Life On The Big Daddy Roller Coaster

Looking back makes you appreciate where you are now. This blog post, originally written in April of 2011, makes me thankful for change. My life has changed so much since this post some good, some great and some challenging, but I see every change as an opportunity to grow.

The question is, how do YOU ride on this roller coaster of life? Do you scream, and close your eyes, or do you throw your hands up and laugh?

Screaming, Stress, Roller Coaster Ride
Screaming on the downhill ride of a Six Flags roller coaster.

(Original post)
Well, I must apologize for being slack in my blogging for the past few months. The only excuse I can give is life. It seems that lately I have had an over-abundance of life coming at me from all directions. I know I am not the only person in the world that feels this way. But sometimes, don’t you just want to scream? “Hey, slow this planet down, I want to get off now!” As if life were a ride at an amusement park, and you had too much funnel cake for your own good.

This week life has been just like that. A roller coaster of ups and downs so severe they take your breath away and knock you back in your seat. My work life is always hectic, but when our office manager quit, work became more intense. Don’t get me wrong, I love my job,  I get the opportunity to organize, be creative and bring  our marketing into the 21st century, but when you work for a small company, you wear too many hats and sometimes it can be overwhelming.

If my work were the only part of the equation, the stress would feel more manageable. I was a military wife for years, and as long as no one is shooting at my husband, I’ve always felt I could roll with just about anything. So work stress is my kiddie version of the roller coaster. It looks intimidating when you are 5, not when your 8. Do you know what I mean?

But then, you add the stress of caring for an aging mother. (Who I love greatly. But is as stubborn as the day is long, and no matter how you explain it, she still won’t take her medication as it’s prescribed.) Then add the stress of my health scare and the need to take care of myself. The stress of a leaky roof, (that must be completely replaced). Then every piece of machinery that has an engine breaks down, from cars to lawn mowers. And, as of tonight, the refrigerator just went kaput. All those things in close proximity to each other, and none of the money to do anything about any of it…well that has put me on the Big Daddy of Roller Coaster of Stress this week. All those downs make me want to get off this ride and run screaming from the park. Not to mention, they are exhausting. I need a nap just writing about it.

However, without the downs of my roller coaster ride, I could never truly appreciate the ups of my roller coaster ride. It can be a little jerky getting up the hill, but when you get to the top, the view takes your breath away and you can’t believe you made it this far. Without the troubles, I would never appreciate the positive aspects of my life.

I’m blessed. I have faith in a God who loves me regardless of my troubles and in spite of everything I have done wrong in this world. I have a husband who is my best friend, who cares what I think, and appreciates me for who I am, and loves me even when I am rotten. I have a mother whom I get the privilege of embracing as she imparts her wisdom and love on me, and I cherish these times because I know she won’t be here forever. I have a church family and friends who will pray with me when I’m scared, confused and when I cry out to God for guidance or grace. I have a job and a home with a warm bed and food to eat. Wow, not a bad life. How many people have less at this very moment? My heart hurts for them.

Without the perspective the of the Ups, the Downs look devastating with no end in site. We can’t always be on the Up, but we can know that when the Downs happen, an Up can’t be far behind. I hope my trials and tribulations this week can encourage you to know you are not alone in your daily struggles. We all are on this ride together. Some days it’s the kiddie roller coaster and others it’s the Big Daddy roller coaster. Whichever it is, appreciate it, throw your hands up and laugh, this ride goes by too fast.

Thanks for reading.

Answered prayers: Since this was originally published in 2011, my roof has been fixed, my husband has a new job and a company car, everything seems to be running smoothly, so that is a reason to praise.

Prayers needed: Of course with every up there is a down, I no longer care for my aging mother, she has moved back to her hometown, where she feels comfortable and I pray for her every day, but I’m thankful she is alive and physically healthy. Even though I loved her while she was here, she needed her own space and independence. 

Life is a constant state of change, nothing stands still for very long. How you see it makes all the difference in the world. Let your smile in times of trial be a witness.

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A Goat in a Coat

a goat in a coat

A true tale of life on the Farm

By Charmin Foth

On a blustery winter morn
a wee baby goat was born

The new mama stepped away
leaving baby in the hay
but so cold was the storm
it wouldn’t keep wee baby goat warm

In the early morning light
Farmer Foth saw the wee goat’s plight
He rushed to her side
and prayed he could turn the tide
to warm the wee goat’s little hide.

Afraid and so cold
she didn’t need to be told
the farmer was there to soothe
even though she could barely move

Carefully now

Farmer Foth bowed
and placed the wee goat
into his warm red coat

All through the day
as the farmer made hay
the wee little goat
stayed in the warm red coat.

Next to Farmer Foth’s chest
did wee goat rest
starting to warm
but still not to the norm
Farmer Foth kept the wee goat close
she needed to get as warm as toast

So on errands Farmer Foth ran
to places where even goats were banned
To the butcher, the baker
and the candlestick maker

Lastly to the pharmacy he went
keeping the wee goat in his arm bent
hidden in warm red coat
no one knew about the goat

As workers looked on
they thought something was wrong
it caused some alarm,
was Farmer Foth there to do harm?

The farmer only grinned
knowing he had not sinned
he said, “do not fear
I only have a wee baby goat in here”

The workers couldn’t see
the wee goat’s glee
at being so warm
away from the farm

But as Farmer Foth unzipped
and the wee goat tipped
her little head
out of her warm makeshift warm bed

“Neeehhhhh,” she said,
“put me back to bed!”
And the workers all sighed
as Farmer Foth tried
to explain how a wee baby goat
ended up in his coat.

Among the ooohs
and the ahhhs
the wee baby goat
snuggled back in the warm red coat.

The moral of the story:
Be careful where you tote a goat.

tote a goat
This is the true story of my husband Andy and a goat he saved by keeping it warm all day in his coat. Excuse my attempt at poetry, but this story just begged to be written in a “Seussical” fashion.
Photos rendered in Photoshop by Charmin Foth
Reposted from 2013.

Celebrate when you can…

By Charmin Foth

while_you_were_out__largjpgWith Valentine’s Day in my rearview mirror, I am reminded of my first Valentine’s Day married to Andy.

When we met, and for 8 years after, Andy was a Seargent in the U.S. Army. Being an Army wife wasn’t always easy and sometimes it was downright hard. But the struggles we faced together made us stronger as individuals and as a couple.

Most couples find that the first year of marriage is always hard because you are getting used to one another’s habits and traits. Sometimes finding common ground can seem almost impossible. That wasn’t the case for us. We are in sync, we have always been able to finish each other’s sentences, to the point that we seem know each other’s thoughts and say what the other is thinking.

Still the first year Andy and I were married was a difficult one. We were married the last day of May and in September he was sent to an Army school for training and we were separated for a year almost to the day.

Our first Valentine’s Day didn’t happen on February 14th. On February 14th I was alone, working 14-hour-days and I knew Andy wasn’t coming home during that time. We didn’t have any money, so I couldn’t afford to send him something expensive to let him know I was thinking of him. So, I did something a little unconventional and something I do well, I wrote him notes.

I took one of those little “while you were out” pink message pads that offices sometimes use, and for every day he was gone, I wrote a note. “While you were out… Today the dog got out and I had to chase him down the street, I wish you were here to see it.” “While you were out… Today was Saturday and I had to watch cartoons without you.” “While you were out… You won’t believe what happened to the neighbor.” “While you were out… I missed you terribly.”

You get the picture. Every day I wrote one of these notes. Some days it was my only way of communicating with him and he didn’t even know it. Some days were funny, some days were mushy, some days were sad. It was just a little glimpse of how my life was going that day, set aside just for him. We had a set of French doors at the back of the house and each day taped one of those notes on the door until I had one big heart outlined on the door. But Andy still didn’t get to come home, so I kept adding notes every day, with just little bits of how I felt while he was away. I filled in the heart with at least 100 notes.

When he finally did get to come home for a visit, he pulled into the drive and made his way in through the French doors, where all he could see from the light burning inside the house was a hundred little pink “while you were out” notes. It was one of the best Valentine’s Day celebrations we had, and it wasn’t anywhere near February 14th and it didn’t cost us hundreds of dollars. I still remember him pulling each note off the door, reading them, laughing and his eyes tearing up as he made his way through each note. He read them all and he knew I had thought of him, every single day, even when we couldn’t talk. He knew he was loved and I loved him all the more for taking the time to appreciate the small stuff.

That year I learned the hard way that the Army way of life meant celebrating when you can, not by the date on the calendar. It taught me that sometimes you can be separated for what seems like an eternity, but that doesn’t mean you love each other any less. And, that if you can survive the heartache of being alone, you can celebrate the joy of being together, and it makes the moments you have together more special. Sometimes you don’t get to hear the words “I love you,” when you would like, but you keep the faith that the love is still there.

Learning these lessons made my life as an Army wife easier, they made my life better. They weren’t easy lessons to learn but I thank God every day that I was able to take those lessons to heart.

So, remember to celebrate the moments of life together, when you can, not based on the calendar. It’s not about the quantity of time you have together or about the quality of the gifts you receive,  it’s about the quality of time you have together, the meaning of the gifts you give and the depth of the love you share.

Happy Valentine’s Day, no matter what day it is.

Thanks for reading.

Reposted from 2011

Kids do the darndest things.

This is a repost, and it is almost time for a new host of “kids.” I will post a new video when they arrive. This little dose of cuteness will have to do until that time comes.

I live on a farm in Tennessee and this little snippet is about our newest family members this year, three new kids. Goat kids, not children. I love to watch the little ones bounce and play.  I hope you enjoy this video, it’s short and sweet.

KCDC: Assisting Redevelopment

KCDC administers more than $6 million annually in redevelopment and community and neighborhood revitalization. The agency has spearheaded several redevelopment projects in downtown Knoxville over the last 30 years including the TVA Twin Towers, City County Building, and the State Street Parking Garage. More recently, the agency has been responsible for redevelopment of Volunteer Landing, Market Square, and the World’s Fair Redevelopment Plan just to name a few. To learn more about KCDC visit http://www.kcdc.org

Grande Event Center and the NKBPA

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The Grande Event Center members of the North Knoxville Business and Professional Association. Art Mearns talks about how much he enjoys the networking and business group. The Grande Event Center offers exceptional service for events both large and small. Spectacular venues from weddings and receptions to small business meetings, catering, decorating and over the top service, you owe it to yourself to check out what the Grande Event Center has to offer. 5441 Clinton Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37912
(865) 243-3100 or visit their website at http://www.knoxgrande.com

Get to know Art Mearns of the Grande Event Center

 

Learn more about The Grande Event Center’s business development guy, Art Mearns. He offers exceptional service for events both large and small. Spectacular venues from weddings and receptions to small business meetings, catering, decorating and over the top service, you owe it to yourself to check out what the Grande Event Center has to offer. 5441 Clinton Hwy, Knoxville, TN 37912, phone (865) 243-3100 or visit their website at http://www.knoxgrande.com