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Peach State says: Stepping Into Adulthood

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The experience is unlike any other. Another year of school has come to an end creating a new set of graduates…each of them eager to take the chances and paths ahead of them…leaving their childhood behind and Stepping Into Adulthood!

Pomp and Circumstance plays over and over again, in a vicious circle, until it echoes in your head. Young men and women dressed in ceremonial cap and gowns as tassels bounce and sway with each choreographed step. Family and friends gather to watch with memories tearfully filling their head.

“I remember when..”.

“My baby is all grown up….”

“It happened so fast…”

If they don’t hear these statements they’re thinking them.

The speakers stand nervously to motivate and encourage this new collection of excited minds. The world is the limit and nothing is out of reach for this collective. Finally the roll call of names begins and your heart begins to beat furiously inside your chest. It seems to drown out the announcer but robotically you stand as those around you stand and wait, walk, wait, walk and wait…

That’s my name…walk…smile…shake with right…reach with the left…turn…walk off stage…BREATHE!

Somewhere in the distance you can hear well wishes and cheers…and then it hits you!

I need a job! A good one…and college…and MONEY!

Welcome to Adulthood!.

Congratulations to the Graduating Class of 2013…Well Done!

(In honor of my dearest friends and their graduating son!)

Have a great day!

Peach State

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Peach State says: It’s Gonna Happen Folks…No Matter How Much Coffee You Drink!

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With my latte’ in hand a morning ritual began. A mutual coffee lover and I were talking yesterday and as usual the conversation touched on the subject of coffee! Her husband had read that drinking this “Heavenly Brew will increase your life. “Drink more…Live longer!”. We were thrilled…but then the conversation turned to what things will still occur. It’s Gonna Happen Folks…No Matter How Much Coffee You Drink!

Things That Will Always Happen:

The sun will rise!
A cup to wake up with…maybe two!
We all need money!
Money and Coffee…a cup of coffee will always be present!
We all have bills!
Must have coffee!
Bills have to be paid!
Stressed? Have another cup!
There will always be people who annoy you!
A simple escape…coffee break!
Traffic!
Commuter cups!
Growling stomachs!
Hoping this cup of coffee will fool my stomach into thinking I am eating!
Complaining children!
Another coffee break!
Paying for gas!
Calm down…sip!
We will always be aging!
At least I am old enough to drink coffee!
Aches and pains!
A cup of coffee and two Tylenol…just what the doctor ordered!
Dieting!
Fat-free creamer…Fat-free flavoring
Lines at the grocery store!
NOOOO! My cup is in the car!

I know there are more constants…but coffee will be with them as well! We can’t drink away our problems. We will always have situations that influence the way we live and we will always adapt. The fact is we have grown up knowing what lies ahead as we age…what responsibilities bring with them…how money evaporates, like a ghostly vapor, before putting it in the bank. We continue our journey and typically have a cup within reach.

What is a constant in your life? How does coffee( ok…I will accept tea!) help you deal with these daily situations? You know it as well as I do! LifeIt’s Gonna Happen Folks…No Matter How Much Coffee You Drink!

Have a great day…and enjoy your coffee!

Peach State

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Peach State says: Soap Box Topics

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I have reached the “End of the Rope” and I am slipping! The knot has come undone and the rope is beginning to loosen. It is time to get a few things off my chest! So I will take the chance right now and step up onto my Soap Box and share…“Soap Box Topics!”

Late e-mails from teacher
The bells and whistles sound every night! E-mails from my youngest’s teachers reach my inbox between 10:00-12:00 midnight. I am sorry I can not follow through with my son as he is in bed.

Pocket Collections
I know what little boys are made of and the treasures they store in their pockets…I just need a garbage truck available for my youngest.

School Parking
The parking lot is so small…Come on! Can we not think first when planning the parking lot. This school has three schools that feed into it. Each of them have parking lots the size of a standard shopping center.

$$$Money$$$
Okay…to be fair…it is the lack of money. Not only does the $$$Money$$$ I have not buy what it bought a year ago but now the monthly installment has been decreased. Grocery prices and fuel prices continue to rise and the money coming in gets cut. “What’s a mom to do?” Arrrrgh!

Picky Eaters
I have been fortunate, until now, to be able to put a meal in the table and have no leftovers. If there were leftovers they were frozen and used later that week. When did Dinner Dictator move in and when can he move out?

Dinning Room Laundry Mat
Why must every article of clothing owned by my son sit in my Dinning Room? Wash and dry…take to your room and fold and put away. Worked before…will work now!

Empty Nester Tease
Quit acting like you are not living here! I plan for 5 for dinner…you don’t eat here! I plan for three for dinner…What can I eat?

Puppy Dog Eyes
I am sick and tired of the Puppy Dog Eyes that fill my 11year old’s face when he doesn’t get what others get. Your behavior is not consistent and your chores are done by others in the house…”Usually Mom!” What is this “I deserve it all” mentality? My husband and I never had to deal with this issue with our older three boys.

Pick A Box
As parents we know that each of our 4 children are unique. They have their own proverbial box they think outside of. Our youngest just keeps switching boxes and if one cannot be found in the house he will bring one home that we have never seen….much less experienced!

Wedding Invitations
Why is it that I receive a beautiful Wedding Invitation complete with directions and hotel information from friends yet…four days before a family members wedding get a phone call and no formal invitation? “Sadly…the grandparents of the bride received a similar phone call invitation!”
Better not say anything else!

Broken Toes
Just had to vent…I fell last week and thought I just jammed my big toe…Nope!
Long story short…I just moved my foot knocking my toe and the pain…
Well as daddy always said…”If you are going to make a mistake…make it a good one!”
I really need to wear more flat shoes!

Grocery Prices
I know it fell under the $$$Money$$$ topic but it really deserved to be mentioned again….”Right!” I might as well throw Gas Prices into the mix too!

Hubby Economics
He has always felt there should be plenty of money left over to play with after buying the groceries and filling up the car. I guess he forgot about the Orthodontist and the field trips and school supplies….picking up his dry cleaning and the last minute snack requests for his office. Hmmm!

I am getting a headache thinking about all these (Sarcastically picturing floating flowers and hearts to ease my reality!) normal, life altering, tedious situations. I know I am not alone and that many are suffering with devastating burdens thrust upon them daily. Please note as you read the above Soap Box Topics that I tried to keep them light and that I have left room for contemplation. The bigger picture is filled with disrespect, decaying families and economic downward spirals…”I’m just sayin’!”. Have a great day and thank you for stopping by and letting me rant! Time to ice my toe!

Peach State

Peach State says: What If Wishes Came True?

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I remember looking out my window and wishing on the Evening Star every night as a little girl. Did those wishes ever come true? Yes…some of them! What were they? The dreams of a little who thought she needed more than she had…nope! They were dreams and wishes of love and travel…of better grades and friends to hang out with. They were normal wishes upon a star! What If Wishes Came True?

If my most elaborate wishes came true my life would definitely be different…I would have a maid and not have to clean all the time. I would have a cook…wait I like to cook! I would be a well loved and admired recording artist…well two out of three is good! I could eat anything and not have to diet! “What a girl can dream!” How about a Nanny to take care of the children so I could do all the traveling, around the world, that is required when you are a big recording artist? Speaking of elaborate wishes…Where is that Cabana Boy with my Coffee?

My wishes:

To fall in love and get marriedCame True and we will celebrate our 26th Anniversary this month. People said it would not last…people said we did not know each other long enough…”Well, we were engaged after three weeks and married after almost 12 weeks.” I guess I can see their concern now…Out of 12 weeks my then fiancĂ©’ was serving in the military and was in the field training for a little over 6 weeks of the 12 weeks we were together. “What? I wrote letters…he still has them!” There have been times when I did not like this man I married…but I have always loved him!

To have a loving familyCame True even though there are times of strife and discord among the children when they can’t find that certain shirt or their favorite socks…and they disagree on the set bedtime! What family doesn’t have some bickering? Just because I would not take them everywhere they wanted to go and buy them whatever they wanted when they wanted it…Typical tantrums! “I am a good mother and it is unfortunate that I could not buy them a “DeathStar” or a real “Light Saber” much less let them become a “Power Ranger”! But…They would protect each other of needed and that’s what counts!

To travelCame True even though no Passport was involved…I have traveled! I have not been able to travel to Paris and see my beloved Eiffel Tower but I did see the one in Las Vegas…does that count? I have been to Hawaii and on three cruises…one of which gave me the opportunity to see extreme weather at sea. “We were in-between two hurricanes!”. It was exciting and I loved every minute of the rocking from one side to the other as the ship was tossed on the rough seas. The feeling of the wind through my hair as I dodged oncoming deck furniture is a memory not easily forgotten!

To have friendsCame True although I had to wait till my last year of High School. I just never found a circle of friends who understood my unique situation…”Okay…I was not rich…and my dad was either a teacher or principal at the school I attended…not to mention a Baptist Minister.” My group of friends grew when I moved across the country and I was in heaven. Now! Well I have written about my incredible group of friends and how they are like family. I could not have gotten this far without my friends or had as much fun drinking coffee at Starbucks without them!

Do I still wish upon that Evening Star…sometimes when I am standing on the front porch waiting for my precious princess to do her nightly duty…Yes! A childlike innocence sweeps over me as I gaze into the dark, moonlit, sky. I still have wishes and dreams…for good fortune and happiness and for the boys to experience the good things in life. I wish for my boys to be able to know what I know! Dreams and wishes come true…just not the way we think they will. I want them to realize how wonderful they are and like who they are…not prideful…but with an appreciation of self. It took me a long time to realize that! I want them to find love and have a family…”I want to spoil some grandchildren and then give them back wired and full of energy!” But not anytime soon…I am to young! Maybe in about 5-7 years they could start to get serious and consider marriage…HeHe!

I know these wishes may seem average and without vision. Trust me…wants are nice to wish for but they are not what we need. I just wanted the basics..to be loved and part of something!
I guess my grandfather was right…I am a level headed young lady!

Do You wish upon a star? What do you wish for? What If Wishes Came True? Would you be any happier with them than you are right now? I can honestly say Yes! Sorry…I was thinking about a trip to Paris…money to do whatever I wanted to do…living in paradise… “It would be wonderful until I missed home or the money ran out…or I got sunburned.” Have a great day!

Peach State

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Peach State says: Middle Class Humor and Current Events

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My husband and I went to do a few errands, yesterday, on his day off. Fox News had been talking about the overnight jump in gas prices in Ohio…we did not know it was here in Georgia too! We drove into the gas station and the price had jumped 15 cents. He laughed and said “I guess I should have filled up last night when it was $3.63 a gallon!” The numbers began to spin around as if possessed! Click! My husband got back into the car…”Well at least I am no longer driving the truck!” It would be way over $75 to fill up and he uses almost two tanks per week. At least we have Middle Class Humor and Current Events!

I guess his stomach was growling because he asked where I would like to eat. We decided on trying out the new Panera Bread restaurant. We ordered conservatively: 2 sandwiches with chips, 1 orange juice and one water, and 2 cinnamon rolls. One of the cinnamon rolls was 99 cents! “They were for his dessert later that night.” The red flashing lights streaming from the register should have told us to run…”That will be $21….” My husband handed the girl, behind the register, the money as he choked back his shock and surprise. As we found a seat he looked at me and said $21…!” We were offered a free pastry due to slow service and my husband told me to select a pastry. “If we are going to pay this much for a meal we might as well get all we can!” We enjoyed our meal and time together.

We left and were headed to the local home improvement store to buy lightbulbs. We were driving down the road and headlines became the topic of conversation. They were not just any headlines…well you will see.

*In Lieu of a Summer Trip We Bought a Tank of Gas and Lunch at Panera Bread!

*Cost of Gas and Lunch Bankrupt Family!

*Who Needs Lightbulbs Anyway?

*Family Vacations at Local Gas Station!

*Vacation Destinations Now Include Gas and Grocery Stores!

I see families taking vacations and talking about their vacations on Facebook. They are going camping or visiting Disney and the some head to the beach. I would love to go to the beach house. It is relatively inexpensive except for the gas. I guess we just prioritize differently. A friend posted a picture on Facebook and well it gives us a good laugh…but could it be a true statement?

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Our boys are learning how to repair their vehicles themselves…they shop around for the best prices and replace the brakes and most recently an alternator. My 21 year old saved over $150 by replacing the brakes on his truck with his brother. “I think my husband may have supervised!”
My 18 year old had to replace his alternator this week and was immediately on the phone to the auto parts stores comparing prices. “I must have done something right!” I came home from church that night to see my sons under the hood with grease ridden faces and hands…and they were googling the how to guide. It took them several hours but they did it…and saved more money. After cleaning up they collapsed, proud in their accomplishment, and still had greasy faces.

I am old enough to remember my parents complaining about gas prices…I remember complaining about higher gas prices and the cost of living…and now…well we try not complain. We just make jokes! If we can’t laugh about our situation we will get more upset and stress out. We have enough stress today without fighting over the cost of gas. Cut back on trips…combines errands…do it yourself repairs…and don’t forget the lightbulbs while you’re out! Middle Class Humor and Current Events!

The politicians of our nation don’t feel the pinch in the wallet. They do not see the soaring prices the way we do. They campaign on the issues and against each other. If one comes up with a plan another will tear it down. Campaign promises are made and forgotten. They get back on their fancy buses and planes and move on to the next campaign stop. Maybe they do feel the pinch…with all the money they are spending for fuel they can’t afford the commercial air time!

Creative spending not splurging is the norm in our house. Oh..wait…I do splurge! I got a coffee at Starbucks the other day…with a free e-card! “I was worried for a second!” I have found that when I buy my “ginormous” (giant and enormous smashed together) bag of espresso beans I will get a free coffee…I earn Swagbucks and get e-gift cards for Starbucks…I love free Starbucks! Shopping wisely, cutting back, and finding deals are the way we live now. We sacrifice in ways to make ends meet! “Soap is soap…right?” I no longer get my specialty hand soaps with fragrances and colors for each sink in the house. Refillable soap decanters and over-sized containers of plain liquid soap will have to suffice. We all do our part!

Have your and your family made changes in how you spend? Have you changed the way you drive or the number of trips you make? Do you cut out coupons and pay attention to the prices? Do you get excited when you save money? Do you have or find Middle Class Humor in today’s Current Events? Please send me your money saving ideas and techniques! We need to help each other…after all…we all will need lightbulbs eventually!
Have a great day!

Peach State

Peach State says: Time for Current Events Friday

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In talking with a dear friend yesterday our conversation covered many discussion points.
Politics, gas prices, death and loss, and the concept of Houdini Economics.
Houdini Economics! I just love that term…the now you see it now you don’t payday tease. Welcome to Current Event Friday!

My day started as normal…the preparing of coffee (latte’) and breakfast. Then my husband and I attended a Presidential Campaign Rally scheduled in our city. This was our first Presidential Rally and it was very exciting and motivating. He spoke about the money issue as well as cost of gas per gallon. He gave us his ideas for lowering the cost of gas per gallon. He noted that with gas possibly reaching $5.00 a gallon this summer the average family will have very little left over. “I leaned over to my husband and said…”We’re supposed to have money left over now because we don’t?” and implied if we don’t have it now how could we have any when the gas prices rise!” We really have been quite fortunate with the cost of gas at the pump! Some friends of mine in Europe tell us the horror stories of almost $10.00 a gallon there. “I don’t think I will complain to loudly.”

I told my friend I got paid and was excited to be able to go grocery shopping. “I have my coupons ready and my menu for the upcoming month.” The planned menus generated the grocery list I would shop from. “You should know that it really is easier to shop when you plan your menus ahead of time.” We then discovered the term Houdini Economics!

This is what occurs when you get paid, and before you have the chance to think, it is gone. The money simply vanishes into thin air with little to prove you were paid. The “payday illusion”! We really had more fun discussing the new names for lack of money during this time.
Sadly, when I went shopping, the amount spent went up and I did not get everything I needed. I should have had more left over…! The coupons and bargain shopping did help…but not enough to have any left over. “Do you ever have the same problem when you go grocery shopping?”

Sadly I think I am not alone in this boat! We have cut back to the point of menu boredom and are growing tired of hearing complaints from the family peanut gallery. I must pat myself on the back, at this point, because I have not received the typical “This again!” statements. However, they are beginning to wonder where I am finding my recipes. “Keep ’em guessing…and they will eat!”. Still hungry….want some more bread? We manage the best we can with what we have.

Making the paycheck stretch is a learned skill. My great-grand parents taught my grand-parents and they taught my parents and well you see the pattern. How to shop…when to shop…how to cook…all valuable life lessons we must learn and teach each generation. My sons know how to shop wisely…even though they tend to spend unwisely when it come to junk food. They surprise my husband by coming home with change after buying grocery items… I just smile and say they have learned to read and compare. I went to buy some Hillshire Beef Sausage yesterday for a Cajun recipe and it was $3.98 for 1 package…”I don’t think so!” I finished at that local store and headed to the Wal-Mart. The very same brand was 2 for $3.00! Know your stores and prices!

I really need to pick up some items at the Warehouse bulk store but do not know when I will be able to do this. I have a funeral to attend and a dish to take to the family today and have to be back for my youngest as he steps off the bus. I have an extra choir practice tomorrow for our Easter Musical until 12:00 or 12:30…maybe I will try at that time. It is a good thing I filled up my gas tank earlier this week and will not have to pay the new higher weekend price.

All in all…things could be a lot worse! I will just have to rearrange the menus a little to make things work. Funny…the food seems to disappear just like the money. Poof…Gone! Oh yeah…three growing boys! Have a great day and please send me your ideas for stretching the money we have. Until then…don’t blink…we are living in a magical time when it comes to the finances.

Peach State