Made it through becoming more me to Friday


hellooooooo friday

I wish you all a beautiful and fabulous Friday!

This week has been a heck of a week and I am thrilled that I have made it to the end of the week alive!

deserve a medal friday

It’s been emotional and stressful but also fulfilling and full of love from my famriends and especially the boy. It has been a week of me becoming more me. That is a very good thing!

never changed became more me

I hope that everyone slides into the weekend with the happiness bug and no broken bones!

Keep Hope Alive!

 

 

 

Know when to fold ’em


I have this “flaw” that sometimes gets me into to trouble. When I meet people I tend to trust them and give them the benefit of life if things are awkward or something. This especially true for people who are friends of friends or people I meet again after not seeing for many years.

I do have a BS meter that goes off if someone is straight up not “right” and I can feel if something is “off” with 95% of those people. Sometimes one or two may slip through, but for the most part I am a trusting person.

Many years ago, many, many come to think of it, I learned to play poker. I was always decent at the game and enjoyed the fun of playing with friends. I have never been a serious gambler because I can’t afford it!

gamblin

About 12 years ago, a group of my peeps and I started having a game night once a week at the “Booty” family house, because, frankly, most of us hated going out to clubs and where a bunch of drunk, sweaty folks were and we would rather be closer to home. Plus a few couples had kids and we wanted to all get together and it was easy and fun. After about a month we started playing . Texas Hold ‘Em mostly and I loved it! I loved playing and hollering, “Gamblin’!” when I made a “big bet”. We were all pretty broke but the pot size could get up to $50 or even $100 from a .50 buy in, so if I was gamblin’ why not make it fun?! Plus, all the guys all read up on Poker and strategies and statistics. Us girls understood the rules. Yes we had to have a little “cheat sheet” that told us if having all the same suit with five cards in a row was better or worse than 2 jacks and 3 aces, but that was only for a few months. We never read the books we just played by “feeling”. Sure we lost some but you can bet I won more than I lost because I didn’t have much to lose! If I lost out I could sit on the sidelines and still chat with my friends.

not perfect

I am not into playing head games or mind games. I don’t have time for them nor the patience. I am pretty straight up. I don’t lie or cheat. I am a big believer in karma. I may not always give away my hand, but I share what I can with those I am close to.

I will cover for a friend in a heartbeat. I will give them the benefit of the doubt. I will go the extra mile for them. I do not “share” their life or things they tell me in confidence with others. That is a part of what makes these relationships so special. It is the trust and understanding of who we are as human beings and how we gel. I don’t get into putting down friends with others who don’t like each other. It’s just not me. In fact, I have had some people leave due to the fact I choose to remain friends with others. Relationships I still have to this day and don’t miss those who left for jealousy or misunderstandings because they were too petty to realize that true friendships are a beautifully, rare thing and you don’t just toss it away because someone else doesn’t like it. This isn’t grade school and we aren’t choosing sides.

i love my crazy friends

Some of my best humans on the planet I don’t hear from on any kind of “regular” basis. I can think of 3 right now that I haven’t spoken to in many months, yet if they called or I called, we would pick up conversation where we left off. I am thankful to social media in that respect because we can at least see parts of each other’s lives. I have other friends that we haven’t seen each other in years yet we still talk, text or email randomly. If something happens, we find a way to be there for each other.

I am often perplexed and shocked at some people who act as if this is some sort of weird animal mating ritual instead of how I am as a human in my relationships.

You know how you meet people and you just feel they are good people? They may be struggling and you talk and find things in common, help each other out. Then out of left field they just leave you hanging with your mouth open because in all that you talked about you didn’t seem them acting like that.

This is a recent experience of a girl I met. She had transplanted here, was looking for work and putting her life back together. I could see the good in her. We talked a good bit and I helped find her work. She waited to start due to the changes in her life and I respected that. When she said she could help out I believed her. When she didn’t show to cover the one shift I really needed her for I was floored. The text and calls later in the day and days following were just pathetic. I went back looking for signs I missed in texts and emails. I found them in the inconsistencies I chose to look over as “she wasn’t thinking” or “maybe she meant this” instead of the blatant disrespect of myself and others.

Every once and a while it happens with others too, but not so much. I’ve learned when to fold my hand and sit back and chat and when to gamble.

I still choose to gamble in this game of life and end up with the pure joy and blessings to have some amazing relationships in my life. People I know beyond a shadow of a doubt I can count on. I mean jeez, I have to be able to trust my own gut instincts! If I have to fold, I can only hope we get the chance to sit off to the side and talk before walking out the door.  It doesn’t leave me jaded, it just makes me double check those new players who come into the maos.

friends

I’m thinking it’s time for another hand… keep hope alive!

 

Fabulous Friday and still going


happy friday forget the bad.png

Even though I have to work this weekend, I am so thankful it’s Friday! Celebrate!

It hopefully won’t be as active as this past week and I can maybe not go as much  because this fabulously graceless chick is a wee bit tired.

wk wkend batmans

Sometimes you are expecting things to be hectic and maotic. You expect Murphy to show up and life to change your plans.

What you may not be expecting is so much of it all in a 4 day period! You aren’t expecting the extras, though you should as you know how this game of life works. You definitely didn’t need that little memo about more things to do and people flat out disrespecting others and the cruelty of some.

We made it to Friday! That my friends is why Keep Hope Alive is my mantra. Because even in the storms I will find a silver lining. The phone calls I got to make and talk to those near and dear. The time with the boy, even when he’s having a moment and it’s unpleasant, the full on love and hugs he freely gives. Time with new people and being able to see things from a different perspective. Those moments that can make you stop and have to catch your breath and then plan on how you get through it.

The fact that we woke up this morning and are facing the day. The miracle of something as “simple” as that.

I hope you all have a wonderful and fabulous Friday!

have a beautiful friday

Keep Hope Alive!

Happy Sunday!


As we come to the end of this long, challenging week I wish you hope. I wish you happiness in your heart and soul. I hope that you have found precious moments in this life.

I hope you got to enjoy friendship, laugh so hard your belly ached and/or got puppy kisses. I was lucky enough to get all three. I also had several hardships,  a few challenges thrown that were more daunting than I imagined and some plans go south. I was able to find the good in everything even in the dark times. I know that I am not alone on this journey of life. I know I have people I can turn to and trust when I ask questions or make statements that are out there. I know that no matter what I say, my true people are there for me. Cheering me on when needed and calling me out too.

I wrote a post earlier this week how life can change in an instant. It can. It does. Never take things for granted. Never take people for granted.

I hope you all have a fabulously beautiful Sunday!

Keep Hope Alive!

A Sunday well spent, reflecting and just being


sunday well spent

Greeting and a fabulously happy Sunday to you all!

I hope that you are having a most excellent, relaxing, enjoyable, semi stress free day!

It can be so hard to “relax” and take it easy when you have so many responsibilities, things to do and people to see. People you want to see and some you don’t get to see as often as you would like. Plus, there are also the reminders in the back of my head to ready myself for the upcoming week and all that it brings. Sometimes the hardest part is just allowing myself to relax, enjoy and be in the moment because I tend to keep planning for things to do. It’s in the vein of “stop and smell the roses” and take time to just enjoy where you are right this minute. Not constantly being in motion like I tend to try and do.

This past weekend my body chose to make me “stop” and I had to realize I needed to just smell the roses or suffer the consequences of not taking care of myself like I gripe to others about doing! It’s frustrating when you want to do things and you just can’t. You make sure your get your main chores and duties done but anything else is a bonus at this point, even it if needs to be addressed. Sometimes you just can’t get it done. Guess what? That is OK. You will live, the earth will still turn and life will go on. Your family, friends and loved ones will understand that life happens and not always the way that you would hope for it to be.

I was originally going to write about reading the Sunday paper, of which I finally finished last Sunday’s paper on Friday, and how it can be so revealing to learn more about what is going on in your community and state. Lord have mercy I love my state but sometimes I wonder what the politicians are thinking. Are we really going back 50-ish years on certain issues? The pulse here today echoes strangely to the beat in ways as it did back in the 1960’s. Once again my home state is under public scrutiny, and rightfully so, for their stance on segregation and choosing to follow they laws through their own interpretation. Seriously. It makes me cringe.

Several months back I received a phone call about race and segregation and if I felt things were better, worse or unchanged than they were in the past. It was a poll call and I enjoyed talking to the lady who was asking my true opinion. I was my honest self. I told her I could see improvement for the better, however it wasn’t enough and I saw more disrespect from others than I stupidly thought I would see when I moved back to my home state last year. That on the surface it seems like people are more tolerant and understanding of one another and that there was more compassion for our fellow human, but I realized far too quickly that that was sadly an illusion. You can bet I have added it to my “topics” to be written on!

dont quit daydream

I am very blessed in my life to be surrounded by so many amazing humans from so many diverse backgrounds. True, quality folks that accept me and I them for who they are no matter what. These amazing humans are around the state, a state or two away, across the country and across the seas. When I say I am blessed I truly mean it. I have been able to have some of the most amazing relationships with people on so many different levels. It transcends “friendship” in so many cases. We don’t see color, flaws and short comings as “deficits” in each other, but openly discuss and talk about real life and more about building each other up than tearing each other down. We can’t always talk but when we do we pick up right where we left off, flowing smoothly into what works for us. I work to do this in every area of my life. It is not always easy. I am my own worst critic of how I should be versus how I am.

But I never give up and I always Keep Hope Alive!

And I pray to the few of you that are kind enough to read my ramblings, that you have a fabulously graceful Sunday. That you find an inner happiness and a joy in the moment. Whether it be just sitting and reading and relaxing or spending time alone or with those you love. Just find a bit of beauty. Never give up of this adventure of life. ALWAYS KEEP HOPE ALIVE!!!

lion graceful

A blue bunny kind of Thursday


So my jeep has been in the shop for a while now. I am worried that the “Blue Bunny” may not be suitable for me any longer and I dearly love that vehicle!

It is far from a luxury car, but it is mine, bought and paid for. It seems, however, that it’s days of carting me and mine around are limited.

I purchased that jeep when it was just me and my big love dog, Jethro. It has a manual transmission, aka manny tranny, and lots of quirks but I was in love from the test drive.

b jethro

I started receiving recall notices, little things like windows, buttons, etc. after the boy was born and took it in the first time when the passenger rear window got stuck in the down position. At first the dealership tried to claim my kid had worn it out, but seeing as how I had him in a carrier and he had limited head control, much less the ability to repeatedly push the button to roll down the window they conceded it was probably due to the defect of the system. Ya think?!

Then, about a year and a half after the first time I had the window repaired, the same thing happened. It got stuck on the passenger side in the down position. It was winter and cold, like 23 degrees outside cold. I took it back to the dealership and told them of the problem.

Let’s just say things did not go well for either of us, and I had to pay for a new part for the window they “repaired” with the recalled parts they were given to “replace the bad ones”. Whatever. My kid is still in a car seat and can’t reach the button for the window. *Ahem.

Of course I had to do the usual maintenance, fluid changes, tires (several times as I drive a lot and yeah, I think I am an Andretti descendant at times), even a new windshield, which I lived with for quite a while before I dropped the cash to fix that.

Moving along I came to the decision to move back to the motherland with the boy and dog. I figured it would be easier to do the majority of it myself to save funds.

Logical right?

So I started packing and planning and realized I needed a hitch on my jeep as I figured I would at some point need a trailer for my move.

I take it to the local U-Haul and schedule a time for the hitch to be installed. Since it was during the week and I worked, I had a co-worker take me up there so I could have them install the hitch while I am at work, go back to work and come back when they finished as it was less than 5 minutes away.

I get to the U-Haul, walk in and tell all these “young” guys why I am there. The cockiest one walks up, snags my keys and smirks, “I got this.”

I just smiled at his other 2 co-workers and said, “He’s kind of confident. That’s going to be a good thing to have in life.”

As they looked at me oddly, he returned via the back entrance with a sheepish look on his face. His co-workers quickly inquired as to if he was ok and if the vehicle was ok. Of course the vehicle was fine. The problem? He couldn’t drive a manual transmission, stick shift or anything like it. If it wasn’t “automatic” he couldn’t drive it!

It turns out only one of them had ever even attempted driving a vehicle that wasn’t an automatic. All of the trucks they rented were automatic.

b gearshit gfriend

Wow, just wow!

There was only one that had attempted to drive a stick, and yes, I let him attempt it again but he couldn’t do it. He had the true humor to tell me he was temporarily turning in his man card because he now knew he needed to know how to drive one.

The other two pretty much hid from me more or less.

I had to back my own vehicle up the ramp so they could install the hitch. Their manager was coming over from another store to get it down and they would call to let me know when to pick it back up.

I had to say I laughed long and hard about that one as did several of my co-workers and friends! I still do. I mean, really, you take your vehicle to get something done to it and all of the employees working that shift could not drive it because it is not an automatic?! I cannot make this up!

I’ve had so many great adventures and good memories in my “blue bunny” so named for its color and general happy feel!

My boy had one of those walkers that had the jeep look on it and that was done randomly and not because of my jeep. I have a photo somewhere of him in his walker behind my actual parked jeep. See below.

b jeep

I have lived in 2 states and driven through 7 in the bunny.

I know her quirks and oddities like I know my own.

Of course I paid it off last year so it’s just Murphy and his laws again messing with me telling me it’s time to move on. But this one is hard for me.

I have so many great memories.

My dog, Jethro, who is no longer on the planet with me, rode all over the southeast in that jeep.

My dad got a kick out of it and we talked about how I always wanted a jeep when I was younger, but he was worried then that I would flip it with my driving skills at the time. My dad is no longer here either.

I got the Blue Bunny and 14 months later had my boy so I carried both boy and dog in the jeep back and forth from the park to the house and to visit family.

I know that sometime soon I am going to have to make a decision on what to do about her.

I’ve been blessed to have a “loaner” minivan that is quite cool. Words I never thought I could ever put into a sentence and mean! It’s “loaded” as they say and my boy likes it better than the jeep. I mean ALL of the windows roll up and down, there’s a sun roof, space, good on gas and oh yeah it has DVD players in it.

We took it on our trip to PA and even with 6 humans and all of our crap we had space. We even discussed, other than hitting laundry mats and grocery stores, we could just keep driving and take a trip around the country. It is that comfy and cool.

But still, I will miss the Blue Bunny once she goes.

For now, I can still keep hope alive that I can squeeze a bit more time out of her.

b bluebunny

For nostalgia’s sake if nothing else.

Memories last forever.

Have a fabulous graceless day!

 

 

 

 

 

The Mid-Week Hustle


Welcome to the midweek hustle!

If you’re reading this, you’re still breathing so be happy!

You may be going through a rough patch, hell, it may be a rough month/year but you are still on this planet breathing in and out, so be grateful.

So many have not made it this far.

I know personally it has been a challenging week for me.

I have been blessed to have wonderful humans in my life to help drag me from the brink and take care of me. Even when I think “I’m fine” and I am being stubborn they seem to keep sticking around.

I spent part of my weekend with my girls in Atlanta and oh how I needed it!

We didn’t “do” much, we did have a birthday party for a dear friend, but as far as getting out and doing things, no that didn’t happen other than dinner one night.

I didn’t go to sleep before 3:00 AM either night I was there!

I wish I could say I was up dancing and partying, however since I was up late 2 nights, anyone that knows me knows that isn’t possible!

I did, however, enjoy awesome, silly conversations with my friends, covering every topic we could think up! From our fashion faux pas, relationship, politics to what were are planning to eat, we discussed it all. We laughed until we cried and kept going. Let’s just say I was not an early riser those days!

I spent the rest of my child free time working, cleaning and with my someone special. We will see where it leads but I have a lot of hope this time around!

The best part of today is my boy comes home!

I have missed that little booger!

He’s went for his final week with his dad and grandparents and I know he had fun as I got updates, but golly gee do I miss him when he is gone.

Also today will be crazy hustle as early scheduling for work and then karate with my boy, then we again go to our happy place at the beach. Another fun family vacation! I wish I had my cousins and brother, sister-in-law and nephew going too as it is a lot of fun with so many helping hands, but we will have fun no matter what.

So I wish to end this on a happy, full of hope kind of note.

Always remember to Keep Hope Alive!

Stay fabulous my graceless friends!

Lady Maos

My lifetime love of books and reading


I love to read.

I love to read just about anything really.

When I don’t read I feel like I am lost.

A ship set adrift on an ocean of silence.

I can get lost in a book.

Yes a real, honest to God book with paper pages.

I do read on the computer, the kindle, my smarter-than-me phone and iPad.

I still enjoy the newspaper and magazines.

But a book is what can calm me.

Can make me loose myself for hours. Days.

I get so caught up in them I feel as though I am a part of another world.

I find my moods sometimes run the course of the characters while I am reading.

So reading something soul scathing or “horrifying” can twist my mind.

My train of thought never strays far from the pages I am reading and I find myself talking and thinking in the manner of the characters I absorb.

No I don’t get all psycho crazed serial killer, motherless, faithful, happy human on people… like I said I read a bit of everything!

But I can’t help but wonder how they would think, talk or react in situations or conversations I am in.

It’s like they become real.

Maybe it’s because I started reading at such a young age.

My imagination took me to magical places. Dark places. Places most of my friends didn’t visit mostly due to the things I learned in the books I read.

I read The World Book Encyclopedias and others of the same genre because I had access to them.

Before the internet I remember sneaking into the adult section in the library.

Not to read the love stories or the erotica, though I did read those, but to real the real life stories they didn’t necessarily allow in the kids section.

It’s like they wanted to hide us from the realities of life.

I remember reading Amityville Horror when I was around 12. I had to hide it because I would have bad dreams and it was definitely not something this 12 year old girl needed to be reading with my vivid imagination! I remember I would jump when the house would creak. I was a rebel hiding my books so I wouldn’t get in trouble!

It was close to the time when the original “Poltergeist” movie came out. Yeah, I totally freaked myself out! Between that and Cujo I was definitely on my way to loving horror movies and books were something I could do anytime and almost anyplace.

I learned to read in the car to tune out my brother.

When I got in trouble and had to go to my room I read.

Can’t watch TV? Read a book.

I can actually say I read more than I watch TV.

I went years without cable only watching the occasional movie and TV at friend’s homes. This was when I was an adult!

I also have no choice but to finish a book. I can’t not finish. Maybe it’s my OCD or maybe it’s because I started it and I have to finish it. Even when it’s horrible writing and painful to get through I have to finish.

When I read I learn. I look up things that I don’t understand and still have a dictionary, not dictionary.com, to look up words if I am unsure of the meaning.

Some call me odd and that’s ok.

I would rather read than talk to people some days!

I urge you to read something.

An article, a book, whether printed on paper or electronic reading just read!

In enriches your world!

Have a fabulously graceless day!

 

Songs, music and the patchwork of my life


Anyone who knows me knows I have an issue with matching songs to artists and vice versa. Heck, I may not even know all of the words to a song but it’s got a loop so I will sing said loop and often learn that is not what is being said at all. Also said loop will get stuck in my head and drive me crazy!

That all said I am not the one you want for musical trivial pursuit!

However I do love music and of course songs will play somewhere, the grocery store maybe, and I recall that time of my life.

Like memories, we have songs that can do place you somewhere else in time.

Both good and bad memories, some even bittersweet.

Like the song “Yellow” by Cold Play.

Go on those who really know me be impressed!

I love that song.

I also associate it with heartbreak and the ending of a time in my life that I thought would never end. I also see it differently as it was played at a close friend’s funeral. So fitting really. He was a DJ and it was one of his favorite songs. He was also engaged to my then sister-in-law.

So yes, it has a deep meaning for me.

The boy and I love Queen, pretty much everything as I am educating him as I can and his dad has a greater collection and introduces him to other musical genres as well.

We love “We will Rock You”, “We are the Champions” and “Another One Bites the Dust”. Yes I am all about the classics.

We rock out to those some mornings going to school.

It’s one of the few times he gets to hold my phone! But whenever it comes on the radio or in the store, he squeals out “Mommy our song!” so we sing and dance if possible!

Recently it was “Ice Ice Baby.” Oh yeah word to ya mother!

We had video and a dance party.

A part of me was dancing like I was in a club, yet dancing in the kitchen with my kid! I was laughing at the hilarity of our dance and the memories and knowing I am making new memories with him now from songs I enjoyed.

I have learned I have to pull up the lyrics as some songs aren’t quite appropriate for a 4 year old!

Some radio station was playing NIN “Closer” and bleeped out the inappropriate parts.

He caught that. So he asked me what they were saying. Oh joy!

I actually had to pull up the lyrics because, again, I could not recall them word for word and they play it on the local rock station often.

Talk about getting creative!

The “I want to f*%$ you like an animal” became “I want to play with all the animals”.

“I want to feel you from the inside” became “I want to see you inside” like the house because that’s rational for him, he was 3 when he first heard it. Fortunately through the whole song I make up and sing loudly new words to cover the blank spaces if he asks!

I never thought a lot of the “profane” language in songs until I had my child.

It never really bothered me and it still doesn’t. I just have to really censor what he listens to!

I had to change a fabulous Tool song recently because there was no way I could fill in all the blanks they left out on the fly and he was upset because it had a “really good beat of the rock and roll” as he puts it! Yes it does my son, but I really don’t want to explain why you heard certain words and I definitely am not ready to explain certain adult content to you yet! He may be almost 5 but really I am just not ready to subject some things on him. He will already hear and learn more about the world than I did at 5 because there is so many outlets to get information!

Another favorite of mine is “Me and Bobby McGee” by the late, great Janis Joplin. I am a huge fan and even do karaoke with that one and a few others.

It reminds me of my youth and life in general.

How I once could just GO if I wanted to and how people can slip away in the blink of an eye.

It also comforts me to sing and it’s one of my go-to songs.

Like “Amazing Grace”. I always sing it acapella but can play it on the piano.

It was one of the first songs I learned on the piano and my daddy’s favorite song.

I long ago stopped singing in public, other than the occasional karaoke or family/friends gatherings, but I sang that song in front of a few hundred people at my daddy’s funeral last year.

He had asked me if I would sing it at his funeral and I promised I would.

I sang acapella and I sang it to him, to my family and friends.

I blocked out everyone else and just sang my heart out through my tears.

I still sing it now, I have sang it to the boy too since he was a wee one, but it can be bittersweet.

I’ve gotten better singing it to him, I don’t cry as much, but sometimes the tears still happens.

He will always take my hand, kiss me on the cheek and tell me, “You know Pops and I love that song and we love you singing it, right Mommy?!” To which I cry a little more but they are happy tears. And somewhat a little bittersweet too.

I guess you could say music is the patchwork in my life that fills the void with sounds of my memories.

Have a fabulous day!