Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Christmas Reflections


Challenges.  That is what this last six months has been for me and as I reflect on this Christmas Day. I have had a year that has led me to where I am now which is one with my spirit. I can only be glad yet again that some of the trials and tribulations found me and made me what I am at this moment. The free dictionary defines Trials and Tribulations as a clichĂ© of “problems and tests of one’s courage or perseverance.” I had to check because although I knew what it meant, I just wanted to be sure that my smiling picture was not next to the definition.
Since my last post my world was forever changed and now I have a complete understanding of fearlessness, strength and courage.  It was a hard road filled with fighting, sorrow, sadness and much crying. As I look back at it today, the other side of those many hurdles, I also remember the many joys and giggles I shared with Sweet, Middle Kid and my beautiful GBaby! Oh, but what did I learn? 
  
I learned that Christmas celebrations do not need a recipe and can be celebrated when everyone can be together.
I learned that opening up your home to friends and relatives as a hostel can be just as the pronunciation of that word sounds. Don’t do it.
I learned that your boyfriend’s mother is just that and not all mothers are as understanding in character as I thought they were supposed to be. In fact those motherly types enjoy messing with others for sport while trying to keep their 6 foot 4 male babies to themselves. (Ewww, guess I am not completely over that one).
I learned that some wounds never heal and sometimes it is necessary to just let go and see what happens so maybe, just maybe you won’t have what you thought you were supposed to. You end up with something completely different but the same in spirit.
I learned that I CAN go back to college at my age and do well. 3.77 GPA for first semester… Just sayin’.
 
I learned that a family can consist of two people.
I learned that a relationship doesn’t consist of two people that run when it gets hard. The hard part is the staying and fighting for it.
Lastly, I learned that it is ok to be afraid. It is ok to be who you are, regardless of what they say and most importantly, it is OK for your heart to feel the excitement of fear.
So... On this beautiful, rainy Christmas day, I wish love, blessings, health and happiness to all that need it, want it or have it.
 
Merry Christmas!!



Friday, June 1, 2012

And then his Mother comes...


Sweet and I have been together almost three years now and in all that time, we have actually taken the time to get to know each other. So well in fact, that at this point we can read each others thoughts and we learned how to help each other out with the spectrum of emotions that come with being a human.

Some of these emotions are in large part due to his mother.  I won’t go into his private business about his mother but suffice it to say that according to him she has a few issues.  Who's mother doesn’t right?  I met her previously when we went to Wisconsin a couple of years ago during the second part of a fabulous vacation that Sweet had taken me on where we went to the Harley Museum and then stopped in to see her of course. As soon as I met her she looked me up and down with a few snarky comments, but since I had been armed and forewarned by Sweet, I was ready with a comeback. Startled, she smiled and all was good for the rest of our visit. She was actually very nice for the duration of the stay!

We stayed a couple of days and it just so happened to be some kind of little fair and parade that was the talk of the little town called Prairie Du Sac and she asked us to go to the cow chip throwing events. Hairlarious by the way, but that is another story.


Anyhoo, she has sold the old homestead in Wisconsin and is moving to California.  Now while she is looking, she will be staying with us.  Can anyone hear my whoo hooos?  I am a little trepidatious by her impending arrival because we tried to help her during the month of May to find homes for her and she didn’t want any of them.  So maybe it is the blind shopping via the internet for a house that prevented her from a purchase?  Sweet has flown to Wisconsin and they are going to drive to California to stay with us while she looks for a home. So I guess for now, I will get the house ready and welcome her here with open arms and hope for the best!  So here goes….


Welcome Sweet’s Mother to California and our Home! (frozen smile?)



Friday, May 25, 2012

Happy Memorial Day!!

This month has been a whirlwind of traveling fun and excitement but as anyone who travels knows, it is also great to be home!  This year we stayed at home for this holiday weekend partly due to the fact that we are tired from traveling but also because we have quite a few exciting things going on in the old hometown.

First and foremost to me is Youngest kids birthday that was properly planned and executed by me and a well planned cesarean section, then there is our towns festivities that goes on all week long containing live bands, a carnival and sports such as jalapeno eating, baby crawling, pageants and of course a fabulous small town parade! 

We usually take the Harley out after the parade and a meal at our local mexican restaurant and then of course the BBQ at someone’s house.  So with all the fun that will be had this weekend, please just remember all the men and women that gave their lives since the first war and give them some props!

Happy Memorial Day!!


Monday, May 21, 2012

Vegas Baby!!

Well we just got back from Las Vegas where we had a blast!  But isn’t Vegas always a blast?  I was so excited for the trip that I watched What Happens in Vegas with Cameron Diaz and Ashton Kutcher just to get the Vegas juices flowing and add a bit to the excitement!   You could probably visit that place a million times and have a different experience each and every time! 

We met our friends and the weekends traveling companions, Magda and Jeremy in the parking lot at SFO and hit the shuttle to the airport.  We got through security and made it to our gate.  As you probably already know from other trips, we fly standby and Magda and Jeremy were actually able to come with us standby so as Sweet was getting us all set for the flight, Magda and I went to get some breakfast. My goodness, I think it was the biggest blueberry muffin that I have ever seen, so we shared it.

We boarded the flight and were actually seated in the front row that faces the flight attendants jump seats.  She was such a nice lady and since I am so shy and quiet, I started up a conversation with her.  Cheryl is from New Jersey and has never been to Vegas to play and hopes to get there one day.  I told her that we would party for her and she accepted!  So much so that she gave all of us free Vodka and OJ drinks to our hearts content, not a bad way to start Vegas huh?

The flight was uneventful as we were flying into LAX and renting a car.  We decided to drive due to the fact that flying standby to Vegas on a weekend is nearly impossible so Sweet decided that this was a great idea.  (Cut to Sunday:  We are never doing it again!)  Anyhoo…  We get to LA and the car we are renting turns out to be a brand new Camry with six miles on it.  Love that new car smell!  So we are off on our five hour drive and with a stop at In and Out we finally get there! 

Animal Style
As I have said before, Wyndham is my favorite place to stay and Vegas takes the prize for the best Wyndham experience!  We stayed at the Wyndham Grand Desert and as Sweet is checking us in, a woman comes by with champagne or wine for our libation pleasures and then it was on to our room, which of course was also amazing and the view!  Now it was time to rest and of course more libations to prepare for the night that would take us to a place called fun!

View from our room at Wyndham Grand Desert

Sweet has a friend that lives there so he came by with a Limo and we went to eat at Hugos Cellar in the Four Queens Hotel. Hands down one of the best dining experience I have ever had anywhere, I felt like a princess!  Red roses when we walked in that sat in a vase I the middle of the table. Salads made at the table, martini’s come with a small elegant pitcher sitting in a glass bowl of ice and then a small cone of lemon sorbet to cleanse my palate before dinner.  I had Beef Wellington and Sweet had rack of lamb.  Sooo good!  Then a plate of chocolate dipped strawberries, dried fruit and cookies with whipped cream.  Perfecto!

Now full and happy, we walk over to the Fremont Street experience for the ultimate vintage Vegas experience.  This is something everyone must do!  We walked along the casinos under the Viva Vision Canopy watching the Tribute to Queen music light show and then the brave souls that dare to fly through the air on the indoor zipline.  We stopped for Vodka Redbull yard drinks at an outdoor kiosk!  Live music and the Neon sign graveyard!  You couldn’t ask for a better first night!

Entering the Fremont Street Experience

Neon Sign Graveyard sign

Day 2~   Today we drive out to the Hoover Dam for a little tour and some touristy pics!  We park in the parking garage to stay in a little shade before walking out into the hot Nevada sun.  We took the underground tour that started with a little movie to give us some history, a very interesting show.  The dam was started in 1931 and completed in 1936 under budget and two years ahead of schedule (a feat we probably won’t ever see again) and was originally named Boulder Dam but later named after President Herbert Hoover.  I just wanted to see the state line that was in the movie Fools Rush In, but alas so did every visitor since the movie came out in 1997 so they had to take it out.  Aww..


Lots of pics and the underground tour then a few souvenirs and we were on our way back to Vegas for dinner and some gambling.  It was a great day and so much fun and the night got just a little crazy!  What happens in Vegas….

Day 3~  Time to go home!  We drove back to LA very tired and flew back to the city where we said our goodbyes to our great friends then came home!  It was a great trip and so much fun as is always with my Sweet!  


Thank you again for another fab trip Babe!!

Thursday, May 17, 2012

RIP Miss Donna

I was saddened to learn of the passing of Miss Donna Summer, she had had such an impact on me as a child of elementary age and then into Jr. High.  That is where Disco really became the cultured joke that it is today.  The year was 1978 and my friends and I had gone to the movies to see Thank God it’s Friday where we heard her sing Last Dance as a shy up and coming singer in the movie.  Then she was Hot Stuff and finally I learned to play the guitar on MacArthur Park where my little cousin would constantly interrupt me asking why would someone leave a cake out in the rain.  Sidebar:  She is a baker now, a really good one.

So now I am a grown woman with children and GBabies and I still hum a little tune about the cake in the rain.  Rest in Peace Miss Donna, you will be greatly missed.



1948 - 2012


Wednesday, May 16, 2012

A Rescue to Blog about

My day started off well enough today.  Leisurely my eyes open and I see my puppy dog Oliver waiting for my tired eyes to open so he can go outside not before giving me a zillion kisses.

Oliver's good morning face
We go downstairs and I let the dogs out and make coffee.  I open up my laptop hit the button that brings it to life and then crack open a boiled egg to eat with a little salt and salsa, slice up some strawberries and green grapes then place them on a plate.  I open up the house, drink my coffee and eat while a soft wind kisses my skin and begin working on my story.  I watch the clock because a friend of mine wants to talk with me about helping her with some marketing for her realty business and I think it is a great idea.  I can work from home and help her out with my crazy social media skills while still having time to work on my book.  Peachy right?

Alas, nothing is ever peachy when you plan peachy.  The slow chill day that you thought was ahead of you is pulled out from underneath you as though you were punished by Karma from a long ago indiscretion then you fall on your bum and wonder aloud:



WHY ME??!!??

I go to my meeting with my friend and we discuss the marketing that she wants, the marketing that I can do and the contents of a possible job description.  Sounds good right?  No, she wants someone to walk around the communities in town and leave her business flyers, THEN we can talk about social media while she picks my brain on how to do some of it and what ideas I may have.  Hmmm….  So I agree anyway and take the multiple reams of flyers and armed with a map I plan the beginning of the journey. 

Watching the time of course because last night  I had a text request from Youngest Kid to pick him up at Amtrak in Sacramento at 10 AM.  He is coming home from LA after doing a show (he is a comic/actor and I couldn’t be more proud) *gush~

So I plan to go pick him up, then come back and start the placing of the flyers on each door as she directed.  But Nooooo, the child sends a text that reads:

YK:  Gonna be late.  This bus is slacking

Me:  OK, about how long do you think?

YK:  Well we were supposed to leave Stockton at 910.  It’s now 930…

Oooh maaaan! I say low with a short growl sound.  So now what to do?  Go pass out the flyers?  Wait until he is ready for me to make the trip to Sac?  Make the trip and wait?  Arrgh…

So I text again 15 minutes later.

Me:   So have you gotten on the bus yet?

YK:  Yes we have

Me:  Eta

YK:  Not sure. Driver won’t say


Then it comes~


YK:  It appears the bus broke down…

YK:  I am in Lodi

YK:  Mom?

This is where I sit in my car as I have for the last half hour in the parking lot of Century 21 and try figuring out what I am going to do and what happened to Stockton.  So I call the child and we decide that it will be easier (for who?) for me to drive to Lodi to pick him up because he has orientation for a new job that he just got which makes job number three in the quest to get back to LA.

What was I supposed to do?  Yep, that’s what I did.  Knowing I would not get any flyers out that day, I called my friend and on the first day of this new opportunity after not working for a year, had to go pick up my kid.  Sound familiar moms?  He sends me the address and I GPS on my iPhone and I am off.  Only GPS wants me to take a three hour tour through Sacramento and I want to go through Rio Vista and take HWY 12.  Argghhh….

Then the texts of an impatient child (ya.. I said it) start rolling in.  The champagne glass clink that I use to love is now sounding every two minutes and pissing me off.  I begin to talk to my phone as though I am talking to my son.  “I can’t text and drive!!”  I think I was louder than just talking. 

I finally pull over and call him to tell him where I am at and he needs to just sit tight.  I then think it's funny so I text him after the call.

Me:   I guess your stuck in Lodi again..
YK:  That's a song right?
Me:  Whatever

Turns out it wasn't so funny. 

I make my way, according to my adjusted GPS, to Lodi.  In fact, I am three miles away.  Then I hear a POP, then something hitting the back of my car.  I am still moving, but the car doesn’t feel right.  I come up to a red light and already plan my parking spot on the other side of the light.  I pull over and yep.  Flat tire.  Now I feel like crying because I don’t know how to put on a spare.  OK, in my defense, I have changed a tire before when I was in driver’s training in high school.  Long, long ago when the schools offered that.

I call Sweet and he can’t come all the way to Lodi because he has to get ready for work.  YK is sitting three miles away and wants to walk along the two way highway to get to me, which I of course tell him no. I try to call AAA, but according to them I don’t have my membership anymore, which is weird because I thought you couldn’t have insurance there without the membership.  A question that is still asked of me and I still don’t have an answer to.  Oh, did I mention that I forgot my car charger and the battery on my phone is on red.   Bleh

I am about to sit down on the dirt and rocks on the side of the road, of course, best place to have a meltdown in 90-degree weather.  When out of the blue, a Cal trans truck pulls over and two men get out of the truck and ask if they can help!!  Tears in my eyes, I say yes please!  I take a picture as they begin to pull the donut out of my trunk and remove the damaged tire.  I ask their names to which they decline because they figure I am going to put them on fb and I say no, on my blog.  Again no..  bleh.  So I have named them Christopher (patron saint of travelers) and Anthony (patron saint of lost things).  They made everything so much better; they were very nice and so wonderful.  They changed my tire and gave me advice about getting the tire fixed at Les Schwab and they were off into the good day. 



So now I have a donut and per their instruction, I don’t drive over 45 miles per hour and finally make it to Amtrak Lodi.  I am so relieved and am looking for my kid who is probably in a panic by now.  I park, get out of the car and look around.  The panic starts to set in on me because he is nowhere to be found!  I walk through the outside lobby area and there he is.  Leaning up against the stone wall, asleep.  Standing.

I wake him and we get in the car and as I laugh away the stress of the day and begin the 45 mile per hour drive all the way home.  He states very matter of factly to me with a smile.


“We’re all good mom, they let me reschedule.”


Argh..

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Mother's day is mine!

Mother’s day has always been a source of contention for me as my Mother and I have a real weird relationship.  I know she loves me but I don’t think she likes me and at this point, I don’t think I care anymore.  I have learned to accept that she and I aren’t going to have the buddy buddy relationship that my daughter and I have or that her and my sister have for that matter.

Mother’s day for me has turned into a day that I now think of as my children’s day.  I am so happy that God picked me to be their Mother and every year I love the flowers, cards and/or phone calls I get from them.  Oh I send my mom a card or a phone call and I think she appreciates it, but for me?  The time with my kids and the lunches, dinners or late night counseling that they still want from me is amazing. 

This year is even more amazing because I not only will be celebrating my Mother's day, but the first Mother's day of my beautiful Middle Kid.  So I am posting a poem that was on a wall hanging that a onetime coworker had given me while I was fighting for custody and I would like to share with all of you!!

A hundred years from now,

it will not matter what my bank account was,

the sort of house I lived in, or the kind of car I drove.

But the world may be different,

because I was important in the life of a child.


An excerpt taken from Within my Power by Forest E. Witcraft


Happy Mother’s day!!!

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Tennessee Y'all

Well, the last post was definitely a traveling doozie and oh it felt like one tooo!  The rest of the trip however was amazing!!  I did realize with this trip though that when traveling with family members you never know what will happen outside of your normal traveling behavior.  For instance, when Sweet and I travel with his awesome organizational skills, we are able to take full advantage of our vacay by intricate planning.  Then again sometimes we just say screw it, be a little rowdy and do whatever we feel like even if that means nothing but laying around a pool.

On our last trip we took my Bestie FF to Kona with us and I will have to say I understand now about traveling with family.  With friends, it is as easy as when we travel together but when you are traveling with and especially the older parental types?  Considerations must be taken for their physical abilities and what they might want to do.  Hmmm, a concept not totally escaped.

I had plans of seeing Beale Street in Memphis, Jack Danielsdistillery in Lynchburg, Loretta Lynn’s Ranch in Hurricane Mills and walking along Broadway Street in downtown Nashville at night with my love on my arm and a brewsky in my hand.  Alas, it was not to be.  The more than hour drives to the other sites were too long to sit and the walk along Broadway was too much.  Now I am not complaining or whining, but yes a wee bit disappointed.  Alas, we just turned the frown upside down and discussions ensued.  I will admit my frown did take a little longer to turn…  bleh

Anyhoo~
Day 2 was Cinco de Mayo!  Which as it turns out is celebrated big in Nashville.  Who’d a thunk it!  Our day started off with the discussions of said plans and the frown turning (ok last time I mention it) and breakfast. Of course coffee was the first item made because I must have the brewed nectar of morn or I am a crab!  As always with any Wyndham stay, we must have our member services meeting and I have to say this time is was enjoyable.  We met with Chrissi and she was informative and very helpful!  Finally on our way, we went downtown and drove along Broadway Street and stopped in at the Honky Tonk Central for a beverage and as we sat in the lower level we caught sight of a Pedal Tavern!! 

Pedal Tavern right outside Honky Tonk Central
Coolest thing I have seen in a long time, next on the list was lunch at Margaritaville with very good Margarita’s!  After nice eats, it was back to the condo to change for The Grand Ole Opry! I will tell you they put on a great show, so after great music, libations from the in house bar and lots of pics we were back at the condo sitting on our patio listening to rolling thunder claps and watching lightening strike.  Although not the day I thought, it turned out to be perfect!

Front of Grand Ole Opry

Entry sidewalk, note big guitars

Day 3 was Celebrity Tour day!!!  We had a great breakfast and showered to ready ourselves for Home of the stars Tour! So we all went down to the Member center and waited for our bus to pick us up.  We got on the 25 passenger bus and after a couple of more stops we were ready to begin our 3 ½ hour tour. Our driver took us along Broadway Street again and showed us places of interest like Nashville’s first public school, LP Field (Titans field), old historical churches and the Shelby street pedestrian bridge.  Next we toured the homes of Minnie Pearl, Little Jimmy Dickens, Martina McBride (who has the cutest little blue VW bug!), members of Lady Antebellum, Kid Rocks condo and finally Taylor Swift’s apartment penthouse!! 

Kid Rock's Condo

Taylor Swifts Penthouse Apt
It really was a great day and the driver was funny and knew his stuff!  The ended with a nice dinner at the condo that ..  ahem .. I cooked for us, then you guessed it!  Ceeegars and cocktails on the patio to wind down such a great day!

Day 4 was saying Goodbye to the parents.  We were up early and helping them get the luggage and bags in the car for their long drive back to Ohio!  Then we were off to a quick meeting with Chrissi that we had requested because of how knowledgeable she was and we still had questions about Wyndham timeshare ownership. 
~~~
This is where I insert a note to self:

Self, never request a timeshare appointment and think you will be out of there in less than three hours.  Now back to you in the studio!
~~~

Needless to say, we wasted a whole day of our vacation with questions and sales people in the sales office.  Not to say that we didn’t learn a lot and I was ultimately glad that we did it.  So we went to dinner  back to the condo to wind down.  It was actually wonderful evening.

Broadway Street in Nashville
Day 5 was Country Music Hall of Fame and walking along Broadway Street.  We walked through the Museum and got quite a few pics and learned more about country music than a person has a right too.  Ha ha?  Ok.. anyhoo one of the most interesting things we learned is that country music was born in Nashville, but also had a cousin born in Bakersfield!  Who would of thunk it?  It was all due to Buck Owens and the Buckaroos and Merle Haggard, and then brought back to life by Dwight Yoakum.   One of the things that I had wanted to do was to go see Loretta Lynn's ranch but as we walked down Broadway, I came across Ernest Tubbs records where the Opry stars would sing in the midnight jamboree after the show!  I was in heaven!  I had only known about it from Loretta's movie, Coal Miner's daughter.  It was a wonderful experience and I fully recommend it!



Now onto Broadway street!  We stopped at several bars and had a few beers, did some window shopping and then back to the condo to relax and have a dinner for two!  It was such a great trip and I look forward to coming back! 

Thanks Sweet for another wonderful trip!!  Luvs U!

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Standin' by Tennessee

Our trip to Tennessee was a pretty good trip and unlike any other trip we have ever taken.  As most of you know, we fly standby and usually the trips are uneventful because we can usually get on any flight that we are listed for. It was not to be this time…  Ooooh Nooooo.

We started the trip Friday night and the flight we were listed for was leaving at 11:00pm, so we arrived around eight and checked our bags then went to The Buena Vista located within SFO to have a celebratory cocktail where we were actually carded!  She must have seen me on my left side…

Libations at the Buena Vista in SFO

Anyhoo, Sweet heard our names and we were on the flight. He was a little stressed because the flight was delayed due to maintenance.  I couldn’t sleep, not sure why, so I watched the in flight movie instead which was My Week with Marilyn.  The movie was pretty good but it made me sad for her.  After about an hour’s worth of sleep, we landed at O’Hare where we were supposed to have a 1 ½ layover, but with the delay in San Francisco we only had minutes.  So we get to our gate and we are told another delay, this due to weather.  Now Sweet is not happy with himself because he always checks the weather for our connecting flight and did not do it this time.

With flights delayed or cancelled due to a hailstorm and also a few plane inspections we were pretty sure we were going to be stuck in Chicago.  So Sweet went to work trying to get us out of there.  The answer?  His parents were driving from Ohio to meet up in the big TN, so they would detour and pick us up in Lexington, Kentucky.  Whew! 

Still with me? 

After a pleasant little flight on an express plane, we land at the Blue Grass airport in Kentucky and grab a bite to eat at The Tap Room located right inside the gate.  The derby was that weekend so hats and hatboxes were invading the waiting areas and sidewalks.  I wanted one so bad!!!

Attempted Derby Hat
It is now a road trip to Nashville after his parents pick us up!  We travel along the Kentucky Turnpike and the drive was beautiful!!  We all talked and laughed our way to Tennessee.  Our arrival is timed at somewhere around 5:30pm and we now need to go to the Nashville airport to retrieve our luggage that has been there since 8 that morning when we should have been.  Alas, we would have missed out on the quality time with his parents.  Which was good because they were very clear that at their age, it was probably their last trip.

I have to give thumbs up to United Airlines because when we walked into customer service to get our suitcases, the young man behind the counter was professional and prompt.  Now onto the rental car!  Avis check in was fab and the young woman behind that counter was wonderful, she had us in and out in no time.  We get to our car and as Sweet is loading the vehicle, I open the passenger door to get in and something pricks me.  I lean forward and my hand goes underneath me to see what it is.  I pull up a razor blade that was in the crevice of the seat blade side up. No bueno..  also no blood so complaint filed, we move on.

Finally at our destination, we check into the WyndhamNashville and it is gorgeous!  After unloading luggage, going to the store for groceries and libation ingredients (a must have when vacationing with parental units) we settle in out on the patio and relaxed!!  It was definitely a long and memorable day!!

Patio view from our room at Wyndham Nashville

Friday, May 4, 2012

Just another Writing Prompt!


Well, here is another prompt that I posted in April on the Writer’s Digest wall.  This premise is why you were late for a meeting.  Hope you like it!!  Please feel free to leave a comment, they are appreciated!

 ~~~~~~

Hannah stared down at her phone as it lay on the white tablecloth while she waited for her food.  She pushed the refresh button again to see if Roger had emailed her. She was getting impatient.  Instead the dreaded email of her boss displayed with a ding. 

“What could she possibly want?” Hannah growled.

 “Where the hell are you Miss Riley?” it read. “The meeting is in ten minutes and of course it looks as though you forgot!!!  Get your soon to be jobless ass here immediately!”

 “Oh crap!” Hannah mumbled as she threw a twenty on the table and hurriedly grabbed her suit jacket from the back of the chair then bent to grab her purse on the floor.  She rushed toward the little gate that separated the cafĂ©’s patio from the sidewalk and began to run.  Just as she rounded the corner she was enveloped into a rush of passengers coming from the ferry that had just docked and now filled the entirety of the walkway. 

The panic set in as she realized that she wasn’t going to make it and would have to deal with the evil that was Cora.  She made it to the crosswalk and while waiting for the light to change she realized that she had left her phone on the table.

“Shit!!”  Hannah was close to tears as she turned to make her way back through the crowd to the cafe.  She was in full sprint now and trying to think why she had even decided to go out to lunch? She knew why, it was Roger and her stomach jumped with excitement at the thought of his daily salacious emails.  She was now at the table she had been sitting at and no phone in sight.  She looked around and called out to a passing waitress.

 “Oh my God!  This can NOT be happening!”  She cried as she followed the young girl to the bar area where the lost and found was.

She looked up at the clock above the bar that teased her with the fact that she was already fifteen minutes late.  She wasn’t going to make it back for the meeting, which meant the bitch would surely fire her now.  She sat down on the nearest stool to wait for the waitress when she heard the sirens.  She looked up at the breaking news on the flat screen mounted in the corner and the reporter standing in front of the building where she worked.

 Hannah was listening but the words didn’t make sense.  She watched as people were running from the revolving doors with their hands up, some bloody and some being helped.  Police and SWAT teams were running inside along with paramedics.  The waitress came back with her phone as she listened of the shootings on the 17th floor.  Her floor. She looked down as her phone rang to life and Roger’s smiling face displayed on the screen.
 
“Honey, I think you just saved my life!” She whispered.


Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Those Blessed Writing Prompts

I made the dreadful mistake that I am sure (I hope) quite a few of you have made as well.  What could that possibly be you ask?   I allowed someone to read part of my novel(s) that I am working on and they were so disinterested and said the dreaded words “pretty good” while setting the papers down on the table that I call my workstation, then moving on to other discussions or food.  Bleh…

So I did what any insecure aspiring writer would do. I quit.

But just for a time, how stupid was that?  What was I expecting from these readers that I had ambushed to do when they read my little short stories or the jewel encrusted folder that is the haven for my novel?  Well I’ll tell you…

I wanted gush people!!    

So after I realized the errors of my ways, I dusted off my sparkly folder and went back to work.  I did however notice that my writing had changed and just as I go to the gym everyday, I really needed to write the morning pages that I had become accustomed to and exercise my thoughts, writing and words. 

I feel like my writing is back and although I am still trying to find my style, I feel good about it. I no longer am writing for gush but for me. So I am back to writing prompts and I want to enter competitions again.  My novel is coming along now that I am back at it.  I tried not to go back to page 1 and edit for the thousandth time, I just continued on with the story and figure I can change or mesh the styles later?  What do you think?

Anyhoo..  Here is a writing prompt that I posted on Writer’s Digest in April.  Its premise is Bribing an IRS Agent.  I changed it up a little based on a comment made by a wonderful person named Ann.   Hope you like it!!

~~~~~~~~

The doorbell rang and I sat at the kitchen table trying to pretend it wasn’t going to play out this way.  After the last several years, why even pretend?  The mess she and that spectacled bean counter left would never end.  I got up from the table and with the memory of that bitch’s voicemail I opened the door for the IRS. 

“Mr. Gauthier??”  The man at the door in the shiny black suit and sunglasses said darkly.

“Yes, please come in.” I moved back to let him in.  We sat down as he opened his briefcase and began to pull out folders.  He explained the discrepancies of my last two years tax returns and then went on to explain the consequences of blindly signing tax returns and listening to big breasted blond idiots.  Wait, I think that was just in my head.  I hadn’t heard a word he had said until I heard the word jail.

“Listen, isn’t there something we could do here?”  I said with sweat pouring down my temples.  “I mean to make this go away?”

“Are you attempting to bribe an agent of the IRS Mr. Gauthier?”

“I think I am kidding?”  I said clasping my hands together and looking down.

“Maybe there is something we can do” I looked up with relief in the distance. “ I see that you owe over a hundred thousand which would be the right amount of money needed for a hit job.” 

Did I hear him right?  I looked up and he was staring directly at me with those cold blue eyes.  After hearing him out and understanding the object of his murderous desire, I finally agreed.  I would kill the man about to testify at his fraud trial and he would correct my taxes so that all went away.  Hands shook and the deal was done.  What was I doing?

I moved in a fog for the next few days as I studied maps, schedules and photos of the soon to be deceased.  Then it came to me, I knew what I had to do to fix everything.  The plan was in motion already, might as well run with it.

The day had finally came and I was scared.  Armed with the gun Mr. Agent had given me, I followed his witness to the location that I had carefully planned for and just as I thought at 1:30 PM, in that familiar suburban alley. The Mercedes was there.  I walked up and fired two bullets into each of them.  I smiled as I watched the blond hair absorb the blood and the shocked look on his face.  I pulled off the gloves and wrapped the tape with the fingerprints of the IRS agent on the gun and tossed it. 

The next morning, I drank my coffee and read the insurance policy that would take care of all my problems with pictures of my Ex wife, my CPA and the IRS agent flashing across the TV in the background. 

*gush

Monday, April 30, 2012

What brings me Joy?


Today it is the little things that build the corners of my lips into the smile that fills my heart.

Waking up to the sunlight shining brightly through my bedroom window this morning.

My Sweet coming home from work and planting one right on my lips after wrapping his arms around my waist as I do the morning dishes. 

My Puppies lying around my feet while I write (when they are not wanting to go outside and then come back in every five minutes). 

Making it right on time for my Yoga class and seeing one of my oldest friends already saving a spot for me.

Rewarding myself for going to the gym by purchasing a skinny cow ice cream sandwich while grocery shopping.



Eating my Skinny Cow in my car while still in the parking lot because I don’t want to wait!  Then taking a pic and posting it to facebook to share it with my friends.

Coming home to the aromatic scent of cumin that fills the whole house, which draws me to stir the chicken still cooking in the pot cooker from this morning.

The excitement that my puppies show me when I walk through the door, so much so that they jump and dance around me as I make my way to the kitchen with the groceries.

Now, the joyest of joys?  Waiting for my GBaby to come over so we can play!

The fact that this has just been this morning and I am so blessed that this is my life.

These are the things that bring me joy today.  Can’t wait for the rest of the day!!



Friday, April 20, 2012

Kardashians and the Shahs


Well, they got me.  Reality TV has been scheduled on my DVR.

Yep that’s right, I now have an insane need to find out what is happening with the Kardashians, how Bethany’s Ever After is going and then of course must know what Reza from the Shahs of Sunset is going to do next as an openly gay Persian.  I was the person that made fun of anyone that knew anything about the Housewives of anywhere or which sixteen year old was pregnant again by somebody else while still having problems with “Tha Baby Daddy”. 

In my opinion this behavior was such a waste of valuable time, thirty or sixty minute intervals of life that they will never get back.  Now having said this, I was sucked in when reality shows were babies and proud to say that I cried when Kelly won in the first season of American Idol. I have watched ever since and I wait for the first show of the season like opening day of Giants baseball.  It tickles me when my pal Ryan states in only the way he can “THIS is AMERican Idol!” 


Then of course there was Survivor that I only watched the first and second season but then quit and until Survivor comes to my hometown, I won’t be watching again.  I think…

Well, here I am all these years later and since I haven’t worked in just about a year, my daily activities include household chores, landscaping, cooking, the gym, errands and of course writing.  So if I am not plugging away at my laptop keyboard, scribbling in my novel notebooks or jotting down daily activities in my travel journal, I am watching the boob tube with my puppies.  (Sidebar: who came up with boob tube?) 

It’s happened, I have fallen into the darkness and have been lured in by all the daytime TV and commercials whispering suggestions and subliminal messages of what happens next in my ears to fill my desire to know.  Yes, It’s an addicition. I hate it but just can’t stop watching!  I am doing nothing about it people!  I am reveling in the curiosity of someone willing to put his or her life on TV. I am rolling around in the “problems” they face and finally listening intently to the sickening sweetness that comes from their lips.  I now find myself worrying about or wanting to mentor them like a family member. 

I now know in my heart that Kris Kardashian and I are motherhood sisters.  I do worry if Khloe will ever get pregnant but at the same time want everyone to just leave her alone.  I feel so sorry for Bruce and Kourtney?  I just don’t know about her yet…  I think more of a psychological evaluation on my part is needed for a diagnosis of her life.  Then there is KIM!  Love her or hate her, she is who she is.  Me thinks that the main ingredient for her recipe is consistency.


My newest addiction is the Shahs of Sunset and the drawing factor for me is the extravagance that is displayed what with pillared entries to what they call home or the bottles of Cristal that flows endlessly which apparently is the Persian lifestyle.  I worry about GG and if she will ever find love because she is a terrible date and a bit shallow.  The piece de resistance?  Reza!  Hellloooo!  Who doesn’t love him!  He is who he is and doesn’t care!!      ooooh snap!


Sweet has rolled eyes and ahem’d more times than I like when he sees the 81% of our DVR used and asks me when I will ever have time to watch all that I have scheduled to record to which I reply “No worries”.  Thankfully I am not at the point where I have elected to follow them on Twitter because if that happens I think a full-blown intervention will be required.

Knowing that there are so many other things to do and realizing that I am now one of those people that wastes that never ending valuable time. I have succumbed after avoiding this debauchery for so long, I am now a viewing prisoner but like Reza says,  “At the end of the day, they have my back and I have theirs.  Hellloooo, we’re Persian!”







Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The End of my day

This morning I woke up and I realized that my week of debauchery was over.  You see, I gave up hard alcohol, wine and beef for lent this year so once Easter Sunday hit, I imbibed great quantities of Champagne and wine with a grilled steak that I truly believe no human being could bring to a culinary explosion except for Sweet.   Two days later, I decided that I would take a week off from working out, eating right and not drinking during the week.  

I think I earned it right?  40 days and 40 nights people!!

So, this morning, I lay in bed with my Pom, Mr. Oliver staring at me as though I didn't remember that he finally recovered from the craziness (I mean crazy) that took over his little body during the three weeks of having a tantalizing scent surrounding him like a catnip cloud. Not to mention the engorged female anatomy of  Lady, our other Pom, backing it up to him like chocolate on a silver tray.



I was waiting for him to shout out "I'm Baaaack" as though he had been through a Poltergeist experience.  So I get up and clean the kitchen, make my green tea, feed the dogs and head off to the gym for a little cardio and my Yoga class.  A few errands later, I was back at home for more chores and lunch. Fortunately, I only gained 2 LB’s during this self-indulged week of what basically comes down to going rogue.

Not too bad for everything I ate, oh and drank!  -blush-  Boy did I miss those Martini’s. 


 
So here I am with my puppies staring at me from their foyer perch and still trying to decide if they want to be inside or out.  Now with a glass of wine, my two dollar reading glasses and a comfortable mess on my table.  I will continue with the beauty of the end of my day.

Life is good!



 

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Good Lord deliver me

From the cowardice that dares not face new truths,

From the laziness that is content with half truths,

From the arrogance that thinks it knows all truths,

Good Lord deliver me.


~ A Kenyan prayer

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

The Dangerous I face

“If you don’t face the dangerous in your writing, you won’t change other people, because you’re not changing you.”    ~Naomi Wolf

This quote prompts the eternal question that plagues I hope not just me, but all writers new and experienced.  What is the dangerous in my writing? 

So I thought about it for some time and came to the conclusion that the dangerous I face in my writing would be the self truths that linger just behind a story line and creep in and out of the creative process for someone to enjoy not knowing that somewhere in the deep dark crevices I lay with a ball cap and sunglasses watching and waiting for someone I know to recognize a sentence, a word or an emotion. 

Then it all blows up.

I believe that it will happen for me and my writing will be there for all to see, bare and beautiful.  So what happens when the explosion rings through my ears and the smoke settles?  I continue writing and my sword will be my pen…

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

An Unseated Moment

The unseated moment for me transpired over a long period of time and was so slow in its existence that I didn’t even realize my life was changing until it was over.  I believe the medical types call it “perimenopause” and it is a not for the faint of heart!  I have spoken about this before in journals, blogs and on paper but never thought of anything good coming from it, until now.

My emotions ebbed and flowed, the stress warped my shoulder muscles and the depression sucked the life out of me.  I struggled with the wine bottle, as it was becoming a deeper friend to me than I had ever intended or wanted.  Then one day as I sat in my darkened living room watching the ever mind numbing sound box for the millionth hour, I watched a woman make a cake and thought I can do that!

It had to be the Prozac that I was told to take for this womanly transition into stage two of my so called life because I could cook pretty well, but to take on baking seemed insane.  I went to the store and bought a cookbook as well as a book of dessert recipes. With my love of reading, I studied these recipes and read them like the fictional tale of my favorite authors. The ingredients, the directions, the music that played while I would mix, whir, stir and fold.  I bought utensils, kitchen accessories, and more cookbooks to perfect my craft.  I would ask Santa every year for a new gadget that I needed because I knew I was on the good girl list!    I was lost in the masterpieces that I created and longed for the solitary movements of the dance that was food creation. 



Birthday cakes, muffins for coworkers, many recipes tried by the friends of my children that I lovingly called my precious guinea pigs as I rubbed my palms back and forth.  Dinner parties came next with friends and family enjoying all that lay before them on the table.  The smells that filled the senses upon entering my home was that of coziness and love.  Menus were the most fun to create, as the food became a Broadway play for all to enjoy. 

It has been about eleven years now and my kitchen is one of beauty with all my gadgets, a fill of herbs and spices and a pantry that has items that one would never think to purchase built from many recipes followed or created.  The menopause? Well the hot flashes still come and go, no more night sweats and a good bottle of Merlot is still my friend and thankfully not my prison.  The art that happens now no longer comes from a place unseated or a medical need to remain the same but a place of love and a craft perfected.



Monday, March 26, 2012

The Poetry of Youth

I have been going through some old boxes and trying to condense all that I brought to Sweet’s house after hastily moving to an apartment from my old life and then moving directly to his house.  I took over two closets and his gym with my crap so after two years, I figured it was time to go through everything.

It was so nice seeing all my old stuff and going through the mementos, pictures and most especially the boxes that I had begun for each child that was to hold all the special moments of their lives growing up!

I went through their boxes and it was melancholy yet without a hint of tears.  Bravo!! It was joyful and happy, it was better than a time machine in an amusement park.  First Born’s kindergarten paintings that I somehow knew to lovingly put in plastic. My daughter’s softball awards, the photo pins and her high school letter jacket.  Youngest’s kids many sunglasses that he had to have and so much more!

Then it was time for my box.  My box contained items from high school, pre and post divorces, relationships, friendships and some family items.  It was a time machine but not like the aforementioned amusement park.  No mine was more like a chronological viewing of what had been.  You know the old saying that some things are better left unsaid?  That’s right, I found all the old diaries.

So I sat for hours that turned to days reading what made me happy, sad, worried, oh so proud (actually said that many times) and all the emoticons that appeared before my eyes as I placed the emotion for that particular entry.

Then sitting between two pages and stuck to one was an attempt at poetry and although I don’t see how I would have written this for the person that had been discussed on either of those pages, I found that some times even bad poetry is timeless. 

 
Enjoy!


When I first met you,
                                    you scattered every emotion
I held throughout the whole of my being.

                                    The charm within your soul
stunned my senses to heights
beyond imagination.

You enticed my will and
anchored my heart and you
have become a special person
in my life.

                                    I cherish the day we met and
I wait to hold you in
my heart again.


Riiiiight?

Friday, March 23, 2012

Hello from the Big Island!!

I am so blessed that Sweet loves to vacay and travel as much as I do.  We love Hawaii and plan on visiting a different island every year.  This year was the Big Island, Kona to the locals.  Special note~ Hawaiian’s really do not care for people calling it the Big Island, just as San Franciscans really don’t like the word Frisco.  Hmmm..

This trip was extra special because we took my BestieFF along with us.  Bestie Y we will call her was a little leary of going with us because she had not been on a vacay in such a long time.  Sweet works for the airlines so if you have read of my travels before, you know we always fly standby.  We have had pretty good luck when we fly, by that I mean making the flight we hope to, so when we asked Bestie Y to go with us, I wasn’t sure how this would work.  Of course, without a hitch!!

Now Sweet is a bit OCD responsible and on Day 1, he called me ten minutes before my alarm went off, so with sleepy salutations I told him I would call him back.  (head shakes with love)  So I finally get up around 4:30 and get ready because Bestie Y is coming to pick me up!  After the luggage was loaded into her SUV, we finally got on the road.  It had been raining that day in our area and as soon as we got on the freeway, the heavens opened again and it was coming down in sheets!!  We could barely see but we made it!!  Sweet was waiting outside for us and we were on our way!

We landed in Kona and my goodness it is beautiful and Hot!  There is just something about Hawaii that is peaceful and easy.  Chillaxing is really a word there.  So we get our car and head straight for our condo in Kailua.  (Sidenote:  He owns timeshares with Wyndham and we couldn’t ask for a better company to have timeshares with!  Back to you in the studio!)  We stopped at the Bite Me Fish Market and Grill to eat and the food was amazing, so was the bucket of island beers that Sweet bought.  

Outside Patio at Bite Me Fish Market and Grill

We got to our condo, Wyndham Royal Sea Cliff and as always the room was fabulous!  We unpacked, put on some suntan lotion and went to the grocery store to fill the kitchen for the week and of course the ingredients for delicious imbibing.   Then we just hung out on the lanai and watched the sun go down.  Ahhhh..  chillaxing…


Day 2 was St. Patricks day in Hawaii!  Bestie Y and I started the day with some Yoga while Sweet went to the meet and greet that the Royal Seacliff offers.  Then it was breakfast prep time and a nice meal on the lanai!  Sweet came back just in time and then announced that we were going to stay an extra day!  Yayyyy..   who doesn’t love that?  So we just piled on the suntan lotion and hung out at the pool all day until it was time to get ready for dinner.  We celebrated St. Patty’s day at Lulu’s and the place was amazing, oh and food was so yummy!  Next we went to a little place on the beach called Huggo’s on the Rocks where they had a little Celtic band.  It was a perfect first day!


Day 3 was Volcano day so we got up early, had breakfast and drove to Volcanoes National Park, which is about a 2 hour drive from our hotel.  It was a beautiful drive along the Hawaii Belt where you see beaches, greenery, small little towns and also spots of rain.  We went to the Jagger Museum, Crater Rim, Holei Sea Arch, Thurston Lava Tube, Black Sand beach and even watched a Hawaiian burial ceremony.  We ended our day at the hotel making dinner, having drinks and enjoying each other’s company.
Holei Sea Arch

Ponalu'u Black Sand Beach Park
Day 4 was Beach day!!  We started at the Sheraton Breakfast buffet then began driving along the coast road.  We saw black crabs and sea urchins.  We went to Kukio Beach where we saw Green Sea Turtles that lay up on the rocks and beach.  Next is was Hapuna State Beach park where we wrote in sand and watched children play at the water’s edge.  Yep, I was one of them….  We then went to Pololu Valley Lookout where we could see people on the beach down below should you decide to hike down.. no no, we didn’t.  Maybe next time.  Then it was back to the hotel and poolside with some snacks and Hawaiian singers.  Another great day in the HI.

Green Sea Turtles at Kukio Beach
Day 5 was Snorkeling!!  The day started with a meeting that Sweet had to attend which is not required by Wyndham but usually you get money, coupons or gifts so he goes.  Bestie Y and I did what anyone waiting for someone in Hawaii would do.  Poolside!!  It was so nice laying in the hot sun and taking cool dips in the pool.  We also met some ladies from Canada that actually knew our little nor cal town by the outlets that we are apparently famous for.  Hilda and Barb, they are quite the charactas!  So on to Kahalu’u Beach park for snorkeling.  The water was so blue and the fish were beautiful colors of love and sun.  We snorkeled for hours then it was on to shopping!!  Best part of our trips, well at least to me.  I don’t think Sweet enjoys it too much.  Finally it was on to a luau by the pool where we were pulled up to dance with the dancers!  So much fun.

Kahalu'u Beach Park
Day 6 was time to leave so we packed up the suitcases, did a little luau dance with breakfast and left for the airport.  The flight home was uneventful and as always it is good to be home!  My daughter stayed with our puppies that were crazy excited to see us when we returned.  Bestie Y, Sweet and I had such a great time, can’t wait for the next trip! 



Thanks you Sweet for another wonderful memory!