Saturday, August 11, 2012

Here's To Us

I was told the other someone who has only known me for just a few years, that I had really changed. The person told me that I was in no way the person I was when they first met me. I was not sure whether this was a compliment or not....but in fact I knew this to be an accurate statement. I have changed so much in the last few years in fact,  that I hardly recognize myself and barely remember the person I used to be (which actually might be a good thing). Heck...I have even changed a lot in the last six months. I can't say that it is all for the good, but then again....I can say that I like myself more today than I ever have. 

Yesterday was my wedding anniversary and although I wasn't in the depths of grief....the knowledge that once again I would not be spending the rest of my life or growing old with my best friend was brought home to me like a hammer. I fought the tears most of the day....but I must confess I shed a few anyway. Then I remembered.....he (Tim) of all people would want me happy and in the big scheme of things I really am. The reason for this in great part, is due to my friends.

I would not be the person I am today without the people around me. Yes..of course I am not forgetting my family whom have been what makes my world go round and who have shaped and molded me for both the good and bad all these years. However...I could not have made it through all the low spots nor would I have enjoyed the high spots nearly as much.....had it not been for my friends. I realized of late just how blessed I am in the friend department. I have many and I found this out when David was about to have surgery. Those that stepped up to help out were amazing. I cried more tears of gratitude in the last few months than I think I have cried my whole life. 

If you have read my know that this time of year throws me into an emotional whirlwind and as happy as I have been this year, the emotions are still sparking high. This year amongst all the other emotions I have had the honor of watching David recoup, recover and rehab in amazing ways. In the last week he has shown me in no uncertain terms that he is on his way to walking....with a vengeance. Even more wonderful than that his seizure activity is completely controlled by his current meds. This hasn't happened in over three years. Living with a miracle takes a huge toll on your emotions. Trust me. Lucky for me....I have people who I can share his every triumph with and I have no doubt I am not the only one who has shed a tear or two watching my young man achieve. 

This week coming up is going to bring me close to friends that I have known for years but only a couple of times a year are we able to connect. For some of is distance and for the rest of is just time, schedules and life. It doesn't matter though because when we do get time has passed and we always have fun. These people I have known before my children and my husband. For some reason God chose to give me these people early on in my life knowing that someday they would be as important to me as family and that I would love each and everyone of them unconditionally just as I know they love me. I can't wait to see these people and spend time with them knowing that no matter what we do or who else is around....we share a bond that no one can touch.

Are you wondering why the sappy emotional blog? Well, I heard a song today that reminded me that time goes by so quickly. For my friends and I, the last 30 years has raced by in the blink of an eye and before the next 30 years pass...I want those who are important to me to know just what they mean to my life. Without the friends I have I would never have made it out of my teens let alone to today. I would never have laughed to the point of crying or been able to find humor in the sad. I have called you in the middle of the night and had you race to the emergency room, you have taken care of my children, fed me when I was too tired to feed myself or my family. You have guided me with your wisdom, made me laugh at your antics, you have gotten me drunk, sobered me up and yelled at me when I needed it. You have traveled great distances to hold my hand and sat next to me in silence when no words were necessary. We have laughed, we have fought and we always find our way back to each other. Most importantly though....I know that if I needed any of you.....for any reason at all......each of you are only a text or a phone call away. And that folks is what makes my friends the greatest friends of all. Berty, Thiry, Chris, Allen, Marni, Phil, Kevin, Steve and all of you I dedicate this song. For the sake of decorum (I have very little) I will put the family friendly version on here. I will also give you the link to the heart felt version.

So my friends.....Here's To Us!

Heartfelt version. Here's To Us!

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Venus Flytrap

What an interesting day I had! I know you may find this hard to believe but I tend to whine a little alot! So you see....I was whining the other day about my hair. It is long and don't get me wrong...I like it long, in fact I have worked hard to get it this long, but it is also hot and thick and heavy. I was saying that I needed to cut it (as in trim) and color it and financially I just don't have the money. I actually left out the money part but mentally that is what I was thinking. Anyway...out of no where a hair angel appeared (don't know who you are!) The hair angel appeared with low and behold....MONEY and said "I want you to go get your hair done...BUT, there are conditions to me giving you this money." Darn! Always the conditions! Condition #1~I must not tell anyone who my hair angel is. This is doable. I can keep a secret. Well I CAN!!!! Condition #2~I had to go to this salon in Derby that my hair angel insisted I try out. No problemo! I mean it is free and although I am somewhat attached to my hair...if worse comes to worse it is just hair. It will always grow back. Right?! And finally....Condition #3~after my salon experience...good or hair angel asked that I write a blog about it. Hmmmm....good or bad???? I could definitely do that! So begins my hair story......

I was thinking that I would wait until next week after the kids were in school and I had some real time to get my hair done. As fate would have it though.....I woke up with REALLY bad hair today and decided that if possible....I would make the time right then and there. My hair angel had instructed me to try this salon in Derby. I had passed by it a million times and had even run into and had a conversation with one of the owners awhile back. Her name was Erica and she had intrigued me from the first moment I saw her. She was quite pretty in an edgy sort of way and very nice and personable. I saw she was carrying some info with her shop name on it and so I asked her if she worked there. Thus the conversation began and as I said....she was intriguing from her tattooed sleeve to the very way she spoke. I mentally made a note to someday just go into her salon and check it out. As life goes though....I never did.

Skip to today. You know....horrid hair day and all. So I look up the number for the salon and called......and low and behold I talked to a wonderful girl named Allie who said that she could indeed get me in within the hour. Yay me! The salon I am referring to is a little pink place in Derby right on the main drag (Baltimore). The salon is called Venus Flytrap. As I said...I have driven by this place a million times over the last year and always wanted to stop. At first I didn't even realize it was a salon. I thought it was just a funky little boutique with it's pink and black and visible animal prints in the window. I love places like this. As I walked in...I was not disappointed. You could imagine that before these girls took hold of the place that it was cement and drab, but with the magic of Nikki and Erica the owners....this little cement hole had been turned into fresh and fun. The decor is black, gold and pink with vintage or vintage looking pieces throughout. It houses a quaint little sitting area/boutique and then three hair dresser stations. The walls are an eclectic array of colorful pieces along with salon co-owner Nikki's artwork. Just sitting and looking around was half the fun.

On meeting the stylists Nikki and my stylist Allie...I was very impressed. Both were dressed casually yet fun (there goes that word again) and both had gorgeous hair which always impresses me. I love going into a salon where the stylist show not only their dedication to others hair....but also their own. Both also had gorgeous tattoo's which as anyone who knows me knows that I love tattoo's!

The salon is a busy little place with customers always coming in and out and the phone constantly ringing. In my book...that spells a good salon. Immediately Allie asked what I was wanting. Funny thing...I always think I know what I want on the way to the salon, but once there....I feel as if my tongue is in knots and I don't have the verbal skills to form a sentence. I think my part of the consultation went something like...."Hair cut! No! Trimmed. Color! Cover gray! All gray! Red throughout!" Apparently Allie understood incoherent idiot as she quickly got to work putting on the all-over color and then bleaching out the pieces which would later be red. While the color processed I sat and watched the line of customers coming in and out. I saw women of all ages and the cuts were wonderful. No one walked out with the standard set and style and no one over 60 walked out looking like they were wearing a helmet. I love seeing an older woman (yes....older than me) with fun (I know...that word again) spikey hair. I saw no one walk out dissatisfied. In fact what I saw were people who were very happy with not only the cut/color/style they walked out with....but you could also see the physical/mental lift the new do gave them.

Once the bleach had processed Allie gave me yet another consultation. You see...I had visions of BRIGHT red streaks in my hair. She had visions of a client who had not saturated her hair with box color over and over again. Neither one of our visions was correct. Allie explained that in order to take all the color out that I would need to and put in the color I hair would have to process to the point of breaking off and falling out. Ummmm.....NO! She also explained that the condition of my hair was due to box hair color. Mental color BAD! She also explained that the color I wanted would likely only hold its brilliance for a couple of days and then turn pink. Now I love pink....just not sure that is the color I wanted in my hair. She then showed me a color red that was actually red red. She said this would be a better choice with the condition of my hair and also as it faded I would stay a red and not fade to a pink. As much as I hate not controlling....I deferred to her expertise and we went with the red red. Boy was she right!

After the color had set and all was washed and ready to go....she then trimmed the dead ends, layered it up (something I had fought against for awhile) and framed my face. I loved it!!! The finale was when she not only gave me soft loose curls, but showed me how to do it myself.  Yes...I am almost 50 and still have issues with curling irons! The finished look was awesome. She then made me promise to return for color and NOT go near another box of color!!! there a 12 step program for this????

I also found out that Venus Flytrap is moving. They have found themselves to be just too much funky fun for this small building. As of Sept. 1st they will have relocated to just down the way from Riverside Cafe (another one of the places I have blogged about).

So I couldn't have asked for a better hair experience and hair angel took care of the cost for me. Of course I have upheld my end by abiding by the conditions....and I am pleased to say that I will return to Allie and Venus Flytrap again. And now that my work here is finished..... I think I will go admire my cute hair!

Monday, August 6, 2012

It Was a Good Summer

Today has been a day of reflection. First of all it was a Monday....and Monday's seldom please me. As Monday's go could have been much worse. All worked out (or at least I have hopes it will work out) for the best.

As I was hanging clothes out on the line after begging, pleading and losing my temper with several people on the the hopes of accomplishing my ability to finish up my Associates degree in the fall, it was as if a weight was lifted off my shoulders. I could feel the warmth of the sun hitting on me as I carefully and lovingly hung my clothes out to dry. Trust me is the ritual of the hanging that causes the love and care...the clothes are just a vessel. At any rate I found myself thinking of and planning this blog and also thinking about the summer of 2012 which will be quickly coming to an end if not calendar wise, then school wise..... next week.

I couldn't help but think of all the summers that have started and ended in what seemed like the blink of an eye, with little to show for them except maybe some color to the skin and a growth spurt. As a kid the anticipation of summer was almost too much to bear only to have it swiftly gone in the midst of too many mornings allowed to sleep too late after too many nights of staying up too late. First it was playing outside until well after the street lights came on, then it was Dragging Douglas and river parties, then it was the lake and hanging out anywhere but our small town. When my own kids came along the summers went from going by quickly to having a warp speed that even Captain Kirk would be proud of......and again...little to show for the experience. Some summers have been filled with just plain day to day family life, some with grief and some with seizures and hospital visits. I can honestly say that more summers in my life have come and gone in the haze of break neck speed than I care to or even can remember. This summer has been different.

My mother in law told me once that the earlier the locust start buzzing, the earlier the fall. I have watched and she seems to know what she is talking about. If that is truly the case then we should be going headlong into fall quite early this year as the locust hum has been a fixture around here since early June. Another sign are the leaves. With the 100+ degree days occurring almost daily and no visible precipitation the grass has become like straw and the leaves have dried, turned brown and are already carpeting the ground. Yep...fall appears to be just a cool breeze away.

While fall is typically my favorite time of year with the beauty of the seasons changing and the brisk, rejuvenating air along with the hustle and bustle of the new school year...this year, I am not quite ready to see summer leave. Although we went into summer fresh from David's surgery and not knowing what to expect from his recovery or how our life was going to be.....things just seemed to work in a way that brought my family closer together. Maybe it was the realization of how blessed we were for David to even be able to have the surgery and then the even greater blessing of him surviving it. Whatever the put a different feel into this summer. And it wasn't just me....Z seemed to feel it too. While he did hang with friends quite a bit, I also saw him draw closer to family. He was the first one to suggest ideas in the yard and we planned our days instead of flying by the seat of our that nothing would be missed. For me there was realization that in just a couple of years I would be preparing Z for college and his attention would be anywhere but home. Perhaps he felt that too and again....also knowing what wonderful things that were now possible in Davids life gave our family a light that had not flickered in a while.

We also had the blessing of my oldest coming back into our lives with real change in tow. He too had some life epiphanies that were starting to mold and change him and having the young man I used to know reappearing in our lives especially this summer made for joy I hadn't felt in years. As a family we were able to barbecue, swim and actually reacquaint ourselves with each other. It was truly many prayers answered and some answered that I wasn't even aware that I had asked for.

So this evening....I sat out on the porch and just listened. It was all the sounds of a small town in summer. The locust busily hummed to one another as the lightening bugs began to move and flash their tails around the yard. Couples passed by on their evening walks and down the street kids could be heard laughing as they ran and played under the street lights. There were smells from close by of barbecues preparing dinner and music coming from an open window. It was a summer evening at its finest and I was privileged to be there for the show.

Sitting there....I realized that I think I slowed summer down just a bit this year....or maybe I just paid closer attention. I made as many minutes as I could count and I spent a great deal of time counting my blessings. Most years as summer ends I am more than happy to say good bye to yard work, send the kids back to school and be rid of the constant heat, but not this year. This year I will miss the days in the yard working with Z and talking about the future. His hopes, his dreams and what lies ahead for us all. I will miss quiet moments hanging clothes on the line or sitting on the porch in the evening listening to all that summer has to offer. I will miss afternoons in the pool and pushing the mower around our endless back yard. I will miss bbq's and outdoor games and I will even miss the heat. I believe next week there might even be tears as I send my boys off to another year of school and watch each leave the house a little taller and each a little closer to the time when their school years will be behind them. was a good summer!

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Chick-Fil-A. Hypocrites and a Youtube Video

Can I just say right here and right now how much I despise hypocrites? I do! We all have our moments I know, but darn....some have more than their share. I had really and truly intended to put this whole Chick-Fil-A thing to bed and leave my last words on it as my last words, but what I am seeing makes that just darn near impossible.

When I made my original post about had more to do with free speech than it did with the issue at hand. The issue really should have been free speech but it turned into a big debate about my personal views on the issue of gay marriage. As someone succinctly put views amount to very little as I would not jump parties to vote for one issue, so my view point and a quarter won't buy you a cup of coffee, nor do anything for the cause at election time.YES I vote!

The issue at hand was free speech and the lines you saw at Chick-Fil-A's all over the country yesterday....I believe were in support of just this. YES people....get used to it. This country is still a faith based country full of Christians who believe in God, His word and the bible. As much as that is a fact...there is also the fact that people are realizing that in the last four years our freedoms are slowly being taken away. Perhaps the belief is that if they are taken in small pieces we will never notice. The few are trying to control the many and in some cases it has been successful. Maybe people have been being pushed towards a breaking point and this was it. Maybe also, when Mr. Cathy spoke up and spoke out about his beliefs (as he had the right to do in this country) and their was such outrage (at least the media told us there was) that he had done so, the many decided that they were tired of being told expressing an opinion different than the opinion of the few was wrong.

Does anyone else see the hypocrisy of the left running a muck here? The left claim to be a people of tolerance and fairness....right up until the time someone disagrees with them. Then they become a people of great intolerance and an unfairness that borders on fascism. What brought this point home so fervently was a video I saw on facebook through youtube. First I will let you watch it and then I will EXPLODE my feelings with all the zeal my 1st Amendment rights allow!!!!

When I watched this video, it literally made me sick. Granted he has the right to free speech as well as Mr. Cathy did but he did not have the right to a) film someone without their consent and b) "try" (I say try because he couldn't have been more unsuccessful) to humiliate and degrade both her and Chick-Fil-A on video.

This young woman handled herself with grace and dignity as Mr. Smith hurled insults about Chick-Fil-A and this woman's job at her. She also told him she was not comfortable with him filming her and yet he continued. He also tried to make her ashamed of working at Chick-Fil-A. REALLY? In this economy anyone who has a job should consider themselves lucky and to try and shame her for doing said job and doing it well.....I would say this gentleman's tactics backfired on him and made him look like the pompous, intolerant individual that he truly is. If I were him rather than put this on youtube as triumph for whatever cause he thought he was supporting by acting in such a shameful way, he should have tucked tail, erased the tape and realized he only showed how intolerant and uncaring the left really are to those that don't jump on their bandwagon. Lets face it...Mr. Smith couldn't have been a better political tool for the right had he tried. Free speech for all.....except for those that disagree with me! Right?! Perhaps we should all thank Mr. Smith for his ability to show the left as they truly are and not as they try to sell themselves (you know....tolerant and all!)

The bottom line is...whether anyone agreed with Mr. Cathy's beliefs or not....he was entitled to them. In fact if he had wanted to get on the rooftop of Chick-Fil-A and scream his beliefs to anyone listening....he was also entitled to that. As a free country where free thought and speech should be valued above all things....we should have rallied behind Mr. Cathy and supported his ability to think and feel as he does. Instead...the media tried to make it a war and the current administration tried to use it as political tool for the upcoming election. If you were watching the news yesterday.....I think we are all aware of just how badly both the war and upcoming election ploy failed. In fact....if Chick-Fil-A was any indication of how this country is feeling....if I were the current administration....I would be afraid come November! VERY afraid!