Category Archives: birthdays

21? No way!

Yes, it is true I have a baby girl who turns 21 today. I remember the day quite well. By early in the morning on the 17th we decided she wasn’t coming therefore, why bother returning to the hospital, lol.

I had been admitted on the 16th and when nothing happened, I came home to see my four year old, Darion. Only to return the next morning for more poking and prodding. She was determined to stay, nesting in the womb enjoying mommy singing and walking her around.

It was an amazing day! We were calm upon entering the labor and delivery, had created a plan for Darion to come to the hospital and went in to finally hold this bundle of joy.

I can remember when they held this beautiful child up and said, “Meet your baby girl, Ashby Mae Drake.”

Tears streamed down my face. Of course I was elated, but I was also like that three month old, came out of me? You see, my first child was five pounds ten ounces. However, Ashby broke that record of having teeny tiny babies…she was nine pounds five ounces! Shew!!! She was mad! It was cold and she couldn’t get those screams to form words fast enough, therefore she screamed louder and sometimes in different pitches almost like she was auditioning for the voice, as a two minute old!

Everyone in the labor and delivery were scattered and shattered once Ashby had arrived. I realize that it’s normal for a delivery staff to be chaotic, but it’s how extreme the chaos was. I remember one nurse, who was tending to me, turned and as politely as she could said, “Okay, who is in charge of making sure Miss Ashby is happy!”

Really? Her first few minutes of life and she begins with that? And guess what? They did just that. People were scrambling, passing her from person to person, swaddling her to keep her warm and finally between me, Darion and Meemaw some how she became satisfied.

It was like a snap of the fingers and we are spinning around and she is 21!

The essence of Ashby…she has always loved all animals from snakes & reptiles to kittens & rats and everything in between. There was not an animal she couldn’t tame with a flick of her wrist and pick it up. Spanky the iguana, no one handled except Ashby Mae. She has been a visual artist since I can remember. By the time she was able to hold a pen in her hand, she has been drawing, way before she was walking. Her favorite way to paint from a year old on was in her birthday suit.

One time Eric had unannounced work clients come in from out of town, he called and said, “Some friends are coming over after work can you ask Ashby to dress?”

Her free spirit will take you on a whirlwind, similar to a plethora of Fall leaves being scooped up and dancing along the waves of the breeze. Then other times her vast interest in making the world a better place, but also ensuring all is fair in the world of Ashby, she will be more like a gust of wind.

Her essence of believing you can do anything is magnificent. Her determination to succeed is phenomenal. I remember when she was 15 she told me SHE would be in California by the time she was a Jr. In highschool. Of course, silly me doubted her! Boy was I wrong.

She began that day looking for reputable agents, (not the horrific experience we had at Cosmo, don’t do that). She found Wings in Cincinnati and the whirlwind had just begun. With in months we were attending workshops, meeting with several agents and finally she had decided on Jake Lang, who told her, “I am not sure you can do this.” ( I now know he knew exactly what he was doing).

Next thing I know, we are booking flights to Texas for expo, making new friends and signing on! For what? Oh sorry, of course Ashby was signed and expected to be where? By when? Yes!! California by February.

Those are just a few examples of the essence of Ashby Mae Drake. She has bedazzled us all since the afternoon of October 17th, twenty one years ago.

Thank you for being a great daughter and I love you! You are beautiful. Looking forward to many more!

God Bless

Livelove

I love birthdays!!!!

Hey yall it was my birthday and I want you to know I loved it! Yes, I am super grateful for the hundreds of good wishes, it reminds me of how grateful and blessed I truly am! However, I love birthdays for another reason!

They provide me with a little more knowledge, peace of mind and illuminate newly developed expertise!!! This birthday has been amazing. We began with Darion’s bday, the first of this week and although she was sick, we recreated happy times as we reminisced from years ago or even moments ago. We giggled, cooked, tried to shop and napped when she needed some recover time. (She is much better). It was kind of like a blast from the past when my entire world revolved around her. Now it is my birthday!

Everyone is preparing to go out for a day of Renaissance Festival. And create new memories. Then in two weeks Ashby is turning 21! I have decided October will be a revamp month and vacation month for LiveloveLLC. Because our birthdays begin October 2 and extend thru the 17th. But if I included my aunts, uncles and cousins it is the entire Fall season.

Oh well it doesn’t matter I LOVE THE Month of October!! This is my time to reflect, reorganize and recreate who, what, when, where, why and how!! In my life! I glance backwards to celebrate my accomplishments as well as my down falls (or valleys). I write down what I need to remember and relish in the good feeling moments. After all I have an entire year of new skill sets to add to my list of experiences and expertsise.

This year has been the most diverse, when I discuss feelings. I went from estatic, to zombie, confused, fearful, grateful and now blessed emotions. Since my birthday October the 8th marks not only my years of living, but it also marks the tenth month anniversary of my accident.

I sometimes wish you could take a sneak peek into my mind. Oh that’s right, you do, if you are reading my blog.

Many people, becuase they don’t know what to say, will make funny comments like, “I bet you look before you step off a curb now. Or wow, Teena, the nail salon was that close and you had walked so far, you were just at the wrong place at the wrong time.”

My response is and always will be, “Nope! I wouldn’t change a thing!”

Why? You ask? Am I crazy?

Maybe, but I will say this, I didn’t think I could have ever been happier. I truly didn’t see how limited I chose to live my life. I now see how in the past I focused on what is and created many more mountains out of mole hills. How do I know this? Because now I have had the unique opportunity to feel through the past and recognize how those fears, worries and times of hatred are diluted…to a watered down memory.

Yes, I still remember a very few of the negative stressful events that if brought up can create a ‘ugh’ emotion. However, they are far and few between. Sometimes, I bring them to my concious attention to prove to my brain the unimportance of the event!

Take time to reflect on a feeling good time and then try to bring it down. It becomes and effort because your feelings are like, “Nope, you can’t mess with me right now, I am enjoying this replay.”

Darion cracked me up, as I asked her to practice this simple but mind provoking task. “Think, sweetie, of a time in you paradigm that you remember feeling pure joy.”

She replied with story after story about the event and the emotional attachment. Her concious mind would try to block her and remind her of a not so good feelings or time. But it didn’t matter she would redirect quickly and carry on about how awesome the great feelings were after a special memory was activated.

If you are celebrating an exciting event, anniversary or birthday take time to reflect and grab a good feeling emotion to hold on to. Then you will be ready to receive the next gift of living a happy, full and fun life!

God Bless

Livelove

My Uncle Bob

It’s finally here! The birthday of the man, I have been itching to write about! Many of these stories have been tucked away, for when I let it all go and begin writing comedy, becuase I love him and his sly comical demeanor cracks me up.

See the man standing on the right? With a white shirt on? (Which is weird, he usually has a rich color of deep purple or blue, but it doesn’t matter, he always looks amazing.) This, ladies and gentleman is my Uncle Bob and after I complete this, you will wish he was yours.

(Aunt T and Uncle Bob)

Background: I have only heard stories about their first meeting, but it must have been wonderful. My Aunt T and Uncle Bob met in Bowling Green Kentucky at Western Kentucky University, over fifty years ago.

Both from neighboring counties, meeting at the university. After 6 months they were married and lived happily ever after. (That’s the story, thanks everyone!)

I can only imagine his excitement! He married one of the most beautiful women in the world. BUT… with beauty comes a family full of beautiful people and beautiful ideas (kind of?).

Bare with me! Yes, they have been married for a long time, they have two beautiful children, a wonderful son n law, adorable grand cats and four gorgeous grand children. But before all of that Uncle Bob married his sweet wife, who came with a sweet (Ha ha) farm family. LOL!

Uncle Bob had now acquired a brother and sister n law, who were still young, he never imagined what funny and chaotic things were in store for him, over the next fifty years or so!

Life has began:

I wonder when or if he ever began to truly understand the dynamics, of what he has taken on. I will say this he NEVER SHOWED his frustrations with all of us.

First Scott was born. My mom, Charlene, I believe was ten. In our family it is tradition for the grandmother to go and stay with their daughter for two weeks, after the baby is born. That means my Baw Baw, Violet, would be living with these newly weds. Hee hee, I giggle thinking about Baw Baw bossing everyone around and my Uncle Bob thinking what in the world have I done. He never said anything mean or hateful. (How do I know? Duh it’s Uncle Bob. I don’t have to be born to know how he is, He is just that AMAZING).

For a side note, my mom often wondered how he didn’t have a heart attack. Because she rode up on her bike with Scott in her basket and still he said nothing! We still chuckle about that.

Fast Forward: five years later my sister in spirit and my cousin for life was born, Trina Lou! Oh my, here we go again the entire family, but especially Baw Baw.

Three years later it’s me, it’s me not Sandra Dee, but little ole, meek, quiet, never says anything me, Teena Drake! What? You don’t agree? Okay, you are right, I was born talking.

Now I know, no one could have prepared this patient, gentle, kind caring, quiet understanding man about the next twenty years or more of his life, with the Ashby family.

I realize no one knows what the future holds and he would have been bored without us, however, let’s just say we put him to the test. I wish I could write ALL the funny stories about him, someday I will share them.

I do remember the day Trina Lou and I were discussing her dad’s temper. I laughed and laughed because I knew he was human, but a temper? Listen to her tell this…

“Teena, if you ever want to know if daddy is mad, watch his mouth!”

“What? His mouth? If my mom gets mad you better run because you don’t have to watch her mouth you will hear it.” (Me too, everyone knows if I am upset).

Trina continued giggling and lowering her voice to a whisper, “Seriously, he moves his jaw and licks his lips. I always know to move on. That’s how I know I am in trouble.”

Really? That’s it? She was telling the truth! Over forty years I have not heard him become angry, but I do watch his facial expressions, if I am concerned.

As years went on everyone has lived with Uncle Bob and Aunt T. Now I am not dumb by any means, however, I never realized how amazing my uncle Bob is and always has been, until I became an adult. When any of us were in limbo, needed a place to crash or live, or a hot meal or anything, Aunt T would say, “Come on over.” Or, “Sure you can live with us.”

I know she never thought twice! Sometimes, I think how the heck did my Uncle Bob do it! I am telling you it was always someone or something in our family. Card games, teenagers, Farm family, church friends even kids and grand kids of others. I bet if they had and register for all the people, who have stayed at their home, it would be filled, maybe two or three of them. Steady as always, my Uncle Bob, never faltered or gave up on any of us.

My last story to make you laugh and give you a grasp of how amazing this man is.

One of the times I was staying with them, Trina Lou and I had been riding bikes, in the neighborhood. We lost track of time (usual) and he came looking for us. When I saw the red station wagon driving down the road I said, ” Trina! We are in trouble.”

I jumped up from the wet ground and waved him down. I was filthy, butt wet from sitting in the grass, hair matted in the back because I hated taking time to comb it, I looked like I didn’t know how to dress myself. He slowly pulled off the side of the road, I immediatly began telling some long, dragged out, story of why we weren’t home. (Like I knew!). He listened patiently and I can now see he was laughing deep down, but he stayed calm. He replied with, “Girls it’s getting late you need to get home.”

I said, “Shew, we are a long way from home, I am glad you came…I will put my bike in the back…”

Continues with a straight face, not a shriek, peep nothing was to prepare me for what he said. My Uncle Bob smiled, then chuckled (like he does) and replied to my simple, understandable request with, “Nope, you are riding home. I am not putting you or that bike in my car.”

Let’s rewind! What? Did my Uncle Bob just laugh at us, four or five miles from home, drove out here not to yell at us, beat us, or anything, but won’t put my bike in his car? What is happening? I was devastated. However, after our ride home I never did that again.

Wrap it up: I could tell you a million funny and heart warming stories, about this man, my family has been blessed with.

He has lived with a lovely wife that I know he has always loved dearly. Even when she said, “Sure, you can live with us.” (Off the top of her head!).

He has Spent fifty Christmases, same as Thanksgiving, always tried to ensure my Aunt came home once a month (if possible), has been through Uncle Rod going to Vietnam, all of the nieces and nephews being born, countless birthday parties, graduations, he has cried with us, and laughed with us. All of this is just from his wife’s side of the family. He still has his other side to tend to and everyone elses too. Uncle Bob stayed strong and steady and carries on like none other!

Happy Birthday Uncle Bob we appreciate you! You are awesome!

We all love you!!! I hope you get to Golf today!

Livelove

Has it been eighteen years ago? What year is it? 2017?

It was just like yesterday!!! March sixteenth 1999…the band Yellow 5 was playing at the Toy Tiger. What an event! It hadn’t been the first time they played there, but was definitely one of the most important. There was a company there to sign, who? Yes, our little hometown band, they were on their way to being FAMOUS!!!!!! However, guess who was in labor at about six o’clock in the morning and Eric was to leave to pursue stardum at one  pm. Not good timing to say the least! But what an adventure.

The contractions would play with us all day. Become closer together then subside. I had decided they were probably a false alarm. However, he was over due, so we were on alert. I will never forget the moment when I called the doctor, explained my contractions and said, “If it would be okay, could I hold off until after midnight, to check in to the hospital?”

After a long pause, which seemed like an eternity, she chuckled and said, “Teena, I don’t think you get to choose that, but since this is your third child, you will know when to get here.”

My thoughts were you do not know me very well, but okay.

As the minutes ticked and clumped into hours my labor proceeded to get worse. Now a solid ten minutes a part and not stopping. They were consistent. It was now 12:45 and my honey was becoming anxious. Then he did the sweetest thing, he got down on both knees planted a big kiss on my huge, tight, belly button protruding, in labor, pregnant stomach and said, “Little buddy I love you, you know I do…but truthfully I am begging you to hold off one night.”

At that moment my little heart melted. Awe how freaking sweet is he for saying that. IF YOU BELIEVE THAT I HAVE SOME PROPERTY FOR SALE, IT ONLY HOLDS A LITTLE WATER!!!! LOLOLOL

What happened next…Let’s just let it be known my huge, rolly, polly, extreme pain came out and I began to say not such nice things to him. But hey who wants to recall the negative so let’s move on!.

Anyways, he went on to the gig and said, “I will be there, if you have to go to the hospital.”

I guess I would deal with whatever happened.

It was around nine o’clock my mom and her boyfriend insisted on driving me (thank goodness because I was going no matter what). As we merged on to the interstate I began to have pretty severe contractions. I had bought a brand new outfit for the gig, attempting to look as beautiful as possible weighing in at too much to post!

As we pass the exit to the hospital I recall Jon yelling, “Pull off! Charlene pull off! This is ridiculous!”

“No you better not pull off I won’t get out. I will make it! Just keep rolling the gig is about ready to begin. We can make it, go go go!”

Mom just pushed the petal to the metal and we were sitting in the Toy Tiger parking lot. Black makeup was pouring down my face, making me look like I was a pregnant zombie (wonder if that was foreshadowing for the Nuelydedz).

I fixed my face and rolled out of the car, literally I rolled. As I waddled closer to the door I saw a black man covering the doorway almost like he was waiting on me to say, “You are not coming in here little mama.”

As I got closer and closer I realized it was our good friend, the bouncer, Mo. I grinned as my head rolled back so I could look him in the eye or at least close enough. I am still hurting and I said, “Hey Mo it’s me with Yellow 5 I am just not feeling well.”

“Nope you do not need to be in here. You need to turn around and go back home.”

As if some kind of demon took over my body I lowered my head for a second, probably because I was having a pain. Then looked back up and in a scary voice said, “Mo! I have been through hell and back today so could you please move over and let me through!!!!!”

If you knew him you would know he never budged for anyone. He was one of the best bouncers in the world. However, thank goodness he felt sorry for me. He stepped a side and even found me a table close to the back so I could watch, but could exit quickly, if needed.

We had about fifteen minutes to spare so I sat down. Eric appeared to be happy to see me, he might have been afraid of me, but he played it off well. I am just kidding! If you know either of us very well, you know we don’t stay mad for very long at all.

The lights went dim, silence filled the room for a split second and when the stage lit up Eric Drake raised his drum sticks and hit the first lick…it stopped! What? Yes, my labor pains stopped almost simultaneously. I don’t mean I had a little pain, then they stopped. In fact I would push back and forth a few times just so he would kick my hand. Once I knew he was fine we went on together, enjoying the gig. The night seemed to end quickly and I was home, curled up in bed before I knew it. Still no pain, achey feeling just little ole pregnant me, like nothing happened.

Next morning March 17, 1999 appeared to be an average morning. Eric went on to work and I got the girls ready for school. Around 1:00 I told my mother and brother n law I didn’t feel well. Therefore, I was going to take a bath. My mom was pacing back and forth. She knew I was acting funny, so she called Eric to come home early. When he walked in the bathroom to check on me I stood up in the bathtub said, “Honey, I don’t feel very good!”

His face was worth this entire story! He first turned white, then he began to raise his voice…never looking me in the eye. Only to stare at my belly like there was an alien peaking out of my belly button. When I asked him what is wrong?

He looked at my belly and calmly said, “Get dressed, we are going to the hospital.”

Then it happened. I looked down to see what he was so freaked out about. I am not kidding you when I say it was something like a phenomenon. My gigantic, stretched out, pregnant belly had sank to a small dodge ball size. It literally looked like somebody told Nicholas to jump into a too small of a container and scrunch altogether, to ensure  this delivery is a quick process. You will be out of here before you know it. I began to panic. I yelled for my mommy and she came running. All she could do was hand me clothes in a frantic manner. After I was dressed the girls were quickly loading into our gold colored MPV mini van and we were off. By this time the contractions had begun! We were at five minutes apart and holding. We drove the girls across the Milton/Madison bridge only to hand over the girls to my daddy and step-mom. It looked alot like a three ring circus: I am screaming, off and on, hanging on the ‘Oh Shit’ handle. The side door oppisite of their front door flies open as if a rocket is going to shoot out and strike their next door neighbors. Out jumps Darion and Ashby. Ashby is screaming, “NO! I want to go with you please don’t leave me here. I don’t want to get out,” while she is pushing her meemaw and daddy away with her chubby little hands and almost leaping back and forth to keep from being caught, but she was too little to escape boh of them.

Not to mention her daddy was screaming, “ASHBY!” at the top of his lungs.

Now the kids are delivered and we are racing down the road with flashers on and me still halfway standing up screaming every THREE MINUTES NOW. My mother had decided we were going to deliver him in the van.

Once we arrived at the hospital my best friend Teresa Kidwell was waiting on me and we all just knew this was going to be fifteen minutes until Mr. Prince Charming Nicholas Drake would bless us with his presence. Nope, Nope Nope…my sweet little nurse Wendy Hines (one of the best nurses in the world), began prepping me for delivery, doctor was quickly behind too late for an epideral and BOOM he was scooting on down the chute…but abruptly came to a halt. Why? Because he was ten pounds nine ounces that’s why! My body said sorry call me tomorrow because I don’t know how we will ever get this one out of here.

His shoulders were stuck. That is the final answer. After a few hours we had to make a decision; his collar bone would have to be broke. They did it and finally he was here.

My grandmother was alive then. I am always so grateful that he grew up knowing her. They had a unique bond. I would go to the house after working all day and say, “Baw Baw how did you and Nicholas get along today?” (She wanted to watch him when he was about three a couple of days a week, to keep from being lonely).

She would reply with, “Well, Teena I guess we got along okay. Who are you talking about? Nicholas? Oh yes he is so quiet I almost forgot I had him.”

Ummmm I think that should have been my sign but he was fine! Some people might get offended by me making a joke about my grandmothers dementia, but until you have lived through it, you can not understand! If you didn’t laugh about it you would lose your mind!

Anyways I had a beautiful ten pound nine ounce little boy on March seventeenth nineteen ninety nine. He has brought each of us joy on a regular basis and I can’t believe how fast the years have flown by. We have good, bad, fun, snuggle, adventurous, heartbreaking, puzzling and most of all loving times and I am looking forward to many more. He has never fit in a mold or been the type to follow a crowd. He has a kind heart; magnificient musical talent among other talents. He has been my rock the past four months, while I haven’t been capable of many daily duties. I thank God for Nicholas Ryan Drake on a daily basis. I love you buddy! Happy Birthday!

May my stories relate to you, make you laugh, help you heal, entertain you, but most of all may they enrich your life in one way or another! God Bless Everyone!