Growing Up in the Country

Take a look at these pictures, and this will tell you what it was like to grow up in the country, where you were free and safe. Where you could run as far as your feet and imagination could take you. You can see it, especially in the last picture. This is how I want my kids to grow up…

A Snowstorm in Atlanta

The last time it happened it was 2011. It was 2011 and I was visiting at a friends house. It was supposed to start snowing after midnight, so when I left at 10pm, I did not think it would be a problem. But it was…because about 5 inches of snow had already fallen. Lucky for me, he had a Bobcat. So he got into the Bobcat to try to clear the large driveway. And I was very excited…until I watched the Bobcat slide down the very steep driveway.

Now, three years later, there was another snow storm in the ATL. What made this storm different, was that it was during the week, during the day.  Everyone was at work when the storm hit.My co-workers and I left a little after 12. A twenty-minute ride took over an hour. And I was lucky. Very lucky.

The thing about snow in Atlanta, is that we have no idea what to do with it. We do not have the snowplows, salt trucks and sand trucks to keep the road from turning into an icy nightmare. And because none of us know how to drive in the snow, we flake out, panic at the sight of the first snow flake, and try to head home. Which would not be a problem – if there weren’t like 10 million of us around the area…trying to get home.

Shortly after I got to my house, the roads were packed beyond capacity with everyone trying to get home. The snow kept falling along with the temperature. Soon every road, every street, every lane and boulevard were treacherous. Drivers were stranded, many just choosing to leave their cars and walk to a destination.

But then something amazing happened. In the middle of the mess, the icy roads, horrible traffic and cold weather…a little Facebook page called SnowedOutAtlanta started circulating. This great site listed wonderful people who had extra beds available and were offering to help out those who were stranded on the roads.

Hundreds of people across the area with postings like – 2 extra beds, warm food, drink and shower; Have 3 couches, warm dumplings and blankets; warm beds, blankets, food and drink. This website became the lifeline for many people, stranded and many people trying to help their loved ones just get home.

Home Depot stores stayed open so stranded drivers could get there are have a warm place. The same with CVS, Walgreen’s, Kroger and many other stores. Chic-fi-Lay gave out free food. People were walking up and down their streets with water, hot chocolate and checking on cars to make sure everything was ok.

Atlanta… 3 inches of snow may put our entire city in chaos, but we know how to take care of each other. We have the Southern Hospitality down! It is truly about helping each other, our fellow man. I am very proud to be from Atlanta today, proud to be Southern, proud to be American, proud to be of the Human Race today.Think about it, if we can pull together and take care of each other because of bad weather, we can overcome anything. Thank you to all who helped, all who opened up their homes, all who took to the streets to check on others, bring food, water, and hope. Thank you to all who prayed, organized help for others, who gave rides, those who served and lost sleep. Thank you.

There were so many stranded last night, and even today. And there were thousands who were helping. Thousands who will never be mentioned, maybe even their names will never be known. But they helped and made a difference, even in small ways. Here are just two small examples, of the generosity and kindness:

“Hey folks. I’m a trucker stuck on I-285 at exit 60 (Riverdale RD). I have some food and water for anyone close to me. I’ll walk up to a mile or so to help if needed. I don’t have a ton but I have enough to spare to quite a few folks. If you’re pregnant, have kids with you or elderly. You will be priority. Don’t be afraid to ask. Times like this-we help each other.”


“Thanking God that I finally made it home, after leaving work at 1pm on yesterday. After 10 hours of driving, praying and watching cars/trucks slide and crash, I finally stopped for gas and decided to head to a friend’s home. Unfortunately, the surface roads were sheets of ice, as I drove onto Paces Ferry Rd in Vinings I saw a group of men pushing cars, feeding and comforting passengers. A man (Bob) approached my car to tell me the road was shut down and after attempting to push my car he told me to stay the night at his home. Now, anyone that knows me know I watch a lot of Investigation Discovery and I don’t deal with strangers and I was hesitant. He then motion for his wife Ann to come and take me across the street to another house, where a 91 year old woman was feeding stranded people and giving them a place to sleep. She made me hot chocolate and we talked and laughed. Ann then came back to take me to her home. Ann was amazing, her and Bob’s home was huge and amazing. They allowed me to stay in a beautifully decorated room, gave me pajamas and just made me feel so comfortable. I slept like a rock. This morning, she made breakfast and went back out to help more people that slept in their cars. I cannot tell you how they made me feel, their spirit and helpfulness was amazing. God will always made a way and send angels to comfort you. These people and their sweet dogs are angels. I THANK GOD for Ann & Bob , He touched their hearts to serve people they don’t even know. This has made a profound impact on my life. Life is too short to spend it mad, angry, better, life is about finding God’s purpose, love, family and most of all service to others – impacting the life of others. I have learned a valuable lesson and I will not hesitate to pay it forward.”

My Muse

“To be the inspiration, and to be the one inspired, are both beautiful things. All writing, all creativity is inspired from somewhere deep – where the soul meets the mind.”

He was my muse because I met him, back in 1996. He was my muse because he existed. It was a blind date, set up my by my sister. It was never about what I saw in him, it was what I felt about him. Because I loved him. Who knows why we fall in love with who we do; in the end the heart wants what it wants regardless of reason. All I can say is that I loved him and from that love came the inspiration for what I wrote. For many years.

Our relationship was not long, but what nonetheless significant in my life. And regardless of how it turned out,, I was abetter person for having experienced him.

You never know the affect you have on someone life. The person who inspires you probably has no idea and so forth and so on. It is one of the great mysteries and beauties of life. He was my muse. Most of what I wrote, all the love poems, all about missing someone, every word about love, was somehow connected and inspired by him.

And I got the chance to tell him, that he was my muse and had been for many years. To thank him for his gift.

Even though we did not end up together and will never end up together, it does not mean the love was not real and deep. Even thoughh things are as they should be, doe snot mean that he will not continue to inspire me. I will always be grateful.


Having been in radio and a member of the media for over 20 years, music is and always will be a huge part of my life. Two of the best performances of the 2014 Grammy Awards. The two living members of the Beateles were great, but these two bt far were the most incredible.

First Pink, showing she has more talent than most who call themselves artists today. Wow.

And Second Mackelemore – who with penned one of the most beautiful peaces and reasons why we need to make todays’ world safe for children to be who they are. We are all the same – Humans – when it gets down to it. We have blood in out veins that pumped by a very human heart. It’s sad that many kids these days find it easier to kill themselves than be in a world where they feel unaccepted, unloved and unlovable. The Grammy’s missed an opportunity to send a message when it gave the album, artist and song of the year to other artists….


This morning I went to church. There are many reason I have for which to be thankful, so many blessings I have been given, by the Grace of God. And it was time to go, worship and give thanks.

I have often heard that if you want to hear God laugh…tell him your plan.

Atlanta is a city that is always under construction, especially downtown or in Buckhead. Since I have no sense of direction, and get lost very easy, I typed where I wanted to go into the GPS – St. Philips Cathedral. Somehow the GPS got an Episcopal Cathedral mixed up with a small Presbyterian Parish. ditching the GPS, I got lost trying to find my way to where I was trying to go…and needless to say I was late and missed the sermon. I always love the sermon, isn’t that why you go to church?

Maybe not. Maybe it’s not always about the sermon, maybe it’s about the experience as a whole, not just the parts. As in life, if we hyper focus in on one aspect, we may miss something else beautiful and wonderful. Maybe sometimes, we need to zoom out a little, and enjoy the whole.

And so I sat in the pew, listening, enjoying, drinking church in, like a thirsty child on a hot summer day. The voices of the choir washed over me, singing a capella today. all of their voices delicately winding around each other, making for a beautiful melody that gave me chills and made me feel relaxed at the same time. The Peace, and speaking to all those parishioners around me. The Confession of Sins, The Lord’s Prayer, Taking Communion, the Blood if Christ. And then as I walked to my car, there were church bells.

Yes, it is the whole experience that makes it, not just one part. Even when you  have an attack of flatulence in a quiet moment (not that that has ever happened…)

And so it is is in life. It is the whole of our experience that makes us who we are. That brings us Peace. That makes us happy.

Packing With Friends


Packing and moving can be hard, but with the right people, it can be a lot of fun. While I still have several weeks before moving, Ialso have a lot of stuff. And getting everything packed, starting early, is key to a seamless move. And I have no shortage of friends at my side, helping make the packing more fun and entertaining than should be allowed.

There has been laughter, food, drink, movies, dancing, trying on clothes, taking bags to Goodwill. Mostly though, there has been love. These are my peeps, my besties, the ones I call when I need back-up…and the ones who call me to check in, make sure I am OK, see if I need anything. Because that’s what friends do – they check in on each other. These are the kind of friends that love you enough to not let you go out of the house in a dress that makes you look fat, that tell you to hand over your phone so you don’t text him again, the ones who call you out and give you a kick in the pants if you need it.

These are the friends who are there when I cry, when I am lonely…these were the people who call me when dad is sick with chemo, to see how he is doing, and ask if I need anything – even if it’s just to sit with them in quiet. These are the friends who never attack me, or throw things in my face. The friends who love you at your worst, and celebrate with you at your best. These are the friends who anyone would be truly blessed to have. And I have so many.

And packing has been a blast. Going down memory lane, telling stories, filling in the blanks, making plans for the future. And my heart is full.

A Well Pruned Garden

Someone said to me that life must be like a well pruned garden; you must work to make it beautiful, to make sure that weeds to not grow and take over. You must nourish your life in order the flourish, just like you would a garden – for a garden can die in even the most fertile soil if it is not properly tended.

And so it is true in life. And we must go through periods of pruning. I have just gone through one of those times.

I have also, for many years, heard the saying “I was fine before you got here, and I’ll be fine after you leave.” And so it is. No one’s life is going to end because I am not in it. I will be just fine -and so will they.

I decided that 2014 will be the year of Peace. And so I will prune and shape my life in a way that Peace will be nurtured to grow. That means, getting rid of the weeds.  That means making room to follow my dreams. A new place to live, new friends and so many wonderful opportunities are in front of me now.

This week has been a rather dramatic one, filled with controlling ex’s and false friends, a bogus law suit that was dismissed and now…Peace.

I am not sure why, with my ex, when it’s made clear that you do not want to be with someone, that they continue to bother you. But I put a stop to that. My landlords had no case, but of courtesy I put what I wanted in writing, when I would be leaving, exactly what I would pay for and how much. The judge agreed and signed off. The fact is, I would be moving to the new place regardless.  They were mad I didn’t want to stay and tried to be vindictive. Silly rabbits, that never works.

Now that friendship is over, I plucked those weeds, and walked away. And the weeds of friends who called me cause trouble, stir the pot, cause drama by making threats over the situation – they are gone now too.  I don’t understand why when you say “I will not have people who cause drama in my life,” some people run to you and test that statement. I’ll never understand why women are so catty with one another either. Too much reality TV maybe?  Do they not have lives? Jobs? Or anything better to do than to sit around and talk about me? Because I am just not that interesting…No matter. I walk away, head held high.

It takes strength, it takes courage and it takes not being afraid to live your own truth, regardless of what others say – because they will twill twist it. They will twist the story to fit the justification of their own bad behavior. No worries. Let them be. What another person’s opinion of you is none of your business. And don’t argue with them, it’s the same result as teaching a pig to talk…you get dirty and it only aggravates the pig. I have better things to do.


And so as I look about, seeing everything that is in front of me, I see that the garden is in fertile soil and well pruned. Moving forward, life is Peaceful, there are no regrets. The water is still, the landscape is Peaceful and I am happy and feel lighter than I have in a long time. My new life begins, and the story that I write for this chapter of my life, will truly be amazing.

Best. Birthday. Ever.

It’s a day to celebrate. A day that is just for you. It’s your birthday. And today was mine. And it was, without a doubt, the best. Birthday. Ever.

Today has been filled with friends, love, family, love, unexpected gifts, love, great food, love, wine, love, laughter, love and just more love than I can shake a stick at. (little southern saying). And, what made it the best, was that there was great news which to celebrate. 

As I look around tonight, I see that I am so beyond blessed. To have the people who are in my life. My life is completely and utterly saturated in…love. And love that crosses over state lines. The amount of friends that are scattered across the country, and the world, is wonderful.

And there are trips to see many on deck for the next 2 months – a trip to the beach, a trip to a friends house boat, travels to California and another trip For both my parents and I to Chicago. There will also be some travel  to smaller town in Illinois. My Father could not make the trip last time, due to his chemo. Healthy and ready to travel, it will be a fun trip for our close-knit family.

My sister and I are having a great time this weekend, as the celebration of my birthday month continues. But not too much will be able to top this day, these gifts, this amount of love, these answers to prayers…Yes, looking across the hourly table of this day, it has been the best one yet.


The Dark Side


As a writer, you are constantly looking for new challenges, and things to take you out of your comfort zone and expand your abilities. Different types of writing, topics, points of view, etc. So one when of Atlanta’s top and most well-known blues bands said they would like to write with me I was thrilled. Wow, to write songs!  I have only written songs  with one other man and it is always an amazing process.  And I have written many, if not hundreds, of radio parody songs…but never blues.

So I write poems, send then to him (the lead singer of the band) and then we meet and corroborate on those he likes and thinks would be good lyrics. The one request he has is that I go to the dark side. The  blues are the blues because they are about hurt, fear, shame, anger… there is no such thing as a happy blues song- that’s called pop. Blues have to be dark.

So I have been experimenting with the dark side of song writing and think I have come up with a a few good morsels. I’ll start out light and get darker form them. hopefully a few of these will make some songs…

So, I like the dark side…as it turns out they do have cookies!

So wrong

Is it so wrong to miss you baby
You’ve been gone for so long now
Oh I’d never thought you ‘d go baby
But you’ve been gone for so long now.
And every time I think about you Baby
I think about those brown eyes darling Made my knees so week I’d bow

My hearts been hurtin for so long baby
Don’t even know if your dead or alive
The only eyes that could ever hurt me baby
Been haunting my soul for a while
Oh, is it so wrong to miss you darling,
Don’t even know if even above the ground, you know I been losin sleep.

Is it so wrong to miss you baby
And those lips that I’ll never kiss again?
To dream about those arms that would hold me,
Now I do wonder where those arms have been
You been weighin’ on my heart so hard now honey
And your heart that will never love me no more again.

Oh it is so wrong to miss you lover
Is it so wrong to never speak your name from my lips
Is it so wrong make you the judge sweetheart,
Hold up the bar to measures all that come by my door at night now
Is it so wrong to miss those feelings sugar
That you brought to my life, then walked out by candle light
Oh, you know you didn’t do me right, Yes it’s so wrong to miss you baby

Yes, I know it’s so wrong to miss you sugar baby
you ain’t been ’round my door in a time
So what the Hell now lover, I know she’s not you honey
But I’ll sleep with your sister tonight.

Your Front Row Seat at the Show

Where did you learn ti fight without raising your fist?
You walk around writing each little slight on your petty list
Love is not about keeping score
It’s about having trust and keep a safe shore

Where did you learn to would so deep
Using only words?
You think that just because I am not bleeding that my
Tears are absurd

You deviate, demoralize, and tear me down
Since when was anger used as a noun?
If you hate me so much why not just let me go
Instead you hang on, Amused in you
Front row seat at the show.


Cool calm waters,
nothing matters
laying on a boat in the sun

Butterfly on a flower
Cool breeze in the air
morning is close to done

Thunder clouds approaching
Lightning all around
The struggle for love begun.

The Last Day

I received a text message this morning from one of my best friends saying that today is was the last day I would be 40…was I going to do anything special? I took a mount and thought, yes actually I am.

January is my birthday month and I am known for taking every chance to celebrate during this month. But aside from celebrating, with friends, I am also going to take a moment to appreciate what 40 has meant to me.

My 40th year has been one of the best and hardest years of my life. The road has been long, steep rocky and, at times, more than I thought I could bare. And yet, so much joy that I thought I might pop. My father’s cancer is doing better this year, I have worked harder at  my job than I ever have in my life, and I have learned so much.

I have learned the importance of taking care of yourself first. Taking care of others always before yourself leaves you devoid of anything to offer and give back. It completely depletes you, and that is not a healthy way to live.

I have learned the joy in truly supporting my family, helping them get back on their feet, and seeing them succeed in ways they never thought they could. And I am not sure who was the happiest about those amazing accomplishments, them or me. It truly is wonderful watching those you love succeed.

I have learned that I do not need a man for my happiness. I have learned, with the demise of my last relationship, that many times there is just too much drama in this day and age. Dating and relationships should be fun and bring joy. So, I have a great job, a fabulous roof over my head, great friends…and if times get lonely I can always go to the adult toy store. And I can even have a baby on my own…no man required.

I have learned the importance of good wine, and good scotch. The importance of chocolate and butter cake have on my very soul. The important of a great, sexy pair of stilettos and red lipstick. I have learned the importance of holding onto the guard rail when going down steps in those stiletto heals.

I have learned, the hard way, that not everyone who says they are your friend truly is. That just because you get along with them, enjoy their company and have things in common, die snot mean they are of your standards. When you associate with those who are beneath you, in character in discipline, in morals and ethics, you will get burned. And they will hurt you a lot worse than anyone that is your equal ever could. Because they do not play fair. And they will try to pull you down to their level every time you rise above.

I have learned the importance of trusting your own gut instincts, and what happens when you do not. Your guts no what is best for you, so that little voice that warns you not to do something? Not to trust someone? Not to …whatever? Listen to it. Life will be so much easier if you do.

I have learned the true value of those who are just, who have morals and character, those who work hard and play well with others.

I have learned the importance of Peace, and not letting  anyone take it away. Do not linger beneath your own. And when someone tries to pull you down, simply rise. Faith will allow you to do that, with Grace. You do not have to be ugly to rise.

I have learned the fine art and importance of letting go…letting go of pain, letting go of false friends, letting go of clutter, broken shoes, too small jeans, favorite cars, good friends, loved ones and tears. And I have learned that letting go of a large dogs leash, even for a second, can end very badly for neighborhood squirrels.

And I have learned, every day, every heartbeat, every breath, just how blessed I am to have the life I have, the wonderful close family I have, and they faith that I have. I have learned that I have the best family in the world, that my parents and proud of me and that I am equally proud of them. Every day I am so very thankful for such a close-knit group of people.

I have learned that when you are 40, you really don’t give a crap. And that is awesome. I have learned that I love being in my 40’s for this and many more reasons.

I have learned the importance of knowing when to go out…and when to stay home. When to visit, and when to drive on through. When to plan a vacation, and when to go home. I have learned the importance of when you really do need that shot of tequila.

I have learned the importance of setting and enforcing boundaries in a relationship and what it means when someone refuses to respect your boundaries. (take off those stilettos and run!)

I have re-learned that a man who truly loves you will not try to control you. I cannot live in captivity.

And I have learned, every day, every heartbeat, every breath, just how blessed I am to have the life I have, the wonderful close family I have, and they faith that I have.

Creating a Family

It’s pretty amazing when you think about it. The fact that women have the power to give life, to carry another human, another soul. That to me is the most amazing thing. That another soul will be inside me. It is the miracle of life. And it is truly the essence of being a. woman.

But there are so many things to do, to maintain, to check out, and to check into. I will be 41 soon, and while that is not too old to conceive a child, the older you are, the more difficult conceiving can be. SO they are test and conversations to have with doctors. Things that will up the chance of conceiving.

A friend asked me what I will do if I cannot conceive a child of my own? I smiled and said I would adopt. While I would love a child from my own, a healthy child is the most important thing of all. And honestly the idea of adopting is so much more scary than actually being pregnant. Maybe that sounds strange.

I have started to research the adoption process, both domestic and overseas.  It is quite expensive and expensive. All the paper work that goes into the application. All the investigations – they look into everything and many places will actually interview those people in your life. It is not just fill out some forms and choose a child.

Often times the investigations and background checks take a long time, and many times there is a waiting list to adopt a child, even if there are no complications.

And maybe, if I am lucky, I will be able to do both, adopt and conceive a child. There are so many wonderful children waiting to be adopted.  A girlfriend of mine is doing the exact some thing right now, and we will be able to raise our children together. They can be like sisters

In the end, we have to follow our hearts and our souls. We have to make the life we want.

Who’s Out

To all the bitchy, difficult, irresponsible girls who dare to set and enforce boundaries:

Setting healthy boundaries is one of the main ingredients in having and maintaining a balanced emotionally healthy life. No matter who we are, there are lines that people around us cannot cross. Wishes that others must respect. There are times we must say no. There are people that, no matter how much we love them, we must love ourselves more, and push back if what they are doing causes us un-Peace.

Setting and maintaining those boundaries is imperative. We must take care of ourselves emotionally…because of we don’t who else will? But setting and enforcing those boundaries will also get you something else ladies – you will be called bitchy, difficult, angry and even irresponsible.

I have long said that what brings you Peace, will also bring you happiness – True happiness – the kind that you feel from your soul to your bones to the tips of your teeth kind of happiness. This is because there can be no true happiness if there is constant turmoil and drama. There can be no true happiness without Peace. And even those who say they love us very much can make you very unhappy and your life un-Peaceful.

In this year of 2014, the 411st year of my life, I have passionately decided that I will only have those who bring me Peace and harmony in my life. Those who cause drama, unrest and turmoil…will simply be out. If someone causes me un-peace, that doesn’t make them a bad person, it just means that they are not a good person to have around me.

Since I have become stern in my enforcement of healthy boundaries in my life, I have been accused of many things. And to all those with the accusations I proudly say – YES I AM…now get the Hell out. Why? Because if being healthy makes a woman an angry, difficult bitch…then sign me up and call me the president of the club.

When you enforce what is healthy for you and your life, when you stick to your guns and what brings you peace, and others criticize you for it – that is emotional bullying. And no one likes a bully. When I say that I want Peace, and some else’s need for whatever is more important than my Peace…that person is no longer healthy for me to have in my life. OK, No harm, no foul…until the bullying starts.

What is emotional bullying? Emotionally bullying is when you enforce what is good and healthy in your life, and the other person tries to put the blame on you, tries to make you feel guilty or refuses to take responsibility for their part, and instead tries to deflect on you. When they make you miserable for your decision to live a healthy life and enforcing healthy boundaries, out them. After all, if they didn’t want to be put out, then they should have respected your boundaries in the first place. Sound a little strong? Think of the consequences if you listen to them and let them convince you that you are wrong.

So ladies, don’t be afraid to stand up for yourself emotionally. And don’t worry about those things that they say. You are not being selfish, angry or even difficult – you are being proactive and healthy for your own life. You are being the opposite of co-dependent. It is one your most basic human rights, to be allowed to be happy and have a Peaceful life. Let those bullies go somewhere else and pick on someone their own size…Find people who respect who you are and the limits you set – whether it’s for work, for relationships, for friendships for anything.

Taking Care of the Birthday Girl

It‘s the start of a new year, and it’s my birthday month. Both reasons to celebrate. Looking back on the past year though, a pattern seems to emerge. Last year was all about taking care of everyone – Lots of family, friends, even animals. The only problem was that no one was taking care of me., including myself. And that is not good. When you do not take care of yourself, then you get run down and tired. You truly do not have much left to offer at the end of the day because you are so exhausted.

Last year was such a difficult year, because I carried the weight of many people. I carried their troubles, their secrets, their debt, their lives…and it was exhausting. Now that I am free of such things, now that everyone is standing on their own, it is time for me to focus in on…me.

And now, at the start of this New Year, this new age, it is time to make some changes. So this year, 2014, age 41, shall be about me. And not in the selfish don’t care about anyone else but me way, but the, I am going to take care of myself way. What does this mean exactly?

It means I take a look at what I want and what I want my life to be. What kinds of people and things do I want in it? How do I want it to feel? What do I want to wake up to every morning, and how do I want to go to sleep every night. What do I want my life to be filled with in my waking hours?

It means that I will learn to say no, when saying yes is to my own detriment (except when it comes to chocolate). It means that I will let go of those who bring stress and unnecessary drama in my life. I will get enough sleep and exercise, something which has not happened since the beginning of the year. I will eat well and healthy. And I will make sure that I have enough emotionally, physically and mentally to give only to those who deserve it. But all that requires me to take care of myself first.

I have learned a huge lesson this past year. I got so caught up in trying to help everyone, trying to make sure that everyone else was OK, and trying to please everyone else, that I forgot to please and take care of myself. The result is that by the end of the year, I was tired and frazzled. No more people pleasing.

This is my time, this is my year. We write the story of our lives. We determine how the story goes.  So there will be much laughter, love, freedom, work, writing, passion, and everything in my year. And I’ll do it my way.

“This above all: to thine own self be true,. And it must follow, as the night the day, Thou canst not then be false to any man. “- Shakespeare

When you are true to yourself, you take care of yourself.