Wednesday, July 30, 2014

Trying Again... and Taking Bets

I bought some “lucky” bamboo today.
I am probably insane if I think it will work but it is something green in my otherwise nothing green office environment. It has happy plastic gemstones in the votive candle holder planter. Let’s see how long it takes me to kill it. Taking bets…

Why did I buy a little green bamboo plant? Well… it was $14 and it looked full and happy which made me think it had magical Chinese infectious properties and would in turn make me full and happy. I am already full (ish) so let’s see if it makes me happy before it meets an untimely slow demise because I forgot it needs water. 
As much as I try I cannot manage to make a plant thrive in my care. I have killed everything… some things take more time than others but they all die. Usually due to drowning because I don’t like to stick my fingers in dirt to see if it even needs water to begin with. I love to have plants all over my deck and front porch but they are a money pit… because I always have to replace dead ones half way through the summer.

I get an “A” for effort and an “X” for being a dumb ass thinking I could keep something alive for 6 months. I should let my home be a barren place void of anything green. It isn't like I don’t have enough green all around me... fields on three sides and woods on the last. Crops of corn and cotton to the right, left and front. Why do I need anything green or flowery on my porch and deck. Because it is inviting?? Pretty?

No. It is only for me. There isn't a single person that lives there that could give a flying flip about plants and flowers.  My house is pretty with flowers and ferns (which are a little harder to kill thank God) so I will continue to blow unnecessary funds on floral/foliage accents just for me. And if my husband wants to know how much it was (which he never asks) he will hear the requisite $50 response.

For those of you that aren't aware of the code… if he hears $50 that means don’t ask because you don’t want to know the real number. It is almost where he never asks how much anything is anymore…. and that is a good thing.

$50 isn't much for my months of happy thoughts because my deck and porch are so pretty. Nope.. $50 is good. (sshhh) If anyone ever drives past my house and everything looks lush and green just know that it is all new and all the dead stuff has just been replaced. And all is well with the world again.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Snap Bean Crazies... Gotta Love Them!

I love the people in my life that are completely bat shit, bonkers, snap bean crazy as hell. They are so entertaining. They also should be heavily medicated in most cases. And don’t think for a minute that I don’t occasionally include myself in this precious group of folks. We all could sit around a campfire and roast all the losers on this earth that make us who we are. Because it isn’t us… it’s them. Really… IT ISN’T US… IT IS THEM!

I could write a book (oh wait… I am writing a book) about all the things that make us want to take a flying leap off the deep end or stand on the edge and kick the idiots of the world who drive us nuts, right off that same edge, into the dark abyss never to return.

I used to make my friend return things for me at the mall (you know who you are) … (Melanie) because she had that LOOK. That “don’t mess with me” look that everyone was intimidated by and the return was expedited in a timely manner. Otherwise they were idiots and God help them. I just sat back as an observer because I think it was therapy for her when she had to deal with a customer service challenged person in the return department. They learned a lot if nothing else. She was able to unleash her wrath on them rid herself of all her pent up hostility and walk away with a smile. The poor person in the return department was left seriously questioning their career choice and pondering what the hell just happened. It was fabulous.

I don’t have that look. Although I think I am slowly developing some semblance of an intimidating glare. My husband says I have crazy claws like wolverine… and the look that goes with it. He does a great imitation of them coming out, complete with the “swoosh” sound. Maybe to him I do… and I don’t think that is such a bad thing!

I think we all have a “crazy line”, like a line in the sand. We can either stay in control and stay on the safe side of that line or we can just hopscotch over it and play with all our looney friends. It’s much more fun on the looney side… just saying. If only everyone else in the world would just leave us alone.
So, my friends, appreciate the crazy people in your life. As long as they are not a danger to themselves or others (and I mean bodily assault like danger) enjoy them for all the aspects of their craziness. As long as they are entertaining they are worth keeping. Laughter is the best medicine and crazy laced looney laughter is even better!

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Moment of Gratitude

More frequently than not I am finding things to be thankful for, my glass is more often than not – half full-
if not more.

Obviously my close knit circle of people and family is at the top of my gratitude list. After that I can extend it to my work family who are always there, listening to the bitching and the laughter, coaching and even silently supporting me through my daily existence. We all seem to have a bit of crazy that links us together and somehow makes us productive.

And then there are the small gifts of positive encouragement from strangers. I started writing my blog three months ago and as of this morning it has had 3500 views on 50 posts. Now, granted that is only about 70 views per post but even that is a WOW for me. Who knew that ANYONE would be interested in ANYTHING I had to say! I am amazed and encouraged to keep writing and saying what I think needs to be said. Good or bad, sensitive or controversial.

Thank you all for your love and support. 

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Freedom From Ashes

Quote for Today:
You own everything that has happened to you. Tell your stories.
If people wanted you to write warmly about them they should have behaved better.

I have hundreds of pages in a journal/memoir and have been writing over many years. The thought of publishing it as a self-help/memoir/motivational/ survival or inspirational book has crossed my mind but I have dismissed it on many occasions because I knew that making a lot of things public knowledge would be extremely painful for my mother. Some things happened in my life that she is not aware of, or was not aware of the extent. I knew she would be shocked, hurt, embarrassed, devastated and feel personally responsible for trusting the wrong people and putting her daughter in harm’s way. I couldn't do that to her. It would break her heart and I love my mother too much to drag her through a painful past that was hard enough just for her – let alone finding out there was so much more to the story.

My mother passed away on April 24, 2014. Up until now I have put my own personal feelings aside out of love and respect for her and the life we have created after the things we have been through. I don’t have to keep things locked up anymore for safe keeping. Now is the time for my personal journey of healing to begin. Now that she is gone she is relieved and excused of the responsibility of the past. And I am free. Free to open up those windows, let the fresh air and sunshine in. My soul needs this.
 My mother, as well as myself and others in my family, are strong believers that life doesn't end here with ones death. Life goes on, just a different form. She had been to see John Edward several times in the past and was convinced he was definitely the real deal. Not long after she passed one of the first things we asked each other was –when is John Edward coming? As soon as we realized it was only a matter of weeks before he was in town we immediately ordered tickets. I went to see him once with them and not a single time did he say anything that applied to me so I was eager to see if now that she was gone she would come through.

So here I am in a room full of people that feel the same way and are hoping they get some kind of indication that the loved one they miss so terribly is ok. John Edward said something so very true at the beginning of his session… he said that although we feel the loss and miss these loved ones dearly – they don’t miss us. And this is why… because they are still with us, every day as we go about our lives they are still with us... but we don’t see it or hear it as if they were alive. There are no coincidences in this life and if you think that your passed loved one is communicating with you they more than likely are. That registered with me as something I will continue to tell myself every day.

This session begins at 6PM, over at 8PM, and he spends about 30 minutes talking about what he does and how he does it and how we know he is talking to us or the person next to us. The only thing I don’t like about it is that he spends 20 minutes or more talking to one group of people and I think by the end of the night he had only addressed 5-6 different families. I looked at my watch after an hour and 45 minutes and thought to myself… damn. Nothing. Nothing even close to applying to me. Only 15 minutes left and this thing is over… and I got nothing. And then he said the one and only thing that could apply to me out of about 250 people. He pointed to the area of the room I was sitting in and said … “I am being pulled to this area. And I know this will sound strange but this person will know who they are when I say this… Who in this area has a connection to the old TV show Dynasty” You could have blown me over with a feather. I was the only person in that room with a connection to that show. And apparently I wasn't the only one that knew it. So I raised my hand, was handed a microphone, and he asked me what was my connection. I told him my daughter’s name is Fallon. He leaned back on his chair and smiled… “yes, that is it”… and so it began… Poor fella was supposed to end at 8PM… she kept him going till about 815 PM.

This was one of the things he said to me that shocked me.

John Edward - Chicago… are you going to Chicago?
Me- No
John Edward - Have you been to Chicago?
Me- no
John Edward - he is showing me Chicago, Oprah etc… insisting about Chicago
Me- (laughing) well… this is kind of a joke but I tell my friends that I am writing a book and I am going to be on Oprah
John Edward - that is it… Chicago, Oprah, OWN network, O show… I’m seeing Oprah everywhere.
Me- its funny you say that because I just finished the chapter about living in Lebanon and going to church with my grandfather.
John Edward – yes. I’m not saying what will transpire with this book, I am just saying this is a good thing. He wants you to always remember how beautiful it was

No one in that room but me knew about this book. Just that little interaction validated what I was trying to accomplish and that maybe this is a good thing. Only one way to find out.Facing the demons is only the beginning. All these people are no longer in my life but they haunt my very existence every day. They are always in the shadows lurking and reminding me that this world is not a safe place. Has it clarified my vision of the world around me and the safety of my children? Yes. But it has also followed me like a black cloud all my life.

I have always been hesitant about sharing my story with anyone. How would I appear to others? Weak, pitiful a tortured soul in denial? I am not sure, and now I am to the point that I don’t really care. I have often thought about those people that told their story only to be called out on some of the facts. That will not happen here. There is no embellishing, no fluff for the reader to make it more interesting. It is what it is… or it was what it was. There is nothing written that cannot be verified, corroborated or validated one way or another. 
I am inviting you to come along with me on this journey. It is a story about coming out on the other side of circumstances in life and the fact that every day is a gift, what you do with it is up to you.  That is my goal … and I am doing my work. Writing is my therapy and I may write in circles but that is how my mind is working through it all. I will soon feel that sun shine on my soul – warming and healing so I can move on with the next chapters of my life. This will be the story and journey of acknowledgement, forgiveness and learning that the glass is always half full to full… no matter what mood I am in.

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Joy Suckers, Debbie Downers and the Reaping

You reap what you sow. If we all thought about that it could apply to every single aspect of our lives. You get out of something what you put into it.

If you have no friends… you must not be friendly
If you have no money… you must not be smart with the money you have
If you are not happy… you must not be doing what makes you happy

Whatever you put into something will directly reflect what you get out of it. I had this epiphany early this morning and it was quite the revelation for me. I put a lot of effort and love into my family and I can see the results of that effort. I must put the same positive effort into everything I do so I can live life to its fullest potential.

OK – now that I have realized the reaping and sowing thing, how does one combat the joy suckers and Debbie Downers of the world. Because those people with their black clouds and negative energy will suck you in so fast you won’t even see it coming.
Quote of the day…
Actually this is a combination quote… two that fit together well.
“The worst person to be around is the one who complains about everything and accomplishes nothing. You are the only going to be as good as the people you surround yourself with. So be brave enough to let go of those weighing you down.”

I have found that my personal happiness will radiate to those around me. That includes my husband and children… even the dog. So my internal battle with being positive has been ongoing for many, many years. I fight the dark clouds and the glasses that are half empty from the time my feet hit the floor every morning to the time I lay my head down at night.  Making a conscious effort to see the good in any and everything is not easy.Training yourself to stay positive in a negative world takes patience and time, if you feel yourself slipping into cranky-ness… take a deep breath and SNAP OUT OF IT!! 

There are people in everyone’s life that can be Debbie Downers or “joy suckers” as I like to call them. In order to keep from being infected with their general negativity you will have to distance yourself from them. But for your own emotional health it is best to regulate your exposure to the negative influences until you can hold your own against the onslaught and turn the tables and influence them with your being positive. Stop giving others the power to control your smile, your attitude and your worth!

You have to be your own champion of personal peace, happiness and tranquility. If you aren’t … who will be?  Your negative friends would love to add another to their group of black cloud worshipers. Nope… not me. I have three people (husband and two kids) that depend on peace and happiness at home and that means I have to make it a part of my every day existence. 

And once again… let me reiterate, you reap what you sow. Do whatever it takes… daily quotes, devotions, posts by others, meditation, exercise or even a few minutes of quiet time get focused on the day. Find the good at the beginning of the day and it will carry you through the roughest of patches. Keep the joy suckers at bay and when you can, pull them into your sunshine.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

This Made Me Laugh - and Pepsi Came Out My Nose

I don't know why this made me bust out laughing... it is exactly what I would say... followed by .. 

Monday, July 7, 2014

Southern Belle Secrets

LORD GOD ALMIGHTY I can only imagine what I would look like without a skincare regimen, pedicures, body lotion, highlights and a curling/flat iron at my disposal. 
Do men even realize what we do to just maintain, let alone improve the way we look?
I know they realize the time it takes because all I ever hear is how long it takes me to get ready to go somewhere. Now, if I am going to Lowes it takes about 10 minutes. Life is Good ball cap, jeans and a t-shirt. Earrings are a must and so is mascara, a bit of liner and some tinted lip gloss. I would hate to frighten everyone in rural Harnett County with the total disregard of these essentials. I have seen those posts on Facebook about people in Wal Mart in their pajamas – or less – and that will not be this girl.
 Speaking of those posts… why would any human being dress like that? There isn’t a single time I have ever thought about going to a Wal Mart that a vision of those people didn’t cross my mind. Half the time I change my mind and rationalize that there isn’t really anything I need at Wal Mart anyway. Its not that I think I am a better person than anyone there… but the lack of self respect, respect for others, decorum and simple dignity drives me nuttier than a squirrel turd and I have to go home and take 4 advil. And the whole dang day is shot to hell.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. Sometimes, God is the only beholder with the forgiving eye. There really is someone for everyone and that 300 pound chick in Wal Mart with her daisy dukes, knock off UGG boots and tank top on deserves to be loved too. I hope she finds that person that God made for her and they live a long happy Wal Mart shopping life. Women are not the only ones guilty of public fashion fouls, men can be just as bad. Lets hope they all find each other. It has to all be in “the raising” of a child. Children learn by example so there are many generations of these people all congregating in your local Wal Mart. 

I do go there occasionally, usually when I am in a hurry and don’t have time to order what I need online or drive 30 minutes to the nearest Target. But you can believe I go in … focused… I know what I need and I am headed to get it… and get the hell out of there. I usually go in so fast that I never meander around long enough to see anyone I know. And that is fabulous!
 I feel like the rest of this country thinks that the South is either southern class or southern trash. Nothing in between. Bless their hearts. 

Thursday, July 3, 2014

Diamonds in the Rough

I have several single girlfriends that I have talked to over the years about their dating dramas and various other single girl issues.

When a woman becomes newly single she MUST take the time to heal. If she doesn't take that crucial time she may fall into the same type of relationship that caused her to be single. Much like grieving, there are stages in the whole demise of a relationship. Sadness, anger, depression, anger again, and so on…
And in the beginning she will make a mental list of what she doesn't want in one column and what she does want in another column. Usually the best and worst of her last relationship is at the top of both lists. And then there is the last column that is the list of attributes for her perfect man.

And she has made the decision that she will not settle for anything other than exactly what she wants. Who can blame her – why should she?

But here is the thing… to an extent, you have to settle. In some ways and in some aspects you have to settle because no one is going to fit in the “perfect man” category. And here is what I am talking about…. I have been with the same man for over 22 years, married for 14 and to me he is the “perfect man”. However, there are pieces in the puzzle of our relationship that don’t fit. That is because we are two different people and we make our differences work.

Never settle for just anyone because you are tired of being alone. That is not what I am saying. Just don’t let the checklists get in the way of a real gem. Trust your instincts because that is what we women have that men forget. If the loser alarms are ringing .-run. If the player alarms are ringing – run. If you are my age and single I am sure you already know that the one nighters are dead ends, the online dating sites are 75% bullshit because no man portrays themselves in a genuine light and the “perfect man” will not have a sign over his head like the HOT light at Krispy Kreme.

When I met my future husband the sparks weren't flying, fireworks weren't going off and he was SO not my type. We had mutual friends and therefore saw each other often so I had the opportunity to get to know him in a casual setting with other people around. That was when the fireworks started going off… and the rest is history.
So, in closing, don’t judge the diamond by what it looks like when you find it. All diamonds are covered in dirt and have to have layers of hard rocky shell that surrounds and protects it removed to see what truly lies beneath. All diamonds have flaws, that is what makes them unique, but there are diamonds that are a much higher quality than others… and of course we all want the best.

Enjoy the ride my friends, it is what makes life fun.

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Preachin About Reality

I need coffee this morning, and lots of it. And it is only Tuesday.
The older I get the more I realize that caffeine is my friend. I like my BFF dressed in a Campbell University black and orange mug with Coldstone sweet cream creamer and some Splenda. After at least two cups all is well with the world again and I can take on just about anything.

Except …. Stupid people. I cannot deal with stupid people. Stupidity comes on many different levels too… just like there are people with book smarts and street smarts… there are people that have book stupidity and street stupidity. Disrespecting, mean, egotistical, selfish, cantankerous, difficult people are stupid too. What makes them think that anyone wants to deal with them is my question. Were they absent when God was handing out the rules?? Be kind to your fellow man… and so on…

When I cross paths with people that are going to try my patience I have to tune them out and ignore them. Because if I don’t, I fear what may transpire when my mouth overrules my mind. I am in my mid 40’s and have come to the realization that the world needs more Julia Sugarbakers and fewer Kardashians.
I would love to witness Julia Sugarbaker’s  take on that crowd… they may learn a thing or two about self respect, manners, honor and dignity. I could care less about 60 minutes in their lives… come on… Kim’s original claim to fame was her friendship with Paris Hilton, and her OJ Simpson murder defending father. What about that makes her in any way interesting OR her family special??? Reality TV at its lowest form… I don’t know what is worse… them or Honey BooBoo and the Toddlers & Tiaras. I am sure there has to be… has to be a decent reality show out there that doesn't feel like an insult to my intelligence. Probably not. 
I live in the south where crazy is the norm. Every family has enough crazy people and enough drama that they shouldn't ever have to tune into someone else’s. There is even a song that says hide your crazy and act like a lady. Amen.. I do it every day. Why being voyeurs into other people’s drama is appealing is beyond me. I have enough drama in my life without having to witness anyone else’s. Look at your own life … you have plenty of drama to entertain yourself. The less the world tunes into reality TV the fewer shows we will see. Don’t waste your mental energy diving and swimming around  that cesspool of stupidity.

Preachin it to the masses… with a little bit of sass.