To each his own. To me my own.

Posts tagged “random

Surgery Day

That time has come. I have to be at the hospital at 0530 tomorrow for surgery at 0730. For the past week and a half the sheer apprehension of it has all but taken it’s toll. I’m anxious to have this behind me and get back to my life… a life where I can actually eat a full meal, the food tastes delicious and my stomach isn’t tied up in a knot.

Peace out and talk to ya soon.


Mom

The following is a widely spread story/poem in which the author remains unknown… I felt Mother’s Day weekend was a most appropriate time in which to share. I wish all of you exceptional ladies a very special and memorable day spent with loved ones.

And, Happy Mother’s Day, Mom. 🙂

The child asked God, “They tell me you are sending me to earth tomorrow, but how am I going to live there being so small and helpless?”

“Your angel will be waiting for you and will take care of you.”

The child further inquired, “But tell me, here in Heaven I don’t have to do anything but sing and smile to be happy.”

God said, “Your angel will sing for you and will also smile for you. And you will feel your angel’s love and be very happy.”

Again the child asked, “And how am I going to be able to understand when people talk to me if I don’t know the language?”

God said, “Your angel will tell you the most beautiful and sweet words you will ever hear, and with much patience and care, your angel will teach you how to speak.”

“And what am I going to do when I want to talk to You?”

God said, “Your angel will place your hands together and will teach you how to pray.”

“Who will protect me?”

God said, “Your angel will defend you even if it means risking it’s life.”

“But I will always be sad because I will not see You anymore.”

God said, “Your angel will always talk to you about Me and will teach you the way to come back to Me, even though I will always be next to you.”

At that moment there was much peace in heaven, but voices from Earth could be heard and the child hurriedly asked, “God, if I am to leave now, please tell me my angel’s name.”

God looked softly down at the child and whispered, “Your angel’s name is of no importance. You will simply call her ‘Mom’.”


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.


Stand For Change Day

This Friday, May 4th, is the inagural “Stand for Change” day – a day in which participating schools across the US will attempt to raise awareness of bullying in our youth.

I wasn’t a stranger to bullying as a child. I remember a boy named Randy decided to make me his target in 5th grade. For virtually half the school year he threatened me with his fists and chased me. When I finally told my mother and grandmother about it, my grandmother happened to get off early so she came by the school to pick me up. I felt so brave with her there that I walked right up to Randy with my head held high and planted myself about a foot in front of him. He gripped the front of my t-shirt all the way up to my chin (I still can feel the embarrassment of having my bare chest exposed to everyone) then rared back the other fist to punch me. Lo and behold, here comes my Savior disguised as a white haired lady – belting out of a yellow Ford Pinto and hauling ass across the parking lot. Once Randy saw her, he ran away as fast as he could. He was almost laughed out of class the next day for the incident. Nothing like your family’s love! Incidentally, Randy never bothered me again, and we even ended up becoming close friends in Junior High School.

I’m fortunate not to have experienced any bullying from other females. The same sex can be so competitive, especially in this day and age. Add to that all the social networking sites and internet that we didn’t have back then… well you get my point.

It’s true that today, over 160,000 kids stayed home from school from fear of bullying. FEAR. A word I so despise… especially when paired with intimidation. That type of fear is gut-wrenching, especially when you feel like you’re in it alone. It’s a fear that can escalate into suicidal thoughts, and actions. If that’s not enough to grab our attention, I don’t know what is.

I’m sad to learn only certain states or even lone cities here in the US are participating in this classroom awareness event on Friday – Florida seems to be the largest participant and I applaud them for that. Remember that even if you don’t have young children – bullying has probably affected your life in some way, shape or form. Perhaps you remember how it felt to be bullied as a child – maybe you have grandkids to worry about. Promoting awareness and just plain getting it out in the open is crucial.

There’s no place for hate. We have more than enough hate to deal with as adults – we need to do everything we can to protect our children.

Stand for Change.  http://stand4change.org/

No Place for Hate.  http://www.adl.org/npfh/


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.


Mr. Mojo Risin’

I found the little boy an hour after he was posted on the shelter’s website, and immediately called to inquire on him. I was told there was someone else also interested, but that the staff would put a ‘note’ out for him with my contact info signalling I was interested too. I know how this works and have done it before, many times. Realizing the shelter operates on a first-come first-serve basis, I literally ran up to my boss and asked if I could leave work an hour early, which he graciously obliged.

As I walked in the door, my heart sank – a large woman with another small dog in tow already had him in the acquainting room with her. I watched as she shooed him off with her foot and leg, and barked out commands which the little eleven-week puppy had yet to learn (she was also blissfully unaware of her loud voice bellowing into the corrider for everyone else to hear). I went to the front desk and spoke to the girls about ‘pup’, telling them I also had a note out on him. To my chagrin they informed me that Mean Lady™ was going to adopt him. Mean Lady™ had been there for hours waiting to adopt, but their computer system was down and they had to wait for it to come back up to complete the adoption. I verified once again that this was to be a sure thing, and they told me it was. As I walked toward the exit door, I noticed Mean Lady™ had her oversized leg and foot outstretched again towards the pup. I left the shelter in tears even though I’d never even met the little fella. I wondered just what kind of life he had in store for him.

That night at home I told Keith about my misadventure at the shelter and that Mean Lady™ was probably at home with her new pup by now. I pulled up the shelter’s website on the internet to show Keith his picture and immediately noticed he was still listed. They probably haven’t updated their database, I thought. I called them up anyway.

“Hello, my name is Bonnie Melton and…”

“Oh, Miss Melton, we were just about to call you!

“You werrrrrrre??”

As it turned out, Mean Lady™ thought the pup would grow to be ‘too big for her needs’ (I’m thinking she knew she couldn’t kick around a larger dog). Just as well.

SCORE ONE FOR THE BON.

Meet Mr. Mojo Risin. That’s Mojo to his homies. I guess now I’ll be able to say with full confidence… I’ve got my mojo back.

NewMommy said we’re going HOME now. I like the word home… it sounds homey.

My new sissy. I like sissies, cuz’ they give good kisses.

See?? Told ya.


I’m so sleepy and NewMommy’s purse is oh-so-comfy.

I think NewMommy needs some direction here…

What?? Who, me – pull?? Never.

The little eleven week-old border collie mix has stolen my heart from the very beginning. How someone could mistreat these little defenseless animals is beyond me. Here’s an added bonus… Mojo and Camille have the same color scheme going on! So does that mean I can say I have designer pets??


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.


The Sound of Silence

If I have to say it out loud, it’s going to change us. It’s something that’s been in open sight for a long time now. I’ve written, hinted, and black & white printed. How much this actually means to me is well-known… though still it goes ignored and unacknowledged.

Silence is not always golden.

If I have to say it out loud, it will become clear that my aspirations are one-sided. Because saying it out loud will abolish any real chance in experiencing the joy of that profound moment – the moment when I realize that I am wanted. Really wanted.

Silence.

If I have to say it out loud, it could indeed serve to confirm my deepest and darkest fears. Fears such as I’m not the one, I’m not good enough, I’m not worth the risk – perhaps even that I’m not deserving of the life I’ve yearned for so long.

Silence.

If I have to say it out loud, know that will forever change our dynamics. Once it’s done, it’s done. After it’s said, we can never go back to our old life as we knew it to be before…

I had to say it out loud.

~Life of Bon, 2012

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tc677cJndLc&rel=0]


Tunnel Vision

Each in separate cars, Keith and I were on our way somewhere. As I drove behind him, all of a sudden he made a quick turn and disappeared from my sight. I immediately took note of the fact that my phone was not with me. Of course, I could still ‘see’ him worriedly dialing it over and over to no avail, not understanding why I didn’t answer. A mile or two further up the road I turned the car around, parked, got out and started walking back the direction I’d seen him last.

As I was walking, I happened upon a grocery cart. Not just any old grocery cart – one that I could push off with one foot and ride on down the sidewalk like a skateboard! This baby was slick as a whistle and was getting me places fast. That is, until I noticed I was skimming through what seemed to be a bad side of town – then it started skipping and giving problems. Suddenly passersby started throwing garbage at me and calling me homeless. Not a good feeling.

While still pushing the cart along I noticed a familiar face – a former schoolmate named Seth. I asked Seth if he’d seen Keith, to which he replied “Yeah, he’s over at DNA.” Now I had no idea where this DNA place was, but it didn’t appeal to me to find out. I turned around and began the trek back to my car.

I never located Keith.

By the time I reached my car I’d made the decision to take a little vacation all by myself. I somehow ended up with a reservation at what was to be a very large and swanky log cabin located in the mountains. I remember draining my savings to pay for myself 3 nights at this place for the sum total of exactly $2967.00 or $2963.00 (that last digit is foggy though I repeated it several times). I got there only to find I had to dig my way underground in a tunnel to actually reach my final destination. I used a huge outdoor umbrella and other objects to push the heavy dirt out of the way;  it took a long time to dig my way there. When I finally arrived I was filthy, but gave the guy a check and went inside to check out my beautiful One-Grand-Per-Night posh quarters. I was appalled to find it resembled something like a concentration camp, with one huge darkened room containing 8-10 double beds; meaning I was bunking with others. The linens and curtains were yellowed and worn. No bath or shower was afforded, just one 4×4 room with a toilet. The other ‘guests’ seemed as appalled as I was, but for some reason were planning on fulfilling their stay.

I demanded a full refund, which I received after having to wait an hour for the guy to return from lunch. Meanwhile, my Mom met me ‘on the outside’ after I emerged from the tunneled hole (exiting was the same as entering, after all). I’d forgotten my luggage, and was despaired to find I would be forced to dig back through that long set of tunnels in order to gather my belongings. My Mom insisted on coming with me even though I’d advised her how hard the trip would be. And so, we began.

A kiss on the cheek awoke me from the dream. I was told to have a great day and that I was loved. Keith was leaving for work.

Because you know this is how I roll, here’s a few search results in my quest to find the meaning of this dream. I find that a few closely correspond with current events in my life… a few don’t.

  • To see freshly stirred dirt in your dream symbolizes thriftiness and frugalness. Dirt is also representative of situations where you have been less than honorable and may have acted in a devious manner. You are trying to conceal or bury your questionable behavior.
  • To dream that you are living underground signifies a loss of status and wealth and even the longing for a greater piece of mind and sanctuary. You may be placing these matters and thoughts into the subliminal part of your mind.
  • Dreams that take place underground represent the dreamer’s need to explore feelings – possibly painful ones – that up until now they’ve kept hidden. Coming back up or emerging from underground in the dream suggests that the dreamer is ready to do this.
  • To dream of being underground is associated with feeling the need to hide oneself from other people or situations. Such a dream is typically the result of great shame, guilt and low self-esteem. Something could be going on under the surface or a change in lifestyle may be indicated.
  • To dream that you are digging, indicates that you are working to hard to uncover the truth in a problem that is haunting you. You may also be overly preoccupied with trying to find out about yourself, your reputation and your self-identity. Alternatively, the dream suggests that you are working on getting to the root of some issue. Or the dream could be a metaphor to imply an insult.
  • In a nutshell, any type of dream where you find yourself underground shows that you have a prominent fear of losing control of your life and that you are worried about failure.

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.

😀


(P)interested?

I’ve been quite firm on the fact that I would never join another social network. Years ago, Myspace was popular before it went poof like a thief in the night faded away. Ever since Facebook climbed to the top of the social networking ladder, it’s been my one and only. Honestly, I don’t even frequent it anymore except to wish someone Happy Birthday. You know the old saying, “If it weren’t for Facebook I wouldn’t remember any birthdays”? This is very true for me.

For months now, all I’ve heard is talk of Pinterest. After hearing about it for that long, I figured I’d sneak in, sign up and see what all the fuss was about.

I likie. In fact, I likie so much that I may not be remembering any more birthdays.

If you’re not familiar with it, I’ll tell you a little bit about it. Pinterest is an online ‘pinboard’ where you can organize and share all your favorite findings on the web. Recipes, style, home/living ideas, crafts, wedding planning, quotes, travel – virtually anything you can think of. You are provided with category ‘boards’ in which you organize your findings. You may use the default categories initially provided, or customize them to your liking. It’s important to know that anything you pin is linked back to a url address, so it’s a good idea to click first and know where it leads before you pin or re-pin. I like the fact that you don’t have to socialize or talk on it.

With the array of categories, I can see why the largest percentage of users on Pinterest are women. However I do have a guy friend on there, who finds a large interest in beer. Seriously, he has found some pretty cool beer that I plan to check out in the future. Like maybe over a long weekend. 🙂


The early bird got the worm

A budding tree’s silhouette in 7am light

I’ve had my eye on the big tree right outside my work for almost a month now, since history has taught me it’s the first to bloom. It wasn’t until yesterday morning that I noticed it was now nearing blossom stage… the buds are no more.

Silly me. I blinked and missed it.


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?


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]

Thinking Out Loud

Right before bedtime last night, I found out another friend of mine had gotten engaged. I’m uber-happy for her because, well, because she’s a wonderful person and she deserves it. She has three years invested with this man, and they both know full well what they’re getting into. Isn’t her ring absolutely gorgeous??

Which got me thinking (uh-oh). Three years. That’s almost how long I have invested. Don’t worry, I’m not going there again. Oops… guess I just did.

That dreaded Kenny Rogers song has been ringing in my head all morning, so I thought I’d do you all a favor and put it in your heads too.

“You gotta know when to hold ’em… know when to fold ’em… know when to walk away, and know when to run. You never count your money… when you’re sittin’ at the table – they’ll be time enough for countin’… when the dealin’s done.”

You’re welcome.


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!


Cupid Rhymes with Stupid

Does anyone out there actually like Valentines Day? Start looking forward to it as soon as the new year rolls around? Hello… any takers? Anyone at all? I apologize beforehand for my overly pessimistic curmudgeon-like attitude today. All of us need to rant now and then, and today looks to Be Mine. Pardon the pun.

If you look up a Valentine Grinch in the dictionary, you’ll see a big ole picture of yours truly. Seriously. Most people associate this day with love – but for reasons different than you might think, I associate it with hate. Valentine’s day happens to mark the anniversary of the worst day of my life. Through a dark and hellish series of events which originally started as a ‘gift’, this so-called special day actually ushered in the beginning of the end of my marriage. Such is life.

A couple of friends recently told me they dread Valentine’s Day this year because they’re single. Upon my response, “I hate it too, I wish we could just skip it”, each fired back with something along the lines of, “Yeah, but that’s easy for you to say because you’re currently with someone”.

Well… that might be how they see it (perhaps rightfully so, from their perspective) –  but it’s not how I see it. The fact that I currently have someone in my life will neither make the day more bearable or ‘easy’. Thing is, no one will ever see that evil day that took place years ago like I myself still see it. Although it’s frustrating knowing that most people will never ‘get this’ about me, I’m not at all certain I would even want them to. Sometimes an attempt to understand is accompanied by a strong sense of pity, of which I want none of. Suffice it to say that I would never wish upon another person this same catastrophic set of circumstances, especially when it’s all you’re left to mark a holiday like Valentines day with.

I’ve waited years for the after-effects of that abominable day to soften, to ease up, to heal. However fine I may appear on the outside, my inside is still just as raw and tortured as it was nearly a decade ago. I am the not-so-proud owner of a silent hell which has left me in an everlasting war with it’s demons – when all I ever wanted was for it to go away. The more time that passes, the more I realize this nightmare has likely taken a permanent residence within the balm of my existence.

V-day will come again, as always… and I’ll deal with it, as always. I don’t need a designated day on the calendar to celebrate my love for a person – I’m a big girl and I can choose to do that on any of the 365 days we’re annually afforded. Thanks.

I have earned my Grinch status. So kiss this, V-Day.


A View from Mount Mitchell

Those who know me are well aware of my continuing quest to kick acrophobia out the window once and for all. Thought I’d share a few pictures of our road-trip yesterday up to Mt. Mitchell, the highest peak of the Appalachian Mountains and the highest point in the eastern United States. This is the highest up I’ve ever been. For those of you who’ve been much higher and think this is a simply a walk in the park – humor me. I’m terrified this high up (mainly during the drive up and down), but for some reason the mountains keep calling me back. It’s so beautiful and peaceful here, even if it does scare me to death.


Hint-hint

Ever throw a hint that doesn’t get picked up on? Maybe you’re sure that it’s a strong enough one to be recognized but it gets averted anyway, or worse – avoided. Not a good feeling. Can even be frustrating, especially if the hint’s been thrown out on a semi-annual basis for any length of time.

Hinting about a want, desire, or issue of importance in your life can be mentally draining when the hint goes unacknowledged. I understand it’s sometimes better to come right out and say what it is you want – but for me that key word is sometimes. The problem I have with this is, depending on the subject matter, there are wants/needs I just don’t believe I should have to suggest or hint for. It’s just the way I feel, the way I was brought up, the way… well, let’s just say I don’t want to repeat any past mistakes. That’d be kind of stupid.

Mama always said, stupid is as stupid does.

Setting Stages is a very close friend of hinting, and they often show up at the same event together. I’ve set some pretty cool stages myself, if I may say so – like Biltmore House and the beach. Is it right? Wrong? Hell, I don’t know. I just know I could do it, so I did. There’s this little thing you’ve gotta remember about setting stages, though. If your expectations are too high, you’ll end up setting your own self up for disappointment. Which sucks.

Throwing out an effective hint can be tricky. It needs to be thought out carefully beforehand, because the last thing you want is for the hint-recipient to feel pressured or bad in any way. You need to make sure whatever it is you’re hinting for isn’t too far-fetched or ‘out of reason’. If repeated hints never get addressed or acknowledged, the time will come when you must accept the fact that it’s probably something the other person doesn’t want.

Some things are meant to be… while others aren’t. And I’m pooped.


Working Class Hero

This recession has really played havoc on the new construction business, that’s no secret. Being an elevator mechanic, this 100% affected Keith’s career. A few weeks ago, his old job called and asked him to come back. This is the place he’d worked for almost 18 years, who’d initially laid him off several months after we’d started dating back in ’09. The company that had since ‘picked him up’ (I use that term extremely loosely) would only work him for short tenures, which was when they got in a crunch and really needed him. Then BAM – it would be dude, we don’t need you to come in tomorrow. Actually uh, maybe not for another month or two. (cough-cough… shady) Even though he offered them a good working notice, when Keith informed Shady Place he was leaving for full-time working status again, the guy actually copped an attitude about it. Like a dog that didn’t want the bone but didn’t want any other dog to have it either. Go figure.

Thought I’d share several pictures he took of the silo his team is currently working on. All work is outdoors so they’re in the element for sure, but he thinks it’s super-cool. So do I.

It’s over 400 feet up, and if you enlarge the picture below you can actually see the Charlotte skyline in the center. I’m just not a real big fan of the splintering wood.

He said this job is unusual because of the man-made catwalk around it and the makeshift elevator on the outside they have to ride up each morning in the dark. Up high the wind is double to triple what it is on the ground. This structure differs from skyscrapers and other taller buildings he’s worked on in the past in that there really isn’t a retreat indoors. The picture of the center steel above reminded me of a scene from the movie Shawshank Redemption, where as they retarred the roof, old Andy Dufresne bargained for his ‘coworkers’ to have three cold beers apiece.

Friday night Keith told me about an opportunity that he put his name in the hat for, so to speak. It would be for a two-year stint in the Bahamas, for a new resort that’s going up – so he would be there for the long-haul. He won’t know immediately whether he is chosen, but I so totally would’ve have put my name in for it too. I mean, if you don’t have small children at home or some other commitment that needs honoring, how could you resist? The pay would be outstanding and well – there’s a lot of perks to it, as well as disadvantages. If his name does get picked… we’ll just go from there.

As of current – he’s just happy as a lark to have his old job back. 🙂