AdaLamar's Blog

A Sassy Girls Guide to a Life of Wanderlust

The Disc: America’s Legal way to Launder Money and Save on Export Taxes

Posted by adalamar on February 10, 2016

An edgy sample written for a client…politics, religion, criminal masterminds and money laundering…sounds like a great mystery novel, or a blog on a financial website…

It actually sounds pretty shady:  You take the profits from your export company and put them into a shell company that only exist on paper, specifically to distribute those profits to shareholders.  Those shareholders then pay taxes on the money leaving  you to reap the benefits of saving millions on corporate export taxes, because that money no longer shows up on the books.  It sounds like something Bernie Madoff created himself, but it’s absolutely legal.

The year is 1971 and 60% of Americans are against the war In Vietnam.  Love Story is the top movie, James Taylor is the number one selling artist and Walt Disney World Resort opens in Florida.  The same year, Intel releases the world’s first microprocessor, the 4004 and Texas Instruments releases the first pocket calculator. Also Apollo 14 lands on the Moon, Charles Manson and three of his followers receive the death penalty and oil Production from the North Sea begins in Norway.

Average Income per year $10,600.00, the cost of a gallon of gas is 40 cents and United States postage Stamp is only 6 cents. President Richard M. Nixon ends the US trade embargo against China, removes the gold/silver backing from the US Dollar, and in an attempt to control inflation, implements a 90 day freeze on wages and prices. But the big news, is that Congress creates the DISC as a means to subsidize US exports.

That is because even in the midst of fighting a war, opening up trade and trying to stabilize the economy, Congress recognized that the key to stimulating foreign, and especially domestic growth, was increasing exports. And this is a benefit that you can enjoy today through the use of a DISC or Domestic International Sales Corporation. A DISC allows an export company to save $1 million on every $10 million of profits, and you don’t even have to feel guilty.

So leave the illegal stuff to Michael Milken, Kenneth Lay, Jack Abramoff and even Martin Shkreli.  You don’t have to look over your shoulder or worry about Uncle Sam coming to get you. Uncle Sam might even just give you a pat on the back for using one of the oldest tax rules on the books for exporters.  You are feeling smarter already aren’t you? And the best thing about saving all that money in taxes is that you don’t even have to go to confession!

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A Writer’s Peeve

Posted by adalamar on February 10, 2016

I happens more often than you might think, and it can be quite a pet peeve of mine.  As a writer (or web designer, graphic designer or anyone who “creates” for others) it is very important to understand exactly what those who are hiring you want.  As a writer I ask a lot of questions – Who is the target audience?  What is the tone? What is the POV? What information needs to be included?  Any do’s or don’ts? Anything else I need to know?

And I always send a rough draft soon into the project to get feedback.  This makes sure that everyone is on the same page, expectations are met and that I don’t do a lot of work when the client is thinking in another direction.  Also, sometimes a client will change their mind once they see things written on the page.

So it is a pet peeve of mine when a client, or someone who is thinking of hiring me, answers all the questions but either doesn’t know what they want or is very bad at communicating it.

And this happened recently.  I was tasked with doing some sample work for a top financial company where I  live. I asked many questions and followed the instructions that they sent – Target audience was CEOs and CFOs, with certain qualifying information included in the pieces, and modeled after several other writings that had already been published online.  Got it.

I sent a rough draft of the first piece to get feedback, making sure they liked tone, audience, content, etc.  Crickets…..Nothing. …..No feedback.

I turned in the rest of the samples by the requested deadline only to hear back that they did not like the samples. They didn’t think the writing was engaging and did not think that I could write content that would interest the readers.

Ouch. First, as a writer you really cannot have any ego. Writing, like art, can be rather subjective. So you must take criticism with your chin up and with a grain of salt.  You can be the best writer in the world, and not everyone will like you. And that’s OK.

But this was different.  I did as they asked and followed directions specifically.  It was especially frustrating that I scrapped my original drafts, which were quite creative, after their instructions to write like the other assessments that had were online. I read the example articles that I was to model my writing after…and they were very dry, reading a bit like a text book.  I, as was instructed, followed suit. So I wrote in a more conservative and traditional financial tone.

This is why it is so important to send a rough draft, and for those you are writing for to send feedback!  Getting a rough draft is the perfect time to communicate any changes that need to be made.  It would have been the perfect time to tell me “Hey, we need something less financial textbook and more exciting to get the Millennials interested.”

Because at the end of the day, I am a writer, hired to write what the client wants.  And I am a very good writer. But I can only write what they tell me they want.

So if you hire a writer, designer, developer, {insert creative title here}, make sure that you communicate what you want very clearly. And if they send a rough draft for approval/feedback – for the love of God and everything holy- Respond!  If you don’t it is your fault that you do not get what you want, not that of the writer.

 

 

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Stardust

Posted by adalamar on January 19, 2016

It seems that January has not been a good month for classic artists.  Already we have already lost Natalie Cole, David Bowie, Alan Rickman and Glen Frey. Then Celine Dion lost her husband and brother.  And it is barely the third week of the year.

It is hard to believe that some of these amazing talents are no longer with us; that they are now the dust of the stars, and if we are lucky, we might see a glance when we look up on a clear night. The news of Bowie and Rickman actually hit me pretty hard, and I am not one to get upset at the passing of celebrities whom I have never met.  Jim Henson affected me, as did Robin Williams…

And I think that one of the reasons is that all of them had this amazing ability to wow us, to make us think, to make us laugh, and sometimes to make us cry.  They were all bursts of light and creativity. They entertained us in ways we could have never even imagined.

In a world of Kardasians, and where people get famous by twerking, leaking a sex tape, or by simply wearing a “man-bun”, Cole, Rickman, Frey and Bowie are people who were so brilliantly talented, that they dazzled us. It is sad to think that these talents are gone, not only because I grew up listening to or watching them, but also because they truly seemed to have been good people. And the world just seems a little more dull.

It makes me wonder, will this new generation on millennials ever reach that level of creativity and talent?  In a time when it seems dumber is better as long as it looks good, what kind of true talent is out there now that we are losing these great musicians and actors?  How many of the new Hollywood can actually pull off Shakespeare? How many can truly make us feel something as we are watching the screen?

And as for music, how many young artist can truly pull off morphing themselves into so many characters…just for the hell and thrill of it?  And the parting gift Bowie left his fans, a hauntingly beautiful album, again showing his brilliance,talent and amazing vision.

And so it is, as I get older, that I appreciate so much more those who came before me, those whom I have watched and listen to, those who have entertained and dazzled, just by the shear brilliance of their talent. I simultaneously hope and look forward to seeing what the next generation of young whippersnappers comes up with…because they have some mighty shoes to fill.

 

 

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The Birthday

Posted by adalamar on January 14, 2016

It’s a very special day, the day you were born.  And it should be celebrated.  No matter how old or young you are, a birthday should be a celebration. It is the eve of my birthday and I am excited to finally begin.  Oh the year has been great so far, but it seems there have been tissues and cold medicine and coughing all night…that has gotten in the way of my month long observation of the birthday.

And I think back to where I was just a year ago, and how much better life is today.  I think back and shake my head at what a silly girl I was, just  year ago. Two years ago, and I have lost track of the person I used to be.  She is like a distant friend I used to know.

And that is how it is with life, love and the pursuit of happiness isn’t it?  Ever changing, ever evolving, and always interesting. And would we want it any other way?  Think of how boring life would be if we really could see into that crystal ball anytime we wanted.  Sure. it is tempting – that is why psychics are so popular.  But to always know what is around the corner?  No thank you.

Being older and wiser, I still have the same theory on life – always be curious. About everything. Ask questions, take changes, take risks, and always, believe in yourself. And love with all your heart. This theory has served me well in my years on this planet.  We may still make mistakes, have unpleasant happenings, but even those are chances to learn, grow and be better the next time around.

Today is not a dress rehearsal. And tomorrow isn’t promised. So drink it up, every last moment in life. And that, to me, is what this birthday and this year means.  I want to spend time with my loved ones, enjoy their laughter and stories.  Looking in the headlines of the three celebrities who have passed just this week from cancer, makes me acutely aware of how blessed my family has been. Now excuse me while I blow out some candles.

 

 

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The Resting

Posted by adalamar on January 3, 2016

Disclaimer: Am under the influence of cold medicine…please excuse typos.

The holidays is a time of year where things can get so busy that we get run down and forget to take care of ourselves. Indeed, with gathering, work obligations, friend and families…it get get downright overwhelming.  And then…

And then quick as a flash, quick as it got here, the Holiday season of running at full speed and then some is over.  A countdown to resting as the countdown to the new year was done. And it has been wonderful, with lots of family, friends, get together s, music, trips and travel, incredible food and love.

Yes, this New Years was the best I have ever had, and there is indeed much for which to be happy.  I am exhausted, sick with a cold, the house is a mess, washing machine needs fixing, and laundry needs to be done….and it was all worth it. Every second. It was amazing. Many smiles, laughs and memories were made. Life was truly lived in these moments.

But now it’s time to go back to normal life, before the holidays.  GO back to work, go back to regular days, and going to the gym. But mostly for me, right now in this moment, it is time to slow down and rest a bit.  And when you won’t, life has a way of making sure you do. When I get run down, from too much of everything, I get sick.  It always happens when I do too much at once.  And this year is no different.  I am down for the count with this awful cold. So rest, and relaxation are in order, along with chicken soup, cozy blankets, snuggling with the kitties and binge watching a few TV shows.

Sometimes you just have to take advantage of the Resting.

 

 

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Tis New Year

Posted by adalamar on December 31, 2015

This year, I guess it would be easy to run down all that happened, all that was let go, all the lessons, all the thoughts.  ALll the heartaches, all the everything that was this past 12 months.  And I think back to where I was 12 short  months ago…and I am amazed at how many things have changed, at how much more full my life is, how many more, of more that there is.

The previous year 2014, was rough. It was so very hard that I could barely really think of what another year might bring.  I just knew that whatever it was I could and would get through it.  After such a tumultuous year, whatever came next might not be pretty, but it was survivable.  And then something unexpected happened – it was more than just survivable, it was actually good.  Oh yes, there were some rough spots, but when I look back at how far everything has come, how far I have come, it is quite amazing.

SO much has been learned and discovered this year. And so much has been let go, or lost, that my shoulders are much lighter than they were.  The fact is, is that it takes a minute to get your balance after you get back on your feet. It takes a little while to learn to walk again, straight up, and maybe even run.  It takes a minute to believe in yourself again, to believe in the good. I mean really believe, not just tell yourself that you believe. It takes a while for joy to creep back into every part of your heart, and it takes a minute for all those cracks and empty spaces to be filled.  It takes some times to find your place get your groove back, get into the rythm and stop fighting the flow.

And that is what this past year has been.  Finally I am out of the woods, into the light and have come around the corner.  And for the first time in a long time, I truly look forward to the next.  It is a calm excitement. There is being settled and happy with where I am.  Yes, much needs work, but that is alright.

While 2015 has not been bad, I am looking forward to what 2016 may bring.  And i know, that whatever happens, it will be quite an adventure.  That’s the things about life…it always is.

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The season of…

Posted by adalamar on December 17, 2015

Here we are in the middle of the most festive season of the year.  It is also the season of exhausted. And broke.  So much running around, shopping, visiting, catching up, driving in Atlanta traffic and rushing around.  There are 3 December birthdays in my family, plus my nephews graduation. And my father coming up for MRI scans to check his liver cancer (that’s still in remission – yay!).

It is the season of miracles, as I look at both of my parents who are in remission from terminal cancers. I am amazed how powerful prayer and faith are. And I remember this as I search from Grace in my own life and daily activities (many days I fail, but I always am striving to do better).

It is the time of wonderful Christmas commercials. For those of us who get emotional during PMS, watching TV with PMS at Christmas is like a minefield – every channel has touching commercials about military coming home, the elderly being invited over for Christmas dinner, rescue puppies being saved and such. Tis the season of a coffee or cereal commercial pushing me over the edge and reducing me a pile of tears. I just keep a box of tissues by the remote.

It is also a time when I miss some friends who have passed. Like one of my best friends in high school.   Wonder what she would be like now, and remember her smile and how she loved Christmas.  I remember Lavan Robinson, who was in charge of music at the small church I grew up in in my hometown.  Every Christmas Eve he would sing “Oh Holy Night” in a way that would give you chills, because his voice was so clear and beautiful. I can’t hear that song without thinking of him, and the many years I heard him sing it at Midnight mass. And most of all, I think of my best friend who I lost this year. I miss his text messages he would send almost every day.  And I miss just knowing that he was out there, that a human being as wonderful as he, was out there in the world. He and his wife were married on Christmas Eve, so this will be a rough holiday for her.

This year we are taking a Christmas tree to Mom and Dad’s and decorating it for them. There will be much love, laughter and hot chocolate no doubt. It is a time of being excited about gifts.  Don’t you just love it when you have a gift for someone that you know that are going to absolutely love?  I get so excited that it’s hard for me to wait. That is actually the reason I don’t buy gifts early – because I get so excited that I end up giving them before Christmas. (or at least that’s my story)

There are gifts for me under the tree …and they are driving me crazy.  I have been told that I can’t touch them…but when have I ever listened when told what to do? (It’s that problem with authority).  So I just gaze at them longingly from across the room by day. But they whisper to me at night…”come shake me,” they say softly in my ear. And so I must.  Still can’t figure out that they are. Which makes it all the more delicious.

And then there are all the Christmas Yummies.  Those are all the delicious things that are at the office, at the parties or just around at Christmas. There is a reason why most people gain weight during this time of year. And I already told all everyone if they notice a few extra pounds on me, I really don’t care. Because I am not going to pass up any Christmas Yummies. Life is short. Eat the chocolate. I can go to the gym when I’m dead. Besides, 70% of people make New Year’s resolutions to lose weight and eat healthier. I wouldn’t want to be left out. So this season, it’s all about the base.

But oh, I am so sleepy. While visions of sugar plums may dance on the heads of others, I think of a warm bad, soft blankets and squishy pillows. I think of curling up with my furry babies, all warm and nestled down in the covers. There are warm socks to wear, books to read, movies to watch while snuggling on the couch. Because it is also the season of small perfect moments and warm rooms. Mostly because, all because, it is the season of love.

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Graduation Day

Posted by adalamar on December 15, 2015

When I was 36 I prayed for something larger than myself.  I wanted to build something that would outlast me, something that was more important that just me and what I wanted.  A week later I got a call that my oldest nephew had been accepted to Southern Polytechnic University’s Mechatronics degree program. And there the adventure began.

When he was in high school, I whispered in his ear that he should come up to Atlanta to go to college.  I would be there, and I could help him with whatever he needed – food, money, laundry, car service, books, and supplies, whatever.  I promised him that whatever he needed, he would have. And indeed that is how it went.  He called when he needed things and there was much fun that was had  I was his “Almost parent” and I loved it.

He had to learn a few things on his own, like why you don’t take an 18 hour course load of all difficult upper level classes your first semester.  That was a tough one for him.  Or why you don’t drink all night before finals, or why you don’t mix light and dark liquor.  Things like why you want to talk to your advisor and why you do want to make friends with the ladies in the administration office.

Today he is graduating…today I will watch this man walk across the stage and accept what he has earned and worked very hard to obtain.  My heart is about to burst with pride.  My father and I will be there to see him (he says it’s a bigger deal to us than it is to him, which is probably true).

And I am ever so thankful for that day my prayers were answered. Everything was worth it to see this young man graduate today. He did it. Today he reminds me of what is truly important in life – it is not the things that we have, no matter how pretty or luxurious. It is those whose lives we touch. It is the promises we keep. It is lifting others and building something bigger and more important than yourself.

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The Best First

Posted by adalamar on December 4, 2015

We all have those special holidays or events that our firsts.  But when they combine, the outcome can be magic. This year was a very special Thanksgiving for me. It was the first time that I hosted the family for the big day, and it was the first time in many ears that both my parents were healthy and could celebrate without hesitation.

I worked all week on getting the house ready – everything clean and neat, but just messy enough that Mom had a few things to do and felt useful. Many blankets on Dad’s bed and a heater just for his room so he is nice and warm and toasty. The smoking area in the garage, complete with the couch and back patio chairs, heaters and throw blankets. Plenty of firewood, towels, bed linens and snacks. And the carpet cleaned and looking good (thanks to my wonderful boyfriend).

And then it was time.  Mom and Dad arrived with hugs and kisses and coffee and smiles. Then later it was a hot dinner and cold wine. The next morning, my sister came with her two boys. And the cooking was on.  All of us Burch women in the kitchen, slicing, dicing, mixing and drinking wine and snacking on cheese and crackers.  It was a mess but it was fun.  And wonderful.  That kitchen was filled with so much love. And food – there was Mom’s stuffing recipe, and the secret broccoli and cheese casserole, then the turkey, and…

And then it was time to eat – a few hours past when I originally thought, but that just meant everyone was extra hungry.  We pulled my two tables together for a shabby chic, Hodge-podge Thanksgiving dinner. A prayer was said and then we all ate.  And laughed, and talked and drank and there was happy murmur and conversation.  And as I sat there, looking around at my family in my little home, at my little two tables, I was so very grateful. Another year with them, my family, where everyone is healthy and happy.  And as my heart beat, it swelled with such happiness and contentment that I was ready to pop.

And that is the thing about life, it doesn’t have to be perfect to be wonderful.  I have a small home in a small but nice neighborhood.  Mismatched glasses lined the two tables pushed together and mismatched place mats were under that plates. And no one cared. Because those ancillary things are just that. It’s the imperfections that make those moments and events great. Love makes the imperfections beautiful. .  It was perfect. And amazing. And wonderful. The best first Thanksgiving ever.

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The Right Time

Posted by adalamar on December 1, 2015

I am always where I am supposed to be, when I am supposed to be there.

This is the time of year that I start thinking about all the resolutions that I have.  All the things that I want to do, accomplish and be.  To me, it is important to always be working to improve and learn more about the world and everything in it.  To experience life in all its wonder.

And, even though we are just past Thanksgiving, I am excited about all the New Year has to bring.  This time, it’s different though.  For the last several years, I have been hurried to get the year over to start the next.  Not this time.  I am set on absorbing as much of what is left in this year as possible.  I am in no hurry to move to the next, though I am looking forward to all the possibilities that are ahead.

And then I thought about all the thing that have been left unfinished over the years. And how my list of resolutions are more of a completion of that which has been left or put down or what I want to get back to, more than anything.  And this feels good.

But I know that this is the time to complete those tasks, and the time that has passed is of no consequence.  Because I refuse to believe that God is only there for me in a small, specific timeframe.  I think he is there all the time.  And I think that I have all the time in the world, certainly all the time that I need.

Sometimes we can feel guilty about what we have left undone or have failed to accomplish.  But I think that is self-defeating.  Sometime we need to put projects down, until we are in the proper emotional place within our self to accomplish them from a good, positive place.  When I was unhappy and struggling to keep my head above water, there was a desperation around me that could be felt from miles away.  Nothing can be accomplished from that perspective.

Now, I am happy. And I know that whatever it is – whether writing the book, or getting back into acting, or getting into shape and getting headshots done –  I know that God is there ready to and waiting.  Because I am right where I need to be, right when I need to be there.

Since waiting, I am coming back around to these projects from such a different perspective and place deep within, that the outcome will be that much better.  It will be completely different, because I am completely different. And I am starting from a better place.

I trust and have faith in that those projects will be just as blessed as they would have been years ago when I had to put them down. Maybe even more so. Him. So don’t worry about that unfinished list.  It will all get done eventually.  And 2016, will be the year of love and life coming full circle.

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Every Piece of You

Posted by adalamar on December 1, 2015

Let your heart break
Let it all go
Just let the tears roll
down your cheeks
Wash it all away

You’re safe in my arms
No harm, no danger
Just peace and calm
So let the salt water
shine your soul like new

If you need the strength
I’ll give mine to you
I’m not going anywhere
Just shatter and I’ll catch

every peice of you

No not leaving baby
These arms are staying
So fall apart if you must
Even steel bends sometimes
So you be weak and I’ll be your strong

Fall apart all over my chest
In this embrace you are home
No need to hide whats inside
So fall apart now darlin
And I’ll hold you till morning

Feeling all the pain but
When you can’t take another step
I’ll guide you home
Light the way of the path
So fall apart like glass

If you need the strength
I’ll give mine to you
I’m not going anywhere
Just shatter and I’ll catch

every piece of you

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My Name is Bobby Claus

Posted by adalamar on November 24, 2015

There is a wonderful book out there that tells a poignant  story about a an orphan, three mischievous boys, angels, and a Christmas tragedy. But things aren’t always as they seem and there are no coincidences in life. The compelling story takes you on a journey of laughter, heartache, discovery, innocence and hope.

The author is my mother, Genny Burch (yes, writing runs int he family) and My Name is Bobby Claus is her first book.

You can find Genny’s book on Amazon as well as other online retailers. Check out her website My Name is Bobby Claus for more information and how to order.

And please spread the word!

Bobby Claus

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What Dating a Good Man Teaches You

Posted by adalamar on November 23, 2015

I wasn’t allowed to date until I was 16 but ended up going on my fist date 3 months before my birthday. This was because the guy was moving out of state and my parents reluctantly allowed me to go. I am 42 now and have never been married. That’s a lot of dating. I have seen the good, bad and ugly of relationships. And I have learned a lot over the years.

My current boyfriend is amazing.  He doesn’t play games. He actually puts forth the effort and tells me, on a daily basis, that I am beautiful and amazing and totally worth it. I am thriving under the light of his wonderful attention and affection.  I wonder how I forgot that this is what dating is supposed to be, that this is how I am supposed to be treated? My current relationship is teaching me things that I didn’t realize I had forgotten. Like how I should be treated.

Somewhere along the way, dating became more of a game than a pleasure.  It seems that it’s about getting all that you can, when you can, while putting forth as little effort as you can.  When we women have men with this attitude from which to choose, we get discouraged by the lack of options and try to choose the lessor of many evils.

Ladies, Steve Harvey has it right – when a man really wants you, there will be no question. I think back to all those guys that used to drive me crazy making me wonder if they were really interested. Or that I was doing something wrong. Maybe that was the reason why they weren’t calling like they said they would, or didn’t seem interested, or would make an ambiguous date, then never follow through.

Stop wondering. Because if you have to wonder if he is interested, then the answer is No.  It doesn’t matter if you call or text him.  If he wanted to be with you, he would have already set up the date.

Easier said than done, right?  Because we are taught that if we have these high expectations, then we are demanding, and bitchy, and manipulative. No, we just know our worth.

I have had men who would text me (first of all, call the woman) and ask me to go out lunch that day…when I would accept and ask where…they wouldn’t respond. Until a few weeks later when it’s the same thing all over again. No, he didn’t get too busy, his phone didn’t break, he wasn’t sucked into a vortex where no communication was possible.  He just wasn’t really interested. So why text at all?  Who knows.  Maybe he wanted to keep that door open, or wanted an ego boost. He definitely didn’t want to go to lunch.

The guy I dated before my current boyfriend actually made me feel guilty if I even thought about asking him to help me with anything – He was healing from a woman who used him 3 years ago, so he couldn’t do anything for me.  I made the mistake of saying he could use my boat anytime he wanted if he would let me use his truck to pull my boat to the marina. I was promptly accused of making my boat and all maintenance his responsibility. If a man in interested in you, there will no excuses or strange accusations. If a man is interested, he will want to spend time with you, and he will care enough to help out when you need it.

My current boyfriend is amazing.  He sees projects that I cannot do myself, and he fixes them. I don’t even have to ask.  He just rented a Rug Doctor and cleaned the carpets in my house because my family is coming to visit.  And because he said I “should live in pretty.” Wow, what a difference.

I have dated men who refused to introduce me to any friends and family, while telling me how much they liked and cared for me.  My current boyfriend has introduced me to all of his friends and family. Because he wants me in his life, because he wants me to see from who and where comes. And he is interested in meeting my friends and family too. He wants to know my people. And a man who is truly  interested in you, will want to know your world and your people too.

There was a man who made a date on Easter with me….and was a no show.  Contacted me a few weeks later like everything was fine.  Then there are the guys who just wanted me to “come over and hang out”, but were never willing to drive to see me, or take me out.  Stay away from them, they are lazy and place no value on you or your time.

I think back on all the times I questioned if I was doing something wrong?  Women are taught that if you keep getting disappointed in dating, you are the one common factor.  So take a look in the mirror and find your fault. Well, it wasn’t me, it was them. Mostly. The only thing I wasn’t doing, in my worn and weary and discourage mindset, was remembering my worth. Because I didn’t want to seem demanding, or high maintenance, or bitchy, or unreasonable.

The man I am with now, expects me to know my worth, because he sees it every time he looks at me. And he makes sure I know how lucky he feels. And I am lucky too. Because finally, here is a man who sees what I didn’t see in myself for a long time. Dating a good man has reminded me that first and foremost, I am worth it.

Every day I am so very grateful that this wonderful man found his way into my life.

Because I am demanding, and high maintenance and bitchy and unreasonable…But only to those men who are not interested enough to do anything but put forth the least amount of effort possible.

And that is what dating a good man can teach you.

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Where the Magic Happens

Posted by adalamar on November 20, 2015

Home is where it happens. All the magic of life and family.  And this year I am counting on that magic to add to the wonderfulness of the holiday season.  This year I am hosting the family for Thanksgiving.  We all have our firsts in life, and this is one of mine.

To some this may not seem like a big deal, but to my large and very eclectic family its pretty big.  This is the first year that my parents are healthy and not suffering from cancer.  And this year everyone is in close proximity.  This is also probably the last year my nephews will be local. My oldest nephew is graduating college next month and who knows where he will end up.  The other two are going to school and working as well, but they all have off for the holidays this year.

It is the first time that the family will be gathering at my house.  In the past, we have all made it to our parents house.  But they are getting older and it is a lot of work for them to do all the cooking, cleaning and general preparation for such a family event.  I am hoping that it is a success, that everyone has a good time, even though it will be quite the adventure.  To understand the overtures of this undertaking, let me explain:

My parents are quite set in their ways.  They are great, wonderful, honest, hard working, loyal people.  But they can be extremely difficult to please.  And they both cannot be happy and comfortable at the same time.  You will go crazy trying to make that happen, trust this, I know. I have actually told them to choose each day of the visit who gets to be happy and comfortable, that way there is not constant complaining.  It works.

In the past visits, there have been complaints that the house is too cold (Dad likes the temp at 84-86), too hot (Mom likes it between 74-76) and neither of them like ANY air circulation, so no fans or such. The food is too spicy or too bland. And I live out in Egypt, s where I live is too far, from everything (I actually have the same complaint).

My mother smokes, but she hates smoking outside, mainly because it’s cold in the winter and she doesn’t like to be cold.  Once, in the House of Mold, she smoked on the screened-in-porch. When she got cold she insisted I bring her the warmest coat I owned…which happened to be a mink coat.  So there she is, sitting out in a screened-in-porch, in her pink fuzzy warm house slippers….smoking….in a mink coat. I would have taken a picture if I had not feared death. So I have set up a wonderful sitting area in the garage…along with 2 large, large room heaters, that each one would heat the small garage for most. There will be tables, chairs and a soft couch from which to choose.

My father, on his last visit, complained that he felt some small amount of air moving across his face. This air was coming from a closed air vent in his bedroom that was very suspect.  The threatened to sleep in the garage.  Instead I fixed a separate place for him upstairs in my office.  This time the bed in his room will be moved far away from that evil vent, thus avoiding the problem altogether.

Add to the mix my wonderful sister and her 2 sons.  Nothing much will happen with any of them, as they will be face-deep in their phones.  I will have to make a rule that there are no electronic devices at the table. My sister and Dad do speak the same language, sometimes I swear they have the same brain even. My youngest nephew smokes as well, so he will be in the garage with his grandmother, while we will try to keep the oldest from getting into a political discussion with my mother.  Liberal college kid views do not go over well with her  conservative mindset, and he is too young to be able to keep up with her quick wit (not kidding). I would prefer to save the fireworks for July 4th.

And everyone loves coffee. And wine. And food in general. And we can all gather next to the warm fireplace, when we are not out in the garage, hanging out with the smokers.  Or decorating the Christmas. Or asleep in our food comas.

And this weekend will be the flurry of getting the last bit ready…the deep cleaning (but not too deep, because my mother will need something to clean while she visits).  There will be dusting of things and cleaning of baseboards. Vacuuming, sweeping and mopping.  The cupboards are full of snacks and such, the throw blankets and sheets have all been swashed and are fresh and soft. There is music that has been picked out for the occasion.  It may be hard but it will be worth it.  Much laughter, love, great moments, memories and pictures.  And I will hug them just a little bit tighter, just a little bit longer.  This year, a year of so many wonderful things in our lives, and so many miracles.  And so much heartbreak and terror in the world.  Nothing like watching the news to make you hold your loves ones just a little closer.

And in those hugs, those moment and those memories, that is where the magic happens.

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CupGate: Thy Cup Runneth Over

Posted by adalamar on November 10, 2015

I love coffee, it is truly a gift from God.  And that helps me wake up and function without hurting anyone in the mornings.  Enjoying a cup of coffee can be done on a quiet cool morning on a patio, or with friends at a busy coffee shop (say, like Starbucks for example).  It is a pick me up in the afternoon when we hit that wall, college students live on it during finals and we, from all over, and of all vocations sing it’s praises.

And it’s the holidays, a traditionally festive time when we are kind to others, observe and give thanks or celebrate the Christmas spirit.  And then….

And then there was “CupGate”

As it turns out, nothing can upset the calm waters of a magnanimous holiday season as much as a cup of coffee. Literally. Or a store deciding to change their cup.  You would think they cancelled Christmas, or at least the pumpkin spice lattes. All of the sudden removing secular and pagan symbols for a religious and commercialized holiday from a disposable cup is an attack on Christianity.

Have we lost our minds?

And at what point does it end?  QT has BROWN cups during the holidays, they don’t even bother to change their cups for the season.  Oh, they must hate Christmas and Christians…and all religions as well now that you mention it. And what about Jews?  Does anyone even have a Chanukah Hanukkah cup? Are all companies who have never displayed a minora anti-Semitic?  What about Kwanzaa? Are all coffee shops racist now?  Satanism?  They have a Christmas celebration too…And we cannot forget Festivas, though I admittedly have no clue as to what a symbols are associated – and no, I am not anti-Seinfeld.

Is it possible that a red cup is just a red cup?  Personally, I would love a cup that says Merry Christmas on it. But there are so many other things to concentrate on in this world other than what is on my disposable coffee cup. Maybe we should just concentrate on being the best human beings we can be instead. Yes, I am a strong Christian.

Imagine if we did something as simple as practiced tolerance and vowed not to take everything personally so we didn’t get offended All. The. Time.  And if that coffee cup really offends you, why not give it to a homeless person.  I bet they won’t care about the color of the cup and will just be thankful that someone cared enough to think of them on a cold day.

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How to Enjoy Your to Do List

Posted by adalamar on November 9, 2015

It has rained for the past two weeks here, and today marks the start of the third week, the third rainy Monday.  The damp and cold air makes me, and many others I know, just want to snuggle down and stay inside.  It makes me pay attention to home.  You can’t really go out, so what else are you going to do?

In this day and age of the faster the better, go out, have fun, the more the merrier….there is something so wonderful about spending a quiet weekend at home, nesting about, enjoying the cozy.  Indeed, the fleece lined leggings and fuzzy warm slippers were well worn as I happily hummed about.  The laundry washed, folded and put away, floors cleaned, garage cleaned, kitchen and spare bedroom looks good.  Working hard to get those things checked off the to do list, while balancing the fine art of relaxing, resting and nestling in the covers.

Soon it will turn cold, at least for this part of the country.  The holidays are coming, with family, celebrations and lots of food.  Soon it will be time for winter hibernation – that time when it’s too cold to go outside for much, so inside becomes a cozy escape.  And this year I will have much to do while inside, keeping the house nice while crossing projects off the  ever growing to do list.

And I wonder, will it ever all be done?  Is there ever a day when we look up, and realize that we have completed that list?  That the projects are done, and we have nothing to do?  In a way I hope not.  Because that means we have stopped.  IN life, we must always be curious about our world and those in it.  Not to say that we can’t enjoy being still and quiet.  But we must never loose that zest and passion for life.  We must drink in those wonderful perfect moments, whether it’s sitting by a fire with a great book on a cold night, or hiking through the woods on a chilly morning, or cuddled up watching a movie with your sweetie, drink it up.  Enjoy it.

That to do list will always be there (probably).  While you’re at it, why not add a few things to that list?  Enjoy those moments, drink more hot chocolate, laugh more, watch a great movie, or better yet, wrap yourself in that blanket and good book.  Now that’s the kind of to do list that I would hope never ends.

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5 Ways Meditation Will Change Your Life

Posted by adalamar on November 9, 2015

Medication was something I thought only weird people did, but after a tumultuous 2014 I turned to meditation to fix my life, and it did. In 2014 I died an emotional death. So many things went wrong that made me emotionally numb. I had problems with my marriage, career, health, and finances that all came … Read more

Source: 5 Ways Meditation Will Change Your Life

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Break on Me

Posted by adalamar on November 6, 2015

It seems that the writing has slowed down as of late.  There is a difference this time because it is not writers block.  It is exactly the opposite.  Life is full and brimming and wonderful and joyful.  For the first time in many years, all is well in my world.  Oh, those ten pounds are still on my hops, but they are not really that big of a concern.  I’ll get around to getting to the gym. After the laughing, and wining and watching, and living and loving.

In this life, what happens when we fight tooth and nail to get back to happy and then we find that…we are there?  I don’t know, maybe everyone is different.  It certainly did not happen overnight.  Because rarely in life do things ever happen that quickly.  Most of the time, it takes a lot of work, a lot of blood, sweat. Tears and prayers.  And friends and wine and family and mistakes and steps. Oh so many steps, baby steps, leaps, bounds and hops.  And then, after sounds of l=miles, we see how far we have traveled because we realize that we have indeed made it to “B” from “”A”.

But here I am. I did it.

And life never stopped, the road was always there, the paths we took and trails traveled. And so there is a new project in this life, now that I have come out to the other side.  Things that I set out to do once upon a time.

Maybe it is time to break onto other areas and activities.  And this is where you will find me, in between the happiness and the joy, between the words that I haven’t said, but whisper, between the smiles and hopes and dreams and the all of everything.  Yes, that’s where I’ll be.  And I’ll see you there and this happiest of holiday seasons.

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The Art of Staying Put

Posted by adalamar on October 20, 2015

Be still and know that I am God

Many of us are familiar with  Psalm 46:10,   that says Be still and know that I am God.  To me this is saying be still and listen to the sound of God, listen to what the Voice of God is telling you.  And I have, especially in the dark times, prayed, been very still and listened for the answer. And it has always been there, somewhere, in a quiet place, in a quiet moment. And that voice has gotten me through man dark times.

But now that life is wonderful, do we still sit still?  Yes, I think we have to. This is especially hard for me on many levels. And as I still work to live a life of grace, it is something I struggle with on many days.

And in this time, it is beautiful thing. My life is brilliant and wonderful, after much hard work, lots of faith and even more prayer.  And I am loving every second of it.  But I must still work hard at stopping every now and then, and being very still, and listening.

And enjoying.  Yes, the rich, wonderful, joyousness that has surrounded me, all my prayers answered.  There has never been a time when I was not working hard to be better, do more, be more, working toward the goals that I have set for myself, within myself.

But here I find that I want to stay put, not move to the next moment, the next goal, the next accomplishment.  I want to stay right here, in the right now, in the deliciousness of all these moments with friends, family, with the man who makes my heart beat faster. I want to drink it in, soak it up and be immersed in this life.

But I also must take time to be silent and still, and hear the whisper that has answered prayers and soothed many tears in those dark days.  To breathe and enjoy, because there is nothing to run to or from, there is time to just be.  To relax. To Live. Yes, for the first time in this life, I am learning the art of staying put. And for that I am beyond grateful.

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Homeostasis

Posted by adalamar on October 15, 2015

Homeostasis is defined as: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent  groups of elements of an organism, population, or group, as maintained by physiological processes.

No matter how together you have your life, sometimes things get messy. And when life gets messy, it gets out of balance.  When this happens, how do we get back to normal..how do we regain homeostasis?

Just like in biology, it is natural for us to seek balance and harmony.  But how we get there can be a mystery, especially when we are smack dab in the middle of the mess.  And finally, after much work, I feel like I have finally regained the status of balance, where everything is working and working together correctly with everything else in my life.

Homeostasis, where home, family, career and love life are all not only well, but thriving.  Oh, there is still much to do…like change the blinds in the house, clean, a pile of laundry to fold and a car that alays needs to be cleaned out.  But over all, life is very good and I am enjoying the calm.

Finally, I have that wonderful boring little life that I always wanted, and it is marvelous. Quiet nights, reading, writing or snuggling on the couch.  Cooking and enjoying good meals, a glass of wine with my sweetie, good music, and making memories.  But not at the break neck speed as before.  It’s more calm, more life giving, more…love.

The holidays are approaching and I am more excited than I have been in many years.  A wedding to go to in the next weeks has me excited as well. Celebrating, meeting new people, and going someplace I have never been.  Then Halloween, promising many knocks on the door as the neighborhood is full of children.

The family is celebrating at my house this year, and so much love will be around the table as we sit down to express our thanks.  So many blessing for which to be thankful.  Decorating and getting ready for everyone. Lots of cooking and the great smell of home baked goods coming from teh kitchen.  A lovely fire in the fireplace to gather around with naughty hot chocolate and warm blankets. This year will be a celebration of everything – Love.

Homeostasis, a place of balance and inner peace It’s here. And when you are able to come to the table of life with peace and love, everything looks different. The work you do in this life, is from a deeper,  much truer and more joyful place.

And so as I may not write as many entries at the moment, it is not because my heart is empty. Quite the opposite; my arms, my life, my heart, are all full and bursting  at the seams with all I have been blessed.  Homeostasis has never been more beautiful.

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The Happy Coupledom

Posted by adalamar on October 12, 2015

I’ve entered into a land which I have not been in a long time. The happy coupledom. Don’t get me wrong have dated, even fallen madly in love, but this…this feeling is new.

We were binge watching The Blacklist on Netflix, the best TV on TV. When we realized we were hungry. He created some egg dish in the microwave while I created a fusion of Chinese and Mexican by combining broccoli beef, Mexican cheese and sour cream in a burrito.

And as we ate our almost-middle-of-the-night, lets-raid-the-kitchen-hurried-dinner, I sat on the kitchen counter and he stood next to me. Both of us smacking and chewing, talking and laughing with our mouths full, not in the least bit self conscience.

We ate and enjoyed every last bit….and when we were done, I rinsed the dishes as he stepped outside to smoke. And I did the happy dance, right there in the middle of my messy kitchen. And my heart was full. Welcome to happy coupledom.

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Good Night Sweet Boy

Posted by adalamar on October 9, 2015

He was a great cat, and pet.  The vet said there was not a lot of time, and I knew what it meant when he became more listless and tired.  Ragged breathing and not much appetite, if any.

And so it was, in the early morning hours, that he came to pass not long after I sat down next to him for the final time.  And I am glad that I was there with him, the first of my pets to pass. It truly seemed that he waited until  his human was with him. Glad I stroked his fur during his transition. He had a good life after being rescued, and he was well loved. And he loved his human in return.  Goodnight sweet BoJack.

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Good Night Sweet Boy

Posted by adalamar on October 9, 2015

He was a great cat, and pet.  The vet said there was not a lot of time, and I knew what it meant when he became more listless and tired.  Ragged breathing and not much appetite, if any.

And so it was, in the early morning hours, that he came to pass not long after I sat down next to him for the final time.  And I am glad that I was there with him, the first of my pets to pass. It truly seemed that he waited until  his human was with him. Glad I stroked his fur during his transition. He had a good life after being rescued, and he was well loved. And he loved his human in return.  Goodnight sweet BoJack.

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Sitcome Moment #2,549: Life is a Bathrobe

Posted by adalamar on October 5, 2015

You should always make sure there are no escape routes for house cat to escape, or you might end up chasing said cat all over yard  – in your flimsy bathrobe,  on a windy morning.

Went out to feed the little stray that has been staying around the house when my ca jumped and ran outside.  This is not good, as I had to leave in about 20 minutes so I had to get him.  But I was in my little bathrobe (was feeding stray in garage where neighbors could not see).

Had to jump out, on the lawn, on a windy morning. In my little bathrobe, calling this cat trying to get him to come to me.  Running around chasing this cat, who thinks it a fun game to run fro his human, while holding my bathrobe closed in the wind….

I felt like a was trapped in an I Love Lucy episode. Because my life is a sitcom.

Yes, I can hear you laughing.

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Sitcom Moments: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

Posted by adalamar on October 5, 2015

It was a regular morning, just like any other.  I crawled out of bed, put on some pants and drank a delicious cup of coffee. Little did I know it would soon be a sitcom kind of moment day.

I got ready to take my car down to the dealership for it’s regular maintenance and my sister was picking me up from the dealership. The plan was to grab a quick bite at the donut shop across the street and head back home to hang out and catch up.

It was on my way to the dealership that I realized what had happened…in my half asleep haze and hurry to get to the coffee pot, I slipped on my yoga pants…with no underwear.  Not a big deal one might say. Except that, not being a morning person, and my brain not being fully functional early on a Saturday morning, it did not occur to me until it was too late to turn around and go back home to fix this commando faux pas.

Oh well, I am just going to the dealership and the donut shop drive through…no real big deal, right.  Except my sister wanted to stay and eat at the donut shop. OK, we’ll go home from there.  Nope.  Then, while waiting to hear back about my car, she suggested we go thrifting.  Yay!  I love thrifting.  And it’s not like you have to get dressed p to go to thrift stores, so it should be ok.

And then she saw some cute pants for me to try on.  OK, here is where I had to draw the line.  One simply cannot try on thrift shop pants sans the proper dress, so to speak. So I had to confess.

Me: I can’t try them on today…because (in almost a whisper) iamnotwaeringpanties…

Sis: {small pause} Bahahahahahahahahaha!  My sisters laugh could be heard throughout the store…How can you forget to put on underwear??

Me: Well, I was half asleep and just needed enough clothing on to get to the coffee pot without flashing the neighbors…and then I was still kind of asleep when I left. And I just forgot.  Then realized on the  way to drop off the car…oh shit!  But we were going back home right after the donuts, so didn’t hink it wold be a big deal…

Again she laughed…and was thoroughly entertained the rest of the morning and afternoon, as she picked out more activities to be done before heading home. Indeed, I negotiated trading in my car at the dealership after my next oil change. Then there was the bead shop, where it was everything in the world of beading and making your own jewelry.  Then it was several antique shops, and buying some small pieces of jewelry for new outfits.  And last but not least, there was the wine tasting…and tasting and tasting.

I mean, if I had known all of that was going to happen I would have worn pant(ie)s!  Don’t get me wrong, I’m a fan of letting the lady breath and be free just as much as anyone.  But a bit of planning is unusually involved.  There is nothing quite like an accidental day of commando.

Yes my life is a sitcom…or an SNL skit.  I can hear you laughing.

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The Life in the Times

Posted by adalamar on September 30, 2015

For the first time in many years I can truly say that I love my life.  Right now, at this moment, I have everything for which I have prayeed.  True, I have worked my ass of, but I could not have anything without the blessing which I have been given.  And it feels so very good to be here, in this place, where life is again wonderful and where laughter knows no limits.  Where smiles are lasting and my heart is light.

That being said, I still do not have a=everything together at all.  I thin kit is an illusion that people, anyone really, has there life completely together.  We are all a mess, somewhere, in some way, in our lives.

I am doing great work, loving life…and yet I seemed to have gained that other 5 (Ok, maybe 8) pounds that I lost.  So now I need to loose 15lbs before going to the wedding next month.  Oh, I can do, but I’ll have to give up a lot of chocolate…one of my many vices and addictions.  And believe me, chocolate is both a vice and an addiction in my life and world.  Trust me.

I managed to fold all the laundry, mostly, but the floor need to be mopped, I need to exercise, there are about 100 blogs and such that are buzzing around in my head that need to be written down and out of my thoughts.  There is dusting to be done, my book to keep getting together, Mom’s book to promote…and lets not forget about the lawn.  I have given up mowing it, so finally reached a yard guy today.  Yippie.

And I wonder, in this day and age of instant everything, more communication than we can shake a stick at and 24 hours news channels, why can we not et it all done and have it all together?  With all the modern conveniences, we should be able to just Get it done…or maybe not.

I think that is the wonderful, beautiful, messy and imperfect thing about being human. We will never have it all together. And either will anyone else, no matter how together they look. Trust me, there is a closet someone in their house that is a total mess, or they secretly have a fear of… sponges that no one knows about, or they don’t recycle. Or they are horribly clumsy (or maybe that’s just me?). Something, there will always be something that we are trying to get done, accomplish, improve, reach, or try.  And we will never have it done.  Because we are human and it is not in our nature to be perfect.

So stop trying.  And if we ever got it together completely, maybe we would.

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Sitcom Moment: Life is a Revolving Door

Posted by adalamar on September 23, 2015

The thing about revolving doors

About all those missteps

On autumn floors

Is that no one tells you

Here and there

That people are watching everywhere

So when you trip and fall you see

Everyone is watching you

Including me

But don’t you fret now or later

About this or that or who is greater

Because we’re all just trying to get through – too

So go about be on your way

be not bothered by a trip or fall

life is to short, so have a ball.

So today, in my sitcom moment life, I got stuck in a revolving door. Yes , you read that correctly. When going through a revolving door, you should notice your surroundings and what is needed to actually get through the door. Had I followed this rule, I would have saved myself some embarrassment….

I am at my new workplace, so of course, there must be some kind of clumsy mishap (or four). I had gone through the door from the inside to get outside without a problem. So I assumed going from outside to inside would not have any issues either. That is where I was wrong. Had a paid attention, I would have noticed that in order to have to door revolve around completely, you must scan your access card first. If you just follow the person in front of you (like you would in a normal revolving door) you get stuck due to security.

And that is where I was. Inside the door, not able to go forward or back. Glass and people all around. I was stuck in revolving door hell for what seemed like forever (probably about 30 seconds) when finally someone must have noticed the look of sheer terror in my face and scanned their ID card. The door revolved again, and I busted out of that glass door partition as if I had been drowning…

So remember folks, revolving doors are mostly safe. Unless you are a klutz.

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The Destination in the Journey

Posted by adalamar on September 18, 2015

It has taken a minute, a long minute actually, to get here. Many say it’s the journey and not the destination. I disagree. I think it’s both. First yes it is the destination, because we are all working toward something…a vacation, a better job, a family, a better life, a college education. If these things were not worth our time, why would we be willing to take the trip in the first place? The destination is what starts the journey in the first place.

The journey is what life is all about. The working, the experiencing, the travel before the vacation. That is where we meet the best and worst parts of ourselves and humanity. That is where we learn, grow, decide and Live. And when we get to where we were intending, if we get there at all, because we may change our minds along the way…sometimes we realize our dreams have changed, and that’s ok.

This journey has taken me quite a ways, and I am finally where I want to be. But it has taken many miles, over many roads, some paved, some dirt, some gravel. This journey has taken many years, much thought, lots of laughter, more wine, and more love, so much more love, than I ever thought possible to even hold. It has taken me in the woods, on the inside, around the outside, over the ocean and below the ground.

It has taken kisses, thousands of hugs, friendships, break ups, make ups, break downs and marvelous mornings. It has taken coffee. And pieces of my soul. It has taken scraped knees, dirty nails, messy hair, a cluttered home, hours of writing, and every single heartbeat, every breath, inhaled, held and let go. It has taken hopes, fears and a lot of prayer. And it has taken you, yes you too.

And finally, here I am, this place I so wanted to be, where I dreamed I would be one day, in the not so distant past. Yet at the time, this place seemed so far away, almost too far. But after many steps, and so much life, I have arrived. Just where am I?

At a place called Happy. Finally. And it is fabulous, and joyful and wonderful and amazing and a thousand other words I say softly at night, in my prayers, in your ear, to the sky, … And the sun is shining.

And I have to say, while the journey has been everything and so much more than I ever imagined, as I wondered down those long, hard, twisted roads, sometimes uphill, sometimes down, I am enjoying this destination so very much. While every trip is a mixture of both good and bad, when you can look back and say “what a ride!” Then you know it’s been a great experience. And it makes the destination all the more sweet.

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From There to Now

Posted by adalamar on September 9, 2015

What a difference a year makes…or 4, or more.  It truly is amazing all that can happen, all that can change, all that can make you different, stronger, wiser, better. All that can be learned, in that small span of time, in the blink of an eye, that adds up to a lifetime.

Facebook has this nice little feature called “On this Day,” tt makes recalling everything from 1 year ago, 2, 3, 4 and so on years ago very easy.  And when I  look at these memories, I am reminded of all that has transpired from there to now.

1 year ago – I had just found out This Mold house was indeed The Hose of Mold…I was sleeping on my sisters couch, and attempting to make the last chances of a childhood friendship survive. That friendship ended in disaster and hard feelings and a death of sorts.

There was the very new curiosity of a suitor who, as it turns out after pursuing me hard for 6 months,  would prove to view me as nothing more than a burden to be endured, and made sure I felt it too.

Dad’s cancer was not officially in remission, but he had not had a chemo treatment in sometime and was doing very well, which was good after all the family friction of previous few months.

Job wise, I was at a place that was very unprofessional and was miserable. All in all, I was in a terrible place, trying to figure out how to dig out of the hole that had become my life. The digging out had just begun.

And then I look at the landscape of my life now…and I really have no desire to even peak at the last years gone by. That is all in the past, where it should stay.  The only thing left is to say that I am proud of how far I have come, from there to here, proud of the strength it took to walk those miles, those roads, those places, in that darkness and confusion and despair.

I am proud of where there was, and how many baby steps I took, after each heartbeat, to get to the light of where I am now.  Proud of the tears, and perseverance, the tenacity and hope and prayer, and faith, and belief that it must get better. That what is bad and hard is only temporary, and that certainly I could make it just a little longer.

But mostly, I am thankful, so very thankful, mostly because, all because, of my friends, and family and faith that kept me moving, even when I was down and out.  Those who believed in me, said I was strong and capable, and could do it. because I was the one who could take the heat, the one they all said couldn’t be beat.

So very grateful for the souls who held me while I cried, listen while I vented, sat with me quietly, just watching TV, while I healed from all that had passed. Who fixed me dinners and coffees, and tucked me in, making sure I was safe and warm while in this sea of high waves.

But then again, who couldn’t survive, even thrive, with wonderful people around them like that?  I couldn’t have done it without the,=m, as strong as I am.  I am blessed to have them in my life, and blessed, honored and privileged to try to give it back to them, should they ever be in need.

As I look out now, at my wonderful job, great relationship, family’s health and so much more. I am smiling again, writing again (like crazy, it is pouring out). There is a spring in my step and I am singing, though badly, around the house.  There is joy once again. And I know I am not alone.  I wasn’t alone in the rough seas, and I am not alone now that there is celebration to be had.

And that is what this season, this winter, this upcoming year will be – The time of celebration. And healing. And that is the best thing about getting from there to here. Join me, won’t you?

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All That Prayer Holds

Posted by adalamar on September 8, 2015

But for the Grace of God go I

There comes a moment in life where you must take a look around and realize how lucky and blessed you are, how far you have come and be grateful.  That is where I am now.  The past four years have been a test of endurance, strength, character, resilience, restraint, faith, love, family, pain and so much more.  And I have passed. But it has not been easy. the text books to the lessons were quite expensive, and my emotional bank account was empty for quite a while. Well, overdrawn actually.

And now, for the first time in years, I can look up and say that years, everything truly is great.  I have fought tooth and nail, but I have been blessed beyond measure. And as I look around, to the landscape of my life, I see not the hard times, but the blessings. And I see that everything, all for which I prayed, I have been given.  The job, the relationship, the health of my loved ones, and my own inner peace.

Is life perfect?  No, but it sure is wonderful.  I still need to loose those 10 pounds, the garage isn’t going to clean and organize its self, the lawn is beginning to look like a forest and the cats…well, are the cats.

And so I set aside some time to quietly, give so  much thanks for that which I have been given.  It is by the Grace of God that I am here, that my family is healthy, that I have this man, that I write for a living, that I have amazing loyal friends.Life can shift and change in an instant. And I am so very thankful for all of it, yes the complete all of it that I have been given. And I strive to never take it for granted.

I cannot wait for the next adventure, the next chapter, and all that it holds.  Life is delicious. I am happy.

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