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The Artistry of Life

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It often amazes me how an artist can see the world in brush strokes or treble clefs.  I once explained to someone that I see the world in words.  I can paint a verbal picture and draw a reader into my world and have them see what I feel. However, I am finding so many local artist across different mediums, that I must ask are we all artist in our own right?

          I don’t have an answer for that question, but I have learned in the last nine months, that one of the biggest fears of individuals is writing.  It seems simple enough that as an adult, we can sit down, and take what is troubling our minds, and transpose it paper. Yet, it becomes cumbersome, and an art form that many refuse to attempt unless absolutely necessary.

          It is a rhythm that does require some finesse to master, but so is the art of song.  We are all amateur song birds in our showers or our cars, but I am thinking of becoming an agent and contracting some of the talent I hear late at night in the aisle of Wal-Mart. Humming along to ring tones that aren’t always age appropriate, which is amusing when you see a 55 year old woman humming “if you like it then you shoulda put a ring on it”, but I am a firm believer of live it how you feel it.  I feel music and being a music savant, as a friend called me, I can and will chant along to almost anything that comes on Muzak or the radio. I, however, was born with the uncanny ability to miss a note if thrown at me with an underhand slow pitch, but I still love music.

          I also love art.  I have come into contact with local painters, sculptors, graphic artists, and quilt artist. I am floored at the amount of talent that lives and creates in this city. I am totally stoked about Westobou and the Arts in the Heart.  If you are an artist and are not participating, at least come out and review what is on display and be encouraged whether your medium be word, song, pallets or dance.  Life has a rhythm.  Art has a rhythm.  Take a moment and find your medium and engage in the artistry of life.

Midlife Brain Cramp

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On Friday, my husband and I celebrated 20 years of marriage.  As pleased as I am on our personal, professional and parental progress, I had to take a moment and assess where I am as a woman. Honestly, I think I am having  a mid-life brain cramp.

            I had lunch with boss on Friday and she began to discuss my career path and options with the company and I said, “hmm, no thanks”.  She looked at  me as if I had lost my mind.  I haven’t lost my mind, I just want to enjoy my life. I don’t want to climb any corporate ladders, I did that in the ‘80s and 90’s.  I don’t want to be in charge of anyone or anything, I did that the first ten years of the millennium.  I want to show up, do my job, get my check and offer advice on “what you shoulda did…..”  Sure, sure, I am all about making a difference in my community, but only if it is not an inconvenience. No, it is not selfish and I will tell you why. 

            There are organizations that can use my expertise and guidance, but the mentality of today’s worker have changed. You not only want my guidance and expertise, but you want me to do all the work, make you look good and you want me to do it almost for free. I’m all about giving back, not giving away, if I am giving it away, then I am supporting my personal charities.  I would like a tax write off for that one please. My brain is not that cramped  where it will cause me to suffer from a rapid onset of stupidity.  

Why I am suffering from a mid-life brain cramp is that my personal space needs to be shifted. I need to refocus my karmic energies and shift the dynamic of my brain’s synergy and where it needs to take me. I have been surfing the net and I have found some great things that will aid me in unknotting the grey matter that I call friend. I sought items that would shift the Chi flow of my personal living space and infuse new energy into my home, which is the center of my world. In turn, I know it will shift the “whoo-sah” that has left me “‘cause me brain is tired” of being stuffed with items I really don’t need to process. (No, that is not a typo). I need to dump the free radicals of my  friends issues, what is going on at the office, and reality television, that is clumping my grey matter into soggy heaps of dingy pudding.

            First, redo the art on the walls. I found this fantastic web site  where you can get original art work for a fraction of the cost and you get to choose the medium and the price point http://www.zatista.com, and I am really feeling this Prickly Pear piece for $65! 

I think it moves me.

Even a cactus has a bloom.  He focused on just one pad that is growing, just a sum of the parts, and not the cacti as a whole.  That is deep.

The green inspires me to think outside the box and I think I want to find new ways to also go green. 

Check out http://www.worldofgreen.com for ideas how to reduce your carbon foot print.

And last but not least, I see no reason whatsoever to reinvent the wheel. We as a society have pretty much come up with everything there is to make life, chores, relationships, child rearing and even sex, easier.  So started to search for a means to let someone with too much time on their hands take care of the things I don’t have time and or refuse to make time to do. 

I found her.  She is the consumer queen. http://www.consumerqueen.com, she is even a Frigidaire test drive mom.  How in the bleep do I get to test drive the latest  appliances?

I don’t know but I am about to find out.

Until next time, find a way to reset your whoo-sah and check back in with me.

Surviving My Addiction….to Facebook.

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I was reluctant to admit that I had a problem. Like most addicts it did not become real until I looked in the mirror and found myself with a love jones to get to it, to feel it in my fingers, to connect with my new-found poison and drink it in. My family and friends all knew but none wanted to confront me, but I had to confront myself with a an intervention. I can now say it with pride as I start my recovery, Hi, I am Cheryl and I am a Facebook addict.

It started so innocently. I was speaking to an old college beau and he mentioned that “You should be on Facebook.” I was familiar with the social application, but at the time, you had to have an .edu address to be a part of the network for college students only. Evidently I was misinformed, Facebook had grown up. I had a few extra minutes and I logged on. Please understand, I already had a MySpace account and had gathered some famous movie star and recording friends. I felt like I was moving and shaking, but then I tried Facebook.

It was like manna in my hands and felt as if I had found something that understood me, where I wanted to be and things I needed to say. The world was at my fingertips and all I had to do was push the little button that say “connect”. Yet, as innocently as it started I began to notice changes in my behavior. I had to upgrade my phone to a Palm OS with a Facebook interface so that I could stay connected anywhere and at anytime.

I started slow with just one or two friends and a couple of game applications, hereinafter referred as apps. I connected with my son and a few of his pals that were all at my house, no harm in “friending” them. Then I began to connect with my old high school pals and a few from college. My Army buddies began to sign on and suddenly, people I had not heard from in years were a mouse click away. I had to learn the hard way though, I was in a Mafia, working on a farm in Farmville and was hanging out in Yoville. That turned out to be a waste of time because now I had clients that I had put on Facebook. I went from one account to six in a matter of months, and it was becoming difficult to keep up, so I discovered Tweetdeck.

I did not think it could get worse, but it did. I turned into a Facebook snob. I began to “remove” those friends I thought were undesirable. Friends, who had nothing worthwhile to post but negative updates with comments about other people, were removed. I even went as far to call a few friends and suggest they make their daily post quotes about life until they were able to clean out their list of friends. I even had the audacity to suggest “cooling it” with so many personal pictures and if they really had that many “haters”, why would you tell them where you are going to be every moment of the day? I know….. right?

My addiction is not common place, my addiction is nasty. It is all-consuming. I have addicted others, I have set a standard. I have people who follow my drivel. Why? Because I am addictive. LMBO, yeap, it’s true. Each month I go as far as having a common theme, where my posts are aimed at helping you live a better life. Fancy tidbits of information for websites you did not even know existed for free stuff you didn’t even know you could get. I even set it to music, why, because I am a form of a music and movie savant. I have a photographic memory and love music. I start the day with a praise song and end the day with a pensive piece. Some days, I share my love of music with others and post items on their wall with love notes of “Just because it’s Tuesday”, which has caught on. During Oscar week I posted famous clips from past Oscar winners like On the Waterfront and All About Eve and even included Sydney Poitier’s 1969 acceptance speech.

My favorite fix, I must admit is to post a movie line and see how many people know what it is, while others chime in with other famous lines from the same movie. The high is amazing. It is like being the popular kid in cyberspace. I have to check it at least five or six times a day to see who responded to my post, and to see if the invites that I had received were for events that I actually wanted to go to with people who online, were cool, but did I want to hang out with in real life. I purged my friends list again. If I didn’t want to hang out with you “for real” I didn’t want you in my Facebook sandbox.

        My family wants to stage an intervention, but I don’t think it is THAT bad. I do however, know I need to cutback. And I will, once I make my music selection for the night, so that I can sign out. I am thinking “Why” by Annie Lennox. I know why…and so do you.

Good night my Friends. Ms. Lennox, you have the con……

I may be mad
I may be blind
I may be viciously unkind
But I can still read what you’re thinking

You are what you eat…..

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This afternoon, while doing a favor for a pal, I stopped in a local downtown eatery to pick up a Skinny pumpkin latte and decided while I was there, I would grab a bite to eat. I requested a nice chicken salad with a side of hummus and bagel chips. I didn’t think it was a bad choice and as I sat and waited for my order, I picked up one of the downtown papers and saw a quote:

“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.” La Rochefoucauld

I began to think and even question if I was in fact an intelligent eater. Am I giving my body the fuel it needs to function properly are am I eating something that will continually keep me “out of shape.

I decided to put myself to the test. I went to the brand new all you can Hibachi Grille in West Augusta. There was more food than the eye could process and a line out the door of people waiting with baited breath to gorge themselves at the all you could eat trough. I must admit that I too was tempted. There was ice cream, sherbets, seafood that was fried, dyed and laid to the side. There were shrimp prepared 7 different ways, a seafood salad, green salad, and rice salad. There was a ton of rice with noodles, noodles with vegetables, fried rice, white rice, sticky rice oh my.

I saw big kids, little kids, even kids with rock, short kids, fat kids, and even a kid with a lollipop. The adults had plates that were brimming with selections of starches, meats, and breads. I went to the food bars and noticed there was Sushi and looked for some options on chicken. Again, it was either fried or covered in a sauce but lo and behold, in the back of restaurant was a line to the Hibachi grille. For a mere penance of a tip, he would prepare my meal on the grill with my choice of vegetables. If I opted for no starch, and just chose a protein based meal I could have it, or if I chose to have vegetable plate, I could do that as well.

There are intelligent choices at the all you can buffet. Yet, there were so few people who were inclined to make a good choice which not only affects them personally, but also their children.

Where do we draw the line and create an art of eating what our body needs to function properly, while enjoying the culinary arts. I believe the answer is moderation. Moderate yourselves to enjoy the beauty of a good meal out with family and friends, but with the good conscious to know what we need to be healthy. I know, we have heard it all before and have seen the arguments from everything in health care reform, to reality television urging us to be a bigger loser. We even laughed at the over eater who had a tendency to “over eat”. However, in order to be better in our every day lives, and to be better people, we have to take the small steps that take you on the bigger journey.

Saying no to that piece of cheesecake is a good step, or you can have the cheesecake and just not have a second helping. Start the journey small and set a goal and in the end, you won’t eat your self to death.

Is your smartphone making you an idiot?

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     You are riding down the highway and your cell phone starts to vibrate, you know it is a text message, however, you are going about 45 miles an hour in rush hour traffic.  What do you?  Do you reach down and grab the phone to see who is texting you or do you ignore it until you get to a stop sign?  95% of people will pick up the phone and “see who this is?” and risk every life on the road including their own, for what, a quick message of “Where u @?”

And as much as I love technology, I love living even more!  It is not just a text messaging that has gotten out of control, but our inability to disengage from our cell phones that are turning normal everyday people into ignorant, raging morons.  Don’t be offended, for if you are not the offender in this instance you have been at least once in the near past.  Here are some prime examples of idiot phone offenses that are lowering our intelligence quotients and our ability to be kind to one another.

App Addlepate: Yes, this is person who has an app to perform every function they can possibly think of but fails to train them how to be a better person.  Better people take a moment to appreciate the live person in front of you versus the virtual connection reaching out to you. Is there an APP to teach you life skills?

Bluetooth Blockhead: Yeah for you, you have a bluetooth, but honestly, do you have to walk up behind me, conversing with your imaginary friend with your outside voice? Having a bluetooth is great for hands free calling if you are on a long road trip, but really, your GPS comes bluetooth enabled, so once outside of the car, take the stupid thing off.  You don’t look important, you look like someone who spends too much time on the phone and your extra money is being used to pay for unneeded cell services.

Conversation Cretin:  I am trying to have a face to face, one on one conversation with you, please pay attention, I don’t need to have a conversation with the top of your head while you respond to frequent buzzing that appears to have your remotely programmed like Pavlov’s dog.

Dining Dimwit: I have a girlfriend that I refuse to go out to eat with and lately, I just hate to spend time with her.  Why?  Her phone never stops going off!  Her husband, her kids, her father, all seem to have an incessant need to connect with her the minute she leaves their line of sight.  One, it is rude and tells the person with whom you are with, that they are not important and unworthy of your time.  Two, your family and kids have no respect for your time, and last but not least, it is just plain rude.

Dialing Dunderhead: How many times do you need to apologize for your butt, your purse, your dog or the 3-year-old speed calling on your phone because you refuse to lock the screen.

Facebook Fanatic: Yes I love my friends and enjoy their post, but no I am not going to respond to every posting on my wall, every request to add more fish on Farmville, join your Mafia, or accept your hearts of blessings.  Do it at home on your own time.

Fast Food Fool:  At the counter at the sandwich shop, on the phone, trying to place an order, talking to the young lady behind the counter, while yelling at your spouse, child or in law on the phone.  Why not just finish the call, place your order, pay for the order, pick up the order and call the person on the phone as you head back outside.

Instant Message Imbecile: Yes, I know you need an answer soon, but does it have to be right now?  You are reducing my productivity by forcing me to stop and answer you.  If I did not answer your last 5 instant messages, maybe I am busy.  Maybe I fell down the well and Lassie went to get Timmy, and maybe I just don’t want to answer you.

Loud Lamebrain:   I know you are upset, I know they don’t understand, but really, neither do I.  I don’t understand why everyone in the room, the hall, the bathroom, the restaurant and any other public place has to be tortured with your conversation and lack of mastery of your emotions? Tone it down and shut it up!

Meeting Moron: You are in a meeting, why is your phone on unless the conference call is coming in on your line and everyone in the room should be privy to the conversation.  If not, please turn off your phone, my time is valuable too, don’t waste it by sending messages to your friends.

Picture Pinhead:  You do realize that even if you don’t open it, you will still be charged for receiving the picture of the dancing penis that was not funny when you were 12 and is not funny now. If you are in an accident and I am your insurance agent, send me a picture mail.  If not, send it via email that does not cost me anything, and 9 times out of 10, I don’t really want to see it.

Sync Simpleton:  How many times of day do you need to sync it to your lap top? You don’t need to beam me your V-card, I have your business card and a card scanner, I have your info. I know how to reach you, besides your text messages has ALL of your contact info, just like your email.

Tunes Twit:.  I have one friend that I like to call every day just to see which song will be playing today. How many ringtones do you really need, and why do I have to listen to “Single Ladies”, or “Blessed” or any other subjugation of your musical choices simply because I need to call you?  You are an adult, your phone should ring, if you are available answer it, if not let it go to voice mail.

Twitter Twerp:  Really, do we need a play by-play of your day? Enough said.

Voicemail Victim: I don’t really want to leave a message, but if I do, will you please take the time to listen to what I have to say, before you call me back to say “I saw you called.”  Yes, I called.  I left you a message telling you what I wanted, listen to it and call me back with an answer.

I know technology is a wonderful thing, but please, stop allowing your smart phone to make you an idiot.  Remember the simple manners your mother taught you and put those into play. Now if you will excuse me, I need to send out some hearts, blessings, rob a pimp and steal a car as I build my mafia connection, and build my new life in YoVille.
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The Mother in Me…..

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Today, I decided to review the definition of Mother.  I went to dictionary.com, plugged in the term and waited for the results.

moth·er

mʌð ər/ Show Spelled[muhth -er]

–noun

1. a female parent.

2. (often initial capital letter ) one’s female parent.

3. a mother-in-law, stepmother, or adoptive mother.

4. a term of address for a female parent or a woman having or regarded as having the status, function, or authority of a female parent.

5. a term of familiar address for an old or elderly woman.

6. mother superior.

7. a woman exercising control, influence, or authority like that of a mother: to be a mother to someone.

8. the qualities characteristic of a mother, as maternal affection: It is the mother in her showing itself.

9. something or someone that gives rise to or exercises protecting care over something else; origin or source.

10. (in disc recording) a mold from which stampers are made.

I tried to determine if I felt any of these definitions suited me, outside of being the female parent.  And in all honesty, there are no real words to define what it is and means to be a mother.  Of course, we can define ourselves as someone who gives rise to protecting and caring for something else.  I can even see being the origin and the source for something in which I can mother or parent.  I can see being a mold and stamping my imprint upon another, but nothing, in any of those terms begin to address the one common term all mother’s have, hold, and dread – and that is fear.

The one job that you have been given, without an instruction manual, no formal training, and all OJT, is being a mother.  If you fail at your job, you know the consequences; you have a Jeffrey Dahmer or a Charles Manson.  If you are too successful at your job, then you are a control freak. If you are too casual then you want to be a friend instead of a parent.  Quite honestly, there is no way to win.  With fear in your heart you rise every day and just hope that you are getting it right as they grow and become adults, with a sense of right and wrong that has been instilled in them and they will become productive members of society.  You hope that the guidance they have been given does not inspire them to become parents themselves at a young age, and that they will find someone in which to share their life who is fair and loving and will be a good mother to your grandchildren.

To all the mothers out there I salute you, honor you and cherish you.  I know your fear, and share in the turmoil, but I also understand a mother’s joy.  I have been blessed with a wonderful son, that has turned into a wonderful man, and this Mother’s Day, I am blessed that God gave me an opportunity to provide protecting care over something else, and mold it, and become a female parent.
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Is your independency keeping you single?

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clip_image001I was on Facebook this morning and saw a post that begged the question, of whether men were intimidated by strong independent women?

I found myself utterly and completely fascinated with most of the answers which in part, where mostly defensive. Answers gravitated from recession concession to jealousy, to a real independent woman does not want to lose her independence. There were even comments from one gentleman who boasted about his independent woman’s gift giving and how she provided him pocket money. It was one extreme to the next, but the real question to all of you today, is your independence keeping you single?

Everyone wants to have or belong to someone, but some see companionship as compromise, while others argue why do I need a man to give me what I can provide for myself. Have we, as women, become so competitive in the workplace that we have forgotten the simple art of being a lady. Being a lady has nothing to do with your independence. I will admit, there are some men who are challenged by women who are smarter and more accomplished than themselves, but the majority of men, truly want to spend time in the company of a lady.

Webster’s defines lady as a refined, well spoken and polite woman of high social position and is the parallel of gentleman. This definition is pretty clear but just in case there is some confusion, parallel is complimentary. A woman’s relationship to and with a man, should be complimentary. This does not mean that you have to sacrifice who you are, what you have accomplished or your dreams or ambitions, in order to have a relationship with a mclip_image003an, but to compliment what he does and who he is. A prime example is Michelle Obama. She is complimentary to her husband and her accomplishments and achievements stand on their own, but she relishes her independent mind, but excels in her role as wife and mother. She is the epitome of the example of you can have it, without the sacrifice.

What does it take to have your independence and a great relationship? Take the focus off of being so damned independent and place the focus on being a lady. Place your focus on being complimentary. Place your focus on being parallel and lined up with something other than your own goals. When we remove ourselves from that constant cycle of “me…me…myself…I…wait back to me…” we have the golden opportunity to sit on the side and cheer for someone else. In the end, that is all your man truly wants, is for you to cheer for him once in a while. He is proud of you and what you have done, and he brags about you at the barber shop even though you don’t know it. He says with pride when he visits with his Mom or chats with his Dad about the things you are doing on the job. Can you say the same, without a sadden sigh because he hasn’t reached his full potential? Can you say the same without a snide comment of “now if he would just pick up his drawers, and put them in the hamper…”. Can you say the same without nitpicking him to death over dinner because he ordered a steak and you chose a salad? Here’s a hint sisters, you can graze on lettuce leaves at home. You man wants to see you enjoy some meat and he wants to pay for it! He wants to tell you about his day and what that “Dumb Dave” did at work. He wants to share with you the silly argument that ensued in the locker room or lunch room over some commentary on clip_image005ESPN.

The question is do you want to listen? Or do you have so much on your mind about your day, and what that sneaky Millicent said, or that million dollar deal that is on the table that you know you are about close. More than anything, you are counting the money you are about to spend when the deal does closes and what is your next strategic move.

I am not taking sides, I am just asking the questions that I want you to answer, because if I am thinking it, so is someone else. So I weighed in from a woman’s point of view, give me some feedback with this next question.

Do you think they feel less of a man when dealing with a woman who is able to carry her own load, very successful, and can do things on her own without his help?