Kicking a Childhood Mental Ghost’s Ass

Day 57
Listening to: Spill Wine
Thought for the day; Who knew finding out the word “quire” is a word could be so funny?

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Last night was the third Tuesday in a row I’ve participated in Taco Tuesday at Houston’s Armadillo Grill, a neighborhood restaurant. My Taco Tuesday company has consisted of neighbors, Brandy and Weldon, who have quickly become good friends. The last two Tuesdays, we just ate, laughed, and then laughed some more. Things were different this time. When we sat down with our food, Weldon informed me that we were going to play Quiddler, a game similar to Scrabble but with cards. I broke out in a small sweat. I fear and loathe games. This fear and loathing stems back to my childhood when I played games with my older brother. I always lost. It was always ugly. Though not my brother’s fault, I allowed the persistent losing to affect me and it never really left me. Brandy and Weldon knew this going into last night. They handled me with kid gloves. Today’s photo is the first hand I was dealt. You know me. I’m all about signs. The JOY was all I needed to let go of my game angst and have fun. Yes, I lost, but not by much and for some reason I actually felt like a winner for kicking a childhood mental ghost’s ass. When the night was over and we said our goodbyes, we all hugged. In that moment I felt TOTAL joy for life allowing Brandy and Weldon’s paths to intersect with mine. I can’t wait to play Quiddler again!

The Blender Monster

Day 56
Listening to: Taking Care of Business
Thought for the day: He conquers who endures. ~Persius

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I call this photo “Murder of a Smoothie.” What you’re looking at is how my day started. I have no clue how this happened, but it happened. I’ve had a lot in my life go wrong lately, but you know what they say: When the blender of life blows up on you, clean it up and start again. The second smoothie I made was one of the best smoothies I’ve ever tasted.

Cameraderie for All

Day 55
Listening to: Burn
Thought for the day: Thank you for filling the world with laughter Harold! #RIPHarold Ramis.

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If you missed it, Alec Baldwin issued an editorial yesterday in New York Magazine declaring he’s done with public life and the media. In one section he complained that everyone has camera phones and the level of intrusiveness is unparalleled to anything we’ve ever known. Before you say, “that’s what he gets for being famous,” think about the phenomena “People of Walmart.” Intrusion is not confined to celebrities. We’re all just one embarrassing act away from having our photo plastered on some website exploiting trips, slips, and falls. I get Alec’s point and often lament about the days when life was sans technology. On the flip side, my own camera phone has a ton of my life recorded on it. There are hundreds of moments I captured and forgot. I love going back and rediscovering these forgotten moments. Today’s photo is one of those moments. This photo was taken before a Titans game. I have no idea who this woman is. We struck up a friendship standing in line at the Port-O-Potty. It was her first Titans game and she was beyond excited. I thought she was a really cool person in her appearance and personality (her pants and shoes matched the glasses). I originally didn’t share the photo because I’m paranoid about my forehead capable of contacting distant planets when the sun hits it just right. I’m over myself for now and am sharing it. With Alec Baldwin in mind, I wonder if this woman would feel violated that I’m posting this. I hope not. This was truly a fun moment for me.

To Russia, With Love….. Lace Pantiless

Day 54
Listening to: Kyrie Eleison
Thought for the day: A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand. ~Author Unknown

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Last week, I gave my Girl Scout cookies away (I’m trying to eat better). Gloom despair. I want them today. I mean WANT. I gave them to the mechanics where I work. It wasn’t an uneventful exchange and the laughter that ensued made me realize it was worth it and I have focused on that today in my time of cookie-need.

When I walked into the mechanic’s shop with the cookies and declared them the new owners, they questioned me. Heavily. They know me! During the discussion one of the mechanics who had remained relatively quiet said, “Hey, you can’t wear lace panties in Russia.” The rest of us turned toward him and said, “WHAT DOES THAT HAVE TO DO WITH GIRL SCOUT COOKIES?” He said, “I don’t know, I’m just telling y’all I cannot go to Russia wearing my camouflage lace fishnet thongs. It’s a political thing.” The cookies were immediately forgotten by everyone including me. I wasted no time returning to my office to Google the topic about the ban in Russia. Sure enough, lace panties have been banned. Who knew banned panties could make me forgot about cookies.

SELFIE WITH A HERO FOR THE WIN!

Day 53
Listening to: Beautiful Day
Thought for the day: D3 via sunlight is my favorite vitamin supplement!

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Today I got to hug one of my heroes, Jim Lawson. After the hug, I said, “You know what has to happen now right? SELFIE!” He knew immediately what to do. SELFIE WITH A HERO FOR THE WIN! Jim has spent his life giving of himself to his country (Korean veteran) and to the world through mission work. What I really adore about him is his continued pursuit to stay young by keeping up with current trends. I mean he’s in his 80s and he is on Facebook. I had the privilege of sharing his story with the world last year via the Old Hickory Tales project (website containing his interview is temporarily down right now or I’d share the link to the interview). He is one special human and a good hugger too!

I Would Not Survive the Zombie Apocolypse – Proof

Day 52
Listening to: Gimme Shelter
Thought for the day: today’s photo is of me zombified and that is what is on my mind.

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I had a crazy night last night. Here is how it all unfolded.

(times are approximate)

8:30 – storm began
8:45 – lost power
Me: Power will be back on in a few. I’m not moving my happy butt off this couch.
8:50-tornado sirens began – power still out
Me: Okay. I’ll move my happy butt into my safe spot (my kitchen – no windows).
8:55 – tornado sirens still going off – storm sounded like it was ripping my house a part (it was)
Me: Man. This sucks. Wait. I have an open bottle of wine in here somewhere.
9:15 – worst had passed – power still out
9:30 – power still out
Me: Good grief I’m bored. Maybe I’ll meditate.
(At some point I fell asleep.)
12:00 power back on – transformers exploding –power back off – I was awake now
Me: I better check on Carson kitty (he lives on my porch).
(I looked outside and everything I own that is yard-related was in the street. We’re talking heavy stuff. I went outside in my socks and retrieved it all.)
12:15: back inside – no power
Me: I better try to go to sleep
12:30 – 2:00 – no power – toss, turn, power on, power off, toss, turn, toss, turn
2:00 – power back on – transformers exploding again –power off
Me: MAN. I’m hungry. I really want one of those frozen chicken sandwiches in my freezer. No. Go back to sleep.
2:15 –power back on – transformers exploding again – power off
Me: OMG. I REAAAAAAAALLLLLY want one of those frozen chicken sandwiches. Mr. Electricity, I swear I’ll eat frozen chicken sandwiches all weekend long if you’ll just come back on.
2:30 – no power
Me: That’s it. A PBJ will have to do.
3:00 – PBJ consumed. I went back to bed and finally fell asleep with the power still out and the following thought:
I WILL NEVER SURVIVE A ZOMBIE APOCOLYPSE!!!
6:00 – power back on – I took Pearl out for her morning walk only to discover my roof had blown up in places and looked like it was saluting the morning sun and a very large chunk of my siding was missing (found in a neighbor’s yard a block away). I smiled, thanked God, and said ……………….IT’S FROZEN CHICKEN SANDWICH TIME!!!!

Throwback Dogs!

Day 51
Listening to: Jack and Diane
Thought for the day: Dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole. ~Roger Caras

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Well. It’s #ThrowbackThursday and #LoveYourPetDay on Twitter so I give you both in this journey back to 1979. I was blind as a bat in 1979 yet refused to wear my glasses (it was a bullying issue y’all). I probably couldn’t see the person taking this photo. Brandy, the dog in this photo, could care less if I was a four eyes or not and that is why dogs are better than humans!

I have definitely experienced the quote, “dogs are not our whole life, but they make our lives whole” in my life time more than once. Each dog that has entered my life has made me a better human. They each in their own way prepared my heart for life in a way no human could ever do. Brandy was one of those dogs. Actually, Brandy was my Dad’s dog, but he loved everyone including me. He had a personality larger than life and his love for life and those in it was infectious.

To Twirl of Not to Twirl, That is the Question

Day 50
Listening to: I Wear My Sunglasses At Night
Thought for the day: No man is lonely eating spaghetti; it requires so much attention. ~Christopher Morley

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Wednesday Night Dinner Club (WNDC)*** – Carrabba’s

There are several Italians in the WNDC so we often Italian restaurant hop. I’m fairly certain we’ve tried almost every Italian restaurant in Nashville. There are a few of these restaurants we return to regularly. Carrabba’s is one of them. I’m predictable in the Italian environment. I always order spaghetti with meat sauce or a margherita pizza. Tonight, I went with the spaghetti and oddly, for the first time, I became self-conscious about how I eat spaghetti. I mean, I was sitting next to Mary, one of the most Italian people I know! There was pressure! For me, I use a fork and knife and slice the noodles vigorously before taking the first bite. As I was slicing away, elbows flying, I turned to Mary and said, “Is cutting spaghetti before eating it an embarrassment to you as an Italian? Do you use a spoon to eat spaghetti?” She laughed at me, waved me away, and said emphatically, “NO!!! I CUT MINE TOO!” Another one of the WNDC members spoke up and said, “I heard on The Splendid Table that it is actually an insult to the Italians to eat spaghetti with a spoon.” Out of curiosity, I Googled “spaghetti-eating etiquette.” The results all said unless you’re a kid, it is only proper to use a spoon or twirl the noodles on your fork. I’m curious as to what y’all think.

***Wednesday Night Dinner Club – a group of people I eat dinner with ever Wednesday who are loving, loud, and always make me laugh. I grew up in a split family and never experienced eating dinner as a family at a table. This is my reward. The group has been in existence since the 1990s. I joined in 2009.

Breath of Life

Day 49
Listening to: Calling All Angels
Thought for the day: Silent gratitude isn’t much use to anyone. ~G.B. Stern

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On Sunday my high school life met my professional life and the result was miraculous. There are no words to express the gratitude I feel right now. It’s like a ginormous gratitudeapalooza exploded in my brain!

Though the story was on the news, I’m not going to name the people because I don’t want to step on anyone’s privacy. They know who they are and many of you do too. Here’s the story. A coworker of mine was involved in a very bad car wreck Sunday night. His car landed in a creek upside down rendering him unconscious……………… unconscious with his head under water. People living near the creek, one of which was one of my high school friends, heard the crash and went to investigate. Upon the discovery of the wreck they sprang into action. Entering the cold water, they tried to free him but couldn’t. They ended up holding his head above water until the rescue team could arrive. He is going to be okay. HOLY COW!! I cannot even breathe reliving this story.

I don’t have a photo to use for today’s entry except for this one. The sun was out in more ways than one today and X marks the spot on being thankful. This experience made me fully realize I don’t tell some of my friends how much they mean to me. If you’re reading this, you probably fall in that category (some of you I do tell, but it’s a small percentage). I’m going to try to do better.

Misquoting Old Hickory

Day 48
Listening to: Who Can it Be Now
Thought for the day: George Washington, the only president who couldn’t blame a prior administration. Poor guy.

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Though today is really about George’s birthday, we call it President’s Day. With that in mind I am sharing a story about the president who taught me the importance of not trusting the internet. Four years ago, the Old Hickory Veterans Memorial Park decided to install a monument in honor of one of the founders of our beloved Old Hickory and 7th President, Old Hickory himself Andrew Jackson. My responsibilities for the Jackson monument included getting permission from the White House to use the presidential seal on the monument (another interesting story) and the inscriptions that would go on the four sides of the monument. On one of the sides, I decided the inscription should be a quote of Jackson’s. Like any non-expert of a president, I Googled, “Andrew Jackson quotes,” chose a few, and presented them to the committee so we could choose one. After much deliberation we chose, “One man with courage makes a majority.” Everyone was pleased. I thought my job was done. NOPE! I sent the monument plans to a representative at The Hermitage (Jackson’s home) for approval. Here was the response I received:

“The Quote ‘One Man with Courage Makes a Majority’ has often been attributed to Jackson but we have consulted with Dan Feller, editor of the Papers of Andrew Jackson at the University of Tennessee in Knoxville, and he has never found any evidence that Jackson ever wrote or said it.

THE INTERNET LIED TO ME! HORRORS!

All was not lost. I kicked Google to the curb and asked The Hermitage representative to choose the quote. Today’s photo is of the completed monument and shows the quote that was chosen. I quote people in my 365 all of the time. There isn’t a single time that I use a quote from a famous person that I don’t remember my experience with Andrew. I always wonder if what I am posting is legit.