Pinterest Play

Friday, June 29, 2012

Older & Almost Wiser

I am getting all ready to celebrate this birthday of mine tomorrow & I have decided to be "okay" with it. LOL

My sis and I were playing around today with my clothes and makeup. She wants two things: for me to actually give a damn about what I'm wearing and to start wearing makeup. (You'd think it was her freaking birthday, huh?)

Anyway.

I have to agree with her about the clothes. It's just so dang hard to feel pretty and comfortable while I'm packing round these extra pounds. (Don't like going to the doc's, but I will be one happy black chick come this next appointment. Maybe I will actually be able to get off this Prednisone and onto something that won't have me looking like a chocolate Oompa Loompa.)

So, okay, I am going to embrace the larger me while I have to. I will NOT wear anymore drab colors, baggy tops and shapeless sweatpants. I will NOT try to hide this glorious extra me under anything that I wouldn't have worn when I was smaller. (Let's hope we can get this Prednisone alternative going on!)

Now, this thing about the makeup? Ummmm... I don't know about that one. I'm not good with makeup. One, I'm kinda lazy (as in it takes me about an extra 15 to 20 minutes of getting ready to be seen by anyone who gives a damn). Two, I'm kinda clumsy (as in I once just about put out my left eye with an eyeliner stick). Three, that crap gets all over everything you touch (as in I can't just scratch my face and then touch anything else without leaving fingerprints). How the hell do the real chi-chi chicks handle this stuff?

But I am going to try. I promised my sister. She says it will make me feel prettier and not as old. (By the way, as I've told her: I am not old. 51 is just a bit more seasoned than 25. Old is what you feel. I'm maybe... twenty-one? Hahaha!)

Here are the pre-makeup pics. When I get "makeup" pics tomorrow, I will try to get them posted:

The crazy hair is from that freaking Keratin crap!!!

I can't control the hair. Impossible. I gave up.
At least it's still growing back.

Do I look happy? I don't look happy, do I? Actually, I was pretty happy. I'm excited about lunch tomorrow. It's going to definitely be four of us physically there - me, sis, one of the nephews (if he doesn't get called in to work like everyone else) and one of the two local BFF's. Some are going to be at the family "home" dinner later on. The others are going to Skype in (if we can figure out how to pull it off in a restaurant) or phone in (at least for the song part) and, you know - all the love will be felt. Oh!! And did I mention that it's going to be at the Olive Garden? Yep. We finally got one up here. (I know that it's not in the Michelin Guide, you snobs, but I'm not that kinda gal. I'm more of a Guy Fieri type lady. You know, Guy of  "Diner's Drive-ins and Dives" fame? Yeah, I said it. )

I am a little bummed because one of my nieces "Cat" and her husband "Poka" -and those are just stage names, folks - came when they could take off from day jobs, stayed 10 days, and had to leave last Sunday. (At least they got to meet their godson, D.J.) To make it even a little sadder, Cat's birthday was on the 9th, just before she got here... Still, we are all blessed to be here at all. I have to remind myself what happened after my last birthday: having a margarita and strutting my stuff one moment and meeting all kinds of new doctors the next. Yeah. Living beats hell out of the alternative.

Exactly 1yr ago tomorrow. How the hell many pounds & doc visits ago was this?


Like I started this rambling post out with: I have decided to be okay with this getting older business (since I didn't get okay with it by 45, right?). Every time I want to be pissed at my marriage falling apart, this illness, the meds, the topsy-turvy life I'm now living, I stop and think about the folks who didn't wake up to see this day, and I just say, "Thank You, Jesus." I should be thanking Him as much as I complain about my weight. (Lucky He doesn't smack my ungrateful behind with a thunderbolt...)

By the way, BFF ("local B") is turning 40 just 5 days after tomorrow, so, yeah, life is okay enough. This birthday is going to be a good one. A good year, a good rest of my life, a good new beginning.

Happy freaking birthday to me (if the Lord let me live to tell). And if it's not your birthday tomorrow, celebrate anyway. 

Peace
--Free

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Sympathy, Empathy & Love

(It's raining here - again - and I'm in no mood for human company so Kita Kat & I are hanging out, having some deep thoughts. How ironic is this post subject considering I'm not in the mood for humans?)
###

With the way people are acting these days - heartless, crazy, totally immoral - I've been examining my own heart and soul. I do this every now and then because my mother taught me to. I had to be a teenager when she first gave me the talk about being more than someone breathing up the air in the world. It's important, she used to tell me, to take a good look at yourself every now and then. Need to make sure you're all right with God, self and others. Need to make sure you haven't forgotten to be a decent human, planet co-resident and all that. 

A part of being decent (according to my mother, and therefore according to me) is to have sympathy, empathy and love.  Each has their own place in a heart that's not frozen solid with selfishness.

Sympathy is defined in many ways, but it comes from a Latin word meaning "to have common feelings." (And, yes, I had to look that up once.)

It's easy to have sympathy without having a heart for others. We all have common feelings about being broke or pissed off or in love. My having a feeling in common with yours does not have to mean that I give a damn about you.

I am too lazy to look up "Empathy," but I have always considered myself an empath (whether it's a word or not), so I'll give you Free's definition: to feel with another person. That's it. I love being an empath and I hate being an empath. I love that it can give you a joy that you might have missed out on. I hate that it also can hurt. It can pull you into and under the weight of someone else's misery. (Do I wish to lose my ability to empathize? Nope.  I don't think I could live without it. It is what Christians were taught by Christ. He came, not just to die for us, but to feel as we feel. But that's for me and my beliefs. You have your own to deal with.)

Love is defined all over the place, but is (for me, at least) still undefinable. The word itself comes from Latin for "to please." That makes sense. Love is what it is to each individual. "To please" me is different from pleasing the next or other person. (I really hope this is all making some sort of sense.)

I don't think it matters how we define anything as long as we keep the essence of what it means to care enough. I don't sympathize for, empathize with or love everyone. (There are moments when I can't stand myself.) But I do care. My mother taught me that.

Peace
--Free

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Love & Options

Gotta love the ideas people come up with...

Branded!

This ring is available from a site called The Cheeky. I heard about this over at Daily Mail and my first reaction was, "Well now, damnit. Why didn't I think of that?" Then I talked to a couple of friends about it.

BFF T (female buddy) loved the idea as much as I did. For a nansecond. She just about commandeered my PC to get to the website. "Oh yeah. Getting my man one of those." Then her brain hit Pause.

T and I are kind of tight, so when her brain went back to Play, I could see in her eyes what she was thinking. I had to agree.

What good is love without trust? What is trust when you have to brand your lover to keep them faithful? That was what T and I came up with together. Then a special male friend of mine showed up. Damn, if he didn't break it all down to a whole other level.

His wisdom: "Branding a man like that will make him want to cheat."

Do tell. (Like I said, this is a guy is a bit special to me.)

According to this guy, men like a challenge (yeah, yeah, yeah) so if you try to lock them down, they'll just have fun breaking the combination. Give them that ring, they'll come up with a chemical or something to even the skin out instantly. Plant a tracking device in their ass, they'll find a way to trick the technology.

In the end, I sided with my gal friend (in my head and some of my heart), but made sure to praise my guy friend for being so insightful. Truth really be told: I'm just way past wanting to do anything obsessive, possessive or lunatic lavish to keep a man. If we're good, we're good; if we're not, we never were.

Poor T, much as she believes everything she said, she admitted she can't get the Chris Rock line out of her head: "A man is only as faithful as his options.

Me? All I can say is, I don't want to be an "option." I just want to be real.

Peace
--Free

P.S.: This is so completely off-topic, you'll think I'm Sarc'd out again. I'm not, but I just found out from another friend that my all-time favorite actor - the world's greatest - Kevin Spacey, is on Twitter. You can follow him at @KevinSpacey

Now I can get back to my "Grimm" marathon.

Peace
--Free

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

How The Writing Is Going

Most of the people in my world right now know that I am attempting to put together a book of my essays. Most of these people know that I am: childlike and easily distracted as only a master procrastinator can be. When I focus, I'm a laser, but like I said, I'm easily distracted. Once I spent a whole Saturday playing something called the Falling Sand Game. Really, I did. So, yeah, most people avoid distracting me once I do start writing.  Most, I say, but not my friend Ruthie.

For about two weeks, I've been getting daily phone calls from Ruthie while I'm trying to write. These calls go about like the one this morning:

Ruthie: "So... how's the writing going?"

Me: "It stopped going when my phone rang."

"Don't you hate that?" Ruthie commiserates. "Man, I hate that."

"Yeah, so, um... I really need to-"

"Have you gotten an agent yet?" Ruthie cuts in. "You know you're going to need an agent."

(I need a good call-blocking app, I remind myself.)

"No agent wants me," I admit. "Agents only want writers who're already published or ones that fit some specific mold. I'm not published and I don't fit any mold. I am the mold."

"You're just tired of rejection," Ruthie tells me (because Ruthie knows all). "Writing is hard work. You need to concentrate on writing and have an agent to take care of the rest."

(Fact: Ruthie has never written anything other than nasty notes to her ex-husband's new girlfriend. She once wanted to start a blog but that required staying out of my business long enough to, you know, write.)

"Ruthie, I really need to go, I-"

"Tell you what, why don't I look up some agents for you?"

To drop Ruthie a go-away hint, I sigh really loud, as if I'm so busy writing that I didn't even hear her. That didn't work at all.

"I'm booting up my computer," she says, and I can hear her tapping keys. "I'm going to scout out some agents right now..."

I forgot that Ruthie wouldn't take a hint if it came with a cookie. I also forgot that if I lose my temper and bang on my keyboard, bad things can happen. I banged my fist on the keyboard. A really bad thing happened and I saw all day's writing disappear from my screen.

"Damnit, damnit!" I scream. "Now I've gone and lost everything I worked on today! See what happens when you call me in the middle of things? Can you please put a freaking reminder on your phone to not call me while I'm writing? Can you go scout that out, Ruthie? Can you? Will you?"

Ruthie finally got the hint. Of course, now I feel bad and can't focus on writing. So I'll just have to do something else until I calm down...



Peace
--Free

Monday, June 25, 2012

Super-Sized Stupid

I looked at this picture in this article and had to ask myself: "If I could, would I?"

A 1 million dollar shoe collection? Seriously? 
No, I don't think that I would. Even if I trade the word "shoes" for "purse" or "perfumes." No.

I swear, I think what's wrong with us all today is that we have no limits. We are a "super-size" mentality. Food, sex, cars, homes, shoes, clothes... Anything we can have, we want the biggest, most expensive, fastest, fattest, richest - just any-est.

I know that somebody reading this is saying, "So?" But it is a "So?" issue. It matters.

This is why people are starving themselves to be the thinnest. You know that centuries back, people were being gluttons to be the fattest. How silly are we? Women are risking surgery and other medical procedures to have the biggest boobs and/or butts and/or lips. And, wait though - sometimes people let freaks off the street or operating out of their kitchen sink perform these procedures! Like they're getting a relaxer put on their hair by Mr. Leo or something... Too bad there's not a procedure to force us to better use our brains.

I have seen the most ridiculous "news" stories over the past year about people being so damn silly with money. There was the one dad who bought his daughter an apartment that cost something like 60 million dollars. There were the two rich guys competing to have the most expensive yacht. It's as if these fools - rich, super-rich or freak-me-mama wealthy are trying to see who can spend the most money the fastest. One rapper was in a club, just fanning hundred-dollar bills across some stripper's ass. (In two years, I might get to read about his bankruptcy or non-payment of spousal or child support, right?)


Let's not just pick on the rich. Poor people are almost as bad, sometimes worse. People who don't have next month's rent are in the stores, just knocking each other over to buy tennis shoes for two- and three-hundred dollars. Or they are driving cars with more value in the rims than the car itself. Or - this was my favorite when I was in one small town a couple years ago: they are like the guy that had a Bentley (I am dead serious) parked outside his house - a house that looked like those tar-paper shacks you see in photo-essays about American poverty. A Bentley. A Pepto-Bismol pink Bentley. I didn't even know what kind of car it was until I asked somebody. Broke-ass, dumb-ass, embarrassingly stupid person.


Look even at the way we see food. It's already been talked about how we "super-size" everything (except our salads) when we go out to eat. What kills me is the way we have started using food as a status symbol. It used to be enough to be seen in an "exclusive" restaurant, but now we go another step. Now, we want be-jeweled food. I guess rich some folks can't just have a hamburger unless it's garnished with gold dust or dust of diamonds or some such! Or - and I guess this is if you're too classy for blinging out your food - there are the recipes using some outrageously priced meat or mushroom. Maybe one that only grows in the Himalayas every six years and on a full moon. Or meat from a cow that was fed caviar and grapes. People don't care as long as they think they are being "exclusive."

Personally, I want to be inclusive, especially when it comes to my food. I want to know that lots of people have eaten (and lived through) what I'm ordering. I don't want to be the idiot that gobbles down something exotic and new. Find out a few years later that the knot growing on the side of my ass is from some weird and unpronounceable shit I paid a lot of money to eat.

I don't know, though. I guess we started to doing these crazy things to feel more important than someone else. Now we can't stop.

Of course, this is the "broke-ass" me talking. Give me a few million dollars to play with and we'll see...

Peace
--Free

Friday, June 22, 2012

**REVIEW** Online Fragrance Sources

I belong to quite a few programs that let members try new products for free (in order to get honest feedback and, they hope, spreading the word about the product). Recently I was able to try out some online sellers of perfumes. I thought I'd review them for you - in case you love perfume as much as I do, but have to live on a tight budget.

I visited 3 sites and rated them based on how easy it was to navigate & use their website, what the customer service was like, prices (including Shipping/Handling), and overall value. Of course, nothing is perfect, so I looked for the biggest pros and cons, giving a possible of 5  's. Here goes:

******
Bath Bar ☺  
(I sort of reviewed B.B. before in this post, so I will keep it short here cos you know I already love them.)

Pros: 
  • The customer service will "Wow" you & owner is amazingly nice.
  • Ability to customize your own scent.
  • A LOT of scents to pick from & mix and match.
  • Good range of products to choose (shampoo to body wash)
  • Super-fast help as close as an email.
  • Website very easy to navigate.
  • Excellent S&H costs (even to Alaska).
Cons:
  • Not for the inexperienced. (Ask owner for help, please!)
  •  Fragrances not as close to an idea one might have.
Bottom Line: I'd recommend Bath Bar in a heartbeat - just know your scents or consult with the owner first.

******
The Fragrance Shop  ☺ ☺ ☺ ☺ 

Pros:
  • Huge selection of designer and "House" scents.
  • They will replicate a fragrance from your sample. (Good for scent you can no longer find or buy.)
  • Fragrances are "Pure perfume oil with no alcohol or fillers. Ever."
  • The oil scents are long-lasting.
  • Fragrances seriously as close to the originals as promised.
  • Good range of products (including aftershave).
  • Instant help via a "live-person" Chat system.
  • Resources for understanding and selecting a fragrance.
  • A "Fragrance Finder" resource.
  • A Customer Review section.
  • Excellent S&H costs.
  • A Try-Before-You-Buy program.
  • Top notch customer service.
Cons:
  • Awkward site design
    • difficult to locate "Account" & "Log In" tabs
  • "Wish List" almost hidden far down on product pages
Bottom Line: A definite "Recommend." Site problems aside, these guys are my favorite.

******
Luxury Aromas (aka Golden Ventures) ☺ ☺ 

Pros:
  • Nice selection of imitation fragrances'
  • Oil-based product.
  • Reasonable price for amount of product.
  • Website easy to navigate.
  • Fair S&H costs.
Cons:
  • Scents are pleasant but not as intense as expected for "oils."
  • Not "hot" or "cold" in any aspect - just so-so.
Bottom Line: I would recommend, but would give a stronger recommendation to The Fragrance Shop.

--Free

Thursday, June 21, 2012

*REVIEW* Keratin Power "Hair Tamer"

***UPDATED***
Okay. I did the wash (no shampoo, though) and a deep conditioning so that I could see what the "curly" look was going to turn out like. Honestly? Not so good.

My hair is so dry at this point that I have to fall back on products I'd tucked away in a bottom drawer. When I say my hair is dry, I don't mean it's a little bit dry. I mean my hair is dry to the point of being horrible to touch. The look isn't bad, but who wants the look if it's killing the hair?

The straight look was a pain to achieve because of the extra flat-ironing to be done. Also, adding that heat to hair that the product already dried out... Whoo! Sahara Desert dry!!! 

The curly look is (to me) not as bad looking, but that dryness is still there. I liked my curls, texture and manageability better with the texurizer I had. I could do everything with the texturizer that I can (or should be able to) do with the Keratin product - plus, my hair feels and looks a lot better.

Yeah. I'll pass and stick with Soft & Beautiful's "Just For Me" product.
_________________________________________________________________


This was a campaign Bzz Agent invited me into. (I have told you all about BuzzAgent before, so don't look all lip-hanging sad when I talk about all the stuff I get to try - for free.)



The product we were given to try is actually called (take a deep breath!) "Smooth 'N Shine Keratin Power Semi-Permanent Hair Tamer."

Long name for a looong (but simple) process of smoothing the hair - without harsh relaxers.The no-harsh-chemicals bit is what nabbed me.

Lately, I've cut my hair very short. Prior to the Keratin Power, I have been using a texturizer and am wearing a short "Natural" (some folks used to call it as Afro). Texturizers do have chemicals, although they seem to be a lot more gentle on the hair than relaxers. This Keratin Power is a good solution that will let me keep my curls or wear a straight style occasionally. At least, it will allow for curls after the initial 3-day period of wearing it straight and not washing.

This process seemed super-long to me - what with the 8-minute rinses and the waiting required between steps. (I can have a relaxer or texturizer done in under 40 minutes.) The Keratin Power instructions are very well-written and very precise (though this caused a bit of confusion later on) down to when and when not to shampoo.

First step is the Strand Test which takes around 45 minutes. Next, a 5-minute shampoo. The rest takes just over forever - correctly applying smoothing treatment (wait then rinse for 5 to 8 minutes), applying neutralizing Milk (wait then another long rinse). This is not to mention the time it takes to apply the different parts of the product. 

At the almost 2-hours mark, I was personally wishing I'd been able to have this all done at a salon, letting someone else do the work because, guess what? I wasn't done.

The last part of the process is to blow-dry then flat-iron the hair. Even if you (like me) are opting for the curly style, this initial straightening has to be done - and worn for at least 3 days. I can't wait for Saturday so that I can get back to my wash-and-wear routine (I know, I know, I should wait until Sunday, but I have pics to take with the family). (I abhor - yes, abhor - flat-ironing my hair. Number One: I'm lazy. Number Two: It's stress on my hair.)

Summing up about the product, I'll say that it's a great system with some drying I really don't like. The instructions were excellent - except for the fact that there was no mention of the included pack of "Nourishing Deep Recovery Conditioner." The instructions were so precise about advising when and when not to use shampoo that I was surprised there was no mention of using the conditioner or when to use it. I stayed true to the product's directions and did not use the conditioner. Because it is a "deep" conditioner, I assume I should use it after this initial 3-day "curing" period. It is odd, though, that not only is the conditioner not in the directions but (I just checked) shown nowhere on product's entire packaging. It's not even on the list of  items enclosed. Odd. Probably just an oversight.

I would recommend the product to someone looking for a way out of using harsher products. (Actually, I already have. I've even handed out one of the coupons BuzzAgent provided. I am not sure what the general pricing is going to be but I have heard reports of it being somewhere in the $9.50 - $10.00 range, which is about average for such products. It will probably, as usual, be a couple dollars higher here in Alaska.

--Free


Monday, June 18, 2012

**REVIEW** Pedi-Spin


Brought to us by: Idea Village Products

What it's advertised as: the "Ultimate foot-smoothing miracle you've been waiting for."

Cost: $16.67 from Walmart in Anchorage. (Extra cost: 4 AA batteries not included.)

Product Website: Pedi-Spin (Note: It's one of those sites that tries to talk you out of exiting when you're ready to move on. Ah-noy-ing.)

My take:

Right out of the box, I liked the way the Pedi-Spin was made. It didn't feel "cheap" and it had a really nice shape for holding it. However, it was a bit irritating to put together. Ignore the written directions for inserting the battery and just go by the diagram on the product itself. It was not easy to figure out right out of the box (it would have been if I had ignored the directions).

The Pedi-Spin comes with attachment "heads." I had the ones for getting the really rough spots buffed away and some for the "finishing" or smoothing process. There was this odd head already attached that I never did figure out the purpose for (except being a pain to get off to replace with the rough spot attachment). I finally got the thing off (would have been nice to have some directions for doing that) and   managed to attach the rough spot thingie.

Now - I had brand new batteries, right? So why did the Pedi-Spin slow to a halt any time I put the barest pressure to it? It's as if it only moved at a decent speed as long as I didn't touch it to my feet. That kind of defeats the purpose, I thought. In case I was doing it wrong, I tried holding the gadget at different angles while trying to keep from wrenching my back. No go. The thing just wouldn't work the way I thought it should. It took me forever (adjusting pressure, changing angles) to get one foot somewhat "buffed."

The smoothing attachment worked a bit better - mostly because I'd gotten the hang of twisting myself into the right position to apply just the right amount of pressure. Still, I noticed a slowing of the rotation head as I tried to move the thing around my feet.

Basically, it was just a frustrating experience. I kept thinking that I could get any rotating gadget - maybe something from the tool chest - that would do a better job. Did my feet look any better? Yes, they did. When the thing worked, it actually did smooth away the rough areas leave my feet feeling smoother. Was the end result worth the cost and the personal irritation? Nope. I took it back and bought a $2.12 Ped X "European pedicure file" (Bassett Brands) that worked so much better and faster.  

My Rating: 



--Free





A Thousand Words

I don't just read the Daily Mail for the trash. They do some of the best pics ever.


Folks thought the "End" was nigh after
seeing these "Mushroom"Clouds



My "End" would be near if I rode this.
(So many of my fears in one setting!)


(Of course, all photo credit to original sources.)

Peace
--Free

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Waiting On The World To Change

Was on one of those loooong phone calls with a BFF tonight. She's going through some changes and it seems like every part of her life is in turmoil: man, money, mood. She called because she was pretty pissed off at a particular person and needed to vent. Says she's just sick to death of people.

I wanted to laugh, but I get it. I really do. People are so in-focused these days that I wonder if they realize they share a planet with others.

T was telling me that she had a great comeback for the person on her shit list. Something along the lines of, "Gee, let's see - I'm behind on my mortgage, my kid just got into some more trouble, I'm about to lose the guy I like a lot. Now you - you're way young, got a great career, you're kind of gorgeous, but because you can't buy this new outfit you want, I need to stop and rub your boo-boo? Um, excuse me, but what part of your world do I pay rent in?"

Man, I wanted to stand up and applaud! That is a classic mammy-made rant right there. I swear I'm stealing it to use the next time I get the chance. LOL I am just waiting for the right moment!

Now, please understand something - I can be kind of a petty person, but my friend T is probably the sweetest person I have ever known. This is a chick who actually and truly (I've seen it with my own eyes) prays on the spot for people who are rude to her. Well, I guess even a saint has a breaking point.

Of course, about three minutes after T finished her rant, she was reminding herself to chill out. (Me, ever the little imp, was egging her on. I wanted to hear some more good stuff like that comeback of hers! LOL)

But T is right, Another friend and I were talking recently about how it seems  that the ruder and more of an asshole a person is, the more respect they seem to get from others. When someone is nice, people tend to wonder why. When someone is a jerk, people think of them as someone who gets things done and gets things said. Everyone says the most admiring things about a particular jerk I know. "Boy, he really tells it like it is!" and "He's so fearless." Somehow people think that you have to be rude to be honest and brave. I'm waiting for the day this guy gets a little "honest" with the wrong person and gets his ass kicked. Thing is, he knows who to mess with and who not to. Trust that.

So, yeah, T and I had one of our marathon calls where we had to keep plugging in our phones to charge. We haven't done that in a while, but she had so much frustration to get out of her system. She'll probably be able to sleep pretty good now. Not me. I've had 2 cups of coffee and now that I'm off the phone, I have that song by John Mayer on repeat in my head: "Waiting On The World To Change." I don't think T cares if the world changes as long as a few people would.  I think a lot of us would settle for that.

Peace
--Free

Thursday, June 14, 2012

I'm Back. Sort Of.

Well, I've had my few days of trying to rest and pull myself together. I was physically so very tired or fatigued or whatever, and I was a little bit depressed.

You know how you hear people talk about what all they would do if they didn't have to work or raise kids, take care of a family? I remember many, many times daydreaming about having all the time in the world to do only what I wanted.

Guess what? I have all kinds of free time because of this damned disabling disease and I'd give anything not to have it - the free time or the disease.

I didn't realize how much I enjoyed working until I couldn't. I liked the structure, the responsibility, even some of the stress. I was needed, depended on, had things expected of me, and had people counting on me.

Don't get me wrong - it's nice to have time to write when I want to, to clean when I want to - even in the middle of the night when I can't sleep - to cook, nap or go do errands when I want to. It's nice that when I've been up half the night, I don't have to blur my way through the whole early morning ritual of getting ready for work.

It's all so nice, but I don't like it. I don't know if it's that lost feeling of not having a label or just feeling always so useless. I have said it before and I still feel it strongly - I like having a named purpose. I was a wife, I was an employee, I was a friend who could help out. I might be whining in high pitch a little. I mean, I can still be a friend and help out when I'm feeling alright. Most of the time though, I can't do anything more substantive than listening to someone's problems - and even that really tap-dances on my last nerve if I am in a mood.

So.

What I do is what I can manage, depending on the day, hour, moment. Earlier today, I kept my little nephew busy while his mother cleaned. I went and sat outside and wrote for a while (for the whole 32 minutes the clouds decided to let the sun peek out). I puttered. I puttered some more. (And it's kind of sad that, after years of seeing the word, I now understand what it means to "putter." Don't ask and hope you never find out.) Now I am killing some time with the blog. I did some housecleaning of the other blogs and I was going to add some features but felt no motivation whatsoever...

Damn this disease. Damn broken marriages. Damn kids that grow up and don't need you to kiss their little boo-boos, teach them to tie their shoes, cook or properly sort, wash and fold clothing. Damn.

The other day I was kidding around with a friend and he told me he'd marry me if he didn't think I wanted a husband just so I could be a wife again. That's kind of ha-ha funny until you think about the truth of it. Probably that's the reason so many women (and men) stay in abusive marriages - just so they are not "un-wife'd." I'll be brave and raise my hand to admit that's partly why I stayed.

I thought about trying to do something new and fun to keep myself occupied until I realize I have plenty of things to do, I just need to get over myself and do them.

Un clou chasse l'autre. Nah, I know not one syllable of  French and can't remember how to pronounce the phrase, but a friend once told me this means "life goes on." And it does.

Yeah.

Peace
--Free

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Memories Are Like Moonbeams

Briefly coming out of rest mode to share something.

I love this from the movie about Bobby Darin, "Beyond The Sea." I love old big band type music. Love Bobby Darin. Big old crush on Kevin Spacey from way back in his "Wiseguy" days. Love this number.

(Sorry bout the ads; I have no idea how to lose them!)


How great is that kid's dancing? The line he says at the beginning is, "Memories are like moonbeams, we do with them what we want." In other words, Darin isn't dead because his songs are like moonbeams that are going to be here forever.

Back to my cocoon now.

Peace
--Free

Saturday, June 09, 2012

Taking A Breather

Folks, I am just a little bit worn out. I'm going to take a couple-three days away from the blog. I want to rest up (a lot) and work on the book project (some) and just not spend as much time here or on G+. I have a kid coming into town in a few, and I need to rest up for this crazy child of ours.

Now, you know I am too nosy and a wanna-be-all-up-in-it kind of person, so I will be back.

And because this is what I do when I get lazy, I'm going to leave you with some nice, mellow, gorgeous-as-heck Sade...


She's pretty, can sing, seems nice. Man, I want to hate her, but she's just too smooth so I can't. This is my girl.

Peace
--Free

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

Music Flashback: A Triple Flash

(I guess I should title these posts "Musical Flashback," but, oh well. You all get it.)
Too tired to post so here's a couple of my faves from back a while ago:


And for the BFF's peeking in on the blog: don't freak; I am just tired and listening to some lull-time music, not depressed or anything.  ("T," I know Amel's song brings back memories, good and sad. I love you, sis!

To end for the night, we can't forget Mr. Davis. I'm okay with but not a freak for jazz, but I like this. I like it a lot. I'm going to let it put me to sleep.


Peace
--Free

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

A New Obsession (Bath Bar)

So, I am doing something that I don't often do: plugging a site. Sorry. Can't help it. I'm in love with the products over there.

Everyone who knows me knows that I have two shopping addictions: purses and perfumes. With current finances being a bit um, er... bleak, I don't get to indulge as much. But. I have a great fam and lovely friends. I usually get a gift or two right around this time of my upcoming birthday. LOL

When I was told by one of my friend's (who is too lazy to shop for my gift) to look around for something I might like to have, I happened across the site I have to tell you about: Bath Bar. It's where you can order lotions, scrubs, perfumes... all kinds of goodies - in a scent you get to customize. How cool is that? And I don't mean you get to throw together something and pay three arms and a stem cell for. (I've seen those other sites...) The prices at Bath Bar are really decent. (So decent that I don't feel bad at all for putting the site on my birthday Wish List. I told my one friend how glad I am that he hates shopping since I found the site this way.)

Here's what won me over big time: I had a question about a product, so I emailed in. Let me tell you what - I not only got a lickety-split response, but I got it from the actual owner, Kristina Vogel herself. (I didn't know this at the time, but she's kind of a big deal as a make-up artist. You wouldn't believe how sweet she came across in the email. This is a lady who takes her business seriously but with a side of fun.)

So..... What did I get to order? Well, just a really nice mix of scents that I hope will replace all those OTC scents that last about as long as it takes me to finish dressing and get out of the house. I am loving the idea of the essential oils because that's got to last longer than the alcohol-based crap at the discount counters of some stores.

At any rate, I do suggest you cruise over to the site and look around. It's pretty cool that the shipping is extremely reasonable (you know how we Alaskans are about that) and - I love this - you can get sample-sized orders in case you are trying to play around with a scent mix. By the way, there are products for both genders. If you men don't want to shop for the ladies in your life, go ahead and spoil yourselves.

I wish I felt a bit more coherent today so I could be sure I'm getting across to you how cool the Bath Bar site is. I will end by saying this: I'm going to put Bath Bar permanently on my list of Places I Want Gifts From (In Case Anyone Asks). LOL

Peace
--Free

P.S.: And, in case you are wondering, I did not write this post because I got any kind of free products.

Sunday, June 03, 2012

Peek Or Boo?

I am sitting here still laughing about something that happened really early this morning. I have a guy friend who is often out of town. Depending on where he is at the moment, I can call him up when I am sleepless (and I usually am). Sometimes he will text me to see if I am sleepless (and usually I am).

This morning when he called, I was glancing over the trashy celebrity news I just love. I mentioned to him something about a certain pop singer and her recent nude pics and teased that I'd send him the link. He just about yawned the Grand Canyon. "What part of her ass haven't I already seen?"

I flashed back to something I used to tell our girls about not making themselves cheap. Back in the day - what - like 15 years ago, when the kids were around 20 or so - I'd tell them what I'd been taught about leaving a little something to be looked for. These days (and probably back then too) no one has to look hard to see what a woman's got going on. I personally feel like I could consult with a gynecologist on behalf of half the female celebrities out there today.

My friend, as a man, says that he is very turned off when a woman shows off her assets to anybody with a pair of eyes. I think that's true for most men I know and I have four brothers.

Now here's my question: if men are so "turned off" by a woman's cheap ways, then why are so many of these chicks getting press? Somebody is looking at the photos and it can't all be gay women, right?

I asked "R" about this and he had to laugh. "Yeah, well, I didn't say we men don't like to look."

Well, well, well.

LOL. I've never tried to put together the puzzle of a man's mind, but it does amuse me to look at the pieces every now and then.

I let "R" off the hook. I can't say a thing when I talk about loving a man's mind and heart and soul, but just about lose my mind when Denzel flexes an eyebrow or Keanu unbuttons a shirt.

And, by the way, just before my friend hung up, he says, "Ah, so where was that picture you saw of ____?" I sent him the damn link.

(Kind of a lazy post, but I was up too dang early. I'm going back under for a short nap!)

Peace
--Free

Saturday, June 02, 2012

I ❤ This Family of Mine

My fam all chipped in and for an early birthday present, I got a....


... new laptop!

Wow, huh?

I got so excited. I had to pee the minute I saw it. Just went out to get out of the house and to "look" around the electronics store with some fam. Was asked what the laptops on display looked like. You know I love gadgets and I browsed around as if I had money in my wallet. Saw this baby and I fell. in. love.

Guess what? SURPRISE!!! Happy early birthday to my cranky old ass.

Hell yeah.

Maybe this is because they felt sorry for me trying so hard to write on the old one - that I had trouble using with the rigged-up keyboard and mouse after I caused some water damage... Maybe they felt bad that I was always so frustrated because, with my concentration problems, it was throwing me off when I had to load so many different programs separately because of the sluggish RAM and processor... Maybe - and here is what I think might have done the trick - they decided I needed a computer faster than snot rolls down a third grader's face. I guess it doesn't hurt that they know how bored I've been and that working on the book is a huge mental boost. New computer = no excuse not to get more writing done. Or = I stay out of their hair when I get bored and needy for their attention. Hmmmm...

Whatever.

I got a new PC!!! In the words of that dimbo Alexis from Real Housewives of the O.C.: "It's so pre-wee!" Heh heh..

See you guys later. I have a new laptop to figure out.

Peace
--Free

Friday, June 01, 2012

To Parents

How ridiculous is it that I know someone (either personally, very personally or by some association) who, in the past 2 1/2 to 3 months who:

  • Has committed suicide
  • Had a friend/family member commit suicide
  • Has attempted suicide (more than once in one case)
  • Has a child with severe problems 
What's in common in all this (other than the obvious) is that these people felt that they couldn't talk to their parents (or, in one case, couldn't talk to their kids, I guess).

I'm not the most emotionally stable person in a crowd of millions, Lord knows. I've had some rocky times, especially in these last several years. What I do have is someone to talk to. Some things I can talk to my sister about, some things I talk only to one or two of my BFFs about. There are some people I can't bring myself to talk to - not about anything deep or seriously personal or troubling. But I have had someone.

Right now, I know of one young person who is dealing with some very sad and depressing feelings. She has support. I know of about 4 young people who are dealing with just the everyday worries and struggles that come with life. What breaks my heart is that they feel they cannot talk to their parents. That puts the other people they can talk to in a strange position.

I was very lucky growing up. There was nothing I couldn't talk to my mother about. I don't mean that I had no problem in telling her every and anything, but if I had a serious problem - one that affected my emotions or mental state - I could go to my mother. Her love for me was greater than any shame I might feel. Thank God, thank God.  Of course I was embarrassed to talk about some things, but she somehow made it okay for me to deal with that hesitation. (It wasn't like we didn't have the awkward "Mom, do you ever have that not so fresh feeling?" moments. By the way, I always thought that was the stupidest commercial ever made...)

I believe that adults sometimes forget that kids have problems that are serious to them. We have to deal with things like bills, mortgages, college funds, putting up with bosses, spouses or jobs we loathe and other crap. A kid having a first-love fall apart or not being liked by classmates, failing a school subject, worrying about their looks, their smell, their personality, what to do after high school or college - whatever it is kids worry about might not seem like a big deal to us. I think we forget that to a young person the things they worry about weigh on them as heavy as the things we worry about. A burden is burden when you are the one carrying it, no matter how old you are.

The reason I worry about some of the young people I know is because I have personally had more than one of them tell me that they don't like talking to their parents. That scares me. I usually say something to the parents, but in some cases that's no big help. 

One parent I know very well, probably doesn't think this is a big deal, but he has a personality flaw. He's just one of these people who (intelligent as he is) has a huff-and-puff impatience that permeates every pore of his being. I can't imagine his child being comfortable talking to him. I just don't see it. This parent is one of those people who seems to feel that what he can do and be, anyone can do and be. In his mind, here are no barriers to achievement of anything. This is a great attitude. For him. It's served him well. But, good God in Heaven, his kids feel so unable to live up to his expectations. And they don't feel they can talk to him.

This particular young person I know told me about a pretty minor little problem he is having. He isn't sure about a decision he needs to make. I told him to see what his mom and dad thought. His answer to that is what made me write this post. He said, "My folks? You're kidding, right?" And he laughed, but it was the least funniest thing to be said. 

Parents - or whoever you are to a young person - please, please, please open your eyes, ears and hearts. Listen to your kids. Let them know there is nothing they can tell you that will make you not love them or want the best for them. 

My mother was one of those people who knew her kids. A lot of times when I needed her, I didn't even have to open my mouth. She knew me and loved me. She could take my emotional temperature just by thinking about me. Maybe that's a gift some parents have. I don't know, but I think that you can learn to be better in parenting.

I'm so tired of hearing about babies killing themselves or not reaching their potential just because no one heard them.

Peace
--Free

Bad Mood, Nice Day

Woke up feeling crappy, but went out to turn on sprinkler & noticed our tulips in full bloom.

~sigh~

Peace
--Free