgent Care on a Saturday night.

We lost him the following Sunday night.

I got to say goodbye to him.  Tell him how much he means to me.

Tell him how my life will never be the same because he was in it.  And it will never be the same because he isn’t.  I got to sing him into his final slumber.

I miss him more than I thought I would after a year.  I miss him like it was yesterday.

I cried myself to sleep for several months after he passed.  I still do, though not as often.

I pray to the Lord that my Heaven will be complete with many of the furry friends I’ve lost along this life.

But, most of all, for Jinx.

I hope he’s waiting for me.

My Bean Bean


Humble Am I

I remember the day Meredith was born like it was the first day my life began.  Probably because it was.  I remember that day two weeks prior to her birthday when I was told I would have to birth her via c-section.  I cried.  And cried.  And cried.  I had been robbed.  Robbed, I tell you.  Robbed of my God-given right to introduce my child into this world the way He had intended.  I drove to Chris’ office and laid my head upon his desk and bawled.  I was terrified.  All those episodes of Baby Story and Bringing Home Baby and each time a c-section was performed I would take the opportunity to venture to the kitchen and re-up on my stockpile of Doritos and Ridgies and sour cream.  I didn’t need to watch that, read up on that, know about that.  I had been mentally preparing myself for nine months to push this clamouring little being out of a 10 cm entrance into the Great Unknown.  In fact, it was the first thought that rushed through my mind when I peed on that stick.  (OMG!  There’s a baby growing in there that has to come outOut!  Of there!)

During those last two weeks of my first pregnancy, I forced myself to be okay with the idea and, with Chris’ support and encouragement, I nervously climbed into our truck on the morning of March 22, 2007 and left home to welcome my child into the world any way I had to.

They went through the 20 thousand questions, prepped me and wheeled me in.  Chris sat at my head and rubbed my hand and cheek and talked me through the procedure right up until that first cry.  That beautiful cry.  The cry that meant that everything was okay.  Everything was as it should be.  Our MereBear had successfully, healthily entered the world.  The tears came in bounties.

MEREDITH'S B-DAY  3-22-07 011


Madelynn’s birthday was very similar to Meredith’s and when I got home from the hospital and sat down with Mere on my left knee and Adie in my right arm, I wept.  I was overwhelmed with joy at what God had been so gracious to give me.  Absolutely grateful at the blessings that I counted over and over and over again.  What had I done to deserve these two beautiful little girls?

I’ve been blogging for a few months now, but reading the blogs of other mommies for quite some time.  My heart cries for those who don’t have a similarly happy story to tell.  It breaks for those whose tears come from a place darker than anyone should have to endure.  I mourn with them and celebrate with them and pray for them every day. 

They remind me to be thankful.