Checking In~

UGH. I missed a day. I was so hoping to have an unbroken record. But I felt really crappy yesterday. I mean sleep-all-day , thinking-you-have-the-flu- crappy. I have a sinus infection again I think. There is just something seriously miserable about sinus infections.  They make your face all puffy and sore, and you can’t breathe. For some reason you don’t feel like sitting up and typing either. So anywho, that’s what I’ve got for today. Just checking in with everybody. Wanted to say hi.

K.I. S. S. ~

DRAMA ALERT! The world these days seems full of drama .  It’s everywhere. People post their private business everywhere. Facebook, Twitter, their blogs, everywhere.  Drama is nothing new, I know. When I was little, believe it or not, people had what you call “a party line”.  You know, where people share a telephone line with other people. We were on a party line with several others, and others used to listen in. That’s how in small towns, everybody knew everything about everyone else. But we didn’t necessarily get out in public and “air our laundry” if you know what I mean.  I was taught that wasn’t polite, and I’m afraid I’ve spoiled my boys somehow.  We don’t DO drama.  They don’t understand the whole , “Let’s make a scene! Carryin’ on with people !”  We’re a really honest bunch, and I’ve taught them not to play games. Say what you mean. If you want something ask. You don’t talk about people behind their back, and you always keep your word.  Simple right? We homeschool, we go to church, we see family. They work with their Grandpa. So when they go out around what other people call, “the real world”, they don’t understand people.  People lie, people backstab, people carry on with one another , people play games.   It’s ridiculous.  And all because honesty seems to be a particularly lacking quality these days.  I suppose it all runs down to the fact that my husband and I have a different relationship than most folks , which my boys have taken as normal.  We’ve been together almost 20 years.  We’re best friends. So the way we work things is, “If you want to go to dinner, ask.  If you want a phone call , call me!” I’ve never understood how people can get all het up over something, and be angry with someone , when the person has NO idea what you are angry about!! Men are actually really easy to understand. Just be up front. Say exactly what you mean. They don’t read minds.  My husband tells me all the time , if women knew how simple men were, they would get along in the world a whole lot easier.  I always tell HIM, if PEOPLE were  honest with everyone, the whole WORLD would get along a lot easier.  So, Keep It Simple Stupid, lol.

Songs of the South~

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It is COOOOOOLLLLLLD here today. I mean freeze your noogies off cold.  Witches boobies in a brass bra cold.  And that ain’t anything us Southern gals are used to.  We are Deep South. Arkansas, magnolia blossom , sweet-tea sippin’ , front -porch sittin’ , hound dog scratchin’ , bare foot walkin’, DEEP SOUTH.  Our winter generally consists of the thirties , and forties. The last two days it has been it has been in the TEENS.  We just ain’t built for this! I mean , we are the kind of people who put away our winter clothes in March. We pretty much don’t DO frost, ice, snow or any other forms of water close to or below the freezing point . I suppose that’s why Southern hospitality is so warm, because we’re just used to BEING warm. We keep our windows open in the summer to let in the air , the smells of the things we love , like grass being cut in our neighbor’s yard, the clematis vines that are hanging over the fence, the wisteria thick with bees , so heavy with perfume , who needs Febreze? Porches are open, like the windows. I’ve never thought about it,  but I guess that’s why our personalities are open too.   Our songs  ,our food, even our handshakes all have soul.  We live mostly outdoors, so we become like our environments. I realize we are lucky that way. Warmth , beauty, and personality.  I suppose I’ll trade all those things for a few cold days a year.  So ya’ll come see us , ya’ hear?  ;)

Heart Attack on Legs~

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Spiders are freaky. I mean , they’re interesting, yes, from behind glass, heh. ;)  My boys had two of them for pets ,  Mexican tarantulas, that they captured themselves.  Here, in Arkansas , in the fall they go looking for mates and travel across the roads where they are quite easy to spot. If you are an adventurous boy, catching one ( or two) in a Mason jar is something of a rite of passage.  You keep them in an aquarium which can be really beautiful , with plants , other foliage and limbs, where you feed them live crickets.  I didn’t mind all that.  But here’s the thing, also here in Arkansas we have lots of other species of spiders, MANY of which make it into our homes on a regular basis, and yes, two of them ARE the famous Latrodectus mactans and Loxosceles reclusa. (Oh yes, the black widow and the brown recluse.) Check out this picture here, P6104719_wolf_spider_top_sm

This lovely eight-legged freak is called a Wolf Spider. They like to come indoors when it starts to get cold. Last week it had rained for about four days straight and was unseasonably warm for the end of the year. Then suddenly it was winter again.  I was sleeping quite nicely when I was rudely awakened by the sensation of what I was “dreaming”  was something furry crawling down my cheek.  Now I’m EXTREMELY paranoid about moving objects in my bed, and I’m a ultra-light sleeper, so I jolted awake, flinging “whateveritwasthatwasslinkingdownmyface”  as far as I could across the room.  Turns out , it was a wolf spider.   ACTUALLY sized about as large as the one in the photo, legs and all.  I near to died.  Needless to say, this experience did not do my tachycardic heart condition any good, crazy thing took several years off my life, I swear. I’m wondering if putting up a tiny little rope up around my bed will work for spiders like it’s supposed to do for snakes? LOL  :D

WHAT IF? ~

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Oh my goodness! Wouldn’t this be the funniest thing ever?? If I ever write fiction I am SO going to do this.  I can think of a few authors in print right now that this would work for already.  George R. R. Martin of Game of Thrones,  Matthew Reilly of  the “Scarecrow” series fame,  Clive Cussler,  and perhaps even some of the YA dystopian novels that are coming out now would be fun to do this way.  Couldn’t you just imagine ? You’ve seen how rabid some of the fans of these YA books are ! “Oh my particular set is better!”   “No! My particular genre is better!!”  And then , if the ENDINGS were different and they didn’t know?!? HAHAHAHAAAA! Let the madness ensue.  To be a fly on the wall at some of THOSE discussions.  That would be fun.  What do you think? If you could write an alternate ending for any book you’ve read , what book would it be, and what ending would you write?

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Knock, Knock~

I love to write. It really is one of my passions. I’ve wanted to write a book for a very long time, but I’ve been stuck. Not for lack of material, but lack of physical energy. My dear friend , and sister-separated-at-birth Jenn said perhaps what I needed to do was write about something purely for me. Just something fun.  So I’m taking her advice. I’m going to share things on my blog every day. It doesn’t have to be serious stuff, or even necessarily perfectly written.  I think writing is just like anything else, practice makes perfect.  So I’ll  just keep plugging away. Oh, I thought today you might like to see an interesting board I’ve put together on Pinterest.  I don’t know how many of you are followers of this social media site , but it’s actually quite addictive! You swear you’re going to just skim it for a few minutes and before you know it , you’ve been on there for hours! Anyhow, I’ve randomly become obsessed with doors, and have a whole board devoted to doors.

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These are just a few of my favorites,

and here is my board with almost 200

different kinds of doors, so feel free to geek out! :)

http://www.pinterest.com/rubybutterfly/doors-doors-and-more-doors/

Everyday A RESOLUTION~

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  I’ve never been a big resolution-maker.  Well, I mean, at least, not at the first of the year , anyway.  I’ve never quite understood why people assign such significance to the idea of dates.  Those are ALL pretty much man-made observances, if you think about it.  New Year’s is not the same the world over.  I am a devout Christian, but Jesus was NOT really born on December the 25th,  and Christmas really started as a pagan winter celebration regardless.  Easter is pagan, Halloween, certainly is.  Birthdays, again, a man-made ritual.  Anniversaries , the same.  Valentine’s , a day to give cards, chocolates and ridiculously expensive jewelry to the one you love in honor of a saint who was martyred. Romantic , right ? A lot of people think it odd that my husband and I don’t really celebrate our anniversaries or birthdays.  I don’t wear a ton of jewelry, and have never cared much for gifts from the florists’ shop.  We don’t make New Year’s resolutions about how we are going to “do better”  or ” treat one another with more respect” etc.

Our boys have picked up on these traditions which has made some of their interactions with others a tad unusual. What people don’t realize however is this…………….we give gifts to each other all year long. We RESOLVE to treat one another with respect every single day. We have had a lot of illness in our family so we try to make each and every day special in our lives. Why wait 6 months til Christmas to buy that sweet gift if you might not BE here at Christmas ? My husband lost his mother when he was very very small. He met me when I was only 16 and I was already extremely ill. When we had our boys he was so afraid that history would repeat itself so we promised to make memories for the boys to keep with them all their lives. We couldn’t dilly -dally around until Easter , or birthdays . Minutes counted, and still do. Now the boys are nearly grown and aren’t really boys anymore. Resolutions aren’t something that they really know about. It’s hard to explain how you want your YEAR to end , when you don’t even know what the end of your DAY will be like! But really absolutely EVERYONE’s lives are this way. They truly are. We don’t know when our time will come. It might be tonight, it might be tomorrow, it might be 5 minutes from now. You don’t have to be ill, or even old. So this year in 2015, instead of RESOLVING to make your year better, let your dreams set sail!  Resolve to start right now,  resolve to do what brings you JOY , and make every SECOND starting now , better. It will make a bigger difference than you will ever know.

Bitter or Better ? ~

Remember that everyone you meet is afraid of something, loves something, and has lost something.
– H. Jackson Brown Jr.

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The world’s a crazy place these days.  Everywhere you look , every web page that flashes onto our screens seems to just scream negativity doesn’t it?  You can’t even leave a status on FaceBook  without people spewing their personal outrage about what you’ve said.  For some reason anger, jealousy, and profanity seem to be the knee-jerk reactions to everything .  I’ve been accused of being a Pollyanna , naive, or even just stupid for being a positive person.  I’ve had people glare at me, or even swear at me for smiling at them and speaking kindly.

I first started waitressing when I was 13 years old, in a little cafe in the town about 10 miles from where I live. My older sister worked there full time , so the  manager let me tag along , so to speak , to learn the ropes.  I had a lot of great teachers there, from the fry cooks in the back in the kitchen , to the night managers, to the owner. But one of the lessons that ran solidly through with all of them was that the more upbeat your attitude, the better your workday would go,  and the greater the likelihood that you would achieve success.  Always try to put yourself in the customer’s shoes.  Maybe they had a hard day at work. Maybe there were troubles at home for them. Maybe even they were on drugs.  Learn everything that you could about each customer.  The more you knew about them as people, the better you could serve them. It made a huge difference.

It’s why I’ve always loved the above quote.  Everyone , EVERYWHERE  is experiencing some type of struggle. Maybe it’s not obvious. You may never know what it is. It could be physical, mental or emotional. It might be something so horrible that they feel they can never speak of it again.  It only comes out in rage , or even silence. The real truth is , we can only be responsible for US.  OUR reactions. OUR words.  So every day , with each person you meet, ask yourself, “Will they leave this encounter with me, bitter, or BETTER?”  

Let’s Make It a Date~

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I had quite the entertaining date with my hubs this evening.  It was was all very romantic,  plush couches, with fringed throw pillows, thick carpets, mahogany end tables with the perfect amount of mood lighting. Great conversation, along with plenty of our favorite thing to do, people watch.  What’s surprising is where our fabulous date took place.  The cardiologist’s office! Bwhaha. I kid you not. My cardi’s office is seriously cushy. It’s not like most of my doctor’s offices.  I mean , honestly, no offense to whoever designs these places, but I have a sneaking suspicion that there is one huge firm that designs ALL restaurants and medical facilities. The same paint schemes,  ( grey-green , orange-tan anyone?) , the same plastic -coated sets of pictures ( black and white trees,  bowls of fruit)  and DEFINITELY the same furniture, ( aluminum -spindled chairs , fake -wood desks, and faux post-modern paintings) .  Doesn’t really inspire a sense of well-being you know?  I wonder sometimes if they have ever actually asked the patients how these settings make them feel?  Believe it or not, the colors on the walls, the paintings, the chairs all have huge effects on our sense of well-being while we are there.  If we have to wait for very long in a stressful situation , a grating color on the wall , can become physically annoying.  An uncomfortable chair  can make a 15 minute wait seem like an hour.   I don’t think life is too busy to make beautiful! Especially the places where people are in the most pain.  Hospitals, medical clinics, doctor’s offices, and emergency rooms. These are the “glamorous” places I’ve been on for dates with my husband in the last few years.  We’ve managed to have some pretty chic get-togethers  , grey -green walls and all.   :)

A New Year~

Write it on your heart , that every day is the best day of the year. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Here’s an interesting question for the first day of the year.  If you could spend the next year as someone or even someTHING radically different than what you are now, what would you choose?  I’ve often thought about this question , in the terms of health, meaning I would wish to be a completely well person, as THAT would be radically different.  :D  Now I know that being totally healthy is more a pipe dream than anything , so I would choose a different reality.  The funny thing is , I know a lot of people are really unhappy with the way their lives are, and would give anything to have them changed , rearranged , to just be a world away from who they are in their everyday existences. But , believe it or not, other than the state of my health, I am TRULY contented with who I am. I love being a mother. I enjoy immensely being married . I am happy to be a homemaker. Being my boys’ teacher makes me feel fulfilled. I read hundreds of books. I write poetry.  I draw and paint. I live 5 miles from the nearest town in a frame house. I have dogs who love me, and cats who tolerate me.  I have family who live within walking distance, family that I wouldn’t trade for anything.  How could I give that up for even one day? Why would I want to? Every day is indeed a new day, and I choose to make it the best I can . To make ME the best ME that I can.  After all, Taim Beannaithe