Oh, The Places I’ll Go! Friday, Sep 30 2011 


This week has been one for change. Change isn’t necessarily a bad thing, but for someone like me, it can be a little anxiety ridden. One of my favorite books of all time is, Oh! The Places You’ll Go by Dr. Suess. It’s one of his books that wasn’t published until after his death and that I didn’t read until I was an adult, but perhaps I wouldn’t have related to the text anyway had I read it along with Hop On Pop and One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish. I love the video with John Lithgow reading the story, and I have it saved on my phone in the Youtube favorites so that whenever I’m feeling like I’m at some sort of crossroads in my life, the guy from 3rd Rock From The Sun can counsel me.

http://youtu.be/IQRWeZy-S8Q

While sitting on the balcony Monday night reviewing the day and thinking about what was to come the following day, I thought about Dr. Suess’s advice and reminded myself that we all go through phases in our lives and that some of those phases are unpleasant. After 12 years of marriage, I would finally be going to court the next morning to stipulate for the record that my marriage had dissolved and that we would be doing our best to divide “things” appropriately and amicably without having to request the court do that for us.

You have brains in your head.
You have feet in your shoes.
You can steer yourself
any direction you choose.
You’re on your own.
And you know what you know.
And YOU are the one who’ll decide where to go.

For the first time in a long time, I am as independent as I can be. I realize that none of us exist in a vacuum, so everything I do affects others including all of my decisions, actions, and inactions. I’ve always known that being independent can be fun and exhilarating but also anxiety inducing when you actually HAVE to be independent. I can make ANYTHING anxiety ridden and I don’t even have to try. I’m getting much better, but I can What-If things to death if I allow myself the time to do so. The biggest curse to anyone with anxiety issues is creativity and I have an overabundance of both. I can imagine a thousand possible scenarios while waiting for a train to go or a bus to come or a plane to go or the mail to come. I could tell you what’ll happen if the rain doesn’t go or the phone doesn’t ring or the snow doesn’t snow, or even how my life could be ruined if my hair doesn’t grow. And THEN I remember,

If things start to happen,
don’t worry, don’t stew
Just go right along
Y
ou’ll start happening too.

And so I do. And you can too. And it’s all a matter of taking your cue. When I start to hit the point of no return, I simply turn down the meter lest suffer a burn. (OK, sorry! I got carried away.) I’m getting SO much better at recognizing when I’m starting to be irrational and it helps to remove myself from situations where people around me feed the fire and throw out their own whatifs. I think, “Take look at THOSE silly loons! I’ll just throw on my headphones and listen to tunes!” And so Monday night while listening to tunes and pondering Suess, I saw a shooting star and was instantly reminded of that song Airplanes by B.O.B featuring Eminem and Hayley Williams.

Can we pretend that airplanes
In the night sky
Are like shooting stars
I could really use a wish right now (wish right now, wish right now)

MAN, could I use a wish right now! How easy would things be if we were all simply granted our wishes and had things handed to us on a silver platter? I’m a grown adult and STILL have friends that don’t work for much and are handed whatever they want. I hate to say it, but while they are given material things, they are sometimes seriously lacking in character which is NOT to say that all of us aren’t at some time or another. I just think we appreciate things more when then aren’t always handed to us and that’s what I’ve tried to teach my kids. I live near an airport so planes are constantly landing and taking off near me, and I’d be living the dream if I could wish upon every one like a shooting star. I don’t know though… Don’t we as a culture find ANY excuse to make a wish?? I do it all the time; when an eyelash falls, when the clock hits 1:11 or 5:55 or 3:33…, when I blow the fluffy dandelions or birthday candles. It seems like the specific occasions to make wishes are supposed to be few and far between, but aren’t there so many TYPES of wish granting occasions now that we may possibly be taking them for granted? I haven’t really made a true wish in a long time and certainly wouldn’t just sit around WAITING for it to come true like in the pointless waiting room that Suess describes. I do look for signs though and perhaps that shooting star was a sign.

Guess what I caught myself doing… GOOGLING! Yep! I saw the star, caught my breath and then googled the meaning and symbolism of shooting stars. It only dawned on me a few minutes later that what I was doing was looking for someone else to tell me what the significance of THAT star (meteoroid, whatever) at THAT time in THAT place meant for ME. Forget it! I’m in a new place where I decide what has meaning to me and the significance (if any) to my current path in life. I know that I’ve seen them in the past after someone I know has died so maybe I’ll look at that as some sort of honor or recognition for the marriage that has passed on. I know for sure though, that just as shooting stars last but just a fleeting second, so too will this transitional phase of my life. Maybe the sign in the sky was just God’s way of saying, “Hey! I’m here!” Wishes are great, but hard work pays off in the end and noticing my blessings along the way can only make the road more interesting. When I headed off to bed at EXACTLY midnight and began to curse myself for staying up so late AGAIN when I had such an important day ahead, Bob Marley chimed in with HIS heavenly voice through my Pandora station and said,

Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all
right.
Singin’: Don’t worry about a thing,
‘Cause every little thing gonna be all right!

Rise up this mornin’,
Smiled with the risin’sun,
Three little birds
Pitch by my doorstep
Singin’ sweet songs
Of melodies pure and true,
Sayin’, This is my message to you-ou-ou

How about that? There you go! Both God AND Bob spoke to me in one night while pondering the rhymes of Dr. Suess and Eminem. I couldn’t have dreamed of a better panel of experts if I’d tried so I headed off to bed with a smile on my face and a comfortable feeling that every little thing was gonna be alright. I know it will.

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The Tales of Mother (and the) Goose Wednesday, Sep 21 2011 


I often think, speak, and write in analogies. It’s just the way I am, and it helps me to make sense of things around me especially when life gets a little chaotic. The other morning while sipping coffee on the balcony, a tiny little hummingbird flew up to me, hovered about five feet in front of me for about 15 seconds and then flew away. We looked at each other and for once I did not attempt to take a picture for fear of scaring off the little creature. I was Quick Draw McGraw on the symbolism according to Google however and posted my discovery on Facebook to share:

A hummingbird just flew up to me on the balcony & stared at me for about 15 seconds so I googled symbolism: timeless joy and the Nectar of Life. It’s a symbol for accomplishing that which seems impossible and will teach you how to find the miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances. Right On!! Today is MY day, suckas!!

I’ve never seen hummingbirds near my new little castle, and it’s not like I was wearing a big red hummingbird feeder costume to entice some new little creature into my blogging realm. As I continued my research and delved into all things hummingbird related, I also discovered that the sprite little creatures also represent perseverance. Have you ever realized that unlike other birds who can just glide and coast through the air, the hummingbird must constantly beat its little wings to stay aloft? That’s like people too, isn’t it? For some people, at certain times, things just seem to come easy to them allowing them to coast through life while others must swiftly and continuously flutter their wings to keep from falling. Somewhere in my reading, I found some theories that spoke to me that morning and talked about savoring the Nectar of Life. These tiny birds are constantly beating their wings, but they are also capable of hovering in place in order to take their time and savor their nectar. Their ability to fly backwards can show us how we may all be able to look back on our past in order to learn from it yet not hover and dwell on it forever. I’ve never seen a hummingbird ONLY fly backwards! I want to be like a hummingbird!! And if I were ever to get a tattoo, it would be a hummingbird. (But I won’t. Because I don’t like needles. Or permanent body art that could sag and morph with an aging body. And because I’d be embarrassed if 30 years from now someone looked at my sweet little misshapen bird and mistook it for a vulture once everything stretched out and spread.) That hummingbird was a MESSENGER bird and my Google app said so!!

I carried on with my day and headed into The Shop with an extra spring in my step despite the dreary weather and Monday blahs that float about and seem to hover over so many people. I call our store, “The Shop” because that’s simply what we’ve called the beauty and cosmetic business for 50 years now, but I like to think of it as The Family Dynasty and since I run a lot of the daily business that makes me The Empress. All the women on Mama’s side of the family have worked there at one time or another – my grandmother, mother, aunt, cousins, sisters – and drama is the norm as in the televsion version of Dynasty. As I was covering some of the menial duties that should really fall onto servants and perhaps some day will, Mama scurried into the store with her OWN bird tale from that morning. She was visibly shaken and her feathers were all in a ruffle as she recounted what had happened to her while walking along the seawall that morning.

It seems somewhere along her route, Mama encountered a flock of geese. Assuming they were harmless and that she herself appeared friendly and non-threatening to all of God’s creatures, she continued along the walking path and approached their ground. THAT’S when all hell broke loose. According to Mama, the birds began squawking and the flock of furious feathered fowl chased her! Mama got flustered and sped up to no avail. Apparently there was a ringleader in the bunch and as it closed the gap between the group and Mama, she quickly responded like any modern-day woman would and threatened it with the pepper spray attached to her key chain. By threaten, I mean she screamed because it was doubtful that the goose would have been worldly enough to simply catch a glimpse of her unsnapping the spray and been all like, “WHOA!!! We picked the WRONG mama to screw with! This wild-eyed crazy bitch is armed with SPRAY! And that’ll burn my eyes and throat sumpin’ FIERCE! This goose is COOKED!” No. Uh-uh. Holding out the menacing mace in a threatening manner and screaming at it to move did NOT work on the flock, and unfortunately Mama couldn’t get the little twisty nozzle to twist open. God help her because the curious fisherman watching the spectacle most certainly did NOT. She did her best to racewalk like an Olympian with full on hip swinging and arm pumping and managed to escape the menacing bunch and seek shelter in her car with the doors LOCKED I’m sure for added protection. This is the point in the story that Mama came to the conclusion that the foul ringleader was RABID. She watched it fly out onto the lake after the group retreated and feels pretty confident that its feathers were all astray like a MAD goose’s feathers would be. “Oh. Dear. God,” thought Mama when she next realized what was happening; the other geese had TURNED on the ringleader and were trying to peck it to death. There is no way Mama could be wrong about this either because she saw it happen with her own two eyes and surmised that the other geese had realized the rabid nature of their leader and turned on it. “What’s good for the goose is good for the gander,” thought Mama and smugly watched its evil demise as she rounded the corner to retreat to her own side of the lake.

I relayed the account of the attack to my friends on Facebook and even posted a couple of pictures of Mama telling her bird tale as a follow-up post to MY morning encounter with MY bird. The whole bit was ridiculous really and had turned into a farce of sorts as people made their suggestions as to what they thought was the significance of our separate encounters. One friend pondered that perhaps my messenger bird had been sent to warn me of Mom’s impending attack. Maybe. Could be. Who knows. I didn’t throw out all the crumbs of information to my own flock of Facebook followers at the time though.

What many people don’t know is that my mother is an amputee. Just a few years after my father died suddenly, Mama was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer. In layman’s terms, a cancer of the sweat gland in the heel of her foot caused her to lose a portion of her leg below the knee. She rarely limps, never opted for any handicapped type parking permit, and people who meet her or even see her walk have no idea that she has this disability. She wears pants and long skirts and boasts a collection of cute little Mary Jane shoes that work for her and keep her in step with the fashion forward set for the most part. What she cannot do – and really has no desire to do – is run… EXCEPT when she’s been chased by a rabid goose. When she was telling us about her real life re-enactment of The Birds, she said that when her pepper spray failed to flip open, she quickly had to think of another option should she not be able to out pace the flock. Never one to just simply sit back and take things as they come, Mama devised a plan whereby if 1 or more geese were to get within brain or eye pecking distance, she would use what the good Lord had given her…. and beat hell out of the birds using her artificial leg as a club. Better not mess with THIS Mother, Goose!!!! I wonder what the by standing fisherman would have done if THAT scenario had actually played out?!

Mama left the store shortly after her tale and returned with a brand new purple can of mace. She was a little disheartened to learn from the clerk at the police supply store that the spray may not turn a goose into a quivering heap like it would for a HUMAN attacker since geese are not capable of inhaling the fumes in quite the same way that a boogeyman would. That’s OK. Mom is up to the challenge. She will aim directly at the offenders eyes taking especially careful aim if a predator is of the non-human variety. I will not be surprised if I pull around to the back of the house and find her practicing her shot in the wood pile while properly choreographing her ninja-like moves and KAY-YA noises in preparation for her next encounter. She will NOT stop walking the seawall because of geese nor will she let the mockingbird types keep her down.

I warned the kids that night to stay away from Mimi’s new purple can and that it will burn their eyes like fire if they even get anywhere near it which means that I have also relayed the two vastly different bird encounters of that day to them as well. Sometimes, kids say things that really help you to see things in a whole new light and shock you with their simplistic wisdom. As we talked about what I had Googled relating to hummingbirds and Mama’s big adventure, my daughter made a pretty insightful analogy. She recently auditioned for the lead roles in The Little Mermaid and drew a couple of parallels. She won’t be playing her dream role of Ariel, but she WILL get to play a mermaid and isn’t that like the “miracle of joyful living from your own life circumstances” as I had copied to my Facebook status that morning?? And HEY!! What about how the three of us installed our very own wireless modem and wireless printer ALL BY OURSELVES without calling anyone to help us?!! That is a HUGE accomplishment and people would never have thought we’d be able to do THAT if they’d seen the two-hour long drama that preceded it.

Really, it wasn’t until late that night while sitting on the balcony and listening to the frogs that I was able to recall the events of the day and put them into perspective. Tons of analogies flew straight into my brain while I pondered what I’d observed and learned from the day. I think I’m fortunate. In fact, I think I’m incredibly fortunate, and I’m also very grateful. I think life’s circumstances can vary so much from year to year but your outlook on life is what can make or break you. Sometimes that outlook is learned from the families we were born into or the people we choose to fly with. I think we can even learn valuable lessons from people with whom we choose NOT to associate. The geese in Mama’s story were the aggressors, and I know plenty of those types, but I also remember what my dad used to tell me about geese that relates to how we are as a family. Daddy taught me that geese fly in V formation. The lead bird at the point of the formation has a tough position. His job is tiring while the geese that follow benefit from the upwash of his position allowing them to reduce air resistance and better glide. The birds take turns leading the formation to reduce fatigue, and I guess that’s also how the birds in this family flock fly as well. We stick together, keep each other in our sights, and take over the tough exhausting positions when it’s our turn. We’ll squawk and honk at you too if you hang back and try to coast on our efforts for too long though so everyone has to toe the line.

Birds of a feather flock together.

There’s always more to every story, and there’s more to mine that not everyone knows as well. Just as Mama had a very rare type of cancer, I too was diagnosed and overcame cancer. Mine was an extremely rare cancer of the eye that was diagnosed when I was 6 and resulted in me losing my left eye. Not all mother-daughter-duos battle the odds and get brand-spankin’-new body parts custom-made for them either do they? It’s another way that we are unique. Mom’s cancer and recovery occurred while she was an adult so she had to adjust to new ways of doing every-day things and living while mine is just something that I grew up adjusting to so I can’t tell you that I’ve ever known anything different. I suppose people could look at both situations and make their own determination about which situation would be worse, but again I think it’s all about perspective. I sat through a law class one time in college when the professor used an example to illustrate personal damages in a way that stunned me. He was a wonderful teacher who had NO CLUE about my personal circumstances and neither did the rest of the class. He proposed a scenario whereby we had just gotten into a class fight and someone lost an eye from a hurled piece of chalk and the class was challenged to discuss all the damages and reparations that could possibly result from being left with a life long disability. Assumptions were thrown out and even tasteless jokes only because they had NO idea that I lived with the “disability” they were describing. At nineteen, with my whole life ahead of me, I silently sat and listened to people describe what my life SHOULD have been like; freakish looking, would never be found attractive therefore limited ability to date, marry and have kids. One guy actually suggested that he would rather die and no amount of damages could be awarded to appease him. Certainly anyone without any depth perception could never compete in sports and some of these kids did and would have a limited set of skills that would hinder future jobs and earning potential. It was pretty grim and the jokes weren’t really funny, but after Dad did his best to console me that afternoon my perception changed and more depth was added to my character. I decided that I was pretty lucky to have the positive outlook and family support with which I had been blessed. Those poor little shits must not have come from a family that teaches you that when rabid geese attack, don’t lay down and die just because you can’t run!! Pull off your custom-made state-of-the-art artificial leg and BEAT THE FIRE OUT OF ‘EM!!!

I think that hummingbird WAS a messenger. It’s appearance set the tone for that Monday – a day that is sometimes easy to just coast mindlessly through while wishing for the far off weekend. I started my day actively looking for what it was that God must have meant for me to see. I have no way of knowing what I was supposed to have learned, but maybe I didn’t even HAVE to learn anything. Maybe the point was just to recognize the joy in the little things in my life right now. They are everywhere and most anything can bring on an appreciative grin or even belly busting laugh if I look at it right. I know that philosophy isn’t always easily maintained, so I’m going to do my best to be like the hummingbird and persevere while savoring the nectar. There’s ALWAYS some there and I just have to remember to look for it.

I’m Officially TRASHY Tuesday, Aug 30 2011 


SCRAM!

I’m trashy and it’s OFFICIAL so you can add that to my list of character flaws. Actually it’s the fault of my self-diagnosed A.D.D. that will force you to add it to the laundry list so I’ll carry on and air my dirty laundry via my blog and maybe someone will relate. Guess what I did yesterday! I took my trash to work with me. Yep!! NO, it wasn’t like one of those “Bring your daughter to work” days designed to raise any kind of awareness or educate the nation’s youth. I simply brought my trash with me on accident, but I did educate myself a little and manage to bring about a higher level of self-awareness. Let’s hope it sticks and congeals.

This is how I handle the unglamorous chore of taking out the trash which makes a LOT of sense I think: I bag my trash at night and then put it outside my front door in my direct line of sight where I can’t simply get distracted and walk around it. Then when I leave the next morning, I carry my bag of refuse to my car and place it on the hood since my SUV does not have a trash platform/trunk. See, no matter how junky the inside of my car is, I refuse to carry refuse INSIDE my car whether it’s bagged or not. What if garbage juice leaks out onto the floor or seats of my car?!? That would stink LITERALLY! I then drive VERY SLOWLY AND CAREFULLY to the dumpster since my view through the windshield is somewhat obstructed depending on how much trash I’m towing and toss it gingerly into the receptacle on my way out of the complex. Sure I get looks when I sometimes hang my head out of the window to see where I’m going but I manage to navigate my way safely around the obstacles and reach my destination which is not far away.

I decided yesterday, after some yahoo threw me a dirty look like he was hurling a rotten tomato at me the day before, to double bag my trash and carry it in the backseat down to the dumpster on my way to work. Well, Hell! I got distracted and forgot to dump my baggage before starting the new day. CRAP! I didn’t realize til I was half-way into work so I trucked along and pulled out the trash when I exited the car and disposed of it outside the mall where the security guards were probably watching me on camera and shaking their collective heads. Whatever.

My mind started going on some analogies though that I HAVE decided to try and carry along with me now. I should’ve stuck with my guns no matter how quirky I sling them. If I’d ignored the guy’s stupid look, then I’d have carried on with what works for me and slung my baggage into the proper bin without carting all the way across town. I’m doing that from now on so that I don’t get discombobulated and one day TOTALLY forget the bag in the hot steamy car while putrid gases and who knows what accumulate before I have to sit in the carpool line. I’ll embarrass the hell out of myself if the duty teacher opens the door to THAT so driving a little eccentrically through the complex is nothing. It’s a simple theory so why make things more difficult and complex for myself?

I’m going to take my time, in my own way, and leave all of the trash and baggage behind in other ways too. I think it’ll start my day off right and help to keep from cluttering up my mind and schedule. What if I actually took all of the mistakes made from the previous day, threw them into the trash and started with a fresh new silver lining for the new day?! THAT’S what I’m going to do!! Wallowing in my collected trash will just make me grouchy like Oscar anyway. I may carry it around for a minute for the world (wide web) to see while pondering things on the blog, but then I’ll toss it out for someone else to carry away and start fresh. If anyone gives me dirty looks again I’ll just tell them to SCRAM! God probably doesn’t want me weighed down and towing everything along as it accumulates like a big ole burden anyway. I’ll just hand things over, recycle what can be made better, and toss the rest. It’s a new dawn, it’s a new day, and I’m feeeeeeling good!

(Just so you know, my brain was tossing around yesterday’s post combined with this one and hummed the TRASHY lyrics from She’s Crafty by The Beastie Boys the whole time I was writing this. I almost started with, “Now here’s a little story I’ve got to tell…” but I’ve just thrown in a little Nina Simone into the mix and the soundtrack for today seems a little garbled like it’s all mixing up and being crunched together in the back of my big truck compactor. I should make a disc… a COMPACT disc!! BING! Nevermind… I’m going to work :-/ )

Guys and Their Trucks Monday, Jun 27 2011 


I woke up this morning with BURNING PAIN in my hands. I think I’m going to have to face the fact that I have arthritis. There. I said it. And my first thought was, “How am I going to write today? I’ve gotten on a roll here, and doubt I can even sit down at the computer much less type out my thoughts on my iPhone which is primarily where I take notes.” Are you FREAKING KIDDING ME?! I just got going here, found a gift that I want to share, and have now gotten to where it HURTS to share it. I think if I were in a self-conscious or insecure stage right now, I’d take it as a sign, and y’all KNOW how big I am on signs now. I’ve gotten to where I don’t really force things anymore. I don’t look for the signs, because when I actually look for them, I miss what’s right in front of me. I guess, just thinking out loud here, that PERHAPS my sisters may be a little right about me being obsessed with my blog? Nah! Not me. Not ever. I just need to quit typing everything on a teeny tiny keyboard because it’s screwing up my mojo. I am not getting older either. This hand cramping thing is just a sign that drugs are good and I’m gonna get some. That’s all it is. Because I’m writing a book here, and the blog is just a teeny tiny portion of what I write every day. I’m living a dream, literally, and I’m documenting it as I go. And I’ll SIGN my book of SIGNS for the sisters when it gets published.

Before our big New Kids On The Block concert, we passed a giant truck just a few BLOCKS from my sister’s house. It said “Viva la Waffle.” I was SOOO wanting to jump out and take a picture in front of this cool truck/bus parked in the middle of a residential neighborhood, but my sisters wouldn’t let me because they thought I’d put it on my blog. There were cars behind us anyway. It stuck in my mind though. The BIG waffle truck. And it rolled right back through my mind later when my sister actually googled it and found that it is a new business that some guy is starting. Very cool, Man! I dig it! Viva la Waffle and viva the dream. I am going to live my dream too, and when I have my big book release party, YOU GUYS are gonna cater it for sure! I don’t know these guys from Adam – never met them. But I like their site and I’m pretty sure I’d like their story, too. Check ’em out.

http://vivalawaffle.com/

Yesterday when I was leaving my sister’s house in my dad’s truck, I was contemplating guys. And their trucks. And why they like them so much. Around here, I would say most guys drive trucks. Some are flashy, big, and expensive, and they serve as a sort of status symbol. Others are simply workhorses that aren’t really pretty to look at and may have lots of miles on them, but they get the job done. The trucks are often like the guys who drive them, huh? I remember one time in college going to a bar and dancing with a REAL cowboy. Here was his line, “You know that big white truck outside with the pink and blue pinstripes? Well, That’s mine.” And he grinned. “Um. OK,” I said. “Have fun with that,” I thought. And went back to my girlfriends. I think the line was supposed to impress me when his line dancing didn’t, and perhaps for some girls, it might. Not this chick though. Dude was BRAGGING about a pink and blue striped truck which sounded to me like something a hillbilly stork would use to deliver babies in some animated country bumpkin movie. Thanks anyway. NO babies, and NO guys with pink & blue trucks for me.

As I was stopped at a stoplight, still pondering GUYS and TRUCKS, you would not EVEN believe what passed by. (Maybe you would after hearing my bunny and Miracle stories though.) I was idling next to a funeral home and a guy walked into the street to stop traffic and THIS is what passed: (more…)

“One Shoe Can Change Your Life” – Cinderella Friday, Jun 24 2011 


After yesterday’s post, a few friends from my Fame-like high school responded to me in one way or another. One former classmate, now current friend, said she could only vaguely remembers me dancing and must’ve blocked my smooth moves from her memory. Gee, you think she’s jealous much? I don’t think she actually remembers anything at all because she was a year behind me following in MY footsteps at this junior and senior level school, and I don’t think I danced that year. By then, I had tippy-toed onto other things. She got me going on something here though, and I thought about the little plaque that hangs by my closet. It says, “One shoe can change your life.” I had this back at the old house, but it carries new significance with all of the changes and little creature friends now at this castle.

I grew up dancing – ballet, tap, jazz, modern. My first teacher was an inspiration and that inspiration came from her panties. Hear me out here. She was a BEAUTIFUL woman and as eccentric as she was beautiful. She used to complain about the humidity here messing with her hair and how she would probably have been better suited for a drier climate. When she wasn’t wearing flowers in her hair or a turban of some sort, she was actually known to wear a pair of panties on her head for rehearsals. She claimed that the inspiration went in one hole and the perspiration went out the other. I have GREAT hair, but I think I picked up a thing or two from her. My panties are worn in the proper place however, thankyouverymuch!

My sisters grew up dancing as well, and my mom spent hours a week on the road between the dance studio and the house since we were there every day of the week and usually weekends as well. One year we TOTALLY dominated the Christmas Rudolph performance. It was a Sister Act because from beginning to end, at least one of us was in every scene and surely as entertaining as Whoopi herself. My most memorable performance however was Cinderella. I got to perform a pas de deux as one of the Autumn Fairies with my friend. As only I would do, I found myself chatting it up backstage with one of the cute stage hands and missed my cue. What made me realize that I had missed my grand entrance you ask? Well, it was the giant THUD that came with the landing of Cinderella’s pumpkin. My partner was performing and tossed the big orange ball into the air blindly behind her expecting me to be there to catch it as rehearsed. Guess what. I was not. MORTIFIED, I galloped onto the stage and attempted to save the show. Remember the big Saturday Night Live performance when Ashley Simpson got cold busted lip syncing and did that bizarre little thumbs-out-wiggle attempting to save face and then blamed her BAND? I guess my scene unfolded a little like that. I flew in from the wings and faced the BACKDROP. And CRIED. But I still SMILED through the tears at NOBODY and MADE UP a bizarre little ditty like some comedic poltergeist had taken over my body while my teacher stared in total HORROR. I couldn’t even look at her. Eventually her voice broke through my fog, and I finished the second half of the dance as choreographed. God! It was like watching an awkward Ben Stiller movie, I’m sure. Picture him now in pink tights and a tutu and pointe shoes pirouetting. Not a pretty sight, but back to my point. Not a soul could cushion the fall from grace in those pink soles. I call that vivid memory, The Great Pumpkin Dance. And the first sounds of my teachers instructions were garbled like the Teacher from Charlie Brown. God, what a nightmare. Boy, I bet she misses me now, huh? If I have you on overload with my wordsmithing here, then tough. My brain works like that Bing! commercial and this is MY blog so you can keep up or step away. (more…)

Down With O.P.P.ossum Wednesday, Jun 22 2011 


This morning you’ll never guess what I was doing. Sitting on the balcony drinking coffee!! (You saw that one coming, didn’t ya?) And you know what I saw?… An OPOSSUM!!! Now I KNOW you didn’t see that one coming! And you know what else I did? That’s RIGHT!!! I got a video, of course. And in it, you can see the beast moving around scavenging. (or whatever opossums do) While I was shooting, (NOT Ellie Mae Clampett-style mind you. I was shooting with my iPhone, OK?) I heard the sirens in the background from a police car and that got me going on the whole Law & Order thing from yesterday. (The show AND God’s natural law and order of things) Let me present my case here:

I guess if the video isn’t working here, you can check back if you’re DYING to see what this creature looks like walking around. Someone’s going to have to explain to me why this video thing takes so long to process :-/

Oh Dear God. That thing is U-G-L-Y.!!! And it ain’t got no alibi. I can tell this even though I was far away and two flights up. From my little castle balcony it didn’t bother me tremendously to focus on it, but I’m thinking that would not be the same up close and personal. You know how when you have to clean up vomit? (Someone elses. Not your own. Actually, I’ve never had to clean up my own so I guess I wouldn’t really know now would I? I’ve always just flushed it down. OK. FOCUS HERE!! Back to the story) Vomit. When you clean it up, you do so out of your peripheral vision so that the mere sight of it doesn’t induce vomiting yourself thereby setting off a chain reaction that would rival the big blueberry pie scene in Stand By Me. Imagine it! The smell alone could set things off, and I’m thinking that the varmint out in the grass stinks to high heaven too. Like barf. Well, nobody really likes to look their problems straight on either do they? Sometimes they are ugly, and we’re scared of what’s going to happen if we do. What kind of chain reaction could follow? So we sweep them up, and sometimes under the rug, quickly and without REALLY looking at them. (more…)

My Cinderella Story Saturday, Jun 18 2011 


The symbolism lately has been all around me. Maybe my eyes are just open to it now, or maybe people, places and things are put into your life at a certain time and place for a reason. In my case, right now, I think it’s a little of both. I moved out on my own, flew the coop so to speak, and discovered a little neighbor named Miracle next door and a little yard full of frogs, turtles, rabbits and birds. I often jokingly refer to myself as a princess, but for real ya’ll!! I’m getting dangerously close to becoming the real life Snow White or Cinderella with all my weird little creature friends. They aren’t actually talking to me though or sewing my dresses, YET. And I’m SMACK DAB in the middle of the city here – NOT on some country retreat. I TOTALLY have my own castle here!

The morning my movers were set to arrive, I came by the apartment to turn on the A/C for the guys. Well, maybe I came by to turn it on for me… less sweaty guys = less odiferous guys. When I arrived, a little brown rabbit was sitting on the walkway below the stairs to my apartment. For those who know me, you will NOT be surprised to hear that my first reaction was OOOH!! Photo Opp for facebook!! The rabbit let me walk right up to it and snap its picture while it simply looked at me. By the time I got upstairs it HIT me, and I Googled it to be certain… Rabbits symbolize rebirth, new life & new beginnings. And here was mine. Validation through a bunny.

As the week went on, I sat on my balcony drinking coffee every morning and would just watch my bunny. Sometimes he was inside the fence. Other times he was out just beyond it. But he was always there. The kids got to know & watch him at dusk a few times and named him Thumper. I would’ve preferred Roger and tried to entice them with a demonstration of the dance, but the moves I busted failed to win them over. Thumper it is then. One morning with my coffee, I saw a group of birds swooping at Thumper and tormenting him. He simply paid no mind to their annoyance and carried on with his business. “Bob & weave, little bunny… There ya go!!!” That’s when it dawned on me; some people are like the birds. And those annoying birds are just doing what mockingbirds naturally do – mock and tease. I consciously made the decision to be like the bunny. But I’m going to be like Roger and carry on with my own Hip Hop dance when the birds start to swoop in on ME. Maybe I’ll even vamp it up from time to time and throw a little Jessica Rabbit in there as well. A girl’s gotta live and all.

As luck would have it, and to my friends’ amusement, this is the point in the story where The Birds gathered, re-grouped and focused their attention on me. YES, ME. Who would’ve thought that my new peaceful morning ritual could take such a treacherous turn. Much to my amazement the ring leader bird swooped down onto my balcony railing and squeezed his oily looking feathered self into a little cubby of bars and simply GLARED while his brother Daryl and his other brother Daryl took backup positions from the gutter. Swear to God his eyes were red. Maybe. Or blood shot like he and his band of brothers were still shaking off the effects of a wild bender from the night before. I don’t know, but that’s how I’m picturing him now with his feathers all a ruffle. My first instinct was to close my eyes. After all, perhaps I simply had not had enough caffeine to shock my system into gear yet, and I was simply hallucinating, right?? WRONG. So I did what any other normal person would do. First I snapped a quick picture for facebook, THEN I attempted to shoo him away. My exit was compromised as it was THEN that the foul fowl decided to take up perch between me and the door… on my sweet little thumbprint stamped flower pots that my children made for me!! What was left to do? Nothing I could think of but to document and video the assault as I made a mad dash to the door eventually shutting and LOCKING it behind me for good measure should the bird have THUMBS and be able to actually turn a knob. I escaped, but the bird got the last laugh when he CRAPPED on my railing as my kids watched me cower and run for cover. I then became the BUTT of jokes for the day as I had posted about my escapades on facebook for everyone to see. That’s OK. It was funny, and I’m left with video clips as evidence of the assault.

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The Dynasty Friday, Jun 17 2011 


So this is what writers do, right? WRITE.

A new chapter in my life has started. I bet “real” writers have a desk instead of a make-up vanity which is what I use now to write. It works for me though, and I can’t complain. I moved into a little apartment with the kids and left behind quite a bit. What is here is CHERISHED.

This vanity belonged to my great grandmother – my father’s grandmother. It’s one of only two furnishings I took from my “old” bedroom. Times have changed and I sit here now on a laptop computer writing a BLOG. There are 3 words in that sentence that didn’t even exist when this was MaMaw’s. I wonder what she would have thought – of me, where I’ve been and where I intend to go. Would sitting down to write and publish your thoughts and actions to the rest of the world have been considered the epitomy of VANITY at that time? Perhaps. Maybe it still is. I do know this though; It’s time to do something for ME. Label it what you will. And put some glitter on that label too. I’m feelin’ kinda sparkly now, so let’s keep it real.

I never put the old mirror that attaches onto MaMaw’s table back at the “old” house. It blocked my window, so I left it off. The symbolism THERE isn’t missed. I had a window to look out and see all that was going on around me yet left off the mirror – the window into my soul. I KNOW!!! I’m pretty freakin’ deep, RIGHT?!? It would’ve been warped anyway. That glass is old and the way I was seeing things was distorted as well. That mirror still sits in my closet back at the house. Look out world! I’m dusting it off and bringing it out. “I’M coming OUT” I hum to myself.

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