If you can't say something nice, at least make it funny!

Thanks for visiting Tinfoil Magnolia, a blog about my life, times, marriage, friendships and all the strange things that happen to me and with me. I hope you find something here that will encourage you, inspire you or at the least entertain you. And if it doesn't today, check back tomorrow because, my life? honestly...

Saturday, December 29

Manly what???

I have several email accounts. I'm not so sure I'm very different from most people. I have my work email, my personal email and then a couple of "junk" email accounts. I know you all know what I mean.

They didn't start out that way. I might have really intended to use my gmail account when we dropped Comcast and I knew I'd need an alternative. Whatever. But then, you sign up for a couple newsletters online. Or enter a contest. Or get a "frequent buyer" card somewhere and they need your email.

I don't want to have all that coming to my work email. And if it went to my personal email well, I'd never see my important personal messages for all the spam and advertising and such. So, my gmail became the toss away email that I just use for registrations, contests, giving to strange men at the liquor store. What? Like we all don't do that.

I don't ever really really check that email. I open it almost every day. Anything I can see on my screen I'll scan to see what looks interesting, but I never scroll down past the first few messages. It has to be something to really catch my attention.

So, you can pretty much guarantee that if I'm going through my email and I see a subject line that reads "Manly cat photos" I'm gonna click on it. I mean seriously? Manly cat photos? I have got to see what that's about.

Visions of cats in 3 piece suits danced in my head. Cats driving race cars or on the gridiron. Perhaps playing poker or hockey.

What I found? Was this:

 and this:  

and even more disturbingly, this:

He's wearing a bow tie. Not even a scaled down one,  a big giant floppy bow tie. Oh, the humanity.

Well, just go here and check them all out. Somehow, I think CALLING them manly somehow makes them even less manly. And just, well, disturbing. I think "Men and cats" could suffice as a title.

And I don't want to take anything away from the photographer. She looks like a super-cool chick, and they are all staged and lit impressively. I just personally find them to be disturbing. Oh, so, disturbing. Especially the one with the kitchen scene.

Stay classy, internet. As for me I'm gonna go order me some "Dogs playing poker."

Friday, November 23

TGiving. And other stuff.

Thanksgiving? Well, it's done and over. It's not what it used to be, crowded out of the holiday lexicon by that bitch Christmas. Black friday, midnight shopping, standing in line at Best Buy or Wal Mart rather than being home with kids, family, grandma, etc.

Hyper extended families have made for scheduling nightmares; I know so many families that celebrate days even a week after the actual holiday in order to have absolutely everyone there. Once upon a time we had 4 meals to eat, ending with a traditional meal with friends, booze and wine that started somewhere around 8 pm and concluded when everyone passed out or stumbled home. That was the best way I could ever think of to wind up Thanksgiving.

When we left Nashville and moved to Pa. we tried to come home for holidays, but the trips were just too long and we eventually began making our new traditions. Turkey breast for two, dinner with friends, and eventually just mentally giving up on the big, giant Thanksgiving idea all together in favor of a much more introspective take on the holiday.

Lots of people have spent time this November posting things for which they are thankful in honor of Thanksgiving. While I totally appreciate this attempt to maintain the spirit of the holiday, I have not been participating. That's because, well, I think every day about what I'm grateful for and write it down even.

I've kept a gratitude journal for about 8 years now. It's nothing fancy. It's not even all in the same place. But (almost) every day, I make a conscious effort to think of 5 things I'm grateful for and put them down in black and white. It's much easier said than done.

After a while, you feel like you're out of things to say. Husband, wife, kids, church, house, car, job. These are things that are easy to be grateful for. They are what you think of first. However, when you do this on a sustained basis, daily or at least several days a week, you really have to look deeper than that. It is difficult.

Mine has really evolved over the years - becoming almost a diary of feelings. The things I am thankful for have evolved from things and people to experiences and emotions. Curiosity. The ability to communicate well(most of the time); being able to pay bills (even when just barely). Sometimes I'm thankful for things I've not yet been able to achieve. Patience. Calm. Acceptance of faults. Other times I'm thankful for opportunities I'm given. To talk to high school kids about how many options they have out there. To meet leaders in the community who spend their lives working to make a difference for others. To write a story about someone who wouldn't otherwise be recognized for doing something amazing.

I would encourage everyone to try this year round, not just in November. It helps you recognize what the feeling of gratitude is within yourself. It helps you focus on finding more of that feeling, and focus on the positive things in life rather than negative all the time. The giving of thanks can be done anytime, anywhere. We don't need permission, laws, holidays or even a notebook or computer to acknowledge the amazing things that we have in our lives.

That being said, Thanksgiving, well, it used to be a holiday with big family dinners. Extended family, aunts, uncles, cousins. Lots of yelling, screaming, laughing, joking. I do miss that, I miss seeing my cousins and aunt and uncles. But now my cousins have kids and grandkids and big family dinners of their own to enjoy. Which is great for them. I personally am thankful I don't have kids and grandkids. I love my little family of friends, that's all I need.

But Thanksgiving, I'm sorry. I didn't even eat turkey or pumpkin pie this year. I've failed you. Maybe I'll drag it out to include Sunday and we'll just pretend you didn't get trampled by Christmas again.

Today I am thankful for:

New friends I've met recently while doing community theater. They have given me a new energy and helped me realize how talent (and friendship) is found in the most unexpected places.

My job. I've been struggling a bit lately, mentally, but after being (unwillingly) unemployed for almost 3 years, I've now been at my job for just about a year. While it isn't perfect, I don't complain. Where we are financially now compared to a year ago, well, it's amazing and I am beyond grateful to be employed at all, much less in a job where I write and take pictures for a living.

My creative spirit. Sometimes it is a bit hard to control or reign in. Usually it is impossible to understand. Always it is annoying to someone else. But it's me. And I'm grateful to have finally found it after 30-some years of pushing it away.

A child-free (by choice) lifestyle. Kids just are not for me and I know in my heart we made the right choices when deliberately deciding not to procreate.

and while we're at it-A country that allows me to have that freedom. To choose a method to prevent unwanted pregnancy. Because I'm a grown woman and I should be able to make that decision for myself.

Yes, overall, I have a lot of gratitude for a lot of things. This is just one day. But everyday I say one thing to myself as I am falling asleep at night. "I LOVE MY LIFE" And it's true, I do. It's not perfect, it's downright messy. I have issues- medical, mental, emotional-who doesn't.

But I also have the opportunity to change, improve and challenge all of it. And that my friends is what life is all about. Not things staying the same, but rather things changing. Because when you struggle to find things to be thankful for, I promise you, with change comes opportunity for gratitude.

Saturday, October 20

Enough about me...

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word.

Click the link to read the other entries-good stuff over there! This week's prompt word is: tremble.

Each week I talk, I write, I photograph. I capture moments in time that will be forgotten as soon as the papers, tossed in a corner and bound for recycling.

Capturing that one moment of small town life, it's amazing. For me, getting to tell someone's story is an honor.

A cancer survivor, wounded veterans cycling across the state, an artist with disabilities showing his work in a local exhibit. This was my week.

I am always humbled by the task of putting what I feel into words. I tremble in anticipation of the Wednesday delivery. It's my judgment day.

Saturday, October 13


Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there!

This week's prompt was inspired by last week's advice from Kurt Vonnegut and continues the thought of finding your voice.
Every character should want something. Even if it is just a glass of water."
This week's post takes the same scene as before and shows it from another character's perspective. I hope I've captured that in this post.

Pacing, he wondered how long it would last. She was terrified of being restrained in any way. He couldn't stop thinking of the torture he knew she felt.

But she had to learn.

He stood watch outside the door all night, heard her struggle as she drifted in and out of awareness. If only she would relax and calm down. Sunlight flooded the kitchen. He checked his watch.

It was finally quiet, wind chimes playing in the breeze. His hand was hovering over the doorknob when he heard her whimper. He walked away, shaking his head.

She had to learn.

Wednesday, October 10

Sixty Years

Every week as part of my job I edit the Society section of our newspaper. Now, in a town as small as ours, I tend to think of it more as “society.” But anyway... Each week I see announcements come through for someone's wedding, anniversary, class reunion, new baby, etc. Oh, and obituaries, too.

This week I found myself writing an announcement for my parent's 60th anniversary. Now, knowing them, it was difficult to write. I am used to people bringing in something already well written, or a form that holds the pertinent information from which I can cobble an announcement.

As I was writing it I realized that I know precious little about my parents and how they got married. I mean, I knew they sort of eloped and didn't have the big fanfare wedding that so many of us do. (guilty!) I thought they got married in Missouri. Or something like that.

Now, most announcements go something like this (names and events are totally fictional):

John and Mary Smith will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Saturday with a reception at Whatever Church at 2 p.m. John Smith and the former Mary Brown were married Oct. 1, 1962 at the Holy Church of Getting Married in Franklin, Ky. in a service performed by Rev. Snodberry.

The Smiths have four children, daughters Angie (Bubba) Jones and Helen (Frank) Rosenstein; two sons John (Mervis) Smith, Jr. and Bill (Arizona) Smith; The couple has 10 grandchildren, Anna, Bubba Jr. (BJ), KiKi, BeBe, JJ, John III (Trip), Penelope, Dexter, Roseanne and Willie. They also have 3 great-grandchildren. All reside in Franklin.

After the reception the couple has planned a skydiving trip. All friends and family are invited to attend.

No joke, I actually got a 50th where they were planning to skydive. Anway, when I read these and don't know the people, I imagine a great big loving family. I always think, now if families could just be like that, you know? Who knows what the truth is.

So, I write out my parents' announcement and it goes something like this:

Jack and Geneva Peyton recently celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary with a small family dinner at their favorite restaurant. The couple was married Oct. 6, 1952 in Ringwood, a small town in northern Illinois.

The couple has two children, Marsha Herndon and Steve Peyton, and one son-in-law Mitch Herndon.

Hm. Yeah. So to recap. I have no kids. My brother never married AND he has no kids. And I didn't plan a party for them because we did the 50th and they insisted they didn't want one.

WHO is a bigger failure at being a daughter than me?

It seems precious little to put out there to show for 60 years of marriage. I realized that we do measure a family by not just the people, but also progeny, activites, involvement, etc. It just doesn't tell the whole story, now does it.

I realized that perhaps if we wrote the truth in these, they'd tell more of the story. Be much more interesting. I found myself rewriting mom and dad's in my head to be something like this:

Jack and Geneva Peyton recently celebrated 60 years of marriage. Sadly, there was no party to celebrate because their daughter was “too busy” to plan something and said she “just had one ten years ago” and wasn't that enough.

The couple was married on a cool October Saturday after working all week and looking for a place without a 3 day waiting period. Their third attempt was successful and they obtained blood tests and a marriage license in Ringwood, Il and were married on the spot by a minister who was out working in his yard.

Although they wanted more, the couple have only two children. Daughter Marsha and son Steven. Much to their regret they have no grandchildren. Their daughter “doesn't want them.” They are also greatly disappointed by her leaving the church and feel she will burn in hell. Son Steven repented and returned to the church after a long absence. So he should be ok. He's found god, now if only he could find a good woman.

This of course is my own self-destructive thought process and should in no way be interpreted as theirs. Maybe it's my interpretation of how they feel. Possibly based on former events and conversations. Not that they'd come on out and say it. Anyway....

I do really love my parents and wish that I could be more of what they want out of a daughter. I'm really not a bad person, they just had other ideas for me. I'm simply not capable of it. And anyway, their raising me made me who I am so I owe them many, many thanks.

At the very least, they deserve all the riches in the world for making a marriage work through 60-damn-years! 

Saturday, October 6

A glass of water

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challenge, hosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. Click the link to read the other entries–good stuff over there!

I've been on a long hiatus from the challenge, and blogging too I guess. However this week blog-friend Lance inspired me to step up. 

This week's prompt was inspired from advice from Kurt Vonnegut and inspires us to find our voice. 
Every character should want something. Even if it is just a glass of water."

She lay on her back as the ceiling swirled above her. Her throat dry as a Texas summer, tongue stuck to the roof of her mouth. Shutting her eyes she tried not to think of the sweet, cool relief only 20 steps away.

Day was breaking, casting thin slices of light around the room. She heard trees rustling as the breeze blew through them. She willed her limbs to move but they refused; there was no slack in the rope.

Swallowing hard, she wished he would return but knew he would not. He was fond of teaching her these lessons.

Wednesday, August 1

They are anti-gay and that's not OK

To all those people who spent hours of their life waiting at Chick-fil-a today. Great. Good for you. You waited an hour or two for a tasty sandwich that you can get tomorrow or Friday or Saturday (but not Sunday). What did you prove, exactly? I'm just curious what people's thoughts are on this because me? My time is precious. Far too precious to spend on a cause that does nothing for me, but continues to line the pockets of a millionaire.

No one here is challenging Christians. No one is trying to lock the doors of your churches. No one is trying to drag you out on Sunday to do anything. Anything. Other than play golf and watch football, apparently. Maybe mow the yard.

If you don't read any further than this, please know. No one is asking you to give up your faith.

Do you want to know about persecution? Ask the family of the teen who was made fun of and bullied until he took his own life. Ask the partner of 25 years who has no rights when her loved one dies. Ask the women whose career is wasted in a company that will never pay her the same as a man. Ask the kids who have to live with the mental and physical scars of having been sexually abused. Ask any citizen of the Muslim faith or who doesn't look like white America.

Ask the woman who excelled at her job-was given high, high reviews-and was not only denied a promotion, but advised to “resign” from the company to “focus on her family”. Wonder how she now feels about Chick-fil-a? I'm willing to bet she was oh, so thankful to CFA for that little bit of Christian charity. Bet they miss that 2nd income.

Ask the group whose company function CFA refused to cater. Ask the potential franchise owners who were quizzed about their Christianity. Heck, ask Dan Cathy, who in an interview in early 2011 said it himself:

“Let me be clear, Chick-Fil-A serves all people and values all people,” Cathy said. “Providing food to these events, or any event, is not an endorsement of the mission, political stance or motives of this or any other organization. Any suggestion otherwise is just inaccurate,” he added. This was in an article in which, interestingly, Cathy said the company was "dropping its support for anti-gay marriage groups."

Three weeks later he said:

“Chick-Fil-A's Corporate Purpose is 'To glorify God by being a faithful steward of all that is entrusted to us, and to have a positive influence on all who come in contact with Chick-Fil-A.' As a result, we will not champion any political agendas on marriage and family. This decision has been made, and we understand the importance of it.”

Or in November 2011 when he said:

“While my family and I believe in the Biblical definition of marriage, we love and respect anyone who disagrees.”

To this most recent, emboldened statement saying he supports the “biblical definition of a family” and believes Americans have a “prideful, arrogant attitude” about gay marriage that risks “inviting God’s judgment on our nation.”

Hm. Wait, which Mr. Cathy are we listening to here?

So, gay marriage-two men committing to one another for life-is going to bring judgment. But child molesters who are allowed to get away with it for years won't? Especially when they work at the church. Or are football coaches who cover up for child molesters. Or a mother who kills her children in the name of god. Or bombs an abortion clinic killing all inside. No juding there I guess.

Listen, folks. I stopped eating Chick fil a a long time ago. At some point in 2008 after learning of several very credible instances where the company had refused service to gay groups. Now, everyone who doesn't know the full story is making this about something it's not. People are not boycotting Chick fil a because they don't believe in gay marriage. They are boycotting because Chick fil a is anti-gay. Because they donate to christian organizations that sell a “cure” for being gay. They donate to groups who actively lobby against laws that would equalize the gay community. Because they actively work to undermine people who have made life choices based on who they are and who they love.

So, you stood in line and ate your delicious chicken sandwich. Sooooo so delicious. Not much of a sacrifice for your anti-homosexual beliefs, eh? All I can think is that there was probably someone in a nursing home who might have welcomed a visit. Someone in the hospital who might have been read to. Someone who needed a home cooked meal. There are just so many other ways to spend two hours, says the woman who isn't even a Christian. If you don't like gay marriage? Don't marry another dude. Or woman, as the case may be. It does nothing to destroy your marriage. Unless of course you're gay and denying yourself the truth that is you.

Chick fil a isn't anti gay marriage. They are anti-gay. And that's not OK.

And to the person who unfriended me on Facebook simply because I expressed my opinion, I didn't know you were still my friend until you wrote that you were unfriending me over a statement about chicken and christians. I stand by what I said, and I won't miss you at all. I already turned off your hateful, right wing comments over a year ago.

Saturday, July 21

My week on the Bizarro Bus-First Stop

I am curling up here, fetal position, in my own little corner of the internet this afternoon. It's been a rough week. Sometimes things people do and say frustrate me to no end. Other times it's just too scary. Most days I am overwhelmed by sensations out in the real world. Passions, beliefs, feelings and the things they cause people to do.

I've had a lot of things kicking around in my brain this week, which usually causes me to slip into a mode of not giving a shit what anyone thinks and craving an outlet for those thoughts. It's actually why I began writing this blog in the first place. Why I am not on here much anymore is anyone's guess but I'd say it's as much a lack of structure and discipline on my part as it is just having a busy life.

My week started out with frustration about a story that has been dragging on for years in my former town of Murfreesboro TN. At some point, post 9-11, local Muslims sought approval for a piece of land to become a Islamic Center. Sadly, this sparked some outrage in the community and horrible things were said and done during the "debate" over the issue. When all was said and done, the opposition when accused of being opposed solely because it was an Islamic center, ended up saying it was due to the "size" and "traffic concerns". Which didn't stop the community's mega-churches and/or ginormous WalMart, but I digress.

Since I don't live there anymore, I'll be honest, I had lost track of where everything stood until this week when, again, this week Murfreesboro made the news for embodying everything that is wrong with America. While admittedly I don't know all the specifics, apparently now that the Islamic Center is complete and they have spent the money on construction, furnishings and the like in that community– there are still people trying to block them by holding up their occupancy permit. A legal ruling made by a Tennessee judge (who had nullified the county's approval of the building) was overturned by a Federal Judge, by the way.

If you're interested in hearing what the Murfreesboro Muslim community has been through in getting approval on their 12,000 square foot community center, this page of The Tennessean will tell you much more accurately and succinctly than I ever could.

But what I'd like people to think about is this:

According to The Tennessean, the opponents to the Islamic Center "have claimed in court that Islam isn’t a true religion and that local Muslims want to overthrow the U.S. Constitution and replace it with Islamic religious law."

How unbelievable to me. How arrogant. And how hypocritical. What good is it to live in a country that is admittedly a proponent of "freedom of religion"....FREEDOM OF RELIGION.... the freedom to practice (or not) your religion as you see fit?

It is just soul crushing to me to see right there in black and white the way in which many residents of this country see freedom of religion as "freedom to practice your religion– as long as it agrees with mine" or "freedom to voice any and all opinions on religion–as long as it isn't ANTI religion, and your opinions agree with mine" or "freedom of religion only when we understand and approve it".

Can't we just be the least little bit accepting and open? Even to things we don't understand? Aren't we past that? Do we seriously think if there were a terrorist cell in Murfreesboro, TN that they would spend money on a brand new 12,000 square foot Islamic Center in the middle of a God fearing community? C'mon folks.

More about stop #2 on my Bizarro Bus this week later. I have to go be domestic for a while.

***blogger note: I have about a bazillion friends in Murfreesboro all of whom are the cream of the crop when it comes to loving, helping and accepting others no matter what. I truly mean it. I just think sometimes the idiots were blessed with a louder voice, and for that I am sorry. I LOVE my friends in the 'Boro and they are not included in this rant at all.

Saturday, May 19

Fragile Image

Fragile Image

“Who does she think she is?” 

It was so quietly spoken, followed by giggles, I wasn't sure she said it out loud. It seemed possible that I just thought it. After all, it wouldn't be the first time I've heard that remark. 

I've heard it from the time I was a small girl, all imagination and big dreams. I've heard it from friends, family, even my own parents. 

I caught her eye, feeling fragile but giving her a confident smile that would silently let her know:

"I didn't hear a thing, I deserve to be here, you know. I'm worthy."

Today's post is my entry into this week's 100 Word Challengehosted by Velvet Verbosity. The 100 Word Challenge is an exercise in which we write exactly 100 words in response to the weekly prompt word. We've all been on a break, and I am feeling very rusty so please be kind! 

This week's prompt was "fragile". 

Sunday, May 13

The Mothers Day Paradox

Mothers Day is a tough one for me.

My mom is one of those "oh, I don't need anything" type of moms, even now that her children are grown. If I try to take her shopping she won't buy anything because, according to her, everything is "too expensive". She thinks getting a pedicure is extravagant, and she won't let me cook for her. I'm at a loss.

I spent part of the day out and about in Nashville yesterday and everywhere there were reminders of the fact that Mothers Day was upon us. I saw mothers and daughters shopping, headed to the movies or getting pedicures together. I saw pictures on Facebook of friends who took their moms on trips or had fun outings.

It all just makes me a little sad. None of these outings are anything we would do together. But they are all things I like to do. My mother and I have our issues, I guess most mothers and daughters do. I am not who she wants me to be, on anything. Right down to my career choice, religious choice, how I dress, and what I do in my free time.

She has flat out told me in no uncertain terms that she is disappointed that I didn't take the path she had planned for me. School teacher, live next door, teach Sunday school, have children, give her grandkids. Nope, I haven't accomplished any of those things. Rather, I have with intention pursued the life I wanted. No kids, an artistic job, and living in a nice home with the man I love where Sundays are just another weekend day.

I fail to comprehend why she should be disappointed that I didn't choose her life when I've had a totally successful life all my own. She tells me I don't have kids so I can't understand. But you know... honestly? Isn't the job of a parent to raise their children up to make the right choices in life? To end up stable, happy and able to provide for themselves? Isn't it as simple as that? Isn't it more to see them and be proud of them for being successful rather than making every choice for them? Doesn't my stable, normal, happily married life make her happy?

I wish I could take her out for a girls day. I wish she would come over and have coffee or a glass of wine with me sometimes. I wish we could go see a movie like The Help or Blind Side together. I wish we could shop together or travel somewhere for the weekend. But she doesn't drink coffee, or wine. Or soft drinks even. She doesn't like going to the movies, she gets bored shopping anywhere but yard sales, and she doesn't go much of anywhere without my dad.

But I love her, I respect her and I am so proud of her. I couldn't have had a better mother. She made my childhood so much fun, and kept me on the straight and narrow during my teen years. My mother is the strongest woman I know. She doesn't have a college degree, but she knows so much about so many things. And she's been married to my dad for almost 60 years, which is an accomplishment in itself.

I wish her life could have been easier. I wish she could have had the daughter she wanted. But I'm glad it isn't me because I would die trying to live that life.

Somewhere out there is my birth mother. The one who gave me up almost 45 years ago. I've never felt the need to meet her or know her but many times I wonder what she'd think of my life, of how I turned out. Would she be disappointed that I haven't accomplished more? Would she think that my life should be different? Or would it make sense to her, the way I live? A strong, intelligent, creative woman who lives in a small southern town with a loving husband. And struggles with her weight. But that's for another day....

Happy Mothers Day Y'all!

Saturday, April 7

Batter Up!

The girl was cute, though dirty and bedraggled. She was watching me, fascinated, as I took pictures of the pee wee ball players running around the diamond, dust clouding up in the hot afternoon sun.

"May I take a picture of you?" I asked her. She glanced over at the older woman, her grandmother I assumed.

"Let her take your picture for the newspaper!" said the lady.

So I did. She smiled shyly and I snapped one picture. Her dress was so colorful and her wire-framed glasses had slid down the bridge of her nose. She looked up at me, smacking loudly on a mouthful of gum. I joked with her for a moment and moved on to finish up my work.

Moments later I was verbally accosted by the girl's mother for taking her picture. My good mood was immediately flattened like a bug on the windshield of a passing car. A trashy, dirty, dented-in, used-up, car. With part of the grill missing. And well over 200,000 miles on it.

"Kids enjoy having their pictures made. They love it. It doesn't mean I will put it in the paper. It's good for their self-esteem and obviously your daughter needs that," I said. I shouldn't have said it, but I did.

There's no telling what was going on with her. I don't know the whole story, and I always wonder when someone is so adamant about staying out of the paper. Explain why or don't, but there's no need for the anger.

It's always better to be nice with your request, assuming you know how to be civilized.

Wednesday, March 14

That one thought

It's glorious, isn't it? That brief moment when you first wake up. Still somehow suspended in your dream world, emotionally. Mentally. Not yet aware of everything around you.

All it takes is one stray thought to pierce that bubble. One thought of everything you left behind when you went to sleep last night and it's all over with.

Yesterday someone told me something that was intended to make me feel secure. Funny thing is all it did was worry and upset me the rest of the day. Sometimes ignorance is bliss sometimes, isn't it?

I worried about it all evening until I went to bed teary eyed, a domino chain of potential problems stretched out before me. This thing, this fact, brought up old feelings. Old issues, things I had forgotten. This thing made me feel overwhelmed with everything in my life. Completely out of control. It caused me to worry about future events and, worse, it made me feel alone.

This morning I was lying in bed, still half in my dream world. Whether my dreams were good or bad I don't remember. It doesn't matter. One thing is always consistent in my dreams. There is no backstory. There is no history. It's like I step into whatever scenario with no baggage. No memories, no attachments.

When I woke up there was just me in my bed. I was peaceful and happy. I wasn't thinking about anything, really. Until that one stray thought charged through my brain. And I began fretting on it all over again.

***Blogger's note: This post is not about my marriage. It is not about the "thing" I was told. It is about anxiety, and the randomness of it.***

Friday, February 10

What the 'efff, people?

I just dialed a wrong number.

It was a business that answered so I knew it right away. I said politely "Oh, excuse me I've dialed the wrong number." and hang up to search for another number.

While I am doing that, my phone rings and it's the woman I just called wanting to know, not very politely, "Yeah, WHO were you tryin' to reach?"

a. noneya bidness and
b. when I told her she said "Yeah, you have the wrong number!"

To which I couldn't stop myself from saying, "Um. Yeah, that's what I TOLD you." and hanging up.  On a positive note, I stopped short of adding "bitch" onto the end. So, yay me!

note to self: hanging up on someone is terribly anticlimactic when all you can do is touch a button on a touchscreen. Not very fulfilling at all!!

But seriously, y'all. What is wrong with people? I just do not understand. Why on earth would you take the time to bother me back like that? How nosey can someone be? And really, if it's a business, you're at work, right? Why do you have time for that nonsense?

Manners seem to have flown out the window anymore, what do ya'll think? or is it just that no one gives a flying flip?


Thursday, February 9

Feelin' Groovy!

Yesterday was the husband's birthday.

isn't he the cauuuutest thiiing???

Now, I'll be honest. I don't very often get sappy and lovey-dovey about our relationship.  I feel like after 17 years of being married we are past all of that stuff. We love each other and we show it. We care about each other and we show it. It's just not necessary to say it all the time to everyone in the world.

But I really, really love this man. And I know that he loves me. I KNOW that. I've never in our marriage felt one iota of jealousy because he always makes sure I know how much he loves me and how he is committed to me.

He lets me be crazy when I want to and reigns me back in when he needs to. He indulges me when he can and is honest with me when he needs to be. He always believes in me and my talents, even though he is sometimes the only one who does.

He stuck with me through years of serious and undiagnosed depression, when all I could tell him was "I just don't feel right". Through anger and sadness that I couldn't even explain. When we talked about it later, much much later, I asked him why he stayed. Why didn't he leave me?

"Because I made a commitment. And I love you. That's why," was all he said.

We've come through the roughest of the rough patches together, he and I, and things now are amazingly great. We are happy. It's not always been that way, and a lot of people don't know that, but it is good now.

This blog, for better or worse, is about what's going on in my life and what's going on in my head. Today, I am just overwhelmed with love for my husband, and I though just once I'd give in and let people know that.

People ask him all the time what he did to deserve me. I ask myself all the time, "what did I do to deserve him?" Honestly.

Friday, January 27

Rain, Rain

Thank you so much to everyone who has sent me supportive email, comments, and messages. I am so excited about my new job and although there is some fallout as a result of my taking it, I am hoping that the situation will resolve itself with a little bit of time.

Last night I had two events to attend here in town. I would have attended them anyway, but I agreed to take pictures for the newspaper while I was there. The first was a reception at our local art gallery. This year marks their 20th year of bringing art into this small town.

Now, y'all. If you had asked me when I was in high school if I ever thought there would be an art gallery in Franklin I would have laughed in your face. Our town is a small town divided between agriculture and manufacturing, a typical rural southern small town. Although in my day, the mid 80's, we had some amazing talent teaching art in the schools, it wasn't really something that was encouraged or included in many activites.

Back in the 90's a group of local artists, including my bff Amy, had the foresight to work toward what we have today, which is a beautiful, thriving, community inclusive gallery featuring work by area artists and Kentucky made gifts, classes and workshops, and a small coffee shop. Well, it's a seating area with one of those brew-by-the-cup thingies but still.....they have wi-fi.

Anyway, despite the unseasonably warm weather, it was gray and rainy all day yesterday. Husband dropped me off at the front and drove on to park the vehicle. I didn't bother with an umbrella because of the awnings over the businesses.

As I entered the gallery I noticed soemthing I hadn't seen before. Inside the doorway there were rows of umbrellas where people had left them to dry. "Wow, I'd never leave my umbrella just randomly out here like this!" I thought. Inside were a few more umbrellas, apparently owned by untrusting souls such as myself.

We enjoyed the gallery reception, visited with friends and moved on around the corner to the annual banquet of the local Chamber of Commerce, of which I am a member. It was held at the local Boys & Girls Club, and as we entered through the glass doors I noticed again, rows of umbrellas. Through the second set of doors and around the circular front desk the colorful parade continued on both sides of me.

Shaking my head in amazement, I left our two umbrellas at the tail end of the parade, next to each other, hoping they would still be there upon our departure. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner, some amazingly good bluegrass music by a local family, and the surprisingly quick business meeting and awards ceremony of the Chamber.

I had to round up winners afterward and get pictures as well as the new board members. It took a while, and of course we were among the last to leave. As we walked back out to the lobby I muttered, "well, I guess I should have more faith in humanity."

Husband asked "What?"

Our umbrellas sat, all alone, right where we had left them. "I should have more faith. I didn't expect our umbrellas to be there." I told him.

As I was waiting for him to pull the car up to the front door, (no I am not normally one of THOSE women, we had boxes to load) another gentleman came through the door saying "Wow! I can't believe my umbrella is still here!"

It is such a small thing, one that most of the folks here probably take for granted. This is a town where many people leave their cars unlocked and their back doors open. But for someone who lived in a large city for so long, it was a very simple pleasure. A very nice feeling.

(Blogger's note: I have this umbrella distrust because I have had an umbrella stolen in a similar situation. In a church. On my wedding day. Yes, it was pouring rain and yes, it was the last really good, expensive umbrella I ever owned. Now they are all highly disposable.)

Monday, January 16

A New Year, A New Chapter

Yes, that's Charlie-the-editor behind me.
His excitement at having me around is palpable, isn't it?

Well, here it is. My official first-day-of-work photo. I am now a desk-sitting, daily-showering, non-pajama-wearing, travel mug-carrying, time clock-punching worker drone. With a bi-weekly paycheck. And benefits.

Today was my first day as a cub reporter at my hometown newspaper, the Franklin Favorite. Yep, I am getting paid to write, take pictures, and ctrl-c ctrl-v all day long, 5 days per week, 8 hours a day. Or 40 hours per week, which ever comes first. Overtime is forboden. I was told that before I ever had the job.

But who cares?! I have a deadline driven, nights and weekend working, every event in town attending job in which I get to do something I love.

I've been writing freelance for the paper for over a year now. When this job came open, I was asked to fill in on a temporary basis. I couldn't resist applying although honestly I sort of thought my lack of a journalism degree and I dunno, any experience whatsoever in the newspaper business would keep me from getting it. What can I say, the editor likes me, the people like me, and I pretty much told them that the longer they kept me around the harder it would be to get rid of me. Plus, I was already pretty much trained after 6 weeks of filling in....so.....I had that going for me.

Anyway, that was my day today. That's my life. Honestly.

Sunday, January 15

Wrap it up already!

For someone who was so ready for 2011 to end, I sure have a lot of loose ends that need wrapping up. I got unexpectedly busy after Thanksgiving and was working outside the house part time. Great, because I needed the money, but a lot of stuff went undone at home.

Every year we send a funny picture for our holiday card. On November 11 we dressed up in this year's theme and went to make pictures. My calendar said on November 30th that I should "put cards in mail". Which would have been fine had I ever gotten them printed, addressed and stamped.

I had a bit of photoshop work to do this year, and just didn't get around to it. On December 23 they were still not out and I realized they would now have to be New Year's cards. Which was fine. Get me through Christmas, and I will get them done.

So here it is, midway through January and STILL I haven't gotten them mailed. Or addressed. Or even printed. I will be lucky if I get them out by Valentine's day! It will be nice to get that off my list for the year and move on to something else.

But while I am doing a bit of housecleaning so to speak, this post has been lingering for a while. Here are some hi-lights and low-lights of 2011, from my point of view anyway.

Best Tebow-Block of the Year: 
Great-nephew, upon opening DS3 for Christmas, (at the top of his lungs, holding it over his head) “Thank you, Baby Jesus!!!  Thank you Jesus!!!!” 
His mom: “Yeah, well...You better be thanking your father and me!”

Worst Commercial of the year: 
The “shrinkage” commercial...whose commercial is this? I can't even remember because I am so busy cringing at the inappropriateness of it.

and yet.....

Person I'd most love to flip off?:
The cocky-ass d-bag on my facebook who posted: “There are some things that just shouldn't be televised. The current Lane Bryant commercial is one of them.” Suck it. Girls who have curves rule. You're a real winner and the kind of guy who give women in general all those complexes about their bodies.  And that girl? On that commercial? She's about a size 12 maybe at most. Hardly representative of overweight in America. There's nothing wrong with it, if it were VS models I am sure you'd have no issues whatsoever with them parading around while you are chokin' your chicken so get over it jerk. 

Best Quote of the Year: “it's only an issue if they make it an issue” on breastfeeding in public. Really? I mean, couldn't you say the same about porn? Let's all go sit in target and read books and watch dirty videos on our laptops. What's the problem? Please get a grip on reality.

and my personal favorite, for so many reasons.....

Best Advice of the Year: “I understand what your friend may think, but what was a used up dead end job for her is an opportunity for you.” Yeah, thanks. I appreciate it. But I get your sentiment.

More on that later but for now, I am just going to say that I couldn't be happier to see 2011 in the rearview. In 15 days 2012 has already surpassed.

Friday, January 6


About a month ago one of my bffs Amy, made a huge decision and a huge change in her life. After 21 years at the same job, as photojournalist for our local newspaper, she left to take a wonderful new opportunity as the Executive Director of our local Arts Council.

21 years is over half our lives. And it is the majority of our adult lives. I can not imagine doing the same job for that long. I started my first real job in 1988 and have moved around as new opportunities for growth have presented themselves. I am on my third career change, going back to school at 38 to complete a degree in graphic design.

Until my first graphic design job as an intern with the Pennsylvania Farm Bureau, I never knew what it was like to love going to work every day. Not just that but to get up and NOT dread going into work. I knew immediately that I had made the right choice. And it didn't hurt that I had a supportive, eternally patient boss and hilarious co-workers.

My friend struggled with her decision. For me it would have been a snap, but she loves what she does at the paper. She has her own photography studio and always is running from place to place. As the single photojournalist at a small town newspaper, she has covered every town event, from school board meetings to football friday nights to baseball to graduations and ribbon cuttings. She routinely worked far more than 40 hours per week, and gave up evenings and weekends to take pictures at sporting events and other activities.

When she first interviewed for her new job she told me and I said, "did you tell them YES!?" and she said, "well....." and listed a litany of reasons she didn't want to leave. When she told another friend of ours the friend said, "did you ask them when can I start?!" And still she couldn't resolve taking the new job. Even though it was less stress, less hours, and fewer weekends.

In the end, she painfully left her 21-year career at the newspaper and has settled into her new job at the Arts Council. She is going to be amazing. She has encouraged the arts in our small town over the past 20-some years and I think it's only natural for her to be where she is now.

Change is tough for all of us. I challenge everyone out there to think about change in 2012. Shaking things up. Making things different. It stimulates you, keeps you on your toes, keeps you learning.

One of my big pet peeves is people who just complain all the time. If you don't like something make a change, offer a solution, or walk away and find something else. Complaint without action means nothing. And y'all. Complaining all the time is so unattractive. Seriously.

I found this image about a year ago and it's on my desktop. I look at it every day and I encourage all of you to read it and think about it. Think of what's wrong or unacceptable in your life and what you might do to change it. Try to put away the negative this year, it's so draining! Make 2012 your best year ever!

I found this somewhere on the interwebz.
I have no idea who to give credit to. Sorry,.

Tuesday, January 3

What the H-E-Double Hockeysticks

So far, 2012 has been an amazing year! All 72 or so hours of it. However, being the tv-phile that I am I have to make a quick observation/statement/complaint.

Hollywood! What the f*ck, dude?

Work It. ABC.
I mean seriously. Is it that time already? A sad and random remake of the 1970's sitcom Bosom Buddies. Men dressed as women.  To get a job. Do we really need this?

The only thing remotely interesting about the original was how it was so bad it made even the talented Tom Hanks look like another hack actor. But other than that, it was men dressed as women at work and at home so they could have a cheap place to live. Really? That has EVER happened? Is men dressed as women at work so they can have a job during the recession really happening?

I'm going to be honest. The only time I care to see men dressed up as women is if they are transitioning or entertaining me at a drag show. No one needs it on TV. Seriously. Unless it's a showing of The Birdcage. Cause I'll watch that every time.

Celebrity Wife Swap. Also ABC.
In a competition between Gary Busey and ... I dunno, anyone else in the UNIVERSE, I would never bet on Gary Busey to be the sanest adult in the room. Until now.

Ted Haggard is out of his damn mind. Really that's all I have to say about it because I so despise him and his brainwashed piece of crap "wife" that I feel I really really shouldn't get started on it. All I have to say is that I don't like liars, and most specifically I don't like people who won't admit the truth about who they are.

I knew when the show came on that it would raise my hackles, but I watched anyway. Just like you would a train wreck, it was impossible to look away. Yet utterly frustrating watching the Haggards sidestep, double talk, and talk in circles to save face while at the same time obviously craving either the spotlight or the money involved in this clusterf*ck of a television show to draw them back into the media that somehow just "wouldn't leave them in peace to deal with their crisis".

And why did I watch this sideshow in the first place? There was really nothing on and husband and I were preoccupied with things on our computers. I guess we could have just turned off the television but that just wouldn't be us if we didn't have 3 things going at once. So it reminded me of the days, back before we all had remote controls and cable boxes full of 100's of channels and nothing on. You'd just lie there on the couch and watch whatever came on next simply because you were too lazy to get up, walk across the room and switch the channel.

Now that I think of it, Tuesday nights have been a television wasteland for a while now and the common denominator in this story? ABC. I give them the same moniker as the old grade school joke about ABC Gum. Already Been Chewed. And spit out. Move on!