To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “Musings

Time Change

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This weekend, most of us will get back that hour we lost in the Spring for Daylight Savings time. If you happen to still be in denial of the fall season (like me) – the time change could very well serve as an alarm clock to fall’s arrival.

The subject got me thinking this morning about time, and change, and how we change as we get older. My thinking time during the drive in to work will sometimes get me in trouble.

In the past I never really considered how much a person changes over time. Guess I figured you just travel through life keeping whatever preferences you always had. Now that my 46-going-on-26 year-old self is finding out that’s not the case, it’s got my attention. Here are a few things that come to mind when I consider these changes.

My taste in music. As far back as my adolescent years, I’d never listen to anything but rock. The heavier, the better. Now, country music has my heart. It actually soothes my soul and brings me peace.

My driving. I admit I used to be an aggressive driver, where even simple things set me off. Because of this I would experience cases of road rage at the drop of a hat. Now, my motto is ‘just get there safely’. I now look at operating an automobile through an entirely different set of eyes.

My taste in food. When I was young, there weren’t many things I would eat. I hated mac & cheese (any cheese, actually), pizza, seafood, cole slaw, and many others. The only fruit I would eat was a banana. From my 20’s to my 40’s, my ex was a picky eater. In this era, everything I cooked had to be bland – there was no ‘slipping in’ of an onion, tomato, cheese, mustard, etc. – lest he refuse to eat it. Fast forward to now – I love so many different foods and enjoy cooking new recipes with no restrictions as to the ingredients. I actually welcome opportunities to try foods from different ethnicities.

Life in general. I have found simplicity is the better way. This was not always the case for me. The older I get though, the more I search for an easier way to do things. This can range anywhere from household chores down to how I style my hair or what I wear. I’m constantly looking for better ways to save time. Maybe this is because with each new day we have less time left. We live in a world now where everything is complicated – government issues, terrorism, religious wars and a short-staffed workplace just to name a few. I yearn deeply for a world where everything is simple.

I never thought I’d see the day where my sweet Mom watches football games, y’all. If none of the above convinces you of people changing with time, maybe this one will. She inspires ME to watch more.

Time changes, all right. It’s become clear to me this will likely be an ongoing venture with many more changes to come. And, I’m okay with that.


Recent Findings

If we allow ourselves to admit it, we are all constantly learning new things about ourselves. In reality, perhaps it’s only the realization of some already existing traits; or where certain events have led us. Through spurts of time, I enjoy compiling certain findings to peruse at a later date – thought I’d share my most recent ones.

• Unlike the majority of the population, I do not trust cruise control – therefore I don’t use it. And I’ve tried. When enabled, I experience the most profound sense of loss of control ever. For this reason I must maintain control of the brake and gas with my own foot – just my own personal preference.

• I have found that you can learn a lot about a person simply by watching how they treat a stranger. I’ll go so far to say that it speaks volumes.

• I cannot understand why someone would purposely choose to stay in a relationship without a strong sense of commitment from each side. Of course, I’m aware there exists an entire rainbow of exceptions on this little finding.

• I can sit with the insides of my thighs, calves and ankles flat on the floor like a frog. When I was younger, I secretly enjoyed the looks of horror from others when I did it. I kinda still do.

• I’ve never broken a bone, had stitches or been in the hospital (with the exception of having my daughter, and a hysterectomy some twenty years later).

• I have found that under most conditions, I drive better with one hand instead of two.

• The $5 taco bell ‘box deal’ will generally be a disappointment due to a lot of dough. It’s better to just order what you like.

• I’ve abhorred any type of seafood my entire life, but 2 years ago found I love sushi. Not the veggie stuff, but good reputable sushi with raw fish. I have it at least once or twice a week.

• I dated Clyde Pickler (Kelli Pickler’s father) back when I was 17 and living in Albemarle, NC. This was long before he had Kelli. He was a nice guy and a gentleman – and of course we thought the whole ‘Bonnie and Clyde’ thing was treacherous. Back then, treacherous was the word Albemarlinians substituted for cool.

• I have a scar on the back of my right hand that looks exactly like the Starship Enterprise on Star Trek. It happened when I was washing dishes while swirling my hand inside a glass and the glass decided to bust. Thus, the ‘Scarship Enterprise’ serves as a daily reminder never to stick my hand in a glass again.

• Certain dreams have much significance to me, so I pay close attention to them. One such recent incident occurred two nights before Keith hit that deer. My mother has a very strong hold on this ‘gift’, and apparently my daughter as well – as she dreamed of the tragic 2005 tsunami two days before it happened. Unfortunately, with dreams you sometimes have to read between the lines and figure the details out.

• The power of certain words continually amaze me. Like a man who opts to use the word ‘dear’ condescendingly on a female. You can always spot it – I’ve found it’s almost always used in a persuasion effort. ‘Here here!! SEE THINGS MY WAY… NOW.’ Guys, you gotta know we don’t like that shit. So am I one of those females that will call you on it? Damn straight, every time. And for the record, it’s not my husband who does this. He’s a smart one, he is.


A couple months in the life…

My, how I’ve missed my little weblog. The last time I posted, Keith had hit a deer with his truck. He thankfully escaped injury to his self, but his truck (and the deer) was a hot mess.

What I failed to mention was the very next day was to be our 5th annual New Years beach trip. I was honestly ready to cancel any out of town plans at this point, but he seemed intent on going and rented an SUV so that we could still accommodate Mojo. Our first full day there, a small tornado touched down and ripped the roof smack off our condo. I was sitting on the couch against the wall and actually felt myself being lifted when it hit. Soon after, we discovered a large piece of the roof missed hitting our rental car by mere feet. Although it doesn’t show the extent of the damage from everything that fell (roof lights, concrete bags, etc.) here’s a photo of the aftermath.

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Parts of the roof are visible on top of the adjacent restaurant and under the palms on the asphalt. Keith had just walked Mojo in this same area 10 minutes prior to it happening. What is it they say again about those silver linings?

Aside from a lot of cleanup noise including chainsaws, a crane and lots of workerbees – the rest of the trip was awesome. One of my favorite memories would be our farewell balloons. We each assigned a few private hells from our past, then sent them out to sea forever. The picture’s pretty poor, but believe me when I say it’s very therapeutic to watch these babies go until you can’t see them anymore. Then they’re just… gone.

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I so enjoy watching the souls of the surfers… had to share this shot.

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Flash forward to now. Other than a few sushi dinners, a winter storm, watching my fellow southerners make national news with their stupid driving, a dog that wouldn’t allow us to build a snowman, an extreme gum-popper at work, a few dozen Twilight movie reruns, a couple nice unplanned car repairs and vet visits, and a sick husband diagnosed with pneumonia at the urgent care today – life has been pretty typical since the first of the year. Aside from the temporary pneumonia bit, we’re still on our honeymoon and we don’t see that ending anytime in the near future. 😀 But I’ve definitely got my nurse Bon hat on, the poor guy.

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Have I mentioned I’m stoked for full-time flip-flop wear again?


Hide ‘yo Crazy

Being a fish out of water is just not my cup of tea. I still find myself holding the perpetual empty jar in the ongoing quest to find my ‘niche’. One word – awkward. Having already gone through this once 5 years ago, I realize I’ve never had a ton of patience in the area of self-discovery. I second and third-guess every single thing I do and say. I’m quite unsure of myself, to say the very least – it’s a very unsettling feeling.

It seemed easy to lose my own sense of self in a long-term relationship – in which case, I mistakenly assumed was forever. I surrendered every bit of myself to a man and, subsequently, assumed a portion of his persona as my own. No matter whose fault a breakup is, the hurt and anger that ensues afterward simply has to be dealt with, and there are many ways of dealing. After a certain amount of time passes, I think it’s natural (I hate the word normal) to crave some form of human connection. Recently I’ve found myself venturing outside my comfort zone and conversing with a few friends of the opposite sex. Although I think they’ve gone well, my own inner core remains stone-cold and untrusting. While half of me hopes this little issue remains undercover, the other half screams defiantly, “I don’t [expletive] care!!”

I seem to have the innate ability to over-analyze something as simple as a pineapple. Miranda said it best…


Clean White Slate

My beloved South got it’s snow yesterday. It came in swift and accumulated very rapidly. It was a blessing for it to occur on a Saturday afternoon/night of the weekend! The residents here seemed perfectly content to have a warm night tucked safe in their homes, and enjoy the scenery of the beautiful white snow outside.

It brought along with it thunder and lightning, which has been endearingly termed Thundersnow. The conditions that lead up to this type of event are extremely rare, and usually only occur in the states along the East Coast.

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This morning, I couldn’t resist the urge to walk down the pathway adjacent to my building to the lake. Although the overnight ice was treacherous, I went slow to reach my intended target.

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The Prize:

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A true photographer at heart, whether professional or amateur (I’m most certainly the amateur), will do almost anything to get their intended shot.

Going back up…
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This is my second weekend here. Along came the cleansing white snow which, to me, signifies a clean white slate. That’s how I see it, anyway.

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Can you tell I have this little thing for trees?


Livin’ on the Edge

You know that 2-tire blowout Keith had last week? While en route to get fireworks last night, it was crudely brought to our attention that little incident did more damage than we originally thought.

Cruising down Highway 321 in Clover, SC – a large kathump happened on the passenger (my) side of the car and the brakes completely locked up. We went SCRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR for 200 feet or so while Keith struggled to maintain the wheel, making a split-second decision to take an opportunistic pull-off into a closed service station. He narrowly missed smashing into a big green dumpster before coming to a stop with the ass-end of the car still hanging out in the street. Neither of us said a word while it was happening, but once stopped we both cried out “what the f*ck!?!” in unison. What is it they say again about finishing each other’s sentences?

If you’ve ever wondered (raising my hand) what happens when you pop a ball joint from an axle… well, it looks something like this.

So much for that brand new set of four three tires and rims.

Reckon’ we gotta scratch that last-minute fireworks run, honey. Looks like them there wheels don’t roll end over end after awl!! Hell, maybe if we climb up on the roof o’ the house later we can enjoy some of those mortars our neighbors bawt…

Silver linings are everywhere to be found. There was no 105 degree weather, the rain had stopped an hour prior, and Keith wasn’t going the usual 65-70 mph down the interstate on his way home from work. We are safe, we are blessed – and God is good.


Weekly Photo Challenge: Fleeting Moment

With this weeks photo challenge being a fleeting moment on the street, I thought yesterday’s incident should fit fairly well as my subject.

The phone rang Thursday afternoon and I saw it was Keith, so I picked up immediately. “I’m on the side of the road, just blew two tires.” I hurried several miles down the road and found him preparing to change the right rear.

Having only one spare, we had to leave and buy a used tire to mount on the rim of the right rear which was now supported by the spare. Back at the car, he removed the right front and discovered he wouldn’t be reusing that rim. Double-whammie.

A fleeting moment with a very large rock in the road ended up being the culprit of the blowouts. Kinda gives a whole new meaning to the term Rocky Road…


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.


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.


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.


Here, hold my eggplant

Today’s date with my daughter at the farmers market was to start bright and early at 8 am, per her request. The little darling overslept, leaving me there to people-watch for over an hour which is a bad move. I’ve since decided ‘opening time’ at the farmer’s market isn’t necessarily the best time for yours truly to arrive. Why? Because this is when all the skinny little vegan people are scurrying about, looking desperately hungry, frail and cold. It’s not hard for me to spot ’em – their beady little accusing eyes attempting to size me up tends to give me the creeps. The women’s ponytails are pulled so tight it could actually serve as a breast-lift. Instead of one canvas tote, they’re carrying three or four – still requiring a dump of the first load in their car before going back in for another round. With stern expressions, they complete their mission like a well-oiled machine. Truth is, I guess I’m more of the I’m hungover, slept ’til noon and decided to come out in my pajamas®  type. Sue me.

So that’s my observation on spotting a vegan. I also learned something today from babygirl – it appears I’ve mispronounced ‘vegan’ all my life (for the short time I’ve known what they were, anyway). Apparently the correct pronunciation is vee’-gan, with a long e and hard g. I like my own pronunciation better, which is ve’-jan, with a short e and soft g. This just makes more sense to me – it sounds short for vegetable, which is what they eat, right? Vee’-gan sounds too much like a monster or witch or something. So I think I’ll keep saying ve’-jan.

I’m just having a little fun here, so if you’re one of ‘them’ I’m sure I hope you don’t resemble the vast stereotype I witnessed today. Word… I just might have joined forces with you if I didn’t enjoy my meat so [very very] much. Then again, I could never give up that extra-heavy leather coat I got for Christmas that still permeates an entire room with the most pungently aromatic leather smell everrrrr. Pure Heaven, I tell you.

Off to cook my chicken. And zucchini. And squash. And corn. Did I mention I’m having chicken?


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!


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.


A Christmas Vacation

“The most enduring traditions of the season are best enjoyed in the warm embrace of kith and kin. Thith tree is a thymbol of the thspirit of the Griswold family Chrithmath.”

~Clark W. Griswold

“Where ya gonna put a tree that big, Griswold?”

“Bend over and I’ll show you.”

My daughter and I are literally obsessed with the movie Christmas Vacation. I’m definitely not the best at remembering some of the quotes, but my girl can pull one out of her the air with absolutely no notice in less than a fraction of a second.

“You surprised to see us, Clark?”

“Oh, Eddie… If I woke up tomorrow with my head sewn to the carpet, I wouldn’t be more surprised than I am right now…”

Now I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but this kid of mine is a huge pile of awesomeness. Seriously. Just when I thought her awesomeness couldn’t get any more awesome, last night she sends me this picture of a sweater she made for an ‘Ugly Sweater’ Christmas party she was attending. In true Christmas Vacation fashion. (Did I mention the fact that she made it?)

She could market these things. The sweater, that is. 

“They had to replace my metal plate with a plastic one. Every time Catherine revved up the microwave, I’d piss my pants and forget who I was for about half an hour or so.”

This kid could take table scraps and turn them into the most fabulous Cinderella gown you’ve ever seen. Just like clockwork, her Christmas Vacation quotes start annually around October 1st. She still has that same laugh as when she was a baby, and gets a big rise out of making others laugh. And hey, who couldn’t use a little hilarity in a sometimes often stressful season?

“Oh, I was just smelling – smiling. I was just blouse – browsing. I, uh, heh heh. Well, I guess it just wouldn’t… Oh hee hee, it wouldn’t be the Christmas shopping season if the stores were any less hooter than they – HOTTER than they are. Whew. It is warm in here, isn’t it?”

She’s gonna shoot me for posting this, but see, I just can’t help myself. Now I’m getting all nostalgic in typical Clark-fashion. Seems like it was only yesterday when I dipped her in the ocean for the very first time… yeah, just like yesterday…

“Can I refill your eggnog for you? Get you something to eat? Drive you out to the middle of nowhere and leave you for dead?”

“Naw, I’m doing just fine, Clark.”

Mele Kalikimaka to you all!


Christmas in Boogertown

It’s very entertaining to me to learn the nickname of the area I now live is called ‘Boogertown’. When I first saw it listed that as my location on social networking sites, I honestly thought it was a joke. It’s not! Well, it’s probably a pretty good joke for the people to the north of us. 🙂

It’s true – I live in Boogertown. Hey, at least I’m outside the city limits.

I’m just about ready for the Christmas holidays to be upon us, good thing because it’s happening quickly. I got about the best news ever last night when Keith confirmed that his daughter will be here for Christmas – that means we’ll have BOTH our daughters home for the Holidays! We’re so excited about it, you just can’t get any better than to have your kids together at home on the most important holiday (to me, anyway) of the year. My own family gets together and celebrates on Christmas Eve – my mother, her husband, uncle and aunts – and Christmas Eve will be held here at our house this year. (Did I mention we’ll also have our daughters with us this year?)

‘The Stockings Are Hung By The Chimney With Care…’   (the one in the middle is Camille’s)

We’re already hot on the planning of the Christmas Eve menu. So far I have on the roster a turkey breast, dressing, meatballs, broccoli casserole, cranberries, my Mom’s most famous potato salad, a cheeseball, and many many other delectable goodies. My family will open up presents to each on the Eve, then later in the evening when everyone leaves we’ll all four have a family Christmas with our girls. The fire will be going, Christmas carols on, the lights outside twinkling. Christmas morning Keith and I will get up and cook our special breakfast, and let the girls sort through their stockings full of goodies. After that, we’ll pack up the car to head to Keith’s sister’s house for his side of the family’s Christmas. Just the mere thought of it all is so very magical to me – I already know it’s going to be a Christmas we’ll remember for the rest of our lives.

What have you all got planned for the Christmas holiday? ♥


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…


A Little Peak Inside

Hi all – just wanted to write a note to let you know I changed my user name on my blog last night, which in turn changed my url addy. bonniemelt.wordpress.com is no more – it’s now lifeofbon.wordpress.com

I did so without regard to the consequence –  when I saw what happened I immediately smacked myself in the forehead. Hard. Twice. If you made it here, it was either through twitter or because you took the necessary steps required to actually search for me. For that I’d like to express my deepest appreciation, as well as offer an apology for the inconvenience. I promise not to pull a stunt like this again anytime soon.

Warm regards, ~Bon

Random Tuesday morning thoughts, by Bon:

  • I’ll be glad when all this leftover Halloween candy here at work is gone.
  • I really hope those little black specks I blew off my desk this morning weren’t rat terds. On one of my boss’s desk yesterday – gross. MINE – COMPLETELY UNACCEPTABLE.
  • The trees outside these windows are nothing short of mesmerizing – hope I can look away long enough to get some work done today.
  • We now have enough firewood at home to survive us through an entire winter with no heat. Strangely, I find myself wanting more.
  • I wonder what’s gonna be on the Thanksgiving menu.
  • I wonder what’s gonna be on the Christmas menu.
  • Since I changed my user name on my blog last night, I’ll bet no one’s gonna be able to find me now. I’d love to have the ability to actually think before I do dumb things.
  • Partylite candles are ridiculously expensive.
  • The decreased battery life of my iPhone really concerns me.
  • Only two more weeks to go until my next day off.
  • The mouse running around my work had damn sure better stay out of the new Vera Wang slippers I bought to keep here.
  • Sometimes I wish I could turn off the daydream switch.
  • People who update their facebook status every hour really really annoy me. Get a twitter or something.
  • Why did I grab the pair of jeans that has the lazy fly this morning?
  • I have the most amazingly incredible boyfriend ever. Even if the word ‘boyfriend’ isn’t taken seriously.
  • We need to take a new group picture here at work. Some people in the old one have been gone 5+ years.
  • Have I mentioned I DON’T DO MICE.
  • I really wish my mammogram results would hurry up and get in my hands.
  • I want a really good jump rope. Wonder where I can get one.


A Day in the Life of Camille

This morning as I sat in front of my computer, my trusty sidekick hung out with me.
I caught her snuggling with Mr. Frog (the first stuffed animal Keith ever gave me).
For once, I happened to have the camera right beside me.

A few minutes later, she gave her customary ‘hummpphh’ from her table beside the computer desk. Knowing my little girl so well, I immediately took note it was more than a ‘hey mommy, over here!!’ grunt. It was obvious she was planning a desk-launch, and she wanted clearance to do so.
And so the stance was taken.

No, Camille.” Hunched forward again in pounce mode. (A little firmer now) “Camille – NO.”
She then backed off completely with one exception – her little left paw was left suspended
and quivering in mid-air.

And it hung.

And hung. And quivered.

“Aren’t I cuuuuute, Mommy?
Let me squint my eyes at you to let you know how much I love you Mommy and,
and, and… you are getting very sleepy, Mommy…”

“sooooo, now could be my chance – lemme slide in a little looksie at two o’clock…”

She shoots – she scores.

After digging her out from the wires on back of computer (oh how I hate that)
comes the dreaded walk of shame.

“Whatta you mean I gotta get back on the bore-table?! All that work for nuttin’??
Oh I’m pissed. No, I won’t look at you. No. I’m so…”

…pissed, I tell you. Errr, what… a close-up you say?
Well – okay, gotta look my best for dem close-ups. Cheese!!”


Your Move

Actions speak louder than words. Out of all of them, this one’s probably my very favorite quotation.

It’s always been up in the air as to the exact birth of this famous quote. To name a few possible contributors – 16th-century French writer Michel de Montaigne is credited with saying, ‘What you do means more than what you say.’ Prior to that, St. Francis of Assisi followed a similar principle by saying ‘Saying is one thing and doing is another.’

Here’s a few monumental quotes that fall along the same lines, copied from a favorite quote site – The Quote Garden. It moved me to see the many variations… I hope you enjoy them as much as I did.

Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.  ~Alfred Adler

Well done is better than well said.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned.  ~Peter Marshall

Action is eloquence.  ~William Shakespeare

Remember, people will judge you by your actions, not your intentions.  You may have a heart of gold – but so does a hard-boiled egg.  ~Author Unknown

Talk doesn’t cook rice.  ~Chinese Proverb

Action is the last resource of those who know not how to dream.  ~Oscar Wilde

Contemplation often makes life miserable.  We should act more, think less, and stop watching ourselves live.  ~Nicolas de Chamfort

Deliberation is a function of the many; action is the function of one.  ~Charles de Gaulle, War Memoirs, 1960

Action is the antidote to despair.  ~Joan Baez

Ironically, making a statement with words is the least effective method.  ~Grey Livingston

A nod, a bow,
and a tip of the lid
to the person
who coulda and shoulda
and did.
~Robert Brault, “A Poem Missing the Word Woulda”

He that waits upon fortune is never sure of a dinner.  ~Benjamin Franklin

In skating over thin ice, our safety is in our speed.  ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not be wise in words – be wise in deeds.  ~Jewish Proverb

The secret of getting ahead is getting started.  ~Mark Twain

Not everything that is faced can be changed, but nothing can be changed until it is faced.  ~James Baldwin

When deeds speak, words mean nothing.  ~African Proverb

As I grow older I pay less attention to what men say.  I just watch what they do.  ~Andrew Carnegie


MY Bucket List

If any of you out there would like to do this – I’d love to read yours!!

‘Every man dies. Not every man really lives.’ ~William Ross

  1. Cage-diving with great white sharks. Though I prefer great whites off the coast of South Africaany shark over 12 ft. in any ocean will do. Second choice of sharks would be bulls or tigers.
  2. Swim in a clear blue sea. This could be anywhere from the Caribbean to the Keys. As long as it’s clear and blue.
  3. Experience what it’s like to be proposed to.
  4. Write a book. One that gets published – even better.
  5. Zip-line somewhere in or near a tropical setting.
  6. Witness a media shower.
  7. Wear a wedding dress.
  8. Swim with dolphins. Not just coexist in the water together – I want to touch them, let them pull me around, and give them kisses. 🙂
  9. Own my own boat. Not a yacht or anything – just one that could tote 8-10 people around comfortably.
  10. Learn to Salsa Dance… well.
  11. Learn to surf. Five full seconds atop a wave would make me uber-happy.
  12. Have Gary LeVox and the band of Rascal Flatts sing live to me.
  13. Get my passport. When I finally win that trip around the world I’d like to be able to actually go, after all.
  14. Go sailing. Real sailing. On a real moving sailboat.
  15. Get a tattoo of a butterfly. And I can stop at one. At least I think I can.
  16. Possess a concealed carry permit. Along with my piece.
  17. Revisit my birthplace, Muenchweiler, Germany.

(Footnote: I have no qualms about combo-packaging numbers 11, 8, 5, 2 and 1.)


Those darn social networks…

My friend Kim over at What Now? It’s a Matter of Inflection… wrote a very nice post yesterday about how much positive energy she’s gotten out of facebook. Keeping up with friends and family updates on facebook does seem to be of the ‘norm’ nowadays. At the risk of looking like a copycat, I’ve got to run with a prime example that coincides closely with her own post.

I have a rut routine in the morning. First I go straight for my little 7-day container of medicine, pretty much consisting of bp meds and vitamins, scoring either a diet coke or diet Dr. Pepper to down them. Then I’ll grab my iPhone, where I’ll quickly graze facebook and twitter to get any up-to-date news and make sure nobody died (seriously, I’ve found this kind of stuff out on there before). I’ve found I don’t need any rss feed on other news channels, since anything newsworthy will appear on either of these two social networks.

C’mon Bon… what’s your point??

Soooo – I wake up this morning to a facebook post by my 23-year old daughter that reads, “I hate hospitals. Ewwww.” Posted at approximately 0327 hours.

Instant panic. Of course, none of the comments posted afterward allude to what actually happened, which is par for the course. My fingers couldn’t text her fast enough this morning.

Why are you texting her, Bon – why not just call her? This is important, after all!!

Today’s generation of children do not answer their cell phone. Additionally, do not bother leaving them a voicemail. If you do prefer to waste your precious time leaving a voicemail, know that it will sit all alone in it’s inbox for years until tumbleweeds begin to float past it. Our kids today only want a written (short) text which they may respond to AT. THEIR. LEISURE. If you know all this beforehand, it’ll save you a lot of time and trouble. Unfortunately since I’m a first-generation parent of the current generation of kids – I’ve had to learn it all the hard way.

I didn’t receive any reply from my daughter until just now, 1104 hours in the morning. The golden text just arrived telling me she is fine, and it was her friend who had cut his hand wide open. While cutting an apple. At three in the morning. Of course, her phone died while waiting 4 hours in the ER, and since she didn’t go to bed until this morning she couldn’t hear Mum’s text! At least now I can finally sigh very loudly breathe easier knowing that she’s okay. You never stop worrying about your kids. I guess it’ll be the same at any age, 23 or 53.

In closing, I guess Kim and I won’t be closing down our facebook accounts anytime soon! I hope everyone out there enjoys a wonderful weekend. 🙂


Ode to a Grown Man

I’d like to eventually have/make more time to spend on reading other’s blogs. It’s something I really enjoy, particularly the ones of those who take their own precious time to comment on mine. With all the stuff I’ve had going on with moving, work and the likes of everything else, my hope is to get settled in soon and do just that – consistently. I’m amazed at the talent that each of you have – whether it be through writing, arts, or a combination of both. It inspires my own desire to do better. I thank each of you for that.

In updating my blog roll tonight, once again I had heavy thoughts of a certain individual in our blogging world. This is someone that I miss very much – known as Grown Man (as self-referred, GM). It’s for this reason I chose to profile Grown Man in this post today. If you’ve never visited his blog, why not hop on over and read a few excerpts. Click the ‘list’ link for more options. I can guarantee you’ll have to break yourself away from it.

Grown Man has not posted since November of 2010. Prior to that, his fairly frequent posts were eloquent, vivacious and packed full of wisdom. Although geared mainly towards the male genre, his content inspired males and females alike. His own hilarity paired with common sense insight on the male psyche made for some darn good reading and entertainment… not to mention education. He remained ever-kind in his replies, to which he always gave. I’ve always been a sucker for that kindness trait. The love he had for his wife was evident, not exactly spelled out – rather something that was apparent between the lines. I deeply respect his writing style.

I do worry about what may have happened to him, at the risk of sounding silly. Did he meet a dreadful fate… or did he abandon it for a chance of a lifetime, moving on to a bigger and better thing? I’ve googled to no avail to find out what might have happened, having noticed his twitter feed has also been abandoned. He had the potential to be HUGE, and was already getting there fast. Over 188K hits with less than 80 entries – this thing grew pretty quick, my friends. It’s obvious by reading the comments on his last post that his readers really miss him.

I’ll continue to have Grown Man appear on my blogroll because I prefer his legacy to live on, even if not ongoing. I agree with one of the last commenters who stated, appropriately: We miss you, Grown Man. 

Grown Man’s Blog (or, just click the picture above)

Footnote: Even my Keith enjoyed reading GM’s posts, and he’s not usually into reading blogs unless he’s coerced into reading mine, cough-cough. 🙂