Tuesday, June 16

When You Have The Time, Drop A Dime

History will tell you that ladies tend to like talking on the phone more than men.

As pre-teens, we obsess over having our own phone in our room preferably and our own line if daddy will foot the extra expense. Outside of wanting to feel like a supercool chick when our friends came over, the privacy of our own phone line was AWESOME. We could talk to our girlfriends and our boy crushes into the wee hours of the morning. Talk included parents, teachers, friends, boys…boys…boys, fashion, makeup, what the heck was going on with our bodies…just to name a few.

As we grow older and mature, those long phone calls turn into the desire to be with someone. The phone calls are exchanged for nights out with our friends, after parties, bom-fires and rolling around town with whomever was lucky enough to have a car.

As I have recently gotten to know a special someone, I have taken pleasure in the warm fuzzy feeling I have with just a simple phone call. I feel again like a gitty high schooler waiting for her boyfriend to call. My voice goes up several octaves and I twirl my hair and tilt my knees inward. I giggle at every silly comment and laugh too hard at his jokes. I accept his every compliment with sincerity and repay compliments with the same sincerity.

For those of you out there who are married, in a long term relationship or perhaps wishing to get closer to a special someone, do not underestimate the power of a simple phone call.

A quick hello during lunch to let them know you are thinking of them. An afternoon call squeezed in between meetings to tell your lover that you can’t wait to see them when you get home. Or perhaps a call on your ride home to say, “I love you and I'll be home soon"!

When you have the time, drop a dime…to the one your with (or want to be)!

Monday, June 15

Thank You For The Reminder That I Am

There are times in life when you feel like the people that surround you understand you.

There are times in life when you feel like the people that surround you misunderstand you.

There are times in life when you meet a complete stranger and have an instant connection.

There are times in life when you spend years talking with someone but never really get to know them.

There are times in life when you feel as if you finally have things figured out.

There are times in life when you realize you have not even begun to scratch the surface of the complexity of life.

There are times in life when you feel like the end of something is near.

There are times in life when you feel like that day is the first day of the rest of your life.

There are times in life when you are your best.
There are times in life when you are your worst.

There are times in life when you have demonstrated character traits that you want to be remembered for.
There are times in life when you have demonstrated character traits that you hope someone doesn’t remember.

I want to send a special thanks to someone who has recently reminded me that no matter who I am…no matter how rich or poor, how fat or thin, how pretty or ugly, how wrong or right…that what really matters is how I treat people and the impact I have on other’s lives.

Thursday, June 11

A Man Who Vowed To Never Forget

The person who did this was Jack Benny....You have to read this it is absolutely beautiful.....

Each year he sent her roses,
And the note would always say,
I love you even more this year,
Than last year on this day.
My love for you will always grow,
With every passing year.'
She knew this was the last time
That the roses would appear.
She thought, he ordered roses
In advance before this day.
Her loving husband did not know,
That he would pass away.
He always liked to do things early,
Way before the time.
Then, if he got too busy,
Everything would work out fine.
She trimmed the stems and
Placed them in a very special vase.
Then, sat the vase beside
The portrait of his smiling face..
She would sit for hours,
In her husband's favorite chair.
While staring at his picture,
And the roses sitting there.
A year went by, and it was
To live without her mate..
With loneliness and solitude,
That had become her fate.
Then, the very hour,
The doorbell rang, and there
Were roses sitting by her door.
She brought the roses in,
And then just looked at them in shock.
Then, went to get the telephone,
To call the florist shop.
The owner answered, and she asked him,
If he would explain,
Why would someone would do this to her, causing her such pain?
'I know your husband passed away,
More than a year ago,'
The owner said,
'I knew you'd call, and you would want to know.'
The flowers you received today,
Were paid for in advance.
Your husband always planned ahead,
He left nothing to chance.
There is a standing order,
That I have on file down here,
And he has paid, well in advance,
You'll get them every year
There also is another thing,
That I think you should know,
He wrote a special little card...he did this years ago.
Then, should ever I find out that he's no longer here, that's the card that should be sent to you the following year.'
She thanked him and hung up the phone, her tears now flowing hard.
Her fingers shaking,
As she slowly reached to get the card.
Inside the card, she saw that he
Had written her a note...
Then, as she stared in total silence,
This is what he wrote..
'Hello my love, I know it's been a year
Since I've been gone.
I hope it hasn't been too hard for you to
Overcome.
I know it must be lonely,
And the pain is very real.
Or if it was the other way,
I know how I would feel.
The love we shared made everything
So beautiful in life.
I loved you more than words can say,
You were the perfect wife.
You were my friend and lover,
You fulfilled my every need.
I know it's only been a year,
But please try not to grieve.
I want you to be happy,
Even when you shed your tears.
That is why the roses will be sent to you for years
When you get these roses,
Think of all the happiness that we had together,
And how both of us were blessed.
I have always loved you and
I know I always will.
But, my love, you must go on,
You have some living still.
Please..try to find happiness,
While living out your days.
I know it is not easy,
But I hope you find some ways.
The roses will come every year,
And they will only stop,
When your door's not answered,
When the florist stops to knock.
He will come five times that day,
In case! You have gone out.
But after his last visit,
He will know without a doubt!
To take the roses to the place,
Where I've instructed him
And place the roses where we are,
Together once again.
Sometimes in life, you find a special friend;
Someone who changes your life
Just by being part of it.
Someone who makes you laugh
Until you can't stop;
Someone who makes you believe
That there really is good in the world.
Someone who convinces you
That there really is an unlocked door
Just waiting for you to open it.

Wednesday, June 10

Tuna Fish and Milk In A Bowl

Well its official. I am back at the gym and working out regularly. I have finally concluded after 32 years that the ONLY way to sustain the physique that I desire it to combine cardio with resistance training. My employer offers a free gym membership as part of their Wellness program, so I booted the high priced gym I was attending, and swapped it for a gym just a few blocks from my office building. I have committed myself to at least 10 days of resistance training a month. Cardio as often as possible, at least 5 days a week is a given without objection.

My first night at the gym, I was mesmerized by this female, about my age, who is in unbelievable shape. She is lean and cut, but not so much that she looks unfeminine. I tend to desire the lean look, not very sculpted, but this woman was a bit of a source of inspiration. She proved that a woman can be sculpted and still look extremely sexy and not bulky. Her posture was impeccable and she had not an ounce of fat on her body.

I approached her like the dork that I am and commended her on her discipline. It was risky because I was not sure how she would respond, but it was certain she appreciated the comment. We got to talking. Five minutes turned into fifteen minutes as she shared with me her workout routine. The girl rocked it out on the StairMaster like I have never seen. Although I would guess my good friend Snow White could give her a run for her money! But few could…

My big brother is a total doll and is landscaping my backyard. I have a small backyard that backs up to a MetroParks protected wooded lot. A lot of the brush was overgrown and coming into my backyard, taking up the little space that I have. My brother took down the brush (not the trees, I wouldn’t let him!) and filled in the area with topsoil and this weekend we will be planting grass seed and laying hay. He’s also started on a few other projects in the house. This weekend I think I’ll talk to him about the possibility of adding shelving and a shoe rack to my closet. He often cleans my garage, takes out the garbage, and picks things up that he sees the house needs. I just love having him around…aside, of course, from the occasional bitchfest about how I live. Point in case, the way I feed my cat.

My cat Emily is larger than a small dog. It is no mystery that I feed my cat that way I wish I could eat. Endless treats, a full food bowl and splashes of milk anytime she lets out a cry are the norm. When I adopted Emily she was so little and so underweight (she was a stray cat living on the streets) that the way I showed her she could trust me was to feed her, endlessly. The end product is an obese cat, who is insanely happy and saunters with her fat ass all about the house, not taking any disliking to my brothers attempts to taunt her to keep her away from his living space.

My brother is creeped out by Emily. Ok, so maybe it is totally nasty that when I eat baked or grilled chicken I will cut little pieces for her and feed them to her at the table. And maybe it is totally and unbelievably disgusting that I will share my chocolate pudding with her, and my soft yogurt too! But, why is it more disgusting when it’s a cat? I mean, its really no different than if she were a dog (obvious sarcasm here).

Anyways, as my brother is settling into my home, I have noticed my once formal approach to living is becoming more of the “ordinary sort”. I guess that is my way of saying, I lived and lounged a certain way before my brother moved in, changed things as he first arrived to make him feel comfortable (as did he I am sure) and now am going back to my normal and typical habits (as is he such as leaving his dirty laundry ontop of the washing machine – an obvious but unspoken request to wash it!).

One of these bad habits of mine is to feed Emily tuna fish and splash the bowl with milk. It’s a disgusting combination but one which she likes. When I would do this in the past, I would rid of the evidence quickly after Emily ate knowing full well my brother would just stare in awe as the disgust of this practice. Not to mention it smells horrific! So this morning, in a rush to get out of the house (I spent extra time making my hair curly) I fed Emily and scooted out of the house forgetting to rinse the tuna fish and milk bowl.

The three o’clock hour comes upon. My office phone rings. The caller ID shows the familiar cell phone number of my brother. The conversation begins:

I say, “Yo, yo, yo wassup?”

My brother responds, “Are you shitting me?!!!!!!! Tuna fish and milk in the same bowl Angela!!!!!! I almost puked when I woke up and passed it and smelled it this morning.”

My response, “Did you get your clean laundry?”

It’s a lucky thing for him he takes out the trash. Maybe next week as a practical joke Ill put a small pile of Emily’s shit just atop the garbage can to mess with him.

Nothing better than humor to deal with a sometimes stressful situation!

Monday, June 8

A Birthday Weekend of Filled Wishes

Sunday was my birthday. Thirty two years old and I have never felt better about myself. The weekend was absolutely fabulous. It was relaxing, not too hectic and full of love and fun festivities.

Rather than hit any local restaurants or bars, I decided to stay close to home and celebrate my individuality and life accomplishments. A sort of self reflective weekend looking back upon my past and relishing in the best and worst of times.

I splurged and overspent on Saturday and it felt good! It bewilders me the sense of satisfaction I get when I use my hard earned money to purchase finer things that I enjoy.

I bought pillows for my bedroom, including two Euro shams and two down feather pillows, and I also bought these amazing Marc Jacobs Euro pillow shams in the most unique iridescent green/brown color with gorgeous piping.

I have been wanting to buy a cotton metalasse for several years now but was having a hard time finding a color and stitching that was more modern. Most of the metalasse are a traditional off white with a flower pattern. This weekend I found a stark white one with box stitching that had the traditional metalasse cotton feel but a modern look. This fit nicely between my flat sheet and my down comforter giving the covers a weight that snuggles the body.

I also purchased two pairs of shoes. For some reason I was drawn to the wedge heels this weekend. I have never purchased a pair of wedge heels because I have never been too excited about the look…but they offer extra stability and height and are hardly seen when I wear them with my long dress pants. They are typically a rounder toe instead of a pointed toe which is nice when walking across campus for work. I decided my pointed toe shoes could be worn with my jeans when I go out, rather than work, and I could use the wedge heels, incognito, under my dress pants at work and provide extra support and comfort when walking during the day. Then I would still not lose the professional look of added height.

Then I went product crazy and bought an extraordinary amount of hand lotions, body lotions, body washes, bubble baths, oils, and scented candles.

My parents were generous in purchasing me an bedside table for my bedroom. Since my bed sits in a large bedframe I needed a large piece, the size of a coffee tables (at least 36’ wide which is hard to find in an end table) but also square so it did not look like I was using a coffee table for an end table. I found it at a furniture store after looking for months, so of course, after it was set up next to my bed, I had to dress it up with a crystal piece, lotions, candles, a small light and a small clock that goes “tick tock” at night and helps me sleep. The piece of furniture sits just below a framed christening gown that is perfectly pressed and centered onto a piece of pink felt fabric. The frame is gold and had mini shooting stars going across it. It was my grandmother Audrey’s christening gown and someday I hope to be able to take apart that frame and dress my child in the gown on his or her baptism day.

On Sunday, after a glorious early morning walk in the park, and a trip to the grocery store, I headed over to my parents house to meet my family and niece and nephew for a small birthday party cookout. We feasted on bbq ribs, chicken, potato salad, green beans, fresh fruit salad and pasta salad. It all paired nicely with a sweet raspberry Riesling my aunt had wanted to try. We laughed about how we shouldn’t have waited so long to try the new wine. Then onto birthday cake and a few gifts. We as a family have agreed that gifts would be of the personal affect and we would not go overboard.

My dad’s mother, who passed when I was a pre-teen due to ovarian cancer was a very special lady. She was the mother of two boys and was a woman who could “do it all” well before the times when a woman had many options. She was an accountant, a mother, a caretaker, a wife, a volunteer and active community and church member and more.

She had a gentleness and lady likeness about her that emulated. She was loved by many and liked by all. Her name was Audrey. My large forehead, wide nose, and light hair and skin coloring are just as hers. If you place a picture of her as a young girl next to a picture of me as a young girl, we look identical. It is seldom I can go to a family party and not be told how much I am like Audrey. Even to the detail of how I decorate. Low profile, large pieces, earth tones and lots of contrast. She too had a love for the finer things. Her guest bathroom was always decorated with shell soaps and beautiful hand stitched hand towels and her house had the familiar scent of home when you were welcomed at the door.

When my grandmother passed at a young age, the family was devastated. My rough and tough grandfather was offset by my grandmother’s gentleness. She reminded him often not to be too “gruff”. My father’s heart was broken. It was the first and last time I saw my father cry. My father who is the pillar of strength in my life. My grandfather almost immediately after my grandmother’s death took house with another lady, 20 years his younger. It is obvious now he was fearful to be alone, but that act hurt the family so and caused a lot of turmoil and anger.

Many years have passed. My grandfather ended up marrying that lady, divorcing her, and then re-marrying her again and to this day they are wed. His second wife was recently ill and was treated at the hospital that I work. She had a serious neurological issue and I spent several hours of each morning of the 10 days she was here, up in her room, at her bedside, trying to console her and provide my grandfather some relief as he waited for his ride to be by her bedside. My grandfather is 86 years old and I could see from the pain on his face that watching a second spouse pass would be difficult for him.

It has been about 6 weeks since his wife went home, and the prognosis for her is good, but I can see my grandfather’s health failing. It is as if that experience allowed him to give himself permission to let go to the after life, where he could meet and be with Audrey and avoid the pain of losing another wife. This observation along with his most recent chatter about Audrey including; requesting the meals and recipes she prepared for him be prepared, sharing with me the tiny little shovel Audrey used while gardening and talking about Audrey more…has led me to this conclusion. Its as if he is preparing to pass by re-experiencing Audrey as he prepares to meet her again.

As a birthday gift, my grandfather and his wife gave to me my grandmother Audrey’s cook book. It was a cook book her mother in law gave to her in 1942. It is called the “Women’s Home Companion Cook Book” and has several hand written notes placed in particular pages to note where she would adjust a recipe to her liking. Celery salt instead of celery. Add garlic powder. Make it a heaping teaspoon. The inside page of the front cover of the book has a handwritten note from her mother in law. Certain pages are splattered with the likings of sauces and oils, making it obvious her favorite recipes. The gift came with a note from my grandfather and his wife…acknowledging my life successes, my willingness to open up my home to my brother, my time commitment to his wife while she was in the hospital and more. I was so completely and totally overwhelmed I broke into tears.

There are few gifts you receive it life that touch your soul. This was one of those gifts. I brought the book home and immediately found the perfect place in the kitchen for it and have already begun to page through and take mental inventory of the things Ill need to gather at the grocery store to prepare her favorite meals. My plan is to prepare those meals and take them to my grandfather and his wife so that they together can celebrate their love and the future.

As a final note, it was at that moment that I browsed through the recipe book that I realized that the ribs that we ate that evening were prepared by using my grandmother’s recipe and homemade bbq sauce.

I love you Audrey. I love you Bob. I love you Jeanite. Thank you for making my thirty second birthday one I will never ever forgot.

Much love and blessings,
Angela

Friday, June 5

A Weekend For Relaxation

Well what began as, I don't know if he wants to see me again, has turned into a flurry of plans as we both admitted to each other that we were really looking forward to seeing each other again. I have a bit of a smile on today and I have a sneaking suspicion it will be hard to take off.

It started off as him asking me to attend an event with him in late June. He told me about the event and not only did it sound like a lot of fun, but it gives us the opportunity to spend some time together...what better way to get to know someone? I was flattered that he asked and told him,

"I would absolutely love to go. It sounds like it will be fun and I would like to see you again."

His response was adorable, "I was hoping you would come."

To then I which replied, "Are you going to make me wait until June 20th to see you again?" I couldn't believe I said it, but...I thought Id take a leap of faith anyhow.

His response, "What are your plans this weekend?"

I smiled and giggled and could feel my shoulders shrug as a little girl in excitement. There is something about his voice that I like. Its a bit boyish, but strong. And when he is not sure of something...or maybe feels a bit out of his comfort zone, the tone changes to anticipation...maybe even hope. Its as if he is making a statement while asking for affirmation at the same time.

I told him, "I do not know if you remember me telling you this when you called me from Vegas (let's just say he was a little intoxicated), but I really like the sound of your voice."

He said, "I do remember you telling me that. Thank you." in his softer voice.

To which then he payed me a compliment, but one that I will keep to myself out of protection from a friend of his who reads my blog (YUPIE!). I know you will try to embarrass the living hell out of him! I've got a practical joke to play on him of another means.

The compliment was sweet...really, really sweet.

The rest of the conversation included us exchanging schedules for the next 2-3 weeks and working to figure out how we might be able to squeeze in time with each other. It will be tough, especially this weekend, but I think its safe to say we are both looking forward to it.

Friday is here my fellow bloggers, and it has been a long but great week indeed! My weekend plans include lots of time outside (hiking / jogging / in line skating) and a birthday celebration with my family and a few friends.

Have a fantastic weekend and enjoy the time with those whom you spend it with!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Big hug,
Audrey

Thursday, June 4

I Do, In Fact, Like Sloppy Joe

Hello my fellow bloggers.

So as you may recall, my last post included a story about a gentleman I met out while out with some friends a few weekends ago. We had a smashing time during a fun night out in Cleveland, and we cuddled into the wee hours of the morning.

When we woke up the morning after, I felt a bit uncomfortable because I did not know if he was truly interested, or if perhaps the cuddling was the result of several Red Bull and Vodkas on his part and Vodka cranberries on my part.

When I woke up, the first thing I thought was how bad I must have looked. My makeup from the night before still on, my hair I was almost certain was overly poofy, not a good look unless you’re an 80’s chick and of course I had no toothbrush to speak up…not even gum.

Luckily, I retreated quickly to the hotel bathroom before he woke and washed my face with a cold washcloth, I dared not use the hand soap on my sensitive facial skin, rinsed my mouth…no mouthwash…RATS!...and washed my hands. I used my clip from the night before to pull back my hair in somewhat of a reasonable fashion and grabbed my shades to use them as a headband to rid of some of the poofiness in my hair.

Because there was a group of us, and we just crashed on the beds, he and I weren’t alone.

Everyone slowly started to wake as I came out of the bathroom. Moaning and groaning from headaches, the guys thinking it was funny to pass gas loudly in the room. I felt like I was back in college.

The gentlemen I met sat up in the bed, and saw me walking from the bathroom and said,

“Good Morning,” and gave me a wide smile.

“Good Morning” I said in return. A bit bashful because of my sleepover appearance.

When he sat up in the bed, he was not wearing a shirt. I remembered feeling his skin against me, but it was so late when we all piled into that room that I never had a chance to see his bare chest. Lean, muscular and just enough hair…and dark. I like the contrast of light skin and dark hair. His eyes are a deep brown and his nose is a bit larger. I like his eyes because the color is so deep, but they sparkle. Perhaps it’s the shape of his eyes that catches the light so. He is very handsome.

I went and sat on the edge of the bed and asked my brother if he would go get me a coffee and pick me up, knowing full well we had a 20 minute walk outside to where the car was parked. Not to forget to mention that my head was pounding and the thought of stepping out into the early morning bright sun, in my sleepover glory walking through downtown was not appealing in any way shape or form. My bro wouldn’t go for it.

“Hell no! We are walking together and we will get a coffee on the ride home“ he responded

The gentlemen I took a liking to, who also happens to be a friend of my brothers chuckles. I took at him and give him a half smile and raise my eyebrow, almost as if to say, “I hope you aren’t laughing at that.” He smiled at the funny face I made at him.

As I sat on the edge of the bed, I could feel his hand on the small of my back. As if he was gesturing everything was okay. It was as if he sensed I was nervous, perhaps afraid my brother might be able to see right through me to the fact that I was interested in one of his friends.
Goodbyes between friends were exchanged quickly. The last memory I have of him is sitting up in the bed, his one knee bent and his elbow resting on his knee. Very casual, very comfortable…very sexy.

I went about my day and thought about him, and the night before and the morning several times. The conversations and words exchanged that evening and into the wee hours of the morning kept running through my head. The rumor was that he had a girlfriend but it was on the rocks. This made things a little bit more complicated. I took a leap of faith and called him the following Sunday.

We have had several phone conversations since that evening. The conversations are getting to know each other and he makes me laugh…a lot…which I really like. He doesn’t take things too seriously and likes to have fun. It’s the kind of summer crush I am looking for.

His schedule has been hectic. LA, Vegas, Houston, drill weekend. There has not been one opportunity for us to get together since that chance meeting. Next week would be the first opportunity. I don’t know if he will ask if I want to get together, or if perhaps it will be another outing with friends that creates the opportunity for me to see him again, but one thing is for sure. I do want to see him again. If not for any other reason than to laugh my ass off, tell him how sexy I think his chest is, and toast vodka drinks.

Oh, and I will definitely make sure the next time we go out that I have plenty of time to get ready, unlike that evening where I rushed after a last minute decision to go out. I want him to think I am unbelievably gorgeous and sexy when he lays his eyes on me again, maybe even a bit irresistible.

Thursday, May 28

Intoxicating

This past weekend was, by far, one of the best weekends I have ever experienced in my life. They say in life that timing is everything and there are times in life when you have experiences that completely reinforce this concept. I have been eagerly anticipating this blog post for several days, and my fingers can not type as fast as I would like.

For several years I have not been myself. The after effect of several difficult things in my life. As a result, my once self confident self was thrown off kilter. The A I once knew had disappeared and I was fighting to find myself once again.

This journey began with returning home. To that place that was safe, supportive and could offer me the foundation on which to build. Then came the job change. A very important change considering the professional journey and the future of the company. Moving and changing jobs within a three month time period was stressful, but with each decision and move, a move meticulously thought through as if I were playing chess for my life, gave me a sense of relief. Change was good. I was making steps toward a better life for myself.

I adapted to my new home, making it my own space, adapted to my new job by getting acclimated with the people and politics and took it at a steady pace. With each new experience I could feel myself growing within as well. But I was afraid to acknowledge that progression or fully think it through to experience it. Perhaps it was fear that I could really be happy once again, therefore not giving it the attention it deserved.

Since the New Year, and my declaration to release completely from my past; or at least those parts of it that were holding me back remembering the best parts that had become a piece of my personality, I can feel new growth each day.

My brother moving in with me was like a breath of fresh air. My perfectly decorated, perfectly clean house had suddenly become chaos, and I loved it. I loved knowing that someone was there if I needed to talk. I liked having someone share a meal with me. I liked knowing that if I were in trouble or he were in trouble we would be there for each other. I feel a sense of closeness to my brother which I always imagined but never had. I admire him, love him and appreciate his friendship to the ends of the earth. In addition, he is so honest with me that our conversations force me to confront issues that I refuse to deal with…because he knows its something I must overcome and he wants to help me get there.

On Friday, I had absolutely no intention of going out. I saw Friday as my opportunity as rest up for a busy weekend. My brother had plans to go downtown and meet up with a group of his friends. These were not his close friends (of which I all know) but a group of guys he flies with regularly and trusts. The conversation went like this:

J said, “You should come out with us. It’s a great group of people and I think you would really have a good time.”

I responded, “I don’t know J, I just don’t feel like it. I mean, I have nothing to wear, no time to get ready and I feel fat as hell. You know I don’t like to go out when I am feeling fat.”

He said, “Come on. Please come. Besides, I need someone to babysit me so I don’t get in trouble. You are not fat. Go put your jeans on, and do your hair and makeup real quick and we will go.”

I responded, “I know I completely suck, but I'm just not going to go.”

J said, “Are you sure, its going to be a really good time. Once you get out and start drinking you’ll forget about feeling fat and you will forget about all the shit that bothers you.” God love my brother for understanding that sometime alcohol does in fact heal the soul.

I contemplate. Studying his face that is filled with hope that I come hang out with. I had spent so many weekends on the couch when living alone, occasionally going out with my girlfriends but most times not having the courage, energy or desire. This is not how I once was but it was who I became with my struggling self confidence and holding onto my past.

J said, “Alright.” Disappointingly.

He jumped in his truck and drove off. It was a beautiful night. Sunny, 70’s, cool breeze, and the CAVS were playing so anyplace downtown would be sure to be an absolute blast based solely on the fact that everyone would have their TV’s tuned to the big game.

As he drove away, I walked back into the house, sat on the couch, turned on the TV and my stomach sank. I remember shaking my head and myself and thinking…

”Are you really going sit here by yourself all night when you have a perfectly good chance to go out and have a BLAST with your big brother!?”

I jumped off the couch, ran to the mirror in my bedroom and looked at myself studying my sad facial expression and body language. Then I said out loud, “I am so fucking sick of feeling sorry for myself!”
I scurried to find my cell phone, dialed J’s number.

J answered, “Hey. What’s up?” obviously still a little irritated that I decided not to go.

I replied, “Come back. I want to go.”

J said, “Are you sure? I don’t want you to go just because you think I need someone to watch me.”

I responded, “I want to go because you DO need someone to watch over you, AND I am not sitting here on my couch by myself on this gorgeous night.”

He responded, “I'm on my way back.”

I quickly found the only pair of jeans that fits my now round ass. The after effect of being totally and completely lazy. Threw on one of my favorite black shirts, slide into my ballet flats, pulled my hair back into a clip, fixed my makeup, threw on some gloss, sprayed a bit of perfume and headed outside. As I was walking outside he was pulling up in his truck.

He exclaimed, “That was quick! Look at you, you look great! I am glad you are coming.”

We jumped in the car and headed downtown.

The evening events were so fun. We started at a small bar on E 4th. Sat with a group of people drinking beers, bullshitting and watching the Cavs game. The group was so much fun. The conversation was across the spectrum. Wedding plans for one couple, flight training for another guy, discussion on another gentlemen’s decision to go another direction in his career…and then there was this last guy. Hysterical beyond any comprehension and his call sign was perfect considering his personality. I immediately took a liking to him which was only further reinforced when he took seat at the piano in the bar and began a Billy Joel rendition.
We moved onto another bar, where our party took on the likes of riding a bull. Pictures were taken to be sure to embarrass all. Ever tried to ride a bull drunk? Then onto dancing where we watched Lebron sink his last second shot, all the dancers retreated from the floor standing around the bar where the TV’s were positioned, exploding into joy as the ball went through the hoop and the buzzer sounded!

By this point, I was so completely intoxicated that I was not sure if I could move to the next place. But off we went, to see a live rock band. We danced for what seemed to be hours. As I danced, with my vodka cranberry in hand, sunglasses on at night and dancing from the inner depths of my soul with ALL my might, our friends about, I declared in my drunken stuper that I would no longer hold onto anything from the past that was holding me back. That I was going to live my life to the fullest extend and if there was anything I wanted to do, I was going to do it. If there was anything I was doubting, I was going to find out why I doubted and get the right answer. If there was anything I was thinking I could not do, I would conquer to prove to myself that I would. As we left the bar and staggered back to a hotel room (no way any of us could drive) and we all crashed on the beds, the gentlemen from the evening that I took a bit of a liking too, turned towards me lying on the bed and said,

“That was so much fun. I am so glad you came out tonight. I heard you weren’t going to come.”

I smiled at him and said, “I'm glad I came out too. I had a really good time. Although you do have a great voice, you do know that you can’t play the piano for shit, right?” He laughed. I then asked, “Would you please hold me?”

I fell asleep in his arms and never slept better. Most definitely the combination of my self declaration and his boyish jovial charm that reminded me to always have fun and always have a sense of humor. Morning came quickly, and as friends said goodbye and my brother and I drove home he turned to me and said,

“Well, are you glad you came out.”

I responded, “I am so glad I came out and I’m ready. I'm really ready to make some changes in my life.”

His response, “You have no idea how great you are. But you’ll figure it out.”

The only way I can best repay my brothers support is to show it in return.

Friday, May 22

The Weekend Ahead

Today has gotten off to a strange start. I feel asleep last night with temps in 70s with low humidity and a nice breeze in my bedroom. I woke up to 80s high humidity and no breeze. I'm not sure who was more uncomfortable, Emily my cat or myself. I woke up very hot and sweaty. I love the warm weather, but should have planned ahead to wake up in the air conditioning. There is a small storm system moving in from the West. When I realized it, I started to get frustrated. My preference would have been to stay in bed all day and listen to the rain and feel the drop in temperature, but alas, I headed into work to finish up a few projects that I do not want to spill over into next week.

The commute to work was quick. My normal hour drive was a quick 20 minute zip up the freeway, as the traffic was almost non existent. I struggled at the prospect that it was a good day to come in to get things done, because it would be quiet…while I secretly yearned to be back in my bed watching the storm make its way in and start making my mother’s chicken cacciatorre. Imagining my favorite man would be laying in bed next to me, ignoring his hefty schedule, ignoring his phone and paying all his attention to me. I wonder if he’d like the rain?

As I pulled onto Carnegie, a major downtown throughput for Cleveland and was sitting at a red light, a bus of inmates being transported pulled up next to me. It’s a strange sensation to experience the two emotions of hilariousness and creepiness at the same time.

“I wonder how many are innocent?” I thought to myself.

“Not that one…” I chuckled to myself for the middle aged man who peered out the tiny little slot of a window with eyes full of malice. His gaze was evil.

I nearly hit a car in the parking garage, my mistake as I had my attention to my bb and not the road. I attempted to apologize to the lady, but she was too angry at me. Guess her morning is not going well either.

“I hear ya lady.” I thought to myself. “It’s a shitty day to come into work and to boot, you almost get hit. So sorry!” I further thought to myself.

Headed down the stairs of the parking garage to the crosswalk on campus, and from just behind me a squad pulled out of one of the medical buildings and started the sirens, on his way to tend to a patient’s needs. It startled me so, that I jumped up and turned around quickly. The cop who stays at the crosswalk got a really good laugh out of me being scared out of my wits, and then tried to start up a conversation after mocking me.

I smiled and titled my head to the side and said, “Really, don’t. Its not been a good morning.”

My air must have been bitch, because he threw his hands up as if I was the cop and said,
Ok, no problem. I hear ya.”

Asshole, I thought to myself. Stop the effing traffic so I can cross now.

Into my office and an intended delectable treat from my boss on my desk was enough to attract every ant in the building to my desk. There was a basketball size swarm of ants eating the brownie my boss intended to be a treat for me. Damn that brownie looked tasty.

I am eagerly anticipating the finish of my projects today so that I can go home, unwind and prepare for a fantastic weekend.
Tonight – Netflix arrivals of BlackHawk Down and Flags Of Our Fathers. Most likely pork chops or steaks on the grill, ice cold beers and a few friends. Start making mom’s chicken cacciatorre for a Sunday treat!
Saturday – Wash my car, roto-till the back lawn, hit the local landscaping company to price large round stones to line my flower beds with. Time with the Lily and Braden and the off to the Cleveland Great American Rib Cook Off to chomp on some of the areas best molasses soaked pork and beef ribs and a special evening of checking out Third Eye Blind’s concert. I suspect this evening will be a long one and a cab ride home is likely.

Sunday – Meet The Press and then heading to Mohican to hike the 13 mile trail, two times. Since I will be going alone, I see this time as an opportunity for me to reflect, maybe even meditate. Sunday night, Ill put the finishing touches on mom’s chicken cacciatorre and feast with my loved ones.

Monday – The local town of Avon Lake Memorial Day parade, where I will watch my niece Lily throw candy from a unicorn float in her ballerina costume. She is most excited at the prospect that she is going to be riding a unicorn! Braeden her little brother will be in tow. My brother and father will ride their Harleys, and mom and I will walk and we will meet in the same spot we have met many times past. We will bullshit with the local Vietnam Vets at the Local, maybe a quick flag ceremony and then we will all go out for a big lunch!

I am looking forward to the long weekend, because the extra day of unwinding just soothes the soul. Oh, and I couldn’t pass on telling you about this…

Last night, my niece Lily made a surprise visit. Lily is going through a phase where she likes to tell the truth about everything…this after a phase of a lot of fibbing, particularly when discussing whether or not she really DID wash her hands after potty or before dinner or after snack. She’d retreat to the restroom, stay there a few minutes (never turn on the water) and then declare her conquer of the germs on her hands. I knew she hadn’t washed them so I played silly and smelled them and would say, “Well I guess we have to try again because I can’t smell the soap!”

In her new phase of being totally honest, we’ve run across the gamut of phrases a child uses when discussing being honest or telling fibs. These have included:

Liar Liar Pants of Fire
Coming Clean
Honesty is the Best Policy


Liar Liar pants on fire went over like a rock! Turns out a 4 year old translation is literal and I had to explain that her pants won’t burst into flames – way to go Aunt Angie. Coming Clean didn’t catch her attention. She couldn’t get past the literal translation of ‘clean’. Honesty is the Best Policy was indeed the one that she liked.

In a moment of honesty, Lily came ‘clean’ yesterday.

“Daddy, I have something to tell you.” She says to her father

“Yes, Lily.” He responds

“I was rolling a boogie between my fingers and I dropped it on the floor and I can’t find it.” She apologetically confesses.

Jeff and I both burst into laughter. She smiled at us both wildly realizing that she had made a good joke.

Jeff says, “Lily, I am so proud of you telling me the truth. Now lets go find that boogie!”

These are things that I must write about in my blog so when she’s older I can share them.

Have a wonderful holiday weekend by blogger friends! Whatever it is you choose to do I hope that you find it relaxing and refreshing.

Thursday, May 21

Laser Hair Removal – WHERE!?

Technology continues to advance in the area of lasers. Well, geez, if you think about it, there is a laser for just about everything. There are lasers to make incisions during surgery which reduces scarring. There are lasers that can help cure skin conditions, such as dry skin, or improve the appearance of skin such as that which has a lot of broken blood vessels. There are lasers that can remove hair, and there are lasers that can even give you near perfect eye sight.

The risk of having treatment by laser is that if the laser is not not handled properly permanent scarring can occur. The skin on my face has improved from the laser facial treatments I have had. Sun spots have disappeared and the overall appearance of my skin is brighter and tighter. Never hurts to be a little tighter anywhere.

When I met my esthetician, James, I was skeptical. I had already trusted another to using a laser and the end result was not positive. Further, I was not convinced that it wouldn’t happen again. The malpractice was evident from my past experience, the machine was calibrated at a joule setting far higher than normal for this type of procedure…this being something that was unlikely to happen again through good preparation…but I still was fearful. James rested my fears and after three successful sessions, my confidence has been restored in lasers.

Next week, I have my fourth laser appointment. A quick touch up on the face, and this time too, hair removal on my legs! Can you believe it ladies! Yes, you heard it. In about six months, I will no longer have to shave or wax! For those of you who are a fan of the Brazilian, they can actually laser in all those particular places as well eliminating the “grow in” period and the discomfort that can come with it. I mean really, don’t we all just really prefer to have smooth skin all the time? How great that we have an option now that eliminates any waiting time. Or the conversation in which he have to advise our honey, “Don’t touch me there for about 3 days because you’ll get pricked!” best timed with your cycle to eliminate any additional down time.

So wish me well! I am a little nervous to be thinking of laying there in all my splendor from the waist down bending and contorting in positions that you’d find in the book, “The Joy of Sex”. On the plus side, James, my esthetician is in love with a man, so having a male gay esthetician is comparable to have a female gynecologist. You know…they are not that into pussy, so you have no fear in putting the pussy out there.

Your Bed




For those of us who sleep alone, we have a choice.
For those of us who sleep with a loved one, we have an arrangement.

Fetal - (curled into a ball) / Tough on the outside, soft on the inside
Soldier - (on back, arms at side) / Quiet individual with high standards
Starfish - (on back, arms leg stretched out) / Good listener doesn’t like attention
Freefall - (on belly, arms extended out) / Rough exterior, nervous, sensitive to criticism
Log - (on your side, arms at side) / Social and easy going
Yearner - (on your side, arms extended) / Suspicious and cynical

I normally sleep in the fetal position. My upper body is in the fetal position but my legs are extended. I also sleep in my bed solo and rather than sleeping in the middle of the bed, I sleep on the right side of the bed closest to the window. Occasionally, if I am having a restless night, I find comfort is laying diagonally across the bed. Almost always, I wake up in the middle of the night and remove any clothing. But I can’t fall asleep naked. I need to fall asleep with clothing on, and then wake up in the middle of the night and remove the clothing. Its comparable to the cool side of the pillow...for your body.

What position do you sleep in? Do you have any weird sleeping habits?

Wednesday, May 20

The Nose Knows

Do you believe in the healing powers of aromatherapy? I never did, until recently.

As a baby, my mother used to bathe me and then rub my body with baby powder scented lotion. This continued when I was a little girl. We had a routine, dinner, studies, bath and then mom would rub my legs, arms, belly and back with powder scented lotion. I would stand there in my day of the week undies, always wearing the right pair of undies on the right day of the week and she would massage the lotion into my skin.

As I grew into my pre-teens, I started doing the same. I used Avon’s Skin So Soft line which has the faint smell of powder and doubles as a mosquito repellent.

As I grew up into my teens, I began to stray from the powder scented lotions and explored with floral, vanilla and musk scents. An act I think subconsciously was me claiming my individuality! The musk reminding me of my mother. I continued doing this through my teens and into my twenties.

In my late twenties, when all my energy and efforts were focused on the healing of another, and the start of a new business, …I discontinued this morning ritual, justifying it by reminding myself than it took an extra 20 minutes and I just did not have the time.

Then I moved into my “minimalist” period where I wanted to feel and understand my skin and body in its purest form. I dare not alter my natural body scent by masking it with a heavy scented lotion.

Just recently, particularly after a few winters in Ohio, I was reminded of how although I could get away without using heavy body lotions in Miami (high humidity level), I could not get away with it in Ohio. The winters took a toll on my skin.

So I again, turned to the scented lotions of floral, vanilla and musk. I have enjoyed wearing them again, and laugh when I am reminded of a memory in which I was wearing the scent. In particular, the amazing sex I was having when I wore vanilla. It was the late 90’s when vanilla was really popular and he totally dug the scent. We used vanilla lotion everywhere! We washed our bodies in vanilla scrub, rubbed each others feet with vanilla body butter, gave each other massages with vanilla oil.

I have been toying with my signature scent for a few months now, and have realized that I do not want to have a signature scent. I want to change my scent each day, depending on my mood. Sometimes I use the vanilla. Sometimes the floral (usually Saturdays where I am outside in the sunshine a lot!). Occasionally the musk. I’ve also begun to occasionally use a scent that wrenches my heart because it was a scent I wore at a time that was very difficult for me. This I reserve for days when I am in deep.

Today, I am wearing Juicy Couture’s Viva La Juicy. I love it. Its enough to satisfy my sweet tooth, and so much so that I passed on adding sugar to my morning coffee. Second cup too!

I have been enjoying finding new scents and adding to my bathroom vanity a plethora of bottles in all different colored shapes and sizes. My vanity is beginning to look a bit crowded and cluttered, so now I am thinking I need to purchase plastic clear bottles that I can empty the lotions into…removing the stickers that allows me to decide what scent I want to wear by reading them, and forcing me to decide my scent by enjoying each one delightfully in the morning.

Aromatherapy does in fact have healing powers. I’ve added many powder scented lotions to my repertoire too, which of course, my beautiful 4 year old niece just LOVES to smell and wear!

Tuesday, May 19

A Phillips Head Screwdriver, An Allen Wrench and a Masonry 5/16 Drill Bit

I was put on a mission. Go to Home Depot, and buy a drill bit. The American flag and flag pole had been bought and was ready for installation.

The conversation about where to put the flag (front porch / flanking garage left / flanking garage right) was useless. It began with, "Where do you want to hang this flag?" and ended with, "Do you really want to hang the flag there?". I am not sure why he asks where I think it should be hung, he is going to put it where he wants it anyways?

The instructions were specific masonry drill bit, 5/16 inch. The type of drill bit that could drill a hole into my brick home. The thought of this makes me cringe, but I felt a bit of relief while driving through my neighborhood and realizing that almost everyone had a flag pole holder installed just flanking their garage. Some drilled into beautiful stone, lessening my fear of drilling into the beautiful red brick.

My mom and I drove up to Home Depot, a store that is filled with testosterone and manly eye candy. "Why don't I visit here more often," I thought to myself...as I happily looked about at the handsome rugged tan men. The outdoor furniture positioned just at the front entrance. "Clever location", I think to myself as I pass it.

When you walk into a department store, you often see the husbands or boyfriends sitting in the chairs just outside the ladies fitting rooms, or leaning against the counter of the cash register area, waiting in pain and agony as their female counterpart shops for clothes. But at Home Depot, its the ladies that sit and wait for their men, and they sit on that outdoor furniture just at the front entrance, sitting pretty and enjoying the view. Nice how that works out for us ladies.

After we found the section where all the drill bits were located (how about my mom knew where they were!) we walked up to a wall, at least 18 feet in length covered in drill bits. I had no idea where to begin. When I walk into Marshall's or TJ Maxx, I can spot a pair of 7 for All Mankind jeans 500 feet away. But a masonry 5/16 inch drill bit just wasn't jumping out at me. I didn't even attempt.

In walks a middle aged man, who obviously knows his stuff. He walks over to the area, goes directly to the wall, and pulls down a drill bit and is about to make his merry way out.

I look at him and smile.

He tilts his head down, looks over his reading glasses, and says, "You having trouble?"

I respond, "Well, to say I was having trouble would mean I actually tried to look and find this thing. But I haven't".

He laughs and removes his reading glasses, putting his right thumb and forefinger to his chin, "What are you looking for?" He asks.

"I am looking for a masonry 5/16 drill bit." I respond.

He walks to the wall, pulls one down, and then says, "Wait, this other one might be a buck or two cheaper." And grabs the cheaper one.

"See how easy that is for you guys. I never could have found this thing." I tell him. "Thank you. You saved me about 45 minutes or arguing by ensuring I have the right drill bit."

He smiles and says, "No problem. Now you get out of here at don't be spending anymore money!"

A trip to Home Depot for a masonry drill bit $4.67
A good old boy reminding me not to spend too much money - priceless

Monday, May 18

Inspiration

I have been eagerly seeking a new source of inspiration since I moved from the ‘social service’ aspect of healthcare and into finance. My previous career allowed me the opportunity to work with the less fortunate, something that after time became tireless as the number of those looking for freebies, often outweighed those that were taking advantage of free healthcare because they truly needed it; as in transitional help.

This past weekend on DateLine, I was inspiried by a woman who has devoted her life to fighting for women’s rights and maybe possibly, rights equal to a man in the country of Afghanistan. A feat some would say is an endless battle.

I was intrigued by the woman, not just for her crusade, but also because her motiviation was from a personal experience of being raped at a young age. What bothered her most about the opressed woman in the country is how often woman are raped and then in a excruciating mental way; punished by their male counterparts for being raped; punishment often resulting in death by beating, suggesting it was her actions which prompted a rapists sexual promiscuity. Disgust.

During her entire interview she was rock solid, even when challenged with the most difficult of questions (the most difficult Ann Curry can muster, which often times when its female interviewees can be tough). She did not waiver one bit. However, when Ann brought to this woman her source of motivation, and her 4 year old daughter, even a woman of her strength couldn’t resist the emotional overload.

As a victim of rape, I find great strength and inspiration in women who have the courage to celebrate their misfortune to the benefit of others. I celebrate this woman’s strength to stand up, own her past, declare her future and her daughter’s future, and fight to make a difference.

Maybe if I get involved in a rape victim group for young girls in Cleveland, I too can make a difference. This documentary on DateLine touched me so deeply, that I have found the strength to share in an open forum, that this too has happened to me. There is no greater feeling of self satisfaction that doing something for the greater good.

Click here to read or watch this inspiring story:
http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/30798316/

Tuesday, May 12

My Conservative Filled Weekend

My weekend began with a 12 hour course for a conceal carry weapon permit. Although I had been thinking about taking this class, for no other than security reasons, I knew I would never take it unless my “American Dad” brother tagged along. You see, its not that I am intimidated by a class of men who drive pick up trucks with NRA stickers all about the window on the back of the cab, it’s that I was afraid that one of them might really annoy me and I’d shoot them. Can I trust myself with a gun?

Deciding to have a gun within reach at any given moment in which you feel your life might be in danger comes with a boatload of responsibility. I mean, you don’t want to go and shoot anyone for just no good reason, and you definitely do not want to shoot anyone in the back. Not to mention you have to take careful precautions that your weapon is not stolen. You see, that would be my luck, the gun is stolen and used in the robbery of a gas station and the attendant shot and killed. Thankfully, however, they got away with beef jerky and cheese puffs so it was worth it. I intend to collect my reward.

Aside from being in a class with 25 men, all of whom sported moustaches and 1 other woman who also sported a moustache, the room stunk and the instructor was from the NRA. I knew my day was going to be rocking!

The woman and man, who hosted the event in the wooded cabin, were likely the kind that kept shotguns above their fireplace. And this wasn’t to keep the gun warm in the winter; they really just believed that the gun looked nice over the fireplace. This decoration much better than family photos or a painting. But I will have to say, they did make a mean bad ass chili dog. I just wish I had a Bud Light too.

We started at 7am and were firing our guns by 9am. I was a bit skeptical of those around me.
You see, the 2 hours of instructional were not enough for me to feel safe around the others who sported large revolvers or semi automatics.

We shot from 20 feet away; our targets were 9 inch paper plates. I shot 50 rounds from a 40 caliber glock, and hit the plate 42 times. My nickname for the class was “Blondie” and I was invited to the front of the class several times to do demonstrations. The instructor was nice enough, but he tried to trick me and even tried to intimidate me once.

After our class on Saturday, I found myself watching, “Rendition”. This is a fantastic movie about the capture of an Egyptian traveling business man who is charged with being involved in the attempted murder of a well known interrogator and torturer in North Africa. The attempted murder conducted Jihad style by a young man sacrificing his body, the young man coincidentally linked to the interrogators daughter, an act of revenge as the interrogator killed the young man’s brother. The movie was the kind of movie that keeps you on the edge of your seat, and the CIA leadership was relentless in holding the man traveling responsible, but not because there was any solid evidence, but rather because the needed to assure the people from a foreign affairs perspective that the offender had been captured.

Sunday, I started my morning with, “Meet the Press” and found David Gregory and a handful of conservative analyst, give their opinion and feedback on the interviews of the President of Afghanistan and the President of Pakistan. I don’t dare type their names as I am certain the Federal spyware will catch their names on my blog and I will be shipped to Afghanistan to be held prisoner, beaten, possibly beheaded.

I have decided to obtain the permit for the CCW license. What I intend to do is to be sure I can protect myself in the event I am put in a situation that I am unable to deal with, without the threat of death to someone. I hope that I am never put into this position, but if I am, I will shoot and I will hit my target.

Friday, May 8

Happy Mother's Day


It is finally Friday and it has been a crazy week indeed! My home which was once preoccupied by one, now has two; and when blessed with a visit from my niece and nephew, four; add nani and papa and it quickly becomes six! The house is filled with laughter and activity and nothing fills my heart more.

This evening is my spa evening. I am looking forward to tonight and the relaxation of highlights, cut, mani and pedi...and am excited to see how my hair comes out. Still today, I struggle with deciding whether to get just a trim or cutting my hair short to the chin. The bob cut would be easier to maintain and frame my face nicely, but I am afraid Ill regret it and miss the length I have now.

Tomorrow, my brother and I are attending a 12 hour course to earn a permit to carry a concealed weapon. I have wanted to get this permit so that when I am in the house alone, I feel more protected. The responsibility also comes with a lot of safety check features. So I have purchased a storage system in the home that will lock the gun. Ill store it a safe spot that is also easily accessible from my bed at night. I think its also time to install the home alarm system.

Sunday is Mother's Day. This is the day that we will honor our mothers and what they have meant to us. For some it will be church, maybe brunch, flowers, small gifts, or perhaps for those that are not able to celebrate in person, a phone call. For those who have said goodbye, a prayer to their mother who has passed, and her spirit risen. Whatever the circumstance, we will celebrate that our mothers gave us life, and brought us into the world, and each of us has a piece of her within us.

Our family will have mom over and cook out. The menu will be mom's favorite meal. Filet mignon, twice baked potatoes and asparagus. She will sip a glass of Kendall Jackson Chardonnay which is her favorite.

Whatever your weekend brings upon you...ENJOY! Happy Friday fellow bloggers, and have a splendid weekend.

The white rose picture is a gift to my mom. White rose is her favorite flower.

Thursday, May 7

The Move

So it was raining cats and dogs yesterday afternoon and all evening in Cleveland. I took delivery of a StairMaster shortly after 4pm. My brother was making his way from Little Rock, AR to North Ridgeville, OH.

He was supposed to arrive about 9pm. But 9pm turned into 10:45pm because of the weather. When he called to let me know he would be late, I could hear the tension in his voice.

After my StairMaster was delivered I changed the sheets in Jeff’s bedroom, dusted, vacuumed, lit a candle and added a few extra pillows for comfort. I also cleaned his bathroom, brought him fresh towels and added a few extra features in the bathroom I knew we would like. A stainless holder for his q-tips. A cup for his toothbrush. A soap dispenser for hand soap. Aveda lotion for his hands.

I went to the grocery store and filled my cart full. My normal quick trip turned into a full grocery shopping hour. Jeff will have his kids over often. Juice boxes, fresh fruits and vegetables, chicken, beef, milk, yogurt…and all the good healthy things that kids love to snack on. I stocked up so it doesn’t feel like we are running to the grocery store constantly.

When I came home, I emptied the groceries into the fridge, freezer and cupboards, ridding the fridge of any leftovers from his last stay.

After, I tested my StairMaster by taking it for a 20 minute spin. It felt really good to get sweaty; my calves, hips and thighs burned. Today my legs are tight. I can already tell I am going to love the convenience of a piece of cardio equipment in my home. I like when my body feels sore from a good workout. I sleep better and feel better in my skin. Must be the endorphins fueling my muscles.

Jeff pulled in with his truck and U-Haul full of his things. I could tell when he got out of the truck that this was tough for him. You see, the eight other times he has come home from an assigned training base, he had headed to his colonial home where his wife and children live. But this time was different. He was coming home to an uncertain future. A life change that would cause any man, even the strongest to feel sad. He’s is very tough on himself and takes a lot of the responsibility for the marriage not working, perhaps too much. But he’s not ready to talk about that.

I gave him a big hug when he got home. Welcomed him home. He was anxious to get the U-Hual unpacked and get settled.

“So do I just jump in and start grabbing stuff or do I wait for orders?” I asked, saluting him acknowledging his military rank. He visited Iraq four times, and deserves the rank.

He turned towards me, smiled wide and said, “Well wait for orders of course!” and chuckled.

So we started to unpack the back of his truck first. Lots of bags of clothes, endless flight suits and pairs of black boots, one by one going into his bedroom. Then his kitchen items, his office items, his gym room items, his bathroom items, his storage items. The house was becoming more full with each trip.

He was worried about bringing things into the house – most likely because my decorating style is very minimalist. He was being sensitive to the fact that I don’t like a lot of ‘stuff’ in my decor. I assured him his things in my home were fine, and that he was welcome to bring all his comforts into his new home.

“Jeff”, I said to him. “I want you to think of this as your home. There is no separation in what is mine and what is yours. Fill the place full with all the things that are familiar and make it your own.”

“I appreciate that.” He replied. “I just don’t want to bring a bunch of shit into your house.”

“Actually, I think its good for me to have a change of environment. I have gotten way to comfortable and set in my ways for such a young age.” I chuckled.

He replied in a joking matter, “Young? Is that what you think we are? Young?”

“Ok, get all of your shit out now.” I replied. The appropriate answer for him teasing me about my age! As if! We both laughed.

We unloaded his motorcycle. That was a feat indeed. There is me in my jeans, tennis shoes and white tshirt. Of course, this was a more of a ceremony than necessary. Can’t scratch it, can’t move it too hard, rock it easy, get it on the plank and roll it down safely, can’t let the speed mess us up nor can we let it stray from the narrow path of the plank and fall. Alright, maybe not more of a ceremony than necessary but since I do not receive the same sensitivity when picking out shoes, I can criticize.

I was so nervous that I didn’t end up helping because I was laughing too insanely out of control. You see, I have a really bad habit of laughing at inappropriate times when I am nervous. When I was a little girl, I would laugh and pull up my knee socks at the same time. Now I just laugh, because knee socks are no longer in fashion. At least not in public.

“Hard to believe we both have jobs and can take care of ourselves. I mean, we can’t even get a damn motorcycle out of a U-Haul.” I said.

“For real Angela! We can’t get it out because you aren’t helping. You are just standing there laughing. Get your ass over here and pull!” He was joking.

I stood there looking at him with a look making sure I was telling him there was no way in hell I would stand for that!

“Don’t give me that look.” he apologetically replied.

“Say your sorry.” I insisted.

“What, are we 10 years old?” He questioned.

“Well, if you had apologized when we were 10 years old, maybe I wouldn’t be asking you to apologize now” I said in a snotty manner, folding my arms over my chest and turning my head to the side. I was so proud of my comeback but it was so lame.

“Sorry.” He said.

“You’re not forgiven.” I replied.

Then we both laughed and finally got the damn motorcycle off the U-Haul, the final tribute to his move. We celebrated the end of the move and his welcome home by making nachos. Tostitos scoops with melted colby jack and salsa, and sipped diet dr. peppers (with cherry).

I arranged the furniture so the largest sitting chair, which is most comfy, sits directly in front of the tv, paired with a large round end table and lamp for him to do his paperwork. Its positioned it next to the fireplace and a window. I think he will like the comfy little space in the main living area that will be just for him. He nestled into that seat farily quickly, taking claim of it knowing full well I created the space for him. There was no need to acknowledge. I knew how much he appreciated it, as much as he knew how I appreciated him bringing home a dozen bottles of red wine!

Today he is with the kids, a treat for him indeed. Nothing brings him greater joy that being with his children. The juice boxes, snack packs and fruit will all have been enjoyed by those precious little treasures. And I assure you without any doubt, I will come home and there will be an American flag hanging on the front porch.

Welcome Home Jeff!

Wednesday, May 6

Welcome Home Mi Brosher


Today, my older brother is moving in with me. Life circumstances have taken him in a new direction and as a result, we are ‘shacking up’ for the next year.

I have never officially lived with someone. I spent 4 months in the same apartment with an ex-boyfriend once. But that wasn’t the kind of living arrangement that one would think of when saying you have lived with someone. You see, he was addicted to cocaine and I was there to help support his recovery. I grew up so much in those few short months.

My brother has been slowing moving-in over the past 3 months. He travels a lot because of his work, so he’s spent a few weeks at my house already. His room is kind of set up. He needs some furniture, but his presence is enough that I feel a bit safer. I’ve tried to tend to his needs as best I can but he likes his privacy.

My brother is the social-lite of the century. He goes out often, has lots of friends and is always the life of the party. I am much more introverted that Jeff. I do not go out nearly as often, nor do I have as many friends as he does. This brings me much happiness as I am looking forward to being a part of his life more.

There is only a two year difference between Jeff and I. He will be turning 34, I will be turning 32. As a little girl, he teased me to tears often. I loved it.

I can remember fondly when my parents went out, and we had a babysitter, we would play pranks on the babysitter. There was a cubby space behind the coat closet at the front door. It was a pantry converted into a crawl space. It also had access to a sliding panel door between the main hallway and the kitchen. Jeff would tell the babysitter he had to go to the bathroom, pretend he was going upstairs, and sneak into the crawl space. He would bang on the wall, and move the sliding panel door and the babysitter would freak out. She had no idea where the noise was coming from or who was making the noise. I supported his evilness by telling the babysitter that it was just a known fact that we had a ghost in our house. I would caution the babysitter not to make the ghost mad, telling her it was the spirit of a young boy who was shot in our basement. The part about a young man being shot in our basement is true. But there was no ghost, or at least no ghost that I was aware of.

Another fond memory was how we used to play WWF wrestling. He would be Rowdy Rowdy Piper (he has red hair) I would be Hulk Hogan (I had blond hair – no female wrestlers in those days to admire). We would stuff pillows up our shirts and take position at either end of the room. We would run at each other full speed and knock into each other, the pillows throwing us back across the room upon impact. We would laugh hysterically, get up and do it again…over and over and over.

We also liked to play records on my dad’s record player. That was until I frisbee’d the Billy Joel record across the room at my brother when he teased me and the record shattered. Dad put a stop to our record listening when I made that mistake. That was the day I thought Billy Joel died. Turns out,he didn’t. But my brain was making some sort of weird connection that upon shattering his record, I had killed him.

Then of course, there was the time we played church. We were raised Catholic. Attending church each Sunday in our best clothes and attended parochial school where each room was crowned with a cross just above the entryway. The cross always had Jesus nailed to it, and blood dripping. I would usher myself quickly through the doorway, thinking the blood might drip on me. Jeff would always be the priest and I would be the nun. We would smoosh bread into a mini host, imprinting the cross and it and use red kool-aid for wine. We used our parents wedding bible to read scripture. Turns out the glass coffee table couldn’t support the impact of the bible and it shattered into a million pieces.

Then of course, there was the time the tree fell down and we tried to use the chainsaw to cut the tree and stack the wood before dad got home. It’s a wonder we are still alive.

Although I am very nervous about not having a lot of time to myself, I must say that I welcome my brother home with a lot of excitement and anticipation. One thing is for sure. My house will be hustling and bustling with activity…kids, friends, parties.

My brother earned the nickname “Krusty” in military flight school. To save him some face (for sure I will post pictures of his hilariousness this summer to embarrass the hell out of him), I won’t share with you how we got that name, but rest assured, it will be the “Summer of Krusty 2009”, making good on my #9 New Years Resolution no doubt.

My brother just called, to tell me how his drive from the south to the north is going. To give you an idea of his personality and sense of humor, he left me a 5 minute message, titled, “The Joy of Sirius Radio – Playboy Style”. I guess the playboy channel on Sirius Satellite radio comes highly recommended from my brother. This shortly after I realized last night that my brother set my TV to default to the Fox News network when I turn it on. You see, my political views sit a bit more left than my brother. Sigh, I do love it!

Wish me luck and wish me fun!

Tuesday, May 5

Congratulations King James




Lebron James was named NBA’s, “Most Valuable Player” for the 2009 season.

Lebron joins the ranks of Kareem Abdul-Jabbar (x6), Michael Jordan (x5), Kobe Bryant and Shaquille O’Neal, and joins at a ripe age.

My junior year of high school, my basketball team went to states. We won states by one point, a shot from the top of the key at the buzzer – no shit. It was insane. I still have the memorabilia…the bus ride into the little town of Avon Lake was a site to see as we drove down State Route 83. The experience of bringing our community together was one I will never forget.

Lebron, in true fashion, celebrated his award by visiting his high school alma-mater, St. Vincent – St. Mary in Akron, Ohio to share his honor and perhaps, provide hope to impressionable youngings who desire to be just like the “King”.

The city of Akron is just a short drive from Cleveland, as is where Lebron grew up. Lebron, among much skepticism and fear of fleeing to New York (which is where I think he will end up after bringing a championship to Cleveland) has remained loyal to the cities of Akron and Cleveland, both in a severe economic depression with much less to offer than the likes of New York or LA.

Today I say congratulations to Lebron, and thank you! Thank you for donating bicycles to children and local police forces; thank you for donating resources and time to clean up our parks and the flats; thank you for being an inspiration to youth; thank you for respecting your mother; and thank you for reminding the world that Cleveland does exist. Maybe, just maybe, Cleveland is not the “Mistake On The Lake”.


Monday, May 4

Real Housewives of Cleveland

This past weekend, I got tied up watching the show, “Real Housewives of New York.”

This show is hilarious beyond any comprehension. Women with lots of money; some self made, some marriage made, some old money; and women with lots of time equals a whole lot of drama.

What I like most about this show however, is not the drama, but the fashion including make-up, jewelry, clothing and accessories. I especially took a liking to Bethenny who is single, successful, and desperately trying to find Mr. Right.

This show is like a reality “Sex In the City”; perhaps giving those of us who are single a bit more hope than our old HBO show, because its real life, not fiction.

Outside of being inspired as to how best start rebuilding my wardrobe, I have been motivated by the power of these women. Not power in the sense of influencing others, but power in the sense of themselves.

There is not one single thing a woman who believes in herself can not accomplish.

Friday, May 1

Spring Has Sprung – And It’s Here to Stay

Spring has sprung in Cleveland and from the weather forecast it looks like it is here to stay. I relish these warms days in Cleveland because there are so few. Not to mention the sunshine! Oh how I love the sunshine!

My weekend is getting off to a great start. I’ve had a productive week, even considering I’ve only been in the office four days this week.

As a bonus, my car dealership called. Seems that when they re-certified my car, they did not complete the paperwork. They did the maintenance (or so they say) but forgot to complete the paperwork…so it was taken in for maintenance today as a precaution. This is a bonus because Ill be able to go another 12k before service. This will save a few bucks and the car will come back clean. I love to wash my car but since I have a full weekend, I'm looking forward to the extra time. I love this dealership, and a commercial spot may be in my future.

I had planned on sneaking away to Miami with my older brother for the weekend. Circumstances were such that it would have not been the best choice but I was tempted. Mom went in for minor knee surgery today and with the swine flu and all, its safe to say travel is not the best option. My lure to Miami was two fold, great weather and great company, but alas, plans have been cancelled. Perhaps another time soon. I was looking forward to his scent again, so clean, so manly, a bit musky.

Instead, Ill tinker around the house and visit mom and dad. The front door needs a second coat of paint, as do the shutters. My home needs landscaping attention (I have no idea what the hell I am paying for) but instead I feel the urge to go shopping and buy clothes. Intense workouts are a given. I will tend to the laundry, visit the cleaners, maybe even steam clean the carpets. Prepare the office for the desk delivery, wash the wood floors, maybe install the kitchen and bathroom cabinet hardware.

I may even pick up canvas and acrylic paint and attempt a piece for the bathroom. I was inspired by a fish painting last weekend. I’ve always been a fan of muted earth tones for interior d├ęcor; wondering how to best incorporate splashes of color into my home. I saw a few quirky fish pieces last weekend, that were loud with color. At first glance it was confusing, but as you looked closer it was soothing, almost a bit comical. I wanted to look at them longer to study them, but did not have the chance, so the inspiration was fleeting. Thinking of those paintings makes me laugh. Having the canvas and acrylic and the faint memory will determine if my creativity can flow. Lily likes fish and the guest bathroom has a beach theme. Sand dollars and shells from our trips to Emerald Isle are about…all hand picked by that curious little girl. Ill make the fish bright blue, black and white with a bright yellow fin. The last piece I was inspired by came from my brother and sister in laws home. A Pablo Neruda poem demonstrated as a bold art piece.

The farmers market at Crocker Park makes its debut this weekend. Fresh veggies, fruits and flowers will be abundant. The Park comes alive with color and the hustle and bustle of people. I think Ill make vegetable skewers on the grill, slather them with a tomato sauce, sprinkle them with cinnamon and add some white rice; pairing it with a pinot grigio.

Its going to be a good weekend, I can feel it.
Happy Friday fellow bloggers. Enjoy the weekend time with your special someone or yourself!

Thursday, April 30

Committing One Of My Greatest Sins

There are times in life when you commit a major sin; demonstrating conduct that is not becoming to the human race. Sometimes when you commit those sins, even though you know full well that you should not be, you are incapable of disciplining yourself to stop.

They are perhaps, the types of sins that give you the utmost pleasure and an equal amount of shame. The human psyche complex enough to give your conscious full permission to focus on the good and not the evil.

You stand there in a full length mirror, looking deep within yourself. Gesturing to the right and to the left as you have conversations with your angel-self and your devil-self sitting on your shoulder. A quick flick of your thumb and forefinger and your angel-self, adorning a halo and gold sandals, flies across the room, hitting the wall and falling dead to the ground. You have ushered your angel-self from your soul. “Who needs a conscious”, you chuckle to yourself.

Its only a matter of time that it will catch up with you. You begin to allow yourself to think about the consequences….but not long enough to truly realize or embrace. Its too hard to take it that far, because it feels too good. You give yourself full permission to continue, falling victim to the ‘wrongs’ you’ve had in life as motivation that you deserve it. Mother was right, two wrongs never make a right.

You walk around, living a secret. Most likely a sin or shame that you dare not share with another. Or if you do, its only with those that you know don’t really give a fuck about you, because they won’t pester you.

You catch glimpses of yourself in the mirror, you saw yourself as once beautiful but now what you see are the imperfections and ugliness. Its coming from within and exuding through your appearance. You scrutinize others to the same degree. When the hell did you become so judgemental?

You walk with an air of superiority because your insecurity is so great.

Any psychologist will tell you that a character representation that is prominent is typically a front to the complete opposite. Your subconscious knowing full well, but of course you are in denial. Overly Arrogant = Insecure. Gushing Love = Angry. Hyper Sensitive = Insensitive. Always Brilliant = Idiot. The only exception being Asshole = Asshole.

Your secret and sin finally become public, and the repercussions are greater than you anticipated. It is years before you fully realize the hurt you caused. Its only when you grow old enough to experience those life lessons that you realize its true impact.

Eventually, you find a way to forgive yourself, even though you were never forgiven. You wonder if the person will take their bad fortune to their grave, and you can only hope and pray that it is not something they think of during their last days, even though you know you will in your last days.

You carry on with life, trying to put together some sort of normalcy. You realize your purity was not stolen, and when given the chance you did not claim it back, but you surrendered and took it a step further.

I forgive myself and I forgive him. I hope the best for his wife and children.