independent women

That’s what friends are for……

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    I have been running hard and eating poorly these past three weeks. New quarter, new classes, new students and a new schedule added up to a recipe for disaster. My body rebelled and told me to stop the nonsense and when I refused to listen, it shut down. We are not talking about a head cold, I am talking a full blown system purging.
I was laid out. Flat on my back is where I ended up after a night of personal conversations from several perspectives with the King of the Lavatory.

    I couldn’t be sick. Tomorrow was my scrapbooking day with my friend, Saturday I was hitting the Oktoberfest with another friend and the flea market, plus I had to get the Quilt Show, and the Fair to get a turkey leg. I can’t do any of these things sick! The fever I had said otherwise and I called it quits.

    My friend called my cell at 10 am on Friday. When I did not respond she called me at 11:15 and this time left a voice message. At noon she sent a text and at 12:30 she called my house. I had not responded which, she stated, was not like me. And yes, we have a land line. No, I am not a dinosaur. On with the story about friends…stay focused please. At 1:30 she was at my front door with a bag of peppermint tea for my upset tummy and although my son had placed a chair on the opposite side of the bed of sickness, she opted not to use it. Instead, she brought me a hot cup of bitter ass peppermint tea, fluffed up the pillows on hubby’s side of the bed and climbed in beside me.

    She climbed on beside “Oh, my gosh, I have a fever” breath. She climbed on beside I smell like I’m sick, fever soaked sweaty tee shirt. She climbed on beside my matted afro and crusted nose that had started to drip from being so hot all night from fever, that now resembled a 5 year old with hayfever. She did so with a smile and simultaneously grabbed the remote and began to ask me why I was laid out like I was on a crucifix.

    I started to laugh. She then commented on my smelling like I had been riding a horse and my desperate need of a shower and washing my face. She stayed for 2.5 hours and when she left I felt better. Not cured, but better and ready to get well.

    Ironically, my friend that I was supposed to meet on Saturday, called while she was there as well, and she too called my house because I had not answered my cell; she too figured something must have been wrong. Something was wrong; I had made some poor choices on rest, exercise and food. I did not, however, make poor choices in my friends. They know me well enough to know when I am up and sharp enough to know to call my house when I am down. They also know my home number.

    Don’t be confused, any friend can be at your side when you are the life of the party. It takes a special friend to climb on your sickbed and hold your feverish hand. Friends are there to make you feel better when you are down, help you celebrate your accomplishments and cry when you need it. Remember, a friend is someone to also thank for putting up with you…..

    

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But She is My Friend…………………….

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After the week I have had, I am thoroughly convinced that people are losing their minds! First I receive a text out of the blue from a friend who just has to see me, and invites me for drinks on Saturday night. Secondly, I receive an email from another friend who is itching to scrapbook but want to have lunch first and them get started about 3 pm after her hubby comes back to be able to sit with the dog. Last, but not least, I literally run into an old friend in Wal-Mart, who avoids me. Me? What did I do to you? She treated me as if she caught me sleeping with her husband.

Let me back up for a minute and start with friend one and the call out of nowhere. Initially, a month ago, she calls and tells me she is having a get together for the ladies at the church and she wants me to come over. She did not invite me as a guest, but as an extra pair of hands. I guess this was supposed to be our bonding time. She actually expected me to show up and work my butt off serving her guest. I refused.

Fast forward two months, her over complicated life is about to swallow her up and she knows the perfect friend to call. This of course would be me. How the bleep do you figure that I have nothing better to do with time other than make you feel better about yourself and your sorry life choices? She was buying lunch, I wanted hot wings, so I went. I made her feel better and she was proud to say she calls me friend.

The second friend, which, we haven’t know each other that long, we really aren’t that close, and really haven’t had a chance to truly bond. Our first night out with her and her hubby, they brought the 10 year old. Understandaly, you didn’t have a sitter. Second time we met, she left the windows down on the car and I thought, well maybe she doesn’t like air conditioning. There was a dog in the back seat. I was informed that the dog had some issues and did not like to be left home alone.

Two weeks later, we are planning to get together to scrapbook. She said she has to bring her dog.

I. Don’t. Have. A . Dog.

She said he would be fine if I had shade in my back yard. What makes you think I want dog crap in my yard? I can see making a concession for your 10 year old, even considering I don’t have one, but for your dog? You have lost your damn mind!

Last but not least, to my former friend in the store, I am sorry if I have done something to offend you. I am even sorrier if you have done something to offend me that I have yet to learn. I am sorry that we have come to this point in our relationship. Which leads me to this thought, why do I call these people friend?

I am starting a running list of my new dirty words and friend comes in at number two. I am uncertain if we have entered such and electronic world where knowing the intimacies of your life via your Tweets and Facebook posts, makes us close. It does not. It makes you a person who is losing touch with reality. Where were you in your book of “Hello, God, it’s me Magaret…” that no one answered you back?

If your friends do not have small children, then it is not okay to bring your child to dinner. If your friend does not have a dog, then why would you want to bring yours to my house? If I don’t call you to vent and unload my problems, then why do you think it is okay to do this to me? Why, because you call me friend? Out of curiosity, what do you think I call you?

If you are avoiding me in the store, then the problem lies within you. I have not wronged you and you will not afford me the opportunity to make it right. Dictionary.com defines friend as “a person attached to another by feelings of affection or personal regard.” If you hold these people you call friend in high regard, then treat them as such and not as a person who owes you something, your personal counselor, or someone you need to hate in order to feel alive.

On the other shoe, if she gets drunk every time you go out, and you have to be their babysitter, you can also scratch them off your list as a friend. If you constantly have to bail them out, literally and figuratively, then maybe you should not call them friend. Today I am making a list, and noting the qualities I like in those who support me and I them and why I choose to call them my friend. I am glad you are on my list.

Coupon Crazy!

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I am addicted. I am not shame and I will shout from the rafters that I am hooked. I watched an episode of Extreme Couponing and once I saw how much money they were saving, I said, “I can do that!” I started clipping and I also started saving money. I am far from extreme, but I am, unequivocally a coupon clipper.

Ironically, I can remember a time when whipping out a coupon was considered low class and made the bearer appear to be a cheapskate. People who clipped coupons were rumored to live in a house full of cats, made quilts and homemade jams. In essence, they were regarded as a step above being a hippie. Not anymore, welcome to the new breed of savvy shoppers and coupon clippers. Let me help you get started. It is easier than you think.

First we must determine what kind of shopper you are. If you are not organized enough to have to deal with a little purse of coupons, or have hours to spend price comparing in the grocery store, then we can start here. The easiest way to save is with your frequent shopper cards and make them work for you versus just having them dangling on your key chain. Kroger and Bi-Lo offers you Fuel Perks. The money you spend in the store earns you a few cents off your gas purchase at each visit. You can also download coupons to your rewards card and when you check out, they automatically take the savings off your final purchase! BiLo even offers you double coupons so you can save twice the money. I know right! No clipping, no coupons and you don’t have to seem like a crazy cat lady who makes quilts and jam.

Saving at the grocery store isn’t your only option. Crafters have long been saving at Michael’s, Joann’s and Hobby Lobby. The great thing about craft stores, if you have a coupon from another store, they will honor the discount. We can take it one further. If you are a teacher, you can also get teacher discounts at Joann’s and save an addition 15%. These programs are also available at Staples and Office Max. No matter what you are into, if you look, there is a coupon, a Groupon, and Living Social break. If you have a smart phone, you can download coupon apps and have discounts and bargains at your fingertips.

Now, I can understand if all of this couponing is far too much of a commitment, then here is the perfect solution, just price compare. Use that smartphone to help you make some smart decisions. There are several bar code scanners that will scan the price, and give you the best deals in a 50 mile radius, including online.

There are all types of coupons to help you save money when you want to dine in or dine out. Find out if your favorite location has a frequent shopper program or a loyalty program. I am one who believes in getting my money’s worth and each day I am out looking for ways to save money, cut lost and reduce my back end, literally and figuratively. You can find the savings approach that works best for you or you can search on Twitter and search under coupons. You can get real time updates on savings.

I have looked into Coupon Suzy and a few other sites, but those are more regional. The economy isn’t going to turn around on its own and in the meantime and in between time, I am working on some Christmas quilts for my great nieces and some jam from some pears my friend send over from her tree. Happy savings!

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Romance is Dead

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I want to believe, I really do, but after listening to non-satellite radio, I am convinced that romance is dead.

I want your ugly, I want your disease, I want your everything as long as it’s free.” – Lady Gaga

What the bleep? This is not romantic music.

I don’t blame the music industry.

I don’t blame lame TV shows that require you to get a rose in order to feel relevant.

I don’t blame movies for forgetting how to get it right.

I blame women.

Yes, you, Ms. Bring a movie and pick up some Chinese food for our date night. That is not a date; that is a booty call. When did we as women stop feeling as if our feelings mattered? Why is it that we no longer want him to be able to ignite our fires, but we are okay if he can just buy a match. However, this cannot just be one sided, my ladies, when was the last time you even got close to the oven to get him heated? He needs as much romance as we do. Enough of the puppy love and unadventurous dates, time to add some spark to your repertoire and some spark to your weekend. Date night is about to get grown up. According to Men’s Health Magazine online, there are lists, and lists and more lists on how to get it right. There is a list of what women believe makes the perfect date. If you can’t get it right, you can at least get close.

Now this is a good start.

Granted, not every date can be expensive or extensive; sometimes the best dates in the world can be at home. I have inserted a nice link here for you to find ways to get your romance on in your own home. What I am suggesting here is to use your imagination to exercise your romantic elbow. Flex that sucker and give the person in your life a chance to remember why you are together. We are not talking about putting on a pair of your best Victoria’s Secret gear, or showing your pole dance moves, this is about getting into your partner’s head and saying I appreciate having you in my life. I want you to take a minute to re-evaluate why you wake up next to this person, how you got here and remind them that your heart is still beating and romance in your mind is still alive.

I will leave you with this link that gives you 100 great date night ideas. While you are on your date, I challenge you to learn one new thing about your partner, date or mate. You cannot honestly know how to romance your partner if you do not fully understand with whom you are sharing your life. I want to believe that romance is alive. Come back and share with me why you also think that romance is not dead but alive in your life. I can’t wait to read your comments and just in case, here is your red rose to let you know you are a keeper.


I Feel Cheated

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I was excited and ready to read my favorite author’s new book. Normally, I don’t really say anything negative about a book or a particular writer, but I feel cheated. I paid $20.00 for Julie Garwood’s latest book, “An Ideal Man” and was sorely disappointed. Of course, there was man meet woman, man rescues woman, burgeoning chemistry, they fight it, hot steamy sex scene, man rescues her again, they get married, have more sex, the end. All of the basic, formulaic elements to each of her stories are present in this one. I feel cheated because it is the same characters that were in the last four stories, the only difference is the location and the crime.

Ms. Garwood, I feel like you phoned this one in. I am a fan and have read everything you have ever written and I feel cheated. I want you to do better. I want you to stretch your writing ability and reinvent yourself and please your readers again. This stuff is fine for people who are just discovering your magnificent talent, but for those of us who have been with you since “The Lion’s Lady” want more. Well, at least I do.

Allow me to elaborate.

The main character in The Ideal Man, Max Daniels is an FBI agent, who falls in love with a gifted surgeon that he was protecting. There is a hitman that was hired to kill the surgeon. They go on the run and hide in South Carolina. There is also a crazed man after them who also wants pretty surgeon girl dead.

The main character Nick Buchanan in Heartbreaker was an FBI agent assigned to protect his best friend’s sister. Nick falls in love with Laurant who is being stalked by a crazy hitman that was sworn to kill her.

In Mercy, we meet Nick’s brother Theo, which works for the Justice Department and falls in love with a gifted pretty surgeon who is being stalked by the same hitman that was after Laurant.

We meet Theo’s pretty surgeon wife, and her brother John Paul.

John Paul, hates the FBI and law enforcement, but runs across a pretty damsel in distress and kills the hitman that has been drug through these three books. However, this damsel in distress is an analyst for the FBI. Another character drug through the three books is character named Noah Clayborne, FBI agent. Noah, falls for Nick & Theo’s computer genius sister. Jordan is stalked by a hitman and FBI agent Noah has to save her in Shadow Dance.

Their other sister Sydney has a friend who is in trouble and needs to be protected from a hitman, or mob guy or some dude who is trying to kill her ass too. Along comes the handsome FBI agent Sam Kinkaid in Sizzle.

Stop the madness.

If you really want to stretch yourself, why not write about the one African American sub character in Ideal Man, Simon Daniels?

He is a football player, who has an FBI agent brother, but at least we get a new angle. Something fresh, but of course, his father is an attorney, with FBI friends.

Ms. Garwood, if you are reading this, I love you and will always love you, but damn it woman, I need you to dig deeperI Get out of the FBI’s pants, walk away from law enforcement in the next book, and give us a man, who wants to be loved and is rich and famous, and have him be swept off his feet by a poor church mouse waitress.

Hell, have him pretend to be poor to get closer and win her over. Make it a happy ending and he buys her a diner, but please, for the love of Pete, Nick, Theo & Noah, give us something fresh.


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Getting Past Being a Snob

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August 27, 2011

Taken aback by the attack of the sales person in the store, I stood there aghast when she called me a snob.

Me, a snob? What did I do?

I am a deep complexioned woman and therefore there will never be an occasion for me to wear canary yellow shoes. My lack of enthusiasm in trying on something that I will never buy, let alone wear, does not make me a snob, it makes me a smart shopper. After quickly explaining this to Sales Lady from Hell, she told me it wasn’t just the shoes, it was my whole demeanor. She further went on to say that my “aura” from the moment I walked in the store was air of superiority. My eyebrows went up. I breathed deep and I assume she expected me to attack her with vicious words.

I merely asked, “When did you stop dreaming?”

She shut the heck up.

Her attack on me had nothing to do with my aura, my feelings, or even the canary yellow shoes. Her attack was on my confidence and the lack of her own. There was something in my ability to say no to a very aggressive sales person and not be intimidated, rubbed her all wrong. She felt she needed to cut me down to size. She needed to let me know how she felt. She had words that were burgeoning in her brain that needed to be unloaded on me.

Me, the Snob.

I will admit I am a bit of a snob for I am always seeking new opportunities to blossom. I also limit the amount of negative energy I allow to flow through my body by reducing the influence of processed trash to enter my system. This includes reality television. This includes bad wine, processed foods, drama queens, drama kings, individuals with poor judgment and those who always want you to listen to their problems. This makes me a snob? No this makes me smart.

I am a dreamer. I like to think of new ways that I can grow, evolve, and continue to learn.

I have read Beowulf in Olde English and I even laughed when I read the Canterbury Tales. Yet, my some of my favorite writers are Julie Garwood , Janet Evanovich and Dianne McKiney Whetstone. I like diversity. I love literature but I appreciate great characters and a good storyline. I also love Elmore Leonard, and local authors. I am not a snob, I am a reader.

I deserve the best in life and I also deserve and opportunity to try to better myself. I will not do so at the detriment of another. Although my dreams may seem to some, large, but I have a large imagination. I have traveled to four of the seven continents and plan to do the other 3. I want to enjoy the fruits of a life well lived and therefore I can not stop dreaming.

Did you stop dreaming?

Have you accepted that there is nothing on television and instead of picking up your old favorite hobby, you sit there and veg out on the REAL Housewives of Spoiled Hell?

Stop it.

Get up, walk into your craft room, extra room, laundry room and find that hobby that you put down. Pick it up and think about the projects you want to work on and the projects you have not finished. Think about the things you told yourself five years ago that you wanted to do and write down how far off you are and what it would take to get you back on the road.

Today is your day to become a S.N.O.B. Today is the day for you to seek new opportunities to blossom.

You can get past being a snob by actually following your dream and making it blossom.

A new dirty word

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A  new dirty word

By Cheryl Aaron-Corbin

             Initially I think I was deluded into believing that students had changed.  As an educator, we hear every excuse known to man and few new ones made up for women. Yet, recently, I learned a new dirty word that goes across any genre, any board, and even across generations; that word is accountability. When did we stop being liable for our actions? We can now let the finger pointing begin.

            There is the school of thought that rationalizes wrong doing by compartmentalizing our actions. Saying that oral sex is not in fact intercourse, and because intercourse did not occur, one can stand before the American public and emphatically state, “I did not have sex with that woman!.” Or we can fast forward to the new millennium, and place our playthings in a house in the desert along with our love child, and hope that no one finds out that the love child is a month older than my child. Naturally, it wasn’t his fault, because his wife, at the time, was pregnant, moody, and not paying him enough attention.

            We hear it in songs, where singers tell their mates, “Blame it on me, and say it’s my fault” in which she encourages her cheating spouse, to say that she’s a liar, a cheater, or say anything that he wants.  This codicil was made under the supposition that he would be leaving in haste. Has it come to a state where we accept the bad behavior and excuses just to rid ourselves of the headaches?

            This does not work for me. I think we need to want more, and we need to do better. I teach a customer service class where I taught my students about their communication styles.  I taught this lesson under the premise that if you consistently receive bad service, then maybe it’s time to look at what you are putting out. If your attitude is “stank”, then the response of those serving you will be matched. Further, a student who consistently has poor attendance, does not pay attention in class, and can not for the life of all that is wholly, turn in a consistently formatted document, ends up in tears, then is it my fault?  According to the student, the fault lay with me.

            In the litany of her tears, I was accused of being harder on her, unfair in my assessments of her work and last but not least, she was able to read my disapproval of her in my body language. As the professional and the only adult in the room, I stood back, folded my hands across my lap and took a deep breath.  I calmly asked, “What about you?” Perplexed and confused, she stopped crying and looked at me as if I had just passed gas. When I asked if her lack or preparation, typing the speech in class as others presented their work, while being the only student who was still reading her speech in Week 7, and turning her back to me was an indicator, did she take any accountability? Of course she did not, because she had a list of reasons why she was not prepared, and of course, since I did not like her, she tuned me out.

            I give up. I hereby am selling licenses to any who are interested in becoming a Professional Dumbass Assessor (PDAss). Why not, the country is loaded with them, you live next to one, work with several and probably have dated a few. As a carte blanche card holding aficionado, you will be licensed to speak to your mind and call a spade a spade.  And here is the best part; the fine print on the back of the card says that you are not accountable due to your Tourette’s.