Tagged!

I’ve been tagged by ashleysthoughts and I’m up for the challenge. By the way, go check out her blog.  She a talented young writer trying to bring credibility to New Jersey!

The rules are:

  • you must post the rules
  • answer the questions the tagger set for you in their post
  • create eleven new questions to ask the people you’ve tagged
  • tag eleven people with a link to your post
  • let them know you tagged them

The questions I must answer are:

1. How often does your phone ring? Not a text alert, I mean how often does it ring with another person on the other end who wants to talk to you?

I’m over fifty so I have technically challenged friends.  If a text has more than twenty words, it’s just too much trouble.  Consequently I talk on the phone about half a dozen times a day.  I talk to my mom everyday, my husband multiple times on some days and none on others, a couple of friends most days and my sister, when we can.  Oh, and my kids when they have time for me which is never as often as I would like.   Boy, do I miss those days when I was the most important thing in their lives!

2. Have you come across anything so far in life that is actually all it’s cracked up to be?

Much of the art and literature that I have had the pleasure of viewing and reading.

3. What decade do you wish you could visit?

I’ve always been drawn to the twenties.  Maybe it’s the decadence or maybe the really cool flapper clothes.

4. When was the last time you cried? Why?

Too many days lately.  Oprah’s Super Soul Sunday can usually get me going. Sometimes happy tears and sometimes sorrowful tears. 

The last time I cried until I thought my insides would detach from the rest of my body was when my father died.  It was unexpected and I was slayed by the news.  I miss him.

5. Do you consider yourself open-minded? Are you really, or do you say yes because you feel like you’re supposed to?

I think I’m open-minded but I don’t know.  If my daughter called and said she was a stripper at the local pub, I might change my mind.  I know I’m not saying it because I feel like I should.  I try to keep my judgement of others at bay.  I’d be less inclined to be close-minded if the stripper came from a dysfunctional background and was putting herself through college and was not my daughter.  Does any of this make sense?

Tough questions, Ms. Ashley.

6. How often do you find yourself telling a “little white lie” or a “bold-faced lie?” Are you a liar? Is everyone?

I tell white lies and I shouldn’t but I can’t tell someone I hate their new dress or haircut or most anything.  I was a liar so when I had kids I made it clear this was the worst of sins.  I always said that I could handle anything but lies.  Of course there were lies but also a lot of hard, cold truth.  I lied once to one of my children and later went back and told him the truth.  I couldn’t lie and ask him not to lie to me.

Oh and yes, I lied about the usuals – Easter Bunny, Santa Claus, Tooth Fairy.

I don’t know if everyone lies but almost everybody.

Pretty honest answer, huh?

7. What makes you most excited?

Travel with my family. 

8. What are your TV guilty pleasures?

Dr. Who and, embarrassingly, anything where they chase a ghost.  Maybe because my father passed, I really want to believe in ghost and I want him to come a calling. 

9. Would you rather live on top of the clouds or at the bottom of the ocean?

Another toughy.  I love the ocean and I’m fascinated by what’s down there but I’m also claustrophobic so I thing I would want to live on top of the clouds, breath freely and take in the beauty of the earth and, who knows, maybe some other ‘earths’.

10. If you died tomorrow, what would be your legacy?

I think people would say she was a good mother and that she was kind.  Someday, I hope  people might say she did her best to make the world a better place.  Oh and a good writer wouldn’t hurt.

11. What comes to mind when you think of New Jersey?

This Texan spent a week in New Jersey when she was 17 and fell for a cute boy.  We were living in Pennsylvania then.  I only have fond memories of Ocean City, NJ.  We moved back to Texas about a week after this trip and I lost contact with the boy but I still have the memories.

And my eleven questions are:

  1. What happened on the best day of your life?
  2. What is your greatest talent?
  3. What have you done in your life that makes you the most proud?
  4. What do you believe in that others might doubt the reality of?
  5. If you could travel in time, where would you go?
  6. What’s your favorite holiday and why?
  7. Anytime in your life that you would like to have a ‘do-over’? Explain in you can.
  8. What’s your favorite movie and why?
  9. If you could spend one day doing anything you wanted, what would it be?
  10. What are your views on social media?
  11. Have you ever broken the law and what did you do?  You needn’t answer if it will get you thrown in the pokey.

Time to tag the others.

These are all people with interesting ideas and I can’t wait to hear what they have to say.  Check them out.

I also want to say thanks to Jane Thorne for the Liebster Award.  She has a lovely blog that you should check out.  I’ve gotten to know her through ‘Something for the Weekend’ and it’s been a joy.

I received the Versatile Award once again from butenuffaboutme.  She is a fan of Erma Bombeck and has her own funny bone.  Take a moment and check her out.

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Something for the Weekend (4)

This week maturestudenthanginginthere gave us a beautiful picture for a prompt.  I struggled but finally came up with something today.  It’s short but it’s what I first saw in the picture.

This lovely picture is from Karl Chapman.

Perspective

Two brothers view a rainbow,

Their future paths unfold.

One sees sun reflecting rain,

One sees a pot of gold.

Letting My Geek Flag Fly

I guess it’s time to come clean.  I’m not the ‘cool’ mom or the ‘cool’ empty-nester or the ‘cool’ anything.  I’m a geek.  And not the ‘cool’ geek like the geniuses on “The Big Bang Theory” but the geek that watches ‘TBBT’ and wishes she understood the formulas displayed on the dry erase boards.

Recently, I suspected my ‘geekiness’ because  the lady selling eyewear told me the ‘nerdy’ glasses I wanted were half price.  I was buying the glasses because I thought they were fashionable.  And if you’re thinking maybe the lady was behind the times – no.  I still wear clothes I bought before the millennium.  I couldn’t tell you what the hot colors are for the coming season.  It’s me that’s out of tune.

The title card for the original 2006 pilot

Image via Wikipedia

I’ve learned through the dictionary that you don’t have to be a computer whiz to be a geek.  I wouldn’t fit into that category.  I’m typing this post for the second time because I lost everything when I tried to download a picture.  That’s the kind of computer loser that I am.

I’m also not a carnival geek.  The definition from Merriam Webster mentioned biting the heads off of live chickens and snakes.  Does that really still go on or does Merriam Webster need to do a serious update on their website?

I’m the other kind of geek, defined by Merriam Webster as, socially inept.  I never know what to say at parties and when I start talking, I see eyes glaze over.  I don’t understand why people aren’t interested in the fact that National Geographic had a great article on how to improve your memory and remember a complete deck of cards, in order.  When I see their disinterest, my response is -

‘No, I can’t do it but it’s unbelievable that someone else can, right?’

or

‘Was that a yawn?’

or

‘Didn’t you just come back from the bathroom?’

I really do wish I was the genius geek.  Then at least I’d have some credibility.  I’m just the odd duck that gets home from parties, wishes she hadn’t gone and worries about what she said, as opposed to, what she should have said.  I’m a lot funnier when I’m scripted.  At least I think I am.   If I had the TARDIS, I’d travel back in time and do much better with small talk.  You, too, may be a geek if you know what the TARDIS is.

I like to know a bit about everything and especially if other people in my realm know about it.  I constantly make notes.  The only good thing about researching all these little things is that sometimes, from out of seemingly nowhere, I get an answer on Jeopardy that I shouldn’t know.  Of course the only person I’m impressing is me because, now that the kids are gone, I usually watch Jeopardy alone. I want you guys to know, I can be pretty impressive, and not just because I’m old and have lived through a lot of the history questions.

I guess I should have noticed my ‘geek’ signs a long time ago. They’re pretty evident, right?

English: Albert Einstein Français : portrait d...

The whole package - brains and adorable.

So,today I’m coming out of the ‘geek’ closet.  I realize life is a lot easier when we are who we are.  I’m tired of worrying about becoming a geek.  I’m already a geek.  I love the Discovery and Science channels.  I pay extra to get the Science Channel.  I love museums and prefer to go alone so I can take all the time I need to look. And, yes, I have a tremendous crush on the ‘deceased’ Albert Einstein.  I have his picture in my office. It makes me smile every time I look at it.  I find solace in the fact that he was a geek,  too.  I think that’s why I’ve always loved him.

Something for the Weekend (3)

I didn’t do a post for ‘Something for the Weekend’ last week so there is no (2).  I decided to call this (3) since this is the third week of maturestudenthanginginthere‘s virtual creative writing class.  

Melancholia

The afternoon shined like a new penny on black asphalt,

She dropped her paisley scarf over the day to protect her eyes,

The light struggled to burn through,

 But she wasn’t ready to dismiss

The quiet discontent flowing through her veins.

*

She disguised the malaise from others with dark shades and a tilted smile,

The unsettling turmoil inside wasn’t to be shared,

Simply sensing the tainted warmth

Outweighed the pain produced,

The thorned crown belonged to her and it wasn’t to be shared.

Mardi Gras Mania

My mother and father grew up in the little town of Amite, Louisiana, but they never took my siblings and me to New Orleans for Mardi Gras.   (Can’t imagine why)  My first chance to see a Mardi Gras parade took place in Alabama.  It was Mobile, Alabama to be exact.  I’m embarrassed to say I thought New Orleans and Galveston, in my home state of Texas, were the only places to hold Mardi Gras celebrations.  Now, I know better.  Do you think there might be other stuff going on in America that I’m not aware of?  Anyway, I now feel certain that many places have parades- just not as far North as Amarillo, Texas.

But my first Mardi Gras experience took place where it all started. Sorry New Orleans. The first Mardi Gras parade in America was held  in 1703 in Mobile, Alabama.  New Orleans started their party fifteen years later.

My ignorance runs even deeper.  I thought Mardi Gras was maybe a week of parades and balls.  Sorry, my friends, this is wrong.  In Mobile the first parade of Mardi Gras is in November.  During the three weeks before Fat Tuesday, the town holds parades almost every night.  And the locals do it right each night.  I was there on a random Tuesday and the floats were beautiful.  The high school bands that played between the floats were energetic and talented.  I imagine this was not the first parade they had marched in over the last few weeks but they didn’t disappoint.

Amateur float makers everywhere, we need to hang our heads in shame.  We have parades in my little town and we have an awesome band but our flat-topped trailers covered in hay bales and brightly markered posters would be laughed out of the Mobile parades.  The one picture of a float that I took (below) shows you what I mean.  These are well thought out designs and they don’t use the same floats night after night.  I’m guessing there are hundreds of floats housed all over Mobile year round as they prepare for Mardi Gras season.

Next let me tell you about the gifts tossed from the floats to the waiting crowds.  You know about the beads and doubloons but do you know about the stuffed animals, roses, candy, peanuts and Moon Pies? Yes, I said Moon Pies.  In 1956, Alabama float riders started sharing Moon Pies with the crowds.  I didn’t even know these treats still existed.

And what do you collect your goodies in?  Many parade goers have wheeled boxes.  Sacks don’t work well because the torpedoed goods come quick and you need somewhere to toss your items as you prepare for your next catch.  Seasoned parade goers have rakes to collect goods that don’t clear the protective three-foot fence.  The plastic bags from the local grocery store that we use for our little parades would never hold the plethora of loot recovered on a Mobile Mardi Gras night.

Now you understand why I didn’t get a lot of pictures.  You look down and you might be sporting a bead imprint across your face the next day.  And the night I went, it was ladies throwing the gifts from high atop the floats.

All from my one parade

Beads, beads and more beads

I feel like I stumbled upon a well-kept secret.  I went to a Mardi Gras parade and I didn’t have to fight Time Square sized crowds.  I didn’t even have to flash anything to get beads.

Hope Unites Globally-HUG Award

I have been awarded the Hope Unites Globally – HUG Award by kianys at Thirty Years of Growing Pain(s).  I spoke of this young lady in  The Long Overdue Post but I have more to say before I speak of the award.  If I’d gotten this award from anyone else, I would have given it to her because she gives me hope.  She’s a young woman who lost her mother when she was two years old.  She speaks honestly about her life.  I don’t know her whole story but I know she is kind and compassionate.  She would make any mother proud.

The day before kianys awarded my the HUG award, I’d written on a piece of paper, “I need to make a difference.”  I believe this award gives me this chance.  I  spent the first half of my life focused on me, me, me.  I spent the second part of my life focused on my children.  As kianys says in one of her post, the mother becomes the frame and the children the picture.  I think most mothers would agree.

I hope to spend the next part of my life embracing the idea that we’re all connected.  Usually we make our connections through blood or proximity.  I’ve failed at many connections and I haven’t tried hard enough to maintain others.  I hope to work harder in the future.

I’ve made some great connections through this blog.  It’s been exciting but now kianys gave me this award and, at least today, I want to connect through my blog on a different level.

Free Hug

Free Hug (Photo credit: Extra Medium)

The HUG award was initiated by Connie Wayne to promote hope, love, peace, equality and unity for all people.    I want to recognize two people whom I feel deserve this award.

The two people are from my small community.  Since I haven’t told them of this award, I won’t use their last name.  This couple, Mark and Karen, had a simple idea.  They decided it would be nice to offer a free meal, once a month, to anyone in our community.  It started small but has grown.  Many of the members of our church prepare vegetables, casseroles, breads and desserts.  Somebody goes to the Salvation Army and the Good Samaritan offices and hands out flyers.  We hold the meal at our church but the meal is not about growing our membership.  The meal is about kindness.  Karen and Mark are about kindness. We just feed people-no pressure, just love.  We connect with the people and honestly, we’re better for it.  I have met some fascinating people in my community whom I would never have met if it wasn’t for Mark and Karen. They had an idea and they made it work.  Thanks, Mark and Karen, for providing this opportunity to connect with others.

Ace Ventura: Pet Detective

Image via Wikipedia

One last thing I would like to do is share a documentary about connecting.  The director is  Tom Shadyac.  I’m sure many of you are already familiar with him or his work.  Tom Shadyac is the director of movies like “Ace Ventura: Pet Detective”,  “The Nutty Professor”, and “Bruce Almighty”. After an accident he decided to simplify his life and live in the best possible way.  He, being a director, made a film about his journey.  In the documentary, he speaks with people making significant strides in bettering our world.   His film is, “I Am, The Documentary“.    It’s really worth a look.  I don’t get anything for promoting his film but I’m hoping for a little feather in my angel wings for each viewing because of this post and, trust me, I need all the feathers I can get.

Kianys, thanks again.  The nice thing about this award is that once you get it, you can give it to anyone at anytime.  I want to spend the next year getting to know others better through their blogs.  I want to connect with others and learn how they feel about the world.  I’ll continue to blog about the humor in my mundane life in posts dealing with things like  jury duty and the empty-nest of a crazy lady but, watch out, I may have started something.  Maybe, every once in a while, I’ll use this blog to ‘make a difference’.

Something for the Weekend (1)

Maturestudenthanginginthere  is hosting a virtual creative writing class for the next few Saturdays.  With an accelerated heartbeat,  I’m participating.  I love poetry but rarely share what I have written.  For the next few Saturdays, I will share.  If you’re here for my usual witty (humor me) posts, you’ll have to wait for another day.

  Enough rambling.  Here is my first assignment and first ever published poem.

THE PAINTING

The door of the museum opens on

the exhibit of the long gone artist.

The couple walk in and look at his work.

Momentarily, he and she observe.

He raises an eyebrow and her eyes roll.

They move to the next, not understanding

the intimacies they bear witness to

in the blacks and grays and blues and purples.

They do not see love and hate, life and death or

the secrets of a man’s life put on display,

illustrated in the mingled pigments.

But one day the front door opens again.

A woman stands before the artist’s work.

Her pulse quickens, her spirit awakens.

She perceives the passion the painting holds.

She feels the love and hate, the life and death.

For her, the colors tell the lost story

of the artist who created to share

history, written in textures and hues

of paint tinted with his dripped sweat and blood.

As he labored, he hoped some would see

with eyes of the soul and not the socket.

The woman knows that long ago, he stood

in his studio and painted for her

the picture hanging in the museum,

and finally, she has come to see it.

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