Category Archives: Site Management

If You Want to Help, Here’s How!


TipJarICONHello everybody!

I realize I play fast and loose with the fourth wall here at Granny Beads and Grocery Store Feet, but today, I’m chucking any semblance of distance to explain a new feature on my site. I’ve figured out how to add a PayPal donation button in the form of a tip jar to the blog. What I’d like to do is test the waters to see what commercial ability the stuff I write possesses, if any. I’m not selling anything and I don’t want any of the three of you who read this daily to feel obligated in any way, form or fashion to read my blog.

BUT, the truth is, every little bit helps. Disability doesn’t pay well, despite what some people may think and because of some various and sundry things, my career options are — shall we say — limited. I just thought it’d be nice to see if anything I write actually would be worth enough to someone out there in cyberland that he or she would drop a dollar on PayPal at the end of a particularly good post.

So, if you like something or if you just feel sorry for me (hey, I’m not above pity change) just click on the tip jar under the Freshly Pressed icon and make a nice safe donation to my peace of mind through the security of PayPal.

Once again, nothing is required. My thoughts will always be free of charge, which is one distinct advantage of not having that thing between your brain and your mouth to filter out some of your thoughts. I’m just casting a baguette on the bay and seeing if it returns in a day or two.

As always, love y’all, and keep those feet clean!

TL;DR: New tip jar; donate if you want to.

2013 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2013 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Sydney Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 19,000 times in 2013. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

What’s Going On With Me


Hello everyone out there. I suppose y’all’ve noticed I haven’t written much lately. I don’t think I’ve updated GB&GSF since Thanksgiving and that’s NOT how I like to do things. It’s not been a matter of not enough to write. I’ve had plenty of ideas . . . I just can’t get them down on the screen. This has caused me no little amount of consternation especially when several times during the day I get a message telling me I have a new follower for the blog. Now I realize some of those followers are probably generated by bots or spider searchers, but some of them aren’t and I feel an obligation to produce good posts to give back to those who’ve taken the time to stop by this little blog. Because of all this swirling morass of feeling, I felt an explanation is in order. Here’s my explanation . . .

Life is kicking my ass — pardon the French.

My grief at facing the holidays without Mama has grown each day and now it IS an elephant in the room. I’ve tried to bear up, do the brave thing, keep calm and carry on . . . and I’ve failed completely. Over the next two weeks I have to face Mama’s favorite holiday, then two days later her birthday, then New Years, and finally my first birthday without getting a call at 6:19 AM and hearing “happy birthday, Little Man; Mommy loves you.” It’s a lot to take in over a short time frame. The fact is, I miss my mama and the nice facade I’ve built to try coping with it is crumbling.

That grief alone would be enough to cripple me, but it’s not all I’ve been hit with. I recently found out one of my best friends and former work colleagues has a cancerous mass on her kidney and another in her lower colon. This young lady has been like a baby sister to me for over a decade. When I was cashiered from my first teaching job, she was the only person to speak in my defense. She is also a triathlete, having competed in nine Ironman races. She’s also an agnostic who leans more atheist than not.

Even THAT doesn’t complete the tableau. A week ago today, Baby Eli was born . . . took two breaths . . . and died. He was the fourth child of a couple at our church. They found out in late September that the pregnancy had hit a developmental crisis. Eli’s little kidneys for some reason failed to develop and the way it was explained to me, when a baby’s kidneys don’t develop, his lungs don’t develop either, and no amniotic fluid gets produced. According to the doctors, little Eli never had a chance and their suggestion to the couple was a second trimester abortion which the couple refused. From the time I first found out about little Eli, I was seized by a concern I can’t really explain. See, I serve the God who formed us all in our mothers’ wombs and I knew if He chose to, He could repair little Eli’s body and make liars out of the doctors. So I prayed harder for little Eli than I’ve prayed for anyone in a long time . . . even Mama. I went so far as to ask God to take my life for Eli’s. I’ve lived already . . . at least it would give the baby a chance, but in the end, Eli died . . . God’s ways are not man’s ways; man’s ways are not God’s ways. That may be truth, but it still hit me harder than I expected.

Then, my stepdad called me. He is extremely sick. He’s got the flu the doctor says, but for some reason the congestion in his lungs won’t break up in response to medicine this time . . . much like Mama. As much as losing Mama has hurt me, my grief pales in comparison to Rob’s. Mama was literally his world. He cared for her needs even more than I did. Now he is a grief-stricken, broken man, and I’m having to convince him to keep fighting when all he really wants to do is join Mama and I’m afraid if something doesn’t change, he may do just that before this sickness turns.

Then, my aunt, my cousin, and my dad have decided to sell my homeplace. It doesn’t mean much to any of the three of them, but it represents what could have been to me. Daddy is going to give me his share so Rob and my stepbrother’s family won’t have to move away, but home won’t be home anymore. It’s just a hunk of land, a source of money, to them . . . but it’s always been home to me and there’s no earthly way I could get the funds together to buy the other two out.

That’s because there’s NEVER enough funds. My life is a constant borrowing from Peter to pay Paul. Someone always gets left out of the paid bills stack. I always have to figure out some way to make ends meet. It’s sad, but it’s been the story of my life. Mama and I never had enough money to breathe easy. Ruin and bankruptcy has always been just around the corner and once or twice, it’s even turned that corner. No one who hasn’t lived under constant financial stress has any idea what it’s like to constantly worry about the heat pump or the car engine or some other thing because there’s no money so if the heat pump goes out . . . well, we’ll just be cold. The saddest part, though, is I know it’s my own fault. Mama made poor decisions with money and I’ve managed to carry on the family tradition. It doesn’t make it any less stressful though.

So that’s what’s going on with me . . . at least the highlights. There’s more little things, but this post already looks like I’m whining. I hope none of you think I’m being maudlin because that’s certainly not my intent. I just want my growing number of readers to know what’s happened to the content lately.

What I’ve decided to do is stop obsessing over not updating. My plan is to get through the first full week in January, past my birthday, and then start back with a renewed sense of purpose in my writing. I could slap some stuff together, but it wouldn’t be up to my standards so I’d rather get through the end of the year and try to start over. Look for newer, more consistent posts beginning in January. I hope y’all understand.

You know I love y’all. Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and keep those feet clean.

Brief Status Update


Hey everybody! My posting schedule has been seriously haywire for most of December and January and I wanted to let those of you who check in every so often a reason why.

Mama was in the hospital for most of October. This was the first time she’s had to be hospitalized with her C.O.P.D. but it may well not be the last. Doctors’ visits and medicines and followups have taken a huge chunk of time.

Since coming home, Mama hasn’t been able to take proper care of Granny. Physically, it’s just become too difficult for her so we’ve been exploring alternatives.

Over Christmas holidays, Budge’s dad had a chest pain scare that ended up with three loooonnnggg days in the cardiac care unit at St. Francis waiting on his surgery results.

Because of Dad’s surgery, Budge’s issues with her brother came to a head and she hunted him down and had a nice loud conversation with him outside his second home bar. The conversation ended with Budge cussing out Rich AND the entire bar as well.

Realizing she could no longer adequately provide for Granny’s level of needed care, Mama relented and allowed Granny to become a resident at a local, extreme care nursing facility. Being separated from Granny has really taken a toll on Mama in several ways.

Granny fell in the nursing home and fractured her hip so she spent four days in the hospital getting a screw and pin placed into her hip to minimize her pain. Going back and forth to the hospital again has taken a lot out of Mama physically and emotionally.

Granny going into the nursing home has taken a huge chunk of income out of Mama’s household so I am in the process of making out some rudimentary plan to help Mama replace that income and keep her bills paid. This is proving to be a little like hauling eleven gallons of water in a ten gallon bucket.

Chloe, my niece, is scheduled to have the feeding tube removed from her stomach in the near future, but that is being delayed because my baby brother, Travis, and his girlfriend, Danielle, just welcomed baby number 2 while Granny was in the hospital. Little Baby Stoney was a completely healthy and quite stout ten pounds and two ounces.

My little brother, Nick, and my sister-in-law, Keri, are expecting a new little Wham and Keri is finally midway through her second trimester and can eat something besides saltine crackers and 7-Up without risking it reappearing. They aren’t going to find out what this little booger is going to be, so we’re all in for a surprise near June.

Both Budge and I have been fighting sinus infections for several weeks. Mine has more or less finally succumbed to a Z-Pac and Sudafed, but Budge has had to resort to steroid ear drops to help clear her ears up.

Those are the high and low points and with all that going on, it’s been quite an exhausting run since right before the holidays up until now. It APPEARS things are settling down somewhat. Granny is out of the hospital and all my nieces and nephews are currently doing well. Mama is stable, if far from what anyone would call “well,” and Budge is finally on the mend. I have several ideas for posts as well as topics I want to discuss with my fellow Feetsters, so stay tuned and thank you all for your patience with me in this insanity!

Love y’all, and if anyone happens to find a satchel with several thousand dollars in it, please let me know because it’s probably mine (at least that’s the story I’ll use!). Take care everyone and keep those feet clean til next time!

2011 in review


The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

The concert hall at the Syndey Opera House holds 2,700 people. This blog was viewed about 18,000 times in 2011. If it were a concert at Sydney Opera House, it would take about 7 sold-out performances for that many people to see it.

Click here to see the complete report.

New Look for Grocery Store Feet!


Now THIS is a grocery store you can get grocery store feet walking around in!

So, added a cool new theme called Matala and since I’d been using the Enterprise theme for the last year, I thought I’d try updating to something a little fresher and newer that looks older. It doesn’t put everything exactly where I’d put it, but the WordPress designers are way better with CSS and HTML and a dozen other code languages than I’ll probably ever be, so I’ll be happy with “good enough.” Y’all should cheer about that. I’m still OCD, but I’m letting go of a little control! In any event, this little update brings the total number of posts to 200. Two centuries worth of my thoughts down on paper — or electrons or whatever — you get the point.

I hope the new look attracts some more readers, unless of course, my writing actually is horrible in which case I guess they are staying away in droves. As Yogi Berra once said, “Nobody goes there anymore; the place is too crowded!” That’s a problem I’d love to have, if for no other reason, my shameless ego.

So, take a tour. See if you like it and if you do, let me and several friends know. If not, you can tell me and I’ll weep in the darkness alone about it and have a major setback, but I’ll recover. I do hope folks like it though. Otherwise, I spent five hours today wasting time!

Love y’all and keep those feet clean!

Site Face Lift


I am not a plain vanilla person, just ask anyone who knows me. I mean, I wear bright purple Crocs just about everywhere except my grandparents’ church. So I was getting bored with the previous theme, logo, and layout. WordPress has been kind enough to provide some slick new themes and I’ve chosen one called “Enterprise” because I like the navigation bars and the footers. It will take some tweaking to get everything like I want it, but that just comes from being OCD.

Now, as my faithful readers or as someone just stopping by randomly, I need your honest opinions. If you don’t like the changes, please leave me a comment and let me know what you don’t like and why. Likewise, if you like what you see now, let me know that as well. Thanks everyone and remember to wash your feet!

Question for My Readers


I am seriously curious about the post that stays consistently tops my Popular Post list. My number one post is “Mighty Bumps from Tiny Acorns Grow”.

What I want to know is WHY?

Of all my posts, this is one of the least promising to my mind. It just doesn’t click to me why this particular article is the one everyone keeps reading. Is it just the one that shows up in search engines? Do a lot of people just like acorns? Is it being mistaken for the ACORN political group?

If anyone has any ideas, PLEASE, let me know. I’m seriously curious. Thanks a bunch and remember I love y’all!