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Never Give Up

Blog

This is my verison of the "daily ramblings of an old man"...

I like to show folks what us "SICK PEOPLE" do for fun or keep y'all
up to date on my doctors visits...

I hope when you read you find that I can be pretty entertaining...
if not, just look at the pictures and ooooh and ahhhhh alot!!! 8)

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This happened last week

Posted by [email protected] on August 16, 2019 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy…

Guess what day it is…
Guess. What. Day. It Is….

It’s FRIDAY Y’all!!!
We have made it to the weekend
and if that doesn’t get the blood pumpin’
I don’t know what will…

If you are new to the website and / or
my Facebook page then I would like to
offer up a warm WELCOME to you…

Please take a second to visit all of the pages
here on the site just so you get a feel for
who this knuckle head is that is talking about
LIFE – cuz that’s what I do…

So let’s get started…

This past weekend my wife and I enjoyed
an afternoon of bowling and video games with
her co-workers…

During one of our bowling games a mutual
friend of ours came up to me and asked if I
would share my story about how
(non alcohol related) Cirrhosis of the Liver
became a “thing” in my life…

I’m always more than happy to tell this
story because I feel that the MORE the word
gets out then I’m doing my part to help STOP it
from hurting someone else…

You see…
Excess fat in the liver will begin to cause scar tissue
to develop and guess what Cirrhosis is…
SCAR TISSUE

For some reason…
Doctors will not share that information
with patients…

Over the past eight years I have
NEVER met another patient who has said
“yeah, my doctor warned me about fatty liver”

We talked for probably five minutes…
In that period of time I told her that when a doctor
tells you that you have a fatty liver then you need to
LISTEN to him / her and take action…

I could see the fear starting to creep in to her
eyes as I told her how it began and that you
don’t have to be a drinker to get this disease…


I was getting to the best part of the story when
I realized it was my turn to bowl and I went
over to throw my two gutter balls
(yes – two)
:roll:

and when I returned they had walked away…

You see…
I had already told her that I had lost a ton of weight
and had avoided need a liver transplant by working
hard at getting my health in check…

I’m not saying that I will ever win the war
as I know that my Liver is damaged…
But I can top it from getting worse…
Which I have done…

What I didn’t get the chance to tell her
was this…

My life is absolutely AWESOME…

Do I wish that I didn’t have to deal with
Cirrhosis of the Liver???

Absolutely…

Do I dwell on it????

Nope…

The funny thing is that my life is
pretty much normal…
To the point that I forget that I am
supposed to be sick…

Now mind you…
I’m human…

I have my good days and I have my bad days…
The good days far outweigh the bad…
(Thank God)

I think the most important thing I would have
shared with this young lady is this…

Early on in my fight with Cirrhosis
I made the decision to surround myself with
people who will lift me up and keep me positive…
People who will laugh with me…
People who will pray with me…
People who will push me to be my best…

I think I’ve done a pretty damn good job of that…

In closing…
Guys, it’s so important to listen to what that doctor says…
Don’t brush it off when they say you have fatty liver…

My life is great NOW…
But it was a lot of hard work…

Y’all have a great weekend
and I will see you soon!!!

Joel

#NeverGiveUp



How do we make this stop?

Posted by [email protected] on August 5, 2019 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)







Howdy…
Happiest of Monday’s to you all…
I hope you all had a nice weekend and got
plenty of rest over the past 8 hours…

If you are new to the website and / or FACEBOOK page
this is the portion of the show where I say a great big
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!

I hope you will take a second and visit every page
here on the website just so you understand
who I am and why I talk about life…

For the most part…
I enjoy keeping my blog light hearted so
that I can put a smile on someone’s face
who may need that boost…

Or as I call it…
“A kick in the cant’s”

Today isn’t one of those days…

Sadly…
This is another one of those postings
where we have to address yet another dark day
here in our country…

Over the weekend…
The United States lost 29 citizens
in 2 mass shootings in a matter of 24 hours…

20 died in El Paso Texas…
9 died in Dayton Ohio…
Countless others were injured in both…

From what I’m hearing in the news
it sounds as if the shooter in El Paso had
a problem with Latino people and had written
a 4 page document saying as much…

The shooter in Dayton…
He was known to have violent tendencies
as far back as 9 years ago when he was in High school…
He was kicked out of school for creating a “hit list”
yet that alone didn’t appear to be cause for someone
to arrest him or have a mental evaluation done on him…

As someone who owns a gun or two…
The actions that took place this weekend
ABSOLUTELY SICKEN ME…

Don’t get me wrong here ALL KILLINGS
of innocent people make me sick
as I’m sure it does anyone who
has a conscious…

Thanks to the UPTICK in the amount
of mass shootings in recent years I find myself
thinking about WHEN it happens and not IF it happens…

I don’t mind telling you all that in a large confined crowd
I find myself getting nervous these days…

I think about it at work…
Where am I going???
What am I gonna do???

Over the past year or two I’ve thought
about it at church as well…

And now that school is about to start…
I think about the kids and their teachers…

I also think about HOW and WHY this keeps happening…

Go back and re-read what I said about the 2 shooters
from this weekend…

One was filled with HATE…
The other was mentally off…

Folks…
Whether you like it or not…
Mental health is our biggest problem…

If you wanna walk into a Walmart and KILL people
because of their SKIN COLOR then you may have
a screw or two that needs some adjusting…

Now for those of you saying
Joel, you’ve lost your damn mind!!!
WE DO HAVE A GUN PROBLEM…

I dedicate this portion of the blog to you….

I said…
Mental health is our BIGGEST PROBLEM…

I never said we DON’T have a GUN PROBLEM…

The problem with guns is this…
They are too easy to get…
Period…

Why???

Because people who THINK they are responsible
gun owners actually ARE NOT as responsible
as they’d like to think…

I’ve read stories of small kids killing a sibling
because dear old dad left his weapon unattended…

I’ve read stories where countless numbers of
weapons have been stolen from cars…

The stories are out there folks…

So…

How do we fix the “gun problem”???

First…
You do so by making the gun owner responsible
for the actions of HIS / HER gun…

After all…
If the gun is locked away
it can’t fall in to the wrong hands
and commit a crime, right???

If the gun is stolen from the locked
facility that you have kept it in you
should report it stolen IMMEDIATELY
or face possible “accessory to murder”
charges if that weapon takes the life of
another human…

Next…

The trigger man in a murder of any kind
needs be put to death…
Period.

I believe he / she should get a “fair trial”
but if you are caught with the proverbial
“smoking gun” like these two gunmen
were this weekend…
There will be NO APPEALS
and the weapon will be destroyed…

I also believe that during the time of the
initial investigation that any and all firearms
found at the gunman’s residence should also
be confiscated and destroyed as well…

Sadly…
None of this will EVER become a reality
because the death penalty is too cruel…

How is THAT for irony…

In closing…
I just wanna say this…

I hope that we can all come together
and find a way to keep each other safe…
I don’t care who you are…
Where you come from…
I don’t care if you are gay or straight…

We are supposed to be
ONE NATION UNDER GOD…

I pray that we all stay safe and find way
to make these senseless killings stop…

Amen.

Y’all have a safe week.

Joel
#NeverGiveUp






Celebrities aren't the only one who can benefit from your help

Posted by [email protected] on July 20, 2019 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy…
Happiest of Fridays to you all…
That’s right…
If you are reading this then you have made it
to the weekend, so congratulations…

If you happen to be new to the website
and / or my facebook page I’d like to
extend a very warm and heart felt
welcome to the neighborhood….

Please take a second to visit every page
just so you get a feel for who this knuckle head
is that is talking about life….
Cuz that’s what we do here…

Soooooo….
Today’s topic really hits close to home with me…

Every so often…
You hear of a celebrity in need of an organ transplant…
Being that I have (Non Alcohol related) Cirrhosis of the Liver
the two big ones that come to mind are
David Crosby and Evel Knievel

Now…
Mind you…
I DON’T KNOW the ends and outs of HOW
these two gentlemen were able to obtain
their Liver transplants as quickly as they did…

What I CAN tell you is that MY doctor
told me that the wait was quite lengthy
and if I wanted to avoid that I needed
to work really hard to lose weight…
Which I did…
And I have avoided NEEDING
a Liver transplant thus far thanks
to my hard work…

But someone like David Crosby can get a buddy
to cough up the cash for a transplant???

Yep…
Phil Collins (Genesis lead singer) paid for Crosby’s
transplant back in 1994 and even at THAT TIME
people were asking if his “fame and celebrity” had
anything to do with HOW QUICKLY his “new Liver”
became available…

Then…
There is my child hood hero…
EVEL KNIEVEL

In April of 1988 Knievel announced
that he was in need of a Liver transplant
thanks to Hepatitis C that he received after
one of his numerous blood transfusions following
one of his spectacular crashes…

By January of 1999 he was resting comfortably
after receiving a new Liver….

Only 9 months after his announcement…

How many people were passed over because
Mr. Knievel once had some kind of celebrity status???

More recently…
Stevie Wonder has announced that he will be taking
time off from touring as he is in need of a new Kidney…

And let’s not forget all the LOVE that former TITANS player
Albert Haynesworth has gotten since his announcement…

Friends…
There are more people out there in this world that need our help…

People that you don’t even know…

People with families…

Just like celebrities…

The big difference…
We don’t have the ability to spread the word like THEY do…

I mean, come on…
Can you imagine what CNN would say if I went to them
and said this…

“Hey, Joel Tompkins needs a Liver – I need that published!!!”

Do you REALLY THINK thousands of people
will come to my rescue???

That’s why sometimes you see folks driving around town
with a sign on their car…

Wearing t-shirts…

And in some cases…
Renting a bill boards…

Now…
Earlier I said that I have worked HARD to stay off the transplant list…
I’m still not in need of being on that list and I have NO PLANS
of being put on that list…

Soooo…
You may be wondering why this is so important to me…
Over the years of writing about my struggles as well as my
victories, I have had the opportunity to meet people who have
had health situations similar to mine...
I’ve met people with various forms of Cancer…
Some have survived
and sadly…
Some have not because the need wasn’t met in time…

One of the GREATEST THINGS about having
this website is the fact that some of my friends
have asked me to talk with people that are struggling
and I'm ALWAYS happy to do so...

The one thing that I would say that these
conversations have had in common
is that the other person is SCARED...
They don't know where to start
or where to reach out for help since
their resources are so limited...

Unlike the resources of a celebrity....

Now...
Please don't get me wrong....
EVERYONE is entitled to get help...
I'm not saying "celebrity status" should be denied...
I'm simply saying that it has been overplayed...

I don't care if you are
THE BEST SONG WRITER...
THE BEST ACTOR...
or...
THE BEST ATHELETE
And I damn sure don't care how DEEP
your wallet is....

It's called a LIST for a reason...

In closing…
I need for you all to remember this…

Those people aren’t famous…
Their fight is just as important as the next celebrity
that we hear of that is in need of health care…
No matter if it’s Kidney transplant or a Liver transplant…
Celebrities aren’t the only ones who can benefit
from your help…

A few days ago...
I posted on the facebook page about a buddy of mine
who is in need of a kidney transplant...

He is one of us...
A regular guy...
With a regular job...

But the heart of a LION...

If you are the PROUD OWNER of O POSITIVE BLOOD
and would like to help this man out, I'd greatly appreciate it...

Y'all have a great weekend.

Joel
#NeverGiveUp
#ErnestNeedsAKidney




Why is racism still a thing???

Posted by [email protected] on July 13, 2019 at 1:35 AM Comments comments (0)

 

Howdy…
Happiest of Thursdays to you all…
I hope that your week has been very productive
and that you have some serious plans to
do something fun this weekend…

We have come to that portion of the show
where I like to send a HUGE shout out
to those who may be new to the website
and / or FACEBOOK page…

Sooooo…

WELCOME!!!

Please take just a second to look around
and visit every page so that you can get a better
feel for who this knuckle head is who is taking
up your time today talking about life…

Cuz that’s what I do...
Talk about life…

Today…
I have to apologize right off the bat…
My blog is usually uplifting and humorous
and I try my BEST to steer clear of politics or
anything that could be connected to politics…

So…
I apologize for being REAL today…
I apologize for speaking the TRUTH
(atleast the TRUTH as I see it)

If you wish not to hear what’s coming next
I would advise you to stop right here…

I’ll give you a minute to decide if this
is for you…

Now….
For those of you who are still here…
Thank you…

Folks…
Here we are in the 2nd week of July, 2019
and we are still having to deal with race issues…

What in the HELL???

Over the past two weeks there have been
THREE incidents that I’ve heard about on CNN
that absolutely make me sick to my damn stomach…

The most recent one was this…

The manager of a Burger King (in Florida) was sitting at a table
working on some paper work when he was approached by one of his
employees who asked him a question in SPANISH

The manager responded in Spanish and the conversation ended…
Or it should have…

But it didn’t…

Two elderly white women decided to drop their two cents
of nonsense in to this man’s business…

One blurts out:
“if you’re gonna talk Mexican, go back to Mexico”…
The manager politely tells them he is actually Puertorican
and that she is being very disrespectful and wants her
to leave HIS store…

The two old buzzards refused to leave until
the manager threatened to call the police on them…
at which time they did leave saying they
WOULD NEVER COME BACK!!!
(ummmmm, GOOD.)

The whole incident was captured on video by another customer…

The next incident happened in Californina

A white guy calls the cops on a black man for TRESSPASING

Wait…
But WAS he trespassing???

Nope…
The gentleman in question was OUTSIDE the building
waiting on a friend to arrive…

The white guy took exception to this and called the cops
all while his young son BEGGED him “don’t do this…”
If you read the story the kid certainly sounds smarter
than his dad…

Finally after a few minutes…
The black man’s friend arrives and the episode is over…
But only after the WHOLE THING is recorded by the man
who was being treated as a criminal…

And for what reason???

THERE WAS NONE!!!

One more story for you…

This story particularly hurts me as this happened
in my home town…

In the early hours of July 4th of this year the city
of Nashville lost one of their police officers in a fiery crash…
The crash occurred when a young black female decided
to avoid being pulled over for driving with her headlights
on high beam…

The original officer turned on his lights and the “suspect”
slowed down but never stopped…
The officer ran the tags and found that the car was NOT stolen
but before he could pull her over she deiced to RUN
from the officer…

The officer reports that at that time he decided NOT
to pursue the car…

Moments later…
As officer Anderson was on his way to SEPARATE CALL
the young lady crashed in to his patrol car and it spun
in to a utility pole and caught fire…

Officer Anderson was pronounced dead at the scene…

In the days after the accident…
Nashville residents were saddened that this
officer who meant so much to his community had
been killed in such a horrific way…

People wanted to know what charges this young lady
was going to face…

Would it be murder???
Vehicular homicide???

I can tell that vehicular homicide and driving on a suspended license
are two that I know of and I’m sure MORE are coming…

Then a note from the teen’s “family” is sent to the media
in which they speak of the great sorrow they feel for the
officer’s family…

Then…

As this letter hits all of the local news facebook pages
the feelings of atleast one “FAMILY MEMBER” was brought
to the surface…

In a facebook post that has since been deleted
a young person named Jaylah really lays out
her racist feelings towards white people…

While she’s blasting the "white folks"
she blames officer Anderson for his own death
by asking why was he even chasing her???

I’m gonna stop right there as it still pisses me off…

Please, if you want to read the comments that her “sister”
made please go to any of the local news channels in Nashville
and look for the letter from the family of Jayonah Brown
and read the comments section…
Plenty of screen shots of all the hate

So…
Do you SEE where I’m going with this???

When was the LAST TIME you
actually read the PLEDGE of ALLEGIANCE???

ONE NATION

UNDER GOD

INDIVISBLE

WITH LIBERTY AND JUSTICE

FOR ALL...

Folks…

Have we not learned a damn thing
in the past 50 years???

Everyone wants to celebrate our nation’s freedom
but WE (the collective we) don’t want to share
those freedoms with anyone who is DIFFERENT
than us…

We are no longer INDIVISIBLE
We are more divided NOW than we have
ever been…

Liberty and justice for all???
How do you figure???

A man gets harassed for speaking Spanish
Another gets harassed for standing outside of a building...
and a dead officer is hated for his job…

We are no longer the UNITED STATES of AMERICA…
It feels MORE like the DIVIDED STATES of HYPOCRITES…

In closing…
If you are STILL reading this and NOT OFFENDED…
I thank you for holding on…

I love MY country just as much as the next guy…
It just hurts me to NO END seeing all of the fighting
and hatred that has been on display…

So here’s what I wanna see…

Some kindness…

I don’t care what it is…
Just be kind to someone…

If it felt good…
Do it again…

If it didn’t…
Do it until it does…

Then…
NEVER GIVE UP

Maybe then we will get back
to being the land that we loved…

Y’all have a great weekend.

Joel

#NeverGiveUp



it's lake season - be smart

Posted by [email protected] on July 5, 2019 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)




Howdy…
Happiest of Fridays to you all…
If you are reading this then you have survived
the Fourth of July festivities…

Or as we call it on the farm…
WORLD WAR FOUR…
(we skipped 3 all together)
:/

Without going in to politics here…
Don’t you find it fascinating that we celebrate
our freedom from the Brits with loud fireworks
made in China???

And…

If you live in Tennessee you can give said fireworks
to a kid to blow his fingers off of his hand but
driving while using your phone is illegal…

Makes sense, huh???

ANYWAYS….

This is the portion of the show where I welcome all of
the new friends who have checked out my facebook page
and decided to jump over here and see what this thing
I call a website is all about…

Please take a second to look around and get a feel
for who this knuckle head is who talks about life…
There WILL not be a quiz later…

As the name of the website suggest…
I like to talk about life…

Sometimes it’s about living with Cirrhosis
Sometimes it’s about living with Hemochromatosis
Most times…
It’s about life in general and just how I make the best of it…

However…

Today I want to talk about something that is near and dear to my heart…
Water safety…

If you were on my facebook page yesterday
You saw a story that I shared about a gentleman who
drowned on my home lake…

Normandy Lake is a very secluded water way
that is almost like a hidden gem so to speak…
Tims Ford Lake is a very popular lake that is just
a stone throw away and has a great park with
cabins and walking trails and all the amenities
you can think of….

Normandy just has a dam and a couple of
run down camp grounds…

Fishing on Normandy is GREAT if you know you are doing…
Trust me…
It took me a long time to figure it out…
:P

There are lots of logs and under water timber
which played into this poor man’s drowning yesterday…
The rescue squad even said they had a hard time locating
his body because of the timber…

Now…

As a boater who has fished Normandy for nearly
fifteen years I can honestly tell you that I have
NEVER seen a rescue boat of ANY KIND
on Normandy Lake

No police boat…
No Coast Guard…
No Fire and Rescue…
NUTHIN’….

When I first started fishing on Normandy
I NEVER wore my life jacket but I kept it close by
in the event of emergency…

I had friends who would see my facebook pictures
of me out on my boat (MY OUGHT) and beg me
to please put my life jacket on because I was always
alone when I fished…

But I refused because I absolutely HATED wearing
that damn thing because it was so HOT and CUMBERSOME

And besides…
Accidents will NEVER happen to me or anyone I know, right???
So let me now catch you up to recent years
and introduce you to a friend of mine…

First of all…
I won’t post his last name as I don’t like
to discuss someone’s life without their permission
but I know he won’t mind as I have told his story before…

A few years ago…
My friend David was out fishing on Percy Priest Lake
with his son and their dog…

David was like me – never wore his life jacket
and never made his son wear his either as they
were both good swimmers…

The wind picked up unexpectedly and as David tells it
something told him to put on his vest and he did…
he even told his son to do so as well…

They began their short trip back to the dock
and they hit the wake of two separate boats that
were traveling in different directions…

The wake slammed in to their boat head on
and within seconds the boat was gone…
David is looking around frantically looking
for his son and dog – thankfully both are ok…
Within a matter of seconds of the accident
a third boat appeared from out of nowhere
and picked them up and took them to the dock…

The next week at work…
David told me his story and followed it up
by saying you know I’m a church going guy right???
To which I replied yeah, why???

Joel, it was GOD who told me to put my vest on
and the guy who rescued us proved it!!!

David told me that as they were being helped
in to this guys boat they were talking about
how this was such a freak accident and that
the gentleman helping him had NOT seen the
accident but simply saw them bobbing in the water…

As they waited for the emergency crews to check them out
the guy shook David’s hand and said it’s a good thing you both
had on your jackets, this coulda been much worse…

After hearing THAT story…
I began wearing my life jacket
and I will NOT take it off…

Why???


Remember earlier in this story how
I said that Normandy is very secluded
and I had NEVER seen a rescue boat
of any kind????


How LONG is it going to take the rescue
team to get to you if they have to
launch their boat before getting to you???
and there are NO promises there's going to be
anyone as close to you as there was for David
and his son...

To this day…
David swears up and down that he will
get his boat back and he knows where it is…
It didn’t take him long to get back out on the lake
after his accident and I can tell you that he and his
son BOTH wear their life jackets too…

Folks…
In closing I just wanna say this…
If you are going to be on a boat PLEASE BE SAFE

Not just a boat…
ANY OPEN WATER for that matter…
I no longer care how GREAT of a swimmer I am…
Accidents DO happen…
Don’t take any unnecessary chances…
Wear the proper safety gear and come home
ALIVE…
Your friends and family will thank you...

Thank you all for visiting and have a GREAT weekend!!!

Joel
#NeverGiveUp






Prep Work

Posted by [email protected] on June 20, 2019 at 2:50 PM Comments comments (0)


Howdy!!!
Welcome to Thursday here
at JoelTompkinsTalksLife
The place where we talk about
all things life...

If you are new to the site
and / or facebook page
This is the portion of the show
where I send out a very
WARM and heart felt
WELCOME to the neighborhood!!!

Please take a second to look around
and check out the website so you can
get a better feel for who this knuckle head
really is that’s running this show…

Today…
I wanna talk about my week dealing
with doctors…

Soooooo…
Last week I kinda went off on dealing with
FMLA paper work….

When that happens
that usually means doctor’s visits aren’t
very far behind….

Sure enough…
There they were…

For those who are new here
I suffer from Non Alcohol Related Cirrhosis of the Liver
as well as Hereditary Hemochromatosis…
(Better known as Iron Over load)

Because of the Iron Overload I have to
see an oncologist twice a year to have
a phlebotomy…
(They drain a pint of blood to rid the body of excess iron)

The past few times I have gone
in for a phlebotomy the phlebotomist
has had a problem finding my veins
for one reason or another…

I try to help them by eating breakfast
and drinking a ton of water…
or so I THOUGHT I was…

I say I thought I was because
this time I changed it up…

I ate a BIG breakfast and drank
at least 64 ounces of water before
I got to the office…

I just wanted to make sure I was ready…
And it worked!!!

It took the nurse one stick to get the needle
in my arm AND to get the blood flowing…

Now…
USUALLY it takes an hour to get a pint
of blood out of me…
This time we were done in 15 minutes!!!
I couldn’t believe it!!!
That was the best experience I had ever had
since being diagnosed with iron over load…

Then it dawned on me…
It all has to do with preparation…

The more “prep” you do in whatever you
are doing – the better the outcome…

In closing…
I just wanna say this…
If you wanna get better at anything in life
the best way to do it is through practice
and preparation…

It’s a shame that it took me all this time
getting stuck with a needle to finally
GET THE POINT!!!
:lol:

I'll be playing here all week.

Y'all have a great weekend and I'll see ya soon!!!

Joel
#NeverGiveUp

 



The best lesson my dad gave me

Posted by [email protected] on June 14, 2019 at 10:40 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy…

Happiest of Fridays to you all…

That’s right…

The weekend is upon us once again

and I hope you have some SERIOUS PLANS

to have some fun over the next 48 hours…
8)

This is the portion of the show where

I send out the hear felt WELCOME to those

who may be new to the website

and / or FACEBOOK page…

WELCOME to the neighborhood!!!

Please take a second to look around

and familiarize yourself with the place

as their WILL not be a quiz later…
:P

As you may have guessed by the title

of my website…

This is where I talk all things LIFE

Today…

I’m kinda blending two topics:

Father’s Day and FMLA paperwork…

I know – it’s an odd combination…

If you follow my Facebook page you

might have seen a “mild rant” over

some FMLA paper work that I have

to obtain EVERY SIX MONTHS

First off…

I have (NON ALCOHOL RELATED) CIRRHOSIS OF THE LIVER...

It’s not going ANYWHERE…

My doctor fills out the SAME forms TWICE A YEAR

and I can ALMOST recite his answers to the questions

word for word….

That’s why I went on my little rant the other day…

I was told by my H / R dept. that my paper work

was INCOMPLETE because my doctor gave a vague

answer to a question…

The question:

Estimate treatment schedule, if any, including the dates

of any scheduled appointments and the time required for

each appointment, including any recovery time…

The doctors answer every year that I’ve done FMLA:

ONCE EVERY 3 or 4 months…

There has NEVER been a problem with

that answer until this week…

Fortunately for me…

The BEST LESSON my dad ever taught me

was to DOCUMENT EVERYTHING

And I do…

You see…

I keep this black notebook on my desk

with hard copies of each e-mail that deals

with all of my training opportunities as well

as all of my FMLA paperwork…

So when they came to me and said that

it was incomplete I was able to say

wait a minute – it’s the same answer

as it has been for the past several years…

Here’s proof!!!

Suddenly…

Everything is ok with my paper work…

And they THANKED ME for my help…

As I’m typing this…

I’m having a conversation with someone

about car repair…

They are accusing the mechanic of being a rip off artist

and that they have been forced to pay an UNGODLY

amount for break repairs and other repairs they didn’t need…

When I asked them to back up their claim

with a receipt for those false repairs

the look on their face was priceless…

Especially when I said

YOU ARE SCREWED WITH OUT IT…

You know…

As a younger feller I NEVER ENJOYED

being compared to my dad…

But when it comes to documentation

especially when it comes to my health

I will certainly take it…

(Thanks Pops)

In closing…

Sometimes people ask me why I run

if I’m not in it to win races…

Truth be told…

I AM IN IT TO WIN…

But it’s just ONE race…

LIFE

A life where I don’t have to use the FMLA

paper work that I have to jump through

hurdles to get…

So far…

I’m winning.

(drops mic)
;)


To all the dads out there...
Happy Father's Day!!!

Y’all have a great weekend!!!

Joel
#nevergiveup




This just in - I'm not perfect

Posted by [email protected] on June 8, 2019 at 1:10 AM Comments comments (0)


Howdy!!!
Happiest of Fridays to you all…


That’s right…
It’s finally the weekend and if you
live in Middle Tennessee there is a TON
going on this weekend so get out there
and enjoy despite the HORRIBLE weather
we are having…

This is the portion of the show where
I extend a very warm WELCOME to those
who may be new to the website and / or
FACEBOOK page…

Sooooo…

WELCOME...

Please make yourself at home and visit
all of the pages here on the site just
so you get a feel for who I am and
why I do this thing that I do…

Today…
I wanna talk a little about why
NEVER GIVE UP is so important in life
and how EASY it is to forget…

When I was first diagnosed with (non alcohol related)
Cirrhosis of the liver AND Hereditary Hemochromatosis
(Aka: Iron Overload) I decided that I was NOT going to
go down without a fight…

That meant I had a lot of work to do both
PHYSICALLY as well as MENTALLY…

I had to change my mindset on EVERYTHING…

You see…
Every time I lost weight over the years the weight
just came back and sometimes I gained MORE
than I had lost PREVIOUSLY…

I never wanted my wife to be married to a fat ass slob
but there I was…

A fat ass slob with two life threatening illnesses…

I had a choice after finding out my diagnosis…
I could just lay down and say SCREW IT and lead a miserable
life HOPING that I could lose enough weight to get on
liver transplant list if needed…

OR…

I could fight like HELL and prove the NAY SAYERS WRONG
and beat the DAYLIGHTS outta Cirrhosis…

Now…

In all fairness I KNOW I will NEVER WIN the war….
I have Cirrhosis and I can’t change that fact…

However…

I have stopped it from getting worse…
(It’s been over a year now)

Recently…
I have been reminded how EASY it is to forget
what NEVER GIVE UP means in MY LIFE…

To set this up…
Deanna and I usually carpool to work…
After 24 years of marriage she still likes me…
:roll:

Anyways…

We woke up late and we were both rushing
around the house trying to get ready and she says
“we are so behind, should we ride separate???”

At the time I said no and told her to finish up
and we will be fine…

However…

As the day went on I became a little aggravated
because it seemed like she was just ready to toss in the
proverbial towel…
MY OWN WIFE was ready to QUIT over something
so very small….

I gotta admit it was kind of like a betrayal of sorts…
Like finding out that your best friend is NOT a Cubs fan…
Not that this has ever happened to me but you get the point…
;)

When I told her how I felt about this she brought me back to
earth with a quickness and I’m glad she did…
She reminded me of my actions just the week before
and it wasn’t pretty…

You see…
I was out cutting the yard last week and I stressed myself out
because I wanted to get the yard done in one day and I’m
VERY PARTICULAR about how I cut my yard…
(I know it sounds stupid but that’s me…;)

I got myself all stressed out and pretty much
got mad at her because I couldn’t do it all by myself
anymore and that I needed help…
If I’m being totally honest – that’s not EXACTLY true…
Help would be NICE but I don’t NEED it because
of physical limitations…

She reminded me of how I acted and that I too
was ready to throw in the towel…

DAMN IT!!!
I hate it when she’s right.
(And she was – as usual)

Since that conversation…
I’ve done some “selfcheck” and it’s clear that
I’ve gotten complaisant over a little bit of time…

My NEVER GIVE UP spirit has turned to
MAYBE NEXT WEEK

I should have KNOWN something was wrong
when I started gaining weight and found myself
having to take blood pressure meds…
(something I’ve never had to do)

The good news is I’ve caught this before It
became a major concern…
I’m happy to report that I am down 8.5 lbs since
the initial visit with my doctor (concerning my blood pressure)
and he STILL insist that if I keep up the hard work and
lose the weight I should be able to get off the meds
sooner than later…
If you remember I said I needed to lose 15 maybe 20 pounds…

So….
I’m back on track and realizing that giving up
is NOT an option….

In closing…

Please here me when I say this…
In NO WAY is my life perfect…
I struggle just like everyone else…
I may not want to accept that but it’s the truth…
We are ALL going to struggle from time to time…
That’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with
people who will tell you what you NEED TO HEAR
and not what YOU WANT TO HEAR….

Those who tell you the TRUTH are your real friends…
Those are the ones to keep on your “payroll”…

I’d like to thank my wife Deanna for ALWAYS
telling me what I NEED TO HEAR and always
being on my team…

Thank you all for stopping by this week and reading…
I hope you have a FANTASTIC weekend…

Joel

#NeverGiveUp

 




Paying tribute to two fallen service men

Posted by [email protected] on May 31, 2019 at 10:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy…
Happiest of Fridays to you all…
I hope your week was good and you
have some awesome plans for the weekend…


If you are new to the website...
This is the portion of the show where I send
out a heartfelt WELCOME to the neighborhood…
I simply ask that you take a moment to visit
ALLof the pages just so you can get a feel for
WHY I’m here and do what I do…


Sometimes…
I talk about LIFE as person who deals with illness…
Today isn’t going to be one of those days…


Today…
I wanna talk about the week that is
coming to a close…


For those who may not know…
I am the “social media guy” for a very rural
church in Rockvale, TN (Salem UMC)

I use the term “social media guy” because
I HATE the term “WEB MASTER”


I’m sorry…

When I hear WEB MASTER
I think of SPIDER-MAN
:roll:


You see…

I’m just a regular schmuck who taught himself
how to build a website because I felt a need to
share my story of living with Cirrhosis and that
grew into a passion for spreading the word of God
for our church…


So that’s the back story to where I’m heading with this…


A few weeks ago…
I was given an idea for a story for our church website…
The story was about the inscription on the backside
of the cross that stands on our altar…

The cross was dedicated to the memory of
First Lieutenant Roger E. Smith who lost his
life in the battle of Guam in 1944…



But NO ONE in the present day KNEW the story…


When I was told about the dedication on the cross
I decided to check it out and low and behold I was
given a TON of information to go through and I must
say that I learned a lot about this young man…


I sat on this story for a while because I wanted to
share it for Memorial Day and I’m so glad that I did…

I went through each piece of paper and learned
a lot about not just his military achievements but
his college back ground as well…


I don’t like to repeat a story so if you’d like to
read the ENTIRE STORY of 1st Lieutenant Roger E. Smith
please visit the website:
www.salemumc-rockvale.org
(it’s on our news from the pews page)
The title of the story is:
Our Cross: A Small Reminder of Memorial Day
(yes, that was a shameless plug)


Anyway…

Spending so much time with this story
felt like I was visiting an old friend or family member
that had been lost…

I mean…
Reading the way how this young man died
really brought home how things really were
during World War 2 and I mean it when I say
it was SUCH AN HONOR to present the story
to the church and his family on MEMORIAL DAY


Needless to say…
This story is so powerful it has really taken off
and I’m still getting e-mails about it late into the week…


Now speaking of family…
Deanna and I enjoy vacationing in Gulf Shores Alabama
One of my “must do’s” while down there is making the
short trip to Naval Air Station Pensacola
“Home of the Blue Angels”


We have gone down there as a couple
so many times to see the Angels practice…
it’s almost like visiting family…


We were down there in April of 2016
Just one month before the accident
in our own back yard of Smyrna Tennessee


If you aren’t from around these parts
or you’re not an aviation enthusiast you
may not know about the fatal crash of
B / A # 6


The team had just took off for the 1st
practice flight (Friday afternoon) before the
2016 Great Tennessee Airshow which would
start on the next day (Sat. June 3rd)


Shortly after takeoff…
Number six suffered some sort of event
that caused the aircraft to literally fall from the sky
and explode in a field not far (at all) from
an apartment complex…


Capt. Jeff Kuss was killed.


As I said earlier…
Watching the Blue Angels perform at their home
every year is like visiting a family member…
So this accident really hit home for us…


Capt. Kuss graduated from “TOP GUN”
(yes that TOP GUN) in 2012…
During his Naval career he accumulated
more than 1,400 flight hours and
175 carrier landings all before he joined the
Blue Angels in 2014…


After the accident…
The town of Smyrna decided to erect a memorial
for the fallen aviator and they have done a wonderful
job with the project…


Tonight…
Friday (May 31st) my wife and I will take part in the
first ever “TOP GUN” 6 k to help honor the memory
of our fallen hero Capt. Jeff Kuss



What a fitting end to a GREAT Memorial Day week…
Paying tribute to two fallen service men…


If you are a veteran…
Thank you for all that you have done for us…


If you are the family of one our brave men and / or women
who paid the ultimate sacrifice…


Thank you is clearly not enough…


Thank you all for taking the time for reading
and I hope you have a great weekend!!!


Joel

#NeverGiveUp



Class of 2019: Never Settle

Posted by [email protected] on May 17, 2019 at 12:05 PM Comments comments (0)

Howdy!!!
Happiest of Fridays to you all…

That’s right…
We have officially made it to the weekend
and I for one could NOT be any happier…


For those who may be new to the website
and / or the facebook page…
I’d like to send you a very warm and heartfelt
welcome to the neighborhood…


Please take a minute to check out all of the pages
on the website so you can get a better feel for who
you are dealing with here as I talk about life as
someone who battles health issues…
As well as life in general…


Sooooo…
With that…
Let’s get started…


Today I want to speak to the younger crowd…
More specifically…
Soon to be High school graduates…

 

From the early days of school I had a “love / hate”
relationship with school…


You see…
I was never the BEST student…
I always said that I was one of the first KIDS in the 80’s
with ADD and my sister (who by the way is a teacher) agrees…
But before I even got to middle school I had a teacher
named Mrs. Kiesling tell me to my face that I would
grow up to be nothing but a bum…


That. Hurt.
(still does and I’m 50)


Now…
Did her words mold my decisions to
be lazy and not do my work the way I should
for the remainder of my scholastic career???


Not at all…


It took me YEARS to realize that I had ADD
I’m talking well in to married life…
I can remember in high school roaming the halls
aimlessly because I didn’t know where I was supposed to be…
I remember a coach telling me I should just quit coming to his
class because my grades were so bad there was no way I could pass…
When I stopped showing up…
He turned me in for skipping class…
(true story)


It took me five years to finish high school
and when I was done…
I WAS DONE…


I never took the ACT or the SAT
so college was never in my plans…


I took every oddball job I could think of right out of high school…
I think that first year out of school I had five maybe six jobs…


It wasn’t until several years later that I finally found a job
that I stayed with and actually enjoyed…
Of all the places…
It was Kentucky Fried Chicken


The manager at the time was an older man named Ed Ketner
and he took me under his wing…
(pun fully intended)

He saw something in me and to this day I’m not sure what it was…
He trusted me…
As his trust grew…
He taught me team work…
and most of all…
He showed me what being in customer service is all about…


He taught me that no matter what job you have
you should take pride in it and do the BEST job possible…
And I did…


There were other jobs in between….
But the one that I am most proud of and is yet the reason
I’m writing this is my years driving a truck for Mattress Warehouse


Because of my “lack of education” I felt that I had no choice
but to “settle” for various jobs…
I took this job because I had a back ground in the moving industry
and the pay was better than my previous jobs…


We had two bosses there…
Wayne Chambers was the no nonsense delivery manager
and Dave Mcatee was the warehouse manager…

Again, my ADD caused me problems with Dave as there
were a lot of times where we sat and did nothing and
once that happens I’m easily distracted…


Wayne on the other hand…
He could whip you into shape with just a glance…
But he was a lot like Ed Ketner

He trusted me…


That job paid my bills for many years…
I met several famous people through deliveries…
I unloaded many semi’s FULL of mattresses too…
There’s NO TELLING how many mattresses I’ve pressed
over my head and carried the length of a foot ball field…
Twin sized, Full sized, Queen AND King sized…

I’ve carried them all…
(By myself)


Bunkbed boxes as well as twin sized hospital beds…
(did that too)


You see…
We were told in order to BE THE BEST
we had to 
BEAT THE BEST
That meant doing things that we had no business doing…
Like carrying KING SIZED MATTRESSES over your damn head
BY YOURSELF


During these “glory years” I had my wife and family telling me
that I had NO BUSINESS doing crap like that because
“when you’re 40 you’re gonna regret it!!!”


Guess what…
I’m fifty and been regretting for the past 10 years!!!


You see…
I had to leave that job because my back began to hurt
and I needed more family friendly hours…


Later I found out that I have arthritis in my back
and recently found out I have arthritis in my left shoulder…
All because I settled for a job that paid you for brute strength
instead of intelligence…


Soooooo…
Right about now y’all are probably saying
DAMN!!!
He sure is long winded today…


That’s because I want you to understand something…


The life you have is YOURS
Live it to the VERY BEST of your abilities and don’t let
someone tell you WHAT or WHO you will become…


In closing…
I’d like to say this…


I NEVER went to college…
And I sure as HELL didn’t grow up to be a BUM

I may not be a rocket surgeon…
:P
I may not be the president – yet
(I will be throwing my hat in the ring)
:D


But one thing is for sure…


My life is full…
Full of family, friends, memories, triumph
as well as tragedy…
I have a good job and a wife that loves me…

The good certainly outweighs the bad…


College may not be for you and that’s ok…
Just make the BEST choices for you…


Never Settle…
And…
NEVER GIVE UP.


Y'all have a fantastic weekend
and congratulations to the class of 2019...


Thanks for reading...

Joel
#NeverGiveUp



You gotta fight for it

Posted by [email protected] on May 9, 2019 at 11:30 AM Comments comments (2)

Howdy!!!


            Happiest of Thursdays to one and all…

I hope your week has been good to you and you all

have some AWESOME plans for Mother’s day this weekend…


If you have forgotten…
Don’t worry…
I’ll say a prayer for ya…
:P

If you are new to the website and / or facebook page
this is the portion of the show where I welcome you
and invite you to check out ALL of the pages so you get
to know me a little bit better as we talk about life…

Which is what I do…

Sooooo…
Welcome and enjoy your visit…

Today..
I’m going to continue to talk about things that
have been going on with my health and my plans to
combat those issues…

You know…
In my most recent post I spoke of my struggles
to get back to running and my health in general…

Now…
It hasn’t been quite 2 weeks yet
but I’m already seeing some changes for the better…

I did see the orthopedic specialist about my shoulder…
At this time he has given me a steroid shot and want’s me
to be aggressive about doing some shoulder stretches
to loosen my shoulder – however he hasn’t ruled out surgery…

We will find out more about that in six weeks
after I try the stretches as he THINKS that should help…
I’m not a pessimist but I’m not as confident as the
good doctor…

I’ve also gotten very serious about my weight again…
If you remember I said I needed to lose about fifteen pounds…

I began doing “cardio training” twice a day
on Monday (4/29) and weighed in at 243 lbs…


My goal is to get up EARLY on Mon, Tues, Thurs, Fri
and be on my stationary bike by 4:30 am…

Then, when I get off work I will WALK
on Mon. and Fri evening for 30 minutes…

On Tues and Thurs. evenings I will run for 30 minutes
And on Saturdays I will try to go on longer runs…
(that one hasn’ t happened yet…;)

In the first week of training…
I’m already seeing a difference in my blood pressure
as it is slowly coming down…
And…
I’ve already lost 4 pounds

Now…
Deanna and I have had the Titans 5k race on our calendar
for quite sometime now...
(It’s this weekend)

Usually I can run 3 miles in my sleep when I’m training…
I just did my first 3 mile run in a while and I thought the
last half mile was gonna KILL ME!!!

Then it hit me…

I’ve been doing A LOT of cardio over the past week or so
and my legs are TIRED!!!

Now…
My GOAL is to simply do MY BEST in this race…


Will I win???
Are you kidding ???
NOT EVEN CLOSE!!!
And that’s on a good day…
:D

Sooo…
This week I have decided that my best bet was
to let that last run (tues night) be my final run
for the week and let my legs rest until Saturday…
Once the race is over I will have all weekend to recover
and I will begin “2 a days” again on Monday…

In closing…

I find it MOST IMPORTANT to say this…
I don’t write this to say LOOK WHAT I CAN DO!!!

I write this because this is MY struggle
and it’s VERY REAL

If I don’t fight to stay ahead of this struggle
I will lose what momentum I’ve gained over the
past 7 years and that’s NOT an option…
Therefore I will NEVER GIVE UP…

What about you???
Wanna join the team and fight for what’s yours???
All you have to do is learn those three little words…
NEVER. GIVE. UP.

Y’all have a great weekend
and thanks for reading!!!

Joel
#NeverGiveup


I've been struggling

Posted by [email protected] on May 2, 2019 at 2:25 PM Comments comments (1)

Howdy…

Happiest of Thursdays to you all…

I hope your week has gone smoothly
and you are all looking forward to some
much needed rest and relaxation time…

For those of you who are new to this site…
I’d like to extend a very heart felt thank you
for visiting and please make your self at home…
I do hope you will check out all the pages and
learn more about me as I talk about life…

Cuz that’s what I do…

Ok…

Let’s get to it…

If you follow me on Facebook
You may have seen a post where I admitted
to struggling a bit with my running as of late…

The truth of the matter is this…
I have struggled all of 2019…

January all the way thru March
was extremely BRUTAL for my family as I
have stated before in a previous post…

My mom had 2 strokes in January…
I got the flu in between the two strokes…
My Dad lost his wife rather suddenly
and then we watched as he basically lost
his privacy when he moved in to assisted living…

It’s been a struggle for him to become accustomed
to his new living arrangements but he’s getting there…

Anyways…

In the mean time…
Deanna and I are still trying to get our weekly
runs in but it just seems like SOMETHING ELSE
is going to happen to prevent us from getting them in…

Then…

By April I had pretty much lost focus…

I was worried to death about both of my parents…

My mom has always been my biggest fan even
when I got on her last nerve as a kid…

And my dad…

We have talked more since his wife’s passing
than we have in the past 30 years…

So there’s that…

Now…

While we were still dealing with all of the drama
at the first of the year, I somehow did something
to my left shoulder…

This past week…
I made plans to have it looked at by my doctor
just to make sure every thing is ok…

Come to find out…

I have tendinitis, arthritis, and a small muscle tear
that will require me to visit with an Orthopedic specialist…

GRRRRRRRRRRREAT….

Oh, but wait…
There’s more…
Always is, right???

So…

Before the doctor comes in
for that initial visit the nurse takes
my blood pressure…

It’s high…
I don’t remember HOW HIGH
but it was HIGH

I HAVE NEVER HAD HIGH BLOOD PRESSURE!!!
(EVER)

Since that visit…
I have been documenting my blood pressure
and it is not coming down...

So, I made an appointment to see the doctor
this morning (May 2nd) to address the issue…

We talked about the “stress” that has been
in my life and how that DOES contribute to
high blood pressure…

As well as being OVERWEIGHT

Yep…

I am man enough to admit that I have
gained 15 pounds since the first of the year…

NOW.

The doctor and I talked about my plans…

I told him that I began doing “two a day”
cardio training as of this week…
I’m watching what I eat…
And I gave up Dr. Peppers nearly a month ago…

I even showed him how I track my food and my
exercise on my phone…

He apparently liked my plan…
He told me that if I keep this kind of motivation
I should be able to be off the blood pressure meds
in no time flat…
Probably 15 pounds should do it…
(the amount I’ve gained – imagine that.)

Folks…
I share this with you so that you KNOW
how REAL the STRUGGLE is…

ANY STRUGGLE…

I have NO ONE to blame for this
“setback” but myself and you know what…

I’m going to be fine…

It may not be tomorrow…

It may not be next week…

But I have found my focus
And I know what I have to do…

The key to this battle is simple…
Work harder to regain control
and…
NEVER GIVE UP!!!

In Closing...
I want to leave you all with this...

Sooner or later we will ALL face some kind
of DRAMA that will throw your life in to a tail spin...

It could be a sick relative...
It could be your finances...
It could be a relationship...

Whatever the DRAMA...
The outcome is TOTALLY up to you and how
YOU allow it to play out...

Just remember...
You can't help someone
if you dont help your self first...
(A lesson I just re-learned)

Y'all have a fantasitc weekend...

Joel
#nevergiveup



My Town

Posted by [email protected] on April 30, 2019 at 2:55 PM Comments comments (0)


Howdy…

Happiest of Tuesdays to you all…
I hope you guys had a great week last week
while I was home n a “staycation”…


That was a first for me…


A STAYcation…

I felt more tired coming back to work
after a STAYcation than I ever did coming
home 
from the dang beach!!!


Why is that???


Anyways…


If you are new to my blog and / or my facebook page
I’d like to welcome you to the neighborhood…
Please make sure to visit all the pages here on
this 
site so that you can get a better feel for
who you 
are dealing with here…


Oh!!!

I almost forgot to mention that you can also
follow me on Twitter at
@JtTalksLife…


Whew…

Now that we have that outta the way…

 

Let’s talk life…


My home town has been in the news
A LOT over the past week or so…


In case you have lived a sheltered life
or been locked in a dungeon for several days
Nashville Tennessee was the host city for the
2019 NFL DRAFT…


OH. MY. GOD…

That place was a DAMN ZOO!!!

I know this from FIRST HAND EXPERINCE
as Deanna and I went down there on Thursday…


It was UNBELIEVEABLE!!!


As we crossed the pedestrian bridge
We could see an army of fans marching down
Broadway towards the river like a colony
of ants carrying crumbs from a picnic area…


Oh, and it was barely 2pm…
The party didn’t start til 7pm!!!

Jim Wyatt of Titans.com reports that
600,000 people filled the downtown streets
of Nashville for the 3 day NFL DRAFT

That beats the record that was set in 2017
when 250,000 fans showed up in Philly…


Sooooo..

What is it about Nashville that has grabbed
everyone’s attention???


Let’s stop here and take a look back…


I graduated from John Overton high school in 1987…
Back then you didn’t go downtown after dark unless
you ABSOLUTELY HAD TO because the crime rate
was 
INSANE…


Our big name concerts that came to Nashville
were held at the Municipal Auditorium which
holds just over an ASTOUNDING 9,000 seats…


Also in 1987…

Our beloved Nashville Sounds baseball team
was still fresh…

Not even 10 years old yet…

A minor league baseball team was the big draw
to pro sports here in the “music city”


Now…
We had Vandy football
But we would only go there to see
REAL SEC TEAMS like BAMA and UT

Hey, I’m a Vandy fan…
But let’s face it…
Losing constantly sucks!!!


I can remember a time in the 90’s
when the big “themed” restaurants were
Hollywood Planet, The Nascar Café,
and The Hard Rock Café


Then…
IT happened…


Nashville had been introduced to
Not ONE but TWO pro sports teams…

                                                           The Predators were introduced as the latest 

NHL team that season and the Tennessee OILERS
had moved from their temporary digs in Memphis
to their “NEW” home town of Nashville


However…

They were waiting on the construction
of the new stadium to be finished…
And that meant they had to play their
home games at VANDY….

Not the best atmosphere for an NFL game…

But when the new stadium opened
and the newly renamed TITANS began
the 1999 season…

That’s when things began to change
in Nashville…

Early on…
We saw great success with Titans and the
fans were ATE UP with Titans fever
The crowds grew and grew while he team
won EVERY HOME GAME for like 3 seasons…

It was incredible to watch as down town
Nashville began to buzz… 

But as the years went by and the Titans lost
their winning ways…
Nashville stayed on course as a hoppin’ town…

Then…

The Predators became a playoff team…
Even making the Stanley Cup Finals

But somewhere along the line…
Nashville became SO BIG that even on a good day
you couldn’t get any where in under an hour…

Gone are the days of the big THEMED restaurants…
Now, if you are remotely related to someone in
the music business you are apparently gifted
a restaurant / honky tonk…

Gone are the days of worry free driving
down Broadway on a weekend…

Awe Hell, who am I kiddin’ here…

Any night of the week you have to
worry about some idiot staggering out
in to the street…

Gone are the days of seeing a concert
and being HOME before midnight…

Again…
Because Broadway is now a party zone…

Just a year or two back…
Deanna and I went to see Carrie Underwood
in concert…

As we were heading to the arena…
We could see our parking lot from
about a quarter mile away…

Yet we were stuck in traffic…

We missed the opening both opening acts
and had just sat down when they turned
down the lights for Carrie…

Now…

I’m the type that if I pay BIG BUCKS
to see a show I will plan accordingly
including the drive time…

Two hours was not enough
and I WAS PISSED

Imagine how PISSED I was when the
traffic officer told me that the only way to exit
the parking lot was to take Broadway…

Yep…

The party zone

ANNNNNNND…
It took us an hour to simply go two blocks…

Ok..

Don’t get me wrong…
I may not live in Nashville these days
But I do get somewhat homesick from time to time…

I do believe change is necessary for Nashville
but what it has become is NOT what I love about
my home town…

Welcome to the new Nashville

Home to…

I-24 traffic jams…

Way too many “future endeavors”…

The pedal taverns with their drunken
brides to be…

And simply put…

Where COUNTRY music aint so COUNTRY…


In closing...
I'll say this...


My home town is a great place to visit
and if you have never been here you
should check it out...


For me...
It has become too big and too hip...
I like simple and quiet...


Hey...
Don't judge.
;)

Thank y'all for reading...
I hope you have a great week!!!


Joel
#NeverGiveUp



The Movie That Was Never Made.

Posted by [email protected] on April 18, 2019 at 11:35 AM Comments comments (0)




Howdy…

Happy Thursday to you all…

That’s right...
One more day until the weekend!!!
I hope you guys all have big plans for your weekend…

Mine starts a little time off so I may or may NOT
be here next week, I’m just not sure yet…

Anyways…

As always, if you are new to the blog and / or FACEBOOK
WELCOME TO THE NEIGHBORHOOD!!!

I’ve also opened a new TWITTER PAGE
for those who like that platform…
You can find me at:
@JtTalksLife

For those who have followed me for a while now…
You know that my lovely wife Deanna is more than just my wife…

She’s my best friend…

My running coach…

My voice of reason…

And…

CEO of All Things Tompkins..

One of our FAVORITE STORIES is the one about the lead up
to our wedding on April 22nd, 1995…

As we like to call it the movie that was NEVER made…

Sooooo…
Let me get this outta the way first…

If a movie was going to be made about this particular wedding
The guy who SHOULD play yours truly HAS TO BE…
Kevin James…

And the leading lady HAS TO BE…
Sandra Bullock or Valeri Bertinelli
(Deanna prefers Val)

After months of planning and preparation
Deanna and I had every thing in place for our big day…

All we had to do was sit and wait for that day to come…

We had the church picked out…

Her dress was bought…

photographer picked…

Preacher selected…

All was well…

(or so we thought)

I don’t remember the date…
But one afternoon Deanna came to me and said
“I think we need to go by the church and make sure
we are still good for April 22nd”…

Soooo…
I made the short drive over to the church…
I asked the church secretary to verify our wedding date and guess
who WASN’T on the calendar???

Yep…

Us…

The secretary was very apologetic and said she would get to the bottom
of this error and erased the other couple from that day
as I stood there watching her…

She then wrote our names back in as I watched…

Whew…
Glad I went by there as Deanna asked…

A few weeks later…
We were just about to send out our invitations
when Deanna came to me again…

“I think we better check the church to make sure we are still good”…

Soooo…
Once again I make the short drive over to the church to visit
with the friendly church secretary…

This time…
No secretary…

But a new pastor…

Apparently this pastor was friends
with the “other couple” that had been removed from OUR wedding day…

I tried to explain to this “not so nice pastor” that we had been on the calendar long before
the other couple and that we had been removed once already without being told…

By this time it was too late to do anything
as we had already bought our invitations and they were
within DAYS of being sent out…

The church wasn’t hearing it…

The BEST they could do was pay us for our invites…
Thanks for nuthin’, yall…
Literally.

So now we are on the hunt for a new place to get hitched…

There was one “other” choice…
One that I absolutely could NOT stand…

The THOUGHT of MY wedding being held in this church
made my skin crawl because I blamed THIS CHURCH
for my parents divorce when I was ten years old…

I didn’t fight it…
And now we have a church lined up…

Now…
At this point in the story I need to back up…

The previous summer I ran into an old baseball
coach of mine, Jim Hayner…
I went to school and played ball with both
of his sons Mike and Tim…

At the time of this chance meeting
Mr. Hayner had started a limo service that went on
to become quite the operation in Nashville…

Anyways…
I told Mr. Hayner that I was getting married and he shook my hand
and told me how proud he was of me…
We talked for quite a while that afternoon and before he left he wrote his
number down for me and said give me at least a week’s notice
and I will give you a wedding gift I’ll drive you wherever you need that day
as long as I get an invite…

How cool is THIS???
A nice limo free of charge???
This can’t be happening!!!

Sadly…

It didn’t…

Mr. Hayner died shortly before the wedding…

Being that this was just a conversation between myself and Mr. Hayner…
I didn’t feel it was appropriate to go to his sons and say
YOUR DAD PROMISED!!!

Plus…

He was doing this as a friend…
I didn’t want anyone else doing that for us
and we were happy to drive ourselves…

Now…

We are down to literally the FINAL WEEK…

We now have EVERYTHING in place…
We’ve had our pre marital counseling with the minister…
The church is finally secured…
We know how many people are gonna be at this shin dig…
Most of the family is in town…

What could go wrong now???

Try a preacher who can’t make it because he’s NEAR DEATH!!!

Yep…

That happened…

If my memory serves me correctly…
Deanna and I didn’t meet our “new preacher” until
the night of our rehearsal…

You see…
He was a friend of the family and an Episcopal priest at that…
Considering the church we were getting married in
IS an Episcopal church that’s a good thing…
I guess..

He got to the house a little early and he (the preacher)
and several others began knocking back adult beverages
before we left for the church…

We ran through the ceremony a couple times
before we went to dinner at the Fifth Quarter where
MORE adult beverages were had and Deanna’s poor grandmother
asked if our wedding was even legal…
:lol:

The BIG DAY finally arrives…

I’m a nervous wreck...

Deanna was simply stunning in her dress…

The service was going off with out any kinks…
Until we go to take communion…

Deanna has to maneuver two small steps in that long dress…
As she does so, you hear this GOD AWFUL LOUD...
RIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIP!!!

She tore the lining in her dress with her heel…

The preacher leans forward and says “are you ok???”
To which Deanna replies
"I’M FINE HOW ARE YOU???"
:lol:

Sooo…
As the preacher announces us husband and wife
and we begin to walk down the aisle…
Deanna looks at me and her first sentence as my wife isn’t
I LOVE YOU…

Her first sentence as my wife is:
LET’S GET THE HELL OUTTA HERE!!!
(We still have the picture of that exact moment in our living room…)

As we are being met in the vestibule by well wishers…
My mom is blubbering like a baby…
Instead of saying I’m so happy for you both…
She says:
I FORGOT TO TURN ON THE VIDEO CAMERA…
(So we have no video PROOF that we actually got married)

The preacher is still milling about and hears the conversation
With my blubbering mom…

He walks up to me and puts his arm on my shoulder and says
two words that I never THOUGHT I’d hear a preacher say in church….

SHIT. HAPPENS…

And boy did it ever…

But you know what…

That is what makes us who we are…
That’s OUR story…

If we can survive THAT…
We can survive ANYTHING!!!

In closing...
I'd like to say this...

Happy anniversary to my wife, friend, coach, and cheerleader...
It's been an AWESOME 24 years...
Thanks for feeling sorry for me!!!
;)

To those who have been with us during this 24 year long ride…

THANK YOU…

To those we lost along the way…

We remember with love and fondness…

And from me to those of you reading…
Thank you for dropping by!!!
I hope you got as much of a laugh from this as I did typing out the memories!!!

I’ll see y’all soon…

Joel

#NeverGiveUp






Life is gonna happen

Posted by [email protected] on April 12, 2019 at 11:45 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy!!!

Just in case you didn’t realize it…

Today is Friday!!!

I hope you have a great week and you have
an even better weekend to come…

If you are new to my website and / or Facebook page
I ALWAYS like to start off by saying a very warm
and heart felt WELCOME to the neighborhood!!!

Please take a second to check out everything
that is offered on this website so that you can fully
understand who you are dealing with here
as I talk about life….

Cuz, that’s what I do…

And oddly enough…
That’s what I want to talk about today…

LIFE…

If you have followed me since the beginning
of the year you know that 2019 didn’t have the
best start…

I mean let’s face it…

Life for my family could have been a really
BAD 80’s country song…

My mom got sick (2 strokes)
My dad’s wife died…
He then went to assisted living – alone.

and to top it all off…

I blew up my damn lawn mower…
(I told ya it sounded like a bad country song…)

Before I get in to the meat and “taters” of all this…

Both of my parents appear to be handling their “new normal”
some what well…

For me though…
Watching them grow older has been hard…

Soooo…

Now that the table has been set…
Let’s talk about all that has happened…

Ya know…
As mentioned above…
2019 got off to a very turbulent start…

That was just January…

I spent February going around saying
“damn, what’s next???”

Then…

In late March I decided to cut the yard
for the first time and BOOM…

I blew up the damn riding mower…

That was the final straw…

My breaking point…

I just kept thinking to myself
I can’t take this anymore…

From that day forward
Every time I walked the dogs I felt as if
the life was being sucked out of me as
I watched the grass continue to grow
and grow and grow and GROW!!!
It was if the damn yard was mocking me…

I literally felt anxious every time I pulled into my drive way...

You see…
There are two things in life outside of my marriage
that I consider my “escape”…

Fishing and cutting the yard…

And so far in 2019 I haven’t been
able to do either…
(Granted, the lake isn’t back up to summer level’s yet)

I’ve spent the past several weeks
trying to find someone who can make
“house calls” to repair my mower…

Finally…
This past week I made contact with a guy
who says he can come out tomorrow (4/13)
and fix my mower – thank God!!!

In the mean time…

I’ve decided that enough is ENOUGH!!!
I’m no longer going to feel defeated and I’m going
to do something to fix this situation…

Soooo…

I went to Walmart and bought a push mower…

Yep...

A push mower…

The best damn 150 bucks I’ve ever spent!!!

Some of you may be saying
Joel, that’s craziest thing I’ve ever heard!!!

Perhaps so…
But it put me back in to my place of peace!!!
I spent an hour or so cutting my yard
and listening to my favorite playlist…

Life is good…

Today as I type this out
I feel more relaxed than I have felt since before Christmas…
And it’s because I’m in my zone…
My happy place – if you will…

I’ve said this several time as of late…
LIFE is going to happen regardless of what you do or say…
And there’s not a DAMN THING you can do to STOP it..
But you CAN change your attitude and that will make
a huge difference in the outcome…

In closing…
I just wanna say this…

Life is hard…
But life is what YOU make of it…
You can either sit around and wait for
the other shoe to drop as I was doing…
Or you can say THAT’S ENOUGH…
And fight back…

I promise you…
Fighting back feels good…
Seeing the results…
Priceless…

Y’all have a great weekend
and thanks for stopping by!!!

Joel
#NeverGiveUp




Wanna know a secret???

Posted by [email protected] on April 3, 2019 at 2:20 PM Comments comments (0)
 
Howdy...
Well, we've made it to Wednesday....
Hope your week has been off to an
AWESOME start...
 hope you guys have the opportunity to take in
some of this great weather we are having!!!
Here in middle Tennessee Spring is finally here
and I'm totally diggin' it!!!

As usual...
If you are new to the website and / or Facebook page
I'd like to extend a very warm welcome to the neighborhood...
All that I ask is that you take just a second to look around
and get an idea of who you are dealing with as I talk
about life...

That's what I do...

Well...
It's that time of year...
For me, that means BASEBALL SEASON...
(I'm a Cubs fan by the way)

For others....
It's MARCH MADNESS...
and...
THE FINAL FOUR...

I gonna let you in on a little secret...

You ready for this???

I. HATE. BASKET. BALL...
(There - I said it)

Never have liked it...
and most likely...
NEVER WILL...

In my last blog...
I touched on the fact that my parents
divorced when I was just 10 yrs old...

When my mom re-married...
Her husband wanted me to take up
basketball and I wasn't having ANY part of it...

You see...
I was a little FAT kid who loved BASEBALL...
Back then...
The little FAT kids played one of two postions...
Catcher or first base....
Either postion you needed a BIG target
and trust me when I say my team ALWAYS
had a big target to throw to on first base...
I was pretty good on that corner...
Not only that but I could hit the ball with
some authority too, if I say so myself...

Anyways...
Back to the story...

My "step dad" put a basketball goal up in our driveway...
He then began attempting to show me how to shoot hoops...
Honestly...
He woulda had an easier time nailing jello to a tree...
Eventually all of the neighborhood kids began coming
over to the house to shoot hoops...

Again...
Being the little fat kid...
I wasn't as fast as some of the others...
So, I didn't like "hoops" from the get go...
But I did enjoy a game of HORSE from time to time...
Even though I lost - A LOT...

I remember a few "light hearted" conversations
where my "step dad" asked me why I didn't put in
the same effort as I did with baseball...

My anwer was ALWAYS the same...

I. LIKE. BASEBALL...

I don't know WHY he never understood the fact
that basketball was NEVER gonna do it for me...
Not like baseball or football for that matter...

But he didn't...

He kept on and on about how I needed to practice
if I ever wanted to win a game of HORSE...
(Really???)

Back then...
He worked 3rd shift for the local newspaper...
That meant he SLEPT during the day...

Soooo...
During the summer months I would go out
and practice just as he suggested...
As early as I could...
From half way down the driveway!!!
:lol:

Throwing that heavy ass basketball from
the side of the house ALL THE WAY to the
BACKBOARD...
T-H-U-M-P!!!
(Over and over and over until he woke up)

WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING???

Ummm...
Doing as you told me...
PRACTICING so I can play as well as the others...

WELL DAMN IT - STOP!!!
(I won)
;)

Since those early days...
I can't STAND basketball...
I hate the sound of that DAMN ball bouncing
across the court...
I have ZERO CLUE what ANY of the rules are...
And the ONLY reason that I watch the few games
that I do is because my lovely wife gets into the tournament...
She and her brother make a bet every year and the winner
has to buy our niece and nephew some icecream...

I gotta tell ya...
The smack talk is REAL in our household...
You gotta see the videos...
:D

If it wasn't for that one fact...
I would NEVER watch basketball...

Now...
As the old song goes...
Take me out to the ball game...
Buy me some damn Cracker Jacks...
And gimme my baseball!!!

In closing...
I wanna say this...
Apparently my NEVER GIVE UP mantra
began at an early age and I just didn't realize it...

I hated basketball then...
and I refuse to like it now...
;)

Y'all have a great rest of the week!!!
Joel
#nevergiveup


Why I'm Still a Kiss fan (at the end of the road)

Posted by [email protected] on March 29, 2019 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Howdy...
Happiest of Fridays to you all...
I hope that your week was AWESOME
and you have some time to do all the things
you need or want to do this weekend...

If you are new to the website and /or Facebook page
I wanna send a very heart felt WELCOME to the neighborhood!!!
Please take a second to look around and get feel for who you are
dealin' with as THIS is where I come to talk about life...

Today...
I wanna answer the question about why I'm a KISS fan
at the age of fifty as the band calls it quits...

Soooo...
We have to go back to my 5th grade year at
Granbery Elementary school...
1977...

I first heard about KISS when a buddy of mine
brought in the album DESTROYER...
We sat in the class room one day listening
to the album and I remember thinking how COOL
the album cover was and how SCARED I was listening
to GOD OF THUNDER...
It took me several years to realize that the kids
SCREAMING on the song were asked to do so...
:lol:

Then...
The KISS bug kicked in to full force in October of 1978
when the band released the (Oscar Worthy) movie
KISS MEETS THE PHANTOM...

My parent's divorce finalized the day after my birthday
that year, so needless to say KISS gave me that ESCAPE
that I was looking for...

You see...
I didn't like my reality at that time...
Sooo...
I learned EVERY THING that I could about these super heroes...
Who needed BATMAN, SUPERMAN, SPIDERMAN or THE HULK
when you had GENE, PAUL, ACE, and Peter!!!

I watched every interview with the band...
I bought every magazine that even mentioned KISS...
I had scrapbooks of all the different articles from magazines
like HIT PARADER, 16, CREAM, and even MAD...

From a snot nosed brat to a rebellious teen in highschool
my loyalty to this group never waivered despite the fact that
there were two new members in the group before I got to see
KISS in concert for the first time in 1983...

Yep...
I never got to see the original line up in their glory days...
It didn't matter...
It was KISS and it was going to be an AWESOME show
no matter who played drums or lead guitar...

One of my favorite KISS memories is getting to meet them
at XANADU records (Antioch, TN) in the summer of 1988...

Back then you didn't have to spend your life savings
to get an autograph...
You showed up at the record store the day of the meet & greet
and you stood in line for HOURS waiting on the chance to meet
your IDOLS face to face and thank them for being a part of your life...

First up was Bruce Kulick (lead guitar '84 - '96)...
Bruce was very quiet - I think he said hello but that was it...

Next up was Eric Carr (dummer '80 - '91)...
Eric was AWESOME!!!
I walked up to him and he shook my hand
and introduced himself...
As he signed my poster he asked if I was coming
to the show...
I said yeah and he smiled and that big ol mop of
hair of his began to sway as he nodded and said
COOL, have a great time!!!
(I will NEVER forget that)

That leaves Gene Simmons and Paul Stanley...

Now remember...
This is 80's KISS...
If you didn't have a HUGE RACK and a pretty face
those two didn't have the time of day for you...
And that my friends...
Left me feeling like Ralphie (Christmas Story) when he
asked Santa for the Red Rider BB Gun and forgot what
he was going to say...

No thank you for being my hero...
No thank you for getting me thru those dark days...
Nothin'...
Not. A. Word...

I did get the autographs...
:roll:

Despite that interaction I stayed a fan...
Even into the 90's...

My wife...
Now I hope she is joking after all these years...
She says that my "KISS fandom" was a turn off
when we first met...
She also grew up hearing that KISS stood for
KNIGHTS IN SATAN's SERVICE....

Oddly enough...
After 24 years of marriage...
HER MOM is my biggest supplier
of KISS merchandise!!!
:lol:

Then came the new century...

When I was diagnosed with Cirrhosis
(Non alcohol related)
I listended to KISS on the way to and from
EVERY doctors appointment and phlebotomy...

Then when it became apparent that I needed
to figure out a way to lose weight I took to running...
I created a play list to listen to as I trained for my
1st 5-k race...
After 5 half marathons and numerous 5 and 10-k races
KISS still keeps me going to this day...

And how can I forget...

I celebrated the news that my cirrhosis hasn't goten worse
with ROCK & ROLL ALL NITE...
Although COLD GIN woulda been pretty damn funny!!!
;)

Sooooo....
For those who are wondering WHY I'm still a KISS FAN
at the end of the road...

Now...
You know...
The REST of the story...

In closing...
I know this will never make it to the members of KISS...
But I just wanna say THANK YOU...

Thank you for believing in what you have done for 45 years...
Thank you for all the memories...
Thank you for being the sound track of my life...
During the darkest days as well as the best...

This may be the end of the road for you...
But for us fans...
The legend lives!!!

See you in Nashville on April 9th!!!


Thank you for reading and I will see you all soon!!!
Have a great weekend!!!
Joel
#NeverGiveUp


Egames - WTH???

Posted by [email protected] on March 22, 2019 at 12:45 PM Comments comments (0)


Howdy...
Happiest of Fridays to you and
welcome to Spring!!!
I'm so glad to see that daylight is
still with us as we sit down for dinner
everyday...
That means it's about time to get my boat
ready for fishin' season!!!
8)

As always...
I want to welcome those who may be new
to my website and / or Facebook page...
Sooooo....
WELCOME!!!
Please take a second to check out the website
and try your best to get a feel for who you
are dealin' with  here as I talk about life...

Today...
I wanna talk about an article that I just read
on CNN's website....

Did you know that VIDEO GAMES are now
a VARSITY SPORT in HIGHSCHOOL???

Yep...
So far, there are eight states in this GREAT NATION
of ours where you NO LONGER need to be an athlete
to EARN A letterman's jacket by playing "EGAMES"...
Or as MY generation called 'em...
VIDEO GAMES...

Seriously...
Here they are...
Connecticut, Georgia, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Rhode Island,
Alabama, Missiissippi, and Texas...

Now...
If I read this article correctly there are only
three SANCTIONED games that these teams can play...
One of which is called "SMITE"...
A game where they play as some sort of GOD or
other MYTHOLOGICAL CHARACTER...

Does anyone else other than ME have a problem
with this having ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do
with REALITY???

If you are like me...
You are probably asking yourself what in the actual HELL
will these kids do once they get a letterman's jacket for
playing PACMAN???

Well...
I'm soooooo glad you asked...
You see...
The kid that we parents used to BITCH at to turn off
the XBOX can now get a COLLEGE SCHOLARSHIP
TO PLAY VIDEO GAMES...
(atleast at NYU and University of California - Irvine)
Friends...
I can't make this up!!!

Soooo...
Get this...

According to a research group (NEWZOO)
the global ESPORTS market is expected to generate
more than ONE BILLION DOLLARS in revenue and is
also expected to reach 454 MILLION PEOPLE in 2019...

PLAYING VIDEO GAMES....

What am I missing here???
What does this teach these kids about real life???

Are you gonna "STRIKE DOWN" the evil boss
with your magic powers when you don't get your way???

Will we see a new breed of athlete with over sized thumbs???

And the biggest question thus far...

Will they EVER leave their parents basement???

Parents...
How many of you battled your child to get their homework
done because they were too interested in playing a game...
How many times did you threaten to take a way the game
as a punishment????

Now...
Thanks to these EIGHT STATES ...
YOU NO LONGER HAVE THIS AS LEVERAGE...

Thanks to these EIGHT STATES....
Your child will be living with you well in to his or her 40's
because they NOW HAVE TO PRACTICE THEIR CRAFT...

In closing...
I normally like to finish by saying something positive
and heart warming...
Usually adding my regular NEVER GIVE UP motto...

Today...
I'm kinda making fun of this situation...
Ok...
Not KINDA...
I AM making fun of this...

As the old song goes...
Momma's don't let your babies grow up to be EGAMERS!!!
;)

And if you don't know the original song...
SHAME ON YOU!!!
:D

Y'all have a fantastic weekend
and I'll talk to you soon!!!

Joel
#NeverGiveUp



$#*T Happens

Posted by [email protected] on March 12, 2019 at 1:00 AM Comments comments (0)


Howdy...
Happiest of Mondays to you all...
If you are like ME you are wishing that you
had just a few more hours left of that weekend
we just had as Sunday was such
an AWESOME day...

Anyways...
If you are new to the website and / or Facebook page
I would like to extend a very heart felt WELCOME to you...
It is my hope that you will find my site somewhat helpful
and my ramblings to be somewhat funny...
Please take a minute to visit each page so that you get
the feeling that you KNOW the knucklehead who
is writing this as I talk about life...

Today...
I wanna talk about something that happened to me
towards the end of last week...

Most everyone who follows me knows that my wife and I
enjoy running and we've been doing so for several years now...

Thursday night...
We came home after a run and smelled what I called
the stench of burning plastic...
No smoke...
Just smell...
And it was coming from the den...

We couldn't figure out what the problem was since all of the
circuit breakers weren't tripped but yet half of the room's
electronics weren't working....
(TV, stereo, lamp, etc)
Soooo....
I decided to check the plug to make sure everything was plugged
in to the wall and there in front of me was the problem...
The plug had shorted out and CAUGHT FIRE!!!
Fortunately for us the fire went out on it's own and did
very little damage other than to the wall socket and the cord
that had been plugged in to it...
Both had melted together...

Pardon the pun here...
But I was SHOCKED!!!

You see...
When I was a teen my dad's hose burned during
the summer months...

The idea of not knowing HOW it happened...
Knowing that all of my baseball trophies were lost ...
Then...
The realization that my dad would have to PROVE
that he didn't set the fire as the fire inspectors tried
to say that it was arson...
(It wasn't)
Follow all that up with knowing that he would
live in a "not so great" apartment until his house
was rebuilt...

Needless to say...
When I saw that plug I began to FREAK OUT...
My mind began to race as I thought about
WHAT COULDA BEEN....
It bothered me the rest of the evening...
To the point that I really didn't sleep well that night...

The next morning...
I woke up in a bad mood...
(I HATE when that happens)

Deanna and I get ready to leave for work...
I pull the door shut and TRY to lock the dead bolt
only to realize that I have the WRONG keys...

WE ARE NOW LOCKED OUT OF THE HOUSE!!!
Holy crap.
What else will go wrong???

Not only are we locked outta the house...
We don't have the keys to the car!!!

Soooo...
Do we wait for a lock smith
or do we break in to the house???

I mean...
How hard can it be???

Mind you...
I've NEVER broken in to a house...

I used  to freak my son out when he was a kid...
He'd lock himself in his room and I'd use the
"old credit card trick" to pop the lock leaving him
to ask me "how did you do that???"

But never a house...

Sooooo...
I grabbed up a screw driver and went to work...
I was able to pry the door open maybe a quarter of an inch
but not enough to OPEN the door....
So, I put my shoulder in to it and....
POP!!!
The door opened...

I felt like I had done something AWESOME...
Until I saw the door frame...

It. was. shattered....

Great...

Did I mention how I was already in a bad mood???

Now...
I'm beyond pissed off...

My house NEARLY burns...
I've woken up in a foul ass mood...
Annnnnnd...
The back door is hanging on by a thread...

Sounds like a Monday, huh???

The reality is...
It's Friday and I'm not very pleasant to be around
and I know it...

I even had a friend of mine tell me...
"I can tell you are in a bad mood - you RADIATE it"...

Wow....

You know...
After telling this story a few times I can actually laugh
about it - now....

This little episode shoulda been NUTHIN'...
However...
It becane something because I allowed it to...

I allowed all the negativity to get in to my head and put me
in a postion where I was ready to throw my hands up
and say the two most TOXIC WORDS I know...
SCREW IT...

Now...
Here's where the story gets interesting...

Y'all may not know this...
I am the "social media guy" for our church (Salem UMC)...
During the week I begin my work day by posting a daily scripture
on all of our social media sites...

That Friday morning...
After all the anger had boiled over and I was done allowing it
to ruin my day, I checked the scripture that I was supposed to
be sharing and it was this:
The LORD will keep you from all harm - he will watch over your life;
the LORD will watch over your coming and going both now and forevermore.
-Psalm 121:7-8


Now...
Think on this for just a second...
We weren't home and had a very close call with a faulty electrical plug...
I locked us out of the house and broke the back door sending me into
one VERY BAD MOOD...

I think it's pretty safe to say that I was meant to see that
scripture that morning...

In closing...
On our wedding day...
The preacher knew HOW MUCH Deanna and I had been
through just to get our wedding to happen on OUR DAY...
( I will write about it the week of our anniversary)
After the service...
He came up to me and patted me on the back
and said the two most POWERFUL WORDS
I have ever heard...
It's really a life lesson that I need to freshen up on...
Those two words were:
$#*T HAPPENS.

Just remember that...

Life is gonna happen...
Whether you like it or not...

Your reaction to it is what counts...

Y'all have a great week!!!
Joel

#NeverGiveUp


A different take...

Posted by [email protected] on February 27, 2019 at 10:15 AM Comments comments (0)

Howdy!!!
Happiest of Wednesdays to you all...
If you are BRAND NEW to the website
and  / or Facebook page then I'd like to say
THANK YOU and WELCOME!!!
Please take a minute to look around
and get a feel for what this place is all about...

This is where I come to talk about all things life...
The good, the bad, AND SOMETIMES...
The ugly...
I spend alot of time telling people that
if you BELIEVE in three little words
and you live by those THREE LITTLE WORDS
then your life will beccome such a better place...

For those of you who have been reading for a while
You know that I have asked a few of my friends to
take over the key board for me and share their story
of determination and how never giving up has made
their life what it is today...

Ladies and gentlemen...
Allow me to introduce my friend Heather Leslie...


As a young kid, around age 3 or so, my parents divorced and my mom eventually started dating someone else who was physically and verbally abusive to her. She dealt with it for many years. We watched for so many years and almost watched her die from the physical abuse. He was addicted to drugs and alcohol- eventually she couldn’t take anymore and she finally left! I watched her with bruises and being slammed to the ground and beaten to a gun held to her, to a broken ear drum and I even remember him rolling the car window up on her wrist. I promised myself that I would NEVER go through that!

Before I was 12 years old, I had an uncle who attempted to molest me. He forced me to kiss him and then he heard someone coming and let me off his bed. My own uncle- “family” …I didn’t admit this until I was almost 18 years old… but of course, no one believed that he could do that to anyone so it was swept under the rug. Years later, he attempted this on other family members too. I can still hear his voice in my head “open your mouth” and its such a disgusting feeling.

When I was about 13, I went to visit a family member out of state and was out with my cousins who I had never met before, I was set up to hang out with a boy who was older and he forced himself on me and wouldn’t take no for an answer. He apologized and years later, he called me and said that he could not imagine how I felt that night and he had to apologize again and let me know that he had taken the steps to become a pastor.

I was about 17, I went out on a date with a boy. He and I agreed to sexual relations once and when he tried again, I said no- he didn’t take no for an answer and said you gave it to me once, you will give it again. I did report this to the police and nothing was done.

I got pregnant with my first child in October 2004, I turned in 19 in December. His dad and I were cool and got a long great and thought I had found the love of my life. I was young and naïve. I did not know that he was married and by that time, I was already pregnant. It was heart-breaking, it was not the life that I wanted to give my son but that was the cards that we were dealt. 5 days after that birthday, I was arrested for having drugs in my car- I was holding it for the boyfriend because I didn’t want him to take it to work with him. I was speeding and my car was searched, the drugs were found and I went to jail. I eventually had court and was put on probation for a year. That was so scary to be threatened with prison time and the threat of having my son taken away from me once he was born. During this time, I met my now husband and he was in PRISON when we met through a mutual party. I confided in him, I was scared about the charges that I was facing and we wrote letters and feelings grew.

Eventually, I met someone and blew things off with my now husband at that time and got married really fast and moved to Florida. This guy was in the military and he was not ready for a serious relationship after my son and I moved there. I got pregnant but ended up having a miscarriage. He constantly was threatening me with a divorce and playing with my emotions, telling me that he did not want us but then stopping the divorce process. It was an emotional roller coaster. One time, he pinned me against the wall in the bathroom at the military Christmas party and his friends were scared to death that he was going to hurt me and would not let him come home until he slept some of the alcohol off. Eventually we parted ways, he put me out of our apartment in Florida and sent me back to Tennessee with $100 in my pocket, all while it was storming. He told me about a week later in an email after he left to Korea that he wanted a divorce and wanted me to pay for it… even though I had no job, no money and no place to live.

When I got back to Tennessee in 2007, I heard a job fair at Verizon in Murfreesboro- went for the interview and got the job! I went to visit my now husband who I found out was in jail and we rekindled our relationship. He got out and we moved in together in April 2008, I got pregnant according to the doctor the night that he got out of jail and later found out that we were having TWINS! TALK ABOUT BEING SCARED, I was going from 1 to 3 kids what seemed like overnight! He got back on drugs, alcohol and partying and not coming home. I eventually put him out and decided that I would be a single parent. My ex husband decided he wanted me to pick up and leave again to Virginia and have an abortion, which I refused. He eventually agreed to raise the twins as his own until his mother told him otherwise.

She told him that he was not allowed to be with me and that she would not let him he raise someone else’s “bastard children.” I was not due until December 30th 2008, I started having early labor in September. I then went into active labor October 22, 2008 and was hospitalized until the girls were born. The doctors tried everything to stop labor but they could not and I was transferred to Centennial Women’s Hospital in Nashville. Some of those nurses became some of my greatest friends!

My daughter Sariah (baby B) was born not breathing, the placenta cord broke and caused her to stop breathing. The doctors had to perform CPR on her to start her heart and help her breathe, the twins were rushed to the NICU and were kept there for 2 ½ weeks. I was in the hospital on bed rest for 4 weeks. My girls went home on December 9th 2008 and they were doing great. On February 18th 2009, I didn’t want to go to work, I went to work late, I was not going to go but felt like it was the responsible thing to do. I went to work and within a few hours, I got a dreaded email to come home because the baby was not breathing. I was on lunch break and drove home so fast, I was met by ambulances and police and no expectations. My little Sariah was taken to the hospital where they tried to do CPR, her heart came back and stopped again and the doctors gave up. The nurse (I wish I knew her name) looked at me and cried, I remember hearing her saying that she usually does not get attached or cry over patients but when she saw me begging for my child’s live, she lost it… I have no idea if she was talking to me or someone else because I was in such a fog. We laid my girl to rest on 2/22/2009. I refused to accept her death, I refused to deal with it, I felt like if I dealt with it then I was going to forget her. I became addicted to Xanax and drinking. I would drink breakfast, lunch and dinner, I would even drink on lunch breaks. I was out of control and I knew I had to do something different! 12/31/2011 was the last time that I ever drank!

In 2011, my husband and I decided to try for another baby (we were hoping for a boy but got our 3rd girl)! In February 2012, we found out that we were positively pregnant! We were so excited – until my husband relapsed again. He had relapsed to crack cocaine, alcohol and wasn’t coming home. I was pregnant, scared to death and I felt like I had no business bringing another baby into the world. I had no money, I was facing foreclosure on my house, late on our only car that he was taking and not coming home with. I was renting cars just to get to work and doctor appointments. I had to call a friend once to take me to get my daughter from daycare. I was barely able to put groceries in the house, I was barely eating because whatever we had, I made sure the kids were eating first. I was working the maximum of overtime allowed at work. We had pay day loans, online loans and other loans- we were in over our head and I was depressed. I considered adopting our little baby out but I just couldn’t do it.

My husband went to jail on 9/1/12, 6 weeks before our baby was due! Our sweet Amariana was born on 10/9/12 and saved our life! My husband was attached to the baby before he even knew her gender, he did not learn it until she was born. I prayed for my husband to go to jail and change his life, I couldn’t handle it anymore, I could not handle him being absent, I could not handle the drugs and alcohol anymore and I was just TIRED of it. He got pulled over and I remember him calling me at like 5:00 in the morning, he told me that he was going to jail- I was sad but relieved. EVERY single Sunday, the kids and I drove from Murfreesboro to Cookeville (1.5 hour) to see him! For the first 9 months of her life, we visited her daddy from a window. I remember keeping a debit card with money in the account just to know my husband was alive when he was not coming home. If I saw a transaction or withdraw, I knew he would eventually call. Amariana came at the perfect timing, she grew up in church and she loves GOD! She brings a light to my dark days, she brings sunshine into our home.

My husband is now a music minister who owns a barber shop and is sober and clean since September 2012. I am proud of the husband, father and minister that he has become! I am proud of the couple that we have become and the parents
that we have become for our children...
(Heather Leslie...)

Folks...
I have known Heather for many years...
I NEVER KNEW how bad off she had become
after the loss of her daughter and it amazes me
at how well she and Anthony have come together
to become such a tight knit family...

I am truly honored and humbled to know
these two people and I promise you...
If you didn't know of their struggles in life you would
never know unless they offered it up...

Talk about a life of NEVER GIVING UP...

I'm proud of you both...

In closing...
I hope someone out there needed to read Heather's story...
As you can see, it's not just medical situations like mine
that can throw your life in to a tail spin...

What ever is causing you pain...
You have control over how you deal with it...
It's not an overnight thing...
You just have to fight
and...
NEVER GIVE UP...

Thank you for sharing your story Heather...
(much love and respect)

Y'all have a great rest of the week!!!
Joel
#NeverGiveUp










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