To each his own. To me my own.

Opinion

Sleeping Naked

I absolutely love my sleep – even more so the older I get. Isn’t it funny how sleep seemed like punishment when we were kids, but all the sudden changes to a gift as we get older? Life’s just weird like that.

When I was younger I always slept IN something. During the era I grew up, young girls always wore gowns. I loved my gowns. Through the years I had many of them, some of which my mother even made for me. One of my fondest childhood memories involved such a nightgown. Courtesy of my uncle – my mother, grandmother and I had a week in a private oceanfront house at the end of the beach. While under her watchful eye, my mother let me walk around the big low-tide beach under a big bright full moon. The beach was very private and I was the only one on it that night. The moon was huge and full, and it felt like daylight on the beach – only with the moon instead. To this very day, the moon has never been more beautiful to me than it was that night. 

From my teenage years on, it was usually just an oversized t-shirt and shorts that I slept in. If it was really cold out, pajama pants would probably come into play. I guess the point of all this is… I just can’t remember a time when I didn’t wear some form of clothing to bed. The mindset I had just couldn’t fathom not wearing clothing to bed.

If it were ever considered a hangup of mine – let’s just say that little ditty is out the window now. For the past 5-6 years, nothing has ever felt more natural than sleeping naked. I don’t know if I can explain why exactly, but I’ll give it a whirl.  

It just feels healthy. My skin feels cool all night, as opposed to being oppressed with outerwear. Since I take my showers at night, it feels even better getting into bed clean.  Sleeping naked feels natural… and free. More than anything else, that’s what it is – I feel free. I actually sleep better and more soundly than I ever have before. I believe there to be a multitude of other advantages to sleeping naked, suffice it to say I won’t list them here. 🙂 Let’s just say everything I’ve referenced so far has to do with flying solo. If you have a significant other, there are many added benefits of sleeping bare. 

I guess the only drawbacks would be a break-in, fire, or other such sort of calamity – for these, I like to think I’ve planned ahead as much as possible and taken some necessary precautions. I can report I’ve sneaked around in the dark naked with a loaded weapon before when I heard something outside… but that’s a whole other post altogether.  All things considered, as I look back it kinda makes me sad that I’ve missed out on sleeping naked my entire adult life. Looks like I’ve got some lost time to make up for. 


Happiness is Homemade

It is to me, at least.

My circle of friends is small, and that’s by choice. Once you’ve been burnt by a select few throughout the course of a lifetime, it becomes pretty easy to build up that old retaining wall – to keep the nicely filtered water safe inside and disastrous tidal waves out. The quality level of my true friends is nothing short of stellar now – that’s what is important to me. I love having a friend I know so well that half the time we actually finish each other’s sentences. With most every subject, Lou and I end up having the same opinion. On the rare occasions we don’t agree on something, we still respect each others opinions. Neither of us have ever tried to change each other, nor persuade the other into doing something we’re uncomfortable with. Because a ‘real’ friend would never do that.

Lou and I have joked for years now about how we would be perfectly content to drive home from work on Friday and not leave out again until Monday rolls around. Once home from work on a weekday, we won’t start our car and go out again until the next workday. Doesn’t matter if we’re in need of something, it has to wait. You’d literally have to light a fire under both our asses to get us back out. Like many others, we both have a dog waiting for us to get home. Fact is, any type of errand after work requires careful prioritizing because of our pets – but I don’t know a pet-lover out there that begrudges this. I wouldn’t trade a thing.

I’m not complaining about any of this – quite the contrary. It makes me happy going straight home and and staying home. I’m not a socially active person by nature, never have been. Once in a while Keith and I will have a family event to attend over the weekend which we enjoy. I just find joy in weekends which have no plans whatsoever – aside from the rare impromptu day trip with him.

Speaking of my husband. He’s a hard-working man who works out of state all week and only comes home on the weekends. After so long it became routine like anything else – I just got used to it. I am not afraid. I’ve got my fearless boy Mojo, a fully loaded S&W and a quite sophisticated home security system. All that said, when the weekend finally does get here I relish my time with him. Since the weekend is all we have, we definitely make the most of every moment together. Hey, I realize it could always be worse – he could be deployed overseas for months or even years. I’m thankful for the time I do have with him and everything else we’ve been blessed with.

I’ve never been a bar person by choice. Ever. There’s something very sad to me about bars. Again, just my personal preference and opinion. We do enjoy having dinner with our parents on occasion. I don’t socialize with friends on a ‘regular’ basis aside from maybe a couple times a year, then it’s usually just for dinner or when someone is moving away or some life-changing event like that. I do not enjoy shopping – while I know this is weird for a woman, trust me when I say I’m totally okay with it. I guess the most social I’ve been in my entire life was last summer while I was busy planning our wedding, which I’ll admit about killed me. Literally had to be somewhere or meet up with someone 3-4 times a week. My stress and anxiety levels were off the charts. It was during this time that my friend Lou even sacrificed her own after-work time (something we both hold sacred, remember?) to plod the hot summer streets with me to help search for a wedding dress. I remember that after the wedding was over, I couldn’t wait to get back to my old ‘rut’. And so I did. I didn’t walk… I literally RAN back to it.

Ah… the aroma of sweet familiarity. Mmmm – smells SO so good. Just. Breathe. It. In. And Relax.

So what’s the point of all this, Bon? This is getting a little monotonous.

Apparently there are some out there bearing a false impression that I have a moral obligation to restructure my time to deligate more of my after-work hours to socialize. This has even included pressured attempts during the weekend when Keith comes home from working out of town all week. Needless to say, my patience level has bottomed out on this.

It’s not like I’ve been silent about my stand on the subject. It’s not a hidden secret on a game show being held for a big reveal later to floor everyone. I’ve expressly stated on several occasions that I’m a homebody and choose to spend my time after work at home, and my weekend time with my husband – but it’s all been blatently ignored.

My question is this… having made this a wide-open fact, why on earth would someone push the envelope, again and again? And if you do find yourself attempting to change or reroute how a person thinks – what kind of friend does that make you? And why would a person want to spend more time with you if you’re trying so hard to inflict your preferred method of thinking on them? Why would any real friend do that?

My reasoning is, a real friend wouldn’t.

I will not change the way I choose to spend my time, and I refuse to be bullied into it. Of course I realize there are exceptions to every rule. But if dire circumstances ever did warrant a change, my family and close friends would be those who took precedence. This 46 year-old broad has worked 40+ hours a week my entire adult life (attending several years of college during that), and traveled from one side of hell to the other in an attempt to start a new life. I have earned my right to spend my time after work however I damn well please. So I’m gonna clear something up real quick-like, once and for all. If you have a problem with how I spend MY time –  weeknights or weekends – I strongly suggest that you start keeping it to yourself.

I will not apologize to anyone for being a homebody. It’s who I am, and I won’t apologize for being me. So quit right now trying to change me.

That is all.

Now if you’ll excuse me – I’m home for the evening. So I’m gonna fix myself something to eat and watch Dr. Phil.

The ache for home lives in all of us, the safe place where we can go as we are and not be questioned. ~Maya Angelou


I see… stupid people.

I have a lot of pet peeves, probably even more than the average person. After my experience going home yesterday, thought I’d touch on just one.

Anyone who knows me knows I have the utmost respect for a good motorcycle driver. I’m always on the lookout for that one headlight and allow extra following room when behind one. However… I hate those crotch-rocket motorcycles with drivers who are on a suicide mission. I literally cringe when I hear the high-pitched ‘niiiii-niiiii’ of one –  I liken it to the whine of a bitching kid. You’ll never go fast enough to please them, they simply have to be in front of you. Cops can’t catch them, and engaging in a high-speed chase isn’t worth the danger to others anyway.

One of the disadvantages of living off a long country road are these underground groups who congregate their whining little bikes and drag race. The act of drag racing changes everything – from putting their own lives in danger to inserting you and I into the mix. That’s my ultimate peeve about the assholes that choose to drive like this, the total lack of respect for others lives.

The long road I was on yesterday maintains an unspoken rule of going 5-10 mph over an already generous speed limit. I’ll go a step further to say I rarely have anyone on my bumper, if you know what I mean. In an instant, two unmistakable whines mysteriously appeared behind me. Just as the dotted line ended (did you expect anything less?) the helmet-less crotchers wizzed by doing at least 100. As they both reached the top of the hill to pass the car in front of me (seriously guys, I can’t make this shit up) the guy in the back ducked.

He DUCKED. Like that’s gonna help him out of a lethal situation. He should know that with this kind of ‘driving’, someone will eventually have the not-so-pleasant task of scraping his brains off the asphalt. I wonder how much that person gets paid? Think I’ll pass on sending in a resume for that position.

Word. There’s a time and place for everything. I like my life, and I want to keep it. If you want to risk play roulette off yourself, have at it – but know that you’re an unspeakable piece of shit if you take my life while doing so. Hey, somebody had to say it.


Chime a little Chime

I love wind chimes.

Maybe it’s because they’re one of the few things left in life that are non technology-related. Maybe it’s because it’s the first thing I bought myself a couple of months prior to moving and starting a new life in 2008. Or maybe it’s because they provided such good company during the times I felt alone.

I paid only ten dollars for this set of windchimes, which is a steal for chimes (I know mine isn’t such a vintage set, but I’ve grown accustomed to their harmonial sounds). I’m sure at times my neighbors could’ve shot me for the relentless chime songs coming from my third floor condo, but I never got any complaints.

My chimes are still with me, though now weathered and worn. Much like an old flag proudly waving, both require that common denominator of wind in order to perform their duties. I’ve always thought weathered and worn adds character to pretty much anything. Weathered and worn tells stories.

This morning I ran across the Mother of all Windchimes -they’re called Corinthian Bells. I can’t afford them, but if I ever can you can bet I’ll have a set. Aside from the beautiful music of a harp – I’ve never heard anything quite as lovely. Thought I’d share one more video (not mine) showcasing this beautiful set – it’s so sweet. The end of this video made it an instant favorite of mine… and who couldn’t use a little more sweetness in their day?

🙂


A Day of Remembrance

This ten-year mark of the September eleventh attacks will be a little different than the prior nine.

What’s sure to be an emotional unveiling of the 9/11 Memorial and Museum will happen this Sunday morning of September 11 2011. It has been a long-awaited and intricately planned project to say the least. Granted, these are my words. I realize there are no ‘appropriate’ words to use to describe the attack itself, it’s Memorial nor the intense emotions that run so deep when one thinks back to that fateful day ten years ago.

This past weekend I watched a 2-hour special on the years of work leading up to the completion of the 9/11 Memorial Site and Museum. All the time, effort and respect shown by everyone involved was nothing short of an amazing story. It had it all – love, grief, courage, oneness. Such an important word in the continued endeavor to heal – ONENESS. I believe the generations that went through these attacks will be working to heal for the rest of their lives.

To me, there could be no more appropriate memorial than this beautiful one that took so long to conceptualize and create. Two seemingly ‘endless’ pools sit on the area where the Twin Towers once stood. They are each nearly an acre in size and feature the largest man-made waterfalls in North America. The large pool of the initial waterfall spawns a second small one in the center which appears to cascade infinitely into the earth. The surrounding bronze panels edging the pools are carefully inscribed with the names of every person who perished in both the 2001 and 1993 attacks. I can’t imagine there being many dry eyes for those citizens witnessing the unveiling of this Memorial, whether in person or on television.

I’ve been told more than once that I ‘dwell’ too much on the most horrific terror attack in modern history. My answer to that is and always will be, so be it. One time when I brought it up to a close friend, I was dismissed with I never want to think about it again – it’s too horrible. It’s something that’s already happened and in the past now. As much as I still love this person, I’ll never forget the impact of hearing those words. Just mere days after the attack, when airplanes had yet to be given clearance to fly in our skies again – my ex husband told me I can’t watch any more of this, I’ve had it. From then on, just about everything else I watched had to be on my own time – adjusted around other shows which seemed to take precedence over 9/11. Again, so be it. I can report with much confidence that I did continue seeking information, and by the grace of God, I got it.

I’ve said this before but feel it bears repeating – I’d rather have nightmares about 9/11 every night for the rest of my life than to ever to forget about it. It’s true each of us are different, and we all have our own ways of dealing with tragedy. I realize this post is only one person’s views of the lasting effects from the largest loss of life from a foreign attack in the US so far. But let us not confuse the term ‘morbid dwelling’ with somber respect and remembrance. The act of remembering September 11th isn’t just black or white – equally as important are the shades of grey in between.

Official 9/11 Memorial Site     9/11 Memorial Webcam


Another day in the life

I read an interesting post this morning written by someone dear. It has everything to do with assumption and its repercussions.

Nagging little mosquitos continue to swarm around, hoping for a good meal.

Assuming something that’s not been proven fact can get you into trouble. When coupled with unfounded accusations, even bigger trouble. Best to stay away from both.

In logic, an assumption is a proposition that is taken for granted, as if it were true based upon presupposition without preponderance of the facts. (Wikipedia)

Presume. Speculate. I was just a bit surprised to find (Dictionary.com) the word arrogance as an important integer in the definition of assumption… imagine that.

(Urban Dictionary) coins the phrase we’ve heard for just about our entire existence. Assume = to make an ‘ass’ out of ‘u’ and ‘me’. For instance, it is sometimes spelled as ASSume, to emphasize the importance of the word “ass” in the equation.

We should also remember that assumption can foolishly lead a person astray from the ‘real’ path they should have been following to begin with.

Just another day in the life – here’s to better days ahead.


Sense and Sensibility

Once again I’ve let time get the best of me, and I miss writing something. Anything. At almost noon on a Saturday morning with housework and errands poking me on the shoulder, I’m reminded one again of that time thing. About two weeks or so ago, I wrote a quick post on my thoughts of crime and mental instability in the world – but never got around to posting it. I guess a day in which time is pressing hard on me is as good a day as any.

I’ve only read a little bit on the case of Jared Lee Loughner, the man who went on the mass killing spree in Toucson, AZ back in January. As of current, he has been declared mentally incompetent to stand trial for his crimes.

When I first heard of this ruling, I admit my initial reaction was that the world needed rid of this worthless piece of garbage – I was very angry. I had to stop for a minute, take a step back and look hard at the situation. If this man really is mentally incompetent, how could I hold any animosity towards him for that? If it’s truly something mental that dictated his actions, something he himself could not control – how on earth could I blame him?

There are so many psychological issues we have to deal with in the world now. Have these ultra-complex issues actually existed the entire time, of which our medical technology is just now scratching the surface? There’s so much out there in the world now that we don’t understand, things we’ll probably never understand. The human brain is the most intensely complex organ in our body. From mild, moderate to severe – mental instabilities weigh more in our society now than ever before.

During a routine visit to my MD recently, even he admitted there just wasn’t enough medical staff dedicated to the many branches of mental illness that we now know to exist. He said because of this, he and his other colleagues are continually having to ‘up their game’ on their education. This is where we are in the world today – not enough professional help, nor understanding of illnesses or imbalances.

When someone who does a wrong or injustice to another, the human in us wants that person to be held accountable. Unless you are specifically trained in the field, it’s difficult or impossible to recognize a mental illness. Simply said, there are many people committing crimes who are not capable of willfully controlling their actions. All you have to do is watch the world news, heck I’ll take a step back and say local news, to see all the senseless crimes being committed.

I must continually remind myself to tote an extra bit of compassion around just for this cause, and I’ll be the first to admit it’s a tough thing to do.


Le Miserables

24-5-11, Addendum

Apparently, the context of this post has sparked some debate as to exactly who the intended target was. This should be considered my response.

I’ll start off with a gentle reminder that this is MY blog. Although I remain flattered that anything I write could be of a holding interest to anyone – if you choose to negatively dissect a particular post on my blog, I feel that you should consider creating and managing your own blog. They’re absolutely free of charge.

Secondly, I have always taken the utmost care to protect the perimeter of any issue I choose to write about. A person’s anonymity has and always will be of utmost concern. In actuality, this post could have been written about anyone – male or female, young or old, family, friend, colleague, or person at Walmart for that matter. There will be no apologies offered for any assumptions that were made.

Thirdly, please read this post again. Now. If you openly admit to identifying with some or all of the traits I listed, you can rest assured that a problem exists. If you so note yourself exhibiting these traits, note that there’s a problem. If you actually sat there while reading this post and hand-picked traits that pertained to you… I’ll say it once more – there is a problem. 

*   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *   *

How do you handle a miserable person? Specifically, an individual with anger issues? A person who, for the life of them, will not let up on their pathetic antics until they’ve brought down an individual or entire group around them?

This type of individual must constantly be handled with kid gloves. Anything can and will set them off. They trust no one, and view the entire civilization around them as a threatening hell who is out to get them. The miserable person has few, if any, friends.

Upon successfully downing others, they appear to be on a ‘high’ for a while. You see, bringing others down brings the miserable person much satisfaction. Truth be told, this individual is the epitome of selfish. There are many highs and lows, indicative of something even more serious than meets the eye. They have the uncanny ability to reach deep within their brain and pick out a person responsible for every single bad thing that has ever happened to them.

Back to my initial question – how do you handle a miserable person? I’ll tell you the only way I know of – which is to totally cut them from your life, by whatever means necessary. One thing’s for sure – life is way too short. At this point, my patience level has been far too exhausted to entertain any other option.


Define IRONY…

Well, actually it came by way of the 5 o’clock news this evening.

There’s a strangeness that no one can quite put their finger on. In a suburb right outside of my lovely town, a little girl was photographed. By a stranger. Playing in the snow. Zipped up tight to her nose in fluffy coatings and wintry garb. That’s right folks, a picture was taken.

Let me say first, I’m not trying to make light of any sort of potentially dangerous situation, particularly that which involves a child. But I’ve gotta say, there are some things with this ‘story’ that just don’t jive well with me.

The story as told by an 8-year old girl starts with her playing down the street from her house, and looking up to see a man taking a snapshot of ‘her’. She ran home to tell her mother. Mom is then broadcast all over the evening news rolling her eyes and saying “the thought of a sick, perverted man having a picture of my daughter infuriates me”. Every. Ten. Minutes. Well yeah lady, I have a daughter. That particular thought would infuriate me too.

But.

Let’s say for the sake of argument – there was this man going down the road with his wife driving (the little girl reported he was in the passenger seat – with no description of the driver) who decided to take a few rare southern snow pics, like I had the urge to do my own self today. The little girl (or other children) just happened to be in the general vicinity of where the camera was faced. Hell, it’s happened to me many times – I’ve just never been ‘accused’ of anything. But then again… I’m female. Hey, somebody had to say it…

Through many years of photography, I of course have my own photo library. Rather than a subject who happens to be laced, zipped and velcroed all the way up to their nostrils in the dead of winter – I’m quite sure a few of mine are on a public beach (Gasp**) in bathing suits! Certainly they weren’t the intended subjects of the frame – but what if they had been? This is what it’s come to. Yes, this. Here and now.

I must give credit to my Dad and his eagle-eye on this subject, as it was he who called and brought me up to speed on the said situation-at-hand. Yes, it’s pretty bad when you can’t be your normal self anymore. To be forced to avoid situations we’ve not only been accustomed to all our lives but have been raised to admire, respect and enjoy. Now we have to worry about staring a little too long, if at all… whether anything we say might be perceived as a prelude to an abduction… not to mention the subjects that might happen to be in the general vicinity of our cameras… need I even go on? And if you don’t worry about it… well you’d better worry about it. I don’t wish to downplay the possibility of a legitimate threat on this particular story. What I wish to up-play is the fact that we can’t snapshot a timeless moment anymore, without the fear of consequences.

Because this is where we are.

But Bon, where on earth is this irony you speak of? You really mucked this title up – wayyy off!!

Here we go, folks. In between sessions of Mom rolling her eyes and speaking of Joe Pedophile staring at photos of her little girl – a lighter, more airy segment flashed up where us viewers got the chance to see submitted photos of the snow aired on tonight’s edition of the local news. How sweet and funny they were, too – most submitted anonymously. Anything from snowmen, to sledding, to children playing, to pets playing, to…. hey BACK UP just a minute. Did you just say children playing????

IMHO the persons behind each of these two segments had to be on two different wavelengths, in two different buildings. In two different cities. With no communication tools. Ahem, you get my drift. Speaking of drifts…

Just be careful where and what you point those cameras at.

Story as seen on WBTV news


Mary Elizabeth

She is finally at peace. Born Mary Elizabeth Anania, her sunrise was July 3, 1949; sunset, December 7, 2010. Elizabeth passed away on a Tuesday at her home in Chapel Hill, NC after a long and courageous battle with breast cancer.

Although I might not have agreed with some of her political stances, I admire and respect the lady for reasons different than what one may expect.

  • Her family meant everything to her. Through the years she managed a very elegant balance between her home life with her husband and children, her professional career as an attorney, then later becoming her husband’s chief policy advisor during a presidential bid.
  • Her courageousness and perseverance was inspiring to all who have fought a disease and those who continue to fight.
  • She maintained such grace and poise after their oldest son Wade was killed in a car crash (age 17) in 1996. I cannot imagine what strength it must take to go on after the death of one of your own children.
  • She lived her private life on a public stage. Yeah, I’m gonna go there. The level of humiliation she must have endured after her husbands indiscretions came to light had to have been gut wrenching. I simply can’t think of any other term to describe it.

In September 2006, Edwards released a book, Saving Graces: Finding Solace and Strength from Friends and Strangers, focusing on the death of her son and her illness. In May 2009, she released a second book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, further detailing her illness, the deaths of her father and son, the effect of these events on her marriage, her husband’s infidelity, and the general state of health care in America.

On December 6, 2010, Elizabeth’s family announced that she had stopped cancer treatment after her doctors advised her that further treatment would be ‘unproductive’. The cancer had metastasized to her liver, and she had been advised she had several weeks to live. Her family members, including her estranged husband John, were with her. It was on this day she posted her last message on Facebook:

You all know that I have been sustained throughout my life by three saving graces – my family, my friends, and a faith in the power of resilience and hope. These graces have carried me through difficult times and they have brought more joy to the good times than I ever could have imagined. The days of our lives, for all of us, are numbered. We know that. And, yes, there are certainly times when we aren’t able to muster as much strength and patience as we would like. It’s called being human. But I have found that in the simple act of living with hope, and in the daily effort to have a positive impact in the world, the days I do have are made all the more meaningful and precious. And for that I am grateful.

Elizabeth always felt that Wade was an angel, and that one day she would be able to see him again. Somehow I feel you’ve already found Wade, dear Elizabeth. May you rest in peace now.

Factual source: Wikipedia


Current Cravings

It seems to be my “I want” day, so please forgive beforehand. We all need one every now and then.

  • I crave the sight and sound of ocean waves.
  • I crave the mountains, and valleys.
  • I crave love. I really really crave massive amounts of love.
  • I crave Spring. Already.
  • I crave a whole lot of honesty.
  • I crave a world where you hand a cashier currency and she doesn’t have to mark the bill to make sure it’s real.
  • I crave knowledge… particularly of what the future holds.
  • I crave the scent of coconut and vanilla arising from a warm tropical setting.
  • I crave for there to be no more hunger for anyone in the world ever again.
  • I crave a pay raise.
  • I crave some doggie lovin’.
  • I crave wearing high heels again. Minus the pain.
  • I crave sunlight on my face.
  • I crave a long uninterrupted night of sleep.
  • I crave music.
  • I crave financial comfortability. Not riches, just maybe to be able to loosen the old chest muscles a bit.
  • I crave spirituality.
  • I crave lunch.
  • I crave being on the water.
  • I crave writing.
  • I crave being in a relationship that never ends.

Come to think of it, maybe I should’ve done a bucket list instead.


One Whole Day

In keeping with traditional Piscean fashion, I seem to always have a few to several pre-fabbed little fantasies floating around in my head. One ‘fantasy fave’ proposes the question – If you were awarded 24 hours to spend with a famous person of your choice, who would it be and why?

I’m not one of those Hollywood star-chasers, nor is my life is so drab that I must live vicariously through them. That said, from time to time I do find certain news and current events of the ‘famous half’ to be of interest. I’m sure I’m not the only one – if I was, there wouldn’t be shows like Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight.

Which leads back to my original question – given the opportunity to spend an entire day with someone famous, who would you choose? I’m thinking in terms of actor/actresses, singer/songwriters, television personalities, etc. Once in a while I’ll broach the subject to friends, who generally look at me with raised eyebrows – especially when they learn that I’ve already got a running list in my head. (Which has me wondering… is my life so drab that I’m contemplating what it would be like to spend a whole day with a star??)

For what it’s worth, here’s my short list… and the reasons why.

1. Mike Rutzen (Skipper, Oceanic Enthusiast, Free-Diver). Do I need to state the obvious on this one? An entire day of scuba and cage-diving with great whites in the favorably populated waters off the coast of South Africa, with one of the most respected experts in the industry. Just WOW.


2. Ellen DeGeneres (Television Personality). And what a personality. Again, don’t believe I even need a reason for why I’d like to spend a day with her. But if I do, here goes… laughs, laughs, and more laughs…


3. Toby Keith (Country Singer). I’d get him to take me fishing, and I bet I could persuade him to drag his guitar along for a few songs! He’s big and strong – so I’m thinking any bears we encounter would run the opposite way. I like his style, and I also get the impression that he’s a lot of fun.


4. Tyler Perry (Actor, Producer, Screenwriter, Author). What a mega-talented man. Tyler was on Oprah recently and shared his heartbreaking childhood story, which brought him and the entire audience to tears. He persevered from the ground-floor up and is very humbly self-made. Add to that the fact that he’s hilarious.


5. Derek Jeter (MLB Player, Shortstop for NYY). Okay, I had to throw a little eye candy in there. My favorite Yankees player would be ready for a weeks vacation after a full day of me dragging him around to show him off. Additionally, he looks (oops there’s that word again) to have an excellent sense of humor.


6. Ozzy Osbourne (Singer, Songwriter, Father of Darkness) Okay, for hilarity’s sake, humor me here with my childhood idol. True, his speech might be a bit slower and jumbled now from the um, well you know – but the guy’s a barrel of laughs. You just can’t make this stuff up. However, if this wish were ever granted I’d need to drag my daughter along with me. After all, Ozzy was her first concert at three years old. Come to think of it, I’d have to drag her along on my day with #5 as well.


7. Stephen King (Author). Alas, I must look overlook the fact that he’s a Sox fan… for the man taught me the love of reading. No, I am not dark – he is simply talented. I’ve read many others, but his book ‘On Writing’ is a true love of mine… in my opinion, a writer’s must-have. He’s another self-made success of which I so admire and appreciate.


8. Carlos Mencia (Comedian). He would probably take one look at me and say, “hhhNo wayyy, bishhhh”. Oh how I DO love a really good comedian. I was fortunate enough to catch him live in ’08, no holds barred. Seriously, nothing was off limits. Know the thing I love most about him? His lack of discrimination – if you’re in his presence, you’re fair game.

I’m gonna leave some room to grow on for nine and ten.

Did I mention I love to laugh? ALOT?


Questions, always

In this day and age I continuously wonder how much shock value I have left in me when it comes to news of violence and crime, especially within the family. Oh, to heck with the shock value – what about the age-old question… why.

Just why.

The latest murder-suicide combo in Gastonia – a husband and wife who were upstanding citizens of the community and were well-known for helping people in need. She was a cheerleading coach and teacher, he was a county building inspector who helped out and volunteered at the school with his wife. Friends, teachers, and students alike loved and respected them both. They also had children, though the news didn’t list their ages.

Just what is it that makes the human brain snap? Is it a split-second occurrence, is it something that’s carefully calculated… are the consequences even considered? Is a chemically-imbalanced person even able to conceive of the repercussions of their actions? Did these family members used to sit around and have conversations about this kind of violence and how awful it is, thinking nothing like that could ever happen to them?

I just don’t get it. I guess we’re not meant to get it.

Story here.


Choices

In this game of life, there are some things which we have control over, and some we don’t. We can choose to be kind and compassionate to people, or we can be nasty and vile. We can choose to help our neighbors, or we can hinder or block the good deeds of others. We can choose to ‘do the right thing’ – or we can attempt to break those around us.

So how do you handle a miserable existence of an individual who is so delusionally obsessed over your life and that of your loved one, that it’s become their sole objective to infiltrate it in any way possible? An individual who recruits their own family members and friends to aid in their own juvenile schemes? An individual who is greatly influencing their child with their deception and lack of moral character? I believe that this lone corrupt individual must be left to bask in their own self-destruction. I choose to neither feed nor lend energy to this hateful, dark, putrid excuse for a human being.

Because some things never change.

So I’ll tell you how I handle it. I choose happiness. My drama cup shall remain empty. I’ve made it this far, and believe me when I say I ain’t going back. I choose that bright light that our Lord promises and provides, free of charge – for any of us who are willing to receive it.


The Truth

I just noticed my daughter’s latest facebook status update. It reads, “When at night you cannot sleep, talk to the Shepherd and stop counting sheep.” Truth.

My boyfriend made me a bracelet this weekend. I watched closely as he carefully color-coordinated bead by bead on a strong leather strand. As he tied it on my arm I told him, “This is my love bracelet.” Truth.

Now I’m gonna dive deep. What is a simple definition of Truth, really… a verified fact? Conformity to reality or actuality? Sincerity… integrity? A fact, a proof?

Most of us have known one or more persons in our life that have issues with honesty, or have problems telling the truth. The ones that really get me, though, are those who are blatantly caught at something and can still look you right in the eye and lie about it – even when facts are presented.

For some reason, it always brings to mind one of my all-time favorite comedic skits. A woman confronts her man over questions of infidelity,  and the man vehemently denies any wrong-doing even though he’s caught red-handed. Click here for a look… this is hilarious in a raw kinda way.

Hey…. wadn’t me….

If only everyone just knew how much the truth really means, of all it’s able to accomplish for us. That when used, it can overcome so many negative feelings or emotions. Being honest makes people trust you, respect you. It brings about a heightened sense of security in a relationship, and strengthens each of you in many different ways. When you tell a loved one the truth, it’s actually saying ‘you are precious to me and worthy of complete knowledge’.

The way I see it, the general consensus wins. Once a liar, always a liar. In my forty-two years, I’ve personally never witnessed a huge changeover in a person who has issues with being honest. That’s unfortunate, not only for them but for the persons involved with them.

The Truth. Will. Set. You. Free. Seriously? Well, yeah – I believe it will. Put it this way… I’d rather hear the truth any old day than some sugar-coat of a fakeness. It may not always be something I want to hear…. but I want to hear it nonetheless. Now I know I can’t change the world, I quit trying a long time ago. It does make for a nice dream though…


The Intimidator

It’s been forever and  a day since I’ve been to the amusement park Carowinds. I’ve always lived within a 5-mile radius of it, so we always had a season pass up until several years ago. My good-as-gold boyfriend suggested going yesterday, so we gathered each of our daughters up and made a wonderful day out of it.

I’ve gotta say I am now ruined on any other roller coaster at the park since I’ve ridden their newest addition, The Intimidator. I mean WOW, this ride is intense – we were all nervous at first. The sheer height of the thing takes your breath looking at it, and it spans a great deal of the park itself – but once we rode it we were all hooked. It’s so awesome that I could ride that thing over and over with no breaks between.

Appropriately named after the late great Dale Earnhardt Sr., The Intimidator is the tallest, fastest, and longest roller coaster in the southeast. With a height of 232 feet, track length of 5,316 feet and speeds upwards of 75-80mph, it’s a must-ride. My favorite part has to be the eight ‘drops’ it offers.

I found a video of Kerry Earnhardt (Dale Earnhardt’s son) riding it for the first time. I loved it… it’s almost like watching a young Dale since he has always favored his dad so much.


✔ You’ve got…. Mail.

More drama unfolds at the old Bon-stead. For those of you who don’t know me personally let me say that I abhor drama – be it a hint, piece or load of it. I had far too large a helping of it in my old life and let’s just say it soured me on any future meals. Anywho…

Yesterday my boyfriend’s *ex* contacted me via email. She wanted to clue me in on some not-so-nice things about him, one in particular. This time, I was willing to listen to what she had to say. After all, I’m a strong adult female, and I deserve to ‘be in the know’ on a person that may very well become a part of my future. I thought… after I hear what she has to say I can then make the decision to believe all, some, or part of it – or none, as the case may be.

Let me just say I don’t dis-believe what she had to say. Now let me attempt to break this all down.

While I don’t profess to be a psychiatrist, I will say something stands out here in the fact that she would contact me in the first place. This isn’t the first time, either – just the first time I responded back. Either a) she still loves him and wants him back, b) she hates him and doesn’t want him to be happy, or c) all of the above. My choice? C. Ding-ding!! I do believe I won the prize…

Case in point – my own ex has dated a wonderful woman for about a year and a half now. Not only is he undeserving of a woman of such statutes as she, but he does nothing in an attempt to improve his lifestyle in order to even try to reach her level. Never have I seen two more different people. When I learned of them dating, I immediately felt much empathy for her – and admit I even contemplated contacting her and trying to warn her. That thought lasted an hour at the most – I would’ve been a fool to do it. I mean c’mon, she’s a big girl – and would you like to try and guess how it would’ve been taken? Just like I told my guy’s *ex* yesterday… it likely would’ve either fallen on deaf ears, or she would’ve have immediately thought I wanted him back. So, I opted not to. And I know it was a good decision.

Something else to consider is the fact that people do change. While this change isn’t always for the better, miracles do sometimes happen. I’ve seen a few hard, hard souls out there make the switch from dark to light – I know that it is possible. Now… should you use this possibility as an excuse to remain in an abusive relationship? Absolutely not. What I am saying is sometimes a person comes out of a relationship having actually learned something – and applies it in their next one. That is all.

Thought I’d attach a pic I took this morning of my little haven in the sky, while at least some of my plants are still living. I’ve already lost three to the heat. Speaking of heat, best get out and enjoy a little outdoor time before it kicks in today. (Note morning bagel to your immediate left.) Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off for a much-needed recount of my many blessings.

Peace, y’all.


Oh…I almost forgot!! Please check out my friend’s blog… and welcome Southern Sweet Tea! She’s a real gem, folks. Southern Sweet Tea’s blog


Soul Sucker

Ever since I cancelled my cable, I tend to stay behind on the Hollywood news. I’m well aware that some people think it’s silly to keep up with famous people anyway – but it’s more of a curiousity to me, the ability to see how the ‘other half’ lives.

The Mel Gibson telephone conversations with his wife – I just ran across a few of the audio recordings online. Oh. My. God.

To say this ‘man’ has serious, serious, serious problems would have to be the understatement of the decade. In my opinion, Ms. Grigorieva did the right thing by acquiring a restraining order before it was too late. Say what you will about her secretly taping him… I personally think she did the right thing. The whole situation, left as-is, surely would have resulted in tragedy. Given his fame and social status, she likely would’ve had problems proving that her very own life, and that of her child, was in danger.

It’s obvious there is no arguing with him – simply listening to the recordings is proof enough the rational is just not there. Something is so definitely amiss here… I’m no psych doctor, but I am able to recognize that little factoid all the way from Hollywood over to the east coast. Ranting and yelling until he’s hoarse; cursing, lewdness – he leaves no stone unturned. No area unchartered. Beats her right down to a pulp. Yells that she deserves a bat to the head, that he’ll bury her in the garden. On another audio, he admitted hitting her in the face with their baby on her lap, even breaking her teeth. You needn’t see any video to hear the sneer in his voice when he boldly yelled that she deserved it.

And guess who’s to blame? That’s right, folks. It’s all her fault. Amazing, isn’t it? From start to finish, she’s to blame – the fact that his career is over, that he has no friends, literally everything.

You cannot argue with a person who possesses that ‘something’ in their brain which causes them to act – and react – like this. I shuddered the entire time I listened to this, because it beared such a striking similarity of the many instances which occurred in my old life. Instances that up until recently I was embarrassed to even speak of. I haven’t had to witness this type of violent behavior in years, and hearing it again tonight brought it all back. I so despised the sinking wave of weakness it brought over me. For the entire eight minutes of audio, I felt as though I was inside her – sitting there with no voice, once again powerless. Beaten. Broken. Reduced to nothing, yet again.

Have a listen for yourself. This is only one of the releases, to date there are four – all equally as disturbing. Be forewarned – if you’re offended by ‘mature’ language you may want to skip this one. To be quite honest… it was his whole violent demeanor that got to me. Bad.

Link to Mel Gibson telephone “conversation”… one of four.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

If you or someone you know is in a situation of domestic violence, please get help.
There ARE people who CARE.
For the love of God, yourself, your children – DON’T stay and become a statistic…
these numbers are growing daily.

Click here for link to National Domestic Violence 24-hr Hotline.


Post Pardon

So remind me please of why I’m up at 4:30am perched behind the keyboard. Maybe it’s because after lying in bed for over two hours prior with my brain scrambling at 200+mph, I opted for the only escape hatch in sight – my computer. Yes, today should be a nice little productive day at work. Seriously, I’m thinking maybe I can just submerge myself in the huge workload I’m supposed to have coming and forget about everything in my personal life for a few to eight hours.

I’m living the whole once upon a time theatrical bit. I don’t know what it’s gonna take in life for me to realize that there are no fairy tales, nor fairy tale endings. The reality is, no matter how happy you are, or how happy you think your partner may be – there’s always going to be that third person infiltrator. Hell, maybe fourth fifth and sixth, for that matter. They may come sooner, they may come later, but make no mistake – they always show up. And sometimes, they just walk right on into the house without even knocking. Without being asked or invited. Because that’s what a little harlot infiltrator will do. Oh, sorry… just thought I’d throw an example in there for ya.

Oh, girl… you should always ‘fight for your man’! Love will prevail… stand tall and don’t let anyone infiltrate what you have, break out the big guns!

Ummm – nuh.

I am not in my twenties or even thirties anymore. Trust me when I say the old ‘fire in me’ can still be ignited – but it won’t be happening for the soul purpose of an attempt to save a relationship. I learned a long time ago that doesn’t work… it simply cannot be that one-sided. So what am I saying? That I am well past the point of exhausting myself in a heated battle or debate over a) how a partner should handle said infiltration, b) addressing the harlot personally, because it’s not me who should be taking care of the situation, c) launching an all-out war, thereby leaving not a shred of doubt as to how I really feel… or d) any or all of the above. No, instead, I’ll just opt to gracefully take a step back. If the situation continues… well, I don’t know how graceful it’ll be, but I will be bowing out completely.

Simply put.


Mellowing out

Although there have been multiple studies done that actually suggest the opposite – it’s my own experience that we get more emotional as we get older. I’m not talking about the more generalized emotions – being happy, angry, fearful, etc., but the more ‘philosophical’ ones. The types of emotions that tend to make a person ‘linger’ a bit more on the past, or ‘delve back’.

Is it true though? Do we get more emotional as we age? I can only comment on what I’ve seen personally, which is that I’ve seen more than a couple of mature men cry when reflecting back on certain times in their lives – in particular, times they wish they could go back and change. In each instance, the individuals appear different now than how I was told they used to be. Different how? It’s kind of hard to put into words. Softer-spoken, and rarely if ever angered – just to name a few.

What changes in us chemically as we get older that tends to make us more ’emotional’? And is it ever possible for a person to ‘change’? I don’t know the answer to the first question. As for the second one, I believe wholeheartedly the answer is yes. Maybe I’m wrong, but I consider being more emotional and ‘in-tune’ with yourself and others to be change. One thing I do know – the pill of regret is seldom swallowed. One of the saddest things you’ll ever see is a person reflecting back on losing the best thing they ever had in life.