Remembering Granna…

I never really got to know my grandmother, whom everyone calls Granna. Shirley Florence Keaney McElvogue was born December 27, 1928. My dad is the middle of her five children, four boys and one girl. I was told that shortly after I was born my mom and I lived with her for a couple of weeks in Ventura, California while my mom was still recovering from a c-section. I never knew that she would pass away only three years into my life.

Shirley a.k.a. Granna - 19 Years Old

From all the stories that hear from my family, Granna was an amazing women. She always put her children first and made sure they were taken care of before herself. Between four of her children, she has eleven grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren and one step-great-grandchild. All of us have grown up to be slightly insane but that’s what makes us unique I guess.

I don’t know if Granna knew she had cervical cancer or not, but it’s what took her from us on June 27, 1985 at the young age of 57. She has been gone for 25 years as of today and I cry every year. Even though I only have one memory of her I can’t picture her face in that memory, I miss her so much. I didn’t get the chance to know her like most of my cousins did. I’ll share the two pictures of her that I shared in one of my other posts honoring her two years ago today on this blog. They are my favorite pictures of her.

Granna with a Stripper

For the first Christmas that I spent in my apartment five years ago, my mom gave me the hand-written recipe that Granna had given to her for her Candy Cane Buns. It was such an honor to be given that recipe because it is the only thing of Granna’s I have other than inheriting her left-handedness. Out of the eleven grandchildren, only my cousin Genaphur and I are left-handed. They may call us backwards, but at least we use the right side of our brains. (See slightly insane) I have yet to make the Candy Cane Rolls and will someday convert them to be gluten-free. It was her side of the family that gave me my Celiac Disease. Oh well, I can’t fault her for that.

I know that Granna is watching over me. Even though I didn’t have much time with her, she still is a woman whom I look up to and aspire to be. I just hope that one day I can add to the number of her great-grandchildren. I will forever miss her and hope that one day, when it’s my time, we will meet again, wherever she may be. I have come to a loss of words. Everything that I want to say doesn’t seem to be good enough. All I can keep thinking is how much I miss her. One of these days I will make it back to her grave in Ventura and spend some time with her that I didn’t get to spend in person. I can tell her all about the things she missed in my life and how I’m a stronger person because of the family that she blessed me with. They have been my rock through so much in my life and would never ask for anything else. Even if we are slightly insane.

I love you Granna with all my heart and soul. You will forever be my role model and hopefully for any daughters I may have in the future. I miss you.


I’m Losing My Motivation…

I know I’ve written about my attempt at weight loss on here before, but I have to admit that after 2 1/2 years, I’m losing my motivation. In November 2007, when I was doctor ordered to lose weight, I didn’t think it was possible until a few months went by and I started seeing results. I started out at 275 pounds. In July 2009, almost 1 year ago, I weighed in at 225 pounds, my 50-pound-loss mark. I found that out when I was in San Diego for Comic Con. When I got home I realized that I was in a job that I don’t really want to do, but I am grateful for a job and now like what I do, I’m in a town I’m beginning to hate, and was left with the feeling that nobody wants me. Can we say hello depression?

Like I’ve said in a few other posts, I’ve never been on a date. I’m 28-years-old. I can’t help but feel like my four-year-old second cousin has a better shot at getting married and having children of her own than I do. All I’ve ever wanted was to have a family of my own, children I can call my own, but at the same time I wonder how anyone could want me at the size that I am. I know there are men out there that are actually capable of seeing beyond the outside image of someone, but I always seem to have a wall up around me that I just can’t break. I can’t let anyone see that side of me because in all honesty it scares the shit out of me. Why put even a part of that on someone else. This Friday is my friend’s birthday and she wants to have drinks in Mammoth. One, I don’t really drink. Second, when ever I go out with my friends they all get hit on and I get shoved to the side no matter how hard I try.

I can’t help but feel like I’m the most updatable person in the world. I also know that my food allergies and dietary restrictions due to my Celiac Disease has a lot to do with this feeling, but again it’s something that I can’t help and still that wall remains. When I started my diet, I thought my perception about myself and my body would change and then I could find someone. Yeah right.

Comic Con is once again just around the corner and I am sitting at almost 250 pounds. All I seem to want to do lately is sit. I can’t go to the gym because it’s way too uncomfortable and I can’t afford it. I can’t afford anything and I will be buying a car this year. I live in an apartment I’m afraid to have even my mom over because I don’t ever feel like picking up after myself. Yes I’m admitting it. I live in a pig sty and part of me hates it but yet I sit. None of my clothes fit me anymore but I gave away all of my fat clothes so I have to deal with pants that are now getting too tight around the middle.

Everyone keeps telling me that I will find love when I do, but I wonder when? When I 50 and no longer able to have children? Sure there’s artificial insemination if I get desperate. But do I want to know what it feels like to have a kid before I know what it’s like to have sex? While the movie The Back-Up Plan was hilarious, it would be my luck that I would get pregnant with twins but not have the guy to fall in love with both you and the un-born children.

I just want to get out of debt (good luck with that), move out of Bishop and find something that makes me happy for once in my miserable life. I’ve pretty much lost my motivation and am gaining all my weight back that I’ve worked so hard to get off. Since the beginning I’ve lost two almost three dress sizes, but have since gained one back.

I’m lost and don’t know what to do. I want the tears to stop again and I want my life back. Can someone just get me out of here please? I don’t want to feel like this anymore.

A Smile in the Mail

A Smile in the Mail

I think the most of the readers of this blog know that I’m on Twitter. I have mentioned it once or twice. While I have lost friends which happens in life, I have gained many more via the internet. I know the internet isn’t the safest place in the world. You can be anyone you want to be and nobody would know. I feel more comfortable being me on the internet. In person, I feel like I don’t know how to be me. I build a wall around myself, protecting me from any ridicule that might come my way being around people. I’ve been judged one too many times in my life. People, especially in a small town, tend to assume things that aren’t true. I’m guilty of it too. Rumors fly around too easily in a small town and they are hard to break if they center around you. Trust me. I’ve been there.

So Twitter and my blogs have become my escape from the small town I live in. I have been careful as to who I choose to get close to on the internet. My parents taught me right. I feel like I’ve gained a few friends whom I trust with some information I haven’t given to others.

I started chatting with Tia after stumbling onto her blog while looking for some new gluten-free recipes to try. I noticed that she was on Twitter and decided to follow her. I became a regular on her blog and love reading about her many adventures of being a mom, a military family and living with probably more food allergies than I have, which I didn’t think was possible. I feel like I’ve watched her children grow through her pictures she and her husband Christopher choose to share with the world. I have read about the ups and downs of her life and have motivated me to blog more (even though I still post every now and then).

A few days ago, I was trying to come down from a very hectic and stressful few weeks and Tia asked for my address. It’s one thing I don’t give out to many people but I feel like I can trust her with anything. Even though we’ve never met, I love her like I do my best friend whom I’ve been friends with for 21 years. Today I got her present – a smile in the mail. I’ve been waiting for it, anxiously checking the mailbox. It almost felt like Christmas when you wake up extra early to see the presents Santa has left while your parents sleep, ignoring your requests to get up at 4 in the morning because you want to see what new toys wait patiently to be played with while sitting quitely under the tree, dressed in brightly colored paper waiting to ripped to shreds in your excitement.

Like Tia promised, I smiled and have been smiling all day. It’s a little gesture to let you know that there is someone in the world who is thinking of you. I hope that one day Tia and I meet, even if it takes me driving to Texas. I already told her to find me an Air Force hottie and I’ll move in next to her so we can exchange gluten-free recipes and cook for each other. I think it’d be fun.

That’s what I like about blogs. They are a way to get a glimpse into someone’s life. An escape from yours in a way. And for the author of the blog, it’s a way to vent any frustrations life throws your way, or share something really meaningful that happened in your life. Even something as small as a smile in the mail.

Thank you Tia for my smile. I truly do love it and you for always thinking of others the way that you do. You are a great person, wife, mother and someone I call my friend. I hope this entry will give you a smile like you have given me today. I am so glad that we “met” on Twitter. 🙂

Flashback Friday: One Milestone Down… Many more to Come

My Mini Diploma

You want the break down of graduates? Okay. My great-grandmother graduated from the Bishop Academy for Girls in 1922. The school was changed sometime after to Bishop High School, but stayed in the same spot after the original building burnt to the ground (it was a wooden building) and they rebuilt using stone. My grandfather graduated in 1950, my mom in 1974, my uncle Jeff in 1978, my brother in 1998 and I graduated in 2000. My cousin Donald graduated in 2007 and tomorrow his sister Acacia will make the 8th person in our family to graduate from Bishop Union High School. This year marks the end of a few things associated with both my family and the school as well. After tomorrow, it will no longer be named Bishop Union High School as it became a Joint High School (I think). While I welcomed Mr. Jeff Pratt as the Senior Advisor and Government/Economics teacher, Acacia’s class will be his last class to graduate.

My Senior year is filled with memories, some good some bad, but for the most part I made sure to have fun that year. I had enough credits to graduate my junior year but needed to take Government/Economics. It was also the year that I finally started standing up for myself to the bullies that tormented me through out my childhood. With the help of everyone in my auto class, I rebuild the engine of my 1969 Thunderbird and it actually started. I watched someone punch a fellow senior, knocking him out before he hit the ground, and ultimately Greg was expelled for being in a fight even though he didn’t get a chance to take a swing. The guy who hit him though was an idiot because he hit Greg right outside of a classroom containing two on-duty Highway Patrol officers, who immediately arrested him.

I know that I’m not where I wanted to be after ten years out of school but for the most part I am content with how my life has turned out. Yes I will go into my reunion surrounded by people who are married and/or have kids and I still have yet to go on a date. I know that most of those people probably thought I would be a complete failure in life and part of me agrees that they were right but the other part of me knows that I’m probably happier than them. I lost touch with a lot of my high school friends that swore we’d be friends forever and I don’t know if my religion has anything to do with that but we’ll see. I will however be with a few friends that I have luckily stayed in contact with over the years. Since graduation we have unfortunately had to say goodbye to two fellow graduates, making three we’ve lost since our freshman year. One was hit and killed by a car about three years ago and we lost Matt “Raz” Rasmussen in January of this year of an accidental drug overdose. Chris Schumacher died of an asthma attack the night before the Homecoming dance our freshman year. They will live on in our high school memories and will be missed.

The most of the ceremony is a blur and feels like a very distant memory. I know I walked those steps, my arm wrapped around Mike’s, the same person I walked with in our kindergarten graduation, but I know it happened. I have pictures. I became the first of my class to receive my diploma and sang with a few of my fellow graduates as we said goodbye with “I Will Remember You” by Sarah McLaughlin. I will see some of them on August 7th when we have our reunion, without Mr. Pratt since he’ll be in Santiago, Chile. I think the only thing left to say is: CLASS OF 2000 ROCKED!!!!! (Yes I know I’m a dork. What can I say? Some things never change.)

My brother Bryan and Me


Acacia and Me showing our muscles.

Please visit Christopher and Tia’s blog for more Flashback Fridays by clicking on the image below.