Friday, November 8, 2013

Emotionally Drained

A portion of this summer and fall has been an emotionally draining time for me for several reasons.  My eyes have been opened and I have had some revelations that were shocking but necessary.  I thought by now I would be wiser in the ways of the world and people, and thankfully to some extent I am; but apparently in these weeks, I have agonizingly realized I have so much more to learn.    Especially how to navigate tricky relationships and the base nature of peoples’ feelings, flaws, and characteristics.  Also, I realized I need to learn that I need to better myself with regards to treating others.  I thought I was doing a pretty good job, but there is room for improvement. 
How are adulthood and relationships not more even-keel and more of a utopia?  Friends divide and conquer; marriages fail because some people are selfish and inconsiderate; various other general relationships collapse due to disputes and personality disagreements. 

Why don’t we say ‘I am sorry.  I know I have hurt you and acted out badly and made the wrong decisions.  I sincerely regret my negative comments and actions.  I really am sorry.’?  Why don’t we stop hurting each other and instead try our best to make people we care about happy?  I realize she is a fictional character, but Leslie Knope on the NBC show from Parks and Rec does pretty damn fine with this particular aspect in my opinion.

Why do we constantly let ourselves be disappointed by others short-comings, hypocrisies and lies?  Do we not want to accept the fact that some people just do not like us anymore?  I know I have a hard time accepting a person’s negative and hurtful view of me because I like being liked by others, especially when I like them in return.  And when you finally realize/accept the fact that someone thinks less of you, it is feels as if you have taken the blow of a hammer to the heart.  It really cuts deep.  And after wallowing in self-doubt and pity for some amount of time, you realize that you are going to be ok because that friend or significant other has a petty and sad life.  And these people, you are better off without them because you do not need the drama or mean-spiritedness they bring.  It is as if by causing such strife and hurt, they feel their self-worth and importance increasing in their small minds.

Other relationships (ex: those at work) can be just as volatile and when disputes really heat up and come to a head, it can feel like a volcano exploding.  Hurtful (but truthful) words spew like volcano ash and then rush down, cascading, like lava and things are altered; the scenery is different.  But when one bursts forth their long pent up frustration on those who caused such feelings of anger and disgust, the nature of the relationship(s) may only change temporarily.  Nothing gets truly fixed.  Nothing gets better – at least not permanently.  There is no real revolution or transformation.  Those who feel tremendous amounts of self-importance will return to their cycle of abuse, unearned authority and uncaring ways.

Why do some people change for the worse?  Why do the others seem to suffer the most at malevolent people’s arrogance, humiliating decisions, foolishness and lies?  When does karma ‘beat up’ those who caused such misery and heartache and pain?  I know it is wrong to wish ill on those who’ve harmed us, but we can’t help feeling just a little happy and smug when it does happen.  But those at the wrong end of meanness should find ways to make themselves soulfully happy in a healthy manner, learn to love themselves and remember that living a life one is proud of is a success and sweet revenge.

Ok, now that I have put my thoughts and feelings on paper, I feel much better and lighter.  Thanks for reading!

This posts pun courtesy of the interwebs ---
A chicken crossing the road is poultry in motion.

*P.S.  Per my husband, he is awesome!   ;-)

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Playtime with Morgan

A few Saturdays ago, hubby and I went down to visit our families.  Since our families live so close, he usually drops me off at my family's house and he goes on to visit with his.  On this particular day, my goal was to play more with my 6yo niece Morgan.  Normally when I am down there, we usually do not have much time to play together as we are visiting with other relatives or riding horses.  So most of my time down there that day would be spent with her.  We both got so much joy from it!

For that Saturday, I decided we were going to make rainbow cake and flowers.  Unfortunately I do not have the links anymore were I found these ideas on the internet.  But as they are really easy and I have several pics, you may not need the websites if you want to make these. 

So here we go....


                                                       Getting ready to make the cake
                                                        It is a box of white cake mix -
      the easy kind where you add only 3 ingredients,
             which makes it wonderful when baking with a 6yo.  haha!  ;-)

Mixing and mixing

                                    Morgan really enjoyed this part.  I divided the batter (unevenly)
                             in 8 ziplock bags (you can do fewer) then add in your food coloring. 
                               She "smashed" the bags to really mix in the coloring with the batter.

For this, she took one pan and I took the other.  To make -
you cut a small hole in the corner of the bags; start with your first color
and squeeze into the middle of the pan; it will spread out.  Then do the same
with the remaining colors - one color on top of the other. 
Then pop the pans in the oven following the cake box directions.
Morgan's pan is on the right.
As you can see, Morgan decided to be more artsy and abstract when putting
in her 4 bags of colored batter.  She decided against 'staying within the lines'
and followed her creative passions and tendencies.
The finished piece (with one slice missing)!

    Our very cool, colorful and tasty cake with strawberry icing!!!
      Everyone liked it.  :-)

Now onto the flowers.  Take toilet paper rolls, fringe both ends
(cut into strips for 'petal's), bend them all outward.  Paint, paint, paint.
Painting is the fun part because who doesn't want colorful hands?  ;-)

If you can see, Morgan decided to make a big flower with a
paper towel roll.  So after painting the roll, stuff the inside with
matching (or not!) tissue paper, then stick a painted wooden skewer
in it for the stem.  We did not have time to make leaves, but they
would make a nice touch.

This is the flower I made.  Sorry it is not standing up.
I wish I had a few more pics of this whole process and of
Morgan's colorful flowers but my hands were too covered in paint
to go anywhere near the camera once I got started.
So there you have it - a couple of fun ideas for kids who love baking and crafting.  And also a great way to spend an afternoon with my funny, energetic, imaginative, cool, sweet and awesome niece!!
And today's pun courtesy of the interwebs -
John Deere's manure spreader is the only equipment the company won't stand behind.

Monday, September 9, 2013

My Coolest Freedom Opportunity Yet

This past Saturday (9/7/13) I experienced my latest Freedom Opportunity – SKYDIVIIIING!!!  It was amazing, incredible, super fun and I want to do it again!!  I went with friends Lizzy and Marcia and had a blast!  We used the company Skydive Georgia up near Cedartown.  When the reservations were made, we were told to arrive at 7:30a, which means we all had to get up at 5a to leave at 6a.  What an early start to the day, but I had little trouble waking up!  ;-)
So we arrived a little early and had expected to wait 2-4 hours before our time to board the plane.  Lo and behold, we were harnessed up about 8:30a and somewhere a little after 9a, it was time to board the plane!  Lizzy, Marcia and I were jumping tandem, and the professional skydiver assigned to me was Johan; he was really cool, nice and reassuring.  Thankfully he had several thousand jumps under his belt; also he had skydived in several countries, including Africa - landing near a herd of elephants!  L, M and I bought a video package in which we also had another person assigned to us to video our jump and do mini before and after interviews; with this we also got still photos.  My videographer was Sarah and she was cool too.

The people running the company were really good and let the three of us be apart of the same group of jumpers.  When you buy the tickets, your automatic jump height is just over 10,000 feet; but when the weather is cooperative and nice, you can opt to go to 14,000 feet – 2.67 miles!!  The weather was perfect that day.  We all decided to go big or go home; so we went the 14,000 feet!  This gave us nearly a minute of freefall time before the parachute opened for a ride down of about 5-7 minutes. 
On the ride up to altitude, I was calm – really looking forward to it.  When it was my time to dive, I did have a brief moment of nervousness, but thankfully I did not have any feeling of wanting to turn back.  I knew it would be thrilling.  So with wonderful Johan doing all the work, we JUMPED!  Man, the wind hitting my face at 120 miles an hour was incredibly hard, and I just had to remind myself to breathe during the first 10-15 seconds.  My brain wanted to stop working during freefall.  When Johan pulled the cords for the parachute to open, it was violent and unexpected jerk.  The time when we were soaring was phenomenal!!  Everything on the ground was so small.  While coming down, Johan asked if I wanted to do some spins, and I said as long as they were gentle.  We did several turns and it was magnificent!  Definitely one of the coolest things I have ever done.  One thing I was worried about was the landing and as it turned out, I did not have to worry at all.  Johan did a fantastic job of making the landing gentle and easy.  Wow what a rush that all was!!  I have to experience tandem skydiving at least one more time.  J  The first time was such a sensory overload for me, I feel that I was unable to fully appreciate the sheer awesomeness of what I did.  Such euphoria!!   

Here are pics from me and the videographer (warning there are many pics!)

                                                             Marcia, Lizzy and me.  Ready to go!!

Almost time...............

                                                               And here we goooo........................

                                                                  What a rush and a thrill!!!!

                                                  Parachute time!  My absolute favorite part!!!

                                                          Coming in for the landing.....

Safely on the ground!!!
Afterwards with our heads still spinning about what we had just done

                                                          Awesome Johan - my tandem diver

An appropriate quote
Side note - there was a bumper sticker in the waiting area that said
'Skydive because your mama told you not to.'   Hahaha!  ;-)

Landing zone

                                                                             Pics in waiting area

Repacking the parachutes

Friday, September 6, 2013

How Do You Define Personal Freedom?

If any of you recall, in June, hubby, friends and I went to the Turks and Caicos for a fabulous vacation, and on our last day there I learned how to snorkel.  I was immensely terrified of doing it, but had so much nervous excitement, I took the plunge and loved it.  As I said in that post, snorkeling opened up a new world to me because it gave me a new sense of freedom.

After learning of this ‘new sense of freedom,’ two of my friends became inspired by this.  So now among our friends, we look for Freedom Opportunities.   Because of this, my brilliant friend Brittany decided that Freedom Opportunity needed to be defined.  So she, lovely friend Lizzy and I had a long discussion about what the definition of a Freedom Opportunity should be; I will admit that most of the discussing occurred between them.  I really only came in and added maybe 1 cent worth of opinion.  We knew we did not want the definition to have a negative vibe or be too vague and superficial.  So among the three of us, we settled on what we all feel and believe is a great definition that gives true attention to developing oneself and has some real depth to it.  *The definition will be at the end of this post.* 

There are many and various opportunities to experience a Freedom Opportunity. Here are some things my friends have done recently. 

Earlier this summer Brittany and Lizzy went to visit a friend in Chicago and while there they all attended Chicago’s Gay Pride parade.  Brittany said the feeling in the atmosphere was that of love and acceptance and that her heart overflowed with happiness for her fellow human beings.  During Gay Pride Brittany posted an assortment of pictures and opinions on Facebook supporting the LGBT community all the while knowing there would be much backlash from friends and family members with more traditional family values.  This potential backlash did not cause her to shy away from firmly stating her beliefs.  Brittany’s Freedom Opportunity came in the form attending a parade where she could show her unbiased love and full acceptance for all people and their respective lifestyles, her continued support of the LGBT community and ultimately, her proudly and resolutely standing up for her beliefs at the risk of angering others. 

The day that we defined Freedom Opportunity was the day Lizzy decided pursue some personal growth in the form of learning another language.  She recognized that there may be times and situations in her life now, and most likely in the future as well, where knowing another language could be of immense help in dealing with some people in various situations.  Being limited to one language is just being limited.  Knowing another language opens up the door to understand different cultures and values, and could make a person feel empowered and confident.

Marvelous friend Megan and her husband learned how to mechanic their hybrid car a little bit.  The main battery in the car died, and they thought of taking it to an actual mechanic, but with mechanic and parts prices these days, well that estimate was certainly unreasonable.  So Megan and her husband decided to learn how to fix the problem themselves – so bring on Google for a search in how to recharge the hybrid car batteries.  After finding a particularly helpful instruction book, they set about recharging the battery.  Megan explained the process to me, but as my memory for how mechanical technicalities work is not so good, I am not going to attempt to explain it here.  But the point is they did not let this difficulty stump them, and they overcame a challenge.  Learning more about your car, its various parts and how to make it run properly is a remarkably helpful skill set to have, and now Megan and her husband have had a Freedom Opportunity. 

I am going to have an astonishing Freedom Opportunity tomorrow (Sept 7th), but I do not want to write about it here or even barely mention what I will be doing.  Suffice it to say, it will be so magnificent that it will deserve its own post!

Something to keep in mind about a Freedom Opportunity    Do not be a false opportunist.  Brittany was talking with a friend who thought a Freedom Opportunity could justify him smoking occasionally when not drinking.  No; thoughts similar to this and their subsequent actions are not the point of a Freedom Opportunity.  Freedom Opportunities are for you to being open to experiences and adventures which will make you a better you.  Freedom Opportunities are supposed to be good for the soul, make you a better, stronger, happier you. 

Don't just stand there - go chase your dreams, change careers or companies, move to a new city/state/country, start a business that you are passionate about, join or establish a club, try your hand at learning to play an instrument, stand up for your beliefs, take college courses that do not result in a degree, learn home and car repairs or anything else that will make you joyful, empowered and/or enlightened.  Do not not try things out of fear or idleness or difficulty, as we all have one ride on this merry-go-round of life.  Have fun, challenge yourself and be empowered and encouraged!

And now for the definition for a Freedom Opportunity as I am sure you are twitching in your seats for it -

 A freedom opportunity encourages one to conquer fears, overcome stagnancy, rise above challenges, pursue personal growth, and lets one delight in a whole new world.

Thank you Lizzy and Brittany for deciding that seeking Freedom Opportunities needed to be a trend/movement. Thank you Megan for believing this needed to be posted.

*Look for Freedom Opportunities*

 Pun for this post – Where do cars swim?

In a car pool!  J

Sunday, July 7, 2013


Before moving to the city, I lived in the country.  I rode horses, helped work cattle, competed in rodeos, cleaned out the barn and all sorts of other farm related activities.  I was constantly on horses.  After moving to the city in 2007, my time of riding was cut down drastically.  I mean to nil.  On rare occasions, I would get on a horse at my parents for about 5 minutes and be done.  But a couple of Saturdays ago, I went down there with the primary reason to ride.  Luckily my lovely and generous sister Amy let me ride her horse Obie, since I have not had a horse of my own in about 6 years.  And I must say, I did not forget how to ride!!  Yay!  Got on the horse correctly, did not fall off, sat correctly when loping and remembered how to barrel race the right way.  I rode 30+ minutes and had so much fun.  My parents and 6 yo niece Morgan rode their horses too.  It felt like old times – which translates into fun and wonderful times with family.

Here are a couple of pics of my parents, my niece and I on our horses.  Mama’s horse is named Bucket, my dad’s is Shinbone and Morgan’s is Monkey.  *My dad has always had a penchant for naming horses and dogs unusual names.  ;-)


Also, yesterday (7/6/13) I was able to spend quality time with Amy and Morgan – though not enough quality for any of us, it was still great to hang out with them!  J  They came to Atlanta from a small country town and according to Morgan the drive up was not good because of all the traffic here.  Haha!  We went to lunch, shopping and then came back to my place so we could go swimming.  Of course with all of the rain we have had these past few days, the swimming only lasted 5 minutes.  To go to lunch and shopping, we took my car – my awesome and fast Mustang.  It is definitely not a mom car.  Since Morgan is still required to ride in a child’s seat in vehicles, it looked completely out of place in my car – kind of threw off my car’s ‘cool’ character.  But she did have fun riding in it and loved the sound of my engine as much as I do.  The fact that she wanted to hear the engine be loud as much as I do was pretty dang amazing and funny.  (Side note - I told Amy when she was pregnant with Morgan that Morgan was going to take after me to some extent.  Her liking my car’s engine and other factors over the past 6 years have proved my prediction to be true.  Hehe!)    Oh, Morgan was so excited about coming up to see me, she woke up at 5am that morning.  Amy did not plan on leaving their house until 9:30a.  It is nice to be loved and wanted!  J
the misplaced carseat  ;-)

swimming the 5 minutes it did not rain

Thursday, July 4, 2013

Random Musings on Different Topics

1)      People walking/jogging/driving by themselves and using their ipod or smart phone with both earbuds in really confound me.  I cannot believe that many adults do not think about their personal safety and do not want to be fully aware of things going on around them.  How is that adults do not give any consideration to safety and awareness?  If exercising outside, do you not want to hear people and cars coming up behind you?  If driving, do you not want to be able to hear emergency vehicle sirens so you will know to pull over to the side of the road? Why do adults not use their common sense and use only one earbud when doing any of these activities solo?  I have a hard time fathoming how people can take such a possible gamble with their safety at times.  I am grateful that my hubby does have concern for his wellbeing and uses common sense and only uses one earbud for his ipod when he walks alone. 
2)      I saw a guy walking down the sidewalk today barefooted.  Eww eww eww.  So gross.  I looked to see if maybe he was carrying some kind of shoes.  But nope, his hands were empty.  So I theorized that he really hates his feet and hopes to cut one foot or the other and give himself gangrene.

3)      Our 3.5 year old fairly active dog is becoming lazy and possibly even more worthless than normal.  It was confirmed today that he prefers the elevator to the stairs in our building – he stopped in front of the elevator when I was trying to walk him to the stairs.  Has the ‘lazy and inactive American’ syndrome infected my dog?  He’d rather take the elevator about 60% of the time when going in/out of the building.

4)      So I heard Chris Brown’s latest song – Fine China - and these lyrics were part of the chorus:
          It's alright, I'm not dangerous
          When you're mine, I'll be generous
          You're irreplaceable
          A collectible, just like fine china

Here are my thoughts:

Line 1 – he’s LYING.  He is dangerous. Does he feel guilty about singing that line?
             Line 2 – Yeah, he’ll be generous alright.  Generous with his fists and rages
            Line 3 – He does not treat his real life women like they are irreplaceable.  And I am sure
                            once he is done with them, they are glad to be gone.
            Line 4 – More like broken china.  That makes it trash - not a collectible.

5)      Heard at an Ethiopian restaurant recently “Imagine coming to an Ethiopian restaurant and getting too much food.”  My thought was – could you imagine a native Ethiopian person coming to the states for the first time and visiting a restaurant serving foods from his homeland?  His eyes would bug out at the amount of food offered in one sitting and think “what the hell!  I had to fly several thousand miles to get this much food at one time.  Ahh man, that ain’t right.”

 6)      If you ride a scooter or a motorcycle and are a sitting at a red-light several cars back and you ride your scooter or motorcycle up the right side of the cars to get to the front of the line – you are an asshole.  Plain and simple.  If a person does this on a bicycle, I can understand their wanting to do this because cyclists do not have an engine. 

 7)      If you are an instructor for a driving school, and you (the instructor) are driving the teaching car, I do not believe you should run red lights!!   Even when there is not a student in the car, driving instructors should set good examples for the public in general at all times, especially when they are driving the teaching car.  I mean, from whom do you think we learned to drive???!!!    **BTW, actually saw a driving instructor run a red light.**
8)      In the past couple of months, one of the roads I take home from work is a residential road with lots of cars parked on the street.  There is this one car that wasn’t a Ford Crown Victoria but the equivalent from another car maker.  (I know, not very observant.  But whatevs.)  The one thing that I did notice though was that for a few weeks the back end of the car was sitting very low.  At first I thought that they just had house things or luggage in the trunk.  About 2 weeks go by and the back end is still quite low.  So now I am thinking there are dead bodies in the trunk – shouldn’t the neighbors be concerned and call the police. 

So finally one day the car is gone.  I then think that the criminals decided to finally hide the bodies or the neighbors wised up and at last called the police.  As I drove down that road a few days later, this Ford-Crown-Vic-look-alike potential crime scene, I mean, car was back.  I guess the car owners decided to bury the bodies.  (I think the car should be searched.)

Friday, June 21, 2013

We Had a Better Vacation!!

So if any of you recall, hubby and I went on a cruise in February and by the end we were miserable people.  Well, on June 9th we left for vacation to the Turks and Caicos Islands!!!!   This vacation was incredible, and we were much happier and satisfied with our week in TCI.  And even better, this was a trip in which hubby did not have to work like he did on the awful cruise. 

We went to the island of Providenciales of the TCI with a couple friend of ours and had a blast.  Since our flight was at 9a Sunday, hubby and I wanted to be at the airport about 7:30a, which meant we had to be up no later than 5:30a to get ready and finish packing.  We arrived at on the island about noon, went to the rented out townhouse, and then walked around the town of Grace Bay.  Anyway after eating an early dinner and having a couple of drinks, we were in bed around 8:30p.  What a long day. 

Monday and Tuesday were spent on the fabulous beach. (Per our normal selves we had a large bag of stuff and a cooler full of beer.  We cannot go anywhere without taking a crap load of stuff that is ‘necessary.’)  The beach was beautiful and fairly empty.  The water was gorgeous and clear and a few shades of blue.  It was dream like.  I was incredibly happy to see water like that with my own eyes.  I had seen that kind of water on tv shows and in magazines, but I just could not bring myself to fully believe that marvelous water was in fact a reality.  Marvelous!  Wednesday we spent the day at the pool of the townhouse.  There I practiced swimming (am a real beginner) and learned to float with patient hubby’s help. 

So Thursday, I was able to do another thing I had been dreaming of for years.  And that was to RIDE A HORSE ON THE BEACH!!!  Hubby, our friends and I had a great time.  The other wife and I were really excited to ride horses on the beach and in the ocean; the husbands were not thrilled at all.  But they were nice husbands and did it with us girls because they knew how happy this would make us. (Thus in turn making their lives happier.  Ha!)  Hubby was assigned a Belgian horse – think the size of Budweiser horses.  He said he felt like a Viking up there and all he needed was sword and shield.  Haha!  It was about a 10-15 minute walk from the stables to the ocean, and we rode in the water for about 30 minutes.  My horse wanted to swim but I was a little nervous about going out far enough for him to swim because he was a shorty.  After that thrilling adventure, we came back home and got ready for the beach again.  We were in the water so long we pruned.  This time hubby and I stayed long enough to watch the sunset.  It was quite pretty, but if there had been no clouds, I am sure it would have been stunning.

Friday, we had another amazing adventure and this time the husbands were really delighted about it.  It was a half day sail and snorkel tour on a sailing vessel.  And they happily served up ‘happy juice’ – aka rum punch.  On this tour, the boat captain took us to two spots.  One place for snorkeling was on a reef and the shallowest part of that area was about 15-20 feet.  I was going to stay on board and get in the water at the next spot.  The captain and assistant captain (or whatever 2nd in command is called) convinced me to get in the water.  They were extremely helpful and patient.  I was given the orange ring used save people and a noodle to use since I am a beginner swimmer and really panic when my feet can’t touch the bottom.  I was so frightened and nervous.  But I did it.  I went over board and began to learn how to SNORKEL!!!  I was extremely thrilled and proud of myself.  That time I was in the water maybe 10 minutes and that was all I could handle.  But I did get to see a few things once I convinced myself to put my head in the water.    At the next stop, which was at a beach, I swam and snorkeled even more and felt much more comfortable in the water and putting my head in it.  I truly loved my new found sense of freedom.  It was exhilarating!  I am already ready for my next snorkeling adventure.

We came home Saturday and it was nice to be back home.  But, HOORAY for happy and wonderful vacations!!!  :-D

path to the beach

hubby learning about Turtle


so peaceful

fish at the first snorkeling spot

beach where I spent a lot of time snorkeling

sailing boat captain and 2nd in command