Month: December 2011

How Do I Love Thee?

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I want to give my husband a super fantastic Christmas present but alas I am lacking super fantastic Christmas money. I am not going to make some cheesy coupon book. I have even toyed with the idea of making a personalized annual calendar of photos of the family and cool moments in our marriage. Honestly, I am stumped. You often hear your parents or grandparents say, “I don’t need anything.” It never dawns on you that you can reach a point in your life when there are no more gadgets or toys needed to make you feel whole. I think we are reaching that point. In case you don’t what that point is, it happens when you realize you either need to throw some things away or get a bigger place. All these things are spatial and quantifiable. I want to talk about the gifts of growing that are not quantifiable. I want to talk about the gift of love.

    Earlier I posted that Love was the one word that the bible took time to define. This time I want to talk about the small things that endear a person to you. I want to talk about those little idiosyncrasies that make us loveable. Elizabeth Barrett Browning sat down one day in 1846 and began to pen a letter to her husband on all the ways in which she loved him, including telling this man that she loved him to “depth and breadth and height, my soul can reach, when feeling out of sight.” Mrs. Barrett said she loved him not only freely, but purely, in the sun and by candlelight. She even went on to tell him she loved openly and freshly with the faith of a child. You have to admit, that is really deep. I want to be deep too. Please keep in mind, I may be a wordsmith, but I am no poet, but I will give it a try.

Ode to My Man

I love you when you stripped out the locks,

I love you even when you don’t pick up your socks.

My heart beats in a rhythm that is often too fast,

especially when you eat pizza and get lots of gas.

I love that you listen, even though you don’t hear

But just in your eyes, I see that you’re near.

I love you in ways I don’t understand and am

often so proud that you are my man.

I see you in ways that make me stand tall, when you help

Out the neighbor, and say, “no trouble at all.”

I love the way we have carved out a life from

the first day that you stepped up and made me your wife.

I have loved you from the beginning of our life spent in days,

I cannot begin to count out all the ways.

I love who you are and who you let me be

I cherish the moments to grow old with thee.

  • December 10, 2011

Stay good to one another while taking a moment to enjoy the smaller joys in life. I know it is always cool to get a great big gift that cost a lot of money, but it is equally fantastic to receive a gift that took a lot of thought. Remember the reason for the season and don’t get caught up in the hype.

Smothered & Scattered w/ Burt’s Chili

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         Southerners are very picky about their food. There are certain items that have to be fried and other items that are just plain Southern. Southern cuisine is often cherished, craved and fondly regarded. Vacations and trips to the south also includes a stop at a local favorite, the Waffle House.
Once you cross the Mason Dixon line, you know you have entered the South because you start to see the familiar yellow signs. Now don’t get the Waffle House confused with the Huddle House, or any other waffle shack. There is no confusing this southern icon.
Late night partiers, early morning diners, and people who are just in the mood for a waffle, often pop in, and say, “Howdy!” Hubby and I love to head in for the $5 breakfast special of a sausage, egg and cheese biscuit, with hash browns, a small orange juice and a coffee. We often say we want to be adventurous and try the hash browns different ways. You can get your hash browns scattered, smothered or covered in everything from onions, cheese, and gravy or ham chunks.
If you are not into the whole waffle thing, you can try some of Bert’s chili, a steak, or even some of Walt’s soup. The Waffle House also is a great place to start a career If you have not tasted or tried the Waffle House, here is your chance. For a limited time, you can get a free Waffle.



Working on Staying Motivated

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I feel like a slug. I looked around and knew I need to put up and trim the tree. I am heading into the second weekend of December and my house is not decorated. My enthusiasm for many of the holiday seasonal activities has been replaced with lethargy. I have no idea what I am planning to cook for the Christmas dinner, and I have done little if any Christmas shopping. I’m not gonna and you can’t make me. Let’s face it, I am tired. How do we as adults, with home life, careers, friends and so much more, stay motivated?

I was reading a post by Leo Bubutta on 16 Ways to Stay Motivated. He suggested focusing on one goal, saying it publicly, and thinking about it daily. So, you want me to tell people that I feel like a lazy bum and that I am waiting for the quarter to end so I can spend a week not combing my hair? I like the ideas, but that is not going to do it for me.

Next, I headed over to the Lifehack.org to seek some motivation for my slump. These wisdom warriors say to find the good reasons, take a different approach, recognize your progress and reward yourself. I like the reward myself portion, and now feels some motivation to make some of those cookie brownies.

This wasn’t going to do, I needed to power up my powered down motivation. I needed the master, I needed some Zen. I headed over to Tony Robbins website and for $2595, I could be seated on the first three rows close to Tony, get lunch, course materials and I could change my life. Well that’s not going to happen. I know what is going to happen.

I am going to sit down. I am going to rest. I am going to recharge my soul, my spirit and my zest for life. I don’t need to spend $2595, or have anyone tell me that I need reward myself because I am awesome; I’m just tired. I think the best way for me to stay motivated is to stay away from people who suck, suck the life out of you or those people who are needy. I am needy. I am in needy of some sleepy.

I suddenly feel motivated. I am going to go trim that tree, bake some cookies and afterwards I am going to take a nap. I am motivated to do these things.

Girl Talk 101

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As we age, our needs change as well as our taste. The things we require to be happy often begin to simplify as we hit some of those golden numbers in age. Our tastes in movies, food, books and even the need for basic conversation also changes. As women, we can sometimes see the subtle changes that occur and often limit ourselves to women of our age bracket and even join some exclusive clubs that celebrate our maturity. Girl talk also evolves and changes with our adulthood.

In our teenage years, girl talk revolves around hair, make up and cute boys. At this phase we love to talk about all the sex we want to have with fictional characters we see in movies and singing groups. Our favorite songs become our mantras for life. For me, I wanted to be in Control like Janet Jackson and wanted to have a Rebel Yell like Billy Idol. Donned in my double belt, a punk rock haircut and more attitude than necessary, I chatted constantly about changing the world with my words. Conversations with my girlfriends were about kissing boys, heavy petting and making it to second base.

In our college years, girl talk revolved around hair, sororities, sleep and cute men. If you are able to combine sleep with cute men with great hair, you are ahead of the game. In these years, girl talk has a huge circumference around the number of batters on base and none you are willing to allow to round to home. You discover credit cards, nice restaurants and men with good jobs who make more money than your high school sweetheart. Your conversation becomes about your goals, Sylvia Plath and Gwendolyn Brooks. You are well read and can hold a conversation with a man that has an IQ and you have learned, after conferring with your girlfriends that you are in fact, deep.

After college we begin our careers and girl talk encircles our jobs, climbing the corporate ladder and cute bosses. Late nights are spent crying into cups of coffee because you have made some really bad choices with your cute boss while you have tried to climb his corporate ladder. You are learning political etiquette, learned to shut your mouth and realized there are somethings your girlfriends do not need to know. Company retreats are not the place to get snookered and tell people how you really feel, but most of all, always wear good underwear if you are planning to strip down and jump in the pool. These stupid things your girlfriends remind you, were not too smart.

We marry, we breed, we find other women who are breeding, clipping coupons and girl talk becomes about the cheapest diapers at the best price. The 30’s are an ideal time to get back in touch with the woman we swore we wanted to be. We have reconnected with women from high school, stayed in touch with our college room mates and have gone back for a class reunion that we should have just plain avoided. We are talking dietary changes, family friendly meals all while swapping recipes and listening to each other gripe and moan about those things that are truly important, diapers. Girls night out becomes an opportunity to burn off some excess energy. We take jazzercise, yoga and attempt to do Zumba. We are consoled by our girlfriends when we find that first grey hair that is not on our head.

Girl talk is exciting as we organize snacks for football, soccer, join social groups, get a minivan or SUV and start to talk about how we maybe, kind of, should have married that other guy. Our guy is getting fat, scratching himself and still telling those same jokes from 10 years ago. Girl talk becomes about ways to get the insurance money if he met an unfortunate accident, but we don’t really want that to happen, because we love that old lug. Our parents are aging and we go from the child, to the care giver, as we deal with death, loss and sudden weight gain. Our hands are held as we go for a mammogram to explain the new lump and realize we just need to cut back on caffeine. We hold each other and cry as we come to terms with not having more children, we get another dog and start realizing that our children aren’t the geniuses we initially thought.

We are almost there, the fabulous forties. Our kids are headed off to college, who cares about the corporate ladder, we meet for tea, scrapbooking and take trips without the kids. One thing has changed and we are emphatic, we have moved away from listening to each other’s problems. Our conversations centers on splitting the ticket, sharing half of an order of anything and planning our next bus trips. It is now understood that no one wants to hear about your damned husband, your kids, or your financial situation. Our parents have become less of a joy and more of a “trying time” in our lives, and girl talk is just spent laughing.

In the end, no matter what the occasion, girl talk is meant to uplift. The moment that girl talk centers around one person, or the same problem, then it is time to move on to some other girl to talk to because the one you have is broken. Ladies, love each other and be supportive. Supportive does not mean you are an enabler, but an extra set of ears when your girls need to just talk. If you are the person who loves to monopolize the conversation about the same problem you aren’t trying to fix, please take note, your friends are sick of hearing it. Eventually, they will become tired of you, and you will find yourself alone with those same problems you refuse to address. Sadly now, you have no girls to talk to; love you, mean it.


Want Dessert with that Whine?

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Recently I have come across a new phenomenon that I just can’t wrap my brain around.  I am simply befuddled by the enormity of the weight of this trend.  This new trend is whining and complaining men.  I can’t stand it and if there is anything that a woman will not tolerate is man that has nothing positive to say. I know, long gone are the days of Clint Eastwood when a man walked up to another and socked him in the face for just being a lily-livered scally-wag, but a whining man is just plain unsavory. It is an unpalatable taste that seems to linger throughout your day.

Today, I walked into my co-workers work area, and her counterpart was sitting there with a scowl on his face. No surprise, there is always a scowl on his face, but today, I just was not in the mood to hear it.  I said a polite “Good Morning,” and he started in with this litany of whining. It wasn’t complaining, it was simple unadulterated whining. Before I knew what came over me, I said, “Get thee behind me Satan, you will not take my joy on this day!”  My friend balked, he balked and I took a seat.  You know what happened then? Yeap, he shut the bleep up.

I was not out of line and this why.  My dear friend absolutely finds no joy in her job. I am constantly tortured at lunch by a shell of my happy go lucky friend, because she has been poisoned and tainted by Sir Shirk A Lot. If you constantly are being fed a diet of salt soaked food, then please expect to have high blood pressure. He is vacuuming her soul of any joy in her day by having to listen to his incessant whining. But he is not the only criminal in joy reduction in life.  There are tons of people that we surround ourselves with that love to sap your joy and yet we fail to understand why we sometimes are discontent.  We have these joy parasites as relatives.  We have these joy sanguisuges as friends but moreover, we work alongside these joy vampires.

If you don’t like your job, then quit. No one, not any one, should have to listen to your discontent all damned day long because your set has shrunk.  I have a set big enough for both of us; you can borrow mine for a day or so.  It makes a woman long for the days of the old fashioned fella that tipped his hat and said, “howdy Maam!”  I can even remember as a young girl watching Lady Sing the Blues, and the ever so dapper Billy Dee Williams asking, “…you want my arm to fall off?” Although he was a chain smoking cigar hack, you felt his passion and thought of him as a real man.

I say a good deal of this with a tongue in cheek attitude, but I like to surround myself with happy people.  I do not expect everyone to be happy every day, but I am not going to surround myself with someone that is never happy. I am not certain what has gone wrong for my-coworker, and I am not sure who has taken a tinkle in his lemonade, but really, if the lemonade tastes a tad bit tart, then stop drinking it.

I can spend a day discussing the psychological ramifications of the effects of role reversals on the American male psyche.  I can speak for hours on the impact of NAFTA and the exportation of American jobs which have taken our men out of work.  I can talk about the changes the corporate workplace that put overly aggressive women in charge of men that has cause a pseudo misogamist reversal in roles that have left men feeling, well less of a man. But in the same breath, I can also speak on men who have started their own ventures and new companies by the sweat of the brow.  I can elaborate on the small businesses that have started by these displaced factory workers that are building new communities. I can talk about the single fathers who have stepped up and learn about spaghetti straps and hair bows. However, none of these men are sitting behind a desk whining.

If you are unhappy, get up off your duff and make some changes. But for all that is holy, stop whining, because eventually, you will get your just desserts.