Caverns and butterflies


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This past weekend I enjoyed visiting one of the oldest caverns in the United States right here in sweet home Alabama.

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I went with my boyfriend and our sons, a total of 4 of us trekking on an adventure. Naturally I am out-gendered, however I know how to run with the boys and even impress with my ability to keep up… in a few instances be in the lead and one moment, questioning my sanity, riding with the boy on a flip you upside down ride. I was actually proud of myself as I didn’t say any crude words just closed my eyes and laughed hysterically. I’m just thankful my man didn’t photograph or video that! Leave it to my 5 year old to want to ride that!

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Neither of us adults had been there in over 20 years. We learned that they had moved the main entrance; stairs are a liability, and also closed part of the cavern due to flooding. I think it made us both feel better because neither of us remembered going in the way we did. I thought I remembered a lot of stairs too. It’s kind of sad they had to close it off but it was still as awe inspiring and fun as it was when we were kids.

They’ve added a mini movie and a laser light show. Although amusing, the light show was kind of cheesy but still fun.

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We did get some awesome photos of the cavern, the scenery outside and of course ones with the kids being kids. His phone is newer than mine so the photos were better but we laughed at the photos we took of the same things from similar angles. It makes me want a camera or a better phone!

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We also visited the beautiful butterfly house. We went towards the end of the day so there weren’t too many people in there at all but the four of us and what seemed like a hundred butterflies. It was so beautiful. Sometimes it is nice to just observe the beauty.

Sometimes you need to just get out and go. Don’t worry so much about all the “chores” that need to be done because they will eventually get done. You don’t always get that chance to just enjoy the beauty in our natural surroundings. Take it when and while you can.

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Keep hope alive!

 

Who takes care of those who have no one?


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Working in the field I do, I often wonder, who takes care of those with no families? I think of how challenging it must be to find good help for our older generation. Most people are on a fixed income of some sort and filling out forms and documents are challenging for anyone, no matter what their income is.
A friend of mine and I were discussing the filling out of Medicare forms and how if you leave one little thing off or check the wrong box, it throws the whole application off and you have to basically start over.
It is beyond frustrating for people who are completely cognitive and somewhat able to follow the convoluted directions given, whether online or written; however, for someone who has no one to ask or turn to for help, it would be a complete nightmare. It is a nightmare for many who know what they are doing and who can do it themselves or have families, but what about those who don’t? What happens to those people?
Have you ever visited a nursing home or assisted living? Have you seen the people in the common rooms and hallways who don’t know you but always wave and smile at you like you are a ray of sunshine on a rainy afternoon after long days of storms? Chances are half of those people have no one. No family or close friends. Their contact is with the caregivers, residents and people who come to the facility for entertainment or to see others.
Any time I am going through to see someone I make it a point to say hello to everyone I see. I wave or say hello depending. Sometimes I know a lengthy conversation can ensue and I know how to handle that situation yet I still open myself up for conversation. One thing I always get is a smile or hello in return. I was even asked to a dance and also a marriage proposal from one of those hellos!
Recently I decided it was time to change my insurance for myself and the boy. Since I no longer work for a corporation, when I was let go, I was given the option of cobra insurance. For those not in the know, it is the same plan you had, just at a much higher premium and coverage lasts for anywhere from one to two years. I had the two-year option, but it is too high so I am finally getting around to changing it. I also was making an appointment for a MRI and checking to see if the dental insurance I pay out the wazoo for had paid for a regular office visit from July. I was on the phone for 5 1/2 hours! And I get to call back on the insurances and MRI next week because of course things can’t be done when some folks say they will be done.
I was so very frustrated and still am. It’s annoying as hell and I have to make myself stop and ask myself again, “Who does this for people who have no one?”
Every one of the people I have cared for have families. Even if it’s “extended” family they have someone(s) that can help them out through most of the madness.
That includes getting groceries, toiletries, cleaning, help with bills, finances, insurance.
I have seen people who have families that you would expect to be helping but then don’t and the person ends up losing a car or getting their power or phones turned off simply because the bill wasn’t paid. There was money in the bank but the bills were not paid. They are supposed to have someone yet no one was paying attention to them knowing they need help. That straight up angers me to the core.

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Again, I wonder, who helps those who cannot do for themselves?
I have purchased food for families standing in the grocery store parking lot. I have cried with them as I gave them what I would have considered “not much” but then they had nothing and were so grateful to have something to cook for their family and promised me they could “make it work.”
I volunteer with a local group who helps provide children with Christmas and things people may be in need of throughout the year. I believe there were 2 or 3 house fires and countless people losing their jobs as well as family members taking on children for other family members. People who need immediately and there isn’t always an option to wait for assistance from the local or state government.
When I hear of someone in need and know of something I or someone I know can do to help I get make it happen. It may not be everything they need but they are grateful for the step in the direction of something.
But it still isn’t enough!
Right now we are facing hunger, poverty, homelessness and people without medical care in our own communities.
We are also being asked to help others who are seeking refuge from evils in their own homes and communities. There is a split census on what should be done about these humans who did not choose to be driven from their homes and country. Some believe we can give help somewhere closer to their home country. Others believe we should allow them into our country and communities.

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It is still the same question, who takes care of those who cannot take care of themselves?
To my knowledge, we don’t choose where we are born and our circumstances. If that was the case no one would choose to be born into hunger, poverty, tyranny, have no medical care or nowhere to home. No one would choose to be born into violence, hatred, servitude or oppression.
I know and understand taking care of oneself is a challenge. Taking care of yourself and your family adds even more stress. But I also can’t help but think of those that I can help in addition to myself and my loved ones. It may be in small ways, maybe not all the time but I can still make a difference.
I pray that others will feel their humanity and find it within themselves to help just one person this week. Not to “look good” by being philanthropic but to do it because it’s the right thing to do.
It is something which is a whole lot better than nothing!

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Signing off giving y’all some food for thought and a boat load of happiness on this fine, cold Sunday!
I hope you all have a fabulous day!
Keep Hope Alive!!!!
Lady Maos

Sunday Peace to You All


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Sunday’s child is full of grace.

I often think of this as I was born at 3:42 AM on a cold Sunday morning in December. I am sure my mother was not thinking about being full of grace when I entered this world at that time of the morning!

I try to go about being graceful, but there is a reason I chose the name fabulousgracelessness, it describes me so well.

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I hope that today we all find a bit of grace.

I hope today we all find a bit of peace.

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I hope today we all find a bit of happiness.

I hope everyone remembers to keep hope alive!

 

 

It’s Thursday!!!!


One day closer to the weekend.

Thursday is just kind of hanging out there.

Not too much is said unless you get a long weekend and it starts on Thursday!

Although it seems to usually be a pretty decent day when I think about it.

For example, tomorrow I just have to do a bit of work, drive to the country, write and enjoy life!

At least I am trying to put the positive spin on it.

The boy leaves for his camping trip today.

I did get to see him last night at karate though. He got his green belt. I’m both proud and impressed as he is a handful and most of the time he does what he’s told and follows direction. Of course not ALL the time. He’s almost 5 and is constantly on the move and in conversation!

I told him I would come and he would go home with daddy or his other grandmother and he was fine with it. I told him when he came back from his week vacation with them that we would go to the beach and he ran yelling though the house, “We’re going to the beachhhhhhhhhhhhhhh!” Yes, just a touch excited and loving the beach like his mama!

But then he cried and said he didn’t want me to go home without him.

Even though I KNOW he is going through this phase of turning on the tears to get what he wants, it kills me a little inside to not be able to say, “Ok kiddo, let’s go with me.” It isn’t how it works with this scenario and he knows it too. And not that he gets away with it around me, I invented the “turn on the tears” to try and get what I wanted when I was his age!

So I sat in the car and shed a few tears, then went and got my mama and we had a lovely dinner at the Olive Garden,

The boy is camping with his other family, probably being like lord of the flies and eating the filling out of the Oreos and putting them back in the package and having a blast.

I am working and writing and trying to find a bit of peace in my mind.

I hope you are able to find a bit of peace and/or sanity today as well.

Or if you’re starting your weekend early, please have 2 for me!

We are almost to the end of this crazy week!

Never forget to Keep Hope Alive!

Have a fabulous Thursday and stay graceless my friends!

 

Just Keep Swimming!


*If you haven’t seen finding Nemo I am just sorry. I can’t help it. Things get stuck in my head and become part of my mind.

 dory swimming*Dory’s song in “Finding Nemo”

 In my mind this is my Keep Hope Alive motto on another level.

I love this song and I love the movie.

I love Dory.

One of my favorite exchanges between Dory and Marlin are when they are in pitch darkness looking for the mask)

Dory: “Are you my conscience?

Marlin” sighs “Yes, I’m your conscience. We haven’t spoken for a while. How are you?

Dory: “eh can’t complain.”

Marlin: “Good. Now. Dory, do you see anything?”

Dory: Yes, I see… a light. Hey, conscience, am I dead?”

Merlin: “No. I see it too.

I love Dory’s outlook, her friendliness and eagerness. Just the way she zips through life. Caring but sometimes missing a few details. But always happy!

I know people aren’t like characters from a movie, especially a talking fish with memory issues, but there are some folks that do share a few or three of similar traits as movie and TV characters.

We’ve all known Spicolis, Carries (both the scary one and SATC), our Rick’s and Blanche’s and Sauls. There are hundreds of characters and people we’ve admired and laughed with onscreen.

Ironically we find them, or a version of them in real life.

From absolutely the coolest folks you’ve ever met to bat shit crazy put up cameras to see if they are coming!

However instead of focusing on the crazy ones or the righteous ones, why not find the fun ones. The ones maybe a bit off but so endearing and well-meaning they sometimes get overlooked by the bigger fishes out there. Pun intended sort of!

Like Dory. Or at least adopt the attitude she has.

Never give up and just keep on swimming!

What do we do? We Swim Swim Swim!

Keep hope alive my fabulously graceless friends!

Enjoy your day and find a bit of happiness if you can!

And please, enjoy the song “Just Keep Swimming”!

You’re welcome!

 

My Sunday Hope


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I hope your day is beautiful in some way.

I hope that you find a bit of happiness in the spaces.

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I hope that you can find your center, for even a moment, and that you be filled with peace and tranquility.

I hope that you find love.

I hope that you find laughter and joy.

But most of all I hope you can find some peace.

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Wishing you all a beautiful Sunday my Fabulous Friends!

 

Hiding Out


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I see you there.

Hiding out.

Hiding from me.

From everyone.

Right out in plain sight you stand.

Trying so hard to pretend you aren’t there.

Trying to pretend that your illness doesn’t exist.

Doesn’t show.

You talk and act as though nothing is wrong.

You’re the life of the party.

The one who’s always “helping” out.

Your stories are filled with all You do and Your life.

How You are Always the one “everyone” turns to.

Your adventures.

It’s always about you.

Yet you hide out when things get tough.

You hide from the confrontation.

You hide from the truth of what has taken over you.

You hide.

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You think that I do not see but I do.

You can keep on hiding out.

I will keep on knowing.

Because I promise you.

You aren’t the first and you won’t be the last.

I just hope you will get the help you need.

I hope you will find the way to your happiness.

Hiding out is no way to exist.

So just try to make an effort to find your way back to health.

Find your way back to happiness.

Find your way back to you.

stop hiding

 

Happiness, History and Hope


This has been one of those wild, non-stop, emotionally charged, deliriously happy, historic, filled with hope exhausting days!

Technically it is now Saturday but since I haven’t been to sleep yet it’s still Friday night for me ha!

My morning started off a bit crazier than I would prefer, but I felt it in my soul it would be awesome. It was Friday, I was happy, the boy and I had/have plans for our weekend so all is good.

Then I am shopping for a few items in the local store and am inquiring about a movie I am looking to purchase for the boy (James and the Giant Peach – a classic). The young man helping me is 20 and we are discussing old school toys which are still awesome and he was impressed I shared with my son those toys, movies and I was just being me when I get The Text “SCOTUS rules marriage bans unconstitutional, marriage equality for all!

I literally shouted, “WhooooWhoo” out loud and started getting happy tears and dancing….then remembered I was talking to this really nice dude and so I tell him why, being kind of gentle with my words because I don’t want a confrontation, though you can tell he was open minded and whatever I had learned, it just made me happy. He looks at me a minute and tells me, “You are so cool I wish you were my mom…I hope that doesn’t sound creepy!” I just hugged him!

First of all let me say what this means to me.

My child will be able to grow up in a world I did not have.

Equality. For Real.

When I was a child it was a “sin” for couples of different races to marry. I never understood this and always went to my daddy with these kinds of questions. I understood he didn’t always agree with people, but he was one of the most honest, compassionate, genuine and fair people I have ever known. He cared for everyone involved in a situation.

This was a subject he and I had discussed several times together.

Coming from the deep south where it’s a “sin” just to be different, I valued his opinion and he was very respected both in his personal and his business life.

I was always questioning things, rooting for the underdog and generally trying to figure out why people couldn’t accept others for who they were.

He told me the fight for gays and marriage equality was very much like the civil rights movement in the 60’s and 70’s.

He would know. He stood up for what was right and believed in those who could make a difference and do a good job no matter the color of their skin. He fought to make the industry in which he worked here in Alabama equal across the board. Black, white, male, female. We were all equal in his eyes.

Though he did not agree with the gay lifestyle per se, he did understand their need to be equal and as human beings they deserved the same “luxuries” we are all given.

He had strong Christian values and told me “He wasn’t God and it wasn’t his place to judge.”

This is why I love and miss my daddy every day.

I think he would be proud that I am standing up for what I believe in.

That I choose to teach my son ALL Human Beings are Equal finally in the eyes of the law.

I have always taught him, and continue to do so, that everyone of us are HUMAN. We are all the same creatures who have different faces and personalities. You may not like everyone, you may not agree with everyone, but you need to respect everyone from a human standpoint.

We haven’t gotten into some people you just have to step away from yet!

I KNOW there is still a long road ahead.

I know there are battles to be fought.

I know, and it saddens me, that some people will resort to violence and hatred to get their point across. Needlessly.

However I Never thought I would see this ruling, this historic moment in history!

Happiness fills my soul for so many friends and a long battle finally coming to an end allowing anyone to marry the one they truly love.

It gives me hope to think of our future of more tolerance.

That my son will hopefully know less hate and have more compassion for others.

He doesn’t see “color” unless he’s referring to “my skin is white or golden when I get sun. Mommy’s skin is light brown but when she gets sun she gets browner but not as brown as my friend Nicolas at school he is brown brown.” It is only a description of his friends and people. I will teach him no different because it is beautiful and real the way he sees the world now.

Yes happiness, history and hope.

Love wins.

It does my soul good to feel all three in a single day!

Have a fabulously graceless Saturday!

I will be enjoying ribs and home cooking with friends this evening! All in happiness!