The Closing Table

It was much easier than expected. Papers were signed, keys were given, smiles were exchanged and it was done.  Eighteen years in our family, and the touch was passed from our family to theirs.  They now will enjoy the fruit trees and the gardens, they will now enjoy the beautiful view of the waters, and hear the sounds of the lake at night. They will enjoy the land and the workshop and the warmth of the hearth ad the love my parents set into motion.

And oddly enough, it was not hard at all.  Maybe after all of the drama, maybe after all of the fights, maybe after this bringing out the worst in almost everyone, it was time to let go.  I kept my cool, for the most part, most of the time during the struggle of almost 2 years since my father passed. Oh, but it has been hard, and tested every bit of me.

And so the closing was more than just a legal and real estate deal.  It was the closing of a huge chapter for me.  It was the closing of one of the most difficult chapters – no, THE most difficult chapter of my life thus far. Taking care of Mom when she was sick, Mom’s passing, taking care of Dad alone while he was sick, Dad’s passing, taking care of the estate with greedy, sniping siblings, dealing with negotiations, offers, counter offers, contracts, hurricanes, repairs, contractors, insurance…and finally, the sale. Handles completely alone.

Now the estate is settled. My job is complete. There is no more to do.

And now, I am free. Free to do as I please, where I choose, with whomever I choose. My debts have been paid in full, and I owe nothing. And that freedom is both daunting and intoxicating. Life is an open road. Where shall I go? And damn where I want. I live by my rules now.

And so is the closing on one chapter, and the beginning of another. Life is short. Have adventures.


There is a feeling that we all get from time to time.  It starts out small, from deep within.  Then it grows and grows until it is satiated. It is thirst. Thirst for life, for adventure, for love, a sense of knowing and feeling that were are alive. A sense of knowing that we are fully experiencing life. It is breaking out of the lonely  or isolation and turning to your dreams, with your feet still on the ground. It is thirst for knowledge as well.

There is a wanderlust to see new places, experience new things, make new memories. Fresh air from fresh perspectives.  Why do we go through phases of thirst?  Maybe after a long, hard time, we need to break out.  Maybe after feeling responsible for too much for too long. Or maybe just a simple need to feed curiosity and to learn new things. A thirst to mix in a bit of adventure into the every day. Take pictures of the strange pleases visited and have stories to tell around the hearth of a happy home.

I have always said that we must always be curious about life and the world around us. And that curiosity has created a deep thirst inside of me. I want to go and see and do and be.  I want to break out of all that has passed and celebrate life at full force.  Tired of waiting, patience has not always been my strong point, especially when I know what I want.

And that is perhaps one of the most difficult things for me, at this moment. To be ready and thirsty, but have to wait. Even just a little while longer. Trips are being planned, adventures to enjoy that will mark the start of a new phase of this life. Leaving all the old, tattered and torn behind, to step into and embrace what moving forward is all about.

But that does not always mean you must go far and away. And so closer to home there is learning the Tango, and going to new places to eat when meeting old friends. It is something to celebrate because the thirst also marks something else – the return of my curiosity, and the energy to follow it. The adrenaline junkie within me, sitting on my shoulder now, whispering in my ear.

But it is a thirst for more than adventure and excitement.  It is a thirst for a fulfilling life. It is a thirst to do better and be better in every way.  To work hard, play hard, and rest heard. To laugh as much as possible because there have been more tears shed than are even in the ocean. It is the thirst for balance. It is the search for deep love, acceptance, friendships, understanding, compassion and empathy. It is the thirst for the beauty and humanity in life. It is the thirst for enjoying the perfect small moments as well as having your breath taken away by what you never thought existed.

So here I am and here I go, drinking in every delicious moment of life, down to the last drop. The Fall air will (eventually) bring cooler temperatures, perfect for talking on outside patios and decks. My home finally settled, life is getting good. Thirsty for more, looking forward to a big tall glass, maybe even a pitcher, of all the future holds.

Life is short. Stay thirsty my friends.

Skydiving: Life is Short Make it Fun

“Life is short, so enjoy it to the fullest.” – John Walters

We have all heard the saying that life is short. And it is.  And I think you realize that more and more the older that you get.  Because as we age we see more and more how delicate life is balanced.

We also understand the need to have fun. Truly all work and no play makes for a very tiring life.  We need things to celebrate, to remind us that there is life past our own noses and jobs. There is life beyond our own little problems.

It was a right of passage in a way.  It was also a way to honor my mother’s memory and her ever adventurous spirit. ( And it was an excuse to do something I had always wanted to do. So I did it, and my friend H did it with me.  We went skydiving.

The day started with a quick stop for quick breakfast.  We ended up being serenaded by two older gentlemen who were playing guitar and fiddle, singing old time blue grass music.  What a wonderful way to start the adventure.

Next stop was the municipal airport where the adventure would take place. Two buildings – an airplane hanger and a small shed. And a tiny runway. H and I looked at each other and wondered if we were in the right place. We went in and sure enough, there was a buzz of activity and people getting ready to jump out of a plane. We signed in and signed the very long waiver, which was also being read on video, by a man who looked like he could have led the Branch Davidians – long beard, crazy wild eyes, a dark panel background and very bad lighting.  H and I giggled as we settled in to wait for out turn.

There were four girls in our group and after we were all harnessed up, one of the girls, in her mid 20s,  announced that the contraption which were were all in looked like a sex-swing, and even pointed out where the feet would go.  Again we giggle, and wondered how she knew such things. She blushed after she realized she had made the announcement out loud, in her “outside” voice.

I had to take off my cross, and when I took it to the car I noticed the time on my cell phone – 12:16. Mom passed on 12:18. I smiled at the coinsedence. I then walked back to the area we were we were all waiting, and saw a wonderful, beautiful butterfly flutter across the airplane terminal and across the tarmac.  And smiled again as I took it as a sign from my mother.

Next we met our jump masters and loaded up onto the the plane. My guy was called Dark Side. I took that as another good sign. The plane had two benches and we were crammed in, all of us excited and nervous.  My friend and I exchanged several nervous glances as we went up 14,000 feet.  It’s at this point where things take quite a commical turn. Anyone who knows me knows I wear hard contact lenses, and have had many adventures of loosing them in several strange and inteeresting ways. But this may beat all.

As Dark side adjusted on goggles, one of my contacts popped out as the goggles went tight around my head and eyes.  We were about 20 seconds away from jumping, so there was no time to adjust.  And as we stood at the endge of the plane, the wind of outside roaring in my ears, I figured the lens was gone and quickly realized excitement was turning into a fear. Holy crap, I was about to jump out of a plane at 14,000 feet.

And then we jumped. The roar of the wind was loud, and the experience took my breath away.  Fear quickly turned to thrill as the adenaline rushed through my veins. It was amazing.  The view was amazing.  I took out the envelope that contained my mothers letter, said a prayer and let it go, for the Angels to deliver to her.

After an amazing free fall, Dark Side opened the parachute and we slowed down to a peaceful float.  He took my goggles of and I enjoyed the view. And Then, then I felt something on my cheek.  It was the lost contact lens, somehow sticking on my cheek through the jump, through the free fall and through the chute opening and goggles being taken off.  I quickly got it off my cheek and placed it in my mouth – what else are you going to do with it at 5,000 feet? I just had to laugh dumbfounded at my luck.

We continued to float down, as he spun me around this way and that way until it was time to land. It was an incredible experience. It marked the end of mourning and the start of this new phase of life. Mom has been gone for 2 years and I have served the family well. I honored her, and did something fun and amazing for myself. Everything is lining up for moving forward. And it feels wonderful.

Life is short. Make it fun. Make it spectacular.

Going Skydiving

We all have those moments that define us and who we are.  If we are lucky, we have many of those moments in our lives. We also have those things that we have always wanted to do, those things that are on our bucket list.

Next Friday, I mark one of those things off my bucket list.  I am going skydiving, on Friday July 13th.  And I figure it is the perfect day and date for the event. An early morning with a good breakfast, then a shoot two hour drive to Chattanooga.  We will go through training, get suited up and go up in the air.  It is a tandem jump, so I will not have to be the one to jump out of the place – which is good because I would probably freeze on my first jump.  Also, who wants a klutz jumping out of a plane?  Better leave that to the professional…and let me be tied to them.  That way if I do trip and fall, and take them with me, at least they know what to do.

The day is the 2nd anniversary of my Mother’s death.  And instead of moping and being sad, I choose to celebrate her and her adventurous spirit by jumping.  And I have a letter for her, that I will give her on the way down. The first Mother’s day I swam out to the ocean, and the the letter go in a big wave, for the sea to give to her. This year, she will find her letter in the clouds.  And it is a little defiant as well.  She forbid me to skydive while she was alive, so I waited.

And maybe in that adventure is where we will find ourselves. Because maybe we all get a little lost sometimes. And when we are lost we need something to help us remember what matters, what is sacred, what is true. When we are lost, we need to see things from high up, the big picture, to understand how to navigate and how to be unlost. Maybe from high up we can see all of our pieces and know where to go to find them and put ourselves back together.

I am going with this company, Chattanooga Skydiving, Friday July 13th at 11am central time (12 noon ET). If you are reading this come on out and jump with us. The more the merrier. It will be fun, it will be trilling, it will be a moment to remember. A way to celebrate life, love and adventure.

And if skydiving is not your thing, have an adventure somehow.  Do something that scares you, excites you, makes year heart beat faster and makes you remember that you are alive. Have a life that is well lived. Life is what we make it, so make it an adventure, make it good and make it happy, my friends.

The House in the Tree

There are sometimes that we just need to get away.  That we need to have some fun, clear our minds and reaffirm life.  We need to feel alive and that life is not passing us by. That was this weekend for me.  It was no very needed, deep down to renew my soul and she me that there indeed is life after grief.

It started out with wine and conversation. It was a beautiful evening and there were fireflies to be seen.  A good night’s sleep, a yummy lunch then off to an adventure.

That night I slept in a tree house that I had to cross a wonderful bridge in order to enter. A bridge of loose wooden slats that would sway and bounce as I crossed. I loved it. Once inside I set my things down and I could hear the rain falling on the tin roof. I knew this place was perfect.

There was a covered porch around back so I poured some wine and went out to enjoy.  The rain smelled delicious, and sounded like heaven both on the roof and falling on the leaves of the trees.  The unmistakable sound of a storm in the woods. Lighting flashed and thunder rolled as the drops came down and washed everything clean.

Once the rain stopped it was time for the crickets and lightning bugs, both of which were thoroughly delightful in sound and sight. Sometimes you need to be surrounded by nature and it’s rhythm to be reminded of miracles. The little tree house cabin would sway in the wind and it made for some very peaceful sleep.

Morning came way too soon, but fun was waiting.  It was a zip line, the highest and longest and biggest in the area. My heart was racing and I could not stop smiling.  There was level one through four and I made it to level three, each higher and more thrilling than the last. And thee were more bridges to be crossed.  Some we simply suspended rope bridges, with one rope along the bottom which to step and one on each side to hold onto.  Some had wood slats, some wee slanted and two had tress which had to be negotiated around to continue to the next.  All of them were high above ground and some even above the treetops.

To say I love heights is an understatement, and the thrill of going across made me smile.  It’s not often a lady gets to climb up ladders, trees and ropes. For all the prissy, prancy girly in me, there is a tomboy waiting to run, climb and scream. Waiting for the pour joy of playing like child without a care in the world. To smile in the sun, to feel the rush of possibility. To feel.

It was very hot, must have been about 90 it seemed, and sweat was pouring out of me. But it was worth it when you let go of the platform and zipped over the trees with the wind in your face dying and cooling you off.  It was magnificent. And for a few moments I felt free.  Free of all that has been weighing me down, free from thought, free of the grief, of pain or loss, free of worry and reality.

And when I finally laid my head down to sleep that night, I slept  more sound and more peaceful than I had slept in a long time.  Worn out from the heat, fresh air and physical activity, and safe in my own bed.

Life is an adventure.  Sometimes we need a little get away to remind us that the possibilities are out there. If we are only willing to have faith, close our eyes and let go.

Break on Me

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.

The Art of Staying Put

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.

Sitcom Moments: Don’t Leave Home Without Them

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.

The Life in the Times

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.

From There to Now

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?

All That Prayer Holds

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.

Of Cleaning and Music

We all have those times where we just have to do things.  It happens every Spring and new Fall. Some call in Spring Cleaning, some call it nesting. Whatever it is, I have the urge to straighten, organize and clean.  Everything.  I am a busy single woman, and I have pets, so every week I do have to set aside time for house cleaning, but what about that deep clean? 

 Oh, to mop, and scrub, and disinfect, and organize, and clean to my hearts content.  Maybe it is the fact that the air is getting cooler, and it is wonderful to have the windows open with the fresh air coming through the house, maybe it’s having the time now that the summer has come to a close.  Maybe it’s preparing for what is predicted to be a long. Cold winter. After all, if you are going to spend time hibernating, your cave should be clean and wonderful.

 And right now, my place is a mess.  The dust bunnies under the bed are fighting tufts of cat hair…and I’m not sure whose winning.  The cupboard is a mess of groceries…which I need to sort through in order to really have a complete grocery shopping list.  My closet is a mess, clothes and shoes everywhere. My drawers are equally a no man’s land, full of unfolded shirts and such.

But as I look around, I have to smile.  This messy house reflects a lovely, wonderful summer. One of the best summers in many years. And isn’t that what happens sometimes – the housework gets away from us as we are off living our lives?  But there is something so cozy and comfortable in doing house work, dancing in the kitchen, and making it wonderful and comfortable.  Oh yes, housework is not something I mind doing these days.


In my time in radio, there have been many concerts, many shows, many great music experiences.  But this past weekend was one of the best – Alice Copper and Motely Cru.  As one might expect, this was the quintessential ROCK show…but there was also so much more. Not just long haired men in leather pants, the artistic value of the show was amazing.  The stage design, the transition, the lighting, the maneuvers, where all some of the best I have ever seen.  Not to mention, the musicians are truly talents – Tommy Lee being rigged up and traveling above the crowd…playing drums…while hanging upside down and slowly spinning. Never missing a beat.  Hanging upside down.  Amazing.

Alice Cooper going through more costume changes than I can count, a true show, complete with pyrotechnics, characters in costume, an AMAZING guitar player – who is a woman! – and a guillotine.  Motely Cru had girls dancing, amazing energy, no slow songs at all, no breaks and just pure rock. 

These old guys, could really show the new pop artists how it’s done.  Because the young artist today, can’t hold a candle to the showmanship, artistry, entertainment, and professionalism of the artists that paved the way.

Sitcom Moment #2,397: Murphy’s Sole

Murphy’s Sole

Murphy. I don’t much care for him, though I am sure he was a likable enough guy.  Which Murphy you might ask?  None other than, Captain Edward A. Murphy, Jr., a former pilot and aerospace engineer, and the man credited with coming up with that famous anything that can go wrong will Law ( Murphy’s Law, which originated in 1949, when a group of  Air Force scientists and engineers were trying to determine just how any Gs a human being could survive, has ruled my life on many occasion.  The most recent being this past week.

It started out as a normal day, I got up, made coffee, listened to the news.  That was as normal as it got…I was to start a new project downtown that day and I found out that I needed to do a few things online like print a temporary badge until the real one came in.  Problem #1 – my internet was down. Problem #2 – no power cable to my printer.  Off to Kinkos, wait for them to iopen, pay to print out 2 sheet badge.  This little excursion set me back a few minutes, and as anyone who has driven in Atlanta traffic knows, a few minutes can kill an otherwise tolerable commute.

An hour and a half later, I was still sitting in traffic when the idea of skipping traffic and taking the train seemed like a good idea.  And indeed it was.  Except that on my way to the train from my car, the heel of my shoe collapses.  And down I went, face first, on the pavement.  Embarrassing yes, but considering how many times a week I fall, trip, spill, fumble and foible, not the end of the world.

I can fake it, I thought.  I can just walk on the ball of my foot, and balance with the other.  And I did, like a boss.  I walked on the right foot, balanced on the left. Only a few times did I almost topple…which happens in good shoes on flat ground.

And that worked.  Until it was time for my welcome lunch, where the team walked 3.5 blocks on that wonderful. beautiful day.  And on the 3.5 block walk back, that is when it happened.  The heel finally completely broke.  It was barely dangling on by the sole.  There was no faking that…After a good laugh, I ripped it off and hobbled back to the building and my desk.

Thank goodness I had some lacey little slip ons so I didn’t have to  go barefoot on my first day. I did, however, have to walk 3 blocks back to the train station, hobbling on 1 good shoes and one missing heel.  2 hours later, because traffic is special in this town, I was finally home.

First day complete – Check.  First fall on the new job – Check. Embarrassing moments – check, check and check.

Yes, my life is a sitcom.

Quiet fun of Summer

Life has been quiet as of late, which is more than welcome.  We all need those quiet times, to reflect, regroup, enjoy, smile, listen to music, smell the roses, and just be.  That requires slowing down a bit and focusing in on what you really want.  And I really want a bit of fun.  It is much needed, as all a=work and no play makes for a very dull and not well lived life.

And so it is, a wonderful quiet mixture of fun this summer.  Nothing loud and outrageous, nothing too out of the ordinary, but only that which feeds the soul and makes me smile. And laugh, and feel good, and love, and wonder and appreciate. And also find Peace.

It’s quite interesting how Peace and fun seem to go together, one of those unlikely couples that makes no sense at first, until you take a closer look.  Life is all about balance, and when we, and our lives, are not in balance, there is also no or little Peace.  Peace is found when balance is restored.

And for far too long it has been hard work, no play, sacrifice and giving of everything I am and have.  And it is time to relax, breath and have fun.  I have been going out of my way to have fun, quiet, boring satisfying fun.  And what qualifies as fun?  Well, that depends on the person.  But for me, it is enjoying and pampering myself a bit. Mowing the lawn and enjoying the smell of fresh cut grass. I have cooked delicious meals for myself, read a few books, watched my favorite guilty pleasure shows, enjoyed long conversations with friends and good wine.

There has been working out, running, pushing my body past where it wants to go and what it wants to do.  Staying motivated and figuring out the future will come, those decisions always do.  But I am learning the importance of simply enjoying.

And something wonderful is happening, a side affect.  It is that I am opening up, slowly, surly opening my heart and soul to the world again.  Letting it all pour into me and wash over me, taking all the impurities with it. Another side affect is facing fear, and finding out there is nothing on the other side but freedom.

I have allowed myself to ask of others, which is something very new.  I am listening to what I want, and asking those who can help. There is been jetskiing  holding on for dear life and the water and wind simultaneously whipping through my hair. And them my friend holding on for his life as I drove, becoming airborne many times as I went into the waves at high speed. I felt free, and wild, and happy. There was a rock about 8 feet high to jump into the water.  It had been 30 years since I jumped like that, and at first it was scary.  But I did it. Again and again. And each time it was easier and more fun.  And then a group of kinds came and jumped without hesitation.  That is where I want to get again.

And this quiet fun of summer will get me there.  I have started dating again, though no one special at this point.  I am making choices just for myself, something that is very scary.  I always though I would be called selfish, but it hasn’t happened. There has been support and I have gotten everything I have asked for, and prayer for.

And that is what we are here for, in this life.  So listen to your soul, drink life in with everything you have, and let it fill you completely, up to the top, brimming over, making you whole, filling in the cracks.

The Story of Life

Life is messy. We have to, in our lifetime, deal with betrayal, lies, heartache and false friends. But in the end, those that try to harm us and hurt us only make us stronger. Better. And they hate that. The best revenge truly is simply being happy and living a fabulous life. And when you move on, happy and confident, it is your life returned to you. And each time we feel pain, we feel it a little deeper in our soul, until we are the beautiful, complex works of art we were meant to be. But life must carve out those deep spaces in us first.

When I was 19 I read a book called the Prophet. Amazing book. It changed my life. In it was the passage that said:

“But if in your fear you would seek only love’s peace and love’s pleasure, Then it is better for you that you cover your nakedness and pass out of love’s threshing-floor, Into the seasonless world where you shall laugh, but not all of your laughter, and weep, but not all of your tears.”

I decided right then and there, at the tender age of 19, that I would live a life that was full – full of love, sorrow, joy, tears, laughter and much, much more. I decided that I would make my life the great epic novel it could be. I have been soared above the clouds and crashed below the ocean. I have made mistakes and paid dearly for them. And I would do it all over again. Because in the end, everyone, those who like me and those who do not, will never be able to deny that I lived and loved with my whole heart.

But this life wears you out sometimes, wounds you, gives you scars. They heal, yes, but scars they leave just the same. And then we wake up, all tattered and torn, and wonder about our lives and get very introspective. I wonder if the choice I made to live life to the fullest, both the good and the bad, was the right choice? Then I read the following quote from a book titled Kisses from Katie:

I was like the Velveteen Rabbit. I was tattered and worn out. I’d been hurt and scarred and banged around a bit in the past year, but God was using all those things to help me become real. I was coming to understand that what it means to be real is to love and be loved until there is nothing left. And when there is nothing left, and we feel we’re all in pieces, God begins to make us whole. He makes us real.

These words spoke to my heart and soul. And I realized that only in living life to the fullest, can we truly honor God’s plan for us. Only in experiencing and loving till there is nothing left, can we honor the life we are meant to live. The desire to live a meaningful life of purpose is universal. It is in our bones, our blood, our humanity. We strive.

Because in this life, what really matters? It is not the big house or expensive things, though they may give us enjoyment. But they are not real. What is real is loving, playing, working, kissing, living, with all your heart. Those we hurt us show us who we are supposed to be, and give us the life we are supposed to have. They help us reach the heights we only would have imagined. So I thank all those who helped make me real.

Life fills us up, carves us out, makes us grow.  The pain we feel might crack, bruise, or maybe even break us for a bit, but then life, faith and love pour into us, filling up the cracks and crevices, making us stronger, better than what were  before, or even what we thought we could be. This is our journey, our story of life.

The Friendships that Bind

A word has been on my mind as of the last week, and what it means to me.  Friendship.  It means so many thing to so many people. And indeed, friendship can have meanings and manifestations for us in our own lives.

I believe that I am surrounded by the best friends in the world, and the past few weeks have really shown that to me very clearly.  The people in my life, that I am blessed to call friends, are fiercely loyal and help, in a heartbeat, when needed.  Not when it’s convenient, not when they can, or after this or that. But there, when you need it, no questions asked. In the time of despair, or darkness, or need.  They are right there, beside me, in the rain, late at night, with the laughter, wine, tears, support and love.

Yes they truly are my heart, and I am lucky to have them.

But they are not just the kind of friends who will be there for you, they are the kind of friends who love you, no matter what, warts and all, while still demanding that you be your best self.  This may sound contradictory, but it isn’t.  What do I mean?  I mean we all need, and are very lucky if we have, those kinds of friends who will call us out when needed. Those who will pull us aside when we get out of line, when we are not trying our best, when we are getting just a little outside of the acceptable level of crazy. They keep us grounded, and inspire us to be the best that we really, truly can be.

They are the ones who see us, in all of out faults and shortcomings, yet still believe in our potential. Which is why they won’t allow us to be anything less than what we can be. Yes, we may need some time to regroup, slow down, break down, melt down…but if we stay there too long, these are the friends that give us the kick in the pants we need to get ourselves out of there before we take up residence.

I have had my best friends call me out when making excuses, when I was not making the best choices, when maybe that dress did make me look…bad.  If my ego ever gets too big, my mouth too loud, my Grace too absent, my patience too thin…they will be right there, to tell me to put my big girl panties on, grow up, get over it, deal with it, snap out of it, grow out of it, break up with it, get it back, bury it, and what ever needs to be done to it. And I do the same for them.

In essence, your friends hold the mirror up to us, while over looking all the imperfections. They represent the best of everything we are, and what we wish we could be, while propelling us to be more than we thought might be. They are the space between the heartbeats, because in that is space is where live is contained.

I don’t know where I would be without these wonderful friends, who bravely follow, support, believe in, comfort…love.  In all my unloveable self. But they know, I am the same friend to them that they have shown themselves to be to me, we are that for each other. Friendship like this isn’t free, it must be mutually beneficial and reciprocated.

And as I sit at this keyboard and type, and sip a bit of wine, I realize just how blessed I am.  I didn’t always have such loyal wonderful people to call friends, for my heart to call home. And those are the friendships that bind.

And as I am transitioning from one area of my life to another, I am thankful to have them with me.

The Digging of the In

Recently I read an article that talked about Today is one of my favorite things to read. It is a guilty pleasure, because there has always been a fascination as to how people work, what makes them tick and the many different perspectives there are.  Recently there was an article about the best traits for those who are mentally strong. Two of the characteristics were grit and curiosity.

I think another one, though it did not make the list, is perseverance.  No matter what, you can’t give up, you must be able to dig your heels in and just do it.

Sometimes we need a break, so step away and clear our minds.  This can do wonders for our mood, our perspective and our outlook. And then there are times to just take control.

I have taken several breaks lately, but I am thinking that is the wrong way to approach life right now.  Instead of running away, or taking breaks, I need to dig my heels in deep. One of the best ways to get the To-Do list done, it to start doing it.  So little by little, I will check off the list.

And already there is a good start:  Belly dance and kickboxing classes have been started to help with exercise and getting back into shape.  Things have been put into motion career wise and will soon take place.  The rental house is coming together. I am getting ready to paint, and smaller things like laundry and cleaning out the garage are coming a long as well.  I am studying grace and forgiveness, improving the frequency of my creative writing and planning the planting of the garden.

I am better when in motion, even though rest and relaxation do have their place.  But what was I thinking running away, instead of facing the long list of To-Do?  And after the list is done, before the next one is stated, that is when to get away, to celebrate, to enjoy.

Spring is here and Summer is coming, and if the timing is just right, all can line up perfectly. The time is now. Life is now. And I cannot wait, as a serge of optimism runs through me.  Digging into life is going to be delicious.

The Oposite of Seasons

This is the season for parties, festivities, socializing, seeing old friends, making new friends and just a lot of hustle and bustle. It is a season of extraverts. But this season I am feeling anything but extravert.

This year I am feeling very be cozy and warm mama bearish. I just want to be home, or with a close circle of friends. Yes, the invites have been pouring in for this and that.  And surely these are people whose company I have enjoyed in the past. But my couch is so very comfortable and the fire is warm.

This year, after being terrible displaced from my home due to toxic mold, I am more appreciative of e safe place to hang my hat.  I want to make this space warm and welcoming to all those whom I love and care.

And as the pictures of festive parties, pretty dresses, fixed hair, perfect make up and lots of drinks are posted on Facebook and other social media outlets, I smile and click like from the comfort and warmth of my own hearth, on my flannel PJ’s and fuzzy socks (yes, super sexy, I know).

I sip wine and listen to my favorite music, unpacking, organizing, arranging furniture and getting settled.  And who says you have to be and about on the town seeing and being seen to be social? I have my friends close by, still meeting for dinners and drinks.  I run to theirs or they come to mine. It is nice and quiet and small and quaint.

There is home cooking – soups and sauces, new recipes and old favorite, smells and fragrances filling the house. Putting up and decorating the Christmas tree, with all the old ornaments from childhood that make me smile and love my parents. There is eggnog and mistletoe and kisses and laughter. There is the gentleness of starting over.

And sometimes, in the big world, it is good to be small and close.  It is good to make sure that all of our fingers and toes and accounted for and painted pretty colors, enjoying the small comforts that build the foundation of a good and happy life. Sometimes the small celebrations are even more meaningful than the big ones.

And sometimes, when it is all said and done, it is the building of many of those small moments that make a life worth living and loving. Sometimes being the opposite of the season is what gives it it’s meaning.

Channeling My Inner Laura Croft

I did it. And I kicked butt. Yesterday a d wonderful friend took me out for a bit of an adventure. It actually started a few weeks ago when I told the story of purchasing a Living Socials Adventure of shooting a few guns, but had to pass it to a friend of mine because I ended up out of town that day. He, being an avid gun collector, said he had some of those kinds of high powered semi-automatic rifles and I was welcome to go shooting with him anytime. never one to pass up an adventure, I said yes. Oh what fun.

I shot Three rifles and 2 handguns, not including Bessie, my lone Glock for home protection. I refered to the rifles as Big-Daddy, Middle-Daddy and Small-Daddy, but for the gun enthusiast they actually were:

  • (Big Daddy) 1965 Chinese Norico soike Bayonette SKS in a Tapco intrafuse collapsable stock in 7.62x39mm
  • (Middle Daddy)DPMS Oraacle AR15 in 5.56/.223 Remington
  • (Small-Daddy) Rugar 10/22 in 22LR with a tactical solutions fluted threaded bull barrel and over molded houge stock

There will be a quiz later…I went for the Big-Daddy first (of course) and was just a little intimidated by it’s powwer and weight. It was hard to look through the scope or sights and keep it steady enough to really hit anything (actually I was aiming 3 feet below the target and 2 feet above it, so I didn’t really miss. Or that is just what I am telling myself).

Shooting Big Daddy

Next was Middle-Daddy. It was easier to handle, but I still didn’t really do that great with hitting the targets. But it was fun to shoot.

Me and Middle-Daddy
Me and Middle-Daddy

Then there was Small Daddy…and I kicked but with him, and his awesomely super accurate scope. I was told you could hit a dime 100 feet away. And after shooting it I completely agree. I shot a tiny target from a little over 50 feet away. Oh yes, I feeling every bit of the Laura Croft Bad Ass, Kick Butt Female super hero I knew I could be.

Aiming and shooting Little-Daddy

I also shot Bessie and was able to shoot the little mail flag off an old mail box that was brought as a target…from 50 feet away (did I mention that I am an AWESOME shot?) I mean, a time thing like that from 50 feet away? Yep. I also shot his Bersa Thunder 380 and Sig Sauer Mosquito 22LR, and did pretty good with them.

Red Solo cup I shot from 50 yards with Little-Daddy
Red Solo cup I shot from 50 yards with Little-Daddy
Mailbox flag I shot from 50 yards with my Glock 9mm, Bessie. Why yes, I am a great shot. 🙂

All is all is was a very fun day, and now I can say that I shot some pretty powerful guns. And I am a girl, which makes it even that much better. Afterward, there was absolutely no stress left in my body. The combination of being out in the fresh air, it being hot, the physicality of lifting and shooting the rifles and the concentration of 4 hours of target practice was enough to work out all of the kinks and stresses left from the last month. It was the best stress reliever ever (OK, maybe 2nd best). It was exactly what I needed and I slept very sound.

Adventures in Barbados

The Crane on the CliffsEalier this year I embarked on a 12 day trip to the Caribbean. For 3 days of that time I spent in the wonderful, beautiful land of Barbados. First, just flying into Barbados is a beautiful experience, as the airport is open and has tropical gardens along the walkways. Getting a cab is easy, and all you need to do is say where you are staying and they will promptly get you there.  The people are very friendly and are heppy to help with any questions you have.

I stayed at a great place called The Crane ( I truly cannot say enough great things about this place at all, and if you go, do consider staying there. A beautiful hotel overlooking dramatic cliffs on one side, and one of the worlds top ten beaches on the other, it is a fantastic place to “get away”.

The Crane

With a modest history starting in 1769, the area and The Crane, have been known to be one of the most beautiful on the island. In 1867, it became the first resort in Barbados and has been a place of beauty and rest ever since.

Upon arrival you will notice that security is very tight, as I had to go through 4 checkpoints before getting to the front desk. As a woman traveling alone, this made me feel very safe. After signing in my bags were taken to a wonderful, huge suite. It is called the Jr. Suite and it is truly one of the most beautiful rooms I have stayed in, and I have been to quite a few luxurious places.
The Crane BeachThe property its self is absolutely amazing, and one of the most romantic places I have ever been. There are lots of little nooks for private conversations, long walks, dips in the many pools, and more. It is a family friendly place though, so if you are an exhibitionist, I would recommend another resort. The entire island of Barbados is very family friendly, so much so that wearing a bathing suit is frowned upon unless you are actually on the beach and nude sunbathing is outlawed. It is the perfect placc to vacation with family or that someone special, for a honeymoon or even a wedding.
***And if you are thinking about a wedding, I would very highly reccomend The Crane. They only have one The Crane Sunsetwedding per day, so what every you need, they are available and ready to handle it. And you have the entire resort to plan. There are three spots in which to choose; the beach, the gardens and the cliffs. All three are beautiful. The weddin gplanner Keisha is a joy to work with and very accomidating. Two things to keep in mind though – first, everythiing moves in what I call “island time.” That means no one is in a hurry. So if you email them and it takes a few days to hear back, don’t worry. They got it. Second, they have a very strict cancellation policy. You must giveat least a 30 day notice of cancellation to recive any refund. If you give less than a 30 day notice, all deposites and payments made are lost – for the service, the rooms, everything. So be sure before you book it.
I never left The Crane, as my stay there was very short. I have heard form others who have been to Barbados that the island is truly beautiful with many things to see. WHne i go back I hope to visit more of the island, but one thing is for sure, I will stay at The Crane.  And if you do, I hope you enjoy your stay as much as I did. Enjoy!

Indulgence and Adventure

Recently a fellow blogger made a comment on a post of mine that said:

People sometimes wonder why I don’t get “giddy” during holiday times, I let them know a secret…. everyday you breathe is a holiday….celebrate a little bit every single day and even when you’re a bit wild and wicked, God will know you loved your life enough to live it in an amazing way, not just on special days but everyday…(read more of his writing at

These words are truly what I have believed for a long time, and how I have lived my life. The only way to truly appreciate the life you have, and to honor your faith, in my humble opinion, is to truly live life to the fullest. So this weekned is going to be about indulgence.  Typically that word has a very negative connotation, but I think a bit is good for the soul. What I mean is that I am going to live fully, in each moment, indulging in every little detail. Whatever I do, I am going to do it with everything I have. And think about how much more we will enjoy out lives of we did this?  If you laugh, laugh with everything you have in you. If you work, work and give 110%. if you spend time with someone, do it with all your heart. And if you kiss someone this weekned, oh, especially of you kiss someone, do it with everything you have, passionately, tenderly, joyfully, and drink in every moment of it.

Yes, I live my life this way, but this weekend, I am going to make a conscieous effort into doing it.  Sometimes, even in our passion for living, we forget to put a conscieous effort into things. This weekend I will indulge in the every day adventures that make life…life. Because no matter how good we have it, if we truly decide to find the extordinary in our everyday lives, we will discover new things that we never noticed before. We can try a new way, or a new path, visit and new store, try a new food..there are a thousand adventures and new indulgences to try just outside your door, in your own nieghborhood.

You don’t have to travel to far off places to have adventures, though those can be greot too. Your life every day life can be a great adventure.

So what adventure are you going to have today?

Girls with Guns

In the pink

Sydney Bristow, Lara Croft, Cathy Gale, Emma Peel and Tara King, just to name a few. They are the action heros and sexy girls with guns. With them in mind, how could I pass up a chance to go shoot several pistols, an AK 47 and an AR 15? I am not really a gun enthusiast, though I do own a gun for home protection. I just could not pass up on the coolness factor of being a girl and being able to say that I shot an AK47 and an AR15. Let’s face it, that is pretty bad ass.  Maybe they would even have them in Pink and if so that woudl be not only funny, but also make a great photo op.

Life is about taking chances and taking advantage of opportunities. And I am on a quest to do more of both. I want 2012, and the rest of this year even, to be about new experiences. Life is an adventure. Take it, live it, breathe it, enjoy it. You only get this moment once, so make the best of it. I remember seeing the line

Today is not a dress rehearsal

And thinking wow, that really means you want to take the chance the first time. Because even of you fail miserably, at least you tried, and you won’t always wonder What if…? I remember

The AK47

watching a movie and two characters were talking about regret and mistakes. One said “Life is about making mistakes,” the other character said “And death is about wishing you had made more of them.” No, I don’t think going on this adventure to shoot the guns is a mistake, but the point is that if you don’t take the chances the opportunitites give you…you’ll never know.

So this chance, to be a sexy vixen with a gun, a cool girl who can say, yes I have done this, will not pass me by, not today. Maybe tomorrow I’ll think about sitting still. Or maybe I’ll sign up for another adventure, another chance, another…