To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “Miscellaneous

New Year, New Beginnings Part VI

What a whirlwind of a year 2014 has been. It does seem now that every year goes by quicker than the last, and as time marches on I find myself saying it more and more.

My ‘word of the year’ usually comes pretty easy for me. As this year drew to a close, I found myself still searching for one. 2013’s was Persistence, 2012 was Disclosure, 2011 was Transitional, 2010 was Serene, 2009 was Colorful, and of course my inaugural word of the year for 2008 was Monumental. So how do I compete with any or all of those?

Personally I’m ready to put 2014 behind me. In this particular year, my father was diagnosed with dementia, and my mother with breast cancer. I’ve actually contemplated the word tumultuous to describe the year, but I find that an extremely negative description to mark an entire year with. Can’t say I didn’t think about it for a minute, though.

The word Endurance seems fitting. Because no matter what life throws our way, we’re pretty much forced to steel our resolve and keep moving forward. The only other choice would be to lie down and give up, and that’s just not a choice I’ll make.

Yep, Endurance. It’s got a nice little ring to it.

And hey, 2014 – don’t let the back door knick your heels too hard on the way out.

Door

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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


Tick tock

It’s been a while since I’ve written a complete BS post, so I figure I’m about due. Forgive me in advance for my rambling.

My new boy Mojo has been keeping me busy. When I get home in the afternoon, my time belongs to him – I often don’t start dinner until Keith gets home (sometimes not even then). I’m completely okay with this. There’s always an adjustment period for any new member of your family, as well as for you. The time he mandates is so worth it and he’s such a sweet boy. I’m ever so glad he found me. 🙂

In a little over a week I’ll be having surgery (a word I don’t much care for). Anyway, I made the decision to have a hysterectomy. I’m not one who feels the need to keep female ‘things’ hush, so I’m not embarrassed to talk about the type of surgery it is. What I will say is I’m silently terrified at the concept. I hate that it’s turning into this, and I’m trying real hard to hide it from most people. The closer it gets, the more I’m thinking about it – my stomach is torn up and burning and I’m a nervous wreck. I know everything will be okay and my doctor is great, but this old mind just won’t let it go and it’s just consuming my thought process. Wish I could just fast-forward to recovery and all these pre-op worries would be gone. I have several friends who have gone through it and they tell me it’s nothing. I trust when they tell me this, and can only hope I am as strong as they are. I guess I don’t have any choice – I’ll just have to be.

My big beef is having to be out of work for a couple of weeks – and I would never have agreed to it if it were the formerly mandated six weeks. Now it’s actually four, but in my line of work I’m told I should be able to return in two. Apart from family, my job is everything to me. It’s the reason I eat, drive, and have a warm bed to sleep in. Additionally, it’s something I respect and will never take for granted. If you’ve ever been screwed over by an employer of long tenure and are lucky enough to find something a hundredfold better, a place that actually appreciates you back – you won’t wish to be out. To me it’s about surrendering this huge part of my life, of my familiarity. Might sound corny, but that’s just how it is. Even contemplating being out of work gets me emotional and I’m not a big fan of emotional. Maybe I need to try some yoga.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Together

As most of you know, I have a new ‘son’ – Mr. Mojo Risin. He was unusually nervous on the way to get groomed for the first time today. Although the little man was afraid, he trusted his new Mommy implicitly. In fact, everything seemed more than okay – as long as we were Together.


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?

🙂


After Effects

This past Friday my daughter underwent oral surgery to have her remaining two wisdom teeth removed. I dreaded this almost as much as she did. Exactly two years ago, the abominable happened – lack of sufficient novocaine administered prior to surgery caused my kid to wake up screaming in pain in the recovery room. Once home, she passed out from the pain, thankfully her Dad was standing behind her at the time and able to catch her. Both he and I shed tears for her that day… there’s nothing that compares to seeing your child in that much pain and not being able to help. It took a good 3-4 hours to get it under control, and we worried about the risk of overmedication to get her there.

This time she opted to return to her original surgeon with whom she’d had a good experience, having four of her front teeth pulled prior to getting braces. The icing on the cake ended up being the cost – Mr. Botched Job charged her almost double of what was charged this past Friday. And just so we’re clear, I define a good oral surgery experience as not waking up in the recovery room screaming in pain – it seems to be a highly coveted perk of choosing a proven and trusted oral surgeon. If it ain’t broke… let’s not try to fix it.

The effects from anesthesia can make you very funny or very sick, or a combination of the two. In the case of Julia vs. Anesthesia – she was 100% hilarious. Once in the car she asked for chapstick, and it’s funny how a simple little thing like chapstick can become so confusing. The outside plastic came off in her hand with the actual top remaining in place. I glanced over to see her dazedly holding it – staring back and forth from the plastic, to the lid, back to the plastic, then back to the lid. God only knows how long this would’ve gone on if I hadn’t intervened.

My goal was to take her straight home, then head back out solo to fill her prescription. That goal was thwarted when she announced she wanted to ‘pick herself out some ice cream’ (I’m an old softie to that word ‘puh-leassssse‘). I obliged her request, by then knowing better than to leave her in the car alone. As we made our way across the parking lot I asked her to hold my hand while we crossed (remember, she’s 24). She actually stood there a second thinking about it, until it hit her like a ton of bricks. “NOOOO!!”

I should’ve known there was more than just ice cream on this kid’s mind. Once inside, she immediately started searching for another wheelchair to ride in – I thank the dear Lord one wasn’t available. She graduated over to the special motorized cart and it took a minute to convince her she was too impaired to drive it. Finally, a partially deflated red balloon on the floor stole her attention. She dragged that balloon around behind her the entire time.

I glanced down at my watch. In a moment of horror, I realized the pharmacy didn’t open for another 15 minutes. What the heck was I going to do with her all this time? It was like having a full-grown toddler to watch after, and we’re all aware of Bon’s patience level with unruly children.

The newly adopted orphan balloon.

It took a moment to remember she didn't much care for Jeff Gordon.

Once she decided on her ice cream, I proceeded to peel it from her hands and place it in the basket. Guiding her in the direction of the pharmacy (which didn’t open for another 10 minutes) I discovered they actually sell canes in this grocery store. Did she find them, you may ask? Absolutely. Up she walks leaning on one like a pro, looking like she’d just found her best friend. I’d love to post the video, but my life would be in danger if I did.

Hats off to good experiences.


Big 24

That Saturday night after I ingested my second dose of castor oil, I thought it might finally be ‘time’. I was almost three weeks overdue, after all – her originally scheduled arrival was to be on or near my own birthday. The next bright and beautiful Sunday morning, I was holding the most precious bundle God could have ever entrusted me with. We named her Julia Christine.

Her first dip in the ocean at 3 months old, 1988

I’ve never seen anyone love their birthday more than she does. I can still see her now at 3 and 4 years old, both palms facing up while shrugging those little shoulders, saying “tomorrow’s my birf-day!!” Even now, she literally starts planning birthday gatherings a couple of weeks ahead of time. She’s an expert at managing my side, her dad’s side, and her friends. 🙂

Where has the time gone? It sure didn’t take long for her to grow into a strong, independent, beautiful woman with a heart the size of Texas. She’s opinionated, witty, polite, and her kindness knows no bounds. I’m proud of her work ethic including everything she accomplished in school and college. I’d love another one like her, or even two… but I’ll remain happy with the one God bestowed me with and continue to be ever thankful.

Happy big 24, babygirl.


Sights of Spring

I’ve missed all you guys and my little steam release of a blog here. For a over a week now I’ve been sick with the crud, which literally made it’s debut one full day after bragging about how well I’ve been for over a year. If you’d like for the crud to come pay you a visit, all you have to do is brag about your long tenure of being without. This little rule also applies to speeding tickets. You’re welcome.

In lieu of jotting down anything and everything boring in my life at the moment, thought I’d share a few sights of Spring as seen through my own eyes. Hope you all are having a beautiful start to the Spring season and staying healthy and happy!

I've never seen tulips like these before, with the tattered-looking petals. I thought they were gorgeous.

Meet our favorite young hibachi chef... Tai. He's a good kid and very talented, I know he's going to do well in life. We were with him on the first night he cooked over a year ago. Tai, Keith and I have our alma mater in common - K and I are class of '86, and Tai is class of '07. Rams rule! 🙂

One of our many gladiolus sprouts peeking up to say hi. The gladiolus are quickly on their way to becoming my favorite flower.

Our garden, all tilled and ready to plant! I'm really excited about this, it's definitely going to be a summer hobby. 🙂

The oh-so-green daylilies in the front flower bed. I put some fresh mulch in there yesterday, too.

Our St. Patty's day cocktails. I just HAD to have a green one.

This is my favorite Saturday find - a cactus garden. I just couldn't leave this one sitting at the store! My Mammaw was the cactus geru - she was so good at growing them and arranging terrarium gardens. I spent half my childhood picking their pricks out of my skin.

A bunny rabbit my Mom gave me. Love-love! Can you see all the red canna sprouts popping up around it?

The smaller birdbath was a gift from my Mom - combined with our big one it looks like it was meant to be!

I forwent begonias this year and opted for these African Daisies I planted yesterday. I can't wait to see their progress in a couple of weeks.


More firsts

Last night I had a monumental moment – I built my very own fire. This might sound silly to some of you, but for as long as I can remember someone else has always built them. It’s good to know I can make one on my own.

Of course, I had some help from the little match-lights. As warm as it’s been, it could very well be the last fire of the season and I was proud to have built it.

It’s the little things in life… like how my cat now thinks I am a god.

😀


Badge of honor

Saturday night, we enjoyed a nice fish camp dinner out with the family. Located a mere two feet from the entrance doors of the restaurant and parallel to the long line of waiting patrons, were tables set up to harbor the mothers little girls selling girl scout cookies.

The whole ‘mothers pushing sales’ thing touches a tender spot with me and it’s not a sweet one. If I’ve never addressed the subject before, humor me in seizing this little opportunity to do so.

On Sunday morning we headed out for breakfast and our weekly trip to the market. Lo and behold, more tables were set up approximately four feet from the entrance/exit doors of Bi-lo. FYI, Keith is very well-aware of this little ‘peeve’ I have and is ever-gracious in his endeavor to take my elbow and guide me within a safe proximity around them accommodate me. As we approached, two women sat posed theatrically behind the tables. Their girls, each six years old or less, were running around looking like they’d rather be picking clovers in a grassy field.

Mother #1: (whispering) “Go ahead, ask her…”
Munchkin #1: “ummmm, would you like to buy some Girl Scout cook ––”
Me (as Rooney Mara in The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo):No.

That was easy enough, I thought as we proceeded to walk in the store. We shopped, we bought, we paid, we go to leave. Actually – scratch that last one.

There, standing smack in front of the exit doors, in true ‘twins from The Shining‘ fashion, are munchkins 1 & 2. I purposely stepped on the mat to open the door, forcing them to move back. Mother #2 was completely disengaged as she sat cross-legged on the ground designing a campaign poster (seriously guys, I can’t make this shit up).

Mother #1 (again): “Go on, ask if they want to buy some.”
Munchkin #1 (again): “Would you like to buy some Girl Sc ––”
Me, to Mother #1 (as Linda Blair in The Exorcist): NOOOOOOOO!!

Didn’t add thanks afterward, didn’t pass Go, didn’t collect a bleeping $200, didn’t earn an Oscar. Now, for those of you who may call me a grinch, curmudgeon, or any other creative schmuck that comes to mind – so be it. Take solace in the fact that this was mom #1’s lucky day! It stands to reason that had there not been children present, my mouth surely would have chosen to take the road less traveled.

Being a girl scout was the only thing I was really involved in as a kid – and I loved it. Having been raised in a single-parent household, scouting was one of the few activities that was actually affordable. I learned that being a scout was just as competitive as other extracurricular activities like cheerleading, dance, music or sports – but this knowledge didn’t help me to understand why. Even then, those and other sought-after badges were very difficult to earn – I never did get one and believe me I tried. I can only imagine how much harder it is now due to the competing nature of mothers who opt to Occupy Walmart or Bi-Lo in a heroic effort to earn it for their daughters. Let’s fast-forward to my own kid, who I’ve witnessed endure many of the same trials and tribulations through years of hard work in playing sports.

Certain ‘perks’ and ‘opportunities’ are afforded to a few of every batch of kids as a result of extraordinary parental ‘involvement’ (aka, ass-kissing). There, I said it. Not only have I lived it – I’ve watched it. I’ve seen the tears of disappointment as a result of yanked opportunities that she knew in her heart she’d worked hard for and deserved. Chances that instead were handed to a kid whose parent’s head was so far up the coach’s ass they couldn’t tell where they ended and the coach began. I view this competitiveness no differently than I view those freakazoid pageant moms. Meh.

All done in the name of a trophy, a ribbon, a metal, a plaque or as the case may be… a badge. Call me curmudgeon if you will. I’ll NOT be one to justify these self-serving acts which always result in a child somewhere feeling less than just as good as anyone else. I guess some things will never change.


I Gotta Be Me

When I started this little blog back in ’09, the intent was to create a sort of release valve for myself. Blogging can be a great way of expressing ones innermost thoughts, opinions, and feelings – especially for things that tend to go unsaid. Anything I jot down is not intended to impress a single soul with the exception of my own self. I held no expectations of anyone ever wanting to read what I wrote. I’ve said before but feel it bears repeating – those of you who find anything I have to say even remotely interesting humbles me greatly, and I thank you for that.

Regardless of content, anything you write that’s open to the public eye will eventually be critiqued on some level. It’s not a matter of if, but when. I’ve had posts taken out of context, some misconstrued, and three or four even taken personally which was never my intent. Through the course of time I have been ‘conditioned’ on what might be acceptable material and what might not ‘pass’. I’ve been advised as to what did and didn’t sound right, had recommendations on future topics, and believe it or not – had disappointment expressed on certain topics that I did choose. For example, something as simple as a television show that I like.

I believe when you change how you express yourself for the sole purpose of being politically correct to others, you start to lose a huge chunk of your own depth and creativity. I’ll even go so far as to say an actual part of your own self. Being a natural cut-up, I enjoy laughing more than anything – it’s not uncommon for me to incriminate myself from time to time in an attempt to be funny. Alas, long gone are my drinking jokes on twitter (hey, Blake Shelton can do it, why can’t I?). I have abandoned most of the profanity in my posts. Just when I think I have everything down pat – along comes yet another evaluation that all but demands a detour.

I guess it all boils down to how I choose to react to or handle the ‘conditioning’. I remind myself it’s only natural as a human being to yearn for positive attention and that ‘fix of approval’ from others. Sometimes though, I feel like a sculpture in the making – watching silently from the inside, as chip by chip I am chiseled into an image that everyone else approves of. But this isn’t reality – there is no such thing. It’s impossible to please everyone.

Personal possessions aside, how many things in life can you say really belong to you? Are actual extensions of you? Probably not very many. I’m not writing this blog for anything or anyone other than myself. These are my thoughts, and however crudely they may or may not be written is also mine. In fact, this whole thing you’re reading is about me. And I’ve gotta get back to being me.

Sammy said it best…

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h5k2ZE6HAVo &rel=0]

SuperFood Sunday

I don’t know about the rest of you, but I’ve looked forward to today for a long time. Alright, for maybe a week or so. Superbowl, you may ask? Absolutely. Well, what it stands for anyway. I have to admit, I couldn’t care less about the actual game (if our Panthers ever go again, I’m sure that’ll change). To me, Superbowl Sunday is about everything that goes along ‘with it’.

Commercials. All those funny commercials that when asked about on Monday I can never remember (clears throat). Lazing around my jammies all day long with a nice hot fire blazing. The musical acts – I could take or leave Madonna, but I simply can’t wait for Blake and Miranda’s duet of ‘God Bless America’. Never to be last on the list… my chili.

Oh, chili – let me count the ways I love you. I cherish each and every ingredient that goes into making a love-filled batch. You see, I couldn’t use these ingredients in my old life because it wasn’t permitted. Now that the rules are out the window so to speak, consider it no holds barred. It’s not just meat, beans and a seasoning packet anymore, baby (meh). How ’bout starting out with some kickin’ seasoned ground beef, 2 different kinds of beans, couple cans of seasoned diced tomatoes, diced garlic, onion, habanero and bell pepper, hot Rotel, hot chili powder, and towards the end of it’s cooking life, a nice little half-bottle of cayenne pepper? Hey, if this sounds bland to you I’m always open to suggestions. Being that I’ve had chili-making policies to follow all of my adult life, you could say I’m a ‘chili rookie’ of sorts. Oh, and mustn’t forget the sour cream, grated cheese and jalapenos upon serving time. And the ‘Tostitos with a hint of jalapeno’. And the cornbread. And the Hawaiian rolls. Oh and pay no attention to the wine in the background. It’s, um… just for looks.

Prior to the main course, we’ll have Queso for an appetizer. How I do love that Velveeta and HOT Rotel. Have I mentioned I like it hot?

Happy Game Day to those of you who watch – I hope you enjoy it in your own special and memorable way!


The Woman with no Middle Name

I was raised living with both my Mother and Grandmother (Mammaw), to whom I give credit for many ‘old-school’ morals I had instilled. Looking back now, I wouldn’t have had it any other way.

Born in 1917, she rose in the era of the Great Depression – a gentle, vibrant and curious child number five out of an eventual ten. Of her nine sisters and brothers, Marjorie McCorkle was the only child who was not assigned a middle name. At the very least, these odds alone might deliver a hefty blow to one’s own self-worth. The others were all given distinguished middle names, such as Coolidge, Fletcher, Louise and Gleason – so it still behooves me as to why her parents would choose to let one child go without that very important integer in their life.

I overheard the story several times throughout my childhood. “It must not have been important at the time. All the other children were given a middle name – except for me.” Whenever she talked about it, she always smiled – but I knew that smile all too well. Marjorie had become a master of hiding any hurt behind that beautiful smile of hers.

The meaning of the name Marjorie is ‘Pearl’ – I found the description to coincide as closely with her persona as it did the effect she had on people. It is a strong and elegant name, one of empowering status. It may be pronounced the English way by way of MAARJHeriy (to sound like a ‘zh’ instead of a ‘j’). I wish I’d known the meaning of Marjorie before now, as she would have had some damn nice pearls. What is it they say about hindsight again?

It interested me to learn of some famous personalities who were born in 1917: Zsa Zsa Gabor, Desi Arnaz, Nat King Cole, Dean Martin, Lena Horne, Richard Boone, Phyllis Diller, Joan Fontaine, Robert Mitchum, Susan Hayward and Jane Wyman. At this very moment I can almost sense her reply, “I’ll bet they all had middle names.” And you know, she was probably right.

In pondering the subject, perhaps for too long – I have decided to give my dear grandmother an honorary middle name. I ended up with two full legal pad pages of names. My final choice was not taken lightly, nor was it made quickly.

From beginning to end the name Elizabeth refused to leave my head. At some point during my childhood, I remember her telling me she did love that name – perhaps would have even picked it for herself. In biblical times, Elizabeth was John the Baptist’s Mother. The name Elizabeth is from a Greek translation of the Hebrew name Elisheva, meaning “God’s promise”, “oath of God”, or “God’s daughter”. Elizabeth has always been a widely used English name, of which my grandmother was of Irish-English ancestry. It makes perfect sense for her to have been given an English first and middle name, whilst carrying the Irish surname – eventually changing back to English once she was married. How I do love things that make sense; there are so very few in the world that do.

It may be 95 years late, dear Marjorie – but do know that you were extremely worthy in all aspects. This albeit ‘honorary’ bestowal comes with much love and adoration from your ‘bunny rabbit’ who misses you still, every day.

Until that fabulous day when we meet again, Marjorie ‘Elizabeth’ McCorkle Jones. And guess what, Mammaw? It’s got a real nice ring to it…


Dirt to Sand

When I was a kid, my Mom used to point out the sand on the side of the road to indicate we were getting close to the beach. I must’ve worn the question “Mommy, how much longer ’til we’re there?” into the ground. She finally found a way to divert my attention from that irritating question every ten minutes – to pay attention for my own self to my own surroundings. Another great lesson in life by a great Mom.

Now when I’m on the way to the beach, I still pay attention to how the red dirt slowly evolves into beautiful white sand. Except now, I also appreciate the beauty of it. It serves two purposes.

Sometimes it takes patience while you’re waiting on the dirt to evolve into white sand. As my dear uncle used to say, ‘such is life’.

Ever felt like you’ve bonded with an animal of the wild? I tend to bond with many of the seagulls, at least I like to think so. This little girl seemed ever-accommodating – a trait I see as both admirable and disturbing. I named her Bon.


A Rare Find

“Only once in your life, I truly believe, you find someone who can completely turn your world around. You tell them things that you’ve never shared with another soul and they absorb everything you say and actually want to hear more. You share hopes for the future, dreams that will never come true, goals that were never achieved and the many disappointments life has thrown at you. When something wonderful happens, you can’t wait to tell them about it, knowing they will share in your excitement. They are not embarrassed to cry with you when you are hurting or laugh with you when you make a fool of yourself. Never do they hurt your feelings or make you feel like you are not good enough, but rather they build you up and show you the things about yourself that make you special and even beautiful. There is never any pressure, jealousy or competition but only a quiet calmness when they are around. You can be yourself and not worry about what they will think of you because they love you for who you are. The things that seem insignificant to most people such as a note, song or walk become invaluable treasures kept safe in your heart to cherish forever. Memories of your childhood come back and are so clear and vivid it’s like being young again. Colours seem brighter and more brilliant. Laughter seems part of daily life where before it was infrequent or didn’t exist at all. A phone call or two during the day helps to get you through a long day’s work and always brings a smile to your face. In their presence, there’s no need for continuous conversation, but you find you’re quite content in just having them nearby. Things that never interested you before become fascinating because you know they are important to this person who is so special to you. You think of this person on every occasion and in everything you do. Simple things bring them to mind like a pale blue sky, gentle wind or even a storm cloud on the horizon. You open your heart knowing that there’s a chance it may be broken one day and in opening your heart, you experience a love and joy that you never dreamed possible. You find that being vulnerable is the only way to allow your heart to feel true pleasure that’s so real it scares you. You find strength in knowing you have a true friend and possibly a soul mate who will remain loyal to the end. Life seems completely different, exciting and worthwhile. Your only hope and security is in knowing that they are a part of your life.”

~Bob Marley

Oh, he was indeed a rare find – God broke the mold when he created Bob Marley. I wanted to share my ‘rare find’ of a gem from our New Years beach trip. I paid too much for it, but it’s a Billabong so it’ll probably still be here after I’m long gone. Do know that I will be wearing this thing all summer long and it’ll have to be pryed from my nubby little fingers to make it into the washing machine. It’s true – come next Summer, there will be one 44-going-on-24-year-old woman running around in a (very fashionable, might I add?) Marley tank. Sue me.

I. Love. This. Thing. Have I mentioned I’m going to see my Red Hot Chili Peppers in a few weeks with my daughter (her Christmas present to me)? And did I mention Lo-WER Le-VEL? So see, sometime between now and then I’ve got to get my cool back. Thanks for the head start, Mr. Marley. 🙂


New Year, New Beginnings… Part III

Once again, a New Year is upon us. Time for me to choose a new header/banner, for the year 2012. Just as I choose a single word that best describes the prior year that passed, I also pick a new banner to use for the coming year. I enjoy reflecting back on the prior years’ words and banners, specifically for their powerful meaning to me.

In 2008 I wasn’t blogging yet, so no banner – but my word for that year was Monumental.

It’s not by accident that my first banner below included so many mountains.
2009 Banner:

My word of 2009 was Colorful.

The next piece below is made up of five of my most favorite things.
2010 Banner:

My word of 2010 was Serene.

The below shot is a panoram I took while staying at the beach last New Years.
2011 Banner:

My new word for 2011… drum roll please…

My word of 2011 is Transitional.

It was hard to find a word for 2011. When I finally ran across transitional, I knew I didn’t need to look any further.

I’m finding the end of 2011 to be this huge reflection pool, of this year as well as years prior. In late Spring I moved from my humble abode of three years, the place where I started my new life in 2008. It took some adapting to learn to live with someone again, since Keith and I had both been living alone for so long.

It didn’t take long at all. Where I live now is home in every sense of the word. Hard to explain, except that I feel like I’ve always lived there. Whenever Keith and I are together, everything just seems so easy. Of course life will always have it’s trials and tribulations – but it just seems easy. If that makes any sense.

So on to a brand new year. Nearly four years later, I can finally breathe that long-awaited sigh and say… this butterfly has completed her journey. And what a journey it’s been.


Old Man Winter’s here

It was a balmy 62° outside this morning, which didn’t seem right. I climbed into my trusty sidekick to go to work and marveled at the fact that it was so light outside. Normally having to be in at 7am, and with very few streetlights on the country roads, I appreciate driving in something other than pitch black. The horses and cows were already out in their fields, grazing on the lush green pastures from all the rain. Even my favorite handsome bull looked happy.

After the blue day I had yesterday, all of the above was a welcome sight. I went into work as a biscuit fairy this morning, which made me and everyone else happy. While I was in McDonald’s waiting, I talked with this nice lady who was also bringing biscuits to her coworkers – we both agreed a nice biscuit always makes people happy. I’ve got about 24 hours to propel myself back into the Christmas spirit, and since our girls are both coming it should be easier for that to happen.

My guy just texted me that there are some cows running around loose in the neighborhood. I so wish I was at home to see this. He only managed to get one picture:

Last night, I dreamed was in this huge mansion where a fire had started. Slowly it grew to one little fire in every room and everyone was running from room to room trying to extinguish it. When the fire trucks came, from the sunroom to the front door was completely blocked with huge obstacles – heavy rugs, big bags, and the like. I was the only one trying to move the stuff as the firemen were climbing over them to get through the front door. I remember yelling “someone help me move all this stuff so the firemen can get through!” and everyone’s response was “oh, they can get through – don’t worry about it!”

Dreaming of fire could suggest a transformation in life. The flames could signify the burning of any barriers that might be in the way. Not being able to let something go and letting it build within can be the reason for a dream of fire. Holding a grudge against something, or someone, could be the result of the dream.

Makes sense to me.


Open Air

I always smile when I think back to what I wanted to be when I grew up. I haven’t thought about it in a long time, but this morning’s commute brought that old memory right back.

When I was in 4th grade, each student had to write a 4-5 page report of the career path we hoped to take. As I recall it was towards the end of the year and the report was to account for a large part of our grade. My classmates chose doctors, nurses, lawyers, teachers – the majority of them being the more ‘normal’ career choices.

When the time came to turn in our reports, I asked my mother to look mine over beforehand. “A race-car driver?” she asked. I answered very seriously, “I know one day there will be women race-car drivers and maybe I’ll be one of them.” I remember detailing Richard Petty and his career, and Cale Yarborough as well.

More than anything, I wish I still had that report. I got an A.

I didn’t grow up to be that race-car driver – at least not professionally. In all seriousness, at the time I yearned to do it and furthermore believed I could do it. It’s good to have those hopes and dreams as a kid, to believe that you can do something and perhaps even be the first of your kind to do it. In this crazy day we’re in, I wonder how many poverty-stricken children have their hopes and dreams crushed by the stress of the rough economic times. Sometimes hopes and dreams are all you have to hang on to, and it could be the one thing that pushes you forward. Life just seems so much harder now than it was back then, in simpler times.

So what spawned the memory of that 4th grade report?

On my two-lane highway this morning. Eyes dart up ahead left, up ahead right. Scrutinize, which lane’s faster. I can judge speed like a human radar. I want up front. Sunday drivers. Feels free up front. Open air. I love my car. My car loves me back. Oh yeah. Picked the right lane.


A Change of Days

Smith’s Cloud, A Change of Days

Some of my deepest thinking time comes either when I’m in the shower, driving, or when I should be sleeping and the thoughts win out. More often than not, they are thoughts that belong in the dark. Tucked away tight, only to be pulled back out and perused on a rainy melancholy day like today. These are a few that I’m unable to ditch at the moment – just another day in the mind and Life of Bon.

I have found that some people spend far too much time judging others, instead of channeling that effort into something positive within their own lives.

I have found that the scales usually tip in favor of hard work getting you somewhere.

I have found that you’d better look out for yourself and not depend on someone else to do it. They don’t call it Number One for nothing.

I have found that no person is 100% honest. It’s just a given. People are always going to lie to you in some way, shape or form.

I have found that continually wishing things were or had been different is an excellent way of torturing yourself.

I have found that I’m a much better driver than the vast majority of other people on the road.

I have found that no matter how much time goes by, there’s a certain part of you that never completely heals once you’ve been cheated on.

I have found it to be true that your life from beginning to end is one big solo trip. Out of your visitors, some will stay awhile – most won’t.

I have found that dropping the f-bomb is one of life’s most calming effects, so I quit chastising myself from using it a long time ago.

I have found that sometimes a monumental being will be forgotten, and a mean-spirited person will be placed upon on a pedestal and memorialized.

I have found that given the choice to be right, or kind… I do try and pick kind. Hold the pats on the back, this isn’t necessarily a good trait.

I have found that second chances come around rarely, if ever. I’m the type who will risk it all for that second chance.

I have found the old saying to be true that no one has the ability to walk on you unless you are lying down. Unfortunately, successfully performing the maneuver of standing up usually deems me a bitch.

I have found that eating a slice of humble pie is not always a bad thing in order to keep check of yourself.

I have found that being yourself is the most important thing in the constant endeavor of staying true to yourself.

I have found that change is the only really permanent thing in life…


Giving Thanks, Part II

Reasons why I am blessed: 

    • My one and only child, my daughter, is amazing. I have absolutely no doubt she was heaven-sent. She’s smart, beautiful, kind and God-fearing – and she loves me as much as I love her. Well… almost. 🙂
    • My mother and my father are alive and well, and are each amazing in their own right. Our individual relationships are more precious and meaningful than I’ll ever be able to convey in words.
    • I’m fortunate enough to have found an honest, genuine, beautiful man who possesses the rare ability to love me unconditionally (and I love him more). His awesome family members are added gems.
    • A warm, comfortable, quiet house to come home to every day is my refuge, my peace, my tranquility.
    • My job affords me the ability to live. It’s a good job with good people at a reputable company – something I’ll never take for granted.
    • I own the most reliable vehicle in the history of reliable vehicles. I really do have the ‘little engine that could’. My little sedan has proven herself for many years now and still performs like a champ.
    • As of current I have no known debilitating disease or other affliction that would affect my daily life. I say this while I watch so many around me suffer – including children.
    • I count the small circle of genuine friends I have as part of my life’s riches. Because true friends are indeed a treasure.
    • I’ve never gone hungry. We always always have more food than we need.
    • My little furbaby Camille has brought more joy to my life than I could ever repay her with. It astounds me just how much love God has bestowed into these little hearts.
    • Never will I take my individual freedom to come and go and do as I want for granted. As a law-abiding citizen, I may travel at whim and make my own decisions – all benefits of free will.
    • My most beloved blessing… the most glorious gift from God for anyone who is willing to accept it – the promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.