Good manners and kindness should be a part of everyday life

Growing up in the south I was taught from an early age to mind my manners.

Yes mam, no mam, thank you mam please. It was a little chant I was taught. And of course yes sir and no sir.

I was taught to be polite, respect my elders and not interrupt others when talking unless it was an emergency. I was taught to think of others and to be kind. Failure to mind my manners could find me in a lot of trouble with my parents and grandparents.

I still say mam and sir to people, both younger and older and even my age. It comes from getting in trouble enough that I just said mam to all females and sir to all males. It isn’t always easy and I do slip up sometimes, but for the majority of the time, I stick to what I feel is the right way to be.

I am teaching my boy to “mind his manners” and raise him the way I was raised. Sometimes it is a challenge.

It seems to many, that manners and being polite and kind to others isn’t on the top of their list of priorities.

This is something I truly cannot understand. I realize that the mam and sir are more southern, but manners and consideration of others is something that should matter to everyone.

We have a society of “me” people. People who seem to forget or don’t care about others. If you ask them “Would you like a drink?” we get a “yeah sure” instead of “yes, please.” Still 2 words but just nicer.

My boy is 5 and when he gets excited he sometimes forgets and interrupts myself and others. I gently remind him to wait and he will apologize. What is sad that so many adults feel like they have the right to interrupt anyone and say what they please with no regards to how it may make someone feel. If adults do this and children see it, why wouldn’t a kid mimic said adult?

We need to think of others instead of being so selfish. We need to stop and think before we open out mouths. We need to be a bit more compassionate towards others.

Tis the season to help others. Why not start with the first person you see today? Why not try to at least go out of your way to be nice and use your manners every day for the rest of the year? It isn’t that much longer, only 2 more weeks.

I challenge you! Maybe it will stick with you and you will carry it over into the new year. Just think if everyone helped one person a day and said kind words and used their manners for the next two weeks how many people could be affected? It would be a bowl full of positive. It’s worth a try!

Keep Hope Alive!

We can do this!


Happy Football Saturday!

Happy football Saturday!


Here in sweet home Alabama it is a Big football day for the Crimson Tide!

We play LSU and I have to say to my LSU friends, I love you but we need to understand it’s a game and I will be hollering Roll Tide no matter what the outcome of the game is all day and night. It is the way it is.

al vs lsu

Maybe because when I was younger I went to an Alabama vs LSU game with my sister, her dad and brother. Alabama was losing badly and when we scored 3 points I jumped up screaming and hollering, happy my team had scored at all, when this absolutely ass of a fan next to me screamed for me to sit down and shut up. Shocked I sat down but still clapped, looking sideways to my left at this jerk of a human. It was a football game. I was used to the rivalry between Alabama and Auburn. I enjoyed it and whomever won I’ve always enjoyed the games. I know that we were playing poorly but come on, I wasn’t up in his face like he was mine taunting me about how crappy my team was. (Actually it was pretty raunchy and I was about 14 so it was kind of shocking to me but I played it cool.) It seems I wasn’t the only one watching him. Both LSU and Bama fans were watching as were my sister’s father, brother and security.

When we scored again getting us a tiny bit closer to their lead I lept up screaming with glee! That’s when the shit got real. Mr. LSU Jerk of the Year jumped up and grabbed my arm and screamed, “I told you to sit down and shut up!” He also included a few more adjective I won’t subject y’all to but you get the drift. The next thing I knew I felt my body being lifted and pulled to the right, saw people approaching from all sides, and then saw him lift his arm to hit someone, but he quickly went down! He was escorted from the game by officers. I was a bit shaken up but continued to scream for my team even though we lost that game.

The ride home was surreal. It seems Big J, sister’s “dad” and Little J, her brother, had moved her and got to me in seconds and were going for the jerk. Apparently, unbeknownst to them, security and several fans, of both sides, were waiting for him to blow and jumped into action when he grabbed me and started screaming at me. I will forever be grateful to all of those folks who jumped to my rescue.

I continue to look sideways at crazy football fans after that experience. Being from the south, I understand how important football is. How being loyal and believing in a team can feel. You share your wins and losses and always remain true. Well most people! I understand the rivalry and the thrill of it. The good natured teasing and hopefully claiming the champion title. I GET IT! I do.

al lsu crazy fans

But sometimes folks take it way too far. They get mean. They really hate people for their love for another team and their loyalty saying they can’t understand why they love that team so much when theirs is so much better. I have to wonder if they don’t look at themselves for that answer and reverse the question! Then sometimes that take it way to far, like grabbing a kid because they don’t want the other team to score at all even though their team is beating the crap out of them. They don’t want Anyone on that team to have any happiness and joy so they try their damnedest to control it.

Guess what? It never works out well.

I did learn there are some great LSU fans out there. Quality folks who I have met, befriended and enjoy the usual rival during football time. No matter who wins, we always have our friendship.

I guess I am trying to say no matter who your team is and who you are playing or don’t like, remember there are real people on both sides that care not only about the game, but other people as well. So when you say you hate *insert team* you are saying that you hate everyone that stands with them. Then you are ostracizing an entire group of people over a football game. You could be missing out on potential friends, spouse or employers. Now due to your hate you could possible damage happiness in your own life. Not such a good idea and definitely not healthy!

So everyone let’s try to remember we are all human and this is a game.

smartest man roll tide

That being said ROLL TIDE BABY! Let’s bring it one! No matter what let’s have Fun!

heart and soul roll tide

Always Keep Hope Alive!



Can we try to be nice?

Let’s just take a time out and stop assuming about each other. Why don’t we also stop judging too along with unrealistic expectations for others. Life is not a competition people. So why does it seem people seem to think that if they can’t find you, you don’t answer in their time frame or in a manner they feel is “right” suddenly there are assumptions made that are not even close to how reality is.

I don’t understand why folks let themselves get in a tizzy over something that they have made up in their head about you. Or they take it to another level and suddenly someone is a bad person and they are passing judgement on someone. Whether or not its you or someone else, why do we tend to think the worst of people? Why can’t we have a little hope, no matter how many times they’ve screwed up. or not, that they are handling issues of their own and it isn’t about you or anyone else for that matter. They are just trying to handle their life the best they can and don’t need anyone telling them how to live their life. I don’t care if you live with them, there could be things you don’t know about.

So let’s save the judgements and assumptions, scratch that, let’s just do away with them altogether. Try giving folk a break, turning the other cheek and not being such a tattle tale. Once we get past a certain age, we are considered adults. It would be a better world if people would just remember not only that they are adults, but the golden rule of “Do under others as you would have done unto you.” A much, much better world.

Imagine it.

Keep Hope Alive!

For Aaron

Today has been truly like a bizarre nightmare.

I woke up early to talk to my sister because we don’t get to talk often enough as she lives up in “Yankee” country and married a Yankee and has 2 half yankee, have southern kids…. well they’re not kids anymore at 25 & 26, if they’re older I don’t just no, they are still my babies too! So we chatted, partly while I was still hiding under the covers because I was going to sleep in just a little today but you never know when it could be the last time you talk to someone.

I had no idea what to do as a post. I had grabbed my List o Topics where I constantly write down ideas but I wasn’t sure as my emotions and ideas have been all over the place since earlier in the day.

My “to do” list, which I write nightly, yes with a pen and paper not keyboard to screen, had 5 things to do not at home and 4 or 5 for home including writing my blog and other articles.

So I got up, got my coffee, read a little, started doing home chores and getting ready to go out and run my errands on my to do list. “Normal” stuff. I made a few calls, did some research, pretty boring normal stuff.

Then shortly before I am out the door I receive a text from my girlfriend that one of the “kids” we raised with her and twin sister’s sons had died.

He was 17 and had just graduated barely a week ago. He was a triplet, had an older sister, parents, awesome grandparents and the world ready and waiting for him. He was genuinely a Good Kid.

But it seems that Life wasn’t meant to be.

Shock. I was definitely in shock.

There are 7 definitions for shock as a noun on but I’m only listing 4 as 5-7 are about regarding the pathology, electricity and the informal “shocks” as in suspension for automobiles.

  1. sudden or violent blow; collision
  2. sudden or violent disturbance or commotion – as in: “shock of battle” or in my case “shock of news”
  3. a sudden shock or violent disturbance of the mind, emotions, or sensibilities – as in “the burglary was a shock to her sense of security. The book provide shock. nothing else. In my case “the news of his death was a shock to her as she had helped nurture and care for him as a young boy.”
  4. the cause of such a disturbance – as in “the rebuke came as a shock”. For me – “News of his death came as a shock.”

I continued talking with my friend and left for my errands. I could handle this.

I passed one store on the way to the school (payments have to be made even if the boy’s on vacation) plus I could hit it on the way back. I had started crying and needed a few minutes to “collect myself”.

I made it to the school, sun glasses on and ran in and dropped off the tuition.

Back in the car, tears again. Crap. Breathe.

Made it to the health food store and chatting with the sweet girl working there, but the conversation turned weird as I blurted out “Sorry I am not quite right in my mind as one of the kids I helped raise died and I am obviously not handling this well.” Yeah awkward! I got my potassium and got out of there!

I could not go anywhere for at least 15 minutes and all I had left in that area was to drive through at the bank. No “public” oh joy! I got this one.

I still had the grocery store but I could make it, I knew I could.

Then I realized I left the list for the grocery at home so I called mom to ask her what I had said earlier, I knew I needed 4 items but was only coming up with 3. Go figure.

She was happy to help me remember for a change (haha you’re welcome mom!) but having that mother’s intuition, asked me something if I was ok and I told her about our suave little man Aaron.

Surprisingly I held it together as I told her and recounted the details I had seen in print.

That him and family and friends had gone to the beach on vacation.

How a bunch of them swam out but he got caught up in the rip tide.

How it took so many hours to find his body. His tough little body.

How I could not imagine if it were my son.

How I could even have such a selfish thought like that when I know his mommy is mourning for him as are his brothers, sister, father, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and more friends than a lot of kids had – both young and old.

He was such a truly special little guy.

He is gone forever.

Death is always hard no matter what the circumstances whether you knew the person who died or not. It is also hard when you hear about it and you may not be close to the person, but a family member or close friends. Or sometimes it’s when it is a situation that hits close to home for you.

For me it was a triple whammy.

I knew Aaron.

I know his family and a lot of his friends.

I now have a child the same age he was when I met him and his brothers.

So my afternoon has been kind of “spotty” as to getting things done.

I let the waves of grief come as they will for I have learned some things you can’t hold back.

There are times when you really shouldn’t try to hold it in for it can become like a cancer inside you that you don’t notice if you have “compartmentalized” your feelings for too long. I have learned this too.

So today, tonight, as soon as you see or talk to someone you care about at all, just let them know it.

Friends, lovers, family – just tell that person they mean something to you even if it’s “glad you’re still sucking in oxygen” or “I love you”. Just tell them.

You never know if you will have that chance again so make sure they know.

So Thank You to Each and Every Human who reads this post.

You are Fabulous in your own way.

You made my day by reading this.

And I really truly needed to get this out there.

AARON MILLER may you Rest In Peace. Pain is temporary, Glory lasts forever and Chicks dig scars my Little Suave Friend. We will all miss you and your sweet, funny spirit so much!

Maybe now I can pull it together enough to get a few more things done.

Keeping Hope Alive through the laughter and the tears!

Stay Fabulously Graceless My Friends!