Monthly Archives: June 2012

Day 1

We survived day one of our trip. We loaded up 1/2 our house, my mom, our 3 pets and crammed into our very very hot RV and headed out to Memphis.

Since we’ll be moving there post vacation, we decided to drop Merc, our Skinny Pig and our big boy Bernie at local boarding facilities so that we wouldn’t have to travel all the way back to Nashville to get them.

While there we had a chance to drive through our new neighborhood. Coming from Nashville where we were 20 min from the closest store, driving through our are last night the car was filled with exclamations of store names and their distance from us. Never in my life did I think I’d be so excited to have a grocery store 7 min from my house.

If I get a chance tonight, I’ll tell you a little about our RV adventures getting ready for this big trip. It’s like The Griswald family vacation meets Robin Williams’ movie RV.

The good news is we only had one incident yesterday. Our generator over heated and we had to go without air conditioning for about an hour. The bad news is it was the hottest day on record.

I’ll leave you with a few Pictures of our trip so far.

Child 3 enjoying dessert at the aquarium restaurant.

Child 3, The Hubs and Nanny walking through Opryland Hotel

Waterfall inside the hotel

Harley taking a look outside his travel crate on the way to the RV

Harley and Bernie trying to absorb some of the cold from the RV floor during our air conditioner “malfunction”


Posted by on June 30, 2012 in travel


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We haven’t fallen off the face of the earth…. yet.  If I said we’ve been busy, it wouldn’t begin to explain these last few weeks for us.

What I can tell you is:

1) I’m exhausted.  Mentally, physically, and any other way.  I’m SO tired! We closed the warehouse, a store and the house, let 16 staff go, and shed a LOT of tears.

2) I did not need to buy a new blue tooth device because I’ve found 4 while packing!

3) Instead of using 2 friends and taking all day to pack, we had 8 guys who worked their butts off and emptied our house in 2 hours!! It was GREAT!

4) 2 drivers divided by 4 cars x 1 day =’s x?

5) Folding lawn chairs are NOT comfortable!!

6) Child the 3rd has been a hot mess when it comes to the chaos of this move, but by supper time it’s all forgotten as he climbs up into my lap and says “Hug me, Mama”.

7) I may sleep the first 3 days of vacation (see # 1)

8) My B12 and B1B6 shots this week seem to have just evaporated because… See #7 and #1.

P.S.  If you want to follow us on our journey across 1/2 of Canada this summer, Child the 3rd has made a facebook page so that he can share his adventures with his friends down here. (Our hope is this will keep his mind sharp for 5th grade.)  He’s just done it and he LOVES watching the number of people on the page grow, so feel free to follow along!  just search Elliott – Feener Road Trip or go to




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Posted by on June 25, 2012 in Uncategorized


Wordless Wednesday: O Canada, My Home and Native Land

O Canada! Our Home and Native Land

True Patriot Love in All Thy Sons Command.

Terre De Nos Aïeux,

The True North, Strong and Free

From Far and Wide, O Canada

We Stand on Guard for Thee.

God Keep our Land

Glorious and Free

O Canada!

We Stand on Guard for Thee





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Posted by on June 21, 2012 in Uncategorized


End of an Era

It’s 4:58 am and as I struggle to fall back to sleep I think “come on! Go to sleep. The alarm for work will go off in an hour” I have this surreal moment when I realize that there will be no more alarm to go to work here in nashville. This moment where I realize that yesterday ended a 60 year tradition here in Nashville.

While I once heard someone say that our program “has in essence been non existent” since a massive flood destroyed our building in 2010, their idea of reality and success is obviously different then mine.

We graduated 15 men. For those 15 men, our program has been a life saver. For those 15 men, their new lease on life has meant everything to them, to their families, and to those still trying to get there.

At times we’ve felt like the little engine that could. Insurmountable odds such as the number of men we could take in, renting housing, warehouse and store space causing us to start each month already trying to work ourselves out of a debt. All the while saying “we think we can, we think we can”.

Along the way, someone decided we couldn’t. Somewhere along the way, promises of help, teasers of the greatness it could be stopped and to some, those 15 men no longer mattered in the big picture. To me, to us, to our church family, those 15 men are trophies of Grace. Proof of God’s moving and working despite the obstacles placed in our way by shortsightedness, pride, discrimination or ignorance.

Yesterday we said good bye to our church family. Yesterday, through a moving time, we retired our flag, and our church family stepped in as the surrogate parents, aunts, uncles and cousins we could no longer be. The men, the people, the experiences here will be ones I cherish above all others, because through the temptation to give up, to walk away we (the men, our church, our family) stood and said in the words of our founder “I’ll fight!” and fight we did!





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Posted by on June 18, 2012 in Uncategorized



My Dad taught me many things in the 30 years I shared with him.  He taught me how to listen, how to think before reacting (a lesson I’m still working on).  When I think of my dad, I picture him sitting in the chair or at the table laughing so hard he could barely breath.  My dad showed me that finding the humour in life makes all the difference.  My dad, being a preacher known for his 15 min sermons, showed me that being straight and to the point was always the better option.  My dad showed me who I could be, never telling me I couldn’t when I shared my hopes or dreams, and he loved me for exactly who I was, tattoos, piercing, brokenness and all.


The Hubs gave me 3 fantastic boys to love, cherish and spend many a sleepless night worrying about.  Having been a single mom for longer then I care to think about, he showed me that its ok to ask for help.  He shows our boys that its ok to be human, to make mistakes, and to cry at Disney movies.  He’s an incredible dad who has a heart bigger then you can imagine and every day, not just Fathers Day, I’m thankful for the man he is, and for the people he allows our boys to be through his example.  If my dad showed me who I could be, then The Hubs showed me who I was.  He allows me to be the person I only dreamt I could be because of his love and support of our family.


Last, but not least is my Father In Law.  I’ve been thinking the words “We had a rocky start” but thats not true.  Having met when I was just 13, my father in law was at that time my pastor, and my parents pastor before that.  It would be more accurate to say we had a rocky middle.  He wanted only what was best for his boy, and knowing what an incredible gift The Hubs is, who could blame him?  We’re in a much better place now, and those weekend or day trips in to be with him and my MIL are one’s I can’t wait for.  From my FIL I’ve learned the importance of communication, to talk it out when there’s something going on.  Even now, when The Hubs or I are struggling, one or the other will say “Maybe you should talk to Dad”.  My FIL has a heart as big as my house, if not bigger.  He’s taught me to love with no regrets.


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Posted by on June 17, 2012 in Uncategorized


Paper Trail

I don’t know if there’s ANYTHING that makes me happier than a blank piece of paper.

I take out a notebook and open to a fresh crisp page.  I run my hand along its cool surface a few times and then select just the right pen for my mood.  Most days it’s a blue papermate, preferably one with a “clicky” on top to help me annoy think.  If I’m feeling official it’s a black felt tip.  Irritation or anger usually leads me to a red ballpoint like the ones my teachers used grading papers.  Insecurity shows across my notebooks in the form of graphite from a yellow No.2 pencil.

Child the third woke up at 4 this morning sick, and after he went back to bed I struggled to find that comfy spot.  My mind moving faster than my body this AM, I tried not to wake The Hubs but I knew that sleep would not be returning.  Dog the 1st saved me from my restlessness by barking the “I’ve gotta go!!” alarm, so I was able to come downstairs and enjoy a few minutes in the stillness.

I sat in The Hubs my recliner as the dogs searched the yard for the scent of overnight intruders and I looked around.

The view from my chair

The half filled boxes are a testament to my train of thought these days.  I start a project, get about half way through and then something else attracts my attention.  Perhaps my ADD is in overdrive, but more than likely its that my heart just isn’t into it.  As you know, my mom arrived on Friday, and Saturday morning she woke up and said “I don’t know how you do it! You have so many things going on right now I don’t know how you sleep at night! I was laying in bed last night thinking of all the stuff you have going on.”.  Truth be told, there are days I wonder the same thing.  At times it feels as if my body, mind and spirit are all suffering from this emotional overload at the breaking points.

Today in the quiet… with the rain falling outside… I feel different.  Hopeful.  I reached for the closest notebook, in this case, Child the 3rds travel notebook we just made for our upcoming vacation.  Today none of my usual pens will do.  Instead, I select a green fine point felt tip, green for”Go!”… green for growth… green for the great outdoors I’m about to immerse myself in.

I write, plan, and imagine what the next 3 weeks are going to be like, as that image spills out onto the paper, I wonder if this is how it was for Him, when He was planning the path my life would take.  As I moved through the different phases to get to where I am now… as I work to get to where it is He wants me to be.  Did He start a new page for new experiences?  Did He pause over the sight of this fresh page? Marvel at all the possibilities it contained?  Picking the right tools to help me get through, as I pick the right pen to sooth my mood?

As I create my to do lists, the three worlds I’m struggling to balance; Sharon Feener, Director of Special Services, Sharon Feener, Wife and Home Maker, and Sharon Feener, Super Mom and Vacation Planner all merge together.  These blank pages start to fill with the plans I need to accomplish what I am setting out to do and suddenly, it’s not impossible.  Its right there in front of me.



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Posted by on June 10, 2012 in Uncategorized


Hey La, Hey La My Mama’s Back!

Do you know the song “My boyfriends back and you’re gonna’ be in trouble…”?

Well tomorrow my Mom’s back and… well… there won’t be any trouble.

When I was in high school, I think my mom and I struggled to find some kind of equal ground.  I’m sure I did my share of eye rolling at her helpful suggestions, and I know she did her share of sighing at my own willful ways.  Back then you’d never catch me saying it but now that age and experience has caught up with my ego, I can admit our struggle was probably because we were so much alike.

My first grown up job was as a Front Line Worker for a women’s shelter, and more than once I can remember seeking my moms advice, as she ran a women’s shelter just down the road.

Fast Forward a few years and as management I got a heads up that the shelter workers were brining in a union, my third phone call (after a panicked one to my boss and one to our HR head) was to my mom, who had gone through this same process before me.  We were able to swap negotiation stories from the collective agreement process

Earlier this quarter, when I was struggling to find meaning in the mess that seemed to be growing at work, and again I was able to work through it talking to my mom.  Working for the same N.P, a bit of a family tradition you could say, we’ve been around the block  We’ve seen the decisions in action, we’ve heard the stories, and even made some living legends of our own.

Now its crunch time.  Time to pack up, time to say our good byes to our friends and family we’ve accumulated along the way.  Time to clean the house, organize the movers, and all the fun that goes with it.

Tomorrow morning my Mom’s coming!! And now there better not be any trouble 😛 Cause… I’ll tell my mom..

Mom at the playground with my nephews a few weeks ago

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Posted by on June 7, 2012 in Uncategorized