AdaLamar's Blog

A Sassy Girls Guide to a Life of Wanderlust

Hilliarious Southwest Flight Attendant

Posted by adalamar on April 17, 2014

Flew Southwest when I went out to Vegas. And while the attendants were funny, this lady is hysterical!  Enjoy!

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I am Ready

Posted by adalamar on April 16, 2014

I am ready to remember winter and start spring, new like a green leaf on the tree outside my window. Ready for the yard to be green and the pool water to be blue, for sunscreen and tea, and lazy days on the deck. I want home to be home, happy and carefree, with music, food, wine and laughter.

I am ready for friendships and smiles, fresh air and long walks, midnight conversations, face to face rather than screen to screen. To exhale, and relax, work hard to play, rest and do it again the next day. I want to feel the sun on my face, the breeze on my skin with the windows down and the radio up. Walk barefoot through the grass, my car in the driveway, meet the neighbors and make new friends.
I am ready to be a part of a community, a group, to get to know, grow and share.

I am ready for first dates and kisses, movies and dinners. Ready to try again, blinders off and wade in. Ready for a hand to reach to and take mine, a door to be opened, and smiles given. Ready for p[picnics in the parks, concerts after dark, enjoying the festivals of the Spring and being treated like the lady I have come to be.

I have been dormant this winter, the soul freezing cold. Now it is time for the great thaw, to come alive again, so much to do, feel and hold. The harsh winter is over, finally, the seasons change and I want to embrace the newness of the new. I am ready to be given to, treated well and see the world with unspoiled eyes, optimistic of the future, shedding all the broken and leaving it behind.

I want margaritas on the patio, listening to that song I know, creating memories of this life, this moment in time. Ready to feel  my heart beat again, as life begins a new, ready to feel arms around my waist, and happiness.

I am ready to start my life, with hopefulness, carefulness, optimism and baited breath. I am Springtime ready.

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Thge Last Born

Posted by adalamar on April 13, 2014

While surfing the net, waiting to be able to test out website again, I happened upon an article that talked about how birth order affected your relationships.  I am the youngest of 5 and they got me all wrong in this.

Lastborns: Ah, the little sibs of the family. Beloved, treasured, and in many cases babied for much longer than their older siblings (and often by their older siblings), the stereotypical youngest of the brood tends to be less responsible and more devil-may-care, with less of a hankering to take charge. “That can be different if the baby of the family came after a gap of more than a few years, though,” says Dr. Salmon. In that case, the baby of the family may act more like an only child or an older sibling—as though the family had started all over again.

For the baby of the family, I have a lot of the responsibility…I am more like the oldest.  I have always taken care of my nephews, even paying for my oldest nephews college. I last year I worked and supported all of Rita’s family. My parents also depend on me for a lot. I have never been spoiled, any more than the other kids in the family. My parents were much more strict on my than any of my siblings (I had a curfew and had to tell them everyone I was with, everything that we were doing and everywhere we were going).

Rita (older sister) has always gotten everything (several cars, a house, lots of money, etc) because she always had the kids, so I was pretty much on my own. Whatever it was, I heard “Well, it’s just you, so it’s not as hard, but Rita has a boys, so she needs more.” Which I suppose is true.

I am a risk taker though, but it’s always calculated. Most of the time the risks pay off, but not always. I am a free spirit, but a responsible one (yes, it can happen). I was the first one to get a tattoo, the first one to really move away, I have always been the most independent, always the one who traveled. I have always been the one who spoke my mind, set things right, told the truth and did what needed to be done, regardless of what anyone else thought. Everything I have done, all that I have, I have done it on my own.

All my older siblings come to me when they need to get in touch with the others, they all call me when they need to find out information about what is going on. I often seem to find myself in charge, yet I have no desire to be, as others would be much better at it.

And no one takes care of me, I take care of myself, always have. Sometimes I think it would be nice to have someone take care of me for a bit. But then I quickly banish that thought from my mind.

Moral of the story: Sometimes birth order has nothing to do with it. Sometimes it’s just who you are. And sometimes, who you are cannot be contained, quantified or categorized.

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Thank You Vegas

Posted by adalamar on April 9, 2014

We all have those times were we feel as if we are climbing out of a big dark pit. And we all have that moment where we realize we can finally feel the sun on our faces and have managed to climb out. This recently happened to me, when I took a trip to a place called Las Vegas.

While I can’t really say that I came back rested (it was Vegas after all), but there was much more peace when the plane landed, than when it took off. Sometimes, just having the chance to step away, gain some distance and perspective is the key. Sometimes, just being able to relax and not be surrounded and submerged in all that was is enough to wake us up.

For me it was a combination of all of that, and the company I was with. First, it’s hard not to have a great time in Vegas, it’s just a fun place to be. My friend and I have traveled together before, and we always have a good time together. Even though we had not seen each other in a few years, we seemed to fall into our easy rhythm within a few minutes. There is something very comfortable with him, and he is one of the few people I trust. I feel safe. Maybe it’s his gentle, unassuming way of things.

After the past few months, it was wonderful to just be. To laugh, explore, gamble a bit (am am terrible at gambling, unless it’s with fake money), drink a bit, enjoy some food and people watch. There was a show Cirque De Solie (I know that it’s misspelled and I’ll care after the next cup of coffee), front row seats. You really get to see great detail when sitting that close, and as a stage and theater junkie, I loved it.

Hoover Dam was next and that was fascinating. When you see the enormity of it, of what they did and how they did it, without any of the modern technology, the risks they took and how well done it was, you feel really proud. I felt proud of your country, of the men who worked on it, and the ingenuity and vision it took to make it happen. Wow. And it was just cool. We walked across it, on a beautiful day with clear blue skies. I felt free, for the first time in a long time. If those men could do all of that, then my life can be just as magnificent.

Then there was downtown Vegas, which is different from the Strip. It feels more like a fair than anything else, with the scent of food from the street vendors, people walking around in costume (You take their pictures for tips, lots of people, loud 80’s rock music and a laser light show on the outdoor ceiling. I love the Golden Nugget Casino and the buffet there is quite yummy.

Upon return I felt lighter, albeit tired, but much happier. I just needed a little trip to bring me back to life, so to speak. To remind me that life is to be enjoyed. The past year is over, all those struggles are done, my tasks are complete. Now I move forward building my life, my own Hoover Dam.

Work hard, play harder, love completely, and laugh often. So thank you to my friend, for inviting out to play, thank you Vegas for being such a gracious host and playground, and thank you life.

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Sitcom Moments: Adventures in Travel

Posted by adalamar on April 4, 2014

I have many times said that my is a sitcom. And nothing seems to prove it more than traveling..

Sunday morning I slept a little elate, got up, made coffee, cleaned up and got everything ready for the trip. There were some last minute things to throw into the suitcase, but I was actually 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Until….

The plan was to get gas, catch the Marta train to the airport and head out of town to Vegas. I would have an easy hour to roam around the airport.

Moment #1 – Since I am in the new house, I had to plug the Marta station into the GPS…But it could not find the satellite. Try Google Maps. And Waze. Neither of them worked. Crap. (Not the word I used)…After fiddling with the 3 GPSs (what is the plural of GPS…GPI?) I unpacked my laptop, go back in house, turn on laptop, get address, get and print directions. I grab a cup of ginger ale on the way out (this is important for later). Only 20 minutes behind schedule.

Moment #2 – Go back out to the car, packed up laptop again. It’s beautiful outside, so open the sunroof for the drive…COLD cup of ginger ale that I placed on top of car, is now in my hair, in my lap, on my favorite jeans and green shirt and all over the car. Crap! (not the word I used). Run back inside, change shirt and pants…except everything that currently fits is packed in suitcase. Finally find something. Go back to car. 45 minutes behind schedule.

Moment #3 – Go to gas station, only to see that purse was left at home. Get $6 worth of gas with cash I have in car, go back home, find purse under seat of car where it landed when took out the laptop. Finally leave the house an hour late. Go directly to airport.

Arrive and fly out without incident. Land in Vegas 1.5 hours ahead of my friend and travel partner. After his flight gets in, we spend another hour tracking down his suitcase that arrived on another plane. After getting into hotel, we decide to have a drink in the bar. It’s good to see him after so long and catch up before going to bed.

Moment #4 – Get up to use the bathroom. On the way, I fumble around in the very dark room…and SMACK my nose on the corner of the wall. Crap. (Not the word I used) The noise from the smack is so loud, it wakes up my friend who asks if I am OK. “I’ll tell you in a minute.” Go into bathroom, discover nose is bleeding profusely. Crap! Crap! (not words used). Come out ?? minutes later after bleeding stops. Then upon returning, I cannot stop laughing at how ridiculously humorous the situation is.

The next day I fully expected two black eyes, but thank goodness, all was fine, though my nose was very sore. What is it about me breaking bones while traveling?

Moment #5 – Manage to go the entire day without incident, until walking in botanical gardens filled with cacti…and loose my balance while reading one of the little plagues….fall into a small cactus. Thank goodness there were no spears.

The rest of the trip was great, and will write about that later. Yes, my life is a sitcom. I can hear you laughing…

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The Noble Art of Doing Nothing

Posted by adalamar on March 27, 2014

The To Do list is growing daily. Let’s face it, when you buy a new house, your first home, there are a ton of things to take care of. The screens need to be put on the windows, my ice maker/water thingy needs to be hooked up the refrigerator, the yard needs to be mowed, the pool guy called, the outlight light by the street needs to be fixed, laundry to be washed and folded, vacuuming, mopping, and more unpacking.

Boxes are still in corners and closets, hiding their secret contents. And I look around and notice certain things are missing – those shoes, that brush, the other nik-naks…could they be in the unpacked boxes? Or did that bag/box get placed in the throw away pile when it should have been kept? Hmmmm….

The guest bathroom is not set up yet, the guest bedrooms and still littered with misc items that have yet to be placed. Pictures have yet to be hung.

It can be a little overwhelming with all there is to do. And there is an inner slave drier constantly saying to be “get busy. Rest when you are dead, too much to do now.” But yet everyone else that I know is telling me to rest, take it easy, relax because there is no hurry. I am not going anywhere, I can relax and take my time. My friends are telling that I have been through a lot and to just do nothing for a little while. But when have I ever listened to others?

When they are right, and in this case, I truly think they are. It feels good to relax and recover from the last while. It feels good to do nothing, but just take care of myself- to laugh, dink some wine, love, eat, catch up with friends and paint my nails, take long baths and let the emotions flow out of me, cleansing my soul as they go.

So maybe there is something to this do nothing thing…and while it is not going to last forever, my friends are right. There is no hurry. I am home. HOME. And for the first time in a few years, I can just be. I have no where to go, no one to be, nothing but the gentle sound of my own heartbeat…and the sound of the rain against the skylights, and the light of the moon through the windows. For the first time in a long time, I can breath. Exhale.

And it is lovely. Pass the win,e will you?

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I am Secretly Bridget Jones

Posted by adalamar on March 26, 2014

Upon looking back on my life…I release that my life resembles that of a movie…not, not Armageddon. No, not Sex in the City (it’s more like Zip in the City) .No, it’s more along the lines of Bridget Jones’s Diary. Minus the Blonde hair.

While I have never “bonked” my boss, I have dated co-workers. (Never do that. Really.) I have worked in media as a reporter, DJ, traffic person, etc. No, I have not dressed in a Playboy Bunny constume (yet), I have been known to do and say the wrong thing at exactly the wrong time and make an idiot of myself…pretty much on a regular basis.

I am extremely clumsy and can find myself in embarrassing moments at any given time (stay tuned for regular tales of chaos as I try to concur the fix-up “To Do” list on my house – Ada vs. the yard, the lawn mower, ladder, the paint can and brush, the calk gun, the leaf blower, the what-ever-the-is-in-the-dark-corner-of0the-garage….).

And my tales of romance, except for one major disaster, have been quite entertaining. There have been many moments of “Really?” not to mention uncomfortable moments with my doctor as he advises me that if I want to have a child I need to “hurry up,” as it’s not good for a woman of my age. (Never thought my doctor’s biological clock would be ticking harder for me than my own).

And then there is the now infamous 20lbs that has attached it’s self to my thighs…and stomach, and underside of my arms, and chin. Seriously, what’s up with that? The upside is that the Girls are looking full and fabulous. I don’t diet, and eventually when (if) it ever gets warm, I’ll be outside running, jogging and hiking those extra pounds away.

All I need now are two fabulously handsome British men fighting over me. No? Well, there’s always the next chapter. Until then, I will enjoy my Bridget-esc like existence. And write the tales of this life for all to be entertained.

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A Little Look Back

Posted by adalamar on March 25, 2014

In this world of rush, hurry up and wait, slam it down, cram it in, do it now, bigger is better and faster is best, we get a little rough at the edges. Sometimes we need to take a breath, cherish our memories and just slow down a bit.

This past weekend was that for me. Ever busy, ever checking things off the “to do” list, I took the time to slow down and meet with a dear friend I had not seen in many years. There was catching up, talking, laughing, a little crying, lots of memories and some confessions.

And as I sat there with my friend, I remembered the Me of days past. It reminded me of how both of us had grown and changed in good and bad ways. I saw how in the years I had softened on some things, hardened on others. And it is always comforting to be around someone who knows you, has known you, through all the pretty and ugly. Who knows the truth of you and your history.

Funny thing is that since that visit I have felt more myself than I have in a long time. More confident, happier, lighter and more settled, with just that little reminder, that little look back. Sometimes taking a look over your shoulder is the best thing you can do when figuring out the future.

And sometimes it is also conducive to keeping us grounded in this world where it is so easy to get off track in the rush to fit it all in. Just that gentle visit to say- these things, don’t change, they are great qualities. Because no matter how much time has passed, we always remain, at the heart of it, who we are. We always return to what we know, what is in our bones. Even if we forget, it is never too late to remember.

What is that for me? One word: Truth. No matter what happens in life, if I know the truth, then I can deal with it. Truth is concrete, trustworthy, solid. You can build on truth, it won’t crumble. We get into trouble when the foundation upon what we have built is quicksand. I’ve been caught in that before too, and it’s not pleasant. It’s hard to be settled when the ground underneath is shifting. And we struggle to find footing.

Then we take a little look back. And sometimes, that is where we can find the best footing – To where the to where the truth was and build from there. And that is what I will do – build my life on that solid and fertile ground now that all the untruths have been weeded out. No matter how confusing life can get, a little look back, a lot of prayer and faith, you can find the guidance you need…and make the leap to where your future is waiting. In this life, right now, it’s the new house, my job and career, new chances, new possibilities and… Me.

Hello future, nice to meet you. I have a feeling this is going to be the start of a beautiful friendship.

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The Lover and Dreamers and Me

Posted by adalamar on March 21, 2014

Dedicated to all the lovers and dreamers out there…my favorite song in all the world. :) Enjoy and Happy friday!

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The Decisions We Keep

Posted by adalamar on March 21, 2014

“We all experience doubts and fears as we approach new challenges. The fear diminishes with the confidence that comes from experience and faith. Sometimes you just have to go for it and see what happens. Jumping into the battle does not guarantee victory, but being afraid to try guarantees defeat.” – Brian Goodell, Olympic Gold Medalist

As I sit pout on the screened in porch on a beautiful cool spring night, listening to the crickets and evening sounds, I wonder about the choices we make in life.  What motives us to make the choices we do, take the chances we take to go the directions and take the roads on which we travel? When we have a fork ion the road, what makes us choose one over the other?

And I look around and wonder about the choices that I have made. Why did I buy this house? Obviously, because I fell in love with it the moment I saw it. And when love enters, all reasoning exits. I am a single girl, what am I doing? Why do I need a house this big, with a yard and pool and skylights, and marble floors, and…? And all the little handyman things that need to be done, that I have no idea how to do? Why didn’t I just rent another place?

I believe we  make the best choices we can in that particular moment. No one wakes up and says “I am going to make bad decisions today!” No. We get up, get dressed dressed, brush our teeth, and go out each day to do the best we can, be the best we can and make the best decisions we can. Sometimes we do good. Most of the time actually. Though sometimes not.  And sometimes, we just have to let others think what they want, if that is what is best at that moment.  I think most of why we do what we do, is based on emotions. What we feel at the time. Sometimes emotion must match against reason. And that is where it gets hard. And fuzzy.

And we take risks, if we think it will work out. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn’t. It has so far with this house. And it was huge risk to say the least, when I made the offer. No money really, no savings, no place to live after a certain date, just the sheer belief and faith that it would work. That the third time I bid on this house, everything would line up just as it should. And it did.  I wanted this house because I want a place for my family, for my friend and for my life. A place that is mine, to do with as I please -  to love, live, plant, grow, party…LIVE. I wanted something to pass on, someplace permanent to call home.

And here it is. As I sit and watch the lights through the trees in my backyard.  And I decide to go for it, and see what happens  – with my life. All that I want. And that is a decision to keep. With wobbly knees, and a lump in my throat, I’ll move forward with everything I have dreamed. So, let me live, love, work, kiss, cry, read, write, ride, plant, move, climb, clean…even make mistakes, as best as I can, with my whole heart. Join me, won’t you?

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The Turture Store

Posted by adalamar on March 19, 2014

Technical skill comes easy for some, others, like me, have to work at it. I love technology, work in the industry, and can make the internet sing. However, some of the more basic hardware issues, like which cord, adaptor, plug-in thingy (yes, that is the proper technical term, at least in my dictionary) works with what, is beyond my capabilities.

I love computer gadgets and power tools, I just don’t know how to use them. I go to the tool section of the hardware store and my mind just whizzes with all of the possibilities…it’s like going into a magic store. These things make other things work.  OOoooooooo, ahhhhhhhhh……

Don’t get me wrong …I can change my own oil, change my own brake pads, calipers, spark plugs (when I had a car that actually had them), change and even rotate my tires, and a few minor tasks like that. I can paint a wall, use a big monkey wrench to take apart the pipe thingy under the bathroom sing to fish out a lost contact lens (not that that has actually happened…just hypothetically speaking). I even changed out the plug on my dryer, hooking up the red, green and red wires….

But don’t ask me to change to ringtone on my iPhone, or set up my wireless router, or get my TV to connect to my wireless network…Or, know which connector/chord/adapter thingy is required to tether my two monitors together at work. It is simple, I was told…just get this one kind of adapter…

Apparently it is hard for the guys at the computer store too…because I now have to go back for the third time to get the right connector/cord/adapter thingy. I hate going into computer stores because most of what’s in there looks like ancient torture devices.  I start getting dizzy, can’t breath…I think I may be allergic.

The first thingy was a DVI-A, when I needed a DVD-D. Except the store doesn’t carry those. OK, could I connect one through the port and one through a USB? Yes!  This made me very happy…until found out that the USB<->D89 adapter is the wrong one.  Again.

So, I am actually going to carry the cords that the two monitors would be connected with if they went that way…and maybe that will be easier…And hopefully my next trip to the torture device, eerrrr, I mean, Computer store, will be the last one for this task.

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Getting th Groove

Posted by adalamar on March 18, 2014

Getting into the groove

Getting into the groove

I remember helping my Mom in the garden a few years ago. We were sitting, taking each one of the little bean plants she planted, and slowly winding them up on a string, so that they would grow up on the string and be easier to pick. We started in the morning, as we drank coffee, each of us working in peaceful silence next to each other, in complete comfort.

After s o many plants, you actually get a rhythm going. And gently, without breaking the tender baby vines, you wind them up and move on to the next. All day we did this, breaking only for more coffee. And it that gentle morning, I was deep in thought. And it occurred to me that life is very much like winding those little bean sprouts up the string. There is a process for everything, and it takes time to naturally unfold.

This past week is the first I really feel like I have my rhythm and groove back. I am taking care of myself, getting rest, unpacking, eating healthy(ish). As soon as it’s warm and not raining, I’ll take a good run/walk in the hills of the neighborhood. I have been taking the time to enjoy andfierce relish in those little perfect moments, taking time to cry when the emotion hits me, and being honest enough to say I am a bit vulnerable right now, so handle with care. It feels good to admit that, it’s actually very freeing to not have to be tough all the time, to allow myself to be “soft.”

And surprisingly, at least to me, it is received well. There are hugs, holding hands, kind thoughts and words, well wishes, and sincere smiles.

And the result, is more laughter, more smile, more feeling alive than I have in about a year. To really allow myself to just be, whatever it is I am at that moment, is wonderful.And in doing so, I let go, with each heartbeat, all that I have carried. Yes, I am getting my balance, my rhythm, my life and spirit back. Yes, the spring in my step has returned. It is spring, and just like those little bean sprouts, it is time to grow, to bloom and to be magnificent. I am coming alive again.   I am returning to my life, returning to enjoy all accomplishments my hard work has brought to fruition. I have come back to have what is mine.

All I l have to do is trust, believe and follow the natural process.

And that is how this girl gets her groove back. I am a new morning.

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Vegas Baby

Posted by adalamar on March 17, 2014

There are some cities that are just made for play. Las Vegas is one of those cities. I have not been in several years; I was there six days and might have slept five hours. There was much play, lots of adventure, laughter, some surprises, some gambling, lots of shows  and lots of drinks. It was a great vacation.

One of the things that I always think about when in Vegas, is just how many dreams are out there. Many people go to Vegas to find their dreams, just like LA. How many young people head out west, leaving the small towns, to head to find their lives, their loves, their dreams?

There is nothing stronger than a dream. Nothing stronger than that wanderlust of what lies beyond that next hill. The dream is what we will work hard for, live for, sacrifice for and believe in. Whether that is to go to Vegas, to have a house, to be a star, to have a family, to be a painter, a business owner, a writer, a singer…whatever. Because the dream is in essence, the Human Spirit. And nothing can triumph over that, because it is God given.

The dream is what gets us up out of bed, and gives us hope, even when life is tough and knocks us down. We get back up and start over if we have to. And even when our dreams change, we still must follow them. We have no choice, because it is the promise of who we are, and who we can become. OF what we can pass down to our children as our legacy. It is our love, blood, sweat, tears, hopes, dreams. It is what we pull up from deep inside. We hollow ourselves out so we can carry what we need to get us there. And we believe.

I never wanted to be a writer, but slowly, as the roads on which I traveled twisted and turned, my dream took shape. Many said it could not be done, many said I was silly, crazy, stupid. I didn’t listen to them, because I knew they were wrong. Someone has be  the writer, why not me?

My dream while in Vegas? To eat, drink, be merry and relax by the pool. It’s time for this girl to have a vacation. I have a lot to celebrate.

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Settling In

Posted by adalamar on March 17, 2014

It’s very interesting getting settled into a new house. I have moved many times before, but this is different, because this space is legally mine. I am the one solely responsible for it’s care and upkeep. That is thrilling, and a little scary.

Getting settled in a new house is a process, as you and the new space get to know each other. Little things, noises and surprises along the way. Like noticing the beautiful carving on the ceiling at the base of the light fixture in the library. So detailed. And the creaky stair on the way to the bedroom. There are plants in the yard that are starting to grow an bloom, ones I never saw before because they were dormant for winter.

Finding out where all the light switches are and what they control. Finding the outlets, where you need an extension chord, and where you need to move the electronics. Does my ice makeer work? Is it hooked up? The doorbell? Need a new one. And then there is the skylight that leaks and the space next to the wall were the roof seems to leak and well. That needs to get taken care of right away.

And unpacking, figuring where all those things should go. This past weekend the job was to unpack all of my closet – the clothes, shoes, jackets, purses and accessories. Going through all of it, what to keep and what to give away. Those old favorite jeans…that I will never again fit into, unless I get seriously ill and loose, ummmm, a lot of weight.  I think I wore those in high school.

And there is something cathartic about unpacking and settling in. It is claiming your space, nsting and setting things exactly as you want them. Your favorite things by the bed, within easy reach. And your desk the way you want it. The closet, as organized or not as you like. A house, a space that is just yours, just for you. As you like it.

And that’s just the outside! I haven’t even ventures out to the yard yet, and there is so much to do with it. So many places to put flowers and fruit trees to share. I need to get a yard man and a pool guy.

My parents are coming up to help and this is exciting. Mom to help with decorating and planting all the flowers. Dad to help with all the little to do’s and questions. Never underestimate the wonderfulness of parents coming to help with the first house.

And the settling in begins, and unfolds as Ladybug Manor and I become more acquainted. I wonder about the memories that will be made here. All the friends, laughter, wine to be shared, love to be had, tears, good times and security. And a house, those four walls, begins to become a home.

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Nadia

Posted by adalamar on March 13, 2014

There is a reason she has been one of my heroes since I was a little girl.

Nadia

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Finding Lent

Posted by adalamar on March 12, 2014

It’s forty days every year, between Ash Wednesday and Easter, that many stop and reflect.  Every year I celebrate Lent by giving something up (chocolate this year…can’t wait to eat my Cadbury Crème Eggs!) and taking something on. It is a time to rededicate myself to all that is important spiritually. A time to reconnect with inner self, God and my inner voice. And to really listen.

This year is a special time for me, as so many new and wonderful things have entered into my life as of late. I have so very much the be thankful for. But yet there has been a lot of struggle to get here, and there are a lot of emotions left over.

My career has skyrocketed, with more to do now than every before. In addition to my full time job, I am interviewing someone this week for an article I am writing for the AJC. I have had articles published in magazines, but never the ADJ – a notionally circulated newspaper!  It’s very exciting.

Agents are calling me wanting me to update headshots, resumes and classes for acting. And then there is the business of my book….I put it down a while ago to support my sister. Now it is time to pick it back up, along with many other things…like eating right and exercising. Things that got out of whack over the last year.

So this year, my Lenton Disciplines are a little different. They are more about taking care of myself and getting myself back up and running, so I have more to offer the world and those around me. The old saying is true, to give to others you must first take care of yourself; because if you don’t, you will not have anything to offer. I have learned this the hard way.

Taking care of everyone else last year, has left me torn and ragged this year. And my Lenton Disciplines also involved what to do about all those left over emotions from everything that has taken place. All of the loss, betrayal, lies and shape shifting.

What do I do with all the anger I have for my sister and her husband? What do I do with the feelings of betrayal concerning my former friends and landlords; all that they did, all the lies that were told? How do I dissipate the disappointment, resentment and aching from walking away from the only sister I have ever really known? How do I deal with the fact that because of her psychological condition, I have had to keep her out of my life?

I don’t know the answer to these questions…but I do know that this year, this Lent, I am to have faith, put one foot in front of the other, work as hard and as good as I can to be the best writer I can, to tell the stories in the best way possible, and to take the time to listen to God’s voice on the stillness. The stillness of the quiet in the night, the sunrise and it comes through my bedroom window in the morning, the silence that is in those moments. And I am to find joy in my life, and the good things that are coming forth. And in those things, in that stillness and silence, in that Faith, in that joy…I hope to find the Grace which I seek. The fullness of God and what he wants for me and the opportunities which He has given me.

And if I put my whole heart into it…there it will be. And I hope to let go…

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Home Ownership 101

Posted by adalamar on March 4, 2014

We all have experiences that teach us a lot. And I am going to learn a tremendous amount by being a home. The whole process has been quite an eye opening experience, from dealing with the “haters,” to dealing with a difficult closing (the investors had not discussed how the proceeds from the sale would be divided, and argued about it – at the closing), to the fine art of moving items up stairs. I have been in the house less than a week, and have learned a lot already. Like what, you ask?

Well, like how to fix my own dryer. My dryer had a four –pronged plug, the outlet had three. So this little girl broke out the tool box and re-wire the new plug onto the old dryer. Being a non-mechanical klutz, I was very proud of myself for doing this successfully. I can now dry clothes till my hearts content!

And then I managed to figure out my wireless router and how to get the network back up. Yes, me, who can barely work my iPhone, got the wireless network up, though I am not sure exactly how I did it.

Then there is planting trees. Yes, I have planted a small tree or two on the property…proof that I can indeed use a shovel (no one has found any of the bodies yet, so the tree is proof). The fine art of breaking down boxes is also something very important to learn as well. Tomorrow I learn about how to install a top security system, even better than the one I had. I am also learning about installing TV’s on the wall. I have learned the importance of being able to do these things yourself, because living in one of the worst traffic jam areas in the country, my wonderful guy friends may not always be able to make it to the house.  And it is nice to have friends over when it is just to visit. I have learned that I am very loved and so many are willing to help and to celebrate.

As is meeting the neighbors – how to do it, when to do it and what to say. This may sound very simple and basic – it’s just meeting people. But it is a little more than that when you are a single girl, and requires a bit if finesse. You have to make sure you are friendly, but not too friendly – you want the wives to like you. The kind of girl they want to introduce you to their cute single friend…not the kind of girl they have to keep away from their husbands.

I have learned that I am in a wonderful family neighborhood, where the kids still ride their bikes and climb trees, where the parents play catch in the front yard, and where people know each other. I have learned that this is where I want to be living, because these are my kind of people. And if I have learned that much, and it hasn’t even been a week, imagine how much more I will learn in time.

Never stop learning, growing, experiencing and being curious. When we stop learning, we stop growing, and when we stop growing, we die. Always look around and find the next thing to do, see, learn. Life is so big, and I cannot wait!

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Where Dreams Are

Posted by adalamar on March 4, 2014

This is where I am right now, where my dreams are, where they come true. Beautiful performance. Life is good and I am happy. :)

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GRIT

Posted by adalamar on February 28, 2014

GRIT

I am determined.
Sweat on my brow.
Heart in my Throat.
I am at the starting line.

The sound of my heart
Pounds in my head.
Cheers ring in my ears.
They say I can’t.
But I won’t let them win.

I will defy all expectations.
All definitions.
All Doubt.
All Rules.

The naysayers will walk away.
Head Down.
My Will silencing them.

They don’t know the steel frame inside me.
I am determined.
My will pushing me to succeed
Down the hard
Long.
Rocky.
Road ahead.

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Listen to Your Heart

Posted by adalamar on February 28, 2014

We have all heard the sage advice to listen to your heart, or your guts as some might also say.  When you are going through a rough time, hunker down, get quiet and still, and listen to that little voice inside of you. And don’t listen to anyone else.

This has never been more true for me than now with buying my house. It started in October when my then landlords started pressuring me to give them an answer as to whether or not I would buy their town home where I had been living.  It was nice enough, but I honestly told them that I would like to look at what is out there in the same price range since I had never bought a house before and had no idea about the market.  And they were livid when I told them that I found a place almost 2 months later.

Looking at what was on the market, led to finding many great houses – but one that always stuck out. I bid on my current house three separate times, and was twice outbid by other buyers. Those deals fell through, and on the third bid, the sellers agreed with me, that this should be my house.

I knew it was supposed to be my house from the moment I saw it. I have had dreams about this house for several years, and in my heart, prayed that I was right.

In addition to being outbid twice, and my landlords trying everything they could to sabotage the purchase, there were also lender issues.  My first lender had not ordered the title or appraisal 1 week before the original scheduled closing. So I had to quickly change lenders…and the closing was rescheduled.

Then there were the ex’s . One somehow found out about the dispossession (from the landlords?) and posted it on the internet, defying a court order to do so. The other was very upset that I would be moving  further away from him and insisted it was a horrible house (even though he had not seen it) and refused to look at it. After we broke up, he threatened to file a bogus lawsuit against me saying “let’s see you get your house now.” Seriously?

There were other hiccups throughout the process, but in the end, they all worked out.  Just as I knew and prayed they would. It was disheartening though, to see people who had been my friends, suddenly turn when I started to achieve large goals in my life. I had never seen what jealousy and envy could do in people’s hearts, had never seen, with my own eyes, other’s try to keep you down so you do not get ahead of them. I am in my 40’s, so I am probably very blessed to have just now experienced that side of humanity.

But there were even more people who helped me get this place – my awesome attorney who made sure my old landlords were kept at bay, the incredible loan officer who worked so hard, despite having to find work-arounds and alternative guidelines, having to work with difficult sellers and under very tight deadlines. My family has been there every step of the way, talking me off the ledge when discouraged and ready to give up, letting me vent, cry and be a mess. My parents  especially.

And then there are my friends, who stood up for me, fought for me, again let me vent, cry, be a mess, kicked my in the pants when I was ready to give up, gave me pep talks. Friends who believe in me, helped me move, pack and everything in between, who love me, and have been there for me in ways too numerous, to deep to write here in this space.

The lesson here is always following your guts, your heart, no matter what. Even when it seems crazy, even when others say you can’t, even when others try to stop you, bully you, intimidate you and cheat you. Laugh at them and know, deep down where you go in the dark, that you have everything you need to reach your goals. Even when others are jealous and try to hold you back. Don’t listen to them, don’t pay attention to the odds; don’t let anyone change your mind. You CAN do it.

I never let them beat me, never let their actions touch me in a permanent way. I know, deep down where the soul reaches the mind, that they can never keep me from my dreams or goals. I WILL make it happen, with faith, family and friends. Work hard, have faith, understand that nothing great comes easy, lean on your friends and let them love you and be there for you, and always follow your heart.  Your heart will never lead you wrong.

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My New Home!

Posted by adalamar on February 27, 2014

When you buy a house, it needs to be a love affair. and I have loved this house form the moment I saw it. Today I bought it. It’s almost 3400 square feet, 4br, 3 baths, the all marble flooring  on the first, carpet for the 2nd story, and the master suite is AMAZING! Huge master bedroom that has a bay window over looking the mountains (so great view), a sitting room area (where all my workout equipment will go), a huge private screened in porch. It has a pool and hot tub. The master bath is all marble with a huge marble shower with a marble bench and sauna/steam room. It also has a jetted garden tub, sits on a half acre of land, and is close to a lake where I will be able to use the family boats.

.

And there have been so many who helped me; my parents, friends, real estate agent,  loan officer, and attorney attorney. It has been a group effort. And I owe many thanks to all of them because I could not have done it without them.

And there were some people who tried to stop me from being able to get this house.

It has been a very long, hard struggle, there have been many hurdles by people who resented my decision and ability to be successful and surpass them. But I do owe them a thank you. If they had not been such horrible, vindictive, petty classless people, then I would not have my house! I have a place to raise my children, to have my parents visit, a place to have friends over, throw a few parties, and maybe even fall in love. I am a very lucky girl, very blessed to have all those who stood beside me and helped me.

Lesson: Use the people has try to hold you back as stepping stones to raise above and accomplish your dreams. Never buy into to what they say about you. You just hold your head up high and keep moving forward. The people who are supposed to be I your life, will catch up. They should have known better than to try and beat me.

Now I have to go celebrate, with my friends, my family, all the wonderful people who helped me overcome and buy this house. There are so many, and so much love that is in my life. Life is good and I am happy.

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The Shoulders of Giants

Posted by adalamar on February 24, 2014

No man is an island. No matter who we are, where we come from, what we do , how successful we are or where we go in life, we could not do it with the help of others.

So to all those who have helped, who have prayed, who have cried with me, who have listen to me, who have carried heavy things. To all those who have made the load lighter, who have lent their hearts, picked up the phone, been there, done that, cheered me on, celebrated the highs and felt the heartbreak over the lows. All those who have sung with me in the rain, helped me relax, shared a glass of wine, discussed dreams, reflected on mistakes, planned the future, smiled at the past. For all of my friends…certainly this week reflects a lot of work and dreams that will finally come to fruition.

So many people have supported me, believed in me, encouraged me and been there for me. My wonderful friends and family. They have let me rest in their safety, and given me the kick in the pants when needed as well. Through it all, they, you, have been my heart and strength. My Faith and will at the center, I have been helped by many.

So much planning, working, dreaming, preparing, manifesting and doing. And finally, it is all coming together; in my personal, professional and writing life. And so for all the good things that are coming, thank you so much. I am here because I have worked, believed, had faith… stood on the shoulders of giants.

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The Walk in the Life

Posted by adalamar on February 23, 2014

The universe is indifferent and even people who love us only love us with sobering intermittency. So look within and choose to direct yourself.

Over the weekend I took a hike. It was the first warm day of the spring, and I had to get out. All of the cold snowy weather, combined with the hotel has left me rather stir crazy. I went to my usual place and hiked. After a year of not working out, I really thought I might die going up those 600+ steps. But I did it, I beat those steps. And as I went back up the steps for a second round (because I am a glutton for punishment) I thought about how anything worth having, is worth working hard for.

And then I thought of all the accomplishments for which I have worked so hard…and accomplishments that many have worked hard for. And I thought of all the steps I had taken up and down those steps in order to get back into shape.

If you want to whip yourself into shape or renovate your apartment, don’t wait until you feel ready, because no such time will come. Instead, commit to doing something that you don’t want to do each day.

In the next week, much of what I have worked for will come to fruition. So much hard work, blood sweat and tears. And there have been plenty of people who have tried to stop me, tried to keep me from these dreams. Because they are jealous, because they are vindictive, because they are small and petty. But in less than a week, I will have accomplished so much.

But there is still so much more work to do. I will hike, write, work out, fix up and take care of what needs to be done. And no matter how much hard work is ahead, if I just do it anyway, success is not far away.

I was not ready for these things, I had no idea what to do, how to do them or even if I could. Then I took a leap of faith. And in taking that leap, I have discovered some amazing things about myself and others. Am I ready? Maybe. But life isn’t about waiting until you are ready, life is about faith and taking risks with love. Life is about living.

Change equals loss, but if you don’t have a series of things you’ve walked away from, you’re probably not leading a rich life.

And in accomplishing these dreams, I have had to walk away from quite a lot – quite a few people and friendships. And I wondered if it is normal to have to walk away from things when you choose to accomplish dreams? if this just part of life? And after speaking with those who had been successful in accomplishing their goals, I realized how much they had to walk from, in order to walk to something better.

Follow your dream,s and don’t worry about those you leave behind. If they are meant to be in your life, they will catch up. Don’t ever hold yourself back because of others. But be prepared, some may be jealous, vindictive and just plane nasty… some will do everything they can to stop you from succeeding, because then you will have surpassed them and what they are capable. Unfortunately I have seen that. Ignore them. They are of no consequence to you and your life. If anything use them as motivation…because truly the best revenge is simply living a great life.

Resourceful people are not having fun all of the time.

So work hard, play hard and succeed brilliantly so that dreams fall like rain. And I continue walking.

Al

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The Peace in the Quiet

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

We often wish we had some time, just some time to slow down and be quiet. To not rush, have a thousand things to do, what if we could just find the time? And now I have it. I am leisurely hanging out, reading, watching movies and writing. Fact is, this break between the old place and the new is a blessing.

This time has forced me to slow down, take a breath, appreciate and catch up. There is enjoying guilty pleasures like writing, catching up on reading blogs, doing exercises I don’t normally have time to do, cook a few favorite things and just enjoying the slow.

It is the Peace in the quiet. And it is delicious. For someone who is normally feel speed ahead, being in the slow lane is wonderful. Indeed it is the calm before the storm before moving and settling into the new place. That will be a bit of work, and excitement. A new chapter in my life and one I have been working toward for a long time…

But now it is time to relax and enjoy the Peace in the quiet. To rest before the next burst of energy comes. and so it goes. and I am happy.

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Oh Yes

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

Yes

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Feel It

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and could say, ‘I used everything you gave me.’ – Erma Bombeck
There is a theory about life that I have had for many years. I think that we go about life rather backwards: We go after the job, the money, the house, the car, the partner that looks good on paper, the clothes, the everything of how we want our life to look. We make a list of accomplishments that we want to do and check off our little to do list. We want to run a marathon, or get that promotion, or buy that bug screen TV…and there is nothing wrong with those things. There is nothing wrong with having goals and accomplishing them. We all need something to work for, do and accomplish.
But how we come to what is on that to do list…well, that is a but backwards. Then when we start crossing things off that list, we are surprised if we do not feel different. So how do you make a list that really matters? How do you build a life that really matters and will lead to happiness? Simple. Justask yourself one question: How do you want your life to feel?
Never be bullied into silence. Never allow yourself to be made a victim. Accept no one’s definition of your life; define yourself. – Harvey Fierstein
You may wonder what that has to do with anything. The short answer is everything. If you want a happy, fulfilled, useful life, then you go after what makes you feel happy, useful and fulfilled. Don’t go after a particular job title – unless that job is what makes you happy. How many people do you know who are trapped in a job or career that they hate? You may even be one of them. How many people do you know who love their job and can’t wait to get to work in the morning? Far fewer people, I bet. That’s a shame.
So decide what will make you feel the life you want, and go after those things. Don’t worry about what other people might think. They don’t hav eto live your life, you do.  When I decided to go after the life I wanted to feel, there was an amazing shift and change in my life. I knew that being a writer would make me feel what I wanted to feel. Suddenly things got really clear. No, it wasn’t easy. But don’t let the myth that if it’s supposed to be, then it will be easy. That’s not always the case. Things that are worth working for, are often hard. The hard it what makes it great. And if you really want it, then make a commitment to yourself that you will accomplish it and that failure is not an option.
A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable, but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. – George Bernard Shaw
Since deciding how I wanted my life to feel, I have never looked back. Even when I made a mistake, which I have made many, I just backed up, dusted off and got back up. If people laughed at me, and they have, I ignored them. Life is too short to worry about what others think of you.
So go after how you want your life to feel, and feel it, every bit of it. Soak it in. And don’t be afraid to walk away from that which does not fit. Distance yourself from people, places and things that do not follow how you want your life to be. This takes courage, and that is where it might get a little difficult. But keep in mind that removing what does not work or serve you makes you for that which will.  Keep those who support and encourage you close and never take them for granted.
Live life with passion, love, faith and feeling. What are you waiting for?

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Freedom, Stillness and Goodness

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

Love a flower

A friend of mine and I were discussing this quote last week, and we came to a great conclusion that this is just as true pertaining to people as it is flowers.  Especially when it comes to dating and relationships. It has often been said that the things you may first find enduring in a relationship, is what you may later find annoying. That may be true, but one thing remains: You cannot change someone else. If you fall in love with them, then try to change them, they are no longer that person with whom you fell in love. But many have a tendency to do this. There is even a play called “I love you, Your Perfect, Now Change” that illustrates this perfectly.

If you fall in love (or even in like) with someone who is a free spirit, or is fiercely independent, self sufficient and very defiant of anyone who tries to control them, then don’t try to tame that spirit. For it is beautiful. Someone who cannot be controlled, who goes with their faster than another’s wishes, or who plays by their own rules…if that is what fascinated you about them, then let them shine. To try to change them would kill the very thing that makes them beautiful to you.

I have often said that I cannot live in captivity, I will not be tamed. I am free. It is just a matter of finding the one with whom I can run.

“Maybe some women weren’t meant to be tames. Maybe they need to run free, until they find someone just as wild to run with.”

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I’m Still Standing

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

Saw this man in concert many years ago and he was AMAZING. Love this song. To me it’s just a great song, and has always been one of my favorites. And I love that he dedicates this to Tina Turner. I’ve seen her in concert too, and she is truly amazing. Enjoy!

“I’m Still Standing”

You could never know what it’s like
Your blood like winter freezes just like ice
And there’s a cold lonely light that shines from you
You’ll wind up like the wreck you hide behind that mask you use

And did you think this fool could never win
Well look at me, I’m coming back again
I got a taste of love in a simple way
And if you need to know while I’m still standing you just fade away

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah
I’m still standing yeah yeah yeah

Once I never could hope to win
You starting down the road leaving me again
The threats you made were meant to cut me down
And if our love was just a circus you’d be a clown by now

Don’t you know I’m still standing better than I ever did
Looking like a true survivor, feeling like a little kid
I’m still standing after all this time
Picking up the pieces of my life without you on my mind

And Tina…

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My Funny Valentine

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

This Valentines has been one of the best in history – there was romance, there was intrigue, wine, chocolate, warm weather, my favorite music, laughter, hugs, long conversations, smiles, giggles, singing, trying new things, the comfort of the old and trusted, surprises, dancing, lots of food, lots of love,  and finally, rest.

After  a week of being snowed in, moving and rushing to get everything done…it was time play. And the most rewarding play, is after having worked very hard.

And after this very full, very active, very wonderful weekend, I come back amazingly refreshed and ready to start this amazing, exciting, fabulous next chapter. And so much to write…

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Stalking

Posted by adalamar on February 17, 2014

I found this blog very interesting, and this particular entry very telling. This blog entails why, and outlines the mental illnesses involved with stalking.

If you are victim of domestic abuse, or stalking, you are not alone, and there are many laws to protect you. There are many agencies that offer their services. And states are becoming less and less tolerant of stalking behavior, especially if the stalker has a violent past or of it spans over several different states. Be informed. Contact me for more information on how to protect yourself and legally stop the person stalking you.

Here is the blog.

http://ssofdv.wordpress.com/2013/06/12/when-abusers-stalk-their-prey/

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